On the Bookshelf, March 2017

This spring, we’ve asked our editors what they are reading now.  Their reading selections are as varied as they are, ranging from coffee table books to self-help, cookbooks and classics. Here are their top picks for this spring’s reading lists.

Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge8553A822-EA0C-4E55-9BCC-2D6C20C56976.jpg

What Alisha has to say, “As a photographer, I love drinking up the visual stimulation of a good photo-heavy coffee table book.  This Book, Face Paint: The Story of Makeup, happens to be on one of my favorite subjects – makeup.  Lisa Eldridge is a professional makeup artist, YouTube guru, and cosmetics historian.  In this book, she traces the history of lipstick, rouge, and eyeliner from its ancient uses, through to the abundance of today.  What I really love about this book is the way she’s broken up her chapters with makeup muses, women who have defined beauty for their specific time and place, and how they used makeup to craft their unique signature styles.  The photos are stunning, the history is fascinating, this book is an inspiration!”  Read more reviews on Amazon.com.

55CF37C3-2217-4D4D-98A5-8A20E6798BCA.jpgWhat every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People by Joe Navarro

Sara Shrapnell says, “Every year or two I like to re-read “What Every BODY is Saying” by Joe Navarro.  The writer is an ex-FBI counterintelligence officer and recognized expert on nonverbal behavior (or speed reading).  In this book, Navarro breaks down various situations such as a job interview and explains how gestures, movements, postures and even breathing, can work as a “tell” sending messages to those around us about our mood and confidence.  While written with the aim of helping people in the workplace, I find it incredibly useful to transfer the gestures and their meanings to dance.  For example, humans like to take a deep, often unnecessary, breath before saying or doing something important, they also add a chest expansion (or lift !), to send a powerful message that others in the room should listen.  Using a pause, breath and chest lift before a big “showy” move can give it more impact and gravitas.  This book is an easy read and the concepts are explained in simple language and with helpful (if sometimes humorous) photos.  I suggest that belly dancers read it with a notebook, or make notes in their copy, as they see how the explanations could influence their dancing.” Read more reviews on Amazon.com.

0CF1DF77-EA32-4DD9-BEEB-38072B1A4A96.jpgThe Creative Habit – Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp

Davina says, “If you are like most people, you’ve probably found yourself in a creative rut, stymied for a new idea, or struggling to get words onto paper, crafted dance moves to fit a passage of music, or to find the right design for a costume.  For this me, this book presents strategies and intellectual tools to continuously feed your inner creative spirit, learn to listen to your inner voices and to allow yourself to be inspired by the world.  I consider this a must read for any designer, artist, or craft person regardless of your creative pursuit!”  Read more reviews on Amazon.com.

D2E2A521-6355-46CD-8C1A-EDFBDAB1DE0E.jpgMedical Medium: Life-Changing Foods by  Anthony William

Poppy says, “I am reading books by Anthony Williams called “Medical Medium” and “Life Changing Foods.” Unless I’m editing a book, then I often dip in and out meaning at one time I can be reading a handful of books.  As dancers, our body is our greatest tool, and so I am always looking for ways to be as healthy and strong as possible. “Medical Medium” takes an unconventional look at modern health, and describes how the root of many chronic ‘mystery’ illnesses is the Epstein Barr Virus. The book details how to completely heal from EBV through foods and herbs leading to a transformation of the chronic mystery illnesses to radiant health. “Life Changing Foods” to me, is a like an informative cookbook. With beautiful pictures, the book takes the foods and herbs described in “Medical Medium” and explains their properties and benefits for healing. These foods are then included in the many recipes that fill the pages.  Anthony’s writing style is warm, supportive and very readable. In addition, my guilty pleasure is Oscar Wilde. I have a copy of his complete works, but I always return to “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Read more reviews on Amazon.com
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