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Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’

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After hitch-hiking around Ireland with a fridge, enlisting the help of Norman Wisdom and Tim Rice to have a one hit wonder, playing the Moldovans at tennis and doing something with a piano in the Pyrenees (not sure what exactly as I haven’t read that particular book yet), Tony Hawks takes on his biggest challenge yet – moving with partner Fran from London, his home for 30 years, and buying a cottage in rural Devon. There, they have to get used to a change of scene, change of lifestyle and change of pace.

Tony and Fran embrace their new surroundings and new neighbours, and meet the challenges that are thrown at them with enthusiasm and gusto (if not always unqualified success). When they discover that Fran is pregnant, Tony realises that there is time for just one more challenge – cycling coast-to-coast with a micro pig named Titch.

I have always enjoyed Tony Hawks’ books and this one was no exception. At many times it is laugh-out-loud funny – and I do mean literally – laugh-out-loud. I found myself bursting into giggles on a number of occasions (the scene where Tony attends a Zumba class had me in stitches). He also adds in his own thoughts about the environment and man’s effect on it, and impending fatherhood. The book ends on a sweet note which I am reluctant to spoil for other readers, so I won’t!

Overall, if you have enjoyed Hawks’ other books, I am sure you will enjoy this one too. If you have never read him before, don’t delay any longer! This is extremely enjoyable, funny and heart-warming. Oh – and I adored the micro pig Titch!

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This book is a basically a lifestyle and looks guide, with Audrey Hepburn as inspiration (and really, who better?).  There are also several stories from Audrey’s life (although, as is stated in the introduction, this is not a biography).  Split into sections such as clothes, home, romance, etc., the book tells us what Audrey would do (hmm…) and gives advice on how readers can be more like Audrey.  At this point, it seems fair to point out that I am a big fan of Audrey Hepburn, both as an actress, and a person.

What I liked about it: This book is adorably pretty, if unashamedly girly (but it is aimed squarely at women); it’s about Audrey, who is so adored by many, including myself; there is quite a lot of biographical info in here; some of the tips are do-able.

What I didn’t like about it: You need money (lots) to do some of the things suggested, although by no means all of them; the book encourages people to find their own style while also telling readers how to adopt Audrey’s style (!?); there is quite a lot of ‘filler’ – for example, a list on how to tell the differences between Audrey and that other great actress named Hepburn, Kate.  It’s a fair bet that anyone reading this already knows which one is which, after all; it assumes a lot about what Audrey would have liked or things she would have done, were she still with us.

Overall, it’s a nice book for fans, if for no other reason than it will look lovely on a bookshelf.  However, I think the time spent reading it would be better spent on reading a good biography of Miss Hepburn, or watching some of her films.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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If you have ever felt that celebrities are given far too many privileges, or that they very often tend to expound enthusiastically – and with such conviction of their authority on the subject – on matters of national import, then you would probably enjoy this book.  If you’ve ever wondered at the cruelty of the press in reporting on celebrity lifestyles, this book would probably strike a chord.

Marina Hyde manages to be extremely funny, while making some very serious points.  Certain celebrities come in for more exposure than others – such as Tom Cruise, Sharon Stone, Angelina Jolie and Britney Spears (in Britney’s case, Hyde discusses the relentless and disgraceful hounding of the star when she was in the midst of a breakdown – and recalls instances such as when a paparazzi photographer put a camera up Britney’s skirt and photographed the menstrual blood on her knickers, subsequently printing same as evidence that she wasn’t pregnant).  She is withering towards Jolie, citing the time when Angelina and Brad decided to have their first biological child in Namibia.  What wasn’t widely reported at the time was how journalists wishing to enter the country during the couple’s stay were told that they would need to seek written permission from Angelina and Brad before entering.  How on earth did we get to the stage where two film stars are allowed to dictate who enters a country?  And how was it ever allowed for civilians in that country to have their homes searched for evidence of photographs of the couple?

Why does Elmo from Sesame Street get invited to speak at the UN Congress?  Yes, Elmo is a puppet.  Who got invited to speak at UN Congress!  If this happened in a satirical novel, the reader would probably dismiss it as a stupid storyline, but it actually happened.

Hyde also discusses the dangers of celebrities wading into areas of which they have little knowledge (witness Sharon Stone talking about how she beat cancer through lifestyle alone – a dangerous message to send to other cancer sufferers), and how the rise in celebrity adoptions from developing countries (as in the cases of Angelina Jolie and Madonna) have actually led to more children being left in orphanages in such countries.

My favourite chapter was the one about ‘celebrity’ magazines – I have a personal dislike of such publications as Closer, Reveal, New, etc. as they seem fixated on celebrities’ weight, and love to speculate wildly and without any basis in fact about the lives of people in the public eye.

Despite all this, the book remains full of humour and made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions, and I would absolutely recommend it.

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