Category Archives: Entertainment

C. Leigh Purtill Talks Books with Connie Martinson

C Leigh Purtill Connie Martinson Talks Books We’ve reviewed her two books, Love, Meg and All About Vee, and now we have the chance to get to know C. Leigh Purtill a little better. We find out more about the books, the original titles and plots before the editor and publishers got a hold of them and even better, we find out more about Purtill herself in this two-part interview with Connie Martinson on Connie Martinson Talks Books.
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Pamela Anderson Tells Kids About Sex Tape

Pamela Anderson Pamela Anderson’s two kids begged and pleaded with her to see Borat. All of their friends had seen it, were talking about it and they were not letting up; they had the see this movie. It was then that Pamela Anderson realized she would have to tell her 10 and 12 year old children about her infamous sex tape.

She says, “I explained to them… ‘Mom and daddy run about naked all the time and we taped some things… and someone stole the tape.’ They really wanted to see Borat and I finally had a breakdown and let them because all their friends had (seen it) and I said: ‘There are a few things we have to talk about before you see Borat.’ So I did sit down with them and watch Borat. I kind of went ‘La la la’ over the parts I didn’t want them to hear… I tried to muddle through that.”

Hopefully other celebrities realize that sex tapes are not always a good idea to take part in. Limit yourselves, people! While it may seem like fun and games now, because you are a celebrity, it will most likely get leaked and then you’ll have to tell your kids about how “you and [insert person’s name/relationship here] didn’t always make the best decisions.” Learning experiences, right?

Book Review: Love, Meg by C. Leigh Purtill

Love Meg Meg and her sister Lucie have always moved around a lot; sometimes three times in one year, they will pack up their belongings, move into a new apartment where Lucie starts a new, dead end, crappy job and Meg will start a new school. Meg’s life seems as shaken and impermanent as the boxes of belongings that never receive a proper place in their new apartment and the Walmart bought, particle board furniture that isn’t likely to survive many more life-altering moves.

Because of their sporadic lifestyle, Meg has become accustomed to starting new schools and reinventing herself; she has went by a handful of different names as she grew up and has settled in with being the permanent new girl, finding a new friend to socialize with until her time in that neighborhood was through where she would be forced to repeat the same steps again and again.

Meg was told by Lucie throughout her life that their parents had died, which is why Meg had never known any parental figure besides her older sister. But while Lucie was the only parental figure in Meg’s life, she did not play that part in her sister’s life and often barely played the part of her sister. Lucie was often consumed by selfishness; with her string of boyfriends, how she felt, what she was going through and while there were elements that Lucie did try to provide an okay life for Meg, Meg had been disappointed by Lucie and their life far too many times.

While her sister was busy living her life and Meg feeling as if she didn’t truly belong there, or anywhere, Meg confided in the Friends celebrity, Jennifer Aniston, to get her through the rough times in her life. For years, she and Jennifer had exchanged letters about what Meg was going through at the time, how she was feeling and Jen would respond with worldly advice always leading Meg in the right direction. Even when Jen’s letters had stopped, Meg kept writing for years after and always thought of Jen as the supportive friend she had known her to be through her letters.

When Meg finds out that Lucie isn’t the only family that she has and that she had been lied to her entire life by Lucie; the only person she has had to count on and trust, Meg decides that upon hearing about a family she never knew she had, she wants to know more. In hopes to experience what a real family feels like and have a life that Lucie had always failed to give her, Meg travels across the country, from Hollywood, California to Astoria, New York to live with her Uncle Lonnie and Grandmother, Alma.

Meg’s life in Astoria is completely different from the life she lead in Hollywood. For the first time in her life, and after a little adjusting, she felt at home, as if she had a place of permanence. She goes on to become friends with a small clique of three other girls and makes a life for herself in New York while helping her Uncle with her Grandmother, who is suffering from cancer due to being a life-long smoker. The life Meg makes for herself in New York, while it does hold its own set of problems and setbacks, is a great experience for Meg and what she finds out about herself and others in New York gives her the opportunity to find out the truth about the life that Lucie had never spoken of to Meg. For the first time in her life, Meg experiences what it is like to have best friends, to have a first date and to have her first boyfriend, Juny; the older brother of her new best friend–Who is such a sweet and amazing guy that made me immediately think that every woman needs to have Juny in her life.

Throughout her time in New York and learning more about herself and her family, Meg starts to understand Lucie more than she thought possible. Meg truly makes the best out of everything she is given in life and just with the way she starts to think by the end of the book makes you realize how grown up Meg really is, taking on responsibilities and putting her life into perspective. She makes life altering decisions and successfully deals with what life throws at her, coming out of her experiences as a well-balanced, intelligent young adult who has taken control of her own life and realizes where she belongs.

Love, Meg was a fast, exciting and exceptional read. Though I did see the twists and turns Meg’s life makes throughout the novel coming before they happened, that in no way means that Purtill doesn’t know how to put together a truly enjoyable novel. I just happen to be a self-proclaimed bookworm, am a significantly well read person and also have a knack for guessing the end of thriller movies. It is also worthy to keep in mind that Purtill’s novels fall under the category of young adult and most definitely excite and thrill the pants off of her target market, while also succeeding in giving adult women a fast paced and gratifying read.

If you are particularly interested in C. Leigh Purtill’s work, life, or random thoughts, you should definitely check out her blog here. Even her blog posts are especially interesting.

Book Review: Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

I had been interested in reading Good in Bed for a few years now. I used to work at Borders Books & Music and of course, in such a setting, I came upon several hundreds of books that I had made mental notes of to read, forgot about them, life went on and on and on; but Good in Bed has always remained on my mental ‘must read’ book list. With a title like Good in Bed, I hardly cared about what the story was about, the book cover and name alone eluded to chick lit, which is super fabulous to indulge in after long days and just wanting to relax in the bath tub, in bed, on the couch, outside in a lawn chair, I just knew in my bones that the book was for me. Knowing very little about the book at first, I put it on my ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads and through the love of books and book sharing, an acquaintance who knew of me through a website I run mailed me a copy of the book.

Upon completion, and even a little less than halfway through the book I knew my intuition about this book was right; it was a book that I needed to read and it is a book that I will cherish for some time to come.

Good in Bed has been quite heavily compared to Bridget Jones’s Diary, which I am also a fan of and can see where people are coming up with the comparison, however, the main character of Good in Bed, Candace “Cannie” Shapiro, is by far superior in wit alone. Cannie is a hilarious, full of character woman who has used her sense of humor and sarcastic wit to cover up the negativism she has felt about herself for quite some time.

Cannie is a larger woman trying to live her life in a world of Hollywood and size 0’s and 00’s. Being a woman who wears a size larger than a 4 sometimes has a difficult time living their life in a world where if you turn on the television, open a magazine or go see a movie, you are bombarded with images of what everyone else thinks you should look like. Cannie gives us women whose left breast couldn’t fit into a size 0 shirt a voice–A brutally honest, no bullshit, real voice. Her life is pretty much together–She has a successful career as a reporter for a Philadelphia newspaper, an apartment she shares with her beloved dog, Nifkin, whose name gives you the first glimpse of how packed with humor this book is, and loving, supporting family and friends. She had broken up with her boyfriend Bruce a few months prior, saying that she had wanted a break and was happy with the decision she had made. However, Bruce is also a writer who had gotten a good gig writing a feature piece in a nationally published magazine every month entitled Good in Bed and his inaugural piece was about Cannie entitled “Loving a Larger Woman” where he compared her physique to Monica Lewinsky.

Cannie then decides that it’s time for her to make some positive life changes and enrolls in a weight loss study in hopes of losing weight. Also on her list of plans is that the man she broke up with but is now starting to miss and want back, will look at her after she loses her weight and want her back. After trying Weight Watchers and several other diets that didn’t work, the new weight loss study and course that Cannie decides to try involves weight loss drugs which seem promising. At her classes, she meets the doctor who is running the course, Dr. K who later becomes a great friend of hers and possible love interest.

Through the story, Cannie goes through ups and downs when it comes to coming to terms with the Bruce debacle and things only get worse for her when Bruce’s father dies unexpectedly. Through her means of trying to comfort him, but him only pushing her further and further away and the next few months of columns he writes for the magazine praise a new girlfriend Bruce has in tow, Cannie begins taking a closer look at her life and figuring out through the never ceasing anger she has for Bruce and that in reality, she isn’t angry with Bruce, she is still angry at her father from her childhood years who abandoned her and his family which in turn has transformed her siblings and even herself, regarding how she feels about herself and her weight. At an early age, Cannie’s father would introduce people to his daughter and say that while she wasn’t a real beauty, she made up for it in brains and would also tell her that no one would want to see her naked and that she was too fat. Cannie’s father, whom she calls The Original Abandoner becomes the person in her life who she realizes she had given too much power to.

Through the steps Cannie takes to make her life better, she meets a woman who she was scheduled to do an interview with, Maxi Ryder, a Hollywood actress who Cannie later finds out also has problems of her own and just because you may be rich and skinny, it doesn’t mean that you’re happy. Cannie’s life forever changes through the pages of Good in Bed, some good and means for celebration and some bad, but by reading Good in Bed, you realize that you can’t make someone love you, how you look to someone physically holds no barrier to how they may feel about you, weight is not something to be hung up about because there is so much more good in the world that you could be experiencing instead of standing in front of the mirror wishing you could be slimmer, and that while things in your life may seem hopeless, the people who love you the most are going to be there to help you through it.

Cannie does indeed become a slimmer version of herself towards the end of the book, in a time of utter despair, and it is then that it doesn’t really matter because she has bigger problems in her life that need to be tended to. The people who love you do not love you because you may be a size 0 or have long, shimmering blonde hair. The people who love you are there for you when you need it the most, they are the ones who can see you at your worst and love you just as much as they did when seeing you at your best and that is a life lesson that Jennifer Weiner hit spot on.

Good in Bed is an excellent book that makes you laugh and makes you cry. It makes you look at your own life and how you see yourself and realize that just by being yourself, you’re good enough for anyone and the problems in your life that you don’t think you can make it through are the ones that make you who are you and with the love and support of your family and friends, you can get through anything.

Book Review: Please Excuse My Daughter by Julie Klam

Allow me to preface this review by stating the fact that typically, I enjoy memoirs. Memoirs, in my opinion, mark the struggles, triumphs, courage and stamina of a person. They signify a life that has truly been lived and allow a person to share their lives with others who may benefit from reading their story.

Julie Klam was born and raised in a Jewish family where her mother and many other Jewish wives and women in general believed that women did not work. Instead, they married rich men, spent their husband’s money on luxuries that purely benefit the way they look and eat and nothing else and have a few children before they are expected to get a job and contribute to their families. Julie was not only raised in this lifestyle, she inhabited this lifestyle and truly made it her own.

Her mother frequently took her out of school so she could go shopping and wear the best clothes out of all of the girls she went to school with because she was raised thinking that that was the important part of life–The best clothes, the best hair, the best nails and so on. Because of her upbringing, Julie did not receive the education that she deserved as a young child growing up.

As every adult knows, there comes a time when you need to become an adult; to grow up and take responsibility for your life and eventually, for your family. Sadly, Julie Klam never did break away from the way she was raised and instead, formed a lifestyle around fear and laziness.

On the back cover of Julie Klam’s memoir, Please Excuse My Daughter, you will see a laundry list of pseudo-accomplishments. She had attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where it was a requirement of hers to watch a countless number of movies. She was an intern at Late Night with David Letterman, she landed her first “real” job at VH1 on the popular music video show, Pop Up Video, where she met and later married the show’s producer, Paul Leo. It was for Pop Up Video that she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Class Writing; however, as good as “Emmy Nominated Writer” looks by your name, she simply received that nomination in conjunction with the rest of the writing staff of the show. Since then, she was also published in O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Rolling Stone, although you learn in her book that her close friend works for Rolling Stone, so it is obvious to see how she landed that gig.

Julie Klam’s life has been a series of excuses. Excuses as to why she had never had a real job that she could stick with and not because she simply enjoys the life of freelancing, but because she is simply incapable of being an adult. Throughout her memoir, where at 257 pages, was 256 pages too long, Julie whines, complains and feels sorry for herself for not being able to highlight her hair or go to Saks; she is truly her mother’s daughter.

Julie Klam simply wrote an entire memoir based upon what most “mommy bloggers” are writing about now, yet most mommy bloggers are far more entertaining and don’t lose their reader after a few posts. As a matter of a fact, Heather Armstrong of Dooce did write a book and from what I have been hearing, it’s a hell of a lot more interesting to a broader range of people than what the reviews of Please Excuse My Daughter are receiving across the board.

While Please Excuse My Daughter is written very well and some of the times is absolutely hilarious, Julie Klam’s memoir is long, dry and sticks to your throat as you try to swallow it. In my (most humble) opinion, I believe that the next time Julie Klam finds herself in another slump and needs money desperately, instead of writing a memoir (because this one surely is not going to make her the millions she lies awake dreaming of at night) she should opt for children’s books. She has a wonderful sense of humor and a talent for writing humor and should apply her talents to something not so involved; something that will not let her drag out a story and pretend it is epic when it simply falls flat.

Taken from Julie’s own blog, in a post written about Goodreads, a site where people are able to keep track of the books they want to read, have read and write reviews, you can tell what a self-assured woman Klam is when she responds to those who do not enjoy her book and agree with her that she is brilliant by saying, “…I’m thinking of leaving the Author Program, too, because I want to write nasty things to people who give my book low ratings and I don’t want them to know it’s me. (Like “Sorry, I didn’t write the book for half-wits.”) You know?”

Well Julie, who did you write this book for? If it was for yourself, then I suggest you stick to journaling your random thoughts and long monologues about why your life is so hard. If you wrote the book for well-read individuals looking for a book about someone’s life who has accomplished something and who actually has something to say, well I’m here to tell you that you’ve disappointed your ideal audience.

Book Review: All About Vee by C. Leigh Purtill

All About Vee Veronica May is a pretty standard teenager. At eighteen years old, she is bubbly, caring and has a few great friends known as ‘The Vees,’ named simply after the first letter in all of their first names. She is a confident actress, star of her school and city theater in her hometown of Chester, Arizona and she is absolutely gorgeous–All 217 pounds of her.

While Veronica loves her life in Chester, she loves the spotlight even more and craves the success that as a big city actor, she knows she could achieve.

Once her father, a widower librarian, decides to finally marry his girlfriend of ten years and the city theater casting a play in which there are no female lead roles, Veronica feels as if she is being replaced not only in her household, but in her whole city. With her father’s reluctance to talk to Veronica about her deceased mother and provide his child with any closure, she decides to make her dream of being a successful actress a reality after finding some old letters that her mother had written her father in the attic. Veronica learns that her mother was also an aspiring actress who left her life in a little city in pursuit of becoming successful in LA–And that is just where Veronica heads to start her big city life.

Veronica drives to LA and stays with one of her childhood friends and fellow Vee and soon learns that life in LA is nothing like she had imagined and that in order to be a successful actress, you don’t merely have to be good at acting. While learning the ropes of this new city and spending her life savings on head shots and a myriad of acting, yoga and movement classes, Veronica realizes that being confident and talented are the least sought after attributes when it comes to being an actress.

Struggling with sending head shots, waiting for call backs and going on cattle calls and auditions, Veronica starts working as a barista and makes friends with two other fellow actors. She loves her job at the coffee shop and her new friends, but her attraction to the manager is also weighing down hard on her path to stardom.

All About Vee is a must-read book for all young teenage girls, in my opinion, for the simple fact that Purtill illustrates how women who aren’t a size 0 are treated not only in LA and not only because they are striving to become actresses, but all across this country. She gives the weight epidemic that plagues so many young girls a story and luckily, Veronica does not change a thing about her weight throughout the book, which I was impressed with.

Through her time in LA, Veronica learns that those who you think are your friends can change and become people you don’t want to associate yourself with, that people can be brutal and backstabbing and to always remember who the people that love you are because those will be the people who want and help you to succeed in life.

Book Review: A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids by Margot Datz

Margot Datz is a self-taught painter, sculptor, interior designer and prolific writer whose imagery and beautifully crafted metaphors whisk those who read her words away, almost immediately.

As a woman who lives by the sea and spends her life creating genius pieces of art, including a spectacular eighty-five-foot mural and bas-relief installation for the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and illustrations for four children’s books for friend Carly Simon, her talent is apparent and defined in her book, A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids.

Her book, while it may first look like a typical children’s book, is filled with the wisdom a woman learns through years of life experience. She advises that in order to even think about a man in your life, you must first not only accept, but truly love yourself, faults and all. She also goes through the types and behaviors of men and reminds us all that love is a luxury to have in one’s life.

While Datz advises us women on all of life’s little setbacks and luxuries, she also reminds us that it’s important to also focus on the fun stuff, like accessories and sexy lingerie that makes a woman feel her absolute best and it’s always important to be a little naughty.

I really enjoyed reading A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids. It’s a cute and quick read, while also being inspirational and eye-opening for all women who have the pleasure of picking up this book.