My name is Sophie and I’m a Bibliophile.
It’s okay – it’s not as weird as it sounds, it just means that I have a small (out of control) love of (obsession with) books.
I have started regularly sharing some of the books this bibliophile loves, is loving, and has loved, and while the shortest day may be beyond us, there are still many long cold nights left to curl up with a good read.
I’d Like to Play Alone Please by Tom Segura (2022)
It’s always so exciting when a beloved comedian releases a book and this one made me squeal! I am a HUGE fan of Tom Segura, the massively successful stand-up comedian and co-host of chart-topping podcasts “2 Bears 1 Cave” and “Your Mom’s House,” and now he’s sharing hilarious real-life stories of parenting, celebrity encounters, youthful mistakes, misanthropy, and so much more in his debut book.
Tom Segura is known for his twisted takes and irreverent comedic voice. But after a few years of crazy tours and churning out podcasts weekly, all while parenting two young children, he desperately needs a second to himself. It’s not that he hates his friends and family — he’s not a monster — he’s just beat, which is why his son’s (ruthless) first full sentence, “I’d like to play alone, please,” has since become his mantra.
In this collection of stories, Tom combines his signature curmudgeonly humour with a revealing look at some of the ridiculous situations that shaped him and the ludicrous characters who always seem to seek him out. The stories feature hilarious anecdotes about Tom’s time on the road, including some surreal encounters with celebrities at airports, his unfiltered South American family, the trials and tribulations of parenting young children and, perhaps most memorably, experiences with his dad.
I will warn you, Segura’s comedy isn’t for everyone, but this book will definitely have you in tears – of both laughter and pain.
In light of recent events, I thought I’d share one of my all time favourite books and one I re-read every summer.
The Women’s Room by Marilyn French (1977)
It’s hard for me to talk about this book without a great deal of emotion. I LOVE this book and personally think it should be required reading for every person, especially all boys.
The Women’s Room is the debut novel by American feminist author Marilyn French, published in 1977. It launched French as a major participant in the feminist movement and while French states it is not autobiographical, the book reflects many autobiographical elements.
It has been described as one of the most influential novels of the modern feminist movement. Its instant popularity brought criticism from some well-known feminists that it was too pessimistic about women’s lives and anti-men.
Set in 1950s America, The Women’s Room follows the fortunes of Mira Ward, a conventional and submissive young woman in a traditional marriage, and her gradual feminist awakening. The novel met stark media criticism when published but went on to be an international best seller.
I’m not going to say any more. JUST READ IT.
Love is a Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski (1977)
Perhaps an interesting pick after my retro read, however, I think French and Bukowski have more in common than first meets the eye – they are both writers who are concerned with portraying the beautiful truth, despite how ugly it often is.
Henry Charles Bukowski was a German-American poet, novelist, and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his adopted home city of Los Angeles. Bukowski’s work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column Notes of a Dirty Old Man in the LA underground newspaper Open City.
A classic in the Bukowski poetry canon, Love Is a Dog from Hell is a raw, lyrical, exploration of the exigencies, heartbreaks, and limits of love.
A book that captures the Dirty Old Man of American letters at his fiercest and most vulnerable, on a subject that hits home with all of us. Alternating between tough and gentle, sensitive, and gritty, Bukowski lays bare the myriad facets of love—its selfishness and its narcissism, its randomness, its mystery, and its misery, and, ultimately, its true joyfulness, endurance, and redemptive power.
“there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock.”
Books on Film
A favourite author and favourite actor of mine converge in the amazing biopic, Capote (2005) about American novelist Truman Capote directed by Bennett Miller and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman in the titular role.
The film primarily follows the events during the writing of Capote’s 1965 nonfiction book In Cold Blood. The film was based on Gerald Clarke’s 1988 biography Capote. It was released September 30, 2005, coinciding with Capote’s birthday. The film became a box office success and received acclaim from critics for Hoffman’s lead performance. It eventually won several awards and was nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director for Miller, Best Supporting Actress for Keener, and Best Adapted Screenplay, with Hoffman winning the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Capote received wide acclaim from critics, with Hoffman’s performance the subject of particular praise. Roger Ebert gave the film a full four-star rating, stating: “Capote is a film of uncommon strength and insight, about a man whose great achievement requires the surrender of his self-respect.”