Sunday, May 22, 2011

Some books

I've read a bunch of books lately.  Going back a few, I read Unbearable Lightness by the actress Portia de Rossi.  I've read several memoirs about eating disorders before, but this one really stood out. I hadn't expected it to; since it was written by a celebrity, it didn't have to do much to get a lot of sales. But Portia de Rossi does a great job of telling her story!

It's written in-the-moment, rather than reflectively, looking back.  Instead of saying to the reader "this is what I used to do and think, isn't it nuts/sad/shocking/etc.?" she is saying "I can't believe I just ate all these calories, I'm only supposed to eat so many [300, at one point] a day, I feel so out of control, etc." and allows the reader to feel horrified without being told to feel that way.

A lot of her pain came from her semi-closeted existence, trying to keep her employers, the paparazzi, and the public from finding out she was gay.  Working on Ally McBeal was also not a very healthy environment, it sounds like.  Any situation where you're being scrutinized for every pound you gain is not going to be conducive to stability and happiness.

I was glad that she was pretty recovered by the time she was working on Arrested Development, one of my favorite TV shows ever. (Have you seen it? Yes? No? Go watch it now!)  I was also glad I knew in advance that she's happy and healthy and married to Ellen DeGeneres.

I also read Woman Howling Creek, a collection of short stories by Sandra Cisneros.  Some were good, some were less captivating.  Ultimately, I like novels better. It was still worth reading, though.  Even if I didn't always understand her characters and their motivations, their worlds seemed very vivid.

I've read a couple more, but I'll talk about them another time.

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