April 23, 2018 | Posted by Victoria in Book Reviews, Multi-Reviews | 4 Comments

Genres: Non-fiction
Publication Date: March 6, 2018 by Dutton Books
Format: Hardcover
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3.5 Stars
Source: Borrowed

The first definitive, unauthorized, behind-the-scenes cultural history of the Bachelor franchise, America's favorite guilty pleasure

For fifteen years and thirty-five seasons, the Bachelor franchise has been a mainstay in American TV viewers' lives. Since it premiered in 2002, the show's popularity and relevance has only grown--more than eight million viewers tuned in to see the conclusion of the most recent season of The Bachelor.

The iconic reality television show's reach and influence into the cultural zeitgeist is undeniable. Bestselling writers and famous actors live tweet about it. Die-hard fans--dubbed "Bachelor Nation"--come together every week during each season to participate in fantasy leagues and viewing parties.

Bachelor Nation is the first behind-the-scenes, unauthorized look into the reality television phenomenon. Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman is a proud member of Bachelor Nation and has a long history with the franchise--ABC even banned her from attending show events after her coverage of the program got a little too real for its liking. She has interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show's inner workings: what it's like to be trapped in the mansion "bubble"; dark, juicy tales of producer manipulation; and revelations about the alcohol-fueled debauchery that occurs long before the fantasy suite.

Kaufman also explores what our fascination means, culturally: what the show says about the way we view so-called ideal suitors, our subconscious yearning for fairy-tale romance, and how this enduring television show has shaped society's feelings about love, marriage, and feminism by appealing to a marriage plot that's as old as Jane Austen.

A couple years ago I was a little bit obsessed with the Bachelor franchise. I didn’t think the contestants on the show would actually find love, and if they did I didn’t expect it to last, but it was so interesting to me that people sign themselves up for contests like this. As I watched I felt baffled at some of the things contestants did or said to “win”. As a psychology major, I knew why the men and women on the show thought they were in love so quickly to someone they barely knew, and I enjoyed watching how these relationships would play out.

I know that me and my friends that watched the Bachelor franchise were always a little curious about what went on behind the scenes, and if you are as well, I definitely think this book will help satisfy your curiosity. Kaufman supports everything she claims with research or interviews from producers and contestants on the show. The writing was also easy to follow along with, it’s pretty casual and feels like a conversation you’d have with your friends about the show.

Kaufman talked about reasons why she believes the Bachelor franchise is so successful and why so many people watch it, but she also critiqued the show. Not just critiques about some of the sketchy things producers do, but the heteronormativity of the show and how white the show tends to be.

If you enjoy watching any of the Bachelor shows, I definitely think you’d enjoy this book.

Genres: Non-fiction
Publication Date: February6, 2018 by Dutton Books
Format: eARC
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3 Stars
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

A personal and sociological examination--and ultimately a celebration--of the evolution of female friendship in pop culture and modern society

"Text me when you get home." After joyful nights out together, female friends say this to one another as a way of cementing their love. It's about safety; but more than that, it's about solidarity.

From Broad City to Big Little Lies to what women say about their own best friends, the stories we're telling about female friendship have changed. What used to be written off as infighting between mean girls or disposable relationships that would be tossed as soon as a guy came along are no longer described like that. Now, we're lifting up our female friendships to the same level as our other important relationships, saying they matter just as much as the bonds we have with our romantic partners, children, parents, or siblings.

Journalist Kayleen Schaefer relays her journey of modern female friendship: from being a competitive teenager to trying to be one of the guys in the workplace to ultimately awakening to the power of female friendship and the soulmates, girl squads, and chosen families that come with it.

Schaefer has put together a completely new sociological perspective on the way we see our friends today, one that includes interviews with dozens of other women across the country: historians, creators of the most iconic films and television shows about female friendship (and Galentine's Day!), celebrities, authors, and other experts. The end result is a validation of female friendship that's never existed before.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was immediately drawn to this book because of the title, it’s something my friends and I have said to each other many times. I started the book so excited because there was so much I related to, and I really enjoyed reading a book about female friendships!

I knew the book was nonfiction, but I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect while reading. I was surprised, and really enjoyed reading about the history of friendship from the Middle Ages until now, and how the importance of friendship has changed even just between my generation and the one before me. I was also very glad when the author acknowledged the differences between race and class. When examining friendships historically, middle class/white women didn’t put as much emphasis on friendship as women of color/low SES women did.

Overall I thought this was a fun, informative read, and something I think many women would enjoy!

Genres: Non-fiction
Publication Date: August 27, 2010 Format: Paperback
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3.5 Stars
Source: Purchased

New York Times best-selling author and professor Brené Brown offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that you are enough.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?In The Gifts of Imperfection, Bren頂rown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she's learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living--a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

At an ethics conference I attended a couple months ago I heard multiple people talk about Brenè Brown and quote her. I had no idea who she was, but I wrote her name down to look her up afterwards. I forgot about my little note to myself until I found a book at the library from Brenè Brown, and then I immediately ordered one of her earlier books because each new one tends to build on the others.

I don’t tend to read self-help books, but this one was a little different than most. Brown is a qualitative researcher who conducts interviews with individuals about shame and vulnerability. In this book, instead of telling you what to do, or how to have a happy life, she talks about her research and how to be happy you have to accept that you will feel shame, but instead of pulling away let yourself feel it and move on. I think this book did a good job explaining why we need to let ourselves feel negative emotions and how they help us grow.

Although I did enjoy the book, I did have a few critiques. Some parts of the book are very privileged, and definitely do not apply to everyone. One of the chapters was about “play” and how we need to do things we enjoy because it helps us. I understand that and I agree, but then she goes on to talk about after realizing this she cut her work down to part time, and her husband also only works four days a week because this is so important to them. It’s great that they have the resources to do this, but most people can’t cut down their work hours. There were also a few parts where she talked about how anxiety and calm are contagious, so instead of feeling anxious, make yourself feel calm. I know that some people without anxiety, this might work, but those of us with it can’t “make ourselves feel calm”.

Other than these few issues, I think the guidelines make sense

Have you read any good non-fiction recently?
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  1. Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    Oooh, thanks for the reviews! I keep telling myself I want to get into nonfiction, but I never know where to start. I hate that Brown’s book says that about making ourselves feel calm–that’s one of my biggest pet peeves–but aside from the privileged aspect, it sounds very interesting. I also think the novel about female friendship sounds fascinating. I’m gonna have to look into these books a bit, but thanks for bringing them to my attention!!

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    • I usually go through phases of what I’m reading, and right now I’m devouring nonfiction! If you’re not sure where to start, I think memoirs are pretty easy to get into. Thanks!

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