Wish I Could Be There

Tales from the Reading Room have a review of Allen Shawn’s memoir Wish I Could Be There. Allen’s book explores how his agoraphobia has shaped his life and career as a pianist and composer. This is a fantastic review of Shawn’s book and makes a strong argument for why you should read it.

Tales from the Reading Room

wish i could be thereThe feeling of panic that overwhelms the sufferer of a phobia must be one of the most unpleasant feelings that we are routinely forced to endure. I think that being set upon from behind and strangled must be akin to it – the increasingly laboured fight for breath while the heart hammers in terror, digestion deliquesces, vision dims and dizzies, sound is cut off and comes from far away. But worst of all, the urge to turn and run, fuelled as if by the energy of a nuclear explosion, has to be ignored. The phobic must sit and smile and try and look normal, while inside chaos rages, the Titanic sinks, great earthquakes rent the foundations of the self. Oh yes, I speak from personal experience.

Which is why I had to get hold of Allen Shawn’s amazing memoir, Wish I Could Be There, as soon as I heard…

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7 Reasons Why Ballet Dancers Choose Broadway

Ever wonder if it would be better to work on Broadway or a Ballet Company? Lee Wilson explains why she ultimately shifted from ballet to Broadway in her this post.  She is also the author of her new memoir, Rebel on Pointe: A Memoir of Ballet & Broadway.

The Florida Bookshelf

Lee Wilson Photo by Lesley Bohm

When Lee Wilson first began dancing, she wore tap shoes and took lessons in her neighbor’s basement. “I loved the scraping sound of taps brushing across the cement floor, the clicking sounds of the heel taps, and the crash of a full-footed stomp,” Lee recalls in Rebel on Pointe, her memoir that we published this past Tuesday.

But it was after watching ballet company after ballet company perform that Wilson found a new art. “Ballet gave me a glimpse of a different world order, and I wanted to be a part of that world.” After dancing on pointe in Europe and with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York, Wilson again felt drawn to a new dance outlet. “Every day, as I walked to the Metropolitan Opera House, I passed through the Broadway theatre district.” Wilson resolved to “become a part of this magical, musical, mind-expanding world,” and…

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Rebel on Pointe

Here is an interview with Lee Wilson about her new book Rebel on Pointe. Wilson’s book is a memoir that delves the world of dance luminaries such as George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev and Rosella Hightower. Check out The Florida Bookshelf’s interview with Lee Wilson.

The Florida Bookshelf

Rebel_on_Pointe“Wilson has a gift for telling stories…Rebel on Pointe is one terrific read that fans of all ages will enjoy for its clear storytelling, historic perspectives and histrionic characters from someone who lived to see the status of women greatly elevated, and who was herself a part of that story.”—Critical Dance

“Touching and beautiful; Lee Wilson is an inspiration to us all for finding a passion in life and moving beyond familial pressures and societal norms.”—Zippora Karz, former soloist, New York City Ballet

“The culture of the ballet world is divulged in all its glorious detail. Wilson’s compelling account of her training and career shows the true courage and persistence this profession requires.”—Ali Duffy, founder and choreographer, Flatlands Dance Theatre

“Lee brings to her writing the same keen intelligence she brought to her dancing. It is a joy to relive some of the important moments…

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Library Reads Top Ten Books for October

Library Reads has published their Top Ten books for October.  Here they are:

Garth Stein, A Sudden Light

Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time

Cary Elwes and with Joe Layden, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride

Alan Cumming, Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir

Jane Smiley, Some Luck

Keith Donohue, The Boy Who Drew Monsters

Allen Eskins, The Life We Bury

Hannah Pittard, Reunion

Keigo Higashino, Malice: A Mystery

Ashly Weaver, Murder at the Brightwell: A Mystery

Check out their site on Tumbr: http://libraryreads.tumblr.com/