Felicia Day is an internet celebrity perhaps best known for writing and acting in the internet tv show 'The Guild.' In this memoir, she outlines the pFelicia Day is an internet celebrity perhaps best known for writing and acting in the internet tv show 'The Guild.' In this memoir, she outlines the peculiar childhood and circuitous path that led her to internet/nerd-culture stardom, and her love/hate relationship with online gaming.
Despite being a video game nerd myself, I actually was not familiar with Felicia Day before reading (listening) to this memoir, so I didn't really know what to expect. While not the most riveting memoir out there, I loved reading about another video gaming nerd-girl and seeing the similarities between her experiences and my own. And, heck, it's always fun to read about someone else's teenage online-boyfriends and misadventures in Ultima Online....more
Create. Unexpected. Hilarious. Hyperbole and a Half is a great blog, and this is an excellent first collection of some of her stories. (First, right? TCreate. Unexpected. Hilarious. Hyperbole and a Half is a great blog, and this is an excellent first collection of some of her stories. (First, right? There will be more I hope?) There are a few darker moments, particularly in the section that tackles depression. But I know someone who struggles with chronic depression who said her description of the malady was one of the most accurate they'd ever seen....more
I added this memoir to my list after reading a personal essay about knitting, by Maynard, in Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. The mention of her rI added this memoir to my list after reading a personal essay about knitting, by Maynard, in Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. The mention of her relationship with J.D. Salinger was what particularly caught my attention. But the fact that the book was in audiobook format (my preferred method of "reading" memoirs, these days) was why it didn't end up languishing on my to-read list for a couple of years.
I am always amazed and impressed by the bravery of authors who write memoirs that do not flatter them at all but instead reveal the utter depth of their naivete, lack of common sense, spitefulness, or other personal shortcomings. Maynard, as a young adult, embodied the first two of these in spades.
At eighteen, and just beginning college at Yale, she fell under the sway of fifty-three year old author J.D. "Jerry" Salinger--first through a lively correspondence and then by phone and in person. She was starry-eyed for him, felt like the most precious and special girl in the world for having caught his attentions. She was also (though she didn't learn this until years later) not the first nor the last to fall prey to Salinger's celebrity and charms. But, not only did she fall in with Salinger, she quit Yale to move in with him. She struggled with anorexia and bulimia. She declined to do any promotion for her first memoir because of Salinger's hatred of the media. Although Maynard has found some success in her writing career, I wonder how much she hurt herself by following Salinger's advice--which essentially sabotaged her career in its infancy--and then by her other decisions after her relationship with Salinger abruptly ended.
This was an interesting story to read, presented in an objective way where Maynard allows the reader to pass their own judgments on the actions of her, her parents, and J.D. Salinger.
The beginning of the memoir greatly reminded me of Augusten Burroughs's childhood in A Wolf at the Table, because they both dealt with alcoholic fathers and their families were similarly dysfunctional (although Maynard's father was much milder, when intoxicated, then Burroughs's). But that childhood dysfunctionality went on to greatly effect both authors in adulthood.