The Princess Diarist

26025989The Princess Diarist

Carrie Fisher

Goodreads

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

Review:

This is not a story about the making of Star Wars, not really. While Carrie does of course speak at length on the effect of the series on her life and the immediate aftermath of the popularity of the first movie, there’s no behind the scenes content. Except when it comes to her relationship with Harrison Ford, playfully referred to as Carrison.

There’s a lot of that.

But hearing the story, I can’t really blame her for her focus. The impetus for this book was apparently the rediscovery of several journals that Fisher had kept through the making of the first Star Wars movie. And, being nineteen and having an affair with Harrison Ford of all people, her writings naturally revolve around their relationship, as well as her own insecurities and a few telling touches with her disease. This is a memoir of Carrison, without any scandalous, sexy bits involved. That, and a reflection on the meaning of Leia in Carrie’s life.

I have never read any other of Fisher’s writings, so I can’t compare what’s written here with what’s written there. I can say that from what was read of her journals directly (by her daughter Billie Lourd) that even without an editor she makes an excellent writer and clever poet. I can also say that, as I listened to the audiobook, hearing it all spoken in Fisher’s voice makes all the difference. Her inflections are perfect and hammer home how ridiculous she now takes her younger self, as we all view our younger selves.

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Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova

IMG_6090 Butter: A Rich History
Elaine Khosrova
Goodreads

It’s a culinary catalyst, an agent of change, a gastronomic rock star. Ubiquitous in the world’s most fabulous cuisines, butter is boss. Here, it finally gets its due.

After traveling across three continents to stalk the modern story of butter, award-winning food writer and former pastry chef Elaine Khosrova serves up a story as rich, textured, and culturally relevant as butter itself.

From its humble agrarian origins to its present-day artisanal glory, butter has a fascinating story to tell, and Khosrova is the perfect person to tell it. With tales about the ancient butter bogs of Ireland, the pleasure dairies of France, and the sacred butter sculptures of Tibet, Khosrova details butter’s role in history, politics, economics, nutrition, and even spirituality and art. Readers will also find the essential collection of core butter recipes, including beurre manié, croissants, pâte brisée, and the only buttercream frosting anyone will ever need, as well as practical how-tos for making various types of butter at home–or shopping for the best.

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Pretty certain that the simple act of reading this book, let alone enjoying it as much as I did next levels my nerd game. The historian/anthropologist in me got to come out and play, roll around a bit in this, and then carry on. I have a soft spot for domestic history, especially well written ones as it is such a deceptively simple part of our lives that we take it for granted.

Sometimes histories aimed at the general public suffer from being incredibly dully, overly repetitive, or just kind of smarmy. This was none of those things! You can tell that Khosrova is passionate about her subject. This book practically oozes enthusiasm (like melted butter).

It isn’t for everyone. You probably have to be into nonfiction and food histories to start with, but I liked it. Now I’m going to bore my friends and family with butter facts until the end of time. Whee!