Monday, October 3, 2016

Book Review - "Make it Happen" by Lara Casey (#19 - 2016)

Make it Happen by Lara Casey

I stumbled upon Lara Casey through social media and promptly ordered this book and her PowerSheets.  I dug in.  Now let me preface this review with the fact that she is faith-based and if you are turned off by that in any way, then this is probably not for you.  I started working on the PowerSheets and watching Lara's videos and reading her blog.  Then I quickly realized I needed to read the book and dig deeper through that.  This book is really thought provoking, honest, raw, emotional.  Ms. Casey lays it out, she bears her soul and all her issues and how she worked through them (is still working through them) and lessons learned.  She's like your honest friend who tells it like it is but in a warm, funny, nonjudgmental way.  She wants to help you be your best self.  And she's not talking about "having it all" and "climbing to the top", she's talking about living your life with purpose and creating a meaningful life.  It's not an easy read at times, lots of stuff comes up with her prompts and exercises.  And I get overwhelmed by that so it took me a while to read it from cover to cover.  And I still feel like I need to revisit all the dogeared pages (I dogeared A LOT of pages).  So this book is more of a journey and a workbook, something that I'm going to keep with me and reference a lot.  I highly recommend the book and I highly recommend following Ms. Casey on social media.  She does live Facebook talks on Wednesdays, she's such a motivating person.  

I've been a bit slack on the PowerSheets (this is my perfectionist side coming out, I want to fill everything out "right" so I just don't do it, which defeats the purpose I'm aware, because there is no "right").  Work in progress here :)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Review - "Lovable Livable Home" by Sherry and John Petersik (#18 - 2016)

Lovable Livable Home by Sherry and John Petersik

I mean you can't read blogs and not know who Sherry and John are/were/are.  I followed and enjoyed their blog for years and eagerly bought their first book Young House Love, and really liked it.  So I was excited to see what they had in store for book #2.  I did not enjoy this one as much as the first book.  I think because it didn't focus so much on their projects, more on sharing other people's home and what they do that works for them.  Which is fine and the photos are beautiful.  However, I came to see what John and Sherry are up to, more about what they have been doing since the blog was shuttered.  But maybe that isn't the point and I'm just missing the blog.  Overall it's a solid book with lots of ideas, but if you are looking for more of what the blog was, pick up book 1.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Book Review - "The Knockoff" by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza (#17 - 2016)

The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

I was eager to pick this one up!  Imogen Tate is the 40-something Editor-In-Chief of Glossy magazine, she's at the top of the fashion world.  However, after returning from a medical leave (she had breast cancer) she finds her former assistant Eve now running the magazine.  But it's not so much a magazine any more as it is a shopable app.  Imogen is blindsided and has to quickly figure out what is going on and what evil Eve has planned for her. Eve is a 20-something psycho hellbent on being the "new" Imogen no matter what it takes.  Making fun of Imogen's age and how non-tech savvy she is, writing her off as a "dinosaur".  But as much as Eve is tech/social media/etc savvy, she has no clue how to deal with human beings or navigate the actual real world.  And that's where Imogen starts creating her battle plans.  Nothing unpredictable, but very well done and a fun read.  

Side Note:  I will say that, being the same age as Imogen in the workplace, this hit a bit close to home as I'm now considered "old".  I'll just leave it at that.  Also I read this article, that was sent to me by a fellow 40-something friend, right after I finished this book and it really is interesting.  Okay, okay, I'll stop shaking my cane now ;)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review - "Finding Audrey" by Sophie Kinsella (#16 - 2016)

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

I love Sophie Kinsella's books (Shopaholic series, etc.), they are always light, fluffy and fun to read.  So I was super excited to read her first Young Adult novel.  Okay, it's not awful, but it's not amazing either.  To be honest I expected a bit more.  The story is about fourteen year old Audrey who wears dark glasses all the time and rarely leaves her house.  You find out that she has a crippling anxiety disorder and depression stemming from some major bullying at school (though it takes a while to figure it out and she never gets specific as to what exactly happened, it's very vague and a bit maddening because you just want more information). You find out how her family has been affected, especially her mother and older brother.  But not really.  There is a mom vs brother over video games story line that annoyed me to no end.  Anyway, it follows her as she starts to find her way back to wanting to leave the house and have friends again.  Sort of.  Look, this book could have been a tremendous teaching story, a refreshing story about her dealing with these issues and finding a way through it.  Instead it's overly simplified and almost too breezy how it all starts to come together (solidified by her brother's friend Linus).  Sort of like "here's a boy, he'll solve all your problems" type of deal.  I don't know, it just fell flat to me (maybe I'm too old?).  I just expected so much more from Ms. Kinsella.  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review - "A Passion for Fashion" by Nick Verreos (#15 - 2016)

Disclosure: I received a .pdf copy of this book from the publisher for review. I only accept copies of books for review that look like something I would normally buy or check out at library.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I honestly didn't really know what to expect when I was approached to review this book.  I remembered Nick from Project Runway season 2 and I liked him a lot (I also remembered he was one of Lauren Conrad's instructors at FIDM during The Hills - yes, I do remember the most random things).  I assumed this was more about his journey into fashion, etc.  While that was partially true, most of this book was a sort of instruction manual about how to get into the industry.  Which was really a pleasant surprise.  I mean, I wish I had had this book when I was in my fashion classes during my college years.  He talks about how to create a croquis, technically draw garments (complete with detailed illustrations), and various portfolio guidelines (which as a textile designer I can totally use, thanks Nick!).  Honestly, you can tell he's a really good teacher, I learned so much.  Now my fashion instruction was limited and mainly concentrated on very technical/manufacturing courses, so I didn't do any illustration or draping, etc.  But I will say he stressed the importance of patternmaking and patternmakers.  This is 100% true.  Now I sucked at patternmaking, but it is well known in the industry that if you are a good patternmaker you can pretty much write your own check.  And he really stresses that sometimes you may not have the "glamorous" job, but you can learn the most from something that you never thought you would be doing.  He gives practical, useful and spot on advice for getting your foot in the door and beyond.  I would encourage anyone who is interested in a career in fashion (or if you know of anyone interested in fashion) to pick this book up pronto!  It's one of the best blueprints for getting on a path to a job in the fashion industry I've ever read!  I hope he writes another book on the business side, he touches on it here, but I think he would be ideal to write a "fashion business" book.

In the meantime, please check out his website and excellent YouTube channel with great instructional videos (that I've been watching).  Here he is talking about the book:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review - "After You" by Jojo Moyes (#14 - 2016)

After You by Jojo Moyes

This is the sequel to Me Before You (my review here) it picks up about 18 months after the events of the first book occur. Louisa is lost and depressed and just all around stuck.  I'm not going to say too much so I don't spoil anything, but I will say that she meets a few people that completely turn her life upside down and hopefully can help her move forward.  Okay, I'm going to say that this was a somewhat underwhelming sequel.  I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.  I love Louisa but I guess I wanted a bit of a different story.  Though part of me understands why she wrote the story the way she did.  If you loved the first book, you will not love this one as much, but it's completely up to you if you want to pick it up.  You won't miss out if you don't read it and just want to leave the story/characters the way they were in Me Before You.  Proceed at your own risk.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Book Review - "Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography" by Meryle Secrest (#13 - 2016)

This was a very comprehensive and extremely interesting look into the life of famed Couturier Elsa Schiaparelli.  From her somewhat isolated childhood in Rome, a failed first marriage to a conman, to her rise as a star in the Paris fashion scene.  She was tough, she was resourceful, she befriended artists and other interesting people who inspired her work.  Unfortunately, she often gets lost in the Dior/Chanel cult of personalities, but trust me her work was so important and her creativity should not be overlooked.  Her fabric innovations, the way she designed pieces to be worn in different ways, zippers and statement buttons and lots of embellishment, her designs were distinct and lots of fun.  The book has lots of pictures which really help (especially if you are unfamiliar with her work).  She wasn't an open book and it was really hard to get a firm handle on exactly who she was.  However, if you are interested in fashion history at all pick this up!

A couple of side notes, Marisa Berenson (actress/model) and Berry Berenson (photographer who was married to actor Anthony Perkins and who sadly died on 9/11) are her granddaughters.  Also, here is the link to the Christie's 2014 sale that Marisa had of her grandmother's belongings.  The label does live on, showing Couture collections now designed by Bertrand Guyon.  I absolutely LOVE what he is doing there, it's modern and still pays tribute to the legend.  One more thing, I really wish they would have made dust jacket's background her signature Schiap "shocking" pink instead of the blush pink. ;)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...