Pageant Time: Laura’s Still on the Prairie
June 1, 2015 – 6:31 pm | Comments Off

Every time you walked through tall grass as a child, did you think of the pioneers, and how they drove their wagons through grasses as high as their horses? So many kids do, thanks to …

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Fashion: Always a Character
April 19, 2015 – 3:53 pm | Comments Off
Andy Warhol influenced fashion. Exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. Photo by Maddy Ryan

Andy Warhol influenced fashion. Exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. Photo by Maddy Ryan

We don’t often think of us “bookish types,” as connoisseurs of fashion, yet how many of us, still in our pajamas, dream about wearing Scarlett O’Hara’s dresses or donning a bonnet like Laura Ingalls Wilder? Fashion is a character in any novel that allows us to feel the satin, touch the wool or hear the swish of a skirt.

Erin McKean’s book, The Hundred Dresses: The Most Iconic Styles of Our Time, had me reminiscing about all kinds of books. McKean lists The Austen as number six most iconic

The Jane Austen dress from The Hundred Dresses: The Most Iconic Styles of Our Time

The Jane Austen dress from The Hundred Dresses: The Most Iconic Styles of Our Time

dress, “The purpose of the Austen dress is to imagine oneself as a Jane Austen heroine,” she writes. “preferably Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice…” And who can’t picture themselves in the number 13 iconic dress, The Breakfast at Tiffany’s? McKean writes “When we first see Holly Golightly in Truman Capote‘s 1958 novella, ‘it was a warm evening, nearly summer, and she wore a slim cool black dress, black sandals, and a pearl choker.'”

Another fashion book that has us reminiscing about great characters is Ilene Beckerman’s fashion classic, Love, Loss, and What I Wore. It’s a personal journal of sorts, detailing the clothing and styles she wore at important times in her life. From Brownie uniforms to dresses she wore on dates, Beckerman looks back at her life.

Love, Loss and What I Wore

Love, Loss and What I Wore

One page mentions the prominence of rag curls in your hair, made by wrapping strips of torn fabric around damp hair and tying a knot at the bottom. After they would dry, they would be carefully unwound to reveal perfect curls – just like Laura Ingalls Wilder described her nemesis Nellie Oleson doing in her Little House on the Prairie series. Beckerman also writes about an ice-green flapper dress she borrowed from her aunt, who wore it when she was younger. She wore it as a costume, a definite shout out to The Great Gatsby era of glamour.

After reading any fashion book or magazine, arm chair fashion dreamers can get up and go to a few museums around the country that show off the importance of fashion in our history. The Phoenix Art Museum has an exhibition with a focus on clothing both as an art form and cultural phenomenon.  The Astaire Library of Costumes (included in the Phoenix Museum’s Art Research Library) houses many rare books and prints relating to costumes, too.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City doesn’t miss out on any chances to show off their collection of “more than thirty-five thousand costumes and accessories represents five continents and seven centuries of fashionable dress, regional costumes, and accessories for men, women, and children, from the fifteenth century to the present,” according to their website.

Let the dream of those elaborate kimono and obis, party dresses, prom dresses, wedding dresses and other fashions spring to life from the pages of a book.

 

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in March
March 1, 2015 – 2:00 pm | No Comment
Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in March

A stellar group of literary, theater and musical talent will gather in the historic French Quarter for the 29th annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, March 25-29, 2015.  The event takes place at several …

Treasure House Books’ Treasure is Behind the Counter
September 9, 2014 – 11:05 am | No Comment
Treasure House Books’ Treasure is Behind the Counter

A bookstore can be old, dirty and or full of rats and people who love books will still go inside. Books have a power to draw people in the doors to thumb through rough …

Peter Heller: And I Asked Her to Marry Me
September 7, 2014 – 9:22 am | No Comment
Peter Heller: And I Asked Her to Marry Me

Road Trips for Readers asks one question to authors who are attending the South Dakota Festival of Books each year. This year, we asked, “What is your favorite road trip you ever took?” We’ll be …

Sandra Brannan: Two Trips with Someone You Love
September 6, 2014 – 6:02 pm | One Comment
Sandra Brannan: Two Trips with Someone You Love

Road Trips for Readers asks one question to authors who are attending the South Dakota Festival of Books each year. This year, we asked, “What is your favorite road trip you ever took?” We’ll be …

Lawrence Diggs: Travel for Novel-Worthy Narratives
September 4, 2014 – 12:19 pm | No Comment
Lawrence Diggs: Travel for Novel-Worthy Narratives

Road Trips for Readers asks one question to authors who are attending the South Dakota Festival of Books each year. This year, we asked, “What is your favorite road trip you ever took?” We’ll …

Larry Watson: Spectacular Prairie Sunset
September 4, 2014 – 10:42 am | One Comment
Larry Watson: Spectacular Prairie Sunset

Road Trips for Readers asks one question to authors who are attending the South Dakota Festival of Books each year. This year, we asked, “What is your favorite road trip you ever took?” We’ll …

Sharon Chmielarz: Dared to Explore
September 3, 2014 – 3:46 pm | No Comment
Sharon Chmielarz: Dared to Explore

Road Trips for Readers asks one question to authors who are attending the South Dakota Festival of Books each year. This year, we asked, “What is your favorite road trip you ever took?” We’ll …

Avi: Never Had a Better Trip
September 2, 2014 – 12:20 pm | No Comment
Avi: Never Had a Better Trip

Road Trips for Readers asks one question to authors who are attending the South Dakota Festival of Books each year. This year, we asked, “What is your favorite road trip you ever took?” We’ll …

Sam Kean: Nowhere I’d Rather Have Been
September 1, 2014 – 9:36 am | No Comment
Sam Kean: Nowhere I’d Rather Have Been

Road Trips for Readers asks one question to authors who are attending the South Dakota Festival of Books each year. This year, we asked, “What is your favorite road trip you ever took?” We’ll …

Lane Dolly: How Did I Get Here?
August 30, 2014 – 11:25 am | No Comment
Lane Dolly: How Did I Get Here?

Road Trips for Readers asks one question to authors who are attending the South Dakota Festival of Books each year. This year, we asked, “What is your favorite road trip you ever took?” We’ll …

Holiday Gift Ideas 2013
December 8, 2013 – 2:45 pm | No Comment
Holiday Gift Ideas 2013

It’s time for our annual list of holiday gift ideas for the readers in your life! Enjoy!
Author Dolls 
 
This Etsy shop offers over 180 different author dolls! They’re darling and affordable. Get James Joyce, Gene …

Allison Lynn: Will the Squirrels Help?
September 13, 2013 – 8:32 am | No Comment
Allison Lynn: Will the Squirrels Help?

Road Trips for Readers asked some of the writers attending the 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books where they like to write.
I’m a creature of habit, so my favorite place to write is at my own desk …

Michael Dahlie: Dark Basements
September 9, 2013 – 7:43 pm | No Comment
Michael Dahlie: Dark Basements

Road Trips for Readers asked some of the writers attending the 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books where they like to write.
Where do you like to write, Michael Dahlie?
My favorite place to write is any dark basement.
SDBookFestival.com …

Danielle Sosin: Writing in a Rarified World
September 9, 2013 – 7:36 pm | No Comment
Danielle Sosin: Writing in a Rarified World

Road Trips for Readers asked some of the writers attending the 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books where they like to write.
My favorite place to write is in the rarified world of an art colony. It is …

Peter Heller: Unlimited Caffeine
September 8, 2013 – 7:03 pm | 2 Comments
Peter Heller: Unlimited Caffeine

Road Trips for Readers asked some of the writers attending the 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books where they like to write.
I write in my neighborhood coffee shop, in Denver.  I like the hubbub, the noise, etc.  …

Andrew Nikiforuk: Writing in a Dark Corner
September 8, 2013 – 6:55 pm | No Comment
Andrew Nikiforuk: Writing in a Dark Corner

Road Trips for Readers asked some of the writers attending the 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books where they like to write.
Where do you like to write?
My favorite place is the dark corner of a room away …

Brian Fagan: In the Company of Congenial People
September 8, 2013 – 11:06 am | No Comment
Brian Fagan: In the Company of Congenial People

Road Trips for Readers asked some of the writers attending the 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books where they like to write.
Where do you like to write?
Any place where I’m in the company of congenial people with …

B.A. Shapiro: Overlooking Boston
September 8, 2013 – 10:56 am | No Comment
B.A. Shapiro: Overlooking Boston

Road Trips for Readers asked some of the writers attending the 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books where they like to write.
Where do you like to write?
My favorite place to write is in my tiny study at …

Mary Cassanova: Being Near Nature
September 8, 2013 – 10:44 am | No Comment
Mary Cassanova: Being Near Nature

Road Trips for Readers asked some of the writers attending the 2013 South Dakota Festival of Books where they like to write.
My favorite place to write? Two favorites! I love to write from the yellow Adirondack chair …

Cast of “Longmire” Series to Attend Longmire Days in Buffalo, Wyoming
July 31, 2013 – 6:31 pm | No Comment
Cast of “Longmire” Series to Attend Longmire Days in Buffalo, Wyoming

BUFFALO, W.Y. — A&E’s No. 1 original hit drama series “Longmire” has launched into its second season with more than 4.3 million viewers, the series is one of A&E’s most successful shows to debut. …

Nancy Horan: Soaking In the Atmosphere at Taliesin
October 1, 2012 – 1:07 pm | One Comment
Nancy Horan: Soaking In the Atmosphere at Taliesin

Ms. Horan , do you write on location or on your desk at home?
Yes, I definitely write when I visit the location of a scene from the book I’m working on. In the case …

Wendy McClure: Writing to Defeat the Fear
September 30, 2012 – 9:54 am | No Comment
Wendy McClure: Writing to Defeat the Fear

Where do you write, Wendy?In my office at home, though sometimes I like to take my laptop out to my back porch. I have also written in hotel rooms and I plan on spending …

Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival in Las Vegas: A Real Time Travel Experience
September 8, 2012 – 10:11 am | No Comment
Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival in Las Vegas: A Real Time Travel Experience

Guest Post by Mark Steve
If you want to spend some moments in the scenario of 500 years ago, then there can be no better medium than a renaissance festival. The “Age of Chivalry Renaissance …

Sioux City, Iowa: Introduce Your Kids to Da Vinci
August 29, 2012 – 8:53 pm | No Comment
Sioux City, Iowa: Introduce Your Kids to Da Vinci

By Jennifer Noble
Guest Post
 I went on a recent exploration of the Sioux City Art Center  in Sioux City, Iowa, and had a blast!  I knew there was a Da Vinci exhibit on the way, …

Fish On Kids Books by K. J. Houtman
August 27, 2012 – 5:58 pm | No Comment
Fish On Kids Books by K. J. Houtman

Intended to educate and motivate the five book Fish on Kids book series gets kids inspired to put down the smart phone and pick up the fishing rod.
With a career in the American Sportsfishing …