Tag: becoming

Oprah Takes a Bite Out of Apple, Reveals Bookclub Revamp

On Monday, Oprah took to the stage at the Apple ‘Show Time’ event, at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California campus, to announced that she will be teaming up with Apple to dominate the market.

 

Apple company
IMAGE VIA TECHWEEZ

 

Let’s back up, because that’s the only way to show how cool this all is.

The first half of the convention was mostly clearing away the smoke. It’s been known for a while now that Apple has been planning to enter the streaming wars: the question was: how?

What the event made clear is that Apple is still trying to sell people its vision of the future—a future filled with with what Wired keenly described as “a seemingly effortless lifestyle filled with always-accessible media, exclusive video games, and cash-back incentives from a literal titanium credit card”.

So basically the same future they’ve been selling since 1984 with the surreal commercial. Watch it below:

 

 

Back to 2019.

Let’s look at some of our new toys: A bundle of subscription services, including HBO, Showtime, 300-plus magazines, and two – count them TWO! – Oprah-endorsed documentaries. (We’ll get to those in a bit).

And, according to Imore, it’ll all be available on the Apple TV+. You don’t have to buy a new product to get it, it will be available on Apple TV app. Don’t know where to find the Apple TV app? It’s on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K, and/or Apple TV HD, and it will come to Mac and smart TVs in Fall 2019

Sorry Android users. Apple hates you, because you’re competition. But you can still buy streaming sticks and boxes starting in Spring 2019. Or just buy Apple products. Remember, an Apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Not sold yet? Well guess who came out on stage?

 

Steven Spielberg under the power of Apple

Image Via Granite Greek

His name is Steven Spielberg, and he created your childhood. ET? Jaws? Jurassic Park?

What’s he doing on this stage, you ask?

He’s making a TV show and Granite Geek summed it up  pretty well saying “One of the shows being produced for Apple TV’s new streaming service [is] Steven Spielberg’s resurrection of his ‘Amazing Stories‘ anthology series, which was something of a dud in the 1980s”.

Taking a bad idea with a cool premise and remaking it so it’s, dare I say, cool? Sounds great!

Not sold yet? Maybe you’re a cynical person who doesn’t want a new TV show to catch up on. Even with entertainment giants Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and J.J. Abrams you’re go… ‘Who cares? What’s next?”

She’s next…

 

Oprah, here to save you wearing a white cape in front of black background.
VIA ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

 

Oprah Winfrey, in case you don’t live on this planet, is amazing. Winnipeg Free Press dubbed her the ‘Queen of All Media’, while Forbes named her the wealthiest African American billionaire, and she’s been rocking those titles.

The Oprah Magazine notes that she opened up “by explaining how the company helps people connect—much in the same way she used to during her twenty-five years on The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

This is what she said, as per Vulture:

“There’s nothing more thrilling than being transported by a brilliant book — nothing…The only thing more gratifying than an extraordinary read is being able to share that experience with others, and we’re going to do just that by building the biggest, the most vibrant, and the most stimulating book club on the planet. This is a club, imagine, where Apple stores stream a conversation with the author and me across all the devices, across all borders, uniting people to stories that remind us that no matter who you are or where you’re from, every man, woman, and child looks up at awe at the same sky. So I want to literally convene a meeting of the minds through books.”

A meeting of the minds? That sounds cool, but what’s that really mean? It means not one but TWO Oprah-endorsed documentaries.

Yes, two.

One will be called Toxic Labor, a documentary currently that, according to Entertainment Weekly, “will explore ‘the toll of sexual harassment and assault and violation in the workplace.'”

The second, unnamed currently, “will focus on mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, with the hopes that ‘if we do our jobs right, we can replace stigma with wisdom, compassion and honesty’.”

 

Oprah's book club
IMAGE VIA OPRAH.COM

 

In addition, she’s bringing back her Book Club and it sounds great! The Oprah Magazine summed it up with these perfect collection of words with, “[Oprah] plans to bring what she’s best known for—her journalistic expertise—to Apple by interviewing artists, newsmakers, and leaders. That’s right—not only will there be an Oprah-led book club on all of your devices, but you’ll also have new programming from Oprah right at your finger tips.”

Broadly speaking, this could be a revitalization for Oprah. Her book club was a recurring segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996 (the year I was born, which might mean I had something to do with it) which drew book reader’s eyes away from their books and TV viewer’s eyes to a new image.

Vulture notes that the with segment’s “popularity among viewers and literature lovers alike nearly eclipsing the prominence of the show itself…it would later be revived as Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 when she expanded her digital media empire in 2012.”

 

Oprah under Apple

Image Via AP News

However her selections have gotten rarer. Her last book was Becoming by Michelle Obama, released last October and still going strong, and despite selling a cool ten million copies, thus becoming the bestselling memoir of all time, it still came out half a year ago.

To put things in perspective in 2015, and I’m quoting straight from The Oprah Magazine here, “Oprah revealed she was starting a new imprint with Flatiron Books called ‘An Oprah Book,’ which would focus on publishing nonfiction stories. Now, three years later, we finally know what will be the imprint’s first title…” That book turned out to be Alicia Keys’s More Myself, and while it’s great for Oprah to put the highlight on the book, the time frame for her to announce and choose a book was concerning.

But when she walked on stage with Apple, it was a sign that she was in partnership and thus has to pump out more book-related content.

 

Oprah and Tim Cook

Image Via ABC

Yay! What could possibly ruin this beautiful moment?

According to CNN  “absent was price information and a specific debut date, though [both Oprah and Spielberg new products are] targeted for the fall”. Yep, Apple company came with an air of bravado that could make one forget that even the earliest services aren’t coming in for a few months. This amnesia is understandable, given that Apple usually announces products weeks, if not days, before the product is available.

Maybe there’s a reason Apple didn’t reveal the pricing for their TV+ service at the announcement.

Guess I’ll stick to Netflix and books when I don’t want to leave my house.

 

 

Featured Image Via EURweb

Non Fiction Reading Challenge 2019

5 Non-Fiction Books You Need to Read Right Now!

As 2019 continues on, we have a lot of book releases to look forward to. Heck, if you want to see the list of the top three books I can’t wait for, check out this list.
Thank you for clicking on that.

Now you might notice that one of those books, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and The Last Trial of Harper Lee, is non-fiction. That book has not come out yet, but in honor of my anticipation here are five non-fiction books that have come out this year and are, above all, wonderful, eye opening, great reads.

Stephanie Land beside a cover of "The Maid"
Image Via Inlander
Released on January 22nd, Stephanie Land’s autobiography beautifully describes her life, post-eviction, as she recalls being tossed onto the street, working as a maid in houses she could never afford just to make ends meet and struggling with poverty. With dreams of moving to Montana, attending college, and becoming a full-time writer, Land’s life-long goals are always just out of reach, pushed back by childcare fees, heating bills, and rent. It’s a memoir that takes you through the underbelly of America. Gritty, soul-crushing, this is one for the masses to take heart.
Don’t believe me? Well, look at how the Nation states, “[i]n the end, her life does take a turn that sets her on the path to becoming a published author. But it is not a kind of fairy-tale twist so much as a gradual confluence of good luck.”
Cover of "When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon" by Joshua D. Mezrich
Image Via Amazon
Released January 15th, Joshua D. Mezrich’s autobiography describes the tribulations and hardships of being a surgeon. Questions like “How much risk should a healthy person be allowed to take to save someone she loves?” or “Should a patient suffering from alcoholism receive a healthy liver?” are questions he faces on a daily basis, but nonetheless they are life changing.

A transplant surgeon by trade, the book opens with Dr. Mezrich, ferrying organs, getting aboard a small plane that winds up getting caught in a violent thunderstorm. The drama speaks for itself: not only are the passengers on the plane in danger, but the people who desperately wait for those organs are in danger of dying thanks to a storm they are far away from.

What’s going to happen? Read the book, but know that on CSL’s website Kevin Kovaleski, CSL Behring’s Senior Director and Therapeutic Area Strategy Team Lead-Transplant, said, “Mezrich’s book sheds light on a critical area of medicine, one that’s ready for advancements, innovations and breakthroughs”.

 

3. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Cover of "Becoming" by Michelle Obama

Image by Amazon

Despite its release on November 13, 2018, Michelle Obama’s autobiography is still going strong, and for good reason. The Guardian calls it “frequently funny,” Vanity Fare states, “surprisingly candid, richly emotional, and granularly detailed that it allows readers to feel exactly what Michelle herself felt at various moments in her life,” while the The New York Times noting that the book is more about motherhood than politics.

But I know what you’re asking: What’s my opinion? It’s great!

 

2. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

Esme Weijun Wang beside her book, "The Collected Schizophrenias"

Image Via The Paris REVIEW

The New York Times writes that “[i]n Wang’s kaleidoscopic essays, memoir has been shattered into sliding and overlapping pieces. . . . Her multifaceted arguments can be gratifyingly mind-expanding” and this book truly is mind-expanding. Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, this collection of essays has stories that will break your heart, make you cry, and teach you about living with mental illness, as noted by The Paris Review which writes how it “examines schizophrenia from historical, medical, social, and emotional perspectives, and looks at the myriad ways it is misunderstood, including by the psychiatric community and schizophrenics themselves.”

The book shows that living with mental illness isn’t pretty, isn’t horrifying, but at its core is completely human.

 

1.The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

Image result for The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch amazon

Image Via Amazon

Released January 8th, this book details the foiled plot to murder George Washington. George Washington, in case you didn’t know, was this General guy who became President or something.

I kid. It’s actually remarkable.

Back in 1776, the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City conspired to assassinate George Washington. It might have worked too, if it weren’t for that pesky would-be counterfeiter and that iron mill foreman. It’s exciting and is something straight out of a movie. It would be unbelievable, if it wasn’t true. (Here’s the SparkNotes-esque version on History Channel for those who don’t like to read)

Don’t believe me? (Why? I trust you, George) National Public Radio says, “The First Conspiracy is an excellent book, enthralling and beyond fascinating, and it’s sure to delight both fans of thrillers and American history.”
Check it out.
Also check out Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and The Last Trial of Harper Lee when it hits bookshelves May 7th.
Featured Image Via Bookbub

7 Autobiographies to Make Us Better People in 2019

So the end of the year is upon us and we’re all looking back at what we’ve done or haven’t done; what we’re proud of and what we regret; and overall how done with 2018 we are!

 

With the new year right around the corner, it’s resolution making time!

And what better way to find inspiration to make you a better you, or just simply follow through with your resolutions, than finding it in others!

 

So without further ado, here are 7 Autobiographies, from 2018, that will make you want to be a better person in the new year!

 

 

 

 

1. Failure Is An Option: An Attempted Memoir by H. Jon Benjamin

 

Image via Amazon

 

Most people would consider H. Jon Benjamin a comedy show business success. But he’d like to remind everyone that as great as success can be, failure is also an option. And maybe the best option. In this book, he tells stories from his own life, from his early days (“wherein I’m unable to deliver a sizzling fajita”) to his romantic life (“how I failed to quantify a threesome”) to family (“wherein a trip to P.F. Chang’s fractures a family”) to career (“how I failed at launching a kid’s show”).

As Jon himself says, breaking down one’s natural ability to succeed is not an easy task, but also not an insurmountable one. Society as we know it is, sadly, failure averse. But more acceptance of failure, as Jon sees it, will go a long way to making this world a different place . . . a kinder, gentler place, where gardens are overgrown and most people stay home with their pets. A vision of failure, but also a vision of freedom.

 

This book is a great way to open the year with! Let’s face it, we all have failed at one point or another. But it’s not something we like to talk about.

 

H. Jon Benjamin, who is famously known for his voice acting careers as Bob from Bob’s Burgers, and Archer from the animated series of the same name, reminds us that even with all the failures and embarrassments we inevitably go through we can find happiness.

 

If your new year’s resolution is to be less critical of yourself, this book is perfect for you!

 

 

 

2. Can’t Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist by Meredith Goldstein

 

Image via Amazon

 

Every day, Boston Globe advice columnist Meredith Goldstein takes on the relationship problems of thousands of dedicated readers. They look to her for wisdom on all matters of the heart- how to cope with dating fatigue and infidelity, work romances, tired marriages, true love, and true loss. In her column, she has it all figured out, but in her real life she is a lot less certain. Whether it’s her own reservations about the traditional path of marriage and family, her difficulty finding someone she truly connects with, or the evolution of her friendships as her friends start to have their own families, Meredith finds herself looking for insight, just like her readers. As she searches for responses to their concerns, she’s surprised to discover answers to her own. But it’s after her mother is diagnosed with cancer that she truly realizes how special her Love Letters community is, how this column has enriched her life as much, if not more than, it has for its readers.

 

Not everyone has all the answers, sometimes you have to go through life and discover things on your own, but not completely without the support of others!

I believe that is what Meredith Goldstein wants us to learn from her book.

So if love is what you’re seeking for the new year, this book may help support you in your search.

 

 

 

3. The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers written by Maxwell King

 

Image via Amazon

 

Fred Rogers (1928–2003) was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children. As the creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Rogers was fiercely devoted to children and to taking their fears, concerns, and questions about the world seriously.

The Good Neighbor, the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers, tells the story of this utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents, Maxwell King traces Rogers’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work, including a surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, The Good Neighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.

 

One of the most lovable TV figures of all time, Mr. Rogers brought such positivity into our lives with his famous children’s series.

 

If you’re goal for 2019 is to become a kinder person, there is no better example than Mr. Rogers. This would be a great read for you!

 

 

 

4. The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders

 

Image via Amazon

 

In her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy–only keeping her from meeting her goals–she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year.

The Year of Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.

The challenge became a lifeline when, in the course of the year, Cait found herself in situations that turned her life upside down. In the face of hardship, she realized why she had always turned to shopping, alcohol, and food–and what it had cost her. Unable to reach for any of her usual vices, she changed habits she’d spent years perfecting and discovered what truly mattered to her.

 

If you are in search of true happiness, the kind that comes from non-material things, or just have a truly awful shopping addiction, let this book be the last thing you buy before the start of the year!

 

 

 

5. Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot

 

Image via Amazon

 

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.

 

Now if 2018 was a rough year for you, and you’re building yourself back up from a dark place emotionally or mentally, this is a story that will inspire you to overcome your struggles and find yourself again!

 

 

 

6. Engineering a Life: A Memoir by Krishan K. Bedi

 

Image via Amazon

 

Krishan Bedi came to the United States in December of 1961 at the tender age of twenty. He had only $300 in his pocket, and he had made it out of his small village in India on sheer faith, determined to get education in the US. For him, there was no option but to succeed―so he began his new life in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he had to adapt to the culture shock not only of being in the US but a Punjabi man in the South in the 1960s.

Engineering a Life is an examination of Bedi’s life, and how he has handled the plethora of curve balls thrown his way with determination, humor, and an unwavering faith that everything would work out. This is a book about values and faith and the importance of friendship, family, and hard work. It’s a story about achieving the American Dream, proving that no matter how thoroughly you map out your life’s journey, no matter how many blueprints you draw up, when you veer off the course you’ve plotted―as we all do, somehow, in the end―you end up where you’re supposed to be.

 

Bedi’s story is an incredibly inspiring tale, and perfect if career building is a part of your resolutions for the upcoming year! It’s also great for anyone in general trying to pave their way through life.

 

 

 

7. Becoming by Michelle Obama

 

Book Tour for Michelle Obama's Becoming

Image via Barnes & Noble

 

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

There are many things we can learn from this amazing and down-to-Earth woman. If you have a lot of pressure and expectations put on you, but are struggling with how to maintain your composure then the most recent of the First Ladies is surely a fantastic example to go by!

Michelle Obama is definitely someone who has had a great deal of pressure and still managed to look stunning, inside and out, and rise to the occasion.

 

So if this sounds like your goal for 2019, this will be a great book for you!

 

 

 

Featured Image Barnes & Noble