Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have enjoyed these books so much I wanted to share them with you!

For the legion of Lisa See fans, myself included, the sequel to Shanghai Girls is here. As always, it’s a page turner filled with so many interesting ‘factoids’ that’s you’ll not only be enthralled by the story but learn so much about China under Mao’s rule.  Don’t miss these richly drawn characters and Lisa’s vivid storytelling!

This book became #1 on the New York Times Book Review  fiction list the week it came out!!!



I am in awe of Diane Ackerman!  Her  use of metaphor, the sheer beauty of her poetic writing, and her vast frame of reference are inspiring.  Author of ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’,’A Natural History of the Senses’ and so many more, Ackerman writes of the redemptive power of love along the journey she and her husband Paul West, also a prolific writer, found themselves on after his stroke.

Daniel Siegel, MD said of this gem of a book, “Combine the brilliant sensibility of a poet and essayist with the compelling articulation of her mindful wisdom and intense devotion and voila – you have the powerful journey into the many ways love can inspire healing after profound brain damage.”

“A gorgeously engrossing, affecting, sweetly funny, and mind-opening love story of crisis, determination, creativity, and repair.”  Booklist




If you’re like me, as you read this page turner by David Brooks, you’ll just about use up your yellow marker.  There are insightful thoughts about art and creativity that were especially relevant for me in  this brilliant ‘attempt to integrate science and psychology with sociology,  politics, cultural commentary, and the literature of success.’ (D.B.)

Brooks has invented two characters and tells their life story at the ‘level of emotions, intuitions, biases, and deep inner longings, where character is formed and the seeds of accomplishment grow.’ (D.B.)

A must read for any ‘Social Animal’!



O.K., get out the Kleenex!!!


Why are we here and what is our purpose are the questions behind this beautifully crafted story by Bruce Cameron, the New York Times bestselling author of ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter”.

Iris Rainer Dart, the New York Times bestselling author of ‘Beaches’ said, “This book is a classic.  A beautiful, uplifting, tenderly told, frequently funny, and exquisitely moving story… I am awash in the tears of recognition (that) every dog lover will shed when they read this remarkable book.”

Even if you’ve never had a dog you will love this book!!!


For More Information:

David Brooks on

1 comment:

Julie (O-kami) said...

ooo - I just read A Dog's Purpose. Need an entire box of tissues. Awesome, awesome book.


There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.