A New Book Year!

Today marks the start of a new Cannonball Read year.  Last year I completed 23 books.  This year looks much more promising since I only have to read to 52 total.

I really don’t like to read. This is the equivalent of eating mushrooms (yuck) or listening to rap music. I just don’t do it. But I have hope. I will be rereading some of the good books I read last year because they were that good and I get more out of them at each reading.

The blogs are to follow!

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Twilight and Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

I didn’t bother with the middle two books of the series because I’m like that. Normally I go right to the end of a book, read the last few pages, and see if I still want to read the whole thing.  Twilight was surprisingly enjoyable.  Breaking Dawn not so much.

I never ever planned on reading any of Stephanie Meyer’s books, for the same reason I never plan on watching any Monty Python.  Self respect.  I liked the movie Twilight well enough, and the book was on the kindle, so I thought “what the heck.”  It was my inner team girl’s dream come true.  The bad boy liking the unique, special girl I identified with, even though their love is wrong.  Steamy kisses, a lot of staring into each others’ eyes, and the promises of love forever.

It had part mystery, part love story, part action.  I liked the back story explaining away most of the popular vampire myths.  It never made sense why vampires would need to sleep (or in coffins for that matter).  Sleeping is when the body heals, vampires are dead, so why sleep?  Why should they be harmed by crosses, holy water, or the sunlight?  Other than someone said they should in another book.  I did like the streamlined version of a vampire Stephanie Meyer offered.  More animal like, more instinct and hunter driven.  It made Edward and the gang more likable and the story more believable.

The only problem with Twilight, and this is a big problem, is that Stephanie Meyer can’t get beyond the use of simple adjectives like perfect, beautiful, and angelic, and she has an insane amount of adverbs in there.  “Edward was so inhumanly, unbelievably, undubitably, bippitly, boppitly perfect.”  Even my inner 14 year old rolled her eyes.  Stephanie Meyer was an English major too, so I can’t understand the repetition of lame descriptions that goes on.  This is the only book I’ve ever read where I groaned out loud from the ridiculousness.  My boyfriend who read the book as well said it felt like Stephanie Meyer herself has an unhealthy obsession with Edward.  Agreed.  It does get weird.

I didn’t bother with books two or three because, well, I don’t like to read.  My boyfriend told me nothing happens in book two, they get engaged in book three, so I skipped to book four thinking that was where all the good parts where.  Breaking Dawn may be one of the few books I wish I could somehow unread.  A few days after I saw Harry Potter 6, I had the urge to see it again.  Not because it was good, but because my mind refused to believe that was it.  My mind did the same thing with Breaking Dawn.  For several days after finishing the book, I kept thinking I had to read the rest of it, but that was it.

Stephanie Meyer was so descriptive with the touching and the kissing in the first book that I thought, yeah, finally gonna get some vampire lovin’.  Nope, I didn’t even get that.  Just lame “intertwining of limbs until we became one.”  The first section detailing the marriage and honeymoon was a quick read.  The pregnancy was slightly intriguing.  But when the book switched over to Jacob’s point of view, I could have cared less.  I thought he was supposed to be a great romantic rival to Edward, but it seems he became their house dog.  He literally because their pet.  I skimmed the pages and if it didn’t mentioned Edward, Bella, or the stupidly named Renessme, I just went to the next page.

It was interesting when Bella finally became a vampire, but where Stephanie Meyer could have let Bella really develop into an amazing powerful fighter, she holds back because Bella’s “power” is self restraint.  Ugh.  Those were really the only interesting chapters.

The final section of the “great” end battle was like watching curling or chess.  No matter how you tell it, they are not exciting sports.  They are thinking games.  Not how you end a book series.  I wanted epic, instead there was pink shields, shimmery mist, and a lot of hissing.  One forgettable character died.  There were no stakes, no tension.  Just mind reading, looking fearful without any real reason to be.  Total fizzle.  I am all about romance and happy endings.  I want all of my movies to end with the lovers together and the bad people punished, everyone living happily ever after.  But the syrupy sweet ending of Breaking Dawn felt like I got cheated which made me not care about Edward and Bella’s happy ending.

I’ll still go to watch all four movies because hopefully Hollywood won’t disappoint me and they’ll make Edward and Bella work for their happy ending.  Or at least kill off way more people on the way.

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The Art of Selfishness by David Seabury

I love me some self help books.  Anything to give me the tiniest hint of how to be a happier person, I will eat up.  My boyfriend thinks all self help books are a marketing ploy for lonely, low self-esteemed housewives.  That it’s just the same message over and over, and  when boiled down to its basic message, it’s just “Are you sad? Don’t Be!”

I try to explain to him that lumping all self help books into one generalized category is like saying, “I don’t like science” or “I don’t like colors.”  In science you have chemistry, physics, biology, zoology, anatomy, psychology, and most words that end in -ology; in self help, you have the categories of relationships, how to relate to your children, how to relax, how to meditate, how to fix your marriage, how to get married in the first place, how to go through a divorce, how to be happy in general, how to be more organized, and many more.  I don’t really care about the relationship section but mainly focus on the happy in general section.

I had heard about David Seabury’s book from several different sources before actually deciding to read it myself.  I went to the book store, but it’s not in print anymore.  I went to four libraries that didn’t have it either.  Eventually the interlibrary loan got me a copy.  A very old copy.  Most people think new agey, law of attraction, manifestering, and happiness books are all from 1980 forward, but apparently like Ronda Burns found out when writing the Secret, the secret is actually a really old concept.

David Seabury originally wrote the Art of Selfishness in 1933.  The copy I got was another edition his wife put out in the 1960’s, in which she attempted to update some of the concepts.  I was fascinated to no end at the differences in language and tried to figure out what this book was saying, but in the end I didn’t really get anything useful out of it except a few chuckles.

Seabury’s main concept is that most people in 1930’s society hide behind a mask of religious and social constructs that prevent them from being the best version of themselves.  An example is the wife who has to always have dinner ready when her husband gets home and make the kids behave instead of taking care of herself first.  (Authors have been booed on Oprah for saying the same thing today.)  Or the husband who goes to work all day and comes home to be nagged by his wife and relatives.  Or doing something you don’t feel right doing because “they’re family.”  Seabury’s advice focuses around trying to get the reader to see that being selfish at the right time, no matter how uncomfortable to those around you, benefits everyone.

He uses many anecdotes that demonstrate how being selfish helped people (he was a psychologist).  One such example was a husband who kept his family living in the stone ages.  He expected his wife to do everything while he went to work, he yelled and chased boys away from the house that his daughters would bring home, and he wouldn’t let his sons get driver’s licenses.  And when he got home, he yelled because the temperature of his food wasn’t right or someone left a light on in the other room.  The wife went to Seabury for advice and he told her to treat the husband like it was the stone ages, and everyone in the house had to play along, no exceptions.  While the husband was away at work, the wife and kids turned off the electricity, gas, and heat, threw away all the food,  and got dressed like peasants.  When the dad got home, they let him have it.  He was basically stunned into submission and gave the family no further problems.

Another story was of a husband who wanted to move to the west coast and follow his dreams.  But his wife was bedridden to the point his mother-in-law had to move in with them to take care of her.  There was nothing physically wrong with her; her sickness just started  when her father died.  Anytime the husband mentioned moving west, she would go into fits of hysteria and he would feel so guilty.  Seabury told the husband to take acting lessons, especially learning how to be hysterical, and then go see his doctor and come up with an incurable illness of his own.  The doctor was in on Seabury’s plan with the husband.  Slowly the husband started to act sicker and sicker, eventually going to the doctor and telling his wife it was quite serious.  She started in with the hysterics, but the husband matched her.  The husband then told his wife that the doctor said the only cure was a warmer, dryer climate out west.  What could the wife do but go along.  They moved out west, without the mother-in-law, and the wife became a whole new person, wanting to travel all over the world.

Most of Seabury’s anecdotes left me stunned at his advice and the lengths his patients went to attain what was “best” for everyone.  Most of the means seemed shady, sneaky, and underhanded.  But every case seemed to have justified ends.

There were many bullet point lists that sprung up on the pages and didn’t necessarily have headings as to what the lists’ topics were.  One of the funniest lists involved how to put others at ease, with one of the points being to not have impassive faces like Asians since their faces rarely show expressions.  When things weren’t borderline racist, they were classic passive aggressive.  Seabury lightly dances around such modern terms like alcoholism for example.  He doesn’t say “raging alcoholic” or “abusive relationship”, instead he says someone is weary from “the drink” or giving someone “what for”.  So many times I found myself laughing out loud from the terminology.

There are many more current self help books that cover the same topics and are more understandable.  Some of Seabury’s lists on the right kinds of being selfish and the wrong kinds were interesting, but for the effort needed to get a copy of this book, you can get the same info elsewhere.

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Band Geek: A Memoir by Dustin Rowles

This was on my Kindle. It’s a weird little device in that it doesn’t use page numbers. It uses units-of-information-per-page-of-the-real-book number because you can increase or decrease the font of the Kindle. So you don’t have a sense of how long something is because you only get to see one screen of words at a time, or units 353-359 of 4069. Since I don’t like to read in the first place, the Kindle tries to trick me by not telling me how long something really is. But my number one dislike of this reading method is it thwarts my habit of turning to the end of the book, reading backwards for a few pages to see if something ends well. 

Lucky for this book, I couldn’t read the end first, or I would not have read it at all based on the ending.  It begins slowly by describing the cast of cliche group hierarchy in the author’s high school.  None is really unique or different from the typical high school experience, but once the author gets into the finer art of storytelling and the interactions between the people in the groups, then the memoir picks up interest quickly. A strange quirk I noticed while reading this is that no one, including the author, is painted in a totally favorable light. Every girl the author tries to make a move on has some kind of physical flaw – a large butt, thick glasses, or small breasts. It really builds a good case for getting the hell out of the town he grew up in, except it reminded me of the saying, “Wherever you go, you still take you along.” 

Since the author’s experiences were so wildly different from mine in high school and from where I grew up, the book had me glued to the tales of conquest and humiliation. The story takes place in Arkansas, and personally Arkansas is on my list of states to never visit. Dustin is poor and lives on the poor side of town with his still-in-the-closet father, who works to jobs, and his drug addicted younger brother. His mother isn’t in the picture due to an earlier divorce.

Dustin wants to fit in with the popular band geeks (that’s an oxy-oxymoron) and uses ingenious pranks ideas to impress the high ranking band members. It’s Dustin’s wit and charm that win them over, but Dustin doesn’t want to leave any room for the band geeks to reject him, so he pretends to live at his grandparents nicer house . Almost all of his actions are based on wanting to experience a life beyond his poverty.

After infiltrating the band, Dustin goes through the usual teen rituals of first kisses, first boob touching, and first run in with the law. But what makes his story so good is that most of Dustin’s life experiences are tinted with humorous absurdity. His first kiss isn’t just awkward like everyone else, he chips his dates tooth and swallows the chip. His first second base attempt is cut short by almost gagging on nipple pubes. It’s some truly laugh out loud moments. 

The deeper Dustin attaches to his band friends and girlfriend the more he risks them finding out where he really lives and that he’s just a poor kid. In a touching surprise Birthday party scene, Dustin’s father invited his friends over for pizza and soda and his friends seem not to mind too much that Dustin lied to them. While reading, I agreed with the friends thinking in that I didn’t understand why Dustin made it into such a big issue. But then again I didn’t grow up poor or feel the need to hide anything from my imaginary friends in high school. 

Right before the ending, the story was on a nice arc to show that Dustin’s attempts to fit in didn’t need to be so grand and that there was hope in the form of college to get out of his poverty. What humor and unique perspective the beginning and middle of the book had was not repeated in the end. Dustin jumps forward a few years and he’s been in college before coming home for his father’s funeral. The author should have used his humor, wit, and charm to explore the feelings of moving past the life he became a slave to in the earlier sections. Instead he rants for electronic page after page about begin angry his dad died. He even uses the line, “I was pissed off my father died.” Up until that part of the book the father is portrayed as extremely likable and the one person who was always there for Dustin. So the outburst of sudden immature anger was extremely off putting. I began skipping over paragraphs, just skimming the dialog. 

The author could have viewed his father’s death as the finally piece in releasing the poverty that affected almost every part of him. The beginning and middle of the book seemed to be written by someone whose life was very interesting and humorous. I enjoyed reading along as they traveled through life’s tense moments but always seemed hopeful for a brighter future. But I could not relate at all to the end which seemed to be written by someone completely different who didn’t learn anything other than how unfair life was.

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The Law of Attraction by Esther & Jerry Hicks

I read this book by listening to the book on CD while I read along. I love the sensation of someone reading to me as I follow along, so this was a good read/listen.

As I was listening to most of this, I kept thinking to myself, “This sounds really familiar. I’ve heard this before.” At the beginning of the book, the author mentions how this book is based on a series of recordings from the beginning of their career. I’ve been a big fan of their work since I first learned about them in 2003ish. I was sure I’d heard bits and pieces of the recordings before, but I didn’t recognize this book as the compilation of those recordings until I would hear a story I’d heard maybe four or five years ago. 

None of the information was new to me, but since I had never read/listen to it all in one sitting, I never fully grasped what it was saying. It suddenly made much more sense than before when reading while listening to it all at once. This does not mean that I have mastered any of what was presented, because it is a subject that is best studied continually to maintain the understanding of it. It’s not like math where once you learn how to add numbers, you’ll always be able to add. With this type of information presented in the book, you can read it over and over and you will get a deeper and deeper understanding each time you read it. But if you read a book like this just once and never revisit the topic, you may gain insight for a few days, but then regular life will set back in. 

I love this book and will continue to read it over and over while gaining new info each time. Here are some nuggets of wisdom that stuck out to me on this read through, heavy, heavy plagiarism:

– Try to Meditate everyday. For 15 minutes each day, sit in a quiet room, wear comfortable clothing, and focus on your breathing. And as your mind wanders, and it will, just release the thought and focus back on your breathing. 

– If you want something in your life to change quicker, you simply need to give it more attention – the LOA (law of attraction) takes care of the rest and brings to you the essence of the subject of your thought.

– It is best when you give thought to what you want, so much thought, and such clear thought, that you summon positive emotions within you. The thought that are thought in combination with the felling of strong emotions are the most powerful. 

-In order to effect true positive change in your experience, you must disregard how things are – as well as how others are seeing you – and give more of your attention to the way you prefer things to be. 

– For 15 to 20 minutes max each day, it is a good idea to go into a “Creative Workshop” ~ creative visualization. It’s important you feel happy first, any uplifted or lighthearted feeling will do. Your work in the workshop is to bring data you’ve collected throughout the day together in a sort of picture of yourself, one that reflects what you want to have, be, do. Then you visualize having the things you want to have. The goal is to get clearer and clearer about what would make you happy in life. Specific enough to cause positive emotion but not too specific that you cause negative emotions within you.   

– Whenever you feel negative emotions, it is helpful to stop and acknowledge what you were thinking about. Negative emotion only exists when you are miscreating. When you recognize that you are feeling negative emotion, no matter how it got there, no matter what the situation is, stop doing whatever it is that you are doing and focus your thoughts on something that feels better. 

– If someone is in your life, you have attracted them. And while it is sometimes difficult to believe, you also attract everything about your experience with them – for nothing can come into your experience without your personal attraction of it. 

– You can be of great assistance to others as you see what they want to be, and as you uplift then to what they want to have through your words and through your attention to that. 

– If you don’t know where to being to figure out what you want in life, tell yourself everyday, several times a day “I want to know what I want.” Begin somewhere, and let the LOA deliver to you examples and choices, and then the more you think about those choices, the more passionate you will be. 

– When you are taking action in your now, and it is not action based in joy, it is a promise that it will not lead to a happy ending. It cannot, because that would defy the LOA. 

– A good exercise is to take three pieces of paper, and at the top of each one write the thing that you want. On the first page, beneath the subject, write: “These are the reasons that I want this …” Write whatever comes to mind, whatever flows forth naturally. Do not try to force it. When nothing else comes to mind, your done with that page. Now, turn the page over and write at the top of the second side: “These are the reasons I believe I will have this …” 

– You allow what you want into your life by expecting it, by believing it, and by letting it be. All that is necessary is that you want something, and continue to expect it until you have it, and it will be yours. 

-Giving your attention to what is important to you, while you will allow others to be that which they want to be, is very important. To give your attention to yourself, while you allow them to give their own attention to themselves, is a very important process in getting the life you want.

– Make a decision that no matter what you are doing in a day, no matter who you are interacting with, no matter where you are, that your dominant intent will be to look for those things that you want to see. If every morning for the next 30 days, you begin your day by saying: “I intend to see; I want to see; I expect to see, no matter who I am working with, no matter who I am talking with, no matter where I am, no matter what I am doing … I intend to see that which I want to see,” you will shift your focus to the positive, and the LOA will replace the things that displease you with things you do want. 

– It is a good practice to do “Segment Intending” as you move throughout your day. It is the process of deliberately identifying what you specifically want for each moment in time. When you consider many subjects at the same time, you generally do not move forward strongly toward any of them, for your focus and your power is diffused, whereas if you are focusing upon what is most important in any point in time, you move forward more powerfully toward that. 

– Examples of segments are when you wake up in the morning, when you get out of bed, when you make breakfast, when you get in your car to go to work, when the phone rings, etc. 

– The value of Segment Intending is that you pause many times during the day to say, this is what I want from this segment of my life. I want it and I expect it. An example is when you are going to sleep at night, lying there with your head on the pillow, you would set forth the intention: It is my intention for my body to completely relax. I intent to wake up rested, refreshed, and eager to begin my day.  Another example is while making breakfast set forth: I will select and prepare nutritious food, eat it in joy, and allowing my wonderful body to digest and process it perfectly. 

– In the physical world, you cannot have a physical experience until you have created it first in thought. And so, the Creative Workshop is the place where you give you deliberate thought to, and where you begin the attraction of, the thing or things that you want. 

– The majority of your negative emotion could be eliminated if, in those times what you are alone, you would focus upon what you now want to think about. When you feel negativity coming on, treat it with segment intending and say: This will be brief, and I will not lose my train of thought. I will not lose the momentum that I have set forth. I will deal with this quickly and efficiently, and I will get on with what I was doing. 

– If you want prosperity and you believe that you deserve it, and you expect it to come to you just because you want it to, there is no contradiction in your thinking – and the prosperity will flow. …Pay attention to how you are feeling as you are offering your thoughts so you can sort out the contradictory thoughts, and as you eliminate the contradictions regarding anything that you desire, it must come to you. 

– People torture themselves unnecessarily, by not taking the time to clean up their thoughts and focus them. Simply give thought to what is preferred, consistently throughout the day, and the LOA will take care of everything else. 

– You will be rooted like a tree in your life as long as you are seeing only what-is, and you will not grow beyond it. You must be allowed to see what you want to see if you will ever attract what you want to see. Attention to what-is only creates more of what-is.

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Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

I saw the trailer for the movie version of Inkheart that is coming out at the end of January when I was at the movies recently. I had no idea it was based on a book. The trailer looked so interesting that I went out and got the book. Even though it was a good 500+ pages, it is young adult fiction so I breezed through the book rather quickly. 

The premise is so fascinating. When Mo reads from a book, he can bring the characters to life. The catch is that when something from the literary world comes into the real world, something in the real world has to take its place in the book. When Mo’s daughter was three, he was reading to his wife from a rather rough fantasy book called Inkheart. Three grown men from the story appear while Mo’s wife, a futon, and a stuffed animal disappear from the living room. Mo goes into hiding, because the men he read out of the story are the very evil bad guys from the book, and he makes it his life work to try to read his wife back out of the book. The bad guys are after Mo because some of them want back into the book, while others want him to read out treasure from different stories. 

The first 100 pages of the book are pretty slow because none of this is mentioned until after page 100. But once the action finally starts going, it kept my attention and even had me reading past my bedtime one night. It is a very simple premise and I can see how some people reading it, expecting more than a young adult story, will say it’s too simplistic and cliche. (I’ve read some of the movie reviews saying that’s exactly what happens to the movie version.)

There are so many intelligent and beautiful analogies about stories, reading, writing, and the likes throughout Inkheart. I’ve heard the sequels to Inkheart get much deeper into these themes. When Mo and his daughter Meggie track down the author of Inkheart (the book in the story is the same name as the title of the book), it’s so fascinating when the author meets his creation and has to try to help/hurt some of them. 

The only thing to slow the flow of the story down was the same problem “The Lord of the Rings” had. There are too many capture/escape back and forth, and it gets boring reading over and over about hiding and being afraid of being caught….again. The author of the real book could have gotten across the same story without so much running through the hillside evading the same people who caught the main characters the previous two times they escaped. During those parts, I was tempted to just skip ahead to the next chapter but I just skimmed the words until other character appeared or until they were put back into the cell/room/crypt they escaped from. The main reason all these escapes and captures became redundant is that since this is a childrens/young adult book there is no real danger of anyone dying. There is endless “I’m going to cut your throat if you don’t stop talking” and “If you try to escape again, I’ll shoot you with my gun”, but no threats are ever carried out.

It’s a great first novel to set up the characters, setting, and dynamics for the sequels. Hopefully they will jump right into the action and the author will assume her audience can handle a threat being carried out.

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Bobbi Brown Living Beauty by Bobbi Brown

I’ve always been a big fan of makeup and trying to look your best. I’ve just had such a hard time putting forth the effort to care for my skin and to wear makeup everyday. This isn’t the first book by Bobbi Brown I’ve read. I picked up her book “Beauty Evolution” a couple years ago and liked its laid back style. Bobbi Brown is an excellent makeup artist and her books convey a genuine want Bobbi has for each woman to look and feel comfortable in their skin. Her earlier book had the theme of bare minimum makeup application to look your best at any age. I remember there was a picture of an absolutely stunning 60 year old woman who had amazing white/gray hair. She was the editor of some magazine (I think) and wore elegant clothes and red lipstick. She wore her confidence best, and that image has stayed with me as something I would like to achieve if I were to grow old. 

I turned 30 earlier this month and honestly have never paid the slightest attention to aging or skin care. I’ve always been told I look really young for my age. I still get carded occasionally. With a healthy does of arrogant youth, I assumed I would always stay that way with no effort. It wasn’t until I was in my sister’s wedding, where a makeup artist (I use the term loosely because I knew more than she did about makeup application just from selling Mary Kay casually for a couple years) applied the exact same makeup on the bridal party, and while the 20-somethings looked beautiful in spite of the non-complimentary shades, I felt every bit 30 next to them. The makeup used on me was the mineral type makeup, and it settled into every pour, washed me out, and emphasized flaws I didn’t even know I had. It was not a self esteem building exercise. 

I came back home with a new spark of interest in trying to preserve what I’ve got going for me. I picked up this book while just meandering through the library where it caught my eye. Who doesn’t want to be a “living beauty”? This book had a lot more of Bobbi’s personal life in it besides just tips on where to put your blush for that “pop” effect. It was written in 2007, but I’ve found Bobbi’s tips and techniques to be almost timeless. By now she’s even put out one or two more books that I will have to check out. Bobbi begins the book by mentioning she just turned 50, and she’s starting to really notice her body and skin changing. This book was aimed at the older women crowd, but I looked at it as a “if you follow these tips on how to take care of yourself when you’re 30, you won’t have to worry about fixing it when the damage has already been done” type manual. 

Really there is nothing new in the book that I didn’t know already. Wear sunscreen everyday, cleanse and moisturize everyday, everyone should wear lipstick and mascara…everyday. The difference is this time when I read them I was willing to listen and heed the advice. Women who look amazing in their 50’s and beyond didn’t start taking care of their skin in their 50’s. Hopefully they started when they were 30. The book has a chapter on some of the most beautiful well known 50+ women and what their beauty philosophies were. They included Susan Sarandon, Vera Wang, and Vanessa Williams. Most of the women attribute being happy with their bodies and loving themselves as their biggest beauty tip. That kind of wisdom is always up lifting but I prefer more practical advice like Bobbi gives later in the book like how eating mostly fruits, veggies, and exercising everyday will do more to keep you young than most cosmetics. But then again that isn’t anything new. 

There are plenty of tips about how to look your best if you have blue eyes, droopy eyes, brown hair, big hips, and the likes. I followed one of the tips that if you don’t wear any other makeup besides a good creamy blush, you can retain your youthful glow. I put on some creamy blush and a little pink lipstick to go pick up my boyfriend from work, and he complimented on how pretty I looked. What do you know? Most of the good makeup tips that applied to me involved how to give your face definition that it looses with age. I’m vampire pale, with light features, and eyeglasses so I never had definition for age to take away in the first place. If you’re like me, all you need is a nice pink blush, a natural shade of lipstick, and a couple coats of mascara. 

The book goes into much more detail about how to cover sunspots, baggy eyes, and under eye circles. There’s an extensive section on the different kinds of treatments a dermatologist can do when you get older like chemical peels and other treatments, but hopefully I can bypass all of that. When the book talked about menopause and hormone replacement therapy, I glazed over and skimmed. Hopefully I can bypass all that too. 

Most of the information in this book didn’t pertain to me yet. I read it almost like visiting a psychic. These thing could happen to you, if you don’t do little, simple things to help prevent them. I plan on aging gracefully and being that confident woman from the picture. It will be much easier to clean my face and wear sunscreen now, than order the ‘Burt’ or the ‘Loni’ look from a plastic surgeon years from now.

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