Within each of us…

Author and motivational speaker Jonathan Craig has been living with HIV for 27 years. After his diagnosis he was faced with a life-altering moment of truth and forced to look inward for the strength to live life to its fullest.

Craig’s small, yet powerful book, “You Are The Reason,” is his attempt to share that personal journey to find hope, peace and inner purpose. Believing every person on earth “holds the keys to personal happiness and success within,” Craig says those searching for that lasting, truest reason to live will find the most precious gift of all: yourself.

“You Are The Reason” combines Craig’s personal testimony for life and happiness with the wisdom of sages past. At the beginning of each of the 10 chapters, and sprinkled throughout the book, are kernels of knowledge imparted from the likes of Lewis B. Smedes, Walt Whitman, James Allen, Epicetus, C.S. Lewis and Charles Dickens.

“You Are The Reason” by Jonathan Craig. 2009, Borderline Publishing. $9.95. 96 pages, includes personal journal space.

Sex and life

Picture yourself in the 1970s. The arts scene is exploding. The Sexual Revolution has changed and is continuing to change the role of women in society and the place of LGBTs. In this time, pioneer film and video artist Barbara Hammer brought new and intimate portrayals of lesbian sex, menstruation and female orgasm into public consciousness as never before. Her radical lesbian cinema has served as inspiration to decades of filmmakers and continues to garner new fans. Hammer is still around, too, making groundbreaking films on an incredible variety of subjects today.

“HAMMER! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life,” is a candid look at how sexuality transformed Hammer’s work and art, and the way cultural politics have propelled her into new subjects, methods and ways of thinking about cinematic expression. As much a story of Hammer’s artistic history, the non-fiction is also a personal look into the history of the queer women who helped to shape the modern-day LGBT movement.

“Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life,” by Barbara Hammer. 2009, The Feminist Press. $19.95. 274 pages, including appendices.

This article was published in the Jan. 23 — Feb. 5 print edition.