Monday, May 4, 2009

Two Different Books

"Cooking and Screamin - Finding My Own Recipe for Recovery" by Adrienne Kane Simon Spotlight Entertainment 272 pages $24.00

Weeks before her graduation (Berkeley) Kane suffered an arterio-venous malformation (AVM) that left her with speech and cognition deficiencies as well as total paralysis, right side. An AVM is a malformation in the brain, "a little knot inside the labyrinth of gray matter, biding it's time and waiting to burst."

She spent a great deal of time in rehab, first at a facility in Vallejo, then at home. Instead of graduation and venturing off into the real world, she moved back in with her parents. It was comforting to be where all was familiar (including her mother's cooking and her own.)

Kane had been a good and interested cook. The frustrations caused by her AVM were daunting -- using the numb, lump of her right hand to anchor say an onion, and having to use a sharp knife with her non-dominant hand. Scary.

Gradually she begins to improve -- to the point where she starts a successful catering company; her boy friend stays loyal and eventually they marry, move from California to New York and her cookbook is published. It's a memoir (with a recipe heading each chapter) that has a frightening beginning and a happy ending.

"Annie Leibovitz: At Work" by Annie Leibovitz, Random House 235 pages No price given; think the dust jacket went missing but charges $26.40 for it.

I've never been a fan of hers, having heard that she's a bitch to work with. I have proof -- a cousin worked for her in NY -- and am not relying on anecdotal material or urban mythology.

She won me over (to a degree) when she said that the wonderful thing about photography is that essentially it's you and your camera, off on an adventure. I flashed back to my own days as a racing photo-journalist and that resonated with me because I knew exactly what she was saying.

She includes photos and anecdotes about her subjects, including several pages on the supposedly ill-fated shoot with Queen Elizabeth. All and all, it was an interesting read and I finished it in one afternoon (lots of pictures.)

No comments: