Newsletter

Books are a uniquely portable magic. ~Stephen King

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

UPCOMING DATES:

July 10 at 2:00 p.m. THE ART OF GREAT FILM DIRECTING at Jericho Library.

July 18 at 2:00 p.m. Fiona Davis author of THE DOLLHOUSE will be speaking at Glen Cove Library.   Registration requested. 516-676-2130

I’ll be doing a number of IMPROVISATION WORKSHOPS:   IMPROVISATION FOR THE FUN OF IT:

July 25 at THE WORK-SHOP in Huntington   7:00 p.m.  $40.  Registration: 631 -629-4853

August 10 at  the Bryant Library in Roslyn 7:00 p.m.

August 10 at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Nadia Hashimi author of THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL  at Gold Coast Library in Glen Head. 516-759-8300

September 16-17 all day.    Home | Brooklyn Book Festival

                 SUMMER NEWSLETTER

For the past couple of weeks  I’ve been attending the DIRECTOR’S VISION film classes at Hutton House at C.W. Post and finding them very entertaining and informative.  As example, John Ford (HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, THE GRAPES OF WRATH) artistically staged his shots,  was excessively demanding, a master of human emotions and usually got what he wanted on the first take, primarily to prevent edits.  The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock had tremendous input with his  screenwriters, was a visual analyst and filmed from the character’s point of view.  Although his work is easily recognizable as dark, his personality was light, funny and charming.

On the literary front, I heard two authors,  Martha Hall Kelly, LILAC GIRLS: A Novel, based on real events and Sabeeha Rehman, THREADING MY PRAYER RUG: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim.  Martha shared the genesis of her story as an encounter with a photo at a Bellamy-Ferraday house tour which led her to research Caroline Farraday and the Ravensbruck “Rabbits” in World War 2.  Sabeeha told of her arranged marriage and subsequent move to America and her learning to separate out religious from cultural experiences, as example, Pakistani Muslims, American Muslims, African Muslims, Indian Muslims, etc.    One surprise  she shared was moving into a new  home on Staten Island and not realizing she was now in the middle of an Orthodox Jewish Community.   It turned out very well.

If you enjoy amazing photography and are interested in Gandi, check out THE RUBIN Museum’s exhibit of HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON: INDIA IN FULL FRAME.

Two new book recommendations:

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.

POPULAR:The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World by Mitch Prinstein (son of our very own Judy Davidson).   With a keen sense of humor and great story telling. Mitch Prinstein shares original ideas based on solid science asking if we are craving the wrong kind of validation.

From the New YorkTimes, “New Sentences” by Sam Anderson re: Annie Prouix’s BARKSKINS

Prouix is particularly good with how her sentences sound.  She understands that works are not antiseptic little meaning -cubes to be stacked neatly into sturdy towers of logic.  They are wild;they make noise.  They force the humans reading them to slurp and click and hoot and pop and tap their tongues.  Such sounds, combined carefully, can carry their own meaning…e.g.,this description of the aftermath of a strong rain:”The refreshed river hissed.”   It is hard to imagine a more efficient example of a sentence sounding like what it means.   The four words race by with the swiftness of swollen water.  The two words in the middle hit us with four quick R’s, a burst of liquid consonance, and the “sh” and the “ss” mimic the sounds of water in motion….This sentence wants you to say it out loud, so go ahead:The refreshed river hissed.  Feel the words flow through you.

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RECENTLY SAW

INDECENT (OK)

THE GREAT COMET of 1812 (incredibly inventive)

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING:    

THE LITTLE FOXES

HELLO DOLLY

LOOKING FORWARD TO READING:     

MOONGLOW by Michael Chabon

A HOUSE AMONG THE TREES by Julia Glass

RECENTLY READ:     

LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly  (very good)

THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST  by Ann Hood   (saccharine, but had its moments)

A PIECE OF THE WORLD by Christina Baker Kline ( NF)

NEWS OF THE WORLD by Paulette Jiles  (Excellent)

MENNONITE IN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS: A Memoir of Going Home  by Rhoda Janzen  (NF)

THE PRIVATE LIVE OF MRS. SHARMA  by Ratika Kapur  (good)

RED NOTICE: A TRUE STORY OF HIGH FINANCE, MURDER and ONE MAN’S FIGHT for JUSTICE  by Bill Browdes   (Very Good)

THE BEST OF ADAM SHARPE  by Graeme Simsion  (Pure fun)

HOW TO BE MARRIED by Jo Piazza (informative)

THE STORY TELLERS SECRET FROM TED SPEAKERS TO BUSINESS LEGENDS by Carmine Gallo  (worthwhile)

FENCES by August Wilson (Superb)

AMERICAN PASTORAL by Philip Roth (Excellent)

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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