Daily Archives: November 20, 2010

Great Gals: Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick-Ass Life – Review

As women, we live busy lives, chaotic lives, boring lives, quiet lives, you-name-it lives. But very few of us think we live great lives. Why not? Isn’t it the only life we have? Why not make it great? – Introduction to Great Gals –

Summer Pierre has put together a marvelous journal of sorts for all women – it is a challenge to women everywhere to to make their lives great. Pierre is an artist, writer and musician who believes in the power of women. She writes in her introduction:

I have always been inspired by the example of great women. I have pored over their stories and experiences as a way to feel encouraged, to be more daring and inspired, to believe in myself, and also to be a sort of compass, to guide me when I’ve felt directionless or lost.

Filled with wonderful graphic art, inspirational quotes, short bios of fantastic women (like Harper Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, and Phyllis Diller, to name just a few), and fun prompts, Great Gals encourages women to write down their thoughts, dreams, failures, and plans for living an inspired and fulfilled life.

Each profiled woman in the book provides a jumping off point for a new exercise or activity. For example, Margaret Choo’s rough start in her career is used to inspire the reader to examine a “failure” and how it was the gateway to a life never imagined. Likewise, Emily Dickinson’s  solitary and isolated existence is used to inspire the reader to explore their “solo” nature. Within the prompts there is freedom to express yourself in whatever way is most comfortable – scrapbooking, journaling, doodling, list-making…whatever works for you.

I really enjoy journals like this one which provide some structure, but allow for my own creative interpretation…and I intend to use Pierre’s book as a reflective and inspirational tool.

Summer Pierre was recently interviewed at Venus Zine (and chosen as Venus Girl of the month). When asked about her target audience, Pierre first says the book is for ALL women, but then she adds: “[…] but I’d love it if teenage women would find this book. It’s a good and safe place to work out where you are in life and who you want to be, two big questions that start at that age.” I agree – I think this book will not just appeal to older women, but teenagers will love the contemporary artwork and guided prompts to explore their lives.

I want to share one final thing with you…here is the book trailer (with music written and performed by the author), which is what really sold me on wanting a copy of this book.

Highly recommended for women of all ages!

FTC Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publisher for review on my blog.

Readers wishing to purchase this book from an Indie Bookstore may click on the link below to find Indie sellers. I am an Indie Associate and receive a small commission if readers purchase a book through this link on my blog.

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Love In Mid Air – Book Review

There’s nothing worse, he says, than to be halfway up the face of a mountain, past the turnback point, and all of a sudden to realize you can’t count on the other person. I ask him what the turnback point is and he says there’s a place you get to in every climb where it’s as dangerous to retreat as it is to advance. I nod. It seems I should have known this. – from Love in Mid Air, page 5 –

Elyse Bearden has been married for nine years. She has a wonderful seven year old daughter, Tory, and her life is rich with friendship – especially that of Kelly, her best friend from high school – and creativity (she is a potter).  But Elyse is unhappy. After nine years, she believes she has married the wrong man – a good man, but one who doesn’t “see” her, one who minimizes who she is and is content if things are just “nice.” Then one day, flying home from a business trip, she finds herself sitting next to Gerry, a mountain climber who is also married. What unfurls from that fated connection is an affair which not only takes Elyse by surprise, but has consequences for everyone in her life.

Kim Wright’s novel is smart women’s fiction. This is no light weight read and Wright does not swerve away from the difficult questions about fidelity (or lack of it), marriage, parenting, and the inevitable consequences of stepping to the edge of our lives and taking a leap of faith. What Wright does in Love in Mid Air that separates it from other women’s fiction, is delve deeper into the psyche of women and ask the questions many women are afraid to ask themselves: Is it okay to want something more? Are our dreams made of fluff, or should we give them wings to fly? Can a woman truly be whole without the weight of a wedding ring on her finger or a man by her side? Are we brave enough to leave behind what we know in order to discover something bigger?

Wright’s sense of irony shines through her prose and rescues the novel from being too heavy. The friendship between Kelly and Elyse is captured perfectly, underscoring the honesty, humor and love that can develop between women. As Elyse begins to give voice to her unhappiness there is a sense that she must break apart the trappings of her life to uncover the beauty of who she really is…and Wright captures this rebirth though the symbolism of Elyse’s work as a potter.

It turns out there are many ways to break things. You can do it fast, with a single, wrenching snap, or carefully, with a hammer and chisel in hand. You can do it wildly, like a pinata, or methodically, like tapping an egg against the side of the bowl. Or – and this turns out to be the most effective way of all – you can just hold the pot over your head and drop it. Throughout the winter and into the spring I watch as the pieces fly across my concrete floor. – from Love in Mid Air, page 250 –

I read this book almost nonstop. I was hooked from the first page. Wright’s prose is captivating, sexy, funny, heartbreaking, and full of insight and truth. She has a finely tuned sense of character development, making her characters real by showing us their flaws, but also their strengths. This novel works on every level. Love in Mid Air is highly recommended for readers who love smart, humorous women’s fiction, and for readers who like strong women characters.

*FTC Disclosure: This novel was sent to me by the author for review on my blog.

Readers wishing to purchase this book from an Indie Bookstore may click on the link below to find Indie sellers. I am an Indie Associate and receive a small commission if readers purchase a book through this link on my blog.

Shop Indie Bookstores