Thursday, May 28, 2009 by kate
President Obama has been staying up late with Joseph O’Neill’s novel Netherland
, he told the NY Times Magazine
The story follows a Dutch financial analyst living in NY who rediscovers his love of cricket after separating from his wife. "It's fascinating,” Obama told Newsweek
. “It's a wonderful book, although I know nothing about cricket."
When does the president find time to read? “I usually have about a half hour to read before I go to bed … about midnight, 12:30 a.m. – sometimes a little later,” he said.
Netherland, which has been compared to the Great Gatsby, won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
So if you want to feel more presidential, or you're just a night owl like Obama, pick up a copy of Netherland and learn a thing or two about cricket.
In related news, the Obamas plan to host
the ninth National Book Festival Sept. 26 on the National Mall. The daylong event was started in 2001 by former first lady Laura Bush, a retired teacher and school librarian. It’s free and open to the public and will feature about 70 award-winning authors, poets and illustrators.
Previous Post: The Road Home
Labels: book festivals, Great Gatsby, Obama Netherland
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 by kate
Rose Tremain’s lackadaisical writing style is perfect for laid-back leisure reading. At first I had a hard time getting into her detailed voice, but a 5-hour flight across country last week gave me all the time I needed to devour all 411 pages.The Road Home
is a winding story about a middle-aged Russian who loses his job and his wife and must leave his daughter to travel to England in search of work. Mixed up in a society he doesn’t understand, Lev struggles to find his place in his new country, overcoming homelessness, loneliness, heart break and naïveté without becoming cynical.
Tremain gives insight in immigration and puts a face on a foreigner while treating readers to simple, vivid descriptions.
“The cola seemed to pinch at his teeth.”
“with moles like splashes of mud on her face”
“daylight pale as milk”
“It was a street of choky little houses.”
While some overly descriptive books come across contrived, Tremain succeeds in opening up a world foreign to most readers. Bring this book on a long car drive or vacation. You’ll feel just a little empty when you come to page 411, and you’ll have a new appreciation of immigrants.
Previous Post: fierce fashion guru’s guide
Thursday, May 14, 2009 by kate
Brimming with sass and style, Project Runway
winner Christian Siriano
is sharing some of his secrets in the new book Fierce Style: How to Be Your Most Fabulous Self
, written with People
magazine's Rennie Dyball.
It's "design heavy," Siriano told USA Today.
It also has tips from the people Siriano has dressed: Whoopi Goldberg, Vanessa Williams and "normal, everyday people like my sister and mother."
Siriano splashed onto the scene with asymmetrical bangs last year as the youngest winner of Project Runway at 23 years old. Since then, he showed two collections in NYC and has designed for the likes of Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum, Anne Hathaway, Lady Gaga, Tori Spelling and Vanessa Williams.
“The book actually did come very quickly after the win of Project Runway
,” Siriano told the Atlanta Journal Constitution
. “ The book is very funny and kind of kitschy. It is supposed to be entertaining and not so serious, serious fashion; kind of having style and coming into your own. It is very picture heavy and very visual.”Fierce Style
will be out in October. And if “hot mess,” “ferosh” and “trannie” aren’t a part of your daily vocab, don't worry – there’s also a glossary in there.
Previous Post: bringing a legend back to life
Labels: Christian Siriano, fashion, Project Runway, style
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 by kate
Every time I have salad, salsa or cereal, I think of Paul Newman. The actor-turned-entrepreneur died last fall, and though I missed most of his acting career, I know him well for founding a company that donated all its profits and royalties to charity.
Shawn Levy, an Oregon reporter, has come out with a new book about the American icon’s life – his affinity for Coors beer, his love of racing and the loss of his only son from an accidental overdose.
While Levy tried and failed to get an interview with the very private Paul, he pieces together Newman’s life through others’ stories, old quotes and a vast film career.
Labels: Paul Newman