Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Twelve Years a Slave Takes Top Golden Globe Award and Receives Nine Oscar Award Nominations

Twelve Years a Slave

The quite amazing story about how an old, nearly forgotten book becomes a star-casted movie with Oscar potential continues to unfold when Twelve Years a Slave took the Golden Globe for Best Drama, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. 

In the meanwhile, this movie has also received nine Academy Award nominations including best picture, best actor in a leading and supporting role, best actress in a supporting role, and best director. The Oscars will be presented on March 2, 2014.

Read this insightful interview in The Sydney Morning Herald with director Steve McQueen, who moved from Ghana to England, now lives in Amsterdam and was once called by his school teachers not to amount to anything and is now a Oscar contender. McQueen says this in his interview:

"It's no different," McQueen says. "Making a film is like writing a novel – you're telling a story – whereas art is more like poetry: fractured and compressed. It's a bigger process and of course, with film, more people are involved and it may take 10 months to make rather than the moment it takes to make a brushstroke. But when I think about it, it feels the same."

The interview continues:

' Of course the recognition is thrilling; McQueen said he was "exhilarated and ecstatic" about those nine Oscar nominations. But big films – and 12 Years a Slave, for all that it cost barely £10 million ($19 million) and was shot with one camera in 35 days, is a big film – also get picked apart in a big way. For a start, there is the film's brutality. The unwavering stare of McQueen's long takes levelled upon beatings and lynchings has proved too much for some audiences. But how could a film about slavery be anything but painfully violent?

McQueen says he simply followed Northup's book. "Reading it was like revelation after revelation," he says. "Everything is from the memoir; nothing is taken for granted and every behaviour is documented."

That's another objection: that 12 Years a Slave catalogues and condemns the sins of a past era, rather than addressing the muddier and more conflicted sins of the present. McQueen dismisses this with his customary abruptness. "The point is that it is happening now," he says. "I listened to a lady in Kenya who had been in the same circumstances: seduced by a work offer in Dubai, she went there, had her passport taken, was subjected to this terrible ordeal, locked up at night; she escaped in Los Angeles. The past is absolutely about the present for me."

Cosimo is proud to have released the original edition both in a jacketed hard cover and an affordable paperback both with a beautiful cover illustration from the original book. However many Oscars this movie may receive, it doesn't happen often that movie and book are both worth the experience. I wholeheartedly recommend watching the movie and reading the book.

The Cosimo editions are available from many leading online stores, such as Barnes & Noble in hardcover and paperback.

And Amazon - also in hardcover and paperback -:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Series of the Month: The Personal Power Books

As the New Year dawns, we continue to spend the month of January highlighting books that help the reader become the best version of themselves; as such, our Series of the Month is William Walker Atkinson's Personal Power Books, a 12-volume series co-written with Edward Beals, and designed to help the reader realize their full personal strength and best Self.

To Atkinson, Personal Power is "the ability of strength possessed by the human individual, by which he does, or may, accomplish desired results in an efficient manner, along the lines of physical, mental, and spiritual effort and endeavor." In other words, personal power is the attainment of control and understanding in all facets of your life. 

"You must become consciously aware of your essential and fundamental Self, before you will be able to employ the instruments at your hand. You must recognize your sovereignty, before you may mount your throne and rule your kingdom." 
-- William Walker Atkinson in Personal Power or Your Master Self

Like the author of our Classic of the Month, Wallace D. Wattles, Atkinson was a contributor to the New Thought movement, which argued that the divine is everywhere--including in the self, and that positive thinking can yield positive results in our daily lives. 

Each volume of this incredible set is devoted to a particular human power inherent in the Self and the means by which the reader can harness these powers to become a stronger, healthier, more successful person. The powers described include those of the subconscious, desire, and observation. 

The Personal Power Books are available in hardcover and paperback by individual volume via Amazon, and in digital format via Google Play. Contact us directly to purchase the full set at a special discounted price!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book of the Month: The Joy of Ritual

The Joy of Ritual is a road-map to celebrating life. This book will be a great companion on your journey to attaining clarity, balance, and calmness amid the chaos of life.”
— Donna Karan

Our Book of the Month may look familiar: we spotlighted Barbara Biziou's The Joy of Ritual back in September. We've chosen to spotlight it again because we think it's a great recommendation for our readers who may have New Year's Resolutions tied to self-improvement. 

The Joy of Ritual is an easily practicable recipe book for the soul, which helps the reader center and understand themselves. It's easy for New Year's resolutions to be forgotten as the days progress and we become busy living our lives; The Joy of Ritual is an easy-to-use manual that can help the busiest of us maintain a connection with the inner self. There are simple and quick rituals in the book to enhance our connection to the self every day, with more complicated and time-intensive rituals for those special moments when we seek greater guidance or understanding.

For more on the integration of simple rituals into your daily life, be sure to check out Biziou's new and improved website, which launched in December. This wonderful new site includes a link to sign up for a free Transformation Toolbox, and features vlog posts and links to Biziou's other products and events.

Start integrating the spiritual in your daily life with The Joy of Ritual in Kindle, Paperback, or in another digital reader format.

Classic of the Month: The Wallace D. Wattles Trilogy

 "The object of all life is development; and everything that lives has an inalienable right to all the development it is capable of attaining." 
- Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich
Continuing our focus on self-help books for January, our Classic of the Month is the Wallace D. Wattles Trilogy: The Science of Being Well, The Science of Getting Rich & The Science of Being Great. We are pleased to offer the authors' most significant works together in one attractive hardcover or paperback book.

Wattles' titles might have somewhat grandiose titles, but he knew what he was talking about: it is said that Wattles practiced everything he preached in Being Well, Getting Rich, and Being Great--accomplishing all three in his short lifetime.

Wattles was a respected contributor to the New Thought movement, which argued that divinity dwells in each person, that people must love themselves and one another, and that our mental state directly effects our experience of daily life. Wattles believed in and practiced creative visualization, the process of forming a mental image of your goals and working toward the realization of that vision.

Rhonda Byrne, author of the hugely popular bestseller The Secret, has cited Wattles' The Science of Getting Rich as the inspiration for her work. In this first volume in the trilogy, Wattles outlines straightforward ways to overcome the mental barriers that keep us from success, and how the "use of the will" can yield positive outcomes and monetary rewards.

The Science of Being Well provides a practical guide to health through the power of positive thinking. It also provides philosophical ruminations on how to maintain health through the application of both thought and action:
"to be well it is not enough that man should merely think in a Certain Way; he must apply his thought to himself, and he must express and externalize it in his outward life by acting in the same way that he thinks."
 The text includes thoughts on when, how, and what to eat, as well as a whole chapter on the act of breathing.

In the last volume of this trilogy, The Science of Being Great, Wattles enumerates the steps one may take to become their most successful self. To Wattles, "greatness" means positive self-image and personal growth, as well as the attainment of power. He argues that it is mans purpose to grow and advance--to progress.
"Nothing was ever in any man that is not in you; no man ever had more spiritual or mental power than you can attain, or did greater things than you can accomplish. You can become what you want to be."
In this text Wattles continues to illustrate the power of positive thinking and creative visualization.

We are pleased to offer the Wallace D. Wattles Trilogy in an attractive hardcover, as well as paperback via Amazon and B&N.