Costco book buyer Pennie
Clark Iannicello’s picks are
available at Costco and at
More of Pennie’s Picks for March
Replay, by Ken Grimwood. What praise can I give to
Replay that hasn’t already been bestowed on this tremendous novel? Originally published in 1987, it won
the 1988 World Fantasy Award and much critical
praise. Those of you who have read it know that it has
something for everyone—encompassing elements
of tragedy, romance and science fiction. If you
haven’t read it, please, do so now.
At the age of 43, Jeff Winston dies in 1988, only
to wake up and find himself in his college dorm in
1963. Time and time again he is given the chance to
relive his life. Even if he can’t prevent his death, he
learns that he can change his past. I both love and
despise the character of Jeff Winston—depending
on the decisions he makes in each incarnation.
For years this has been at or near the top of my
list of all-time favorite novels. I applaud
Grimwood’s skillful way of making readers
think about the changes they would make if
they had a second chance.
Jane, the 12-year-old heroine, is ready for adventure. Not just a single diversion from her younger
siblings and mother, but 100 of them. Her prayers
are answered in the form of a hot-air balloon, a new
friendship and several possible fathers.
It would be selfish to ask for 100 children’s
books this adept at capturing a sense of fun, innocence and wonder, so for now I’ll be content with
just this one.
My One Hundred Adventures, by Polly
Horvath. Over the years I’ve heard casual
remarks about how it’s easier to write for
young readers than for adults. If you are a skeptic, I ask you to pick up this award-winning book.
Heath: A Family’s Tale, by Janet Fife-Yeomans.
Instead of going gaga over actors and singers, I tend
to reserve my celebrity worship for authors whose
words move me to limitless emotions. Even I am not
immune to the tragedy of a life that ends too soon.
It is truly a bittersweet act to recommend this biography to my fellow readers.
Journalist Fife-Yeomans examines Heath Ledger’s
all-too-brief life, from his determination to act to his
last years. Well researched, with insight into his family’s troubles back home in Australia and his battles
with personal demons, this book is nothing shy of a
tribute to the actor whose life ended long before any
of his fans and admirers were ready.
Costco is one of just two authorized retailers to
carry this book in the U.S.—PCI
By Peter Malcolm
USER-FRIENDLY. Simple. Inexpensive. All are
adjectives not typically applied to the American
legal system. But don’t tell that to the people at
Nolo, a Berkeley, California–based publisher that
offers something once unheard of: plain English
legal information for common folks.
“It doesn’t say anything in the Constitution
about paying for a lawyer to get the benefits of the
law,” Ralph “Jake” Warner, Nolo co-founder and
CEO, tells The Connection. “People have the right to
accessible legal information.”
Warner founded Nolo in 1971 while working for
Legal Aid in a low-income area—a position where he
encountered a vast number of people for whom the
legal system was too expensive and too complicated.
“The goal when we started—and which still
stands today—was to bring first-class legal info to
the masses,” says Warner.
That’s why, for nearly four decades, Nolo has
published straightforward, inexpensive legal information on a wide range of subjects, from filing divorce
papers to starting a business or drafting a will.
What began with books has expanded to include
software, audio CDs and a Web site ( www.nolo.com)
with blogs, downloadable legal forms and even
“Nolopedia,” where visitors can get free info on a
broad range of legal topics.
Costco member Sara Armstrong, a Berkeley-based educational consultant, has turned to Nolo
several times for legal help, most recently to start a entertainment
“I definitely recommend it,” she says. “The book
[How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation in California]
was informative, comprehensive and written so that
a normal person can understand it. No law degree
Warner says that’s precisely the goal: to provide
the same quality information you’d get from a legal
clinic or lawyer—except stripped of the scholarly and
incomprehensible jargon that cloaks most legal text.
And how does the legal community feel about
“In the beginning, the bar associations were
resistant to change,” says Warner. “But technology
advances and a new generation of lawyers has made Nolo co-founder and CEO
COUR TESY OF NOLO PUBLISHING
it easier to work in cooperation.” Ralph “Jake” Warner
When Nolo began, though, do-it-yourself legal
work was rare.
“In 1970, the idea that people could have direct
access to the legal system was simply not in America’s
imagination,” says Warner. “Nobody in California
represented themselves in a divorce. Now, 90 percent
of cases have at least one person doing just that.”
So what’s made Nolo such a success? It’s not
that Nolo’s legal knowledge is superior to its competitors’—Nolo’s just better at articulating it.
“Others may put out legal advice
The Costco Connection
books with fantastic content,” says Several Nolo books, including The Work from
Warner. “But what’s the point if the Home Handbook and The Legal Guide to
reader can’t understand it?” C Starting and Running a Small Business, are
available at Costco.com. The software
Peter Malcolm (peterjmalcolm@yahoo.
com) is a Seattle-based freelance writer.
Quicken WillMaker Premium 2009 is available
in most warehouses and at Costco.com.