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Book Review: Whoa, Baby!

Whoa, Baby! is a book by Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland. I wanted to check it out because of the music connection but I really am not the audience that Kelly was looking for.  The book is a guide for new moms and talks about trouble and questions that new moms may have after giving birth and is written with her doctor. Each chapter is a question that Kelly had or that new moms might have that they discuss.  Some of it was a little bit TMI for me – but I think that as a resource for new moms it will be really great because it may be things that you are too embarrassed to ask your doctor or friends about and there is information that you need to know! If you are a new mom, are going to be a new mom or know a new mom, definitely pick up this book.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

When vocalist and actress Kelly Rowland, whose albums have sold millions of copies worldwide, gave birth to her son, it was love at first sight. But she was also a little freaked out about what had happened to her body and the overwhelming new thoughts and emotions. In Whoa Baby!, Rowland and her ob-gyn Dr. Tristan Emily Bickman team up to cover everything a first-time mom needs to know: the gross physical stuff, the hormonal and emotional stuff, and the just plain weird stuff. Whoa, Baby! is often hilarious and always honest and down-to-earth. Readers will empathize with the candid unglamorous experiences of parenting. From falling asleep with the pump on to swollen legs and lack of sleep, Rowland and Dr. Bickman cover every surprising challenge that new moms face.

Book Review: Thurston Moore: We Sing A New Language

Thurston Moore: We Sing A New Language is about Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. I did not realize that he was from Bethel, CT!  The band was signed in 1989 and the book documents 130+ recordings and collaborations with interviews from the collaborators involved on each of the recordings.  I thought it was really cool and a different approach to a biography. You could go to specific recordings that you wanted to know more about, or just check out the whole book and find out pretty much everything you ever needed to know! It includes collaborations, solo recordings and guest appearances.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

We Sing A New Language is the first definitive account of Thurston Moore’s work across many hundreds of collaborations, solo recordings and guest appearances.

His long tenure in Sonic Youth might speak for itself, but in this book Moore’s friends and colleagues speak revealingly for his other achievements, bringing together a wide variety of creative enterprises whose unifying thread is nothing more or less than Thurston Moore’s passionate devotion to music.

Keen to experiment, willing to relinquish control and unafraid to take chances, he has allowed himself to remain creative and innovative. It’s a unique achievement and one that finds worthy celebration in We Sing A New Language.

Book Review: The Poetry of Pop

The Poetry of Pop looks into the magic of pop songs in the language of lyrics and breaks down some lyrics as poems.  This is a deeper look into songs than I am used to and there are a lot more to lyrics than I thought!  There is a lot of mentions of Taylor Swift in the book and despite me not liking her at all, I can give props where props are due and I do think she does write some great songs.  I liked the part of the book about different rhymes. I also liked the paragraphs about how Justin Timberlake is white. haha. (ok that’s a very basic break down of what is trying to be explained but if you are a Justin fan I am sure you get the idea of what is being discussed.)  This book definitely made me think more about reading lyrics and reading them as more than just lyrics, but as poetry too.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review,  I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A trailblazing exploration of the poetic power of popular songs, from Tin Pan Alley to the Beatles to Beyoncé and beyond.

Encompassing a century of recorded music, this pathbreaking book reveals the poetic artistry of popular songs. Pop songs are music first. They also comprise the most widely disseminated poetic expression of our time. Adam Bradley traces the song lyric across musical genres from early twentieth-century Delta blues to mid-century rock ‘n’ roll to today’s hits. George and Ira Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm.” The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” These songs are united in their exacting attention to the craft of language and sound. Bradley shows that pop music is a poetry that must be heard more than read, uncovering the rhythms, rhymes, and metaphors expressed in the singing voice. At once a work of musical interpretation, cultural analysis, literary criticism, and personal storytelling, this book illustrates how words and music come together to produce compelling poetry, often where we least expect it.

Adam Bradley is professor of English and founding director of the Laboratory for Race & Pop Culture (RAP Lab) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the author of Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop.

Book Review: Taken By the CEO

Taken By The CEO is about Emmaline who has just gone through a divorce.  She thinks that she needs a big change in her life and she is debating changing her name.  When she locks herself out of her car and meets a new guy when she is trying to get help, she decides to lie and tell her that her name is Sarah.  They go on a date and then she realizes that he is the new CEO at her job!! Emmaline is worried now that her promotion is at stake and the CEO thinks that she is a liar.  The CEO, Parker, ends up forgiving her after he finds out that she didn’t know who he was at all and wasn’t lying to try and get to his money.  Emmaline ends up withdrawing from the promotion as her relationship with Parker heats up. She doesn’t want anyone to think that she slept her way to the top.  Parker reinstates Emmaline’s application behind her back and even though typically the CEO has final say in who gets the promotion and wanted it to go to Emmaline, he lets the rest of the committee decide instead.  It looks like this is going to be the first in the series and I’d definitely consider reading more! This was a fun, quick read even though there was a lot of will they / won’t they back and forth with the main couple I still enjoyed it.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

It was only supposed to be a little white lie. When Emmaline Greene pretends to be Sarah, the confident, sexy woman she wishes she could be, she figures no harm, no foul. Her one-night stand will never find out. Wrong. The gorgeous guy she slept with isn’t just amazing in bed…he’s also her new boss.

 

Parker Wentworth has a lot to prove. He’s just been appointed CEO of his family’s company and is tasked with repairing its scandalous reputation. He can’t afford any distractions or complications. Too bad the attractive blonde he takes to bed turns out to be both. So why can’t he forget the incredible night they spent together and move on?

And why does he have this need to know the real Emmaline?

Book Review: The Sweetest Kiss

The Sweetest Kiss is the 4th book in a series. I didn’t realize this until after I had finished it, but it worked just find as a stand alone. I thought this was going to be a sweet romance novel, but it wasn’t very romancy, if you get what I mean.

The book follows Megan Wallace. She wants to travel to Italy to fulfill a promise she made to her Aunt Bea. But when an unexpected medical expense comes up, all the money she has saved needs to be used for that.  Then the local library hosts a contest – and the winner will receive a contract to work for one year in Italy at a gallery.  Megan is an artist first, but a web designer and dress shop worker second – but that’s what she has to do to make ends meet.

Megan is also in love with her friends brother, Brian. The two have been close over the years but she is always hesitant to tell him how she feels.  He is a talented woodworker and she wants him to make the frames for her pieces in the contest, but has has already paired up with another contestant! After Megan finds someone else to work with her, Brian seems very jealous.

The two end up kissing under the blue moon – a legend in town that means good things or bad things depending on who you are.   What will it mean for Megan and Brian? Will Megan win the contest and fulfill her dreams of visiting Boboli Gardens? Find out when you read The Sweetest Kiss.

I liked this book, the only downside is I thought it would be more “romantic”.  It was a very cute story with likeable characters and a quick read.  I will definitely keep an eye out for some of the other books in this series to find out more about some of Megan’s friend’s who were mentioned in this book.

I received a free e-copy of this book from Netgalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Megan Wallace wants three things: to make a living as an artist, to fulfill a promise she made her grandmother to visit the Boboli Gardens in Italy, and—oh yeah— for her best friend Brian Watts to fall in love with her. When the local library hosts an art competition, in which the winner will receive a one-year contract to paint in Florence, Italy, Megan sets out to make all her dreams come true.

Since Brian is a talented woodworker, Megan plans to ask him to make the custom frames for her paintings. She’s crushed to discover he’s already partnered up with Chelsea Chambers, Megan’s rival since art school. Megan is even more devastated when Chelsea sets her sights on Brian romantically.

The stakes are high and there can only be one winner. When the contest judges praise Chelsea’s classic style, Megan wonders if she should forego her own surreal painting style for one that’s more traditional. Brian urges her to be true to her talent. He also gives her reason to believe that maybe he feels more than friendship for her after all.

Will Megan have to give up her vision in order to win the contest? And if she wins, will she have to say goodbye to the love of her life?

Book Review: Stevie Nicks Visions, Dreams & Rumors

I went to see Stevie Nicks in concert a few years back and really enjoyed myself so when I saw that there was a biography of hers available for reading, I jumped at the chance to check it out.  The book is broken up into 4 parts and has 3 sections of pictures! (Always my favorite part.)  One really cool feature with this book is that it has a digital timeline of Stevie’s life included as a link. I had never seen something like this before, and it was very interactive and interesting to look through to see the various photos and videos that were included- the way of the future now that the ebook pulled the page right up on my computer to browse through.

Sometimes the chapter mentions what it was going to be about before it started and other times it sort of recapped what happened in the chapter – since I sometimes have a tendency to skim longer biographies at times, I liked this touch.  A lot of the information also came from interviews from other publications, which when I was reading some other reviews of the books people said they didn’t like that but I always like when actual quotes are included, in a biography it’s the closest you can really get to be being an autobiography when you have actual quotes from the artist the book is about.

I absolutely loved the pictures included – Stevie with a beehive as a teenager? Some great shots from shows too are included.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks is a musical visionary, a poet and an enduring style icon with a truly phenomenal life story. The Omnibus enhanced Stevie Nicks: Dreams, Visions & Rumours is a celebratory examination of this tale, tracing Stevie’s life from her Arizona childhood, the magic moment when she joined Fleetwood Mac and the hedonistic turbulence that followed.

Crowned ‘The Reigning Queen of Rock And Roll’ by Rolling Stone, and with gold and platinum solo albums to her credit, Stevie Nicks outlives her defining Fleetwood Mac image. Hers is a story of hard work, self-belief and a fierce devotion to musical creativity. Researched through exclusive interviews with many of Stevie’s close associates and collaborators, Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams & Rumours is a revealing and inspiring portrait of one of rock’s great women.

Book Review: Art Deco Interiors

I love checking out books that are related to architecture and decorating. They are kind of adult picture books.  This book was no exception, a lot of fun checking out all the Art Deco Interior designs featured in this book. A lot of great colors and interesting living spaces are included in this book.  Some were amazing, like Plate 12. Pierre Chareau’s Dressing room home of Mrs R which had a library up above on the wall complete with a ladder that went across the wall so you could reach the books. I’m not sure that this is something I’d actually ever use, but man would it look cool in any house.  Some of the designs are simple, some more complex and “busy”  All of them pretty cool and a pleasure to flip through/

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

First published in Paris as Decoration Moderne dans l’Interieur, this rare 1935 portfolio of full-color plates reflects the influence of Art Deco modernism on architects and interior designers. Designs for every space include living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, terraces, artists’ studios, and other settings. Equally eye-catching are the lighting, chairs, tables, beds, bookcases, desks, accessories, and other furniture along with floor and wall treatments and additional elements of modernist interior design.
Captions identify the creator of every design, and the book includes a translation of the original Introduction and a new Publisher’s Note. This splendid collection of authentic, hard-to-find designs will provide a treasury of inspiration for architects, interior designers, and designers of furniture and accessories as well as collectors of authentic Art Deco material and students of design, architectural history, and popular culture.

Book Review: According to a Source

According to a Source is about Ella who sometimes goes as Bella who works for a gossip mag getting all the latest dirt on all your favorite celebrities.  All the names of the celebrities in the books are what you might see in blind items on the internet but you can kind of get an idea of who they are based off of – “not so innocent oversexualized pop star” – yeah, thats gotta be loosely based on Britney Spears, right?  Ella manages to get all the dirt for The Life and even has managed to befriend actress and socialite Holiday Hall – who knows her secret, and her code that she only writes about things that happen in public.

When a new editor takes over at the magazine and tells the freelancers that there is only room for 4 of them and they will have to earn points based on what kind of stories they get, Ella struggles to keep up.  Her mother is very sick and she doesn’t want to tell anything about Holiday, even though she probably knows a secret or two.  When Ella finds herself in the middle of a scandal with Holiday and doesn’t report it to her editor, she pressures her for information and Ella cracks.

Can Ella make right after ruining so many careers, friendships and relationships?  She’s not sure, but she’s hit rock bottom and she is certainly going to try.

As someone who used to try and figure out all the blind items I read on the internet, this book was an interesting look at “behind the scenes” of how that information was sourced.  It also had a great storyline and just enough drama to keep things just over the top enough to keep me wanting to turn the page.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

We live in a society obsessed with celebrity, but have you ever wondered who is on the inside gathering the best celebrity gossip and how do they get access? According to a Source: A Novel by Abby Stern dishes on this behind the scenes world in a way that only a Hollywood insider could.

Ella Warren works for celebrity news website, The Life, as a club reporter. She’s assigned to stake out Hollywood’s hottest clubs and spy on the celebrities inside. When Ella is pressured by her Devil Wears Prada-type boss to find an exclusive story to keep her job, she has to decide if being in Hollywood’s elite inner circle is worth jeopardizing her friendship with actress Holiday Hall, her budding romance with Holiday’s agent, and her family.

A juicy, big-hearted novel about a young woman who loses herself in a fast-paced, glamorous world where finding your authentic self isn’t easy.

Book Review: Otis Redding

In addition to being a biography about Otis Redding, this book also talks about the area around him and what the times were like for everyone as a bit more of background so you can really understand what was going on at the time.  I was sad to see that only 1 photo had survived from Otis’ childhood.  Otis knew that Sitting on the Dock of the Bay was going to be his million dollar selling song, but I don’t think he realized that just days after recording it in 1967 he would be killed in a plane crash and it would top the charts becoming the first posthumous single to top the charts in the US.  Many used Otis’ death as a commercial opportunity to make money by selling his records.  This was a very interesting and very thorough biography and a very sad story.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A definitive biography of Otis Redding, the musical artist who was widely regarded as the quintessential soul singer of the 1960s, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding’s iconic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

Otis Redding remains a living presence in the canon of American popular music on the strength of such classic hits as “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now),” “Try a Little Tenderness,” and “Respect,” a song that Redding wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it immortal.  As a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and arranger, Redding was the chief architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis.  Yet, while Redding’s music has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul, an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded the story of his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by his death in a plane crash in December 1967.

Otis Redding is the biography that finally does justice to the unfinished life of the man who was once celebrated as the “King of Soul.”  Jonathan Gould’s book draws on comprehensive research, the cooperation of the Redding family, and previously unavailable sources of information to present a fully-formed portrait of Redding’s background, his upbringing, and his professional career.   That said, this biography is not only a book about Redding and his music; it is also a social history of the time and place from which they emerged.  Rejecting the often sentimentalized view of race relations in the music business, Gould never lets us forget that the boundaries between black musicians and white listeners were becoming porous at precisely the moment when racial tensions were reaching a height throughout the United States.  His indelible portrait of Redding and the mass acceptance of soul music in the 1960s is both a remarkable look at a little-understood artist and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America.

Book Review: Baseball Faith

Baseball Faith is about 52 baseball stars who reflect on their faith.  About 1/3 of the names from the table of contents I recognized.  There are several Mets and former Mets featured in the book – such as Murphy, Matz, Francoeur, Martinez and Rivera.  And of course, Albert Pujols was featured.  A book about Pujols and his faith was one of the first books I ever read in exchange for a review with this blog!  Each of the players has a writeup including their favorite verse, a writeup about them and some of their stats.  This is a very quick read but I found it very interesting to see which of the verses spoke to the players and why.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Baseball Faith will inspire and encourage you in your faith journey, as 52 MLB players–past and present–share their stories and how they are chasing the success that only comes from being God’s man and following His plan. These men are committed to living their lives with eternity in mind. Empowered by God, they are looking beyond the competition to a larger goal: following God’s game plan for their lives as team players, as husbands, fathers, sons, and then using their influence to point others toward Him. Featuring personal stories from Hall of Famer John Smoltz, three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, former MVP Albert Pujols, perennial All-Star Mariano Rivera, and many more,