Vive la France! Check out these French history reads just in time for Bastille Day and join us for our French Book Club this Thursday (July 17) at 7 p.m. at the Main Library. We’ll be discussing the coming-of-age classic Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan. À bientôt!
Archive for the ‘EBRPL Book’ Category
Happy Independence Day! All branches of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library will be closed on Friday, July 4, in observance of the national holiday. We will resume normal hours of operation on Saturday, July 5. Have a safe holiday weekend!
Here are a few titles on the American Revolution to get you in the spirit of 1776 (click on the book covers for more info):
Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me by Patricia Volk. Reviewed by Louise Hilton.
Shocked is Patricia Volk’s homage to both her glamorous mother Audrey and Elsa Schiaparelli, the eccentric Italian fashion designer who revolutionized the art world with her over-the-top creations (think lobster dresses and shoe hats). Volk read Schiaparelli’s memoir as a young girl and recalls the profound effect it had on her – we all remember that one special book from our childhood that marked us – and how she relished any similarity she felt she shared with her idol. Volk recounts her privileged New York upbringing (her father was the proprietor of a popular Garment District restaurant) and juxtaposes her family history with that of Schiaparelli. It may sound like a contrived narrative approach, but Volk more than pulls it off, making Shocked a scrapbook of sorts, with photographs in each chapter of both her own family and the designer’s world.
The book itself is beautiful, with a mottled hot pink dust jacket (the title plays on one of Schiaparelli’s major contributions to the fashion world, the coinage of the color Shocking Pink), and the outline of the bottle for the designer’s perfume Shocking (Audrey’s favorite, naturally) on the book itself.
Audrey Volk embodied a certain archetype of women from a bygone era – applying her “face” every morning, meticulous grooming, putting great stock in appearances – but for all her polish and glamour, Audrey had a cruel streak and the most poignant parts of the memoir are when the young Volk struggles to please her. Overall, Shocked is an engaging read and tribute to two larger-than-life women.
An abridged version of this review appeared in The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) on 6/22/14.
X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story by Eve Epstein and Leonora Epstein. Reviewed by Louise Hilton.
X vs. Y is a cultural study written by two sisters, Eve from Generation X, and Leonora from Generation Y. They use Generation X to describe people born in the mid-sixties to late-seventies while Generation Y or millennials refers to people born around the early 1980s to late-1990s. The Epstein sisters discuss the differences (and overlaps) of their respective generations when it comes to such topics as pop culture (with chapters devoted to Books, Music, and Movies), dating, and technology. With lots of Venn diagrams and other fun graphics showing the major pop culture references of each of these categories, X vs. Y is a quick and entertaining read.
As a Gen Y-er, I had to laugh reading Leonora’s essay “How Cher Horowitz Became Gen Y’s BFF” extolling the virtues of the movie Clueless: “1997 was a big year for me. I learned leg hair was a scourge to be eradicated at all costs, Jockey training bras were the bomb, and Clueless was the greatest movie ever.”
The authors conclude with an interesting point about the newest generation: “Because Gen Zers have unprecedented access to information and media from both the past and present, they’ll face a different sort of challenge: figuring out how to locate value in the sea of media and entertainments they’ve grown up in. Eve has nostalgia for Sesame Street because it was one of three TV shows she ever watched as a child; would she have felt the same way if her options had been effectively limitless?” (My guess is yes, she would have because – let’s face it - Sesame Street is one of the best things ever.)
Join us and other libraries worldwide as together we take part in a huge community read of the mystery novel A Pedigree to Die For by Laurien Berenson. The program started June 3rd and will run through June 18th. During this time, the eBook will be available for simultaneous use, which means no holds or waiting lists. We will have unlimited copies of the book available through Overdrive as an audiobook and an eBook. Check out a copy and join our Big Library eBook Read today!
Here’s a description of the book:
The apparent heart attack that killed kennel owner Max Turnbull has left seven pups in mourning, and his wife Peg suspecting foul play. But the only evidence is their missing prize pooch—a pedigreed poodle named Beau.
Enter Melanie Travis. With her young son happily ensconced in day damp, the 30-something teacher and single mother is talked into investigating her uncle’s death—unofficially, of course. Posing as a poodle breeder in search of the perfect stud, Melanie hounds Connecticut’s elite canine competitions, and finds an ally in fellow breeder Sam Driver. But her affection cools when she’s put on the scent of Sam’s questionable past . . . and hot on the trail of a poodle-hating neighbor and one elusive murderer who isn’t ready to come to heel.