Then Again [Book Review]

Book Reviews

978-1-58836-942-0Knowing my obsession with memoirs, Lindsey recommended Then Again by Diane Keaton and I’ve been enthralled by it. I’ve mentioned it a few times in the past few blog posts and now that I am finished it, I highly recommend it. I’ve never cared much for Diane Keaton but I found reading about her life intriguing. She tells you everything, she writes beautifully, and she isn’t afraid to cast herself in a bad light. Diane Keaton has seemingly low self-esteem and doesn’t think much of herself considering she had a dream and made it happen. I was left in awe when she spoke of her relationships with Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, and Al Pacino. It was incredible to read how she taught Al Pacino how to drive or how Woody Allen wrote Annie Hall based on her life or her true feeling about The Godfather. It was fascinating to read Woody Allen’s love letters to her.


The most amazing part of her memoir though, and the entire premise behind it, is that it’s a combination of her mother’s memoir as well. Dorothy Hall kept journals, took photos, and made scrapbooks, and they all make an appearance in this memoir. This memoir compares a housewife of the 1960’s with big dreams and a knack for writing, creativity, and self-expression, with an aspiring teenage actress, letting you see how similar those two can actually be.

Dorothy Hall is one of the most inspiring women I’ve read about. She is a woman who found her voice by putting a pen to paper. She believed in the power of THINKING. She believed in her family and I found her portrayal of family dynamics enriching. Her words tugged at my heart-strings and I learned a lot from Dorothy Hall and Diane Keaton. This memoir made me wish for a simpler time, where people need to make a greater effort to communicate. Now, I want nothing more than to TALK more to my mom, to THINK more, to DREAM bigger, and to WORK harder. This memoir will always have a soft-spot in my heart and I can’t wait to pass it on to my mom and dad, who will love it for different reasons.

dorothyhallpg-vertical“Dad was always telling me to think. Think ahead. Think….But it was Mom’s struggles, her conflicts, and her love that made whatever ability I have to think possible. She supported choices that created experiences that expanded my life. As a girl, Mom, like me, had vague grandiose aspirations, but, unlike me, no one helped her expand on them; no one could.” (171)

Love Always 

Vanessa Xo

"Now the question must be why? And where had he been killed?"

Book Reviews, Just for Fun

I recently finished reading Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd– a HarperCollins Canada book.

Click here for the synopsis.


Inspector Rutledge is faced with a dead body on a quiet street, assumed to be hit by a motorcar. There is no identification on the man and evidence that he was hit and dragged. So where is the car? Who is the deceased? Is this a murder? An accident? Only time will tell…

In all honesty, I’m not an avid reader of Mystery — apart from Flavia de Luce Mysteries. I chose this book based on its cover and thankfully I was not at all disappointed. It’s just as dark, twisted, and thought-provoking as I assumed.  Proof of Guilt is the 15th Inspector Ian Rutledge novel and it has given me a hankering to read more Mystery novels. The vivid characters blew me away, I loved Hamish and how he helped you understand Inspector Rutledge and his past. I enjoyed Miss Whitman and was appalled by Miss French. The countless connections between these characters and many others, the questions, breakthroughs, the dead ends, the confusion, the chaos, left me breathless and wanting more.

What I love most about this book, and maybe even the genre as a whole, is the way it sparks your imagination. Suddenly you’re the Inspector, you’re making connections, you’re telling Rutledge what to think, you’re getting mad when no one will follow your lead. You’re apart of the story and your imagination is running wild.

“His own imagination had made more of the situation that it had warranted” (page 39).

What more could you ask for from a book? Proof of Guilt is a quick and yet delightful read. It kept me guessing and it reminded me of the love affair I have with my imagination — sorry I’ve been neglecting you.


Love Always

Vanessa Xo

**Proof of Guilt is available on January 29th, 2013!**

The title of this blog is a quote from page 35 of the novel.