Every now and again I’ll pick up a book from the bookstore without knowing anything about it. I know, it seems wild right? Picking up a book without reading the jacket, having it recommended by a friend, or consulting Goodreads first. There’s something liberating about having no expectations apart from your initial judgement of the cover. That’s exactly what I did with Eleanor Oliphant. I had seen the book in passing several times, and picked it up with no real information about it. While choosing books in this manor can lead to some very hit or miss reads, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was one of my favorite reads of 2018.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is about the life of Eleanor Oliphant. She leads a excessively structured life: everything from meals to her drinking habits to her weekly contact with her mother is planned to the hour. As the title implies – her life is fine, nothing less and certainly nothing more: she lives to exist, not to enjoy herself. When she goes to a concert and instantly forms a crush on the lead singer, Eleanor is spurred to start engaging in life. She sets out to catch the attention of the singer and ends up making unlikely friends, stumbling through her burgeoning social life.
I feel like a bad reader. I committed a cardinal sin: I watched the movie before reading the book. To be fair: the movie was all over Twitter and Facebook and I really wanted to avoid spoilers. Here’s the worst part: I liked the movie better than the book. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this book, but the movie really cherry picked and improved the best parts (and had a phenomenal cast).
I originally missed the hype train for this book. It came out while I was still in university and I wasn’t reading much in the way of fiction at that time (let alone keeping up to date with the latest bestsellers). When the first trailer for the movie came out (and that obnoxious basically-just-an-ad-for-this-movie episode of Riverdale came out), I knew I had to read this book ASAP. I’ve finally gotten around to reading it and seeing the movie, so which did I enjoy more?
I am a massive Disney fan. I’m lucky enough to have gone to Disneyland and Disney World (and I am counting down until I can go back to Disney World). I’ve read all sorts of insider posts about the parks and watched all the documentaries that I could get my hands on. Of course, I’ve also done a ton of reading about the man himself. I love the fact that he was a self made man who worked hard to become one of the biggest names in entertainment. I had been wanting to read a biography about him for ages, but there were so many of them that I wanted to be sure I chose the right one for me. This book paints a beautiful picture of Walt Disney: it’s honest and doesn’t sugar coat his failures, and it doesn’t over exaggerate his successes. It’s the definitive biography for any fan who wants to know more about who Walt Disney was not only as a filmmaker, but also as a person.
“After I die, I would hate to look down at this studio and find everything in a mess,” Hazel retorted “What makes you think you won’t be using a periscope?”