Newsletter

Books are a uniquely portable magic. ~Stephen King

Welcome to Fran’s latest updates on the literary / theater / writing / cinema scene.

UPCOMING DATES:

Feb. 6, 2018  at 7:00 p.m.   BRYANT LIBRARY in Roslyn -Author Judith Newman will be speaking about her book, TO SIRI WITH LOVE: A Mother, Her Autistic Son and the Kindness of Machines.

March 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Glen Cove Library – Author Min Jin Lee will be speaking about her book PACHINKO.

April 15,  2018  at 2:00 p.m.  at Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, Long Island Reads presents Mike Massimino author of SPACEMAN: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe.

                 WINTER NEWSLETTER

This Fall and into Winter, I spent two nights a week at SUNY Old Westbury  taking a class on Buddhism.  The class was more a history of religion then the wisdom of the Buddha, but I found it enlightening, entertaining and fun, especially since non credit students do not take the tests.    For those in the area, FYI  SUNY Old Westbury offers Older Adults the availability to audit any class free, if space and the professor permit.

Continuing in that study, I took a workshop with  Joshua Greene (Yoga Philosopher):   “We are here to be joyful” and “We have more power to influence our destiny then we know”   and saw Deepak Chopra at  NYCB Theater at Westbury  talk about how to improve our well being and how we are capable of self healing.   I loved how he talked of Meditation as being in touch with our soul.    You may see some books on Buddhism in my  reading list.

Following are a few excerpts that I found worthwhile:

OUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH DIGITAL IS OVER –TIMES opinion  by David Sax

                 People are buying books because a book engages nearly all of their senses, from the smell of the paper and glue to the sight of the cover design and weight of the pages read, the sound of those sheets turning, and even the subtle taste of the ink on your finger tips.   A book can be bought and sold, given and received, and displayed on a shelf for anyone to see.  it can start conversations and cultivate romances.

From Emily Watson, the first woman to translate THE ODYSSEY into English:

If you’re going to admit that stories matter, then it matters how we tell them and that exists on the level of microscopic word choice, as well as on the level of which story are you going to pick to start off with, and then, what exactly is that story?  The whole question of “What is that story?” is going to depend on the language, the words that you use.

The NEW YORK TIMES had insight about how they  determine the Best Books of the Year: (paraphrased)…The choice should transcend the current moment, have the “best” overall quality, will be read for years to come…will endure.  It should be beautifully told, well argued, highly readable.

For my film people: from IMPROVISING OUT LOUD:

Once the film is finished, an actor must understand that the wise editor will not necessarily use his best performance but will select the takes that best match in the cutting room.  Film if nothing else, is the delightful and remarkable result of collaboration.


Continuing to recommend:

IMPROVISING OUT LOUD: My Life Teaching Hollywood How to Act by Jeff Corey and Emily Corey.  Jeff Corey (1914–2002) was an American stage and screen actor and director who became a well-respected acting teacher after being blacklisted in the 1950s.   This is a beautifully written personal story of grace and integrity seeped in an overview of 20th century film and theater.   My daughter Michelle Cohen helped “birth” this special memoir.

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RECENTLY SAW
JUNK (worthwhile)

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG (ridiculous fun)

THIS ONE’S FOR THE GIRLS (eh)

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING:    

FARINELLI  AND THE KING

THREE TALL WOMEN

LOOKING FORWARD TO READING:     

EXIT WEST by Mohsin Hamid

A HORSE WALKS INTO A BAR  by David Grossman

DINNER AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH  by Nathan Englander

RECENTLY READ:     

SMALL GREAT THINGS  – Jodi Picoult  (Excellent)

TO SIRI WITH LOVE: A Mother, Her Autistic Son and the Kindness of Machines – Judith Newman   (Worthwhile)

A WRINKLE IN TIME -Madeleine L’Engle (Charming)

FOREST DARK – Nicole Krauss (very self referencial)

SING, UNBURIED, SING: A Novel – Jesmyn Ward (NF powerful, very painful)

JUDAS – Amos Oz (OK)

PACHINKO – Min Jin Lee (Interesting, worthwhile)

ORIGIN – Dan Brown (pure fun)

HERO OF THE EMPIRE – Candice Millard (Winston Churchill fans)

NUTSHELL – Ian McEwen (Clever)

MANHATTAN BEACH – Jennifer Egan (Wonderful)

THE CIRCLE – Dave Eggers (Very Good)

MADONNA IN A FUR COAT – Sabahattini Ali (Good but Melodramatic)

PAY ATTENTION FOR GOODNESS SAKE: Budda’s Path of Kindness – Sylvia Boorstein (Worthwhile)

BUDDHISM:  A Concise Intro. Huston Smith and Philop Novak (Informative)

NIGHTS IN SHANGHAI – Nicole Mones (Excellent, Engaging)

NF = Not Finish

The best books are those that insinuate themselves into your experience: they reveal an important truth or provide a profound sense of kinship between reader and writer.   Searching for, identifying, and discussing these truths deepen the reader’s appreciation of the book.   SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

HAPPY READING!

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