"How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?"
I checked out The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers from the library back in June. I finished in September. This can tell you two things: one, it took me a really freaking long time to get through it and two, it cost me a lot of money in overdue fees. Sometimes, when I start reading a really heavy, serious book, it takes me a long time to get through it. This book in particular was depressing and monotone. One thing that I can tell you is, Carson McCullers amazed me. The book was published in 1933, and it takes place in a modern day (1930s) Georgia town. It follows five characters throughout the book that live in this town. Each character is connected to the others somehow, and each character deals with his or her own problems, dilemmas, and realizations. The thing that amazes me is that McCullers was 23 when she wrote this book. Let me say that again, McCullers, a woman in the 1930's had this book published when she was only 23. And this book is heavy. It talks about racism, religion, politics... every thing you would not expect to come from a 23-year-old girl.
The thing that astonished me the most was how ahead of her time McCullers was. In this book she talks about fascism and Hitler's treatment of the Jews (again, this was published in 1933. Perspective: World War II didn't start until 1939.) She also talks about racial inequality in the south. One of her characters is an African-American doctor who cannot stand the oppression of blacks in the south anymore. He encourages his fellow men to speak up, to educate themselves and to be heard. He even talks about organizing a march to Washington D.C. (Something Martin Luther King, Jr. would do 30 years later in 1963.) It blew my mind what she was writing about and discussing in this book. It's a lot to digest. It definitely isn't a Nicholas Sparks beach read. And it might take you 3 months to read, like me. But I think it's worth it.
"It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don't like something, it is empirically not good. I don't like Chinese food, but I don't write articles trying to prove it doesn't exist."
-Fey's reply to Jerry Lewis' comment about women not being funny.
I learned two things while reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter: one, for the love of God, read something lighthearted and fun! and two, for the love of God, don't check anything else out from the library! So I decided to read Bossypants by Tina Fey. I've wanted to read this ever since it came out, but like I always say, I can't justify buying a new book when I have stacks of unread books at home. So I decided I didn't have to buy it-- I'd just borrow it. Luckily, my friend's mom had a copy that she so graciously let me borrow. Yay.
I should admit here that I don't watch 30 Rock. I watched some of one episode and I didn't think it was funny. Granted, I didn't really give it a fair shot, but I just don't think Tracy Morgan is funny at all. I do, though, think Tina Fey is funny. I loved her on SNL and Weekend Update. I also love just really genuinely funny women. There aren't a lot, so Fey is a rare gem. She pretty much makes me want to be a comedy writer. I know what you're thinking, "Emily, you're not even funny." I know, but those are just details that I will pick up along the way.
In the book she talks about her life growing up (and briefly mentions how she got her famous scar, and why she doesn't like talking about it.) She also talks about her starting out in improv and her interview with Lorne Michaels for Saturday Night Live. She dishes on what it's like to be an SNL writer, as well as creating 30 Rock and being a mom. The whole book is full of funny anecdotes and behind-the-scenes tid-bits about show business. It was a fun, interesting and even inspiring book to read. And it only took me a week to read it. Two thumbs up!