Archive | library RSS feed for this section

Book Review: Miramont’s Ghost

20 Jun

For my previous book review, I chose Matilda Empress because my niece is featured on the cover.

I chose Miramont’s Ghost because the author ‘Elizabeth Hall’ grabbed my attention. ¬†Elizabeth being my middle name and Hall being my maiden name…I answered to ‘Elizabeth Hall” for over 30 years….no I am not the author….I like seeing my name on the cover ūüôā

Miramont’s Ghost is historical fiction. ¬†Most of the narrative is set in France in the early 1900s (before WWI). ¬†It concludes at Miramont Castle in Colorado. ¬†One theme dealt with the dilemma of Adrienne’s clairvoyance which disturbed her family and the community. ¬†Later in the book, Adrienne pivots, realizing her insights could/should solve problems rather than “be the problem”. ¬†This was a history subject I was not familiar with. ¬†I enjoyed the drama revealed in this book.

Book Review: Matilda Empress

23 May

 

I judged this book by its cover!  It features my niece (one and the same with my previous post)!  Not only was she best in her class, but also a fashion model during high school working in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Cape Town, Singapore and more.

Matilda Empress is historical fiction from an obscure period of British History. ¬†Matilda was the daughter of Henry I and mother of Henry II. ¬†The narrative is elegant with elaborate details of the days and times of 12th century England and Europe. ¬†Descriptions of clothing, meals, medical treatment, religious customs/beliefs and more…evoke an appreciation of the life and times.

The author does a lovely job introducing each chapter.  I needed more information.  I was lost a few times.  I recommend reviewing (then referring to) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Matilda  to follow the story which closely follows the historical time line.

My favorite character is Greta, Matilda’s lady’s maid… for her devotion, dedication and resourcefulness during decades of service.

 

Book Review: Sewing can be Dangerous by SR Mallery

25 Apr

Sewing can be Dangerous and other small threads…the title grabbed my attention. ¬†As much time as I have spent sewing over the years, I never thought of it as dangerous. ¬†Sooo…how is sewing dangerous? ¬†S.R. Mallery’s collection of eleven short stories have fascinating characters from eleven times and places.

Danger exists in conditions in the garment district, delivering a warning message, communicating directions, disguising passports…to name a few. ¬†My favorite short story is “Precious Gifts” set in the Washington Territory in the 1870s. ¬† ¬†Mama bought a new Singer Perpendicular Action Sewing Machine. ¬†You have to read the story to find out why she set up her new machine in the corn field. ¬†The story tells of her passion for sewing, aiding a young Chinook Indian on his Spirit Quest, exchanging gifts and adverting a conflict due to her quilt making magic. ¬†Love it!

Book Review: The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello (2015)

28 Feb

This work of historical fiction is like “The Monuments Men” meeting “Indiana Jones” with a Biblical history mystery plus a love story. ¬†I thoroughly enjoyed the details of the Princeton University campus circa 1944-5. ¬†The story of Saint Anthony of Egypt’s life and times was new to me. ¬†I found the details of Albert Einstein’s life and work in America during World War II engaging and compelling. ¬†(Spoiler: ¬†The details of Einstein’s prophecy are explained at the end of the book.)

Friday Photo: Eve, let’s read a book

14 Oct
Let's read!

Let’s read!

Our alcove with LED pot lights is “purrrfect” for reading “old-fashioned” books. ¬†Eve joined me in the adjacent chair for each chapter.

This week we read the old-fashioned format…paper, hard cover, jacket of¬†Legends and Lies, The Patriots by David Fisher. ¬†We recommend reading this compelling history of the founding of the United States, especially in an election season. ¬†Our politics were messy then, as now.

 

 

Book Review: The Millionaire and The Bard

29 Aug

‚ÄúHenry Folger‚Äôs Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare‚Äôs First Folio‚ÄĚ

Author:  Andrea Mays 2015

I give it Five Stars!

*Inside story of the rise and fall of Standard Oil, the source of economical fuel that launched the automotive industry and the source of Henry’s income for investing in rare books.

*Inside story of the publication of Shakespeare‚Äôs plays after his death, in an era when oral performances were not written (His life‚Äôs work may have been lost forever.)….typesetting, proof reading, paper, binding

*Inside story of the systematic acquisition of ‚ÄúShakespeare‚Äôs Folios‚ÄĚ…research, relationships, negotiations, privacy, delivery, storage…

*Inside story of an amazing marriage and mutual passion for literature.

*Inside story of the wisdom to transition from collecting to developing an extraordinary library to preserve and share the world’s greatest collection of all things Shakespeare.

Recommended reading for everyone interested in libraries, English Literature, Shakespeare, merits of vertically integrated corporations, strategy and negotiations for developing rare collection, early methods of printing/book binding, early twentieth century travel, biography developed from personal correspondence, even early twentieth century golf!

http://www.folger.edu

2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/23/475392480/worldwide-celebrations-on-the-400th-anniversary-of-shakespeares-death

From Houzz: Antiques Today?

16 Aug

 

 

Barrel back chairs

Barrel back chairs

This alcove was originally configured for cabinets/buffet in the dining area. ¬†The cabinets were long ago used in a modification of the kitchen floor plan. ¬†Today the alcove (with pot/can lighting) has just enough space to “show case” these barrel back chairs in their new life for reading and conversation.

Elated with Eliot’s Elegant Book Review

15 Mar

I was so elated that I purchased I Ching: The Book of Change¬†translated by David Hinton (new to me). ¬†I am amazed that I found Eliot Weinberger’s review in my twitter feed. ¬†Here is the link:

http://www.chinafile.com/library/nyrb-china-archive/what-i-ching

His review is comprehensive, concise and engaging. ¬†My study of I Ching began 17 years ago preparing collage interpretations, followed by a lull, then re-engaged last year with photo interpretations posted in Elfcroft’s Friday Photos.

Here are some gems from Eliot’s review:

“it can explain everything”

“crucial words have no fixed meaning”

“Everything is connected. ¬†Everything is in a state of restless change.”

“Chinese characters as ideas rather than words”

“Cosmic filing system”

“microcosm of Chinese civilization”

“tease the mind”

“read in an infinite number of ways”

………the possibilites…..:)

From Houzz on Home Libraries

20 Oct

 

This article suggests there are three styles (Dewey decimal system not included): ¬†bookstore, theme and rainbow order. ¬†After paring down and shuffling my books in July, I went with “theme” bookshelves. ¬†Laura Gaskill has great advice with photos for oversize books, plan to rotate, display covers, care for rare books, rack ’em (children’s), vertical or stacks, accent with bookends and last but not least….leave room for more!

Coffee table books

Coffee table books

My oversize books span decades with The Incredible Year 1968 being a clue. ¬†Kenny Rogers, Your Friends and Mine was a gift from my sister in 1987. ¬†She had Kenny Rogers autograph it for me. ¬†Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana have been home. ¬†Hmmmm….I need a rotation plan for these books on the coffee table.

Eve and brass book end

Eve and brass book end

I love bookends and often buy them as gifts. ¬†My shelves are so full, I don’t often use bookends myself. ¬†However on my desk is a single brass one of a dog and a cat on a stack of books. ¬†My grandmother used it for years. ¬†Office assistant Eve…insists her photo is better than a brass cat!