Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. I get to show off all the books I’ve gotten recently. I’ve acquired an insane number of books in the past few months. I’m going to show them to you in batches so that neither of us gets overwhelmed.
Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology – Leah Remini
Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.
That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.
Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology's causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she'd worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology's most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.
But when she began to raise questions about some of the church's actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a Suppressive Person, and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners, including members of her own family, were told to disconnect from her. Forever.
The Optician of Lampedusa – Emma Jane Kirby
The only optician on the island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean is an ordinary man in his fifties, who used to be indifferent to the fate of the thousands of refugees landing on the coast of the Italian island. One day in the fall of 2013, the unimaginable scale of the tragedy became clear to him, and it changed him forever: as he was out boating with some friends, he encountered hundreds of men, women and children drowning in the aftermath of a shipwreck. The Optician and his seven friends managed to save 47 people (his boat was designed to hold ten people). All the others died. This is a poignant and unforgettable account about the awakening of conscience: more than that, it brings home the reality of an ongoing refugee crisis that has resulted in one of the most massive migrations in human history.
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm – Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm
This is a beautiful treasury of some of the most famous stories of the Brothers Grimm, reproduced in their original form. Among many others, the stories include: “The Travelling Musicians” (illustrated by Oliver Jeffers), “The Golden Bird” (illustrated by Quentin Blake), “Tom Thumb” (illustrated by Raymond Briggs), “Snow-Drop” (illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark), “The Frog-Prince” (illustrated by Axel Scheffler), and “Ashputtel” (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury).
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
A voyage for buried treasure spells trouble for cabin boy Jim Hawkins, who finds himself in the middle of a mutiny with some of the nastiest pirates to ever sail the seven seas.
Inside Out & Back Again – Thanhha Lai
For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food . . . and the strength of her very own family.
Have you read any of these? What did you think?