Written by Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher was an absolute blaze of a woman that has led a very full life seemingly free of regrets. In this memoir, she shares moments of her unorthodox upbringing as the daughter of films stars Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher (who later left his wife for Elizabeth Taylor in one of the most infamous Hollywood affairs) and her life as one of the most iconic pop culture figures in the role of Princess Leia. The most important part of this book though is when she addresses her struggles with mental illness and, subsequently, drug and alcohol addiction. It is raw, unfiltered and honest.
My only complaint was that it was too brief. I read this in a manner of hours and wanted more. Thankfully, she left more writing that I now look forward to indulging in.
Favourite line: "Years ago, there were tribes that roamed the earth, and every tribe had a magic person. Well, now, as you know, all the tribes have dispersed, but every so often you meet a magic person, and every so often, you meet someone from your tribe."
Fast Food Nation
Written by Eric Schlosser
I go through phases with books where a specific subject matter piques my interest and then I become obsessed with reading everything about the topic. Several years ago I went through a Vladimir Putin phase. And then a North Korea phase. Currently I am keen on learning about the food industry and how things that should provide sustenance can take away so much more.
Fast Food Nation is another older book that I only recently read, however, as the new afterword in this edition showcases, the content within its pages is still relevant. This book speaks not only about what fast food culture is doing to our health but also the vast reach it's influence has on other sectors of industry from marketing to farming, even immigration. It is thoroughly researched and incredibly engrossing. I could not put it down; in fact, I just ordered all of the author's other works as well. It was especially interesting to learn how two pop culture behemoths like Ray Kroc, entrepreneur who brought McDonalds to the masses, and Walt Disney knew each other prior to their respective success. Twentieth century kismet.
Favourite line: "The profits of the fast food chains have been made possible by losses imposed on the rest of society."
A Book That Takes Its Time
Written by Irene Smit and Astrid Van der Hulst
This title caught my eye as I was buying something else at the book store. After flipping through it, I decided what was offered within its pages—from content to design—could be of benefit to my current path in life. The book bills itself as "an unhurried adventure in creative mindfulness" and contains plenty of inspiration and interactive material to instil just that in the reader. Chapters cover everything from artistic growth to spiritual enlightenment and include varied activities such as creating a timeline of one's life to a beginner's course in bird watching. As a designer, I especially appreciated all the neat printing techniques used in the production. While it may be viewed as "fluff" (it truly is just an introduction to mindfulness), the book did motivate me to reflect on my life with a sense of gratitude.