The most important things are the hardest things to say.—Stephen King, Different Seasons
by T. S. Eliot
If space and time, as sages say,
Are things which cannot be,
The fly that lives a single day
Has lived as long as we.
But let us live while yet we may,
While love and life are free,
For time is time, and runs away,
Though sages disagree.
The flowers I sent thee when the dew
Was trembling on the vine,
Were withered ere the wild bee flew
To suck the eglantine.
But let us haste to pluck anew
Nor mourn to see them pine,
And though the flowers of love be few
Yet let them be divine.
Review: Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton
The HP kids are alright 😌
Despite the whirlwind of being a child actor growing up onscreen as part of a globally famous film franchise, Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy has a down-to-earth perspective on life and a good, humble head on his shoulders.
I devoured this book – as a fan of memoirs and as a huge Harry Potter nerd of the same generation as Felton and the Golden Trio. Beyond the Wand (with a very sweet forward by Emma Watson) spills the HP tea in a fun, respectful way.
We get stories of Felton/Draco and the Death Eaters accidentally stepping on Alan Rickman’s robes 😱, 13-year-old Emma slapping the crap out of Tom to practice for Hermione’s onscreen Draco punch, and the healthy one-sided competition Felton felt with Daniel Radcliffe to grow as an actor at the same pace.
Plus, it’s interesting to hear about his life outside of the films and learn about his other projects and interests (golf?! being a beach bum in Venice, CA 😎, fishing).
Tom is a reflective writer, and I could tell from the thought he put into each sentence that it was heartfelt and more than just a “celebrity writing a book” cash grab.
Would recommend to all HP fans ⚡️
“The only true currency we have in life is the effect we have on those around us.”—Tom Felton, Beyond the Wand
But his dreams were as gigantic as his surroundings were small.—Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
Review: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
So, stage parents are the actual worst.
I was too old for Jennette McCurdy’s Nickelodeon shows iCarly and Sam & Cat when they aired, but despite not being familiar with her work I was intrigued to hear about her child-star life from the slap in the face that is this book title and cover.
A modern Mama Rose/Gypsy story, Jennette’s childhood and young adulthood were monitored and controlled by her narcissistic stage mother, who never fulfilled her showbiz dreams and so thrust them upon her (unwilling) daughter.
Jennette’s mother wanted her to stay a young, castable girl forever, so she taught her eleven-year-old daughter calorie restriction — only one of the many ways she manipulated her child, along with forcing her into acting classes and auditions, guilt trips, gaslighting: the whole trauma package.
But this is a memoir of catharsis. Of reflection, coming to painful realizations, and moving on.
Jennette McCurdy is a good writer with a strong voice and perspective. Not to mention a wonderful sense of dark humor. The best memoir I read in 2022.
A grown woman is like a coyote—she can get by on very little. Men are more like house cats. Leave them alone for too long and they’ll die of sadness.—Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen