Friday, March 29, 2013

ARC...Artful Reader's Club March Selection

 Mahalo to all the Creative Ones in the ARC who kindly commented on my February selection, Gone Girl.  Aloha to Darcy at for 
her Inspiration and FABulousness!

I invite you to relax with a cup of Chai as we journey to India.

My selection for March is Dreaming in Hindi...Coming Awake in Another Language(2009).
This is a memoir authored by Katherine Russell Rich.  I bought this 360 page 
hardcover book in the clearance section because the cover art caught my eye.  I choose books without reading the reviews and just 'go with my intuition'. I thought this was going to be an easy-read adventure travel book similar to Liz Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. This was not the case. 
Rich's first award-winning book was The Red Devil: To Hell with Cancer--and Back(1999).

After suffering two bout's of cancer and the loss of employment in 2001, Kathy (45) decides to leave New York City and attend an intensive language learning program in Udaipur, Rajasthan.  She stated in the prologue, "my life no longer made any kind of sense to me."  She shares her range of interesting (at times humorous) experiences with her host family, teachers, students, and all the characters in her new community. 

Kathy set out to understand what learning a second language (SL) does to the brain. She had a fascination on how language is learned and how language influences one's world view.   As she discovers, "the process was frustrating and exhilarating and at times transcendent...I could only believe it was scrambling my brains" (pg. xv).  She adds, "At night, I dream in Hindi I can't understand" (pg. 41).  

Two Page Art Journal Spread
The chaos, colors & culture of India

I savored Rich's multi-sensory descriptions...the sights, sounds, scents of India.  However, her narrative felt disjointed with shifts back and forth between an enjoyable cultural experience and the "hard science" of second language acquisition (SLA). Her extensive research and interviews with neurolinguists are cited in the bibliography. 

The narrative takes many interesting detours that include the Hindu/Muslim conflicts following the terrorist attack on 9/11. Kathy departed NY only six days before. 

Stencils, Ink, Fibers & Tissue...Layers!

My intuition didn't disappoint.  I have studied SLA and brain development as an art therapist and have personally experienced the struggles learning French (at an immersion program in Annecy), Hawaiian, and bits of Hindi (to get by in India).

So...I enjoyed reading this selection even though the timeline & characters were confusing at times. 

Lotus napkins enhanced with Neo II's
Tissue, Fibers & Magazine Brain Images

Rating: 4 out of 5 

If you have an interest in the Science of Language Acquisition or the Brilliance of the Brain mixed in with culture this one is for you. Definitely not 
every one's cup of tea.

Hindi Devanagri Script &
How my brain feels when I'm trying
to Learn another language! 

I will be sharing mini reviews/art for other books I've read and various art journal pages I've created throughout the years.  

I hope you'll enjoy my weekly instead of monthly postings. I am also continuing where I left off with the 2012 PostCard Challenge...I have every intention in completing this fun & fabulous adventure.

I have selected Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
for April.
Katherine Russell Rich
(November 17, 1955 - April 3, 2012)
Mahalo ke Akua Aloha

Looking at the World with a different perspective

North Shore of O'ahu 

My Hawaiian Phrase for 
Dreaming in Hindi                                                                

ʻo ke kanaka ke kuleana 
o ka moe 

(One's privilege is to Dream)

Now let's surf on over to to see other book reviews 
& art from the ARC.  Mahalo Nui Loa...thank you 
A Hui Hou...until we meet again


  1. When I was in grad school, I took an ELECTIVE on the brain and brain functions. Your interest in this subject piqued mine, too.

    In a small way I can relate to Rich's description of dreaming in Hindi. When I first got eye glasses at age 19, I had extreme astigmatism and the ground was much closer when I wore my glasses. For months afterwards, I dreamed "fuzzy" images. It opened my eyes (no actual pun intended) to how the brain has to be retrained.

    Very impressive art. I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay with and layering of all the aspects of the book in the collage you made.

  2. It's always such a pleasure to read your posts! :)
    Your Art is gorgeous! I love all the layers and colors and it represents the colors I think of for India! ♥
    I love languages, Dutch is what I learned first and then in school came English, German and French. I even learned myself to read Russian for a while because of the rich history of needle crafts and I couldn't stop surfing the Russian websites. :)
    Now don't give me anything math because that is a huge problem for me! :)

  3. Your review is very complete...sounds like something I'd enjoy reading as I, too, have a fascination with languages. Your representitive art is fabulous! Well done, all!

  4. This is a fabulous review, so well written and providing the right kind of information I am looking for in a review. I studied language in my degree and am fascinated by the subject completely.
    Your artwork is the kind that feeds the soul as well as the eye. So rich, deep and colourful, a treasure to look at. Enjoyed your review and art so much, and will look out for the book. Thank you.

  5. As someone who has only one language I am awestruck at others ability to speak many...I love the building up of your collaged page and look forward to reading more of your postcards :D XXX

  6. I love languages, i wish I had the money to go back to college and learn a new one. gorgeous collage, so many layers and colours, seems to capture the spirit of India really well.

  7. I think I would find this book really difficult. I find languages hard to grasp. So glad you enjoyed it though! Love your artwork also!

  8. Wonderful art work. This sounds like a fascinating book though I think I would find it difficult.
    Jen x

  9. Your art is incredible. It makes me think of the chaos that goes through the mind when one is learning a second language.

  10. This sounds like a fabulous read. And I love what you did with the collage.

  11. What I love about reading the reviews on the A.R.C. Blogs is the variety of books read by everyone. Your book this month really does sound like a great read. Love your collage and the way you layered it up.

  12. Your book sounds like a fascinating read, if not necessarily the easiest or lightest ..... and I adore your many layered collage artwork

  13. Fabulous collage and a fascinating book judging by your review.
    Hugs xx

  14. What a fantastic journal spread and a great review. The book sounds really interesting, also love your view of the beach! Making me very jealous!

  15. I would love to be able to learn another language but i just don't seem to be able to grasp it. I tried with both French and Spanish - next day everything would be gone again (sadly - this isn't just the case with languages. Maths i also struggle with) I think this book might be a bit hard going for me but I did enjoy your review of it :)

    Your collage is gorgeous, so much to look at and absorb. I love the brain scan images.

  16. I don't know how I have missed your ARC reviews, but I am now catching up. I don't think this book would be for me but I do love how you have created the pages from your reading and I thought your review was very good. Dxx