I've already read the 1001 versions of books and movies (and slowly going through them), so as a big horror fan I thought I should check this cute litI've already read the 1001 versions of books and movies (and slowly going through them), so as a big horror fan I thought I should check this cute little pocket-sized volume. I knew there wouldn't be much left to watch (eleven, turns out), so I was mostly just curious to see which films had been included.
I was pleasantly surprised about the mixture of mainstream and lesser-known stuff, but of course there were, once again, the same films from the 20s and 30s that are always included in every single list, and only one from the 1910s. Which is wrong, by the way, because The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari premiered in 1920 and the shooting didn't conclude until January 1920. How, then, could it have been released in 1919? Besides, aren't there really no good horror films from the 1910s? I just can't believe it, so I must investigate this further.
Steven Katz's essay about Dracula (1931) is refreshingly scathing (Tod Browning is one of my favorite directors, but Dracula is hands down one of his worst films, in addition to being one of the flattest one about the count). Then again, Katz also claims Lon Chaney was in Freaks (1932) (he probably means The Unknown ), which is a mistake that should have been caught during editing. Not an important one, but still. Katz also thinks London is a baffling relocation for Dracula (in the essay about Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), but is it really? It was the Victorian era, an era of prosperity and flourishing trade routes in Britain. Makes sense to me that the count chooses one of the most biggest and influential cities in the world as his new home.
Dejan Ognjanovic, in turn, has a disparaging view of pulp literature (at least it sounds like it, when he calls Dennis Wheatley's novel The Devil Rides Out (1934) his "usual sensationalistic meandering pulp"), yet he seems to have no problem with pulpy horror, because he likes the Hammer adaptation of Wheatley's novel. Mikel Koven has a pretty firm idea about those who dislike torture porn: "What media pundits who got their liberal knickers in a twist over the so-called "torture porn" controversy seem to forget is that what made these films so disturbing in the first place was that they were actually pretty good". First of all, you don't have to be liberal to dislike torture porn. Secondly, does Kaven mean that despite the disturbing aspect of the films in the subgenre he thinks they're good, and it's somehow wrong to dislike them? My taste good, your taste wrong.
The thing I have the biggest issue with are the spoilers. As far as I recall, 88 texts out of 101 (I decided not to read about the eleven films I haven't seen when I realized they might contain spoilers as well) managed to avoid spoilers (and it really isn't difficult to go round a plot point or the ending). The Sixth Sense (1999) and The Vanishing (1988) were another story (there were actually a few more that I now see other reviewers spotted, as well as a few other mistakes). Ok, knowing the ending of the former might dilute the second viewing (I don't like it that much anyway), but in the case of the latter...
The Vanishing is just as powerful after multiple viewings, but the first time is everything. Everything that occurs before that sickening moment of realization at the end is of course stellar in its subtleness, but the film as a whole relies on gripping the viewer by the throat. There isn't anything that hints what might happen, so one can't use the old "but it's great to see the journey that leads to the ending, and wait when it will happen and whether it's foreshadowed" -thing as an excuse (for me, that's something that reminds me of a rewatch or reread; Agatha Christie might occasionally be an exception, if I remember the murderer), and that's what makes the movie brilliant. Making sure a whole experience isn't ruined from those who don't want it is simply polite, even if you're okay with spoilers. It should also not be presumed that every single person in the world knows the ending of every single classic film or book out there, because it's not about the age.
Regardless, 101 Horror Movies shows pretty well the progress of horror cinema since the beginning of the 20th century. The essays are mostly of good quality, and a few inspired me to rewatch my old favorites and those that I've considered mediocre at best. I'm also extremely excited to have found out that there's an actual name for films featuring older women becoming mentally unstabled: psycho-biddy (also referred to, according to Wikipedia, as Grande Dame Guignol, Hagsploitation, and Hag horror). Makes it so much easier to search for more films belonging to the subgenre. Bette Davis is my queen, and she's amazing in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), but I'm convinced there are more gold pieces waiting for me out there....more
(A list of horror authors who have had at least one book published in Finnish.) Pätevän oloinen ja asian ytimeen menevä hakuteos, jonka alusta löytyy m(A list of horror authors who have had at least one book published in Finnish.) Pätevän oloinen ja asian ytimeen menevä hakuteos, jonka alusta löytyy myös pari kirjoitusta esittelyksi sekä suomennettuun kauhukirjallisuuteen että yleisemmin kauhun historiaan ja kehitykseen. Toki joitain kirjailijoita on suomennettu teoksen julkaisun jälkeen, mutta lista on silti varmasti hyvä alku niille, jotka aloittelevat genreen tutustumista (eivätkä välttämättä koe englanniksi lukemista omakseen). Löysin itsekin muutamia mielenkiintoisia uusia tuttavuuksia, koska tajusin että kiinnostukseni kauhuun on näemmä rajoittunut Kingiin ja muutamaan 1800-luvun/1900-luvun alun kirjailijaan/novellistiin....more
A few months ago, I decided I won't be writing in English about untranslated Finnish books, but this is the first exception. It might be of interest tA few months ago, I decided I won't be writing in English about untranslated Finnish books, but this is the first exception. It might be of interest to several people in my friends list, and I think telling a little about the untranslated literary history of my country benefits all sides (I get an opportunity to write from a different perspective to a specific audience), so here goes.
Myytillisiä tarinoita ('Mythical Tales') is a collection of Finnish folktales that contain supernatural elements, and to my knowledge also the most extensive collection. Simonsuuri was one of the most well-known experts of Finnish folklore (another being Antti Aarne, who developed the Aarne-Thompson classification system), and also compiled a type list of Finnish folktales, which is considered his magnum opus. Myytillisiä tarinoita, on the other hand, is aimed more towards mainstream audience and is organized by supernatural categories, and is based on a collection of types that contains 80 000 stories, 15 main categories, and 150 topics. There are 900 stories altogether in the book. A lot of repetition occurs, because some of the stories have been told in different areas of Finland, the form and basic idea varying only slightly. A great source for both writers who plan on using supernatural aspects in their works, but also for those who are interested in Finnish culture in general (although it's a shame there's no translation).
The oldest story, about a child of a giant grabbing a horse and a farmer and using them as her toy, is from Mythologia Fennica (1789), but most are oral tradition from the 19th and early 20th century. As seen in the stories about giants fleeing from approaching Christianity (represented as churches starting to dot the landscape), also referred to as the son's and daughters of Kaleva, the world of Finnish mythology and The Kalevala (1837) are firmly present.
These tales hail from a world where they were believed to be true (apart from one story, where a hissing sound is explained to be a bowl of rising dough, not a ghost), and always from the countryside. Even today, Finland's population is scattered very sparsely, so it's no surprise I saw a documentary once about a sullen middle-aged man who kept bears as his companions. They followed his commands when they went for a walk and enjoyed giving him hugs. There are vast areas of forests, lakes, and fields (and in these areas it's completely possible that a moose or a bear can surprise those who are relaxing at their summer cottage, an essential thing for many Finns), so at a time when technological advances weren't so common yet, it's easy to believe how the mysteries of the wilderness might have inspired these stories, but the stories reveal certain things about the societies of that time as well.
Nobility and obedience are revered, so those who desecrate the dead, or who selfishly don't offer food and a place to stay for a wanderer, are punished. When the dead ask favors, those who are brave to do the task (all of course always are) don't ask any reward. Usually they just want to know their time of death, and soon they'll discover they won't be able to escape their fate, just like in a Greek tragedy. Needless to say, murder and specifically infanticide are frowned upon. In the latter, only women are involved and they're severely punished, usually in the form of an apparition that acts as a kind of torturing conscience. In one of these cases, a maid is justly scared of giving birth, and because of that she refuses to get married. On her deathbead at a later age his would-be sons appear as ghosts and she dies feeling agonizing guilt. No mercy for old maids, eh?
Two of my favorite story variants were included (they're also the most common and well-known, so I'd have been surprised if they hadn't been here):
1) The urban legend of giving a ride to a dead person (you know, the one where a hitchhiker or something similar sits quietly on the back seat, then disappears, and is revealed to have died sometime before) exists here as a person who wants to get into a sleigh, and is then revealed, for example, to be the dead fiancée who wanted to keep his promise he had made to his bride (can also be considered a variation of Lenore).
2) Kirkkoväki ('the church people') are living dead who (usually during Christmas night) rise from their graves and participate in a church service led by a dead priest. They're not malicious, but the living are advised to leave them alone.
Most of the stories are from Southwest Finland (where I live), and they spread to Finland from central Europe via Sweden, and mixed with Finno-Ugric folklore (most influences, like changes in food culture and fashion, spread through Sweden). For that reason, there are phenomena that are recognizable in many cultures, like ghost ships and poltergeists.
On the other hand, a few things were completely new to me and which I found particularly interesting. If you went to sauna too late on a Saturday night, there was a chance you'd end up being skinned by the Devil (and not by the charming dark stranger from the Lucifer TV show, but by something more primeval and mysterious). In 99 percent of the stories, the events are recounted without any gruesome details, but in these sauna stories there's a lot of horror material with the skin hanging in the sauna and everything (for that reason I've put this in the horror shelf, because although not all the supernatural phenomena here feel scary, a lot of the stories have a creepy nightmarish quality to them). Likewise in the very Tales from the Crypt-esque story about a young woman who promises to wait her fiancée from the war, but marries another man, and the fiancée appears in the middle of the wedding festivities with his skinless skull full of maggots and snakes.
Sometimes the dead were falsely thought to be such, which reminded me of the Victorian fears of premature burial. No bells on Finnish graves, though, because the people managed to wake before being buried. During the Russian occupation (the timme of 'isoviha' in Finnish, 'great hate'), some villages decided to protect their church bells by sinking them into a lake. As far as I can remember, churches were considered as the centers of the communities, but I don't know why the bells in particular were so important.
The stories aren't devoid of humour, though. On a Good Friday night, two women sit on a roof with a hymn book, and they are warned not to speak no matter what happens. Well, then a shitting pig walks along the road, and a woman walks behind it and eats the shit with a spoon. A brave gravedigger decides to melt a frozen body by sticking it into an oven. Not surprisingly, it turns brown, and then suddenly it has moved from a place it has stood and the annoyed gravedigger sinks it into a lake and is prosecuted. If you anger a household gnome, it might take a dump in your porridge. If the socks of a corpse (corpses used to be stored in a shed before the burial) are full of holes in the morning, it's been dancing with the other dead during the night. A story of two maids culminates in the other's severed head rolling around the execution site and grabbing the skirt of the other maid, revealing the true identity of a child killer and shouting as it goes: "Oh my, poor Laara, what did you do to me!". A dead fiancée is so mad at his bride for grieving him, that he returns and threatens to twist her neck if she doesn't stop crying. Rude. A whole book has been written about old obscene Finnish poems, but here only one story hints at that direction: a wanderer hangs out at a wedding uninvited, and when a young lady refuses to come dancing with him, a cuckoo starts to call from under her skirt, no matter how hard she tries to push her thighs together.
All in all, the stories must have provided entertainment as much as causes for traumatic nightmares, as they were told by the fire during dark evenings, like the one where you're supposed to scare the person sitting next to you by shouting at the end and grabbing him from the hand. The desire to explain mysterious and unknown things caused people to come up with believable explanations, but I think in part the purpose of some of the stories was also to guide people in the right moral direction (don't kill, have babies so that they can take care of your legacy etc.). It's a world that will never come back, so we have to be grateful that the general public courteously complied to send all these stories to be collected for future generations. We also have Erkki Tuomi to thank for bringing the stories to life with the gorgeous illustrations....more
On top of everything else, I'm participating in a saga course at uni, where we read four sagas during the two months and discuss generally about IcelaOn top of everything else, I'm participating in a saga course at uni, where we read four sagas during the two months and discuss generally about Icelandic sagas and their features. This type of introduction is priceless, because it helps to understand how and why sagas are an integral part of Iceland and its history (even today they influence Icelandic authors, and twenty years ago The Book of Icelanders was read as fact in elementary schools).
I somewhat grew to like the simplicity. William Morris's translation is still terse, but also flows beautifully, and the archaic expressions add texture to the language. The form does take time to get used to, but the context and purpose of the sagas explain the presence of family trees, whose presence might seem pointless at first. It's debatable as to how much of the historical aspect of the sagas is true, but they were originally intended as records of history as much as stories about the exploits of certain Icelanders (saga genres vary from family, kings', romances, bishops' etc.). The family lists in Gunnlaug places it in the family saga department, but I don't think it's necessary to remember all the characters, as some of them are there for other than storytelling purposes.
After all, when everything else except the basic storyline is stripped away, what's left is an entertaining and tragic story of Gunnlaug's efforts to be a better man and win Helga as his wife. People throughout the ages have had similar worries and desires, so when Gunnlaug's proposal is rejected by Helga's father, because Gunnlaug is too restless and about to go abroad, some of us can recognize the father's need to want only what's best for his daughter. Gunnlaug therefore departs, and I assume he's welcomed as Helga's fiancé only when he has gained experience and capital.
Echoing Greek tragedies, there's foreshadowing, and the idea of fate eventually catching up on you is carried throughout the story. Foreshadowing can be off-putting sometimes, but in this case it was interesting to see how the events unfolded into the inevitable tragic outcome. Dreams reveal the life of your son, the suffering your loved ones will endure, and no matter how hard you try to escape them, you will be caught by the superior forces that inhabit your enemies.
The saga of Gunnlaug still focuses surprisingly little on what the various family members mentioned did, but I expect some of them will be explained in other sagas. The historical context is only brushed lightly upon by explaining with a few sentences what's going on in the countries where Gunnlaug's travelling. King Ethelred seems to have no problems with Icelanders, but warns Gunnlaug of a Norwegian viking who lends some money from Gunnlaug. Really though, how stupid are you that you just decide to lend money to a complete stranger, because he does after all promise to pay it back! Christ...
Speaking of Christ, the writer of the saga seems to have a problem with pagan traditions: "Next to this befell those tidings, the best that ever have befallen here in Iceland, that the whole land became Christian, and that all folk cast off the old faith". Perhaps not surprising, but the era of Christianizing the Nordic countries is fascinating. Obviously I disagree with the author, but at least his own misgivings and attitudes towards "heathens" don't interrupt the story too much. When in doubt, just wield your axe and all your problems are solved (or not.)
The characters are mostly described in black and white terms, but Gunnlaug's perfection does suffer a small dent when you start to think about the purpose of his journey. Who cares if you forget your promises made at home and wander around in kings' houses and enjoy their hospitality for way longer than you were supposed to, even though poetry is clearly not appreciated anymore? Maybe there's a diplomatic aspect I don't understand, but Gunnlaug adds a sense of ambiguity to the saga's characterizations.
Overall, the fairy-tale like repetition and redundancy won't stop me from reading more sagas. This one at least had a quality of magic and adventure, and something about the pagan era fascinates me to no end. In this case, simplicity leaves more room for imagination....more
The popularizer of cocktails in the United States, Jerry Thomas is also known for his flashy style and showmanship (I strongly recommend reading the NThe popularizer of cocktails in the United States, Jerry Thomas is also known for his flashy style and showmanship (I strongly recommend reading the New York Times article about Thomas's influence). I'm not interested in the technical aspect of cocktails that much, or trying out my mixology skills, but I've recently started thinking about developing my cocktail taste buds, and a part of that journey might include trying out drinks at home. A couple of weeks ago I heard about The Nightjar, and speakeasy type of places are of course a must visit for a 20s lover.
I figured I'd try Thomas's book to establish myself a some sort of base of cocktail history, but I ended up getting so much more. The measurements are vague (dashes, wineglasses etc.), but I kind of like that. I usually follow food recipes neurotically, but when it comes to drinks and punches I don't really care how much ingredients there are, as long as the end result tastes good and is kind of what it's supposed to be.
Thomas has not only included recipes for individual drinks, but also for parties and bottling purposes, and the directions for making the syrups and tinctures needed in the drinks. The names of drinks were already fun back then, at least when bartenders started to experiment a bit more instead of just throwing sugar into brandy, gin, or whiskey. Philadelphia Fish-House Punch, Bimbo Punch, Sleeper, White Tiger's Milk, Locomotive etc. One should not forget the temperance drinks either, although I highly doubt you would find Thomas's book on those folks' bookshelf.
Fun details are scattered throughout: the recipe for Quince Liqueur was apparently given to Thomas by some mysterious lady ("This is a delightful liqueur, and can be relied upon, as it is from a recipe in the possession of a lady who is famous for concocting delicious potations."), Royal Punch includes calf-foot jelly (yummy!), the English drinks "have not yielded the satisfaction expected or desired", and the mint juleps were apparently taken seriously in the south ("[W]e have knowledge of several old-fashioned gardens where the mint bed under the southern wall still blooms luxuriantly ; where white fingers of household angels come every day about this time of the year and pluck a few sprays of the aromatic herb to build a julep for poor old shaky grandpa, who sits in the shady corner of the veranda with his feet on the rail and his head busy with the olden days.").
I'd imagine this to be useful in the future, but until I get around buying the paper copy, I'll just browse the online version. The drinks that grabbed my attention on the first read: Brandy Cocktail, Saratoga, Morning Glory, Brandy Daisy, Santa Cruz Rum Daisy, Mint Julep, Pineapple Julep, Knickerbocker, and West India Couperee (ice cream!)....more
The title is a tad misleading. A well-rounded introduction to Finnish cuisine this is not, because there are only a couple of traditional Finnish foodThe title is a tad misleading. A well-rounded introduction to Finnish cuisine this is not, because there are only a couple of traditional Finnish foods. The concept is more like a collection of recipes that are simple and perfect for the spirit of Moomins. The colours of the layout are subtle: black, white, and red. That makes it easier to follow the recipes when there are no extra decorations or loads of pictures (granted, I like food porn, but I'm more fond of the simple style of vintage cookbooks). The quotes and illustrations make the book nice and cozy, continuing the harmonious style of the Moomin books (my favourite was Moominpappa reading Agatha Christie and drinking mead/juice/wine/vodka/whatever).
The recipes themselves were a bit of a hit and miss for me. Grated carrots and oatmeal in a pie dough doesn't sound very tempting to me, nor does making risotto out of frozen vegetables. I prefer fresh ingredients when available. It's cheaper too. On the plus side, the recipes are easy to alter according to your budget and the contents of your fridge, and the ingredients are easy to find from regular grocery stores (the spices are pretty basic as well, nothing spicy here).
Overall not the best find, but I did write down a few simple dishes for days when I don't feel like cooking anything complicated, and there were also some good ideas for small snacks and sandwiches. This would be a nice addition to the kitchens of families with children, because a lot of these dishes are easy to prepare together with a child, or let them prepare a sandwich or something like that. I on the other hand prefer food that isn't quite so simple and - sorry to say - bland.
Having read Naked Lunch, I thought I had been sucked into an alternate universe when I saw this in the library. I don't usually grab random stuff whenHaving read Naked Lunch, I thought I had been sucked into an alternate universe when I saw this in the library. I don't usually grab random stuff when I'm there, but this just seemed too weird to pass. Turns out, this was pretty - blah. Not particularly moving, meditativeness wasn't that interesting, and overall pretty forgettable. Although I did enjoy Burroughs's style, which didn't make this your run-of-the-mill mushy book about cats, but kind of a dream-like journey. ...more
An ok reference book that begins with the silents. I didn't like the comments on the quality of the films, since I like to make up my own mind, but thAn ok reference book that begins with the silents. I didn't like the comments on the quality of the films, since I like to make up my own mind, but there were loads of stuff I haven't seen or even heard of. The pictures were nice as well, and the fact that they got the legendary Peter Cushing to write the introduction is pretty amazing. Appealing layout-wise, but maybe overall not a must-read....more
"To become a yeoman warder, you must have served twenty-two years in the armed forces, have reached the rank of staff sergeant or above, and have been"To become a yeoman warder, you must have served twenty-two years in the armed forces, have reached the rank of staff sergeant or above, and have been given an exemplary recommendation. I am at the Tower of London to entertain and inform; and, when my day is over, I don’t have to go far to see my wife: we live in the Tower. We’ve got a village green, a doctor living beside us, and plenty of neighbors. But no one believes we actually live there. 'What’s it like?' 'Have you got electricity?' We hear all of that. And try ordering a pizza. We share the staircase to our flat with the public, but it’s very private up here. Our grandchildren think we live in a castle. In some ways we do." - Philip Wilson
City lights seen from the window of a plane make my heart jump every single time. The tiny yellow dots are glimmering and beating energy, and somewhere down below under the pitch black banket there are millions of people wandering around. Who are they, where are they working, how do they experience the big city? Taylor's book answers all these questions and more by giving this crowd a voice, in this case the Londoners. Out of over 200 interviews there are about 90 people representing different fields and life situations.
"Most of us will die from something not terror related. You could be hit by a bus, you know, you could be in an accident. You could fall down the escalators at the Tube and crack your head open. All sorts of horrible things can happen to you in London, so do you stay at home and wrap yourself up in cotton wool?" - Paulo Pimentel, grief counselor
There are people, who have spent many years looking down on the pavement, and when they sort out their addiction they see the city with new eyes, when they happen to look up and see the Big Ben. People, who were born and raised on the desert, and love the crispness and freshness of London rain. People, who live on the outskirts of the society and have experienced some tough things. People, who have sucked the energy in parties and at different turning points of the society.
"London is big enough so that you can keep a bit of anonymity but it’s small enough that you can go to a club and see people you know. In London, I can go to the Oxo Tower in rubber for lunch, as I did on my thirtieth birthday—a rubber pencil skirt, a rubber blouse, a rubber corset, and high boots. You can go and do that and some people might bat a bit of an eyelid. Being a Londoner, nothing is going to faze you. There’s a complete mix of people here so if you see something weird and outrageous, well . . . it’s just London." - Mistress Absolute, dominatrix
Reading this purely because of entertainment would be a gross misjudgement, and would probably leave you disappointed. Life isn't just unicorns and rainbows, so why would a book that's supposed to represent the whole spectrum of a certain city be examined through a gentle pink lens? Come on, the title already suggests that London isn't just about the glittering West End! Do not read this, if you're in need of affirmation of your love towards London, for example if you're going there for a holiday. The people in here tell about their everyday lives, which can be rewarding, exciting, sad, annoying, or hellish, but it's still real. Most of all, this is a cross-section of the modern London and what's it like right now.
"I’ve never been able to understand race or prejudice really. I find it very difficult. It’s like going to a library and saying to the librarian, I’m sorry, I only read books with red covers." - Robert Guerini, property owner
Some get lost in telling too much about their job, which can be a problem if you're not into electronics, finance, or angling. Some didn't even have much anything interesting to tell, but it would have been unfair to make this a book of exciting people, because not all are like that. The interviewees range from a teacher, a police officer, and a social worker to a dominatrix, a beekeeper, and a squatter. According to Taylor's foreword, he wanted to avoid the official voices of London, and focus on the ordinary citizens. Refugees and the homeless luckily get their share as well, and in a lot of the interviews the countless of generations of immigrants were touched in some way, because they are a big part of current London.
"Oh, London. You never know if you’re going to be ill or fall. I did fall years ago and I crawled to the door and I opened the door and I called help. Two Asian boys that live upstairs, they come and they got me help. They phoned the ambulance, got my son for me, helped me right to the last, right until I got into the ambulance. You wouldn’t think that, but they did. They stayed with me until the ambulance come and my son come. They held my hand." - Ethel Hardy, old-age pensioner
Which one was the most superficial story then? The interview of two American tourists. Perhaps not that surprising.
"'The only thing I know'—and this I was told in a very loud pub in Cricklewood—'is that a real Londoner, a real one would never, ever, ever eat at one of those bloody Angus bloody Steak Houses in the West End. That’s how you tell,' the man said, wavering, steadying himself with a hand on the bar. 'That’s how you tell.'"...more
If someone had told me a few months ago what book I was going to read today, I would have laughed myself to death. This is so far from my taste in booIf someone had told me a few months ago what book I was going to read today, I would have laughed myself to death. This is so far from my taste in books it's unreal. Generally speaking I of course get a lot of fun out of those old-fashioned etiquette rules and advice for women (thanks Retronaut for the many laughs), but reading an actual book on those topics wouldn't have crossed my mind. However, when I stumbled across Hillis's book a while back, it just looked so cute and endearing, that I had to add it on my to read -list. I also understood that it's apparently not a guide book on how to snatch a good husband and therefore getting rid of the ugly single-status, which apparently was a huge problem back then.
There's a couple of main thoughts that Hillis repeats every once in a while: money does not equal good taste, you don't need a big pay check to organize your life into a nice one, and it's ok to pamper yourself even though there's no one to see your lace nightgown. The advice are gentle but firm, but Hillis emphasizes, that in the end everyone does what they think is best. You can ignore all her advice, but if you sit alone in your apartment all day long, don't complain that you're bored and without friends. The book also takes on account that living alone may not have been your choice, for example if you've gotten divorced. Hillis says that the intention of her book is to encourage women to embrace their situation, but not to defend living alone as the best option. You get to do what you want when you want, but you still don't have to suffer loneliness if you just take the bull by the horns, and go out the door with an open mind.
There are only a few things that reveal the publishing year, like mentions on etiquette and clothing. A Lady and Her Liquor -chapter was fun. Apparently Martini, Manhattan, and (familiar for Mad Men -fans) Old-fashioned were the drinks that everyone should have known how to make. There was some of the conception that women should dress elegantly, which doesn't really apply today. However, Hillis's advice are mostly quite general, so a modern woman can still get at least something out of them without having to be a career woman in 1930s New York.
I smiled, when I noticed two things that apply to my life quite well: the apartment doesn't have to be messy, even though outsiders aren't there to see it everyday; you can eat well even if you're alone and feel like eating convenience foods in the kitchen straight from the boxes. No huge revelations, but still a fun and light read....more
Pretty pointless. The photos were awesome, but there was nothing I haven't seen before, since there were mostly just film stills and promo pics. The tPretty pointless. The photos were awesome, but there was nothing I haven't seen before, since there were mostly just film stills and promo pics. The tiny introduction at the beginning didn't have anything new either, and the captions just stated the obvious. The second star comes from the fact that it's Al Pacino. Duh....more