November 26, 2010
Magazines, as we’ve discussed before, are another form of reading entertainment many of us enjoy. I’ve always appreciated magazines for the dose of colour and creativity – it’s fun to be inspired by the work of others be it in home or fashion design, travel, art, writing, philanthropy or even sport. I’ve not gone the way of an e-reader (yet) but those I know who’ve braved that world are particularly fond of the way magazines can be read on the device. (It appears the ipad dominates this market.) I’ve recently discovered a growing number of magazines that are available free of charge or by donation for reading primarily on-line, some without any print presence at all. These work quite well on a computer screen and seem to be the new direction for magazines in general. A unique feature of on-line magazine reading is that should you be interested in learning more about a product, service or person shown, a link is often embedded so you can be taken straight to the specific webpage.
Hints as you get underway: Full Screen mode viewing is best – just select that option from the task bar. If the print is too fine or small, enlarge the text. Subscribe to receive the newest edition when it’s available or Bookmark the site. Don’t forget to check the archives for back-issues as well. Just think – no teetering piles of slippery outdated magazines vying for space with your precious books! Have fun and let us know if you’re a convert to reading magazines on-line.
Click on the photos of each magazine cover below to be taken to their site where you can try reading on-line.
Lonny Magazine - Lon(don) N(ew)Y (ork) is THICK. Gorgeous photography and really fun vibe throughout. Has connections to the late but beloved Domino magazine. “At Lonny, we believe in making design choices that lead to personal happiness. We value individual style and independent thinking, and are convinced that inspired design can be achieved anywhere—from the smallest studio apartment to the grandest estate.”
Rue Magazine - Rue believes: “That every colour can be your favourite colour… That inspiration is everywhere… That everyone has the talent and drive to design their most beautiful life–we all just need a little nudge in the right direction…”
Covet Garden - Inspiration Grows Here. ” We started Covet Garden because we wanted to see a magazine that made us feel as though we were invited into someone’s home. And then, once they let us in, we started snooping around and got to know them a bit better.” Canadian and unique in that it features one creative person or team each month. Short and sweet and ”inspiring – not aspiring“!
And two from Australia … when you need a little spring inspiration during our dreary autumn!
Ivy & Piper - “Their collaboration is quirky, fun and truly unique, aiming to inspire their clientele to embrace a sense of fun in their interiors and add a touch of glamour to every day life…it’s Fashion for the Home!”
November 20, 2010
I’m not sure if it’s because The Nutcracker season is upon us but I am conscious of a ballerina trend in the air. A new movie called Black Swan is coming to theatres, our local Ballet is undergoing a sea change (what? no tutus!) and then there’s the bookshelf … An intriguing new hardcover fiction release is pleading to be added to the stack on the bedside table. And in the children’s section, with an apparent nod to the Madeleine books, a new storybook has arrived which promises to be a delight. Finally, carrying forward with our last posting’s theme, a fond but almost forgotten classic from youth …
The True Memoirs of Little K written by Adrienne Sharp follows the story of a century old ballerina reflecting on her life story. Exiled in Paris, tiny, one-hundred-year-old Mathilde Kschessinska sits down to write her memoirs before all that she believes to be true is forgotten. A lifetime ago, she was the vain, ambitious, impossibly charming prima ballerina assoluta of the tsar’s Russian Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. Now, as she looks back on her tumultuous life, she can still recall every slight she ever suffered, every conquest she ever made. Through Kschessinska’s memories of her own triumphs and defeats, we witness the stories that changed history: the seething beginnings of revolution, the blindness of the doomed court, the end of a grand, decadent way of life that belonged to the nineteenth century. Based on fact, The True Memoirs of Little K is historical fiction as it’s meant to be written: passionately eventful, crammed with authentic detail, and alive with emotions that resonate still.” (From amazon.ca Product Description)
And then there is Miss. Lina’s Ballerinas written by Grace Maccarone and illustrated by Christine Davenier. Enjoy a glimpse here:
Remember Noel Streatfeild’s classic published in 1936: Ballet Shoes? Three young orphans are adopted and then through circumstances and serendipity follow dreams in diverse directions. One young girl is a gifted dancer and dreams of being a prima ballerina. Noel Streatfeild wrote a number of stories following the Shoe theme: Dancing Shoes, Skating Shoes, Tennis Shoes, Movie Shoes, Party Shoes and Circus Shoes among them.
November 14, 2010
I’ve been craving a “cozy” book lately – one of those lovely yarns filled with delightful folks who find themselves in a pickle or two over which they anguish and then happily resolve by the end. Sometimes there are charming towns filled with quaint cafes, blooming gardens, book shops and quirky old houses. There is usually an eccentric character or two, a misunderstanding or a secret, maybe even a dramatic journey. I do enjoy challenging reads in which I develop an appreciation for something, someone, or somewhere new but as the sun and the temperatures sink, a cozy book craving inevitably strikes.
Here are some of the books I’ve cuddled up with and enjoyed:
Adriana Trigiani is a character unto herself and prolifically generates heartwarming and funny tales. I recommend starting with the Big Stone Gap series (and quickly – rumour is there is a movie in the works!)
Maeve Binchy is a classic in the genre. Light A Penny Candle was my first Binchy read and I have a clear memory of racing through the last pages in the light of the headlights of the car following ours on a long drive home. Just that riveting. Fortunately for us, Maeve Binchy is also dedicated to her writing and provides us with new choices on a fairly regular basis.
Rosamunde Pilcher‘s The Shell Seekers is an all-time favourite. There is a sequel called September and many other stories as well that I’ve enjoyed but The Shell Seekers is the one of which I’m most fond. While Rosamunde has retired her son Robin Pilcher now writes similarly themed books.
A few new “cozies” are arriving on the book shop shelves and my wish list:
And so as you tuck your blanket in around you and get the fireplace going, which cozy books are you craving?
November 6, 2010
I was out shopping this week for my very special niece’s birthday. Predictable, I know, but I ended up in the bookstore. I have so many great memories of books I read in my youth that I savour still and was inspired to share some with her as she’s been a good little reader from an early age. A quick survey with some friends today revealed that I’m not the only one with precious memories of books we read long ago – what a fun conversation we had! My shopping excursion ended up with a classic favourite (Heidi) and I resisted (strongly) the popular, modern books covered in bubblegum pink with generous sprays of metallic stars. Perhaps the flashy new stories would be more appealing these days but I’m an old school Auntie and trust the stories that captivated us all those years ago will resonate just as strongly today. What are your thoughts? Are there any new books you think will stand the test of time? Feel free to share your nostalgic favourites too!
My all time favourites from the day: