Why I Read

I just finished a book of New Yorker profiles by John Lahr called Show and Tell (2000).  They were no more than 40 pages long, more like 30 ranging from Woody Allen to Frank Sinatra, David Mamet and Bob Hope to what had to be my favorite, one on actor/director Mike Nichols.

John Lahr is the son of Bert who played the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, so there’s a piece on him as well and one on his mother, Mildred, who was a Ziegfeld Follies girl.

All 15 essays are awe-inspiring, for a writer, reader and everyone in between.

Mike Nichols had Alopecia, a condition resulting in no hair on his body, so he always wore a wig.  Sometimes, like in the case of Winston Churchill, it’s a partial loss since he still had hair on his head but none anywhere else.

Nichols, flirting with the writer, Susan Sontag, was surprised when she was aloof to his notorious charm…from Lahr’s essay:

Thirty years later, Sontag confessed to Nichols that she couldn’t accept the scars from her mastectomy: “I have this thing, and every time I take a bath I’m horrified.” He said, “Susan, now you know how I have felt all my life.”

Here were two brilliant people hesitant to show their imperfections for fear the world would judge them.

Did that speak to me with the shame and discomfort I feel over my hearing loss.

Of course these two brought lots more to the table talent wise, but it didn’t matter, they felt as I do, as though they committed a crime.

My heart both hurt and rejoiced when I read this…aching for them, but feeling hopeful  learning they suffered yet rallied over their trials.

Inspiration, empathy, and self-acceptance are three reasons why I read.

Show and Tell comes highly recommended.  51u--bUrwML._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Books, Cinema, comedy, Family, History, humor, words, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Why I Read

  1. micklively says:

    Human nature is strange. Beating yourself up for something entirely beyond your control is so illogical. But we all do it. Can anyone tell me why?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not bad reasons to read, and the book sounds fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Great piece, Susannah. We all focus on our imperfections. I once went out with the guy everyone in my office wanted to jump. He was such a nice person while looking and acting so studly. After a few dates he confessed that he was self-conscious about his ‘thiness’. Susannah, this guy was perfect, but he didn’t know it!


  4. Elle Knowles says:

    Isn’t it great we can learn so much from others? There is always someone worse off, but it still is hard to face up in public with our own short comings. Got this book on my list now Susannah. ~Elle


  5. We all obsess on what we perceive as our shortcomings. Sometimes others don’t even notice. We often assume that anything that happens is a result of the shortcoming but it may be a result of our own reactive to what we think is our shortcoming. I don’t know if that made sense. Perhaps I need another coffee!


  6. Mike Feddersen says:

    I read that it is common for many children to grow up thinking certain things happened that did not. I don’t know about my early childhood, I can’t remember it, but my teenage years with my step-dad are a time I remember. But do I remember it as it happened, or as I thought it did?
    I look at nearly everyone else and I believe they are awesome, why didn’t GOD let me be awesome?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia says:

    We all have something. I have a scar roughly 6″x8″. Thankfully, clothes cover it. Still I know it is there and ugly. These days no one sees it but me and doctors, but there was a time…
    The book sounds interesting I will put it on my ever growing list.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yet another good recommendation. I love short stories as you can see this morning since I’m sitting here with Peanut & coffee enjoying yours.


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