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Frida Kahlo Theater, W. Fourth St. Pico Blvd. Highways Performance Space, 18th St. Unknown Theater, N. Seward St. West Valley Playhouse, Owensmouth Ave. Stella Adler Theatre, Hollywood Blvd. Son of Semele, Beverly Blvd. Gurney's tragicomedy about an oil executive turned Mideast diplomat. Chandler Studio, Chandler Blvd. Write Act Theater, Yucca St. Actors Workout Studio, Lankershim Blvd. Riprap Studio Theatre, Lankershim Blvd. In rep with Book of Days ; call for schedule. In rep with Big Love ; call for schedule. That delicacy, however, is saturated by generic chat between the characters and a somewhat predictable romance.

You know a play's in trouble when a gun has to be drawn in order to elicit some palpable drama. That's no slight against the actors — Demian Bichir and Shannon Cochran — whose sincere and layered interpretations of a Cuban gardener and his deeply troubled white, female employer keeps the action watchable. This is a play that unearths the past about how they got to where they are — stories of their respective betrayals, as both victims and perpetrators, their guilt and their defenses as life's hardships have piled up against both of them.

So the drama consists of them meeting, courting, spurning that courtship, her regretting their one-night stand, and the stories that spill out of both of them with far too much ease to be an entirely plausible reflection of the grief they've both suffered. Michael Ganio's ornate set consists of an outdoor jungle of pampas-grass for Act 1, which yields to the woman's bedroom in Act 2.

It has a kind of cinematic realism that seems at odds with the metaphysics the play is driving at — where freedom is the freedom to imagine. Neither the play nor the set ask for much imagination on our part. Geffen Playhouse, Le Conte Ave. Soojin Lee's costumes capture not only the era, but also the grime and dereliction of Victorian London. Dickens' novel is a saga of human trafficking, and Brian Dare portrays the smudge-faced year old victim, orphan Oliver Twist, with a subtly pained glint in his eye that reflects his punishing fate.

Tom Fitzpatrick brings a marvelous gruffness to Fagin, the leader of the pick-pockets who adopts Oliver for a while; Goeff Elliott has delicate turn in drag as proprietress, Mrs. Sowerberry; while Robertson Dean also stands out for his clearly enunciated and richly tempered array of characters. The director opened the show pleading for contributions as the theater has a campaign for a new theater in Pasadena. A Noise Within, N. Grand Ave. The Edison, W. Second St. Well, that's a start. Now playwright David Rambo needs a play to back up Kennedy's solo impersonation.

Here, Landers spends a couple of hours sashaying around her Chicago study in , eating chocolates when confronted with writer's block and, during intermission, leaving us to take a bath. Gary Wissmann's set is so detailed with multitudinous knickknacks, and photos, many of which go unused, it arouses the speculation that a more spartan and symbolic set would have justified the contrivance of Landers' direct audience address. The evening's pretext is that Landers is in the process of drafting a momentous letter to her readers announcing her divorce from her husband of 36 years — risky business for an advice columnist who has never counseled anyone to get divorced.

Yet our heroine brushes them both off with similar, sanctimonious disdain, as though bigots and victims of her bad advise were equals. Nothing legal they could do, she remarked of the victims — hardly an embrace of her responsibility to help people in distress. Somewhere in that responsibility, and her cavalier dismissal of it, lies a more penetrating drama yet to be written, something more closely resembling a play than a parade. Brendon Fox directs. El Molino Ave. Richard Nash's romance set in a drought-ridden rural town. A Noise Within, S. Brand Blvd. Mark Taper Forum, N. Falcon Theatre, Riverside Dr.

The spectacle here is bewitching and too large for Frank Wedekind's turn-of-last-century story of teenage angst, from which Steven Sater and Dunkan Sheik's touring Broadway-hit musical has been crafted. I found myself more dazzled than moved, but dazzle can be a good thing, and the production is too ornate an accomplishment to be ignored.

There's never a dull moment in Michael Mayer's staging, but rarely is there a soulful moment. The story is about social and sexual repression in puritanical Germany, and it arrives here as bloated in style as a rock concert. Lighting designer Kevin Adams provides exactly that ambiance with a plot that flips from washes of lurid red to purple with the stomp of a ten boots, and lighting instruments that float down along the back wall from the rafters, creating the effect of some cosmic galaxy.

Bill T. Jones' choreography looms just as large, with, in one song, the company stomping feet in unison as though they were performing Butoh dance in order to arouse the spirits of the dead. On stage, and in on-stage bleachers where members of the company are planted amidst the audience, heads gyrate to and fro as though possessed by demons, which is exactly how the Teutonic society depicted here is trying to make them feel. The paradox is that the sneering Expressionism mingles with the mechanical robotics to such an extent — clearly to reach a house considerably larger than in New York — that the story's underlying sensitivities are tempered, if not eviscerated.

She goads him to beat her, even playfully, with a switch — because she's sexually aroused by the brutal daily beatings inflicted on her friend, Martha Sarah Hunt. The scene itself contains disturbing and deeply human revelations about suppressed sadism and masochism that's here treated as broadly and swiftly as in a burlesque, depriving the scene of its core sensuality. Still, the creators and designers are accomplishing exactly what they want as the cast is precision perfect. Moreover, the overinflated scale and hyperactive style of this touring production can't diminish the powerful beauty of Shiek's music and Sater's lyrics.

There's scant melody but ample musical motifs that float on intricate, poetical phrases and sophisticated orchestral support, as though from the Suzanne Vega era. For the rest of us, though, Michetti and his abundantly talented ensemble deliver the goods — a riveting, provocative and lucidly entertaining Hamlet that comes agonizingly close to the definitive. Exit Dr. Freud, enter Norman Bates. This suggestion of a schizophrenic break transforms Hamlet from hesitant intellectual into calculating killer; it also strips the subsequent action of its moral ambiguity and propels it into a kind of driving, Hitchcockian psychological thriller.

Matthew Jaeger, as Laertes, brings a disturbing whiff of incest to his brotherly affection for Ophelia Dorothea Harahan. Tony Abatemarco lightens the load — and scores another of his trademark triumphs — with his superb comic rendering of Polonius. Designer Sara Ryung Clement ties it all together with an elegant, minimalist set and costumes, which are a timeless blend of modern and period dress. Long Beach Playhouse, E. Anaheim St. The result is a sentimental and nostalgic valentine to Edwardian Era theater, and the leading ladies he adored in his youth.

Perhaps its strongest asset is its wonderful roles for older actresses, fully realized in this production. The piece is saved from soap-opera bathos by Coward's wit, and frank acknowledgement of the realities of decline and death. Director Charlie Mount has assembled a fine, large ensemble who offer richly nuanced performances. Theatre West, Cahuenga Blvd. West, Los Angeles; Fri.

Eden Espinoza as the green-skinned, bespectacled girl-witch Elphaba has a contagiously smart appeal. After recognizing that Elphaba's not going to power-play along with the Wizard's John Rubinstein Stalinist shenanigans, Mrs. Morrible the delightful Carol Kane , starts a witch hunt for the girl, and the whole thing starts to resemble some of the tawdrier chapters in American history. Pantages Theater, Hollywood Blvd. Rubicon Theater, E. Main St. Most are decent Walkens, and the best have mastered the piranha stare and elastic enunciation that snaps the ends of syllables like rubber bands.

Theatre 68, Sunset Blvd. But writer Rob Mersola seems intent on demonstrating that, at ground level, there is no social order. Stirring the mix is Giuseppe Anil Kumar , a relentless seducer who utilizes his claim of prophetic powers to win over both women. Mersola is a clever writer, who exploits the tried-and-true farce structure to engineer a funny final scene in which all the characters are brought together to have their lies, deceptions and shenanigans unmasked. A skillful cast meticulously mines the laughs in this crowd-pleasing date show.

Neal Weavert. Hollywood Fight Club Theater, W. Sunset Blvd. Stage 52 Theatre, W. Leavin's droll act as a kind of muted beauty and profundity lurking beneath his otherwise snappy and amiable presentation. Next Stage Theater, N. La Brea Ave. When the men meet for their customary after-work beers at the local watering hole finely executed by designer Danny Cistone , however, that harmony all-too-easily turns to discontent.

Mike and Andy have already made the move to the more desirable Eagle Ridge. Director Ron Klier cleverly frames the comic complications as a kind of existential Three Stooges two reeler imagine Larry and Curly grappling with a suddenly self-aware Moe. The result is a funny if slight entertainment with all the substance of a Dilbert cartoon.

Theatre Company and Range View Productions. Lone may or may not have used a gun in the apprehension of the drama critic from his bed he shows up in pajamas, blindfolded and gagged. We first see him dragged into Lone's grubby basement apartment set by Adam Haas Hunter , punctuated by a poster of Samuel Beckett, who provides the scribe his dark inspiration.

The Man is a smart, bitter fellow, an obit writer who takes occasional assignments as the paper's drama critic. The night before seeing this play, I heard a local arts critic in a theater lobby seething that his paper was now asking him to write obits — so, beyond the obvious metaphor for critics penning last rites, this is art imitating something real that's going on. That's among the reasons their ranks across the nation are diminishing so quickly. But Riechel hasn't tried to write a play so much about the dire state of the arts as a comedy about the brooding imaginings of one deranged artist, and how any creation can be fairly assessed beyond the narcissism of the creator and the cruelty of the judge.

Leake brings an impassioned credibility to his deep conviction that the world would be a better place if only Lone would stops writing plays. Riechel has pulled off the rare feat of directing and acting in his own play without running it off the rails. His performance is a terrifying portrait of the walking wounded, with little but vengeance for the critic, and visions in his head of his play starring John Malkovich and being performed by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Macha Theatre, N. Kings Road, West Hollywood; Thurs. Sanchez's look at the various social, familial and economic effects of the criminal justice system.

First St. The rest derives from Besser's comic-book satire of self-righteous programs claiming to use the arts to get kids off drugs. Lindsay Hendrickson's staging is perfect. Brian Fountain and Jake Anthony wrote the music. The setting is , Pittsburgh, a time when many blacks were no better off than they were during chattel slavery. But the home of year old Aunt Ester alternate Carlease Burke , is a place of rest, refuge and mystery for a colorful group of residents and regulars. Rounding out the cast is Stephen Marshall. Call in a convincing turn about Joffa's mob connections.

From the outset, Franklin creates a profoundly flawed and conflicted image of Kennedy, one that is steadily and skillfully nuanced throughout this production. We follow RFK's rise to national prominence, his battles during the civil rights era as U. Attorney General, his involvement in his brother John's presidential campaign and more than a few unsavory deeds during that time , the aftermath of JFK's assassination, and Bobby's gradual ascension into the Democratic party's nominee for president in Greenway Court Theatre, N.

Fairfax Avenue, L. Knightsbridge Theater, Riverside Dr. Groundling Theater, Melrose Ave. Lounge Theatre, Santa Monica Blvd. Cahuenga Blvd. Lyric Theatre, N. Theatre Asylum, Santa Monica Blvd. But after a neighbor Maia Madison files a noise complaint with the cops on his garage band, Joe and his girl Mary Becky Wahlstrom fall prey to a domino chain of gang rape, venereal disease, wet t-shirt contests, prison time, cyborg threesomes, and madness.

What's to blame?

Gerald Richman's Annotated Bibliography of Fiction Set in Boston (working draft)

Like novelist Terry Southern, Frank Zappa's weapon against hypocrisy was to confront audiences with a circus mirror of their culture's greed and lust. Some saw their reflection; others argued Zappa was warped. Pat Towne and Michael Franco's world premiere staging of Zappa's narrative album crackles with outrage and grief masked by a leer — Jennifer Lettelleir choreographs plenty of sex, but like Robert Crumb's comics, it's more repellent than titillating.

Musical director Ross Wright and the seven piece band help the snappy ensemble animize Zappa's eclectic sound which ranges from dissonant juggernauts to deceptively sweet ditties. In that isolating darkness, Zappa's limber guitar feels like a lifeline — we're struck by our need for music, and our need for today's apolitical musicians to break loose and write the next chorus. Hayworth Theater, Wilshire Blvd. Roberts , two penniless Shakespearean actors who pose as the long-lost female heirs of a dying, wealthy old woman. The humor derives from the tension between them — Jack, the reluctant participant, is continually threatened and browbeaten by Leo think Some Like It Hot , as well as the predicament Leo finds himself in when, dressed in drag, he falls in love with his betrothed cousin, Meg Karla Droege.

Intimating the standard of excellence that might have transported the comedy to a higher realm is Carl A. Gus Correas is also on the mark as the lecherous family doctor who keeps misdiagnosing his patient. Other performances are off-kilter or over the top. DK Actors Co-op, N. Gower St. The pair practically invented the genre of the lounge act, playing as they did during much of the s at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, lingering on the margins of fame.

Think of them as antecedents to Sonny and Cher, or a musical version of Abbott and Costello. Certainly not the first musical to chronicle a musical group — other recent entries include Pump Boys and Dinettes and Jersey Boys — this has to be the first one to take a lounge act seriously, rather than as a spittoon for gobs of ridicule. Broder played Mozart in the Broadway production of Amadeus, which provides a small window onto the vainglorious hysteria that Broder depicts here so brilliantly.

And having an onstage, seven-piece backup band doubling as supporting players doubles the impact, particularly with sounds so carefully modulated by musical director Dennis Kaye. A piano, two saxophones, a string bass, drum set, a trumpet and trombone, all on the stage of this seat theater, places us in the equivalent of a small recording studio. When the band hits its stride with enveloping riffs of Dixieland blues and Big Band stylings, hang on to your seat. The musical current is that strong. Smith is still alive and thriving.

He actually encourages the onstage hostility, for just that reason.

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Yet this is not just a musical about men and women but about life, and art as an expression of it; the devastating costs of recklessly turning a private life into a public one; and that old, blinding obsession with fame. Note: This production has changed venue since this review. In the first two, she was a nympho; the second two, a victim. In all, however, her husband Chuck Traynor here, played biliously by Jimmy Swan is clearly a sleaze who lured her into prostitution.

Anna Waronker and Charlotte Caffey's dark and haunting musical is anti-pimp, not anti-porn, even though the two are inextricably linked. Ken Sawyer's well-staged production is fated to descend into hellish reds and writhing bodies, yet it's shot through with beauty and sometimes even hope.

As Linda, Katrina Lenk is sensational — she has a dozen nuanced smiles that range from innocent to shattered to grateful, in order to express whatever passes as kindness when, say, a male co-star Josh Greene promises to make their scene fun. Waronker and Caffey were members of two major girl bands, That Dog and The Go-Go's respectively, and their music — with its keyboards, cellos, and thrumming guitars — has a pop catchiness that works even with the bleakest lyrics, some originally written by Jeffery Leonard Bowman. Though the facts of Linda's past went with her and Chuck to the grave both died within months of each other in , there's strong evidence that her life was even worse than the musical's ending suggests, but it's cathartic to watch her stand strong and sing of her hard-fought independence before flashing lights that, in ironic defiance of the play's title, beam out her real name: Linda Boreman.

His therapist tells him his blockage is due to selfishness, and urges him to live for others. He obediently complies by adopting an obsessive-compulsive carpet-sweeper salesman addicted to marathon apologies. Paul Gleason Theater, Hollywood Blvd. After the dust has settled, Veronica Kelly Lloyd finds herself dead and in a liminal place called bardo, where she is greeted by Maryamma Pia Ambardar , a loose representation of Hindu spirituality who expounds on the cycle of life, death, and reincarnation — and insists on calling her Miss Witherspoon.

Much against her will, Miss Witherspoon is reincarnated a number of times, coming back as a baby to two radically different families, as well as a dog. Lloyd navigates her character transitions brilliantly and is utterly convincing in each. Ambardar, despite slipping in and out of her Indian accent, has great energy and provides much of the comedy in the piece.

El Centro Ave. A West Coast Ensemble Production. This is because his show isn't really about his youth in Philadelphia and subsequent move to L. Sefton's exploration probes the essence of a story, and the distinctions, if any, between a legend and a lie. Joe keeps goading Jay to make things up or the show will be a bore. The awful truth is that his brother maybe right — that a normal, honorable if meek youth with caring parents is the pleasant kind of existence that nobody wants to hear about stage, or see in movies, or read in books.

Edward Albee once said that he writes a play in order to understand why he's writing it. Sefton's show is so clearly undertaken with the goal of Sefton trying to understand why he should be telling his life story, the result breezes past narcissism on a charm-filled meta-literary excursion, under Debra De Liso's nimble direction — something like a magic carpet ride.

The docile Lauren and bitchy Rachel, young and dysfunctional socialites sporting garish make-up, hair, and costumes evocative of Darryl Hannah in Blade Runner , engage in elliptical conversation and munch Ritalin and Adderall like peanuts.

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In North Philly , the centerpiece is the 94th birthday party for his grandfather. Yet Harris goes beyond imitating his eccentric family members who gather for the occasion. In a snappy tan vest and matching trousers, he drapes himself over a barstool and spins himself back to his childhood, where every dollar was counted and coveted — imitating himself as a child, precocious and fearful.

The musculature of the piece, as in most shows of this ilk, derives from the cadences and colloquialisms of dialect, accentuated by Don Reed's studied direction. In one scene, Harris conjures his estranged father's wedding day. This does raise the question of how Harris, Jr. The play's final portrait of Harris' year-old grandfather, facing down a gunman in the post office, is brilliant for its physical and vocal detail, as well as its blend of drama and wisdom.

It's the light around which the other stories flutter, yet it's still a random source of the piece's chaotic unity — perhaps because the grandfather has no interaction with the other characters whom Harris has introduced us to. Sometimes he re-borrows the repayment the same day. If she refuses to cooperate, he threatens to leave her.

The suspense comes from not knowing if she can — or will —untangle herself. The hardest part of letting go is accepting that nothing had been real. The title of this book is most appropriate. This book should inspire other Pen Women branches to create their own anthologies. The project was accomplished very successfully in this lovely, full-color, softbound book. As I read it from cover to cover, I felt connected to each of these Pen Women.

I learned about their early history and how they are associated as writers and artists with their community. Each chapter opened the door to new experiences, some painful and some hopeful. I felt the strength of the women as they met and faced what life brought to them. As the pages were turned, I took the time to appreciate the beautiful and inspiring art. The poetry will educate and illuminate your minds.

The depth of the thoughts will draw you into another time and space. You will see pictures in your own minds and feel linked to their stories. Book available through Mary Gardner via email to mlgardner37 yahoo. Her two older sisters are left behind in the village of Saidnaya, Syria, while Nadra, her parents, and her younger siblings journey to their new home. They settle in a community of Christian Syrians in Hedley, West Virginia, and open a confectionery shop. Nadra is a gifted cook, and the descriptions of Syrian foods and cooking are rich and sensual.

At the tender age of 16, Nadra is forced to marry the man her parents have chosen for her and become a wife and soon, a mother. The years pass. This book is a love story as well. Older than Nadra by several years, he adores his wife, even as she challenges him. Their relationship is strained by family, economic depression, war, and burdens from the past.

Nadra wonders if their marriage can survive. The author, Rose Ann Kalister, is a friend and colleague of mine. Over the past several years, I have listened as she read portions of her work and watched as she meticulously conducted research and included accurate details of early 20th-century Hedley, West Virginia. I expected the book to be good, but my expectations have been exceeded. In our nation of immigrants, it is a story that speaks to us all. Wield, a wife and the mother of four children, was working as a physician in a hospital in England when depression first invaded her life.

What followed would be seven years of self-injury that included burning herself, head banging, and cutting — always with the goal of ending her misery. She was hospitalized frequently and for months at a time, with home visits made possible at times when she appeared more stable. Cathy Wield shares her remarkable story of triumph over depression via narrative and diary entries.

After years of therapy and many, many medications, all seemed hopeless. Even the medical professionals were considering giving up hope of recovery. This incredible story of struggle, pain, and anguish addresses the stigma surrounding mental health issues and the humiliation of being a doctor who is ill. Because of this book, changes to mental health care began happening in England. Authors: Myra F. Neither a textbook nor a handbook, it is an exchange of emails between two women ages 93 and 80 describing their experiences and expressing their thoughts and opinions on the concerns and challenges they confronted in the process of aging.

Their observations and insights contradict and disprove many myths and assumptions widely believed about the aging population. The book would be useful not only to seniors as they age, but to their families and friends, to psychologists and other therapists who work with older adults, to administrators and professional staff in independent and assisted living facilities, and to those contemplating their own futures after traditional retirement age. I strongly recommend this very readable and highly enlightening book! How do you read poetry?

Or do you open the book at random, letting serendipity guide you? This book is its own special journey. Deceptively naturalistic. Will the itch linger? Throughout the collection, life is pondered with the same wonderment. Ikins searches for meaning and finds it, not only in her signature visual images, but in the simplicity and therefore complexity of everyday experiences. Her poems pull no punches. You will find no artifice or sugar coating here. Ikins draws beauty as well as hard truths from unexpected places: a deer fly, a chipped tooth, or an old truck.

You have been forewarned: Turn off the stove before you embark. The place is known only by the expressionless name, SVM. Inside Willa, however, is a poet who spends her time reading the works of Oliver Wendell Holmes and writing eloquent, insightful journal entries that record her journey through mourning to her entry into a new phase of life. Other characters abound, so many that it is difficult at first for the reader to recognize them all when they appear, but soon each of them emerges as a distinct personality.

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These characters are drawn with broad strokes that, at first, present them as mere types. When a new man arrives at SVM, widowed, childless Willa, ever a romantic, falls in love. Willa, however, sees with her heart, and they connect immediately. She imagines a glorious romance that might have been, and wonders if that is enough to build a strong relationship between them.

Reality forces her to consider whether there simply is not enough time left for them to make a life together. One by one and bit by bit, the characters relinquish their strength, their car keys, and control of their lives, but they never relinquish their dreams. The poems respect the distances between nature in the wild and civilized man, the observer, often with photographic equipment.

The mechanics of that equipment paradoxically distances him from the object observed though bringing it closer in view. In so doing, the poet enjoins the natural world and is of it and a part of its essence. Is Williams imagining a red ruby glittering dear and enigmatic? Her sense of a double view is remarkable. No one knew they were close to your last hurrah. Lorraine Walker Williams undoubtedly has talent. Her poems demonstrate a skillful use of language and meaningful observations of the natural world and the inhabitants in it. The reader will appreciate these virtues. Poetically is how Takara sees the world, so, when she chronicled her travels to China, she wrote lyrically and included a prose introduction and glossary.

She traveled to China to find an African connection, but her fascination grew beyond that. Full-color photos and verse in Shadow Dancing depict her intimate friendships with Chinese citizens and African students. Takara — scholarly, professional, friendly — immersed herself in the culture and was welcomed enthusiastically.

Chinese people invited her into their homes, allowing her an inside look at their daily lives. She researched and referenced their cultural traditions, politics and historical poets throughout her book. People may not smoke while driving on Chinese toll roads. After recklessly weaving around cars and swerving into oncoming traffic, her driver eluded the police and insisted she take a taxi. The lyrical beauty of the Spanish language translations awakens harmonies in the reader.

I read and reread each poem with the accompanying artistic paintings with such joy that I wore out the pages. An illustrative painting is found on page 20 of vivid reflections of shimmering violets, dots of blues, sun-bursting yellows, and haunting dark greens. Several poems are tranquil and tender while others are funny and cheeky. Such diversity in the interpretive paintings is watercolor, oils, and acrylic.

Dissertations & Theses from 12222

Each can stand alone as a gift to the reader. The ancient Japanese structure form of haiku of the syllables in three lines has evolved into a less structured but still delightful poetic pattern of imagination of nature as caught in the moment. This book makes a great gift for any lover of poetry and art. I believe it represents the epitome of work by members of the Pen Women.

Fourteen contributors, with fourteen different styles and artistic visions, come together to produce an anthology that is expansive, yet coherent. Contributors explore themes of nostalgia, friendship, grief, beauty, and wonder. Natural images, especially those involving birds and the sea, emerge again and again throughout the collection and serve to tie the works together into a cohesive whole.

The black and white format, though, does not do justice to the beauty of the works. Other branches considering publishing similar collections would be well advised to print the art images in full color, if possible. However, even in black and white, composition and subject matter of the selections are strong and the art is lovely. The poetry and prose range from traditional, rhyming poems, to free verse, to essays, to fables. Readers will be sure to enjoy the vast range of imagination and experience that informs the selections. These are the writings of women with both talent and skill for deep expression.

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Many of the written works focus on the passage of time. With this collection, the Portland Pen Women have demonstrated that diverse artists and writers can collaborate on a work that is both inclusive and graceful. It is the story of a kindly grandfather with a twinkle in his eye who loves the winter season. Grandfather Walter hands down three pearls of wisdom to his granddaughter, Bratt, about how to deal with bullies then shares an adventure from his childhood with all four of his grandchildren. She writes with a serene yet very relevant depth of observation while maintaining a level of accessibility critical to reading, understanding, and enjoying poetry.

The author is a mistress of communion, both in the relationships she honors and with the natural world she has had such close affinity with since childhood. These poems are just that — artisanal, lyrical vignettes debuting on the same roll of poetic film. Thirteen-year-old Angel Mason is a smart, impulsive, likable character who combines intellect, emotion, and instinct to solve her problems. Matter cannot be created; it merely changes form, but magical talents in this new world allow an artist to paint pictures that become real.

This award-winning book is well-suited for teens and any reader who likes fantasy, magic, adventure, and mystery. What an amazing story of a burgeoning faith where seeds were dropped onto barren soil — a wealthy family of power and prestige. Daughter Cia — a brat, uncaring, disrespectful, rebellious, and rarely held responsible. She went against the grain — always. What the heck? Cia, born into privilege, was diabetic, which contributed to doting from her well-meaning though somewhat maligned parents.

Her sexuality confused her. She wanted autonomy. Sex without commitment became her mantra. Breaking rules, returning home to its grandiose facade, she slowly began to notice cause and effect. She realized she was too often let off the hook because of her last name. She noticed poverty. She observed injustice and it haunted her. She began a quest to understand the universe at its most basic level — the mind and soul of humans. How, why we act the way we do. Every person did chores.

She learned to give of herself. She loves her daughter and her sons and worries about them, their individuality, their needs, their strengths, and their desires. Kinu and her sister, Kiyo, are close and remain best friends through shared joy and much strife. Japanese culture has taught them resilience. There is no doubt in my mind that this story will eventually be made into a movie or a television series. If you look on amazon. Her writing is amazing.

She will get you grounded in this family. You will tremble when the atomic bomb hits Hiroshima. This is now my all-time favorite book. Atrial fibrillation is a force to behold. I was hooked by the time I finished reading the first paragraph, as Ungar described her terrifying symptoms of a heart attack while addressing 25 men and women from the podium at a conference many miles from home. The symptoms were more intense and painful than any of her many bouts of atrial fibrillation, which she had endured for nearly 20 years.

The earlier bouts were not life threatening, but this one surely could be. The heart attack was a wake-up call for the year-old, savvy senior. Simply listening to and following recommendations from her doctors would no longer fly. She wanted more. What exactly did her current medications do for her? Should they be changed? What was on the horizon for new and improved measures to conquer this condition? No longer a passive patient, Ungar became her own advocate. In addition to doing research on changes in technology and pharmacology, she began to watch her diet more closely and set up a vigorous exercise program with a personal trainer.

Ungar takes her readers along every step of the way. Through all the turmoil and uncertainty, Ungar kept a stiff upper lip, a trait handed down from her mother, who had no sympathy for whiners or those with self-absorption. The reader sympathizes with and roots for Rosalie Ungar all along the way. For me, it was also educational. Professor, historian, and traveling author Beverly Chico has thoroughly researched the history and culture of headwear throughout the world, including wigs, crowns, caps, and veils. The colorful cover invites the reader to enter the interesting and readable world of headwear.

Once inside this one-volume encyclopedia, the reader will find alphabetically listed entries, interesting sidebar facts, and black-and-white illustrations. The book is an excellent resource and reference book for high school, academic, and public libraries. Then they pack an emotional punch to the gut. The prose is lyrical and heartrending. She expertly moves us through this world, the passage of time, and several interweaving tales.

At the center of the tales is Moti, a human girl turned elf. Through her, the reader comes to understand that this make-believe world is deeply rooted in reality. Ikins channels J. Rather than a boarding school, her backdrop is nature itself. This is also a dreamy, unpredictable place as nature becomes a metaphor for our truer, freer selves.

With this freedom comes peril. But the shadows are overwhelmed by the melodic regeneration of nature itself. For those of us on the human side of the divide, recognizing the hope of recovery is the greatest gift this brush with the wild side can bestow. It is an apt beginning for a book rich in experience and memory that glides gracefully across varied landscapes.

There are other reflective poems that touch on her relationship with her parents. Each of these transitions is keenly observed and absorbed into her cache of memories. She and her family eventually settled in Silicon Valley and witnessed the many changes that took place there.

This volume also contains gentle humor and generosity of spirit. By sharing with us her memories accumulated through an era of changing times, Taylor illuminates our shared histories and the many ways we adapt as the world around us transmutes again and again. Cathy Hamm grew up feeling empowered and capable. She was fortunate to have parents who filled her with unconditional love. Hamm enjoyed being a tomboy and doing outside chores. It was while working at a movie theater that Hamm decided she never wanted to feel vulnerable again. Her first official job in the field of conservation came about by default.

In high school, she was late to the table to pick up job placement opportunities and the only job left was working for the Department of Natural Resources DNR. This turned out to be serendipitous. After four and a half years of working at the DNR Southern Service Station, Hamm took the written test to become a conservation officer. Out of the 3, people who took the written test, she scored in the top She moved forward with strength, agility, medical, and psychological tests.

On July 2, , Hamm, another woman, and 15 men were sworn in as Minnesota conservation officers. Hamm knew she was in a field dominated by men; however, she believed her abilities would quickly prove how capable she was.

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Sadly, quite a few men had a difficult time working with a capable woman. Some wives of male officers felt insecure about their husbands working with a female partner all day. So many hurdles. Fortunately, Hamm also found many great male co-workers who were not intimidated by her abilities. Though some supervisors and partners created unnecessary struggles for Hamm, she continued to do the best job she could.

Unfortunately, bias against women continues to exist. Hamm was truly a trailblazer for women in the field of conservation. It is also about keeping your chin up, knowing which battles are worth it, working hard, staying the course, and proving your worth. Sadly, inequality does exist, yet women like Capt. Cathy Hamm who are willing to share their stories do affect change. Brenna, an almost-grown bluebird, gets knocked from her nest by Mr. Wind while her mother is out getting breakfast. Fearing the big yellow cat her mother had warned her about, Brenna cries out for help. Many creatures, from an ant to a cricket to a frog, hear her cries and show her how they can get to the nest.

The animals encourage Brenna to try out these skills, but with each attempt, she fails. Finally, just as Brenna is about to give up, Sally MacSquirrel excitedly tells her that she knows who can help — Belinda Butterflyer. Author: Brig. I have never met her, but I know I like her. I believe in her goodness, her truth, and her abilities. Her memoir is honest and forthright, the portrayal of a girl taught values by her parents. Clara always believed in her abilities, her mind, and her personal power. Her parents told her that she was Somebody.

That statement is beautiful in its simplicity. They let her know that she could achieve anything with hard work and perseverance.