I recently enjoyed the following five books and simply had to share them with you; –
Carré Otis biography is a very moving account of her life from troubled teen to international model and marriage to movie star Mickey Rourke. In baring her soul, Carré allows us to peer not only at her individual insecurities, but also reflect on the doubts that afflict most young women at some stage. An early diagnosis of dyslexia proved how harrowing and destructive such labels can be for young people.
The fashion world instead of being uber glamorous is depicted as a sometimes cold callous industry attracting predatory men.
At the height of her career, Carré Otis fronted international campaigns for Guess and Calvin Klein. Her exquisite face and body were instantly recognisable from magazine covers and provocative billboard campaigns for the movie Wild Orchid. Envied by millions of young women, Carré recounts how she developed an addiction to heroin and an eating disorder which almost cost her life.
Reading this you cannot fail to have the height of admiration for a woman who has not only battled her demons, but is now devoted to raising awareness in the hope other young women may avoid the pitfalls. Carré’s humanity and wisdom shine like a beacon through the later chapters.
For any young girl hell bent on pursuing a modelling career, this book should be compulsory reading.
Disillusioned with the endless round of parties, work and shopping, Anna Hunt, a celebrity journalist embarks upon a life changing adventure in Peru. Once there she meets an extremely handsome and charismatic shaman called Maximo who sets about coaxing her to become his apprentice.
Anna has the choice to go with her head and return to her glamorous job in London or go with her heart and train to be a medicine woman in the shamanic tradition. While in Peru, she undergoes several journeys into the wilds of the jungle and participates in mind expanding rituals.
As she becomes increasingly attracted to Shamanism and to Maximo, she wonders how this could possibly fit with the life she has left behind. The chemistry between Anna and Maximo is however electric. You know if these two get it together, there will be orgasmic fireworks in the tantric manner. What other way for a red blooded man and woman on a spiritual path?
Having personally undertaken a healing journey to Peru, I couldn’t wait to read Anna’s book and I was not disappointed.
I laughed at her scepticism combined with a genuine respect for the traditions of the Amazon. This book is the real deal; – an accurate account of what it is like to experience the wonders of Peru and shamanism first hand. Read it to understand how living the simple life surrounded by nature can induce happiness impossible to find at the glitziest party imaginable. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone interested in the mysticism of South America.
35 Folks Over Age 35 Who Found Their Passion And Purpose by Debra Eve. Available on www.amazon.com [Kindle Edition]
Debra Eve offers inspiring motivation for those of us who feel we haven’t yet achieved our potential. Detailing the short biographies of 35 people over 35 who found their passion and purpose later in life, the list includes Charles Darwin and Richard Adams author of Watership Down.
Among others, Julia Child savoured her first French meal at age 36, igniting her passion for French cuisine and her resolve to educate America through cookery books and later a t.v. network.
Susan Boyle electrified the world with her singing voice at age 48. English character actress Liz Smith got her first break at 49. She recently co-starred with Johnny Depp.
Bram Stoker wrote Dracula at age 50. There’s a granny who took up hip-hop dancing at age 64, one who became a famous nightclub DJ at 68, and one who her ran her first marathon at age 86. She’s still running.
These are some of the fascinating people you’ll meet in this compilation. In the garden of life, a “late-blooming” flower blossoms right on time. At the end of each chapter, there’s a wise saying in the form of a life lesson learnt from each of the ‘Bloomers’. One of my favourite is from Edgar Rice Burrows, the author of Tarzan.
“You don’t need to be the best to be successful, but a little obsession goes a long way.”
Debra Eve’s book is not only entertaining, it is full of inspiring wisdom and insights into the reasons behind the phenomenon of “Later Bloomers”
Check this out to learn if you too have yet to bloom.
If like me, you adore novels set in exotic locations with lots of foodie references, then you’ll love The Other Woman by Siobhan McKenna. Be prepared however to stock up on chocolate or better still have a glass of wine by your side as you put your feet up to savour saliva inducing culinary descriptions.
The story centres on a Dublin chocolate emporium and its owners Owen and Katherine Kennedy as they prepare to celebrate a centenary of business. The business is thriving but the Kennedys’ marriage is falling apart. Owen Kennedy, intent on introducing wine to his chocolate café menus, travels to Italy to form a business alliance with the Boselli family whose estate is set in the hills of Lake Garda, Italy. Ruby Harte, his diligent right hand woman is only too happy to accompany him and leave her own troubles behind in Dublin. But right away Ruby suspects that the relationship between Owen and Emma Boselli is a little more than professional. Meanwhile Owen’s wife, Katherine, is on a journey of self-discovery in Kenya, where she becomes enthralled by the beauty of Africa and the sensuality of its inhabitants.
Mc Kenna’s style is very engaging, employing descriptive language as the plot develops. The characters are well drawn and easy to identify with, especially the warm hearted and humorous Ruby. It is a compelling tale and one that I would wholeheartedly recommend as a great holiday read.
This is a beautifully written book about friendship reminiscent of the style of another O’Brien – the great Edna O’ Brien.
I loved the innovative start to this book where three 15-year-old schoolgirls offer up their requests to St Valentine in a Dublin church. Straight away the reader is drawn into the world of the main characters and the bond between them. After this we spend most of the story with the three boarders as grown women. There are a few, short-lived reminiscences back to their school days but only to explain to the reader why these women behave as they do.
The reason The Love Book is so appealing is because we are shown what fears, hopes and desires lie behind each character and the actions they take. We learn why Vonnie can’t trust people and why her own birth mother made the choices she did. Diana’s glamorous, flirtatious tendencies have led her life and her marriage down dangerous paths and Abby played it safe by quenching her own light and living in the shadow of her husband.
O’Brien touches on psychological and social issues such as family conflicts, adoption, alcoholism and unfulfilled dreams. It’s the type of book that leaves an impact on you. You get to know and care for the characters, each beautifully drawn and revealed as the plot develops. Unexpected twists in the story will have you hooked to the very end.
Thanks so much for the shout out, Mary! I have to say, though, “Shaman in Stillettos” is one of the best titles I’ve encountered. Love the intro to some great Irish authors.
Hi Mary. I like your choice in books,
especially ‘Later bloomers’ and ‘The Other Woman’
I now have them on my reading list.
I’ve just finished reading Marian Keyes The Mystery of Mercy Close. It was very funny and uplifting yet had a very profound message behind it with out being too preachy: – book that made me laugh and think.
Thanks for that recommendation Brenda. Any book by Marian Keyes is guaranteed good reading.
Hi Mary! If your looking for new authors to read, I can recommend Lisa Kleypas. Her historical romances are fabulous but, in recent years, she has turned to contemporary romances as well.
Here’s a link to my reviews of some of her books that I really love.
Hi Mary! If you’re looking for new authors to try, I can recommend Lisa Kleypas. She is known primarily for her historical romances but recently she has written contemporary romances as well. I’ve included a link to some of my reviews of her books that I love.
Thanks Carol, I’ll give her a try when time permits. Your blog is gorgeous and I’m delighted to connect.
Thank you Mary for your kind compliments about my blog!
PS – Sorry for double post!
No problem Carol. Mary x
Hi I like the sound of The Love Book to read. I must look out for that one as well as Love and the Godess 🙂
That’s great Jen. Ha! You’ve reminded me to add ‘Love & the Goddess’ to this page in case anyone could forget about it. Best wishes, Mary x