Since I work at the library, I’m always reading books. Some of them because I want to, others because I have to. And with all that reading, sometimes it is hard to remember that a really good book has the ability to grab you, pull you in, and not let you go.
Which is exactly what Divergent did. I first heard about this book when it won Favorite Book of 2011 in the (completely non-scientific) Goodreads Choice Awards. Then I read somewhere that it was kinda like The Hunger Games – which I enjoyed. So, I thought, “Hmm, maybe I should check this one out.”
And here we are. The book is set in a future, dystopian Chicago where each individual chooses his/her faction (sometimes over their families) based on inherent characteristics: Dauntless, Amity, Abnegation, Candor, or Erudite. Every now and again we find a rare individual who is divergent – or able to succeed in more than one faction (and therefore dangerous). Which is where our heroine, Beatrice, finds herself.
First of all, props to Roth for picking excellent vocab words for each faction. (This is a Young Adult book after all.) I must admit that abnegation was not a word in my lexicon prior to Divergent. Second of all, even at close to 500 pages (!), once you start reading this book you are not going to want to put it down.
If you’re just now hitting The Hunger Games bandwagon and are waiting for your copy of the book, Divergent would be an excellent diversion while you tick down the massive hold list. If you love this dystopian genre and are looking for more books like these, check out another readalikes list.
The Golden Age of Couture Paris and London 1947-57 is the exhibition catalog of the record breaking 2007 exhibit from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. With the drudgery of World War II in the past, sumptuous fabrics and couture clothing made a strong comeback in February of 1947 with Christian Dior’s New Look. This book looks at the ten year period before Dior’s death and tells the stories of the best couturiers in London and Paris. The book elegantly details Dior’s golden age, Paris and London haute couture, textile manufactures, and the visual culture of couture and its legacy. Featured are nearly 200 illustrations.
In 2010, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts brought The Golden Age of Couture to Nashville. The exhibit allowed everyone to experience fashion on a level most of us never get to. Typically, the closest the average person comes to wearing something truly formal is either at prom or on their wedding day. To be surrounded by all of the glamorous dresses was an incredible experience. The exhibit was a true celebration of fashion, filled with people of all ages who were excited to be there and eager to share stories of their favorite displayed pieces or of the gowns that they themselves had worn.
For anyone who has ever wanted to put on a pretty dress and twirl around …..The Golden Age of CoutureParis and London 1947-57 is for you!
This is the amazing account of the ex-President’s exploration of an unmapped South American river at the age of 55. It’s hard for me to imagine someone not enjoying this–it starts slow, but the trip down the river is so full of excitement and drama that it’s a little mind-boggling. Highly recommended for fans of Teddy Roosevelt or Amazonian adventure tales like The Lost City of Z.
I am mystified that this memoir is not a major spring hit. If you’re interested in book publishing, French literature, expat life, or censorship issues, please give this a shot. It’s like a fantastic time machine to mid-century Paris and New York. I’d even go so far as to recommend it to literary fans of Mad Men—it’s set in the same time period, but focused on the world of publishing rather than advertising.
Of all rock-n-roll reunions, punk reunions are the most cringe worthy. Nihilistic like bombs, punk bands have their moments and then die. Dare I say, dare I dare to say, that Is This Hyperreal? is the rarest of punk reunions that actually works?
If there was a time for Atari Teenage Riot to reunite, NOW, with computer hackers running amok and demonstrators from both sides of the political spectrum competing for news cycle, is as good a time as ever. ATR don’t deviate from their pounding beats and hysterical shouting formula but the endearing charm is that it still sounds like it was recorded on stolen 16-bit equipment in 1992 – the techno equivalent of Chuck Berry’s out of tune guitar.
Lyrically, it isn’t Leonard Cohen, but what do you expect from a band called Atari Teenage Riot? Again, current events suit their muse. If you are looking to flood yourself with forty minutes of adrenaline, this record is (hyper) real enough to get the job done. Oh late capitalism, you are such a bonny gal.
It’s happened to the best of us. You get a nice sunny spring day where the temperature is warm enough that you don’t need a coat. The wind is blowing, which gives off a nice breeze and you think, “Hey, I’ll go fly my kite.” But what happens when the gently wafting breeze becomes an errant gust? That’s right – your kite gets Stuck in a tree.
Meet Floyd. Floyd’s kite is stuck in a tree, too. Oliver Jeffers latest book chronicles Floyd’s exploits to get his kite out of that tree. Throw your shoe at it? Nope, that doesn’t work. Maybe the policeman can help? Aw, man. Now he got stuck. How in the world is Floyd going to get his kite back?
Jeffers’ book is targeted for children, but it is a fun read for kids of any age. Not since Mo Willems and his Pigeon (who I would totally let drive the bus, by the way) have I so enjoyed a kiddie book. You won’t believe the plans that Floyd concocts to get his kite out of the tree.
You’ll probably wonder why you didn’t think to try that yourself.
After months and months of waiting and some behind the scenes drama Mad Men is back on television! Season 5 is scheduled to begin on Sunday, March 25th with a two hour premier. Luckily for us there are many “products” available to help us prepare to reenter the sophisticated world of Don Draper.
Fashion retailer Banana Republic has just launched their second collection of Mad Men inspired clothing for men and women.
Mattel has a Mad MenBarbie doll collection featuring Don Draper, Betty Draper, Joan Holloway and Roger Sterling.
And the library has……. The Fashion Filewritten by Janie Bryant, Mad Men’s costume designer. The Fashion File is a fun little book filled with cast photos and comments, chic illustrations, and advice about how you can create your own vintage inspired wardrobe.
If you need to catch up on previous Mad Men episodes before the premier, the library has the past seasons available for check out.
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