Tag Archives: book review

Nina Garcia’s Look Book: What to Wear For Every Occasion

7 Sep

Few things in fashion are timeless – the Little Black Dress. A strand of pearls. The high-heel. Nina Garcia.

Since the 1980’s, Nina Garcia has been blessing women everywhere with her fashion expertise. As a leading voice of fashion, Garcia has run with the best, from Project Runway to international runways and catwalks. A vast knowledge and incredible ability to forsee fashion trends mixed with her innate classic fashion sensibility has bought us a new book, “Nina Garcia’s Look Book: What to Wear For Every Occasion”.

Look Book is your ticket to chic in the simplest of day-to-day situations. Garcia preps you for a bevy of firsts – first day of work, first dates, the first time meeting your beau’s parents, and so forth. She even offers up advice on how to dress for a break-up:

This probably goes without saying, but don’t accessorize with jewelry that he’s given you. It’s just bad form, unless you want to make a statement. I personally wouldn’t. Karma does exist. That said, if the bastard cheated on you, wear his favorite dress, the jewelry he gave you, and make him cry.

A compilation of very valuable gems from your fairy fashion godmother, you must get your hands on this book today (the last Barnes & Noble I spotted this book in had it on sale along with Garcia’s other books. Let’s hope you get as lucky!).

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51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged

16 Nov

I’ll admit it, I am a lucky girl.

To have found what so many women look for at the age I did is almost a miracle. There’s butterflies, trust, romance and friendship…so what about the next step?

51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged is a collection of wisdoms from psychotherapist Michael Batshaw, a husband and a father. Based on observations and personal experiences, 51 Things is what Batshaw offers to the modern woman as a guide for relationships moving into the next phase.

Examples of some of the  “things”:

3. Beware of the person of your dreams. (if something seems perfect, there is almost always something wrong with it…)

6. Great Sex will NOT save a mediocre relationship! (amen!)

19. Be Open to Discussing Your Family’s Problems – You’ve probably Inherited some of them Anyway (I agree with Batshaw, environmental issues are usually passed down and patterns should be discussed)

28. Couples Who Don’t Argue are In TROUBLE! (Contrary to what some believe…)

Batshaw offers up these and forty-seven other pieces of advice that I’m sure you’ll want to take into consideration. Not only does Batshaw give you tips, he challenges you to delve deeper into your relationship after each one. In assessing your relationship before taking that big leap, this can prove to be very helpful.

This purse-sized gem is intended for the up-to-date lady on the go, seeking wisdom at her convenience. No more calling mom or your girlfriends for help, 51 Things is all you need! Haha, no seriously, this book  is chock-full things you may not have thought about before in your relationship. I suggest you ladies (and gentlemen!) all get out and pick up a copy of 51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged. We don’t want you to get into something without being fully aware of what you’re getting yourselves into 😉

“51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Married” is written by psychotherapist Michael Bratshaw. Published by Turner Publishing Company.

“Wildflowers” by Lyah Beth LeFlore

22 Oct

Lyah Beth LeFlore has a few notches on her belt. She’s written three books before this one, including a very intimate telling penned by the late Gerald Levert and his father, Eddie Levert (I Got Your Back). She’s also written Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, and now brings to you a story with a cozy, family feel.

Wildflowers is the story of a family of women who are strewn and torn separately but      together they are inseparable. A gang of sisters, aunts, cousins, daughters, etc. are all kept  together by a love for their family and one another.There’s an abused Hollywood publicist,  a stay-at-mom trying to break free of her Stepford ways, a crackhead cousin, etc.

Be warned: If you’re not into what some consider “hood novels”, the first chapter (and one of the characters) will throw you. There was some foul language, abuse, and pregnancy that turned me off, but once I got into the story I understood why LeFlore chose to speak for some characters the way she did. There was a contrast in education, social status, etc. that needed to be made clear.

Here’s an excerpt:

Chloe

A BIBLE AND A GUN

My hands were as steady as a surgeon’s, precise and meticulous as I flipped out the chamber of my Ladysmith.

Sweat poured down my trembling body, soaking through my cotton nightgown and terry-cloth robe. I felt as though I had just walked through hell’s fire, but had been yanked out by hand of the Lord and baptized in his blood all at once. I closed my eyes tightly, my thoughts battling the deafening throb, pounding between my ears. I could hear Mother’s words, “Don’t tell nobody everythin’. You gotta keep the devil guessin’!

I’d owned this gun for almost three years and as many times as I’d practiced loading and unloading it I’d never actually shot the damn thing. I figured tonight is just as good as any to break it in. I grabbed a fistful of bullets from a small leather pouch, dumping them into a pile on the floor, and started to load them into the chamber one by one. My brain was running on fumes, but one thought was crystal clear: The devil has to go.

I know you shouldn’t question God, but this is one of those times I gotta make an exception. What happened, God? Was this a test and I failed? I wonder, if a God-fearing person has to make a decision to do something drastic, in this case taking another’s life to save two, does that still make it a sin? God, please forgive me, but there just ain’t no more time to keep contemplating the what- ifs, whys, and how comes. I have to do this for my unborn child.

Crash!

I was jolted by the sound of a wooden chair scraping across the tiled kitchen floor, quickly followed by the loud cracking sound of splintering wood and shattering glass. My heart raced as I slipped the last bullet into the chamber and snapped it closed.

“You owe me money and I want out of this marriage!” His menacing, rage-filled voice echoed through the entire house.

“Stop breaking my things!” I screamed, cupping one hand over my ear.

No weapon that forms against me shall prosper . . .

“Chloe!” Every time he called my name it sent a shock wave throughout my entire body. “Get the [explicit] out here now! Do you hear me?” He slammed the hall closet door shut. “I used to have a good life!” His shouts faded in and out as he walked from room to room. “You ruined my [explicit] life!”

His expensive Italian loafers made a series of quick dull thuds on the carpet as he barreled down the hallway toward the back bedroom, where I had sought safety.

Clop . . . Clop . . . Clop . . .

His steps stopped just on the other side of the door. He liked expensive things, shoes especially. I had grown sickened by how he made it a point daily to advertise how much he paid for each pair he owned. It was his idea to sell all my large pieces of furniture. He said we were going to start our lives fresh together. The first thing he convinced me to do was clear out the guest bedroom.

He turned the entire room into his personal dressing room. Shoes, some never worn, housed in fancy shoe boxes, stacked in alphabetical order according to designer, lined the walls. I had never met a man who owned more pairs of shoes than I did.

Copyright © 2009 by Lyah Beth LeFlore

From the book Wildflowers, published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.

The lives of these women are intricately woven together, and their stories are told in their many multihued voices. By turns humorous and hopeful, honest and poignant, with rippling boldness and crackling prose, WILDFLOWERS (Broadway Books; September 2009; Trade Paperback Original) by Lyah Beth LeFlore is a beautifully written novel that explores the richness and complexity of the love between mothers and daughters.

Lyah Beth LeFlore is the coauthor of Cosmopolitan Girls and author of the Essence bestseller Last Night a DJ Saved My Life and the national bestseller I Got Your Back:  A Father and Son Keep It Real About Love, Fatherhood, Family, and Friendship, a collaboration with Grammy Award–winners Eddie and Gerald Levert. A former television producer, she has been featured in the New York Times, Essence, Ebony, Jet, and Entertainment Weekly, and has appeared on CNN and BET.

We’re giving away a few copies of this book, so write in and let us know your fondest family memories!

How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World.

7 Jun

In a world ruled by reality television and materialistic desires, it becomes very difficult to maintain any class…and your sanity. The fully-clothed woman with her hair pinned up in a bun will often be overlooked for the woman with hair extensions and her breasts out…or so we think. 

I got my hands on a great book not to long ago. How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World is a magnificent collection of different ways you can go about being a lady. Written by Jordan Christy, this southern belle immersed in the entertainment industry offers great advice on how to maintain a vestige of dignity while still having fun. From dating to dress, diction to dining, this book delivers. 

A definite recommendation, you can pick this book up from Barnes & Noble, Target and Amazon. Check out the auther, Jordan Christy, here.

Eating in and loving it!

7 Apr

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Do people own cookbooks anymore? It is so much easier to google a recipe on the way home from work and attempting to make magic happen in the kitchen… to eventually order take-out. 😦

The Get ‘Em Girls’ Guide to the Power of Cuisine is more than a cookbook!! It is an instruction manual which includes stocking the pantry, selecting wine, and even dating advice. Some recipes revolved around the relationship are:

*”Grown ‘n’ Sexy” desserts meant for sharing
*The first “Morning After” Breakfast
*The “Bring Him Back” Chicken Soup when he’s sick
*”Meet the Parents” Carrot Cake and much more!

Eating out is a slim option nowadays and cooking at home for loved ones is much more intimate and easier on the pockets.

Whether you’re cooking for friends or your significant other, The Get ‘Em Girls’ guide will have a recipe that you can work with. With over 120 easy and delicious recipes how could one go wrong?

Pick up The Get ‘Em Girls’ Guide to the Power of Cuisine today!

“Who Watches the Watchmen?” Why You Should Definitely Read ‘Watchmen’ but Not Necessarily Watch It

2 Mar

watchmen

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to something associated with Fanboy culture.  However, Alan Moore’s 1986 Watchmen is anything but superficially comical or basic.  Although a graphic novel, it is just that – a novel with graphics.  Paired with the artwork of Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is by far one of those most layered and complex pieces of literature I’ve ever read, and the mad genius of Moore does not stop at characters’ personality faults and features.  An overall social commentary, it is interesting, a slightly sad, that in this instance it took a book about super-humans to evaluate the perils humanity creates for itself.

Set in an alternate universe, year 1985, the world of Watchmen plays with the historical notion of “what if.” Taking events of the era, Moore plays with the how different outcomes in a different universe would effect the world as a whole.  Largely because of the existence of a superhuman Dr. Manhattan (Jon Osterman), the world seems to be on the verge of the third World War.  Simultaneously, the group of crime-fighters dubbed the Crimebusters, whose careers have come to a screeching halt due to the outlawing of vigilantism, are trying to maintain a life of normalcy.  However, the remaining (illegally) active member, Rorschach, is convinced there is a mask killer on the loose after a member of the brotherhood is murdered for what seems to be no reason.  His investigation sparks something in all those warned of the possible danger – whether it’s fear or a longing for the old life.  All that being said, Moore also manages to develop his story while masterfully interweaving society’s support of the masked characters with the ebbs and flows of comic book popularity

Created by Gibbon’s hand, Watchmen’s illustrations only adds to the storyline of the novel as would cinematic imagery does a film (which it has been turned into, slated to come out this Friday,  March 6th).  That being said, I have my severe doubts for the movie version.  “Watchmen” has been declared the unfilmable graphic novel for years and I would have to agree. While the visual aspect will be something worth seeing (the movie’s special effects look amazing) there is no way a story as intricate and lengthy can be condensed into 2 hours.  Perhaps if it was made into a miniseries a la HBO’s “Band of Brothers” it would be doable – the book was actually created originally in miniseries format.  So the recommendation: Definitely read the book.  Be ware of the movie. Insufficient time and Hollywood polishing could certainly damage this classic.