W.A.R. : Women art revolution [videorecording DVD]

From Ellen Druda
Title: W.A.R. : Women art revolution [videorecording DVD]
In the 1960’s and 1970’s the feminist movement and the art world collided and merged, spinning off new ideas and techniques. We meet some of the pioneers – Judy Chicago, Marina Abramovic, Hannah Wilke, Cindy Sherman, Marcia Tucker, B. Ruby Rich, The Guerrilla Girls, and more – and hear their stories of discrimination, frustration, and ridicule in the white man’s elitist art world. The strange new experience of performance art, unashamed sexuality, romanticism, sadness, humor, and rage were their weapons of expression as they fought to be included in museum and gallery showings. Filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson uses archival footage along with contemporary interviews and a fantastic amount of the art itself to make this an inspirational documentary.

Topsy: the Startling Story of the Crooked-tail Elephant, P.T. Barnum and the American Wizard

From Margaret Mezzacapo

Topsy: the Startling Story of the Crooked-tail Elephant, P.T. Barnum and the American Wizard by Michael Daly

The title’s not kidding – the story is startling. I’m not sure which is worse, the fact that the story actually is true, or the fact that such massive cruelty to animals, dogs included, was sanctioned and swept under the rug. Reading this may change your viewpoint on a number of issues. It’s a well-researched, engrossing read.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

From Margaret Mezzacapo

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois

Does five minutes a day to make artisan bread seem too good to be true? Yes? That’s because it is too good to be true. The bread’s going to take you a lot longer than that. However, the basic premise is simple—prepare the dough in advance, and then just pinch off and bake the amount you want for that day. This book seems well suited for large families and/or real lovers of bread and baked goods. Includes a number of recipes for different breads, pizza dough, soups, etc.

A Dickens of a Cat and Other Stories of the Cats We Love

From Margaret Mezzacapo

A Dickens of a Cat and Other Stories of the Cats We Love by Callie Smith Grant

This book is a series of cute short stories about people and cats – how the cats needed people’s care, and how some of the cats saved their people. Easy reading, and appropriate to read to younger folk. One element bothered me, though—there are numerous references to cats having litters of kittens. Come on, people, spay or neuter your pets! Cute book, though.

A Week in Winter

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

Ah, Maeve. Opening one of her books transports you to Ireland. You can hear the voices of the characters as if you were there, and feel like you’re part of Irish daily life. You’ll be rooting for the characters (except maybe one) in all their ups and downs at a bed and breakfast operated by the heroine of the tale.

What makes this book extraordinarily poignant is that this is Binchy’s last book. It’s sad to think that her creative writing and entrancing voice have been silenced. Rest easy, Maeve, and thanks for the pleasure you’ve given us.

Day of Honey – A Memoir of Food, Love and War

Day of Honey – A Memoir of Food, Love and War by Annia Ciezadlo

The title pretty much sums up what’s in the story. The author, an American journalist, falls in love with a man from Lebanon. They go to the Middle East on assignment, where Annia experien ces  culture shock, but embraces and grows to love the countries and people she meets. She often does this through foods of the region. Regardless of nationality, color, or religious beliefs, everyone has to eat, even in times of war. An interesting, well-written read.

DVD – The Greatest Show on Earth

From Margaret Mezzacapo

DVDThe Greatest Show on Earth

Come one, come all to a Cecil B. DeMille epic about the circus. This movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1952. Yes, 1952. I know that many would reject this film solely on its age, but it has stood the test of time. With Charlton Heston, James Stewart (who plays a beloved clown who may be hiding a tragic secret,) Emmett Kelley, and a cast that includes the real people and follows the actual workings at the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Circus, you’ll enjoy the circus stunts and the drama behind the scenes. Recommended for “children of all ages.”

Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula : or, The adventure of the sanguinary count

From  Andrea Kalinowski
Author:  John H. Watson
Title:  Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula : or, The adventure of the sanguinary count 
Sherlock Holmes is an enduring character in my literary world. He is a tall, gaunt man, famous for stating “How often have I said to you (Watson) that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” In Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula or the Adventure of the Sanguinary Count by John H. Watson, M.D. as edited by Loren D. Estleman, Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of that most imfamous vampire, Count Dracula of Transylvania. The Count has decided to relocate his base of operations, little realizing the formidable opponent he will face upon England’s shores. Holmes solicits the assistance of his erstwhile and forever faithful companion, John Watson in fighting this villain. There are some hairy moments when the fate of these two men seems to hang in the balance.

Art masterpiece mysteries. Book 1. Spot the differences.

From  Ginny Pisciotta
Author:  Diane Teitel Rubins
Title:  Art masterpiece mysteries. Book 1. Spot the differences.
This is a spot the differences book with a twist. The pictures are all famous paintings. 25 great works of art are included such as The Dance Class by Edgar Degas, Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet, and Girls at the Piano by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Facts about each painting and its artist are included.  Sharpen your observational skills while building your cultural I.Q. with this fun book.