Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Review - "The Elite" by Kiera Cass (#26 - 2015)

The Elite by Kiera Cass

This is book #2 in The Selection series (see my review for book 1 here).  This picks up where the last book left off, America is one of the six remaining ladies in "competition" for Prince Maxon's hand in marriage.  In this book you learn more about palace life and how things may not be as wonderful as they may seem.  It's a darker book, you start to see how the country is run, the dynamic of the King, Queen and Prince Maxon as well as a bit of the history of how the royal family came into power.  Also, America is still trying to figure out the Maxon or Aspen question/love triangle (I'm not as into this part). Yes, this is a fluffy read, but I like how the story is getting deeper and am very interested in how this all may play out.  I'm totally into this series, I've got book 3 on hold at the library.  Can't wait to dig in and report back...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review - "The Selection" by Kiera Cass (#25 - 2015)

The Selection by Kiera Cass

I can't for the life of me remember where I saw this book recommended online (a blog or Instagram perhaps? I wish I could remember so I could give a shout out).  I decided to pick up the book at the library and I'm glad I did.  It's a Young Adult  Teen book (don't look at me like that) so it's a super easy read.  Obviously, I'm not their target demo, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  Set in the future in a country that was once the United States, where there is a monarchy and a strict caste system.  When the Prince comes of age to marry, there is a nationwide lottery/selection for all girls of eligible age that will live at the palace and "compete" for the chance to be his Princess.  The story centers around a girl named America from one of the lower castes, who under pressure from her mother, enters the selection.  Of course she's one of the 32 girls chosen (duh) and the book chronicles the narrowing down of girls to 6 (of which America is one, duh).  I didn't realize it's a series, so now I'm hooked and have to read the next 3 books.  It's like The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. This should not appeal to me, but at this time of year, I need mindless entertainment.  I need books that I can pick up and put down, are entertaining and don't take forever to read.  This series will fit the bill for me this Summer.  In fact I'm getting ready to head out to the library to pick up book 2!  It's like I'm 41 going on 14 and I love it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book Review - "The Death Class: A True Story About Life" by Erika Hayasaki (#24 - 2015)

Norma Bowe is a former nurse who teaches a course on death at a college in New Jersey.  This class is so popular that it has a three year waiting list.  What about this class and this professor draws so much interest?  The author followed Norma around for four years, taking the class, talking to students, etc.  It's a fascinating book.  This book really isn't about the class itself so much as about the stories of Norma and a few students, how the class brings them together and helps them face their issues.  The stories are tough to read, hard to imagine and inspiring in how some people rise above their backgrounds to try and really make a difference in the lives of others.  It's really about choosing to really live a fulfilling and meaningful life.  It's a quick read, a good read and I recommend it!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review - "I'll Drink to That" by Betty Halbreich (#23 - 2015)

I'll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich

Eighty-Six year old Betty Halbreich has been running Bergdorf Goodman's personal shopping services department for over 40 years.  This book is a collection of stories from her life.  First of all I should say that I'm extremely envious of her job, sounds like my dream, and her stories about her work there were interesting.  The TV and movie costume people and her involvement was the most fascinating.  But (there's always a "but"), I really did not like this book.  I found it repetitive and I found her "aw shucks" lack of self awareness as to her extremely privileged background, and how it got her where she is, grating.  She tries to be down to earth, but when you are raised with/marry into that much money, you just aren't (such as the declaration that she's never had a resume!).  Sure she works hard, but she's basically looking after people who are like she was before she divorced and started working.  That being said, I always find people's stories interesting and this wasn't a complete waste of time.  I would recommend it to anyone interested in retail or fashion history.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review - "The Everyday Supermodel" by Molly Sims (#22 - 2015)

Molly is refreshingly open, honest and specific with her tips and tricks to help you look, eat, work-out, and feel better.  She's included recipes, lists, step-by-step instructions, etc.  Seriously, everything from eating, wardrobe refreshing, makeup tips, pep talks, reviews of what beauty treatments she's used and liked, this book is chock full of information.  I appreciated her straight talk and her honesty about how much it takes to look like she does (of course it's her job so who can blame her).  It's like having a best friend who is in the "know" and then shares it all with you.  I was impressed, motivated and I will be referring to it a lot.  I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Book Review - "The Cheap Chica's Guide to Style" by Lilliana Vazquez (#21 - 2015)

One of the most comprehensive, informative style books out there.  This is not a picture heavy book, it's more about the information.  Not that all the information was brand new or groundbreaking, but it was assembled and put together in a very user friendly way.  So much so I bought a copy (after reading the one I checked out at the library).  Great budget friendly information with tips and tricks to make your money go further.  Sometimes she seems a bit out of touch (like preaching the "cheap" thing and then mentioning her multiple Celine bags and Louboutin shoes) but I'll forgive her, I get what she's saying - quality over quantity - however purchasing multiple high-end bags and shoes are just not a reality for us regular folk.  Trust me, I'm over 40 and have been down the designer/high end bag and shoe road in my 20's-early 30's, it's fun and great and all but (with the exception of two bags and two pairs of shoes) I would not buy that stuff again, I would invest or put the money aside. And she does preach that.  Overall, this is a solid addition to any style guide collection.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

What I Bought - April 2015

1. Old Navy The Boyfriend cuffed denim shorts - $17.46 (w/promo code)
2. Old Navy cinched-cuff linen blend pants - $12.25 (w/promo code) - these are great!
3. Old Navy striped linen-blend tunic - $17.46 (w/promo code)

Total = $47.17

Go forth and shop responsibly!
I'm linking up with Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

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