If you read like I do, it's difficult to go anywhere without a book, magazine or newspaper. I mean how do those people on the treadmill get to the end of the block without something to read? Or how about the folks that sit down to lunch alone? I can't chew solo without a chapter or two to keep me company. And it doesn't need to be a book to entertain or educate. The Kellogg-Hubbard Library has many magazines and newspapers to help expand your horizons.
The issues of Harper's, Atlantic Monthly or The Smithsonian have monthly articles of interest and the weekly magazine, The New Yorker, can keep you up until the wee hours. In fact the New Yorker is so addictive many readers suffer from "New Yorker backlog" syndrome. Far better to read the library copies, if you miss a few it's guilt free (and someone else has to store the back issues).
A stellar recent New Yorker issue was Feb. 5, 2007 . (Click here to read the entire article.) Starting with a terrific review by Peter Schjeldahl,on page 70, of Martin Gayford's book "The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles". The book and review provide a glimpse into the lives of the two artists during a brief period in the 1880's when the men lived together in Provence.
According to Gaylord Van Gogh moved there "looking for a different light" hoping "that observing nature under a brighter sky might give one a more accurate idea of the way the Japanese feel and draw". While Gauguin seems to have moved south to get closer to Vincent Van Gogh's brother Theo, a prominent art dealer. Gauguin hoped for a bigger return for his artistic efforts.
The review is an excellent synopsis of a legendary time of genius and madness. While Gaylord examines Van Gogh the pure artist and Gauguin the manipulative entrepreneur, we also enjoy the reviewer's ability to pick apart the story. Really the review is so good you ALMOST don't need the book.
Roberta Downey, Adult Head Circulation Librarian
(For a second article review from this same New Yorker issue click here to read it on the Montpelier Matters blog.)