Monthly Archives: August 2012

Linked-In (8/31/2012)

Have a great weekend folks! In case you missed it…I wrote a review! Of a book no less! Read it here.

Today is the last day of August, and appropriately enough a very overcast and dreary day marks the end of summer. Not that I mind, I love overcast weather. =)

Now for the fun stuff.

  1. 8 Iconic Outfits From Your Favorite Movies via Buzzfeed. I like the Casablanca outfit the best. And also Back to the Future.
  2. A wonderful post about Food Literacy for kids from the Association for Library Services for Children Blog (ALSC). How to connect good eats to good reads.
  3. Now that school has started again, I’m feeling nostalgic. So here are 7 Childhood Traditions We Should Bring Back.  I would like to add playing Heads-Up &-Up to that list as a fun party game for adults.

Mirror of Antiquity – Caroline Winterer (Review)

The mirror of antiquity : American women and the classical tradition, 1750-1900Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900 by Caroline Winterer
Age: Adult
Genre: History, Women, Greek & Roman History
Publisher Cornell University Press, 2007
ISBN: 9780801441639
208 pages + bibliography and notes section
Find this at your local library

Caroline Winterer was one of my college professors at SJSU when I was a part of the Humanities Honors Program. Under her tutelage, I learned a lot of Greek and Roman history, and its impact on our lives today. She was one of 5 professors who alternatively held lectures and seminars during the two-year program. In a fit of nostalgia, I looked her up on the SJSU website, remembering that she had written a book or two.

One of those books is this one, Mirror of Antiquity, although this was written after she left SJSU for Stanford. Her remarkable insight and knowledge of Greek and Roman influences in the US is very apparent in this book. She focuses on the influence of antiquity on women, predominantly elite women who had access to tutors as well as educated parents. Although she does discuss slaves who had been educated and had been able to use their knowledge to shed light on the horrors of slavery.

The book covers the history of US women from 1750 to 1900. The first  century or so was actually a bit dull, at least until 1830. I think that is mostly because women had no outlets, no rights, and no public voice. The discussions were somewhat limited to: what art works they owned, what outfits they wore, and what Greek works they studied under their parents guidance. The best they could do would be to hold salons, or show off their knowledge through collected works of art and literature. It wasn’t until the 1830s when American women were able to use their knowledge and obsession with the Greeks and Romans to use, to promote the abolition of slavery, to promote the suffrage movement of women in politics and also to promote the education of women to be equal to that of men attending colleges. Chapter by chapter, we see how slowly women gain small rights and small improvements in their lives, all under the guise of an homage to the Greeks and Romans of time past. The influence ranges from that of Roman dress that pulls women away from the constraining corsets, to the influence of American women writing under a Greek/Roman pseudonym to get their point across to the public via broadsides, pamphlets, letters and novels.

One thing I noted was that it seemed like American women were merely copying French women who were emulating the Greek/Roman lifestyle. I felt like there was more of a French presence in American women’s lives than a Greek or Roman presence. The work also includes a number of prints of paintings and  magazine photos that span throughout the book. It would have been nice to see these images in color, rather than black and white, but that’s a criticism more for the publishing company than the author.

Overall, this is a great introductory book to the topic of the history of American women and the influence of Greek and Roman art, culture, mythology and major leading figures in propelling women out of their homes and into the public, into college and casting a voice for themselves in the public sector of society.

Linked-In 8/24/2012

Adieu mon amis! Have a fantastic weekend. Here are some fun links to carry you into the non-working frame of mind. At some point I will have a book review posted. I’m reading The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende right now and I am adoring her. Shame on all of high school and college English Lit professors who never mandated reading one of books for class. I would love to parse through the motifs, visuals and characterizations that make up such a rich story.

29 Puppies That Love Reading

Who’s Behind the Answers on TV’s Jeopardy? – Every researcher’s dream job…where do I apply?

“Basically, the writers spend their days creating categories, and the researchers spend their days fact-checking those categories. For every fact in every clue, the writer supplies at least one source, and the researcher makes sure that there are at least two sources for each fact by the time the clue is ready.”

Hooked on Houses: Lorelei’s House & the Gilmore Mansion! Yay! Track how the houses change over the 7 seasons of the show, as well as other behind the scenes tidbits about the cast and set designs. Now I want to rewatch all the special features disc for each season…

– The 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Award winners have been named! Congratulations to Cathy Bryant of Manchester, England for a dreadfully creepy and terrible opening line!

As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting. — Cathy Bryant, Manchester, England

 

Linked-In 8/17/2012

A list of thoughts to carry you into the weekend…

Ooo…I think, I think, I may finally have a book review posted next week. I’m excited, aren’t you? This will be the first book I’ve finished in 4 months. No more fluffy filler posts, although these lists are obsessively fun to compile.

 via Picturesanimation.com

  1. Some food for thought: “But why should we think that what is hard to read is not enjoyable?” (Gary Gutting) a NY Times Opinion piece on Reading and Guily Pleasures.
  2. 16 Fabulous and Amazing Libraries & Reading Spaces. Its hard to pick a favorite!
  3. Lauren Conrad Crafts! Badly! And apparently A Series of Unfortunate Events is considered “vintage.” She creates a storage box out of book covers. Its almost too painful to watch.
  4. The trailer for the third season of Downton Abbey is out!! Let your inner geek celebrate!

Linked-In

So many awesome things on the Internet. I thought I’d share, because well, lists are fun!

Have a fun weekend!!

 photo by Cooking for Kids

  1. A very unique shower curtain
  2. Bread Bears! The cutest way to make mealtimes fun for kids (and some adults…)
  3. How fun! A Roald Dahl Cookbook!
  4. Inception Chair – quite trippy…
  5. There’s going to be a third book in Ally Carter’s Heist Society series!!!! But we have to wait until February to get it. =( Sad. BTW, when is there is going to be a Heist Society movie? My inner teen is dying to see who gets cast as W.W. Hale the Fifth.
  6. The Oxford Dictionary added new words in June. You can now look up: Bling, BitTorrent, Capitalism (how was that not in there until now??), and Dance-off among dozens of other words. The next update will be in September.

Lolz

I have a blog?

Despite evidence to the contrary, I have neither forgotten about  nor completely neglected my blog. My life has been full of changes the past few months, and needless to say, my attention has not been on books. I’ve read all of 1 book in the past 3 months, I completely failed at celebrating Paris in July (I didn’t even have a macaron once!), and my posts have been sporadic and spastic.

Well, I’m finally feeling back to normal and I’m actually reading again! Hurray! At some point in the past few months I developed a really terrible disdain for books. It went beyond even my worst book rut. I also grew especially nostalgic for my college years and college English classes. I’ve been slowly making a shift in my reading habits, leaning more towards the classics and away from contemporary fiction. I think Gap Creek was the last straw for putting up with crappy works of fiction. I haven’t really enjoyed anything I’ve been reading, and I think its because most of what I read was not my comfort genre.

Right now, I’m reading a book written by a former professor of mine from SJSU, The Mirror of Antiquity and its a nice reminder of why I studied English and minored in Humanities, why I wanted to become a librarian, and why reading can be more than just entertainment. I hope to read more books in this field, but I can’t make any promises, we all know I break all of those that I make on this blog.

Anyway, all this is to say that I was gone, but now I’m back. I probably won’t get a ton of reviews on here on a weekly basis, but I hope to fluff it out with interesting book news/events and the like.

Some People

A very beautifully done comic strip.

Some People by Mumbling Idiot – via Deviant Art

https://i0.wp.com/fc06.deviantart.net/fs50/i/2009/260/f/9/Some_People_by_MumblingIdiot.jpg

London is Awesome becasue…

1. The Olympics, clearly

2.  A labyrinth installation made up of 250,000 books titled “aMAZEme” by Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo at the Royal Festival Hall in central London July 31, 2012.