Having a bad hair day? Need a makeover? A new look for summer?

Cover of The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair
You don’t need to host mice in your locks to have a bad hair day!

Christchurch City Libraries may just have the solution for you.

Check out our many books, e-books, dvds and magazines on do-it-yourself:

These are just a small sample of the many resources we have on our shelves. So, how about giving it a go? It’s inexpensive and very rewarding. Be adventurous – try something new and do it for you!

Cover of Hairstyles Cover of Complete Guide to Manicure & Pedicure Cover of Green Beauty Recipes Cover of 20 Minutes to Master Yoga Cover of Tai Chi Cover of Vintage Fashion and Couture

Year-long pursuits: Not for the faint-hearted

Search catalogueChanging your life for one year may sound like the ultimate boredom-buster, but the proliferation of books in this area has made me wonder if we all have rather low attention spans? What happens after the year, are changes maintained – or once the book deal is signed do these authors go back to all of their bad habits?

The self-help area is ripe for authors wishing to improve  themselves. Robyn Okrant had a year of Living Oprah : my one-year experiment to walk the walk of the queen of talk, where she devoted a year of her life to following all of Oprah’s suggestions from her talk show, webpage and magazine.  I gather the results were varied!

Kjerstin Gruys, who is apparently “a scholar, fashionista, and bride-to-be spends a year without mirrors and other reflective surfaces to get a better view of herself, her life, and what’s really important” in Mirror, mirror off the wall : how I learned to love my body by not looking at it for a year, and Lauren Kessley has been trying every concoction to stop the clock in Counterclockwise : My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate, and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-Aging.

A.J Jacobs in his latest book Drop dead healthy : one man’s humble quest for bodily perfection is perhaps the most extreme.  He had to consult a team of medical advisers, and subject himself to a gruelling regimen of exercises, a range of diets, and an array of practices to improve everything from his hearing, to his sleep, to his sex life; all the while testing the patience of his long-suffering wife.

Search catalogueJohn Kralik documented 365 thank yous. Over one year he wrote thank you notes for the small acts of kindness that came his way and Judith O’Reilly, in A year of doing good : one woman, one New Year’s resolution, 365 good deeds attempted to do one good deed each day. According to the publishers both authors experienced profound changes in their lives – but being of a rather cynical disposition I am curious to know if these changes remained permanent?

The area of sustainability is rife with year-long experiences, with the best known being Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, vegetable, miracle : our year of seasonal eating. John Lewis-Stempel detailed in his book The wild life : a year of living on wild food how nothing came from a shop or agriculture, and had to be either foraged or shot. When do these people have time to go to the movies of have a holiday I wonder?

Search catalogueOn the rather extreme area of the spectrum is The perfect punter : a year of losing everything and trying to win it all back by Dave Farrar who does his best to become the worlds best gambler, a dubious honour I suspect.

And then there is The trout diaries : a year of fly-fishing in New Zealand by Derek Grzelewski,  which I will not be showing to my husband in case he gets any ideas!

My personal favourite is a novel by Sue Townsend  The woman who went to bed for a year. I might give that idea a go.

Gray-haired Glamazons

As a self-proclaimed fashionista (is there any other kind?) it was with some interest that I pounced upon a new biographical offering on one of the first ladies of New Zealand fashion, WORLD powerhouse, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, namely All that glitters.  However, rather than diving straight into the book to find out more about the “outrageous, fascinating and impish” doyenne I found myself quite taken aback by the cover photograph which features the impish one looking decidedly grey of hair.  One of L’Estrange-Corbet’s signatures, other than her bright red lipstick is the sleek black bob that she usually sports and taking into account her high-flying fashion designer lifestyle the obvious lack of colouring on her head came as a bit of a shock.

It was then that I remembered an article that I’d read some time back about a movement among “ladies of a certain age” to eschew hair-dyeing in favour of a more “authentic”, age-appropriate look (they’ve even got their own graygirls website)  So the question is, which one of the following books has Denise been reading, and as something of a trendsetter will fashionable ladies everywhere be following suit?

Oh, and I think the gray looks fabulous on her, in fact I can’t wait until the bob turns completely white.  She’ll be quite striking! And do check out All that glitters – she has had a fascinating life, dahlings.

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