Book Review: Diary from the Lunatic Asylum by Mary Pengilly
Diary from the Lunatic Asylum
Author: Mary Pengilly
Published: November 2, 2012
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
DECEMBER.—They will not allow me to go home, and I must write these things down for fear I forget. It will help to pass the time away. It is very hard to endure this prison life, and know that my sons think me insane when I am not.
So this isn’t a horror story; it’s not even fiction. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed. However, once I figured out that this was an actual diary, written by a real woman who had been committed to a real asylum, I just went for it. It’s definitely not as good as Nellie Bly’s account, but it was interesting and informative. Mrs. Pengilly managed to write an account from a relatively neutral viewpoint, while still keeping a handle on all the problems. It’s a simple, easy to read report on her stay, the issues in the Aylin’s of her time, and a list of solutions. I looked up Mrs. Pengilly after I finished reading this book, and she went on to spearhead some cool movements to try to improve conditions for female patients.
It’s not a book I’d recommend to everyone, but it’s a good personal story that I enjoyed reading.
Gunnar Hansen’s Chain Saw Confidential
Chain Saw Confidential: How We Made the World’s Most Notorious Horror Movie
Author: Gunnar Hansen
Published: September 24, 2013
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
When The Texas Chain Saw Massacre first hit movie screens in 1974 it was both reviled and championed. To critics, it was either “a degrading, senseless misuse of film and time” or “an intelligent, absorbing and deeply disturbing horror film.” However it was an immediate hit with audiences. Banned and celebrated, showcased at the Cannes film festival and included in the New York MoMA’s collection, it has now come to be recognized widely as one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
A six-foot-four poet fresh out of grad school with limited acting experience, Gunnar Hansen played the masked, chain-saw-wielding Leatherface. His terrifying portrayal and the inventive work of the cast and crew would give the film the authentic power of nightmare, even while the gritty, grueling, and often dangerous independent production would test everyone involved, and lay the foundations for myths surrounding the film that endure even today.
Critically-acclaimed author Hansen here tells the real story of the making of the film, its release, and reception, offering unknown behind-the-scenes details, a harrowingly entertaining account of the adventures of low-budget filmmaking, illuminating insights on the film’s enduring and influential place in the horror genre and our culture, and a thoughtful meditation on why we love to be scared in the first place.
A while ago, I made the admission that I love horror. I can blame Ivan for introducing me to horror movies, but even before that, I loved the horror genre in books. The scarier the better! Ivan and our friend, Adam, have talked about Texas Chainsaw Massacre before and I had begged Ivan to watch it with me. He included the soundtrack from the remake on his Halloween playlist and that theme is seriously the scariest score I have ever heard, but I couldn’t watch the remake until I watched the original, so I asked Ivan again to watch it with me. Finally, FINALLY, we sat down to watch it . . . blew my friggin mind! I jumped, I squealed, I shut my eyes, I asked why . . . but what shocked me was that a week afterward, I was still pondering. Ivan has a habit of asking me what I’m thinking about while we’re driving, and that week, I answered “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” He got so excited and we ended up having conservation after conversation about this dang movie!
I have to say, I really love Chainsaw! It’s violent and graphic and horrible, but it’s riveting! I was so intrigued and continue to be so! Audible had a Halloween sale and look! A book by the man who played Leatherface all about the filming of the movie!!! I bought it, and listened to it, and now I want to watch Chainsaw again!! I learned so much; the people behind this movie were just as crazy as you’d expect. Reading about the dinner scene was enlightening and I was surprised at how horrible the filming was for the cast and crew. I am so sad that Gunnar Hansen is dead and I can never meet him. Toby Hooper, the director, is also dead . . . I was born in the wrong decade. This book isn’t for everybody, but if you are a horror fan, then this book is for you! I absolutely recommend it and the original movie!
Here is the movie trailer for the 1974 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:[Top]
Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff
Author and Narrator: Chip Gaines
Published: October 17, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 11-13, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father of 4 in Waco, Texas. But long before the world took notice, Chip was a serial entrepreneur who was always ready for the next challenge, even if it didn’t quite work out as planned. Whether it was buying a neighborhood laundromat or talking a bank into a loan for some equipment to start a lawn-mowing service, Chip always knew that the most important thing was to take that first step.
In Capital Gaines, we walk alongside him as he relives some of his craziest antics and the lessons learned along the way. His mentors taught him to never give up and his family showed him what it meant to always have a positive attitude despite your circumstances. Throw in a natural daredevil personality and a willingness to do (or eat!) just about anything, and you have the life and daily activity of Chip Gaines.
Capital Gaines is the perfect book for anyone looking to succeed not only in business but more importantly in life.
I previously listened to The Magnolia Story which was narrated by both Chip and Joanna Gaines. (My review is here). Capital Gaines is a bit of a ‘rehash’ of it but solely from Chip’s perspective. I must say I have only ever seen Fixer Upper once when my car was getting serviced, so I don’t really know much of their story other than what I read in Magnolia Story.
Chip is the better narrator of the couple, so I enjoyed listening to his narration. Chip’s writing is more juvenile than Joanna’s and it seems like he writes the way he talks. He comes off on the impulsive side. Several times he talks about the cover of the book and how it came to be. Honestly, I did not care about it and the cover is not that great of a picture. But he is proud of it, so go for it Chip. The book comes off a bit scattered, and maybe that’s how Chip is himself.
I did like how he talks about his faith in God. I am curious about their show, though it is off the air now. I may try to find a couple of episodes to watch and ‘get to know’ the Gaines’.
I would say Capital Gaines would be for fans of the show Fixer Upper.