Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer reading, viewing, stories, and food for thought...

Summer may be over for many of you, with your kids already back to their school routines, and thoughts of fall in the air... But if you're in New York City, school won't begin again until Sept 9 (public school, anyway), and the summer weather and feeling is still with us. For those reasons, the lucky ones among us may have some "lazy days" left, so I share these thoughts with you, while we all prepare to make the gradual climb out of summer malaise, and into full swing again.

Mollie Makes Magazine

Click through for a sample.

A fun magazine, recommended to me by my fabric-loving friend, Cindy, Mollie Makes offers inspiring ideas, great photographs, and articles I never quite actually get around to reading.  Great pre-nap reading and dream inspiration.  Seriously.

Girl in Translation

Definitely a great read.  This story gives a really heartbreaking view of the tough issues an immigrant mom and daughter face while working in NYC's garment industry. Read my post about this book by clicking through this link.  Fiction, but inspired by a real life story.

The Man Who Wanted to Buy a Heart

A beautiful collection of short stories, as described in my blog post about the author.  Again, fiction, told by a man who is a garment industry veteran.

Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin: 
Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan

Did she make the greatest mistake of her life? Like many girls, she came with dreams of a better future. Yes, the pay was better than in China, but at what price? Would the high pressure of 15-hour quota-driven days of tedious, mind and finger-numbing work get to her? Or would the greedy floor monitors, and scam-artists preying on lonely, naive women rob her not just of her income, but of her innocence as well? At every turn, there were wolves ahead and tigers behind that threatened her dreams of happiness. Could she learn Saipan's secret factory system and get ahead before she lost it all? Could she save money, save face, and return to China better off? Would she even want to, given the real reason she left China in the first place?

It hurts to read this story.  Yes. Hurts.  But boy, does it open your eyes to the sacrifices some will make just to earn a decent living and have a better life.  "Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin" is a Chinese expression referring to the waste/useless stuff left over when cooking.  This one is NOT fiction.

If you read any of these, or are intrigued by the subject (whether in China, the US, or anywhere else), I'm sure you will see that this is not simply about the garment industry, but really about WORK, and what it requires of you, steals from you, provides for you, and/or drives you to do.  This compelling TED talk will whet your appetite for more information.


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At August 25, 2013 at 11:49 AM , Anonymous QuiltB said...

Love Mollie Makes, with the little project kits on the cover. I have my local book store stash a copy for me under the desk each month. I have all but the first issue! Took me a month to discover it. Other favorites are Sew Somerset, Somerset Life, and Marie Claire Idees, which puts my 6 years of schoolhouse French to some use.

Have you ever looked through the sewing/craft magazines at Kinokuniya on 6th?

At August 26, 2013 at 11:12 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

I have! But my head is so full right now, I can't even start thinking about more until I clear my current plate of stuff I want to do!


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