"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

Synopsis: Multi award winning Executive Chef reflects on his career and life.

Writing Style: Passionate, genuine.

Pacing: Started out slow, before taking me on an unforgettable passionate culinary journey.

Personal Highlights: For starters I have four pages of notes on what I read. This is rare. On many levels the engagement factor is high following Marcus’s journey through Ethiopia where he was born, where I couldn’t get his natural mother, doing what mothers naturally do, sacrificing herself for her children, off my mind. Adopted (along with his sister) raised in Sweden where “herring was woven into Swiss language” (roots of his introduction to food), his adoptive family also proved to be as much an integral asset to his future. His new mother's mothering spirit and parenting won me over totally, wholly and throughout.

The genuine passion in telling this story affected me deeply. The pacing was done like how a seasoned Executive Chef presents a meal, none too ironic for a chef skilled at MIXIN’ Flava’, staking his worth in creating ‘that’ signature dish, who has led kitchens cooking for the Obamas not once, but at least twice. Guess I must now try that ‘foie gras ganache. I’m saying, this memoir is packed with flavor.

Overall, delivering a memoir that pulls on all the senses, from the choices Chef made selecting friends, his lessons learned acknowledging mistakes, his passion for cooking, which includes a broad professional culinary education, along with sacrifices he’s taken on... like the many people he’s mentored...near and far, none more so than his half sisters, makes Yes, Chef a phenomenal treat to experience! Absolutely redeemable. Highly recommended. Simply a Must!

Tha Doggfather by Snoop Dogg

Synopsis: Celebrity Music Rapper & Professional Entertainer reflects on his career and life.

Writing Style: Rustic, Genuine.

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: The way Snoop laid down this personal truth is not only entertaining, but comprises of so much wisdom that it reads incredibly powerful, and unforgettable. Aside from his unhurried observations and often humorous insight,  favorite spots where I drew inspiration was in the likes of Coach Johnson’s message on ‘having a mission’ (I call it passion). Auntie Mary was another favorite, as was Shanté. But adding much muse to his story was his raw, rustic perspectives and outlook on life, his growth and innate relationship with God, and his love for his wife and children...wanting his children to ‘to feel safe, free and fine about themselves.’ I’m saying, “raise your kids up right, best legacy to bestow the world...” stole my heart. I’ve read very few memoirs as redemptive and redeeming as Tha Doggfather. Highly recommended!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton

Synopsis: Biography of the Princess of Wales early life and marriage to Prince Charles.
Writing Style: British Journalism.
Pacing: Moderately fast.

Personal Highlights: Loved the British journalism...and writing. Definitely enjoyed the beguiling, affecting and chaste tone of a story. Indeed, it came across very Cinderellish. I had to keep reminding myself of Diana’s age, and general innocence when she began courting Prince Charles. Despite her familiarity with royal culture, the responsibility expected of the princess was as remarkable as her undeniable generous spirit. I mean, I loved Diana (from afar) from the start, but as I read, I got to know her. In addition to being awed by a woman who radiated such a light by just looking at her, I was touched by how she ‘hands on’ affected individuals experiencing grave distresses. Mother Teresa’s remark, which paraphrasing, ‘those who give the most relief to others, have experienced the most pain’ touched me too. I, as well, respected Princess Diana's grandmother’s early warning. The grandmother didn’t think marrying into the royal family would suit Diana. There was so much revelation, and inspiration, and admiration to draw from this regal story. Highly recommended.