Category Archives: Review

Review: Gypsy by Gypsy Rose Lee

The subtitle of this book is “Memoirs of America’s most celebrated stripper.”  Stripper.  Going back to a time when that meant someone that didn’t take off all their clothes to reveal the glory beneath and thus titillate, but in that the act of stripping itself was the titillation.  In the days of burlesque, strip acts were production numbers on stages with full orchestras and costumes, and scenery. Indeed, those were the days, and Gypsy Rose Lee was the greatest of them all.

Look at the woman in the picture of the cover to the right.  You see that beautiful woman in a provocative pose, and you know that she is a beautiful woman.  If you wanted to sum up her life story with one easy parable, she would be “The Ugly Duckling”.  That isn’t to say that she was ever ugly.  This volume contains the pictures of her as a little girl, and they aren’t ugly.  She was, however, the eldest of two sisters, and her younger sister, actress June Havoc, was the little porcelain doll that became her mother’s pride.  Next to her, little Louise couldn’t match up. Read More »

Review: Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

By Shannon HaleI was in Junior Kindergarten when I got my glasses for the first time; say, around 4-years-old.  From about that point on, those gobs of muddled characters on the pages beside pictures began to make sense, and I began to devour anything I could get my hands on.  While my reading level was incredibly high, I had a special love for fairy tales.  The more obscure the fairy tale, the better.

One day, I found a tattered volume of fairy tales in one of my usual weekend trawls of local garage sales.  It was a book of Brother Grimm fairy tales.  There were a few tales I already knew, and one I had never heard of before.  It was called “Maid Maleen” and it became, and has remained, my absolute, all-time favourite fairy tale. I read it so many times that I knew every word by heart and that poor abused (although not by me) book fell apart.  Whenever I would have classes in school about fairy tales, I would tell the tale, even though often my teachers had never even heard of it.  Later, I bought a book of “The Complete Brothers Grimm” mostly to have a more durable copy of “Maid Maleen” in my possession.

That’s why when a friend told me that there was a book called “Book of a Thousand Days” written by Shannon Hale that she highly recommended, and I read that it was based on “Maid Maleen”, I knew I had to read it.  I went to the library and borrowed it and had it read in a day.  Later, I went and bought myself a copy and read it as if it were the first time.  Every time I’ve re-read it, it draws me back in with the same sweetness. Read More »

The Fountain – A Different Kind of Ghost Story

The Fountain(As first scene on Beyond Fiction)

I am a very spiritual person by nature. I believe in the power of the human mind. Our every thought, our every feeling, from ‘what do I want for supper tonight?’ to ‘ouch, I just stubbed my toe’ is a series of electrical charges running up and down our nervous system like lightning in a bottle. There are people in life where just being in the same room with them winds you up or brings you down. We normally label it charisma. You can walk into a place and feel at peace or scared. It’s all about the energy. If you have energy that’s strong enough, it can leave an impression, like the negative of a photograph. We can wave it away with science now if you want, but it’s that afterimage that we call “ghosts”.

As a child, I was always seeing ghosts, or having prophetic dreams, or other such things that freaked out my superstitious Grandmother, among my other family members. That said, I don’t believe that spirituality really has anything to do with our human fascination with ghost stories. Read More »