Debbie Reynolds birthday is April 1, so it's a fitting time to highlight one of Carrie Fisher's memories about her own life. That's right. There's more than one.
Authors, read this book if you want to see a genuine yet tongue-in-cheek memoir with no filters. Do you want to write honestly about this? Read this.
Her frank manner of storytelling must have been painful to those she wrote about, but Carrie also makes a fair point: if they didn't do so many boneheaded things, she wouldn't have had to write about them.
At least, that’s the impression I get about everyone Carrie knew growing up.
Readers, read this book if you need to laugh but can handle a dose of “life’s rough.”
Carrie doesn’t wax poetic about her difficult life. She’s brief—she’s the embodiment of “brevity is the soul of wit.” I’m grateful to her not only for the succinct clarity as she roasts everyone in Tinsel Town, but in a world of perfect Instagram posts, Carrie turns the spotlight onto the unclean corners of life and never says, “I’m sorry.” I wish we were all more like Carrie and showed the world as it really is, before the editing, before the filters, before Photoshop. Life is already tough enough without all that to live up to.
What I want to ask people is, "Why can't we all be as honest as Carrie Fisher?" That's all I want to remember about this book.
At this point my review is almost longer than the book, so I’ll stop here. If you need to feel better about your life, pick this up. Carrie won’t let you leave without a real drag through the mud. But in a good way.
Prior to the fifth anniversary of the London bookshop crawl, an event I volunteered for despite being new to London and knowing nothing about the areas I would be guiding tours in (Richmond, Sheen and Barnes), I picked up this book. The Diary of a Bookseller shines light on the people behind the counter and the untold hours, annoyances, and sometimes unimaginable circumstances of unsaid business and difficulties in running an indie bookshop, with dry humor running throughout.
How realistic is the portrayal of Shaun’s coworker Nicky? I cannot say, but she stole every scene she was in.
The people and places in books, even non-fiction, often dwell in the imaginative part of my brain, as if it’s not possible for them to exist in the real world. No one could be more surprised than me when, on my last day out in the real world, Friday, the 13th March, 2020, at the Tate Britain, I came upon a portrait of the 2nd Earl of Wigtown, from 1625. Now, under lockdown, I’m fantasizing about a trip to Wigtown and being in as remote of a location as possible.
After finishing this book, I had an enjoyable bookshop crawl, during which I think I learned the secret all independent bookshop owners should follow: pay someone to be visibly browsing the stacks of books. Often I would peer into the windows to see if there was anyone else in the shop before going in. I don’t know about you, but I like to see other people inside before committing to entering. So, I would wait and look at the books shelved outside or in the window display. Nine times out of ten, other people would see me browsing and then enter the shop. Could be a good role for an intern?
Or, perhaps easier, write a memoir.
What do I want to remember about this book: I read this book right before the 2020 lockdown began, and it was a good reminder that every person should be treated with dignity and respect. Everyone wants to be heard and listened to, and for heaven’s sake don’t ask for a discount—they’re already scraping by as it is!
I read a lot and I hope to help authors with the craft of writing. I share good examples of difficult aspects of writing: point of view, narration, world building and more.
Occasionally I give editing tips and share insights from the world of publishing.
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