Poor eyesight never impacted author Ken Brandt's vision of what life could be. Positive Vision makes a rollicking good read from cover to cover.
Whether galloping across the Montana range, exploring claustrophobic (and fiery!) caverns, chasing a thief through the streets of 1980s New York, or taking a plunge from a plane, his adventures are sure to entertain.
Complementing the adventures are amusing and relatable anecdotes demonstrating the advantages of poor eyesight. Enjoy the exciting escapades and interesting insights. Seeing the bright side makes life more fun for you and those around you.
For lots more information: book reviews, interviews, artices, gallery, etc., please see: https://www.kenbrandt.com/
Idea: This fun, informative book moves quickly, but is still chock-full of humor and heart (and interesting facts). Brandt's organization of info and amusing anecdotes into various categories works well to keep the pace and the reader's interest. At times, some stories or observations included in certain sections don't mesh with the others and trip up the narrative's pacing.
Prose/Style: Brandt's conversational prose evokes a friendly tone of humor, heart, and optimism. The included pictures add to the prose and make the anecdotes even funnier.
Originality: Brandt takes his struggle with poor vision and spins it off into a memoir that's entertaining and informative. He candidly shares his life experiences, while also opening the reader's eyes to certain truths--profound and humorous--that people with poor vision experience. This "take" on his reality is unique, fun, and engaging.
Character Development/Execution: Brandt's strong personality, one of positivity and tongue-in-cheek humor, comes through loud and clear in his memoir. There aren't many strong supporting characters to speak of, which, based on the info about the author’s mother at the end, may be a missed opportunity.
Date Submitted: January 29, 2021
Patient Writes Book on Positive Vision
Ken Brandt, American-Australian author of the upcoming book “Positive Vision”, writes about an upbeat exploration of how he manages life with poor vision. The book is full of rollicking adventures, humorous incidents, and self-help tips, plus a few inspiring quotes and corny jokes. Lots of fun examples showing the bright sides of bad eyes.
Poor eyesight never impacted author Ken Brandt’s vision of what life could be. Whether galloping across the Montana range, exploring claustrophobic (and fiery!) caverns, chasing a thief through the streets of 1980s New York, or plunging from a plane, his adventures are sure to entertain. Complementing the adventures are amusing and relatable anecdotes demonstrating the advantages of poor eyesight.
He says: "Enjoy the exciting escapades and interesting insights. Seeing the bright side makes life more fun for you and those around you."
Ken Brandt is donating 10% of his author's royalties from Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight (5% each) to Massachusetts Eye and Ear for eye research, and The Fred Hollows Foundation for ending avoidable blindness.
"Positive Vision: enjoying the adventures and advantages of poor eyesight" will be available to order from local bookstores and all major online booksellers, from 18 September. Visit www.kenbrandt.com for more information about the book and author.
Prior to retiring and writing his book, Ken held senior management and management consulting positions in information technology and information security with firms and clients of all sizes in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Ken is an entertaining speaker and an amateur New Orleans style jazz trumpeter. He and his wife Judy Roberts Brandt have been married for over twenty years, lived most of their lives in New York City, and now live in Melbourne, Australia.
Book review: Positive Vision
In "Good Vision for Life" an Optometry Australia Initiative
The team at Good vision for life (Optometry Australia) is all about vision and eye health. That's why we took particular interest in Ken Brandt's story.
Ken Brandt has led a fun and adventurous life and had a successful business career despite having poor vision. He has now written a book about his experiences, Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight, which includes advice and anecdotes for others living with low vision.
Ken has had six eye operations, including a detached retina and cataract operation in each eye, and spent parts of his life legally blind.
Before retiring, he held senior management and management consulting positions in information technology and information security with firms and clients of all sizes in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He is also a speaker and jazz trumpeter. Ken and his wife Judy Roberts Brandt have been married for over 20 years, lived most of their lives in New York City, and now live in Melbourne.
Ken is donating 10% of the royalties from his book to The Fred Hollows Foundation and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital.
"An entertaining account of adventures through low vision eyes"
Melbourne optometrist John De Francesco has written a review of the book for Good Vision for Life:
What author Ken Brandt lacks in vision, he makes up for in zeal, resourcefulness and creativity – an approach to life he has encapsulated in his new book, ‘Positive Vision. Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eye Sight.’
This book is a fascinating adventure biography about thriving with low vision, for all to enjoy. Whether it be exploring claustrophobic caverns in the Montana ranges or a hot pursuit in the streets of 1980’s New York, you’re sure to find Ken’s escapades captivating and humorous.
Throughout his life, Ken has endeavoured to transform all the challenges he has faced into positive life experiences. Humbling stories of triumph over every-day adversity fill every chapter. Jokes, tips and thought-provoking insights abound.
Ken not only finds innovative ways to solve his problems, but proves vision impairment can be a great strength which allows people to approach the world in enterprising ways. Through vivid storytelling and wholesome reflective pieces, Ken delves into many topics; from sport and public speaking to relationships and racial harmony, the book explores the benefits of poor eyesight in diverse situations.
With the enhancement of his other four senses, Ken also demonstrates how barriers can be broken and new abilities discovered, all lying on the other side of perseverance.
For optometrists and other eye health professionals, the book can help enhance their understanding of a patients' perspective. It also provides helpful advice and inspiring anecdotes for patients who are living with low vision.
A new appreciation for the hurdles and advantages of low vision is assured.
You can find this book online or in Australian bookstores.
See KenBrandt.com for more information.
New book puts a positive spin on low vision
An American-born IT consultant-turned-author credits two Australian ophthalmologists with restoring limited vision in his right eye, allowing him to write a book on his experience living with low vision.
First-time author Mr Ken Brandt’s new book Positive Vision: enjoying the adventures and advantages of poor eyesight, is launching in Australia and internationally on 18 September, and is an upbeat exploration of how he manages life with poor vision.
“I was born premature and had poor vision as a result. I have slightly crossed eyes and have been on a roller coaster with my vision my whole life,” Brandt said, adding he has worn glasses and contact lenses most of his life.
He has had six eye operations, including a detached retina and cataract operation in each eye, and spent parts of his life legally blind.
His most recent cataract operation was in Melbourne in 2010, four years after he and his wife relocated from New York City to Melbourne.
Brandt credits Melbourne cataract surgeon Dr Mark Troski and retinal specialist Dr Daniel Chiu with helping restore his vision. He said he has a check-up with each doctor in alternating years.
“Both had been watching the cataract in my right eye get slowly worse over the years. During a check-up with Dr Chiu he recommended that I see Dr Troski and that now would be a good time to have the cataract operation on my right eye. Based on his recommendation I saw Dr Troski, he agreed and performed the successful cataract operation on my right eye,” Brandt said.
Each of his five previous operations took place in the US prior to moving to Australia.
Troski has described Brandt’s book as “a fascinating biography that proves that even with very limited eyesight there is no limit to what you can achieve”.
Prior to retiring and becoming an author, Brandt held senior management and management consulting positions in information technology and information security with firms and clients in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
“I never wanted to discuss my vision or what it was like to live with low vision, until now,” Brandt said.
“I could see much worse than most people realised – worse than everyone else I knew. I didn’t want to discuss it, but after retiring, I felt that my experience might help a lot of people living with low vision,” he said.
The dual American and Australian citizen said he initially showed his book manuscript to 10 friends, and after editing the work based on their feedback, he shared it with 10 more friends, eventually handing it over to a freelance editor for the New York Times.
He hopes optometrists and ophthalmologists will enjoy the adventures and anecdotes and recommend the book to patients living with low vision.
Chiu said Brandt’s book is an exhilarating and uplifting read.
“In Positive Vision, Ken shows us how to look and see, with heaps of humour, from the heart and soul."
”Positive Vision: enjoying the adventures and advantages of poor eyesight" will be available to order from local bookstores and all major online booksellers, including Amazon, from 18 September.
Visit www.kenbrandt.com for more information about the book and author.
An Author’s Adventures with Poor Eyesight
focus - patient stories - by Mass Eye and Ear Communications
Former Mass Eye and Ear patient Ken Brandt was born prematurely and his eyes did not properly develop. In his new book, “Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight,” Ken shares his life story and encourages others to look on the bright side of life.
Decades after his surgeries, Ken Brandt still credits Mass Eye and Ear with saving his vision. He had two surgeries at Mass Eye and Ear for detached retinas with the late Dr. Ichiro Okamura, one of the pioneers in the field of modern retina surgery. After spending most of his life in the United States, Ken moved to Australia and has resided there since 2006.
Ken’s vision has varied greatly, with a roller coaster of deteriorations and improvements. He has undergone six eye operations, including a detached retina and cataract in each eye. He has been legally blind for large parts of his life, but never wanted to publicly discuss his vision before. He feared it could negatively impact his career or change the way others treated him.
But now, Ken is retired and wants to tell his story. In the book, he shares his life’s humorous anecdotes and adventures and hopes that it will inspire and assist others challenged with poor eyesight.
“There are a lot of books out there that are related to blindness, but I couldn’t find any book about people dealing with poor vision, so I wrote one,” Ken told Focus.
He believes good vision is better than poor vision, but provides lots of examples demonstrating the many advantages of poor eyesight. Ken’s book is full of interesting real-life stories, encouraging quotes, and he admits, some “corny jokes.” His goal is to help readers with poor vision look on the bright side of life, and share more positivity.
“Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight” is his first book, and Ken found the writing process interesting.
“I spent most of my life working in information technology and risk management, so it was hard to break out of my usual writing style on pieces such as reports and budgets,” he said. “Friends enjoy it when I tell them about my adventures, but putting the information down on paper was a fun challenge.” While plans for his book tour are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ken maintains his optimistic attitude. “A pandemic is actually a great time to write a book, so that has been a silver lining for me.”
A look to the future
Ken is planning to donate 10 percent of his royalties (5 percent each) to Mass Eye and Ear for eye research as part of the Community Fundraising program, and also to The Fred Hollows Foundation, an Australian charity that works to ensure everyone has access to high quality, affordable eye health care.
As for what’s next, Ken said over the years he has gathered many stories from others about their experiences with poor eyesight, and that could potentially turn into a second project. When he is not writing, Ken is an entertaining speaker and an amateur New Orleans-style jazz trumpeter.
At the end of his book, he shares some advice for others living with poor vision: “First, do everything for your overall health and vision that your doctor and eye doctor recommend (exercise, eat right, wear eye protection, get glasses or contacts, have operations, etc.). Then, relax and be grateful for whatever sight you have. When you decide to go for something, give it a red-hot go! Love the challenges, see the bright side, appreciate the advantages, and enjoy the adventures of poor eyesight.”
Please visit www.kenbrandt.com for more information on Ken’s first book. “Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight” is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book at most major online bookstores. The audiobook is set to release soon.
An Upbeat Book About Poor Eyesight
Author Ken Brandt has written a ”rollicking good” book that proves poor eyesight needn’t impact potential.
Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight is a remarkable and insightful book for optometrists, ophthalmologists and orthoptists. It is also a wonderful, inspiring, and humorous read that vision professionals can recommend to anyone struggling with less than perfect vision.
Whether galloping across the Montana range, exploring claustrophobic (and fiery!) caverns, chasing a thief through the streets of 1980s New York, or plunging from a plane, Brandt’s adventures, as detailed in his book, are sure to entertain.
Complementing the adventures are amusing and relatable anecdotes demonstrating the advantages of poor eyesight. Clearly, good sight is better than bad sight, however, in the author’s experience, there are many positives to having poor vision. He shows us how a longer life, more adventure and discovery, and greater creativity and imagination are the bright side of poor vision. He demonstrates how poor eyesight contributes to better hand-eye coordination, balance, presentation skills, and enhanced use of the other senses. We learn how poor vision also makes it easier to enjoy a more beautiful world and improve racial harmony. No matter how good or bad your eyesight, seeing this bright side makes life more fun for you and those around you.
He demonstrates how poor eyesight contributes to better hand-eye coordination, balance, presentation skills, and enhanced use of the other senses.
The combination of writing and speaking about living with poor eyesight changed the author from being uncomfortable discussing his poor vision to being excited about helping others facing the same challenges. Positive Vision is a fun adventure read for everyone, yet is also helpful and amusing for people with poor eyesight and their friends and families.
The author’s outlook and the spirit of the book is summarised in his recommendation to others with poor eyesight:
“Once you’ve done everything you can to protect your eyes, take care of your eye health, and safely improve your vision, then:
- Relax and be grateful for whatever sight you have;
- When you decide to go for something, give it a red-hot go, and
- Love the challenges, see the bright side, appreciate the advantages, and enjoy the adventures of poor eyesight.”
The hardcover, paperback, and ebook (all formats) of Positive Vision are available for sale on Amazon from 18 September 2020, all major online bookstores, and many local bookstores, with the audio book (all formats) coming soon.
Book Review: Positive Vision by Ken Brandt
By Viola Kanevsky, OD, Editor - New York Insights, the E-Newsletter of the Optometric Society of the City of New York, and affiliate of the New York State Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association.
"a quick and amusing read that will give you insight into the world seen through the eyes of a partially sighted patient"
This month I came across a new book written by Ken Brandt. A lighthearted short read, it gave me a different perspective of life with low vision and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know how their patients might perceive the world through less than perfect optics. Mr. Brandt, although he doesn’t explicitly say so, appears to suffer from the consequences of retinopathy of prematurity, including degenerative myopia, strabismus, retinal detachments, and cataracts.
Born in 1954, he was kept in an oxygen tent at UPMC in Philadelphia. Since the technology to monitor or regulate oxygen did not exist, and a fundus examination of preterm infants was not routinely performed, the results were the typical retrolentalfibroplasia seen in cases where uncontrolled oxygen is delivered to the pre-term infant. The rate of ROP in most prematureinfants has decreased significantly in developed countries over the past few decades due to better care in NICU, however, as more premies are now able to survive, these very tiny babies are at the highest risk for ROP. But let’s return to Ken Brandt, who hasn’t researched the precise causes of his vision loss, but is simply happy and grateful to rely on his optometrist’s andophthalmologist’s guidance. This book is not about ROP, it is not about loss, it is not about disadvantage. Rather, it is about finding silver linings and seeing the bright side of each situation because clarity and acuity are never simply a function of sharp vision.
Available on Amazonby Ken Brandt (Author) Elzy Kolb (Editor) Judy Roberts Brandt (Designer) https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Vision-Enjoying-Adventures-Advantages/dp/0648762505
Captain of his university’s parachuting team, Ken describes being excited about his new-found, thrilling hobby, only to meet with the disappointing pronouncement of his eye doctor, namely, that his detached retinas would not bear further assault from this turbulent amusement. Undaunted, he packs away the skills he has learned and tries his hand at metalworking at the tops of Manhattan skyscrapers. Two jobs in and his supervisor requests a letter from his eye doctor certifying his vision is adequate for working in construction. Once again, his eye doctor disagrees. What I very much enjoyed about this book was that every time I was ready to feel sorry for the man and ashamed of my profession for constantly limiting his choices, he surprised me with his bright and cheery outlook. Instead of lamenting the curtailing of a career he clearly enjoyed, he says, “maybe the eye doctor was right- maybe I avoided some injuries and prolonged my life by having to choose another line of work.” I’ve often felt sad watching someone with low vision fumble with elevator buttons but no more - according to Ken, “a lot of poor-vision people are great walkers because of…not having a driver’s license, or…taking the stairs because we cannot find the elevator buttons.”
Peppered throughout the book are multiple knee-slappers that the last generation of eye doctors inflicted upon their patients. I must admit I rolled my eyes several times as I visualized my father’s optometrist doing his usual schtick at the end of his refractions,
“Ever been to an optimistic optometrist? They’ll tell you that your glasses are half-full!”
Bu Dum Tss!
On the other hand, last week a kid asked me if I had any good optometrist jokes and I instantly pulled out another one from the book, that I thought would be awful, “What do you call low vision dinosaurs? Doyouthinktheysaurus?” The kid almost rolled off the chair. Never underestimate the power of borscht belt humor.
If you want a quick and amusing read that will give you insight into the world seen through the eyes of a partially sighted patient, I highly recommend, Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight by Ken Brandt. 2020, the year that should have been the year of vision, is the perfect time to contemplate what happens when things don’t go exactly as you had envisioned they would.
Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Vision by Ken Brandt – Book Review
By – Sepideh Heydar Zadeh
Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight by Ken Brandt is a wonderful biographical recollection of Brandt’s life with very poor eyesight. This book offers a gloriously positive view on life, which makes it a great read.
The adventures are mind blowing, entertaining, and wholesome. He describes his journey of speeding across the Montana range, exploring claustrophobic caverns, chasing a criminal through the mean streets of New York in the 1980s, jumping from a plane, and so on. In addition to the adventures, Brandt also fills the book with heart-warming and humorous anecdotes demonstrating the advantages of poor eyesight and seeing the bright side of life. All in all, showing the reader that despite any hurdles, they can achieve anything they want in life.
Brandt has met the challenge of poor vision and mildly crossed eyes since birth. He has had six eye operations and was legally blind for many years. He has experienced major up and down fluctuation in his eyesight. However, he has never allowed his visual impairment to affect his happiness or positive perception on life. Brandt has had plenty of personal and professional successes and uses his creativity to come up with solutions to awkward problems. Brandt’s enriched life led to an abundance of entertaining stories that he is now setting free into the world.
The book was written to entertain and help people with poor eyesight, along with their friends and families. Brandt is retired, so writing was a two year on and off process. In his spare time, Brandt and his artist/designer wife love to travel, keep up with art and music, exercise and attend events and talks. The married couple spent most of their lives in New York City and now live in Australia! Additionally, Brandt is an entertaining speaker and an amateur jazz trumpeter in two bands.
Brandt is a kind soul who is donating 10% of his author royalties to eyesight related causes with 5% going to Massachusetts Eye and Ear for eye research and 5% to The Fred Hollows Foundation for ending avoidable blindness.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Positive Vision: Enjoying the Adventures and Advantages of Poor Eyesight to anyone who wants to read about adventure, creativity, fun, or visual impairment. Vision professionals will enjoy reading it and recommending it to many of their patients. Everyone will find something they love about it. It is an easy to read page-turner: I rate this book five stars!