book report, This May Sound Crazy

Abigail Breslin is a 21-year-old actress from New York, New York. A little over two years ago, I saw her on a television interview promoting her (then upcoming) book This May Sound Crazy. She was so charming on the taping, despite the fact that I hadn’t ever seen one of her movies and knew very little about her, I waited for her book release and then ordered a copy.

The Amazon blurb about the book says: —> Academy Award-nominated actress and musician Abigail Breslin is your best friend in her publishing debut, a collection of hilarious and heartfelt nonfiction essays on the subjects nearest and dearest to our hearts: love, loss, and Tumblr.Growing up in film and the online era, Abigail knows better than anyone it is rough out there in love-land. And this generation is ill-prepared to handle it gracefully. Let’s be honest: if Cinderella had been on Twitter, she d have ended up a crazy old cat lady like the rest of us. #realtalk So when your boyfriend is liking different eligible young things selfies, what’s a modern ingenue to do? Put down the iPhone, step away from the hair dye, and chill. Abbie is here with cautionary tales and solid advice on being a classy-ass lady in the digital age.Because, girls, we re more than what meets the newsfeed. And this may sound crazy But we ve got this.Plus, this book is gorgeous inside and out. With a foil cover and heavily designed interior, this collection will be the crowning jewel on any teen’s nightstand.”

Now, ‘obvi’ as the young people say, I am not now or was I two years ago, a teen. I wasn’t picking this adorable hot-pink and black hardback up in hopes of seeking out life advice from a former child star from the big city. I figured, at worst, it would make a cute coffee table book. Cool news? I read it, cover to cover. And it was sweet, fun, and also served as a reminder for me, don’t ever rule out a person or their art just because at first glance you seem like you have nothing in common. Oprah always pushed the idea that everyone has something to offer the rest of the world–everyone has a great story in them.

Here are some of my scrapblahgy snapshots of bits and pieces of Abigail’s book.

One of my favorite chapter titles? The Time Ryan Gosling Gave me a Pep Talk. This is where she reveals that she names her phone contacts after famous people she admires, so when her friends say nice things to her, it’s also like her crushes or role models are too.

Ch. 10 How Not to Flirt : A Step-by-step Guide to Giving Off the “Nah” Vibe

Sweet poetry included. Also? the recipe for her great-great-grandmother’s nutmeg cookies. This falls at the end of Ch. 2 My Christmas Obsession

The piece about liking Doctor Phil made me giggle because I have been watching him ever since I was a teenager. I was just thinking the other day about him and how much I always loved him, wondering why that is. Maybe that’s a post for another afternoon. 😉

Cue the post-post topic ramble (dim the lights, someone).

I’ve been re-reading a lot lately. Maybe I subconsciously decided to host my own private Booktober type thing. Since I’ve just tied up the loose ends on my latest book project, I now have a bit more free time. I’ve been meaning to catch up on some reading, so maybe I’ll stick with the theme for a few weeks, if possible.

For the record, I do not believe in ‘reviewing’ books. This is merely a scrapblahgy book report type configuration. You know, like when you’re in high school and your teacher makes an assignment and you write about the actual contents of the book? Except that maybe I, rather, write about how the contents of the book (POSITIVELY) affected me. I have it on good authority that book ‘reviewers’ very seldom actually read the book, you see. This is the difference. Plus, do I really look like the kind of person who deems herself worthy of critiquing another human’s written expression? I mean really. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, or so I assume and I suffer a wicked case of noodle neck.

Until next time.

Charlotte Always

A few years back, I was browsing the Singer/Songwriter section of iTunes and ended up selecting a song by a girl who recorded under the name Charlotte Sometimes. I liked the song and ended up getting a couple of her albums. Later on, I was looking Charlotte Sometimes, the singer, up and discovered she was an American woman in her 20’s named Jessica Charlotte Poland. Jessica chose her stage name from a book called Charlotte Sometimes written in 1969 by Penelope Farmer. When I read this, now several years ago, I ordered an old library copy from online for a couple of bucks and added it to my collection.

apparently, there’s a Kitsap Regional Library outside Seattle, Washington

But wait. There’s more.

This morning, I woke up in the mood to read some of Baxter Black’s cowboy poetry. Because I am lazy, unorganized, and own too many books, I gave up looking for the Baxter Black book before my search was over. Instead, I grabbed my copy of Penelope Farmer’s book and took it back to the couch with me. This is when I decided to re-read the book about the time traveling little girl name Charlotte. So I did. Then, as always, I went online to try and see what I could find on the book, you know, author details and fan pages and such.

So about the search.

I found out that in 1981 the English band the Cure released a single called Charlotte Sometimes, about the little girl in the novel.

And…

In 2002, a movie called Charlotte Sometimes was released, written, directed, and produced by a feller named Eric Byler, the name of the film taken from the song Charlotte Sometimes, by (you guessed it) the Cure.

P.S. The movie is (from what I can tell) absolutely nothing like the book. Adult movie. I repeat, adult movie. Children’s book.

Phew. What a trip. Almost completely full circle.

hardback Charlotte

The funniest part of all, for me, is that (again, years ago) I named one of my main character’s daughters after Charlotte (the singer) aaaaand my character named her little girl after the Charlotte in the book.

So, I vote all the Charlotte Sometimes identify-withers (hehe) adopt the alias Charlotte with the Gloriously Recycled Name. What do you think? Maybe?.

Sidebar time.

Okay, so Charlotte is a really common sort of name. It’s not like if all the Charlottes in the world joined a club, it would be some super exclusive rare invitation only a select few got  postcards soliciting membership to, but I don’t think that’s the point. It’s not like I used the name because it was the first time I had ever heard it or because I thought it was exotic or unique–I was simply naming a baby and when I said the name out loud, it sounded soft and cuddly, so I went with it. Plus, I kind of feel like if your character (for whatever reason) doesn’t call for a drastically original name, maybe the next best thing to do is give him or her a very common, classic-sounding name and then instead of the name lending to the character, the character lends to the name, a little. Or maybe the common name just sort of neutrals out and gives the character more of a basic black sort of vibe,  you know? Like how really pretty models wear slicked back ponytails and clean makeup with white tank tops to their go-see meetings (yes I watch America’s Next Top Model, don’t judge me :)) in order pull the focus and show off their blank canvas. “Here’s what I have to work with. Pick me!!” <—the model. So the character with the John Smith kind of name is like —> “Ignore my name. It’s unimportant. Instead, check out these bodacious triceps and how cool and mysterious I am.”

Something to think about. So, I’m thinking this post took an unexpected turn somewhere around the second snapshot. Sorry about that. Next post, I’ll try and write about the actual story between the covers.

Happy Columbus Day, and if that offends you, it wasn’t meant for you and I’m sorry. I would never wish unwanted celebratory happiness on anyone, ever. Just pretend you didn’t read it? 😉