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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Spontaneous Expression, March 2, 2007
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This is an inspiring book on letting go and letting art come from you without your internal critic or judgements on meaning or technique. It is about Learning from Art; and letting art take you where it will. It is about discovery and play -- ultimately it is about how to get into the Process of Creating.... and stop worrying about the "product"

This is one of those books that I read and instantly thought of five friends I wanted to share it with. And it also helped jump start me to believe in making what I make; not to worry if it is too dark, too silly, too profane, too honest and vulnerable; and not to try to direct it to what I think it is supposed to be.

The book contains short chapters about challenges and personal accounts. It can be just as beneficial to open the book to any page and read what is there as a jumping-off spot. It does not tell you "how" to create your work -- but it shares why, and it also shares methods for loosening the restrictions and the blocks. "What" you create will come from you.

Sometimes living in the world is a challenge with all the other concerns and critiques of other people...but if we keep growing and learning and making/creating -- it can keep us going! Art is a respite for me; it is what gives me meaning and value in my life, it is what gives me energy. This book puts these ideas in an inspiring perspective with some humor, some philosophy, and some common sense. Don't let anyone keep you down -- and don't keep yourself down!

Artists, writers, educators, and anyone who loves any of the arts would benefit from the viewpoint of this book. No experience is necessary, just the desire to create for the fun of it -- for the play and joy and experience.

William Gibson - No Maps for These Territories
William Gibson - No Maps for These Territories
DVD ~ William Gibson
Price: $15.76
27 used & new from $8.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riding around with an exceptional and modest man, February 24, 2007
I came to this documentary cold with no experience of William Gibson. The documentary is 90 minutes of listening to Gibson talk -- which suited me! He has fascinating insights into the Internet, into the changing concepts of "Time and Space" in our reality. He is reflective and insightful ... I realized as I watched we really don't know exactly where we are headed or what our reality will become as we travel faster and faster into the unknown.

At one point Gibson compares our age to the Victorian Age and as he described it I imagined Victorians had their world view blown away the first time they traveled by train; getting somewhere in a day when previously it would have taken a week. A Changing Concept of Time and Space (and of Reality) happened then, and it is happening to us now.

The filming looks casual.(it seems often Gibson forgot he was being filmed) It gave me the feeling of what it would be like to listen to Gibson in person. Not very pretentious...but very enlightening...a modest man with exceptional insights.

Scoop Perlman's Guide to Art
Scoop Perlman's Guide to Art
DVD ~ Steve "
Price: $15.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars low on pretension & high on invention, December 9, 2006
This review is from: Scoop Perlman's Guide to Art (DVD)
Documentary of enjoyable artists of Wisconsin. Movie low on production value but very worth watching if you enjoy documentaries and artists. Interviewer Scoop Perlman is quirky and mellow. The artists are low on pretensions, high on invention. All people can be artists; and Everybody Should. (what is the snobby, exclusiveness in some artists and collectors ABOUT anyway??) This movie features art that is accessible and available to all. Baraboo's Dr. Evermore's industrial salvage constructions of giant insects, mechanical birds, and "The Forevertron". Shy, softspoken Nadine Mercil and her disturbing dolls and dollhouses --the opposite person of what I expected. The upsetting words worked into her pieces (which she says are not true) are compulsively present, like an artistic tourettes syndrome. Rob Em and Taggerboy, two likeable young graffiti artists in Madison. And lastly Phil Porter. (Phil was institutionalized at Southern Wisconsin Colony in Racine between the formative ages of 8 to 21 because of cognitive disabilities, seizures and hyperactivity.) Phil states -"I originally felt I was an outcast to society. Some thought I was good for nothing, like I was trash. Now I feel like I'm part of society and make contributions like others. I work and sell my art in the community. I feel my art is part of me and lets people know more about me...." That says it all doesn't it? What art can be and what art can do: Communicate between people; make a community.

Snowball Fight!
Snowball Fight!
by Jimmy Fallon
Edition: Hardcover
49 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Bright story for kids and kids-at-heart, November 18, 2006
This review is from: Snowball Fight! (Hardcover)
Snowball Fight captures the joy of a snow-day "School's closed Day" All school-aged children and adults with any kind of memory remember that feeling. The book is a breezy, fun romp battle romp with snowballs. It's a light book told in verse, great for the season; a good addition for libraries and schools. The colorful pictures by Dam Stower give a lot of appeal to this book. Jimmy Fallon has written a good-natured little book for kids (preK through 3rd) and kids-at-heart.

Truck: A Love Story
Truck: A Love Story
by Michael Perry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.67
122 used & new from $0.01

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars takes time to inhabit this world, November 18, 2006
This review is from: Truck: A Love Story (Hardcover)
Michael Perry is a true writer. He knows how to turn an apt phrase and hits on what is True in life. His earlier book, Population 485, is one of my favorite books (it made me smile and made me cry) Where Perry succeeded greatly with Population 485, he nearly succeeds greatly here. Perry writes on the real deal about people-- the funny, the sad, the admirable, the eccentricities, as well as vulnerabilities and covered-up vulnerabilities (and his own vulnerabilities too) This is where he is wonderful, especially since he is down-to-earth. Perry has lots of human insights in Truck, however they come in a more-meandering writing style. Perry is still a great read, particularly when he is writing about human beings. Read Population 485 if you haven't been introduced to Perry yet; there is little out there that is any better. Truck is very much worth reading, easily worth 5 stars if it had a tightened focus. If you have particular interest in truck restoration(International Harvesters in particular); and/or in the daily delights of gardening -- then you may find these increased meanderings wonderful. Population 485 moved with more urgency but also had the delightful mix of insights and was a fast read. I've been living with (in?) Truck for nearly a week now, soaking in a couple chapters a day. So like the centerline chats Perry describes (shooting the breeze in the middle of the road, one vehicle stopped alongside another) Truck is a book that takes time. On reflection, Perry's meandering isn't a fault as much as it is an accurate depiction of his life. Appreciating and inhabiting this world takes time.

The Invisible Pyramid
The Invisible Pyramid
by Loren C. Eiseley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.27
55 used & new from $2.40

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Third World, July 13, 2006
This review is from: The Invisible Pyramid (Paperback)
Others mentioned Eiseley's pessimism. That didn't faze me. His pessimism is counterbalanced by his wonder and curiosity, lyricism and empathy with nature and with humanity. Eiseley writes that we are a species caught between two worlds and a stranger to both; caught between Nature and Culture; between where we've come from and where we'd like to go. Do we have a true "home"? seems to be the question. The use of symbols (and words) has empowered us, but also separates us from the Natural world. The second half of the book picked up speed (keep reading if you find him too dry at first) Eiseley proposes a Third world between the world of Nature that we came from and the world in which our reaching for advancement in technology, knowledge, and achievement propels us ever farther (usually to the detriment of Nature) Is there a balance humans will be able to achieve that is either Between the two worlds (respecting and honoring nature AND our compulsion to transcend) OR is the Third World something entirely different, a momentous change in consciousness; something as radical as the beginning of language was to the humans of prehistory (you could say when we "became" human by use of symbol and language) Wonderful concepts and questions. I could not discern from Eiseley though What this third world would actually be. Maybe it was too early for Eiseley (or me) to conceive of this third world. It would have to be a change that changes everything - which we won't recognize until we are in it.

Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius
Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius
by Robert W. Weisberg
Edition: Paperback
37 used & new from $4.46

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Evolution of a creative work, June 22, 2006
I would wholeheartedly give this book 5 stars for the fact that it contains something I haven't seen in other books on creativity -- a way of understanding creativity as something we All have in our capabilities and creative works as coming about through an evolution of thought. The evolutionary concept is a Very Valuable one to have -- even Mozart didn't have completed music bestowed upon him by God. Mozart's pieces evolved (maybe more inside his head than on paper compared to many others) and so the myth of magical bestowal of creative genius is slain. The thing is despite the fact that ideas need to evolve in the thoughts of their thinker before they become novels, poems, songs, scientific theories, paintings, sculptures -- and are not given in a lightning bolt from God -- doesn't detract from the fact that there is still something mystical in the practice of creating -- and the poets, writers, artists, and scientists who have found this are the ones who become great, because they can't let go of the process...maybe it could be said are even addicted (at any rate obsessed) Ultimately this book is valuable to understanding the evolutionary process of creative work...but it deflates the power of creative thought into something mundane -- and NEW ideas, new combinations, and creative thought itself is not mundane. Yes, there are years of work -- but the payoff is so attracting and powerful that most writers and artists feel it to be mystical-- and perhaps that is how the myth of the lightning bolt of inspiration has taken hold. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Creativity is still a gift. But it also needs tending. The tone of this book is a too deflating for my taste -- although it gave me good stuff to chew on and another way of looking at creative work.

Bubba & Babba
Bubba & Babba
by Maria Polushkin
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from $2.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian folktale of two lazy bears, June 10, 2006
This review is from: Bubba & Babba (Hardcover)
Bubba and Babba are two lazy bears who go to great lengths to avoid work. Although I think the story has a moral -- "it is not right to be lazy" -- some of the laziness seems enjoyable and the right idea! as the bears relax and enjoy life and this is told with such relish that it seems the opposite of the moral. But then maybe the moral is there can always be too much of a good thing -- and there should be balance between relaxing/enjoying -- and working/laboring. The deals Bubba and Babba try to strike up with one another in order to get the other to do the work are funny. These are bears who do the bare minimum. But then they find even laziness has it's limits, as ultimately they get bored and tired and upset from too much sleeping.

Wildflower Tea
Wildflower Tea
by Ethel Pochocki
Edition: Library Binding
40 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all of spring summer and fall in his wildflower tea, June 10, 2006
This review is from: Wildflower Tea (Library Binding)
A quiet story of an old man who collects flowers throughout the spring, summer and fall -- and in the winter makes a tea of the mixture of blossoms he has collected all year. The story is poetically told -- and, like poetry, its meaning is more than its outline.

I think this book would be appreciated by anyone who enjoys thinking about life and time and remembering; and I imagine where you are in your life will determine your response. I read this story to a 12 year old girl and she liked it well enough (told me she would give it 4 stars) It is about nature and old age...and although it is only 30 pages long, the story seems to speak mostly for and to someone who has their own perspective of age. (the story is not from the point of view of children) I may be wrong -- Try it on a younger child, and see what s/he thinks! At any rate - it's a beautiful, lyrical story.

Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization Disorder and the Loss of the Self
Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization Disorder and the Loss of the Self
by Daphne Simeon
Edition: Hardcover
32 used & new from $20.26

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book about depersonalization, May 2, 2006
Depersonalization is the condition that seems very rarely to be talked about (esp. in comparison to depression and anxiety). Finally a book about depersonalization -- I am so glad. This book is concise, clear, and offers a spectrum of interpretations of depersonalization -- from the clinical, medical, physical -- to the spiritual. Probably most importantly of all there are 1st-person accounts from people who experienced or are experiencing long-term depersonalization in their lives. And this is the greatest gift, because now others can read that someone else somewhere has felt as they have -- that they are unreal, that they don't really exist, that everything looks strange/foreign to them, that they don't recognize their own lives and feel like they live in a dream. It is hard to explain to someone who doesn't know what this is like -- that it can be terrifying or enlightening. How can you share this perspective with others who can't perceive of what you mean when you say this? For whatever reason people experience depersonalization -- I am glad this book finally shares information. Is it a curse or a blessing, an insight or a disorder -- to see the world this way? I am glad the discussion is open now. when i first experienced depersonalization I only found small bits of information to understand what I was experiencing. I still feel I live in a dream, but now the terror of it has changed to a different way of being. Thank you for publishing this book -- there are people who have waited a long time to know they are not alone in how they experience the world. This seems to just be the beginning of a new understanding of depersonalization...and of life itself.

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