Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Pinteresting...

Today is August 22nd, the birthday of novelists Annie Proulx and Kate Chopin. Your loyal blogger has distinct memories of reading both as assigned authors for summer reading back in middle and high school. Chopin has a very special place in the memory, in fact, as her novel The Awakening was the first book I remember forcing myself to finish... in fact, by the time ol' Edna decided to her long walk into the Gulf of Mexico, I was cheering for the waves. Like I said, a special memory, not a happy one.

The Gulf of Mexico, the true protagonist of The Awakening.

Assigned reading doesn't have to be that bad, and usually isn't. It's a great way to introduce us to literature that we'd never otherwise read. Your loyal blogger has much better memories of a middle-school reading list that included Anne of Green Gables (a book I'd have never read if not threatened with a test on it upon returning to classes), and really falling in love with it.

And seeing how Charleston County schools start back today... hopefully lots of kids have adopted that attitude!

Assigned reading doesn't have to stop just because we're no longer in school, either.  Book clubs are a favorite way to discover new literature (or at least share some refreshments with friends!). And while the Library Society doesn't have a book club, you can find out what your favourite librarians are reading at the moment. Just visit us on Pinterest!

It's still brand new, and not everyone has started posting, but we're working on it. We hope you'll follow us, check out our personal boards, and see if you can find some new favourites of your own! And unlike your loyal blogger The Awakening. there won't be a test on what you've read. Promise.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Yes. "Juliabilia" is a real word.

Your loyal blogger is not really much of one for the Food Network. There's something about watching people prepare food on television that I find deeply unsatisfying.  There's no smell... the sound of the cooking is usually hidden under the host's chatter... you never taste food... it's a form of sensory deprivation. And with increasing frequency - especially now that so many cable cooking shows are now about competitive cooking - there is no intent for the home viewer to ever recreate what is being made in front of their eyes. If there was some sort of Miller Test for this stuff, most of today's TV cooking would fail.

These comments could never be made, though, about the late, great Julia Child. Your loyal blogger has vivid memories of watching Julia (usually with Jacques Pepin alongside) cook many a meal on the local SCETV station. There were no snazzy visuals, no silly "fun" names for food (unless you find some inherent humor in French), no underlying gimmick... just an imposingly-sized woman cooking like a fiend, spilling, cutting, grabbing, sweating, wheezing, but creating: totally immersed with the experience of cooking. It was great television, and Mrs. Child was wildly compelling.

That's one of the reasons why your loyal blogger is so excited about this Wednesday's [now sold out] lecture at the Library Society, "I Remember Julia". The other reason is the speaker: Robert Dickson, the legendary proprietor of Robert's of Charleston. Dickson became a legend not just for his food, but for providing a unique dining experience, including singing for his guests. And the third reason is because there's going to be some great material shown in the presentation... Mr. Dickson was a personal acquaintance, and will be showing some of his own Juliabilia.

Your loyal blogger's been scanning in
Julia Child letters and notes all afternoon.
Best. Job. Ever.

There is a fourth reason your loyal blogger is excited to have a big Julia Child celebration at the CLS - when my now-fiancee and I were first dating, and she found out I was a librarian, she asked me to pick out "something she'd like". I loaned her my copy of Julia's My Life In France. She loved it, (and tolerated me)... and the rest is history. All I know its it's why I'm personally thankful for Mrs. Child and her work!

ALSO THIS WEEK: Angie LeClercq's Grand Tour of Gardens lecture is this Thursday at 6PM. 843.723.9912 to RSVP!