I used to devour literature, yet I think I can count on one hand the number of books I read last year. Maybe two hands, but still. This is, of course, not counting the books I read to my children. We are still very much with the bedtime stories over here, even with my big kids, a practice I cherish. But I haven’t gotten nearly enough personal reading done, and I’d like to change that.
The first book I finished this year is an autobiographical compendium of funny stories by Anna Kendrick, best known for that infamous “Cup Song”. Turns out she comes by her vocal prowess honestly, as a bona fide Broadway veteran – she was nominated for a Tony award at the age of twelve for her role in High Society. I had no idea!
She chronicles her many misadventures on the path to building a successful career in entertainment, from her humble formative years in Maine through her struggling early years in Hollywood, to her current status as a busy single gal who will always value “work over relationships.” She’s incredibly honest, with a charming sense of humor and a healthy dose of self-deprecation. I enjoyed her take on the industry, primarily because of her perspective of how ridiculous the whole thing is.
My favorite bit, by far, was the way in which she described her turn as an Oscar nominee set against the backdrop of barely being able to make ends meet. At one point, as she was being flown all over the country promoting the film for which she was nominated, she asked if she could stay at a less-fancy hotel and pocket the difference. That’s not how it works, is the answer she was given.
Admittedly, I haven’t seen much of her work, and I picked up the book simply because it was on display very close to the checkout desk at our local library and I liked the title. I did enjoy Pitch Perfect, so I figured I’d give it a go. It seemed like an excellent way to counterbalance all those dense Holy Nights lectures I was reading, and it was exactly that. A quick and delightful read, written by someone who seems to have navigated the most brutal business without losing her sense of self. I can say from personal experience, that is not an easy thing to do. And yes, I’m definitely going to watch Up in the Air.
PS: I posted the fourth piece of my miscarriage recovery story, if you’re interested.