advicesisters.com’s 1st Book Review Roundup of 2018
By Alison Blackman
We’ve received so many great books to review. I wish I could share all of them, but there’s only so much room. When I write a book review, I realize it’s highly subjective, but each book that The Advice Sisters Beauty and Style features must be relevant to our demographic of (primarily) savvy adult women.
For the most part, the books we select must educate, motivate, and inspire you. Of course they also have to entertain you, keep your attention, and be worthy of your time.
This book review features selections that we feel will help you carve out your path for 2018:
Boko Haram Horror
It is a mild understatement to say that I was riveted to each page while completely repulsed by the cruelty, barbarism, and violence in A Gift from Darkness: How I Escaped with my Daughter from Boko Haram Paperback by
Christian, she was forced to take a new name and threatened with death if she didn’t convert to the Boko Haram’s warped idea of Islam.
Worse, she was forced to witness gruesome executions, to eat soup from human flesh of “infidels,” endure beatings, and harassed to be a “wife” of one of the Boko Haram fighters to produce “new warriors,” she somehow manages to struggle to protect her unborn child and her sanity and escape.
It was incredibly stressful to read this book. It might just give you nightmares. But the tale of a mother resolutely protecting her child at the literal cost of her life is remarkable, and you won’t easily forget what happens in this memoir.
Post Your Love
You may believe that no one writes anymore, but Love Uncensored: 50 Postcards for Your Partner, One-Night Stand, Booty Call, and That Sexy Barista Who Always Remembers Your Name (Workman Publishing November 2017) might just get you writing a few (love) notes this year.
While a full page love letter takes thought and effort, a postcard only has room for a few lines (think: Twitter)! But it’s the cute retro-style graphics on these nicely bound, 50 postcards that really make the statement.
These are 50 postcards for varying “tasks. So for example, to tempt: “Let’s Join the Mile High Club” titillate: “I can’t stop imaging us Naked or Accuse “Who the Hell is Becky?!” Or cute flirty sayings: “I’ll put it on…you’ll take it off”
If you’re just trying to get someone’s attention you can go for something milder E.g. “I can show you a good time“.
Pop one of these in someone’s tote or briefcase. Send one in the mail if you’re long distance and want to keep things “hot.” Tack them to your bedroom wall to send a message you might not feel comfortable saying out loud.
I’m not showing the photos because that would give all of the fun away! At just $12.95 it also makes an affordable, unique and really cute wedding shower gift too.
Just Sit: A Meditation Guide for People Who Know They Should But Don’t By Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz (Harper Wave December 2017). You’ve heard it before: meditation can be useful for so many maladies from anxiety to weight loss. But in order to get the benefits, you have to Just Sit…and DO it!
In Just Sit, the authors (cofounders of The Well Daily) offer a soup to nuts way to get into the meditation you know you want but aren’t motivated to do. The book is quite detailed and nicely organized with enough graphics to break up the verbiage. But that’s really part of my issue with the book: It’s talky.
As an author, I know how tempting it is to tell people everything that you are bursting to share. Too little information and your book is less than useful. But when you cram in everything, it gets overwhelming. Unless the reader is incredibly motivated to read every single word (and I mean, every single word) it is just too too much!
So my bottom line on this is if you really want to learn how to meditate and you are planning to really SIT ad really READ the book, it could change your life. The authors make meditation seem easy, which it could actually be. But if you don’t take the time (and 205 page book carefully), you might get frustrated and you might not get that much out of it. If so, you may find yourself offering the book off to someone else–who may already know how to meditate!
That said, as a relationship advisor myself, I know that when it comes to relationship self-help books, there is nothing really new under the sun and there is nothing truly earth-shatteringly new in what the authors are saying. They urge you to focus on another way of viewing your relationships, especially underlying issues and expectations for romantic relationships.
For those who feel happily ever after is a necessity, this book focuses positive thinking to help make your relationship one that is more realistic to maintain that “happy couple” status. If you are not in a relationship right now but hope to be, there are so,e good tips, too.
From Book Signings: Editor’s Note: I missed two really fabulous book-signing events because of deadlines for our advicesisters.com holiday gift guides. Here are two books from those book signings I think you’ll really enjoy:
I forgot that Beauty and the Buddhist by Erica Chung wasn’t really so much about (Buddhism) (there’s one chapter at the end of her interest in this topic and her son becoming a Buddhist monk) and all about her, the creator of 3Lab skincare and her life’s journey to become a beauty entrepreneur.
A good part of her success is in resisting age-old Korean traditions and forging her own path, showing respect and love for her parents, especially her father, and never giving up on her goals. To be fair, she does attribute her son’s becoming a Buddhist monk and therefore her interest in Buddhism to her ability to handle her business and her life better. But the book is really about how Ms. Chung navigated a complex journey to making the 3Lab high-end anti-aging line she created a fixture on the Barneys sales floor, and into countries around the world.
Like other luxury skincare lines, Ms. Chung has many devotees who simply can’t live without the products. But the real take-away from this book isn’t about why one might embrace Buddhism but that it takes determination and the ability to fail and be flexible to be a success. Empires are not built overnight and it is ok to change direction.
Through many twists, turns, radical changes in her life and career, Ms. Chung has, apparently, made all the right choices for a life of love, success, and happiness. That road wasn’t easy but she did it. That might inspire you to pursue some of your paths, too. Fascinated, I read, it in one sitting. You can get this book (and 3Lab products) at Barneys and through the 3lab website: https://www.3lab.com/products/beauty-and-the-buddhist