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Missouri’s secretary of state wants to enact a new policy that libraries believe endangers your freedom to read and threatens to reduce community access to public library books and other resources. A public comment period runs through Thursday, December 15, 2022, giving you a chance to speak up for your right to read and speak out against censorship. Learn more and take action today.
 
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Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Coco Chanel’s birthday this week. Born on August 19, 1883, Chanel transformed the fashion industry and women’s clothing in the twentieth century. Discover why in one of these biographies, learn how fashion inspires creative fiction, or sit down and watch high fashion on film.

Biographies

Coco Chanel comes to life in Axel Madsen's biography, Chanel: A Woman of Her Own. Madsen discusses Chanel’s personal history, business successes, affairs with influential men, and much more.

Chanel: Her Style and Her Life by Janet Wallach details the impact Coco Chanel had on fashion. She popularized the “little black dress” and women’s pants, brought us the fragrance Chanel No. 5 and men’s tailoring to women’s clothes. This book includes many photos, as well as an account of her entire life.

Authors Amy de la Haye and Shelley Tobin focus on the House of Chanel and Chanel as a couturiere in Chanel: The Couturiere at Work. This book covers her career, style, workroom, customers, and rivals with many illustrations.

Fashion in fiction

High fashion has long influenced novelists. Mary Gaitskill depicts this world in Veronica, a New York Times Notable Book. The narrator, Alison, now a ravaged shadow of the person she used to be, recollects her youth as a model in Paris and New York in the 1970s and 80s.

On August 28, 2008 at the Plaza Branch, Tom Bloch discussed his new book, Stand For the Best: What I Learned After Leaving My Job as CEO of H&R Block to Become a Teacher and Founder of an Inner-City Charter School. Explore a few books or movies about urban education, the charter school movement, or how to make your own career change.

Urban education

Stand For the Best: What I Learned After Leaving My Job as CEO of H&R Block to Become a Teacher and Founder of an Inner-City Charter School
By Thomas M. Bloch
Twelve years ago, Bloch was CEO of H&R Block, the world's largest tax-preparation firm. After much soul-searching, he resigned to become a math teacher in an impoverished inner-city school in Kansas City. Bloch tells what it was like struggling to make a difference to his students.

Lessons to Learn: Voices from the Front Lines of Teach For America
By Molly Ness
A unique inside look at Teach for America. Combines interviews and essays from Teach for America members, alumni, school principals, superintendents, parents and noted education experts

What inventions have you concocted in your basement? August is National Inventors Month, an event launched by the United Inventors Association of the USA, Inventors Digest, and the Academy of Applied Science in 1995 to help guide new inventors, inspire creativity, and promote the image of independent inventors. Read about some of the inventions that changed history and the people who created these innovations or take a break with a few novels featuring inventions in fiction.

Inventions

With over 300 photographs, The Book of Inventions by Ian Harrison takes a trip through innovation history. Each invention receives a two-page spread and includes information about the inventor, as well as a photograph of the invention in use. The chapters are divided thematically, including “Around the House,” “At the Doctor’s,” “Eating and Drinking,” among others so you can learn all about the hair dryer, disposable syringes, and much more.

Over twenty years ago, urban planner Solly Angel had a vision of a miniature one-pound travel scale. Without any mechanical experience he embarked on a ten-year journey to bring this idea to market. The Tale of the Scale: An Odyssey of Invention provides a unique first-person account of this process.

Blue ribbons, carnival rides, cotton candy, and corn dogs... Its fair time! The Missouri State Fair takes place on August 7-17, 2008 in Sedalia. Get in the mood with these books that are fun for kids and parents alike.

Fiction

Books are filled with wonderful characters. The most interesting characters are PIGS. Ask a librarian to help you find magnificent books about hogs, sows, piglets, endangered babirusas, and boars. Read this Hog Blog entry to see my list of favorite pig books.
Yours with snorts,
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