REVIEW: #GIRLBOSS, BY SOPHIA AMORUSO

 

In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called “Lean In for misfits,” Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.

Amoruso spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and scrounging in dumpsters for leftover bagels. By age twenty-two she had dropped out of school, and was broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school—a job she’d taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay.

Flash forward to today, and she’s the founder of Nasty Gal and the founder and CEO of Girlboss. Sophia was never a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers.

#GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.


My Thoughts: What an inspirational story of one young woman’s determination to find what made her happy, and to go for it.

Being an outsider, not following a conventional path, and chasing her dreams sum up what led to this young woman’s success. Some might have labeled her too much of a rebel to achieve her goals, but those naysayers would soon learn otherwise.

Her attitude and her “out of the box” thinking would be key ingredients in making her company what it became, and would show others how to find their own journey.

Some of what I learned from the author’s stories included that she doesn’t believe in luck, but in the ability to control one’s own fate. She believes in magic, though, which simply means sending your good intentions out to the Universe, and visualizing what you want.

As for following the rules, she believes the challenge is in knowing which rules to accept, and which to rewrite.

I saw the Netflix show and loved it, so I immediately downloaded #GirlBoss. I wanted to read the anecdotes, learn her pattern for creating her own rules and her own path, and revel in how she is sharing with others. An interesting story of a unique company and its creator. 4 stars.

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REVIEW: SECRETS IN SUMMER, BY NANCY THAYER

 

Memorial Day weekend means that seasonal visitors have descended on the glamorous island of Nantucket. For year-round resident Darcy Cotterill, it means late-night stargazing in the backyard of the beautiful house she grew up in and inherited from her beloved grandmother. It’s also Darcy’s chance to hit the beach and meet her new summertime neighbors. But the last person the thirty-year-old librarian expects to see staying next door is her ex-husband, Boyz, along with his wife, Autumn, and stepdaughter, Willow.

Darcy must also navigate the highs and lows of a new romantic relationship with local carpenter Nash Forester even as she becomes smitten with handsome vacationer Clive Rush, a musicologist in town to write a book and visit family. And she finds herself pulled into the concerns of Boyz, Autumn, a charming elderly neighbor, and an at-risk teen.

As the season nears its end, Darcy must decide her next move: retreating to the comforts of her steady and secure island life, or risking it all for a chance at true happiness.


My Thoughts: Swept away by the author’s descriptions of the homes, gardens, people, summer events, and the magic of the island, I savored every page in Secrets in Summer. I felt an immediate connection to Darcy, whose grandmother Penny had raised her, having had a special relationship with my own grandmother. I could understand why she loved the home that had belonged to her, and where she grew up.

I could visualize the backyard gardens that were close together, separated only by hedges, which also lent themselves to unique connections. When Darcy found out that her ex-husband Boyz and his new wife were renting the house next door, I anticipated that there would be awkward moments. And there were, but what I didn’t expect was the relationship that would develop between Darcy and Boyz’s stepdaughter Willow.

In the rental house on the other side of Darcy’s were an elderly woman Mimi and her grandson Clive. Mimi was like a surrogate grandmother, but her vivid personality and her tendency to openly share her thoughts made her a more modern day version of Penny. All the new and old friends shared the delights of the season.

Themes of friendships, even those transitory summer connections, kept me interested throughout, as did the drama from Willow, who turned out to be a more likable teen than we usually see in fiction…or real life. Would Darcy find a permanent love connection with her lover, Nash, or might she choose someone new? A delightful story that made me long to visit Nantucket and find some summer friends that might even last through the seasons. 5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: HOT DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

Sunny days are here again….with temperatures from 93 – 99 (Today through Monday); and the books I’ve read this week were so enjoyable!  Only THREE, with one of them a review book, so my Read the Books You Buy Challenge total is now 43.

I’ve gone a little crazy with NetGalley requests lately, not really expecting to get them all right away, but the ones I received are spread out a little bit.  I have a total of EIGHT on my Kindle, with release dates in June, July, August, and September.

Netflix is bringing out new seasons for some favorites, like Season III of Bloodline this week.  I started watching Midsomer Murders, and I am still glued to an episode at a time of 13 Reasons Why.

On TV, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal had their season finales this week.  I am enjoying Season III of Better Call Saul.

So….that’s a peek at my week.  Let’s take a closer look…

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Sparks:  “The Red Hunter”

Hump Day Sparks:  Current, Past, & Future Reading

Coffee Morning:  Family Bonding…& Memories

Bookish Friday:  “The People at Number 9”

Hope:  More Important Than Ever….

Review:  The Night the Lights Went Out (e-book), by Karen WhiteReview:  The Widow of Wall Street (e-book), by Randy Susan MeyersReview:  He Said/She Said (e-book), by Erin Kelly (NetGalley – 6/6)

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One purchased book was in my mailbox; my inbox brought two NetGalley review books; and I downloaded three e-books that I bought.

NetGalley Review Books:

Emma in the Night (e-book), by Wendy Walker (8/8/17)

 

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Beach House for Rent (e-book), by Mary Alice Monroe (6/20/17)

 

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Purchased Print Book: (Mailbox)

Dangerous Crossing, by Rachel Rhys

 

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Purchased Downloads:

Say You’re Sorry (e-book), by Melinda Leigh

 

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Same Beach, Next Year (e-book), by Dorothea Benton Frank

 

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It’s Always the Husband (e-book), by Michele Campbell

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Currently Reading:  Secrets in Summer, by Nancy Thayer (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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On My List:

Into the Water (e-book), by Paula Hawkins

 

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The Breakdown (e-book), by B. A. Paris (NetGalley – 6/20/17)

 

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  I had lunch at The Yard House with my daughter on Monday…but forgot to photograph it!  Instead, here is this lunch I had at home before heading to the salon on Wednesday.  Greek Yogurt, Ritz Crackers, and red wine.  Eating simple food while gazing at my growing book stack…again.

 

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REVIEW: THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET, BY RANDY SUSAN MEYERS

 

Phoebe recognizes fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers. As he creates a financial dynasty, she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.

When Phoebe learns her husband’s triumph and vast reach rests on an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her life was fabricated by fraud? Was she his accomplice?

While Jake is trapped in the web of his deceit, Phoebe is caught in an unbearable choice. Her children refuse to see her if she remains at their father’s side, but abandoning him feels cruel and impossible.


My Thoughts: The story that unfolds in The Widow of Wall Street is not as shocking as it once might have been, since other men have also betrayed their investors and their families. What sets this story apart is how we very slowly come to know Jake and Phoebe via their alternating voices, from their teen years until their world fell apart.

From the beginning, though, and probably knowing how the story would end, I disliked Jake, who tried to get by on charm and tall tales. Admittedly, Phoebe had also kept a big secret from Jake through their whole lives together, but she paid her dues by taking care of him, the family, and bowing to his wishes most of the time. Having luxuries cannot make up for what one loses in confidence by having a spouse who belittles, makes demands, and hides the most basic things from his wife.

We follow Jake and Phoebe through their lives in a linear fashion, which felt a bit like a very slow reveal at times, but my interest perked up after Jake’s sins were finally out in the open.

In some ways, Jake got off easy, since the load of his secrets was lifted, while Phoebe was left with the stares and scorn of the public, and having to pick up the pieces of her life after losing most of her possessions. Sadness, loss, and broken connections would follow her always, but at some point, she would find a way to start over.

I liked this excerpt that reveals how those with plenty develop their sense of entitlement:

“Rich people thought themselves special, but in truth, they simply possessed extra layers of insulation against the winds of misfortune.”

Obviously, those who lose their worldly goods, their position in life, and their favor from the world around them have also lost those extra layers. A bitter truth that Phoebe discovered, through no fault of her own. An unforgettable novel, this one earned 4.5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

This week has been an interesting mix of hot days and some cooler days with wind.  I am sick of the wind, but I guess I can wait a little while for the triple digit heat.

Looking back on the week, I was busy doing things that were not that memorable…and then I had a manicure, which I enjoyed.

I planned to have a nice relaxing day today—blogging, reading, etc., but I got a call from the management of the condos saying there was a broken pipe in one of the units attached to mine, and in order to determine if the rest of us were affected, plumbers were coming out…and the window of time involved might be the whole weekend!  I wasn’t happy, but I tried to read and not think about it.

Late afternoon:  got a call that the problem was isolated in the front unit, and mine would not need work, nor would they need access to mine.  Yay!  I remember a few years ago when a pipe was broken in my walls and three days later, after a lot of chaos, they had it fixed.  So I was not looking forward to more of that.

Feeling very relieved, I did settle in with my book.  And then thought I should go ahead and write this post, never knowing what unexpected events might come along.

I did finish reading and reviewing three books this week, and my total for the challenge is 41.  Two of the books I read were Vine and NetGalley review books, so they did not count for the challenge.

I finally set up my new patio umbrella this week, and enjoyed a cup of coffee while looking out at the new outdoor space.  It was already too warm to actually go out there.

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there in blog land. 

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Monday Sparks:  Musing About Books…

Tuesday Sparks: Changing & Rearranging…

Tuesday Potpourri:  “Not a Sound”

Hump Day Sparks:  A Week of Reading….

Coffee Morning with Photos & Thoughts….

Bookish Friday:  “Into the Water”

A Year Ago:  Revisiting Mother’s Day 2016

Weekend Sparks:  Family Mementos…

Review:  What’s Become of Her, by Deb Caletti (Amazon Vine Review)Review:  A Mother’s Confession (e-book), by Kelly RimmerReview:  Not a Sound (e-book), by Heather Gudenkauf – (NetGalley – 5/30)

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

My physical mailbox held two review books and one purchased book; my e-mail inbox brought me a NetGalley review book; and I downloaded three books that I bought.

Secrets in Summer, by Nancy Thayer (Amazon Vine)

 

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The Wildling Sisters, by Eve Chase (Amazon Vine)

 

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The Swallow’s Nest, by Emilie Richards (Author Review Request)

 

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Lies She Told (e-book), by Cate Holahan (NetGalley – 9/12)

 

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Purchases:

Fairy Tale Interrupted, by Rosemarie Terenzio

 

 

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Purchased Downloads:

Sycamore (e-book), by Bryn Chancellor

 

 

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The People at Number 9 (e-book), by Felicity Everett

 

 

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How It All Began (e-book), by Penelope Lively (I love this cover!)

 

 

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Currently Reading (about half finished) – The Night the Lights Went Out (e-book), by Karen White

 

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My List for This Week:

He Said/She Said (e-book), by Erin Kelly – (NetGalley – 6/6)

 

 

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The Widow of Wall Street (e-book), by Randy Susan Meyers

 

 

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And then I will let my moods dictate what is next.  What did your week look like?  Special adventures, books, or food?

On Thursday, after my mani, I had a pizza at California Pizza Kitchen with my margarita.  Since I usually have soup or salad, I could not eat the whole thing there.  I brought most of the pizza home with me afterwards.

 

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REVIEW: A MOTHER’S CONFESSION, BY KELLY RIMMER

 

Your husband took his own life. Tell the truth and destroy what’s left of your family. Or keep a secret that will tear you apart. What would you do?

Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete.

But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger.

Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost… shouldn’t she?

MY THOUGHTS:
In alternating perspectives and over different timelines, Olivia, the wife, and Ivy, David’s mother, tell their stories, set in a small Australian village.

The “confession” part of the title could be seen from both sides, since each has played a role in how events unfolded. It is clear from the beginning of A Mother’s Confession that violence and domestic abuse are central themes. As for Ivy, David’s mother, her denial is the kind that allows abuse to continue and proliferate. She was the kind of mother who saw no wrong in anything her son did, from a very early age. And as for Olivia, her inability to accept that the abuse was not going to go away and that David would not change contributed to the final outcomes.

We do not learn all the details of that event, referred to as The Tragedy, the one that claimed David’s life, except in bits and pieces, and then, near the end, we are blindsided by the missing part of the puzzle that literally stunned me.

There were many clues along the way. Why was Olivia unable to function for months after her husband’s death? Since he was her abuser, wouldn’t she be feeling some relief? And why is Dr. Eric still making house calls for such a long period afterwards?

The therapy sessions also revealed details along the way, but slowly, leading us to realize that whatever we were about to discover would be huge, and would burst through a thick veneer of denial. The story was frustrating, in that we knew from the early pages that nothing good was going to happen. But by the end, there was a glimmer of hope that Olivia could move on and make a new life. 4.5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A WARM WEEK….

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

It has been another good reading week, with four books read and reviewed, and all were from my TBR Purchased stacks, which brings my total for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge to 40!

An absence of wind or rain has made my interiors feel more secure…although I did have maintenance come and apply an adhesive to that blasted skylight cover…and I had to order a new market umbrella to replace the one now in tatters.  It arrived yesterday…and I will try to put it up today!

On Hulu, I want to start watching The Handmaid’s Tale.…I loved the book, and saw a movie based on it a few years ago.  Margaret Atwood has suggested (in an interview) that the world in this story may not be that far off…..

Since yesterday was Cinco de Maya, I went out for this delicious Mexican meal, complete with margaritas…Yes, two.

 

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I thought about going to see the movie The Dinner today…and I’m still contemplating it.  Perhaps I will wait until it comes to Amazon Prime?  I didn’t love the book that much…but the cast of the movie does sound tempting:  Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloe Sevigny...to name a few.

 

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Now I think I’ll curl up and read some more…but first, let’s look at my week.

 

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

April Was Unforgettable – Monthly Wrap-Up

Monday Potpourri:  Dreaming of the Beach….

Tuesday Potpourri:  “Vivian in Red”

Hump Day Potpourri:  A Week of Reading….

Coffee, Etc. – A Bookish and Not So Bookish Week….

Bookish Friday:  “A Mother’s Confession”

Review:  The Roanoke Girls (e-book), by Amy EngelReview:  A Separation (e-book), by Katie KitamuraReview:  Hot Milk (e-book), by Deborah LevyReview:  Vivian in Red (e-book), by Kristina Riggle***

INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

No books in the mailbox!  But I did receive one NetGalley review book...and then I downloaded four purchased books and one Kindle Prime freebie.

The Comfort of Secrets (e-book), by Christine Nolfi –(NetGalley – 7/18)

 

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North Haven (e-book), by Sarah Moriarty (Freebie)

 

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Purchases:

#GirlBoss (e-book), by Sophia Amoruso (I loved the Netflix show!)

 

 

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One Good Thing (e-book, Ten Beach Road Novel), by Wendy Wax

 

 

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Into the Water (e-book), by Paula Hawkins

 

 

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All the Best People (e-book), by Sonja Yoerg

 

 

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Currently Reading:

What’s Become of Her, by Deb Caletti (Amazon Vine Review)

 

 

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A Mother’s Confession (e-book), by Kelly Rimmer

 

 

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And then, how about these?

Not a Sound (e-book), by Heather Gudenkauf – (NetGalley – 5/30)

 

 

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The Night the Lights Went Out (e-book), by Karen White

 

 

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That was my week…what did yours look like?  While I am still stuffed from last night’s dinner, I am only dreaming of what I had earlier in the week…a delicious strawberry & melon salad, with a strawberry margarita.

 

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