I spy Biographies

Today I spy—– Biographies
Everyone has a story to tell….

Brandi Carlile was born into a musically gifted, impoverished family on the outskirts of Seattle and grew up in a constant state of change, moving from house to house, trailer to trailer, fourteen times in as many years. Though imperfect in every way, her dysfunctional childhood was as beautiful as it was strange, and as nurturing as it was difficult. At the age of five, Brandi contracted bacterial meningitis, which almost took her life, leaving an indelible mark on her formative years and altering her journey into young adulthood.

As an openly gay teenager, Brandi grappled with the tension between her sexuality and her faith when her pastor publicly refused to baptize her on the day of the ceremony. Shockingly, her small town rallied around Brandi in support and set her on a path to salvation where the rest of the misfits and rejects find it: through twisted, joyful, weird, and wonderful music.

When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer at the age of forty-six. These hardships were compounded by the collapse of his marriage and a years-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

In Beautiful Things, Hunter recounts his descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety. The story ends with where Hunter is today—a sober married man with a new baby, finally able to appreciate the beautiful things in life.

As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor―the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball―is present throughout.

A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

Long before The Lost Kitchen became a world dining destination with every seating filled the day the reservation book opens each spring, Erin French was a girl roaming barefoot on a 25-acre farm, a teenager falling in love with food while working the line at her dad’s diner and a young woman finding her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant tucked into a 19th century mill. This singular memoir―a classic American story―invites readers to Erin’s corner of her beloved Maine to share the real person behind the “girl from Freedom” fairytale, and the not-so-picture-perfect struggles that have taken every ounce of her strength to overcome, and that make Erin’s life triumphant.

In Finding Freedom, Erin opens up to the challenges, stumbles, and victories that have led her to the exact place she was ever meant to be, telling stories of multiple rock-bottoms, of darkness and anxiety, of survival as a jobless single mother, of pills that promised release but delivered addiction, of a man who seemed to offer salvation but in the end ripped away her very sense of self. And of the beautiful son who was her guiding light as she slowly rebuilt her personal and culinary life around the solace she found in food―as a source of comfort, a sense of place, as a way of bringing goodness into the world. Erin’s experiences with deep loss and abiding hope, told with both honesty and humor, will resonate with women everywhere who are determined to find their voices, create community, grow stronger and discover their best-selves despite seemingly impossible odds. Set against the backdrop of rural Maine and its lushly intense, bountiful seasons, Erin reveals the passion and courage needed to invent oneself anew, and the poignant, timeless connections between food and generosity, renewal and freedom.

Appointed by Philip Roth and granted independence and complete access, Blake Bailey spent years poring over Roth’s personal archive, interviewing his friends, lovers, and colleagues, and engaging Roth himself in breathtakingly candid conversations. The result is an indelible portrait of an American master and of the postwar literary scene.

Bailey shows how Roth emerged from a lower-middle-class Jewish milieu to achieve the heights of literary fame, how his career was nearly derailed by his catastrophic first marriage, and how he championed the work of dissident novelists behind the Iron Curtain.

Bailey examines Roth’s rivalrous friendships with Saul Bellow, John Updike, and William Styron, and reveals the truths of his florid love life, culminating in his almost-twenty-year relationship with actress Claire Bloom, who pilloried Roth in her 1996 memoir, Leaving a Doll’s House.

Tracing Roth’s path from realism to farce to metafiction to the tragic masterpieces of the American Trilogy, Bailey explores Roth’s engagement with nearly every aspect of postwar American culture.100 photographs

Currently Reading

Summary:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light.

Thoughts:
So far so goooooooooooood!

The beginning of the book caught my attention immediately!! I am so looking forward to read more. I started this book at midnight and managed read about 30 mins until my brain told me it’s time to go to sleep. Hopefully I can read some more later today.

By the way has anyone else read this?

I spy Fiction

I spy — Fiction books

Coming of age in a free Black community in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie is to go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her light-skinned mother, Libertie will not be able to pass for white. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.

Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new and immersive novel will resonate with readers eager to understand our present through a deep, moving, and lyrical dive into our past.

Helen Decatur spent a lifetime setting goals—getting through college and law school, opening her own practice, becoming financially secure, and establishing herself as one of the most highly respected divorce attorneys in the state of South Carolina. Achieving those goals was a breeze compared to the one she’s faced with now.

The most driven—and cynical—of the Sweet Magnolias, Helen is forty-two, single and suddenly ready for the family she’s put on the back burner for all these years. Unfortunately, having a child at her age comes with lots of complications, not the least of which is the absence of a serious relationship in her life.

Handling so many divorces has left her skeptical about love, but Helen’s not the type of woman to wait around for fate to step in. Taking charge of her own destiny puts her at odds with her two best friends and sets sparks flying with a man who claims he doesn’t want a family, and nothing turns out like she planned.

Can you find real love when you’ve always got your head in the clouds?

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

I spy Spanish Picture Books

Today I spy — Spanish Picture books!

It is the future, so it is not unusual for a group of elementary students to go on a trip to the Moon. They leave the space station in their school ship and disembark to play and eat their lunch on the satellite. But while the others explore and have fun on the lunar surface, there is someone who stays away from the group, drawing with her crayon box, and who will fall asleep without realizing that the ship is leaving and nobody has noticed its absence! Luckily you will soon meet some lunar beings who have great interest in their colors. And that is not the only surprise that awaits the reader.

Discover the lost art of the high five and improve your slapping skills just in time for the annual high five contest! From hand-limbering stretches to lessons on five-ing with finesse, readers are guided through a series of interactive challenges, each goofier than the next.

When Miguel and his parents move from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland, Miguel misses their home, his grandparents, and his pet frog, Coquí, but he soon realizes that New York City has more in common with back home than he originally thought.

Little Donkey loves to eat grass. And only grass. Nothing else. He has grass for breakfast, lunch and dinner. YUM. Will his mum ever persuade him to try some new food?

Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father. Jolly piragüeros, mischievous cats, and costumed musicians color this tale of love, family, and the true meaning of home.

Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning, she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer?

Something Different

Okay something a bit different to write about. I have been watching on youtube a podcast called Inside of You by Michael Rosenbaum. So every Tuesday when he drops a new episode I try to make time to watch it on youtube due to the captions.

(Whoever conducts and/or edits podcast on youtube does a great job with everything and the captions.)

A few reasons why I follow his podcast is because it’s REAL. There’s no bs or facade going on here. It is people, humans even freaking celebrities have feelings, drama, mental things going on, families issues and so much more. It’s real! Everyone has a journey, everyone rises and falls. Some find their passion right away and some may take longer. Some may even change. Michael talks on all these subjects and just really listens to the stories. A connection is what I see and hear here. Everyone is connected somehow. Someone has a story that you can relate to. I love it!

Captions! Omg I love the captions! Thank you. For someone who’s deaf the captions are a lifesaver. If it was audio (which he as but that’s ok, everyone has their thing but this is my perspective) only I’d probably would have gotten 20% or more like 5% of the conversation and miss out on a lot! Figuring things out from audio is frustrating as hell. Heck even when the radio in the car comes on and I’m like “What song is that? What are they saying? ” Music I love but I have to have the lyrics with me to follow along. Anyways, the captions are great.

His voice. Okay I admit Michael has a nice voice. It’s deep, cool and soothing. Do I dare say sexy? Maybe? Or it’s the deep tone. I just think it’s awesome.
(Yes I can hear some things…it’s complicated..my ears are complicated or should I say a mystery?)

Yes I’ll admit I have seen Smallville where Michael played Lex Luthor. That was show was awesome. So cool.

Psstt he has the coolest podcast office room! I love the posters and pop culture in that room.

I look forward to watching more of this podcast.

Give it a shot and see what you think!

I spy Nonfiction books today

I spy nonfiction books today!

Which one interests you?
Will you read them?

Ditch your nine-to-five and become your own boss with this insider’s guide to freelancing from Martina Flor, a leading designer, educator, author, and entrepreneur. The Big Leap covers all aspects of starting your own business, from practical skills like identifying potential clients and pricing projects to important big-picture topics like managing time and finances, diversifying income streams, and taking care of your most important tool—you!

Flor demonstrates each concept with helpful case studies pulled from her own journey from freelance designer to influential, international business owner. Creatives across disciplines will benefit from this thorough and easy-to-follow career guide, including designers, illustrators, photographers, programmers, writers, and editors.

Don’t you think it’s time for a break? Plagued—as we are!—by nonstop pings and notifications, we have lost the knack of zoning out. Kicking back. Slacking off. Even when pandemic-induced lockdowns forcibly cleared our calendars, many who thought I’m free! filled their days with Netflix and doomscrolling. How can we reclaim our free time (planned or not) to truly rest and reset?

The Dutch have it figured out: with niksen. Perhaps their best-kept lifestyle secret, niksen is the art of doing, well, nothing. It’s the opposite of productivity, and it’s incredibly good for your . . .

  • MIND—it makes you calmer.
  • BODY—it offers rest on hectic days.
  • CREATIVITY—it clears a space for brilliant ideas.
  • WALLET—it’s free!

If you’re waiting for an invitation to go lie down in the sunshine, this book is it.

t was the Golden Age of Radio and powerful men were making millions in advertising dollars reaching thousands of listeners every day. When television arrived, few radio moguls were interested in the upstart industry and its tiny production budgets, and expensive television sets were out of reach for most families. But four women—each an independent visionary— saw an opportunity and carved their own paths, and in so doing invented the way we watch tv today.

Irna Phillips turned real-life tragedy into daytime serials featuring female dominated casts. Gertrude Berg turned her radio show into a Jewish family comedy that spawned a play, a musical, an advice column, a line of house dresses, and other products. Hazel Scott, already a renowned musician, was the first African American to host a national evening variety program. Betty White became a daytime talk show fan favorite and one of the first women to produce, write, and star in her own show.

Together, their stories chronicle a forgotten chapter in the history of television and popular culture.

But as the medium became more popular—and lucrative—in the wake of World War II, the House Un-American Activities Committee arose to threaten entertainers, blacklisting many as communist sympathizers. As politics, sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, and money collided, the women who invented television found themselves fighting from the margins, as men took control. But these women were true survivors who never gave up—and thus their legacies remain with us in our television-dominated era. It’s time we reclaimed their forgotten histories and the work they did to pioneer the medium that now rules our lives.

This amazing and heartbreaking history, illustrated with photos, tells it all for the first time. 

Over four decades, Lisa Robinson has made a name for herself as a celebrated journalist in a business long known for its boys’ club mentality. But to Robinson, the female performers who sat down with her, most often at the peak of their careers, were the true revelations.

Based on conversations with more than forty female artists, Nobody Ever Asked Me about the Girls is a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the effects of success on some of music’s most famous women. From Tina Turner, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Alanis Morissette and Linda Ronstadt to Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Adele, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and numerous others, Robinson reveals the private obsessions and public distractions that musicians contend with in their pursuit of stardom. From these interviews emerge candid portraits of how these women―regardless of genre or decade―deal with image, abuse, love, motherhood, family, sex, drugs, business, and age.

Complete with reflections from Robinson’s own career as a pioneering female music writer, Nobody Ever Asked Me about the Girls offers an overdue consideration of how hopes, dreams, and the drive for recognition have propelled our most beloved female musicians to take the stage and leave an undeniable, lasting musical mark on the world.

Review of NeverNight by Jay Kristoff

Publisher : Thomas Dunne Books
Date: August 9, 2016
Author: Jay Kristoff

Summary:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer and a future she never imagined.

Now, 16-year-old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic – the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her within the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder and be one step closer to the only thing she desires: revenge.

My Review:

I decided to give this book a shot. I must admit that it took me a little while to get into the book and that the past and present flipping back and forth was a little confusing. While I kept reading I did get used to the past and present flipping back and forth. It was different!

As the story went on, the plot began to be build up slowly. The characters were all unique. Majority of them were assassins as few others that were part of the Red Church were downright creepy. The Weavemaker fell into that category….Creepy. I kept trying to figure out which character was the actual “bad character” as I thought I had figured it out but I was wrong. Such a surprise for me. While I kept reading there were two other things that happened that pissed me off because I was so not expecting that. I also felt that Mia should be totally powerful and pissed off to take anything and anyone down. She’s a strong character in her own way. Something about her, maybe she finds a purpose in her revenge or in killing?

I did like her dark friend Mr. Kindly who always has something to say. I’m curious about Mr. Kindly more. What is its background? Where did it come from?

While there are a bunch of various characters going on there were also come other creatures mentioned. It was creative! The library creature was interesting due to the fact that I work in a library. Should I be aware of them at my work place or does it have to be a magical library? (hahaha)

I liked the darkness in this story because darkness can make a person go either way. Revenge or move on. So in this case it was revenge. The story kept building up, it seemed to go slow and then fast and then ending was super fast. Does Mia get her revenge?

Just to warn you there are some graphic bits in this book like death, gore and sex, so if you are going to read this book be prepared.

Oh there’s also endnotes in the book too. I read some of them…skimmed through them as they brought out a bit more information to the story.

I thought the book was very different. Once in a while I read strange books, this one fits in that category. The story will stay with me. I may give book two a shot to see what happens next. This book can go either way for some people. Some will like it and others will flee for the hills or just back away from it slowly. As I said I thought the book was different.

Property Brothers Picture Books

I have come across the Property Brother’s Picture book which are so adorable. The illustrations are fantastic! The stories are amazing. I love how they work together and that they create together. It can show kids or anyone that it is possible to work together, to create, to listen to each other and just try!

Pick these books up today to give them a read.

Plus The Property Brothers rule!!

It all begins when Drew and Jonathan are doing what they do best—thinking up big plans for even bigger projects. Will they build a treehouse? A castle? A catapult? They have a whole lot of big ideas, but no one thinks they can do any of them!

The twins brainstorm, scribble, and tinker until they have the perfect big plan. They’ll save every last penny, sketch out some designs, and make a whole lot of noise—builders aren’t known for being quiet—because they know that little kids can do big things.

But what will Drew and Jonathan do when their big plans don’t go the way they’d hoped? Find out in this heartwarming new story from everyone’s favorite twins.

And the book comes complete with an original do-it-yourself building project that parents and kids can tackle together at home. Everyone knows that every big plan starts with a dream!

In the second picture book by the authors of the New York Times bestseller Builder Brothers: Big Plans, young Drew and Jonathan do everything together, whether they’re building birdhouses or dreaming up big plans for their future. They’re not just twins; they’re best friends. So when their town sponsors a soapbox derby race, Drew and Jonathan are first in line to enter. 

But when the rubber hits the road and the brothers just can’t agree on how to build the best car, they wind up competing against each other! Can one of them win without the other?

This hilarious and heartwarming story from television’s favorite twins comes complete with a do-it-yourself project to build an original miniature race car!

Girl Explorers

I spy this book!
Girls and Women rule.
Check it out

Never tell a woman where she doesn’t belong.

In 1932, Roy Chapman Andrews, president of the men-only Explorers Club, boldly stated to hundreds of female students at Barnard College that “women are not adapted to exploration,” and that women and exploration do not mix. He obviously didn’t know a thing about either…

The Girl Explorers is the inspirational and untold story of the founding of the Society of Women Geographers―an organization of adventurous female world explorers―and how key members served as early advocates for human rights and paved the way for today’s women scientists by scaling mountains, exploring the high seas, flying across the Atlantic, and recording the world through film, sculpture, and literature.

Follow in the footsteps of these rebellious women as they travel the globe in search of new species, widen the understanding of hidden cultures, and break records in spades. For these women dared to go where no woman―or man―had gone before, achieving the unthinkable and breaking through barriers to allow future generations to carry on their important and inspiring work.

The Girl Explorers is an inspiring examination of forgotten women from history, perfect for fans of bestselling narrative history books like The Radium GirlsThe Woman Who Smashed Codes, and Rise of the Rocket Girls.

I spy Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are awesome!
Wish there were more of these when I was a kid.
Check these out.

Sometimes, the world is too much for Mona Starr. She’s sweet, geeky, and creative, but it’s hard for her to make friends and connect with other people, and her depression seems to take on a vivid, concrete form. She calls it her Matter. 
 
The Matter seems to be everywhere, telling Mona she’s not good enough and that everyone around her wishes she’d go away. But with therapy, art, writing, and the persistence of a few good friends, Mona starts to understand her Matter and how she can turn her fears into strengths. 
 
Heartfelt, emotionally vulnerable, and visually stunning, The Dark Matter of Mona Starris a story about battling your inner doubts and fears—and finding your creative genius.

Miriam has trained her whole life to fulfill her dreams and it’s finally paid off now that she’s the prima ballerina of the Lulli Dance Company, but she’s been keeping a secret from them. The years of sprains, fractures, and bruises have taken their toll and a catastrophic ankle injury now means one terrible thing: she has to give it all up forever. Distraught beyond consolation, Miriam runs from the studio and discovers a secret room she’s never seen before. Inside she finds a pair of gleaming white and gold slippers and a mysterious voice whispering to her in the dark. If she tries on the slippers, it says, she’ll regain the strength to raise en pointe. It speaks the truth!

Soon, Miriam is back, but each achievement means danger for everyone around her and negotiation with the spirit who claims it wants just one little harmless thing in return . . . to join the ballerinas and dance, just like her.

The Super-Secret Spy Service’s mission is to keep the world safe from maniacal villains. And Agent 9 is one of its best operatives. Although Nine always manages to complete the mission, there is occasionally some collateral damage (like the priceless Pigasso painting that was destroyed while foiling an art heist). So Agent 9 is now on probation.

But when bumbling supervillain King Crab manages to overtake S4 headquarters, there is no one else to turn to. Nine—along with a robotic partner named FiN—is all that stands between King Crab and his diabolical plans to melt the polar ice caps and build a massive water park. Can Agent 9 prove to be the right cat for the job by overcoming impulsive behavior and saving the world from a complete flood-a-geddon?