Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2001 Part 3

23. Jackson Pollock: An American Saga (biography) - Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith. This 900+ page biography isn't just about Pollock, it's about 20th century art and Pollock's world in general as well as the figures he came in contact with like Peggy Guggenheim, Thomas Hart Benton, Clem Greenberg and the artist who would become his greatest promoter and wife, Lee Krasner. Naifeh and Smith present Pollock warts and all. The whole book is excellently researched and written. Ed Harris used this for his source material when he directed and starred in a 2000 biopic about Jackson Pollock.

24. For The Love of God: The Faith and Future of the American Nun (nonfiction) -Lucy Kaylin. Kaylin examines convents in the United States that are clsoing due to dwindling numbers of women unvilling to choose a life of religious service. On the other hand, some convents are thriving, but their numbers are small. Kaylin interviews a few dozen nuns and former nuns. Another good book related to this subject is Sisters by John J. Fialka.

25. The Chocolate War (novel) - Robert Cormier. This is Cormier's big hit, but I much preferred Fade, a later novel. This prep school story about Jerry refusing to sell chocolates for the school and the dramatic outcome seems like so much blather.

26. Tiger Eyes (novel) - Judy Blume. I read this for an Adolescent Literature class, but I only remember that the main character's faher died and the family goes to New Mexico to stay with an uncle.

27. Farewell To Manzanar (memoir) - Jeanne Wakatasuki Houston. Another for the Adolescent Literature class. As a child, the author and her fmaily were placed in a Japanese-American interrment camp until World War II had ended. This thoughtful and intelligent look back at how her whole fmaily was affected should be required reading in schools.

28. The Complete Tightwad Gazette (nonfiction) - Amy Dacyczyn. I was teaching an ESL class for university students and we were doing a chapter on recycling. I vaguely remembered "a tightwad lady" who had some "wacky hints" about recycling. I found the book at Hastings and bought it. The lesson for my students ended later that week and mine was just beginning. I became so engrossed in Dacyczyn's story and methods and the stories of other successes from folliwing her advice that I couldn't stop reading and rereading and ruminating. This ended up being one of the books of my life and one that came with me to Korea. TCTG is an excellent resource. I wish I had encountered such a book early in my life.

1 comment:

  1. I read Farewell to Manzanar in 6th grade and it opened my eyes for the first time to some things that I had never heard about before. I still tell people about this book and agree that it should be required reading!