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url 2018-04-13 12:14
Arts and Kids Mindfulness, Book Excerpt from Nataša Nuit Pantović in Sunday Times
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Arts and Kids Mindfulness

Arts and Kids Mindfulness, Excerpt of Conscious Parenting Mindful Living Course for Parents (Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Book 5) by Nataša Nuit Pantović

When children are physically active and creative, they tend to focus better and work more enthusiastically with the rest of the curriculum.

Arts, sport, music and drama are often viewed as fun extra-curricular activities for children but are given less importance compared with core subjects such as English, science, or mathematics.

The arts should be taken seriously as a source of inspiration, as a way of life
- Nataša Pantović

Nevertheless, numerous studies prove that practising arts, music and sport from an early age improves brain activity, self-confidence, and gives students an overall sense of well-being.

Students who consistently prac­tise sport, arts, music, drama, and dance, are usually more creative and innovative and also perform better academically.

To read the full Conscious Parenting Mindful Living Course for Parents Book Excerpt by Nataša Nuit Pantović published in Sunday Times please go to

 

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120513/education/Arts-make-students-smart.419615

Source: www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120513/education/Arts-make-students-smart.419615
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review 2018-04-07 22:35
Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen 4.5 Star Review!!
Block and Strike - Kelly Jensen

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

 

Review

 

Jacob and Max. I love the complexity of this romance. I love how much each hero has going on internally and externally when they meet. 

All the conflicts press in on them and they fall in love anyway and we want them too. 

This is a well written love story with so many fine details: internalized homophobia, martial arts, bi phobia, anger management. Despite the dark themes, this is a hopeful and healing romance overall with a great cast and wonderful arc for each hero. 

Jacob delays telling Max somethings too long in ways that don't make sense but they are both flawed, lovely and lovable characters that I adored.

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review 2018-03-31 17:03
F Scott Fitzgerald's letters - a side not seen in his fiction.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters: A New Collection Edited and Annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli - F. Scott Fitzgerald,Matthew J. Bruccoli

I have a whole new appreciation for F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing now, having read his doubts, worries, exacting notes to his publisher, concerns that nobody would "get" it. This man who seems so sure of himself in all of his novels is a worrier, scared, desperate to be a good writer (even after his early success.) In short, he's very human.

 

I reread Gatsby while reading this correspondence, and given his personal financial worries, apologies to those he owed money to, etc, I have a different take on it now than I did before - partly influenced also by my advancing age and events of the last decade or so. I wonder if Fitzgerald - great American novelist - didn't wonder, from time to time, if the American Dream was a crock? Dunno - just a thought.

 

It was exciting to hear him introducing other great writers (Hemingway, for instance) to literary agents and critics. He was genuinely in awe of other writers. His letter to Willa Cather and his words about her in letters to others show he was truly a fan - you can tell from the deferential tone. And while he may have been less than level-headed from moment to moment, or way too far in his cups, he was funny, personable and interesting always.

 

Sadly we're limited to the letters saved. This means that a bunch written to Zelda aren't included, since she didn't save her letters from him. (No remarks on that, Ella!) I've always sort of loved Zelda, but it's clear from these letters that so did F. Scott Fitzgerald, or at least he repeated it to everyone he wrote.

 

These are worth reading if you're nosy like me.

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review 2018-03-25 22:30
A Girl in Exile: Requiem for Linda B -- Surreal life under dictatorship
A Girl in Exile: Requiem for Linda B. - Ismail Kadaré,John Hodgson

A wild ride - originally published in Albanian in 2009. Set right before the demonstrations that would signal the fall of communism in Albania, but still firmly within the grasp of dictatorship and its bureaucracy, playwright Rudian Stefa meets a lovely young woman at a book signing after a performance of his play in the capital city of Tirana.

 

The young woman, Migena, asks for a signature "for her friend, Linda B." Rudian thinks she's asking for herself, but also finds her quite attractive and they begin an affair. The book opens as things start to tumble. Rudian's upcoming play is held up by the Artistic Board who is concerned about whether socialist realism can include ghosts, he's had a fight with Migena, and he gets called to the Party headquarters for questioning. There he learns that Linda B has committed suicide. His book and signature are in her possession, and she's written consistently about him in her diaries.

 

So begins a twisty tale of Rudian's fear, creative impulses, anger and all sorts of other things. Can he trust Migena (whose name is an anagram for enigma?) What does she have to do with Linda B? If Linda was obsessed by him, is it his fault that she committed suicide? What about the state, who has exiled Linda's entire family, relegating young Linda to a life much different from the one Migena has embarked upon. And is Migena trustworthy? Can you trust anyone when the state is watching every move you make? Can you blame anyone when the State is actually the one in control? What is worse - death, or a life you do not actually control? Is that even a life? Most of all, can you actually create when every line or stroke of a pen will be scrutinized for its political purity?

He could not tell from where he had to seek permission, if permission were necessary for every discovery or innovation in art.


I wasn't sure I liked this book, if I understood what was happening, or even IF anything was happening until about 100 pages into the total of under 200. But when it came together, it did so with force, and everything fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle where you finally see the whole picture.

 

This is a philosophical meditation, a big story set among just a few people that gives us a glimpse of the absurdity, fear and confusion living under this regime could cause. Everyone from Hamlet to Orpheus to Zelda Fitzgerald shows up and helps tell the tale of regular-yet-extraordinary people trying to get through life with strings pulling them from just out of sight.

 

I'm not as talented as Ismail Kadare, so I'll just say this is certainly an impactful and worthwhile read.

 

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review 2018-03-17 01:38
We're Going to Need More Wine - Uneven but Still Good
We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True - Gabrielle Union

I think I would like to be friends with Gabrielle Union, though I doubt she has the time.

 

I'll be honest, as not too much of a social media or celebrity person, I wasn't entirely sure who she even was, but then I realized I'd seen her speeches on YouTube, and I had always liked what she had to say. So clearly I was in, if only I could get my hands on the darn book!

 

Finally a copy came in from the library. I forced myself to wait rather than purchasing. I don't have room for more one-read books. This is a one-time read for me, but that doesn't mean it isn't interesting or good.

 

Gabrielle Union is a smart lady. She's clear on things like being a stepmom, rape, being black in the USA, being a woman, trying to get pregnant, not having children of her own...

 

When Union is passionate, she writes extremely well. When she is dwelling on gossip, it lost the luster for me. I honestly don't care much about how hard it is to be in the public spotlight or how Hollywood doesn't treat older women well. Know what? The whole world doesn't treat older women well. Somehow I can't feel sorry for these celebs.

 

But when she writes from the heart: about the difficulty in coming to terms with aging or the trauma of assault and rape or any number of other topics, she soars. 

 

As such, this is one of the most uneven books I can still recommend. Come for the laughs, stay for the depth.

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