books for the bathtub: Sex and Bacon

I had written a blog post for my other, more salacious blog, entitled “Sex with a side of bacon.” I googled “sex and bacon” and voila. As soon as I read’s description of the book and a few of the user reviews, I was sold. Sarah Katherine Lewis is a former sex worker (who wrote a book about that, too – Indecent: How I Make it and Fake it as a Girl for Hire), and like me, a bacon-lover. Oh, bacon. Salty, crispy, fatty, delicious! It’s good on everything and by itself, and I want it all the time. I instantly fell in love with Sarah Katherine’s unapologetic appetite for food and sex. A girl after my own heart!

This book could turn you on, gross you out, or make you hungry – or if you’re like me, all three, sometimes simultaneously. SKL is a great writer; her casual style appeals to me. The book is part recipes, part memoir. She skips around a bit and while the book is divided into four distinct parts (Desire, Flesh, Sweet, Pain) the individual chapters have a cobbled-together patchwork feel. Some may not enjoy that if they are looking for complete chronology and/or consistency, for me it kept me interested. SKL is a puzzle of a woman – she exudes warmth and heat and carnal desire from the words she wrote. She ate whale meat and bone marrow but cheese makes her vomit.

I enjoyed the brief peek into SKL’s brain. She’s a Britney Spears admirer – not for her music but for what she embodies and who she is. “Britney is female appetite. Britney wants. She wants food and sex and love and trashy, no-account boys.” I savored the Britney chapter, nodding to myself, the undeniable truth of it all. I was a Britney fan when I was 16, but since I watched with the rest of the world as she publicly crumbled more than once, I wrote her off. It’s all a matter of perspective. I enjoyed the way SKL describes a desirable woman’s body – “sleek” doesn’t mean thin, and it’s all about curves. She writes about how she actually lost weight eating what she really wanted. I’ve heard of such things and I’m all for it. Not cholesterol parties or tucking into a bucket of lard every day, but the sense of non-deprivation, and sometimes outright indulgence – the sense of always having enough. Being satisfied. Why shouldn’t we be?

Something about this book felt a little taboo to me – I kept it flipped over on my desk at work and didn’t share it with my mom like I normally do when I’m reading a new book. I mentioned it to a coworker and her response was “that’s weird.” Sex and Bacon won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure. But if you love reading sultry food porn and just plain good, sexy, honest writing? Yeah, you’ll love this book. I can think of at least a handful of my friends that would devour this.

Sidenote, I wish Sarah Katherine had more of a web presence. No website, no blog, no Facebook for me to like? I’m obsessed with this lady – I need more!


inspiring read: Unbearable Lightness

I have to confess, I didn’t know much about Portia de Rossi before reading her book, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain. Forgive the odd choice of word considering the subject matter, but I devoured it. (Usually it takes me a week or more to read a book, this was finished in a few days.) I remember when Portia came into stardom in 1998-1999 on Ally McBeal and seeing her in magazines and thinking she was exotic and beautiful (and stunningly thin). I never realized that at that time, anorexia and bulimia were literally eating her alive. In this brave memoir, Portia reveals in detail the bizarre and extreme methods by which she was able to drastically lose weight – at one point weighing in at only 82 pounds. She limited herself to 300 calories a day, and exercised compulsively for hours and hours on end.

Eating disorders aren’t exactly a new topic, but surely plenty of girls and women still suffer from them. I was surprised at the self-deprecation that seemed to fuel the story. Despite being a model and a successful TV actress at a young age, Portia never quite developed self-esteem when it came to her body, or learned healthy eating methods. On top of all of this, she was struggling internally with keeping her sexuality from the world. Before I read this book I just knew Portia was the beautiful wife of Ellen DeGeneres (who I like and admire a great deal). I learned that she made up her name, is from Australia, and a lot of intimate details about an undoubtedly horrific time in her life.

Portia is a good writer, an honest one. The story is brutal – but it’s not until you reach the end until you see the result of years of starvation and abuse put onto her body – lupus and osteoporosis to name a couple. My only real complaint is that she seemed to rush through the recovery portion of the story. The “book” ends when she finally gets diagnosed with anorexia. The recovery is abbreviated into 20 or so pages explaining that it was essentially “difficult,” and that her horse Mae helped her a lot, and her relationship with Ellen also saved her, which I think is romantic and sweet. Portia also claims to no longer diet or consciously exercising, electing to eat whatever she wants in abundance and staying active by walking her dog. She also speaks about accepting the body you have at your natural healthy weight, which I can relate to. I have never been overweight but I still struggle with body image and the desire to lose a few vanity pounds. (In my humble opinion, most people cannot afford to be overly passive about diet and exercise, but I guess someone who had an eating disorder has to be careful not to let the disorder grab hold of them again by becoming too restrictive.)

All in all – a great read, inspiring, wrenching, wonderful. I have a lot more respect for Portia after learning everything she went through, and how much happier and healthier she is now.

books for the bathtub: My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me

My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary Winston is a book I read about someplace and decided I absolutely had to read, so I put it on hold at my local library (a great secret if you happen to like books, which I do). I think hilarious women writers may be my most favorite genre of all (Sloane Crosley, Elizabeth Crane, Julie Klausner) and Ms. Winston doesn’t disappoint. Firstly, I can relate. She’s the proud mama of two cats, chronically single, and happens to take a lot of baths. The title is indeed telling of the story within, Winston’s ex evidently did write a tell-all book thinly veiled as a fictitious novel, dubbing her his “fat-assed girlfriend.” (Thanks to sleuth Googling skills I found out that “Kyle” is Chad Kultgen, and the book is called The Average American Male. Vicious and must-read.) Through the ashes of her grief and humiliation, Winston spins heartbreaking and hilarious dating/sex/relationship tales. Her candor is disarming, refreshing, and will make you cringe – she’s bold enough to write about herself completely unselfconsciously and as a result, you get a fantastic package of real and relatable stories.

With chapters like “I Know You’re in There, Whore,” “A Questionable Poo: The End of Romance,” and “The Coital Laugh,” My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me promises some raunchy laughs that don’t disappoint. The book has a decidedly melancholy undertone, but Winston sews threads of hope throughout her tales like Lurex through fabric. I can honestly say I laughed and cried, and that’s a true gem of a book in my eyes. One that can span emotional gaps and be affecting in more ways than one. There’s hope for us single cat ladies, after all. Once we learn about loosening our grip in more ways than one (read the book to understand the joke), we can let go and really enjoy. So go ahead – crack it open, and take a bath or two with Ms. Winston. You’ll be glad you did.

borrowed love

A quick little poem I wrote last night about library books. Or men. Or both? You decide.

Men are like library books.
I’ll find one that glows from beyond a pretty cover,
full of promises on the inside flap.
Hold it in my hands to feel its weight,
then put it in my sack.
I take my time
Breathe in that old book smell
that makes you wonder where it’s been before.
I’ll marvel at its contents
as gorgeous words unfurl –
vivid prose upon my tongue
just like a gleaming pearl.
I don’t treat it well,
as if it were my own.
A spill, a tear, a careless fold
these are the liabilities – I’m told.
I like the crinkle that the cover makes,
lands beyond, the gliding hours of my time
I’ll beg it to romance me
to thrill me with its twists,
to turn about my world
for just a bit of bliss.
I’m almost sad it’s over,
you know it’s got to end
And as I slip it back upon its shelf,
my heart will slowly mend.
I only came to borrow, dear…
I didn’t come to buy.

perfect love, available now

“You have so little faith in yourself, because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you. And so you seek without for what you cannot find within.”
– A Course In Miracles

Gabrielle Bernstein launches her second book, Spirit Junkie, tomorrow. What better time than now to share with you a little inspiration? This woman has seriously CHANGED my LIFE. I have no doubts that the message in this book (an anecdotal spiritual memoir) will be an amazing journey…

Watch Gabrielle’s video, and buy the book! I can’t wait…the time for change is now.

Spirit Junkie launch!

Gabrielle Bernstein’s second book, Spirit Junkie, is now available for pre-order! (To be released Sept. 13th.) Time to get PSYCHED and spread the love, people! I adore the trailer, and always, Gabby’s message. ♥

Remember: A miracle is a shift in your perception. When you shift your perception, you shift your world. And when your world is a place of love&kindness&compassion, guess what you radiate to every other person in the world? Yup. Miracles.

good read: Wesley the Owl

The first book in a long time that has made me compelled to share and urge all animal lovers everywhere to pick it up.

Wesley the Owl is “the remarkable love story between an owl and his girl.” In 1985 (incidentally, the year I was born), Stacey O’Brien was working as a biologist at CalTech in Southern California. Wesley was a barn owl who had been born with irreversible nerve damage to one of his wings. He would never be strong enough to hunt or survive in the wild. So Stacey adopted him – and neither of their lives would ever be the same again. The story narrates Wesley’s growth from a fluffy little owlet to a full-grown, elegant barn owl with beautiful gold-flecked wings, and an amazing and alarmingly sentient personality. He spent 19 years in Stacey’s care, and they learned and bonded intensely during those years. The book is written with humor and grace, and you will be moved and charmed as Stacey (and Wesley) teach The Way of the Owl.

Readers will be surprised to learn not only about an owl’s complex needs – a strict, mice-only diet with some rather gory details, for one. Owls mate for life, and Wesley chose Stacey as his mate – in more ways than one! Written from the perspective of a biologist who worked with many wild animals over the course of her career, Wesley offers a unique look at the behavior, habits, and emotions – yes, emotions – of an owl. The story is at turns humorous and touching. It is virtually impossible not to cry as you reach the end of this lovingly crafted memoir of life with a very special spirit. Any animal lover will absolutely fall in love with Wesley’s story.

You can read more from Stacey at her blog:

Other great animal reads:

Marley & Me: Love and Life With The World’s Worst Dog
Although I love the movie, the book (as is usually the case) captures something deeper that a movie simply cannot. I highly recommend it.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World
Amazing, amazing book. Simply and beautifully written, this is another exceptionally heartwarming animal story that even non-cat lovers (ugh!) will want to get their paws on. 🙂

I think what makes all three of these books so special and worthwhile are not just the special animals about which they were written, but by the human element brought forth by the folks who took the time to share their stories. Not only about the animal, but about life with the animal as well. As any pet owner can attest, your life is forever changed in myriad ways when you invite a creature into your world. ♥