Book Review: ‘Unqualified’ by Anna Faris (Foreword by Chris Pratt)

anna faris unqualified book review

What a great memoir this is! πŸ™‚ Almost ‘unputdownable’, and I say ‘almost’ because I think those pages with input from Anna’s Facebook fans and podcast listeners seem to be fillers. And I might be wrong, but it appears this book was launched around the time Anna and Chris split? So, why oh why, does it not spill the beans on the reason(s) for the split, instead of just gushing about what a unicorn Chris is and how much they love and will sacrifice for their son? Hmm. Before picking up this book, I actually had no idea who Anna Faris is (and yup, I’ll probably pronounce her name wrongly too, just like you would – it’s supposed to be something like Ah-nah, not Ann-na). But after reading this book, I now know (just about) everything from when she lost her virginity to the time she got breast implants. Let’s just say this book is a tell-all, except about the part regarding the divorce. I’m guessing it’s somewhere in pre-nuptial agreements to keep certain things private? πŸ˜‰ So, props to them for somehow still being able to remain friends after a divorce.

It all seems so weird to me, how these angmohs can get divorced and have new partners and everyone can get to meet / know each other. It’s like they kind of accept that no one gets marriage right the first time, so it’s ok to call it quits (“till death do us part” hahahaa) and then stay pals with exes and even befriend their ex-spouse’s new love interests. (>_<)

Anna has this popular podcast called ‘Anna Faris is Unqualified’ and I really do love this word – ‘Unqualified’. She can say whatever she wants, and you can’t fault her, ‘cos she has already stated that she is unqualified and who asked you to believe what she says? πŸ˜€ In this book, she shares lots of relationship advice too, and ultimately I feel a little sympathetic towards these high-profile celebrity romances. If you’re a celeb, it makes sense to date / marry another celeb; someone who will understand the demands of your job and also not kick up a fuss if you have kissing scenes, etc, with another hot celeb. BUT the pressures of keeping up a facade of being in a marriage that is #relationshipgoals (thanks, social media) and having to deal with the press who’d happily plaster a picture of your sole, sad self along the beach alongside one of your husband laughing with his hot co-star… that can certainly take its toll. And when there’s a comparison of who’s more famous than whom? Sigh.

On page 194, Anna shares about the time she uttered “Don’t you know who I am?” in 2002 when the manager of a bowling alley bar wanted to kick her out of the place for getting (slightly) drunk. Reminds me of the time that our own local celebrity, Rui En, did the same. I suppose fame gets to your head, ya? Even a self-deprecating, funny, and lovable character like Anna also falls prey to it.

Read this book if you’d like to know Anna Faris a little better. She does share some interesting nuggets about Chris Pratt (which make him seem REALLY desirable) but don’t expect it to tell you (not even a hint!) about the reasons why they got a divorce.

Book Review: ‘My Lovely Wife: A Memoir of Madness and Hope’ by Mark Lukach

My Lovely Wife by Mark Lukach

This is probably the BEST memoir I’ve ever read in a long time. One that I’d happily stay up all night to read, if not for the fact that in this book you’ll realize that having sleepless nights can lead to frightening consequences. Mark married his college sweetheart, Giulia (pronounced like Julia, as she’s Italian) and life was picture-perfect. Until the stress from her job caused Giulia (aged 27) to have her first psychotic breakdown. The book chronicles the first, second and third episodes, ending in 2014. I think newly-weds and people who are intending to wed should read this book. If you’re a caregiver for a family member living with mental illness, this book’s for you too.

I found this YouTube video of Mark’s TEDx talk. If you’re going to watch it, get some tissues ready. I’ve never watched a 11-min TEDx talk that left me in tears and also had the audience give the guy a standing ovation. This is it:

“…when I got married at 24, I said ‘I’m here, till death do us part, in sickness and in health’. And when you’re 24 and you think you’re invincible, you don’t know what that means. And it’s until the health evaporates, that’s when you really get tested. That’s when the vow really counts.

(Commitment) “It’s about standing by Life’s imperfections, no matter what.”

I can’t help but feel lots respect for this man who stood by his wife through it all. Through the psychosis and the depression that followed, through the delusional outbursts and the suicidal episodes, through the battle with healthcare professionals who’d probably admit they are just experimenting with the various medications to find the right cocktail of drugs that might help, and having to care for not just Giulia but also their little boy, Jonas.

No one gets married expecting that one day, their perfectly healthy spouse (with no prior mental illness) would have to be checked into a psych ward.

“I had lost my wife and gained a lifelong patient.”

So when you utter that vow, or now that you’ve already said it, are you prepared to stand by your spouse, no matter what? I think Mark has set a fine example regarding commitment to those marriage vows. I’m pretty sure there are many other men who would have balked at the idea of living with (and caring for) a loony wife. For Mark, it appears that there’s only Giulia, his “lovely wife”. Read this book ‘My Lovely Wife’ and you’ll gain a whole new understanding of mental illness and what it might entail, bearing in mind that every person has an entirely unique experience of mental illness.

p/s: On a scale of 1 to 5, this book is a perfect 10. πŸ™‚

Epigram Books Sale: Final Day!

Epigram Books Sale

Spotted a post on Epigram Books‘ Facebook Page that it’s the last day of their book sale today, so I decided, on a whim, that I’d go check it out. And I found many ‘new’ titles that were not available during my first visit. And this round, I bought 40 books. It’s a really good deal because it’s just $20 for every 10 books, so each item cost me only $2! πŸ˜€ But lugging all these home is no joke. Thankfully, I took the MRT trains during off-peak hours. Phew.

Epigram Singapore Book Sale

I think my favorite buy would be the ‘LKY: Political Cartoons’ by Morgan Chua, in hardcover no less! I’ve got two copies and I’ll ‘gift’ them to my pals Samy and Steven. (If you’re reading this, MEET UP WITH ME SOON πŸ˜€ ‘cos the postage would probably cost more than the price I paid for the book. Haha!) Also, I have 4 copies of ‘Mdm Kwa: The Life of Mrs Lee Kuan Yew’, also in comic form, by Morgan Chua. My pal Melinda’s definitely gonna get a copy. Who the other 3 will go to, I have not decided yet. πŸ˜€

Gosh. I really do LOVE book sales. Some women get a high when they purchase a branded bag. I get ecstatic when I see books at such great discounts. Sometimes I don’t even know who I’m getting some of those titles for, but I’ll just grab them first anyway. πŸ˜€ As one of the Epigram NotBooks says, “I am not kiasu. I am Singaporean.”

The usual price of those notbooks is $12.90 (large) but I bought them at $2. *sheds tears of joy*

*And it’s not a spelling error: they really are called NotBooks though they are notebooks, ‘cos they are not books, geddit? πŸ˜€

**There’s 20% discount for their online store, tillΒ 11.59pm on 1 July. Use codeΒ WER7 when you check out. You’re welcome.