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Monthly Archives: February 2014

I Always Loved You

always-loved-you1I picked up Robin Oliveira’s newest book, I Always Loved You, because I’d enjoyed her novel about a nurse during the Civil War (My Name is Mary Sutter). But I was also drawn to the title, which seems to contain so much nostalgia and suffering. For some reason, I picture love between two people where it never quite works out – a life together is always denied them. But their love is always present.

The author tells the story of the relationship between the two famous painters Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas. They meet in Paris, just as Impressionism is becoming more entrenched but not necessarily accepted by art critics or the public. Cassatt is about to give up painting in Paris, but Degas persuades her to exhibit with the other Impressionists. She finds a new style of painting, and they both find love. However, theirs is a disjointed love; it comes and goes in fits and starts. They’re both artists, so, stereotypically, they’re egotistical, moody, and stubborn (though Degas much more so than Cassatt). There’s a constant tension between giving their all to each other and giving their all to their craft. Perhaps there is only so much love a person has to give. Can someone truly have it all? Is it possible for an artist to create the art she needs to create and be a wife and mother? So far (I’m not quite finished with the book), I don’t think Degas would say it is possible. He is a man for whom there are never enough hours in the day to paint, sketch, and sculpt.

The parts that are most joyous to read are those where Oliveira helps the reader better understand the inner workings of a painter’s mind – how their fingers go reflexively to their pockets to find a paintbrush when they see an image they want to capture, or the obsessive pull they feel when the work is going well and they forsake food, sleep, and friends. As someone with not a scrap of talent in the visual arts, I can still appreciate that feeling – of loving something so much that the passage of time ceases to exist. And honestly, the book has been so good, I’ve lost track of time while reading it! If you like the arts or historical fiction, this is one you won’t want to miss.

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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

A Trifecta of TV Releases!

A slew of hit TV shows are being released on DVD this February, including: Downton Abbey (Season 4); Sherlock (Season 3); and Game of Thrones (Season 3). The Library has all three on order, and you can stop by the Information Desk or email us (library@ci.azle.tx.us) to be placed on the waiting lists. All three of these shows have taken America by storm, and understandably so.

Several books relating to Downton Abbey have been written for fans who just can’t get enough of this British period drama. Many of the books are available to check out through the Parker County Library Association, including:
Chronicles of Downton Abbey, by Jessica Fellowes (Azle Library call number 791.45 FEL)
Below Stairs : The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, by Margaret Powell (Azle Library call number 641.5092 POW)
The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook : From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore’s Christmas Pudding : More than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs, by Emily Ansara Baines. (Weatherford Library call number 641.5942 BAINES)
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey : The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle, by The Countess of Carnarvon (Weatherford Call Number BIO CARNARVON)

The new Sherlock series, from Great Britain, is a modern take on the classic Sherlock Holmes novels. The show has done a successful job of translating the 19th and 20th century mysteries. Of course, this TV series is just one of many screen adaptations of Sir Author Conan Doyle’s works. Other Sherlock Holmes DVDs are available through the Azle Library, such as:
The Sherlock Holmes Collection (classic TV shows)
Sherlock Holmes, and the Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (movie adaptations starring Robert Downy Jr.)
Young Sherlock Holmes (featuring a teenage version of the crime solving sleuth)

If it has been a while since you’ve seen seasons 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones, you might need to brush up before watching season 3. The TV show, based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin, features an endless list of characters in a vast imaginary land. Reading the novels might help put the show into perspective (the Azle Library offers the books in regular print, eBook, and audiobook format). There are also numerous websites and apps available to help you navigate and understand the seven kingdoms:
Official HBO TV Show Website (including character charts and interactive maps)
Official Game of Thrones Food Blog (recipes and more from the series)
• Game of Thrones app for iPhone/iPad or Android (free content includes an interactive map)
Character Map for PC or Tablet (spoiler free for those who are new to the series)

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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