"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."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Synopsis: Fantasy novel of a young orphan who learns he is a wizard and sent to sorcery school to learn to use his wizard gift...’responsibly’.
Writing Style: Imaginative satire.
Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: The imaginative writing, and especially the magical story was easy to read. I really liked how the story started, because I needed to be baptized in the fantasy a toe at a time. Once I was in however, I was in. I honestly cried laughing (at first) at Uncle Dursley and that cat reading the map. It was a treat to be whisked from the muggles world, to the sorcerers’ world, which really wasn’t much different in premise. Man-made subtleties...and animus... was replaced by magic wands, brooms called names like the Nimbus Two Thousand, wildlife that served as mail carriers, photos that made public appearances and food, among all else in the sorcery world filled with ‘spellbinding’ names made for an extra entertaining and appealing read. I mean, will the Gryffindors win the House Championship? What was Snapes up to, and exactly how does one pilfer something not identified? Following the story to learn the answers to the many riddles made reading Harry Potter an all-around delightful escape for anyone looking to take a break from thinking. Great Storytelling!

Note: Read the hardcopy, text copyright 1997 edition.

Friday, July 21, 2017

In My Shoes by Tamara Mellon

Synopsis: Memoir of a fashion entrepreneur co-founding the Jimmy Choo brand.
Writing Style: First person frank.
Pacing: Moderate-Fast.

Personal Highlights: Enjoyable writing and easy reading; the sincerity being so frank that the account read candid to a fault. First off, being a shoe junkie...making frequent trips to South Street (Philadelphia, Pa.) buying designer shoes I was told only me and three or four other people in the world owned, had me falling right in step with ‘the cobbler’ making one-off shoes for his elite clientele. From the outset Mellon’s innovative ‘couture’ fashion ideas and desire to grow the Jimmy Choo brand, figured at odds with Jimmy (the cobbler) Choo’s interest to work in a more exclusive manner with his craft and clientele; what set the tone for events to come.

Most striking were the impressions I tweezed from the business transactions distinguishing the 'mindset' divide between creative products and financial products; what made the overall account, and ending in particular, as engaging. While it was hard reading about Mellon’s many troubles, the energy behind her creative ideas was most inspiring. I especially rooted for that ending...a sentiment that was with me at the start of the story. And gosh!!! How the title so suits and is tailored perfectly for this memoir. Aspiring entrepreneurs really will benefit from reading ‘In My Shoes.’

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pain Don't Hurt by Mark 'Fightshark' Miller

Synopsis: Memoir of a professional Kickboxer reflecting on what almost broke him, and what made him.

Writing Style: First person genuine.

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: For starters, before reading ‘Pain Don’t Hurt’ I knew absolutely zero about kickboxing. In fact, when the cover caught my attention, I thought the story might be about a boxer...or maybe a wrestler. Going by the staid expression staring back at me, daring me to pick up the book, left no doubt the story was going to be gripping. But I took on the dare and went on and bought the book, even though it took several months before I racked up the nerve to read it.

Opened the book and couldn’t close it until I got to the end. Mark’s childhood story began a little rough. I say ‘a little rough’ because the story is that redemptive. To understand the brutal relationship with his parents took relating to growing up in the 70’s/80’s, reading between the lines, and reading to the end. Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s quote; “It’s hard to do road work when you are sleeping on silk sheets,” framed my respect of this hard upbringing, in as much as noting how it framed Mark’s passion and ultimate journey. A pleasant surprise was reading how this kickboxer loved to read, evident in the relatable, tremendously genuine and largely humorous writing. I mean, (I admit) to laughing about that conversation between him and his mother’s doctor. It as well touched me when his father sat by his hospital bed. I wholly respected Amy. And fell in love with Shelby, and the entire accounting of that Moscow event! Pain Don’t Hurt was super impressive, right down to the finger licking end. To quote Oscar Wilde, (quoted in the book), “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” I’m pretty sure this memoir will be one of my top 10 favorite books read in 2017. Highly recommended.