Saturday, January 15, 2011

Daisy and Disney

Regardless of the fact that Finals are coming up, and teachers seem to have a bet going on how many kids in AP classes will suffer from a mental breakdown beforehand (about 2 so far), I managed to get through two books this week: one about the early life of one of the most graceful, decent, talented people that I can think of, and the other involving characters who've been misbehaving themselves since 1925.

The first, being Julie Andrews' autobiography, about her early years, Home, was a lovely, wonderful book. I knew she'd written other books, like Mandy, but I hadn't gotten around to reading them, mainly because they were for children. However, the fact that she is already an established author did reassure me that the book would be her words, and would be truthful, because I really don't like ghostwriters. So I started out with it, not knowing what to expect, but at least knowing that it was Julie Andrews' voice on the page.

I really did enjoy it. She has an interesting story, from how she progressed through show business, from vaudeville and pantomimes, to full blown productions like the Broadway performances of My Fair Lady and Camelot. She included so many funny anecdotes along the way, of silly little comedies that played around behind the scenes, involving names that you would know, like Rex Harrison and Grace Kelly. Seeing as though my family, my father in particular, is entranced by the stage, her perspective on Broadway and performing was really interesting. Of course, the book ends with her leaving to go work for Disney, on a lovely little film called Mary Poppins, so I hope hope hope that she releases a second memoir soon (I'd want nothing in this life if I could only work for Disney, so I'd love to hear what her recollections of that time period, when he was still alive, were really like!).

The second book I read was a lot different: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, for AP English class. For one, I read it for school, so it was predestined to be far less enjoyable than if I had read the book on my own. Secondly, all that hidden meaning just tired me out. Our teacher gave us a color wheel, written on it what each color symbolizes, and some examples of how they are used in the book, so I was thoroughly distracted throughout the novel by the fact that this was blue (sad, unhappy), or that was green (hopeful), and pretty much everything else was yellow or cream or beige or gold (money, corruption). Also, one of the strangest things was that for almost every other character, the author remarked upon their noses (I'm being quite serious. Next time you read it, watch what he says about them!).

I did end up enjoying the book, once I took the time to read it by myself, even though the ending depressed me, and I hated more than half of the cast of characters. It had some interesting things to say about the time period, and was very comical in places.

So, the week is over and done with, and we still have two days left in our weekend. Maybe I can collect myself, and manage to glance at my Spanish or AP US History notes without getting the feeling of overwelming dread and apprehension...

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