So far, so funny. I’m much happier with this choice than my previous choice.
The Princess Diarist is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. Carrie Fisher dusted off her old diaries she wrote while filming the first Star Wars movie in 1977. Like everything in her life, she is brutally honest about what she saw and what she did and tells it with a biting sense of humor. Reading this a year after her untimely death is definitely after bittersweet as she was more or less correct about her own obituaries would say and what pictures they would use. The bulk of this memoir is focused on her affair with costar Harrison Ford, who as you know played Han Solo. Passages of her diary talks of her struggle to deal with the knowledge she is having an affair with a married costar and how she is falling in love with him even after telling herself that she wouldn’t. She also talks about how she struggled on the set, being told to lose weight and hours in hair and make up and keeping up the facade that she was more experienced than she actually was and of course the awkward promotion of the movie after the release. Carrie Fisher became Princess Leia in this diary and the transition wasn’t smooth. There was a lot bumps and bruises along the way but she eventually found peace with her alter ego. Honestly, we are lucky to have had Carrie as our Princess Leia and as our General Organa.
Kate and started this book by listening to it on audio book. Carrie reads the book while her daugher Billie Lourd reads her diary passages. I finished the book as an ebook and even though I was reading it instead of listening, I could hear her voice in my head. Ebook or audio book, Carrie distinctive voice came through.
Read by Carrie and her daughter Billie Lourd.
This is a memoir about what it is like to be working poor in America that addresses many of the myths about being poor. Tirado has a blunt style that is sometimes funny, sometimes touching and that I found grating in places. This is a very real perspective on poverty from someone who has lived it, and I think it’s a perspective that is often missing from our economic discourse. It was an interesting read and a quick one. The audiobook was read by the author. So, if you’re looking for a little perspective on class in America, you may want to give it a try.
THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD!
This is Just my Face is Gabourey Sidibe’s memoir and it was delightful. She is funny, snarky, thoughtful and insightful. She talks about her family and her childhood. She also talks about getting the role of Precious. I plowed through this memoir; it was like sitting down and having coffee with a friend. I’m not really a celebrity memoir person, but a friend recommended it to me and I’m so happy that I did.
So, 10/10, would totally recommend.
So how did I do with this year’s challenge. Pretty good, I think. I read a few books that I normally wouldn’t have read and other books I would have because I love the authors. I didn’t complete the challenge though and I’m sad about that. Will have to do better in 2018.
- A Book with a Trans Narrator: Eddie Izzard in Believe Me by Eddie Izzard
- Queer Narrator: Apollo in The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
- African American Narrator: John Lewis in March Vols. 1-3 by John Lewis
- African Narrator: Did not complete
- Narrators from various socio-economic backgrounds: Rainey, Rio and Frangie from Silver Stars by Michael Grant
- Asian-American Narrator: Lara Jean in Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han and Daniel in The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- Disabled Narrator: Call from The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
- Narrator that survived Abuse: Feyre, Rhysand, and pretty much every character in A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
- Asian Narrator: Sunja in Pachinko by Mi Jin Lee
- Native American Narrator: Did not complete
- Mexican Narrator: Cristina in Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
- Indigenous Mexican Narrator: Did not complete
- Muslim Narrator: Kamala in Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson
- Jewish Narrator: Rainey in Silver Stars by Michael Grant
- Atheist Narrator: Magnus Chase in Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
So I competed 12 out of 15, which isn’t bad but I was really hoping to do all 15. How well did you do this year?
We are now halfway through June so I can accurately say we are halfway through the year. It’s time to check in and see how we are doing with our reading challenges. This year we decided to split up our Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives Reading challenge into two different. One for authors and one for narrators. I’m doing the Narrators and I have to say, I’m doing pretty well. Now, I think there may be a few arguments over some of my books but who doesn’t love a good debate? Going off my list of the books I’ve read, I discovered that there were a few things we should have discussed before setting the challenge out. For instance, can you use the same book for different categories if they have more then one Narrator? I’m going to go with yes because you are getting different perspectives from different characters. So here we go.
- Book with a Queer Narrator: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan. Narrator: Apollo. Ok, so this maybe a stretch because as Kate asked me Can we apply modern categories of sexuality to ancient Gods? Well I don’t know, but in The Dark Prophecy, Apollo is currently exiled to Earth as a mortal and while being on Earth has shown equal interest in both Men and Women. So, in the context of the book, I’m counting it.
- Book with a African American Narrator: March Vols. 1-3 by Congressman John Lewis. Narrator: John Lewis
- Book with characters from various socio-economic backgrounds Silver Stars by Michael Grant. Narrators: Frangie, Rainey and Rio
- Books with Asian American Narrator: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Narrators: Lara Jean and Daniel. I decided to count both since they are both Asian Americans but they have very different perspectives on growing up in America. Lara Jean is definitely your more typical middle class teenage girl who grew up in the suburbs. She’s also mixed because of her Dad is white so she straddles both sides. Daniel grew up in New York City and is the son of two immigrant parents. (I thought about using Natasha from The Sun is also a Star as my African American Narrator but technically speaking she’s not American as her family was living in the US illegally)
- Book with a Narrator who has survived abuse: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. Narrator : Feyre. I really could have picked any character in this book but since it’s all from Feyre’s point of view she gets the top billing.
- A Book with a Mexican Narrator: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. Narrator: Cristina. I admit I maybe stretching it a little thin with this one. Cristina is one of six narrators in Lord of Shadows and not one of the two main characters but she is an important to the story as a whole so for now I’m counting it but it might change before the year is out.
- A Book with a Muslim Narrator: Ms. Marvel Vols. 2-4 by G. Willow Wilson. Narrator: Kamala
- A Book with a Jewish Narrator: Silver Stars by Michael Grant. Narrator: Rainey I know that I have already used Silver Stars before but Rainey is a fascinating character. I love reading her.
- A Book with an atheist Narrator: Believe Me by Eddie Izzard. Narrator: Eddie Izzard. He doesn’t go too much into his atheism but he does make it very clear he doesn’t believe in any god.
9 out of 15 is pretty good. Even if you take out the few iffy ones, I’m still over halfway done with my challenge. How are you doing?
Phew! I did it. I only had about 48 hours to read my DRC and I just barely made it under the deadline. It helped that those last two days fell on my days off from work. I’m very glad that I got a chance to read it. Believe Me was a touching and honest memoir of man who struggled by persevered not just in his career but in his life. Eddie Izzard is mostly known for his stand up but he is also an actor and transgender. He talks openly about his sexuality and trying to identify who he is when there really wasn’t a word for it, the loss of his mother when he was six and breaking into the entertainment industry when you have no idea on how to find the door. He goes step by step throughout his life that lead him to where he is now and those who are familiar with his stand up will notice how many of his chapters are written like his shows. With a topic and then a short digression into a topic that’s related but not really related before coming back to the original thread. It’s filled with humor and grief. Hard times but good times too. He didn’t have an easy road but it wasn’t all tragedy either. He owns up to his privilege of growing up in a middle class household. How the hard work of his father not only inspired him but allowed him to be able to follow his dreams and when he wasn’t able to pay the bills, his father was there to support him. He talks about the fear of coming out and knowing that it could be the end of his career but how he had to do it. I don’t think I have ever read a more clear and detailed experience of someone’s coming out. I think most people see it as it as a one time thing. You Say I’m Gay! and that’s it but really it’s like multiple coming outs. Once to themselves, then close friends and family and then coworkers and so forth. To my LGBTQ+ friends, I hope that I have been supportive you and know that I believe that you are all brave for being you. It’s also a good demonstration that if want something you have to be willing to work for it. Eddie’s path to success had a lot of failures and a lot of unexpected detours but he used everyone of them to learn and grow and kept at it. He’s still looking for new challenges like performing his stand up in different languages to connect more with people from different cultures. Fans of Eddie will love it but I think people looking for inspiration will get a lot out of it too.
I have this as DRC (digital Review Copy) and I have less then 24 hours to finish it before the license is up. Wish me luck!