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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

 Her Style and Her Life book cover

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.

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 | Charter schools and school choice | Career changes | Movies

Urban education

Stand for the Best book cover

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.

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

The Book of Inventions book cover

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.

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