Thursday, February 2, 2023
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
By Cari Beauchamp
University of California Press, 1998. 475 pages. Nonfiction
Cari Beauchamp masterfully combines biography with social and cultural history to examine the lives of Frances Marion and her many female colleagues who shaped filmmaking from 1912 through the 1940s. Frances Marion was Hollywood's highest paid screenwriter--male or female--or almost three decades, wrote almost 200 produced films and won Academy Awards for writing The Big House and The Champ.
This book begins with a quote by Frances Marion: "I spent my life searching for a man to look up to without lying down." This history/ biography is a meticulously researched story of the very early days of Hollywood, a fascinating, rough era of how silent films changed the world. The focus is on Frances Marion, her long friendship with Mary Pickford, her marriages, her films, how she fought for herself and her undeniable talent. Her life is full of triumph and tragedy. She worked hard and had an amazing life. She associated with many famous silent film notables, such as Rudolph Valentino (who, despite his depiction on film was modest and shy!), Hedda Hopper and Marion Davies. I love this little-known era in Hollywood history, and I loved learning about these smart, amazing women.
If you like Without Lying Down, you might also like:
The Girls in the Picture: a novel
By Melanie Benjamin
Delacorte Press, 2018. 422 pages. FictionIt is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone's lips these days is "flickers"--the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you'll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all. In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have given her the title of America's Sweetheart. The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution. But their ambitions are challenged both by the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender ... As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered. With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
«Espero que este libro contribuya a ensalzar el orgullo de ser lo que somos, para que no haya un “prieto arrogante,” como me nombran, sino que haya millones de prietos orgullosos en este país.» -Tenoch Huerta
Tenoch Huerta, actor de reconocido prestigio y portavoz del debate y la lucha antirracista en México desde hace años, se encarga de rebatir estos y otros mitos acerca del racismo en las páginas de «Orgullo Prieto.» En este libro encontrarás una serie de reflexiones sobre las diferentes discriminaciones que sufre un mexicano por su color de piel en distintos ámbitos —el social, el laboral, el familiar—, así como numerosas vivencias personales del autor sobre situaciones en las que ha sido víctima de racismo, pero también en las que ha ejercido las prácticas racistas propias de un problema que México no quiere ver.
Trejo: Mi Vida de Crimen, Redención y Hollywood
Por Danny Trejo
Atria Español, 2021. 331 páginas. Autobiografía
Por primera vez, toda la historia real, fascinante e inspiradora del viaje de Danny Trejo desde el crimen, la prisión, la adicción y la pérdida a la fama inesperada como el malo favorito de Hollywood con un corazón de oro. En la pantalla, Danny Trejo el actor es un malvado que ha sido asesinado al menos cien veces. Le han disparado, apuñalado, ahorcado, cortado en pedazos, estrujado con un ascensor, y una vez, incluso lo derritieron hasta convertirlo en una sustancia viscosa y sangrienta. Fuera de la pantalla, es un héroe amado tanto por las comunidades de rehabilitación como por los fanáticos obsesionados. Pero el verdadero Danny Trejo es mucho más complicado que la leyenda.
Criado en un hogar abusivo, Danny luchó, desde joven, con una adicción a la heroína y períodos en algunas de las prisiones estatales más infames del país, incluyendo San Quentin y Folsom, antes de protagonizar los clásicos modernos como Heat, From Dusk till Dawn y Machete. Ahora, en estas memorias graciosas, desgarradoras y llenas de suspenso, Danny nos lleva a través de los increíbles altibajos de su vida, incluidos el conocer en prisión a uno de los asesinos en serie más famosos del mundo y trabajar con leyendas como Charles Bronson y Robert De Niro.
En detalles honestos e impávidos, Danny relata cómo logró manejar los horrores de la prisión, reconstruirse luego de encontrar la sobriedad y la espiritualidad en confinamiento solitario, e inspirarse en los robos infundidos con adrenalina de su pasado para los papeles cinematográficos que lo convirtieron en un personaje famoso. También comparte las dolorosas contradicciones de su vida personal. Aunque habla sobre su pasado tanto en prisiones como en NPR para inspirar a un sinnúmero de personas en sus propios caminos a la recuperación y redención, él aun lucha por ayudar a sus hijos con sus propias batallas con la adicción y por armar relaciones duraderas.
Redentor y lacerante, conmovedor y real, Trejo es el retrato de una vida magnífica y un viaje inolvidable y excepcional a través de la tragedia, el dolor y, finalmente, el éxito que te cautivará e inspirará.
Charytín: El Tiempo Pasa ... ¡Pero Yo No!
HarperCollins Español, 2022. 270 páginas. Autobiografía
Desde una infancia dolorosa con complicados secretos familiares a un amor muy diferente al de las novelas, Charytín Goyco nos lo cuenta todo, con su peculiar tono cargado de drama y comedia a la vez. Sus anécdotas con famosos (Juan Luis Guerra, Camilo Sesto, Jenni Rivera, entre muchos). Los "besos de divorcio" que compartió con los galanes de moda en innumerables películas. La pérdida de un bebé y su angustia más persistente: la de ser madre en una profesión donde tener hijos ponía en peligro todos los proyectos. La verdadera razón por la cual dejó de cantar.
Sus incesantes sueños plagados de fantasmas, premoniciones y revelaciones, siempre encarando a la muerte, y los conflictos que este extraño don le causó con sus seres queridos. Sus raíces, su historia, sus primeras memorias de niña, entre dos continentes, dignas de la mejor película. Su lucha interna desde niña por ser tachada de "niña rara," "ridícula" o estrambótica.
Labels: Español, MEB, No Ficción, Autobiografía, Memorias
Monday, January 23, 2023
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
By Sue Monk Kidd
HarperOne, 2016. 289 pages. Biography
For years, Sue Monk Kidd was a conventionally religious woman. Then, in the late 1980s, she experienced an unexpected awakening, and began a journey toward a feminine spirituality. With the exceptional storytelling skills that have helped make her name, Kidd tells her very personal story of the fear, anger, healing, and freedom she experienced on the path toward the wholeness that many women have lost in the church.
From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore, to monastery retreats and to rituals in the caves of Crete, she reveals a new level of feminine spiritual consciousness for all women, one that retains a meaningful connection with the "deep song of Christianity," embraces the sacredness of ordinary women's experience, and has the power to transform in the most positive ways every fundamental relationship in a woman's life, her marriage, her career, and her religion.
In this book, Sue Monk Kidd shares her intimate journey and transformation from a faithful Christian woman to a believer of the feminine divine and her own power. She discusses the overwhelming influence and oppression of our patriarchal society in churches and throughout the world and the loss of the sacred Mother. I loved her discussion of the masculine and feminine and how parts of her journey are very relatable to my own spiritual journey. People who love learning about others' spiritual transformations, the making of rituals, and coming to know oneself will enjoy this book.
If you like The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, you might also like:
By Merlin Stone
Dial Press, 1976. 265 pages. Nonfiction
How did the shift from matriarchy to patriarchy come about? In fascinating detail, Merlin Stone tells us the story of the Goddess who reigned supreme in the Near and Middle East. Under her reign, societal roles differed markedly from those in patriarchal Judeo-Christian cultures: women bought and sold property, traded in the marketplace, and inherited title and land from their mothers. Documenting the wholesale rewriting of myth and religious dogmas, Merlin Stone describes an ancient conspiracy in which the Goddess was reimagined as a wanton, depraved figure, a characterization confirmed and perpetuated by one of modern culture's best-known legends—that of the fall of Adam and Eve. Insightful and thought-provoking, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the origin of current gender roles and in rediscovering women's power.
If Women Rose Rooted: A Journey to Authenticity and Belonging
By Sharon Blackie
September Publishing, 2016. 400 pages. Nonfiction
Aged 30, Sharon Blackie found herself weeping in the car park of the multinational corporation where she worked, wondering if this was what a nervous breakdown felt like. Somewhere along the line, she realized, she had lost herself - and so began her long journey back to authenticity, rootedness in place and belonging.
In this extraordinary book of myth, memoir and modern-day mentors (from fashion designers to lawyers), Blackie faces the wasteland of Western culture, the repression of women, and the devastation of our planet. She boldly names the challenge: to reimagine women's place in the world, and to rise up, firmly rooted in our own native landscapes and the powerful Celtic stories and wisdom which sprang from them.
A haunting heroine's journey for every woman who finds inspiration and solace in the natural world.
Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
By Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Ballantine Books, 1992. 537 pages. Nonfiction
Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller shows how women's vitality can be restored through what she calls "psychic archeological digs" into the ruins of the female unconsious. Using multicultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, Dr. Estes helps women reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype.
Dr. Estes has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.
By Daphne Du Maurier
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1957. 348 pages. FictionTwo men--one English, the other French--meet by chance in a provincial railway station and are astounded that they are so much alike that they could easily pass for each other. Over the course of a long evening, they talk and drink. It is not until he awakes the next day that John, the Englishman, realizes that he may have spoken too much. His French companion is gone, having stolen his identity. For his part, John has no choice but to take the Frenchman's place--as master of a château, director of a failing business, head of a large and embittered family, and keeper of too many secrets. Loaded with suspense and crackling wit, The Scapegoat tells the double story of the attempts by John, the imposter, to escape detection by the family, servants, and several mistresses of his alter ego, and of his constant and frustrating efforts to unravel the mystery of the enigmatic past that dominates the existence of all who live in the château.
Saturday, January 21, 2023
by Brigid Kemmerer
Bloomsbury, 2021. 448 pages. Young Adult Fiction
The kingdom of Kandala is recovering from a devastating plague but the cure is rare and expensive. The patience of the people is wearing thin. Soon cries for rebellion and revolution spread through the land, to the very doors of the palace. Prince Corrick is the King’s Justice. It is his job to do the messy work of being the iron fist of the crown and protecting his brother, King Hariston. The consuls of the land are worried about trade lines and shipments being attacked, not so much about the people in their sectors. Tessa Cade is an apprentice at a shop by day and rogue apothecary by night. She and her best friend Wes steal from those who have more than enough of the cure in order to treat the desperate people of Kandala. When one of their midnight runs goes horribly wrong, Tessa hatches a plan to infiltrate the castle and bring the corrupt system crashing down.
This book is full of romance, intrigue, and tension! Just when you think you can take a breath and put the book down, something else happens and you have to keep reading. Tessa Cade is a strong female protagonist who loves her kingdom and its people, but can see where change needs to happen. The situations in which she finds herself are authentic and, again, full of tension. The writing is engaging and the story is fast paced going between the points of view of Tessa and Prince Corrick. This intricately plotted storyline will keep you on the edge of your seat.
If you liked Defy the Night, you may also like:
The Cruel Prince
by Holly Black
Little Brown and Company, 2018. 370 pages. Young Adult Fiction
Jude, seventeen and mortal, gets tangled in palace intrigues while trying to win a place in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, where she and her sisters have lived for a decade.
King of Scars
by Leigh Bardugo
Imprint, 2019. 514 pages. Young Adult Fiction
No one knows what Nikolai Lantsov endured in his country's bloody civil war. Now enemies gather at his weakened borders, and the young king must find a way to refill Ravka's coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Zoya Nazyalensky is devoted to rebuilding the army -- but she also has enemies to conquer. Nina Zenik wages her own war to save the Grisha -- and must face the pain of her past. As a dark magic within Nikolai grows stronger, he must journey where the deepest magic survives -- and vanquish the terrible legacy inside him.
Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury, 2012. 406 pages. Science Fiction
After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Friday, January 20, 2023
Thursday, January 19, 2023
When she discovers that her family are monsters with terrifying, hidden powers, Joan must embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself and her family from a legendary monster slayer who will do anything to bring her family down.
This time-traveling urban fantasy set in England contains subtle world-building that doesn't weigh you down even as it invites the reader quickly into a new reality of a world with Monsters. Our protagonist Joan is presented as a goodie-two-shoes, loving her morally grey family, while still disapproving of their indiscretions. Her crush? The straight-laced Nick with whom she has spent the summer volunteering with at a historical English estate. But as with all good books, her character evolves as she is placed in extenuating circumstances that thrust her moral compass into question. This is a fast paced and fun YA fantasy that I will eagerly await the next installment of!
If you like Only A Monster, you might also like:Bloodmarked
A medium, bloodcrafter and scion, Bree must learn to control her unpredictable and dangerous powers to rescue Nick, the Legendborn boy she fell in love with, but finds herself drawn to Selwyn, the mage sworn to protect Nick until death.
This Savage Song
As the heirs to opposing sides in a warring city, Kate Harker and Augustus Flynn should never have met. A Romeo and Juliet-esque fantasy about the difference between good and evil and the blurry gray area in between.
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Saturday, January 14, 2023
by Tori Dunlap
by Rachel Rodgers
HarperCollins Leadership, 2021. 288 pages. Nonfiction