How excited are you to turn the page on 2020? If there’s onething we wouldn’t mind continuing from last year, it’s having a bit more time at home to read. If you’re looking to continue building your reading habit this year, then we think you’ll enjoy diving into these selections.
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You know her as BELLA’s fierce and fabulous editor-in-chief. (Those are our words. She’s much too modest!) But did you also know that Vanessa wrote a book?! Here’s why: “I wanted to encourage and support women in finding their own definition of what a fabulous life can look like for them. Because we are all fabulous. You’re a child of God and you do not need fixing. Maybe just some healing, like I did.”
To make the most of a fresh start in 2021, here are Vanessa’s tips:
- Transmit health from within. Practicing healthy habits is one of the building blocks to being beautiful inside and out.
- Spend some time on your appearance. Taking the time to choose clothes that complement your body type and shape, as well as accentuate your features with accessories, ensures that you portray a more beautiful you. Also, take time to exercise.
- Define your own personal belief and value system. As individuals, we know how we feel about a situation despite outside influences. Defining what our own personal beliefs are and living by those values align the body and mind.
- Respect the individuality and opinions of others. Even if you have learned to practice the values you believe, your attitude can prevent you from respecting other people’s choices to be themselves. Pompous arrogance or self-indulgence, leading to the disrespect of others, is a trend you should not fall victim of, as it doesn’t make you more beautiful or better than them.
- Volunteer. Grow your internal beauty by mentoring others, helping in your local community, or simply being a shoulder to lean on when someone comes to you for help. Volunteering will not only make you more beautiful inside, but it will also add beauty to the lives of others as well.
THE INFLUENCER CODE: HOW TO UNLOCK THE POWER OF INFLUENCER MARKETING
Social media is a powerful platform that can make small companies and ordinary people become veritable stars, seemingly overnight. If you’ve ever fancied yourself as an Instagram influencer, want to grow your business, or get more eyes on a cause you’re passionate about, those thumbs-up can add up to something big.
Get the scoop on building your own brand of awesome from Amanda Russell, YouTube star, professor, and entrepreneur. She’ll peel back the curtain on how you can tap into influencer marketing with a three-step code that will get your unique message out the right way to more people than you ever imagined.
Unlock your inner influencer
Amanda Russell likens social media to the printing press, which she calls “a revolution in communication history.” But unlike that centuries-old invention, social media is a platform that everyone has access to, whether you are posting your own content or just scrolling by that of others.
“[Social media] has democratized the ability to have an audience so you don’t need the resources it takes to get a television show pitched and produced,” she says. “You can flip your phone around [and start recording].”
Even if not all of us aspire to be the next TikTok star, Amanda says we can still use social media as a platform to communicate with others—many, many others.
“[Social media is] a megaphone, basically,” she says. “If I told you a story via the telephone, the telephone doesn’t become the influencer. It’s the force behind it, the person telling the story.” Amanda’s book will help you become the force behind your story.
GIRLS WITH BRIGHT FUTURES
TRACY DOBMEIER AND WENDY KATZMAN
This ripped-from-the-headlines novel weaves a tale of the dark side of helicopter parenting.
As the college admissions scandal played out in the news during the last couple of years, it gave novelists plenty of fodder for their writing. Exhibit A: this juicy novel written by two besties from Seattle.
When three mothers learn that only one student from their kids’ private school is getting into Stanford University, they take matters into their own hands for their daughters. One mom is a tech entrepreneur who leverages her fortune, another is a PTA member who tries to wield her status as a Stanford alum, while a third flounders as a single parent who wants the best for her child.
When one of the girls is almost killed in an “accident” right before the application deadline, chaos ensues in the community. How far will these mothers go for their daughters’ prospects?
SIRI, WHO AM I?
This debut takes on influencer culture with a sense of humor and light mystery
Many of us scroll mindlessly through our social media feeds. But what if we needed those images to restore our minds? That’s exactly what happens to Mia, a millennial who wakes up in a hospital with short-term amnesia following an accident—she doesn’t even know her name until Siri says it on her iPhone.
Mia’s clothes and accessories hint that she lives in a wealthy part of LA, but she needs her Instagram feed to trace her steps back home, which she apparently shares with JP, her billionaire boyfriend. He’s away for the weekend, but Max the house sitter is there.
As Mia awaits the return of JP, Max helps her to put the pieces of her life back together. Mia soon finds that her perfect Insta feed is anything but—and her head injury might not have been an accident, either.
This moving debut takes on gender and sex taboos and what it means to be a family.
Reese, a trans woman, was living a happy life with her girlfriend, Amy. A baby would have made everything perfect. But when Amy, also a trans woman, makes the decision to detransition to a man named Ames, their relationship ends.
Reese seeks solace in affairs with married men. Ames, unhappy at losing Reese and his only chance at having a family, takes up with his boss, Katrina. When Katrina gets pregnant with his baby and is unsure about becoming a mother, Ames sees this unusual situation as a way for them all to become a family.
THE FOUR WINDS
St. Martin’s Press
This much-anticipated novel portrays the grit and determination of people in search of the American Dream.
In Texas during the Great Depression, Elsa Martinelli is faced with a choice that many of her fellow farmers in the Dust Bowl must also make—stay and risk starvation, or go to California for a fresh start.
With her masterful storytelling ability, Hannah depicts this dark time of America’s history with the story of a woman whose will and courage proved to be stronger than any drought.
“The Flight Attendant” has arrived
Loyal readers of this column might remember when we first talked about Kaley Cuoco’s new TV show, “The Flight Attendant” (based on the Chris Bohjalian novel of the same name). Well, after production delays due to the pandemic, the limited series show is finally available to stream on HBO Max. The gist: Hard-partying flight attendant Cassie (Kaley) is used to waking up with a raging hangover. But this time, she wakes up in a hotel room next to a dead guy. She can’t remember what happened—which means she could be a suspect.
This darkly humorous thriller gave Kaley a chance to shed her girl-next-door image from “The Big Bang Theory”—and critics seem to agree that audiences will like seeing another side of this talented star.
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