I just finished Weam Namou’s memoir series structured around her four year mystery school experience with esoteric author and teacher Lynn AndrewsWeam
I just finished Weam Namou’s memoir series structured around her four year mystery school experience with esoteric author and teacher Lynn Andrews. Namou didn’t realize at first that she was on a shamanic journey; what she really wanted to do was figure out where to go with her writing career. She’d been a journalist, writing for many Detroit-based newspapers and celebrated in the Iraqi American community for her in-depth reporting on cultural issues.
Namou was ten years old when her family immigrated, old enough to remember Bagdad before war tore her homeland apart. Her powerful words illustrate how this double identity can be confusing and how the mystery school profoundly reshaped her spirit. This vivid series truly come full circle in a spectacular way.
While Namou’s focus in Lynn Andrews’ school is on becoming a more evolved spiritual person, her cultural identity as a Christian in a Muslim country, and then as a new American, is a strong companion theme. Still more, she weaves family stories that anyone can identify with, from trying to be a good wife and mother while also pursuing a demanding career in writing, to being a dutiful daughter and caring sibling in a large family.
Readers also get an inside peek at the writing life, from hilarious and heartbreaking stories of the would-be producer of Namou’s film script to the agents who championed her work along the way. With everything else it is-- adventure story, mystic tutorial, modern career mom saga, Namou’s memoir series is at heart a testament to the power and grace of storytelling.
When a writer has her own shelf in my bookcase, as Margaret Atwood does, it's a given that I love her work. That Hag-Seed is part of the Hogarth ShakeWhen a writer has her own shelf in my bookcase, as Margaret Atwood does, it's a given that I love her work. That Hag-Seed is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series gives it a special sparkle. That's the backstory. Front burner: this book absorbed and elevated me.
Another of my favorite authors, Anne Tyler, also did a book from this series. Vinegar Girl, based on Taming of the Shrew, was charming and funny. But that's Shakespeare: he has his comedies and his tragedies. Atwood takes on The Tempest, which combines the best elements of both. I admit to loving the comedies over the tragedies, so I approached The Tempest with a hint of trepidation.
All worry disappeared from the first page I read. Margaret Atwood doesn't need me to vouch for her brilliance. But readers might want to know that brilliance in her hands is never boring. The older I get the more I like popular fiction. It's rare to find that kind of writer who can be both literary and popular, who can have me turning the pages, ignoring my usual routines, and also move me, deeply and truly.
The plot is beyond clever, but the character of Felix takes it higher. Aging, aggrieved Felix touched me on every level: as an aging artist, as a person who used to have much more in the way of goals, as one who has lost ambition and doesn't know what to replace it with, as a guy who hangs on, perhaps for too long, to ghosts of the past. I heard echoes of Margaret Atwood's own dilemma as an aging and revered author, as well as my own as a far more humble striver, in Felix's all too human depiction of what it means to be human. ...more
Rock memoirs are cool because you already know the front story. I like learning the story behind the headlines. I particularly want to know what partiRock memoirs are cool because you already know the front story. I like learning the story behind the headlines. I particularly want to know what particular mix of personality, talent, luck and determination made this person become a star. I like the build up to that cusp of fame and then the moment when fame hits. I also like to see how it really is to live with fame and how this particular artist will handle it. Born to Run did all that and so much more. Bruce Springsteen's story sounds like his music. The voice of his lyrics, the feel of his music, are in there, in his words. But this book is the extended version--Bruce generously gives us the background and inspiration to so many songs. He doesn't stint on the struggles he's had with anxiety and depression. When he says that he writes because it's a way to "stay sane" you get the idea that he has used everything, the good and the bad, to fuel his career. He never let anything stop him, and he always knew what he wanted to do. His singular focus and enormous energy are apparent not because he speaks of these qualities, but because the stories he tells illustrates them. Brilliant and undisguised:)...more
I have been a fan of Terry Tyler for years and always anticipate her new releases. This novel was no exception. Although Tyler has not written a psychI have been a fan of Terry Tyler for years and always anticipate her new releases. This novel was no exception. Although Tyler has not written a psychological thriller before, she is in touch with what makes people--the good, the bad, and the strange--tick. There's nobody better at sketching a character in a sentence or two, and because of that, everyone in the large cast of characters is engaging, from the stars of the show to those who appear only briefly, no character is stereotypical. The serial killer plot has complex layers structured differently than most, it's quite original and skillful. There's a twist I did not see coming that had me hanging on every last word. Another page-turning success for this prolific author. ...more