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White Girl Problems -AND- Psychos – Babe Walker

 

 

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“Everyone makes fun of me during group sessions. Their nickname for me is ‘White Girl Problems’. I know that Jackson and the rest of the cast of Trainspotting think that because I grew up in Bel Air, they know what I’m all about. They don’t. My life is not a joke, and that nickname is actually so f*cking rude.”

“By the time we sashayed through the door, all the pieces of my quest to lose my virginity were falling into place. I could see the finish line in the distance. I could hear the cheers of my loved ones on the sidelines; they were handing me cups of water that I was pouring on my head. They were throwing me PowerBars, and I was slapping them, because everyone knows PowerBars are nothing but carbs and sugar, with barely less regret than a Snickers bar. P.S. I would never run a f*cking marathon.”

“Genevieve thinks I’m crazy to spend so much money on my teeth, but Genevieve doesn’t know what my nightmares look like.”

“However, the most important thing I can leave you is the following wisdom: Never accept a marriage proposal from a man in open toed shoes. He’s either gay or a gypsy. Never cry. It causes swelling. Doctors, lawyers and princes come and go. Oil money lasts forever. Get your first face-lift by the time you’re forty-two after that it’s too late. Don’t go to bed with a full face of makeup on, unless you think you may die in your sleep. You should never have to work to make a living. You’re smarter than that. I miss you already, my love, and I’ll be watching over you. So spend my money with good taste. I deserve that.”

 

This week I read both White Girl Problems and the upcoming sequel Psychos (to be released April 29th). We’ve all laughed at the hilarious Twitter account that catalyzed the development of these books, but in order to properly understand the sequel I figured I should read the first one as well. As per the publisher’s request I did not include any quotes from the much anticipated Babe Walker follow up, but did include a few quotes from WGP to give you a feel for the tone of both of the books.

Normally, I am not into this kind of stuff. Ignorance and entitlement are two traits that I usually loath, so I was a bit worried about reading two whole novels that are rooted in that stuff. Right off the top I do have to say that I feel this book should be called Rich Girl Problems, instead of White. Just sayin’. Other than that, I have to admit I found these books entertaining. I couldn’t help it. If you can sit back and enjoy them without judgement, and focus on the fact that they’re a great satire on the ridiculously wealthy youth of today, they’re actually really funny.

In White Girl Problems we meet Babe Walker, a fictional twenty something daughter of a wealthy entertainment lawyer (he bankrolls her ridiculous lifestyle) who is obsessed with shopping, fashion, not eating solid food, and trying to maintain control of her alter ego Babette. After she spends nearly $300,000 at Barney’s during a mental breakdown she realizes it’s time to go to rehab for her shopping and/or substance abuse issues, but mainly her shopping. She pens this “memoir” during her time in rehab, and it covers a full range of topics. Some of the chapter titles should give you an idea of what these topics include:

Sorry For Texting You 93 Times Last Night

My Vagina is Bullsh*t

Every Job I’ve Ever Had Is The Worst Job I’ve Ever Had

I’m sure you get the drift.

Psychos, the much anticipated follow up, takes place after Babe gets out of rehab, and her dad has taken the manuscript for the first book and gotten it published. It ends up being incredibly successful, and kind of changes Babe’s life, since now she’s more than a socialite, she’s actually kind of a celebrity. I preferred this one to the first one. I felt like Babe was a much more likable character because she really was trying to get better post rehab, and she was able to step back and realize her ridiculous behavior more. Well, just barely, but she tries. In addition this one had a much better flow and I found was easier to read. I can’t include any quotes or plot points, but the tone is a slightly more mature one than that of the first book.

With summer just around the corner, I would recommend these as some great beach reads. They’re light, funny, and completely ridiculous. But, sometimes you just have to stop taking life so seriously and read something silly. I don’t think these books are for everyone, but I am someone who usually can’t stand listening to entitled people complain and I still enjoyed them. If Babe gets too annoying for you, just remember that these books are written by two males and one female as a SATIRE. They’re supposed to be absurd and larger than life.

 

Happy reading lovelies!

OMPP

All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews

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“Nobody moves away from Winnipeg, especially to Toronto, and escapes condemnation. It’s like the opposite of the Welcome Wagon. It’s like leaving the Crips for the Bloods.”

“I’m at an age where I’m stuck between two generations, one using the term “getting laid” and the other “hooking up,” so what are you supposed to call it?”

“Yeah but apologies are what keep us civilized, I said and she said no, not at all, apologies allow for all sorts of brutality.”

“Living with my mother is like living with Winnie the Pooh. She has many adventures, getting herself into and out of trouble guilelessly, and all of these adventures are accompanied by a few lines of gentle philosophy. There’s always a little bit more to learn every time you get your head stuck in a honey pot if you’re my mother.”

“She asked me if I’d read to her from it and I said no. Just a paragraph? No. A sentence? No. Half a sentence! One word? No. A letter? I said okay, that I would read the first letter of the novel. She smiled and closed her eyes and sort of burrowed into her bed like she was preparing herself for a delicious treat. I asked her if she was ready and she nodded, still smiling, eyes closed. I stood and cleared my throat, and paused and then began to read. L. She sighed and lifted her chin to the ceiling, opened her eyes and told me it was beautiful, BEAUTIFUL, and true, the best thing I’d written yet. I thanked her and shoved the page back into the plastic Safeway bag. “

Okay, I know… a LOT of quotes this week, so you know what that means. Miram Toews has done it again with All My Puny Sorrows.

What. A. Great. Book.

I have read two other books by her over the years and I am always blown away by her writing style, and the simple beauty of her stories. Her characters are real people that you can understand and relate to, and when they mess up they don’t mess up in a contrived or predictably fictional way; they mess up in a real human way that is so honest it gives you empathy goosebumps, yet still manages to make you laugh at the same time. Her writing is flawless. I don’t even know where to begin… I guess I’ll start with the publisher’s synopsis:

You won’t forget Elf and Yoli, two smart and loving sisters. Elfrieda, a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yolandi, divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men as she tries to find true love: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. Yoli is a beguiling mess, wickedly funny even as she stumbles through life struggling to keep her teenage kids and mother happy, her exes from hating her, her sister from killing herself and her own heart from breaking. 

But Elf’s latest suicide attempt is a shock: she is three weeks away from the opening of her highly anticipated international tour. Her long-time agent has been calling and neither Yoli nor Elf’s loving husband knows what to tell him. Can she be nursed back to “health” in time? Does it matter? As the situation becomes ever more complicated, Yoli faces the most terrifying decision of her life.

It is incredibly difficult for an author to tackle subjects like mental illness, sexual promiscuity, suicide, religion, women’s rights, and depression, and not do it in a way that is preachy, or heavy, or just generally over the top. However, Toews does it, and she does it extraordinarily well. After I had finished reading this one, I did a bit of research and discovered that many, if not most of the events in this book were taken directly from her real life experiences. While this makes my heart hurt for what she’s had to go through in life, I am so appreciative of her willingness to bare her soul. It allows her story to have such an intimate and authentic voice that it removes a lot of the social taboo surrounding these controversial issues, and allows
the reader to focus on the meat and potatoes of the protagonist’s journey and process. It was only once I wiped one last laugh/cry tear from my cheek and closed the book that I truly understood the sentence,”… just because someone is eating the ashes of your protagonist doesn’t mean you stop telling the story.”

I laughed, I cried, and then laughed again. If you’ve ever loved someone so much that the thought of losing them is crippling, then I think you will love this bookIf you are a fan of literature (it’s filled with wonderful literary allusions) then I think you will love this book. If you enjoy reading a novel with strong, smart, quirky and independent FEMALE characters, (I know – it’s rare!) then you will love this book.

Miriam, your writing is both haunting and inspiring. I bow down to you. Incredible.

 

Until next time,

OMPP

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape – Jenna Miscavige Hill

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“Later on after the criminal charges against the Church were dropped, it was explained to Scientologists by my Uncle Dave that a conviction in this case would have endangered the Church’s tax exempt status, and thus its hold on the copyrights themselves, which would have been catastrophic to the Church.”

“In addition to calling out people publicly for mistakes, they often also made mention of highly personal things that were unethical, like that person’s masturbation habits or some other personal thing that would embarrass him or her. Usually these announcements were gruesome exaggerations of the truth, but what made them worse was that they were always sent out to the entire base of 500 people, so everyone knew your business.”

“LRH said that trying to study past a misunderstood word was the prime factor in stupidity, and was at the root of all wrongdoing and misbehavior that might lead to criminality.”

“Either way, I did what any good Scientologist was supposed to do: I didn’t question it.”

 

I’m going to be honest, other than Tom Cruise’s ramblings and couch jumping episodes, I didn’t know much about Scientology before reading this book. I knew that it had several celebrity endorsers, and that it was a relatively new “religion” as it had only been invented in the late sixties by a science fiction author, L. Ron Hubbard.

Yes, that’s right, I said invented.

It was only after LRH (since everything in Scientology is referred to by acronyms) failed at selling the idea for the basis of Scientology as a MOVIE SCRIPT, that he began to push it as a religion. He has even been quoted as saying, “You don’t get rich writing Science Fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.”

Jenna Miscavige Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology. Beyond Belief is her story about being brought up as a Scientologist, and how she eventually escaped what can really only be classified as a cult. Sorry, not sorry.

While I found the content of this book to be fascinating, initially the prose was flat, boring, and difficult to get through, especially for the first half. I feel this is because of the way children of Scientology are raised to learn, speak, and accept authority. The second half of the book however was much more interesting, and it seems her writing comes alive when she does. Once she really starts to accept the simple fact that she has endured years of brain washing, child abuse, and intentional isolation from family and friends, the writing felt passionate, inspired, and strong, and I began to really enjoy it.

Her story is one of courage and strength, and I find it extremely admirable she has cofounded the website http://www.exscientologykids.com, to help and support those who wish to leave the organization. Regardless of if you know a lot about Scientology already, or you don’t know anything at all, I do recommend this book. I found it eye opening, and it inspired me to do a great deal more research into Scientology. By the way, if you haven’t checked out the South Park episode on what Scientologists really believe in? Please do. It’s a brief but precise explanation of Scientology at its finest.

The whole concept of Scientology would almost be humorous if you didn’t know about the horrible living conditions, child abuse, and exploitation of the people currently stuck within the confines of the organization. Read this one and be prepared to have your world rocked.

Until next time,

OMPP

Everyday Entrepreneur: Making It Happen – Fred Dawkins

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“The most important skill in the 21st century will be the ability to create your own job.”

“Cash flow doesn’t lie. If you’re short on cash you’re either under financed, selling too cheap, not collecting fast enough, carrying too much inventory, or your expenses are too high.”

“Hyper connectivity is a blessing and a curse. Use the flexibility provided by technology to improve the balance in your life, not destroy it. A 24/7 commitment will drown you and destroy the most important relationships: friends and family. You simply have to work to live. There is no meaningful future in living to work.”

“The money comes with the territory – it has never been the goal. The rewards are the countries I’ve seen, the people I’ve met, the things I’ve done, the independence gained and the friends I’ve made. Money is the medium of exchange, a by-product of success and a way to measure it, not a reward.”

Lately I’ve been feeling as though I’ve been reading a lot of novels, which is always lovely, yet there is something incredible about how you feel after finishing a piece of non-fiction. I find I somehow feel smarter afterwards, at least more so than after I’ve finished a novel. I’m in school right now in addition to working full time, and have been pondering the idea of starting my own business one day in the field I’ve been studying. Thus, Everyday Entrepreneur: Making It Happen by Fred Dawkins seemed like an obvious next choice.

Reading business books can always be a bit more challenging to get through, especially when it comes to keeping your eyes open at bedtime. Everyday Entrepreneur wasn’t like that. It’s written as a story, about three individuals from different backgrounds, coming together one summer at the cottage to take free daily classes on entrepreneurship from a man named Sam. Within two weeks, each individual has taken the words of this successful and enigmatic gentleman, to heart and decided to pursue their dream of starting their own business. I found it really honest, relatable, and frankly, helpful. This book was full of great advice and anecdotes on how to succeed in the 21st century, a time where one of the most important skills one can have is the ability to create their own job.

If you’re looking at starting your own business, and want a book on entrepreneurship that isn’t stuffy or boring, give this one a go. I really enjoyed it and found that I learned a great deal from Sam’s wise words myself. It even comes with a handy bullet point list of all the most important notes to take away from the book in an appendix at the back, so if you don’t have the time to read the whole thing, (perhaps because you’re a busy entrepreneur?) at the bare minimum check it out for the list.

Until next time,

The OMPP

The Enchanted – Rene Denfeld

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“York knows the truth doesn’t matter in here. Inside, the lies you tell become the person you become. On the outside, sun and reality shrink people back to their actual size. In here, people grow into their shadows.”

“I  would think for hours how strange it was that some parts of words are silent, just like some parts of our lives. Did the people who wrote the dictionaries decide to mirror language to our lives, or did it just happen that way?”

“She thinks about how sad it is that we remember the killers and not their victims. What if the world forgot Hitler and remembered all the names of his victims? What if we immortalized the victims?”

“… if there are things inside of us too tiny to see, might there be things outside of us too big to believe?”

What caught my attention about The Enchanted, was when I read the publisher’s synopsis, stating that it was Alice Sebold meets Stephen King. I was intrigued; how is that even possible? Well, it is possible. Never have I read a more beautifully written book about such a dark and deeply controversial topic: death row. I was moved, and could not put it down. Seriously, I even cooked dinner with one hand and read this in the other. In fact, I frequently read to my partner at night as it helps him fall asleep. This book had the opposite effect, and we were up until the wee hours of the morning with him begging me to read more.

The story is written from the perspective of one of the death row inmates, as he watches and reflects on his fellow prisoners, and the maximum security stone prison that houses them. He loves to read, and the safety that the pages of his books bring him is what allows him to exist in such a brutal environment. He is mute (or is he?), and thus has developed such an incredible ability to listen and observe that he can almost see through people, into the deepest parts of their souls.

As a fact investigator in death row penalty cases, Rene Denfeld seems especially qualified to write such a beautifully haunting novel on the conditions of prison, the men patiently waiting for their last meal, and what it was they did to get there in the first place. At times I felt like cringing at the difficult subject matter, but the beauty of its prose and the authenticity of its characters made this novel possibly my favorite book of 2014 thus far. This book reminds us that we are all human, and that often, the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. This is a story that feeds the soul.

I felt this one in my gut; I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Until next time,

OMPP xo

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

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“His fingers smelled of suitcase, metal, Mein Kampf, and survival.”

“They say that war is death’s best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing, incessantly: ‘Get it done, get it done.’ So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you. He asks for more.”

“That makes two weeks, she would later write in the basement. Two weeks to change the world and fourteen days to ruin it.”

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race – that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

The Book Thief by Markus Suzak… All I can say is, wow. While I had often heard about the book, I had never heard what the book was about. Obviously the title gave me some context, as did the trailer for the movie, but going into reading it I had no idea of the specifics. I feel as though this added to my experience, so I don’t want to say too much here. This is all I will tell you:

1. Even though it is labeled as a ‘Young Adult’ book, this book is for everyone, and anyone who loves to read, and not just read for the sake of reading, but read for the sake of falling in love with a story, its characters, and the slow, delectable devouring of exceptional literature.

2. It is set in Germany during WW2. Contrary to the title, it is about more than just a girl who steals books.

3. It is narrated by Death.

 I loved it. I loved so much about this book I can’t even begin to explain why I loved this one so much. I will admit, is it perfect? No. Are there some occasions where the author uses one too many artistically offbeat metaphors? Yes. Are there times when you have to go back and reread what was just said to make sure you grasped it completely? Yes. But perfect is impossible, and we all know that. At the end of the day, I haven’t been moved by both a storyline, AND the writing of a novel in a long, long time. She may be labeled as only a book thief, but this little girl and her love of words stole my heart. Yes, cheesy, but it’s the truth.

Both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, The Book Thief is definitely one to check out.

 See you soon,

OMPP

Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

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“Gymboree once sold onesies proclaiming ‘smart like daddy’ for boys and ‘pretty like mommy’ for girls. The same year, JCPenney marketed a T-shirt to teenage girls that bragged, ‘I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.’ These things did not happen in 1951. They happened in 2011.”

“Research over the last four years has consistently found that in comparison to children with less involved fathers, children with involved and loving fathers have higher levels of psychological well-being and better cognitive abilities. When fathers provide even just routine childcare, children have higher levels of educational and economic achievement, and lower delinquency rates. Their children even tend to be more empathetic and socially competent.”

“Aiming for perfection causes frustration at best and paralysis at worst.”

After many months of some of the strongest women in my life (my mother, my partner’s mother, my partner’s sister, and my boss, just to name a few) telling me to read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, I finally made a point of sitting down and finishing it. I’m very glad I did.

It’s not that the book is difficult to get through, on the contrary it’s actually a very quick and interesting read. Even though I started it weeks ago I think the reason it took me so long to finish it was because of the dedication on the first page. I had heard this book was somewhat of a feminist manifesto, so I found it interesting that its author thanks a man, her husband, for making “everything” possible, before the book has even begun. I remember thinking to myself, well if this book is all about how I don’t need a man, why is she owing her success in its entirety to one right now?

I’m glad I finished the book however, because Mrs. Sandberg (the very successful COO of Facebook) answered that very question wholeheartedly. This book is not about how women don’t need men; this book is so much more than a (self-described) feminist manifesto. She even addresses that word that many women shy away from: feminist. Over the years it feels like the word “feminism” has picked up a negative connotation. News flash people – being a feminist doesn’t mean you’re some bra-burning socialist lesbian with a deep-rooted hatred for men. Being a feminist simply means that you support equal rights, opportunity, and respect for both women and men in the workplace, and at home. Mrs. Sandberg has a husband who happily and willingly shares both household and breadwinning duties, thus helping her make “everything possible”. I get it now.

The book is written in a very approachable, and conversational tone, with many examples that will have, I believe, both men and women nodding in understanding and agreement. This book is just as important for men to read as for women, especially men who have girlfriends, wives, sisters, daughters, nieces, and female coworkers. It discusses being comfortable sitting at the table, sharing household responsibilities, and it brings to light the competition between women in the work place, and how we need to build each other up and not tear each other down. Since I really want all of you to read this one I don’t want to say much more other than it is eye opening, honest, and refreshing.

Thank you Mrs. Sandberg for saying a lot of what needed to be said, and bringing this discussion to the forefront.

DEFINITELY check this one out folks.

xo

OMPP

Lawrence Zarian’s 10 Commandments For A Perfect Wardrobe – Lawrence Zarian

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“Style may sound superficial, but you really can’t escape the fact that your style is a visible expression of who you are and what you’re feeling about yourself. Your style tells your story to the world. What story are you telling about yourself? Think about that!”

“In fact, you should avoid dry-cleaning cashmere – the chemicals can make it brittle…. The best cashmere is made from extra-long fibers. Cheap cashmere is made from short fibers that will pill.”

“We, as a society, have managed to get out of balance. When we aren’t working, we’re obsessively watching others live their lives through social media. This leaves very little time for real connection or the ‘right now’! Every spiritual text has been saying this since the beginning of time. What you seek is in you. Well, that’s fine to understand as a concept, but it is much more powerful to actually experience it every day.”

“My dad would always say, ‘If you walk down the street and fall in a hole, and then you walk down the street and fall in the same hole – what do you do the third time? You choose a different street.’ There’s something about the surprise of doing something different, taking a chance, pushing yourself. The next time you don’t feel like facing the world for whatever reason, choose the contrary action, pick a different road, and see what happens.”

I had seen Lawrence Zarian on TV several times on everything from “Entertainment Tonight”, to “Rachel Ray”, and of course, doing live coverage during my favorite event of the season – the Oscars! So I was really excited when Bird Street Books sent me an advanced copy of his new book, (out February 25th people!) Lawrence Zarian’s 10 Commandments For A Perfect Wardrobe. 

Normally I’m a bit hesitant to read ‘style’ books, as I have found them to be very superficial, and focussed on a very rigid, and suffocating set of rules i.e., ‘don’t wear white after labour day’! (What does that even mean!?) Fortunately, this book was NOTHING like that, and as you can see from my featured quotes, discusses the spiritual and emotional side of looking and feeling great, just as much as it does the physical. Mr. Zarian (aka LZ) obviously really cares about how a woman (and a man – there’s a wonderful section for men as well!) looks, and more importantly how she feels in what she’s wearing, which I really respect and appreciate. This is definitely the best book I’ve ever read on style, because it’s not about fitting into a cookie cutter mold, it’s about really honing in on your personal style, and honoring both that, and who you are as a person. Not to mention it is full of really awesome tips on how to get the most out of your clothes, and other goodies like what cashmere is best (see above).

His fashion ‘commandments’ never feel stuffy, or restrictive, and in fact really foster a creative and flexible environment to have fun with styling your outfits. The tone in which it is written is direct, conversational, funny and genuine, as if LZ is talking to you and just you. Despite coming from one of the top styling gurus, it never feels rude, condescending or pushy, and one of the best things about this book? LZ gives you tons of advice on where to purchase many of the items he discusses, from (and here’s the key word) AFFORDABLE stores and websites.

This book is about so much more than a perfect wardrobe; it’s about self worth, and living your life to the fullest, and looking fantastic while you do so. Loved it LZ!

Until next time,

OMPP

I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag – Jennifer Gilbert

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“I’ve been to crazy parties where kids decimated the liquor cabinets and desecrated the bedrooms.”

“I saw the shadow side of having fixed expectations. They are an awfully hard thing to live up to. If you spend your time measuring your reality against your fantasy, you’re inevitably going to lose the joy of just being in the moment.”

“The club filled up, and Prince came on around three in the morning, in a space no bigger than my living room. I still remember the exhilarating feeling of walking out onto the streets of Paris at 7 AM, sweaty from dancing all night, the sound of street sweepers and the smell of croissants just coming out of boulangerie ovens. It was magical.”

“Outsource everything but your soul. Identify the ‘soul’ of your business (which most of the time is the thing that makes you supremely happy) and hire everyone else to do the rest.”

“You can’t control what may happen to you in this life, but you can control who you want to be after it happens. It’s a very simple yet powerful statement. Instead of fearing what will happen for my children in the future, I can just love them for who they are now. Instead of fighting my body, I can give thanks for it. Instead of questioning my husband’s love, I can accept it with open arms. And instead of worrying about life and what it has in store for me, I can throw my hands up in the air and enjoy the ride.”

I really, really enjoyed I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert. I have actually been pursuing a career in the event planning industry for a little while now, trying to learn the ropes and what not by taking courses and reading books, so a memoir from one of the top event planners EVER seemed like a no brainer for my next read of the year. I didn’t even bother reading the jacket, as the title alone had me hooked. (I wasn’t feeling well this week and had the book with me while waiting at the clinic – even the doctor commented that it was an awesome title!)

What I thought was going to be a fun little light read about the dreams and nightmares of event planning became much more serious when the author shared a very intimate secret; at twenty-two Jennifer Gilbert was the victim of a random and brutal attack that left her alone and nearly dead from over thirty stab wounds (with a screw driver!?). Suddenly, the book’s tag line, ‘A Memoir of a Life Through Events – the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don’t’ took on a whole new meaning.

After the attack, Mrs. Gilbert chose to move past what had happened by becoming an event planner. She believed she would never feel joy of her own anymore, so decided to celebrate as many events for other people that she possibly could. This memoir is the story of how she rebuilt her life after being attacked, and it was an extraordinary read. The whole thing is written with such a genuine honesty that you really root for her success, and rather than coming across as preachy, her quotes/messages/mantra’s feel as though they’re coming from your best friend. Additionally, for someone trying to break into the event planning industry she has some extraordinary entrepreneurial advice.

I don’t want to say much more as I really want you guys to check this one out sometime. Bravo Mrs. Gilbert. Bravo.

Until next time,

OMPP

The Further Adventures of an Idiot Abroad – Karl Pilkington

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“I’ve realized that coming back home is the best thing about going away in the first place.”

“If I was in charge of the dictionary I would have a right clear out of words. Words like ‘necrophilia’ I’d get rid of. If someone has that (attraction to dead bodies), I’d make them say, ‘I fancy dead bodies.’ Then, at least when they tell people, then they realize how mental it sounds rather than it being hidden in a posh word. And then they’ll stop having the problem. The fact that it has its own word makes it acceptable.”

“At home having friends isn’t the same as here. People are obsessed with how many friends they have on Facebook or followers on Twitter, but none of them are there to actually help.”

“I’m a good driver and can reverse park quite easily, but once I know there’s a car waiting for me to park before he can pass I can’t do it. Having an audience changes things.”

“I was given a cup of tea, but you’d never have guessed it was tea. They’d overdone it with milk, I can’t stand milky tea. Just writing ‘milky tea’ makes me gag, plus I always worry about drinking milk products abroad after having a tiny bit in India that almost made me shit out a lung.”

“I like Thai food, or, as I call it, ‘posh Chinese’.”

“I tell ya, if they ever install water meters in people’s homes here in Thailand, Songkran will be over.”

“Bonsai trees are tiny trees that are really difficult to grow. You need to care for and nurture them daily. I suppose it’s like the Tamagotchi for the older generation.”

I picked up The Further Adventures of an Idiot Abroad  by Karl Pilkington at the library the other day, without ever having heard of the first one, An Idiot Abroad or the TV series by the same name produced by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. To be honest, I’ve just been really busy this week with work and was looking for something that was funny, and would sort of allow me to vicariously live my travel bug through it. I am REALLY craving a trip at this point, even more so after reading this book.

It starts off with Ricky and Stephen sitting down with Karl (whom they describe as the modern-day real-life Homer Simpson) and letting him choose a bunch of things to do from a mass bucket list that they have compiled from several other bucket lists. While Karl may choose relaxing things like, spend a night on a desert island alone, and drive along Route 66, Stephen and Ricky have some other surprises planned for him along the way. Whether its bungee jumping in New Zealand, land diving in Vanuata, or sumo wrestling in Japan, Ricky and Stephen make sure to put Karl is in as many ridiculous scenarios as possible, just to see him squirm.

I really loved this book. I find Karl’s perspective on the world to be hilarious, and at times even insightful, as can be proven by the quotes I’ve chosen to share with you this week. The book is peppered with conversations Karl has with Ricky, Stephen, the shows director (don’t forget they’re filming all of this for you to watch on ‘the telly’) and even Warwick Davis, which are all really quite funny. Who doesn’t love a good argument between Warwick Davis and ANYONE on whether or not going to see a dwarf village in China is a good idea. The best part was that after I finished the book, I was able to watch all the real footage, as the show, An Idiot Abroad, is available on Netflix.

If you’re looking for something funny, travel related, or just plain entertaining, then make sure to check this one out – if only for the amazing use of British vernacular.

Ta for now! 😉

Xo

OMPP