Tag Archives: books

Check out “A Place of Yes” – a Bethenny Frankel Book

1 Jul


Bethenny Frankel is the founder of the Skinnygirl empire.

We know Bethenny Frankel from Bravo TV’s The Real Housewives of New York City, Bethenny Getting Married?, and Bethenny Ever After. Although I didn’t jump on The Real Housewives of New York City bandwagon until season three, which coincidentally was Bethenny’s last season on the show, it was glaringly obvious that she was the only normal, sane cast member on the show. Even though I’ve watched both seasons of her self-titled show on Bravo, I never really knew too much about her until reading, “A Place of Yes.” This Bethenny Frankel book really revealed a side of her that people wouldn’t know just from watching her on television.

“A Place of Yes,” is Bethenny’s story of how she overcame a difficult childhood, and through years and years of hard work, turned herself into the superwoman mogul that she is today. Bethenny shares her secrets to success, using her own life examples each step of the way. Known for her straightforward and sassy attitude, she shares her stories of successes and failures with no holds barred, which is completely fantastic.

I found this Bethenny Frankel book to be quite inspirational. In “A Place of Yes,” Bethenny drives the point home that hard work really does pay off. Reading about her rise to success, is enough to make anyone realize that they can achieve even their biggest dreams if they really put their mind to it. She makes a point of stressing that you must put your all into every single job you have, even the ones where you’re just in it for the paycheck. For example, she once hired a girl to check coats at an event she was running, who rocked the job so hard that Bethenny hired her to work in her office. This girl’s fierce work effort got her all the way to the executive marketing position she currently holds. Now, who wouldn’t be inspired to dominate even the most mundane task after reading that?

Another point that I really identified with in this Bethenny Frankel book, is what she refers to as “normal noise.” This is when other people (and vice versa) try to convince you that whatever you’re doing, saying, wearing, etc. is not normal, simply because it is different from what they are used to. She makes the point that normal is something different to everyone, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m constantly decked out in sequins, listening to The New Kids on the Block hits from the 90’s, and eating perfectly portioned servings of peanut butter straight from the jar. To me, this is normal. To the rest of society, this is not normal. This is all fine and dandy though, because if my normal matched the definition of everyone else’s normal, we’d all be pretty bored.

So thank you Bethenny for writing “A Place of Yes.” It is inspiring, insightful, and amusing – the ingredients of a really good read. And for anyone who has yet to read, “A Place of Yes,” be sure to check it out, you’ll be glad you did.

Tucker Max Books – Horribly Wrong, Yet Irresistibly Right

20 Jun

It is wrong to love the Tucker Max books as much as I do.

While browsing through Urban Outfitters recently, I saw a book that caught my eye, “Assholes Finish First.” I mean with a title like that how can it NOT catch your eye? I went home that night, googled the author – Tucker Max, and found that there are actually two Tucker Max books. “Assholes Finish First,” is a sequel to another book titled, “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.” A normal person would stop right there, but whatever, I was far too intrigued at this point not to keep going. I immediately checked both of these books out from the library (not without an evil stare of judgement from the librarian) and embarked on my new literary adventure.

I read “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell First,” and was completed horrified, in awe, and intrigued by these outrageous Tucker Max stories. I immediately understand why the man needed to write a book. Tucker Max stories need to be shared, both for entertainment purposes, and as a general standard of how not to behave. For example, Tucker was smart enough to get a scholarship to Duke Law School, but dumb enough to get fired from his high-paid summer internship at a fancy law firm, because he was an immature, drunk a**hole.

As soon as I finished reading the first Tucker Max book, I started on the second one, “Assholes Finish First.” I thought the second was probably going to be lame, as it seemed impossible that the stories in the first book could ever be topped. But I was proven very wrong. Despite his moronic behavior, Tucker Max is brilliant. Combine genius powers with a complete disregard for how a normal human should behave, and you get Tucker Max stories, round #2. I won’t ruin the book for anyone who has yet to read it, but picture this, Tucker Max and a bunch of preppy white guys driving an RV around Harlem, terrorizing the streets for hours on end. Who does this you might ask? Tucker Max is the answer.

The best part about the Tucker Max books is his blatant honesty. He’s an a**hole, and he has no problem admitting it. He also seems to be pretty full of self-love, but hey, after reading the Tucker Max stories I think he’s earned it.

Watch out for another Tucker Max book to hit stores sometime in 2011.

Sweet Valley Confidential

17 Jun

Who hasn't searched the library shelves for Sweet Valley twins books?!

If you were a fan of Sweet Valley twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield when you were a kid, you were probably excited to hear about Sweet Valley Confidential, the new book from Francine Pascal following up with the girls 10 years after they graduated from Sweet Valley High.

Disclaimer: Stop reading if you plan to read the book but have not yet, as I don’t want to ruin it for you. Check back after you’re done reading.

Sweet Valley Confidential wasn’t a bad book. In fact, it was great to “check-in” with the Sweet Valley twins, of whom I spent much of my childhood reading about. That said, I was a little disappointed by the book. I love a good fiction read, but this was almost too unrealistic even for me. And I find myself off in my own imaginary world so often that my family and friends refer to it as “Lauraland.”

For example, the book starts off with a giant rift between Jessica and Elizabeth, because Jessica stole Elizabeth’s fiancée, but ends with Elizabeth serving as the maid-of-honor in this wedding. There wasn’t much of a storyline developed for this reunion to make much sense. Another odd storyline occurs when the overly cautious, uber responsible Elizabeth invites a New York City bartender that she had met for only a few short minutes back to Sweet Valley with her, to accompany her to Grandma Wakefield’s 80th birthday party.

Finally, an underlying storyline of Bruce Patman being in love with his best friend, Elizabeth is mentioned constantly, unbeknownst to Elizabeth. She doesn’t mention a romantic thought about him throughout the entire book, until a life-changing personal revelation at the end of the story. Bruce surprises Elizabeth by telling her that he has sold his Sweet Valley home and will be moving to New York City to be with the woman he loves (her). Elizabeth instantly realizes that she is madly in love with Bruce & they fly off into the sunset.

Besides the crazy, unrealistic nature of this book, it also seemed very dated. The pictures of the Sweet Valley twins covering the inside of the book had them looking like they just walked right out of 1985. This, along with the description of their clothes and overall appearance didn’t add up to being a worldly woman in 2011.

Many old characters from the old Sweet Valley books made their triumphant returns in the book, which I did think was a great touch. It was nice to get updates on the old Sweet Valley crew.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the book was the storyline surrounding the Sweet Valley twins older brother, Steven Wakefield. He was forced to come out of the closet when Jessica found him frolicking with his boyfriend on the beach. This was an unexpected, but really interesting surprise.

Overall, I’m glad I read the book, even though it was somewhat ridiculous. If there is a sequel to Sweet Valley Confidential, I will likely read it. Yep, I a giant sucker for nostalgia.

“Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me”

8 Jun

Chelsea Handler is an evil genius.

Chelsea Handler is the funniest person on the planet. After reading her fourth book, Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me, I have an even deeper admiration for this woman.

All of the Chelsea Handler books are so hilarious that I cannot control myself when reading them, and end up laughing hysterically wherever I am, garnering some strange looks from those around me.  Whatever. They’d be laughing too if they saw the ridiculous stories that I was reading.

The other three Chelsea Handler books were written by the woman herself, but this new one was a collection of stories narrated by her closest friends and family members. I was a little skeptical at first as to whether or not these tales would actually be funny when told by anyone other than Chelsea herself, but I quickly realized that anyone who hangs around this crazy woman is equally entertaining.

Although Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me is about the borderline psychotic stunts that Chelsea regularly pulls on her family and friends, each chapter shares the common sentiment of her loved ones accepting and appreciating her for who she is. Her friends and family seem to be completely amused by her abuse, even praising her multiple times in each chapter for her kindness and generosity towards them. This was nice way to get a glimpse at the softer side of Chelsea, without any of that sappy, emotional garbage that no one (well at least me) really likes.