Book Review – My Little Red Book (ARC)

My Little Red Bookmy-little-red-book1
Edited By: Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
Published By: Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 240 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0446546362
(Available NOW!)
Top Pick

My Little Red Book is honest and insightful; it breaks the barriers of age, religion, race and unreasonable taboos surrounding menstruation and first periods.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“MY LITTLE RED BOOK is an anthology of stories about first periods, collected from women of all ages from around the world. The accounts range from light-hearted (the editor got hers while water skiing in a yellow bathing suit) to heart-stopping (a first period discovered just as one girl was about to be strip-searched by the Nazis). The contributors include well-known women writers (Meg Cabot, Erica Jong, Gloria Steinem, Cecily von Ziegesar), alongside today’s teens. And while the authors differ in race, faith, or cultural background, their stories share a common bond: they are all accessible, deeply honest, and highly informative. Whatever a girl experiences or expects, she’ll find stories that speak to her thoughts and feelings…”

My Little Red Book is one of the most honest, soul-bearing story collaborations that I have ever had the good fortune to read. When I heard about this book I was instantly intrigued. What woman hasn’t at some point, felt embarrassment or felt somewhat stigmatized by their monthly flow? I know there have been many times that I disliked being female because of the ‘monthly appearance’ that cramped by style, literally! As I read this book, I was really delighted to read about women’s accounts of their periods; I didn’t enjoy the painful parts obviously, but I could relate.  The differences in cultural beliefs and how the first periods were treated along with how the women were treated; reading about it all and imagining the trepidation they must have felt while sharing their stories; it really humbled me.
This book includes a wonderful note from the Author and is indexed by author, subject and decade and includes a list of creative euphemisms and code words for when we have or are getting out period. Though it sometimes feels like we are still in ‘the dark ages’ of menstrual tolerance, this poignant collection helps map the progression of treatment and personal feelings about menstruation as the years have passed and provides a surprisingly diverse look at our ‘monthly friend’. I had to laugh at Gloria Steinem’s essay, “If Men Could Menstruate”; what  brilliant wit!  All the proceeds from the sale from this edition, including the advance, are being donated by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff to charities that promote women’s health. I really enjoyed reading this book!
I very highly recommend this book to women of all ages and to men who want to expand their minds on a somewhat hushed (until now), feminine topic.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Link to Information About the Editor:
http://www.mylittleredbook.net/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving-Bell and the Butterflythe-diving-bell-the-butterfly
Written By: Jean-Dominique Bauby
Published By: Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2008, First Edition by Harper Perennial, 144 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0307389251

The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly grants you access into a lonely, locked-in world; this poignant memoir is a stark reminder of how infinitely precious life is.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, the 43-year-old editor of French Elle, suffered a massive stroke that left him permanently paralyzed, a victim of “locked in syndrome.” Once known for his gregariousness and wit, Bauby now finds himself imprisoned in an inert body, able to communicate only by blinking his left eye. The miracle is that in doing so he was able to compose this stunningly eloquent memoir.
In a voice that is by turns wistful and mischievous, angry and sardonic, Bauby gives us a celebration of the liberating power of consciousness: what it is like to spend a day with his children, to imagine lying in bed beside his wife, to conjure up the flavor of delectable meals even as he is fed through at tube. Most of all, this triumphant book lets us witness an indomitable spirit and share in the pure joy of its own survival.”

The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly is such an insightful and inspirational book. This is one mans story; his triumph of spirit and his courage despite all odds. That a man in his prime, powerful and respected, could be brought so low by a rare condition known as locked-in syndrome; it is almost to horrible to contemplate. This story is a quick read and has a distinct, flowing plot. I was really fascinated by Jean’s indomitable spirit and his sardonic wit. There were many times when I smiled at Jean’s comments and thoughts, delighting in his zest for life while in a near vegetative state. The beautiful writing was so vivid and detailed that I could almost see through his one, good eye. His absolute determination, to share his story with the world leaves us forever in his debt. Though I was saddened by his condition and ultimately his death, I really enjoyed his story.
I highly recommend this book.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!
 

Link to Information about the Author:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Dominique_Bauby
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.harpercollins.ca/

A special thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – A Love Letter to Black People (ARC)

A Love Letter to Black People,a-love-letter-to-black-people2
Audaciously Hopeful Thoughts on Race and Success
Written By: Brian McClellan
Published By: Sherian Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 288 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0979567650
(Available NOW!)

A Love Letter to Black People is uplifting and positive; a supportive and inspiring book written to encourage Black People around the world.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“I Love Black People! I Just Can’t Help It.’ A Love Letter to Black People: Audaciously Hopeful Thoughts on Race and Success’ by Brian McClellan is a book sure to challenge and inspire those who have this type of deep affection for the Black community but also deep concerns for its future. Inspired in part by the historic political success of Senator Barack Obama, ‘Love Letter’ explores the unique way high achieving African Americans view race and success and why, for the love of the Black community, all Black people must apply these lessons. The insightfulness of McClellan’s discussion in ‘Love Letter’ is bolstered by a supporting survey about race and success completed by more than 100 young, Black business and community leaders. Their opinions regarding provocative racially charged topics such as ‘acting white’ are inspirational, thought-provoking and sometimes more provocative than the questions themselves. ‘Love Letter’ is a must read for those who love Black people and just can’t help it!”

A Love Letter to Black People is a moving book. No matter what your skin colour is, this “Love Letter” really explains a lot about the inner workings of the Black community. It strives to build hope and a strong belief that there is every possibility, for a Black person to be totally and completely successful. By asking some tough questions and answering them with a flourish, Brian is hopeful about the future of the Black community, as he should be! This somewhat controversial book, inspires everyone to take some risks and dare to believe that you DO have the right, even the responsibility, to be everything you ever hoped you could be.
Some chapter titles include: Living Angry, The YSB’s, Carrying The Weight, The “Man” Is Dead, Keeping It Real, Can’t We Do Better? Responsibly Black, Who To Be, How To Be, Ignoring The Evidence – The Remix. There are lots of interesting testimonials from successful Black people and great quotes throughout the book.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (7 out of 10 Diamonds) – I really enjoyed it
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.bamstrong.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.sherianinc.com/

A special thanks to Bostick Communications for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy