Genre: Nonfiction

The Magnolia Story [Review]

Posted November 27, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

The Magnolia Story [Review]The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, Mark Dagostino
Published by Thomas Nelson on October 18th 2016
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 208
Goodreads
five-stars
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Are you ready to see your fixer upper?
These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like Who are these people?What s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America s new best friends.
The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.
They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.
In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover: The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby Joanna s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck Joanna s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple Memories and photos from Chip and Jo s wedding The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way
And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? Oh yeah, says Joanna. He was, and still is, my first fixer upper. "

My Thoughts

HGTV is my not-so-guilty pleasure. I watch it constantly. It’s my go-to channel whenever I turn on the TV as background noise. And my favorite of all has to be Fixer Upper. So, naturally, when I found out that Chip and Joanna were releasing a book, I was thrilled. Over the moon when I found out said book was releasing on my birthday. There’s no better birthday present that a book full of Chip Gaines’ jokes.

And this book didn’t disappoint. If anything, I love Chip and Joanna even more now. The Magnolia Story is full of behind the scenes information and tells the story of Chip and Joanna. I loved it. From the very introduction, and the tale of the not-so-fantastic house boat, it was clear that Chip and Joanna are the real deal. I loved getting to hear more of their story and finding out just how deep their love goes. There’s so much I didn’t know before, and now have the story to. Honestly, they set an unrealistic relationship expectation. No wonder I’m single.

If you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna or Fixer Upper, or just HGTV in general, then you definitely need to read this book. They’re so great, and this book only confirmed just how loving and phenomenal they are.

 

five-stars
Emily
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The Family Romanov [Review]

Posted November 26, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

The Family Romanov [Review]The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
Published by Schwartz & Wade on July 8th 2014
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 304
Goodreads
four-stars
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read as well as a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards.

My Thoughts

Full confession: I think I was Anastasia in a previous life. I’ve always been fascinated by her story, and the story of Russia during the Romanov era. Also, I was addicted to the movie (even if my childhood self did think Rasputin was horrifying). That being put out in the open, the second a strolled past this book in my school library, I knew I had to read it.

Of course, it’s only taken me almost a year to actually get through it. But, I’m currently in a nonfiction phase, which seemed like the perfect opportunity to wrap it up. And it was a great story. In fact, the only reason I took away a star was for just how long it took to get through. Everything seems like an important fact to remember, which meant I had to be 100% focused on reading and understanding every line. That takes time to get through.

Despite the length of time it took me to get through this book, I really did enjoy it. Or maybe enjoy is the wrong word. I found it fascinating. Learning the behind-the-scenes information on the Romanov’s was everything my Anastasia obsessed heart desired. But what I loved most was how the book balanced describing the rich, lavish life of the Romanov’s with the poor, dark lives of the working class. Fleming gives the full story, from all sides of the spectrum, illustrating how and why the revolution came to be. And, for what it’s worth, everyone was, at least a little bit, crazy. Finding out just how crazy they were was eye-opening and well worth discovering.

Whether you’re an expert on Russian history, a casual fan of Anastasia, or a total newbie to the Russian world, this book is great. Just be prepared to really dedicate your time to reading it and discovering just how insane and shocking the history of the Romanov’s was.

 

four-stars
Emily
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Review: Spark Joy

Review: Spark Joy

Posted August 27, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

I don’t often read life advice books. For whatever reason, this little book stuck out to me during a visit to my local library. So, I checked it out. Two days later, I was completely redoing all my clothing drawers and closet layout. In that sense, the book did its job. In other senses, it […]

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