Staff Review – The Hollywood Book Club

The Hollywood Book Club: reading with the stars
By Steven Rea

Once in a while, I need a quick and easy read. This was the perfect one for me.  Hollywood Book Club is a good book for folks who still dream of old Hollywood and black & white pictures.  Every page features a photograph of a movie star with a book in their hands. The opposite page includes a brief passage about the celebrity’s filmography along with the title of the book they are reading in the photograph. It was a neat little book!

 

Staff Review – Full Circle

Here’s a book for my fellow 90s kids. I don’t read many celebrity biographies. I am not crazy about celebrities. I am skeptical that they’re always trying to sell their brand or product and they’ll tailor their biography around the aforementioned. I have, however, read all the books put out by the cast of the television show Full House. I just love that show! And while I enjoyed most of the biographies, Barber’s was the best. Barber is real, honest and funny. She also writes well, which helps! I plowed through the book in two sittings. It felt like talking with a close, down-to-earth friend. Kudos to her for keeping it real throughout the whole book. No subject was off limits yet, she remained respectful while sharing very personal stories about her relationships. She shares lots of inside information about her acting days on set and also her personal journey with anxiety. Kudos to her. – Kristin

 

Staff Review: Love Your Life Not Theirs

Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want
by Rachel Cruze

It seems slightly ironic that I am discovering authors while watching Youtube. Or, maybe that isn’t the case, since anyone in business seems to gravitate towards Youtube and social media to spread their message! I discovered financial guru Dave Ramsey through his Youtube channel. I really enjoy his “tough love” approach with folks who call into the show with financial questions. He is a no-nonsense kind of guy and I really appreciate that! Soon after, I discovered his daughter, Rachel Cruze on Youtube as well. While she is not as tough as her dad, she seems to still have a way with viewers. I decided to pick up her book Love your life not theirs : 7 money habits for living the life you want. I highly recommend this book for the 18-30 year-old in your life who spends a lot of time on social media. Studies have shown that spending time on social media is bad for you! Users may suffer from depression by constantly comparing themselves to what they see on social media. But we need to remember, social media is not real life! And this is one of Cruze’s driving points in the book – constantly comparing yourself to the Joneses is not good. Your friends with expensive cars and designer handbags are broke because they don’t know how to handle their money. Cruze promotes living under your means, which I whole-heartedly agree with. She also encourages young couples to constantly discuss and plan their finances together, from daily budgeting to saving for retirement. This is a wise move because finances are a large factor in marital disputes and unfortunately, divorce. Some might dismiss this as another silly self-help book, but its message is important! -Kristin

Staff Review – Darwin’s Origin of Species 

Darwin’s Origin of Species 
by Janet Browne

 

I was looking for  a non-fiction book that I could read quickly, get some real knowledge from and really enjoy.  And I found it!

The Atlantic Monthly Press has published  books that are ‘biographies’ of world changing books from “The Bible” to “Das Kapital.” The biography that I chose was Janet Browne’s “Darwin’s Origin of Species.”   She writes about all the research that went into the planning and development of the book and the personality and dedication of the author. After working on the book for years, Charles Darwin’s book was finally published on November 24 in 1859 with the title:  “On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”  He knew how controversial it would be. The concept that evolution (plants and animals changing slowly from generation to generation) and not divine creation  was put forward for all to debate. And they certainly did!

I loved Janet Browne’s short book (only 153 pages long!) It provides the background of the book, an intellectual biography of Charles Darwin, a summary of the controversy in Britain, and a followup of the twentieth century’s take on the book.  It has footnotes, a list of sources and suggested reading and a real index! It was a fast and inspiring read! Onward to “On the Origin of Species!” Or maybe Browne’s biography of Charles Darwin.

Many books in the series, “Books that Changed the World,” are in Ocean State Library Catalog.  Go on the catalog, from Title scroll down to Series and put in “Books that changed the World” for a complete list. – Charlotte

 

 

Staff Review

Leadership in Turbulent Times
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Goodwin investigates four presidents who each entered office during a national crisis and how they successfully guided us during that time.   

Abraham Lincoln entered office as the nation was on the verge of civil war.  Teddy Roosevelt assumed office after the assassination of President William McKinley and inherited a coal strike. Franklin D. Roosevelt entered office facing a financial crisis. 

Lyndon B. Johnson became president after the the assassination of president John F. Kennedy and he was able to engineer the passage of more civil rights legislation than any other president.  

All four men were brought up in various circumstances in their early life.   And, they each had their own reasons for entering office.  But, all four wanted to work for the greater good.  

Goodwin writes in a style that makes it easy to follow the political machinations of the time periods involved. Even though I have never been one to pick up a history book.- JW

Staff Book Review


Fictitious Dishes
by Dinah Fried

I LOVE this book!!!! If you are a fanatic about classics and art then you will certainly enjoy this. Artist, RISD grad and now author Dinah Fried opens the book with her memories of reading the classics like HeidiLolita and Moby Dick. One of the more significant parts of these books though, for her, were the meals! Some of us might not think twice about that! Fried uses her talents as an artist to recreate some of the meals she read about and then photograph them. These meals are carefully curated and include a small excerpt from the story about the food along with some helpful and fun footnotes. It’s something book nerds and foodies can rejoice about! – Kristin

 

Audio Or Print…?

 

Becoming – By Michelle Obama. I’ve been on the wait list for this audiobook for a long time.  However, after listing to the first discs, and trying a random sampling of other discs, I’ve decided to go back on the wait list for the actual book.

I adore Michelle Obama, but her voice is too monotone. I prefer a livelier voice to keep me focused on the story.  – Deb