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
A year ago today, Carrie Fisher passed away.
Writer, actress, mental health activist, mother, daughter, sister, feminist, Fisher was an icon to many for many reasons. Playing Leia Organa in the Star Wars film franchise, Fisher helped to change the way women are portrayed in film, especially in science fiction and fantasy films. Leia was not just the heart and the brains of the rebellion, she was whip smart and in charge.
Leia grabbing the blaster from Luke’s hands and shooting at the storm troopers was a small moment in A New Hope, but a big moment in the history of women on-screen.
After Star Wars and in between her other roles, Fisher became one hell of a writer, publishing her own work in addition to gaining the envious title of one of the most in demand script doctors in Hollywood. She was not afraid to speak openly about her addiction and mental illness issues when others were still in the closet about their addiction and mental illness issues.
The thing that will always stand out for me, is that she was herself, warts and all. Unapologetic, unafraid and upfront. We should all be so brave to be ourselves and not give a sh*t what someone else thinks of us.
For that, she will always be my hero.
RIP Carrie. A year still seems like yesterday.
A good sequel, when properly written, is always a thrill. It’s a thing of curiosity, to see where the character’s lives have gone and will go since we last saw them. The late Carrie Fisher knew a lot about sequels, she played Leia Organa in the Star Wars movie franchise.
She was also one hec of a writer.
The Best Awful, Fisher’s sequel to her best-selling novel, Postcards From The Edge, takes place a few years after the events in Postcards From The Edge. Her fictional alter-ego, Suzanne Vale, is now the mother of a young daughter, Honey. Honey’s father has just left Suzanne for a man. Wanting and needing a replacement for her ex, Suzanne decides it’s a good time to stop taking her medication. The results and the adventure she goes while off her medication is well, an adventure to say the least.
When Suzanne finally hits rock bottom, her ex, her movie star mother and her friends decide that the best thing for Suzanne is to be put in a mental hospital. Going into the hospital maybe the very thing Suzanne needs to move on with her life.
Fisher’s bouts with mental illness are part and parcel of her persona. What I loved about this book is that not only is it funny, but it speaks to the truth of what it is to bipolar and live with the ups and downs that being bipolar brings.
I absolutely recommend it.
Warning: This movie review contain spoilers for The Last Jedi. I will not be offended if you choose to read this review until after you have seen the movie.
The Star Wars trilogy created the movie sequels as we know them to be today.
In The Last Jedi, the resistance, led by General Leia Organa (the late and very missed Carrie Fisher) is on the run from The First Order. Leia’s son, Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Adam Driver) is hell-bent on destroying the resistance, as per the command of Snoke (Andy Serkis). Kylo’s second in command, General Hux (Domnhall Gleason) is as eager as his bosses to see the resistance blown to smithereens.
Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has found Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), but Luke is not happy to found. However, at the same time, he sees the power in Rey and knows that she must receive some sort of training. At the same time, Finn (John Boyega) has woken from his coma and is teaming up with previously unknown Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) to find a way to defeat The First Order. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is all for the plan, but he has been rebuked for his wild ways by Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) for his wild ways.
Director Rian Johnson has hit it out of the park with this film. A throwback to The Empire Strikes Back, Johnson is a fanboy who has used his love of the franchise to create a remarkable film.
While all of the cast were at peak performance mode, my favorite performances belonged to Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Adam Driver. Luke, who was only seen briefly and without any dialogue at the end of The Force Awakens, is a man who is torn apart by his past and the decisions he made. His twin, Leia is watching the resistance fall apart and is trying to lead the remnants as best she can. Kylo is unsure as to the path he has taken. While he has sworn loyalty to Snoke, there is still a part of him that clings to the light side of the force and the family he left behind when he flipped to the dark side.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
The Last Jedi is presently in theaters.
A celebrity autobiography is a funny thing. It is part confessional, part life story and part point of view that can only be told uniquely by the celebrity who is writing the book.
Joely Fisher is the daughter of Connie Stevens and the late Eddie Fisher, in addition to being the half-sister of the late Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher. Recently, she has published an autobiography entitled, Growing Up Fisher: Musings, Memories, and Misadventures. Written candidly and openly, Ms. Fisher talks about what it was like to grow up in a famous Hollywood family and how that experience shaped her career and her adult life. She also writes about her sister, as only a devoted and loving family member can.
I really loved this book. I loved it because Ms. Fisher is not afraid to reveal her faults and her missteps. She is also talks about what is to be the daughter of Hollywood and how it affects how one’s view the world.
I recommend it.
Yesterday would have been the 61st birthday of actress, writer and mental health advocate Carrie Fisher.
Originally known to audiences as Princess Leia Organa from the Star Wars films, she was the daughter of the late singer Eddie Fisher and his first wife, actor/singer, the late Debbie Reynolds.
I could write about what her legacy is to the millions of Star Wars fans around the world and to the millions who are suffering from mental illness, but that’s been done. I want to remember as a woman who was not afraid to call out the bullshit, especially in Hollywood. Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke two weeks ago, the floodgates of women who were sexually assaulted, not just by Weinstein, but other men in Hollywood have come forward. One of these men assaulted a friend of hers and Carrie responded as only she could.
In honor of Carrie, I give you Star Wars Rap Battle: Han Solo vs Princess Leia.
Happy Birthday, Carrie. You are gone, but never forgotten.
The official trailer for The Last Jedi has come finally been released. I got very excited when I saw the trailer, but as usual, Lucasfilm is not surprisingly cagey with the details.
The only thing I know that I am more that stoked and I will definitely be needing a box of Kleenex for the rumored sendoff for Carrie Fisher.
BTW, the duel between Finn and Captain Phasma looks amazing.
December is coming quickly. 🙂
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”-Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”-Carrie Fisher
Fear is not a tangible thing. It’s not something we can physically pick up and hold in our hands. But yet feel it. We can smell it, we can taste it.
One of the podcasts I regularly listen to is Problogger (which I highly recommend for my fellow bloggers). One of the things that came up in this week’s podcast was fear. Fear of starting the blog, fear of not being good enough as a blogger, fear that no one will read the blog, etc.
Fear is not entirely bad thing. The fight or flight reflex has been built into our bodies and minds for a purpose. But the question is, when we are looking straight at what scares us, do we have the courage to walk past our fears or do we let our fears stop us?
I know this question is not easy to answer. When faced with the choice of facing our fears or running away, many of us will run.
But what would happen if we didn’t run away, if we faced our fears, not knowing the consequences?
In my own life, I’ve found that when I face my fears, no matter how difficult or scary it seems, I come just a little stronger and a little more confident.
Facing our fears is often the hardest thing we will ever do. But it’s the only way we will ever most past them.
Filed under Life, Writing
For the most part, when someone famous dies the response is as follows: their death is reported in the media, there maybe some smatterings of memorials on social media and then they are remembered during in memoriam section during the next awards ceremony.
When Carrie Fisher passed away suddenly from a heart attack at the end of last year, it was a shock to the cultural system. As an actress, writer and mental health advocate, she has been a part of our cultural landscape since 1977.
I recently purchased the Vanity Fair 40th anniversary Star Wars editions.
The one section of the article that struck me was a conversation that she had with John Boyega in 2014 when the original trailer for The Force Awakens was released. The backlash of having not just a black storm trooper,but also a black leading man did not sit well with some fans. Fisher’s response to the backlash and Boyega’s reaction to the backlash was simple: “you do you”.
Out of everything that I remember her for, it is the fact that she was her authentic self, warts and all. While some of us present a certain image depending on whom we are with, Fisher was not afraid to be herself, even if that meant revealing her demons or her less than ideal past.
She encouraged her fans to be themselves and not be afraid to reveal their own dark sides.
While I will always adore her as Princess Leia, it is her fearlessness that will continue to inspire me and her fans around the world.
RIP Carrie. Gone, but never, ever forgotten.
Luke Skywalker is one of our culture’s most recognizable characters. One of the three lead characters in the original Star Wars series, Luke, played by Mark Hamill is every man. Unlike Han (Harrison Ford) or Leia (the late and very missed Carrie Fisher), Luke is the character we can all relate to.
I could go on, but I think the video below says it all.