Book Club

Style and Savings Reads: This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe

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This may not be the typical type of book you think of for a book discussion, as it’s been marketed as a humorous celebrity memoir, but keep in mind – there’s something to learn from everyone’s story!

The following is not a book review or synopsis, just a list of book discussion questions inspired by what I read:

1. Growing up, Gabby used to be teased, but look how successful and accomplished she is now! What is something that you’ve achieved that would surprise your teenage self?

2. Should Alice (Gabby’s mom) have known that her green card marriage would fail?

3. Tola (Gabby’s dad’s new wife) is a psychic, do you believe in psychics and their ability to know things about others and predict their future?

4. Gabby went to therapy sessions when she was suffering from depression. How do you handle life’s obstacles?

5. Gabby describes her love/hate relationship with Twitter: she often checks it in the morning and posts funny updates on her account but says “it’s vain to think people want to know everything you’re thinking all the time, Twitter is for saying dumb stuff as soon as it pops in your head”. What do you love or hate about social media?

6.  Gabourey Sidibe is a Senegalese name, many have struggled to say correctly. “Americans are lazy, kind and condescending….they only want to say names they can pronounce.”  If you could change your name would you? If so, what would your name be?

7. Gabby was prescribed an appetite suppressant, but it didn’t work because she ate in response to her feelings, not only when she was hungry.  What’s your favorite comfort food or celebratory dinner & drink?

8. For a celebrity, Gabby seems surprisingly introverted. She doesn’t like talking to strangers and she says she’d prefer not to be famous, just rich. Which would you choose – either, both, or neither & why?

9.  On the day of her audition for Precious, Gabby was literally at a crossroads as she walked out of her front door – she could cross the street one direction to school or cross the street the other way towards the audition. A film crew had blocked off some of the sidewalk outside of her building and directed her where to cross the street, which happened to be in the direction of the audition. Do you believe this was coincidence or fate?

10. Gabby had the opportunity to visit the White House and was recognized and greeted warmly by the Obamas. What public figure or celebrity do you dream of meeting?

I enjoyed reading this memoir. It was funny, but also had sad and serious moments — such is life! I’m glad Gabourey was brave enough to share her ups and downs. In a world where many women feel pressure to appear perfect, it’s refreshing to see someone share darker times in her past and how she currently faces her challenges.

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Style and Savings’ Summer Reading List 2017

Summer is quickly approaching and now is the time to plan how I will make the most of these beautiful days!

As a kid, we would always participate in the summer reading program at the local library. Now I’m older and won’t get a free Dairy Queen Dilly bar , a beach ball, or a slinky, my incentive is the pure enjoyment of reading.

Here is a list of books (all of which are by female authors) that have been on my To Read list for a while that I plan to finally read this summer:

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

I first saw a review of this book in Essence magazine, then added it to my Goodreads “Want to Read” list. I entered the sweepstakes to win a copy of the book and was lucky enough to win an autographed paperback. I now follow the author Tia Williams on Instagram @shakeyourbeauty, where she posts adorable photos of her daughter, her book signings, her fashion and life in New York.

#Goodreads drawing winner! Happy to have an autographed book for my collection! This should be a fun summer read 😎☀️📖

A post shared by Style and Savings blog (@styleandsavings) on

 

Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling

I have been a fan of Mindy since The Office and have been catching up on The Mindy Project on Hulu lately. I took a break from it for a while – but now that I am giving it another chance, I’m glad to see Mindy as a working mother with a successful practice who is launching her own business.

I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? a couple years ago and I hope this book is also as funny.

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Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps  by Kelly Williams Brown

I added this book to my Goodreads “Want to Read” list back in 2014, when I may have still been experiencing a quarter-life crisis. During that time, I also liked to read the very relatable blogs Twenty Something Living and When Life Gives You Rubi. This book seems like it will fall in the info-tainment genre and I think it will be comforting to see how far I’ve come since then.

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life by Natalie McNeal

No one really wants to be in debt, but through budgeting and reducing spending there is a way out. Some examples of this are too extreme for my taste (see: tiny houses, junk cars, ramen dinners). Style and Savings was created on the principle to “live stylishly without spending your savings”. I want to maintain a level of comfort, while still living within or below my means.

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That wraps up my book list for the summer (in addition to the magazines I subscribe to).

What’s on your Summer Reading List?

Book Discussion: The Mothers a Novel

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The Mothers a Novel by Brit Bennett is one of the best written books I have read in a long time – maybe ever. I would place it among the ranks of The Secret Life of Bees. If you enjoy this book as much as I did – it will stay in your mind after the last chapter closes.

Thought provoking topics provide the foundation of the story which also has unexpected twists and secrets that unravel slowly. Brit Bennett didn’t take the easy way out by writing in detail about the milestones a reader would expect, which makes this novel so interesting.

The following questions are intended for book discussion and may contain spoilers:

1 – Why is this book titled The Mothers?

2 – Why didn’t Mr. Turner keep Nadia closer after her mother’s death?

3- Why wasn’t Mrs. Sheppard more compassionate towards Nadia?

4- Both Pastor Sheppard and Mr. Turner dedicated lots of time to the church. Is it good to serve the community as an example for  children or bad to take time away from raising them?

5- How were Luke and Nadia affected by their decision ?

6- When Aubrey first started visiting Luke, why didn’t Nadia tell Aubrey about their past? Would you have told your friend if she started dating your ex?

7- Why didn’t Luke tell Aubrey that he used to date Nadia?

8- Why does Luke treat Aubrey better (in the beginning of their relationship) than he treated Nadia ?

9-What made Nadia & Aubrey’s friendship last after the day at the beach when Nadia admits to hooking up with Luke in high school?

10 – Nadia imagines what her mother’s life would have been without her. Do you think Nadia gets married and/or raises a child one day?

11- Why did Aubrey desperately want to be a mother?

12 – Should Luke and Nadia have ended up together?

After reading this novel, I wanted to learn more about Brit Bennett. Through various magazine articles, I found that she grew up in Oceanside, California where the novel takes place and like Nadia,  also went to college at the University of Michigan.The Mothers is her very first novel and she was 27 years old when the book was published in 2016.  It is inspiring to see a young black woman author with so much talent and I look forward to reading more of her work.

 

 

Style and Savings Reads – March 2016

 

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 Here are 5 books on my “To Read” list. As I haven’t read them all yet, this is a list of recommendations (not book reviews)

Title: The Status of All Things

Authors:  Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Back of the Book Synopsis: Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history

Why I would pick up this book: I generally have an interest in how Facebook and social media is shaping social interactions online and offline and how someone’s Internet self – representation compares to his or her real life. I have gotten a little over half-way through this book and it is very  light-hearted in that it requires you to suspend reality and believe in magic like a Disney Channel movie (i.e. Freaky Friday).


 

25690958  Title: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be                                                           Your Own Person

Author: Shonda Rhimes

Inside cover synopsis: In this poignant, hilarious and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

Why I would pick up this book: Shonda Rhimes! TGIT is a weekly social event at my place.  I chose this book for my book club’s January selection because I felt that it would serve as motivation to say “yes” to new experiences in the new year. I am finishing the last chapter of this book (which is equal parts memoir and advice) and I have enjoyed learning more about Shonda’s background and how she writes pieces of herself into her characters. My favorite part of the book was her commencement speech at Dartmouth. As a recent grad, there were parts that I could really relate to!


22557272   Title: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Synopsis: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Why I would pick up this book: This book was suggested by one of my book club members as our next book. I had seen it mentioned on other blogs and book lists and became interested because it sounded suspenseful. I started reading it a couple days ago and it is really a page-turner.


 

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Title: The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand                    

Authors: Pamela Skaist-Levy, Gela Nash-Taylor, Booth Moore 

Goodreads Synopsis: Part memoir, part business manual, and 100% juicy—the inside story of Juicy Couture, one of the most iconic brands of our times

Why I would pick up this book: Occasionally, I like to ready business book especially related to entrepreneurship. A couple summers ago, I read Girl Boss and I think this book will have a similar feel. Also, I’m a big fan of Juicy Couture. Their first perfume is one of my favorites and I used to search ebay for used Juicy bags in college and found a genuine leather one for $30 !

  


22822844  Title: The Real Thing: Lessons on Love and Life from a Wedding                                                           Reporter’s Notebook

Author: Ellen McCarthy

Goodreads Synopsis: From a Washington Post weddings reporter who’s covered more than two hundred walks down the aisle comes a warm, witty, and wise book about relationships—the mystery, the science, and the secrets of how we find love and make it last.
 
Ellen McCarthy has explored the complete journey of our timeless quest for “The One,” the Soul Mate, the Real Thing. This indispensable collection of insights—on dating, commitment, breakups, weddings, and marriage—gives us a window into enduring romance:

Why I would pick up this book: As you may know from my Wedding Wednesday posts, I’m getting married this summer. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fun of event planning, but once that day is over, it would be good to have advice on how to have a happy & lasting marriage


 

18813642  Title: Bad Feminist

Author: Roxane Gay

Goodreads Synopsis: Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to becool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Why I would pick up this book: I think this book will be funny and filled with pop-culture references while also analyzing serious topics such as equality, what it means to be a feminist, and what changes can be made to make the world a better place for women. Also, Roxane Gay is currently teaching at Purdue in the College of Liberal Arts

 

 

 

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