2014

Tomboy

Tomboy

Summary:

Growing up, Liz Prince wasn't a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn't exactly one of the guys, either. She was somewhere in between. But with the forces of middle school, high school, parents, friendship, and romance pulling her this way and that, "the middle" wasn't exactly an easy place to be.

“Tomboy” follows award-winning author and artist Liz Prince through her early years and explores--with humor, honesty, and poignancy--what it means to "be a girl." (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This was a fantastic book that challenges traditional gender roles without being preachy.  The book is in the form of “slice-of-life” experiences the author experienced.  I consistently related, having grown up as a tomboy as well, and had many laugh-out-loud and “That’s exactly what happened to me!” moments as I read through.  I think my parents would laugh to see just how far another daughter went to avoid dresses.

Looking back, some of the conclusions seemed obvious to me, but I am also quite a bit removed from high school at this point.  As such, I think this book would be the most interesting for young tomboys who are still struggling with gender roles, but it certainly would speak to readers at any age.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Tomboys of all ages, particularly those who are still not quite sure where they fit in.

 

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken

Summary:

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in “Seabiscuit”. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, “Unbroken” is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.(Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

When he found out the movie was coming out over Christmas, my boyfriend demanded I read “Unbroken” as he had already started listening to it and loved it.  My family has a tradition of seeing a movie during Christmas break so I agreed, but I was apprehensive this was “just another war story”.  This book was So. Much. More.  Since I haven’t gotten around to reading “Seabiscuit” yet, I didn’t know quite yet the magic that Hillebrand has when writing.

“Unbroken” is mesmerizing and sucks you into the story.  It showed a part of World War that I believe often gets glossed over.  I particularly enjoyed how Hillebrand was able to weave history into the narrative story so the reader is able to see the big picture as well.  I would highly recommend reading this book for the almost impossible story and learning more about the Pacific Theater.

Warning:  Contains repeated violence

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Everyone

The Princess Bride

PrincessBride

Summary:

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she'll meet Vizzini - the criminal philosopher who'll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik - the gentle giant; Inigo - the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen - the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup's one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This book is AWESOME and just as good as the movie.  For those of you familiar with the movie rather than the book, this is the abridged version of “The Princess Bride” that was ultimately converted to the movie.  Goldman has many entertaining interjections that add to the story while explaining changes from the original manuscript.  Though some may find these asides annoying, overall it added to my enjoyment.  This is a modern fairy tale to rekindle your belief in true love even in a cynical world (despite being quite an old story!).  I highly recommend this story for children and adults alike.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who Should Read It?  All fans of adventure, true love, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing…

The Big Book of Parenting Tweets

Big Book of Parenting Tweets

Summary:

Twitter isn’t just for breaking news and celebrity stalking—it’s also a goldmine of the funniest comedy online. Jokes? People tell jokes on Twitter? YES, they do. And they are hilarious ... but who wants to sift through the hashtags, RTs and FFs to get to the good stuff? 

WE GET IT! Parents don’t have time for all that. That’s why the duo behind the illustrated humor blog “Science of Parenthood” teamed up with Twitter maven “Kate Hall of Hall of Tweets” to create “The Big Book of Parenting Tweets” —a laugh-riot collection of more than three-hundred tweetable moments straight from the parenting trenches from the most hysterical comedians on Twitter, who just happen to be parents. 

Here is just a peek at some of what you’ll find inside:

My 4yo is trying to sell my own M&M's back to me. This guy's going places.
— @FatherWithTwins

With my wife away, my children keep asking me for things like meals and bandaids and sympathy, but I don't know where we keep any of that.
— @KalvinMacleod

She took 4 y/o to the park & texted "Can I get her ice-cream?"
Get her a Heineken for all I care. Free babysitters get to call the shots.
— @BunmiLaditan

Peppered with cartoons by “Science of Parenthood”, “The Big Book of Parenting Tweets” is the perfect gift for every over-worked, under-showered, sleep-deprived parent who could use a quick laugh, because who has time for more? (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

In this hilarious book, the authors have consolidated some of the funniest parenting commentary on twitter.  What’s great about this book is that it’s in quick packets (like twitter), but all collected together so you can read as much as you like in one sitting.  I read the entire book in one sitting on the airplane and definitely was getting some stares for laughing out loud.  If it was that funny for me, I’m sure it’d be even better for folks with kids. 

At times poignant, others completely hilarious, the tweets range from morning, afternoon and afternoon stories about parenting.  I’d highly recommend this for parents to have a reminder: you’re not alone in your consideration of “the favorite kid who doesn’t wake up at 5am” and wanting to neglect parental duty.  Just be careful if you read it in public.  And for me?  Well let’s just say this book has me thinking I’ll put off kids for a while…

 Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review courtesy of the authors.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Parents of all ages, but couples considering to have kids may want to hold off!

Intrigued by the review?  Check out my interview with the authors!