Tag Archive | Art

Review of The Art of Calm by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh


About The Art of Calm

Let’s face it: the more we rush around, the shorter the days can seem. Packed with page after page of inspirational ideas to help you bring your life back to center, this is the perfect antidote to reducing the chaos of everyday life. Filled with exquisite photographs and insightful quotations, this elegant book offers an opportunity to enjoy guilt-free “me” time, as well as easy suggestions for a more peaceful existence—from keeping a bud vase on your desk to tucking yourself into bed an hour early with a book you love. The brilliant images are a reminder to savor the world’s natural beauty—and ease the mind in an instant. This enriching, beautifully illustrated book is an inspiring guide to relaxation and harmony. Simple tips for how to unwind, ideas for spending quality time with loved ones, and illuminating quotes offer ideas on how to slow down and savor life’s simple moments.

My Review

Let me start by saying this is an absolutely exquisite book. The stunning images, the simple yet inspiring and encouraging words indeed create a calming balm.

I have been dealing with very challenging issues lately in which I find myself overwhelmed at times requiring a recharge of my battery but..with responsbililites and limited time along with my high stress level I have failed at renewing myself until this beautiful book came my way.

No such thing as accidents, so it seems in my situation. I have enjoyed perusing the pages, absorbing the images and taking a few minutes to calm myself despite the various serious issues on my plate. A few minutes is all it takes to lose yourself in the illustrations paired with the wise words gently nudging, granting permission for respite from life’s grueling demands. Sitting on my nightstand, I simply reach over to start and end my day with a moment of calm, believe me it works!

I enjoyed all the illustrations and words, I found this particular pearl of wisdom striking –

Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives
when we are paying attention: mangos, grand nieces, Bach, ponds. This happens more often when we have as little expectations as possible…Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time.
Let it be. Unto us, so much is given.
We just have to be open for business.

This would make a fantastic gift for any woman encouraging her to find mere minutes in her life to feel a moment of calm, after all, WE can all use a dose in this chaotic, hectic world.

I love this book and I know you will too. I look forward to more from Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, no doubt she helped improve my life with her generous gift and art of calm. Simply lovely!

About Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

Rebecca Ascher-Walsh is a journalist who covers celebrities and lifestyle. She contributes to many newspapers and magazines, including Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journaland The L.A. Times.

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Publisher: National Geographic (March 29, 2016)


Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: The Collector by Anne-Laure Thiéblemont


•Release date: August 11, 2015
at Le French Book
•211 pages
•ISBN: 978-1939474445

Website | Goodreads


Some people collect art, others collect trouble. Marion Spicer spends her days examining auction catalogues and searching for stolen works of art. She is a top-notch investigator when it comes to eighteenth-century art. But for her it’s just a job and her life is well ordered. All this changes when she inherits a huge and very prestigious collection of pre-Columbian art from a father she never knew. There are conditions attached: she must first find three priceless statues. That is when her troubles begin. Her father’s death sparked much greed, and Marion finds herself facing the merciless microcosm of Paris art auctions and galleries, with its sharks, schemes, fences, traps, scams, and attacks. Her quest draws her into a world where people will kill for a love of beauty

ABOUT THE AUTHORCollector Anne Laure Thieblemont ©RobertTerzian

An art reporter and trained gem specialist,
Anne-Laure Thiéblemont
is known for her investigations into stolen art
and gem trafficking.
She currently works as a magazine editor,
and splits her time between Paris and Marseille.


Sophie Weiner is a freelance translator and book publishing assistant from Baltimore, Maryland. After earning degrees in French from Bucknell University and New York University, Sophie went on to complete a master’s in literary translation from the Sorbonne, where she focused her thesis on translating wordplay in works by Oulipo authors. She has translated and written for web-based companies dedicated to art, cinema, and fashion as well as for nonprofit organizations. Growing up with Babar, Madeline, and The Little Prince, Sophie was bitten by the Francophile bug at an early age, and is fortunate enough to have lived in Paris, Lille, and the Loire Valley.

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Guest Post

Writing is Building

An art reporter and trained gem specialist based in Marseille, France, Anne-Laure Thiéblemont is known for her investigations into stolen art and gem trafficking. Her art world mystery novel, The Collector, just came out in English, published by Le French Book. Here, she talks about some of the places that have inspired her writing.

It was impossible for me to come up with an outline with an initial situation, a trigger, a story arc, and resolution. I don’t know how to project like that. Also, it bores me to think about knowing everything in advance. When I wrote The Collector, I focused on every chapter as if it were a whole story. I thought of each chapter like I would if I were painting a painting, with a setting, a frame, a scene and characters. As I went along, the chapters existed nearly independent of each other. As a result, the story could go where it wanted to go and I could focus on what I liked most, which was writing.

Afterwards, with my companion Michel, I rewrote, rearranged, cut and linked together the various parts of the story. I can still see us with the pages of the manuscript cut up on the floor, scissors and past in hand.

I’m reminded of the French writer Jean-Edern Hallier, who wrote, “Writing is building.” Maybe this approach contributed some spontaneity to the story.

Media Contact:
Anne Trager Le French Book


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The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt


Reviewer: Melinda
Recommendation: 4/5

The Blazing World,  tells the provocative story of the artist Harriet Burden. After years of watching her work ignored or dismissed by critics, Burden conducts an experiment she calls Maskings: she presents her own art behind three male masks, concealing her female identity.

“All intellectual and artistic endeavors fare better in the mind of the crowd when the crowd knows that somewhere behind the great work or the great spoof it can locate a cock and a pair of balls.”

Hustvedt is a genius. This novel is not only creative, ingenious but extremely intelligent. She depicts the art world for all its beauty and blemishes. A poignant narrative and a moving sketch of a woman with moxie and chutzpah not to mention incredible intelligence. Hustvedt shows a meticulous style – including footnotes and references. The numerous characters, and narrators add to the plausibility and outstanding overall presentation.

Harry is quite a woman. Passionate in all she does, she is unleashed, fearless. She is funny, demonstrative and amazingly artistic. Her love for her husband is unmeasurable.

I enjoyed every aspect of this novel; the ‘masks’ Harry enlisted to show her art. The narration was my absolute favorite part – the varying perspectives, the eclectic voices, the notebooks creating a ‘puzzle.’ The interviews, all well done and cleverly brought to attention.

I felt this story also had a prominent love story entwined throughout. Harry was hopelessly in love and devoted to her husband and it is evident as the story unfolds. Sad, beautiful, enhancing Harry and her story.

The Blazing World is masterstroke, unique, complex and inventive. A story of perception, love, greed, sexism, prejudice and recognition. Hustvedt created a memorable and stimulating novel. Undoubtedly I look forward to reading more from this artistic and clever author. Art fans, feminists, anyone enjoying a cerebral narrative will want to add this to your must read list. Highly highly recommend.