Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We Are All Storytellers

"The most important thing to realize is that everyone 
is capable of telling a story. 
It doesn't matter where we were born or how we grew up."  
Maeve Binchy
(1940 ~ 2012)

Anne Truitt's Daybook

"Artists have no choice but to express their lives. They have only ... a choice of process."                             ~~Anne Truitt

Renowned American artist Anne Truitt kept this illuminating and inspiring journal over a period of seven years, determined to come to terms with the forces that shaped her art and life. Her range of sensitivity—moral, intellectual, sensual, emotional, and spiritual— is remarkably broad. She recalls her childhood on the eastern shore of Maryland, her career change from psychology to art, and her path to a sculptural practice that would “set color free in three dimensions.” 

She reflects on the generous advice of other artists, watches her own daughters’ journey into motherhood, meditates on criticism and solitude, and struggles to find the way to express her vision. Resonant and true, encouraging and revelatory, Anne Truitt guides herself—and her readers—through a life in which domestic activities and the needs of children and friends are constantly juxtaposed against the world of color and abstract geometry to which she is drawn in her art

Beautifully written and a rare window on the workings of a creative mind, Daybook showcases an extraordinary artist whose insights generously and succinctly illuminate the artistic process.     (Scribner Summary)   

The Estate of Anne Truitt is represented exclusively by Matthew Marks Gallery. Truitt, a major figure in American art for more than 40 years, abandoned work in psychology and nursing in the 1950s to concentrate on art. Truitt drew, painted, and wrote, but she is best know for her large, vertical, wooden sculpture meticulously covered in many coats of pain.  (Matthew Marks Gallery website)   

Anne Truitt (March 16, 1921 - December 23, 2004) born Anne Dean, was born in Baltimore and grew up in Easton, on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Her eyesight was so poor when she was a child that until she got glasses she didn't realize trees had individual leaves. Instead, she saw them as large masses of color and form which critics have suggested was an influence on her later work. In her late teens, she was sent to North Carolina to recover from a burst appendix and spent a summer playing volleyball with the writer Zelda Fitzgerald, who was a patient at a nearby psychiatric hospital.  She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in psychology in 1943.

Thanks to Scribner, a division of Simon & Shuster via NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review the e-book ARC (advance readers copy) for the newest edition of Anne Truitt's Daybook was published October 8th 2013.

Bellman & Black, One Moment In Time Can Haunt You Forever (November 5 2013)

Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget . . .

Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner.

Together, they found a decidedly macabre business ... Bellman & Black is born.       ~~ ( Publisher's summary)

I am a fan of Diane Setterfield's novels (The Thirteenth Tale) and welcomed the opportunity to read and review her newest novel. Thanks to Atria and Emily Bestler Books for the Advanced Readers Copy (e-copy)  via NetGalley.   

Note: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Altria Books, for review purposes. My thoughts are my own and are provided without compensation. 

In Between You and Me

Publishers Weekly says: "McLaughlin and Kraus explore the dark side of fame...and provide an empathetic backstory to the sorts of salacious tales that readers see in the tabloids."

In Between You and Me, twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade has built a life for herself in New York City, far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. But when she gets the call that her famous cousin needs a new assistant, it’s an offer she can’t refuse.

Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey since they were separated as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has become one of Fortune Magazine’s most powerful celebrities and carrion for the paparazzi. But the joy at their reunion is overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her controlling parents.

As Kelsey grasps desperately at a “real” life, Logan risks everything to try and give her cousin the one thing she has never known—happiness. As Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between saving her cousin and saving herself. (Publisher's summary)

Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus are the authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Nanny Diaries and Citizen Girl, Dedication, Nanny Returns and their first young adult novel, The Real Real. .  They work together in New York City. Check out their website here: http://emmaandnicola.com/

An e-copy of this novel was provided by the publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc. and Altria Books for review.

Me and Murder, She Wrote

"Do you want to write or do you just want to talk about it?"
                                                                                  ~~  Peter S. Fischer

"From a sleepy small town in the middle of Long Island to a place at the table in the exciting world of Network Television, Peter S. Fischer lived the impossible dream...all a part of the fabric of an adventure that had no right happening...but did."

In this autobiography, Peter Fischer shares the story of his remarkable career in Hollywood. If you grew up watching Jessica Fletcher solve weekly mysteries on Murder She Wrote, followed kindly Marcus Welby, M.D. as he made housecalls, are a TV history buff or have wondered what life was like award winning TV writer this fast paced book might just be what the doctor ordered.

"Fischer provides an engaging glimpse into the interpersonal relationships that enriched his life and career."  Trivia questions are offered at the end of each chapter.

If you are a writer the glimpse into the creative process is inspiring. A great script all the way around!

"Murder, She Wrote" creator Peter S. Fischer discusses his career and Angela Lansbury         

Notice: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review purposes only. The thoughts reflected here are my own and are shared freely.

Currently Reading Autism Breakthrough

"Reading Autism Breakthrough brought chills to my body and tears of joy to my soul. This book must be read by every parent of a child with autism who wants a step-by-step plan to reach and transform their child. I was there in person when Raun K. Kaufman's miraculous story began.

"His full recovery from severe autism -- through The Son-Rise Program that his parents developed to reach him -- changed my life and the life of my daughter, who showed all the signs of early stage autism. Today she thrives because I knew exactly what to do: ignore all of the dire predictions and immerse her in precisely the principles and techniques described in Autism Breakthrough.

"I couldn't recommend this book more enthusiastically - not only for those who love a child or adult with challenges, but for all parents and professionals. This book turns the all-powerful principle of unconditional love into a practical blueprint that anyone can follow."

    ---Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, #1 NYT bestselling author
of The Power of Intention and thirty other books.

My own introduction to autism came in the 1970s by way of a small paperback book entitled Son Rise. This remarkable book tells the story of two parents who were determined to save their son from a condition they did not understand. Going against advice and working tirelessly they began to see small successes. Son Rise is the story of Raun K. Kaufman and is a book I've never forgotten.

Today St Martin's Press (and NetGalley) offered me the chance to read Autism Breakthrough  written by that little boy I first learned about in the mid 70s. Raun's story is an important one that shares "the ground-breaking principles behind the program that helped him, and thousands of other families with special children. Kaufman explains that autism is frequently misunderstood as a behavioral disorder when in fact it is a social relational disorder. He explains what it feels like to be autistic, and shows how and why The Son-Rise program, which focuses on the parent-child connection, works. And he offers clear, practical strategies for working with children that readers can apply immediately—in some cases, parents see a change in their children in as little as one day. Autism Breakthrough makes available for the first time in book form the principles and practical applications of The Son-Rise program, presented by someone who not only teaches the program, but has experienced the joy of it in his own life."

Review forthcoming.