Cover of Drawing Class - Animals

Drawing Class - Animals

By Heegyum Kim
Star Rating

Rated by Charles H
Jan 17, 2024

January is national hobby month and the perfect time to try out something new! I enjoy plenty of hobbies, but I was feeling the itch to try some drawing, and a quick search through the library catalog revealed a number of options for a variety of skill levels. "Drawing Class - Animals" was one of the titles I grabbed and it seemed approachable. A step-by-step guide to drawing cartoon animals, the concept of using simple shapes to build up to a finished product was quite appealing, so I tested a few designs on a scrap of paper. 

Book and sketch of boar, sheep, and bison

Drawing a sheep, wild boar, and bison gave me a sense of the

Flight Vol. 6

By Edited by Kazu Kibuishi

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Jul 17, 2019

The sixth anthology of short graphic novels, Flight Vol. 6 was a beautiful read. I found out about the series from a coworker who is well-versed in the graphic novel genre. Since all the books are anthologies, I did not feel the need to read the series in order. Furthermore, the sixth book was the only one available at my location, so it made my choice easy! For someone that has trouble reading graphic novels, this collection of short stories was perfect. The art styles varied greatly between selections, which made for an engaging read. Some of the stories were wordless, focusing on detailed

The Marriage Of Opposites

By Alice Hoffman

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Jul 31, 2018

I absolutely love this book and consider it one of my "top 10" favorites! I did not expect to like it when a friend lent me her copy to read, but it blew me away. 

Alice Hoffman's writing is so rich in detail that it's mesmerizing. The Marriage of Opposites is historical fiction set during the 19th century, based on the real life of Rachel Pomie', the mother of Camille Pissarro who became a famous artist and one of the fathers of impressionism. Most of the story is set on the island of St. Thomas, and then ultimately in Paris. Rachel Pomie' is a girl that does not like rules and is constantly

Before the Fall

By Noah Hawley
Star Rating

Rated by Manda W
Jan 22, 2018

Everyone has their path. The choices they've made. How any two people end up in the same place at the same time is a mystery. You get on an elevator with a dozen strangers. You ride a bus, wait in line for the bathroom. It happens every day. To try to predict the places we'll go and the people we'll meet would be pointless.

In a world of 24/7 news coverage, where is the line between news and entertainment? In our instant-access world, can we handle the unknown? Do coincidences happen or is everything connected by fate? Does correlation mean causation? Before the Fall by Noah Hawley may ask

Kansas Murals

By Lora Jost
Star Rating

Rated by Joyce M
Jul 29, 2017

If the John Steuart Curry image of a crazed John Brown at the state capital and those gigantic Van Gogh sunflowers are the only murals that come to mind, you will be delightfully surprised by this artful trip through Kansas. This is a treasure trove, a mini tour of the state via its murals: painted and mosaic, new and old.

History and whimsy are depicted on downtown streets, in museums and on everything from old silos to the side of a Dollar General store. Kansas Murals has photos and details of 90 works throughout the state. More are in a list at the book’s end. 

No matter where you are in

Museum Hours (DVD)

By Jem Cohen
Star Rating

Rated by Michelle H.
Jul 2, 2016

Johann is a guard at the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum in Vienna, where he meets Anne, a Canadian visiting the city. A friendship develops that is intimate though not amorous; the absence of passion allows the film to forage for unique material. Museum Hours wanders, both in conversation and through Vienna, but is in no way adrift. Every image is anchored with importance, from trash on the corner to the Bruegels inside the museum, as the friends each discover the other through the lens of looking.  They’re neither quick nor clever, but their powers of observation are tremendous, and they’re

Fairytale Girl and Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams

By Susan Branch
Star Rating

Rated by Hannah Jane W.
Jun 8, 2016

The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams must be read together. The two books were originally meant to be one book, but Susan Branch’s life is so packed with living and inspiration that one book quickly became two very powerful volumes overflowing with growth, play, wisdom and a hefty dose of girl power. Though the books are heavy they are equally adorable, easy to tuck into and get lost for hours in. Susan Branch quickly becomes a sister within just a few pages and makes the reader feel like they are as much a part of her life as she is. 

The Fairytale Girl is a more than

A Fine Romance

By Susan Branch
Star Rating

Rated by Hannah Jane W.
Feb 19, 2016

I couldn’t have read A Fine Romance at a more perfect time. It was the perfect book to read while cooped up in a hospital room waiting for a loved one to heal. I sailed right along with Susan Branch and her husband, Joe, as they journeyed to England via ship and explored the country for two months. This book is not only Susan’s diary during their vacation in England, it is also a very informational and exhilarating guide to both well-known and hidden places in England, many of which belong to the National Trust. Above all else, this book is a journey of the senses, using a mixture of her

The Curious Nature Guide: Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You

By Clare Walker Leslie
Star Rating

Rated by LeeAnn B.
Feb 15, 2016

In The Curious Nature Guide, author Clare Walker Leslie uses beautiful photographs and exquisite illustrations to entice us to rediscover the wonders that surround us in the natural world. Filled with easy-to-follow prompts and exercises, Walker inspires readers to reduce stress by spending time in nature.  Her book includes simple suggestions for reconnecting with the outside world.  

A quote from a postcard in the book serves as motivation; “There is no Wi-Fi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection.” After reading this book, I’m inspired to notice (and journal about)

Love Love

By Sung J. Woo
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Nov 7, 2015

In the beginning, I loved Love Love. The ordinary, every day struggles of Judy Lee and her bother Kevin resonated strongly with me. Both divorced and drifting through their lives, they are separately blindsided with challenges that would set anyone on a downward spiral. Judy, having walked out of her temp job has unknowingly lost her insurance. When she's bitten by a rattlesnake, the hospital bills mount and Judy is burdened with crushing debt . . . and she's still unemployed. Kevin learns he is adopted when he tries to donate a kidney to his ailing father, leaving him to question everything

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

By Carol Rifka Brunt
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Aug 26, 2015

On the surface, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, is about June Elbus, a young girl whose favorite uncle dies of AIDS in 1987. It’s the early days, when misinformation, fear, and hate rule the day. With a 2012 publication date (and a 2015 reading) I read of June’s experience with a perspective that time, distance and education afford. For me, the book isn’t so much about AIDS and how that terrifying diagnosis affects the Elbus family but about what happens when you allow fear, and disappointment, and blame to dictate your behavior and parenting decisions.

No doubt, June is a special person. Her uncle


By Rebecca Scherm

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Apr 18, 2015

Grace has a problem, well several problems to be exact. She’s a liar and she can’t stop lying not only to herself but also to the people with whom she surrounds herself. She’s a thief but again doesn’t see herself as one, at least not at first. She can never be normal, not after what she has put everyone else through. And she is terrified that two men who are about to be set free on parole for robbing a historic mansion back in Garland, Tennessee are going to find her.

Rebecca Scherm writes a fantastic novel about a girl who spins a web of lies in hopes of becoming a better person, the person

Rodin's Lover

By Heather Webb

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 20, 2015

Camille Claudel is a woman most women cannot stand – she’s arrogant, loud-mouthed and pretentious. She always has an opinion, the right one, and she’s never afraid to share it. If you think these characteristics annoying and rude in today’s society, imagine its late 19th century Paris where men rule society and women are just prizes on their arms. Predictably, Claudel doesn’t win friends in Heather Webb’s Rodin’s Lover, a fictionalized account of the real-life affair of Claudel and Auguste Rodin.

Claudel is born into a well-off but working-class family who spend their summers in Villeneuve

The Art of Asking

By Amanda Palmer
Star Rating

Rated by Josh N.
Feb 1, 2015

I've been a fan of Amanda Palmer, her music and her personality, for a while now. I admire how open, honest, brash, and brave she is. The Art of Asking is based on a TED talk she gave in 2013, expanded here to talk about her life as an artist and musician along with musings on why it's important to ask for help, why we often find it difficult to ask, and why sometimes asking for help doesn't get us what we asked for. (If you listen to the audiobook, you also get Amanda singing with her ukulele and some bonus songs by her and some of her friends.)

This is one of those books that smacked me

My Grandfather's Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War

By Anne Sinclair
Star Rating

Rated by Sarah As
Dec 1, 2014

This is the story of Paul Rosenberg, one of pre-World War II France’s most influential and knowledgeable art dealers, as told by his granddaughter, Anne Sinclair. Rosenberg was hailed as a pioneer in the world of modern art, exhibiting artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Leger at his Paris gallery. With the German occupation of France in 1942, Rosenberg, as a Jew, was forced to flee France, leaving his artwork behind to be confiscated by the Nazis. The story is historically significant, but it is also interesting to see the man and his life discovered and revealed through the eyes of

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume I

By hitRECord and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Star Rating

Rated by Hope H.
Jul 1, 2014

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume I is a creative, charming compilation of 1-5 sentence stories, poems, and artwork. The dainty book features 67 of the more than 8500 contributions originally submitted for the volume. Some made me laugh, others made me pause and reflect, and I kept flipping back to certain illustrations just to savor them a little longer. My favorite tiny story:

One day before breakfast, an
orange rolled off the counter
and escaped its fate, bounding
happily through the kitchen door.

Filled with hope,
the egg followed.

You can thumb through it in a matter of minutes

Steal Like an Artist

By Austin Kleon
Star Rating

Rated by Josh N.
Mar 13, 2014

If you're anything like me, you've spent too much time thinking, "I want to be a writer/artist/musician/craftsperson," and not enough time thinking, "I am a writer/artist/musician/craftsperson." Maybe you spend time writing, drawing, painting, playing music, knitting, doing woodwork, making collages, but, because you aren't doing it full-time or professionally, because you think what you've created isn't wildly original and brilliant, you think of yourself as someone who "wants to be" instead of someone who is an artist. Which is pretty silly, because all creative types, even the most famous

Make Good Art

By Neil Gaiman
Star Rating

Rated by Hope H.
Jul 4, 2013

“And now go, and make interesting amazing glorious fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” How can you not feel a little inspired and empowered after hearing that? These are the compelling closing lines of Neil Gaiman’s May 2012 commencement speech delivered to the graduates of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. In Make Good Art, his words are creatively set to page by graphic designer Chip Kidd. Gaiman’s message is applicable to anyone, not just artists or graduates. I may have even tacked one or two of his lines to my wall

Mar 8, 2013

You may remember Sally Mann from a book of photographs published in the 1990s. The book includes a number of photographs of Mann’s children hanging out, without clothing, near the family’s cabin beside a lake. The photographs were hailed by art critics as a tremendous achievement while criticized by many, many others because they put her children on display. I rented What Remains because I was curious about how Mann’s career had developed and whether or not her adult children had mixed feelings concerning their mother’s success. The topic is brought up only once in the documentary when Mann

Jan 29, 2013

What Are You Looking At? is an unusual art history book dealing only with art of the last century, with the focus on the 1980s, “the age when wealth and vanity corrupted Western civilization,” to a little leaner present.  The inside book covers contain a detailed map, which resembles the London tube map, of all obscure genres and movements, some of them little known.  The author’s approachable writing shows a correlation between various art movements and the historical and cultural movements happening simultaneously. The book describes the dynamics of marketing and selling in primary and

The Louvre City (DVD)

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 20, 2012

This well done documentary tells us about the inner workings of Paris’ most famous museum, the Louvre.  Most museum visitors don’t know that only a very small fraction of any museum’s collection is on a display; usually under 10%.  The viewers get to take a behind the scenes tour of immense underground storage spaces, the catacombs beneath the main palace structure, which tourists never get to see.   The movie has very little dialog as we follow just a few of hundreds of employees throughout the course of a working day.  We get to witness how the art exhibit is put together by museum curators

Aug 3, 2011

Those of us who are addicted to Public Radio know Kee Malesky as The Librarian. Her name is always acknowledged on NPR programs, which makes her one of a few librarians in the media to receive public credit for her work as a librarian.  Hearing her name on the radio makes us wonder what her first name is.

 As a librarian, I was interested in reading her book and getting a look into her work day full of fact checking, research, and her day-to-day  duties as NPR librarian. But unfortunately, this is not what All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential  Knowledge  is about.  The

Framed - Tonino Benacquista

Rated by Hilary S.
Jun 17, 2010

framed.jpgAnother mystery with dark humor, Benacquista has offered up something quite different from his previous book, Framed, takes place in the Paris art world. Antoine is happy to live on the perifery of the art world in his job as picture hanger for a gallery. His real world comes to life only at night, at the billiards hall. He is dragged into the art world during an art theft which turns violent. Antione has to find out why the painting was stolen to help him come to terms with the accident. The coming to terms turns into a desire for revenge, which is never quite satisfied. In the end, Antione

Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
May 19, 2010

swanthieves.jpgI was intrigued by the cover of this book and the story line.  Dr. Andrew Marlow,  Washington, D.C. psychiatrist, is prompted by a colleague to accept the case of a painter gone mad.  Robert Oliver, a brilliant artist,  is caught in the act of slashing a valuable painting on display at the National Gallery of Art.  As he is apprehended,  he rambles on about "doing it for her".  The painting, and cover of the book,  Leda,  is an actual painting completed  by Francios-Edourard Picot in 1832.  Robert Oliver is subsequently admitted to the hospital where Dr. Marlow is employed.   Dr. Marlow, an

The Little Book of Hindu Deities by Sanjay Patel

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 13, 2010

The Little Book of Hindu Deities CoverAnyone who likes art, animation, or cute things should pick up The Little Book of Hindu Deities. A small book housed in our Young Adult section, it offers some basic info on Hinduism for the curious or those who want to brush up on Vishnu’s incarnations, but its real value is in Patel’s illustrations. An animator at Pixar, Patel renders the Hindu gods and goddesses in a colorful style that combines pop art with Japanese cartoon cute, and his obvious joy in his craft dispels any concern of religious irreverence. Awash in shades of orange, blue and magenta, Patel’s designs are made of simple