Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For November, we’re looking at an infamous romance in literary history, a thought-provoking YA romance, an unsettling new thriller, a nonfiction history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and an audiobook courtesy of the one and only Willie Nelson.Continue reading “Book Buzz: Historic Scandals, Dancing Visions, Suburban Thrillers, WWII Heroes, and Willie Nelson”
This year, our theme at the library is What A Wonderful World. We’re focusing on a different color for each month, and October’s is harvest wheat. To that end, we’re highlighting books at the library with that color (or something close to it) on the cover!Continue reading “What a Wonderful World: October”
Armand Roulin is the neer-do-well son of the postmaster in 19th century Arles, France. His father tasks him with delivering the final letter of a late friend to surviving relatives, a task Armand resents because he never much cared for that friend, Vincent van Gogh. In Roulin’s eyes, Vincent was little more than a shiftless painter, who caused his father and the town much grief before he committed suicide after moving away.
Even more irritatingly for Armand is that he is having trouble finding anyone to give the letter. Vincent’s beloved brother Theo is nowhere to be found. However, as Armand spends more and more energy trying to track down a surviving relation, he finds himself more and more intrigued by the mysteries surrounding the life and death of Vincent van Gogh.
My friend Craig recommended this film to me, and I’m so glad he did! It was a lovely, visually-stunning movie. (Thanks for the great recommendation, Craig!)
When it comes to being a world builder, it doesn’t get much bigger than having an entire historical period named after you.
But when eighteen year old Alexandrina Victoria ascended to the British throne following her uncle’s death, nobody was really thinking of her future reign in such grand terms. For the most part, they were just hoping she didn’t do anything too obviously embarrassing.
Victoria’s growing pains as a young monarch in the tumultuous first couple of years of her reign is explored in a recent novel and TV series from Daisy Goodwin.
“Are you a Leonardo person or a Michelangelo person?”
This is the question Stephanie Storey asked me at Books in Bloom when I approached her about autographing my copy of her book Oil and Marble, a novel that chronicles the heated rivalry between two of the best artists who ever lived. Both of whom are definitely people who changed the world for the better!
Now, personally, when it comes to favorite artists, I’m a Caravaggio person. I’ve been obsessed with Caravaggio since I was a teenager. What with his strikingly realistic paintings that wonderfully capture human emotions but also absolutely horrified his 17th century contemporaries, his defiance of then-current painting tradition, his fixation on depicting decapitations (frequently starring his own severed head), and his tumultuous life (which included numerous brawls, at least one murder, being run out of several cities, and a mysterious death), he’s just always intrigued me.
But picking between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo was pretty easy for me. I told her I was a Leonardo person. My dad, a talented artist in his own right, introduced me to da Vinci, one of his personal favorites, when I was a kid. (Thanks for having great taste in art, Dad!) Da Vinci’s art interested me, but the man himself was what really fascinated me. I loved that that he was talented in so many different fields, from art to engineering, and that he was so fixated on experimenting with flight. And on a personal level, as a kid who compulsively kept a journal and loved to write backwards, I always appreciated his massive collection of journals, full of mirror writing.
So, when Stephanie Storey asked me if I was a Leonardo person or a Michelangelo person, I told her I was a Leonardo person. We chatted a little about why, and then when I turned to leave, she smiled and told me she–a self-proclaimed Michelangelo person–hoped after I read the book that I’d appreciate Michelangelo too.