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Famous model writes book to empower abused women

You probably are familiar with Carre Otis’s sensational face and stunning body from her magazine and billboard ads for Guess and Calvin Klein, as well as her appearances in Playboy magazine and Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition. You may also know her from her role in the film “Wild Orchid” with Mickey Rourke.

What you may not know is that Carre lived in Pagosa Springs with her husband Matthew and their two children for the last four years. And she has written a book called “Beauty Disrupted” that she hopes will be a wakeup call for other girls and women in abusive relationships, be they mental or physical.

In spite of what appeared on the surface to be an exciting and beautiful life, Carre had huge self-esteem issues from a young age. She was shy and painfully introverted. She was dyslexic and often teased for being slow in school. She battled a brutal eating disorder from the age of eight. She was sexually abused by a boyfriend of her older sister, a traumatic event that led to a pattern of victimization in the hands of men.

She rebelled by starting to drink in junior high school, later moving on to drugs. She dropped out of school at age 16. She became a lingerie model in a trashy club. She was involved in a nasty shooting accident. She had a long relationship and destructive marriage with actor Mickey Rourke.

All this seems a far cry from her public personae as a world-famous model in Paris, Tahiti and Milan, capped by her being photographed by Richard Avidon for Vogue’s “Most Unforgettable Women” feature. But there always were at least two faces of Carre.

The first part of this book is not easy reading. Yet to understand Carre, you have to accept her horrific story — and appreciate the destructive effects of constant abuse by the men in her life, both professional and personal. As the story progresses to a happy conclusion, you will be deeply encouraged by her change in lifestyle and determination to be a spokesperson for all the other women who have struggled as she did.

Carre has not written this book as a sensational tell-all. Rather, she hopes it will be a call to action for girls and women of all ages — a plea to stop being a victim and to take charge of your own life. For her, the path to a new life was aided by spiritualism and Buddhism. In fact, she first found Pagosa Springs when she visited Tara Mandala for a month-long retreat. After living here for four years, Carre and her family have just moved to an olive farm in California.

“Beauty Disrupted” is available at the Sisson Library. Read it for inspiration, or buy a copy for someone who needs a push to recapture control of her life.

Summer Reading Program

Sign up now, or any time before July 11, for this year’s Summer Reading Program. You will get a reading record to keep track of every hour you read. Each hour earns you a raffle ticket — and so does three books. You can also get raffle tickets by reading a new author and by attending any of the many summer reading programs going on throughout June and July. Summer reading activities are open to toddlers, kids, teens and adults spending all or part of their summer in Archuleta County. Detailed schedules are available at the library. Participants will also want to mark their calendars for an all-ages closing party on Friday, July 13, at from 5:30–7 p.m. (after the library closes) that will include stories, refreshments and music.

Free kids activities

This evening (Thursday, June 14) from 6–7 p.m. is a stuffed animal sleepover and storytime for kids of all ages and their families. Come in your pajamas, bring a stuffed friend who can spend the night in the library if you wish, and enjoy a few bedtime stories.

Free teen activities

The based-on-the-book film series at 12:30 p.m. Fridays features “I Am Number Four” on June 15, and “The Haunting” on June 22. Next Wednesday, June 20, from 1-2 p.m. enjoy pizza and make black light T-shirts with light sensitive paints. Supplies provided or bring your own T-shirts. “Crime and detection forensics” on June 21 from 6-7 p.m. is a lecture from local Detective Sgt. Richard Valdez on the science of forensic crime detection.

Free adult activities

“Crime and detection forensics” on June 21 from 6-7 p.m. is a lecture from local Detective Sgt. Richard Valdez on the science of forensic crime detection. Tomorrow’s (Friday, June 15) based-on-the-book film at 2:30 p.m. is “Lincoln Lawyer. Next Friday is “Everything is Illuminated.” Saturday, June 16, is a “Hiking the San Juan Backyard” lecture from 1-2 p.m. by Stacy Boone, who runs the local hiking outfit called Step Outdoors and has hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide.

Memoirs and biographies

“Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake” by Pulitzer Prize winner Anna Quindlen considers marriage, girlfriends, mothers, faith and myriad other topics. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed tells of a 1,100-mile solo hike that helps a woman build her life back. “Mrs. Kennedy and Me” by Clint Hill tells of the four years this Secret Service agent guarded the new First Lady.

Mysteries and thrillers

“Beckon” by Tom Pawlik follows three people drawn to a small Wyoming town for very different reasons. “Red, White and Blood” by Christopher Farnsworth has the president’s vampire taking on a serial killer. “Guilt by Degrees” by Marcia Clark tells of a Los Angeles D.A. who becomes the object of a psychopath’s obsession. “Gypped” by Carol Higgins Clark is the latest in the Regan Reilly series. ““Beastly Things” by Donna Leon is the latest in the Commissioner Guido Brunetti series. “An Accidental Affair” by Eric Jerome Dickey follows a couple after a video of infidelity hits the Internet. “Unnatural Acts” by Stuart Woods is the latest Stone Barrington mystery. “The Innocent” by David Baldacci follows a hit man who refuses to kill. “Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch” by Nancy Atherton tells of a famous actress hiding her identity in a sleepy village.

Other new novels

“Swamplandia!” by Karen Russell takes readers to the swamps of Florida and introduces a young heroine named Ava Bigtree. “The Dower House” by Malcolm MacDonald tells of young people coming to Britain to escape the horrors of the Nazi death camps. “Crystal Gardens” by Amanda Quick is the latest in the Ladies of Lantern Street set in Victorian England.

Nonfiction

“The Art of Fermentation” by Sandor Ellix Katz is a guide to do-it-yourself fermentation for beginners or experts. “The Juice: Vinous, Veritas” by Jay McInerney is a collection of essays about wine and the people and places that produce it. “The Leaderless Revolution” by Carne Ross shows how ordinary people can take power and change politics in the 21st Century. “The Transition Handbook” by Rob Hopkins is a manual to get us out of our oil dependency. “Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West” is a collection of essays by prominent historians.

Thanks to our donors

For their generous donations in memory of Margaret Wilson, we are grateful to William and Elaine Blaylock, Peggy Cooper, Dave and Marilyn Copley, Joseph and Nancy Drake, Rich and Jan Fiorucci, Donna Geiger, Larry and Jennifer Hedrick, Daniel and Sandra Howe, Joyce Webb and the Women’s Civic Club of Pagosa Springs. For books and materials this week we thank Karen Cox, Dana Dellmore and Bamma Laizure.

Quotable quote

“If you have talent, you don’t have to tell people.” — Baseball Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.

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