You know that sweet and wise little old lady (who plays the aged Rose) in James Cameron’s movie Titanic?  That wonderfully eccentric character was inspired by the incomparable ceramic artist Beatrice Wood.

Beatrice Wood led a remarkable and thoroughly inspiring life, all of which is captured in her book, I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood.  Her life was layered with rebellion and ambition.  As a young girl growing up in the early 1900’s she defied her socialite mother and pursued her passion for acting.  Along the way she became friends with iconoclast artist Marcel Duchamp, and lover to the French writer Henri-Pierre Roche.

Her book is a fascinating read.  In her own words she describes how it wasn’t until she was 40 that she discovered the passion that would change her life: pottery.  Unlike most acclaimed artists, Wood enjoyed the most success during the last 25 years of her life and stayed active in the art world until her death in 1998 at the age of 105.

She is remembered not only as one of America’s most prolific ceramicists, but also for her avant-garde nature.  Everything about Beatrice Wood, from her personal style and way of looking at the world, to her artistic pursuits and romantic encounters, was exceptional and unconventional.

Whether you are an art enthusiast, incurable romantic, history buff, or are just looking for a charming read, I Shock Myself is an enchanting way to pass the time.  Don’t be surprised if after reading it, you find yourself wanting to watch Titanic again! – Melany Z.