Friday, March 3, 2023

Under The Influence by Noelle Crooks

Under The Influence by Noelle Crooks

 People! Read this book!

This book was not on my radar until my daughter (a Rachel Hollis ex fan) asked me if it was on NetGalley. I feel very  lucky to have got an advanced copy of Under the Influence by Noelle Crooks. I know very little about the Hollis drama, and this IS a fictionalized tale, but I could easily see this happening not only with Rachel Hollis and many influencers. I've also had this happen in my life when I worked sales for a Fortune 500 company; I'm sure many readers will recognize and have experienced the toxic traits of the lead antagonist, Charlotte. 

Devil Wears Prada meets Influencers nails the "elevator pitch.' However, I found this book far easier to read, and more engaging. I can't quit put my finger on WHY but I did enjoy it more than Devil Wears Prada. It's a fast read. I appreciated that the romance was kept PG and that the book focused more on Harper and her friendships and family. 

Will be recommending to everyone. You don't have to be an ex Hollis fan to enjoy this book - it's great entertainment no matter who you are. #BestFiction #ReadThisPeople 

Tentative Release Date: August 8 2023 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Just Tyrus


Just Tyrus is the true story of Tyrus – a celebrity known well in the wrestling world, Snoop Dog world, and Conservative talk show world. 

I came to know of Tyrus through the talk show Gutfeld! Not only is he funny, but this black man also speaks profound common sense. 

I love the audio book because he reads it himself, and his voice is familiar and oddly, relaxing!

His story is one of a really tough upbringing. However, Tyrus does not dwell in Victimhood. He dwells in Rising Above, Learning and Leveling Up, Failing Forward. 

His youthful stories are sad (but he does not spin them as sad, he puts a humorous twist on them, or/and doesn’t dwell on the crappy situations he was in). It is what it is. 

I sometimes find myself sinking into “if only” excuses, and Just Tyrus is a great reminder to not dwell, keep moving forward, reinvent and pivot as often as you need to or want to. 

11/10 stars! Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for blessing this book into my life!


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Bone by Bone - Geralyn Ritter

 The true story about a woman that survived the Amtrak crash in 2008 outside of Philadelphia. Her horrific injuries. Her wonderful family and friends and how they rallied around her. 

If this were a Fiction story, I'd say, "C'mon, there is just NO WAY." but this is a real story. 

If you think you are having a bad day, I guarantee you this will put things in perspective. 

The writing is conversational and pulls you in. You won't be able to put it down. 

There is a bit of faith woven in the book, but not so much that a person of non-faith would be "put off" by it. 

A true testament to the power of the body, of doctors (and I am NOT a fan of the commercialized medical community these days) and nurses, and medicine. 

A testament to the power of family and friends. And a testament to the power of the mind/body connection. 

Though Mrs. Ritter still rides trains, I'll have to admit, I'm now afraid to!


Not In Vain, A Promise Kept by Melissa Mullamphy


Not in Vain, A Promise Kept by Melissa Mullamphy. 


A must read for anyone. 

Told in such a dynamic, conversational tone, that I felt at times I was actually the author's friend, and I could call her up and say, "Wow, that part was so sad, amazing, made me so angry..."

I generally dislike the F word being used in books and movies because it cheapens the "need" for it. However, author Melissa uses the F word and this book and these events are EXACTLY when/why the F word SHOULD be used. 

This is a story about a wonderful family; hard working, loving, loyal. Melissa's mother watches Dr. Oz and realizes her extended abdomen that she has been hiding from everyone is ovarian cancer. 

This is about the journey (quite short) of going to the ER for the abdomen swelling to the untimely death of her mother. Horrible mistakes were made. The author is still having a hard time (after ten years) of dealing with the loss. This is a beautiful, sad, loving, tribute to her mother, Constance Burns. And it's also a sort of "how to navigate" and "how to advocate" for yourself or a loved one. 

What struck me most, was the tight family bond this family shared. Many people lack those bonds in todays society. I have long been an outspoken person like Melissa. I've had to advocate for myself and my family. I understand what it's like, so this book resonated with me. I feel it would be a wonderful helpful book to ANYONE (I think it should be required reading in highschool!) because there will always be sickness, there will always be human errors, and one needs to be prepared to advocate for oneself (especially today when hospitals are limiting visits  - a practice I'm afraid is here to stay because it's "less work" when there is a family member advocating for patients). 

Mrs. Burns sounds like a great woman, gone far too soon, and this book is a treasure, one I wish I didn't have to be written, but no doubt, will help countless people. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Sewing Love by Sanae Ishida

 I totally related to the story behind Sewing Love. Intimated by THE MACHINE, the TOOLs, the LANGUAGE. I bought a machine in the winter and it sat. I watched plenty of youtube videos. I read books and magazines. And still. I made some horrible (but funny!) items. Author Ishida addresses what seems to be the big sewing elephant in the newbie room: anxiety about....everything. Mainly, though, anxiety about getting started, "Doing the Damn The Thing." Her story is relatable and humorous. Ishida then offers patterns (slopers) that can be customized - tops/dresses/tunics, bottoms, outerwear. 

Highly recommend for the conversational tone and ease at learning. 

To be fair, I have not attempted to make anything, only because there isn't time at the moment. However! I fully feel when I have time to do create,  Ishida has given me the confidence I need to forge ahead! Available date on or around August 2022. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Aesthetica by Allie Rowbottom


Wow. The fact I choose this book and couldn't stop reading it (finished in a day/night), is what make NetGalley work for authors (as well as readers/book industry). The ability to "try" books that we wouldn't normally seek out. 

Aesthetica is beautifully written. Artful. 

It's the story of status, "influencers," addictions to social media, status, surgery. 

A few sex scenes (which I tend to shy away from in books) - however, tastefully done, and a needed "character" if you will, in the story. 

Our girl Ann grows by the end of the story, but how much? 

It's a warning, a heeding, a tragic tale, but also, a beautiful written book. 

Expected published date: Nov 22, 2022. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Party Like A Rockstar - JT Harding

Party Like a Rockstar: The Crazy, Coincidental, Hard-Luck, and Harmonious Life of a Songwriter by JT Harding. 

 I'm a Nashville, Country Music, fan. Party Like a Rockstar was a fun, interesting (ok, fabulous!) read. 

JT Harding, successful singer/songwriter, tells an interesting tale, starting from his youth to his success, and it was a long, hard, crazy, interesting road. 

Now, if you're a songwriter/singer looking for good advice, you'll find it toward the end of the book; all the elements that create a good song, writing with other artists, etc. 

HOWEVER, what is useful, is the road journeyed to arrive at his number one hits (and one hit doesn't mean you've made it!). Grinding. Crazy jobs. 

Halfway through the book, he finds out who his real father is...what a crazy story! It also makes one wonder...are traits somehow passed on biologically? 

He name drops often, this adds to the book, but at times, it's a bit distracting, as if JT is bragging in a way. There are times the writing comes off as a bit egotistical - but he has so much enthusiasm and hands out many compliments to those in his orbit, that it doesn't really take away from the book. One thing that overshadowed the book were the overuse of analogies. Every other sentence seemed to use an analogy. I have a feeling that has to do with songwriting, it comes naturally, but less is more in longform writing. 

Fun, engaging, fascinating. Lessons on grinding, winning, losing it all, grinding back. to success. 

All in all, I'd give it 4.5 stars.