Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Only 127 Things You Need {A Guide to Life's Essentials} by Donna Wilkinson, 372 pages

I've been on a minimalist endeavor for a while now, and so the title of this book really appealed to me, even though it is not a book on minimalism, per se. This book was slow getting into and the first part of it didn't seem relevant to the title, in my opinion. It devoted a big portion at the beginning to certain wardrobe items and gave fashion designers' varying opinions on what clothes were a man or woman's "must haves" which I think is culturally subjective and also strange in a book of essentials. It would have made more sense if clothing in general was listed, but not what type of slacks or skirt is imperative for one's closet, especially with so many differing opinions from "experts." Another thing that made me scratch my head was when it talked about beds. Obviously, a safe and comfortable bed is necessary for quality sleep and health, but what constitutes a good bed is also cultural and personal. The author assumes that everyone must have a traditional western bed complete with mattress and box springs; and she doesn't acknowledge any alternative type of bed. Sleep is definitely an essential, but a Serta mattress (or whatever brand/type) is certainly not a necessity for everyone. This book took a long time to read, mostly because it bored me. After I got past the first third of the book, however, it did get better and made more sense, and I finally finished it.

SVU Home for Christmas by Laurie John, 249 pages

Mom and Dad Wakefield find out what Jessica, Elizabeth and Steven have been up to at college. What, your kids get married, shot a guy and gain a ton of weight while suffering from depression and you don't find out until Christmas break. I plan to be a much more irritating and hands-on parent when my daughter goes away to college this fall.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

MAIL ME ART by Darren Di Lieto, 216 pages

This book showcases mail art by the world's best illustrators and designers, along with some interviews and contact information. It's a must see:
 
Although it's not available for checkout at the public library, you could make a visit to the Post Memorial Art Reference Library (located in the SW corner of Joplin Public Library) and have a gander. It's worth it!

GOOD MAIL DAY by Jennie Hinchcliff & Carolee Gilligan Wheeler, 128 pages

Lately, I’ve obsessively absorbed all-things-mail-art that I can rest my eyes on. Presently, my favorite mail art book is GOOD MAIL DAY, which is co-authored by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler and looks like this:
This book differs from other mail art books in that it’s not only a gallery of mail art, but a sort of workshop, as it offers oodles of advice, discusses the ‘how-to,’ as well as mail art etiquette. I’d detail the contents, but, unfortunately, I had to return it to the public library, as others have a hold on it. That and I want you to read it. So, a touch on my favorite bits and pieces of Ms. Hincliff’s and Ms. Gilligan Wheeler’s offerings:
  • Mail Art is for EVERYONE. You needn’t be an artist, per se, to participate in mail art.
  • Everyone has time for mail art, even YOU. Think of time spent waiting for the dentist, an oil change or those breaks at work that are long enough to do something but short enough to not do too much. This is an opportunity to create a postcard, decorate an envelope or cut images to use for future (perhaps mail art) collages. Accomplish this by creating a Mail Art Travel Kit.
  • The Mail Art Travel Kit may be as simple or elaborate as you like. The basic idea is to throw together the items that you use most to make mail art, such as a glue stick, a tiny scissors, pens, postcards or cardstock, along with stamps, and put it in your ideal easy-to-carry carrier. Like, a re-purposed envelope, a pencil pouch, a small purse, a Crown Royal bag or whathaveyou.
  • For The Ten Commandments of Mail Art, advice on how to WOO Postal Employees, fantastic projects and much, much more, I suggest reading the book proper.
So, put yourself on hold and check it out!!!