Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘book review’

ALL THE COLORS OF LIFE, by Lisa Aisato…a book review

I could hardly wait for this book to come out.  I received it yesterday.

It’s a coffee table size book and the author/artist, Lisa Aisato is one in a million.  The artwork is incredible.  The book is touching, funny sweet and so very beautiful.  Few words.  Sometimes just two on one page.  The pictures are full page wonders.

The book goes from birth, through childhood, teens, young adult, adults and aging.  It covers every feeling in a watercolor.  A face, a look, a memory.  She captures life through her paintings.

I highly recommend this book.  Really.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.  It would make a wonderful gift to yourself, or to someone you care about.  🙂

HUMANS…book review

This arrived yesterday and I read the whole thing.  I loved HUMANS OF NEW YORK and HUMANS OF NEW YORK/Stories.  Didn’t like LITTLE HUMANS at all, but I was excited to see that there was a new book.

The photographs are wonderful but I can’t recommend this book to anyone other than those looking for more misery in their lives.  There are some cute kids among the pages and a couple of nice stories but for the most part it’s a book about broken dreams, loss, death, sickness, hopelessness and abject poverty.  I felt terrible after I was finished it.

There are a few longer stories, which I didn’t like, or finish.  I like the short blurbs, and the stories of New Yorker’s were still the ones that didn’t make me feel like there was no hope left in the entire world.  War, rape, dreams that it was too late to catch,   Women held prisoner by their culture and the men around them, abuse, hunger, constant work, scrounging for money.  Divorce, sick kids, and death, always death.  It’s about kids being physically and mentally abused, orphans being physically and mentally abused, kids wondering what the point is, living on the streets, just so much hopelessness.  So many horrible parents, adults, and governments destroying so many lives.

So, unless you want to read about the horror around the world, which actually makes New York look like a piece of cake, don’t read this book.  Aside from a couple of happy people, the book made me feel as if there’s no reason to ever believe that happiness can possibly exist.  It’s a terrible world, everywhere.  The things we do to each other are so horrific and destructive…and deadly.

And when the younger people talk about their dreams, you want to look away, knowing that they don’t have a chance.  And all the while, girls fighting to just be able to leave the house.  Forced marriages, terrible things.

Depressing.  Very depressing.

BOOK OF THE YEAR? Really? Why? (review)

***** for Artwork
*  content

The artwork is wonderful.  Sweet, charming, seemingly simple and adorable.

The only reason the story isn’t ridiculous is because it’s about a boy with animals.  I don’t think anyone would buy this book if it was written about people.

Message:  Asking for help is not a weakness, it’s a strength.  Friends matter.

Better message:  Cake is good, especially if you’re a mole.

It is impossible for me to understand how this book could have been voted BOOK OF THE YEAR for any other reason than its looks/art.

I read the reviews on Amazon and FYI, the book is difficult for many people to read.  For some children, it’s impossible, since cursive is no longer being taught in schools.  The print is blotchy and I can understand why people were complaining.  I didn’t have a problem with it and I’m only mentioning it because other people wrote about it.

All in all, the book can be read in the time it takes to enjoy a cup of tea.  The message is supposed to be gentle and deep but it’s actually silly and trite, for today’s world.  Again, the book is sweet because of the adorable ANIMALS.

This book reminds me of all the signs that are for sale today.  The one’s that tell people that Today is the First Day of the Rest of their Lives, or whatever.  It belongs in a nursery for infants who don’t have to face the bullies on the playground.  It’s a dreamy, utopian kind of message that seems to say, it’s okay to not always be able to do things by yourself and there’s strength in asking for help.  The premise assumes that people don’t already ask for help when they need it.  A lot of people do ask for help, sometimes too much. For those who feel they can’t ask for help, this book won’t solve their problems in any way at all.

Bottom line:  If you want to be happy, hang out with animals.  That’s actually what the book is telling all of us, whether the author knows it or not.




Okay, so…

I spent quite a bit of time with this book.  With the pictures and with the artist, who wrote his thoughts and feelings on some of the pages.  There’s not a lot of writing, but this man doesn’t need many words, you can feel what he’s saying.

Mr. Thorpe is a loving and gentle man.  He feels deeply, you can see that in his work.  His images are are large and bold, vibrant and without detail.  His work is wonderful and, at times incredibly deep.

If you don’t know his art, you may want to look him up.

Okay, so…

i picked up a copy of ON WRITING WELL, by William Zinsser.  A blurb on the cover said, More Than One Million Copies Sold.  I don’t understand why.   I couldn’t read it.  I skimmed through the first couple of chapters and noticed that he didn’t feel the need to include women in writing…the she/her of it all.  He thought “he” was just fine and cutting out an entire gender was no big deal…until…women wrote to him and complained.  So, he revised, feeling that he had to do something to appease women (and sell books).  He still doesn’t like including females, it’s bulky and there are no real rules for how to do it.  I guess his flow gets interrupted.  Anyway, he never once mentioned dropping “he” and just using “she”.  Men do hate that.  They don’t want to have anything to do with “she,” but feel women should be happy to be included in “he.”  Yeah, no.  Men fret and worry about s/he, he or she, him or her, never putting she before he.  See, no matter what, women just seem to get in the way of the good old boys club.  The one with the sign that says:  NO GIRLS ALLOWED.

I wanted to set the book on fire, after reading about his sad s/he dilemma.  Unfortunately, my cauldron wasn’t big enough to hold the entire book and I wasn’t up to tearing it into bits to feed the flames.  Besides, the cat hates it when I dance and cast spells in daylight.  So, another book for the recycling bin.  Maybe it will be turned into Ms. Magazine.  Then his book would finally be inclusive, filled with SHE’S and HER’S.   I’d like that.  Yeah, I’d like that a lot.

Confessions of a Common Reader…

I don’t know how this book became a bestseller.  I don’t know how it became anything, or why, it was ever published.  We all have different taste, but I couldn’t read this.  It’s childish, pretentious and boring.  I wanted to like it, or I wouldn’t have bought it.

She thought the death of early explorers was romantic, in spite of their suffering, because they had books with them at the time.  An entire chapter on words she never heard of and their definitions. She quizzed everyone she knew to see if they had ever heard of the words and She KEPT SCORE.  IN THE BOOK, ON THE PAGE. How truly BORING.   Another chapter on how she and her husband finally, after being married for awhile, mixed their books together on the same shelves.  If their relationship is based on where their books are placed.  Good luck.

I don’t know if the book ever got any better and I don’t care.  The detail, and fretting, chapter on where their books sat, was so painful that I can’t imagine how the author manages to get dressed, and out of the house, each day.  I started skipping pages immediately, I was so bored.  Then I started skipping chapters, as well.  Then I just stopped reading.  I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, for any reason. Nope…not for any reason at all.  The back of a cereal box is more interesting than this book.


I picked this up at the used bookstore.  I kind of collect books on graffiti and street art. Anyway, it’s a beautifully made book…the binding, the paper, everything about it is quality.  The illustrations are wonderful and the information is interesting as well.  I recommend it to anyone who enjoys street art.

Arthur of Albion…a book review

This is a beautifully made book.  High quality paper and the artwork is lovely.  The book is about individual knights and their backstories.  It’s also about Arthur, nothing about Guinevere except for a mere whisper of her name, now and then.  It  deviates from the usual fable in quite a few ways.  The stories where women are included (they save the knights by freeing them and caring for them) have women starving themselves to death when the knights do not return their love, so that made me unhappy with the whole book. Apparently there wasn’t a single female alive who could live without some man who didn’t care for her because he was so in love with himself and that’s how the knights were portrayed.  This is a male dominated book and all women are just there to be used and clean up after men. Men are heroes and women are nothing, so I would definitely not recommend this book to any girls.

There are other tellings of Camelot that include women and show the power of the Lady of the Lake and Guinevere herself.  I also don’t like that they changed the story as much as they did, although the flap states the author has credentials behind him.  Don’t care, actually.  The knights seem like pompous children, having to prove themselves over and over again by killing things/people.  Arthur wants stories told to him every night before dinner and the knights are nervous when there is no questing story to be told.  Silly. Again, no females need apply.  Females have no place in this version of Arthur’s kingdom.  Barely deserve a mention.  Skip it…there are far better stories out there.

Matilda…a book review

Matilda is a book about physical and psychological child abuse. It’s about teachers and parents who are so afraid of a bully that they knowingly allow this abuse to be heaped onto children/students every single day, while they do absolutely NOTHING to stop it.  It’s about lying and unethical parents.  It’s about an absent and disinterested father.   It’s about a woman, so tortured by this bully that she refers to herself as a slave and while she abhors seeing the children tortured she also does nothing to stop it.  In fact, and this is truly evil, she tells her class to do what the bully tells them to do, to not make trouble.  Basically she wants them to be slaves to the bully as well.  Instead of setting an example, she teaches them to bow down to the cruelty and accept it.  How truly horrific is THAT!

Matilda is a book about weak, cruel, pathetic adults and one precocious five-year old who saves the day.  A disgusting book in every way.  I had to skip a few pages because of the repetition of cruelty and the stupidity of the adults.  I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.


Book review…3 photographs

Sweet book.  Nicely made and fun to read.  The author did the artwork and while a few of the photographs are not book worthy, it’s her take on things and that’s what she liked. This book is perfect for anyone who loves, or is interested in Paris.  It’s more of a journal and it’s just great.  Definitely a keeper.  Loved the font and pretty much everything about the book.

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