Larger Than Life: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS
by Maria Sherman

Eh. I should learn not to get myself excited before I crack open a book. Some of the illustrations kind of got on my nerves, while others I enjoyed. The book was slow-going and a little all over the place for me. But it will still a nice trip down memory lane I suppose.

by Danielle H. Lefebvre

I discovered Danielle Lefebvre on Google. I was looking for a photographer and admired her consistent portrait portfolio. I started following her on social media. I was delighted when she asked me to review her book  #Create: Discover Your Purpose, Overcome Your Obstacles, Build Your Dream Creative Career. I love books about creativity, productivity, and business. This title seemed like something I would enjoy.

The first chapter of Lefebvre’s book left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s chock full of stories about other people – celebrities, designers, and historical figures. Were they inspirational stories? Kind of. But, I expect the author to present a personal narrative to welcome us into a book. That personal narrative differentiates the author from all the other writers out there. Alas, I kept going.

Later chapters finally incorporate very personal narratives and shortly after that, she burst through the doors and hit the ground running. Each chapter includes some core items for business owners (and I don’t mean simply SEO optimization or website editing) rather, chapters on self-worth, self-care, and juggling family, friends, and a career. This is what makes Lefebvre stand out among other business book authors.

At no point was the book dry, even when she gets into the nitty-gritty of all things business. This book is a great resource for any budding entrepreneur, not necessarily just photographers or designers. I certainly wish this book existed when I tried my hand at wedding photography. 

Overall, this book is worth the read. Support a local business owner, and purchase a copy today.


The Gay Agenda: A Modern Queer History & Handbook
by Ashley Molesso and Chess Needham

Ever want to read about a topic, but don’t have time for a tome of a book? Well, I recommend this one for queer history. It is bright, colorful and chocked full of fun illustrations. I was taken aback by the title at first, until the authors noted another (negative) book was published with a similar title, so they flipped it and used it for good. Way to stick it to the man! My only issue though, is some of the font type and color are VERY hard to read.


How to Rule at Photography
by Rachel Harrell

Eh! Quick little book (literally, little), fits in my hand. Didn’t love it. Illustrations OK! Some of the  write-ups were funny, others were silly but not funny.


Make Art Not War
by Ralph Young

This book was not on my radar. My dad sent me the title via email. This book features posters from many important political movements throughout the years. It was very interesting to look at. Also, very interesting, that some of the oldest  political movements are still happening today. I guess we never learn!


Joy at Work
by Marie Kondo & Scott Sonenshein

Eh. I read the first few chapters, and scanned through the rest. I feel like you cannot apply sparking joy to work! And after reading the first few chapters, I realize, I am already pretty organized at work!


It’s Ok To Feel Things Deeply
by Carissa Potter

Nice reminders about how we might be feeling and how to do something about it. Words are great. Illustrations are, MEH!


Letters to a Young Writer
by Colum McCann

Read this in one sitting! After reading (and loving) this book, I am feeling guilty about not finishing McCann’s book Let The Great World Spin for my book club 10 years ago. This book was so good. Would make a great gift for any writer. I am a sucker for a book whose chapters start with quotes, and his did, although each was by an author on the topic, so it was entirely appropriate. Another KEEPER!

The Untethered Soul
by Michael A. Singer

Ever pick up a book and wish you had read it years ago? This book was great. It was filled with stuff I already know, but need a gentle reminder about. I will keep this one on my shelf.


Find Your Path
by Carrie Underwood

Well, this was like any other book by a celebrity. Underwood shares a quick background of her childhood and some valuable lessons she learned, so she can promote her current lifestyle. Interesting workout routine! Nice photos and some decent recipes. I wish the library was open. This is the kind of book I would have rather borrowed from the library than purchased.

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love
by Dani Shapiro

I love a piece of non-fiction that reads like a fast-paced novel; everything unfolding right in front of you!  I could not put this book down. Pretty sure I read it in three or four sittings. WOW.

The Empath’s Survival Guide
by Judith Orloff, M.D.

Ever met a book and wished you knew about sooner?? Well, this book is IT! I had to skim through some parts that were not applicable to me, but, it was still incredibly helpful!! If you know me, you know I am a pretty sensitive person (not on the outside of course, but in my head, for sure). SO this had some great tips on dealing with people and energy. I highly recommend it!


Year of No Clutter
by Eve O. Schaub

I listened to the audio version of this book. If you are the kind of person who has clutter due to emotional attachment, then I suppose this book is for you. I didn’t love it. I finished it because I was curious to know how she made out with her “hell room” a.k.a her cluttered room.

Love Your Life Not Theirs
by Rachel Cruze

Cruze keeps it real in this book. She shares with us how to be frugal and smart with our money, but continues to share her struggles with wanting material things versus needing necessary items. She does focus a bit on the fact that it is a comparison world, thanks for the illusion of social media posts, which I appreciate. I think more writers need to bring this fact to light. I recommend this book!

Zen in the Art of Writing
by Ray Bradbury

That moment when you realize you found the perfect book at the perfect time in your life- here it is. This collection of essays by Bradbury is great. His energy is inspirational and makes me just want to stay home from work today and write, write, write! Check it out!


The Hollywood Book Club: Reading with the Stars
by Steven Rea

This book was okay; a quick little read. It featured a few of my favorite celebrities. Each photo wasaccompanied by a brief paragraph about the book featured in the photograph or a film the celebrity was famous for. Not bad!

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Neighborly Words of Wisdom from Mister Rogers
by Fred Rogers

This book is a combination of Mr Rogers’ book You Are Special and Tom Junod’s article about Rogers, which was published in Esquire magazine in the late 90s. The article shaped the recent movie about Rogers, starring Tom Hanks. I enjoyed the book, although, I’ll admit, I scanned through some of the items about children. I don’t have children (even though I was one, once). So I can’t say I am totally into that. But I actually wrote some quotes down in my notebook. Either way, it’s still pretty inspirational. We could sure use Mr Rogers around today! I always wonder what he would think about children on smartphones!

The Stars in Our Pockets
by Howard Axelrod

I will be honest, I gave up at page 37. I had high hopes for this book based on the title and a review in Kirkus Review. It started off ok and I enjoyed some of his passages about the benefits of getting lost and experiencing things. But, it’s just too all over the place and doesn’t read well to me.

NYC (Basic Tips and Etiquette)
by Nathan W. Pyle

This book is perfect. Firstly it should be read before visiting NYC for the first time because it’s informative. Then it should be read after visiting NYC because one will see how incredibly sassy and funny it is. TOTALLY NAILED IT.

Love Poems (for Married People)
by John Kenney

Not my cup of tea. Maybe because my husband and I haven’t been married long and don’t have kids. I wounldn’t recommend it. It is full of quick poems about the stereotypical marriage scenarios (negative ones).

Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood: A Visual History
by Fred Rogers’ Production, Forward by Tom Hanks

Oh my goodness. There are so many books out about Mr Rogers these days. Fans of Mr Rogers are sure to love this book. It’s a bit easier to digest than the recent 405 page book by Maxwell King. King’s book gives a lot more incite into Rogers’ childhood. This visual history gives fans of the show lots of background, interviews with actors, crew and guests. The primary sources in the book like letters and Rogers’ sketches make the book really appealing. I always enjoy seeing people’s thought processes.

I appreciate the fact that the book comes full circle with the mention of the recent 2018 documentary and film starring Tom Hanks. Thankfully, though, the end of the book does not dwell on Rogers’ death from stomach cancer, but rather, his legacy. There is a rather charming photograph of Rogers memorabilia from the Fred Rogers archive.

I may just buy this book to have on my shelf!

Three Women
by Lisa Taddeo

Well, shame on me. I should never listen to all the hype. Was this book engrossing? Yes, kind of. Taddeo tells the story of three women and their struggles/feelings revolving around their unique sexual lives. But it was incredibly awkward to have an author explain these very personal, sexual details of the women and their partners(or extra marital affairs). It would have been much more compelling as a memoir by each woman. And so much detail about sex! JEEZ! I felt like it took away from the stories and what we could learn about them. I closed the book and wondered what the point of it really was. I certainly feel for each woman and what they went through but I also wanted to shake them by the shoulders and remind them to be smart! Maybe that is the point?

Full Circle
by Andrea Barber

I don’t read many celebrity biographies. I am not crazy about celebrities. I am skeptical that they’re always trying to sell their brand or product and they’ll tailor their biography around the aforementioned. I have, however, read all the books put out by the cast of the television show Full House. I just love that show! And while I enjoyed most of them, Barber’s was the best. Barber is real, honest and funny. She also writes well, which helps! I plowed through the book in two sittings. It felt like talking with a close, down-to-earth friend. Kudos to her for keeping it real throughout the whole book. No subject was off limits yet, she remained respectful while sharing very personal stories about her relationships.  Thanks Andrea!

Finding Chika
by Mitch Albom

Oh Mitch. You’re killing me. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Albom speak at an event here in my home state. He was fantastic. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, which scared me into thinking we’d all be balling our eyes out even more once we read the book! I can’t speak for everyone in the audience, but I can tell you, this one is a real tearjerker. Albom intertwines the story of his journey (along with his wife) of adopting this sick, poor child, Chika, from Haiti. But it isn’t him telling the reader their story, he also speaks to the ghost of the child while writing the book. Well that combination makes it even more heartbreaking. He tells the story to his adult readers but mixes in explaining their journey to a child. As you know, that can be very different. It felt like a healing process for the author and was odd to be part of it. I realize books like this are so hard to read, but we all should. It will make us appreciate how easy we really have it in this lifetime.

New England Ruins
by Rob Dobi

A lot left to be desired. This book is the wrong size for photographs! It should be a coffee table size book. Also, the photo compositions were great but not printed very well! Oh well.

Tenemental: Adventures of a Reluctant Landlady
by Vikki Warner

This was a quick, entertaining read. At times it was little all over the place, but the author ties the end up nicely. I was delighted to read about my hometown in the book, ironically, a street away from where I live now, and also where my family grew up. Worth the read.

Home Work
by Julie Andrews with Emma Walton Hamilton

I just love Andrews. I struggled a bit through her first book. Not sure why. Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. However, this one was great. I appreciate her honesty. Most importantly, I am so pleased that she incorporated entries from personal journal. Quite often memoirs are told purely from memory, which can be a big dangerous, as are minds can recall the details incorrectly. But many times she backed up her stories with journal entries and it made the memoir that much more authentic. I wonder if anyone these days keeps a diary. How lost the next generation will be without firsthand accounts of their lives!

Alter Ego Effect
by Todd Herman

This was good. It got me thinking and slightly inspired about ramping up my blog, writing my book and maybe even getting back to Youtube. Kudos to you Todd Herman. I like the idea of using your alter ego to achieve your dreams. Simply imagine the quality of your alter ego, give him/her a name, a look and a mission then go with it. It makes sense. I imagine myself as an assertive extrovert who is a millionaire giving  away half her salary to those in need. I better work at this…..


Vivian Maier Self-Portraits
Edited by John Maloof

I enjoyed this, but I feel like people are trying to profit off an individual that they really don’t know about.


by Dave Itzkoff

I already loved Williams before reading this. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. Robin Williams was amazing and this book just proves it. This book was a commitment, so if you are looking for a quick Williams bio, don’t bother with this one. The author gives us a glimpse into Williams’ childhood, not dwelling too long on it though, which is good. I was most interested in WIlliams’ creative energy. Many of the people interviewed reported similar comments on Williams’ talent and energy. And that is really what stayed with me throughout (and after) the book. I am sad it is over!


Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog
by Dave Barry

Barry is hilarious in the most ridiculous ways possible. I have to remind myself that this is non-fiction as he writes whatever he wants even though it isn’t true. He just does it for laughs. Part of me is glad the heading of each chapter didn’t start out with the lessons we can learn from dogs. It would have been too predicable. I enjoyed his stories and honesty, especially about being a nerdy!


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
by Lori Gottlieb

There has been a buzz at work around this book and I’ve seen it written up in many places so I thought I would give it a try. I figured I wouldn’t like it since I don’t know much about therapy. I actually really enjoyed the book and finished it in only a few sittings (which is impressive for a book that is 415 pages long and having the life I do). Gottlieb seems genuine and some of the interactions with her patients will leave you crying and laughing. I also appreciate her admission of of her flaws and imperfections and her willingness to see a therapist and write about it. I guess overall, I appreciated the humanity of the book!


The Latte Factor
by David Bach

This was a quick, easy read. I finished it in one sitting. Nothing I didn’t really know already. Kind of like listening to your dad talking to you about finance. But still, an important read!


The Death of Expertise
by Tom Nichols

Thank you for articulating everything I am thinking about people and social media. Just read this. DO it.


Children by Choice
by Dr. Amy Blackstone

Thank you for this. Not everyone wants children. Apparently that shocks a lot of people. The author covers every single scenario and stereotype regarding not having children- everything from the nasty people who deem us terrible people for not having a baby to how lopsided our society is because we cater to those with children. Remember, it was their choice to have children right? I was especially happy to read about couples who chose to not have children so they could focus on their marriage and use their time to travel and enrich their lives. Many would deem that selfish but I think it is great.


A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns
by  Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson

My library is gearing up for Pride month. I noticed this title in a Pride brochure that my supervisor made. I thought I would pick it up since I feel like I live under a rock!! This was a quick and fun read which is actually pretty educational without being overwhelming. I really appreciated the advice they gave to people about choosing your battles when it comes to trying to change people’s ways – choose your battles and if they don’t change then maybe reconsider being their friend. Fair enough. When it comes down to it, I think, if you are a respectful person then you will try to accommodate people for they way they are. I will certainly try my best to remember all of this!


Digital Miminalism
by Cal Newport

Enjoyable & readable. Read it in four days. Interesting, this concept of solitude deprivation or never spending time quietly with your own thoughts. It is something I never really considered before but now I understand! He includes digital audiobooks under that category. Those are part of my quiet, relaxing morning walk. But it isn’t a truly quiet walk then. Maybe some days I should unplug and just listen to nature. This was pretty well researched and he quoted another book I enjoyed by Sherry Turkle called Reclaiming Conversation. Thankful this was not a self help book which I feared it might turn into. Worth the read.


On Writing
by Stephen King

A memoir of writing? What the heck does that even mean? This is what I thought when I looked up the book in the library catalog. Really, it is a story of his life, then a story about writing, then lots of tough love for potential writers,  then some instruction on how to write. Finally, a story of his major accident which was really the best story of all. Oh did I mention it is a little bit of a love story too?  Love a man who loves his wife and credits her throughout his book! And at no point was this book about how to make money writing. I appreciated that. Very worth your time especially if you want to write. If you just love reading and writing, this is worth your time as well.


Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury
by Lesley-Ann Jones

This book taught me that MANY people have a piece of the complex character that is Freddie Mercury and it would be impossible for anyone to write a good book about him because of that. I didn’t like the order and style in which the author presented the book. I almost quit a few times but I like Mercury a lot, so I kept going. If you have time to spare, read this, otherwise, don’t rush to read it.


Rhode Island Memories: The Early Years, A Pictorial History
by The Providence Journal

I so enjoyed this book. I saw it advertised in the Sunday Providence Journal a few times so I ordered a copy from the library. It is a little smaller than a standard coffee table book, so it is easy to hold but that doesn’t affect the quality of the photographs. I was pleased that instead of each chapter being a photographer’s portfolio, or by the town, they split it up by core items like agriculture, education, recreation and street scenes. I was delighted to see so many photos from my hometown! Well done.


Find MoMo: Coast to Coast
by Andrew Knapp

Love, love, LOVE IT!! It’s like Where’s Waldo but with this guy’s incredibly adorable dog. I laughed and had a great time looking at it. This book was a great after a long, stressful day at work. It was almost as cute as Maddie on Things!


Bird by Bird
by Anne Lamott

Wow. This whole book was brutally honest, a serious reality check and loaded with jabs of humor. What a perfect book to get me jump started with writing. Wish I had read this a little slower. I can tell this will be one of those books I will read again someday soon. Can’t wait to read more books by her.


Make Better Pictures
by Henry Horenstein

Wow this was a let down. I used Horenstein’s book Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual in my photography classes and it was good. This book was hodge podge of tips, tricks, quotes and professional knowledge which left me wondering who the heck this book was tailored to. A few spots of inspiration and reminders of what I learned in college, but still disappointed.


The Millionaire Next Door
by Thomas J Stanley & William D Danko

Some common sense stuff tossed in with some really smart points sprinkling with some super boring stuff.


by Tessa Barton

Alright, I will be honest here. I almost dismissed this book in the first few pages. I sometimes find it hard to take influencers seriously. Alas, the book was actually enjoyable and substantial.


by Justin Timberlake

Perhaps fans have been waiting years for a Timberlake autobiography. I feel like Timberlake is too cool an artist to write a standard size hardcover, so this almost coffee table-sized book is appropriate. It is filled with lots of graphics and photographs for a splash of artistic expression. I suppose it leaves readers with just enough information about his life to keep us satisfied but still wanting a little more. Exactly what I expected from this book.


The Library Book
by Susan Orlean

A story that was supposed to be about the great fire at the L.A. Public Library. Sure it was about that, but also a study of librarians and books. A little all over the place but makes me proud to work at a library!


Fashion Climbing
by Bill Cunningham

I am going to tell my secrets. Once upon a time I dreamed of working for Vogue magazine as a photographer. My other dream was to be photographed by Bill Cunningham on the streets of New York City.

I was unaware of Bill Cunningham until I started to read the New York Times Sunday newspaper. I really enjoyed the small On the Street section by Cunningham. One day, I wrote his name down and looked for his work in books in the library catalog, but alas, I didn’t find any. But during my research I stumbled upon a documentary called Bill Cunningham New York. While I watched it, I just fell in love with Cunningham. He was portrayed as a simple, charming man whose lifestyle was never frivolous. He really did live for fashion. He woke up everyday, buttoned up the same blue jacket (which reminded me instantly of Mr Rogers) and started shooting the inspiration all around him taking only his faithful Nikon camera and bicycle.

I have been waiting months for the release of this book. If you love Cunningham, you will not be disappointed. How refreshing to hear his story in his own words. You can almost hear him telling you the story in person, really. His passion for fashion was so strong that he (somewhat respectfully) defied his parents and extended family and jumped right in to creating women’s hats. Most times he was poor and hungry but fashion nourished him. The point that strikes home hardest is sticking to your guns, being one of a kind and working at your art form despite the nay-sayers. How truly inspiring.


The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers
by Maxwell King

Even though I admire Rogers, I am afraid this book just didn’t do it for me. It may be that the movie (which I loved) is still fresh in my mind. Compared to the movie the book was dry. I would have liked more primary sources (but maybe they are not available?) The film made me love Mr Rogers even more. The book was text about the man. Yikes!


Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living
by Elizabeth Willard Thames

I appreciate the author’s honesty about her somewhat privileged upbringing, but it lingered in my mind throughout the entire book. While what they achieved was not easy and took lots of discipline I just can’t be AS excited as someone who might have achieved the same result with a different background. Still, slightly inspiring!


Iris Apfel: An Accidental Icon
by Iris Apfel

Nice mix of text, photos and illustration. She is fabulous!


How To Break Up With Your Phone
by Catherine Price

Most of this is common sense (to me)but maybe not to those who are truly addicted to their phones. This is a much needed book for many. It was a nice reminder to put the phone down and enjoy life!


Kind is the New Classy
by Candace Cameron Bure

Eh. It was ok. Some parts inspiring other parts too religious. Always nice to read things by Candace.


by Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

LOVE! Saw this at the gift shop at the museum and somehow managed to NOT buy it and wait to get a library copy.


War on Normal People
by Andrew Yang

File this under things I don’t want to read but need to. Not sure I agree with universal income but it is super important to read about what AI might be doing to jobs in the near future.


Boston Public Library
by Catherine Willis

Grabbed this after my visit to Boston recently. I so enjoyed the library and this book was a nice quick history with great photos


by Alex Johnson

If you have a chance, just look at the photos!! What awesome shelves.


Bad Feminist
by Roxane Gay

I like her. I like her a LOT. I like her writing and her POV even though I might not agree with it every time.


By Marilyn Monroe

A great book full of Marilyn’s own words (scanned copies of her written word). I always enjoy books in this format.


50 Ways to Wear a Scarf
by Lauren Friedman

Almost worth buying! Illustrations are so sweet and I learned quite a few new ways to wear a scarf!


100 Best Albums Of the 80s
by Peter Dodd and Justin Cawthorne

What fun we had reminiscing about our favorite hits! We checked out the 90s as well. Still looking for the 70s copy!!


Weapons of Math Destruction
by Cathy O’Neill

Scary, frustrating and not totally surprised about this topic. Worth the read.


Art of Invisibility
by Kevin D. Mitnick



Avedon: Something Personal
by Norma Stevens & Steven M.L. Aronson

I was so looking forward to this. I am a photographer and I know quite a bit about Avedon (studied in college during my photography courses.) Usually I am put off by books this big, but I was hoping this tome would make for a well researched book. Well that is NOT the case. This book was far too long and unorganized. I often enjoy reading different points of view but the amount of interviews the authors used took away from Avedon’s story. What a disappointment. I dare say it borders PRETENTIOUS. BOO!


by Ann Hood

This was a nice, quick, slightly inspiring book about Hood’s obsession with books and how certain titles shaped her life.


Industries of the Future
by Alec Ross

If you are going to read only one book about the future of jobs and lifestyles then read this one. It is taking me a while to read but it is so worth the time.
At the time of its publication the author noted that 47% of American jobs are at high risk for robot take over. I wouldn’t take that fact lightly and neither should you.
The chapter on advances in medicine & science are amazing. In the future doctors and scientists will be able to screen you for cancer with a simple blood test much like the one for your yearly physical. Most likely catching cancer at Stage 1 where it is much more easily treatable unlike Stages 3 or 4 when it may be too late.
Don’t miss it!

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
by Sherry Turkle

Wow. Just wow. Long and well researched. Lots to study and learn about the next generation and their habits and etiquette.

“My grandmother wanted me to understand that I could take out any book. But the books would be a secret between me and the library. No one had the right to know the list of books I read.”

Does this generation even understand what it is like to be offline? I think not.

Head-On: Stories of Alopecia
GREAT resource for anyone with Alopecia! I highly recommend it.


Eat Dirt
by Dr. Josh Axe

Ok, this was good but some parts were just far too OUT THERE for me like the fecal transplant. If you have a faint heart, don’t Google it. But he does have some interesting points about being an over-sanitized society! I listened to the audiobook, but they leave out lots of charts and resources at the end of the print book!


Crossing the Bamboo Bridge
by May Donohue

A great memoir that I could not put down! This woman is something else! Forced into marriage at age 14, Donohue’s dreams of reading and education were constantly squashed by her mother and society. This woman persisted and overcame so many obstacles. Do read!


Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I saw this book right next to her other book We Should All Be Feminists, at the bookstore. After being so please with her last book, I figured this one would be great too. I did not realize these fifteen suggestions were meant for a mother of a new baby. I almost returned it to the library, but I thought it might be worth my time – and it was. Adichie encourages the new mother to combat gender roles and stereotypes with education & good communication. Packs a powerful punch for such a tiny book.


We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I saw this book and fell in love with the size of it. It was tiny and short, and just what I was looking for this busy week. I’d heard of Adichie but never read her novels. This particular book was based on a TED talk she gave (which I will immediately try to find online!) What a strong and intelligent woman. Her views on feminism are spot on and girls could learn a lot from her!! I recommend this book!


Man’s Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl

Wonderful & inspiring. Should be required reading for anyone who takes this life for granted. Seriously.


The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
by Amy Schumer

I want to like Schumer, I really do! Some of this book was very genuine but I am put off by some of her humor.


Just Mercy
by Bryan Stevenson

It took me months to read this. It was hard to digest but totally worth the read. This was the 2017 Reading Across RI winner!



Fictitious Dishes
by Dinah Fried

Stumbled upon this at the library. What a great idea. RISD alum Dinah Fried chooses classic books and sets up these fictitious dishes and photographs them. VERY COOL!



by Sebastian Junger

This book was very short but packed a punch.  Junger spends much of the beginning discussing tribes and societies. He points out how safe and united people feel as they are bonded together for a common cause. He uses war as an example of that bond (albeit it a destructive and frightening one).  It makes complete sense. Do read.



Magnolia Story
by Chip & Joanna Gaines

Chip & Joanna Gaines share their love story and journey to their TV show Fixer Upper. It was nice to hear both points of view (which proved to be humorous when they disagreed!)
Sounds like they worked hard to achieve their fame today!



Hillbilly Elegy
by J.D. Vance

Author J.D. Vance shares with us his childhood experiences in one of the poorest towns in the Rust Belt. Much more than a memoir, Vance digs deep into the culture that surrounded him. His childhood was challenging and at times heartbreaking. His honesty is brutal but beautiful. I promise you won’t be able to put it down.



Salt, Sugar, Fat
By Michael Moss

It took me a LONG time to finish this. I read some of the print book then mostly listened to the audio version. This is a super important book that everyone in America should read. This book is well researched and tells many truths about the science and marketing behind our food. If you don’t have time, do yourself a favor and look up the term “bliss point.” It isn’t easy to stomach the information (excuse the pun) but in his epilogue he closes with a crucial point:
“they may have salt, sugar and fat on their side, but we, ultimately, have the power to make choices. After all, we decide what to buy. We decide how much to eat.”



Talking as Fast as I Can
by Lauren Graham

Fans of Gilmore Girls will love Graham’s new book. The pace and humor reminded me a lot of her character on Gilmore Girls. While most of it is funny & genuine, it is just far too short! Certainly leaves you wanting more. If you like Graham she does have a novel called Someday Someday Maybe.



Revenge of Analog
by David Sax

If you are anything like me, you are feeling totally overwhelmed by the pace of technology these days, and may be yearning for more analog things. If that is the case, then this book is for you. Sax makes some pretty strong arguments for analog devices like record players, photographic film and handwriting! He might just have you believing they are making a comeback!



sTori Telling
by Tori Spelling

Apparently, I am still on a 90s kick. Needed something brainless over the holidays- let’s say this was a good choice. She seemed pretty candid but not a fan of her story. It was a quick, easy and mildly entertaining read.



by Ellen J. Langer

While I did keep in mind that this book was published many moons ago, most of the content is still valid today. However, I found it read much like a text book, which turned me off a bit. I do like the comparison of mindfulness to mindlessness. It is interesting how our brain works on a mindlessness matter when it comes to tasks we do every day. If you are big on non-fiction and enjoy reading studies and tests then you’ll enjoy this one. I, however, admit, I had to scan a bit to get to the end.



Jason Priestley: A Memoir
by Jason Priestley

Well, I was never allowed to watch Beverly Hills 90210 because my parents thought it too risqué. Recently I started watching it on HULU. I decided to pick up this books to maybe get the inside scoop on the cast. While there’s very little scoop it’s still a nice little glimpse into Priestley’s life. Nice quick read.



People I Want to Punch in the Throat
by Jen Mann

Yet another sarcastic, biting collection of essays about real life interactions with people the author hates. More trickle down from Fey & Poehler. Occasionally funny… Better to listen to the audio to understand her tone.



Yes My Accent is Real
by Kunal Nayyar

I so enjoyed this! I mostly listened to the audio book. I am a big fan of the TV show the Big Bang Theory so I thought I might enjoy this book. Nayyar gives us a glimpse of his life through essays and short stories. It wasn’t a total biography like one would think, but certainly his stories help us understand who he is, where he came from and how he obtained his role on the TV show Big Bang Theory.
He was funny & genuine. If you are looking for a quick, easy read about a celebrity who is NOT self-centered or isn’t trying to be too funny, then this one is for you.


Bach, Beethoven & the Boys
by David W. Barber

I wanted to like this, really, I did. What a perfect size for a book about all these wonderful composers. I played piano many moons ago and thought it would be a nice refresher course while enjoying a good laugh here & there. Well, this certainly fell short of my expectations. While some parts were funny, there were FAR TOO MANY FOOTNOTES. And most of the footnotes were almost one-liners or sarcastic remarks. Kudos, anyway, to Barber for cramming all these wonderful composers into one book!



Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson

This book is absurd and partially made-up. The author admits it immediately in the beginning of the book. I wanted to like this. Listening to the audio version was like being stuck with a stranger who never stops talking. But I did appreciate the few times she was actually funny and how she was very honest and sentimental about her pregnancy and keeping her daughter safe. Can’t say I’ve ever read anything like it.



Haunted Providence
by Rory Raven

Here is a nice quick read for Halloween. Author Rory Raven shares ghost stories set in many familiar places in Providence.



A Little Bit Wicked
by Kristin Chenoweth

I listened to the audio version of this, read by the author. It was fantastic. She is candid & funny. I previously was familiar with Chenoweth only as a performer in the hit broadway show Wicked. Do read!


Advance Style/ Advance Style: Older & Wiser
by Ari Seth Cohen

If you love fashion then these books are a MUST.  As with most books these days, this set started as a blog by photographer/writer Ari Seth Cohen. The book is full of color photos of the best dressed women around. You’ll notice they have something in common – they are not young girls fresh out of the fashion magazines. Most are 50+ and fabulous. If you don’t have time to read about the women and their theories on fashion and life, please at least pick it up for the photography & fashion.



Keep Curious and Carry a Banana
by H.A. Rey

YES this is a book for adults.This is a sweet little reminder of what life is really about – and that Curious George is still our favorite monkey!!



Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers

I recently booked a trip to NYC for my husband’s birthday. I was watching a documentary about Tiffany’s called“Crazy about Tiffany’s” and a reference was made to this book. The library copy I read was the 1989 edition. It was totally charming and some parts were laugh-out-loud funny.



Jim Henson: A Biography
by Brian Jay Jones

It took me a while to finish this. I wanted to read it slowly because it was so detailed. Jim Henson was a remarkable guy. I don’t want to put him too high on a pedestal, but we could learn a lot from him. While his ability to communicate his feelings and resolve conflict was not to be admired, his ideas about inspiring the world (and children) with his artistry was outstanding. I so enjoyed learning about his family and how his grandmother influenced his path to art. Just great!

The Industries of the Future
by Alec Ross
If you are going to read only one book about the future of jobs and lifestyles then read this one. It is taking me a while to read but it is so worth the time. At the time of its publication the author noted that 47% of American jobs are at high risk for robot take over. I wouldn’t take that fact lightly and neither should you.

The chapter on advances in medicine & science are amazing. In the future doctors and scientists will be able to screen you for cancer with a simple blood test much like the one for your yearly physical. Most likely catching cancer at Stage 1 where it is much more easily treatable unlike Stages 3 or 4 when it may be too late.

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
by Sarah Knight

Was totally looking forward to Sarah Knight’s
Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. I read about it in Vogue so naturally I had to get it.
I waited months at the local library and finally got my hands on it.For those of you who haven’t heard about it, it is a bit of a mockery of Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In theory, it sounded like a good idea and funny since I kind of disliked Kondo’s book. Well, it was awful. I don’t mind an F-bomb here and there but JEEZ. I get the point lady but I didn’t need that many!! Nice idea, poor execution.


When We Are No More
by Abby Smith Rumsey

I have a post floating around somewhere about this book, but in case it gets buried….

What a fantastic book. I almost quit in the beginning because the author went on about history that I already know, especially about Thomas Jefferson. But she tied it all together so well.

“In Jefferson’s vision, access to organized knowledge is necessary to promote the progress and well-being of humanity. In the developed world, market capitalism plays important roles , but long term investment in the public good is not one of them. Google boasts
that they organize knowledge for the world. But the vision of Jefferson and the Founders proposes that the organization of access to knowledge is to be a public utility, wholly owned by the people for the purpose of self-government.”

“Free access to information is the sole guarantor of self-rule. Ignorance and secrecy are fundamental threats to freedom because the compromise our autonomy and freedom of choice. This is what Jefferson and his peers believed and why they established a national library funded by the public purse.”

Reflect upon those two statements from the book! Certainly put things in perspective for me…


Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Spark Joy
by Marie Kondo

The LCMOTU is a HUGE best seller and I cannot understand why! The companion book, I feel, is almost a back pedal to make up for the first one by throwing in particular ideas on how to fold clothes and really tidy up. I would not waste your money! Get them from the library!

Just a side note, when reading the reviews on Amazon I came across this one, and I think this is HILARIOUS:
amazon review



Lights Out
by Ted Koppel

The content of the book is tough to swallow. Koppel presents some scary scenarios of possible cyber attacks on our country. I think the scariest of all – an attack on our electricity grids. Are we as a country ready for this? Is the government prepared?? Read this book to find out.


Dancing Through Life
by Candace Camerone Bure

Enjoyed her other books. This one was a quickie that focused way too much on her religion. I’m not opposed to religion but I think all the passages took away from the story of her time on DWTS. Still finished though much skimming at the end.



Founding Mothers
by Cokie Roberts

EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK. As a matter of fact, you should read it before the 2016 election. Let us not forget the foundation of our great country. This is a wonderful book about the wives and daughters of the founding fathers. This women changed the course of history, yet we barely hear about them in social studies & history classes in our schools! Check it out!


Normally This Would Be Cause for Concern
by Danielle Fishel

I will admit, I am can be a sucker for celebrity biographies, especially 90s TV stars. So, when I saw this I had to check it out. I do love when those who aren’t experienced with writing choose to write the book themselves, rather than have the aid of an experience co-author. This book was a brief view into her life, especially her career as Toping on the 90s sitcom Boy Meets World. She is honest, sarcastic and funny. The tone does get old halfway through, but not enough to hinder one from finishing the book!


by Crystal Renn

If you love fashion and photography then this memoir is for you. Renn shares with us her life story beginning from her unusual childhood through her modeling career. Sadly she fell into a nasty eating disorder. Fear not, she does triumph and you will be happy to know she is still a success!



Selfish, Shallow and Self Absorbed:
16 Writers on the Decision NOT to have Kids

I am 33 and about to get married. My fiancé is 46 and has two children in his 20s. I have no interest in having children for a variety of reasons. This book was a breath of fresh air. It includes 16 essays by women  AND men about their choices not to have children. These were not stereotypical or any kind of sob story as I expected. Great read!


annHold Still
by Sally Mann

A few years ago Sarah & I listened to Mann speak at Rhode Island School of Design. She was a wonderful speaker – very inspiring. I wanted to run out of the building and shoot amazing photography. Her book was just as amazing. She does address the critics who have labeled her work perverse or consider it child pornography. She addresses them tastefully and without negativity or insults. The book is written SO well, it’s amazing. I am going to read it again in the near future because I had to rush through a library copy!



Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz

WHAT A GREAT BOOK!! I think this should be required reading for everyone in the world. It might help with world peace! Regardless of some religious spirituality that I cannot relate to, overall the book is incredibly inspiring and a great resource on how to live your live peacefully for self fulfillment as well as your relationships with everyone else.



by Laura Hillenbrand

WOW. This book was very moving and at times made me cry. We all studied the horrors of war, but this book made it VERY real. And FYI the film was NOTHING compared to this awesome book!



Legendary Locals of Bristol
by Christy Nadalin

Here is a book about the locals of my town! It was a lovely little book filled with lots of folks I know – like my library director!


Mockingbird Next Door
by Marja Mills

I may be in the minority when I say I was very disappointed with this book. Fans of To Kill a Mockingbird long for the day when Harper Lee would release another novel. We’ll never see the day. Lee is clearly not one to step into the limelight. She also knows she hit gold when she wrote her first and only novel, so how does one top that? I would have done the same thing if I were in her shoes. Mills, a journalist from Chicago, writes about her time with Lee after moving next door to her & Lee’s sister Alice. Readers will learn about the town of Monroeville Alabama and a bit about her friends and family. The author is able to convey only the surface of Lee’s personality and intelligence. And while I appreciated that, the book just wasn’t fulfilling enough. Mills was constantly held back by Lee insisting she not publish particular conversations or statements. I am still left wondering about this mysterious Harper Lee. The book barely whet my appetite.


James DeWolf and the R.I. Slave Trade
by Cynthia Johnson

Johnson’s well researched and well written book will leave you frustrated and amazed. James Dewolf was undoubtedly the most powerful man in Bristol, RI and in the United States during the time of the slave trade. His pursuit of money and power was relentless. Even during the times the government outlawed the transportation of slaves from other countries, Dewolf was always able to find a loophole and bring them to the United States. Finally, a warrant was made for his arrest and he managed to flee to the West Indies to escape his trial. The book was just fascinating and gives you a better understanding of the foundation of Bristol, RI.



Melissa Explains It All
by Melissa Joan Hart

Can you tell I am on a 90s kick?! Melissa Joan Hart’s book was a little disappointing.
Of course i enjoyed reading about her career and childhood, but most of the book was a little too “TMI” for me. I don’t really care to hear about all the guys you made out with Melissa! Yikes!!


bob_saget_dirty_daddyDirty Daddy
by Bob Saget

Well, this was interesting. I know Saget best as the actor who played Danny Tanner on the ABC hit show Full House.  I also know he is quite the comedian, so I was expecting something funny & possibly in appropriate! Lots of reviewers were disappointed with this book because of Saget’s dirty humor, but I saw it coming. Kudos to Saget for writing in his own words, rather than hiring a co-author to tailor his book to the market. Sincere at times, Saget comes across grateful for his life, good times & bad!


Balancing It All
by Candace Cameron Bure

Have I ever mentioned I am a total sucker for 90s TV sitcom actresses & actors?
Of course I HAD to get Candace Cameron Bure’s (formerly of Full House, ABC) memoir, even though I knew it would be a total Christianized version of being the perfect housewife. Minus a little religious talk, I actually enjoyed the book.  Real or not, it had just enough combinations of her childhood, acting career & current lifestyle.


112516778_the-total-woman-marabel-morgan-amazoncom-booksTotal Woman
by Marble Morgan

After all the press Candace Cameron Bure got about being a “submissive wife” many people mentioned this book from the 1970s. This was very interesting to read. I cannot believe any woman would follow the instructions in this book on how to be “the total woman.” But is is a nice reminder for me on how to be the “total woman” that I want to be! It certainly is NOT the woman she describes here!



Call the Midwife  Series
by Jennifer Worth

I cannot recommend the “Call the Midwife” books enough. I SO enjoy Worth’s memoirs. After you read this, be sure to watch the show on PBS!



Zen of Oz
by Joey Green

Here’s a super quick, inspiring little read for all you Wizard of Oz fans. Green’s self-help interpretation of many of the elements of WOO is delightful. It’s nothing mind blowing, but still inspiring!



Art of Living
Epictetus  (original author), Sharon Lebell  (new interpretation)

This is my new bible. Totally inspiring. It will stay on my shelf forever.