Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher

cvr9780743264839_9780743264839_hr.jpgWhen I saw Carrie Fisher’s infamous Twitter reply (“You’ve hurt all three of my feelings”) to the unbalanced hate she received after the newest Star Wars movie, I knew I had to find out more about this sassy, brutally honest woman.  Imagine my delighted surprise when I found out she’s written books!  About herself!  Exactly what I wanted, handed to me in the easiest way possible.

Shockaholic is my first glimpse into Fisher’s life, which is so much more dramatic than I realized.  She’s Hollywood royalty, with all the glitter and horror that you’d expect from such a title.  She has bipolar disorder, and she has no reservations about sharing what that means for her and how she manages to survive a crippling mental disorder (i.e. the titular electro-shock therapy).  And she cattily addresses the very things that drew me to her in the first place.

You know the saying, “You’re your own worst enemy”?  Well, thanks to the Internet, that’s no longer true.  It turns out that total strangers can actually be meaner about you than you ever could be about yourself.  Which is saying a huge amount with me, because I can really go to town hurting my own feelings.  I know where they are…

Yes, it’s true.  All too true.  I let myself go.  And where did I go?  Where all fat, jowly, middle-aged women go–refrigerators and restaurants (both fine dining and drive-thru).  To put it as simply as I can and still be me:  Wherever there was food I could be found lurking, enthusiastically eyeing the fried chicken and Chinese food and pasta.  Not to mention the cupcakes and ice cream and pies, oh my!

How could I have allowed this to happen?  What was I thinking?  More to the point, what was I eating?  And having eaten it, why did I eat so much of it?  And having eaten that much, why did I so assiduously avoid aerobics?

Look at all that talent!!  She’s such an engaging writer, and I’m totally sold on reading everything else she’s created.  Rock on, Carrie Fisher.  Never stop being you.   Continue reading

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Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

mindy-kaling-why-not-meMindy’s second book is even better than her first!  Why Not Me? is less a memoir and more a series of essays about her life right now.  I’m happy to learn about her past, but I’ll be honest – I’m more interested in her life as a 30-something professional woman stumbling through love and work and being a role model.  And those topics are made infinitely better because of her hilarious sense of humor.

What I love most about Mindy is that she’s honest – she doesn’t try to downplay the perks of being famous (in fact, she revels in them), but she also freely owns up to its downsides.  It is so refreshing to read about how to be beautiful: fake hair, spray tans, tailored clothing, technological gadgets, bra tricks, good lighting, facial masks, and knowing how to pose for pictures with your arms akimbo.  No nonsense about eating right and glowing skin.  Hollywood beauty is all about hard work, and Mindy does wonders for boosting people’s body images by getting honest.

I also loved her candid enjoyment of sex scenes (“You get to crawl around in a bed with another person you either a) already know well or b) are getting to know better in the most cozy and intimate way possible.  Yes, it’s true that an entire room of people is watching you when you shoot a sex scene.  To that, I say: the more, the merrier!  Most of those people are artists whose job it is to make sure your physical imperfections are cloaked in mysterious shadows.  By the end of the shooting day, you’ll wish there were more people there.”) and the essay about her and B.J. Novak being “soup snakes.”  THOSE TWO.  When will they work it out?   Continue reading