Thursday, December 12, 2013

This Book Room

Tori Spelling is the first to admit that the reality behind her popular television show, Tori & Dean, isn't always real. Not even Star Magazine could invent the true chaos that happens behind the scenes. Luckily, Tori is famously honest and self-deprecatingly funny when it comes to her personal life. She's always Spelling It Like It Is

Life is never boring at Tori's house, but since her New York Times bestselling memoirs sTORI Telling, Mommywood, and Uncharted terriTORI, things have been especially unpredictable: Finding out she was pregnant with her third baby after nearly vomiting live on the Home Shopping Network; trying to hide her fourth pregnancy so soon after giving birth (as her stylist said, who would be that crazy?); being rescued from a paparazzo by a mom lynch mob; stalking her celebrity neighbor; and allowing cameras to film every personal detail of her life from the most challenging time in her marriage to the only time in six years when she really felt as though those cameras invaded her privacy.

Tori shares these stories and many more with the usual humor, candor, and down-to-earth charm that her fans love. She also writes openly about her biggest challenges: the terrifying health problems surrounding her high-risk pregnancy with youngest son Finn, her guilt over missing baby Hattie's early months because she was in the hospital on bed rest, her struggles (and failures) to live within her means after growing up in opulence, discovering how much she has in common with her late mega-producer father, Aaron Spelling, and falling in love with Dean all over again (hint: it didn't happen at their vow renewal ceremony).

After years of intimately revealing her everyday antics onscreen, Tori's life is still full of surprises. Slowing down long enough to enjoy them? Now that's another sTORI.

My thoughts: I find Tori to be a really humorous person, but this memoir really made me feel Tori is anything but genuine. I get it that reality television is anything but reality (and I don't watch television at all, so I'm not even half aware of what is out there versus reality because I only immerse myself in my own reality), but I think the fact that she shares in her book what lies she's said and which actions she didn't really mean are going a bit too far. She talks a lot about how she wishes her life weren't so public. If that were true, why is she sharing intimate details of her life with the world? That doesn't make sense. I also felt she was very, "Everyone should know who I am. I'm so important." I was really turned off by that. I would definitely skip this one.

Middle-class incomes are stretched more than ever. Feeling the strain himself, personal finance
columnist Brian O’Connor decided to put his own family’s spending to the test. He began a ten-week experiment to see if his family could cut its monthly living expenses by $1,000—without sacrificing anything truly important. From groceries and transportation to entertainment and insurance, O’Connor ruthlessly tackled his family’s Top 10 spending categories with an eye on rooting out big savings. As he shares his family’s cost-cutting adventures, O’Connor offers helpful strategies for getting your own finances back on track. Whether he’s sharing secrets to shrinking your grocery tab or helping you scour bills for unnecessary fees, O’Connor tackles the frustrations and fears of controlling your own financial fate.

My thoughts: I was really intrigued by this book - all the while knowing there is literally no way we could scrap $100 a week from our budget. Why? Well, because I don't have a storage unit, we own one car and stay home as much as possible, we eat out very minimally (and when we do, it's usually reimbursed through mystery shopping), we don't spend money on child care, we don't really have an entertainment budget, etc. This guy was spending a LOT of money on unnecessary things. So he had a lot of unnecessary things he could cut. Simply put: if you've already cut out all the extras, you won't learn anything new from this book. In fact, I kind of just think this author is nuts. He was paying for a lot of stuff that he didn't know he was paying for. I always know what I am paying for. Who has extra money to throw around like that? For a guy who claims NOT to have money to throw around like that, he certainly was throwing money around.

Greg Heffley's on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg's life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

Additional notes: This is the eighth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. You can read my review of the first book here, the second book here, the third book here, the fourth book here, the fifth book here, the sixth book here and the seventh book here.

My thoughts: I really do go back and forth as to whether or not I think this series is a quality series for children. At the end of the day, the series is seriously funny. If children can see beyond Greg's selfishness, I think this series is great for humor. But if your children read this series and you haven't yet done so, you probably want to have a conversation with them about this series and Greg's character.

It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

Additional notes: This is the third book in the Appleseed Creek Mystery series. You can read my review of the first book here and the second book here.

My thoughts: This was a really interesting book. I was surprised at the backstory of Billy's character, and the villain in this story is surprising as well. This is a well thought-out mystery series. You'll definitely be left guessing as to who the villain is until almost the very end. I highly recommend this series, even and especially if you're not a fan of typical Amish fiction.

No comments: