Monday, May 16, 2016

Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman

Make Good Art (2013) by Neil Gaiman is a very small book with a great message.

The transcript of the 2012 commencement address given by Gaiman at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, this is an inspirational and often amusing little book filled with wit and words of wisdom.

Though he is specifically speaking to students graduating from an art program, his messages are universal, such as: doing and failing is better than not trying at all, as long as you do your best, and stay true to yourself.

Emphasized throughout is the message that everyone makes mistakes, and the sooner you can accept that, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with whatever mistakes you make. And certainly that creativity is a gift everyone should nurture and apply anywhere they can.

Gaiman's inspiring words of wisdom are brilliantly presented in this book via the graphic design of Chip Kidd, who perfectly captures the whimsy and enthusiasm of Gaiman's spoken words.

Very uplifting for 30 minutes of reading!
"If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful. I once missspelled Caroline, in a letter, transposing the a and the o, and I thought, 'Coraline looks like a real name...'"
Keep reading! Beth


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project (2013) by Graeme Simsion was a sweet, surprising story about a man with many idiosyncrasies who struggles with accepting his own limitations in a world that (frustratingly) does not operate in the logical, orderly way he requires.

When I first started this book, I was really worried that the author would mock the main character and use his different-ness as comedic relief. But Don was an incredibly sympathetic character and I enjoyed his story immensely, especially coming from his unusual but understandable perspective. The Rosie of the title was a very interesting and decently complex character, who had her own plot developed outside of being the main love interest in the story -- always appreciated.

I loved that, since the reader was treated to Don's thought process but not Rosie's, he came off as the more likeable character, despite his own social issues contrasted to Rosie's "normal-ness". My only very small complaint is that the ending seemed a little rushed, but then again the point of the story was really about the journey and not the ending, which left the main characters in a satisfying way. To that end, I have waffled about whether or not to read the sequel, The Rosie Effect, since finishing The Rosie Project. I really liked this as a self-contained story and am very reluctant to get into another story that might muddle the waters, so to speak. For now, I was happy to have read this as a very good, heat-warming, stand-alone novel.
"It was also obvious that Rosie had very poor taste in coffee -- or she had done as I had and ignored the label 'coffee' and was enjoying it as an entirely new beverage. The technique was working brilliantly." (201)
Keep reading! Beth