Friday, February 25, 2011

And the Oscar goes to....

Academy Awards, March 1958
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It's a well known fact (at least for us who indulge in the entertainment world) that the Oscars are the crème de la crème of Awards season.  I don't know about you, but my favorite part is not speculating who will get the Academy Award for best actress when a newcomer is up against a veteran, or what the latest host will do for ratings.  My favorite part is the fashion, and when I say fashion, I only mean dresses.  I really don't give a hoot about a tuxedo - because frankly they all look the same to me.  So I've decided to take a nostalgic look back at Oscar fashions of the past, and I've selected my top five Oscar dresses pre-1960 (in no particular order).  So without further ado, the Oscar goes to....

Grace Kelly, 1955, blue satin gown

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    Audrey Hepburn, 1954, belted lace gown

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    Kim Novak, 1958, long sleeve sequin gown

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    Bette Davis, 1939, tulle gown with feather accent (it's nice to know that Björk wasn't the first to don dramatic feathers at the Oscars, see her dress here)

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    Joanne Woodward, 1957, satin ballgown

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    BONUS: A Fashion Don't by Olivia de Havilland in 1950
    Looks like the predecessor to the dress recently worn by Michelle Williams at the Golden Globes this year, with a similar flower print and flower applique on the straps to boot.
    Michelle Williams, 2011
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    Olivia de Havilland, 1950
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    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Elixir Giveaway - Signed Copy!

    Photo from

    The winners are:

    Kristy, Rosy, Annie, Lacey, and Kim

    Congratulations to the winners and thanks everyone for participating. Stay tuned for another giveaway later this month.

    Here is another giveaway, this time for a signed copy of Elixir by Hilary Duff, with Elise Allen.  I will be giving away 5 signed copies!

    Fill out the form below to enter, and if you are so inclined:
    •  show some blog love and follow me
    •  "like" The Nostalgic Librarian Facebook page 
    • tweet the following "RT @msbibliotecaria is giving away YA books on Please RT!", or 
    • mention this giveaway on your own blog

    These additional actions will provide extra entries, but are completely optional. Winners will be picked at random, and entries are valid only for United States residents. The deadline for this giveaway is February 27th, 2011 at 11:59pm (PST).  Winner will be announced right here on this post on March 4th.  Good luck!! :)

    Thank you Simon and Schuster Education and Library 
    for providing the signed copies.

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

    HarperCollins, 2010; 470 pages; ISBN  0061726818
    My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

    At first I didn't understand why this book was so long, but once I got past the first 100 pages or so, I realized that you have to go through the process with Sam in order to really understand her path, which takes all of the 470 pages to do so. Sam is a popular, but mean girl, who along with her three best friends, kind of terrorize and rule their school. She finally lands the boyfriend she has been crushing on, but she can be an outright bitch to fellow students and even her own family. One night after a party Sam and her friends get into a car accident and Sam doesn't seem to make it out alive, but when she wakes up she is reliving the same day she died all over again from the beginning. This happens seven times. Each time though, Sam realizes something new. One day she decides to be the bad girl, even hooking up with one of her teachers (who is a total perv), and getting drunk, and being a complete bitch to everyone (even more so than she usually is). Then another day she decides to spend the most time she can with her sister. Finally near the end she realizes the most important things: that people she had been ignoring are actually pretty great, that her friends are flawed, but that she loves them anyways, that she loves her family even if she doesn't always show it, and that her little sister will some day glow like she never will (that part broke my heart).  Most of all Sam has to accept her fate and save someone else for the chance to "move on" in the after life. I really enjoyed the entire book - the writing is excellent, sometimes lyrical, a lot of times very realistic, and more than anything honest and heartfelt. The characters are well developed and it just captures that feeling of being in high school. I highly recommend it.

    Photo: From website

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 2

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    For this pairing I chose Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and my drink The Orchid Kiss.  I thought the name definitely evoked Japan with the orchids and all, and I threw in the kiss for the Geisha's role as female seductress.  The cocktail blends plum wine, sake, and lychee.  Flavor-wise the taste is definitely sweet, but also crisp and light.  The lychee flavor really stands out at first, but then you also taste the sake and the plum.  This would be a great drink to take whilst on a stroll through a Japanese garden with lots of pink cherry blossoms in bloom (sort of like how Chiyo/Sayuri and The Chairman do in the movie version of the book).  I used a lychee fruit for garnish, but something more colorful would also complement the drink well since it is almost clear in color. 

    The Orchid Kiss
    1 1/2 oz. Sake
    2 oz. Plum wine
    3 oz. Juice from canned lychee
    1 lychee fruit for garnish
    How to:  In a cocktail shaker mix ice, sake, plum wine, and lychee juice.  Shake for at least 20 seconds.  Pour into a chilled highball glass with lots of ice.

    I used Takara Plum Wine, Haiku Sake and Golden Star Lychees