Monday, April 25, 2011

CBR III Book 12: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher really needs no introduction. If you don't know who she is, you've clearly never heard of Star Wars, so you're probably either a hermit or someone who was born in the last few years. (And if so, what are you doing on the internet?!? Where are your parents?!?) Wishful Drinking is the book adaptation of her successful one-woman show in which she shares the details of her life in the spotlight, from the scandalous breakup of her famous parents to the role that made her a superstar in George Lucas's blockbuster trilogy and her messy post-Leia life of drugs, bad marriages, and electroshock therapy.

The book is a little blip of a thing, and I imagine it plays very well as a stage show. I kinda wish I had seen the show instead of read the book, because I feel like some of Fisher's wit falls a bit flat on the page. Still, it's definitely an interesting read - the section on her parents' various marriages and divorces alone was worth picking up the book. I haven't read any of Fisher's other novels, but after this one, I might check them out.

CBR III Book 11: The Broke Diaries by Angela Nissel

I have to admit, what drew me to this book was definitely the title. Since we moved back to PA, we've been living modestly, trying to save every penny we can, so most of the time, I feel like I'm constantly broke. So when I saw this book, which is the book form of a blog started by Angela Nissel while she was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, I thought I could commiserate with the author.

I was wrong. When Nissel says "broke," she means down to her last dollar. Thankfully, I haven't experienced half of what she went through. I haven't been so broke that I flirted with the man from the power company to keep him from shutting off my electricity. I haven't had to use my cat's water dish as an extra mixing bowl while making cheesecake because I only owned two bowls (yup, she really did this). Her "misadventures," as she calls them, are simultaneously cringe-worthy and hilarious. No matter how dire things get, how many phone calls from collectors she has to dodge, or how many weirdos at the check cashing store she tries to avoid, Nissel never loses her cool or her sharp wit.

I was pleased to find out that Nissel found success not only with this book, but with another that she wrote called "Mixed," which details her life growing up as a child of mixed race. It made me happy to learn that because reading Nissel is like listening to stories from a funny friend - you find yourself rooting for her and hoping things will work out in the end.