Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

When Ellen DeGeneres started seeing someone new a few years back, all I knew about this person, Portia de Rossi, is that she was the fierce icy blond on Ally McBeal.  I used to watch Ally McBeal with my Mom back in the day, as silly as the show was.  I later found out she also had a character on Arrested Development.  I’ve since read articles in various magazines about how happy she is to be married to Ellen.  In these brief glimpses of Portia de Rossi, I never would have guessed that she had a severe struggle with coming out as a lesbian and an even worse struggle with anorexia and bulimia which almost killed her.

Unbearable Lightness talks about de Rossi’s dark past, being an early 20 something newly in Hollywood from Australia and her downward spiral into anorexia.  Portia de Rossi really surprised me as a writer.  She is very poetic in her descriptions and the story she is weaving becomes completely engrossing.  We can actually watch the subject, de Rossi, become consumed by her illness to the point in which all she thinks and obsesses about is food and her weight.  She feels an intense pressure to be perfect, having just scored a major role on a hit TV show, Ally McBeal.  She actually does not talk too much about the show though except how much she hated it and how  the actors or actresses on the show barely spoke to one another outside of shooting a scene.

Portia de Rossi also speaks about how hard it was to be this person who was supposed to the object of mens desires when inside she was a lesbian, afraid to come out in an industry that almost destroyed the career of someone whom she had really admired, her later wife, Ellen Degeneres.  At the same time de Rossi was terrified that someone would find out that she was a lesbian, part of her battle with anorexia was caused by that same issue, not feeling like she could come out and be herself. Read the rest of this entry »

Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs

I enjoyed Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs and was entertained but didn’t think it was one of his best books.  It felt kind of like the book was written because the author already had a book contract and had obligations to fulfill.  I also had this feeling about David Sedaris’s book When You are Engulfed in Flames.  While I have loved things that both of these authors have written and think they’re both clever and witty with interesting perspectives on life, I don’t think When You are Engulfed in Flames would make me a Sedaris fan and I don’t think reading Magical Thinking would make me a Burroughs fan.

However, I really did enjoy this books and was entertained by it for a little while.  I did enjoy the quips of memoir  in Magical Thinking though they’re not as clever or neurotic as his other works.  I think the most interesting thing about this book was seeing Burroughs neurotic perspective 0n life and how his fucked  up childhood has caused him to deal with ordinary events such as getting his boyfriend an iron at K-Mart. (Or more extraordinary events such as when he had to go to court for housekeeping fees and paid his housekeeper $900 dollars all in pennies). Read the rest of this entry »

Pretties (Book 2 in the Uglies series)

“Everyone in the world was programmed by the place they were born, hemmed in by their beliefs, but you had to at least try to grow your own brain.”- Scott Westerfeld (Pretties)

Pretties is book 2 of the Uglies series written by Scott Westerfeld.  (Find out more about Uglies through my blogpost here.)

I found this book entertaining although not terrible emotionally or intellectually dense.  However, it’s a fun read and is a great story  full of creative ideas about what a dystopian society might look like.  It’s a young adult book and something that I think teenagers who are into sci-fi (and adults who love YA or teen sci-fi!) would be really into.

Pretties start out with Tally Youngblood, our heroine from the Uglies, having had the operation to turn “pretty” and now living in Prettytown.  It seems she has no memory of her life before the operation and the new pretty Tally isn’t concerned about her friend Shay, whom she decided to become Pretty in order to save.  She also doesn’t seem concerned about or even able to remember clearly her time in the Smoke and her friends there.  This is because the operation to turn Pretty also causes brain lesions which makes Pretties sort of vapid and easy to control.  As a result, Tally’s main concerns now seem to be partying, breaking into a new clique, (the Crims),  and deciding what to wear to the next party and how to cure her hangover. Read the rest of this entry »