The Greatest Generation

greatest_generation_tom_brokawThe Greatest Generation. I just finished this book on the plane. Amazing book!

I couldn’t even get through the foreword without crying! This generation really is amazing. I highly suggest checking out this book!

Veteran reporter and NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw went to France to make a documentary marking the 40th anniversary of D-day in 1984. Although he was thoroughly briefed on the historical background of the invasion, he was totally unprepared for how it would affect him emotionally. Flooded with childhood memories of World War II, Brokaw began asking veterans at the ceremony to revisit their past and talk about what happened, triggering a chain reaction of war-torn confessions and Brokaw’s compulsion to capture their experiences in what he terms “the permanence a book would represent.”

After almost 15 years and hundreds of letters and interviews, Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation, a representative cross-section of the stories he came across. However, this collection is more than a mere chronicle of a tumultuous time, it’s history made personal by a cast of everyday people transformed by extraordinary circumstances: the first women to break the homemaker mold, minorities suffering countless indignities to boldly fight for their country, infantrymen who went on to become some of the most distinguished leaders in the world, small-town kids who became corporate magnates. From the reminiscences of George Bush and Julia Child to the astonishing heroism and moving love stories of everyday people, The Greatest Generation salutes those whose sacrifices changed the course of American history.

This book really gave me a great understanding of a lot of where my values lie and what I want to do with my life. It’s made me look at things differently and I hope that I can continue to learn and expand on my understanding of this life and where my life needs to go.

1984 – The Book and Play!

I finished this book a while ago, but I wanted to wait to write about it until after I had seen the play at the RedCat in LA. I’ll try and keep this post non-political!

So I am hoping that most people have read the book, or at least heard of it. I am not sure why it’s taken me so damn long to read it! I’ve been wanting to read it since probably 1984! The year is 1984; the scene is London, largest population center of Airstrip One, which is a part of the larger Oceania. Oceania is always at war with either EastAsia or Eurasia, at any given time, all records will indicate that they have always been at war with one or the other. When the war changes, all records are changed to reflect that. People disappear and are erased from history. Thoughtcrime and Doublethink are punishable by death. “‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'” Big Brother is always watching…

Winston, our main character works at the Ministry of Truth, which is just the opposite, constantly changing records and making lies. He meets a girl Julia who he falls in love with. Together they find the courage to join an underground group called ‘The Brotherhood’ which is trying to take down big brother. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

The book was everything I was expecting it to be, and if you haven’t read it, go out and pick it up now and read it!

The play on the other hand was HORRIBLE! I hated it… They basically start you off at the end of the book, and the whole play takes part in the detention cells and they basically just read parts of the book to you. Anyways, I would not suggest spending the $40 to see the play. I feel bad for the people who spent $100 on opening night!

Running with Scissors: A Memoir

Ok, so this was the third in a series of books Constantine and I were to read together. As we all know…

Running with Scissors, a messed up name, for a messed up book! An EXCELLENT messed up book! I was utterly horrified at what this guy went through in his childhood, but could not stop laughing at all the insanity that followed.

A Spot Of BotherThe book is about Augusten from the ages of 13-16. His mother, who seems to have bi-polar and one wacked out therapist who should probably have been put in a mental hospital long ago. His mother begins spending days at a time with Dr. Finch and Augusten gets very upset at his home situation. The author goes form a sterile and clean home where everything has to be his mother’s way to a pink house where the Christmas tree stays all year long; there is dust and mayhem, pets, broken furniture, and a bunch of really intense characters. Augusten goes form worrying about his hair being perfect and his clothes immaculate to living with the shrink and his family, drinking and smoking and not going to school.

For three years the reader gets a glimpse into the life and evolution of Augusten, his trials and tribulations, the rocky family situation as his mother starts dating again and his father not accepting his collect calls, the weird pink house as his safe heaven except where everything gets too crazy and he has to go back to his moms house to relax and recoup. His intense first relationship with a much older man who is fragile and intense at the same time and the funny hair analogies that Augusten would sneak in for some comic relief.

This is another book I would HIGHLY suggest reading!

I got the movie in the mail the other day from netflix, but sadly it was unplayable! :'( Hopefully I will get the replacement on Saturday so I can let you know how that is.

UPDATE:// So I just watched the movie running with scissors and I was very let down. They compressed a few LARGE parts of the book into a single 15 minute section of the movie, they changed some of the most mundane things. IE: “Give me a shoe horn” whereas the book says “Give me a spatula”. Just stuff like that which was very annoying. And the whole kitchen ceiling thing. Hello! They tore down the ENTIRE ceiling, not just a little hole! Ugh!

It’s a GOOD movie, don’t get me wrong, but it’s of course does not live up to the book.

A Spot of Bother – Mark Haddon

Well this past weekend, I finished reading the second book that Constantine and I were supposed to read together. Obviously we are not talking any more, but still. The book was great! 🙂

A Spot Of BotherThe book is about a british family. The father is a retired man who finds a rash on his thigh and thinks that it’s Cancer. The wife is cheating on her husband with a former co-worker. The daughter has a kid from a disasterous marriage and is about to get married to another unlikable guy named Ray. The son is gay and his life falls apart when he fails to invite his boyfriend Tony to the wedding.

The father’s craziness gets lost in all the happenings with the wedding and when he catches his wife cheating he goes over the deep end. It’s a book where you will be laughing out loud and crying a few pages later. The writer does an excellent job of getting you into the heads of these people and really embracing you into the story.

At first the book is a little hard to read, there’s to many people being introduced in the first part of the book and the story tends to jump between the different groups of people (George and Jean; Jamie and Tony; Katie, Jacob and Ray).

It’s a great book and once you get into it you will not be able to put it down.

Call Me by Your Name – Andre Aciman

Get ready to cry… and if you’re gay, to be horny! Constantine and I just finished reading our first book together, Call Me by Your Name – Andre Aciman. This book is just a moving piece of reading. As you read it you’re there for all the action and sadness. You’re transported to the Italian shores and spend the summer relaxing on the beach, sunning by the pool and playing tennis. Taking bike rides to the small local town “B.” and experiencing that first love all over again.


Call Me by Your Name - Andre AcimanThe book is about two guys, Elio a 17 year old living at his parents Italian Mediterranean home, he’s very intelligent, well read, and sensitive son of a professor. Elio finds himself attracted to this years American summer scholar, Oliver, 24 is visiting the family for the summer to work on his book.

And we’ll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.

The young men spend the summer by the pool, reading books, swimming and jogging in the morning, and flirting.

I’m at a loss of words to explain my feelings for this book. They bring back so many things for me about past relationships, about this relationship. It’s a must read for anyone. It’s not only a gay love story, but a love story about transformations that love brings and those transformations happen, straight or gay.

“parce que c’était lui, parce que c’était moi.”