Monday, November 06, 2017

MMGM- Modern Design

Newman, Catherine. One Mixed-Up Night
September 5th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Public Library Copy

Well, this was fun. Frankie and Walter have been friends forever, and for weird reasons love IKEA. They pore over the catalog, and love it when their families go there to shop and eat Swedish meatballs. After reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, they decide to spend the night in the store. Things go decently until they get a little carried aways with candles and set things on fire, bringing a security guard.
Strengths: Nice friendship and adventure, even if I don't understand IKEA. Supportive families (loved the recipe researcher mom!), natural consequences-- very fun story that will be popular.
Weaknesses: I would have liked this better if the children had NOT caused damage, but had managed to do their entire night without detection. Also could have done without the father dying, but at least it was handled in a realistic, hopeful way. Walter's family tried to keep a stiff upper lip, but needed more help in the end and got it.
What I really think: This might entice children to pick up the Konigsberg title, and it was a quick, fluffy read. Will purchase.

31423411Rubin, Susan. Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands
November 7th 2017 by Chronicle Books
Copy provided by the publisher

From the publisher:
"In the tradition of DELICIOUS, WIDENESS & WONDER, and EVERYBODY PAINTS!, this is Susan Goldman Rubin's extensively researched and very accessible biography of civic activist Maya Lin, most famous for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., is one of the most famous pieces of civic architecture in the world. But most people are not as familiar with the reserved college student who entered and won the design competition to build it. This accessible biography tells the story of Maya Lin, from her struggle to stick with her vision of the memorial to the wide variety of works she has created since then. Illustrated extensively with photos and drawings, the carefully researched text crosses multiple interests--American history, civic activism, art history, and cultural diversity--and offers a timely celebration of the memorial's 35th anniversary, as well as contributing to the current, important discussion of the role of women and minorities in American society"

This was a fantastic, well illustrated biography, and I appreciated that it talked about different projects of Lin's. Would I have bought a copy? No. Lin is 6 years older than I am, so a biography seems premature. This will quickly date, requiring another biography to be bought. I also look for biographies of people who have brought some kind of change to the world (not movie stars or sports figures), and Lin is on that line. Okay, the Vietnam Memorial is a nice work, but has her architecture changed the world? I'd prefer a good book about Frank Lloyd Wright, who did influence the way people live today by changing how houses were designed.


  1. Thanks for the recommends. I did visit an IKEA store once. Bought a pillow and spent most of the time eating in the cafeteria. This story will appeal to those who know about this store more than those in rural areas. I'm going to give it a try.

  2. One Mixed Up Night in an IKEA store sounds like a fun friendship read, but I agree with you about the fire. I like your idea about making it through the night without being discovered and leaving a few pranks.

    Anyone who has visited the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., knows the famous work of Maya Lin. I think her story may be interesting. You are right, she is rather young. Would rather see it as a memoir.