"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Life is Short by Jennifer Arnold, MD, & Bill Klein

Synopsis:  Humble beginnings of the charismatic couple featured on TLC’s The Little Couple

Writing Style: Straightforward alternating stories from Jen (Arnold) Klein and Bill Klein.

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: Plain and simple, I fell head over heels in love with this memoir; the perfect go-to book for healthy doses of inspiration and information about Spondyloepiphyseal (Skeletal) Dysplasia.

Both Jen and Bill, in tagging fashion, share parts about their entry into this world, their family, challenges they faced being short people, and (in leaps and bounds... no pun intended) their successes and achievements.

It was surprising to learn how little was known in medical communities (in the 70’s) about skeletal dysplasia. Much praise is due to Dr. Kopits, one of very few, if not the only doctor who specialized in the field at the time.

One truly interesting aspect about Jen and Bill’s stories was how their experiences were both unique and then similar. At times I found myself rereading paragraphs, forgetting which one was narrating. This seemed due to the ‘clean’ editing, because not only did they have different dysplasia’s but their support systems differed. Their personalities contrasted some too, albeit in complimenting ways. I found myself touched to tears about Jen’s ‘getting hooded’ after completing medical school, along with her pioneering passion fielding medical simulation...a vital area of medicine that saves and enhances lives. I honestly saw her mirroring in a surreal way her savior Dr. Kopits. And Bill, I was just flooded with emotion reading his experiences. His outlook on life, like Jen, is inspiring, and I loved his humor. It touched me to the core reading about his interview with Michael at Triad Medical, Inc.

Panther Baby by Jamal Joseph

Synopsis:  Memoir of a young man fighting for disadvantaged people living in his community

Writing Style: Straightforward. Candid. To-the-point.

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: I must give it to Jamal. Not only does he make his experiences easier to digest, he paints a clear informative picture of what was at the heart of the Black Panther movement.

Initially he was on track... slated to graduate high-school at 16...finish college in 3 years... go to law school...be an attorney...buy himself and his grandmother side-by-side beautiful homes in the suburbs...become a senator or congressman...since, ‘although his teachers thought he had an inborn genius to become president,’ back then the goal for a black man (or woman) becoming president of the U.S. was as unrealistic as living on Mars.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Confessions of a Comedian by Kip Addotta

Synopsis:  Memoir of an American professional comedian.

Writing Style: Straightforward, Unadorned, Quiet.

Pacing: Moderate.

Personal Highlights: The pacing of Kip’s memoir, reminding me much of Steve Martin’s humor, picks up pacing around page 50 with the chapter, ‘Out On My Own.’ Although his accomplishments didn't jump off right away I enjoyed reading about the many celebrities he’s met and befriended; Michael Richards who played Kramer on Seinfeld to name one. Really got a kick out of the rendezvous, hanging out with Elvis Presley, Diana Ross and I think it was Tina Turner, just naming a few of the many notables he’s observed, to include Bill Cosby and a number of hip-hop artists. I as well applaud his work on The Tonight Show and the hundreds of stages he’s worked all over the world. The professional advice he lends as a result of his observations and lessons learned therein were a personal favorite. Points raised, from running a club, to stage set-up, to performing, made for an overall respectable confession.