Friday, March 25, 2011

My Look Back: 1932

The Paramount Theatre in Oakland California
Photo by BWChicago from Flickr Creative Commons
When I think of the 1930's I automatically think of the art deco style, Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, and bias cut satin gowns.  There was also of course the Great Depression, but despite the trying economic times of the thirties, there were also many great things that transpired, and here are a few I came across as I took a look back at 1932.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was published.
  • Elizabeth Taylor, Edward Kennedy and Patsy Cline were born.
  • The founder of Kodak, George Eastman, commited suicide.
  • The Summer Olympics took place in Los Angeles, California.
  • The cost of a first class stamp rose from 2 cents to 3 cents in July (I'm sure the hikes in price were as annoying back then as they are today).
  • Scarface (United Artists, 1932), directed by Howard Hawks, was released.  The movie was released without censor approval and it is based on the 1929 novel by Armitage Trail (aka: Maurice Coons), which is loosely based on Al Capone's life (and we are still fascinated by all of this, well, at least I am, with shows like Boardwalk Empire).
  • President Hoover cut his own salary by 15% (Too bad the governator didn't take a lesson from him).
  • The first purple heart was awarded.
  • Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers began filming their first movie together, Flying Down to Rio (RKO Radio Pictures, 1933).
  • Amelia Earhart flew from the United States to Northern Ireland in 14 hours and 54 minutes.
  • The first Venice Film Festival was held, which was the first organized film festival of its kind.
  • Mickey's Revue, a Disney cartoon short, was released.  With it came the introduction to Dippy Dawg, who later became known as Goofy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring YA Book Giveaway

And the winners are....
Katie Clark & Adrienne Everitt

Congratulations, and stay tuned for another giveaway coming at the end of April featuring unpublished advance copies!!  :)

Another giveaway for 2011 just in time for spring.  This time I am giving away two sets of advance reader copies to two lucky winners!  The first set includes The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks, Huntress by Malinda Lo, and Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef.  The second set includes Strings Attached by Judy Blundell, Clarity by Kim Harrington, and Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen.  

PLUS, I designed a cameo charm necklace in honor of Jane Austen: A Life Revealed and a butterfly charm bracelet in honor of Wishful Thinking, so those are included in each set as well.

(If you like my jewelry, I just opened an Etsy shop:
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 March 31st, 2011 at 11:59pm (PST).  Winner will be announced right here on this post on April 8th.  Good luck!! :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

HarperTeen, 2007; 304 pages; ISBN  0060874163
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

I really enjoyed this modern re-telling of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. I would have given it five stars be it not for the fact that the ending (like most fairy tales) was a bit too tidy and perfect. That being said, I thought that the author did an excellent job of modernizing the story to fit today's teens and I was both laughing and feeling very sad and frustrated with the "Beast".  The "Beast" is Kyle Kingsbury, a very conceited, rich, popular, jerk-of-a-teen who thinks he has it all.  When ugly girl Kendra makes an appearance, Kyle jokingly asks her to the upcoming school dance with the intention of shunning her in the end.  Little does Kyle know that Kendra is a witch in disguise, so she curses him to live as the beast and she gives him a magical mirror so he can see what is going on in the outside world because surely as a beast he cannot continue to live amongst everyone else.  Sure enough Kyle's father is the first to exile his own son, setting him up in an apartment with a housekeeper named Magda, and eventually a blind tutor named Will.  The terms of the curse are that if Kyle can find a girl that loves him for the person he is and not for his looks and get her to kiss him within two years, he will be set free and returned to normal.  Kendra only agrees to include the two year clause because at the dance Kyle committed the unselfish act of giving a rose to the ticket taker, a girl named Lindy.  Lindy turns out to be the girl that will fall in love with Kyle.  As the months go by Kyle also decides to change his name to Adrian, because the name Kyle means 'handsome' and the name Adrian means 'the dark one'.  Adrian takes up gardening at the suggestion of his tutor and one day a drug addict trespasses upon it, to which Adrian responds by dangling the man out of a window and threatening him.  The desperate man offers to have his daughter take his place instead, and this is how Lindy (the drug addict's daughter) comes to live with Adrian.  Lindy is very upset at first, but slowly she begins to see past Adrian's beastly looks and the two start falling in love.  When the magic mirror reveals that Lindy's father is very sick, Adrian makes the sacrifice of letting Lindy go to him, and shortly after he ends up rescuing her from a would-be rapist (also with the help of the mirror).  But Adrian is injured and right before the two years are up Lindy kisses Adrian and he returns to his handsome self.  There are a couple other revelations and terms of the curse that come as a result of the kiss, but basically all is well and Adrian and Lindy live happily ever after.  Throughout the story there are also instant messages that appear between Adrian and other teens who have been transformed into creatures, and I thought they were very charming and worked really well in breaking up the story without interrupting it.  They gave the story that extra fairy tale twist. I also thought the lesson of seeing past a person's exterior was portrayed very well, without being preachy, and I think teens will enjoy this tale of a modern teen werewolf/beast.  As I read the novel I kept picturing Kyle/Adrian like Teen Wolf from the 1985 movie starring Michael J. Fox, but now that the film version of Beastly is out, I can't wait to see what they did with it, because it looks a lot more dark and modern than the eighties version of a teen beast.  Here's the movie trailer:

Photo: From website

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Do You Wash the Dishes While You Read?

Booking Through Thursday is hosted by the Booking Through Thursday blog.  
This week's question is: Do you multi-task when you read? Do other things like stirring things on the stove, brushing your teeth, watching television, knitting, walking, etc.? Or do you sit and do nothing but focus on what you're reading? Or, do you do both, depending on the situation?
I mostly sit or lay in bed and read.  I can definitely read with noises around me, even the television sometimes, but I can't walk or do chores while I read (unless it's an audio book).  I'm also pretty good at reading with lots of interruptions.  I also eat my lunch and read and I also listen to audio books while driving to and from work.  If I didn't do these things I would not be able to finish so many books in one year (my current goal is 100 for 2011).  I also try really hard to read when I'm going on long road trips, but sometimes the temptation of sleeping, conversing, or just looking out the window is too much.  Plus, that's the perfect time to catch up on some celebrity gossip via U.S. Weekly or People Magazine.

So what about you?  What is your reading routine?  Don't forget to leave a comment with your link and also visit the host blog to leave a comment and link there.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 3

Photo from
A few years back after I was done with the Twilight series, I moved on to The Host by Stephenie Meyer, and I have to say that I truly did enjoy it.  My full review can be found here, but in a few words the book is about an alien/parasite species who take over human bodies for the good of planet Earth (or so they think).  

So for this read-a-book, sip-a-cocktail pairing I came up with this drink called A Wandering Alien (the main character is known as Wanderer).  I knew I wanted the drink to have a green color, so I chose to use a green-hued kiwi liqueur called Shakka (made by the Cruzan Rum company), which if you can't find it at a grocery store, you can look for it at a store like BevMo! (a dream come true of a store for me).  There are also apple and grape flavors, but for that eerie, alien-esque look stick to the kiwi (this is also a great drink to celebrate St. Patrick's Day if you're not into the green beer thing). I thought the kiwi flavor would go well with a citrus vodka and I also chose to use Kern's Aguas Frescas in the Limón flavor (you could also use some lemonade).  Sliced kiwi makes for a great garnish (doesn't the center of the kiwi kind of look an alien eye?).  The martini is very citrusy, sharp and tangy but also sweet.  If I were an alien I would drink it.  

"I, the soul called Wanderer, love you, human Ian. And that will never change, no matter what I might become." (from The Host by Stephenie Meyer)

A Wandering Alien
1/2 oz. Citrus Vodka
2 oz. Kiwi Shakka
2 oz. Kern's Aguas Frescas Limón
Sliced fresh kiwi
How to: In a cocktail shaker blend ice, vodka, Shakka, and juice.  Shake for at least 20 seconds.  Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with kiwi.