Category Archives: Autobiographies

A Piece of Cake: A Memoir by Cupcake Brown

61L-FnuWaALWhere to begin with this book…. I feel like I must have a disclaimer before I recommend that you read this. It was very disturbing. I felt physically ill when I started to read the first couple chapters. I feel so distraught for Cupcake, for the torment, abuse and horrific experiences this woman had to go through.

She lost her mother. She was raped at a very young age. Abandoned. Beaten. Starting prostituting before she was a teenager. Gangs. Violence. Using heavy drugs at the age of 11 and continued to heavily use throughout her youth. The list goes on and on.

To read her transformation. To see this woman struggle more than most people would ever have to in their lives and to overcome and improve her life so greatly is truly inspirational.brown184

Cupcake’s story made me appreciate my life so much. It made my life seem like a cake walk (pun intended).

This book is very honest and Cupcake does not leave anything out. She is truly vulnerable to her reader. I applaud her for what she has accomplished and I wish and hope that no one has to go through a life that like.

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Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography – Neil Patrick Harris

Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "Smurfs 2" - Red CarpetOnly NPH would have a choose-your-own-adventure style memoir. It was such a unique reading experience and made me a little nostalgic to my youth of reading those classic Bantam Books.

My only suggestion when reading this book, is to have a physical copy. I used my Kobo and if you’ve read a choose your own adventure before, you probably use your finger 

rs_634x980-140520152707-BoFIxFTCQAAJ0jVto hold your place so after making your selection so you could go back and read the alternate paths. With an eBook it’s not as easy.

At the end of my journey, I went back to the beginning and flipped through each page to make sure I didn’t miss a single tale. Thank goodness I did that or I would have missed out on all of NPH’s great stories with none other than Elton John. With his trip to Nice to stay at Elton’s extravagant mansion.

NPH recounts his life from Doogie to How I Met Your Mother. From his youth to his life on Broadway. From coming out to his beautiful family he has today.

This book is hilarious, touching and sincere. I only have the best to say about this book. So go pick it up today!

Enjoy!!

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Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”

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Out of everyone I’ve spoken with about this book, I feel like I am the only person who didn’t have a positive opinion of it.

I’ve been asked if I like HBO’s Girls or Lena’s movie Tiny Furniture, which I answered, “Yes”. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy this book.

I thought the chapters on the contents of her purse and her food diary were a waste of time to read. What was the point of this? To fill space because Lena is too young to have lived enough to write her memoirs? Whatever the reason maybe, I feel she was trying to get the page count up.not that kind of girl

I did enjoy some of the book. Mostly about her dealing with her OCD, but most of the stories irked me. I just want to give her a hug and tell her that she should take charge of her sexuality and not allow men to treat her so poorly. Also, if you are drinking heavily and doing a bunch of drugs have a buddy not allow you to sleep with anyone because apparently you cannot make good decisions on your own.

The chapter where she describes her rape, you might pass by as another crazy night in Lena’s life. She seems to glance over it as the act of violence that it is, and makes it seem like she just brushed it off, other than the physical pain she had to endure afterwards. It came across as an uncomfortable first sexual encounter with a guy who was way too rough in the sac and after noticing he wasn’t wearing a condom didn’t do too much about it. I do not want to dismiss her and rape is very horrific and I hope I misinterpreted how she wanted to convey her tale of rape to the world. I also hope she takes a stand against what happened to her, even though what I’ve read recently is describing Lena as she is defending the accused. I hope Lena shows young women out there that this is a situation that should not be taken lightly and makes a positive statement to those who look to her as a role model.

I guess I am more about biographies about empowering women and role models for our youth and this is definitely not the case in this book.

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Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar – Kelly Oxford

Not as funny as I was lead to believe. But there were still a couple of laugh out loud moments.

Kelly’s stories of her life, begin in her youth. I felt like I was reading the diary of a young girl who was having the same awkward time in life. Then as her tales progressed into her teenage years, I became uninterested. Who doesn’t have a story at one point in high school of trying to impress their friends or getting black-out, puke all over a car drunk? (You don’t have to admit it, but I know Kelly and I aren’t the only ones) 

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It wasn’t until her adulthood that I was able to relate to her. Mother, wife and partyer. That is the Kelly I liked. She reminded me of a stretched out (she refers to herself as such because of giving birth to 3 kids), married version of Chelsea Handler.

I guess she is trying to reach all audiences, because depending on where you are in life, you will be able to connect on some level with at least one part of her book.

I might have high standards for comedic memoirs because I have read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingBossypants by Tina Fey and I love the vulgarity in all of Chelsea Handler’s books.  

Overall, this was funny. There were at least 4 moments on the train where I was choking back audible laughter, it had to do with urine, David Copperfield, her husband and Disneyland (all 4 were different stories).  So I do recommend it, and I will just chalk this up to the book being over hyped for me.

But I hope you enjoy!

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Bossypants – Tina Fey

In keeping with the feminine comedic non-fiction kick I have been on, I thought I would review Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

If you love 30 Rock, you will love Bossypants. It’s the story of Tina Fey and how she came to be the woman she is today. (Yes, I know. How cliché)

TinafeyAt the beginning of the story Tina embarks on the tale about how she received the scar on her left cheek. But she never truly reveals the whole story. I would even say she gives you half of the story. She says she’s sick of telling it and then it would lose all its mystery. I was sort of intrigued to find out what had happened myself, but I respect Tina’s privacy.

What can you really say about an autobiography? It’s funny. It’s the story of Tina Fey and her interesting chronicle of becoming one of the funniest women writers in the business. It’s not a hard sell. If you love Tina Fey. Even if you only like Tina Fey, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Her accounts of her nerdy existence are hilarious and heartwarming, while you still feel a little sad for high school Tina, with all the humiliation.

So what are you waiting for? Go read it! And Enjoy!

 

Synopsis

 

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately half-hearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

 

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – Mindy Kaling

One of my new year’s resolutions was to write more blog posts. But as you can probably tell that has not come to fruition. I wrote the post on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in January and just got around to posting it recently. It’s not that I haven’t been reading. I am flying through some great titles. It’s just that I haven’t had time to get the reviews completed in timely manner.

10335308There has been a lot going on in the past couple months. In November I got a new job in the publishing industry and I also found out that my husband and I will be having a baby (I’m due July 19th)!! So it has been a couple of months of craziness. Between the stresses of a new job and the morning sickness, time has been fleeting. But to keep my spirits up I have been reading a lot of fantastic humour in the past couple weeks. One in particular is Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) By Mindy Kaling.

This book is just hilarious! If you’ve seen Mindy as Kelly Kapoor in The Office or as Mindy Lahiri in her new show The Mindy Project then you know what a comical character she plays in these roles and seeing as Mindy Kaling is just such an absolutely talented human being you would know that she was a writer for both shows, so this books will not disappoint. Not that Mindy is like the characters she plays on TV, but she will definitely makes you laugh just as hard.

Synopsis:

“Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

MindyKaling_backad1Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.”

(Source: Jacket Copy)

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A Year in Provence – Peter Mayle

This post is going to be short and sweet, because I was not a huge fan of this novel.

It is a tale of a married couple who moved from the United States looking for a beautiful farmhouse in Provence, France. They find the house of their dreams and the entire book is a month-by-month account of their daily lives. They spend most of their time renovation their new home, talking to the country folk and complaining about how long the renovations are taking to complete.

What you will learn if you decide to take on the task of reading this novel for yourself:

1. With enough money you can relocate to Provence and buy a 200-year-old farmhouse with mossy swimming pool, problematic pipes, and a wine cave backing up to the Luberon mountains. Wait, it gets worse!

2. Once you do this everyone that has even vaguely heard your name and Provence together in the same sentence will attempt to visit whilst you are having a hell of a time fixing the charming antiquated house and bicycling into town. Hard times.

3. Tragedy strikes! Everything in Provence moves at a slower pace–including uninvited house guest departures and the guys you hired to remodel your soon to be awesome Provencal place. You are to be pitied, poor thing, having been forced to survive on mostly fresh breads, herb cheeses, and the occasional sausage.

4. It can be rough rumbling around in an old car looking for great places to eat. It is a daunting task you face after finding them, having to stuff your face with delicacies drizzled with truffle sauce.

5. The somewhat backwards, rough, but ultimately charming locals are worth talking to–you never know if they’ll tell you about how to choose a pig for hunting truffles or inform you that they’ve booby-trapped the area from foreign campers. How quaint, the poor dears!

6. Truly, life in Provence can prove to be much tougher than it seems. But give it a year or so before you decide to go home–at the very least, wait until you have managed to have your grapes harvested by the guy that works your vines–you’ve got to have your own wine to drink with your breads and cheeses to give you the strength to go on.

Don’t let the view fool you.. Even though it is breathtaking!

I thought this book would give me the want to travel to Provence, like Eat, Pray, Love made me want to go to Naples, Bali and India. But by the end, I didn’t want to go anywhere near this place, and maybe that is what the author was subconsciously trying to do. Because throughout the entire story, the characters were told how much they locales hate tourists, and by the end they comes to despise them as well.

For the first time in all my posts, this one I am not going to recommend. 😦

(Source : Jen)

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