I am usually the last person who would ever read a celebrity memoir. I usually think they’re pretty stupid and a waste of time. But something kept dra...moreI am usually the last person who would ever read a celebrity memoir. I usually think they’re pretty stupid and a waste of time. But something kept drawing me to Portia De Rossi’s book. I don’t know if it is my love of Arrested Development that had me wanting to know more about her, but for some reason or another I picked it up. And it was really good.
De Rossi’s memoir focused on the struggle with crash dieting that she had throughout her lifetime, and how her diet turned into full-blown anorexia. I must admit that I was not expecting the quality of the writing to be very good. But De Rossi’s writing was moving. What surprised me is that even though De Rossi has recovered from her disorder, she had the writing ability to make the reader feel as though they were experiencing it along with her.
The feeling I felt most while reading this, besides heartbreak, was shock. But it wasn’t shock towards her habits or the anorexia itself, but it was towards the people around her. It is very clear that the Hollywood mindset of skinny is better is what pushed De Rossi into this. (In addition to Portia’s own reasoning – that she was forever striving to be seen as normal and not homosexual. Since skinny is normal, then by all means, skinner is better). When she was getting prepped for a photo shoot, stylists were disappointed when she was a size 8 because she was too big. While she was losing weight people were complimenting her and telling her how great she looked. When she weighed 90 pound, the tailor of the show she was in told her she looked great, and she was her favorite cast member to dress. WHAT? HOW CAN PEOPLE THINK THIS? I mean seriously. She was a stick, and everyone in Hollywood thought she looked amazing. It wasn’t until she went home for the holidays that people, her family and strangers, expressed concern for her. That is what I found most heartbreaking and shocking.
While she was working on a film, she collapsed at 82 pounds. Until now, De Rossi did not include photos. However when she was describing the various organ failures she built up, she included pictures of how small she was. Again, the only word I can think of to describe that was heartbreaking. Seeing the pictures is the point where I broke down and started crying.
I hate that our society pushes people to the point of starvation, in order to feel beautiful. I hate that Portia De Rossi had to go through that. However, I am glad she is better and I am glad that she was brave enough to share her story of anorexia. It is well worth a read (and it’s a pretty quick read – took me 3 days).
DC decided to create a new universe “Earth One” that will remain separate from the mainstream universe. As far as I’ve been able to gather, this will...moreDC decided to create a new universe “Earth One” that will remain separate from the mainstream universe. As far as I’ve been able to gather, this will allow them to re-imagine their iconic characters in a way that is accessible to this generation of comic book readers. Superman: Earth One is the first title that will be published under this moniker, with Batman soon following.
So, this story was supposed to be a revamp of Superman’s origin story. And while it did delve into what happened to Krypton, I’m not sure how much new was really added to Clark’s story. The title did show him wrestling with what he was supposed to do, he felt obligated to become Superman, but he did not know if that was really what was going to make him happy. He went to various job interviews to see if something else would fulfill him, and attempted to reject the iconic S. *Spoiler Alert* Then, after an alien force came to destroy Earth because he was hiding there, he realized that he had no other choice but to be Superman because no one else is able to protect Earth *End Spoiler*.
I feel like the Earth One Universe gave this graphic novel tons of potential to work with. Having a completely new universe untied down by a character’s cannon should have produced something that really created something fantastic. But they stuck with the basic, Krypton blows up -> Jonathon and Martha Kent find a baby -> Later he moves to Metropolis -> He’s Superman! So my feelings are eh, a bit lackluster.
With that being said, the art is really pretty. I read some reviews that they made him look too much like Edward Cullen. I don’t think I really see that… Sure the art is a bit dark, and he’s wearing a hoodie… but he didn’t sparkle, and therefore I think he’s far from Cullen. Thank goodness. The copy I received is wonderfully put together and the nice quality of the pages really shows off the artwork.
So all in all, the story is a bit lacking, but even then it’s the first installment, so maybe it will progress into something really clever. When the next one comes out, will I read it? Most likely. Because even if there isn’t much story, the art is awesome to look at.
So I’m not sure how many of you followers are fans of webcomics. I would say I enjoy them quite a bit, I casually read a few – I’ll let their archives...moreSo I’m not sure how many of you followers are fans of webcomics. I would say I enjoy them quite a bit, I casually read a few – I’ll let their archives build for a month or two then read them all in one day but I routinely read two of them. I cannot start my day without reading Questionable Content (www.questionablecontent.net) or Dinosaur Comics (www.qwantz.com). Seriously, my days are incomplete with out these two gems.
Machine of Death is the brainchild of Ryan North, the writer of Dinosaur comics. Five years ago, T-Rex (the main character of Dinosaur Comics) mentioned how awesome it would be if there was a machine that would draw a small blood sample and then tell us exactly how (not when) we died. The fun part of this machine is that there is no avoiding this death. No matter how much you try, it’s fate, it cannot be changed. If someone’s slip reads DROWNING, no matter how much they avoid water for the rest of their life, they will drown. As T-Rex would say, super fun times!
The brilliance in this book is how it came to be, the writer of the webcomic, only actually has one story in this anthology, this rest is fan written. Pretty cool, huh? After North wrote that comic, the fan response was so positive that he called for Machine of Death Stories. Out of the hundreds received, these are the 30 best.
With all that being said, I’ve got to say, man I love this book. And let it be known, I’m not usually a fan of short stories. I don’t have anything against short stories in particular, but if I’m given the choice between a short story and a novel, I’m going to choose the novel. But these stories are sooo good! And there’s such a wide variety too. It feels like each time I sit down to read it, I think, there can’t possibly be a better story than that last one I read. And it proves me wrong every time! These stories are good because they explore the idea of whether it’s good to know how you die or not. Also, the machine is often cryptic in it’s output, that you may think you know how you die, to realize that you were completely wrong. There are funny stories, like “Torn Apart By and Devoured By Lions” where the character finds out how he’s going to die and becomes so excited about it, because it’s going to be the best moment of his life. There are sad stories, like “While Trying to Save Another”, where the character understands how he’s going to die, tries to get out of it, and realizes at the end that he has to save this person. And there are poignant stories, like “Nothing” which is a sweet story about a 170 year old man who will never die, and he hates it.
I don’t know what else to say. This book is good. Actually it’s great. Every story is good. Ryan North has been nice enough to put up the PDF of it online for free, so if you want to read it RIGHT NOW you can: http://machineofdeath.net/a/. But I encourage you read a sample of it online and if you like what you see, buy a copy on amazon (it’s only $10) because North self-published this beast, and it’s always nice to give back to a project so fantastic. Also, sidenote: the editors of MOD asked fans to buy a copy on the release date so they could get on amazon’s top 100, the response was so great that they got to #1. Let that be a tasty tidbit to give you an idea of how awesome this book is.
not as good as the first one, I basically figured it out halfway through. Glad she used the parasol more but overall, meh. I'll still read the 3rd one...morenot as good as the first one, I basically figured it out halfway through. Glad she used the parasol more but overall, meh. I'll still read the 3rd one though.(less)
If you get any message from reading Fahrenheit 451, it should be that the book itself is not important. But the ideas in th...moreThis book is not important.
If you get any message from reading Fahrenheit 451, it should be that the book itself is not important. But the ideas in the book are. The ideas in this book are important.
Fahrenheit 451 fulfilled my reading lusts in so many ways. It was stylistically fantastic, almost like poetry instead of prose. I often reread a whole page just to savor some of the thoughts in it. In addition, Bradbury’s afterword and coda, are just as wonderful. Example, “When we forget how close the wilderness is in the night, my grandpa said, someday it will come in and get us, for we will have forgotten how terrible and real it can be.” (p. 157) . Next lust it fulfilled was my dystopian literature lust. Bradbury throws you in to the world and takes his time to explain things fully, and then lets his world destroy itself. Which is awesome. Last, it’s a book about books. And every book lover should read it for that fact.
The world Bradbury created was so stressful for me, I could not picture how people were outlaws for owning and reading books. If you were caught, your house was burned down. It was scary though, because even though this was written almost 60 years ago, it still feels plausible today. The people in his book are shallow, ever attentive to the ever present TV and are willing to turn their backs on anyone. Bradbury’s novel feels like a wake up call that humans are turning their backs on the more important ideas of our lifetime.
I’m so glad I bought this book, I had been wanting to read it for awhile. Also, I had been told multiple times that I would enjoy it, and I did. This book is a classic for a reason. But that’s not important.