Have No Shame by: Melissa Foster

Image                Set in 1967 Arkansas, this novel is a wonderful story about the colors of love.  Alison Tillman is a young, white girl whose daddy is set in his old ways.  Even though the rest of the country is starting to see a significant change in the treatment of African Americans, this little town of Arkansas is stuck in time.  A change occurs in Alison as soon as she finds the body of a black man floating in the river.  It is an image that is burned into her mind and helps her re-examine her views.

Alison’s older sister Maggie has moved to New York and we quickly learn that Maggie does not agree with what is still happening in Forrest Town.  Maggie is the opposite of Alison in that she will stand up to her father no matter the consequences.  Alison is all set to marry the boy that her father has given his blessing to, but she has her doubts.  She meets and befriends Jackson Johns and she questions everything she has ever known.

This is a beautiful story that grips your head and your heart from the moment you read the first page.  It is truthful and wonderfully written.  I recommend putting Have No Shame at the top of your MUST READ list!  It made me think about what is currently going on in the world and how we think.  Are we more like Jimmy Lee or Alison?  I give this book 5 crowns for book club groups and individual readers alike, however; I know that once you read it, you will want to talk about it with everyone!


Let Me Tell You Something: Life as a Real Housewife,Tough-Love Mother,and Street-Smart Businesswoman by: Caroline Manzo

Image   Let me tell you something:  Caroline Manzo is the sweetest, most down to earth reality TV celebrity that I have had the pleasure to meet.  Her children; Albie, Loren and Christopher, are also wonderful and that is a true testament to the type of family that Caroline and Albert Manzo have raised and the values that they stand for.  I love the franchise The Real Housewives of New Jersey and I was thrilled to find out that Caroline had written this book.  I had the opportunity to see the Manzo family (minus Albert) and a B&N event in NYC with my daughter and we were so excited.  The best thing about that event was that both myself and my daughter got the chance to see that the Manzo family are just that: a family.  They have family issues like the rest of us and they interact like the rest of us and the most basic explanation for that is because they are us; they are human, they are a family; the only difference is that they live part of their life in front of cameras for the world to see.

Caroline used this book as a way to host a conversation with us, her fans, the people that look to her for advice or who strive to have the courage and confidence that she does as a woman.  On the show you see both her strength and her determination to stay true to herself.  This books goes into that a little bit.  Her children also have a few blurbs in the book and that was a pleasant surprise.  One of my favorite parts of the book is that Caroline shares stories of her life that she really didn’t have to and she has also kept some things private.  She knows how to balance her publicity and her privacy.  She shares quotes that hold a special meaning to her in hopes that we can also be inspired by them.  She shares a few of her recipes that her family holds dear and that is very much appreciated.  As an Italian woman, I know the importance of a family recipe and sometimes that it can be hard to share them.

This is an inspirational book written by an inspiration woman.  Thank you Caroline Manzo, for sharing this part of your life story with us.  I highly recommend this book to individuals and book club groups alike!  I give this book 5 crowns!          5_crowns