Posted by: jockmackenzie | March 2, 2016


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READER OF THE DAY #38 Ellis Bartkiewicz

I’m a big fan of the newspaper and take all three to see how they stress different aspects of the same item. I also enjoy the opinions of columnists and like the reviews. I clip nearly everything I read and save it for my son in Ottawa who is writing novels. I’m slowly reading a book about Leonard Cohen, ‘Everybody Knows’ by Harvey Kubernik and earlier this year I read ‘Hold Still’ a memoir by Sally Mann who is a noted American photographer. Both these books chart lives that show incredible dedication to individual achievement and commitment, in other words my favourite kind of book. I’m also a regular at Bible study where I love the stories and the learning: achievement and commitment.

Amazon says this about Cohen’s Everybody Knows:

No other contemporary songwriter has created a body of work of such consistent quality, and such singular emotional and intellectual brilliance, as Leonard Cohen. His smoke-black vocal style navigates the most sophisticated and arresting of melodies in songs infused with romance, innuendo, and humor.

Arriving at the 60s pop-music party fashionably late, Cohen released his debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967. At 33 years of age, he was the adult in the room, a room brimming, then as now, with literary pretension and artistic self-importance. But Cohen, already established as a respected poet and novelist, was the real deal.

In the decades since, he has battled with drugs, love, and bankruptcy; become a Buddhist monk while simultaneously reaffirming his Jewish faith; and recorded 11 more albums of unfailingly affecting beauty. Beginning with Cohen the young poet and author in his home town of Montreal and ending with his 2012 release Old Ideas and recent acclaimed live performances, Everybody Knows honors Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday by celebrating his genius and tracing his rise to stardom through 200 photographs and the thoughts, memories, and reflections of those who have both worked with and been inspired by him.
And about Hold Still, they say:


The New York Times, Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, NPR, Publishers Weekly, BookPage

A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann.

In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann’s preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her.

Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: “deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder.”

In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.

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