Book Review: If You Have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone and Meredith Bryan

I saw a woman reading If You Have to Cry, Go Outside and Other Things Your Mother Never Told You while on the subway in New York and decided I wanted a copy for myself. I’ve always admired Kelly and her spunk which I saw through watching The Hills and The City. I’m a big cryer myself and I know I’ve made the stupid mistake of crying when I was a lot younger so when I saw the title of this book, I was immediately drawn to it.

Sadly, I was a bit disappointed upon reading the whole book (I read it in a few days) because I thought it would be full of career advice, which is what I’m looking for at the moment. It was more an autobiography of Kelly Cutrone. Not that it was bad. I do find Kelly interesting and I do admire how she has branded herself and how she conducts her PR business. I guess it was just a matter of having the wrong expectations when I picked up the book.

I don’t believe in a lot of the new age stuff she writes about (like picking the best things from different religions and making your own) and I have to admit I almost quit reading it altogether because she devoted a lot of space to this topic. But I did pick up some good tips in one of the last chapters so I’m pretty glad I finished it.

Rating: 2/5

June 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm 3 comments

Book Review: Watermelon by Marian Keyes

Watermelon is the first novel of Irish chick lit writer Marian Keyes. The story revolves around Claire, who at the start of the book, gives birth to her first child. On the same day, her husband James announces that he is leaving her for another woman. Heartbroken and frightened, the new mother with day-old baby in tow leaves London and goes home to her quirky family in Dublin, where she begins to confront the fact that the perfect life she thought she had is now in shambles.

I’ve always liked Marian Keyes. The first-ever Chick Lit book I ever read was written by her — Sushi for Beginners. It remains to be one of my favorites. Watermelon does not quite compare to Sushi.

Sushi for Beginners grabbed me from the very first page. Watermelon doesn’t get exciting until maybe Chapter 23. That’s 252 pages I had to wade through before the good stuff began. That can’t be good. But when it did get exciting, it continued to be so until nearly the end of the novel.

One of the things that stirred me up about this book was how some people can be so manipulative and how easily the manipulated person believes the lies that the manipulator feeds them. It’s unbelievable, really. And if you’re a spectator, the manipulated will seem like such an idiot. However, when you’re in the situation, it’s not so simple. I’ve been there. Manipulators are cunning spin doctors. They can turn a story around so much that you’ll begin to doubt even yourself. Even the smartest can be reduced to fools by manipulators. It’s a good thing Claire realizes what she needed to realize just in time.

My favorite character in this book is Claire’s infuriating younger sister Helen. She always made me laugh.

Rating: 2.5/5

April 3, 2010 at 1:04 am 4 comments

Spring Reading Thing 2010

I’ve looked forward to spring since about two years ago, not because I feel it here in the Philippines (we only have two seasons, really: summer and rainy. And maybe the occasional cool breeze during the Christmas season) but because I get to join the Spring Reading Thing — a low-pressure reading challenge hosted by Katrina of Callapider Days.

To find out more about the reading challenge, go here.

Timeline for reading: March 20 – June 20, 2010

Here’s my list:

1. Walking with God by John Eldredge

2. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

3. Swapping Lives by Jane Green

4. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

5. Single Men are Like Waffles Single Women are Like Spaghetti by Bill and Pam Farrel

6. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

8. The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns

9. Watermelon by Marian Keyes – DONE

10. S.H.A.P.E. by Erik Rees

I want to know what’s on your list, too! So please leave a comment with a URL to your blog so I can check out your list, too.

HAPPY READING! 🙂

March 21, 2010 at 12:04 am 31 comments

Book Review: The New Rules of Marketing & PR

The Internet and social media have, indeed, changed the rules of Marketing and PR. It has opened up a whole new world where you do not have to go through any other medium to connect to your customer. Author David Meerman Scott explains it perfectly: The Internet is “making public relations public again.”

This book is very generous in teaching readers how to adjust to the new age of media and giving examples of sucesses of companies that have been bold enough to exercise the new rules even before the rules were in place.

The new rules are not confusing. They make perfect sense. The new rules do not make the old rules obsolete. The new rules are the old rules evolved and then some.

Marketing and PR professionals now have this unique opportunity to connect to their audience, to be able to see where there audience is, to be able to anticipate what the audience needs, to be able to interact with their audience, to become real to their audience. This book is a must-read if you want to pounce on this opportunity.

Rating: 4.5/5

March 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm 1 comment

Book Review: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

I wouldn’t consider Olive Kitteridge a light read. It’s not hard to understand but I took my time reading it, not because it was a chore to read, because it’s just the opposite, but because this is the kind of book that you need to digest a chapter at a time.

Olive Kitteridge is a 70-something woman who is as complicated as women come. She is mean at times, speaks her mind, and often misunderstood. But just like most misunderstood people, she is not the way she is without reason. This doesn’t excuse her sometimes annoying behavior but it just proves that there is so much more than what we see and know about the people around us.

The book, which won a Pulitzer Prize, is not all about Olive but weaves different stories of people. The stories have Olive in common. My favorite chapters are the first one, which tell the story of Olive’s husband’s friendship with his assistant in the pharmacy he works for, the story about the man who keeps forgetting to get his wife her donut, the story about the couple who call the other couples they know the name of the couple’s kids (the Lydias), the story about Olive’s son and his second wife, and of course, the last chapter.

Olive Kitteridge made me feel a variety of emotions. I went from sad to excited, reflective to giddy, loving to heartbroken. Not many books do that to you. And that is why I loved this novel by Elizabeth Strout so much.

Rating: 5/5

March 8, 2010 at 1:05 am Leave a comment

These just in

Went on a quick trip to Fully Booked after church today and picked these two new books out.

I have been hearing great things about this book and I am so excited to start reading this! Almost picked up The World According to Garp, too, but I’m convinced we have a copy somewhere in this house.

What I ended up taking instead of Garp was this book. I read the first few pages while in the bookstore and found myself laughing out loud. I haven’t yet read anything by Curtis Sittenfeld but if I like this one as much as I think I will, I just might pick up Prep and The Man of my Dreams, too.

February 14, 2010 at 3:56 pm 2 comments

Book Crazy Updates

I am so behind on my reading!

Olive Kitteridge is a fantastic read but I’ve been so busy (and sleepy) that I only get to read a few pages, maybe half a chapter every night. I’ll reserve most of my thoughts on Olive Kitteridge for my book review but this much I can say, this novel made me feel all of these emotions: sad, giddy, hopeful, nervous, inspired, and other feelings I can’t really describe. I’m down to my last 104 pages, and I’m excited to get immersed into the lives of the people around Olive Kitteridge.

I’m also reading The New Rules of Marketing and PR, which I borrowed from our office library. It’s the coolest thing! I get to borrow a book for a month (usually you can just take it home for three days); all I need to do is submit a short write-up on the book and what I thought about it.

These are the books that I plan to read next:

February 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm 4 comments

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