How to be a Heroine or, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much

By , October 30, 2015

How to Be a Heroine Book CoverHow to be a Heroine or, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much
by Samantha Ellis

Dedicated readers always have a collection of books they love. These are the books we read until they fall apart, the ones with dog-eared pages, creases and notes in the margins. They contain the stories that resonate so powerfully we never forget them.

In her delightful memoir How to Be a Heroine or, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much, playwright Samantha Ellis revisits the stories that shaped her development as a woman and a writer, paying homage to the those literary heroines who became her muses. From Sleeping Beauty to Sylvia Plath, Ellis’ heroines were role models, each with a lesson Ellis wanted to learn. “I was reading the story of my life” she notes. “I [read] to find out what kind of woman I might want to be.”

Or not to be. As a little girl, the Iraqi-Jewish Ellis longed for Sleeping Beauty’s flowing blonde hair, until she grew old enough to realize that Sleeping Beauty doesn’t really do anything. Later, as an adult, Ellis realized that despite her lifelong adoration of the passionate Cathy Earnshaw from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Cathy lives neither wisely nor well. She marries Edgar Linton for money and then spends her marriage letting Edgar know that she never stopped loving Heathcliff. She dies and winds up a ghost.

As part of an argument with a close friend, Ellis found herself comparing Wuthering Heights to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. She noticed that Jane stays true to herself; her conscience and character are strongly formed, and together they give her the strength to leave Rochester, the man she adores, when he wants to make her his mistress. Even though she goes through great hardship, Jane survives, carves out a life for herself and eventually does marry him. “My whole life I’d been trying to be Cathy” Ellis muses, “When I should have been trying to be Jane.”

These examples and many more make for a whimsical and often poignant memoir. Ellis isn’t afraid to admit she’s wrong. As a college student, her favorite heroine was Esther Greenwood, the protagonist of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Like Esther, she longed to come apart, to have a transformative experience of suffering. When she developed an epileptic medical condition, she considered her seizures her rite of passage: “This is, above all, what I got from The Bell Jar: the idea that you had to suffer to be a woman.” Ruefully, Ellis came to realize that she found nothing either educational or liberating about not being able to control her own body: “My seizures haven’t made me virtuous or cheerful…there is just the tedious business of getting through suffering, day after day…” She still enjoys Esther Greenwood’s rise out of madness, but she no longer has any illusions about it.

If there is any flaw in this gem of a book, it’s Ellis’ tendency to criticize her heroines for not being feminist enough, but she is wise enough to realize that even though none of her heroines are perfect (Cathy Earnshaw and Scarlett O’ Hara are anything but!), they each had something to teach her, something that helped her to become who she is. The job of a heroine–or hero–is to do just that.

- A.J.

Book review: The Day of the Triffids

By , October 29, 2015

Triffids-2You might not expect a novel about killer plants to be thoroughly lacking in over-the-top corniness, but John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids handily pulls it off.

William Masen awakes one morning to find that he is among the few humans in London who still possess the capacity for sight. The reason for sudden widespread blindness involves a meteoric event, and the circumstances that most of the helpless citizens find themselves in are scary enough without the addition of a more sentient threat: large, hostile plants known as “triffids”. Without specific safety precautions – the removal of a ten-foot-long stinging stem that can be wielded by the plants with amazing accuracy – the triffids are dangerous organisms, chiefly because they are both carnivorous and mobile. A city (and perhaps a country?) full of blind persons is no match for both a crumbling society and a giant deadly weed. Depressing, right?

An element of hopelessness is certainly present in Wyndham’s novel, but it’s more frequently both fascinating in its depiction of a strange concept, and gripping in its realistic narrative. Forget for a moment the fact that this story was adapted for film in 1963; while that version might be plenty entertaining in its own way, the source material compels because of its believability and the grounded nature of the story. At only 222 pages, you’ve got time to fit this SF classic from 1951 into your schedule!

- Ben

Popmatic Printcast for October 28, 2015: What to do?

By , October 28, 2015

This is the Popmatic Printcast for Wednesday, October 28, 2015. Now that we don’t need to spend so much time trying to find somewhere to record, we have time to catch up on all those things we’ve been meaning to do. Or read. Or watch. (Not clean. Please don’t say clean…)

This is the Popmatic Printcase where you can STILL rock out with your library card out. I’m Amanda and partying with me today are Mike & Jeremy. Bill stayed up too late last night interviewing cool people that I’ve never heard of for his Legends of Film podcast. If you haven’t ever listened, you should check it out.

So this week: things we’ve been meaning to do. I, for one, have wanted to learn a second language for a while, so let’s practice. Last week we learned our Fancy Tickle intro. This week, let’s do it in Latin!

Hey guys
Quid faciemus titillare quaesita?
Well…
Fors est bibliothecam habet,
Fors est bibliothecam non.
Sed hinc vel illinc adpellerent,
Suus titillationem nostri ludo.

Got it? (Thanks Google Translator. I’m sure it’s not grammatically correct, but I’m just learning ok?)

Jeremy SAYS:
Shocktober isn’t quite over, but the end is nigh. The pumpkins haven’t even started to rot, but the sinister joy of the holiday season has already begun to creep in, and the damp gray horror that is the month of November is about to awaken once again. Fun fact: Thanksgiving is only celebrated at the end of that long, dreary month because, as a nation, we’re just glad it’s all over. November is the no-man’s land between summer and winter, filled with ghosts of what’s been lost and warnings of what’s to come, and it is the perfect time to watch the amazing Cartoon Network miniseries Over the Garden Wall.

Series creator Patrick McHale served as a writer and creative director for the equally amazing Adventure Time, so the show has quality in its DNA, but Over the Garden Wall avoids the speed and mania of its cousin and channels it into whimsy, sadness, and age-old tradition of putting children in danger. It’s the story of two brothers, Wirt and Gregory, who become lost in the woods and try to find their way home. As they journey deeper into the forest they encounter a talking bird named Beatrice, a tortured woodsman, a village populated by talking pumpkins, a riverboat filled with frogs in fancy dress, and shadowy monster who conspires to capture them. The Wizard of Oz is an obvious influence, but here that Technicolor world is replaced with muted colors, like there’s a shadow over every frame. This show is like a blend of the films of Hayao Miyazaki, early black and white animation, silent films, and the art of Johnny Gruelle. It bumps right up against horror but never goes all in, but parents with small children still might want to put this on after the kids are asleep.

The story has a definite ending, but it’s a world I’d love to visit again again. If you watch the show and want more, there’s also a e-comic written by Patrick McHale available on Hoopla.

Mike SAYS:
Long time listeners know that back in ye olde days, the Popmatic Podcast used to be monthly instead of weekly.  One of the big downsides of a monthly podcast was choosing just one thing for the Tickle My Fancy segment – some months I had 5-10 things I could talk about easily.  One movie from way back in 2013 that I’ve regretted not recommending all these years later is The Grandmaster, directed by Wong Kar Wai.

Tony Leung stars as Ip Man, legendary master of the martial arts style Wing Chun and teacher to Bruce Lee.  At the beginning of the film, Ip competes with various other martial arts masters to become grandmaster of southern China.  The grandmaster of the north, Gong Yutian, challenges him to a duel of philosophies.  When Gong Yutian declares Ip the winner, his daughter Gong Er (played by Zhang Ziyi of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, Memoirs of a Geisha, etc) is disgusted and challenges Ip Man to an interesting duel where neither combatant is allowed to break any furniture.  Afterwards they promise a rematch sometime in the future.  Unfortunately a little thing called World War II happens, which spoils their plans.

I noticed about halfway through the film that both of them only wear black and white clothes, which I took to signify the black and white symbol of the Tao.  The main characters, like Yin and Yang, are complete opposites – one is male, the other female; one destroys while the other creates, one is an actual historical figure, the other is fictional, etc. etc.    While there aren’t a lot of fight scenes, the few that there are are pretty amazing, which is fitting since they’re choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix trilogy, both Kill Bills, etc).

Martial arts movie fans take note:  acclaimed movie The Assassin is coming to the Belcourt soon.  I’m not going to lie, I yelled “yes!” at work when I found this out.  Luckily no one was nearby, heh.

Amanda SAYS:
 Well, it’s official. I’m an adult. Sigh. How in the world did that happen? But I recently decided that since I don’t have a choice in this whole “Being an Adult” thing, I’d better take it seriously. Now math has never been my strongest subject. I can do it when I put my mind to it, but it’s definitely not where my gifts lie. Because of this, I needed a little help when it came to personal finance. (It also helps that I married a tech guy who likes numbers.) I tried a bunch of different books, Suze Orman and some other budget/savings type people. Theoretically, their advice was sound, but I didn’t really feel a big desire to implement any of their plans. I have an MBA, for pete’s sake, and they weren’t telling me anything I didn’t already know.

During this process I had also checked out this Dave Ramsey book, but it kinda sat on my desk for a while. And sat…

And sat…

I think I avoided it so long because Dave Ramsey is kind of a cliche in Nashville. For those of us who live here – in the home of Dave Ramsey – we tend to not be impressed with local celebs. Blah blah blah, Dave Ramsey said, blah blah blah. But I finally picked it up and found what I was looking for.

Dave has a plan that he calls the Baby Steps. It is simple to follow (notice I said simple, not easy) and understand. Do this, do this, do this…be wealthy. Done. Anyone can do it with a little bit of time. Also, Dave’s kinda like Dr. Phil, in that he’ll call you out and tell you when you do something stupid. His podcast is one of the most popular call-in shows in America. If you would like to be smarter with money and stop wondering where your paycheck goes every month, check out Dave Ramsey. I would start with The Total Money Makeover (that’s how I did it), but you can really read any of his other books too.

Yes. I drank the Kool-Aid. And it was goooooooooood!

So now we can cross those off our list (and we didn’t have to clean a thing). There doesn’t that feel better? Sigh. Be sure to tune in next week as we bring you the three favorite items of our favorite imaginary listener, Gary from Perth.

POP! Popmatic!

PS To The Donald of NPL:
Thank you for your thoughtful comments on our printcast last week. They were exceedingly bloviating. It’s so nice when fans take the time to write us a quick note. Have a great day!

DVD: The Mind of a Chef

By , October 27, 2015

 The Mind of a Chef

It has been well-documented that I like cooking shows. And you are in luck because I have found another show to love (thanks PBS!)

The first season of The Mind of a Chef features David Chang – chef/ owner of Momofuku noddle bar in New York City. David takes us through his favorite recipes and travels to visit friends in Japan and Copenhagen to try new recipes and taste old favorites. The series is narrated by the bad boy of food, Anthony Bourdain. It also has a bit of a Monty Python feel with a lot of animated segments and irreverent cartoon transitions. They are funny and Bourdain’s finger prints are all over them.

Food is not just about cooking in the kitchen, there is also a lot of science involved and food science king, Harold McGee, makes several appearances to explain exactly why what David is making in the kitchen physically works. (At the latest library book sale, I totally lucked out and came across the latest edition of McGee’s book, On food and cooking : the science and lore of the kitchen,  which I have wanted FOREVER, for just $2. SUPER SCORE! Thanks Friends of the Library!)

But my favorite guest is Chang’s pastry chef, Christina Tosi. I’ve been watching Master Chef for the past couple of seasons, and this season Tosi replaced Joe Bastianich as a judge. She’s a pastry chef, so naturally I was interested, but I didn’t really make the connection between Tosi and Momofuku Milk Bar. (Sometimes I’m a little slow to catch on, ok?) Tosi showed us a recipe for her famous corn cookies that I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to make! Now I just have to find some freeze dried corn and corn flour and I’m in… The library also has Tosi’s book, Milk bar life : recipes & stories that I now need to check out and read. (Corn cookie!)

After the first season, The Mind of Chef changes it’s format a little, but we have three more seasons to enjoy. Season 2 featured Sean Brock from Charleston’s  McCrady’s restaurant, where he is diligently working at preserving old recipes and old seeds as well as April Bloomfield from Tosca (which is also my mother-in-law’s name, just fyi). For Season 3 we traveled from Brooklyn to Lousiville with Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia. The library has all three seasons on DVD and we’re waiting on Season 4 which is set to feature Gabrielle Hamilton. I have my hold on that as we speak.

Happy reading, watching, corn cookie-ing…

Amanda :)

Halloween Inspiration from the Wilson Collection

By , October 26, 2015

October is the time of year where many celebrate the spooky and eerie holiday of Halloween. Trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, apple bobbing, and costume parties are among the typical festive activities that children and adults love to indulge in. Perhaps one of the reasons Halloween is so popular is that we get to don a costume and become one of our favorite characters for a night. Literary sources have long been inspiration for Halloween costumes by creating and popularizing fantasy and horror figures such as vampires, aliens, werewolves, princesses and witches.

The Wilson Collection is filled with literature that helped popularize these fantastical creatures such as:

Vampires became popularized by the novel…

Dracula by Bram Stoker

  • Originally published in 1897, published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1965.
  • The novel is a work of fiction but does contain some historical references. Vlad III Dracula, known as “Vlad the Impaler” and Prince of Historic Transylvania (1456-1462), inspired Stokers Count Dracula character. Vlad III Dracula had a reputation for cruelty to his enemies and was known for his use of impalement.
  • At the time of Stoker’s death, he was better known as the manager and biographer of the great Shakespearean actor Sir Henry Irving.

    Artist: Felix Hoffman

Aliens were the source of fear in the novel…

War of the the Worlds by H.G. Wells

  • First published in 1898 and in 1964 by the LEC, the War of the Worlds is a tale of alien invasion that follows an unnamed man and his younger brother as they seek refuge from the sudden arrival of Martians.
  • On October 30, 1938, the novel was presented as a Halloween episode for a radio broadcast and this caused many people to think that the Earth was actually being invaded, causing widespread panic.
  • The novel is signed by the artist Joe Mugnaini (who has illustrated several other books for the LEC).

Artist: Joe Mugnaini

Witches were mischievous and the source of tragedy in the play…

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

“Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”

~ The Three Witches

Macbeth Act 4, scene 1, 10–11, etc.

  • Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays and certainly one of the best tragedies of all time. The plot surrounds Macbeth, a general of King Duncan who is persuaded by his wife to murder the King after he is told a prophecy by three witches.
  • The three witches, often called weird sisters, are mysterious and fit the archetype of a witch. They voice their spells in a sing-song voice, while hovering over a fog-filled cauldron and making their potions using “eye of newt and toe of frog.”
  • The book is hard bound with onion skin wrapper and illustrated with color plates by Gordon Craig. Craig was a famous actor, director, and a scene designer.

Artist: Gordon Craig

 

Wilson Collection post for October courtesy of Brooke Jackson, Fall Wilson Collection Intern

 

Would you like to view these books or more works from the Wilson Collection? The Wilson Collection is housed on the 3rd floor of the Main Downtown Library, next to the Fine Arts book section. It is open for visitors during regular library hours. To view the books personally, you’ll need to make an appointment. Appointments are made by calling Sarah at (615) 880-2363.

 

 

Spooky Books: Not Just for Halloween

By , October 25, 2015

crankenstein

If you visit your local library this week and hope to find books about Halloween, chances are you will find many! Below is a list of books that are great for Halloween because they deal with monsters, vampires, and other creepy things, on a kids’ level. Don’t worry! Most aren’t creepy or scary, so most children will be enjoy.

Spooky Books

Vampirina Ballerina by Anne Marie Pace
Oh, to be a ballerina! It’s a challenge for any little girl, but even more so if you happen to be a vampire like Vampirina. First of all, you have to find a class that meets at night. Then you have to figure out how to perfect your form when you can’t see yourself in the mirror? And then there’s wearing pink (not the most flattering of colors if you happen to be undead) and that nagging urge to take a little nip out of the other dancers. And worse of all STAGE FRIGHT!!!

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger
BEWARE OF CRANKENSTEIN! Who is Crankenstein? HE IS A MONSTER OF GRUMPINESS THAT NO ONE CAN DESTROY! MEHHRRRR !!! HE’S ALIVE! He may look like any ordinary boy, but when faced with a rainy day, a melting popsicle, or an early bedtime, one little boy transforms into a mumbling, grumbling Crankenstein. When Crankenstein meets his match in a fellow Crankenstein, the results could be catastrophic–or they could be just what he needs to brighten his day!

There’s Something in the Attic by Mercer Mayer (Miss Terri’s Favorite!)
That nightmare in the attic may look and sound scary, but it’s no match for a brave girl with a lasso! Nobody knows better than Mercer Mayer how to turn shivers into smiles, and children no longer need fear things that go bump in the night.

Monster Day at Work by Sarah Dyer
Little Monster spends a day at work with his father. First he has to dress and choose which tie to wear. Then he must travel with Dad and all the other commuters. At work he eats the cookies at the meeting, colors the graphs his father makes on the computer, goes to the cafeteria for lunch and even stops off for a drink on the way home. Monster thinks his father has it easy at work. Sarah Dyer’s highly entertaining portrayal of a child’s-eye view of the adult world of work is full of wit and charm and will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak
Election season is here and Monster is ready to vote! But why cast your ballot when you can run for president instead? With speeches, debates, and a soapbox or two, Monster’s newest tale is a campaign encouraging kids to take a stand and fight for what they believe in.

Wolves in the Wall by Neil Gaiman (for older children)
There are sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises coming from inside the walls. Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of their house — and, as everybody says, if the wolves come out of the walls, it’s all over. Her family doesn’t believe her. Then one day, the wolves come out. But it’s not all over. Instead, Lucy’s battle with the wolves is only just beginning.

Other Great Titles

Hoopla

Have you tried Hoopla yet? You can check out or stream movies, television shows, ebooks, and audiobooks. We have a great selection of Halloween titles – over 40 movies and 20 ebooks. The great thing about Hoopla is, unlike a physical library book that we have a certain number of copies, Hoopla items can be checked out by many people.

- Terri

Steve Berry – The Patriot Threat

By , October 24, 2015

Steve Berry discusses The Patriot Threat, part of the ongoing Salon@615 author series.

Subscribe to Salon@615 podcast (iTunes)

Download this episode (.mp3)

Popmatic Printcast for October 21, 2015: Ummm…where’s Bryan?

By , October 21, 2015

This is the Popmatic Printcast for Wednesday, October 21, 2015. For those of you who were expecting our usual Popmatically-tastic Podcast – surprise! As we mentioned during our SHOCKTOBER podcast, Bryan has gone a-travelin’ and while the cat’s away the mice will play (insert evil laugh).

So this is the new Popmatic Printcast – where you can STILL rock out with your library card out. I’m Amanda and today my fellow mice are…Mike, Jeremy, & …wait. Did Bill stow away in Bryan’s suitcase again? Hmm…we might need Carmen San Diego to help us out with this whole geography thing (Hit it Rockapella!)

Like a mature, grown-up adult, I totally just called All-Time Tickle My Fancy for the next few weeks. Wheee! If you’re really lucky, we might get a chance to find out what our favorite listener Down Under turns to after he gets his weekly dose of  Popmatic Madness, so stay tuned for that.

Now without further ado, and in your creepiest, Shocktober voice, please repeat after me:

Hey guys.
What do we do on Tickle My Fancy?
Well…
Maybe the library has it. Maybe the library doesn’t.
But either way, it’s tickling our fancy.
Mike…

(PS We should have these, so don’t worry. We’re just contractually obligated to say that part.)

MIKE SAYS:

As longtime listeners know, since this month is October all my thoughts tend to dwell on horror.  Movies, books, tv shows – you name it, this is the month for it.  So for this Tickle My Fancy post, I thought I would recommend one of the better movies I’ve seen for SHOCKtober this year.

Today I’m recommending Eyes without a Face (or Les Yeux sans Visage, if you prefer), a 1960 French horror film about a woman whose face was taken off in a traffic accident.  The main character, Christiane, wears a mask that looks like a porcelain doll’s face.  You may notice that in her room she has broken a doll’s face – perhaps because it reminds her too much of her own faux visage?  Her father is a famous surgeon who has had some success with full face transplants (which is actually possible now, but in the 60s fully in the realm of science fiction).  Throughout the film, her father’s assistant lures young women to the doctor’s villa, only to have their faces taken off!  Unfortunately Christiane’s immune system never accepts the faces, which rot away, causing her father to look for another young woman to kill.  Will the police ever put deux et deux together and realize that prominent face surgeon guy might be a serial killer cutting off women’s faces?  (Gallic shrug)

Like many horror films beloved by art house nerds (Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Psycho) Eyes without a Face isn’t super scary.  To me this is kind of like Silence of the Lambs where you could classify it as full horror or a suspense thriller with horror elements depending on your point of view.  I would recommend it to casual horror fans who don’t like too much violence but dig suspense/creepiness.

JEREMY SAYS:
In 2001, Rhino Records began reissuing Elvis Costello’s back catalog, packaging each album with an additional disc of live material, demos, and outtakes. In some instances the number of tracks on the bonus discs eclipsed the original albums. Costello wrote extensive liner notes for these reissues, and when read in order they form a 60,000 word examination of the man’s career as a performer and, if only peripherally, the person buried behind the pop. Writing in Slate in 2012, John Lingan called these liner notes one of the best rockstar memoirs ever.

Costello’s new book, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink,is a sequel of sorts to those liner notes. It’s nearly 700 pages of Costello on Costello, a joy for those of us in the cult and maybe another arrow in the quiver for those who think he should just shut up already. It’s not like he hasn’t already said a lot over the last four decades. He released 30 albums, a handful of live recordings, and several compilations in that time, including a 2-disc companion to this book.

Costello is both a crafty lyricist and talk show raconteur, and those talents translate well to page. We get the bare bones biographical data: born in London, lived in Liverpool, his father was the singer in a radio orchestra, his mother worked in a record shop. He did data entry at a cosmetics company before filtering an infinite variety of influences through the lens of British pub rock and punk rock with the help of Nick Lowe on My Aim is True. Here, Costello is at his best when talking about his father, a man who looms large over both his life and career. The book is by turns touching, frustrating, oblique, and funny. In other words, it’s like Costello himself. It may not create any converts, but if you’re a fan–and you SHOULD be–then this book is a treat.

AMANDA SAYS:
Once Bryan returns from trying to go around the world in 80 days (or less), we are going to bring you an epic Fall Books (P)review. In building up to that, I wanted to mention one book I’ve enjoyed here - mostly because if I talked about Nicholas Sparks in front of the boys there would, in all likelihood, be much mocking. (I have a feeling that Jeremy may have chosen to talk about Elvis Costello without an audience for the same reason.) Yes, I’m talking about Sparks’ new book, See Me.

I have been a Sparks fan from his first book. Actually, I think I started with A Walk to Remember and then went back to pick up The Notebook. My aunt and I read the first couple of books together, and now my grandma and I usually read them. I will be honest and say that I get why the boys might taunt me in jest. These books are sappy, a little predictable, and total girl mush. Then I stick my tongue out and read them anyway. If I can listen to 85 reviews of comic books, horror movies and either horror movies about comic books, or comic books about horror movies, then they can suck it up and deal with a Sandra Bullock movie or a Nicholas Sparks book every now and again.

Basic premise: Lawyer Maria has returned home to her family after one of her cases goes very, very wrong. Local MMA fighter, Colin, helps her change a tire one night on a dark and stormy roadside. Are they soulmates? Or is he her next, new stalker?

I’ve never read much Danielle Steel. I think Sparks fills that hole for me. This one is kinda long too, but I managed to knock it out in about two days, so it’s totally doable. If you’re looking for something light and entertaining for your holiday reading, definitely check this one out. The holds list is long, but library does have a bunch of these in the Lucky Day collection. Cross your fingers, hit your local branch, and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to take one home with you. That’s how I got my copy early. Woot! Woot!

So that’s our first of three fabulous Popmatic Printcasts. Next week we’ll be talking about all those important things we keep meaning to read/watch, but just haven’t gotten around to yet.

Bill is still lost. Sad face. I’m gonna miss him.

POP! Popmatic!

PS If you didn’t click on the Rockapella link before…go do it right now. Trust me.

Artober Books for Kids

By , October 19, 2015

Perhaps you’ve noticed the library has been a little more artsy lately. That’s because it’s Artober! Perhaps you haven’t noticed. That’s okay, too, there’s still plenty of time to get in on the library’s contribution to this annual city-wide celebration of the arts. In addition to special programs, take home a book that helps pique your child’s interest in art or artists.

For example:

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock

This illustrated story of Vasya Kandinsky’s abstract art is fascinating. The author explains the artist’s experience with Synesthesia – a neurological condition that caused him to actually hear the colors on the page.

A Splash of Red: the life and art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant

Horace Pippin knew he was an artist from a very early age, but he had to overcome many odds – including  a war injury – to be recognized for his first love: art. This is an inspirational (and colorful!) book about defeating adversity and following your dreams.

The Scraps Book: notes from a colorful life by Lois Ehlert

Lois Ehlert’s colorful books and simple text make her an early favorite of young readers. In this artistic memoir, the author and artist offers a glimpse into many of her past projects, and encourages budding artists.

Superman Origami: amazing folding projects featuring the Man of Steel by John Montroll

There is nothing new about Origami – the ancient art of paper folding, but don’t tell kids that. This art form is experiencing a resurgence, bolstered by how-tos like this book. (Click the title to see more cool Origami books!)

The Iridescence of Birds: a book about Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan

The early years of artist Henri Matisse are captured in this illustrated book depicting the life of a young artist in a small French town.

Get inspired! Here’s a list of all Artober events at the library!

Joshua Ferris – To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

By , October 17, 2015

Joshua Ferris discusses To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, part of the ongoing Salon@615 author series.

Subscribe to Salon@615 podcast (iTunes)

Download this episode (.mp3)

Off the Shelf is powered by WordPress. Panorama Theme by Themocracy