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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The City of Falling Angels

            This non-fiction book is a colorful presentation of the city of Venice, its history, culture, and personalities, beginning with the depiction of the 1996 fire at the historic La Fenice Opera House. It is written by John Berendt, who coincidentally happened to be in Venice at the time and decided that the city was worth further investigation.
            Berendt explores Venetian history, its environmental problems, and its culture. He introduces us to some of its famous past and present visitors such as Henry James, Robert Browning, and Woody Allen, and expatriate residents such as the poet Ezra Pound and his mistress Olga Rudge, and the American Daniel Curtis who purchased the Palazzo Barbaro, and whose descendants remained there. Other intriguing residents are presented. One is Archimede Segus, a renowned Venetian glassblower who creates a collection of glass based upon his impressions of the fire; we also meet the entrepreneurial developer of rat poisons, a writer of erotic poetry who commits suicide, a couple who become indispensable to elderly and wealthy individuals so that they can appropriate their literary and art collections, and more.
            Berendt follows the investigation of the fire, at first thought to be an accident, then a case of arson. Was the Mafia involved? Berendt also follows the fundraising adventures of the American Save Venice Foundation whose efforts to raise money for rebuilding the opera house became tainted by the petty squabbles between its members.
            Berendt also is the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and wrote and edited for New York and Esquire magazines.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Perfect Your Style

            New ideas for decorating your home can be found here at your library. Some of the new books we have are:
     Design Mom: How to Live with Kids: a Room-by-Room Guide is written by Gabrielle Stanley Blair, the author of the blog The theme of her book is how to live well with kids – and with six kids of her own she’s had a lot of practice. Blair’s ideas focus on finding a solution that is elegant yet works within your architectural and financial constraints. An abundance of color photos along with descriptive text illustrate family-friendly decorating solutions.
     The Height of Style: Inspiring Ideas from the World’s Chicest Rooms is from the editors of Elle D├ęcor magazine. The editors present a compilation of the “best” rooms they have published in the last five years, each with an “overarching vision”. The rooms are divided into four categories: classical, fanciful, practical, and personal. Each full-color photo is accompanied by detailed text and the name of the designer. A list of decorating sources is included.
     Sarah Style: An Inspiring Room-by-Room Guide to Designing Your Perfect Home is written by Sarah Richardson, an award-winning Canadian designer and the host of several HGTV television programs. Sarah tours each room in the house, from entry, to kitchen, to bedroom and more; presenting ideas and full-color photos of more than one hundred rooms. Get empowered to redo a small space or several rooms.
     Taunton’s All New Decorating Idea Book is written by Heather J. Paper, a decorating writer with many years of experience. In this book she focuses on the three elements that are the foundation of a well-designed room: style, color, and personal touches. Full-color photos illustrate how these elements are utilized in the selection of furniture, floor coverings, window treatments, lighting and more.