Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday's Three on Art

Today's Thursday's Three presents a trio of new art books.

The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Art (Random House, August 16, 2016) ~ The wonderful arts critic Sebastian Smee tells an absorbing story of four pairs of artists — Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas, Henri Matissse and Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, and Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon  — and how each pair's relationship moved beyond friendship to spark competition and creative innovation.

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Sebastian Smee on FaceBook

Random House on FaceBook

Random House Page for The Art of Rivalry

Hanna Hoch: Life Portrait  | A Collaged Autobiography (The Green Box, September 27, 2016) ~ The last and largest work by German artist Hannah Hoch (1889-1978), known for her association with Berlin's Dadaists, was Life Portrait (c. 1972-1973), which was a photocollage that measured nearly 4 feet by 5 feet. Just out, the book, which is in English, separates Life Portrait into 38 sections, each identified by Hoch and each of which includes explanatory text and original quotations. The 96-page book includes 40 color and 3 black-and-white images, including an overview of the entire artwork. Alma-Elisa Kittner provides the Introduction. 

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Read Cory Reynolds's post on Hannah Hoch's Life Portrait at ArtBook blog.

Art Is the Highest Form of Hope & Other Quotes by Artists (Phaidon Press, October 2016) ~ This is a 336-page compilation of quotes by painters, sculptors, photographers, and other visual artists. Curated by Phaidon editors, the quotes range across numerous subjects, from beauty, to color and light, to fear of failure, to originality and the creative process, to money problems, to personal advice.

Cover Art

Phaidon Page for Art Is the Highest Form of Hope

Phaidon on FaceBook

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Honors for Aliza Augustine and Beth Burstein

I first became familiar with the work of photographer Aliza Augustine while interviewing filmmaker and poet Janet R. Kirchheimer* about her and Augustine's collaboration on a Holocaust-related multimedia exhibition titled "How to Spot One of Us".

Recently, I learned that Augustine won the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers (7th Edition) in the Documentary and Editorial Category**; photographer Beth Burstein was a runner-up in the same category. Burstein also won in the Self Portrait Category***, and was a finalist in the Portrait Category****. (All Winners, Runners Up, and Finalists in all categories are found here.)

Both Augustine's and Burstein's work will be showcased in a special exhibition, "Memory of the Holocaust and the Second Generation", at the Berlin Foto Biennale 2016, 4th Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography, which opens October 6 at the Palazzo Italia. Work by three other photographers — Vianne Rea, Quyen Pfeifer, and Sebastian Holzknecht — also will be in that special show. Altogether, nearly 450 contemporary photographers from 42 countries will be represented at the Biennale, which will continue through October 30.


An Israeli-American and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, Augustine has been exploring aftermath and survival in her ongoing project Documenting the Second Generation: Children of Holocaust Survivors.  Combining fine art portraits of survivors' children, who were found via social media, with their Holocaust-era family photos, Augustine's images capture profoundly how the Holocaust shaped not only the lives of survivors but also the lives of family members, including children. The images are as poignant as they are thought-provoking.

Aliza Augustine, Emily Cohen
From the Series Documenting the Second Generation
© Aliza Augustine

Augustine trained as a painter at Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited in museums and galleries and at colleges and universities in the New York City area and throughout the United States.

Aliza Augustine Website

"Documenting the Second Generation": Artist StatementParticipationInstallation Photos

Aliza Augustine Photography on FaceBook

Read Rukh Schaechter's 2015 article in Forward, "How Family Holocaust Stories Became Multimedia Art Exhibit", to learn more about Kirchheimer's and Augustine's collaborative exhibition.


American Beth Burstein has created a haunting photo essay, The Legacy: A Daughter's Experience of the Holocaust, which documents her father's World War II experiences in a Jewish ghetto in Kaunas, Lithuania, and in a concentration camp near Dachau, as well as her own experience as a child of a Holocaust survivor. Shown in three solo exhibitions in the U.S., Burstein's project is in two parts: "Part 1, The Family Heirloom", and "Part 2, I Thought It Would Feel Like Home".  Two of Burstein's photographs from the photo essay will be included in the Berlin exhibition.

Beth Burstein, The Family Portrait: My Grandmother Rachel, 40, 
and Aunt Ida, 11, After Auschwitz
From the Series The Family Heirloom
© Beth Burstein

Burstein has a bachelor's degree in photography from Hampshire College in Massachusetts. 

Beth Burstein Website

The Family Heirloom at Beth Burstein Website

I Thought It Would Feel Like Home at Beth Burstein Website

Beth Burstein Photography on FaceBook

The Legacy: A Daughter's Experience of the Holocaust on FaceBook

The Legacy has been published as a book in hardcover and softcover. It also is available as an e-book.


*  See my interview with Janet R. Kirchheimer: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

** Gallery of Images for Documentary and Editorial Category: Augustine's photos: first row, second from left; second row, fifth from left; third row, first and second from left. Burstein's photo is in the first row, third from left.

*** Gallery of Images for Self Portrait Category: Burstein's photo, My Father's Uniform (from the series The Family Heirloom) is the first in the first row, beginning on the left.

**** Gallery of Images for Portrait Category: Burstein's photo, The Family Portrait: My Grandmother Rachel, 40, and Aunt Ida, 11, After Auschwitz (from the series The Family Heirloom) is the first photo in the fourth row, beginning on the left.

Berlin Foto Biennale on FaceBook

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

'Poet Warrior' Gerald Stern

If you want to understand a culture, you go to its poets.*
~ American Poet Gerald Stern

Life-long poet, lecturer, and teacher Gerald Stern, born in 1925 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, today resides in quiet Lambertville, New Jersey—still writing and reading and connecting through his words.

Described as "uncontainable"*, the prolific Stern takes up in his expansive work subjects that range over the entirety of human experience, from his Jewish childhood, to love and marriage, to loss and grief, to art, music, and dance, to emptiness and futility, to aging and memory, to suffering and death, to war and violence, and much more. He makes room on the page not only for beauty but also for pain, for the neglected, the misfit, the underdog. He writes in a voice that veers from the passionate, to the satiric and humorous, to the angry, to the lyrical, to the meditative.

Stern also is a writer of place, as in this excerpt from "96 Vandem", which appears in Stern's This Time: New and Selected Poems (W.W. Norton, 1998) and reprinted in Billy Collins's Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools:

I am going to carry my bed into New York City tonight
complete with dangling sheets and ripped blankets;
I am going to push it across three dark highways
or coast along under 600,000 faint stars.
[. . . ]
I want to fall asleep on my own fire escape
and wake up dazed and hungry
to the sound of garbage grinding in the street below
and the smell of coffee cooking in the window above.

Stern has written more than a score of poetry books, most recently Divine Nothingness: Poems (W.W. Norton, 2014; paper, 2016). A new collection, Galaxy Love: Poems (W.W. Norton), is expected to go to press in April 2017.

The recipient of numerous prizes, Stern has been recognized with a Frost Medal, a National Book Award (for Time: New and Selected Poems), the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry (for Early Collected Poems), the Paterson Poetry Prize (for Bread Without Sugar), and the Poetry Society of America's Melville Caine Award (for The Red Coal). Other honors include the prestigious Ruth Lilly Prize, the Rebekah Johnson National Prize for Poetry at the Library of Congress, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award, and fellowships or grants from the Academy of American Poets, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He also served two years, 2000-2002, as New Jersey's Poet Laureate.

Stern is an essayist as well. His essay collections include What I Can't Bear Losing and Stealing History. His Death Watch: A Meditation (Trinity University Press) is to be published in January 2017.

Here's a short video profile of Gerald Stern, at age 88 in 2013, from State of the Arts New Jersey:


* Quoted from the excellent 2008 film Gerald Stern: Still Burning at Poetry Foundation. The short documentary (19:54 minutes) was produced, directed, and edited by Norbert Lempert (REMproductions) with the Poetry Foundation. It features a number of poets who are also Stern's friends, including Ross Gay, Edward Hirsch, Stern's partner Anne Marie Macarie, and Thomas Lux. Stern, age 82  at the time of filming, reads from a number of his wonderful poems. (Additional documentary shorts by Lempert can be found at Poetry Matters Now.)

Selection of Gerald Stern Profiles Online: Academy of American Poets, Guggenheim Foundation, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, The Poetry Center at Smith CollegePoetry Foundation, Poets & WritersW.W. Norton

Selection of Gerald Stern Poems Online: Poetry Foundation (52 Poems), Academy of American Poets (14 Poems), Poems Out Loud (3 Poems; Audio Available), The Poetry Archive (4 Poems; Audio Available), PoemHunter (10 Poems), The New Yorker (12 Poems), The Poetry Center at Smith College (3 Poems)

Tony Norman, "Tony Norman: Poet Gerald Stern Remains Riveting", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 13, 2015

Gerald Stern on FaceBook

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Muse: Poetry at Hill Center

The excellent local series of in-depth conversations with poets, "The Life of a Poet", begins a new season just days from now. The series, co-sponsored by the Library of Congress and The Washington Post, is moderated by Ron Charles, editor for the newspaper's Book World section, and is held at Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital in Washington, D.C. In addition to discussing career and major works, the poets read from their work.

Here's the current lineup:

On Thursday, September 29, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., the award-winning Terrance Hayes, author, most recently, of How to Be Drawn (Penguin Poets, 2015), finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, starts off the 2016-2017 series with Charles.

Hayes is co-director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics and an English professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

The author of four poetry collections, Brenda Shaughnessy joins Charles on Friday, February 7, 2017, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Shaughnessy, who teaches at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, published So Much Synth (Copper Canyon Press) this past May. 

Shortlisted for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize (for Our Andromeda), she is the recipient of a James Laughlin Award and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award (both for Human Dark with Sugar).

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Charles talks with Dana Levin. The author of the forthcoming Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press, October 11, 2016), Sky Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2011), and two other collections, Levin has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Honickman First Book Prize, the John C. Zacharis First Book Award, the PEN/Osterweil Award, and the Witter Bynner Prize (all for In the Surgical Theatre). 

Levin teaches at Maryville University, St. Louis, where she also is the inaugural distinguished writer-in-residence. Levin is a participant at the 2016 Fall for the Book, continuing through September 30 at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.


Those who don't live in our area or miss one of Charles's conversations will find each recorded and made available on YouTube.

All "Life of a Poet" events are free and open to the public but registration is required.

Hill Center on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Thought for the Day

. . . It's only in dreams that we're really truthful
with whatever hurts most; . . .
~ Artist Shirin Neshat

Quoted from Haley Weiss, "In Dreams", Interview with Shirin Neshat, Interview, August 18, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for A Tale of Love and Darkness, written and directed by and starring Natalie Portman.

Based on  A Tale of Love and Darkness (Mariner Books, 2005), Amos Oz's autobiographical novel about childhood in Israel in the early days of the country's independence, the film was screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and premiered in July 2016 in New York City.

A Tale of Love and Darkness on FaceBook

Friday, September 23, 2016

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Due out in early October is James Attlee's Graham Dean (Unicorn Publishing Group) a book about acclaimed figurative artist Graham Dean. (See my Wednesday Artist column of June 29, 2016.) Attlee surveys Dean's four-decades-long career, examining his early post-Pop images, urban realist paintings, and current monumental watercolors of the human body (they're exquisite).

Cover Art

The book will be available internationally, and also at Cameron Contemporary Art in Brighton, United Kingdom, Dean's hometown. 

Among Attlee's other books are Gordon Matta-Clark: The Space Between (2014).

Coinciding with the book's release is a solo exhibition at the gallery, which will run from October 8 through November 6; it's the first major show of Dean's work in Brighton in 20 years.

Graham Dean, White Noise, 2007
Watercolor on Rag Paper, 77 cm x 91 cm
(Image included in Graham Dean)

Graham Dean on FaceBook

✦ The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., is host to Drawing Salon, a series of free workshops open to the public, ages 18 and older, led by practicing artists and museum educators. Drawing materials are provided. Upcoming programs address "Hudson River Landscapes" and "American Modernism". Other topics, beginning in 2017, are "Dutch Seascapes", "The Shaw Memorial", and "Calder's Mobiles". For dates and other details, see Drawing Salon or download the 2016-2017 schedule (pdf).

✦ Beginning September 28, Marianne Lettieri will conduct at the Berkeley, California, Center for the Arts & Religion at Graduate Theological Union a 15-week class introducing activities and responsibilities of art display and gallery management in religious contexts. The course will include lectures, reading discussions, conversations with artists, and field  trips. In addition, attendees will collaborate on a culturally significant exhibit at Doug Adams Gallery. The course is open to the public. Register online.

The solo exhibition "Marianne Lettieri: Reflections" at San Francisco's Museum of Craft and Design continues through January 22, 2017. 

CARe Doug Adams Gallery on FaceBook

✦ Hieronymus Bosch has been dead for 500 years but his Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1500) continues to fascinate. The Public Domain celebrates the three-panel painting with a selection of close-ups.

✦ More than 100 photographs of New York City are featured in a volume of street photography by Lee Friedlander: Street: The Human Clay (Yale University Art Gallery, September 20, 2016). Also included are images of Atlanta, Buffalo, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, and San Francisco. Last year, the gallery released Friedlander's Portraits: The Human Clay.

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✦ Highly detailed, the miniature graphite drawings of Mateo Pizarro contain narratives waiting to be written. Pizarro's artworks have been featured at This Is ColossalTwisted Sifter, The Inspiration, and Juxtapoz.

Mateo Pizarro's Micro Barroque Series (Also see his Ancient Beasts on Behance and DesignWrld.)

Mateo Pizarro on Instagram and Behance

✦ Contemporary street artist and filmmaker Nils Westergard of Richmond, Virginia, signs his painted and stenciled pieces, which include murals, with a butterfly. His street art can found throughout the United States, as well as abroad—in Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and Austria, among other nations. See Westergard's studio art.

Nils Westergard on FaceBook

✦ Below is The Ceramic Presence in Modern Art, about an exhibition at Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, that concluded in January 2016. The show presented more than 80 objects by such artists as Kenneth Price, Lucie Rie, and Peter Voulkos—all part of the Linda Leonard Schlenger Collection or the gallery. An exhibition catalogue with 139 color illustrations is available.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Utah State University's Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah, is presenting "Lighting the Fire: Ceramics Education in the American West". Its objects drawn from the museum's important ceramics collection, the exhibition surveys the work of more than 20 ceramists who, through innovative teaching, helped position clay as a fine art medium in the mid-20th Century. A list of the potters whose work is on view is at the exhibition link above. The exhibition continues through December 10.

NEHMA on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ On view through December 9 at CARe's Doug Adams Gallery, Berkeley, California, is "The Hermitage of Landscape: Works by Nicholas Coley". Earlier this year, Coley had a solo exhibition of recent plein air paintings at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco. See a selection of Coley's paintings.

Nicholas Coley, Canal by the Railroad Tracks, 2016
Oil on Canvas, 48" x 60"

Nicholas Coley on FaceBook

Fort Mason Center on FaceBook

✭ There's still time to see the installation "Living Hive" at Virginia's Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History. The show, which continues through October 9, presents conceptual artist Elsabe Johnson Dixon's bee-keeping project, which includes Dixon's sculpture of a honeybee hive. Dixon created the hive, which is now wax-covered, as part of her exploration of bees' activities and reactions to human-made structures.

Read Denice Thibodeau's article about the exhibition, "Combining Love of Art and Nature, Project Charts Honeybees Reacting to Man-Made Structure" in The Danville Register. View images at the article link and on Dixon's FaceBook page.

Elsabe Johnson Dixon on Square Space,  FaceBookInstagram, and YouTube

Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History on FaceBook

✭ A show of jewelry at Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, continues through January 8, 2017. The exhibition, "All That Sparkles. . . 20th Century Artists' Jewelry", celebrates the craftsmanship and creativity of 20th Century artists who used the art form to explore texture and color, as well as new techniques and materials. It features work by artists in Bechtler's collection, including Raffael Benazzi, Alberto Giacometti, Alicia Penalba, and Niki de Saint Phalle. The jewelry is shown with examples of "more conventional" artwork by such artists as Harry Bertoia and Claire Falkenstein.

Helen Schwab, "'All That Sparkles...' Shows Thought", Charlotte Observer, July 28, 2016

Bechtler Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram

✭ In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Veronique Wantz Gallery is presenting work by local painter Kei Gratton in the solo exhibition "Within/Without". The all-new works can be seen at the gallery through September 8.

Veronique Wantz Gallery on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ At the Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas, Texas, you'll find "Abhidnya Ghuge: Flight of the Canyon", a site-responsive installation comprising thousands of woodblock-printed paper plates whose designs are inspired by organic patterns in nature. The plates hang precariously above the space where viewers walk. The installation is on view through November 27. At the exhibition link above is an artist talk and additional images, including close-ups, of Ghuge's beautiful artwork.

Installation View
Abhidnya Ghuge, Flight of the Canyon, 2016
Woodblock-Printed Paper Plates, Acrylic Polymer, Paint, Wire Armature
Dimensions Variable (Installation Site-Responsive)
Collection of the Artist
Photo Credit: Turk Studio

Abhidnya Ghuge Website (Take some time to view Ghuge's other installations, sculpture, mixed media, public art/commissions, and drawings. She is a remarkably talented multidisciplinary artist.)

Abhidnya Ghuge on FaceBook

Crow Collection on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday's Three on Poetry

Today, the Thursday's Three column spotlights a new chapbook and two new full-length collections.

Donna Vorreyer's Tinder, Smolder, Bones, and Snow (July 2016) is available from one of my favorite chapbook publishers, dancing girl press. This is an especially lovely set of poems. Vorreyer has written six other chapbooks, including the 17-poem cycle Encantado (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2015), illustrated by Matt Kish. Her most recent full-length collection is Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016).

Cover Art

Donna Vorreyer on FaceBook

dancing girl press on FaceBook and Tumblr

Cathleen Calbert's The Afflicted Girls (Little Red Tree Publishing, July 2016) is the winner of the Vernice Quebodeaux "Pathways" Poetry Prize for Women. The 120-page collection, which includes six color paintings, comprises a series of poetic monologues in women's voices. Calbert has written three other poetry collections.

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Cathleen Calbert on FaceBook

Little Red Tree on FaceBook

Vernice Quebodeaux "Pathways" Poetry Prize on FaceBook 

✭ Portuguese-American poet Millicent Borges Accardi's third poetry book is Only More So (Salmon Poetry, 2016), a collection of 48 lyrical poems that, according to Accardi, focus on "bodies as language, women as witness, and the collective unconscious."

Listen to Accardi read  "Buying Sleep" and "Faith", both from Only More So at Salmon Poetry. (At the same link is the text of "Portrait of a Girl, 1942", "Coupling", and "In Prague".)

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Millicent Borges Accardi on FaceBook

Salmon Poetry on FaceBook

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Laurie Brownell McIntosh

I am drawn . . .  to what happens when you allow
 your everyday self to leave the room and let that
elusive creative hand step in and work. . . .
~ Laurie Brownell McIntosh

Columbia, South Carolina, visual artist Laurie Brownell McIntosh, a professional graphic designer with a bachelor's degree in fine art from the University of South Carolina, is something of a restless spirit when it comes to making art; she's always exploring the creative process via different mediums to find new ways to express her ideas, whether through line, color, pattern, or texture.

As McIntosh notes on her Website, she's studied the batik process, worked with oil pastels, and learned how to cast a narrative using multiple canvases and figurative images — her series All the In Between: My Story of Agnes tells her late mother's cradle-to-grave-story in more than 70 painted panels. (The series is published in a book of the same name. See image below.)

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McIntosh also has moved on to abstraction, discovered and honed layering techniques, incorporated collage into her work, created encaustic pieces, and played with cutting apart and reassembling her images to make new visual connections. For her ongoing series Pages, for example, McIntosh deconstructs paintings with multiple grounds and layers of calligraphic-style marks and then rearranges and binds them unconventionally. She also regroups the images she does not cut up — what she refers to as Whole Pages. (I especially like McIntosh's Ladder Page.) 

The artist collaborates, too, most recently with novelist Jodie Cain Smith on the mixed-media piece New Nest. Empty Nest., which relates the two women's different stages of motherhood. In the past, she's also collaborated with North Carolina sculptor and metalsmith Jim Adams. (Read "Art Exhibit Benefits Penland, an Artists' Epicenter" in The State (2014) and "'Penland Connections' Offers Vibrant, Energetic & Playful Works" in Free Times (2014).

McIntosh, who has studied at the well-known Penland School of Crafts with Pinkney Herbert and Holly Roberts, at Anderson Ranch Arts Center with Roberto Juarez, and at Maine's Center for Creative Imaging, will have an exhibition at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, in Columbia, November 12-29. An opening reception is planned for November 12.

Here's a brief video in which McIntosh talks about her work:

If you visit Columbia, head to Vista Studios, where McIntosh is a full-time resident artist in Studio 6.

Laurie Brownell McIntosh at Camellia Art

Laurie Brownel McIntosh's Dear People

Laurie Brownell McIntosh on FaceBook

Brownell McIntosh Graphic Design, Columbia, South Carolina (McIntosh is creative director.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Larry Levis Film

Film Poster

Toward the end of 2015, I posted a Saturday Short column about a forthcoming film about the poet Larry Levis, who was just 49 when he died in 1996. Now, a trailer for the documentary, A Late Style of Fire | Larry Levis, American Poet (13 Ways Productions, 2016), which is produced and directed by Michele Poulous, is available. 

For additional information about Levis and the film, which will have its world premiere this October in California, see Saturday Short.

I also recommend reading The Selected Levis, Revised Edition (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003) and The Darkening Trapeze: Last Poems (Graywolf Press, 2016). I have copies of both and find myself returning to them often. Levis was a remarkable poet.

Watch the trailer:

A Late Style of Fire on FaceBook