Monday, October 24, 2011

Memoirs and Coffee Meets Tomorrow

Bernardsville Library book group, Memoirs and Coffee, will discuss The Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil at its next meeting on Tuesday, October 25th, at 10:30 a.m.  Memoirs and Coffee is the library's open-invitation book discussion group dedicated to reading memoirs.  Staff member Pat Kennedy-Grant is the coordinator for this group, which meets monthly in the Community Room.  New members are always welcomed.

Author Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan in 2001 as a humanitarian aid volunteer, but soon doubted her ability to offer substantive skills.  Her training had been in hairdressing, yet Westerners and Afghan women swiftly sought her out once they learned this.  Before Taliban rule, Afghan women had experienced success running beauty salons, and now they hungered to reestablish themselves in the beauty business.  Rodriguez gathered sponsors who enabled her to found the Kabul Beauty School in 2003.

Friendships and stories shared among these women and the author reveal what some Afghan women must contend with in their culture.  Random House published this book in 2007 and offers these notes, "...within the small haven of the beauty school, the line between teacher and student quickly blurred as these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year old bride sold into marriage to pay her family's debts, the Taliban member's wife who pursued her training despite her husband's constant beatings."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Display

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Bernardsville Library has marked the occasion with an extensive and interesting display of books on the topic. You'll find first-hand accounts from survivors, information on newer therapies, plus accounts from families and friends who have supported women through their diagnoses and treatment.  Novels as well as teen and children's books are also included in the display.  Please stop by the library rotunda to see what it's all about.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Kind of Pop-Ups You Welcome

Robert Sabuda is a very talented man with a pair of scissors and an X-Acto knife!  Just ask your children; no doubt they have enjoyed looking at some of his beautiful, 3-D pop-up books. Bernardsville Library currently has 15 Sabuda books which are popular with parents as well as children.

In the October 1st edition of The Wall Street Journal there is an interesting article about how this paper artist ("illusionist" as he calls himself) transforms stories into 3-dimensional formats that will work consistently.  As Sabuda notes, the hardest part of his job is designing the pop-up to collapse back down properly.  If that doesn't happen, the paper construction will be further damaged with each closing of the book cover.

Perhaps the most surprising thing to learn from this article is that the pop-ups in every book have been individually handcut by 1,000 workers in Thailand!  The next time you're in the library, ask one of the children's librarians to show you our terrific collection of Sabuda pop-up books.