Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dear Great Book Guru,  I have waiting all year for this weekend- yes, it is the Sea Cliff Civic Association’s Silly Shakespeare performance of “The Tempest” well -actually the company’s very own hilarious version: “The Tem-Pissed” with a strong “ Love Boat” overlay. It’s this week Saturday, September 26 at 5 pm at Sea Cliff Beach with a raindate of Sunday. But wait, I will need something to read while I wait for the show to begin- do you have a recommendation?   A Besotted Silly Shakespeare Fan

Dear Besotted,  I can appreciate your excitement and I do have an interesting book to fill the hours before “The Tem-Pissed” begins:  HOLD STILL by Sally Mann.  Miranda Best, who has a beautiful exhibit of her paintings this month at the Sea Cliff Library, recommended Mann’s book and it is quite wonderful, indeed.   Sally Mann is a world renowned photographer and this  autobiography  touches on her family, her art, and  her views on the South,  racism, death, memory, technique and more. . She writes about colorfully eccentric family members who traced their roots back to the Mayflower.  Texas billionaires, Connecticut drug dealing in-laws, and Virginia philandering philanthropists are all described in rich detail.   While Mann’s treatment of her mother is brutally frank and unsentimental, she is unflinchingly admiring of her father.  She also addresses the controversy surrounding the photos she took of her three young children that prompted wide criticism. Most startling is her assertion that photographs have destroyed our memories- when we look at a photograph we no longer  remember the actual event;  in fact,  seeing the photo alters our perception of the event.  A very entertaining and ultimately thought-provoking book- highly recommended!

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