Tag: memoir



Shooting Stars

July 5, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 2

18509676Title: Shooting Stars
Author: Jennifer Buhl
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I thought the bits about Jennifer’s career were fascinating (except the gross bits), but I found the parts about her personal life unrelatable.

Jennifer Buhl was struggling to make it in LA until she decided to try her hand at being a paparazzi. That’s not to say that being a paparazzi was easy. Paparazzi often tip each other off and it took Jennifer some time to make connections. She faced bullying and discrimination, both for being one of the few women in the business and for being successful. Despite the challenges, she really was successful, getting some fantastic shots with celebrities, as well as many fascinating stories to tell. Read more »


Jennifer, Gwyneth, And Me

July 3, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 5

18465836Title: Jennifer, Gwyneth, and Me
Author: Rachel Bertsche
Source: from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Even though I’m not the biggest fan of non-author celebrities, I enjoyed following Rachel on another self-help adventure with lots of fun stories and great advice.

Since starting working at home, Rachel hasn’t felt very pulled together. In order to motivate herself to exercise more, eat right, and dress better, she decides to emulate her favorite celebrities in hopes of achieving their air of having it all together. Trying the meals, exercises, and other lifestyle changes the stars swears by, she finds that the ones which truly improve her life often surprise her. Read more »


Save the Date

May 22, 2014 Humor, Memoir, non-fiction 6

18754866Title: Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest
Author: Jen Doll
Source: from publisher via LibraryThing
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This memoir was like a collection of short stories which were hit-or-miss for me, with some funny or thought-provoking and others which were simply unrelatable.

Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, Jen Doll has been to a lot of weddings. As a bit of a party girl willing to do anything for a story, her wedding-going antics have given her many wild stories to tell. She uses these stories to thoughtfully ponder what weddings mean to us and what she wants out of life, while relating many humorous anecdotes.
Read more »


The Know-It-All

April 16, 2014 Humor, Memoir, non-fiction 26

28116Title: The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
Author: Susan Gloss
Source: PaperBack Swap
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I thought A.J. Jacobs might be too irreverent for me, so I was surprised to find his passion for knowledge and success both relatable and fascinating.

The Know-It-All is a classic stunt memoir, in which author A.J. Jacobs attempts to read the entire print version of the Encyclopedia Britannica… all 33,000 pages of it. Organized by letter, A.J. shares fun facts he learned in each section as well as words that were relevant to his life while he was reading. This included things relating to everything from his job to his attempts to have baby, from his drive to accomplish something to his relationship with his father. Along the way, he also explores the nature of intelligence, testing different definitions with activities like joining Mensa and auditioning for Jeopardy. Read more »


Some Non-Fiction Mini-Reviews

February 20, 2014 Biography, Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Science, Self-Help 6

7651620Title: The Husbands and Wives Club
Author: Laurie Abraham
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

This is the story of five couples doing group marriage counseling and of one author who sat in on the sessions. I  liked that it became a story that was a little bit about the author too. This could easily have turned into a detached third-person narrative. Instead, it’s clear that the author connected with the couples, so it’s easy for the reader to connect too. That does make this some very unobjective non-fiction though. The author isn’t shy about inserting her own speculations about the couples’ feelings. However, she generally makes it clear when she’s speculating, so I didn’t mind too much. I think a similar fictional story could be a great character driven narrative, but I liked that this was non-fiction. It made the story more interesting that it was true. It made it easy for the author to hold information back without being manipulative because she shared information in the order she found it out. And of course, it made for a very believable story. This is in part due to the author’s ability to convey the personalities of the people involved, but I’m sure the fact that they were real people didn’t hurt either! Read more »


The Long and Whining Road

February 13, 2014 Humor, Memoir, non-fiction 0

17285231Title: The Long and Whining Road
Author: Simeon Courtie
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: For me, the first half of this book dragged a bit, but the second half flew by with fantastic place descriptions and a great message.

The Long and Whining Road is about one of the craziest road trips you can possibly imagine. Simeon Courtie and his wife, along with their three children, took one year to circumnavigate the globe…in a VW camper van! By the end of their journey they had driven over 18,000 miles, visited 17 countries, and sung sounds by The Beatles in most of them to raise money for UNICEF. This is the story of the many amazing places they visited and the great people they met along the way. Read more »


Literary Love 2014 – Love In France

February 11, 2014 Blogger Events 25

Lately, I’ve been in love with all things France, so this week is the perfect time for me to share with you some of my favorite books set in France. Whether you like historical fiction or non-fiction, translated fiction or chick lit or steamy romance, there’s a book set in France that’ll be perfect for you 🙂 Read more »


Paris Letters

February 4, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 22

17586508Title: Paris Letters
Author: Janice Macleod
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although this story was lighter and more happily-ever-after than I expected a memoir to be, I ended up enjoying it for what it is – the non-fiction version of chick-lit.

Janice Macleod is tired of her life. Although she has achieved success at her dream job as an advertising executive, she feels personally and professionally unfulfilled. A chance conversation leads her to the realization that simply saving $100/day could buy her a year of freedom in Europe. After saving and selling to make her dream come true, she finally moves to France where she begins to piece together the life she didn’t know she was looking for. Read more »