Book Review. This is Just my Face Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe.

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Review

I loved the book Precious, and so I requested to review Gabourey’s memoir to find out about the person who played the character Precious in the film of that book, as I thought Gabourey played the role brilliantly. In This is Just my Face she talks about that, and the feeling she had of being a contest winner as she stood between Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey on the red carpet, and described her ill-judged wardrobe choices, which I found so relatable, as was when she writes, ‘I couldn’t tell her that I couldn’t stop crying and that I hated everything about myself,’

Before she starred in Precious Gabourey was depressed, worked in a call centre, and didn’t have the desire to be a actress. Gabourey Sidibe writes about her childhood, but that is a whole story in itself, and I will leave that for you to read if you pick up a copy of this book.
Fame is frankly written about: the false rumours about her death, and misconceptions around money. Gabourey is down to earth, funny, and her book is one of those you don’t realise where you are, what’s going on around you, or even that you’re reading, because This is Just my Face is so entertaining.

 My only issue was I felt because some people had predicted Gabourey would be famous in the future, that she was almost flippant about getting the role of Precious, as she had such little acting experience – she was a two time college dropout, and then finds her purpose in life in acting, and in that breakthrough role. It read like a fairytale. I don’t know if that makes sense. I think if you experience depression, like me, you read memoirs and want to find out what did they do to overcome depression and achieve huge success. Or how do you do that when you feel like shit. But that doesn’t mean the depression has gone away.

I felt disappointed by the end of the book. If I re-read This is Just my Face, I might feel differently. Overall, an enjoyable read, and it gives you an insight into fame, and family.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me with a copy of this book! 

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My thoughts on The Magician’s Nephew

As a child I am sure I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, countless times. As it was typical of me to seek out the other books in a series, I did that with The Chronicles of Narnia. I was disappointed and I was left wanting.
I read, in one sitting, now an adult, The Magician’s Nephew and in the funny way a book can do my interest in books seems to have been given a shot in the arm. I haven’t been reading a great deal recently, sticking with poetry, but The Magician’s Nephew has left me wanting more. More Narnia, more fantasy, more books.
So there’s some kudos for The Magician’s Nephew already.
I did like the protagonists Polly and Digory, and their intriguing initial meeting. The setting of London gives the book grounding, and is important later on in the book. Digory’s father is away, his mother is sick, and they live with his aunt, and uncle, Andrew. The uncle is, well, no more than a fake magician, really. His Godmother left him a box of dust from another world and Digory’s uncle Andrew has devised a way to harness this dust to gain access to this other world, and that is by using gold rings. One to get you there, the other to get you back. Uncle Andrew tricks Polly into touching one of the rings, because he’s too much of a coward to actually experiment with the rings himself, and of course Digory has to go and fetch her back. Uncle Andrew kind of reminded me of Harry Potter’s Wormtail. What follows from there is discovery of world Charn, the awakening of the witch Jadas, and the birth of Narnia. It world builds for the other books very well. Some of the chapters are so seamless too. How the famous lamppost in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe came to be was neat. The founding of Narnia, with Aslan and his magic was kind of strange in that it felt very much like a religious retelling. With the animals being able to talk, and think, the first joke for example, there was some comedy that made me chuckle. The language is dated, lots of beastly, I say, and pooh’s. The way females are portrayed is dated too. What can you expect from a book that is more than half a century old? To sum up, a great first outing.


My Thoughts on The Little Book of Feminist Saints written by Julia Pierpont and Illustrated by Manjit Thapp.

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Title: The Little Book of Feminist Saints

Author: Julia Pierpont
Illustrated by Manjit Thapp

Genre: Non-Fiction

Rating:

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This is an amazing volume to have on your bookshelf for inspirational reference when needed. The book covers the biographies of an array of women, from cooks, and writers, to astronauts, scientists, and politicians. it’s amazing how many of their biographies demonstrate how men tried to oppose these people, to steal their glory, and stop them from achieving great things. Which is part of the inspiration really, people going on to achieve things despite disabilities, and laws, and poverty. The illustrations are wonderful too.


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My thoughts on Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur.

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Title: Milk & Honey

Author: Rupi Kaur

Genre: Poetry

Rating:

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I was not sure what to think of this 2015 debut poetry collection by Rupi Kaur. I had seen a lot of her poetry quoted on social media, and have only just got a hold of her book from my local library, which still has its surprises. If you think you have read all of her best writing, there is still plenty in Milk and Honey that you won’t have already seen.
I keep flicking through the book, finding new poems. The poems are in short form, as well as prose. I can’t argue with a lot of what Kaur writes about our bodies, and loving ourselves. Poems about beauty, periods, body hair, and one of my favourites on page 201

 

“what terrifies me most is how we
Foam at the mouth with envy
When others succeed
But sigh in relief
When they are failing,”

The feminist subjects make this book another one I wish I had when I was a teenager, and all I wanted was a boyfriend, like everybody else, and how accepting ourselves first is important because we give so much of ourselves away. The Loving section is a good narrative of a relationship: the intimacy, the fighting, the heartbreak, and letting go.

It is interesting to read this book now because I think Kaur has inspired so many poets. I didn’t begin by reading her, I began with Amanda Lovelace, and Jennae Cecilia. The styles I think are quite similar, as well as some of the subjects they write about.
I enjoyed Milk and Honey. I couldn’t connect with all of the poems, but I appreciate Kaur’s writing, and her experiences.



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The ink navigates // the complexities of my mind // better than I do. My thoughts on poetry collection Real like Laundry by Breanne Weber.

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Title: Real like Laundry

Author: Breanne Weber

Genre: Poetry

Rating:

5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

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There is so much emotion within the pages of this book. Breanne writes with so much passion. I was swept up in her writing. Sometimes she writes about writing itself (“Poetry does something for me that all the man made chemicals they insist on pumping into my body can’t”) ; as well as touching on personal relationships (“I’m searching for my oxygen”) and mental health. Read these Words is a powerful poem, with the refrain of don’t do it. I think you can guess what the poem is referring to with that, with lines “next week when you go to the grocery store there could be an older woman losing her faith in humanity until you hold the door for her and smile,” and “you have the unique ability to see the best in people like no one else can without you imagine the souls that would be misunderstood,”
She uses the sense of smell too in some of the poems, which I loved.

It felt that Real like Laundry was an open journal, where we read the author’s rawest thoughts. It is one of those books I feel I have to buy a paperback copy of to have on my shelf. I flicked through Real like Laundry numerous times, and loved slowly kind of unwrapping the poetry. Breanne is a poet on my list of poets to look out for in the future. I can’t wait to read more of her poetry.


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