Sugarbabe: The Controversial Real Story of a Woman in Search of a Sugar DaddyEver wonder what life is like for the young, beautiful woman on the arm of a distinguished and successful businessman?  Well Holly Hill has put her adventure as such to paper and ended up with Sugarbabe: The Controversial Real Story of a Woman in Search of a Sugar Daddy.  
It all began when Holly started dating John.  He was a rich and powerful man, and although he had a wife, Holly was convinced he would leave her and they would live happily ever after.  John took her shopping for the most expensive clothing and lingerie available, he took her to the fanciest restaurants and he even paid her rent.  Life was great.  Soon after they started dating, Holly quit her job as a practicing psychologist and stayed at home to start writing a novel.  Everything seemed to be heading in the right direction until John's wife found out about the affair and demanded for it to stop. Using extreme measures to stop the affair, Holly was suddenly cut off and heartbroken.  Not only was she sick with the loss of her relationship, but she quickly realized she was flat broke too.
What is a girl to do now?  Normally we'd say she get a job and "get back out there"... but one of Holly's friends had a very different idea.  An idea that started a joke and suddenly became the most brilliant idea Holly has ever heard.  She is good at cooking and cleaning, loves sex and to be spoiled, is a former psychologist so she is an excellent listener and wants it all- without the strings and expectations of a relationship.  Holly doesn't want to fall in love, but she does want to feel secure.  What's the next best thing to dating a rich man who will spend all his money on you?  Finding a rich man to PAY you to be a "girlfriend".  Sounds like an escort right?  Well, it kind of is.
Holly ends up placing an ad online for a "sugar daddy" and surprisingly  gets a LOT of responses.  Some are just horny teenagers looking to meet up, but most are legitimate "business" offers.  Suddenly Holly finds herself putting a price on her "services" and trying to figure out where her boundaries begin and end.  How far is she willing to go to pay the rent and live the 'high life'.  Holly interviews her applicants {it just continues to sound more and more legit} and finds a suitable "daddy".
As Holly begins her career as a Sugarbabe, she learns a lot about herself, men and the ideas of marriage and monogamy.  As a psychologist, she helps her men figure out why they are looking for someone like her and in almost all instances she helps them.  She also realizes that maybe the concept of monogamy isn't attainable.  Isn't in our biology's to act a certain way?  Men sow their seeds and women nest.  Is it fair to expect a man to change his biologically driven behaviors?  Holly realized that love doesn't equal sex- both for her and especially for the men she was courting.  These men weren't looking to fall in love with her- they were just looking for a women who would listen, have fun and have sex with them- seemingly exactly what their wives did before they got "bored".
Holly has very strong opinions throughout the book- but it is ultimately left up to the reader to answer the bigger questions... is monogamy really attainable?... does sex always have to equate with an emotion?... are men really more sexually advanced than women?.... is the institution of marriage a joke?

Personally, I liked the memoir because it was entertaining... and I do agree with some overall statements, especially those pertaining to sex lives of monogamous couples- if the sex disappears and no one talks it out, cheating may be the "answer".  I say this with a heavy emphasis on talking- in all relationships if partners don't communicate, all the "solutions" to the "problems" will be found elsewhere.  This includes sex, food, conversation and company.  Doesn't make it right but does make it much more plausible.  But I strongly disagree with the idea that monogamy and marriage are worn out institutions that should be altered.  I think for some relationships and couples, this is true- but in those relationships both parties discuss their needs and discuss {and agree} on how to reach them.  I think monogamy and the institution of marriage is possible- you just need to find the right person and you better know yourself.  The key to making a relationship work is a combination of three things: love, communication and knowing yourself.  When you know what you want, need, desire, expect and can do for the relationship you can open up and communicate with your partner more freely, ultimately leading to a healthier and happier relationship.  Loved this book, but didn't love all the assumptions.

So weigh in... I'd love to hear other opinions

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head

The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist's Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases
If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you would know that I truly love to read memoirs, especially when they have a pyschological base to them.  The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head by Dr. Gary Small is a memoir beginning with his young days as a resident and progressing through his professional career.
Some of you may know Dr. Small- he is a very well-known psychiatrist who has been featured on many TV shows and in many publications.  This memoir shows the sometimes humorous side of psychiatry.  He writes about some of his craziest, and funniest experiences as he progressed through schooling, internship, residency, and various practices.  He shares some bizarre stories- like quite literally, the naked lady who stood on her head.  Every chapter gets more and more amusing, with titles like 'The Shrinking Penis' and 'Eyes Wide Shut'.  Dr. Small both entertains and educates his readers.  I learned about different techniques as well as new and interesting diagnosis.
If you're interested in psychiatry {or maybe even just a really amusing memoir} I would suggest this book!  Easy to read and understand {Dr. Small makes sure to use language the lay person will understand} The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head is sure to entertain!!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Dystopia Challenge

I got my feet wet with the Young Adult Dystopian Challenge I participated in last year and decided that I loved dystopia more than I originally realized and must participate in another challenge!  I am joining in the Dystopia Challenge hosted by Dutchie of Bookish Ardour.
The challenge runs from 1.1.11 {bit late in locating that challenge!} to 12.31.11 and participants may sign up any time throughout the year, as long as they can finish their level by 12.31.11.
There are 7 levels to choose from (ranging from 5 to 200 books!)... I'm going to join in on the Asocial Level... I will be reading at least 5 dystopia novels.  I will probably read more, but I don't want to over commit!
I have no idea what I plan to read, so I will be perusing Dutchie's list of the best Dystopian novels.  Hope you can join in the fun!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Memorable Memoirs 2011

Not sure what challenges I will be signing up for, I haven't really perused lately!  I do know that I LOVED the Memorable Memoirs Reading Challenge last year, so I am signing up again for this year.

The challenge is hosted by Melissa @ Betty and Boo Chronicles, and is very chill {just my type!}.  The limit is up to you... last year I read 4 and this year I plan to double that and read 8 memoirs.  The challenge runs from 1.1.11 - 12.31.11 and participants can sign up whenever {that means if you haven't signed up yet, go ahead!.. you know you want to!!} and Melissa will have Linkys for participants.  Hope you'll join me in this challenge!

So far I've completed 1 of the 8 memoirs - I'll post a review soon... and I'm working on #2.  I've finished The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head by Dr. Gary Small and have begun Sugarbabe by Holly Hill.  Did I mention I love memoirs??

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Adventures in jewelry

Enchanted Adornments: Creating Mixed-Media Jewelry with Metal, Clay, Wire, Resin & MoreI've always enjoyed making things.. especially jewelry.  Lately I have been interested in salvage jewelry construction.  Joe & I go to flea markets and antique stores as a Sunday ritual {along with good coffee!} and I have been picking up vintage jewelry, adornments and ephemera.  Joe noticed and has been helping me find cool vintage items and surprised me on Christmas with these two beautiful books.  He knew I was collecting all these trinkets but wasn't yet sure how I would make them into wearable pieces of art.  He found these books at Barnes & Noble, and they are so very me.  Funky, eclectic, salvaged and vintage inspired they provide a lot of tips and techniques as well as inspiration.  Enchanted Adornments and Semiprecious Salvage both read like beautifully written novellas.  In Enchanted Adornments, Cynthia Thornton tells the story of an artist who is hired to create individual pieces for the friends of a rich woman.  Each piece of jewelry is accompanied by both the how-to and a magic back story of inspiration.  Filled with stunning ink drawings as well, each page reads like a journal entry- one for each woman who inspires the piece of jewelry.  Semiprecious Salvage also has wonderful text toSemiprecious Salvage: Creating Found-Art Jewelry accompany the tips and techniques.  Stephanie Lee writes about finding and uncovering the pieces that are to be made into beautiful pieces of wearable art.  Lee also has an amazing ability to make difficult jewelry making techniques extremely easy to understand and visualize.  I've also found it difficult to work with many how-to books because they aren't well written and the images don't match the descriptions.  This is not true for either book, as both are well written with easy to follow {and modify} techniques.  Enchanted Adornments does not has as many pictures to accompany the techniques, but is still very easy to follow.

If you're at all interested in found art, jewelry making or utilizing the techniques of jewelry making for other crafts, I would strongly encourage you to look into both of these books.  Semiprecious Salvage has more found art jewelry pieces while Enchanted Adornments has a larger focus on whimsical and handmade pieces.

When I get my camera out from its dusty case and charge it, I will take some pictures of the jewelry I have made thus far.  Drawing on inspiration from both books, vintage finds and paper crafting, my jewelry is quite eccentric- just like me!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


2011 Reads

Books Read in 2011
*All book title links are associated with my Amazon Associate account

45. Sickened: The True Story of a L0st Childhood by Julie Gregory
44. Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
43. Mockingjayby Suzanne Collins
42. Catching Fireby Suzanne Collins
41. The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins
40. Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
39. Ancestor by Scott Sigler
38. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fischer
37. Slut! Growing Up Female With A Bad Reputation by Leora Tanenbaum
36. Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher
35. Some Girls: My Life In A Harem by Jillian Lauren
34. When Rabbit Howls by The Troops For Truddi Chase
33. Walking In Circles Before Lying Down by Merrill Markoe (originally read in 2009, but not reviewed)
32. Make Miracles In 40 Days by Melodie Beatie

31. Codependent No More Workbook by Melodie Beatie
30. Codependent No More by Melodie Beatie
29. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
28. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
27. Flat Stanley In Space by Jeff Brown
26. Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne
25. Pirates! (A Non-Fiction Companion to Pirates Past Noon) by Mary Pope Osborne
24. Secrets To Happiness by Sarah Dunn (originally read in 2009,but not reviewed)
23. Secret Diary of a Call Girl by Anonymous
22. Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh
21. A Twisted Ladder by Rhodi Hawk
19. Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen
18. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
17. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
16. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
15. The Compound by S. A. Bodeen
14. Jay's Journal by Anonymous / edited by Beatrice Sparks {review}
12. The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney {review}
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney {review}
6.  The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan {review}
5. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson {review}
3. Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee {review}
2. Enchanted Adornments by Cynthia Thornton {review}
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow