Much Love Monday

I love the nostalgia of Barnum's Animal Crackers, even though they're really more like cookies than crackers. I found out that the string handle was originally added so that the box could be hung on a Christmas trees as ornaments. I also love this heart-shaped plate from Target. Not so fun fact: shortly after I took these pictures, the cats managed to destroy this box and its contents. Ah well. You can see more of Much Love Monday and join in too.

If You Lived With The Circus

Today I've gathered a few more circus odds and ends I'm pleased to share. This time I have a pair of children's books, and I've snuck in a catalog as well. Our wonderful public library has a shop that sells discarded and donated books, and I picked up this little treasure during one of my most recent visits. If You Lived With The Circus, by Ann McGovern, is beautifully illustrated by Ati Forberg.

Another book I found at the library shop, The Midnight Circus, by Peter Collington, is about a boy who travels to a magical circus late at night. The book, which tells the story entirely without words, has nice illustrations, but the style is a bit less my taste than those of the first book.

Last, I'm sharing the February 2010 Anthropologie catalog, just because I think it's so pretty! Anthropologie is well known for their beautifully shot catalogs, but when I saw this one, it was instantly my all-time favorite. I may not buy their pricey products (I think I've brought myself to buy one hairclip from them in my life), but I'd definitely love to live in these pages! Though I could take or leave the clothes, the props and styling are fantastic.

Circus Reading

Sadly, my computer is still not working properly. In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of reading, which leads me to the latest installment of my circus series, which is all about circus-related books. Back when I first read Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants, I finished the book and immediately began scouring the public library for anything with a circus setting.

Of everything I read, Water For Elephants definitely remains my favorite, but I enjoyed most of the other novels I picked up as well. The Final Confession Of Mabel Stark is a very exciting read, based loosely on life of Mabel Stark, the famous tiger trainer of the 1920s and 30s. I am about to finish Modoc, the harrowing and heartbreaking story of the amazing life shared by an elephant and her trainer (the author claims that this is a true story, but my own research suggests that most of it is fictional or highly exaggerated, though it makes for a great read anyway). For those interested in the darker side of the circus, Geek Love is a shocking novel about a family of "man-made" circus freaks.

On the slightly more forgettable side, The Circus In Winter is a collection of intertwined short stories, chronicling many generations as they live and work in the winter quarters of the Great Porter Circus. The Aerialist tells the story of a man who joins the circus, takes on a variety of jobs from candy seller to costumer, and eventually becomes a skilled tightrope walker.

I admit, I checked out The Great and Only Barnum, purely based on how much I loved the cover. It is a children's biography of the great P. T. Barnum, and chronicles his life as a businessman, curator of museums of wonder, and his later role as one of the most famous circus owners of all time. My favorite aspect of the book is the design; gorgeous typography and fun borders are featured on the chapter title pages.

Circus: A World History is a wonderful resource for circus history, from its ancient beginnings up to its more modern incarnations. It is full of beautiful photos, illustrations, and memorabilia.

Strawberry Festival and a Slight Hiccup

Last week, I was in the middle of screen-capping my favorite circus scenes from movies and music videos to share here on the blog, when my computer caught a very pesky virus. Unfortunately, we have to take everything off of the computer and start fresh with a system restore. At least the hard drive wasn't fried like last time.

So until that all gets taken care of, I'm using Jose's school laptop which doesn't have Photoshop, and I am very awkward at using laptops, all of which adds up to me not being able to finish the rest of my circus posts quite yet. For now, here are a few sort of on-topic photos from this past weekend at the Strawberry Festival.

I hope to be back in full force soon!