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Despite the outdatedness, as the editors lecture on how to set your typewriter in order to produce clear manuscripts, using the short stories is a great idea. Even the stories' authors admit their work is flawed. Throw in a great bibliography and reading list, and some very funny observations from the editors about submissions (they are rejecting papers you typed on, not you personally) and this is a quick read and very informative. I highly recommend it if you can find it!
is as well suited for all who care about books and do not just simply want to consume them.
Instead of reading tons of boring theoretical papers on literature, those people should rather
consider reading this book. Besides a theoretical introduction, it contains commented short-stories.
A very good mixture.
This book did a wonderful job of showing me the other side of the desk, of what editors are looking for when they look at manuscripts and how to ensure the story you tell is the one that they absolutely must have. (It's not a formula book; it's showing how to shape your story so it fits the -story's- needs, rather than a preconceived notion of what the editor wants.)
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And then there are families that get an extra helping of imperfection. Instead of dreams, they get challenges which can either pull them together or fracture them. In Anne Ford's case the "perfect world" dream dissolved when she learned that her daughter Allegra had learning disabilities. While they were not visible to the naked eye, what was going on inside Allegra was impeding her development and her ability to learn. It's never easy to accept a dark, definitive verdict, especially when it concerns a small child. To her credit, Anne did. And then she became Allegra's advocate and cheerleader, as well as her mother.
Few books have moved me as much as LAUGHING ALLEGRA. While the story of our family is different from Anne's, I do know what happens when the picture gets blurred. What works about this book is that Anne writes this memoir with candor and feeling --- right from the heart. She captures the swirl of emotion that surrounds this diagnosis, the questions that every parent asks and the path through what is always uncharted territory, as each child is his or her own mosaic. At the same time, she offers concrete information that parents of learning-disabled children need. Most important of all: Anne Ford shows us, beat by beat, how she helped her daughter build a world in which she could laugh instead of cower, succeed instead of fail. She empowered Allegra and along the way empowered herself as well.
The book is by no means whitewashed with only upbeat anecdotes. In her writing you can feel the pain that filled many of these years, as well as the uncertainty. The book took four years to write and along the way Anne had to dredge up some feelings that readers will see are still raw. There is no quick patch when you have watched your child hurting; clearly, she ripped the bandages off to write this.
Often when people learn that things are not "perfect," there is a natural feeling of being overwhelmed with the unknown. For parents who have found themselves either on the cusp of the diagnosis, or grappling with its meaning, or even those who are further along the path and want to read how another family grew with this, I recommend LAUGHING ALLEGRA. I also recommend it for parents of so-called "normal children," who may want to understand rather than dismiss the schoolmate their child knows who is different, or special.
Anne's book stresses that this is a family issue as it affects the entire family. She was a single mother, but also had a son, Alessandro, whose role as Allegra's older brother took him on a journey that he also had not expected. The effect on him is spoken about with enough depth to ensure that readers realize that that all people in the family must grapple with the challenge.
One thing to note here. Allegra is now thirty and living independently. As I read I thought about the great strides that are being made every day in the diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities. Anne and Allegra came to tackle many of the challenges without the tools that are now in place. This, as much of any of Anne's stories, can bring parents great hope.
The back of the book has appendices with list of resources and excellent guidelines on such topics as Questions Parents Ask, Mothers and Fathers Understanding Each Other and Your Legal Rights. They are as well-written as the rest of the book, and provide more nuts and bolts information.
I cannot recommend a book more highly than this. Halfway through I found myself making lists of people who would enjoy it. I encourage you to pick it up --- and then spread the word.
--- Reviewed by Carol Fitzgerald
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Written in a stone-cold jail cell above a river in 1670's England, Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" is one of the great classics of all time, offering penetrating, spiritual insights relevant to all. It's been translated into 120 languages and is, as C.S. Lewis put it, "... a book that has astonished the whole world." It has stood the test of time.
An allegorical depiction of the journey through life, for many generations it was an integral part of the education of America's youth, helping shape the character of the nation. To a great extent, we are still benefitting from the social inertia provided by the spiritual insight it provided. It is a book that takes on new relevance each time it is read (which should be at least once a year), as you mature.
The language of the original English has a charm, but the "wilt's", "wherefores", "canst thous" and "came not nighs" can be an obstacle to modern readers. Cheryl Ford has done an excellent job of rendering "Pilgrim's Progress" in modern English while remaining faithful to the original.
Ford includes Parts 1 and 2 (some renderings contain only Part 1) most of Bunyan's margin notes, has a general index, exhaustive scripture index and discussion questions.
For those that want the original language as Bunyan wrote it, there is ISBN 0-85151-259-3, a beautiful deluxe hardcover with etchings by Strang and text based on the 1895 edition of Nimmo.
Buy this book and discover what this pilgrim goes through as he searches for a safe place.
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In a quote from Proust Debbie captures how we must shift our vision when confronted with the pain, fear, anger and uncertainty that divorce bestows upon us - "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
Through Ford's new eyes and personal divorce experience, we learn from and make peace with what we are leaving behind and focus on what new vistas and opportunities are opening up for us. She offers 7 spiritual laws for healing and takes us through these stages with examples that we can all relate to. We begin with acceptance and move along through various stages, including forgiveness and accepting responsiblity. We transform this experience into a new future, filled with the power, energy and knowledge we have gathered from this life lesson.
Debbie guides us through this journey with support, warmth and enthusiasm and the reader is left with the vision of unlimited opportunities by seeing tomorrow through "new eyes". I have read many books on divorce, but none as powerful,hopeful and motivating as "Spiritual Divorce". Thank you Ms. Ford for lighting the way for me.
The book takes you on a journey through the seven laws for having a spiritual divorce -- acceptance, surrender, divine guidance, responsibility, choice, forgiveness and creation. Each step along the way to healing is punctuated with down-to-earth exercises, examples, and the author's own compelling story.
I was totally inspired by this book, and by Debbie Ford's work. I've already recommended it to several of my friends. This book will heal the hearts of everyone who reads it, and could ultimately transform the experience of divorce as we know it.
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Some of the most humorous anecdotes of "Name Above the Title" involve madcap, always colorful Columbia boss Harry Cohn, who took his Gower Street studio from the ranks of "Poverty Row" to the that of a giant. Capra helped significantly with box office smashes such as "It Happened One Night", "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington","Lost Horizon" and "Meet John Doe." It took awhile, but the Capra film which has soared to top spot in the hearts and minds of the public was the 1946 release starring Jimmy Stewart, "It's a Wonderful Life." The star was so enthused about the story that he pitched it personally to Capra after driving over to his house. Capra relates the time that he begged Cohn not to drop a struggling young cartoonist from the Columbia payroll, predicting that he would be sorry. Capra was right as the cartoonist was a young, meek Iowa farm boy named Walt Disney.
One of Capra's great contributions was directing and producing the excellent World War Two documentary series "Why We Fight." He tells about being called into the office of Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall, who asked him to undertake the project. "But I've never done a documentary!" a surprised Capra replied. Marshall pointed out that he had never run an army before either, and that the American way during the critical war period was for citizens to learn jobs with which they were previously unfamiliar. Capra saw Marshall's logic and the rest is history.
This autobiography is fascinating enough for the interesting information about Capra's life. What makes it even better is that you are reading the revelations of a good man who did his best to instill positive values into his films, and to help in his distinctive way to make America a better country.
The around six-hundred page book covers Capra's life from his childhood as a Sicilian imagrent living in Los Angles to his retirement from film in the early 1970's. Early on you discover how important family was to Mr.Capra, and the impact that his father, mother, and dozen brothers and sisters had on him. I was also surprised to learn that as a youth Frank loathed this country. The book goes on to tell about Franks work as a gage writer for silent films, and how when he first signed-on with Columbia, the studio was considerd a joke.
There a number of major themes throughout the book, among them the importance of family and friends, patriotism, the changes in the Hollywood system, and the importance of a good storie. One thing I particularly enjoyed was to learn about the many diverse friends that Capra had, among them Russian-born composer Dimitri Tiomkin, space-telescope name-sack Erwin Hubble, and even Ted Gusile (better knowen as DR. Suess).
This wonderful book is so many things, it is the storie of Capra's life, it is fifty years of Hollywood history, and the bible of Frank Capras philosophy on life. If you are interested in any of these things, then read this book.