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How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living

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A fresh, revealing look at the artist who continues to inspire new generations of women.


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A fresh, revealing look at the artist who continues to inspire new generations of women.

30 review for How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    If this hadn't been the selection for our book club this month I would have stopped reading it after the first two chapters. I found the author's style intensely irritating and, given the comments she made throughout the book, I have no faith it was thoroughly researched. She gives advice that is often ridiculous and (at times) contradictory. This author chooses fascinating subjects (O'Keeffe, Hepburn, Chanel), but her style made it very difficult for me to pick up the book at all, let alone fin If this hadn't been the selection for our book club this month I would have stopped reading it after the first two chapters. I found the author's style intensely irritating and, given the comments she made throughout the book, I have no faith it was thoroughly researched. She gives advice that is often ridiculous and (at times) contradictory. This author chooses fascinating subjects (O'Keeffe, Hepburn, Chanel), but her style made it very difficult for me to pick up the book at all, let alone finish it. I am eager to read an actual biography of O'Keeffe, but think I will have to wait a while for the memory of this read to fade before I do. I have no intention to read this author's other books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Greenegirl

    It's a new book and it's about O'Keeffe, whom I love beyond reason, so of course I had to read it. Turns out the book is a weird self-help / memoir / biography thing with a profusion of allegedly pithy footnotes, that came off as being self-indulgent. It's a new book and it's about O'Keeffe, whom I love beyond reason, so of course I had to read it. Turns out the book is a weird self-help / memoir / biography thing with a profusion of allegedly pithy footnotes, that came off as being self-indulgent.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Josie

    I read this for my local Book Club. We're planning a trip down to Ghost Ranch (though I don't know if I'm going to be able to go yet). Karbo's approach to this biography is an interesting one. She works steadily through the historical details of O'Keeffe's life, art, and marriage in the context of "lessons" that the reader can apply to her own life. I don't usually enjoy this kind of "self-help" style, but Karbo's self-deprecating, this-is-my-life-too anecdotes made it much more tolerable. Reali I read this for my local Book Club. We're planning a trip down to Ghost Ranch (though I don't know if I'm going to be able to go yet). Karbo's approach to this biography is an interesting one. She works steadily through the historical details of O'Keeffe's life, art, and marriage in the context of "lessons" that the reader can apply to her own life. I don't usually enjoy this kind of "self-help" style, but Karbo's self-deprecating, this-is-my-life-too anecdotes made it much more tolerable. Realizing Karbo is a gamer definitely made it easier for me to relate to her approach, as well. As someone who dreamed of living in the American Southwest--and now does--it would seem that I should have encountered much more O'Keeffe already. Sadly, I'm only familiar with the big flowers and the deer skulls; this book has made me think I need to seek out more of her art. I don't know that I need the Big Poppy or the tilt-your-head-is-that-really??? flower paintings in my life, but I know that if (okay, when) I leave the Southwest, I will want something of the landscape to go with me. Perhaps a big print of a Georgia O'Keeffe will suffice.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Turner

    Karbo describes the essence and soul of O'Keeffe with quirky humor, and it's refreshing to see something aside from a traditional and stuffy biography delving into the how of an artist as opposed to merely the what. Karbo describes the essence and soul of O'Keeffe with quirky humor, and it's refreshing to see something aside from a traditional and stuffy biography delving into the how of an artist as opposed to merely the what.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Feisty Harriet

    I bought this in anticipation of my first visit to New Mexico, the land O’Keeffe loved and used as inspiration. I had high expectations of a brilliant biography with memoir-type nuggets sprinkled throughout (an expectation gleaned from reading the summary and a few positive reviews online). Expectations shattered. It sucked. Karbo has a very loosey-goosey way of researching O’Keeffe’s life, and perhaps 75% of the text is the author dithering on her own life, her own (uninteresting) experiences, I bought this in anticipation of my first visit to New Mexico, the land O’Keeffe loved and used as inspiration. I had high expectations of a brilliant biography with memoir-type nuggets sprinkled throughout (an expectation gleaned from reading the summary and a few positive reviews online). Expectations shattered. It sucked. Karbo has a very loosey-goosey way of researching O’Keeffe’s life, and perhaps 75% of the text is the author dithering on her own life, her own (uninteresting) experiences, blah blah blah. The bibliography at the end is short, and the book’s pages are full of annoying footnotes to insert (even more of) the author’s opinion. Seriously, 3 or 4 footnotes per page, with perhaps 6 in the entire book being used for any kind of citation of another book, a fact about painting, or reference to an art piece. Aggravating! I don’t want to jump from paragraph to footnote every 30 seconds to be filled in on your banter! Gah. One review I read compared this book to a poorly written blog post, and I tend to agree. Not much biographical content, or info on O’Keeffe’s thoughts on art or politics or relationships, or even any direct link to her finished paintings. Skip this; it is a super annoying read. Two more O’Keeffe biographies ordered, I hope they pan out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I read this for bookclub. Was looking forward to it because I love Georgia O'Keeffe - I was in Albuquerque for a conference years ago, and one of the highlights of the trip was the day we "played hooky" and went to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe. She was an outstanding individual and a strong personality. I love looking at her paintings. I liked learning more about O'Keeffe's life. Was she ahead of her time, or was she the type of person who would seem out of place in any time? She seeme I read this for bookclub. Was looking forward to it because I love Georgia O'Keeffe - I was in Albuquerque for a conference years ago, and one of the highlights of the trip was the day we "played hooky" and went to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe. She was an outstanding individual and a strong personality. I love looking at her paintings. I liked learning more about O'Keeffe's life. Was she ahead of her time, or was she the type of person who would seem out of place in any time? She seemed to be driven by her own goals, and not by what society expected of her. Yes, she became one of the most commercially successful artists ever, but I didn't get the sense that this was the point of it all. Unfortunately, I wasn't so fond of the way the author told the story. This made it a slow read for me - although it's easy reading, I could only take so much at a time! Karbo's writing style is very conversational, frequent tangents, strangely personal and even spiteful judgments of the people in O'Keeffe's life (and an O'Keeffe scholar who isn't named). More like a slightly edited blog than a book. The "life lessons" aspect of the book seemed a bit tacked on as well, and some of the lessons were trivial or even dangerous (sunscreen is a useful invention!) ... I wish O'Keeffe had written her own book of life lessons. Marlene Dietrich wrote such a book (Marlene Dietrich's Abc, and it's fantastic. Sample quotation: "I'd rather go to the hardware store than the opera. And I like the opera."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    I read this book in order to learn more about Georgia O'Keeffe and to participate in a museum book club event. While I am happy to learn more about O'Keeffe, about her life, her opinions, and especially her work, I found this book very skimpy in all those areas. Instead, Karbo fills us in on cutesy stuff about life as a woman dealing with overbearing men, about less than supportive parents, about all varieties of current and discredited pop-psychology, about the advantage of having your mother t I read this book in order to learn more about Georgia O'Keeffe and to participate in a museum book club event. While I am happy to learn more about O'Keeffe, about her life, her opinions, and especially her work, I found this book very skimpy in all those areas. Instead, Karbo fills us in on cutesy stuff about life as a woman dealing with overbearing men, about less than supportive parents, about all varieties of current and discredited pop-psychology, about the advantage of having your mother think you are ugly, and worst of all, way too much information about the author. I'm sure she's a fine person and a good friend, but this book should not be about her and her too silly ideas about men, apps, disco, cooking, beauty tips, rants about the ills of life, and so on. At least she had the sense to be a bit humbled before the NOKE (Noted O'Keeffe Expert) whom she interviewed prior to reading said expert's apparently seminal book. (Don't researchers read first and then ask?) If her editor had done her job, this book would have turned into a lengthy magazine article, apt for a general reader who knew almost nothing about O'Keeffe. One could only wish her editor had done that work.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edith

    This is an entertaining book written with wit in Karbo’s unique style. She doesn’t write the traditional biography, but talks about Georgia O’Keefe’s life and what she did in terms of today’s culture. Her tone is conversational and funny. It fascinates me that O’Keefe paid absolutely NO attention to clothing fashion or convention. She wore no makeup and sewed her own long black sheath-like dresses. She pulled her dark hair straight back from her face and most often wore it in a bun. Can you imag This is an entertaining book written with wit in Karbo’s unique style. She doesn’t write the traditional biography, but talks about Georgia O’Keefe’s life and what she did in terms of today’s culture. Her tone is conversational and funny. It fascinates me that O’Keefe paid absolutely NO attention to clothing fashion or convention. She wore no makeup and sewed her own long black sheath-like dresses. She pulled her dark hair straight back from her face and most often wore it in a bun. Can you imagine the extra time in life (not to mention ‘money’) that just giving up all these personal fashion concerns would give you? No clothes shopping, no hair products, no changing of outfits numerous times before settling on something passable, .... However, this did not stop her from having men in her life; she ended up marrying the much older Steiglitz, the well-known photographer and art collector who is considered responsible for elevating photography to an art form. Kicking off her star were the nude photographs he took of her in the beginning of their love affair which he then displayed in a showing at his gallery. Steiglitz was a master at orchestrating her successful career. I also found it interesting that a young man ended up in O’Keefe’s orbit when she was in older age (85 years! and she had 13 more lively years to go before she died at 98)) in much the same way that Theodore White ended up in the life of Pearl Buck. He introduced her to pottery which she could do when her eyesight diminished and even helped her with a book. Karbo doesn’t tell us much about him, but hmm... I think I heard somewhere that a paper or a book is good if it makes you want to find out more about what you just read; this book did that for me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I'm not going to be able to finish this one. The author's opinions and personal experiences are too much for me. I tried to gloss over the initial autobiographical tidbits and even the author's opinions on that obnoxious buzzword, free-range parenting. The last straw was when she bragged about meeting her significant other on EverQuest and then proceeded to intimate that online gaming is the one and only way to get to know potential mates, now that writing letters and even sending email have pre I'm not going to be able to finish this one. The author's opinions and personal experiences are too much for me. I tried to gloss over the initial autobiographical tidbits and even the author's opinions on that obnoxious buzzword, free-range parenting. The last straw was when she bragged about meeting her significant other on EverQuest and then proceeded to intimate that online gaming is the one and only way to get to know potential mates, now that writing letters and even sending email have pretty much flown by the wayside. Wait, WHAT??? I'm reading about EverQuest in a Georgia O'Keeffe biography? I dislike when a person's writing about someone else is really just a cover for them to talk about themselves. Someone please suggest a better O'Keeffe biography for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Don't read if you want any kind of actual biography of O'Keeffe-but do read if you want to be entertained and still pretend you're learning about her. This lady is pretty hilarious. Don't read if you want any kind of actual biography of O'Keeffe-but do read if you want to be entertained and still pretend you're learning about her. This lady is pretty hilarious.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan Vollenweider

    I read a lot of non-fiction, a lot of serious non-fiction--this is not that book...and how refreshing! Although the facts are a' plenty, I don't recommend this as your sole biography of Georgia O'Keeffe because it's part author memoir. But what I do recommend it as (besides a really fun, chatty read that will hit all the high points of Georgia's life and some of her art) is an example of the answer to: How did Georgia affect the author's life? This book will give you an example to answer:How doe I read a lot of non-fiction, a lot of serious non-fiction--this is not that book...and how refreshing! Although the facts are a' plenty, I don't recommend this as your sole biography of Georgia O'Keeffe because it's part author memoir. But what I do recommend it as (besides a really fun, chatty read that will hit all the high points of Georgia's life and some of her art) is an example of the answer to: How did Georgia affect the author's life? This book will give you an example to answer:How does she affect yours? As far as I'm concerned, the most important thing that I can retain after learning about one of our foremothers is to apply her life lessons to mine; her strong characteristics to my own; I want her to be part role model, part inspiration. The facts of her life are important, of course, but if I can't apply them they are just more trivia in my head. With only facts I can give a lecture, but with facts that tie into my own life I can have a conversation. Karbo shows how that is done by sharing her own side of that conversation. (If you like the conversational style of The History Chicks podcast, you'll enjoy this book.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ann Tracy

    so many good art books in the world. skip this one unless you're just looking for fluff that doesn't seem realistically related to georgia o'keeffe in any shape or form. so many good art books in the world. skip this one unless you're just looking for fluff that doesn't seem realistically related to georgia o'keeffe in any shape or form.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    i had to read this for a class and i would like the time i spent reading it refunded, please and thank you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carye Bye

    While I do have an art history degree I don't read a lot of art history books since the text book days but this is an art history meets pop culture meets memoir meets humor book all rolled up in one and I approve. I couldn't put it down and couldn't wait to read more when I had to put it down. This book was reviewed in a local paper and clipped the article and put in a pile: to read later. And one day recently ordered all the books I meant to read from the library. Many I have returned briskly. While I do have an art history degree I don't read a lot of art history books since the text book days but this is an art history meets pop culture meets memoir meets humor book all rolled up in one and I approve. I couldn't put it down and couldn't wait to read more when I had to put it down. This book was reviewed in a local paper and clipped the article and put in a pile: to read later. And one day recently ordered all the books I meant to read from the library. Many I have returned briskly. I hadn't even realized who the author was and a local Portlander until I started to read. I stopped to look at the author photo and bio after I laughed again and wanted to know who this funny lady is. I'm definitely going to check out her other two famous women books about Kate Hepburn and Coco Chanel. The Georgia. O'Keeffe came third. I've never been super drawn to O'Keeffe but I think what sold me on this book was the second title: Lessons on the Art of Living. I've made my life as an artist and as I read this book I found myself feeling a kin to Georgia. I grew up in the Midwest, had loving but hands-off upbringing that allowed me a lot of time to explore and play and grow on my own. I also tend to work hard but then as Karbo describes Georgia can be proto slacker for days and then "work her ass off". I liked seeing so many similarities to my own life and hers. I enjoyed Karbo's own opinions and storyline and modern comparisons thrown in. The book helps put the time period in context and all the relationship stuff with Georgia and Stieglitz and his art connections and their connections was also interesting to me. I think in 10 years the book will feel dated as its loaded with current pop culture funnies. But it also made it a great read now. Thanks for the great book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    Whoever thought that reading a biography could be such PuredeeLight?!! Okay, for those of us with Insatiable Curiosity (bordering on the Kipling 'Elephant's Child' kind), ALL biographies portend to be entertaining in some way. I'm dubbing Karbo the 'Dave Barry' of biography and now am scrambling to find all of her books,or at the very least, all her "kick-ass women" trilogy (as she calls them) to devour (metaphorically speaking, of course). I confess, I'm one of those who savors EVERY aspect of a Whoever thought that reading a biography could be such PuredeeLight?!! Okay, for those of us with Insatiable Curiosity (bordering on the Kipling 'Elephant's Child' kind), ALL biographies portend to be entertaining in some way. I'm dubbing Karbo the 'Dave Barry' of biography and now am scrambling to find all of her books,or at the very least, all her "kick-ass women" trilogy (as she calls them) to devour (metaphorically speaking, of course). I confess, I'm one of those who savors EVERY aspect of a book. Silly, but I love the SIZE of this book (7.6 x 5.6), the weight of the paper, the fonts used, the use of colored type indicating the chapter segments, the full color images of one of Okeeffe's works at the beginning of each chapter (how to choose from the 2,045 of her lifetime output?), and all the delightful footnotes (many of which were no more than parenthetical remarks). Reading this book was akin to having a chat over lunch with the author, at once exploring and celebrating a most remarkable life and musing about our own lives and choices. Delectable. Having said all that, I'm not sure that this book would strike the same chord with other women I know and respect. There is the occasional descriptively-used expletive, which neatly drives home the author's observations. It's a quick read about a voluminous life. The book is more of a 'whet-the-appetite' than a 'full-course-dinner' about the subject of the work. There is plenty written about Georgia O'Keeffe and Karbo includes this link to a full bibliography: www.okeeffemuseum.org . In addition, she shares her personal favorites in her Acknowledgments.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    In the eighties I considered Georgia O'Keeffe the closet I would come to having a mentor. I was a writer she was an artist in her nineties. What I saw in her work was freedom, a freedom that existed for women if they jumped into life with both feet. I saw strength to strike out on one's own. I only read one biography and found it dull. Mostly I relied on her art: the bones, flowers, and skyscrapers. When I heard an interview with Karen Karbo, I decided maybe I'd see what she had to say about O'K In the eighties I considered Georgia O'Keeffe the closet I would come to having a mentor. I was a writer she was an artist in her nineties. What I saw in her work was freedom, a freedom that existed for women if they jumped into life with both feet. I saw strength to strike out on one's own. I only read one biography and found it dull. Mostly I relied on her art: the bones, flowers, and skyscrapers. When I heard an interview with Karen Karbo, I decided maybe I'd see what she had to say about O'Keeffe. I'm so glad I did. This beautiful book is a celebration of art, women, and creativity. While the book gave me a new take on O'Keeffe, it also made me want to create art, to step away and give myself a place. Loved this book and carried it with me every where I went. I am sad to say I've finished reading it. What a extraordinary talented writer. Thank you for this book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    "There is a bit of a bitch in every good cook" - Georgia O'Keefe "A marriage is a civilization, the couple at the ceter of it, king and queen. When it falls apart, the entire population suffers." I love the way this author writes. This isn't just a dry biography. The author artfully weaves in lessons/ stories from her own life, while giving us more than a glimpse into Georgia's complicated life. This really is a telling of Georgia's life in the context of imparting lessons from her life - and thos "There is a bit of a bitch in every good cook" - Georgia O'Keefe "A marriage is a civilization, the couple at the ceter of it, king and queen. When it falls apart, the entire population suffers." I love the way this author writes. This isn't just a dry biography. The author artfully weaves in lessons/ stories from her own life, while giving us more than a glimpse into Georgia's complicated life. This really is a telling of Georgia's life in the context of imparting lessons from her life - and those lessons stand the test of time. My take away from this book - be who you are and be interested/ passionate about something (it makes you a more intrigueing person, worth getting to know). This author has also written books about Coco Chanel and Katherine Hepburn - and I'll definitely be adding those to my reading list!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I really enjoyed this light-hearted yet factual account of Georgia O'Keeffe's life and art. The author sets her book apart from the myriad other O'Keeffe bios by getting to the heart of what many readers are after--what was Georgia O'Keeffe really like--without making it a weighty dissection. I personally loved the footnotes scattered about the pages, for they made the book seem like a fun conversation. I really enjoyed this light-hearted yet factual account of Georgia O'Keeffe's life and art. The author sets her book apart from the myriad other O'Keeffe bios by getting to the heart of what many readers are after--what was Georgia O'Keeffe really like--without making it a weighty dissection. I personally loved the footnotes scattered about the pages, for they made the book seem like a fun conversation.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Now I see why others have raved so much about this story. It’s the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, but you won’t find this story in the encyclopedia. It’s a tale beautifully, cleverly, wisely told with hundreds of little personal asides and footnotes. I think you will love it. I’m pretty sure you will.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Krenner1

    Karen Karbo is a true, contemporary story teller. In this telling of Georgia O'Keeffe's life and genius, Karbo can't help but interject her own hilarious, sharp-witted opinions along the way. In this case that's a good thing. Karen Karbo is a true, contemporary story teller. In this telling of Georgia O'Keeffe's life and genius, Karbo can't help but interject her own hilarious, sharp-witted opinions along the way. In this case that's a good thing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    I loved this! So irreverant and an entertaining read. I am dying to read her books about Hepburn and Chanel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nancyliz

    Cheeky. I want to like the author. Her voice as a writer may be unique, but her voice as a person isn’t. She reminds me of me. I often think I’m hilarious. I keep it in check. It’s unusual to read a book with the author sitting beside you, wisecracking. Seven sentences in, with no mention of the purpose and central figure of the book. That’s because the author busies herself, elbowing her subject aside in favor of herself. I learned a thing or two about Georgia O’Keeffe. I believe that many arti Cheeky. I want to like the author. Her voice as a writer may be unique, but her voice as a person isn’t. She reminds me of me. I often think I’m hilarious. I keep it in check. It’s unusual to read a book with the author sitting beside you, wisecracking. Seven sentences in, with no mention of the purpose and central figure of the book. That’s because the author busies herself, elbowing her subject aside in favor of herself. I learned a thing or two about Georgia O’Keeffe. I believe that many artists insist that the work is who they are, rather than a narrative describing their sartorial choices, and food preferences. I read this on my iPad, which was helpful, as I could switch to searches for her art, and Stiegler’s art and photos of people and places. We read this for book group, which will meet on Zoom during the pandemic. The author is funny. Georgia O’Keeffe is brilliant. She wouldn’t have liked me much, I don’t think, and I don’t think she would have liked the author much, either.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Goddard

    This is a hard one to review. On the one hand, I loved the idea of mixing a biography with lessons you can apply to your own life. O'Keeffe is a great person to draw life lessons from, and Karbo does a good job of pointing out how O'Keeffe is a good role model. It's also a nicely condensed biography -- she covers O'Keeffe's life but not in excruciating details, so it's good for those who don't enjoy exhaustingly long non-fiction biographies. (Although I did notice a few errors). But on the other This is a hard one to review. On the one hand, I loved the idea of mixing a biography with lessons you can apply to your own life. O'Keeffe is a great person to draw life lessons from, and Karbo does a good job of pointing out how O'Keeffe is a good role model. It's also a nicely condensed biography -- she covers O'Keeffe's life but not in excruciating details, so it's good for those who don't enjoy exhaustingly long non-fiction biographies. (Although I did notice a few errors). But on the other hand, Karbo also makes it a memoir of her own experiences researching O'Keeffe's life and writing this book. While her style is often funny, sometimes the anecdotes seems irrelevant or too digressionary. It wasn't always easy to see where she was going with some stories. The attempt to do three things in one book -- biography, self-help and memoir -- might have been too much here. She might have been better off just sticking to two out of three.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marit

    Note that Karbo is not your ordinary biographer. She delves into Georgia O'Keeffe's life because she wants to learn from her ("lessons on the art of living"!) and she does not pretend much less try to be unbiased, objective, or removed. And thus she has multiple interjections of asides (humorously marked as footnotes at times), uses her own first person, and draws her own conclusions about what O'Keeffe, without meaning to at all, could teach us all. I frankly relished it. The book was light, re Note that Karbo is not your ordinary biographer. She delves into Georgia O'Keeffe's life because she wants to learn from her ("lessons on the art of living"!) and she does not pretend much less try to be unbiased, objective, or removed. And thus she has multiple interjections of asides (humorously marked as footnotes at times), uses her own first person, and draws her own conclusions about what O'Keeffe, without meaning to at all, could teach us all. I frankly relished it. The book was light, refreshing and yet also inspiring. Karbo's admiration for the great artist is hard to resist and the lessons she draws from the woman and legend are thought-provoking and often inspiring. Above all, Karbo draws O'Keeffe as a woman who set her own rules almost always and through that lived long, loved well enough, and never lost her creative force.

  25. 5 out of 5

    False

    Written in a very casual, personal style, and with humor and personal asides, this books makes for a compelling read apart from the usual scholarly work on a noted artist. I'm going to be seeking out her other books on Chanel and Hepburn and the memoir of her father's last days. Who thought reading about Georgia O'Keeffe could be amusing? The author raises the usual questions of any woman in the spotlight or who achieves fame through her creativity. What is sacrificed? Family? Children? How impo Written in a very casual, personal style, and with humor and personal asides, this books makes for a compelling read apart from the usual scholarly work on a noted artist. I'm going to be seeking out her other books on Chanel and Hepburn and the memoir of her father's last days. Who thought reading about Georgia O'Keeffe could be amusing? The author raises the usual questions of any woman in the spotlight or who achieves fame through her creativity. What is sacrificed? Family? Children? How important is it to keep your own sense of self (very, according to Karbo.) And why do so many attach themselves to negative men needing control and power and their own sense of self shored up? It seems, ultimately, most women leave this aside and do focus on their own lives and work--for better or worse.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Grimm

    I found myself wanting to set this book down many times, but instead I held out hoping for some mystic O'Keeffe insight tucked away in the final pages. In this book, the author meets with a notable O'Keeffe scholar for an interview and admits to not having read much of the scholar's work. And earlier, Karbo jabs at the great length of the O'Keeffe Museum's lengthy bibliography list. This lead me to question the author's rigor for research. The many useless footnotes that littered nearly every ot I found myself wanting to set this book down many times, but instead I held out hoping for some mystic O'Keeffe insight tucked away in the final pages. In this book, the author meets with a notable O'Keeffe scholar for an interview and admits to not having read much of the scholar's work. And earlier, Karbo jabs at the great length of the O'Keeffe Museum's lengthy bibliography list. This lead me to question the author's rigor for research. The many useless footnotes that littered nearly every other page tired me, and neither did I appreciate Karbo reducing O'Keeffe to such simple generalizations as: "She was a pragmatic midwesterner." How boring. I was eager to gain insight behind this mysterious woman who changed the course of modern art. Someday I will read about O'Keeffe again but for now, I'll wait it out for a more traditional biography that does O'Keeffe justice.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Janis

    I'm one of the lifetime fan girls of all things O'Keefe, having come of age in the 70's and living outside NYC it was part of my rite of passage to spend hours trekking around to find the places, the Art, the mystique that was available to me with the purchase of a bus ticket. This little book took me back to those days and I enjoyed very much. Sure its not going to win any book awards, but it was fun and easy to read, and I thought the footnotes were cool. I did not have to read this book for a I'm one of the lifetime fan girls of all things O'Keefe, having come of age in the 70's and living outside NYC it was part of my rite of passage to spend hours trekking around to find the places, the Art, the mystique that was available to me with the purchase of a bus ticket. This little book took me back to those days and I enjoyed very much. Sure its not going to win any book awards, but it was fun and easy to read, and I thought the footnotes were cool. I did not have to read this book for a book club, or an assignment, I heard about the author's name and sought out her work at local library. I will be looking for her other books next.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anne Pechovnik

    The author’s style was readable and humorous. “How Georgia Became O’Keeffe” works as a companion to other - any - biographies of the artist, but as primary material isn’t useful. There is no real explanation of “how” as promised by the title. Of course, how anyone becomes themselves is a narrative we can’t tell accurately from any vantage. We’re half-blind and biased about our own lives; we’re more than half-blind to the lives of others and our biases equally distorting. I can recommend this boo The author’s style was readable and humorous. “How Georgia Became O’Keeffe” works as a companion to other - any - biographies of the artist, but as primary material isn’t useful. There is no real explanation of “how” as promised by the title. Of course, how anyone becomes themselves is a narrative we can’t tell accurately from any vantage. We’re half-blind and biased about our own lives; we’re more than half-blind to the lives of others and our biases equally distorting. I can recommend this book in the way I would recommend a cable TV biography: enjoy it and use it to stimulate your curiosity but don’t go into it hoping for a thoughtful treatment of the subject.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stevie

    I am a heterosexual male (which should be personal and irrelevant) who hadn't thought twice about reading this book with a flower on the cover until Karen Karbo pointed it out. I also have five children, all of which I have lived with, often without anyone else around and I have never thought that I was babysitting. I have lived with my best friend for twelve years, married for ten of those, and she does not annoy me. Oddly, none of these have to do with Georgia O'Keefe but are things I learned I am a heterosexual male (which should be personal and irrelevant) who hadn't thought twice about reading this book with a flower on the cover until Karen Karbo pointed it out. I also have five children, all of which I have lived with, often without anyone else around and I have never thought that I was babysitting. I have lived with my best friend for twelve years, married for ten of those, and she does not annoy me. Oddly, none of these have to do with Georgia O'Keefe but are things I learned about Karen Karbo's thoughts of me. My Mother lent this book to me because she digs Georgia O'Keefe. Now I do, too.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jelena

    I had picked up this book based on a recommendation from The History Chicks podcast but was so disappointed. The pages are littered with pointless footnotes comprised of Karbo's personal anecdotes or opinions. In the rare instances in which a footnote was pertinent to O'Keeffe's story, it could've easily been woven into the body of the text. I found this style very distracting. The author's attempt at humor isn't even entertaining. Thankfully I don't ever have to read it again. I had picked up this book based on a recommendation from The History Chicks podcast but was so disappointed. The pages are littered with pointless footnotes comprised of Karbo's personal anecdotes or opinions. In the rare instances in which a footnote was pertinent to O'Keeffe's story, it could've easily been woven into the body of the text. I found this style very distracting. The author's attempt at humor isn't even entertaining. Thankfully I don't ever have to read it again.

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