Every once in a while I happen upon something that just blows my brain right out of my head, my first encounter with the art of Andy Goldsworthy was just such a moment.
Andy Goldsworthy is a British environmental artist. He uses nature as his canvas, his tools, his inspiration and his medium. Watching a Goldsworthy creation happen can be awe inspiring or cringe worthy depending on how nature is feeling about Andy that day. His books show the final beauty but you have to watch the DVD, Rivers and Tides Working With Time, to understand the real dedication that this man has for his craft.
What if William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon didn't actually write the plays and poems of "Shakespeare?" What if someone else secretly wrote them and Shakespeare was merely a front?
This is the plot of the new movie Anonymous, but the Shakespeare authorship question has been around for more than 200 years. The historical Shakespeare didn't leave much of a paper trail - and some people believe he lacked the education and experience to write such masterpieces of English literature as Hamlet and Macbeth.
Many different people have been proposed as the true author of his works - Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, and even Queen Elizabeth herself!
As a person with a disability, I am always interested in new books about others who live with differences.
I have read three books lately. In The Anti-Romantic Child, Priscilla Gilman who is an expert on the poet, Wadsworth, intertwines his poetry as she describes her journey as a mother of a son with special needs. Elizabeth Bonker is an adolescent who has autism and writes poetry, though she is unable to speak. I Am in Here describes her life and how her parents have helped her.
Twenty five years ago, Art Spiegelman gave us Maus, a story about enduring and surviving the Holocaust and the father/son relationship that developed afterward. The only graphic novel to have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, it is now iconic, and has influenced how many of us think about comics, narrative and fiction, and literature.
And now, to celebrate and commemorate this groundbreaking work, Spiegelman has given us MetaMaus, a behind-the-scenes explanation and exploration of the work.
If you are interested in more graphic novels of the non-superhero, and non “funny papers” variety, here are a few places to start.
National Public Radio (NPR) has started a special project for listeners ages 9-14: the Back-Seat Book Club. Beginning in October, the show All Things Considered would like young listeners and their parents to read a selected book each month and then join in the conversation with that book's author. They want to know what you think and give the author a chance to answer questions you have about the book!
The first selection in the Back-Seat Book Club is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which is perfect for Halloween. It's the story of Nobody Owens, a boy who is normal in every way – except that he has been raised by ghosts in a graveyard.
Looking for suspense and intrigue? Check out a spy thriller where nothing is as it appears to be and trust is not an option.
Life imitates art for Brian Michael Bendis who gathered inspiration for his graphic novel from the American intelligence community. While a fan of traditional spy novels, I enjoyed how the graphic art moved the narrative along, increasing the drama! Fireis a quick read revealing the anxious, paranoid existence of a spy's life.
Bendis also encourages his readers to check out the following titles:
Oskar here, again, to share another InterLibrary Loan gem -- A Man with No Talents: Memoirs of a Tokyo Day Laborer. Maybe "gem" is a little strong because this book gave me some trouble with its extremely introverted and destitute characters, most of whom lead a zombie-like, meandering existence. So how about "find" or, better yet, "warning"?
Prepare now - November is National Novel Writing Month. If you've always longed to write, now is the time to read up and glue yourself to a chair.
Many of us have a longing to write. Very few of us ever manage to realize the dream of the writer's life. This is the year, things could change for all of us. November is National Novel Writing Month. Register at this site and receive all of the support you'll need to get started.
While we're waiting for NANOWRIMO to begin, here are a few resources you might find helpful. Oh - and if you feel like tackling your writing project now, by all means, scribble away!