Book Report: The Fashion Intruder by Roma E Black

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The Fashion Intruder by Roma E. Black should be an ideal book for me. It involved elements I adore-high fashion, culture and art, the silliness of celebrity worship, strong female characters (like our main character Sophia, an attorney who takes a job at a fashion start up) who band together and take no bull, a European setting and lots of twists and turns.

However, The Fashion Intruder turned out to be less than satisfying. Black ignored filling us in on the issues of launching a startup, especially in the rough world of fashion and I found it odd that Sophia rarely used her experience and knowledge as an attorney to advance the plot. In the end, I didn’t end up caring about Sofia, her gal pals or pretty much anything they did when it came to solving the mysteries of fashion, high art and the people who make up these intriguing words.

The Fashion Intruder should have been the September issue of Vogue magazine of fashion fiction. Sadly, it’s more of a moldy Sear’s catalog  circa 1980.

Grade C

Book Report

Ages ago a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Artist’s Way. I perused it, felt too much like homework so I set it aside.

IMG_20181221_154422~2Well, while cleaning up my lady lair I found my copy of The Artist’s Way, a 12 week course on various exercises on how to tap into our creative  souls, the most well-known being “morning pages.”

Sure, this book is still overwhelming but I think a lot of it will help me greatly as I get more into my multitude of creative projects.

Grade B

Book Report

I found this book at a Little Free Library near and I knew I just had to add it to my collection of craft-related books.

IMG_20181215_172542Creative Gift Wrapping by Public International, LTD has 40 fun and inspiring, not to mention beautiful gift wrapping projects for all occasions. Every project has easy to follow step by step instructions with accompanying photos.

This book also offers the basics on gift wrapping, gift wrapping resources and templates. A lot of the materials can be found at art and craft stores, thrift shops, dollar stores and maybe your own home.

The only negative is there is mention of online resources buts that’s probably because this book was published in 1991. A quick Google Search can remedy that situation.

Grade B

Book Report

In the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay is very timely.

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Being a fan of Gay’s I knew Not That Bad would be a compelling and upsetting read about society’s deplorable rape culture. Gay is a survivor of a gang rape.  Rape culture includes sexual violence of all kinds, incest, molestation, sexual harassment in the streets, the schools and workplace, and one’s worthiness based solely on one’s perceived sexuality and sexiness. And this rape culture affects women, men and children from all backgrounds.

Written by well-known (and should be well-known) writers these essays are painful not only for the sexual violence these writers suffered but also for the vile ways they were treated once they spoke out.

Grade A

Book Report

Like I mentioned I’m spending the waning days of 2018 reading for fun only. But that doesn’t mean I can’t share what I’ve been reading, right?

America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous  Wrecks by Ruth Whippman

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British journalist Ruth Whippman, now living in the United States, has noticed something. The more we pursue “happiness” the more miserable we become. This happens even with all the various methods of achieving true bliss. Whippman explores the “happiness industrial complex,” which includes self-help books, life coaching, workplace directives, religion, social media, pop psychology and so much more and finds all of it lacking. Whippman’s skills as a journalist and dry British wit made me love this book.  It reminded me of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Brightsided.

Grade A

 

Book Report:We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

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Funny lady Samantha Irby of the blog Bitches Gotta Eat and author of Meaty is back with another brilliant book We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

Among this collection of essays Irby writes about her musings on love and sex. She tells of the scattering of her father’s ashes and her mother’s health struggles. Irby writes about her job at a vet’s office and her rather precarious relationship with a cat named Helen Keller. Irby also writes about finding true love in a way that both surprises her and delights her.

In We Are Never Meeting in Real Life Irby also offers her application to The Bachelorette, her trip to Nashville and needing a new job. She also gives us a list of 13 questions to ask before getting married.

My only quibble with We Are Never Meeting in Real Life? No recipes. Why, Sam, why? This bitch has gotta eat!

Book Report: We Were Witches by Ariel Gore

It’s no secret I’m a fan of writer, author, teacher, activist and creator of the alternative parenting magazine Hip Mama Ariel Gore. Her memoir Atlas of the Human Heart is a favorite of mine. And I also love the non-fiction Bluebird and Gore’s primer on writing How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead.

Now Gore is back with another tremendous book, a novel called We Were Witches.

“My body is a curio shop.” – Ariel Gore from We Were Witches

We Were Witches is a creative blend of memoir and fiction. We Were Witches is about a struggling single mom named Ariel and her beloved daughter Maia.

Ariel is determined to better her life by getting a college education and working less than desirable work/study jobs in a post-Reagan world of “family values,” skimpy child support checks, a shitty ex, less than ideal parents and a safety net made of spider webs.

But Ariel does have a lot of things going for you including an excellent education, an oddball assortment of loving friends, her own creativity, resourcefulness and writing talent. Ariel also has a street smart wisdom, her feminist spirit animals and Maia’s unconditional love.

As We Were Witches unspools Ariel learns to embrace being a square peg and refuses to whittle herself into a round one.

Vividly written with passages I saw in mind’s eye (especially the one on Maia’s birth, which chilled me) We Were Witches is simply one of my favorite novels of the year!