"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."

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier

Synopsis: Reflections of a celebrated American Actor trailblazing a telling path in film and theater.

Writing Style: Pleasant, wordy in spots, all-around elegant.

Pacing: Moderately Fast

Personal Highlights: Where do I start!?

First of all, I found it as ironic as wholly surprising that Poitier began his career unable to read or write, a sharp contrast to the serious, articulate character I saw on screen; what makes the overall tone of his introspective biography remarkably engaging.

Poitier’s exposure to, and understanding of, black culture is written unlike any other literature I’ve yet to come across. His experiences are rich. Raised in the 30's/40's by hard-working parents, Caribbean life (Cat Island, Nassau, the Bahamas) was tough, but simple... paling in comparison to the callous awakening he got when he moved to America; Miami first, and shortly thereafter, New York. Saved by his guiding principles and hard scrabble making a living without sparing his dignity, he wended up turning a paradoxical coincidence into an experience that set (film) history in motion.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Synopsis: Reflections of Michelle Obama Becoming First Lady.

Writing Style: Velvety, Measured, Humorous

Pacing: Meticulous

Personal Highlights: Having observed and admired Michelle Obama from afar, catching many images of her (and her lovely family) on TV, along with the one time I saw her and then little gymnast Gabrielle Douglas photoed during an interview, made reading her memoir a special treat.

What surprised me most was her modest upbringing. I wholly loved her parents, her mom specifically, and related to her family’s stories indicative of many black families rooted in America’s early history. I’ll likely forever enjoy picturing Uncle Terry mowing the lawn dressed in wingtips and suspenders.

Other aspects that caught my attention was the velvety, measured, almost novel-like (humorous in many spots) writing. I’m thinking of that dream, similar to other euphemisms used to augment viewpoints. Overall, and none too ironic, and then ironic just the same, was Michelle growing up focused, organized and living by-the-book like many young women of that time who avoided ‘messy situations’ and cared a lot about what others thought. In other words, her story is common... as she points out... up until she meets Barack Obama, prior to him becoming the 44th president of the United States.