2017 was a good year for the publishing industry, at least from my perspective. Below are top ten books for 2017.
- The Genius Of Jane Austen: Jane Austen was a genius, this book explains why.
- Growing Up Fisher: Joely Fisher’s unconventional autobiography is a look into her very unique Hollywood family.
- What Happened: Hillary Clinton’s brutally honest reminiscence of the 2016 Presidential Election is one for the ages.
- Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman: This must read book examines how female celebrities are questioning what is acceptable for a woman.
- The Making Of Jane Austen: Jane Austen was not born a writer, she made herself into one.
- Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Leia, Princess of Alderaan: The book tells the story of Princess Leia two years before the events of A New Hope.
- Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening: Saudi Arabia is known the world over for its oppressive laws against its women. Manal Al-Sharif is fighting to change that.
- Mr. Rochester: Written from the point of view of Edward Rochester, Charlotte Bronte’s most famous hero, the book is an eye-opening story on the man readers thought they knew.
- You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody): Alec Baldwin co wrote this hilarious book from the mind of you know who. Ridiculously funny.
- The Great Gasbag: An A-to-Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World: Written by The View co-host Joy Behar, this novel is for anyone who needs a laugh, especially considering what has come out of D.C. this year.
This will be my last blog post for 2017. Wherever you are, have a safe and happy new year. See you in 2018.
Filed under Book Review, Books, Charlotte Bronte, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, Movies, Star Wars, Television, Writing
One of the best facets of a democracy is the ability to openly mock and satirize those in power without the fear of repercussion or execution.
Saturday Night Live has been satirizing politicians for as long as it’s been on the air.
With the election of Donald Trump, the comedy basically writes itself. The new book, You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody), is co written by Alec Baldwin (who has played Trump on SNL since last year to hilarious perfection) and Kurt Andersen. Written from the point of view of SNL’s parody of Trump, the book tells the story of his Presidency so far.
This book is so funny that the reader has choice but to laugh out loud at points. It feels almost cathartic to read, especially considering that the real life Trump is possibly leading America down a black hole that we may not be able to climb out of.
I recommend it.
Depression, like any illness, knows no bounds. Whatever labels we or others use to distinguish ourselves are meaningless in the face of mental illness.
The suicide of Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington last week hit many people hard. Linkin Park’s music is powerful, raw and real. It was not just the loss of one the great rock singers of this era, but of a man who lost the battle to the demons in his head.
One of the podcasts that I sometimes listen to is WNYC’s “Here’s The Thing”, hosted by Alec Baldwin. His guest on the most recent episode was actor/singer/Broadway superstar Audra McDonald. One of the things that she spoke of was her suicide attempt during her college years and how surviving it helped to create the person she is today.
The old saying “you can never understand a person until you walk in their shoes” is an especially potent statement when it comes to mental illness. Unless someone knows what it is like to live with mental illness, as well-meaning as they are, they cannot the difficulty of living with mental illness.
I will leave you with the video above. We have lost one too many to mental illness. How many more will we lose before we do something about it?
Superheroes, contrary to popular opinion, don’t always need a cape. All they need is the ability to control minds and become invisible.
Based on the 1930’s radio serial of the same name, The Shadow (1994) is a superhero who must stop his nemesis from building an atomic bomb.
Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin) has a secret identity. He is the Shadow, a superhero who must stop his nemesis, Shiwan Khan (John Lone) from building an atomic bomb that will destroy the world.
As superhero movies go, it’s certainly different. It’s not the Marvel or DC comic superhero movies that audiences have become enamored of over the last decade. But the differences are good. Maybe it’s time that the Shadow deserves as much attention as Batman, Superman or the X-Men.
I recommend it.
Woody’s Allen latest film venture is Blue Jasmine, a film about a woman trying to rebuilt her life while living with her sister in San Fransisco.
Jasmine’s (Cate Blanchett) husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) appeared to be wealthy and spoiled his wife endlessly. That is until his less than legitimate business practices are revealed and Hal is arrested and put into jail, ending the life to which Jasmine was accustomed to living.
Jasmine’s only assistance comes in the form of her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), presently living in San Fransisco with her two sons. Sally is divorced from Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) and dating Chili (Bobby Cannavale), neither man has met Jasmine’s approval.
Jasmine’s potential re-emergence into her former life comes by way of Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), but she knows that her past may come back to haunt her.
While this is not my favorite Woody Allen film, its certainly an interesting one. Jasmine is a very complicated character living a very complicated life, Blanchett is the perfect actress for this part. This movie is almost feels like Streetcar Named Desire, with a main character who has a complicated past while conflicting with her present and the only family members that will take her in. Hawkins, as Ginger, with her ex husband and boyfriend makes for an interesting dichotomy between the two sisters. Sarsgaard as Dwight, comes in late into the film, but gives the audience a glimmer of hope that Jasmine will be able to return to her previous life.
It’s a little long, but its an enjoyable movie, which I think will generate nominations come award season.