Monthly Archives: February 2011

You Found Me How?

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I think the fad for these search engine recaps has pretty much passed, but I’ll try to revive it. I’m looking through my WordPress collection of search terms used to direct people to my blog, and I couldn’t help but chuckle at most of them. The funniest thing, is that the #1 & #2 searches bringing people to my site, are my Rory Gilmore Reading List & Diary of A Wimpy Kid reviews respectively. #3 would probably be reviews of Al Capone Does My Shirts.

These, though, are some of the funnier search terms used in the past week. Although most of these require some sort of color commentary, I can’t really think of anything clever to say. I leave you to come up with your own quips!

In no particular order:

  • a report on the massacre and its aftermath by seymour m. hersh
  • emily lorelai richard
  • why no oranges clean program
  • novel of the world
  • leslie scalapino, dahlia’s iris, p. 104
  • adult storyline
  • a tree grows in brooklyn food
  • movies that show kids eating junk food
  • bite me sf
  • magazines like geek
  • information of jane austen’s life (15 pages)
  • world easy email address name
  • dismas hardy corned beef hash and eggs recipe
  • fiction book about soccer mom on painkillers
  • awakening desire, passion, impulsive action, love, all the subjects that had, until then, been hidden
  • thenobelworld.com
  • novel by shirley something

Pygmalion – Review

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Pygmalion: A Romance in 5 Acts by Bernard Shaw

Age: Adult

 Eliza Doolittle is just a lowly flower girl on the streets of London when she happens across Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering, two of the world’s most renowned linguists. With their help, Eliza learns to alter not only her speaking patterns, but her behavior and way of thinking as well. A play, with five acts carries us through Eliza’s transformation from a guttersnipe, to a lady of esteemed worth.

Anyone who has seen My Fair Lady, is already familiar with this story. My Fair Lady is based on Pygmalion and very little of the text has been altered for the movie. The only changes are the musical renditions thrown into the movie.  The whole time I was reading the play, I kept pausing for the songs that I know so well from the movie. Having seen My Fair Lady about 50x in my lifetime, I have a fondness for Rex Harrison’s Henry Higgins. I’m not sure I would feel the same about him having only read the play. Henry Higgins is a bully. He is very self-centered and negligent of people’s feelings. Through the playwright’s notes, we see that Henry Higgins is still a softy under his harsh demeanor. His love of linguistics prevents him from being able to really appreciate anything else in his life. Eliza’s speech patterns are grating to the ear, but her lines are the most fun to read aloud in attempts to mimic her cockney accent. Her character is naive and innocent, but still intelligent. Despite her transformation, she remains aware of who she is and where she came from.

The play Pygmalion is based on the Greek myth of the same name. The myth goes as follows:

In Greek mythology, Pygmalion was a king of the island of Cyprus and a sculptor. He spent many years carving an ivory statue of a woman more beautiful than any living female.

Pygmalion became fascinated by his sculpture and fell in love with it. He pretended it was an actual woman. He brought it presents and treated it as if it were alive. However, the statue could not respond to his attentions, and Pygmalion became miserable. Finally, he prayed to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, to bring him a woman like his statue. Aphrodite did even better. She brought the statue to life. Pygmalion married this woman, often called Galatea, who gave birth to a daughter (some versions of the story say the child was a boy).
Read more:

Pygmalion – Myth Encyclopedia – mythology, Greek, story, life, king http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Pr-Sa/Pygmalion.html#ixzz1DP7mUTPq

The similarities between the myth and play are endless. Eliza Doolittle is Higgins’ own statue brought to life. Even Mrs. Higgins, Henry’s mom, comments on the two men playing with their “living doll.” Henry instills in Eliza a new perspective, a new meaning and a new validity. The play was written in the early 20th Century, and is still a strong piece of literary work.

I particularly liked my edition of the play, because it came with a thoughtful introduction, as well as a preface to the play written by Shaw himself. Once the play ends, there is an exposition written further expounding on the themes and social commentaries noted in the play.

Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts
Bernard Shaw
Penguin Classics, 1916 (first publication)
133 pages
 
Book 7 of 2011

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Find this book at your library

 

Pygmalion: A Romance in 5 Acts by Bernard Shaw

Age: Adult

Eliza Doolittle is just a lowly flower girl on the streets of London when she happens across Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering, two of the world’s most renowned linguists. With their help, Eliza learns to alter not only her speaking patterns, but her behavior and way of thinking as well. A play, with five acts carries us through Eliza’s transformation from a guttersnipe, to a lady of esteemed worth.

Anyone who has seen My Fair Lady, is already familiar with this story. My Fair Lady is based on Pygmalion and very little of the text has been altered for the movie. The only changes are the musical renditions thrown into the movie. Having seen My Fair Lady about 50x in my lifetime, I have a fondness for Rex Harrison’s Henry Higgins. I’m not sure I would feel the same about him having only read the play. Henry Higgins is a bully. He is very self-centered and negligent of people’s feelings. Through the playwright’s notes, we see that Henry Higgins is still a softy under his harsh demeanor. His love of linguistics prevents him from being able to really appreciate anything else in his life.

The play Pygmalion is based on the Greek myth of the same name. The myth goes as follows:

In Greek mythology, Pygmalion was a king of the island of Cyprus and a sculptor. He spent many years carving an ivory statue of a woman more beautiful than any living female.

Pygmalion became fascinated by his sculpture and fell in love with it. He pretended it was an actual woman. He brought it presents and treated it as if it were alive. However, the statue could not respond to his attentions, and Pygmalion became miserable. Finally, he prayed to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, to bring him a woman like his statue. Aphrodite did even better. She brought the statue to life. Pygmalion married this woman, often called Galatea, who gave birth to a daughter (some versions of the story say the child was a boy).
Read more: Pygmalion – Myth Encyclopedia – mythology, Greek, story, life, king http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Pr-Sa/Pygmalion.html#ixzz1DP7mUTPq

The similarities between the myth and play are endless. Eliza Doolittle is Higgins’ own statue brought to life. Even Mrs. Higgins, Henry’s mom, comments on the two men playing with their “living doll.” Henry instills in Eliza a new perspective, a new meaning and a new validity. The play was written in the early 20th Century, and is still a strong piece of literary work.

I particularly liked my edition of the play, because it came with a thoughtful introduction, as well as a preface to the play written by Shaw himself. Once the play ends, there is an exposition written further expounding on the themes and social commentaries noted in the play.

Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts

Find this

Bernard Shaw

Penguin Classics, 1916 (first publication)

133 pages

Noteworthy links #9

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The 5 most interesting things I have stumbled upon online in the past few days.

  • Focus Booster – an online timer set to remind you to take a break every 25 minutes. Slowly step away from the computer, and take a walk to the water cooler. Remember, you are not glued to your chair, although it may feel that way at times.
  • E-readers > TV – More kids prefer to read via E-readers than watch TV. Could growing up with computer screens shoved in their faces from age 0 have anything to do with it?
  • E-Reader Bestseller List – The New York Times is preparing to debut its first bestseller list for ebooks this Friday. I’m surprised it took this long for an e-reader best seller list to make it to the New York Times.
  • Green Eggs & Dr. Seuss – Navigating social media websites with 15 useful tips from the beloved children’s author.
  • Hardly Written – insightful new book blogger. Despite the title, the blog is frequently written with new book reviews weekly.

Teaser Tuesday (2/8/2011)

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TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

#1 Grab your current read.

#2 Let the book fall open to a random page.

#3 Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

#4 You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given! # Please avoid spoilers!

My two teasers

Panicked, heart pounding, I watched them all — the smiles of relief as the passport was placed in their hands, the angles of expectations as they passed through the security gate, the lightness in their movements as they disappeared onto the tarmac. I watched each one, until the last one passed through the exit, and the door closed. I was alone, with Paris on the other side.

Paris Was Ours (Thirty-Two Writers Reflect On the City of Light) — Penelope Rowlands

I’m reading this in preparation for my honeymoon in Paris. There’s no better way to get a feel for the city, really.

Paris was ours : thirty-two writers reflect on the city of light

Jan. Challenges recap

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I think I was fairly successful with the two blog challenges I joined this year. Granted they are two completely different challenges (one is reading, the other is knitting). Here’s my recap of just how well I did…

My very own 1:1 Reading Challenge

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Previous # / Current #

Total number of books owned:                                  224 / 227

Number of books unread on my bookshelf:       140 /

Total number of books read that I own:                   84 / 90

Total number of books read in January:                     6

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Alea’s Yarn Diet Challenge

The Stats:

Previous # / Current #

# of complete skeins                            80 / 76

# of incomplete skeins                         15 / 15

Total amount of usable yarn             95 / 91

Purchases                                                 none!

Books read in January 2011

Bite me : a love story  https://i2.wp.com/believeinyourdreams.net/images/Jonathan%20Livingston%20Seagull.jpg

Hotel of the Saints by Ursula Hegi  The thin man

The night bookmobile

Ugly Beauty – Review

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Ugly Beauty: Helena Rubinstein, L’oreal, and the Blemished History of Looking Good by Ruth Brandon

Age: Adult

A dual biography of the legendary founders of the cosmetics industry — Helena Rubinstein and L’Oreal’s Eugene Shueller — and a gripping and disturbing story of gender, power, and politics that stretches back to the evils of World War II and beyond.

I opted to use the back page synposis for this book rather than writing my own summary. There is so much going on in this book I had no way to summarize it in my own words in 3-4 short sentences.

At first glace, one would think this was a book about the cosmetics industry and its scams and shames over fooling women into spending hard-earned money on cosmetics that don’t deliver on their promises. Although Brandon does cover some of those topics, the main focus of this book is on Eugene Shueller and his involvement in the Nazi movement in Germany before, during and after World War II. The first chapter is dedicated soley to Helena Rubinstein, and her rags to riches story of success. The rest of the book is devoted to Shueller, the founding of L’Oreal, and Shueller’s political, and economic views towards business and life. Although there is some compare and contrast between Rubinstein and Shueller, the main emphasis of the book is on the founder of L’Oreal.

I found this book to take a really incredible look at an aspect of World War II that we don’t learn much about in history class. The effects of the war on local businesses, their involvement, and the aftermath of the war. Shueller was associated with the Nazi movement, in a very negative way, although his main line of defense was that it was mainly for economic reasons. Rubinstein, being a Polish Jew, was pretty much the exact opposite of Shueller in every way possible. While both had a keen eye for finances, and financial decisions, Rubinstein’s business was run by family members in charge of the headquarters in almost every continent. Rubinstein was best friends with Coco Chanel, and Chanel’s influence on Rubinstein is evident. Both share many similarities in their personalities and how they run their business based on ingenuity, creativity and a desperate desire to abandon their poverty-ridden past and enjoy the riches of their present.

I think this is a great book for history buffs, for fans of L’Oreal and Helena Rubinstein and the fashion/cosmetics industry. There is a lot in this story, it was well written, and well paced. My only problem is that Brandon offers up a lot of information without really giving the reader time to process everything. She goes into tangents, particularly about Helena Rubinstein, with stories that don’t really connect to the rest of the paragraph. I sometimes had to wonder what one story had to do with the other. Despite the rocky start, the book was very enlightening.

Read the first 100 pages HERE

Similar Books: The Gospel According to Coco Chanel

Book 6 of 2011

Ugly Beauty: Helena Rubinstein, L’oreal, and the Blemished History of Looking Good 
by Ruth Brandon
Harper Collins, Feb 1st, 2011
253 pages
ARC copy – sent for review by publisher

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Find this book at your local library

Ugly Beauty by Ruth Brandon: Book Cover