Thursday, November 29, 2018

Review: Becoming

38744839Title: Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
480 pages, published November 13, 2018
Source: Purchased for myself

From Goodreads:

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
  


 
What a beautiful, fantastic book! I've always admired Michelle Obama, ever since I watched her speech from the Democratic National Convention in 2008. What I loved about this book was how real and human the story was. There were so many stories and experiences from her childhood that spoke to me or I could relate to. One that stood out was during her senior year in high school, while searching for colleges.  She told a college counselor she was thinking about Princeton, and the counselor told her she wasn't sure she was "Princeton material." Fortunately, that motivated Michelle rather than discouraged her. As someone who works in college admissions, I connected with this story. Stories like these made this book so special. 

I also enjoyed learning more about Michelle and Barack's relationship and marriage, and how being in politics challenged them and made them stronger. She told many stories of daily life in the White House that we don't realize happen--the simple task of running to the grocery store or going out for ice cream are not as easy when you have Secret Service following you. It was also interesting learning about their daughters and how life in the White House affected them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and commend Michelle for sharing her story. Her overall theme in the book of sharing our stories to realize we are not that different was perfectly done and was so inspiring. A five star read!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

WWW Wednesday: November 28

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Apologies for lack of posts in the last week--with the craziness of the Thanksgiving holiday, spending time with family, and unfortunately catching a cold, I haven't been writing posts! But I have definitely been reading!
  

The Three Ws are:

What did you recently finish reading?
 
What are you currently reading?  
 
What do you think you’ll read next?
 
 
Recently Finished

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 I absolutely loved this beautiful book! Review on the blog tomorrow!

Currently Reading

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I read and loved Herons Landing, the first in this series, and was excited to read this next story! Enjoying it so far, and love the town of Honeymoon Harbor :)

Up Next 

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I've heard so many good things about this one!!


What are you reading this week? 

Monday, November 19, 2018

TLC Book Tours: The Secret Language of Cats

About The Secret Language of Cats

Hardcover: 288 Pages
Publisher: Hanover Square Press; Original edition (November 1, 2018)
Have you ever wondered what your cat is saying?
Cats do not meow randomly, nor do they growl or hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds have a purpose, and they can carry important messages, whether for us or other cats.
Susanne Schštz is hard at work on breaking the cat code. She is a professor at Lund University in Sweden, where a long-standing research program is proving that cats do actually use vocal communication—with each other and with their human caretakers. Understanding the vocal strategies used in human-cat communication will have profound implications for how we communicate with our pets, and has the potential to improve the relationship between animals and humans within several fields, including animal therapy, veterinary medicine and animal sheltering.
In The Secret Language of Cats, Schštz offers a crash course in the phonetic study of cat sounds. She introduces us to the full range of feline vocalizations and explains what they can mean in different situations, and she gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better.


Purchase Links


Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

 I loved this book!! I enjoyed how the author used her interest and expertise in linguistics and phonetics to understand her cats.  Parts of the phonetics aspect was a bit over my head (I was a psych major), but I definitely learned some helpful information to understand my three kitties! I come from a long line of crazy cat ladies (my grandma usually had 10+ cats, my mom has 5, I have three now) so a lot of the information in the book was pretty intuitive to me. However, if you're a new cat mama--this is a perfect book to read! I did like Chapter 11 of the book where she answered some common cat problems--such as my cat wakes me up, my cat  does not get along with other cats, etc.  Overall an informative, entertaining read! You will definitely learn something from this book!

TLC Book Tours 

To follow the tour, click here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WWW Wednesday: November 14

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The Three Ws are:

What did you recently finish reading?
 
What are you currently reading?  
 
What do you think you’ll read next?
 
 
Recently Finished 
 
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 Both of these books were excellent! I did NOT see the twist coming at the end of The Other Woman! Great Reese Witherspoon book club pick! A Thousand Doors was so unique and a great read!


Currently Reading
 
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 Just started this series--my library had all four books! Anyone read them? What did you think?
 
Up Next

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 I've seen mixed reviews...thoughts?



What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

TLC Book Tours: I Invited Her In (excerpt)

About I Invited Her In

Hardcover: 432 Pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (February 5, 2019)
Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.
This is worse.
When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.
But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It’s the least Mel can do.
After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?

I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

People were forever saying, “I know you from somewhere. No, don’t tell me.” She’d smile, wait a beat and then she would tell them because it got awkward if they really couldn’t place her or worse still, mistook her for someone who worked in their hair salon or whatever. That had happened once or twice. So, she’d smartly say, “Oh, you’ve probably seen me on TV.” Although she’d say it in a way that suggested nonchalance, as though she couldn’t think of anything more obvious, more dull, than the fact she worked in TV. Then they’d whoop or hug her squirm, self-conscious about their own ordinariness and her extraordi­nariness. They’d invariably ask for a selfie.
People would kill for a job as a chat-show host, a TV pre­senter. Admittedly, it was only state-wide TV, not nationwide. Abigail’s show ran in the afternoons, rather than at prime time—breakfast or evenings—but still, people would do anything for that job.
You had to, in fact. Do anything.
And she had. Anything and everything Rob had asked of her.
When Abi arrived in the US, she was seen as nothing more than Rob’s wife: a young, extremely attractive, clever-enough wife. Even if she’d had the combined IQs of all the CEOs of the FTSE 100, she probably wouldn’t have been noticed for any­thing other than her looks—Rob and Abigail didn’t mix with the sort of people who wanted anything more from women than beauty. They thought she was charming. That’s what they said, often: “she’s so cute,” “so charming,” “so sweet.” It was a good thing that the Americans had always loved British accents. It gave her an edge. Stopped her falling into obscurity. Rob’s col­leagues and their wives lapped it up. “Say vite-a-min,” they’d demand. “Say sked-ual—no, say tuh-maytoe.” And she would. She was doing her job. Cute, charming, sweet corporate wife. Even though it wasn’t the 1950s.
“Vitamin, schedule, tomato.”
“Isn’t she just adorable? She should be on TV. Rob, put her on TV,” they’d say.
They never asked Rob to perform like that, yet they hung on his every word. So, he wrote the scripts, she read them. She didn’t resent that. She loved it. She was grateful when he did as they suggested, when he put her on TV. The higher he rose, the higher she did. It was a mutually beneficial relationship. She was always telling herself as much.
He wrote the script for their private lives with the same au­tocratic approach, and she regurgitated it. Now, with hind­sight, as she scrabbled around his desk drawer to retrieve her passport, she wondered whether she was overly willing to be repressed. It worked, for quite some time. But then it stopped working because her time ran out. To have had a chance at lon­gevity, she would have had to secure an anchor job with one of the five major US broadcast television networks by the time she was thirty.
She didn’t manage that. There were younger, thinner, leg­gier, keener women waiting in the wings. Always.
She couldn’t resent it; it was a system she’d played. She’d given it her best shot. It hadn’t panned out. Suck it up.
Rob was doing very well for himself. He was not subject to a time limit; men could get old and stay successful, interesting.
At that point, he was concentrating on syndicating out his shows, although her particular show was never picked up. On occasion, she privately wondered how much effort he put into selling it. He often reminded her that it didn’t really matter whether her show got picked up or not—they didn’t need the money and he did need her at home.
Or at least, she liked to think he did.
She’d have had to have been way bigger for the chance to grow old gracefully in front of a TV audience. Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer had been allowed. That was about it.
It was her own fault. Sometimes she’d lie awake at night, alone, even though he was sleeping next to her, and she’d admit that she’d never had the necessary commitment to her career. Not one hundred per cent. She’d drawn lines. She had principles.
She wouldn’t, for example, appear on TV shows that were solely designed to humiliate people. She hadn’t gone to univer­sity to rip the shit out of those with less education, money or fewer chances than she had. She played fairer than that. And al­though she did watch her weight (that was just common sense, right?), she wasn’t prepared to starve herself. Eating tissues was not her idea of fun, and while she’d had Botox, that was to help with her migraines (mostly). She’d resisted plastic surgery (at least on her face) and had only had a little augmentation to her breasts. She was not prepared to sleep with anyone other than Rob, because she loved him and respected herself.
But it limited her career options in a business where the cast­ing couch was still being bounced upon. In the past couple of years, she’d found she was not even willing to go to absolutely every party she was invited to, to make small talk with strang­ers, on the off-chance one of them (out of, say, fifty thousand) might offer her an opportunity. It was exhausting. Soul destroy­ing. She found that neither the canapés nor the conversation ever quite filled her up.

About Adele Parks

Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 3 million books and her work has been translated into 25 different languages.
1500+ 5 star reviews have kindly been written by her fans on Amazon.co.uk
She has published 15 novels in the past 15 years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers.
Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970’s childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

Connect with Adele

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TLC Book Tours 

To follow the full tour, click here.



 

Friday, November 9, 2018

High Five for Friday: November 9

 

Inspired by Brandie at Running on Words and Wine and Kim at Kimberlyfaye Reads,I've created my own Friday post!
 
1. New Books this Week
 
 
 Just got approved on NetGalley for both of these! Pretty excited about it!


2. Books I've Been Loving this Week

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A Thousand Doors is fantastic. I'm halfway through and loving it. I'm normally not into short stories but this collection is amazing! So many fantastic authors collaborating around the same story.  I just started The Other Woman last night--it's the November Reese Witherspoon pick. Good so far!

3. When I Wasn't Reading 

I've been so busy at work lately that I've needed all the yoga!  Luckily there was a Yoga + Beer (actually, yoga and wine) class on Monday! I've convinced my husband to start coming with me too, and it's pretty rad.


4. So Random

This recipe for stuffed acorn squash looks DELICIOUS. I need to make it soon!!

 
5. Weekend Plans  

Tomorrow we are having some friends over for Friendsgiving! We are doing an Italian theme and I am making lasagna. It's  going to be so fun!  A day of food, friends and wine!!

Happy Friday! Hope you have a good weekend! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Top Ten Backlist Books I Want to Read

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This Week's Topic:

Backlist Books I Want to Read 

Periodically I clean out my "to read" shelf on Goodreads. There are a few books that have been on there for quite awhile that I can't seem to remove from the list--here are the top ten!

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Which one should bump to the top of my TBR?

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 5, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date.
 
Apologies for the lack of posting lately! This time of year is always so busy for me. I have been reading though--and doing a lot of yoga.
 
Recently Finished
 
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 I loved The Immortalists--such a unique and interesting book!! I unfortunately did not love The Art of Inheriting Secrets. I normally love her books, but this one was just OK for me.

Currently Reading

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 Happy Book Birthday to A Thousand Doors!! I'm halfway through it and LOVING it so far!!! Such a fantastic list of contributing authors that offer their own unique voice to each chapter!

Up Next 

Not sure yet...I'll see what I feel like!

Happy Reading! Hope you all have a good week!