Poetry: Violence



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Book Review: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Summer ReadsBook Review The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher


Hardcover, 257 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Blue Rider Press

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 Warsmovie.

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.


The Princess Diarist is one of Carrie Fisher’s last gifts to fans and friends. Her untimely demise in 2016 left fans across the world drowning in sorrow over the loss of the voice, the force and feminist that was Carrie Fisher. She is one that we will forever be intrigued by. Both the power of her presence and now her absence will be felt with generations to come. Carrie Fisher, thank you for the unapologetic force of nature that was you, and your life.

True to character, it is only fitting that Fisher’s final book was one the would have everyone talking. Oh, the scandals! This collection of journals is replicated from the original handwritten journals Fisher kept whilst filming the first film in the Star Wars franchise. She was astonished to see what her diary had preserved—love poems, musings of youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that as a grown woman she no longer identified with. The comparison between Fisher in 1977, to 2016 is uncanny. In some ways she is entirely different, others the same. 

Reading this made me realize that often the artists of the world never really fit in, even where you’re a Hollywood celebrity. That feeling of, ‘what am I doing?’ never goes away. Reading these words from Carrie Fisher in 2016 were oddly comforting. 

Fisher is known for both heartwrenching and hilarious books, and this one touches a bit of both. We learn some scandal in the world of Star Wars and we see a young girl seeking her place in the world. She also ponders the joys and insanity of the celebrity world in a way that is had to properly articulate. Fisher certainly had a way with words. She hooked you in and pulled you by your heartstrings. 

It was interesting to read more about her youth as ‘Hollywood Royalty’ only to be surpassed by her own future space royalty. This is an extremely quotable collection, pieces to make you smile when you feel like doing anything but, and of course, pieces to make you laugh until you cry.

The introspection into her life is so candid and authentic. I have never read anything like this. This is a book I will always hold dear for it’s raw emotions. It is a woman baring her soul to the world through the written word.

Perhaps, this book was meant to be her elegy to fans.

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Summer Reads: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Summer ReadsDandelion Wine (Green Town #1) by Ray Bradbury

Dandelion Wine

Published July 1957


The summer of ’28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma’s belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding—remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury.


True to Bradbury style, this book is hauntingly beautiful without ‘being pushy’ to prove a point. I feel as though I am right on the cusp of the perfect age to truly understand this story. 30 – many years behind, many years still ahead. Young and old at the same time. Young enough to have a life ahead of me, old enough to have endured loss and tragedy. To have seen the evil of this world.

It is nostalgic without being maudlin or self pitying. It is magical without being vulgar and ostentatious. It bobs and weaves around the darkness and light of being alive, of being young or old and, always at the center, of being human.

This quote spoke so much to me.

“Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I’m one of them.”

“A good night sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.”

It could be that that thirty-year old is better suited to understand the perspective of the mature writer than the 16-year-old reader, or it could just be that this great work speaks on many different levels.

“The first thing you learn in life is you’re a fool. The last thing you learn in life is you’re the same fool.”

Fundamental Bradbury, this work explores many of the themes that are representative of his canon: coming of age, spirituality, imagination, and the importance of remaining human amidst an ever increasingly dehumanizing world of technology.

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Poetry: Beyond The Sunrise



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Summer Reads: The Dark Beneath The Ice by Amelinda Berube

Summer ReadsThe Dark Beneath The Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

The Dark Beneath The Ice

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 7th 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire
Review Copy Provided By NetGalley


Something is wrong with Marianne.

It’s not just that her parents have split up, or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close.

Something is after her. But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it think it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

SummerReviewMarianne’s life is falling apart. It isn’t because her parents are getting divorced, because her mother had a psychotic break, or even because her best friend moved away. It’s because strange and terrifying things keep happening whenever she’s around. Light bulbs burst. Mirrors crack. Furniture moves. Convinced she’s possessed, Marianne tries to communicate with the demon inside of her. This turns out to be a horrible mistake…

This book is beautifully written and very fast-paced, but it doesn’t spend enough time developing the characters. I felt like I understood the love interest, Rhiannon, better than I understood the main character.  I wanted to see more growth and revelations about Marianne’s motivations, fears, and desires as the story unfolded, but unfortunately the plot didn’t turn this way.

A major strength of The Dark Beneath the Ice is the language Bérubé uses as she describes the horrors that Marianne is experiencing.  The frequent use of water and ice imagery is stunning. Haunting and beautiful. She describes the world she’s created through lyrical prose. I loved that this book was set in Ottawa. I recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a light supernatural horror that puts an emphasis on setting.

This novel is marketed as “Paranormal Activity” meets “Black Swan”. The chills are delivered from the get-go, there isn’t the buildup like the comparison films. I love the exploration of Marianne’s relationship with Rhiannon, or “Ron”, an outcast at school. Their interactions and the development of their relationship is definitely one of the highlights of the book.  Marianne has recently lost her best friend, who moved out of the country.  Ron fits perfectly into this gaping hole in her life, and whenever they interact, we get to see parts of Marianne that we wouldn’t otherwise.  It isn’t quite insta-love, and it’s a touch of sweetness in an otherwise dark story line.

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Poetry: The Sea Holds No Magic



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Summer Reads: Reframe Shift The Way You Think by Mona Patel

Summer ReadsReframe: Shift the Way You Think, Work and Innovate by Mona Patel

Reframe by Mona Patel

Published: 2015


Mona combines over 15 years of experience, sharp design thinking, tough love wisdom, and a little bit of magic design glitter to help people and organizations achieve crazy, great success. Her client list has included many Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, including Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A, BlackRock, Capital One, and Lexis Nexis. Whether it’s understanding how people bank via mobile phones, why they purchase baby bedding, or how they really want to hail a taxi, she helps people find creative ways to solve problems and design a better world through innovative user research and disruptive design thinking.


Patel has crafted an insightful collection of thoughts for readers whom are aspiring to make the most of their entrepreneurial ideas. Her smart, witty prose is easy to read and at times feels like the banter between friends. 

Patel liberates readers, demonstrating the only limitations we have on our ideas are the restrictions we put on ourselves. She supplies the tools to find motivation and correctly navigate through creative process to find success.

An approachable and inspiring ‘How To Guide’ for those looking to execute and successfully market their ideas. 

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