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Standing Strong Hardcover – October 3, 2017
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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About the Author
Teresa Giudice stars on The Real Housewives of New Jersey and is the New York Times bestselling author of Turning the Tables; Skinny Italian; Fabulicious!; Fabulicious: Fast and Fit; and Fabulicious! On the Grill. A Berkeley College graduate and a longtime supporter of NephCure Kidney International, she lives in New Jersey with her family.
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With that being said, this book is a disappointment. It started off with a real bang - Teresa admitted to the world (and to herself) that she actually went away to prison and not just "camp". She said that she took responsibility for her actions. I thought that this was an amazing revelation for her but this was Chapter 1 and this sentiment didn't last long. By the middle of the book, she made the comment that Gia wanted to go to law school to help people who were wrongly convicted as she and Joe were. Heavy sigh. She really puts the blame on Joe for making stupid financial decisions but gives herself a pass by saying that she was only naive. Seriously? What educated adult woman believes that she never has to sign any tax returns?
Joe takes the brunt of the blame for everything that's gone wrong in Teresa's life. Teresa was a stay-at-home mom, who never had to work, and was able to go on shopping sprees where she could drop 10 grand and not blink an eye? Hmmm. I'm not feeling too much empathy for her with that statement. And she complains throughout the book about being a single working mom who has to chauffeur her kids around to their various activities, blah, blah, blah. Teresa, most single parents have to do this and they don't get paid millions of dollars to work a part-time job at Bravo.
Her sense of entitlement came roaring back to life.
She devoted one chapter to her time on Celebrity Apprentice and didn't waste any time complimenting Donald Trump. She said that he and his family were very supportive of her and Joe. She also commented that Donald really doesn't mean any of the negative things he says and that people are way too sensitive. LOL, OK Teresa. I found it very interesting that she focused so much time on Joe's relationship with him. And guess what? Absolutely no mention of the fact that Joe may be deported when he gets out of prison. I'm sure she believes that as long as Trump is President, Joe's not going anywhere.
The book is loosely organized and is a bit of a mess. It's a quick read because it's full of a lot of filler. There are lots of poems, notes from the kids, even the Lord's Prayer, that take up extra filler space. There are repetitive comments about the kids, her parents, etc. And if I never hear the phrase "Madonna Mia" again, I'll be happy. The saddest thing for me is the passive-aggressive swipes she takes at Melissa. It happens a few times throughout the book and really made me wonder if she's honestly made amends with her sister-in-law. If my sister-in-law said those things about me, I would be pretty upset.
My advice is to save your money, read a few excerpts on the web and enjoy the show. I had high hopes for Teresa's honestly but when people show you who they are, believe them.
While it did keep my attention well enough, there were a number of things that annoyed me about it:
1. She blames all of her legal problems on being naive and on Joe. The only responsibility she takes is for being naïve, and she hints that they may divorce in the future. Whether they stay together or not, I think she should talk about how she wants to try to work on her relationship with Joe. It is hard to have empathy for someone who doesn't even want to try to work on her marriage but instead considers herself nothing but a victim. After all, she took vows and they have four children.
2. She goes on and on and on about how much support she receives from family and friends. For example, she goes into great detail about friends who fly out to see her and attend events of hers; about the gifts she receives, etc. Some of this emphasis on friends and family may be her brand; some of it may genuinely be Teresa as a person. However, as someone who does not have a large nor close-knit family it struck me as endless BRAGGING about her LOYAL and DEVOTED and AMAZING family and friends. (You know, like those people who post on Facebook all the time about how wonderful their lives and friends are?) Rarely does she acknowledge that not everyone is so fortunate. It just struck me as excessive and annoying.
3. Teresa is a master at throwing shade. She is very hard on Jacqueline Laurita and Melissa Gorga. Some of it makes for interesting, snarky reading, but it shows she hasn't grown as much as a person as she claims (where is the “namaste”?). Unless this is just a set-up for more Real Housewives drama next season, it seems that Melissa can't win no matter what she does. (For example, Melissa brings her a cake and Teresa brands it "ugly," and mentions this several times…funny but so snarky and rude!) She also doesn’t support others in their ventures. For example, she says she doesn't shop at Melissa's store since "it's out of the way" and she talks about her brother's restaurant and how he was never interested in cooking but "then again, you don't have to be a cook to be a restaurateur"! Oh my gosh, wow. These sorts of things don't come across as very supportive.
All in all, my favorite thing about Teresa has been her family life. Her kids are adorable (especially the hilarious Milania) and Joe always seemed really cool as a person, even if he is not honest in his business dealings. Her family is great, but Teresa has more work to do on herself--namely, to stop holding grudges.