Archive for the ‘Books’ category

Blindness for Beginners, by Maribel Steel

8 January 2019

Over the past decade, Maribel Steel’s steady and determined progress as a visually-impaired Internet writer, blogger and counsellor has given me great pleasure as her admiring dad.

The recent publication of her self-help manual, Blindness for Beginners (based on 40 years of effort, experience, and experimentation), marks the beginning of a new phase for her writing and teaching. As a very proud old dad, I have therefore decided to contribute in a modest way to her present and future success by blogging about her new book as described by her and her friends and colleagues in the book itself.

Privileged disclosure (kos I kan):
As a permanent background witness to Maribel’s life, family, and career, I would like to reveal 5 important serendipities which have especially supported or enhanced her own character and Taurean, er, determination.

Learning to touch-type at the age of 16 (before the Retinitis Pigmentosa took over).
Her 4 children: Claire, Russ, Sharon and Mike.
Meeting her present partner and soulmate, Harry Williamson. (A tech wizard and musician, as you probably know.)
Having as a friend and mentor the prolific writer Hazel Edwards (from whom we shall hear more in a minute or two).
Finding a brilliant and empathetic editor for this book and other writing: Lyndel Caffrey.

Information available in the book:

From the back cover
“Losing sight is a life-changing experience which happens to more than 1 in 50 of us in Australia. What would you do if this happened to you? This book reveals how to turn such a life-challenge into a lifestyle you can fully manage and enjoy.
By offering a realistic picture of the possible, Blindness for Beginners will help you to adjust emotionally, adapt in practical ways, and enhance your sense of self-confidence.

Discover how to:
Overcome emotional hurdles
Adapt your home with simple modifications
Trust your intuition and other senses
Live well and travel more independently
Work and play alongside people with low vision

Maribel Steel’s heart-warming story is part-memoir, part-guide. She demystifies what it means to be blind and provides her unique set of tools to enable you to forge ahead with tenacity.

Her insights will give a clearer vision of the realities and possibilities – for ‘ blind’ and sighted readers alike.”
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Excerpts from the empathetic Foreword by Hazel Edwards:

“A great title, Blindness for Beginners. This applies to those losing their sight and those who need insight into how to live or work effectively with a person who is blind.

Maribel’s writing strength is the day-to-day anecdotes of creative problem-solving, and the humour with which it is shared.

Maribel’s approach is to capitalise on her strengths. And we all need to do that.

The most uplifting self-help book I’ve read this year. […] Courage is about being prepared to try within the limitations you are given. And Blindness for Beginners gives insight.”
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What Readers Say:
‘I am so excited about this book for those who really need to share Maribel’s journey so that they can start their own on good footing with solid, heartfelt advice.’
Pris Rogers, Ageing and Vision Specialist, USA

‘In Blindness for Beginners, Maribel Steel takes us along her “journey of discovery where sight loss really can become a renewed vision of the possible”. […] Maribel’ s story will resonate with readers facing similar uncertainties. This book offers a creative approach for people facing challenges.’
Peter and Nancy Torpey: Hosts of Eyes on Success Podcast Show

‘I don’t know where to begin! I enjoyed Maribel’s stories so much I didn’t want them to end. Her descriptive ability is so rich it makes her stories jump off the page.’
Leanne Gibson, Canada

‘A really superb writer, I’m sure this book will open another door for others.’
Stella de Genova, Co-Founder, Vision through Words.

Notes:
Further information is available at
http://www.maribelsteel.com
http://www.touchinglandscapes.com

A short Audio excerpt read by Maribel is available here:
https://maribelsteel.com/audio-courage-on-a-mission/
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The book’s ISBN number is 578-0-9874461 (231 pages)
An audio version is planned.
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Christmas Book Purchases: A Few Ideas from The Spectator

30 November 2013

This is a small idiosyncratic selection from the numerous pre-Christmas yearly recommendations by book reviewers of The Spectator, London‘s multi-faceted weekly magazine founded in 1828.

From the first of two instalments in The Spectator (16 November 2013):

Nobly immune to (but enraged by) the Kindle invasion, Roger Lewis highly recommends three physical books on books, including The Library: A World History by James W.P. Campbell as “another lavish and melancholy tome”.

Two reviewers select Charles Moore’s first volume of his Margaret Thatcher biography as outstanding.

One of journalist and writer Michela Wrong’s selections is Rory Campbell’s Comandante: The Life and Legacy of Hugo Chavez. “a bracing exploration of modern-day dictatorship which contains a merciless exposition of how a complacent middle class allowed a society and economy to be hijacked by a wily egomaniac”.

As well as two positive recommendations, Ian Thomson offers an interesting counterpoint to the standard rave reviews of Clive James’s translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, which he judges to be “egregiously overrated”, mainly for “its fusty-sounding language”.

In the following issue of The Spectator (23 November 2013), the following three items caught my eye.

Philip Henscher is very enthusiastic about “an instant classic of autobiography”, the Bengali Tapan Raychauduri’s The World in Our Time (published in India by HarperCollins).

James Walton takes up the cudgels for Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life, which he feels has not sold as well as expected by previous reviewers.

Matthew Parris introduces readers to the potential delights of Rob Hutton’s amusing exposé of English journalese: Romps, Tots and Boffins. The Strange Language of News, which is the one I think I will buy myself for Xmas.