Etsy offerings @GenreReads

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A few of the books I am currently selling in Etsy at GenreReads are:

“Kappa” A Novel and Satire by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (hardcover) $ 10.00

“A Dog’s Book of Birds” $ 9.50 (hardcover) Includes excellent sketching;
a children’s story

“La Famille Bronte” by Robert De Traz – Written entirely in French (paperback) $7.00

Please view my shop GenreReads on Etsy for a selection of books on varied interests, including First Editions.

Artist profile – Pam Garrison

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An artist whose work I enjoy, Pam Garrison, creates using watercolors, freehand drawings and does some needle crafting including embroidery.

I am noticing that people whose creativity I often admire, as shown on their blogs, are those who paint. I personally like to sew and have been doing so since middle school in the 1970’s. In two of my previous blogs I wrote about the work of Anahata Katkin and Beatrix Potter. I believe part of my fascination lies on admiring their ability to create something from scratch or rather, share with us what is going on in their head. Sewing for me, by comparison has involved recreating an item from a predesigned pattern made by someone else. I am not of the expertise, yet, where I can create a garment without a pattern.

In my quest for adding to my arsenal of what I create, I am currently learning embroidery stitches. The book I have acquired for my personal collection is titled “Embroidery” by Karen Elder. This publication contains suggestions on how to care for embroidery, outline stitches, filling stitches and adding embellishments. It appears many of the stitches are easy to learn but there are some that may prove to be very tricky.

On Pam Garrison’s blog, she shows a sheet of burlap-type of fabric with successfully executed, beautiful stitching on it with a more recent post showing a baby quilt she made in March; this embroidering is what I aspire to be able to do. As with anything, I must make time in my schedule to practice these stitches because it can take hours to do this in one day.

She can be found at http://www.pamgarrison.typepad.com

Noel Coward – Playwright Actor Composer

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According to the website Noel Coward Society (Copyright 2007) ‘He was simply the best all-rounder of the theatrical, literary and musical worlds of the 20th century.

He invented the concept of celebrity and was the essence of chic in the Jazz Age of the 20s and 30s. His debonnair looks and stylishly groomed appearance made him the icon of ‘the Bright Young Things’ that inhabited the world of  The Ivy , The Savoy and The Ritz.

No one is totally sure when and why it happened but following his success in the 1930s he was called ‘The Master’, a nickname of honour that indicated the level of his talent and achievement in so many of the entertainment arts.

I currently have for sale in my etsy store GenreReads, a book about famed playwright, composer, director, actor and singer Noel Coward. “The Noel Coward Diaries” Edited by Graham Payn and Sheridan Morely – his friend who now runs the Coward Estate and a drama critic. This publication chronicles his diaries kept from 1945-1969.

In my personal collection I have a coffee table hardcover book titled “Noel Coward The Complete Lyrics” Edited and annotated by Barry Day which has the lyrics of all the songs written by Noel during his entire career. Black and white pictures of Noel along with various stars he sang with or directed are throughout the book which makes it a treat to own in one’s collection.

Hollywood

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When considering books to collect that pertain to Hollywood I obviously think of movie star biographies. I also think of studio executives such as
Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn, David Selznick and Warner Brothers. These studio heads were an integral part of the deals made in Hollywood during their reign. Another key player in the making and distributing of film were theatre owners, who enjoyed their own success as an extension of the film industry.

The Golden age of the Hollywood studio system was composed of the Big Five: MGM, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Brothers and RKO Radio Pictures. MGM’s [Metro Goldwyn Mayer] trademark of the roaring lion was formed by theater magnate Marcus Loew who orchestrated the merger of Metro Pictures Corporation, Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Productions. United Artists was formed after World War I by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith to allow the artists to make and distribute their own movies.

MGM began as Lasky Feature Plays, formed by Jesse L. Lasky, Cecil B. DeMille and Samuel Goldwyn. Louis B. Mayer bought his first movie house in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1907. He became production head in 1924 at MGM Studios in Culver City, California. He later became the founder of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927 to offset the threat to actors and directors wanting to join a union. David O. Selznick joined Paramount and RKO as head of production. He later was President at MGM until 1935. Later, Selznick released Gone With the Wind in 1939 through MGM by his own distribution company.

Theatre owner Marcus Lowe began his career as an independent fur broker at age 18. He built a vaudeville and theatre business in collaboration with Joe and Nicholas Schenck and Adolph Zukor which became Lowe’s consolidated Enterprises the predecessor to Lowe’s Theatres.

Hollywood as a subject to study has many aspects to consider whether researching movie stars and their accomplishments, learning of the photography skills required to succeed in the business, highlighting costume design trends or even chronicling the achievements of the studio heads. There is a never ending supply of information about Hollywood one can acquire.

The Magic of Beatrix Potter

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I often watch the movie “Miss Potter” starring Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter the greatest selling children’s book author of all times.

This movie transports me to a time when women wore hats, gloves and the
floor-length dresses I so love. The setting of the movie shows all the quaint social customs that were the norm of the times-women being required to have chaperones when in the company of a male companion, the horse-drawn carriages used for transporation and visitors waiting in the parlor to be announced at someone’s home.

The movie helps readers to appreciate the passion that went into creating the book series. Beatrix Potter’s many books include: Peter Rabbit and Ginger & Pickles.

In her later years, Beatrix Potter acquired land in the Lake District near Windermere which was left to The National Trust. For this, she is credited with preserving much of the land that now comprises the Lake District National Park…which is a testament to how far reaching one’s innate abilities can affect the world.

Needlecraft as a hobby

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Needlecraft is a hobby, an art form and a medium of preserving a part of history. Various forms of needlecraft include cross-stitch, crochet, knitting and latch hook. Needlecraft involves the making of doilies, tablecloths, napkins, bridal veils, bassinet covering, and infant wear among other crafted items.

In my book collecting, I’ve managed to acquire a set of books titled:
“The WorkBasket-Home and Needlecraft for Pleasure and Profit”, also a pamphlet titled “32 Good Ideas on Handicraft and Needlework” and a booklet titled “Home Decorating” showing the end-product of needlework along with step-by-step instructions on making tablecloths, napkins and doilies. All of these publications will soon be sold in my etsy store GenreReads.

I have a color illustrated book in my personal collection titled “Practical and Needful-Dutch Lace Schools 1850-1940” authored by Patricia Wardle. The work of Mrs. van der Meulen, a pioneer in lacemaking, included organizing salons for the purpose of studying lace, then later, held a position in the teaching of lacemaking in the Netherlands. Mrs. van der Meulen is also responsible for having written ‘Kant’ (published in 193) and ‘Lace’ (published in 193).

The type of needlecraft that I have best mastered is cross-stitiching. One of my sisters did latch hooking when her oldest child was an infant and a toddler. My other sister has mastered knitting, which I find impressive since knitting for me didn’t come that easily. I like cross-stitching because it’s easy for me to continue a project where I left off and the project i’m working on is usually so easily portable because the supplies are lightweight.

Handmade crafts as a hobby and a means of practicality have made a resurgence worldwide that many people are enjoying.

Edith Head – Hollywood Seamstress

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I have, in my personal book collection, a book titled “The Life and Times of Hollywood’s Celebrated Costume Designer Edith Head” by David Chierichetti. [HarperCollins, 2003]

I can recall many childhood memories that include having watched a black and white film showing all the stars, where I would marvel at the fashions and set design which were beautiful.

In previous decades, the movie studios often loaned out stars who were under contract, to work for other studios. Edith worked as a sketch artist at Famous Players Lasky Studios which was later named Paramount Studios. She then was promoted to Assistant to designer Howard Greer at Paramount, where she enjoyed a 50 year career.

During her tenure at Paramount, she was instrumental in creating and designing costumes for:

Dorothy Lamour in “The Hurricane” in 1937
Barbara Stanwyck in “The Lady Eve” in 1941
Barbara Stanwyck in “Double Indemnity” in 1944
Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in “Notorious” in 1946
Hedy Lamar in “Samson and Delilah” in 1949
Ann Robinson and Gene Barry in “War of the Worlds” in 1953
Rosemary Clooney in “White Christmas” in 1954
Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina” in 1954
Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief” in 1955
Natalie Wood in “Sex and The Single Girl” in 1964
Natalie Wood in “The Great Race” in 1965
Natalie Wood in “This Property is Condemned” in 1966

According to IMDB (Internet Movie Database) Edith won a total of 11 Oscars, and had 28 nominations. In addition, Ms. Head was the recipient of the Laurel Awards in 1964, received a Star on the Walk of Fame in 1974 for her contribution to the Motion Picture industry, and she was inducted into the Costume Designers Hall of Fame in 1999. Anyone who loves black and white film will appreciate the longevity of her career and the artistic ability of this talented costume designer.

Additional Books written by or about Edith Head:

Edith Heads Hollywood by Edith Head and Paddy Calistro (Dutton Publishing, 1983)

The Dress Doctor, Prescriptions for Style, From A to Z by Edith Head (Harper Design, 2008)

How to Dress for Success by Edith Head (Random House, 1967)

Edith Head: A Complete Treasury of the Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood’s Greatest Costume Designer by Jay Jorgensen (Running Press, 2010)

Edith Head cover Edith head with Gloria Swanson Edith Head with sarong dress

Gregg Dictation Simplified

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One publication currently on sale in my etsy store GenreReads is titled:
“Gregg Dictation Simplified” authored by Louis A. Leslie and Charles E. Zoubek; published by The Gregg Publishing Company, Copyright 1949.

When originally published, this book was intended to: help students review and strengthen their knowledge of the system, help the student build shorthand, and to prepare a foundation for building skill in transcribing shorthand taken.

Most likely this book was used for a second-level course with learning how to write in shorthand, being the initial course.

Gregg Dictation Simplified contains 516 business letters which are organized into 80 assignments offered within 16 chapters. All assignments are categorized as:

Word Family Drills

Phrasing Drills

Accuracy Drills

Geographical Expressions

In recent times, shorthand is still used to some degree, however, modern offices tend to use a Dictaphone for transcription. The purchase of this book can be a great gift for a collector of vintage office tools.

Gregg Dictation coverGregg Dictation Assignment 18

Bio-Bibliographies and their usefulness

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Bibliographies are a great way of compiling a list of books to collect since it provides an exhaustive list of authors’ works. Any avid reader, student, researcher or potential book collector can refer to a bibliography for inspiration on what to read next, study or add to their collection.

One genre of books I am interested in collecting includes works by British Women Writers, ideally in the 18th and 19th centuries. What is most unique about women during this time was they were not expected to hold positions involving pursuits that normally only men were believed to be capable of. Women at this time in history were thought of as not being bright enough to having writing ability. As a result, many if not most of these women either hid their writing ability and either kept their works to themselves or shared it with a select few. Still, other women submitted their work in a male pen-name.

I’ve acquired a book titled Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers – A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Source book [Edited by Abigail Burnham-Bloom; Copyright 2000]. This publication is both a biography and bibliography. What makes this book especially informative is while it tells me about the lifestyle, education and childhood of each author I can also get a listing of books she’s written. As a result, I’ve realized that similar to many authors today, these women included aspects of their actual lives in the stories they wrote.

Combining the biography and bibliography information in one publication has been, especially helpful for me to gain an understanding of not only the authors’ background but her works as well. This type of publication will also include suggested reading written “about” the author.

A typical chapter in this publication provides a biography of the subject writer, discusses her major works and themes she’s written, critical reception which indicates whether the work was well received or altered in any form, and finally the bibliography which is categorized in two sections—selected works by the subject author and studies conducted about the subject author.

One particular subject author, Victoria Queen of Great Britain, I’ve learned kept a daily journal since the age of 13. Her writings include letters to her family, memos to her household and ministers, servants. The topics of which she wrote included the experience of childbirth and missionary work in the Empire, her opinions on current issues, and details of her family life.

I find bibliographies to be extremely useful with almost no end to the information I may gain from them.

British Women Writers cover

Eddie book series by Carolyn Haywood

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Eddie and Louella by Carolyn Haywood

The Eddie and Louella book series written by Carolyn Haywood was my favorite book collection to read from as a child. It was at the age of 8 in Third grade that I initially knew I loved reading so much that it was, and still is, my favorite pastime. I would spend countless hours tucked away in a corner of my house reading on the weekend. This series is about a boy named Eddie and shows him interacting with his friends Boodles, Anna Patricia, Betsy, Officer Kilpatrick and details Eddie’s antics with his pet Louella the parrot.

The entire series of books include:

B is for Betsy
Two and Two are Four
Betsy and Billy
Primrose Day
Back to School with Betsy
Here’s a Penny
Betsy and the Boys
Penny and Peter
Little Eddie
Penny Goes to Camp
Eddie and the Fire Engine
Betsy’s Little Star
Eddie and Gardenia
The Mxed-Up Twins
Eddie’s Pay Dirt
Betsy and the Circus
Eddie and his big deals
Betsy’s Busy Summer
Eddie makes Music
Betsy’s Winterhouse
Eddie and Louella
Annie Pat and Eddie
Snowbound with Betsy
Here comes the bus
Eddie’s Green Thumb

Author Carolyn Haywood was an American author and illustraor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She published 47 children’s books, the Eddie and Betsy series are her most notable published works.

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