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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Forty Years Gone!

Elvis Presley died on this date back in 1977 at the age of 42. He's been gone almost as long as he lived. However, his legend continues, as does his following.

He's become a legend, and his status has grown to the point where Elvis, and that includes Elvis impersonators, have become "characters" in these works of fiction:

Couloumbis, Audrey. Love Me Tender. [J COU]

Henson, Laura. Ten little Elvi. [JP HEN]

Thomas, Diane C. The Year that Music Changed: The Letters of Achsa McEachern-Isaacs and Elvis Presley. [F THO]

Wilde, Lori. License to Thrill. [F WIL]

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

More Fun Things Available Online

Yesterday's post dealt with sewing patterns that were made available online. Shortly after I wrote that, a friend told me about another "fashion" resource.

Google has been digitizing fashion archives (with 175 partners) in a project titled, "We Wear Culture: The Stories Behind What We Wear." I urge you to take a look at what is available through "We Wear Culture." If you thought fashion was just about skinny models and magazines, it's time for a rethink!

There are photos galore, videos, commentaries, and more. Here's an example:

Before there was downloading, before there were CDs, and before that LPs and 45s, there were 78's. 78s were large format, although smaller than LPs, records made to play at 78 revolutions per minute. The 78 format was popular starting around 1900 to the 1950s.

"The Great 78 Project" is undertaking the digital preservation of the sounds contained on 78s. The project is explained here. You can find out how to get involved here.

Everything is preserved "as is," which means recordings on scratched records must be listened to with the scratches, hisses, and skips. If you're ready just to start listening, click here where you can find more than 5,000 78s that are listed as in "very good" or better condition.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Do you sew? It's almost a lost art in the 21st century. When I was growing up, no one would admit to the fact that their clothes were home-sewn. It was generally a sign that a family was poor and couldn't afford department store fashions. My, have times changed. Now "handmade" is a term resulting in awe--"Wow! You made that?"

If you're one of the lucky ones who knows your way around a sewing machine, you may be interested in a recently revealed treasure trove of vintage patterns. More than 83,000 patterns are now available online at Vintage Patterns Wikia. The patterns go back to the 1920s, and cover the decades through the 90s. Here's one pattern from the 20s:

Not only are the patterns useful for home sewers, but they'd also be useful for social historians and theater costume designers.

If you do sew, check out our collection of sewing books, such as Patternreview.com 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips: Top-Rated Favorites from Sewing Fans and Master Teachers by Deepika Prakash [646.2 PRA] and magazines such as Threads [MAG THR], and be prepared to be the one who inspires a "Wow!"

Friday, August 11, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Moonlight"

I was flipping through an old book (published in 1935), The Heavenly Guest and Other Unpublished Writings by Celia Thaxter [811 THA]. Celia Thaxter died in 1894, and the volume was created for the 100th anniversary of her birth in 1835. In the "Preface" to the book is this:
The reader must remember that as Celia did not publish these poems she probably considered them unfinished, or below the standard of her best work.

I read a poem that appealed to me "Moonlight," and rather than type it out here, I went looking for it online so I could cut and paste it into the post. I was surprised to find it in a magazine, The Century, from March 1891. It seems that this poem should not have been labeled as "unpublished."

The poem as it appears in the book was not labeled, "Picture by Childe Hassam." What a shame it wasn't, because it gives a whole new meaning to the poem.

Of course, I looked online for Hassam's painting "Moonlight." I found it listed as having been created in 1892. Then, in a beautiful book in our collection, Childe Hassam: American Impressionist by H. Barbara Weinberg [751.93 WEI], I found a chronology of exhibitions showing that it had been shown in the spring of 1891, so it must have been painted some time before then.

Perhaps Thaxter was present at its creation since she and Childe Hassam were friends and spent time together on the Isles of Shoals (in New Hampshire).

In any case, "Moonlight," the poem, is a work of ekphrasis, that is, art about art. I would not have known it unless I had come upon the poem in The Century.

Head down to the bayou for this week's Round-Up being hosted by Margaret at Reflections on the Teche.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Goodbye, Glen Campbell

By now you've heard of the passing, on Tuesday, of singer and guitarist, Glen Campbell. At 81, Campbell had a long, successful career as a musician.

I'm also sure you're aware that Campbell had been stricken with Alzheimer's Disease, but did you know that he had taken part in a film immediately following his diagnosis that followed him on his "goodbye tour." It was a brave act to subject himself to the prospect of someone filming his decline. Yet, he toured for a year and a half and his appearance in the film brought even more awareness to the disease that seems to be afflicting more and more of our population.

The film is Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me and it is in our DVD collection [DVD 782.42 GLE].

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Happy Birthday, Audrey Tautou!

Forty-one years ago today, actress, Audrey Tautou was born in France. She appeared early on in Amelie (Le Fabuleaux Destin d'Amelie Poulain) [DVD AME]. She caught the attention of American viewers and was soon cast in the blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code, along with star, Tom Hanks.

Tautou prefers her home in France to Hollywood, so she will continue to be featured in French films. Some of the titles we own are L'Augerge Espagnole (Spanish Apartment) [DVD AUG], A Very Long Engagement (Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles) [DVD VER], and Coco before Chanel (Coco avant Chanel) [DBD COC].

Tuesday, August 08, 2017


NPR ran a segment Sunday on upcoming television literary adaptations.

Get a head start on those who will be wanting to read the original books after they've seen the filmed versions. Here's what's coming:

Atwood, Margaret. Alias Grace. [F ATW]

Ferrante, Elena. "Neapolitan" series, which includes My Brilliant Friend #1, The Story of a New Name #2, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay #3, and The Story of the Lost Child #4. [F FER, eBook]

Flynn, Gillian. Sharp Objects. [F FLY, AB/CD FLY, eBook]

Galbraith, Robert. "Cormoran Strike" series, which includes The Cuckoo's Calling #1, The Silkworm #2, and Career of Calling #3. [F GAL, eBook]

Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad. [F WHI, AB/CD WHI, eBook, eAudio]

The following is not in our collection, but is being ordered: Who Fears Death by Okorafor Nnedi.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Hurricane Season

Two weeks ago I posted about an annual holiday in the Virgin Islands, "Hurricane Supplication Day." It marks the beginning of the time when major storms develop in the Atlantic.

In the mainland United States, we don't think much about hurricanes until one is imminent. Here's the NOAA forecast for the 2017 season, it's best to be aware of the possibilities.

So how does one prepare for a hurricane? NOAA has some information here. Even more information can be found in Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family by Arthur T. Bradley [363.348 BRA].

To be prepared, start now and avoid the empty shelves at the stores the day before a major storm is due to hit!

If you need a reminder of just how devastating a hurricane can be, borrow When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts [DVD 551.552 WHE]. This three-disk documentary is a sobering look at how one storm, Hurricane Katrina, resulted in destruction and disruption that is still being remedied twelve years later.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Poetry Friday--It's Percy Bysshe Shelley's Birthday!

Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on August 4, 1792. He died slightly less than 30 years later. During his short life he wrote many poems that are still being read today (albeit, for many people, only because his work is assigned in a class). One of his most famous poems is "Ozymandias," which was published in 1818.

Many of his poems go on for several stanzas, but here is one that is one stanza long:
Art Thou Pale for Weariness

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

It shouldn't be too hard to guess the subject of this poem!

This week the Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Donna at Mainely Write. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Happy Birthday, Tony Bennett!

It's Tony Bennett's birthday today (born in 1926)! A very happy birthday to Tony who has been in show business since 1949! Here's Tony on The Judy Garland Show in December 1963:

Tony Bennett, still singing in his 90s, is well-represented in our CD collection. Here are a four titles that span the years:

Duets: An American Classic. [CD MALE VOCALIST BEN]

Hot & Cool: Bennett Sings Ellington. [CD JAZZ BEN]

16 Most Requested Songs. [CD MALE VOCALIST BEN]

A Wonderful World (with K. D. Lang). [CD EASY LISTENING BEN]

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

August Romance!

Last year at this time I wrote a post titled, "August is Read-A-Romance Month". Since it is August once again, then that must mean it's "Read-A-Romance Month" again!

In last year's post I listed a few romance novels published in 2016, I'm going to update the list with these titles published in 2017:

Brockmann, Suzanne. Some Kind of Hero. [F BRO, eBook]

Dessen, Sarah. Once and For All. [YA DES, eBook]

Eberlen, Kate. Miss You. [F EBE, eBook]

Garwood, Julie. Wired. [F GAR, LP GAR, AB/CD GAR, eBook]

Jamieson, Kelly. Dancing in the Rain. [eBook]

Kelypas, Lisa. Devil in Spring. [F KLE]

Lipman, Elinor. On Turpentine Lane. [F LIP, eBook]

Macomber, Debbie. If Not For You. [F MAC, AB/CD MAC, eBook, eAudio]

Mansell, Jill. Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay. [eBook]

Romanoff, Zan. Grace and the Fever. [YA ROM]

Please be aware that this only a partial listing of the romance novels released this year. There are plenty more. More than enough to see you through August, September, and right through to 2018!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


Unless you're an artist or a decorator, you probably don't think much about paint colors. Everything comes ready-made or easily mixed to order. It wasn't always so easy. This article explains how some colors had to be specially invented for artists.

How does one go about "inventing" colors? Interesting question! The issue is explored in Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World by Simon Garfield [B PER]. Mauve is a biography of chemist Sir William Henry Perkin. There is a lot of science involved in inventing color!

If you wish to learn more about color, we have a number of items for you to borrow including ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book about Color by Jude Stewart [155.911 STE] or Interaction of Color by Josef Albers [701.85 ALB].