Posts Tagged ‘david sedaris’

Inspired by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and The Bookish I present to you my list of the top-ten quotes from literature:

10. “Reality continues to ruin my life.” -Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

9. “I haven’t the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of perspective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.” -Naked by David Sedaris

8. “A person’s a person no matter how small.” Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

7. “I have great faith in fools. My friends call it self-confidence.” -Edgar Alan Poe

6. “Lord! What fools these mortals be!” -A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare(?)

5. “If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus one day so I never have to live without you.” -Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

4. “Perhaps – I want the old days back again and they’ll never come back, and I am haunted by the memory of them and of the world falling about my ears. ” -Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

3. “You don’t understand me. I’m a teenager. I’ve got problems!” -The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

2. “Girls are so queer you never know what they mean.” -Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

1. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


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“There’s a fine line between being private and being ashamed.”  -Portia de Rossi Unbearable Lightness: A Novel of Loss and Gain

I want to start off by letting you know just how much I despise memoirs and biographies. It is very rare that I will read (and enjoy) a memoir. I don’t really much care for non-fiction of any type, actually now that I think about it. Ever since I was a child I have always had a very active imagination and have prefered fiction. However, surprisingly, I don’t much care for the fantasy and sci-fi stories. I do love a vampire and I loved vampire fiction BEFORE it was cool (so take that, Edward Cullen. I like the wolf better in those stories ANYWAY!).

I was browsing GoodReads the other day and decided to make a list of all of the memoir books that I had read and added to my list there. They are as follows:

My First Five Husbands (And the Ones That Got Away) -McClanahan
If I Knew Then What I Know Now…So What? -Getty
Here We Go Again: My Life in Television -White
I adore the Golden Girls and that’s why these books got on my list! Had Bea Arthur written one I would have devoured that one too!

Eat, Pray, Love -Gilbert
I read this one this past summer because I love Julia Roberts and I was dying to see the film. It was a pretty good book. I did not hate it! I actually rather enjoyed it, though it was very hard to connect to a narrator who has the luxury of being able to drop everything and move to three different countries for a year and a half. Too bad her readers in the real world go to mindless jobs every day and just read about those lucky few.
Me Talk Pretty One Day
(and ALL the David Sedaris books because they are just 100% hilarious!)

The Diary of Anne Frank -Frank
I read this one in school and was blown away by what this girl had to go through. I think that this was one of my first exposures to Nazism.

Night -Wiesel
I remember reading this one in school as well. I remember thoroughly loving it.

Lucky -Sebold
I borrowed this one from a feminist roommate I had in college. I remember reading it thinking that it was a fictional story. I was so surprised to discover that it was a memoir. Surprised and infuriated.

Marley and Me -Grogan
Sentimental dog love. I remember taking this copy from the library I worked (volunteered) at in graduate school. I also remember I read it right after I got my sweet baby Sheldon (a sprightly little sheltie). I paced the living room of my apartment at the end clutching baby Sheldon and weeping.

Three Cups of Tea -Mortenson
What a mess this author is in right now! I did not like this book. I felt like it was just one big pat on his own back. A “look at me! I’m so selfless, I’m so great! I do great things for other people! You should love me!” kind of book that I am just not into reading.

Girl, Interrupted– Kasen
Again, I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie because I adore Winona Ryder. I think that I was way too young to have understood this book at the time and I would like to re-visit it now that I am older, wiser, and more understanding of BPD.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of A Boy Soldier -Baeh
It’s hard to believe as I sit in my comfortable townhouse in America that these kinds of things go on in another part of the world.

Prozac Nation -Wurtzel
In the same vein as Girl, Interrupted. I think that I need to re-visit this one. I do remember reading it in high school and loving it. I lost my copy that I dragged around with me everywhere back then and ordered a new one in college.

Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia -Hornbach
I didn’t care one way or another about this one. It wasn’t great. It wasn’t awful. It wasn’t memorable at all.

The Bell Jar -Plath
I love this book. I think I read this one when I was way too young (8th grade, roughly) but I remember reading sneakily any chance I got. It felt like i was doing something wrong and I loved that feeling alone!

Maus I -Spiegleman
As much as I detest memoirs, I detest graphic novels even more which it why I was surprised to find myself thoroughly enjoying these two books that were assigned to a contemporary authors class I took in college.

Go Ask Alice -Anonymous
Teen Drama!

sTori Telling– Spelling
Yes, I read this book. Yes, I enjoyed this book. No, I didn’t absolutely love it.

The Things They Carried -O’Brien
Wow, Really? I was surprised to see this one listed as a memoir on GoodReads, but I guess that it was. I remember having to read this book for not one, not two, but THREE classes in college. I guess I am now somewhat of an expert on it!

Skin Game -Kitwell
One memoir of self-harm is the same as another.

Fugitive Days -Ayers
I found this guy to be obnoxious. I heard an interview with him on NPR in grad. school and HAD to read this book. If only the book were as good as the interview…

The first book that I read for my month of memoirs was Unbearable Lightness: A Novel of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi. I started out LOVING this book! It was so interesting to get insight into the life of a relatively unknown actress like de Rossi. It moved along so quickly for the first 3/4 of the book, but then it just started repeating itself. We heard a lot about dress sizes and Vera, her costume person on the set of Ally McBeal, as well as all of the places that she burst into a run in her platform shoes; and that was great, at first. I wanted to hear more about Francesca and Ellen and Mel! I wanted the dirt!
I understand that when a person elects to pen a story of their life, that they are able to discuss certain things and they may also leave things out. However, I wanted to hear more about her private life that is only glossed over with back-alley photographs and airbrushed wedding portraits in the tabloids. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some tabloids, but I also love getting the real inside scoop straight from the horse’s mouth which is why I thought that this memoir in particular would be a little bit easier to swallow.

It was a pretty good book overall though. I thought that the end section with Ellen was very rushed and I would have liked to have read more of the happy-ending stuff that was so forced and so quick and then suddenly over. I found myself skimming as I got more towards the end to get to the happy and away from the misery.

I think that I would recommend this book to someone, especially someone who may be gay or who may be struggling with an eating disorder. Overall, one of the better memoirs that I’ve ever read (not that I’ve read many!)

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