Audiobook Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

9418327Title: Bossypants by Tina Fey
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Length: 5 hours and 35 minutes
Format: Audiobook via Audible
Publication Date: Aprill 5, 2011
Rating – 3.5 stars

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

I listened to Bossypants by Tina Fey via Audible as well. I had been wanting to read this book for a really long time, especially after I listened to Amy Poehler’s audiobook of her memoir. There is just something that I love about listening to memoirs when the author’s narrate them, it just makes them hit home that much more. I guess it’s more personal that way and the author’s unique voices really shine through.

I love Tina Fey. I love her wittiness, her sauciness and just how kick ass she is as a comedian in a historically male dominated business. It’s wonderful to see women like her now dominating comedy so I really wanted to get to know her better in listening to this.

I enjoyed a lot about this book but I especially loved hearing about her stories from SNL and 30 Rock, shows that I love. It was also interesting to just hear about her experiences as a female comedian, how she got to where she is today and tidbits of her history and family life. I loved the subtle feminism in this book and even the funny self deprecating remarks she makes which she manages to pull off. Sometimes I enjoy that, sometimes I don’t. You can tell she’s just poking fun at herself, which is something I do often. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves somewhat right? She did make me chuckle a few times. Even though I was hoping for just a little bit more, I enjoyed listening to this. Four stars. I am hoping for a follow up memoir to this one.

Book Review: Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter by Nina Norstrom

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Title: Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter by Nina Norstrom
Genre: Nonfiction – Memoir
Publisher: WriteLife Publishing
Page count: 190 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Rating – 4 stars!!

Symbolizing a Journey ─ Learning Lessons ─ Letting Go ─ and Gaining Insight . . . tools that lead to relationships.

Relationships are formed with people, alcohol, animals, battlefields, diseases, drugs, environments, and even our emotions. Whether toxic or nontoxic they’re an integral component of daily living. That’s just the way life is!

Follow Author Nina Norstrom through the journey as she peels off those toxic relationships she endured. In this book, you will experience her relationships with grief, pain, trauma, and forgiveness. Writing about those types of relationships can be therapeutic. So she started journaling. And that’s how this story took its roots.

The tale exposes a mother’s struggle to escape her world of toxicity. Along the way, their journey takes them into the clutches of diseased relationships. As the shoe prints are molded in and out of a variety of toxic relationships, they’ll leave behind a blazing trail of lessons.
This story in its raw image projects a remarkable voice to the heroic fight and bravery gained when striking back to wipe out the toxicity of deadly relationships. Its message reveals the importance that life brings many challenges, and that each challenge provides lessons to be learned. You will find, ultimately, this story speaks to the beauty of love, compassion, courage, determination, and strength.

“Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter. A Journey Through Toxic Relationships,” is a powerful, insightful, and inspiring personal story . . . a riveting account about one family’s cycle of toxicity.

To ensure relief from toxic elements, portion of proceeds will go to fund the fight against toxic relationships.


One thing that I absolutely love is reading about a person’s life and seeing the world through the lens of theirs. Books like Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter by Author Nina Norstrom do that for me. They take me out of my life and teach me life lessons through the experiences of the person who wrote it.

Nina Norstroms memoir is a journey through relationships and the life lessons that she learned from them. The overall theme of this book is a focus on toxic relationships. One thing I really liked is that the author explored different kinds of toxic relationships in romantic relationships, friendships, between family members and also toxic relationships that can occur within the human body.

I found tremendous value in the sections that come after each chapter where the author includes the lessons she had learned that the reader can take away from her experience. It actually made me think back on relationships and friendships in my past that at the time I didn’t realize we’re very toxic but that when I look back at them I am able to recognize that they were wrong.

This book was a mixture of feelings for me ranging from happiness at happy, loving moments to sadness at the sad, heartbreaking moments that occur. I found the author and her daughter to be extraordinarily strong women throughout their lives, especially when they only had each other. Just beautiful. 4 stars!

Blog Tour Book Review – A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice (a memoir in four meditations) by Christine Hale

29402018About A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice

• Paperback: 254 pages
• Publisher: Apprentice House Press (July 1, 2016)

In this layered collage of memory within memory, Hale recreates for readers her kaleidoscopic experience of a decades-long journey to acceptance and insight. Writer, prodigal daughter, single parent, Buddhist disciple, and, late in midlife, a newlywed, she is transformed through an unconventional relationship with a female spiritual teacher and an odd ritual of repeated tattooing with her two young adult children.

“Christine Hale’s A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice is an exquisite engagement with those tough human questions that must be asked even if they can never be answered. Hale writes toward acceptance, every page brimming with honesty, insight, and deep understanding. A truly beautiful meditation in lovely, lively prose.”~ Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life

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                           Amazon | Books a Million | Barnes & Noble

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Happy Friday!! Today I am pleased to blog my review of A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A memoir in four meditations by Christine Hale. I’d like to thank the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Apprentice House Press for giving me the chance to review this book in exchange for my honest review of it.

For the past couple of years, I have been trying to make a conscious effort to read more memoirs (especially after discovering that I harbor a secret love for them) and also to read more short story collections. I love memoirs, but this one in particular was pretty different in format from the memoirs that I usually read. The author tells us stories of her life in four meditations, or sections. Within these sections are stories from her life which are also broken up into their own sections that alternate between time frames, people and events.

I wasn’t too much a fan of the writing because I typically like to read memoirs that read pretty much like fiction in tone however, I enjoyed reading this book. It was hard to swallow in some places because some of the topics are pretty heavy like child abuse, spousal abuse, divorce and such but it was a very personal look into the life of a person who has gone through some things and come out on the other side. I found it very honest and affecting; to me it sent the message that we are all human, we can go through trials and we also make mistakes of our own and our journey to be okay with ourselves is affected not only by those trials and mistakes but by the other humans we encounter through them as well. I really loved that the author addressed specific people alot at the end of the sections in which she has written about a certain event in the past or just about that person in general. I found it interesting to be able to glimpse a bit how a person worked through events and people in her past. I loved the symbolism of the tattoo shared between mother and children.

I did somehow think that this book would have a little more about her journey in Buddhism. It definitely included some things like the retreats she would go on to get away from the world and live pretty much in seclusion trying to get in touch with herself and de-stress but there was alot less than I thought there would be. Nevertheless, I really liked this book and appreciated it’s message. When I was reading it, I even thought to myself that I need to start taking time out of my day and meditating to clear my mind and de-stress. I think readers who are interested in memoirs may find something to enjoy here! I am giving this book a 3.5 (I liked it!) star rating.

Happy Weekend Reading everyone!

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Chris_Hale_Finals_Web-Res-9-680-200x300About Christine Hale

Christine Hale’s prose has appeared inHippocampus, Arts & Letters, Prime Number, Shadowgraph, and The Sun, among other literary journals. Her debut novel Basil’s Dream(Livingston Press 2009) received honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Hale has been a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Presently, she teaches in the Antioch University-Los Angeles Low-Residency MFA Program as well as the Great Smokies Writing Program. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Connect with Christine at her Website.

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Blog Tour Book Review: It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too): A Memoir by Nora McInerny Purmort

It's Okay to Laugh coverAbout It’s Okay to Laugh

• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: Dey Street Books (May 24, 2016)

comedy = tragedy + time/rosé

Twenty-seven-year-old Nora McInerny Purmort bounced from boyfriend to dopey “boyfriend” until she met Aaron—a charismatic art director and comic-book nerd who once made Nora laugh so hard she pulled a muscle. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed and had a baby boy while he was on chemo. In the period that followed, Nora and Aaron packed fifty years of marriage into the three they got, spending their time on what really matters: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each other, and Beyoncé. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora’s arms. The obituary they wrote during Aaron’s hospice care revealing his true identity as Spider-Man touched the nation. With It’s Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience. What does it actually mean to live your “one wild and precious life” to the fullest? How can a joyful marriage contain more sickness than health? How do you keep going when life kicks you in the junk? In this deeply felt and deeply funny memoir, Nora gives her readers a true gift—permission to struggle, permission to laugh, permission to tell the truth and know that everything will be okay. It’s Okay to Laugh is a love letter to life, in all its messy glory; it reads like a conversation with a close friend, and leaves a trail of glitter in its wake.

This book is for people who have been through some shit.

This is for people who aren’t sure if they’re saying or doing the right thing (you’re not, but nobody is). This is for people who had their life turned upside down and just learned to live that way. For people who have laughed at a funeral or cried in a grocery store. This is for everyone who wondered what exactly they’re supposed to be doing with their one wild and precious life. I don’t actually have the answer, but if you find out, will you text me?

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HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Good afternoon everyone and thanks for stopping by my blog to check out my stop on the blog tour for It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too): A Memoir by by Nora McInerny Purmort. Thank you to the author, the publisher  Dey Street Books and TLC Book Tours for giving me the chance to read this book on exchange for an honest review of it.

This book is a memoir of a young woman whose husband passed away of brain cancer and is survived by herself and their son, but it’s really about more than that. I love memoirs so I have been really looking forward to reading this one. I was really drawn to it by the description I read of it but also because of the title. It was obvious that the book would handle tough topics but would also contain a certain brand of humor that I find myself drawn to.

I am giving this memoir a five star review. I read it all on one sitting. I loved everything about it. Even though it definitely had its sad moments, it was also hilarious at times and I fully appreciated that. It was definitely a singular reading experience for me as the author actually taught me a lot through her experience and just reminded me to put my phone down and fully live in and experience the now. I am definitely a fan of the writing style of this book. It was sad, humorous, and honest. I love when a memoir feels like I’ve been sitting down and having a conversation over a cup of coffee with someone listening to them tell me stories about the the life that they have lived or how the world looks through their perspective.  I definitely felt that way while reading this book. I’m super thankful I had the chance to read this book. It was a super fast read for me and one that I think is completely worthwhile. I recommend it to everyone who loves a good memoir.

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Nora McInerny Purmort APAbout Nora McInerny Purmort

Nora McInerny Purmort was voted Most Humorous by the Annunciation Catholic School Class of 1998. It was mostly downhill after that, but she did get to spend three glorious years married to Aaron Joseph Purmort (aka Spider-Man). Her work has appeared on Cosmopolitan.com, Elle.com, and the Huffington Post, and in the Star Tribune. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her son, Ralph. They really like it there.

Find out more about Nora at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Blog Tour Book Review: Set Free From Darkness: A Memoir by Susan Klarkowski-Rasmussen

SFFDBANNERSFFDKINDLETitle: Set Free From Darkness: A Memoir by Susan Klarkowski-Rasmussen
Genre: Nonfiction – Memoir
Length: 143 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date: September 20, 2015
Publisher:  Veritas, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Rating: 5/5

In 1987 I had dreams of marriage and a family. I had a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter and a nice home. I wanted to know the God that could create a child so perfect. I began exploring my spiritual options. While researching New Age philosophies I would go through mental illness psychosis leaving me with the worst fear I could ever know. I was afraid of my thoughts and myself. With misdiagnosis and failed hospitalizations I ended up taking the life of my 10-month-old child. Set Free From Darkness will take you from tears to victory. I set out “to know the God that could create a child so perfect” and He answered my prayer but in a much deeper more complex way. He loved me enough to allow my heart to be broken so I could begin a journey to learn to love and forgive.

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Good morning everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Set Free From Darkness: A Memoir. I would like to thank the author, as well as the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

Set Free From Darkness is a memoir, as you can tell from previous posts this year I have been trying to read more memoirs as I find them to be completely fascinating and I love the life lessons that I inevitably find in them. They just give me another perspective on life that I find to be valuable and oftentimes, beautiful. This book definitely falls into that category for me as well.

It tells the story of the author’s struggle throughout her life with mental illness, a struggle that causes a terrible tragedy at her hands that causes her life to fall apart. While it starts off in a very dark place, as we are taken through the author’s struggle with her mental illness and the years following her daughter’s death, the story ends in a much lighter place with the foundation being her Christian faith. It is basically a story about a person’s mental, spiritual and physical journey to God and to their own forgiveness.

I loved this book. For me it was a very emotional book as it starts with a difficult subject matter involving the death of a child and mental illness but I think that these issues are very important to talk about and I think the author does such a superb job of talking about them in her book since she has lived through this. I can’t begin to imagine what the author has been through and felt through the course of her life and the events in the book but I have a small idea thanks to her courage to tell her story. The story is definitely a testimony of God’s working in her life so it may not be a story for everyone but I do definitely think, however, that everyone should read it. I think everyone can benefit from reading it in some way, which is what  I love about memoirs. They teach us things. They allow us to see the world in different ways, through different lenses. This book definitely did that for me and I’m grateful to have read it. It may be difficult for some to read but nonetheless it is definitely worth it. Five stars from me. If you are interested in purchasing please visit one of the links below.

Happy reading everyone!

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About the AuthorSKR

Susan Klarkowski-Rasmussen has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, believes in the full gospel of the Bible, complete with the Spiritual Gifts, and retains the respect for others who are on their journey seeking the “light”. Growing up with legalism, rules and regulations she has come to view God in a much broader way. Susan is happily married and has been the shepherd of four goats, two dogs, one cat and a rooster. She and her husband, John, live near Green Bay, Wisconsin. She would be the first one to admit that she did not have what it took to live out this story, but for some reason she was chosen. Now she is grateful to be on this side of the pain, sharing a story of hope and restoration. “There is something that happens inside a person when what they hold dear is stripped from them. If once they can let go of the guilt and sadness, a healing takes place that creates a strength unknown to many.” Susan will tell you she didn’t do anything special…she just got up every day and somehow managed to take another step. God wrote this story of beauty for ashes, one day at a time.

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://www.susanklarkowski.com/
AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0153JRYEM
AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0153JRYEM
BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/set-free-from-darkness-susan-klarkowski-rasmussen/1122621730?ean=2940151094610
KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/set-free-from-darkness
GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Susan_Klarkowski_Rasmussen_Set_Free_from_Darkness?id=z8GBCgAAQBAJ&hl=en
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575087
iBOOKS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/set-free-from-darkness/id1037868483?mt=11
CREATESPACE: https://www.createspace.com/5707409
PAPERBACK: http://www.amazon.com/Set-Free-Darkness-Susan-Klarkowski-Rasmussen/dp/1517064228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441778474&sr=8-1&keywords=set+free+from+darkness

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Blog Tour Book Review – Between Gods: A Memoir by Alison Pick

Between Gods (397x600)About Between Gods

• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: Harper Perennial (October 20, 2015)

Profound, honest, and masterfully written—Between Gods forces us to reexamine our beliefs and the extent to which they define us.

Growing up in a tight-knit Christian family, Alison Pick went to church regularly. But as a teenager, she discovered a remarkable family secret: her paternal grandparents fled from the Czech Republic at the start of WWII because they were Jewish. Tragically, other family members who hesitated to emigrate were sent to Auschwitz.

Haunted by the Holocaust, Alison’s grandparents established themselves in their new lives as Christians. Not even Alison’s father knew of his parents’ past until he visited the Jewish cemetery in Prague as an adult. This atmosphere of shame and secrecy haunted Alison’s journey into adulthood.

Drowning in a sense of emptiness, she eventually came to realize that her true path forward lay in reclaiming her history and identity as a Jew, and she began attending conversion classes. But the process was far from easy as old wounds were opened, and all of her relationships were tested.

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Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

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Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Between Gods: A Memoir by Alison Pick. I’d like to send a huge thank you to the author, the publisher Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review! I am super excited because today is actually my Friday, tonight a video game I have been waiting for is finally coming out AND most of all I am excited to be sharing this book with you today.

Between Gods is one woman’s memoir about her personal and spiritual journey battling depression and crisis of faith and identity. Alison has been raised in a Christian home but stumbles upon the family secret that they are originally of the Jewish faith and that her ancestors had been killed in Aushwifz. It is almost as if a puzzle piece has clicked into place and she embarks on a journey that changes her forever.

I loved this book. I loved the writing. It is wonderfully expressive with beautiful language and details, almost poetic. I think the reason I love reading Memoirs so much is because this type of writing touches my soul and pick does it so well. There is nothing more interesting to me than a persons struggle with identity and faith and I was drawn into Pick’s story from the get go. Reading this reminds me of the quintessential human dilemma of “where do I come from?”, “where do I belong?” This book was really interesting to me and I read it in a few hours because although the subject matter was heavy it was a really fast read. I felt like I learned a lot in those few hours and it even made me start to explore my own spiritual journey. Books that do that are rare and grand…this is one of those books.

I highly recommend reading this if you are into reading memoirs or reading about spirituality and Judaism. It was very moving. 5 stars from me!

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Alison Pick APAbout Alison Pick

Alison Pick was the Bronwen Wallace Award winner for the most promising writer under thirty-five in Canada. Her first novel is The Sweet Edge, and her second novel, the bestseller Far to Go, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and was named a “Top 10 of 2010” book by the Toronto Star. Between Gods, named a “Best Book” by both the Globe and Mail and CBC, has been nominated for the prestigious BC National Award for Nonfiction.

Find out more about Alison at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

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Audiobook Review: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

20827363Title: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Genre:  Nonfiction – Memoir
Publisher: Harper Collins
Length: 7 hours, 33 min
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Rating – 5/5

Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you’re invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents—Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

Also included? A one night only live performance at Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Hear Amy read a chapter live in front of a young and attractive Los Angeles audience.

While listening to Yes Please, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll become convinced that your phone is trying to kill you. Don’t miss this collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers. Offering Amy’s thoughts on everything from her “too safe” childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and “the biz,” the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a “face for wigs”—Yes Please is chock-full of words, and wisdom, to live by.

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I did it again, I listened to another audiobook! I think I’m addicted! This time I chose to listen to Yes Please written by Amy Poehler. I have had this book on my TBR list for a long time and I decided to go ahead and listen to the audiobook!

This book was exactly what I was looking for when reading a memoir from Amy Poehler. It was funny and witty while also being warm and vulnerable. Not only was it comedic but it was also full of wonderfully funny and heartwarming stories, as well as some really amazing advice on a range of topics. I laughed  while listening to it…alot. I also teared up and was just really interested in everything she had to say in this book. I loved hearing about her experiences as a woman in comedy and I, especially loved her origin story…her journey to the Amy Poehler we are all familiar with today. I learned so much about her and just fell in love with her intelligence and humor that much more! She is definitely one of my most favorite comedians.

I have to say that a huge reason I think this listening experience was amazing for me was because the audiobook was read by Amy Poehler herself so she lent her specific flair, personality and her heart to reading it to her audience. I didn’t ever feel like she was just reading off the pages of a book but rather having a conversation with me. It was awesome. I also really enjoyed that she brought in others in her life to narrate chapters or sections with like her parents and some coworkers. The specific dialogue as a result of these narrations was awesome and really amped up the experience for me! I was definitely glued to my seat listening to this, it went by pretty fast too! If you have ever wondered about Amy Poehler and her background and rise to fame, this book is definitely for you! I gave it a 5 star rating and highly recommend!