Hilarious. I NEVER say this unless it's true, but this is literally laugh-out-loud funny. My husband made me go into the other room to read it, becaus...moreHilarious. I NEVER say this unless it's true, but this is literally laugh-out-loud funny. My husband made me go into the other room to read it, because I kept laughing. Then he'd roll over and give me a dirty look, and I'd say, "wait, listen to this, and you won't be mad that I just woke you up by snorting."
She's so likeable and endearing. Read this book, and if you don't already, read her blog. http://thebloggess.com
I finished this book ages ago. I didn't want to write a hasty review be cause I had a lot to say and I thought I couldn't do it justice. So now here I...moreI finished this book ages ago. I didn't want to write a hasty review be cause I had a lot to say and I thought I couldn't do it justice. So now here I am much later and still won't. Bottom line, I loved this book. It made me wish I was a book editor.
The book is split into two parts: 1) her life, how she became an editor and her work; and 2) her I retractions with authors. We get the inside scoop on some of the most influential authors of the 20th Century.
It's a fascinating read told with as much passion for life and her work as can be expected from an English woman married to her work.(less)
I really enjoyed this, and not just because of my morbid interest in Sylvia Plath's suicide. It's the best thing I've ever read about a descent into m...moreI really enjoyed this, and not just because of my morbid interest in Sylvia Plath's suicide. It's the best thing I've ever read about a descent into mental illness. Most interesting is how I totally identified with the protagonist, feeling what she felt - confusion as to why others couldn't understand what it was like to be her. (less)
A dramatic separation of the parents when a child is really young is enough to make any childhood dysfunctional. Add in the fact that those parents ar...moreA dramatic separation of the parents when a child is really young is enough to make any childhood dysfunctional. Add in the fact that those parents are famous, that her father was largely absent, that she grew up surrounded by celebrities, and that fame and stardom came at a young age for Carrie, it seems almost inevitable that she would become an alcoholic.
I mean, obviously there must be a lot more to it than that, but that's the simple premise Carrie puts before us. That's all the explanation we really get. There is no introspection, there is no description of her thoughts or feelings as she descended into a large pit of alcohol. We're given the facts stated above, and we are told that Carrie is an alcoholic. Accept it, and move on.
It's not that she doesn't have some good stories - she does - but she doesn't really tell them. She just tells us that the story exists. She just says that one morning there was a dead, naked Republican in her bed. There's got to be a lot of background that led up to that, but she glosses over it. There must have been a lot of fallout from that, but beyond an obvious statement, we don't get to see it.
I was disappointed in her failure to let the reader in - I mean, why write a memoir about your life if you don't plan to reveal anything? BUT having said that (kind of redundantly I notice as I reread the above), Carrie Fisher is still exceedingly entertaining. She's funny, quirky and self-deprecating. I did laugh several times. I would love to see her show. But I'm guessing she doesn't put much in her show that's not in this book.(less)
A little background: Mackenzie's dad was John Phillips - a great genius in the world of music, but a TERRIBLE father. He was a prolific drug user, and...moreA little background: Mackenzie's dad was John Phillips - a great genius in the world of music, but a TERRIBLE father. He was a prolific drug user, and had absolutely no boundaries when it came to pleasure seeking. He wasn't going to let a little thing like worrying about his children get in the way of a good high. He gave Mackenzie a lot of drugs. He taught her how to shoot cocaine. He also didn't let a thing like a blood relationship with his daughter get in the way of sexual pleasure.
But Mackenzie, after telling us all of this, wants us to be sure that we don't totally vilify him. He is an exceptionally talented musician, and he loved his family - all his children and wives - very much. The things he did were not done out of malice or evil tendencies. They were the acts of a very sick, very twisted man who was unable to realize a lot of the harm he was causing. I'll buy this to some extent, but it's hard not to vilify someone who would invite his teenage daughter to stay with him in London, and then leave her in a house with no food or heat for a week while he got high in the country with Mick Jagger. And that's just one of the mild stories.
The premise for this book is that Heather was a virgin until she was 27. In Hollywood! While trying to make it as a comic and a writer! This is the st...moreThe premise for this book is that Heather was a virgin until she was 27. In Hollywood! While trying to make it as a comic and a writer! This is the story of how she eventually lost her virginity and met the man of her dreams, who eventually became her husband. It's a modern day love story - with a lot of dry humping.
Heather's choices for the stories to tell about men she dated are great - all of the men are different, but none are total cliches, which I kind of expected. None are totally one-dimensional, and Heather is honest about her mistakes and her naivete. I was instantly hooked with the title of the first chapter: "Can't a Girl Dress Like a Hooker, Dance like a Stripper and Kiss Like a Porn Star and Still be a Nineteen-Year-Old Virgin?"
Her humor isn't as in-your-face as Chelsea, but sometimes I prefer things a little more subdued. This is another great book for an airplane or an afternoon at home with a cup of tea and box of cookies. (less)
In case you didn't know this, Chelsea loves to tell lies for the sake of laughs, and nothing makes her laugh harder than seeing her friends miserable....moreIn case you didn't know this, Chelsea loves to tell lies for the sake of laughs, and nothing makes her laugh harder than seeing her friends miserable. Paradoxically, each writer in this book will tell you that Chelsea values honesty and truthfulness over all else. She will lie to you, mock you, torture you and make you extremely uncomfortable, but only if she truly cares about you. And once she's your friend, there's no one more loyal (while she's plotting against you, of course).
Each chapter in this book is written by a family member, friend, or co-worker that has suffered as a result of Chelsea Handler's lies. Of course there are great stories from her family - stuff she pulled on them, even when she was in grade school. There are funnier stories from her current set of friends - most of whom write for or work for her show in some other capacity.
Once you read this book, you will be grateful for your work environment. Or maybe not. Maybe you would rather work in a place where you can never leave your computer unlocked, where you absolutely can never trust anything a co-worker tells you, and where practical jokes are waiting around every corner. (less)
Chelsea is not afraid to tell you embarrassing stories for a laugh. But it's not the kind of shallow or minimal revealing that you normally expect fro...moreChelsea is not afraid to tell you embarrassing stories for a laugh. But it's not the kind of shallow or minimal revealing that you normally expect from celebrities who write memoir-type books. She really does let the reader into her life, and she makes no apology for her behavior. She is who she is. And what she is is hilarious.
There are stories from her childhood - about her father, her sisters and brothers - and about a friend who introduced her to "the feeling." Just read it. There are stories about her friends and her ex and let me be honest: I don't think I could date her. As I stated above, I'm really gullible, and she pulled some serious crap on him. He must have had the patience of Job. But, she's hilarious and fun, so that probably balances things out.
But more than just the stories she tells, I love the way Chelsea writes (yeah, I can call her by her first name). Her use of language is good, and whenever you think you know where the sentence is going, you don't. She not only knows how to tell a story, she can actually write.
Of course, if you're looking for substance or for intellectuality, you won't find it. This is a fun book - the type you can read in an afternoon. But that doesn't mean it's not smart. Enjoy!(less)
I loved this book before I ever opened it. The rest of the title tells you everything you need to know: "How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendsh...moreI loved this book before I ever opened it. The rest of the title tells you everything you need to know: "How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things that Really Matter."
The author spends a considerable amount of time with the text of each novel - analyzing the events, language and characters to draw his conclusions. It's scholarly and intellectual, but it's relatable because it's also a memoir. He tells us the story of his life as a student before, during and after the discovery of Jane's works - how he matured and grew up. I'm still working on the maturity thing, but I found myself relating to the different milestones in his life.
I will say that having read all the Jane Austen novels beforehand made this book a lot easier to read and understand. However, don't be afraid to pick this up if you have only read a couple of her novels, or even none. He explains some of the more important plot points and the relationships of the characters so that it would be easy for anyone to follow along. And it's extremely likely that reading his thoughts on the novels will make you want to read the ones you haven't yet read.
GREAT memoir about a woman with a condition that makes her unable to recognize people's faces - like the kind where she didn't recognize her mother or...moreGREAT memoir about a woman with a condition that makes her unable to recognize people's faces - like the kind where she didn't recognize her mother or her husband. Fascinating. (less)
There are a lot of things I really liked about this memoir, and there was one thing that really disappointed me. I'll start with the negative - let's...moreThere are a lot of things I really liked about this memoir, and there was one thing that really disappointed me. I'll start with the negative - let's deal with the bad stuff first, get it out of the way, then really enjoy all the great things in this book.
I got this book for Christmas, after having had it on my reading list for some time. I love books about books and books about reading. Unfortunately, this memoir is not about books or about reading. It is about war. There are references to books, and to the "Reading Club," but that is not the focus of the book. About halfway through I began to realize that this book was really poorly titled. I felt completely misled! So, if you want to read a memoir about a British Army officer's reading list, then you should probably find something else.
But if you want to read something beautiful, poignant, and extremely well written that tells the story of war (any war, really) from a the soldier's introspective and analytic perspective, then this is for you. Even if he didn't tell you, you would know that Patrick Hennessey is well read. No one writes like this without being well-versed in the classics and other literature. He gets it. His writing took me wherever he was - he made me feel like I was part of the war, part of the soldier culture, and part of him.