Audiobook Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This book follows Tina Fey throughout her career in comedy and showbusiness. From elementary school to drama (like stage drama) in high school, to her beginning in stand-up, to Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. She narrates the audiobook herself.

What I Liked

  • It is quite humorous. She includes a lot of interesting anecdotes from her younger years, and she includes a lot of sarcasm.
  • It kept me very engaged, especially on a long, otherwise boring, road trip. You know how if you’re driving by yourself it’s boring and a bit hard to stay awake? But you don’t have the same problem when you’re talking to someone? This book was engaging like that.

What I Didn’t Like

  • To be honest, I’m sort of ambivalent towards this book. I enjoyed listening to it, but I’m not sure it added much to my life. I’m neither happier nor sad at having read it.
  • Once my road trip was over, it took me a good week or so to pick this back up and finish listening to it. It wasn’t compelling enough for me to listen to it when I wasn’t trapped in a car with nowhere to go.

In Conclusion

If you’re a big fan of Tina Fey, or if you’re on a roadtrip and need something engaging to listen to, pick up this audiobook. If not, maybe go watch something she worked on.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate links)

 

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1 Year Ago: Book Review: Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gullege

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Book Review: Si Un Brontosauria by Katherine Mead (Brontosaurus Came to Tea)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This picture book shows a character preparing for different dinosaurs to come to tea. He makes sure to set out each of their favorite foods. It is written in a cute rhyming fashion. 

What I Liked

  • It is just plain adorable 
  • Dinosaurs 
  • Great for learning new Spanish words! 

What I Didn’t Like

  • The illustrations where a little dark (color-wise) to be honest, but very reflective of illustrations back in my childhood I believe. 

In Conclusion

If you or your child loves dinosaurs, then pick up this book. If you are learning a new language and want to learn dinosaur vocabulary, pick up this book in the new language. 

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (Spanish) | Amazon (English) (affiliate links)

 

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1 Year Ago: Book Review: It Had to Be Him by Tamra Baumann

Book Review: Ms. Marvel Volume 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book 3 in the Ms. Marvel Collected Editions

Summary

Ms. Marvel crashes a Valentine’s dance as she faces a new villain – Loki. On top of that, she’s facing a little romance of her own!

What I Liked

  • They called Loki a “hipster viking”. Lol.
  • Finally! A love interest! I was very excited when he entered the scene.
  • The book was quite unpredictable, in a good way. I never quite new what was coming!

What I Didn’t Like

  • There were more returning characters (from other comics) in this edition, which is great for comic fans, but a little more confusing for those of us trying to be a comic fan.

In Conclusion

Yet another great edition to the Ms. Marvel series.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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1 Year Ago: Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Book Review: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

Chris Voss is an expert hostage negotiator with the FBI. In this book he shares different techniques for negotiating in any situation, as well as examples and stories from his time with the FBI. 

What I Liked

  • There are some really great techniques presented in this book, especially in the first 100 pages or so. I didn’t realize how realistic these techniques were until I watched a video on Conflict Resolution on Lynda.com – and everything they outlined I’d pretty much already learned from this book! 

What I Didn’t Like

  • The book got a little repetitive after a while. 
  • He includes both positive and negative examples from the FBI. While you can definitely learn from mistakes, the amount of negative examples provided made me doubt his credibility a little. 
  • One of the methods he mentions is waiting it out. While I understand that saving someone’s life is definitely more important than a quick rescue, if you’re being held hostage, waiting for days (or weeks, or months, or years) has got to be excruciating! 

In Conclusion

I’m glad I read this book and it definitely contains a lot of valuable information, especially in the first 100 pages. It’s worth a read, even if you don’t agree with all of his methods. 

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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Book Review: Ms. Marvel Volume 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book 2 in the Ms. Marvel Collected Editions

Summary

Kamala is finally getting a hang of her powers as Ms. Marvel, just in time to face a new enemy. 

What I Liked

  • You get to see more of her culture. I mentioned this in my review of the first book, but I really like it for two reasons: 
    1. It’s different than my culture 
    2. It’s refreshingly not the same as pretty much everything else I’ve read. (Which is sort of sad really….) 

What I Didn’t Like

  • The message of the story was very in-your-face this time. If you have to explicitly state the moral of the story, then you didn’t do a good enough job showing it as an author. It should be obvious without being said. (To be honest, it would  have been obvious without being said, but it was said anyways. Blech.) 

In Conclusion

Another great edition to the Ms. Marvel series. 

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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Book Review: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book 1 in the Ms. Marvel Collected Editions 

Summary

Ms. Marvel is a normal Muslim teenager in Jersey City – until something happens. Now she has to figure out what is going on, and without tipping off her very protective parents. 

What I Liked

  • This is a great starter comic series if you have no prior knowledge of the comic universes. I tried reading other comics that were hard to get into because I had no idea what was going on. And while different characters do pop up throughout the series, you don’t have to have any prior knowledge to follow and understand the story line. 
  • I loved how being Muslim was just a part of the main character’s life. It wasn’t a central focus and it wasn’t in-your-face, but it was there as an influence in her life. It was neat to see the religion from the every day point of view instead of the large scale religions 101 definition. 
  • I really like the character. She’s emotionally strong and isn’t afraid of being herself, but not in an unrealistic way. 
  • I like the side characters in this series as well. They seem supportive of her and her ambitions, even if they accidentally find out she has super powers. 

What I Didn’t Like 

  • Not much 

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to delve into the comic book world, or if you’re just looking for a comic about a kick-butt teenager, this is the book for you. 

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link) 

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1 Year Ago: Book Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Book Review: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Stand-Alone book 2 in the Letters to the Lost series 

Summary

This book follows Rev Fletcher, the best friend of Declan from Letters to the Lost. Rev had a traumatic childhood until he was fostered and then adopted by his current parents. He still prefers to stay in the shadows and wears dark hoodies that swallow him up and keep him out of sight and mind. Emma Blue is into video games and computer programming, but is being harassed by a gamer in the community. We get to see them each deal with their individual challenges, but also get to see them grow as friends (or more!). 

What I Liked

  • I love his parents. Like, I want to be them when I grow up. They’re just so loving and kind and non-judgmental. And they always seem to know exactly what each child needs – they adopted Rev, but they still foster regularly and are always trying to help the parents of the fostered child get back on their feet. 
  • This book was quite intense! I read it all in one sitting, because I just had to find out what happened next. 

What I Didn’t Like

  • I wasn’t as emotionally invested in this one as I was in Letters to the Lost. Not that it was a bad book by any means, but it didn’t live up to the first one, in my opinion. 
  • Emma’s character seemed a little flat. She had some depth, but not much that went outside of the cliché “gamer girl”, which would have been nice to see. 

In Conclusion

Brigid Kemmerer is an amazing author and you should read pretty much everything she writes, including this book. 

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

Book Review: The Sheik and the Christmas Bride by Susan Mallery

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

Kayleen is a school teacher who was raised by nuns and is trying to make the world a better place by caring for orphans. As’ad is a business focused sheik/prince whose aunt is secretly trying to set him up. He ends up in a situation where there is only one possible solution – adopt three girls and hire Kayleen to take care of them.

What I Liked

  • Sometimes you just need a good, cliche romance novel to cheer you up. This one certainly did the trick.
  • I loved the commoner/prince dynamic presented by this book. It was sort of like Netflix’s The Christmas Prince, but with character development and natural dialogue.
  • I was sort of a fan of As’ad’s pompous personality. He didn’t act that way because he was a jerk – he was just raised that way and knew no better. (If you’ve ever read the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce, As’ad is very similar in personality to Jonathan.)

What I Didn’t Like

  • I was looking forward to reading about a business focused male love interest – and instead got the stereotypical playboy love interest. It would have been nice to see something new.
  • There were some inconsistencies in the book. For example, they very explicitly state that none of the princes are playboys, and yet each of the ones we meet… definitely are. Kayleen’s character was a little inconsistent as well.

In Conclusion

If you are looking for the book version of A Christmas Prince, this is for you. (There is adult content in this book, be warned.)

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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Book Review: Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean

Rating: ⭐⭐

Summary

A nurse named Connie Lou is assigned as a caretaker for “Uncle John” during Christmas time. She’s very starched and straight-forward and has no family of her own. She is a by-the-book rules follower. Uncle John is the exact opposite – eccentric, unpredictable, and charismatic. He shares Christmas with Connie Lou by telling stories about each of his unique ornaments.

What I Liked

  • Not much. This would have gotten one star, except that is reserved for books I loathe. And to be honest, this one wasn’t written well enough for me to loathe it.
  • Some of the messages were sort of okay? Or could have been, if written better.

What I Didn’t Like

  • It was very heavy-handed in its messages. Even as a Christian, I found it a little overwhelming.
  • For as heavy-handed as it was, it wasn’t very Biblically accurate.
  • I didn’t get it? I’m sure there was supposed to be a very obvious, heart-warming message in there somewhere, but I just didn’t get the story. It was weird and I didn’t understand the ending at all in the context of the rest of the book.
  • It was inconsistent. Half of the characters you meet are obviously supposed to be from the Bible. But the other half seem to be pretty random. There was no cohesiveness in this story whatsoever.

In Conclusion

I guess this is popular as a play, but as a book, it isn’t worth your time.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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Book Review: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Skottie Young

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This is a middle grade graphic novel. The father of two children goes out to get milk so they can have their cereal and tea for breakfast, but he takes a really long time to get back. So, over breakfast, he tells them the tale of what happened that made him take so long.

What I Liked

  • This was sort of a fun story. It involves many different settings (like pirate ship, alien spaceship, etc.) and time periods. It’s exactly the sort of story you would want to make up if you’re camping under the stars or trying to distract your child from a storm. It was intriguing and unpredictable, especially since it involved time travel.
  • I just love that graphic novels are now a thing for all ages. I think they’re important to reach those who otherwise might not read at all. (I know this isn’t specific to this book, but I wanted to mention it anyway.)

What I Didn’t Like

  • At one point the father comes across ancient gods and interacts with them in some capacity. Depending on your religion or your child’s knowledge of such things, this might not be a good book for them. (Like, if they’re already reading Percy Jackson, they’ll probably be fine. But if you’re reading it to a younger crew who doesn’t quite get the concept yet, maybe not.)
  • How safe is that milk?? I read this book right after I read Fast Food Nation, so my food-safety brain was very concerned about the germs this adventurous milk must have acquired! 😛

In Conclusion

If you have a reluctant middle grade reader, you’re an adult who loves a whimsical story, or you have curious children who love hearing stories, this might be the book for you.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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1 year ago: Book Review: Undeniably Chosen by Shelly Crane