New Books Of Fiction & Fantasy (and one about Sugar) You Need to READ
Review by Alison Blackman
Someone recently told me: “Why are you still a writer? No one reads anymore, they’re all on Instagram.”
I didn’t say it, but I thought: “That’s foolish!!”
When someone really wants information, education, inspiration or more than a nano-second of amusement, they don’t look at someone’s photo feed, they read.
Reading is still an essential part of our lives. It is a pleasure we’re not giving up.
Here are five new books that prove just how varied, exciting and thought-provoking books can be.
Alison Blackman, Editor in Chief, AdviceSisters Beauty and Style
You’ve probably been told that eating sugar can really sabotge your health and your waistline.
Blast The Sugar Out Lower Bood Sugar, Lose Weight, Live Better by Ian K. Smith, M.D. (St. Martins Press April 2017) is a plan to help you remove sugar from your diet and regain control of your health.
I’m not a doctor, but I do believe, personally, that too much of anything isn’t so great, and too little (in other words, deprivation) isn’t great, either. So I read Dr. Smith’s book, squirming.
The book doesn’t bring anything really exciting or new to the table (pun intended) but has basic ideas that have been bounced around for years: change your eating habits, schedule meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable, make good food and drink choices (drinks water and not soda, for example), exercise, and keep a lifestyle that maintains all of these things.
All of this is good, but most of us won’t live this way. And most of us aren’t going to avoid sugar entirely (nor should we).
What is good about this book is the discussion about the different kinds of sugar and how they effect your body positively or potentially, negatively.
There are also recipes (many look very easy and delicious) and meals plans (more ambitious).
If you are really ready to kick sugar to the curb, or mostly to the curb, this book can help you jump start that goal. Good to also know that Dr.Smith is a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.
Who hasn’t read the classic book 1984 by George Orwell and thought “this can’t happen, it’s just fiction” But are we actually closer than we think to that reality?
A new book called 1984 in the 21st Century An Anthology of Essays Edited by Lori Perkins (Riverdale Avenue Books 2017) may have you re-thinking this.
Orwell’s 1984 was first published in the aftermath of World War II. This new books of essays was offered to the public for one day as a free download — on April 4th, 2017, the date on which Orwell’s main character, Winston Smith, begins his illegal diary.
Now, you can now purchase the thought-provoking paperback with essays from a variety of writers including science fiction legend David Brin, Yahoo News columnist Matt Bai, feminist academic Melissa Febos, and 20 others authors, as well as average citizens.
As to the tone and content of the essays, many of them a seriously politically slanted in one direction. Therefore, the book left me feeling less than optimistic. Still, these essays are thought-provoking and well written, and they are the author’s opinions– not “truth.”
It is well worth reading this book to consider how you might make the world a kinder, better place. You are sure to bring this book up as a topic of conversation at any gathering you attend afterward –and do discuss–that’s a good thing!
I longed to visit Disneyland but my parents never took me there. As an adult, I went many times to Disneyland and Disneyworld –theme parks that even as a grown-up seem happy and magical. The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Major Event in the Original Magic Kingdom By Chris Stodder (Santa Monica Press, April 2017) has a whopping 600+ entries detailing the Disneyland Theme park.
The first edition appeared in 2008 wth 502 entries, but Disney is always a work in progress, so this new version includes new events, exhibits, and structures.
What I really enjoyed was reading about the early exhibits, what worked, what didn’t and taking a walk down memory lane with the rides and attractions I enjoyed the most.
While the 527-page book is truly comprehensive and fun to browse, the black and white photos are small and poorly reproduced — disappointing, considering how colorful and exciting Disneyland really is.
For someone who simply can’t get enough Disneyland, who visits often, or who is going for the first time and really wants to know all about this famous and magical place, it’s a great resource and just a fun book to read.
Some books aren’t really meant to be “read” as much as absorbed as a treat for the eyes. That’s why I loved Fictionally Fabulous: The Characters Who Created The Looks We Love by Anne Keenan Higgins (Running Press 2017). It’s a colorful pic-travaganza of whimsical drawings of the outfits some of the most fan-bulous and famous celebrities from screen and television wore in their most memorable roles.
You may not remember the ones from generations past, but their chic styles will inspire you today as yesterday. And even younger women still mention Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn and even Bette Davis among their fashion icon faves.
For those who are past the baby boom age, there are some of your favorite stars represented from the ’90’s and right up toe Cookie Lyon of Empire Fame in 2015. Whether you want to emulate the looks or just ogle the fashions, you’ll have fun reading the short synopses and seeing how glamorous life can be.
A nice touch is that the costume designers who created the fashions are recognized.
What a fun book to bring to a friend, a weekend hostess, or a young woman who needs the inspiration to develop her own sense of style.
Gender identity is a hot topic in the media, and on bookshelves, so it’s timely that Riverdale Books has published an updated version of Hollywood Lesbians, this one is called: Hollywood Lesbians From Garbo to Foster by Boze Hadleigh it’s the companion volume to the classic Hollywood Gays by Boze Hadleigh..
The book is organized in three parts but not chronologically, so I couldn’t quite understand the grouping. And while there are interviews with some very interesting and iconic people including costume designer Edith Head, most of the conversations are well..not very interesting, to put it kindly.
It might not really be the fault of the author who did the interviews. If he really wanted to know what went on behind closed doors, I am guessing that many of the people the author interviewed may have signed non-disclosure agreements or were just protecting the people they knew and worked with.
You will read in their conversations that they allude to certain liaisons and issues, but perhaps they really don’t know for sure, or they’re certainly not going to say, for sure.
If the topic of lesbians in Hollywood, or Hollywood in general, interests you there may be some insights to discover within the pages, but wading through the verbose interviews tired me out. However, Ellen DeGeneres is quoted as calling it “Riveting” on the back cover. Read the book and come to your own conclusions.