Latest NetGalley Reads

Are you using NetGalley yet? Sign up for an account, search through titles, and request books to read on your favorite e-reader then share your thoughts. Simple! Here are the ones I've read lately.

Ham: Slices of a Life: Essays and Stories by Sam Harris If you are a child of the '80s like me, and spent your nerdy Saturday nights watching Star Search, you might recognize Sam Harris as the grand champion who was famous for his cover of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. He went on to record nine albums, perform in eleven Broadway plays and musicals, write countless songs, and appear in a few movies and television shows. I actually didn't remember him because it was back in 1983 and I was too young, but I still really enjoyed his book! He shares funny and sometimes dark stories from his childhood, his awkward teen years (did anyone else use Sun-In?), his career, his family, parenthood, and alcoholism, but my favorite parts were the celebrity gossip. He's BFFs with Liza Minnelli! Those were some stories! He had nothing but nice things to say about Bette Midler and Oprah, and some not great things to say about Donny Osmond and Aretha Franklin. Good stuff! I thought it was a great, quick read from a funny and candid author. 

Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun by Amanda Kingloff  I read this book of 100 DIY project and crafts to inspire me to get more creative with my kids, since I don't have a crafty bone in my body. I definitely got some good ideas. We plan to make a decorative bird cage, a small trinket shelf for the boys' rooms (out of a tray!), some cute vases for all the weeds flowers they pick for me, and possibly even paper sailboats to float in the creek in our backyard. I have to admit that most of the projects looked a little too involved, which automatically turned me off. My kids just don't have the patience for that yet. And there were a lot more girl crafts than boy ones, which probably isn't abnormal. The pictures and step by step instructions were nice and clear throughout the book and I really loved the list at the beginning that told you what craft supplies you should always have on hand. I plan to stock up!

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover Colleen Hoover can write a YA book, that's for sure. Her stories are over the top cheesy and unrealistically romantic. Maybe it's because I'm old and cynical (I prefer realistic, but whatever), but they make me roll my eyes A LOT. But somehow they also suck me in. I can't put her books down and they make me feel so many emotions! I enjoyed this story and the characters much more than the Slammed series. I actually kinda loved the first half of the book. I cried, I was heartbroken, I got excited, I was filled with hope, and then it went downhill. I'm just not a fan of reading so much angst. The characters were likable at first, but they can't be dramatic and mature at the same time, as the author made them out to be. I don't think Hoover does a great job writing from a male's point of view. Guys don't think, talk, or act like that! And the make out scenes were kind of embarrassing to read. While I'm sure most people are happy with the ending, I was annoyed. However, I couldn't put it down, so she obviously does something right. 

I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50 by Annabelle Gurwitch I think Annabelle is a funny comedian and actress and I've heard great things about her previous books, so I was excited to read her latest memoir. She's a great writer, but I couldn't identify with most of her stories since it's about being a middle aged woman. But now I know what awesome things I have to look forward to now and I'm thankful that she delivered her knowledge with a sense of humor. I'm also paranoid about having teenage sons and saddened by all the unintentional embarrassment I'm going to cause them. I thought the book was funny and touching. Annabelle comes across relatable and fun. Some stories had me laughing out loud, while others dragged on, but overall it was a quick and enjoyable read.

All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release by Philippe Margotin I wouldn't say I'm the biggest Beatles fan in the world, but I definitely love them and all their music. This book was really cool and I'm glad I got a chance to read it, because I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise. The 672 page book goes album by album, track by track, and tells you who wrote each song, when and where it was recorded, and the team behind the production. It's a huge book, but it was a quick read for me. There are a ton of awesome pictures and little tidbits of information that take up a lot of space. I also skipped around the technical parts that detailed the instruments and production, but did read every song's story. I loved learning that most songs didn't take more than ten takes to record and some, like Twist and Shout, Dear Prudence, and Hey Jude, only took one! There were even some songs recorded the same day they were written. It points out errors in lyrics, music and production, which is kind of cool and had me playing the songs as I was reading along. I was fascinated by the group dynamic too. John didn't like many of the songs Paul wrote because they were too happy and positive. Paul was fed up with John's image concerns. George really got the short end of the stick though some of his songs were the best ones. I think this is the perfect book for the Beatles lover in your life, but definitely get the hard copy. It was hard to follow in ebook format, so I had to read it on my computer.

I received these books from NetGalley for review purposes.


Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

I requested a few biographies this morning. Fingers crossed!

Sara B. said...

I love Net Galley! A lot of the books I read come from them.

Karen M. Peterson said...

NetGalley is awesome, but I don't spend enough time reading these books. I need to do better.

Victoria said...

sound like some good reads!!

cute blog!

happy friday!