I joined a book club recently at my school and this was the first book I got to read along with them. It’s not a great book, despite my rating, but Carrie Fisher’s voice comes through loud and clear in these pages so I really enjoyed it. Several fellow readers have said the audiobook was wonderful because she’s the narrator so I’d recommend going that route if you choose to read this book.
And a little grad update while you’re here – I’m officially done my first semester!
My last report was a doozy but I’m glad to have it behind me and ready for this holiday break. I’ll have some more posts for you before the year is up and maybe, just maybe a Music Monday next week 🙂
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Genre: Memoir / Humour
In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. “But it isn’t all sweetness and light sabres.” Alas, aside from a demanding career and her role as a single mother (not to mention the hyperspace hairdo), Carrie also spends her free time battling addiction, weathering the wild ride of manic depression and lounging around various mental institutions. It’s an incredible tale – from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to marrying (and divorcing) Paul Simon, from having the father of her daughter leave her for a man, to ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo
This book is a memoir of sorts but it’s really more a collection of loosely-related stories. Part of my problem in reading this was that it’s very disconnected; Fisher seems to set out initially to tell one story but jumps around in time and topic often and at random so it can be difficult to follow. If I had to pick a particular theme though, I think the main thread throughout is her struggle with alcoholism and her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The other stories she pulls in give context both in how she arrived where she is and in providing the bigger picture of who Carrie Fisher, the mother/wife/friend/actress is.
As unlikely as it may be, last month I read two books about WWII that both had ‘violin’ in the title. This one was my favourite of the two, and also counted as my V book, so two birds with one stone? Regardless, it’s a really powerful story and a brilliant translation so I’m happy to share it with all of you!
The Violin of Auschwitz by Maria Àngels Anglada, translation by Martha Tennent
Genre: Historical Fiction
The Violin of Auschwitz is the unforgettable story of one man’s refusal to surrender his dignity in the face of history’s greatest atrocity.
In the winter of 1991, at a concert in Krakow, an older woman with a marvelously pitched violin meets a fellow musician who is instantly captivated by her instrument. When he asks her how she obtained it, she reveals the remarkable story behind its origin…
Imprisoned at Auschwitz, the notorious concentration camp, Daniel feels his humanity slipping away. Treasured memories of the young woman he loved and the prayers that once lingered on his lips become hazier with each passing day. Then a visit from a mysterious stranger changes everything, as Daniel’s former identity as a crafter of fine violins is revealed to all. The camp’s two most dangerous men use this information to make a cruel wager: If Daniel can build a successful violin within a certain number of days, the Kommandant wins a case of the finest burgundy. If not, the camp doctor, a torturer, gets hold of Daniel. And so, battling exhaustion, Daniel tries to recapture his lost art, knowing all too well the likely cost of failure.
Buy it from Amazon!
As the blurb hints at, the story is kind of told in a series of flashbacks. We’re introduced to our present (1990s) characters but very quickly switch to 1942 to focus on one man in particular, Daniel, who is interned in a prisoner camp. I much preferred the flashback portion to the present story; the beginning and introductions felt very awkward, and later in the book when we start to flip back into the present, it was sudden and disconnected, and didn’t really separate itself clearly from the past.
This one was really fun and fulfilled by Z requirement for the alphabet challenge! I actually found it by accident because I was going to read another book with Zeus in the title but couldn’t remember what it was called, so I scrolled through Goodreads and guess what came up?!
Zeus is My Type! by D. W. Frauenfelder
Genre: Greek Mythology / Personality
Have you ever wondered what Greek god you are most like? With Zeus Is My Type!, you’ll learn this and much more, as sixteen Olympian divinities of Greek mythology are analyzed according to the Jungian personality type system. Zeus Is My Type makes copious use of the original and early sources of Greek mythology– Homer, Hesiod, and the Greek tragedians– to show how the Greeks really saw the immortals. Are you bossy like Zeus and Hera, creative like Hephaestus, seductive like Aphrodite? Read and discover.
Get it here: Smashwords | Kobo
This was a really random selection but I’m glad I found it. The author is a “degreed specialist in mythology” as he puts it so he knows a lot about these Greek gods and goddesses. Each chapter is devoted to a different god/goddess and an MBTI type – he finds that there’s no overlap as they were set up to represent all human behaviour so it’s a nice even split for this analysis.
To start off, he provides an MBTI quiz so if you don’t know your type, you can figure it out here and then see where you stand in relation to the Greeks. I have taken the test before and found this quiz was pretty ineffective because I ended up being an equal split of everything so it may be better to do the quiz through a different resource (16personalities.com offers it for free!)
For the record, I’m apparently an ISFJ (sometimes also an ISTJ) though I don’t really agree with that but I’ll get more into it below.