Holly’s Thoughts: For years, in the basement lobby of my university’s library, there was a larger than life poster of Sarah Bernhardt in the role of Medea. There were some days, exhausted from teaching, that I’d wind up sitting on the floor propped against the wall across from the poster. Sarah mesmerized me. Her presence, her fury, her flair. I’m only a chapter or two into this book—and I’m mesmerized by this actress of a bohemian Paris of yesteryear. As Gottlieb explains convincingly, writing about Bernhardt is much like chasing mercury. Sarah Bernhardt could rarely be counted on to tell the truth. But the stories she told were just as fascinating as the life she led in a bohemian Paris of yesteryear.
Holly’s Thoughts: I’ve been looking forward to reading this one for awhile. After spending the summer in Provence among tons of Roman ruins, it occurred to me just how little I knew about the last days of the Roman Empire. Sure, we all know that Rome fell…and the history students can even pinpoint 476 A.C.E. as the year that the last emperor was removed from power. But what were the political, economic, cultural, and geographical forces that conspired to make this so? Goldworthy’s prose is approchable and lucid…perfect for someone like me who’s a novice to the topic.
Holly’s (and Offspring’s) Thoughts: This book came as something of a surprise. It’s not really what we profile here at Wonders & Marvels, but it was most appreciated by the young reader here at home.
Me, I loved the cover of the book. Look under the jacket. The hard, slick cover looks like it’s splattered with paint…which makes sense given the story!
Here’s what my book-reviewer-in-training had to say about it:
“I really enjoyed reading Art and Max; it’s really funny. It’s about a painter who happens to be a frog named Arthur and his friend, a dinosaur-like monster. And Arthur paints Max, the dinosaur. They do all types of silly things to get the paint off. And in the end, they paint together. I would recommend this to young readers or people who want to be painters.”