Quick Reviews of Recent Reads

Big MagicBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

I have such a love-hate for Elizabeth Gilbert. On one hand, she’s so sunny, lucid, and wise. On the other, she’s blithe and oblivious. Big Magic, her treatise on creativity and living the creative life, is all those things. I find some of her ideas incredibly inspiring, such as not making your creativity pay for itself–it’s okay to work a “real” job so you don’t put that kind of pressure on being creative. Or, inspiration will find another person to make it manifest if you don’t grab it when it arises (kooky, but I like it). Continue reading

Three Shorties

I’ve read several short books in recent weeks, three of which are in formats that I hardly ever read. Two of them were graphic novels, and the other was a very slim book in verse.

SkimSkim, words by Mariko Tamaki, drawings by Jillian Tamaki

I have been a huge admirer of Jillian Tamaki’s work ever since I saw the three covers she embroidered for the Penguin Threads series (Emma, The Secret Garden, Black Beauty). So when I saw this graphic novel illustrated by Tamaki and written by her cousin, Mariko, I had give it a go. Continue reading

Hawks, Cats, & Grief

Is there anything more frustrating than losing a draft? I had just finished a long post, inserted images and was set to hit “Publish” when some kind of demon overtook my computer and all seems to be lost. Oh the frustration! So here I go again…

H is for HawkI snagged the last copy of H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald from a local bookstore and began reading it immediately and had a hard time putting it down. Part memoir, part liteary analysis, part history, Macdonald writes about a period of intense grief after her father dies unexpectedly. During this period and as a way to process her emotions, she decides to train and fly a female goshawk that she names Mabel.

Continue reading