Kick-Butt Book Reviews

Pithy Book Reviews For Women

A well read woman is a dangerous creature.

Lisa Kleypas

In 2019, I devoured over 300 full-length books that didn’t contain pictures. That’s not an exaggeration. Ask my husband. My children. My dog. My couch. Because of those stats, I can make the following pronouncement with supreme confidence.

Reading is one of my superpowers

Possessing such a voracious appetite for the written word means I’m reading a ton of book reviews, looking for my next fix. Unfortunately, a lot of those reviews suck. They suck because they don’t provide the information I want and need quickly, in an easy-to-read format minus the BS.

You’ll see what I mean when you start reading mine.

I’ll be showcasing a wide variety of impactful fiction and non-fiction. Think illuminating, inspiring, provocative, relatable writing for women and men.

So, without further ado….

(Please note, As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Review #15

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs Mysteries Series Book 1) By Jacqueline Winspear

I adore a clever, engrossing historical mystery series.

This one hits the heart and the head equally hard.

The Maisie Dodd stories feature a strong, intelligent yet vulnerable heroine. Each novel contains a complex, emotional plot set amidst the turbulent times of post WWI England. As WW II looms, Maisie will travel to other destinations.

If you were/are obsessed with Downton Abbey or Alexander McCall Smith’s books, you’ll be equally enthralled by this/these.

I couldn’t wait for the next one, and the next, and the next….

Currently waiting on release of number 16.

Check out my Products I Love page for my latest review on a great environmentally friendly spray mop. Heck yeah, it’s exciting stuff!

Review #14

The Daily Stoic, By Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

I find immeasurable wisdom, comfort, and illumination from a daily mediational read.

This one is exceptional in that it offers classical wisdom from ancient Stoic philosophers that is reassuringly relevant and actionable for today’s living.

What did the Stoics believe? Here’s what the authors say.

The Stoics tell us that by controlling our perceptions we can find mental clarity. In directing our actions properly and justly, we’ll be effective. In utilizing and aligning our will, we will find the wisdom and perspective to deal with anything the world puts before us.

Each entry is one page only and consists of a philosopher’s meditation no longer than a short paragraph followed by a modern commentary provided by the authors.

Short, sweet, and poignant for maximum impact.

Here’s the meditation from today’s (August 26th) entry of The Daily Stoic.

“I was shipwrecked before I even boarded…the journey showed me this–how much of what we have is unnecessary, and how easily we can decide to rid ourselves of these things whenever it’s necessary, never suffering the loss.”

Seneca, moral Letters, 87.1

Many renown leaders, coaches and other successful role models have been inspired by these thought gurus from ancient Greece and Rome.

I know I have been and I’m sure you will be too.

Check out my Products I Love page for my latest review.

Review #13

Middlesex, By Jeffrey Eugenides

“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. 

Best opening for a novel ever.

A rich, complex family drama featuring an incredibly engaging narrative.

A novel absolutely deserving of its Pulitzer Prize.

I read this book in a book club when it first came out in 2002. I re-read it a couple years ago. And, I’ll read it again and again before I leave this earth.

It’s relevant.

It’s startling.

It’s mind blowing and mind opening.

I’m not saying anything else.

Just read it.

Check out my Products I Love page too!

Review #12

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, By Flannie Flagg

Some have said this book is undemanding. I agree in the sense that it is easy to read, since it is well written, with likable, believable characters and has an intriguing plot which holds your interest. However shallow it is not.

The narrative is told from three main viewpoints which gradually reveal the full story. Some elements are withheld until the end, making it more and more of a page-turner as you proceed.

The underlying theme of the story is human relations – the bonds between family members, friends, household members – including the servants, members of a community. It is also about humanity, accepting people as they are – regardless of race, sexual preference etc – and recognizing the intrinsic goodness in people.

Although there is some despair, violence and sadness, it is ultimately an uplifting book.

Amazon ReviewER, Ninaminacat

This review is spot on for one of my all-time favorite books by one of my all-time favorite authors.

Fannie Flagg’s novels are thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and funny.

If you’ve ever felt a soul sister type connection to an author then you can comprehend how I feel about her writing voice and her body of work.

I highly recommend the movie as well. Make sure you have Kleenex handy!

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #11

The Temple of My Familiar, By Alice Walker

Alice Walker is the first African American Woman Author I ever read.

Her stories opened my teenage eyes to racial and gender inequality and oppression, prejudice, poverty, activism, spiritualism, and sisterhood.

This novel is my favorite Alice Walker book for its intertwined storylines and magical realism. It’s a follow up to the Pulitzer Prize winning, The Color Purple.

I’m reading it for the 4th time this week.

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #10

Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus, By John Gray, Ph.D

I firmly believe every young woman and every young man should read this golden guide as soon as they are allowed to date.

And it’s probably a good idea to reread it every couple years after getting hitched to remind yourself of the…

Indisputable fact that women and men feel, think, and act differently.

Why do you think there are a plethora of comedy shows and stand-up routines featuring woman/man relationship misunderstandings, fights, idiosyncrasies, mockeries, etc., etc?

Because audiences can relate.

Last week, I wrote a blog post titled, What Men Think. It features an email list of stereotypical hetero men thoughts. Thoughts that “men wish women knew.”

Knowing the differences is the first step to understanding and respecting them.

And the acquisition of this knowledge can help a woman communicate much more effectively with her man!

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #9

The Samurai’s Garden, By Gail Tskuiyama

Back to fiction this week.

As we are slowly easing out of social distancing and into the season of gardening, this week’s feature is a hauntingly beautiful novel that offers an historic story of love and healing set during the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930’s.

The Samurai’s Garden will linger for a long time in your heart like a meditative piece of art or a cinematic masterpiece. I highly recommend reading this lovely little book while relaxing in your own garden or in another natural outdoor spot.

A profoundly moving story for the soul that you will want to read again and again.

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #8

Simple Abundance, A DayBook of Comfort and Joy, By Sarah Ban Breathnach

A wonderful Mother’s Day Gift!

I bought this book when it first came out over 10 years ago. Every year I start it over. Simple Abundance is written to help women gracefully navigate the challenges life brings. Each entry is a short passage for each day of the year. I like to read it in the morning while drinking coffee, right before my mediational nature walk, and again before bed as a reflective good night verse. It’s a comfort/daily inspirational/gratitude book rolled up in one. 7 million copies sold. Trust me, the mindful woman in your life will love it!

Check out my Products I Love page.

I solemnly proclaim the month of April in the year of 2020 shall be dedicated to reviewing only laughter provoking books. Terri Weeding

Are you feeling Lonely, Sad, Scared, Anxious, Depressed, Frustrated, Angry? 

Me too.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has produced a cesspool of negative emotions and it sucks…like it literally sucks you down into the emotional pits of despair.

It’s imperative we fight this dark force which can be as contagious as the actual virus.

Our weapons?

Love. Kindness. Empathy. Generosity. Hope…and Laughter.

Review #7

Motherhood:The Second Oldest Profession, Erma Bombeck

Here’s an oldie but a goodie just in time for Mother’s Day! Erma Bombeck is probably my biggest humor writer hero. She was a popular columnist for years and published 13 books of essays. I adore her books because:

  • Her humor is refreshingly clean and witty, never rude or mean!
  • Her kindness and empathy for women, mothers, families, and even husbands, always shines through!
  • Her humor is timeless because she writes about human nature!

This book is a great little gift for the mothers in your life. Your Mom will be thrilled because she probably used to read Erma’s columns. And she will be impressed that you chose a funny yet highly empathetic book about motherhood!

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #6

Bossypants, Tina Fey

From one of the premier female comedians of our time, Bossypants is a fabulously funny collection of autobiographic essays. All women can relate to her hilarious childhood, teenage, and young adult stories…the angst, the ecstasy, the confusion.

I’ve given this book as a gift to several girlfriends who have all raved about it!

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #5

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is at the top of my favorite humor books list because it contains:

  • Snarky, Sassy, Sarcastic, Sardonic Wit
  • Over-The Top, No Way Did That Happen, True Scenarios
  • Multiple Moments of Inappropriate Humor 
  • Taxidermy

Read it and snort laugh your way through it like I did. It feels sooooo good!!

Learn more about this prolific humor author and blogger at The Bloggess.

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #4

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz

 I love reading about wisdom from other cultures. Humanity is beautifully diverse and each culture possesses a unique wisdom shaped by geography, climate, migration, history, art, science, and more. It’s also fascinating and reassuring to discover the commonalities so many of our cultures share.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is another mind-set changing book that blew me away. Once I read, absorbed, and began applying its Toltec wisdom, my world transformed dramatically because I stopped believing a lot of BS about life, about myself, and about others. 

The Four Agreements:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word.
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally.
  • Don’t Make Assumptions.
  • Always Do Your Best.

Each agreement is simple, profound and vastly empowering. This book has been translated into 46 languages and has sold over 8 million copies. I highly recommend it as a guide for changing ingrained beliefs that have been dragging you down and limiting your joy, abilities, and relationships.

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #3

The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown

Self-actualization.  Since I first learned about Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I’ve been in pursuit of “My Best Me.” However, unwarranted shame, guilt, and concern over what others thought hindered my progress for years UNTIL I read two mind-blowing books. The first is today’s feature, The Gifts of Imperfection. (The second will be reviewed next week.)

Five Reasons Why I Adore This Book:

  1. It’s a guide book featuring 10 guidepost chapters for easy reference.
  2. It’s not very long but it’s packed with concise, profound wisdom.
  3. The tone is gentle but strong. It is not abrasive nor is it syrupy. It’s real.
  4. The author’s wholehearted approach emphasizes the mind/body/spirit connection.
  5. I’ve applied the guideposts to my own life with excellent results.

I’ve talked to many women who struggle with the same road-blocks…shame, guilt, and worry about what others think. If these issues strike a chord with you, I highly recommend this book, especially if you are actively pursuing a more authentic, self-actualized life. And, if you’re not? This book could be the catalyst you didn’t know you needed.

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #2

Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Mass

I’ve been an enthusiastic fantasy fan for a long time because this genre is exciting and provides the ultimate real world escape. One of my FAVORITE fantasy series for women kicks off with this book. Here’s a rundown of its major attributes.

  • Fearless young heroine with a snarky sense of humor and serious ninja skills? Check.
  • Heroine grappling with past trauma while on a self-discovery journey? Check.
  • Compelling battles between good and evil with mixed outcomes? Check.
  • Multiple hot guy options? Check.
  • Excellent world building, plot development and believable dialogue (vs cheesy, unbelievable)? Check.
  • Six more books in the series for extended reading pleasure? Check.

There’s a reason the movie, Wonder Woman made a boatload of bucks. If you’ve never tried fantasy featuring a female protagonist, this is a great introduction. I’ve read the series three times so obviously I highly recommend it! Come on! Your inner child wants you to because she knows how much fun you’ll have!

Check out my Products I Love page.

Review #1

The One, by John Marrs

Holy Buckets, Batgirl!  A novel about genetic love matches?  It’s not such a far-fetched concept. This super fast, engrossing read features 5 main characters and their matches. Prepare to be vastly surprised by their twisty turny story developments. Prepare to be anxious because each short chapter ends on a cliffhanger. Lots of fodder for lively ethical discussions. I read this for my book club and EVERYONE (20 women) loved the book! When does that ever happen? A resounding TWO THUMBS UP!

My Books

Which I happen to think are pretty kick-butt!

“There’s no such thing as changing a husband. In my experience, a woman either lives with her man and deals with the good, the bad, and the ugly, or she divorces him. If neither option is viable, she must come up with a different plan. ” (Print and eBook)

STOP the holiday madness with this stress relieving, LOL guide for MOMS who kill themselves trying to make the holidays picture perfect for their families. Enjoy these lively and inspiring vignettes sized just right for bathroom breaks, parent pick-up lines, and sport practices. Take control of the holidays this year and put the spirit and joy back where it belongs. (EBook only)