Aayan Hirsi Ali


This is a book about an outspoken and incredibly intelligent, strong, woman, who refuses to just shut up and go away. Born in Somalia, she eventually makes her way to Holland, where she finds her voice and place in Dutch politics. Eventually, the cost of protecting her becomes so prohibitive, that she is forced to leave.

I found her courage remarkable, and her story fascinating.


Wishful Drinking

Carrie Fisher


Carrie Fisher in person was a force to be reckoned with. Now at least, we have her memoir to enjoy. I saw her one-woman show in person in Berkeley before she took it to Hollywood, and it was a hoot. Out of her pain and suffering, she crafted a light-hearted account of growing up the daughter of Debbie Reynolds, which enough to make anyone crazy. Add  in all the dysfunction of her life, and it is a wonder she was able to cope at all.

Underneath all the laughter, there is a serious tale of substance abuse and mental illness. Through it all, it was her own innate honesty that made it possible for Carrie to  hold it together.