Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: You Are A Badass

Title You are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life
By Jen Sincero
Genre Nonfiction Self Help
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Um, See the big long title of the book and that about sums it up.

First Sentence
Many years ago I was in a terrible bowling accident.

I actually bought this book at a thrift store to send to my friend as a "sort of" joke. But mostly because I believe she is a badass who sadly doesn't quite see herself that way.  Of course I decided to read it before sending it to her to make sure it wasn't completely stupid. And I was pleasantly surprised.

It's another "law of attraction" book like The Secret. But where The Secret fails to talk about taking action in controlling the universe, this one has all the awesomeness of The Secret with a more realistic, take action approach.

I loved the set up of each chapter as well. She talks about a subject and then has several tips/directions for action which I loved. As much as I like common issues we all face being pointed out and giving me something to think about, I also want answers; a "how to" of getting over said issues. You know? So this one was perfect for me.

Some of these types of books aren't understandable. Which is pretty sad. If a self help book can't even be understood how can it offer help? This book was easy to read. Had a great set up and the author had a good voice.

I know self help books aren't for everyone but I don't go into self help books because I'm unhappy with my life and desperately seeking help. I read them because I like looking at things in a different way.

I seriously loathe that people are brought up a certain way by their parents or community or religion and taught to think a certain way and they go their whole lives thinking one thing one way. How sad is that?!  If they never get out of their ingrained belief system how limited their experience. How much they miss!

Sorry, rant over. It just comes from my soul. I believed a certain way for so long and am just waking up and realizing there's this whole world of different opinions and guess what? They're not wrong. They're just different. I love kicking my old stubborn beliefs in the butt and telling them to shut up while I look at things in a new light.

And that's why I loved this book. It was another opinion. Another view on things. If I'm lucky, I glean the useful and move on to other experiences and ways of thinking and learn from those too.

I loved this book so much, that I told my friend if she doesn't like it to send it back to me. It's one I want on my shelf.

Should you read it

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Flicks: Wonder

Rating ★★★

What It's About
We have this cute little boy (yes I said cute. Because he is!) who was born with a facial abnormality. His mom has home schooled him but, starting with 5th grade, he'll be going to real school. Here he'll struggle to make friends and face the world, face first, and learn the true meaning of friendship.

I read the book this movie was based on back in 2015 and, while I wasn't blown away by it, I thought it was cute. I was very interested in how the movie would be and thought the previews looked adorable. So me and my friends went to check it out.

As often happens, the movie was just so beautiful and fun to see. The characters were perfectly cast. Each kid did such an amazing and cute job with their parts.

They also stuck very closely to the book, if I'm recalling right, and I appreciated that. It's always annoying when they go way, way off from the book.

The kid that played Jack Will was so freaking cute! I know, I was supposed to be in love with Auggie but I couldn't help it. This kid was so cute and did such a great job with his part. They all did.

Much like my review of the book, I felt that this one was cute with an important message but not anything life altering. I did get a little choked up at one point but that was it. Meanwhile I know my friends cried through most of it so maybe I just have a stone heart.

Let's Talk
Do you like when movies follow the book or do you like when they take their own twist?

Redbox or Netflix. It was cute but maybe not full price at the theater good.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Beauty Queens

Title Beauty Queens
By Libba Bray
Genre YA Contemporary/Adventure/Comedy
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When a plane full of beauty pageant contestants crashes on an island there's only 13 survivors. Will they survive long enough to be rescued? And can they keep up their looks and dance routines until then? The longer the girls are on the island the more they discover who they really are and just how strong they are.

First Sentence
"Are you alright?"

I've had this book on my list for 6 years. The number of years it's been released, I think. I enjoyed the Gemma Doyle books enough to give the author my attention and this one sounded just plain hilarious.

I listened to this one on audio and it was my first audio book read by the author. That was a treat! When the author does all the different voices you know they're done exactly as she imagined the characters sounding. Her voice for Tiara cracked me up!

Filled with "a word from the sponsor" moments and commercial breaks this one was written to be an audio book.

While I was expecting a total comedy I was surprised to find a very feminist "girl power" twist on this one. I had mixed feelings about this. While I enjoyed the message, I sometimes found it a bit heavy handed and taking itself too seriously. But it actually gave depth to the story too so I don't know. I think I ended up liking that it chose to take that road. And of course it was still funny too. I laughed a lot.

There was a lot of eye rolling, yeah right, moments but I think any annoyance I had for those moments was ME taking things too seriously.

My biggest problem with this one was the length. (this seems to be an ongoing annoyance of mine as of late) I'm fine with long stories but needlessly long stories are another story. This one just kept going on and on! And on!!!

Should you read it
If you can buckle in for the LONG ride I'd recommend it for a laugh and a look at some cool messages about the awesomeness of girls.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

November Wrap-Up 2017

November, you and I really need to stop seeing each other. Last year I wrote about my heartbreaking miscarriage that happened in November and this year I'm having to write another sad post. I'll keep it short. As I mentioned last month, my mother had cancer and has fractured her spine and was bedridden. Some of you know already, but for those of you who don't, my mother passed away on November 11th. I've been through the gauntlet of emotions and am still struggling but I think I'm going to be okay. I won't dwell on the sadness. I just wanted to update you.

 I did manage to read some books though and since this is a book blog lets just get to that, shall we?

Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff, Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey, All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry, Be Frank With Me by Julia Clairborne Johnson, The Sugar Queen by Sara Addison Allen,(review on Goodreads)  and Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Favorites of the month were Fiendish and Be Frank With Me. Least Favorite was Haunting Violet.

 I promise I'm not heartless but since my mother had been diagnosed with cancer for over a year and we knew the end was coming I feel like I was somewhat prepared. Of course that means nothing when I want to call and tell her something and realize I can't. Then the water works come on and I get lost in grief but mostly I'm okay.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Whole New World!

Once upon a time, I couldn't sit still for two seconds and listen to my mom read out loud to me and my siblings.

It's not like I couldn't follow the story, it's just that I preferred reading it myself. Then I could go at my own (much faster) pace and and have something visually and physically to hold onto to keep my squirming body still.

Fast forward a few years and you'd find me sneaking books to work to read on my lunch breaks and then lying on a couch when I got home to read. Life was simpler then. I had a job and a few things to keep me somewhat busy but I didn't have a never ending list of "THINGS, JENNY NEEDS TO DO TODAY AND THE NEXT  DAY AND THIS WEEK AND AND AND." My reading slipped into oblivion. I was lucky to read 3 books a month, which, for me, is pretty pathetic.

And then...

Audio books! Honestly, I wasn't thrilled about getting into audio books. Like most people, I found them hard to concentrate on. We do, after all, live in a visual world that makes listening to something that doesn't offer something visual to look at difficult. I actually started listening to audio books because that's what was available to borrow for a book club book. I listened in agony. I hated how slow it felt. I hated that my mind wandered and I wouldn't know where I was in the story or what was going on.

But, as they say, practice makes perfect. And once I trained my brain to listen they weren't too bad. I would be working on the huge long list I mentioned and would remember I could listen to a book while I worked. Suddenly work became more bearable.

Just think of all the times you could be listening to an audio book.
  • cleaning your house
  • getting ready in the morning (showering etc)  
  • driving 
  • grocery shopping
  • doing yard work
  • swimming (turn your speaker on and you don't have to have dry hands to handle a book) 
  • remodeling yet another rental (what? is that only me?) 
  • exercising 
  • lying on the couch because the book's just to good to put down and you've accomplished your list for the day 

This summer I began listening hardcore to audio books. Especially once I discovered the "Always Available" audio books on my online library on Overdrive. Guys, I was able to reach my Goodreads Challenge back in September. I still love real paper books and ebooks but now, I always have an audio book downloaded to listen to when life doesn't allow lying on the couch.

So huge shout out to audio books! I never thought I'd be an audio book fan but, well, here we are!

Do you listen to audio books? If not you really should give them a try. Especially now that they're available for free on online libraries. Seriously! Download the Overdrive app and see what's available.