"Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In" by Phuc Tran

Quick Book Review: “Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In” by Phuc Tran

A really excellent memoir and coming of age story by a kid who immigrated to America in 1975 during the fall of Saigon, ending up in the small town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  As he struggles to fit in, he finds comfort and identity in music (particularly punk rock) and in literature, allowing him to navigate the feelings of isolation, the…

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"On Composition and Improvisation" by Larry Fink

Quick Book Review: “On Composition and Improvisation” by Larry Fink

This is another book in Aperture’s Photography Workshop Series.  The photographer featured in this book is Larry Fink. His black and white photos are definitely pretty interesting, but it’s his commentary that made the bigger impression on me, particularly his comments on perception and perspective.  He quotes Lisette Model, a photographer whom he studied with, who once said to him,…

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"Go Tell It on the Mountain" by James Baldwin

Quick Book Review: “Go Tell It on the Mountain” by James Baldwin

After being amazed by Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room” a few weeks back, I was anxious to explore additional novels by him. This semi-autobiographical book was his first major work, published in 1953. It’s a coming-of-age story that deals primarily with religion, although there’s a lot about race, classism, sex, and violence.  The themes are heavy and the book, though not too…

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"Think Like a Street Photographer" by Matt Stuart

Quick Book Review: “Think Like a Street Photographer” by Matt Stuart

Although I’m far enough along in my street photography journey that this book should feel a little simplistic, it’s so well-written and filled with wisdom that I found it refreshing and inspiring.  Broken into 20 small chapters, this book offers helpful tips and insightful philosophy regarding street photography.  The premise of each chapter is supported with a few of the…

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Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures

Quick Book Review: “Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures” by Sarah Hermanson Meister (MoMA)

Dorothea Lange was an amazing photographer.  She created many iconic images, such as White Angel Bread Line, One Nation Indivisible, and her most famous, Migrant Mother.  Her Depression-era photographs were pioneering, and are especially incredible considering so few women were active in photography at that time.  Her writing, however, has received much less attention, as have the textual descriptions and…

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