What would happen if you chose a random library shelf and read only from that shelf?
Literary critic Phyllis Rose chose to do just that, detailing her extreme reading adventures in The Shelf: From LEQ to LES a part-memoir and part-guide of the landscape of literature. While Rose’s reading is confined to one shelf, her expertise as an academic, writer, and reader brings the discussion to the larger conversations of exploring women in fiction, the popularity of books, and the impact of allowing oneself to take reading risks.
Top two reasons you might want to read The Shelf:
-you like reading about an individual embarking on a new challenge
-you want to get your literary geek on with a book about books
Everything I Never Told You is an incredibly written debut novel by Celeste Ng. On the surface, the story, which is set in the 1970’s, revolves around the mysterious death of Lydia Lee, a 16 year old honor student and favored daughter with a bright future. But the novel is so much more than a mere mystery. It is layered with such premises as racial stereotyping, homosexuality, family issues, and unfulfilled expectations. A must read!
Author Paula McLain (The Paris Wife) is back, delving into the life of another dynamic woman in history in Circling the Sun. As the first licensed woman horse trainer and breeder in Africa, as well as a record-setting aviatrix, Beryl Markam is an adventurous strong-willed character defying traditional conventions in 1920s Kenya. McLain’s fictional portrayal of this fearless woman is one of summer 2015’s highly anticipated books.
While you wait, try one of the following books featuring adventurous women set in 1920s British Kenya:
Mark of the Lion by Suzanne M. Arruda
The Ashford Affair by Lauren WIllig
A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn
Hugh Grant plays Keith Michaels, a one-hit wonder Oscar-winning screenwriter obsessed with trying to reinvigorate his failing career. Sent by his agent to teach at a community college, Keith’s approach to teaching is despicable and distasteful, yet there might still be hope for him as a teacher. As he grapples with rock bottom, his sarcasm along with a cast of eccentric characters bring humor to the screenwriter’s journey. A romantic comedy with a lot of heart, The Rewrite is an enjoyable romp about second chances and reframing your perspective on life.
The documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune chronicles the cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s mid-70’s attempt to mount an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic SF novel Dune. Jodorowsky is a magnetic raconteur, detailing plans (A score by Pink Floyd! Designs by Moebius! Casting Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger in roles!) that suggest a fascinating divergence from the eventual 1984 David Lynch film.
Art often inspires art, and ballroom dance is no exception. Beneath the fantasy of fluid grace and fierce passion lie grand stories to capture our imagination. Here are three ways to be swept off your feet
Read: Ballroom by Alice Simpson
A debut novel as beautifully choreographed as the dances themselves, Alice Simpson’s Ballroom entwines the lives of six characters who desire to escape their problems for a few hours each week in a struggling dance hall. Intricate yet somehow seeming effortless, these interconnected stories of yearning and disappointment form a moving examination of authentic relationships.
Watch: Strictly Ballroom
Australian director Baz Luhrman drew from his own experiences of the lush, exacting, and sometimes absurd world of competitive dance for his first film. Strictly Ballroom is a pas de deux between a maverick dancer who risks a promising career in order to break with tradition and the awkward beginner who urges him to be true to himself.
Listen: Ballroom Dancing: In Strict Tempo
Perhaps the story left to be told is your own? If reading and watching spark dreams of putting on your own dancing shoes, check out Ballroom Dancing: In Strict Tempo, which adds entertainment value with arrangements of retro hits. Tango to “Nothing Gonna Stop Us,” jive to “Walk Like an Egyptian,” and cha cha to “Dancing in the Street.” The floor is yours!