What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Shrill by Lindy West #books #reading

I picked this book up because I saw the hype on TV for the show. I’m glad I did. Honestly, it’s a brutally honest, funny and makes you think kind of book. This woman has been through stuff and isn’t afraid to say so. She’s also a survivor. She’s funny and relatable, too. If you’re looking for a book that’s like talking to a friend who’s been there, done that and bought the T-shirt, then this might be the one for you.

Shrill is an uproarious memoir, a feminist rallying cry in a world that thinks gender politics are tedious and that women, especially feminists, can’t be funny.

Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible — like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you — writer and humoristLindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.

From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.

With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Be My Baby by Ronnie Spector #books #reading

I picked this book up because it was listed with a group of great reads if you’re looking for something in the rock biography group. I’m glad I picked it up. I knew Ronnie Spector was married to Phil Spector, but this book has the honesty, the brutality and the heart of a woman who’s seen the dark side and come back out. I liked her honesty and vibrancy. She’s not mincing words. She had a rough life, but came back from it and I respect her more! Check it out.

Pop legend Ronnie Spector reveals the story of her dreamlike rise from the streets of Harlem to the pinnacle of rock stardom as lead singer of the Ronettes, and her nightmare descent into madness as the wife of Phil Spector, the pop hitmaker who kept her a virtual prisoner behind the locked doors of his darkened Beverly Hills mansion. Ronnie’s escape from that ordeal, and her subsequent struggle to reclaim her voice, her career, and her sanity, provide an emotional-packed climax to this smart, funny, and inspiring autobiography, named one of “The Top 25 Rock Memoirs of All Time” by Rolling Stone.   

This newly redesigned 358 page deluxe hardcover edition of Be My Baby includes dozens of color and black and white photographs from Ronnie’s personal collection. This fully indexed volume also includes a thoroughly updated discography with the most complete survey of Ronnie’s recording career ever published.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran by John Taylor #reading

I’m going to date myself a bit, but I remember when Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf came out. I loved them. They were so glossy and modern. Plus, John Taylor and Nick Rhodes were always my favorite members of Duran Duran. I guess I had a thing for glam men and androgynous ones. Anyway, I happened on a list of rock and roll biographies that were highly recommended (possibly on Rolling Stone magazine’s site) and this was one of the ones listed. I immediately put it in my queue. I’m glad I read this. There is so much more than just the band to John Taylor. This is candid, blunt and honest. Check it out!

The talent. The charisma. The videos. From their 1981 hit “Planet Earth” to their latest number-one album, All You Need Is Now, John Taylor and Duran Duran have enchanted audiences around the world. It’s been a wild ride, and—for John in particular—dangerous. John recounts the story of the band’s formation, their massive success, and his journey to the brink of self-destruction. Told with humor, honesty—and packed with exclusive pictures—In the Pleasure Groove is an irresistible rock-and-roll portrait of a band whose popularity has never been stronger.

What I’m Reading with @meganslayer ~ Me by Elton John #reading #eltonjohn

I just started this and am only about 40 pages in, but this book seems to be written in a way that sounds like what I assume is how he talks. I like hearing Elton’s stories and seeing life through his eyes. I liked Rocketman and this, since it’s by the man himself, is better because it’s more thorough. I’m eager to get back to it, so I’m off to keep reading. 🙂

In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, from his rollercoaster lifestyle as shown in the film Rocketman, to becoming a living legend.

Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt, and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.

His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation to conquering Broadway with AidaThe Lion King, and Billy Elliot the Musical. All the while Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade.

In Me, Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble, and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you by a living legend.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer – Mistletoe and Mr Right by Lyla Payne #reading

I picked up this book because of the dog on the cover. Not only that, but I wanted something different. I needed some happy right now. There’s enough negative, so this was a welcome positive. I’ll admit, I’m only part way through the first book. I like the idea that Jessica is a fish out of water and that she’s made her own predicament, but that also grated on my nerves. She’s made her own predicament. She wants things just so. I’m hoping this pair of books get better the further through I go, but right now…I’m sort of bummed. I want a heroine who is forthright, but not so bullheaded she’s a pain and she’s getting there fast. Here’s to the story picking up and getting better!

Two tales of holiday romance from USA Today bestselling author Lyla Payne, where lost love is found in the nick of time, and Mr. Right could be just under your nose!

Mistletoe and Mr. Right
Jessica takes a flying leap and follows her Irish boyfriend home for the holidays, sure that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop for the beginning of their happily-ever-after. But it turns out the only person making the trip worthwhile is the local farmhand, who has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most . . . and least.

Sleigh Bells and Second Chances
Christina Lake does not want to be away at Christmas, but it’s her job to babysit one of London’s hottest bands…even though she had a fling with the band’s lead singer, Cary, that never officially ended. Maybe London is exactly where she’s supposed to be to get the perfect New Year’s kiss . . . if Cary can find a way to prove himself before the clock strikes twelve.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly #reading

I picked up this book because I’d been on a bender reading anything WWII fiction-wise and I liked the Tattooist of Auschwitz. This one is interesting, but it’s slow going and it’s rather hard to keep up with the characters. There are a lot. That said, I’m enjoying it, but it’s sloggy. I’ll keep going.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For readers of The Nightingale and Sarah’s Key, inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this remarkable debut novel reveals the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances.

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ My Sister by Selenis Leyva and Marizol Leyva #books #iamreading

This is a heart-wrenching book. I like the plain talk both sisters use while discussing the hard topics and telling their story. This is a must read for anyone…in life. Really. Check it out.

A powerful memoir by two sisters about transitioning, family, and the path to self-realization.

When Orange Is the New Black and Diary of a Future President star Selenis Leyva was young, her hardworking parents brought a new foster child into their warm, loving family in the Bronx. Selenis was immediately smitten; she doted on the baby, who in turn looked up to Selenis and followed her everywhere. The little boy became part of the family. But later, the siblings realized that the child was struggling with their identity. As Marizol transitioned and fought to define herself, Selenis and the family wanted to help, but didn’t always have the language to describe what Marizol was going through or the knowledge to help her thrive.
In My Sister, Selenis and Marizol narrate, in alternating chapters, their shared journey, challenges, and triumphs. They write honestly about the issues of violence, abuse, and discrimination that transgender people and women of color–and especially trans women of color–experience daily. And they are open about the messiness and confusion of fully realizing oneself and being properly affirmed by others, even those who love you.
Profoundly moving and instructive, My Sister offers insight into the lives of two siblings learning to be their authentic selves. Ultimately, theirs is a story of hope, one that will resonate with and affirm those in the process of transitioning, watching a loved one transition, and anyone taking control of their gender or sexual identities.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Hard Deal by Stefanie London

I wanted something hot and that’s what I got. The scene in the club… wow! This is a quick read and fun. Imogen is laced up and not one to let loose. Caleb lets loose often and has been discounted. I liked them getting together. The one thing I didn’t enjoy was Imogen’s tendency to cut herself down and put up walls. I know she really wanted to stay protected, but sometimes I wanted to throw up my hands in frustration. He likes you, tell him you like him, too! But the dance was good and I liked the ending, so it all works out. Check out this book. 🙂

For one night only, Imogen Hargrove is a sexy spy. She’s donned a mask for the Carmina Masquerade Ball, where she hopes to catch her sister’s cheating fiancé, Daniel, in the act. But she’s the one who gets rumbled when she strays too close to her target—only to realize she’s been tailing the wrong man. A searing kiss makes her forget her mission altogether, and the mysterious stranger awakens something inside her: a burning passion she hasn’t felt since the brutal breakup of her last relationship.

Imogen is mortified to discover that the man behind the mask is her colleague, notorious womanizer Caleb Allbrook. He’s the last person she wants to get close to, and she doesn’t need another playboy in her life. But that kiss has her curious—besides, Caleb knows her sister’s fiancé and could prove very useful in digging up dirt.

She makes a deal: she’ll go on a date with Caleb in exchange for information on Daniel’s affair. But Caleb’s irresistible charm turns a casual conversation into a night of sultry seduction. Imogen knows Caleb is bad news—yet he makes her feel sexier than any man ever has. Can she pull herself away from yet another toxic relationship, or will Caleb prove there’s more to him than just sex appeal?

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Please Don’t Feed the Mayor by Sue Pethick #reading #iamreading

I realize I’ve been derelict in posting what I’ve read for the past couple weeks. It’s been a little tough around here, so I’m trying to get back on track. Here we go!

I’ve been reading a lot of animal books and mystery ones, so when I saw this one… I mean, you’re not supposed to feed the mayor who is that darn cute. I had to read it. I’m glad I did. This author is new to me and the writing style is original. The one thing that was a little off putting about the writing was the author’s tendency to have a character do an action, then the next line was the character speaking. It sometimes made following along as to who was talking a bit difficult. I also wasn’t sure about the heroine for a while. She could be very…she has her ways and wants things her way, but she’s sweet about it. I had a hard time warming up to her.

Still, it’s a cute book and a quick read, so if you’re looking for something for the beach or something for a lazy weekend, then this might be for you.

When the lumber mill closes, laying off most everyone in Fossett, Oregon, Melanie MacDonald plans to revitalize her beloved but beleaguered homestead by running her border collie Shep in Fossett’s mayoral race . . .

 Shep wins by a landslide.  

A lover of democracy and dog treats, Shep is rapidly earning the goodwill of Fossett’s citizens. Tourists are streaming in and everyone wants to glad-paw the new mayor. Suddenly Melanie and Shep are media darlings, with requests for interviews, game shows, and personal appearances through the roof. But there’s trouble in paradise. Determined to win back his former wife, Bryce MacDonald discovers a rival in tabloid reporter Chad Cameron, who’s in Fossett to dig up dirt on Melanie and Shep. He finds a willing co-conspirator in the malcontent who lost the election. Hounded by the press and desperate to head off a potential dog-napping, Melanie unwittingly puts herself in danger. Shep comes to the rescue, proving his mettle to save his faithful human at the risk of his own life . . . and new political career. 

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Unbelieveable by @KatyTur

I picked up this book because I found an autographed copy. I don’t know how the person who had the book came into the autographed copy, but it caught my attention. That, and I enjoy watching Katy Tur on television. She’s quick, blunt and I like that she’s human. This book reads much like what I’d imagine a conversation with her would be. It’s relatable and real. It’s blunt. She writes with a certain flow that kept me wanting to know more. The story is a rollercoaster ride. If you’re interested in something about politics that isn’t particularly political (no picking sides here), then this might be the one to choose. Recommended.

Called “disgraceful,” “third-rate,” and “not nice” by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history.

Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”—a Trump rally playlist staple.

From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car.

None of it worked. Facts are stubborn. So was Tur. She was part of the first women-led politics team in the history of network news. The Boys on the Bus became the Girls on the Plane. But the circus remained. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur.

Unbelievable is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It’s also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is a must-read for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?