Author: Melissa Rivers
Publisher: Crown Archetype
I have a confession: I am a HUGE Joan Rivers fan. I loved her, and was so sad when she died. I loved her no-nonsense attitude, the way that she would tell it like it was (no matter who it was that she was telling or telling about!), and her crass sense of humor. I had to imagine that she was a hysterical mother to have, and was truly looking forward to getting a true behind the scenes look from Melissa. I am sad to report that I was a bit underwhelmed by this memoir. I have been trying to figure out and put in to words exactly what it was that just didn’t hook me, but it seemed like it just never really got off of the ground for me. Some of the stories were very funny, and did make me laugh out loud, but overall it just wasn’t the book that I was looking for. I know that there are many, many reviews that disagree with me, so it very well could be that I was looking for something different or was expecting a different “voice” than the one that I heard come through. It was fun, however, to get hear some stories about Joan that I had not heard before, so that made it worth the read. If you choose to read it, I truly hope that you enjoy it more than I did.
Author: Irin Carmon
Publisher: Dey Street Books
First takeaway from this book: RBG is a badass! She is feminism done right. She was a pioneer in pushing for equality, and is still doing so from the highest court in our country, and I love her for that. She is the embodiment of the Shakespearian quote “Though she be but little, she is fierce”. She is a tough woman, but this book allowed me to see her softer side, which was lovely.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a very millennial take on a biography/memoir and not something that I would recommend using if you were looking for something to use for a research project. If, however, you are looking for a fun read that will give you a glimpse in to the life of one of the most influential women of our time, this is a good place to look. I will say that the writing style/layout of the book was a bit disjointed, or “clunky”, for lack of a better term. It jumps around throughout the timeline of her life and career a lot, and it is easy to lose exactly where you are in her life or career if you aren’t paying attention to what you are reading. Aside from that, the book is a lot of fun, and has some great humor and heartwarming parts in it. The additional material (pictures, annotated dissents, documents, etc) jut make it all the more enjoyable. It’s definitely a worthy read. I have long admired this remarkable woman, and this just made me admire her all the more.
Author: Kate Grosmaire
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Kate Grosmaire received the worst news that a parent can imagine: Her daughter, Ann, had been murdered. To make matters worse, her killer was her boyfriend, Conor. Conor had been considered a part of their family, and had even lived with them. This compounded the devastation that the family was already feeling at the loss of their nineteen-year-old daughter. The book centers on the decision that Kate and Andy made, which seems incomprehensible to many people: They decided to forgive Conor for the murder of Ann. They knew Conor, and believed that this one, momentary act should not define who he was as a person. Forgiveness remains the central theme of this memoir, as Kate details their journey to forgiving Conor. She explains how forgiveness is not an instantaneous decision that one makes, but it is a choice that must be made over and over again. She also gives the reader some insight in to her past story, so that the reader is able to connect with her on a different level. I liked this, as it made it feel as though I could understand where she was coming from a bit better.
I did enjoy this book, as I have been on a bit of a memoir/biography kick for a little while, and I do enjoy true crime. I had trouble understanding how someone could have the capacity to truly forgive the person who murdered their child, but there was a quote that made me understand why they made the decision: She said that if they had not chosen to forgive Conor, they would be in prison with him. That really took me aback a bit, and made me consider their choice a bit deeper. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy memoirs and true crime, but I will warn you that faith plays a lot in to the central theme of this memoir. If that is not something that you would be ok reading about, then I would steer clear. Overall, though, I think that it is a pick.
Author: Norman Cousins
Publisher: Open Road Media
When Cousins was diagnosed with a terminal illness, he decided to take himself out of the hospital, and attempt to treat his disease at home. He and his doctor came up with a regimen of laughter, vitamin C, and rest. The treatment, surprisingly, worked! This proved his hypothesis that the patient’s attitude towards their health was a very large part of the battle against diseases. He used this same attitude to combat heart disease at a later time. This book, which tells of Cousins’ account of using these methods to combat disease, was revolutionary in the area of holistic medicine and gives patients hope to this day that they can have a large hand in their own medical treatment.
I found this book to be both honest, and at times, laugh out loud funny. It really gives you inspiration, and hope that you can truly take hold of your personal health and have a hand in your own treatment. I recommend this book to anyone interested in healthcare, battling an illness, or who has a loved one battling an illness. It may truly change your way of thinking about your health.
Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for this review copy.
Author: Si Robertson
Publisher: Howard Books
This memoir is a follow up to Robertson’s previously published Si-cology 1. Written in much the same format, and definitely the same voice, Si-renty includes hilarious and heartwarming tales of Si’s upbringing, family, and time on the road after Duck Dynasty became a hit. It also tells of how his and the whole Robertsons’ faith in God and family have seen them through hard times before the popularity of their show, and problems that have arisen since. It tells of his compassion for everyone, and especially of his soft spot for children and veterans and active duty military. He speaks about his involvement in different programs/charities, and the joy that it brings him to be able to help those who are less fortunate than he, and to be able to share the Good News with those whose paths he crosses, thanks to the blessings that he has received. Having read Si-cology 1, I feel that this book is a bit more deep, personal, and emotional than the former. While it was still just as funny (it is Si, after all), I liked that it spoke more to his faith and heart. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you are a fan of Duck Dynasty, or are just looking for a good, easy to read memoir, I recommend this one.
This book will release on September 27, 2016.
*Many thanks to NetGalley and Howard books for the opportunity to review this book.
Author: Felicia Day
For those of you not familiar with Felicia Day, she’s weird, and she embraces it! She may be familiar to you from her acting career (Vi on Buffy, Charlie on Supernatural, Dr. Holly Marten on Eureka, etc), or you may recognize her from her YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry or her web series, The Guild. She has been touted as being the “Queen of the Nerds”, and for good reason.
In this memoir, Felicia takes us through her life, from her childhood in the deep south (where she was home schooled for “hippie reasons”) to college at 16 years old (where she double- majored in math & violin, and graduated as valedictorian) on to Hollywood (where she had quite the time getting a start, with no contacts or agent) to where she is now. She doesn’t gloss over anything at all, which makes the book not only funny, but sweet, sad, shocking, and most of all, honest. If you are in your 30’s, you’ll laugh along the way at her remembrance of the rising of the internet, the games that we played on it, and finding yourself in that age. If you’re not, you’ll laugh anyway, trying to picture what that was like. Her honest story about her life is one of finding who you really are along your way, and embracing exactly who that it, not who people expect you to be. It is a great tale of a young woman succeeding in being exactly who she is, with no apologies. I liked her before, and I love her now! She’ll make you proud to be weird!