Monday, December 13, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- December 13th!


The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week.

1) Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi. Publisher's Summary. "I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . ."

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn't enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women's health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

2) The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy. Publisher's Summary. Manhattan, Thanksgiving eve, 1945. The war is over, and Eric Smythe's party was in full swing. All his clever Greenwich Village friends were there. So too was his sister Sara, an independent, outspoken young woman, starting to make her way in the big city. And then in walked Jack Malone, a U.S. Army journalist just back from a defeated Germany, a man whose world view was vastly different than that of Eric and his friends. This chance meeting between Sara and Jack and the choices they both made in the wake of it would eventually have profound consequences, both for themselves and for those closest to them for decades afterwards. Set amidst the dynamic optimism of postwar New York and the subsequent nightmare of the McCarthy era, The Pursuit of Happiness is a great, tragic love story; a tale of divided loyalties, decisive moral choices and the random workings of destiny.

3) Crazy Loco Love by Victor Villasenor. Publisher's Summary. Growing up on his parents' ranch in North San Diego County, Victor VillaseÑor's teenage years were marked by a painful quest to find a place for himself in a world he did not fit into. Discriminated due to his Mexican heritage, Victor questions the tenets of his faith and the restrictions it places on his own spirituality and sexuality. Ultimately, his search for identity takes him to Mexico to learn of his family's roots, where he soon discovers that his heritage doesn't determine his intelligence or success. Through this often humorous and poignant tale, Victor deftly undermines the macho stereotype so often associated with Latinos, while exposing the tender vulnerability and naÏvetÉ of a young man grappling with the roles foisted on him by the church and society. Victor's youthful misadventures elicit sympathy, laughter, and tears as he attempts to divine the mysteries of the opposite sex in this powerful, revealing memoir.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster!

11 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to your review of The Pursuit of Happiness!

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  2. I'd really like to read Unbearable Lightness but having almost lost a daughter to this awful disorder, it's still hard to read anything about it. I'll be looking forward to your thoughts though.

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  3. The Pursuit of Happiness catches my eye! Enjoy your goodies! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Portia de Rossi's book got a lot of publicity here in Australia. Would like to hear what you think of this book.

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  5. So de Rossi has written a book, I did not know that

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  6. I received for review The Job by Craig Davis from the author.

    Joe B. enjoys the sweet life as a vice president at a huge conglomerate, Universal Whirligig. But along with the Big Boss' favor, he has also gained the notice of a bitter human resources manager, Luci Fernandez. Hateful of any success but her own, Luci manages to get him demoted to the mail room! A rollicking comedy of errors follows as Joe B. tries to figure out what's happened to him, and attempts to get a meeting with the Big Boss. Joe B.'s great expectations have taken a dickens of a twist. His family is forced to make a series of hard adjustments, and he gets only lame comforts from a string of the worst friends anyone could have. Will he finally track down the cause of his frustrations? Or will he only learn a lesson about what it is to be the boss, and that what is apparent is often only a shadow of a greater ongoing good? "The Job: Based on a True Story (I Mean, This is Bound to Have Happened Somewhere) is a modern parable of ancient troubles and truths.

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  7. Pursuit of Happiness sounds very good. I look forward to your review of it.

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  8. They all look good, but Portia de Rossi's book sounds really interesting!

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  9. When I read the first title I thought it was Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being.. then i realized no.... it's Portia Rossi's battle with anorexia. She looks so much more happier and healthier now, very happy to hear that life is looking brighter for her. Look forward to reading your thoughts on this one too.

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  10. Unbearable Lightness sounds interesting, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

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