Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 15: Channeling Georgia O'Keeffe

Welcome to Day 15 in our 24 Days of Books. Today we're talking about Portland's one-woman cottage industry: Karen Karbo, who writes smart, funny, original material. Her adult novels, Trespassers Welcome Here, The Diamond Lane, and Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me, have been named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Her three witty young adult mysteries, featuring the unforgettable Minerva Clark, are great reads for teens, preteens, and those who love them. Her 2004 memoir about the time she spent with her father in his last year, The Stuff of Life, was also a NYT Notable Book and won the Oregon Book Award. In addition, she has written short stories, essays, articles, and reviews that have appeared in dozens of magazines and online. 

It’s hard to pick our favorite Karen Karbo books, but today we’re tending to favor what Karen calls her “Kick-Ass Women Trilogy.” The first book in this series, How To Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great, showed readers how to break all the rules and lead a fabulous life. The second book, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman, delivered inspiration and wisdom from the life of the world’s greatest fashion icon.  

And now the last book in the trilogy has finally hit the shelves. How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living is a fresh and revealing look at an artist who continues to be a model and inspiration for new generations of women. The ten chapters are ten verbs: defy, grow, adopt, muddle, embrace, bare, rebel, drive, break, and prize. Each chapter gives examples from O’Keeffe’s life that illustrate the verb.This beautiful little book is handsomely illustrated with nine reproductions of O’Keefe’s paintings and a photograph of her taken by her husband, Alfred Steiglitz. It’s a lovely gift for almost any female, ages 12 to 120. Clearly we're not the only ones who think so, as her book has been flying off our table the past few weeks.

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