I Like You Just the Way I Am–Jenny Mollen

Oh hi there! Just wanted to check in. Say hey.

If you’re on instagram you’ve likely seen this smash hit of a human being. 

She’s insane. And loveable. And insane. 

But like, in a fun way that makes you want to sit near her while she tells you stories in all her twirling chaotic glory. 

Jenny just seems like a person who you can be best friends with in a way that requires very little of you because she is THE SHOW.

Which is great for an introvert in a sense, but would also be hell on earth because she would need you to DO THE THINGS. But MAN would you laugh while doing it.

I really enjoyed this book, she’s got a refreshing personality and wit. 

Definitely worth a read, I can’t wait to read her next and newest book. 

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Brave–Rose McGowan

This is one of those books that I shove at everyone I meet telling them they need to read it. 

Rose spoke with so much love and honesty, and I love how she peeled back the face of Hollywood and ripped into people that deserved it and told her own story without embellishment. There was so much content to sift through and feel and the one thing that stuck out to me (and I’m sure a lot of people) was about her trauma with Harvey Weinstein and the aftermath of dealing with that and how she move forward. 

Mostly with help from others and also with now trying to take him down. Which is commendable as fuck.

What I remember from reading this is that people blamed Marilyn Manson for her dark turn, etc etc. And piecing things together with what she’s said about him (that he was kind and helped her through her darkest time) and from reading things on-line about their relationship and painting that picture in my head, their past relationship feels lovely and I’m very glad she had someone there who was kind and helped her.

If you remember, I also read Marilyn Mansons book, which was jarring but interesting. So to read those two books within the same year and have them talk about each other and things that happened, once you know about the trauma then it all is like a very big  “Ohhhhh this all makes sense.” moment.

I just love her. I always have.

She tells it like it is. 

And it’s dark.

I wanted to hug her and cry with her and fight with her. 

I still do. 

She’s a smart and brilliant human who deserves more than she ever got. 

I loved her story-telling, she really brings you into her heart and the moment. 

And it hurts. It all fucking hurts. 

Constant vigilance.

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But Enough About Me–Burt Reynolds

I think I’m psychic sometimes. 

Or I’m an evil witch who accidentally marks a person for death upon reading their autobiography. 

Poor sweet dirty bird Burt Reynolds. 

This book was so fun to read and incredibly interesting! 

I love a good autobiography these days and I really enjoyed how this sounds how he talked. His stories were cool, his life was amazing, and his heart was big as all get out. 

And man did he love Sally Field. 

And hate that photo shoot on the rug. He even wrote in the book how when he dies he hopes that no one remembers him JUST for that. 

Go figure on social media that’s the picture EVERYONE and their mother was putting up to commemorate him.

Rest in peace you hairy bastard. 

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You Deserve a Drink–Mamrie Hart

*Note: This was written early January 2018.*

After a dark and gloomy beginning to the year (reading Slaughterhouse Five) I figured it was time to start a book that was guaranteed lightheartedness. 

Mamrie is a well-known Youtuber who makes drinks on her channel (called You Deserve a Drink) that are fun and themed and sound delicious. 

This book isn’t just about drinks, although each chapter starts with a drink that goes with the theme of the chapter.

She makes me laugh and makes me want to infuse tea with liquor! 

This was a fun a read and I liked her stories. But given that she’s such a big personality in her Youtube channel, I expected more silliness, I liked that it wasn’t but I also wish that it had more big laughs? You know? 

Constant vigilance!

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Tranny–Laura Jane Grace

It is essential that everyone reads this book. 

If you have transgender friends and want to know more about their struggle of identity: read this book.

If you don’t know anyone who is trans but want to know more about that side of the universe: read this book.

If you like autobiographies: Read this book.

If you like music: Read this book.

If you like Against Me! : Read this book.

If you don’t know who the hell Against Me! is then, you got it: Read this book. 

If you are human and want to human better: Read this book. 

I literally just want to Oprah the hell out of people and go around handing this out. 

Because honest to God: This book is so well written, so poignant for our time, and so touching and honest and brutal, and watching the journey Laura Jane Grace has taken is so raw and beautiful and *mindblown emoji*. 

Now, I’ve never fully listened to Against Me! (at the time and I listened throughout the book as the music was suggested or mentioned by the author and now I am a fan), my friend (who has been a fan for awhile) read this book and it spoke so hard to his soul that if he was a violent man he would’ve thrown it at me and told me to read it. 

Instead he forked it over after adamantly stressing how amazing this book is and then whispered “Goooooo reeeeeeead.” in my ear. 

Okay, he didn’t do that last part. Well, not in my ear anyway, I am a violent person and would’ve punched him for being creepy. 

Anyway. 

I cannot imagine the life and struggle and guilt and relief and stress and secrecy and then finally openness it takes to be a transgender person. They go through so fucking much that I,  as a CIS woman, will never have to go through or fully understand or be able to gage on any sort of yard stick. 

But I can take my white privilege and my CIS privilege and quite frankly, my Canadian privilege, and do better about stepping into someone else’s shoes. I can take the time and see what’s up with other genders and beyond.

I can check in on my fellow humans. 

Because that’s all we all are. A bunch of meat sacks running around trying to figure shit out. 

Laura Jane Grace (and I will continue to use her full name here because she fucking EARNED it.) is a beautiful writer, musician, and human. This book is now a part of my heart and I need it to be a part of others hearts too. 

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Constant vigilance!

Body Positive Power–Megan Jayne Crabbe

I took my sweet time reading this book. I’d say about six months just because I wanted those lessons she was teaching in her book to really sink in. 

Now, I can’t remember word for word what she said, but the feeling of this book really resonates with me even still and I find it has changed my line of thinking.

When I start to talk to myself in a way that I wouldn’t have originally thought of as self deprecating or harmful I catch myself now. 

Why am I bullying myself? You can’t hate yourself into a body you love. 

Which was a big point in her book. 

You can’t be cruel and think you’ll end up happy. You can’t bash yourself and think that’s a form of self love because it’ll get you to a place where you love the end result of all your “hard work”.

But I don’t want my hard work to be a result of me bashing myself or constantly pulling at my body angry that it can’t be different just because I’m willing it to be so.

This is MY body. No one else has this body, so it’s important that I treat her with respect. 

And fuck am I ever happier about that. 

When my brain goes “Ugh. New stretch marks. Way to go fat ass.” I stop that in its tracks and think “So what?”. 

“So what?” is my new key phrase to body positivity. 

So what if I’ve gained weight to the point of new stretch marks. I learned to love the last ones, these new ones can be loved just the same. 

So what if I’ve gained weight at all? That just shows I appreciate food and relaxation. I know I’m not actually a lazy person, I do things ALL the time. I work hard, so I deserve the relaxation and comfort that comes from eating and laying down. 

So what if I eat a bag of chips in one sitting? I was fucking hungry to the point of inhaling it. I obviously NEEDED food.

I’m learning to listen to my body more. Not intuitive eat as a way of dieting. I will no longer diet. I’m done with that. (Hell yeah!) I will listen to my body on what foods it agrees with and which foods it craves. (And sometimes that craving is a goddamn apple! Who knew!!!) 

I want to get back to a place where I move my body for the joy of moving my body. Like when you’re a kid and you run because you love that feeling of being free and the wind whipping through your hair. 

And so what if I get winded halfway down the driveway. I can be breathless for the joy of it! 

I don’t want to punish my body into a body worth having. I want to enjoy the body I have because it was worth having all along. 

All the shapes and sizes I have been get a colossal “So what?”. 

So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli isn’t too concerned about what size of pant she is wearing.

So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli doesn’t want to give anymore energy or wasteful thought tangents on where her body SHOULD be. Instead living in the body I have now and being grateful that I am who I am and no one else is like me. 

So what if someone else bashes their body? Not only will I not internalize it to the point of thinking “Does that person think I’m fat and hideous because they think THEY are fat and hideous?” I will stop THEM in their tracks and tell them to stop talking to my friend like that. 

This book is so fucking important for all communities. It’s not only about body positivity and how Megan got to where she is, it’s about facts and figures and LGBTQ etc things, it’s about able bodied people (which is everyone. We all have bodies that are able to do stuff.) and it’s about how we value self worth. 

It’s so important. 

And so what if I don’t look like the girls in the magazines? 

We’ve risen up so much the girls in the magazines have come out to say “Me either.” 

Fuck I love this book. 

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The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo–Amy Schumer

Two for two on surprise book back to back. First Kris Jenner, and now Amy Schumer. 

So I originally intended to read this book and get it off my shelf because I kept seeing the cover and being like ‘UGH. Amy Schumer! Stop fucking staring at me.” 

But what I ended up with was a well written book about her life and I came to actually respect and life her as a person.

Who knew? 

I’ve never really liked her stage show, I don’t know why. I think sometimes I think it’s enough with the vagina jokes. (Guess I have to be in the mood for that.) 

I’m not a prude when it comes to hilarious and gross and out there jokes, sometimes she gets a really good laugh from me.

But I was thinking that I was about to read a book that read like her comedy sketches go: Over the top and trying too hard.

What I got was slap in the face with the reality of who she is. 

Which is that she’s not just her onstage persona. Whaaaat?! That happens?! She can be quiet and reserved? Who knew. (Sarcasm guys. I know that people aren’t always what they seem or portray to people on stage.) 

This book has ended with me feeling for Amy Schumer and hoping that she has a great life and career and can actually DO something about gun control.

She’s great. And I wasn’t expecting to like this book, but she got me.

She really got me. 

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