I feel like the fact that Bauby was able to write this memoir at all is amazing, but the beauty of the writing is remarkable too. Each little vignetteI feel like the fact that Bauby was able to write this memoir at all is amazing, but the beauty of the writing is remarkable too. Each little vignette is interesting, and some of them read like poetry. Each word feels deliberate and carefully chosen, which it would have to be when you consider he was composing and revising in his head before dictating, by a code based on the movement of one eyelid, to a very patient assistant. I was skeptical about all the blurbs on the cover that talk about how this book will give you a new perspective on life, and what a testament it is to the human spirit it is, but they're absolutely correct....more
I wanted to love the book as much as I love Jim Henson. Instead I just liked it OK. Lots of interesting stuff, but also just so much detailed informatI wanted to love the book as much as I love Jim Henson. Instead I just liked it OK. Lots of interesting stuff, but also just so much detailed information that I had to skim in places. Even so I enjoyed it, just didn't love it....more
I love seeing Lucy Knisley's work in full color! Made me want to try several of her recipes. (I've already made the fried mushrooms twice and they areI love seeing Lucy Knisley's work in full color! Made me want to try several of her recipes. (I've already made the fried mushrooms twice and they are scrumptious!) her reflections on food and life are interesting and funny and poignant. I feel like her voice is maturing with each new book as well, which is great. I always love watching an artist develop. Thoroughly enjoyed this!...more
I've read several Plath biographies, and every time I do I get a different picture of what she was really like. This book focuses on the the vibrant,I've read several Plath biographies, and every time I do I get a different picture of what she was really like. This book focuses on the the vibrant, glamorous young college woman who spent a month being a guest editor for Mademoiselle in the summer of 1953. Winder states in the beginning that she is going to talk a lot about the clothes, the lipstick, the perfume, and all the other details involved in being a glamorous smart young woman in New York at that time, because these details were so essential to the experience and make up an important part of Plath's life. Since I love to hear about those kind of details anyway, I enjoyed the book. My only complaint is that the quality of the writing was a little patchy. Much of it reads like it is trying to be a serious scholarly work, but in places the tone seemed to lapse into the breathy tone of a gossip magazine. I found the sidebars both interesting and annoying at the same time. It added to the magazine story feel. All in all a fascinating read though, and very interesting for any fan of The Bell Jar to see exactly where fiction ended and autobiography began....more
I'm really into sketch journals lately. This one is beautifully done. I love the glimpse into the author's life. He describes how he used sketching anI'm really into sketch journals lately. This one is beautifully done. I love the glimpse into the author's life. He describes how he used sketching and writing to get through the sadness and difficulties his family faced when his wife was paralyzed in an accident. It's such a sad thing, of course, but he really does find a lot of happiness in his new life as well once he starts looking for it. Nicely done....more
I've read The Happiness Project several times now, and I always take away something more from it than I did in previous readings, so I was very exciteI've read The Happiness Project several times now, and I always take away something more from it than I did in previous readings, so I was very excited to read Happier at Home. I was not disappointed. I love how Rubin finds ways to enjoy her life more without changing her life dramatically. And, being a homebody myself, I loved the focus of this book on making ordinary living more enjoyable and fulfilling by appreciating what you already have and working to make the home a happy place. I think that the ways we live our day-to-day lives and how we choose to spend our time are some of the most fascinating and important topics we can think about. Rubin obviously agrees with me, so I suppose it's natural that I enjoy her writing so much.
When I read the reviewers who object to Rubin's qualification to write about these things since she has such a good life already ("privileged" is the word I see over and over) I feel like they're missing the point. Everyone has problems. Everybody needs to learn how to enjoy the life they have if they're going to be happy. The fact that Rubin has the assets that she has doesn't change the fact that she has valid things to say on these subjects, in my opinion. And what other readers saw as "smugness" I just saw as a woman demonstrating how she takes her own advice and appreciates her own blessings. I hope to be able to learn to do the same by putting some of her ideas into practice. I'm sure I'll be re-reading this one a few times as well....more
I really enjoyed this. Julia Child is just such an inspiring character. This book begins when she arrived in Paris with her new husband, Paul, and theI really enjoyed this. Julia Child is just such an inspiring character. This book begins when she arrived in Paris with her new husband, Paul, and they had their first meal together in a French restaurant. Julia was immediately thrilled by the cuisine and though she didn't speak French and knew almost nothing about cooking, she decided she would learn to duplicate it in her own kitchen. The story follows her through cooking school, her teaming up with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle to work on their French cook book for Americans, and her life with Paul during the McCarthy years when he was being alternately praised and investigated by his government and moved all over Europe to various diplomatic cultural postings. The book continues through her publication and the beginning of her public television career in the states.
I have little interest in cooking, and yet I was fascinated by Julia's fascination. She worked so hard and so thoroughly on every recipe she tackled, the reader can't help but get caught up in her enthusiasm. I also loved reading about her marriage to Paul, which seemed like such a happy one, and their love of France. It made me wish, as I have many times before, to find not only work that I'm truly passionate about, but also to live in a place I truly love. I think these are probably two of the biggest secrets to living a happy life, and Julia managed both of them wonderfully....more