Tag Archive: essays



Live Wire: Long-Winded Short StoriesLive Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories by Kelly Ripa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun book. Sure, Kelly comes to our living room before coffee, way overdressed for our sloppy morning PJs. I think she had coffee way earlier than we did. Especially here on the west coast. Just a quick aside: Aren’t you tired of waking up to New York if you live here in the west?

Anyway, back to the book. I had the Audible, and I highly recommend ‘reading’ the book this way. Ms. Ripa narrates with the occasional Mark Consuelos addendum. In his voice. You miss that fun interaction between husband and wife in the paper copy.

Not many books hit on the empty nest issues. When you are young and pregnant, there are times when you are overwhelmed by books about expecting or dealing with kids. But the issues of offspring moving into adulthood and how it affects the people left behind are few.

I love that the story is broken into many little stories rather than a point-by-point history autobiography. I highly recommend this bit of entertainment.

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Ali in WonderlandAli in Wonderland by Ali Wentworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Humor makes the reading difference. I had just read Mean Baby by Selma Blair when I picked this up from Libby. Both were read by the authors. Both covered many of the same types of life situations. But I have to admit I could handle this far easier. I think because Ali had found the humor in the situation, it made it easier not to get triggered by the author’s circumstances. That is not to say one is better than the other—just my ability to handle the essays.

The other reason I think this went down more effortless for me was that I felt more familiar with Ali Wentworth. I like watching her on the talk shows and even listening to her podcasts. So I encourage others to read both books. Just know as you enter that this is humorous, even some laugh-out-loud moments. That could be a bad thing if you aren’t in the mood to laugh. 🙂

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Worn StoriesWorn Stories by Emily Spivack
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After watching the Worn Stories on Netflix, I decided to look this up. I found it on Libby as a Kindle version.

I wish I had found it as an Audible version or paper copy. Text-to-Speech doesn’t stop for pictures. I didn’t feel like stopping the stories just to look at the pictures of old clothes that held no meaning for me. It works better as a show as you see the person talking and their story with their memory clothing. The Kindle version makes it a dry story with no personality.

AND I’m not too fond of short stories. Ever. I wanted a lot more depth. I could deal with each story being a book unto itself.

Don’t we all have those favorite bits of clothes that bring us memories and comfort? I sure do.

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The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

by Nikole Hannah-Jones (Narrator)

I can’t remember who recommended this book to me first. It might have been my church. Or one of my best friends. In either case, thank you! You see, I have always hated history classes. You had to remember men’s names dates and the wars they started or ended with men’s bigger guns. I did have a fantastic History teacher in college. He included music and arts in his lectures. Even still the history was just that HIStory. And only with this book did I see that it was white men’s HIStory.

 

This audiobook from Libby was all-inclusive. I think I need to add the book blurb.

 

  Duration: 18 hours and 57 minutes <– Just in case you have limited time.

 

“A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, ‘The 1619 PROJECT: A NEW ORIGIN STORY’ offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

 

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of 20 to 30 enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.

 

‘THE 1619 PROJECT: A NEW ORIGIN STORY’ builds on one of the most consequential journalistic events of recent years: The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project,” which reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on the original 1619 Project, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with 36 poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself. This legacy can be seen in the way we tell stories, the way we teach our children, and the way we remember. Together, the elements of the book reveal a new origin story for the United States, one that helps explain not only the persistence of anti-Black racism and inequality in American life today but also the roots of what makes the country unique.

 

The book also features a significant elaboration of the original project’s Pulitzer Prize-winning lead essay, by Nikole Hannah-Jones, on how the struggles of Black Americans have expanded democracy for all Americans, as well as two original pieces from Hannah-Jones, one of which makes a profound case for reparative solutions to this legacy of injustice.

 

This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction – and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.”

 

There are so many contributors and voices throughout. It is poetry and prose of beauty included in the ugliest of actions against people.

 

I found I couldn’t read it as a bedtime book. I would either aim to keep reading or have nightmares/ So I used this as the background as I worked on my Diamond Painting. My hands were busy so my mind could engage.

 

I highly recommend this book. I would love it to be used in schools as inclusive his/herstory.


We're Going to Need More Wine: StoriesWe’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories by Gabrielle Union

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always feel weird reviewing autobiography. It is somebody’s story about their own life. So I guess I need to review how it was told. I was able to pick up the Audible version with the author reading it. That made it feel like she was in the room just telling me about herself and her past.

Gabrielle Union’s story is unique. And while she is telling her story she covers her outlook on how it felt to grow up as a minority in the school year and as herself with relatives in the summer. She gave her views of feminism and how she went through various discriminating situations. And she told her ‘Me, too” story.

This was an interesting read. I think if I were younger it would have been even more so. I think teens and young adults would get so much out of what she shares.

I hope you get the chance to read/listen to this one to draw your own conclusions.

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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear SugarTiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One day, in the last couple of months, my daughter kidnapped me so I could spend a week back in Reno. It was one of those serendipitous things that made me very happy. I got to spend time with her and with other family and friends.

My daughter loves to listen to podcasts on long trips. When she learned that I had read and watched Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, she pulled up the Dear Sugar podcasts and we enjoyed a long listen.

Once back at home I found the Dear Sugar websites and other books by Cheryl Strayed. I looked at the eBook/Overdrive local library copies. I found this copy but it was just an eBook with no text-to-speech and no audio version. I tried very hard to enjoy the book. There was wonderful advice given here.

I wanted to keep reading past the mid-point that I thought I got to, but with no way to listen it was hard to read. I will try to keep an eye out for the Audible or Kindle with TTS to read later. Besides, most of it was written for younger people. I played the kind of game I used to play with the Dear Abby advice column, see if I can give the same advice the writer does. I was pleasantly surprised that Ms. Strayed gave more personal answers and helped in deeper ways than Abby or her sister Ann Landers ever did.

I think this is a wonderful book for young people to have. I think Dear Sugar is a good podcast for those under forty. I hope to find this book again in an easier form for me to read.

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Lizz Free Or DieLizz Free Or Die by Lizz Winstead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like Rachel Maddow and Jon Steward? Read/listen to Lizz Free or Die to find out how they all relate.

I remember seeing Lizz on Rachel’s show and on Melissa Harris-Perry when she was promoting her book. But I remember seeing her stand up for feminism and abortion and rights for everyone. I loved her point of view. I couldn’t wait to read her book. Sadly, now I am finished. I hope she decides to write more. It was fun, bittersweet, sad, maddening, and back around to laugh out loud. Um, not so great to read when your partner is asleep next to you. The LOL moments got me in trouble a few times.

This book is written in essays. Sort of in chronological order, but not. I like that it strays as her mind does which fits perfectly with mine. I wish I would have had a book like this as I was a teen or early twenties. Following her own path made her the strong wonderful person she is today.

Try it! I loved it!

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