Fall 2019 Book Review
In this Fall Book Review, there are 8 new books to capture your attention.
Books are companions that never fail you.
Whether it’s a biography, young adult fiction, a novel on aging gracefully, learning how to feel fabulous or how to get what you want, men’s perspectives on male/female relationships, or a very creepy account of a serial killer, these 8 books in our book review roundup will certainly captivate you.
Order a few of these titles, or download them on your E-Reader. I’ve added a link to amazon so you can get whatever you want, immediately. If you have read any of these books please leave a comment, or comment on our Social Media @advicesisters.
The Kennedy family may be the closest thing America has to “royalty.” A new book has been added to the plethora of biographies on the Kennedys.
This powerful dynasty is dissected person by person in a new book by J. Randy Taraborelli: Kennedy Heirs John, Caroline, and the New Generation A Legacy of Triumph and Tragedy (St. Martin’s Press, June 2019).
As much as the Kennedy Family is in the public, like an iceberg, most of their interaction with each other and the outside world is hidden beneath. The author has written plenty of books about the Kennedys. It is clear that the family, especially the older generations, are highly protective of their privacy.
This hefty book is well researched and full of storie hence top of the list in our Fall Book Review. However, I still got the feeling that it was the tip of the iceberg and that is all the family will ever allow.
That said, the author does a skillful job of profiling each of the Kennedy “players” in their never-ending pursuit of power. Download or order this title from amazon.com
Young Adult Fiction:
Our advicesisters.com book reviews don’t include a lot of Young Adult books, but The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland (Bonnier 2019) is so charming, I read it from cover to cover and cheer for our heroine, a young woman whose life had been wrapped around her failing heart, and after her heart transplant.
Ailsa has been through so much, but now, with a successful heart transplant, she has to learn how to “let go” of the past, trust her (new) heart, and move forward into a normal life, one she’s never had.
Her best friend Lennox dies while she is thriving. Her blog (of course a blog and social media for younger readers to relate to) is wildly popular. She asks her readers for guidance in the form of questions they answer, and she follows the majority.
Topics are everything from whether she should diet, to how she should date.
It’s a really cute, fast-paced book that will surely resonate with younger readers, but also their mothers. I loved it! Download or purchase this book on amazon.com
Chiller Killer Thriller:
Sex and the Serial Killer: My Bizarre Times with Robert Durst by William Steel with Gary Greenberg (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2018) should come with a warning: once you read it, you may never get the incredibly disturbing details out of your brain.
The book is about the truly warped and violent mega-millionaire real estate tycoon Robert Durst. The killing may have started with Durst’s wife Kathie McCormack. His intimates knew that he was a depraved serial killer, but it took years to track him down and get him to confess to his numerous murders.
The author, former realtor, professional jewel and art thief, William Steel, was a “friend” and confidant of Durst. He spares no detail about how Durst tortured women and killed them while behaving in other incredibly depraved and scary ways.
I can’t’ even mention the details here without shivering. This is a true monster, and he lives! If you want to read about who lurks in the shadows and in plain sight, read this at your own risk because you may not sleep well at night, afterward. Download or order this book from amazon.com
Write about what you know is the old adage. Certainly, that is what Dorothy Rice did in her very personal book grey is the new black. Gray is the New Black: A Memoir of Self Acceptance (Otis Books, Seismicity Editions, June 2019).
Ms. Rice shares a lot of feelings that many women have. She wonders if she’s good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, talented enough and most of all why her husband of many years can’t say the words of romance and love she longs to hear so maybe she isn’t really good enough for him, either.
In her 60’s now, she bumbles through trying to transition her hair to grey, tries to lose weight, only to succeed and fail in spectacular fashion. But underneath all the “trying” there is darkness from her past, and because of it, there doesn’t seem to be any way to satisfy this woman.
An empty nest, pets who are dying, an elderly mother, and sisters (whom the author feels are prettier) and you can see the Dorothy has plenty of stress. However, as the pages unfold, the reader can’t fail to see that she is her own worst enemy. A lot of her self depreciation is due to a boy who abused her as a teenager.
This really appears to be an authentic book, almost a journal. It could use some more editing, but no matter what your age, you may relate to some of all of Dorothy’s issues, Download or order from amazon.com .
I was enticed by the title of Be Fabulous At Any Age by Elisabeth L. Thieriot. You can tell from the book cover alone that the author lives a beautiful, wonderful, glamorous life.
The endorsements on the first page include H.R.H. Crown Princess Katherine of Yogoslavia and His Highness Dr. Prince Mario-Max Schaumberg-Lippe of Germany. Who wouldn’t want to learn the secrets to have a life like that?
If you’re wealthy, if you are a royal, if you can afford to live a beautiful and balanced life, you probably don’t’ need this “guide” to healthy and “seasonal” living.
A lot of the book is philosophical: For example “Resilience is the key to living fully, and joy comes to us between solving problems. Looking good is part of youthful skin, attitude, and abundant energy on demand.” This kind of writing just irritates me. It’s much easier to “be fabulous” when you have all the resources you need to be your best.
The Seasonal Concept the author purports isn’t a bad idea, but the book tries too hard to cover too many topics, Some of which are things we know (e.g. spend time with family and friends as the seasons change, eat whole grains, etc.).
The author is the CEO and founder of Replete Skincare among many other accomplishments and she does promote her products. Elizabeth Thieriot looks fabulous, but her book just wasn’t. Get this title on amazon.com
Masculinity on the Line:
What is the measure of a man? In this Fall Book Review, we’re featuring two new titles from Akashick Books’ Edge of Sports imprint by former NFL players (September 3, 2019). Both explore aspects of masculinity and sport: You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity by Don McPherson (Get this book on amazon.com) and My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended Up Saving My Life by Ryan O’Callaghan and Cyd Zeigler (Get this title on amazon.com).
Ryan O’Callaghan was a man’s man in the NFL. But he was keeping a secret: his sexual orientation. He struggled to keep his secret from everyone including his family while he was with the NFL ‘s New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, keeping secrets causes a lot of stress. There was drug abuse and eventually, O’Callaghan decided he was ready o kill himself after his football career was over.
A member of the KC Chiefs organization helped him get the counseling and drug treatment he needed. Then he had to make a literal life and death decision. The book chronicles this struggle from beginning to end.
You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity by Don McPherson is an interesting book about how men are indoctrinated to look down upon girls and ultimately, promote violence against women.
This former NFL quarterback turned educator insists that it’s team loyalty and the locker room mentality of protecting the perpetrators and focusing the blame on the victims that makes men more misogynistic.
He claims that this is a man’s issue, not a women’s issue. He is certainly scathing about how society rewards the kind of unhealthy feelings boys develop against girls (e.g. “you throw like a girl” said as ridicule).
Qudos to this “male feminist” for speaking out. Alas, the book is written is a rather dry and academic style. That’s too bad because he has an important message. A more user-friendly approach would resonate better with males of every age.
Get What You Want:
I included this book in our Fall Book review although it isn’t available in October.
Do you know how to get what you want, even when the “getting” seems next to impossible? Read I Wanted Fries With That: How To Ask For What You Want and Get What You Need by Amy Fish (New World Library (October 1, 2019).
I received the galley for this book and assumed I would know most of the negotiating tactics in the book. But there are so many stories and tips and the skills to solve a problem.
Whether it’s getting a ski jacket fixed, to returning a coffee maker, learn to speak up when you feel powerless. You’ll find something for many everyday issues in this book.
The book has a lot of important information but presented in a lighthearted user-friendly Way. Most of the stories have a happy ending, and negotiation isn’t quite that simple.
That said, the book is a good start to learn how to negotiate for what you want. I’m still not sure I would be 100% comfortable asking someone to move their airplane seat back up. But at least I’ll know better how to do more effectively. Get a copy on amazon.com
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