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Fresh! Vogue Archive

by Dieu - 1 Comment(s)

Keira Knightley cover Rihanna Vogue cover Uma Thurman Vogue cover Cindy Crawford cover

Vintage Vogue cover

For most people, February is that time of the year when we all must prepare ourselves for the dreaded tax season ahead, but for all you fashionistas and Project Runway fans out there, it is also a month when the new fashion trends for the Fall/Winter 2013 season are put out on display during New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week.

For the month of February in London and New York, big name designers from Valentino to Ralph Lauren, as well as the more avant-garde, showcase their designs to the world, while fashion magazines and blogs comment on what they see as the emerging or repeating trends of the upcoming season. From what I’ve read in the blogosphere, leather, animal print, and androgynous looks paired with more feminine elements are big trends for 2013.

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While I can’t experience the glamour of New York or London Fashion Week in person, I can live fashion vicariously through the Internet, and so can you! Now available on the Calgary Public Library website in the E-Library, is the Vogue Archive which contains all issues of the magazine (US edition) from its beginnings in 1892 to the current month. Access to the Vogue Archive is available with your Calgary Public Library card and can be found in the Arts & Music section and Newspapers & Magazines section of the E-Library.

street fashion

This virtual archive includes every page, cover, and advertisement that has been published by Vogue, all of which are searchable by photographer/illustrator, fashion item, company/brand, and much, much more. The archive also allows readers to browse by issue as well as by subject area.

What I find most impressive with the Vogue Archive is the quality of the images. As I was browsing through the January 2013 issue on my computer, I was blown away by the high-resolution and bright colours of each image. The only drawback that some readers may come across is that the Flash Image Viewer format will not be compatible on certain devices such as an iPad. The Flash Image Viewer allows viewers to manipulate a page such as zooming in and rotating the picture. Fortunately, for iPad users the regular Full Text format with images is also available, although the reading experience is not as interactive as it would be with Flash.

Not only is it an enjoyable experience to have over 100 year’s worth of the Vogue collection at my fingertips, but the Vogue Archive is also a valuable resource for those studying fashion or who are interested in fashion history, the arts, design and fashion journalism.

The Good, the Bad and the Very, Very Ugly

by Katherine - 3 Comment(s)

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading three books that vary tremendously in terms of subject and scope.

The Good: salads: beyond the bowl, by Mindy Fox. My only complaint is that there aren’t pictures provided for every recipe. But otherwise, this is a delicious book! Tonight, I’m having potatoes and green peas with pesto. YUM! Fox encourages readers to make gorgeous salads from all sorts of greens, of course, but also incorporates fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, grains, eggs, meats and more. If you’re bored of arugula, or you’d like to be the most popular guest at the picnic, check this one out!

The Bad: Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier than all Your Friends, by Venice A. Fulton

Did I say “bad”? I meant awful. If you need me to tell you why competing against your friends, skipping breakfast and bathing in cold water might not be entirely sustainable (or healthy) routines, then you’re in trouble. And so are the readers of this…wait for it: crap. There – I said it. Dear readers, in nearly 400 Slice of Calgary posts, I have never once written a scathing book review, but this one deserves it. Fulton – an “expert in nutrition and exercise physiology” doesn’t provide readers with his credentials – neither in this book, nor in his blog. An “expert”, eh? Kind of like how I’ve got 65 pairs of shoes and therefore am a podiatrist, right? Skip this fat-phobic trash and do what you already know you need to do: cut out the junk, get your body moving, and eat your veggies.

The Very, Very Ugly: People who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan’s Shadows, by Richard Llyod Parry. I never read true crime, but was drawn to this book because of the review on its back cover: “Utterly compelling...comes with a cast-iron guarantee that you will read to the very end”. I wondered what was so compelling about it, so I read the first page. 224 pages later, it was midnight and time for me to go to bed, but I couldn’t stand not knowing what happened to Lucie Blackman – or what would happen next. This is a gruesome story, to be sure. But it’s not solely about the young British woman who moves to Japan and is abducted, killed, and dismembered. It’s about her family dynamics, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, misogyny in Japanese culture, and the way that we treat victims and survivors of crime. The journalism is exhaustive and the writing is fantastic!

Need a suggestion for your next read? Chat with your librarian, sign up for our monthly newsletters, or check out our other blogs!

Picks of the Litter(ati) July 25, 2012

by Katherine - 3 Comment(s)

A while ago, I read and quite enjoyed How To Be Black, by Baratunde Thurston. Its deft and humourous examination of blackness in America really got me thinking about race and race politics. So, when I saw No matter what...they’ll call this book racist: how our fear of talking honestly about race hurts us all, by Harry Stein, I grabbed it. I can’t wait to read more about this topic.

Two other titles that I’m interested in reading are Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, edited by Audrey Bilger & Michele Kort and Debating Same Sex Marriage, by John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher. The latter is from Oxford University Press, which is typically an indication that great quality brain food is only a flip of a page away.

The Calgary Public Library gets new books daily! Browse our New and Notable shelves, ask a librarian for a suggestion, use our databases to find books that suit your preferences, or subscribe to our electronic newsletters. We’ve got everything you’re into!

Skinny, Skinnier, Skinniest...

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

If you’re a documentary fan, then check out Thin, an amazing little film from HBO. Thin explores the progression of several women who are residents in an eating disorder recovery centre in the United States. One resident is a wayward teen and another is a university educated psychiatric nurse; it quickly becomes apparent that anorexia doesn’t discriminate based on age or education. But, I wonder – given that nearly every one of the residents was Caucasian – if there are some patterns related to ethnicity...? But, I digress...

The women in the centre are each close to or under(!) a hundred pounds and still believe that they have weight to lose. They obsess over every morsel ingested, and then try their damndest to eliminate those morsels by either vomiting or using diuretics, or squeezing the food out of their feeding tubes (yuck!). Sometimes they hide food rather than eating it at all. It’s an enormous struggle – and a tearful event – when one woman is obliged to eat a whole cupcake. With psyches this complex, it’s no wonder that the women have to receive treatment from a whole team of practitioners: counselors, doctors, dieticians, and others.

The film is really well made. It definitely shows the women in an unvarnished light, and the viewer will at times feel both repulsed and sympathetic. But ultimately, this is not a film about anorexia. It does not explain how anorexia comes about or can be prevented; it does not speculate about why or how these particular women fell victim to such skewed views of body and food. Rather, this is a film about women; about feelings; about obsession. And like a lot of other HBO productions, there is no happy ending offered. Indeed, the fates that befall some of the women who are forced to leave the centre are quite saddening. But this isn’t suggary scripted TV; it’s real life. Er - I guess I should say: It’s not TV. It’s HBO. So be prepared for a bit of grit.

Browse some of our documentaries today! And if docs aren’t your thing, then check out HBO’s dramatic shows. Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and Rome are all fabulous!

Where art thou, BFF?

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Who is your best friend? I’m willing to guess that whoever he or she may be, you met each other more than a couple of years ago, not recently. In fact, it can be pretty hard to go from “newlymets” to best friends; building friendship takes time – an increasingly rare commodity in this busy, busy world of ours. And where to go, when searching for a new best friend? It’s not like you can date around, the way you would if you were looking for a significant other. Or can you?

I’m reading a great new book (with an unfortunately lame title) MWF seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend, by Rachel Bertsche, which is both an examination of what friendship is, and the chronicling of Bertsche’s social experiment: 52 friend dates in one year.

As I read through it, I’m discovering that Rachel sounds like a girl I’d like to have as a BFF. She loves books and brunch and good bad TV. She’s not yet ready for kids, but feels too old for some of the Gen Y’s she meets. She wants to be a full time writer. She even has curly hair, like me! How cute we’d be, brunching and book clubbing and writing together…

I’ll admit that keeping track of the litany of friends' names can get a bit tedious (see the appendix for a full listing!) but what I really appreciate about Bertsche's writing is that it is so frank and honest. Admitting that you would like to find a new or another best friend might make you feel insecure – after all, what kind of total loser would find herself in the friendship “market”, anyway? But that’s just your inner bully talking. The fact is that it’s easy for former friends to drift apart, and for a void in our social lives to appear. Why not learn how we can find and sustain new friendships, and then actively put those strategies into practice?

I’m not all the way through the book just yet, but I’m enjoying it so far. Check it out in print or electronic format!

Your Crummy Relationship

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

Back in February, I was asked to generate ideas for a Valentine’s Day display at the Central library and the cynical side of me thought: let’s do a display about breaking up! so I browsed through our collection about relationships, and to my sad surprise, I found plenty of books about heartbreak.

Apparently, men cheat on women and vice versa (with staggering frequency!); both genders unwittingly find themselves in co-dependent relationships, and it seems like everyone (married, dating, divorced, widowed) needs advice on dealing with emotional turmoil. There are countless people browsing on internet dating sites, while wondering whether to stay with their current partner or not – and perhaps you’re one of them.

So, have you been cheated on, or are you the bad guy? Do you struggle with intimacy? Does it seem like you can’t ever find a suitable partner – no matter how many dates you politely sit through? Are your standards too high or too low? Are you dating the same type of person over and over again?

There’s only so much wisdom you can glean from Sex and the City reruns, and your more-than-slightly-bitter circle of friends. At some point, you’re going to have to delve deeper and explore your childhood family structure, your fears and insecurities, and your expectations of what a lasting relationship entails. Not fun, but definitely necessary.

Find the tools you’ll need by browsing the relationships section of your local library branch. Here are just a few of the items you might find there:

Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together by Mark Driscoll

Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up by Harriet Goldhor Lerner

Mirror Effect: Six Steps to Finding your Magical Match Using Online Dating by Troy Pummill

From Shy to Social: The Man's Guide to Personal & Dating Success by Christopher Gray

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