Written by Lauryn Smith
Memoirs are not usually my thing—especially celebrity memoirs. The story always seems the same. Modest beginnings, anything-but-modest endings and a mix of hard work, faith and luck in between. Cliché.
Naturally I was skeptical about singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles’s “Sounds Like Me,” a book I only learned about when Reviewer Beth Winters had me tag along to a lecture/book signing that was part of Bareilles’s book tour. During the lecture, I learned that Bareilles is delightfully down-to-earth, spunky and relatable. While reading her book, I learned that her writing demonstrates these same traits.
It is worth saying that I did not know much about Bareilles or her music prior to reading “Sounds Like Me,” but I think that was good for me. I had no preconceived notions about Bareilles or her story, and by the end of the book, I possessed a degree of familiarity, which prompted voluntary exploration into her music and ideals, exploration catalyzed solely by pure interest.
I went in with no expectations, and I came out searching for her albums on Spotify.
Review: “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
Written by Lauryn Smith
Everyone knows Jekyll and Hyde. They have been portrayed everywhere, from Broadway’s stage to PBS’s Arthur. The story of Jekyll and Hyde is unprecedented, a tale depicting an omnipresent internal struggle—good versus evil.
Despite its spread, it was not until recently that I actually read Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Heck, I listened to the audiobook before finally venturing into text itself. When they are hanging out in your “to read” pile, Stevenson’s stories can be daunting. Sure, his works are classics. But they are also from the nineteenth century, so the language is not the most accessible to modern readers. Or so I thought. We will talk about that in a moment, but first, let’s get familiar with the story.
Described as both a thriller and an allegory, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is an anecdote that demonstrates the duality of man. Predominantly told from the viewpoint of the honorable lawyer Gabriel John Utterson, the story depicts the struggle of Henry Jekyll, a highly respected doctor with suppressed desires that go against public mores. A man of chemistry, Jekyll concocts a potion that he uses to transform himself, to free his repressed, more wicked self, whom he calls Edward Hyde.
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