11 Books I Enjoyed in 2017

I enjoyed most of the books I read in 2017, but here are 11 that, for different reasons, caught my fancy.

In no particular order, they are:

  1. SHAKESPEARE: THE WORLD AS STAGE BY BILL BRYSON
  2. SINATRA: HOLLYWOOD HIS WAY BY TIMOTHY KNIGHT
  3. BEAUTIFUL BOREDOM: IDLENESS AND FEMININE SELF-REALIZATION IN THE VICTORIAN NOVEL BY LEE ANNA MAYNARD
  4. LIFE IN A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE BY FRANCES AND JOSEPH GIES
  5. PAIN, PARTIES, WORK: SYLVIA PLATH IN NEW YORK, SUMMER 1953 BY ELIZABETH WINDER
  6. UNDER THE BIG BLACK SUN: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF L.A. PUNK BY JOHN DOE
  7. IN THE GREAT GREEN ROOM: THE BRILLIANT AND BOLD LIFE OF MARGARET WISE BROWN BY AMY GARY
  8. GRETA GARBO: THE MYSTERY OF STYLE BY STEFANIA RICCI
  9. WHEN PARIS SIZZLED: THE 1920S PARIS OF HEMINGWAY, CHANEL, COCTEAU, COLE PORTER, JOSEPHINE BAKER, AND THEIR FRIENDS BY MARY MCAULIFFE
  10. SIRENS & SINNERS: A VISUAL HISTORY OF WEIMAR FILM 1918-1933 BY HANS HELMUT PRINZLER
  11. THE BEST MINDS OF MY GENERATION: A LITERARY HISTORY OF THE BEATS BY ALLEN GINSBERG

What were your fave books of 2017? Please share with me in the comments.

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[Book Nerd Links] Mann, Rhys, Joyce, Proust, and Plath

[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Dressing for the Four Seasons with Sylvia Plath

Reposting in honor of Sylvia’s birthday!

A Small Press Life

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”-Orson Welles

Sylvia Plath is best remembered for the sharp-edged precision of her poetry: word-vessels that are hard, clear, and passionate examples of literature’s trickiest form. Her style, although of minor importance to both literary historians and laypersons, remains fresh and appealing fifty years after her death. The timeless quality of Sylvia’s wardrobe is easy to emulate, and personalize.

Four Seasons, Five Photographs, Forever Stylish:

Sylvia Plath: SpringSylvia Plath: Spring

 A crisp white tee, corset belt, and floaty high-waisted skirt is the perfect outfit for the windy days of spring. She finishes it off simply with lipstick and a hairpin. Typewriter: optional. [This is my favourite photograph of a writer caught in the act of writing. I’ve always envied the imagined comforts of working in a garden setting. Sun-on-skin; light, earth-tainted breeze; a lounge chair to sink…

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Another Year Has Passed and You Still Look Like This

When you died on 11 February 1963, my mom was nine years old. My grandmother was your age: thirty. She’s eighty-one now, but to all of the world you still look like this:

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath. 

How sad.

“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Writers Enjoying Winter, Part One

The Fitzgerald Family Celebrating Christmas

The Fitzgerald Family Celebrating Christmas

Ernest, Hadley, and Jack Hemingway in Schruns, Austria. 1925

Ernest, Hadley, and Jack Hemingway in Schruns, Austria (1925)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle enjoying a ski holiday

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle enjoying a ski holiday

Sylvia Plath and Marcia Brown Stern courtesy alumnae association of smith college

Sylvia Plath and Marcia Brown Stern (courtesy Alumnae Association of Smith College)

[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Dressing for the Four Seasons with Sylvia Plath

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”-Orson Welles

Sylvia Plath is best remembered for the sharp-edged precision of her poetry: word-vessels that are hard, clear, and passionate examples of literature’s trickiest form. Her style, although of minor importance to both literary historians and laypersons, remains fresh and appealing fifty years after her death. The timeless quality of Sylvia’s wardrobe is easy to emulate, and personalize.

Four Seasons, Five Photographs, Forever Stylish:

Sylvia Plath: Spring

Sylvia Plath: Spring

 A crisp white tee, corset belt, and floaty high-waisted skirt is the perfect outfit for the windy days of spring. She finishes it off simply with lipstick and a hairpin. Typewriter: optional. [This is my favourite photograph of a writer caught in the act of writing. I’ve always envied the imagined comforts of working in a garden setting. Sun-on-skin; light, earth-tainted breeze; a lounge chair to sink wearily into for moments of reflection; a glass of lemonade nearby–just out of frame; birds in trees. Sylvia kicks that fantasy up a few rungs by being so perfectly attired, and so full of creative concentration.]

Sylvia Plath Summer

Sylvia Plath: Summer

The architectural details at the top make this bathing suit a gem. Clean lines and a good fit can turn a basic, sporty garment into something unforgettably elegant. If I had one of these in every colour, I would live at the beach. Wouldn’t you? [It’s funny how certain summer days are inexpressibly golden, when words fall off of tongues unspoken and melt on the air like dissolving grains of sand. The whole of the world, for a split second, seems beautiful and warm. Contentment emerges, as fleeting as a skittering crab. Sylvia’s expression here is surely one of those moments captured and entombed by a photograph. Serenity is the best adornment.] Continue reading