bythelight1973

If you wait for perfection, you'll miss life

Posts from the “Book Reviews” Category

“How To Raise A Wild Child” book review

Posted on April 21, 2016

Growing up in NYC I didn’t have many opportunities to be out in nature except for going to the park nearby our home or visiting Central Park on a weekend, however ever since I could remember I have always felt drawn to nature. I still remember when the street I grew up in was all concrete and there wasn’t a tree in sight. As a young girl I didn’t know anything was missing, but then one day some people from an organization (perhaps a beautification organization) came and planted trees up and down my block. I was so excited because suddenly my block looked so pretty. That was over 25 years ago. Today those trees have grown big, strong and beautiful. Whenever I return…

Hold Still Sally Mann Book Review

Posted on December 18, 2015

 

If you are wondering what to get for the reader/photographer lover in your life for Christmas, birthday or just because, then look no further than Sally Mann’s epic memoir Hold Still.  It seems since the moment the book came out the reviews were off the charts.  Every review that I read praised Hold Still.  Can a memoir especially one that clocks in at almost 500 pages be this good?  Oh, yes it can.  Hold Still did not disappoint.  I do have to confess that Sally Mann is my favorite photographer of all time.  Yes, there are other photographers that I esteem just as highly as Mann, but if I had to say who influenced my style and sensibility it would definitely be Mann.  So with that information at hand you may think I am being biased when I say that Hold Still was an excellent read from start to finish.  The plethora of information that you acquire as you read along about  Sally Mann’s family just kept tumbling out.  Her family history is absolutely fascinating and just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be any more family secrets to top the last one lo and behold I would find myself swept away in an even more “did-this- really- happen- in-her-family?” anecdote.

Of course Mann also writes about the famous (nude) pictures she took of her children when they were young.  I have always loved these beautiful and intimate photos, and as a mother and photographer myself I have often wondered, given all the hoopla her photos gathered after showing them to the world would she do it again?  This particular chapter illuminates Mann’s thought process on what led her to photograph her children in this manner, and yes if she had to do it again she regrets nothing about these pictures.  Good for her.  Good for us.

I walked away from this book with a better sense of the woman behind the lens.  Resonating strongly throughout the book is Mann’s distinct voice.  Her soft southern accent, unique personality and wicked sense of humor is what makes you feel as if Sally Mann herself were sitting across from you and telling you her life story; and her life, career and family history has been an incredible one.  What I encountered in Hold Still Sally Mann is a woman who is brilliant, contemplative, connected, strong, extremely independent and a lover of life.  I’m so thankful that she decided to write this book and I think you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Olive Kitteridge

Posted on August 11, 2015

I found the following book at a book sale. If you are looking for something to read and/or watch, like to read stories set in Maine ( I know, I know I have a thing for Maine), enjoy reading novels broken up into short stories or like (I absolutely adore) the actress Frances McDormand then pick up Elizabeth Strout’s book, Olive Kitteridge. The book is really meaty with characters going through an array of life experiences and at the heart of the story is Olive Kitteridge. She is a force, and when I found out Frances McDormand was playing her in the miniseries, I really couldn’t see anyone else playing this role. She didn’t disappoint (not that she ever has). So if you read/see it, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Posted on May 8, 2012

In February I wrote a post titled “Photographers. Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?” I wrote the post after reading a Time magazine article based on Susan Cain’s new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. So intrigued was I by this book that I got myself a copy from the library. Well now I know why Quiet generated such a storm (pun intended). Susan Cain’s book is a tribute to introverts everywhere. She sheds light as to how and why the U.S. has become a country of extroverts, visits Harvard Business School to learn a great deal as to what kind of students make up its student body, and attends and gives an amusing observational account…

Pinhole Cameras

Posted on March 28, 2012

Because I can’t resist a good book, and because I have always wanted to try Pinhole Photography, when I came across Pinhole Cameras (A-Do- It -Yourself Guide) by Chris Keeney I immediately bought it to add to my photography book collection.  After perusing the book it seemed obvious that the author is passionate about Pinhole Photography.  I also like the fact that he includes a lot of pictures that literally show step by step how to make Pinhole Cameras. Besides being well written and containing a lot of illustrations Chapter 7 in his book, Practical and Creative Tips imparts a lot of sound advice  from a photographer who wants your journey into pinhole- photography- land to go as smooth as possible. You can view…

Book Review: Your Child’s Strengths

Posted on January 25, 2012

If you are a teacher, a parent or work in some capacity with children and teenagers then Your Child’s Strengths by Jenifer Fox is an excellent book to put on your “books to read” list. For more than 25 years Ms. Fox, an educator has been interested in not only discovering a child’s individual strengths, but on what makes a child feel most alive. In her book not only is it important for students to do well academically, but also just as imperative is the need for children to feel a sense of fulfillment in their lives. What I like about this book is that it isn’t your typical educational book focusing on children that are struggling in school (those book are just as…

Book Review: “This Life Is In Your Hands”

Posted on December 15, 2011

Interested in how it was like growing up in Maine during the 70’s? Are you traveling over the holidays and need something to read on the plane? Perhaps you are into the whole organic food movement.  If any of the three things I just mentioned caught your attention then you should read This Life Is In Your Hands by Melissa Coleman.  When I came across this book I had no idea what it was about, but after reading the first few pages, I knew I had to buy it and take this book home with me.  It didn’t disappoint. A beautifully written memoir, Melissa Coleman writes about growing up in rural Maine in the 70’s on what was to become a famous organic farm.…