New Year

So 2012 is only a couple days away and I am excited!! I like the New Year because well, it seems New! Who doesn’t like new things? Especially people like me. I love to start things (finishing them is another topic) and thinking about all of the possibilities of next years seem intoxicating. But the thing is, I don’t have to wait until January 1 to start on them. In fact, I have already started on many of my goals for next year and years going forward. One of the things that I want to do is make sure to post a new blog each week and read at least (at least) one new book a month.

So, here is a new post with a book review of my latest book:

ME: Stories of My Life

Katharine Hepburn

When I read it

December 2011

Why I wanted to read it

I’ve been told that I look like a young Katharine Hepburn, so naturally my interest flowed to her – her pictures, her movies, her looks, her face. All of that external shell that somehow reminded someone of me, me of her, same thing I guess. Well, it doesn’t take much research to realize that Katharine had much more than striking features and high cheekbones. She was quite a personality – feisty, driven, independent, honest, confident, foolish, childlike, witty, smart. She had the qualities that possessed many men of the 1930-40s but much unlike the dainty women of the day. She broke the rules. She wore pants when all the other ladies properly wore dresses. She spoke up when she didn’t agree with others and she had no trouble expressing her opinions on everything from poorly written scripts to thoughts on the afterlife. She knew what she wanted, or what she thought she wanted, and she got it. She’s interesting. So, her book seemed to offer even more in the way of getting to know such a complex and supremely interesting person.

Thoughts after reading it

The book, no doubt illuminated her vivacious and interesting personality, as well as her full and exciting life. She was born into a family that supported her, founded on liberal ideals of equality and encouraged her to pursue her dreams. This, I think, was a major element in shaping the way Katharine thought about her world. Her parents instilled a passion for pursuit and excellence. She decided at an early age that she wanted to be a famous actor, that was it. She would achieve it – someone unwilling to hire her or even those willing to fire her, did nothing to deter her plan. She knew where she wanted to go.

The book does a great job of outlining her life from her point of view. Rather jumpy and sporadic, I found the reading interesting because it wasn’t predictable, you never knew what she would talk about next. It wasn’t in chronological order. I like this. It was like starting a new story over and over. She was very accomplished and someone who should be looked at with utmost respect for all that she achieved in her lifetime.

However, as the book sits closed, I find myself wanting more. I want to know more about her as a person. I want to know how she felt about things, what was she thinking, how life looked through an emotional or spiritual lens. I feel like there is a hole in the story – the white elephant in the room- that she just refused to discuss. I’m not sure that she even knew it existed. But there is definitely something missing. The only time that I felt that she was truly honest was in her discussions about her partner of 20+ years, Spencer Tracy. She loved Spencer and her words about (and to) him in the book were like saturated sponges. Each word seemed to seep into the pages, holding the weight of the love she had for him. In the 420 pages of the book, she spoke of him only on 15 of those pages. But her truth was in there. She was vulnerable with him. Perhaps that what was missing on all of the other pages, a vulnerability. I’m not completely sure, but I am compelled to know more. There has to be a deeper level, more layers to such an interesting, complex woman. But it is not written in the pages of this book. It will have to be discovered another way.


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