As a fan, I couldn't wait to read Felicia Day's memoir, but I wasn't expecting such an emotional response.I laughed, I cried, I shuddered in horror.
As a fan, I couldn't wait to read Felicia Day's memoir, but I wasn't expecting such an emotional response. I loved every minute of it! The childhood stories, photos, and pithy quotes are quite entertaining, but none of that compares to the raw emotional vulnerability of sharing the not-so-glamorous part. Yet, that's what makes this memoir real - readers can identify with depression, money issues, stress, fear of failure, OCD tendencies.
It's one thing to appreciate someone's work, but I have a newfound respect for the artist given the back story. I adored Felicia Day before, but now I admire her strength and courage and determination....more
**spoiler alert** Laura Bates, an English professor at Indiana State University, recounts her 'volunteer' job teaching Shakespeare to maximum security**spoiler alert** Laura Bates, an English professor at Indiana State University, recounts her 'volunteer' job teaching Shakespeare to maximum security prisoners and the life-changing impact the experience had not just on her life, but that of Larry Newton.
Laura Bates recounts: In the twenty years I had spent working as a volunteer and as an instructor in minimum- and maximum-security prisons in Chicago and in Indiana, I had never met an inmate who scared me—until Newton.
Larry Newton - who later becomes her star student - was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole when he was seventeen. Because of his violent tendencies, Newton spent over 10 years in solitary confinement. The most amazing part of his story is that regardless of having only a fifth grade education, Newton develops his intellect and a love of Shakespeare.
“Hey, you know what’s really cool? Here’s old boy Richard in this supermax, and he’s building a world inside of there with his thoughts. He’s trying to make his life mean something. And then here I am—it’s really cool how they mirror!—here I am, in that same little prison, trying to make my life mean something.”
Shakespeare was one of my favorite things to teach. Of the required plays to teach in high school, I think I ended up teaching Macbeth the most. My students had the occasional "WOW!" moment with the text, but nothing like the insights expressed by some of these inmates, especially Newton. But the inmates viewed the play from a different perspective than my students - that of killers.
Newton's response to Macbeth murdering the king:
The authenticity of a murderer: WOW! That is insight! The fear and confusion, the anxiety! Even if the author has not killed, he must have been exposed to that possibility. Like attempted or was at the point of trying but could not overcome those fears and great anxiety! As Mac killed Duncan, he was just in la la land! Even forgetting to leave the weapon! Man, that is just so authentic! The detail in fears, confusion, and gut-wrenching anxiety is uncanny! I regret to say that I have experience.
This was the passage that gave me chills. I spent quite a bit of time discussing this very passage with class after class, but very few understood why Macbeth forgot to plant the dagger on the guards. I knew that Shakespeare had this uncanny ability to capture the human condition (which is why his plays still resonate with us 400 years later), but this passage clinched it for me.
After spending more than ten years in supermax segregation, Larry finally has broken out of his prison. Not the prison of concrete and steel, but the prison of self-destructive ways of thinking: “the only prison that matters.”
I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book because it's not the type of nonfiction I usually choose. Sometimes you just need to get it of your own way - glad I did....more
The best part of this book is the cover (which ironically supports the whole "judging a book by its cover" adage). Fisher comes across as a whiney, spThe best part of this book is the cover (which ironically supports the whole "judging a book by its cover" adage). Fisher comes across as a whiney, spoiled Hollywood brat whose self-deprecating humor comes across as a series of bad one-liners. She bashes her family, friends, Republicans with every foul four-letter word she can muster. It seems as though she wants to reveal the pain and hardship of addiction and mental illness, but I couldn't get past the crass sarcasm and constant criticism....more
I can't say enough great things about this book! I laughed, I cried, and I was sad when it was over. The Princess Bride is not only my favorite book,I can't say enough great things about this book! I laughed, I cried, and I was sad when it was over. The Princess Bride is not only my favorite book, but it's also my favorite movie. I mean, what girl doesn't love a good story about a princess?
I assure you that after reading this book, you'll dust off your copy of The Princess Bride and watch for all the things you missed the first 500 times you watched it or never knew were in the movie (until now)....more
I believe reading the actual Encyclopedia Britannica would've been far more interesting. Besides, I don't need to read Jacobs' opinion about each artiI believe reading the actual Encyclopedia Britannica would've been far more interesting. Besides, I don't need to read Jacobs' opinion about each article anymore than I need to read Cliff's Notes for The Hunger Games (Actually, CN are simply literary analyses written by college professors, many of whom teach at the University of Nebraska). Not to mention, I gathered from a few comments in the book that Jacobs doesn't think too highly of the South.
I read a few reviews about how hysterically funny this guy is as a writer - nope, didn't see it. Throughout the book, Jacobs' humor felt forced as though he wrote the summary of an encyclopedia entry and then interjected a story or two about his family - disclosing his and his wife's issues with conceiving a child, playing Simon Says with his nieces and nephews, aspiring to impress his dad (an accomplished writer), and the obvious jealousy towards his brother-in-law, who is evidently the real<\i> know-it-all and the one who probably should've written this book. ...more
Fabulous! I guess being an Alabamian makes my review a little biased, but the stories and depictions of country folks almost sound as if he's describiFabulous! I guess being an Alabamian makes my review a little biased, but the stories and depictions of country folks almost sound as if he's describing my own family.
As a side note, I recommended this book for the newly re-vamped Summer Reading list from having read just the first several pages (yes, I thought the writing was THAT good!), but mostly because - Heck, Rick Bragg's an Alabama boy!
Little did I know that this Pulitzer Prize winning author's memoir would cause such a ruckus in my little old high school library. A parent called and complained to the principal, an asst. principal, and finally, to me - my first official book challenge as a Media Specialist - and it wasn't pretty. Fortunately, it was resolved without removing the book from the list or my library.
While I understand someone objecting to a book or parts of a book, I cannot fully entertain the idea of someone adamantly criticizing a book without actually reading it, which apparently happens quite a bit in school libraries.
Well, this one will be front and center on my Banned Books Week display next month.
In a time where we are so far removed from the atrocities of the Holocaust, the haunting words of an actual survivor remind us just how fortunate we aIn a time where we are so far removed from the atrocities of the Holocaust, the haunting words of an actual survivor remind us just how fortunate we are. ...more