Book Review | More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys

Hi everyone! Happy Mothers Day! I hope everyone is able to celebrate Mother’s Day today at least in some type of form even through all of the craziness. I bought my mom some goodies from Ulta a few weeks ago online, so at least I was able to get her something. She loves basically all Kylie Cosmetics products, so I was able to get her lip glosses, eyeshadow palettes, and a super cute blush!

Today, I wanted to share a book review with you guys, but I picked this specific book for this day because I thought it fit best with the whole Mother’s Day theme. I actually read Alicia Keys new book! I will admit, I mainly picked this one up for the star filled audiobook cast, which included Jay-Z, Oprah, Swizz Beats, and even more. But, after reading it, it really just showed me how much of a positive spirit Alicia is. Let’s get into the review!

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More Myself: A JourneyMore Myself: A Journey

Alicia Keys with Michelle Burford

Pages: 272

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook

Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir, Feminism, Leadership

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

As one of the most celebrated musicians of our time, Alicia Keys has enraptured the nation with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache―over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.

Since her rise to fame, Alicia’s public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is at last exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it?

More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia’s journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting, but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia’s path―from her girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem, to the process of self-discovery she’s still navigating.

In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth―about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.

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  • Star-Studded Audiobook – What an amazing cast of people to not only be able to be included in the book, but the audiobook as well! To hear Oprah, Jay-Z, Swizz Beats, I mean just Alicia alone was amazing! It definitely kept me interested since non-fiction is not always one of my strong suits.
  • Alicia is such an incredible powerhouse – I never realized how incredible Alicia really is, and just how much she gives back into the world. Going through her journey and being able to read about her positive and mindful spirit definitely was something I enjoyed.
  • Mind, body, and spirit advice – Yes, this is a nonfiction book. But I feel like even though you’re reading about Alicia’s story, you’re still taking away some information from the book and can apply it to your life. There’s a lot of meditation advice in here and just positive thinking that everyone, not only women, should apply to their everyday life.
  • Uplifting during a difficult time – I read this during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I think I definitely needed to read this. At a time like this, it’s nice to read about a positive story, one that isn’t so negative and so many up and downs, it’s a pretty solid positive read and I enjoyed that as I’m sure you can tell.
  • Music within the audiobook – I loved the fact that Alicia would play music and sing in between chapters, also when talking about a specific song in depth she would sing it. Ugh, what an amazing voice she has.
  • Not too long, Perfect length – This book was 272 pages long and I thought that was the PERFECT length. I don’t really care for nonfiction that’s 400+ pages, I like smaller books, I’m not going to lie here. It went by nicely, and I think if it was any longer I might not have gotten through it, maybe not even picked it up.

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  • Wanted more music details/backstories – I would have liked more details and backstories about the SONGS. The albums were described very well, don’t get me wrong. But I would have loved to have seen the songs and their stories go more into depth because Alicia does write her own music, and has some pretty powerful songs on some pretty power filled albums.
  • Wanted more depth going into 9/11 – She seemed to have a pretty big part of the healing New York needed after 9/11. I’ve heard stories, but New York is my home and I’ve known for a long time that Alicia was big into helping New York heal. I would have loved to hear her reactions to it and about her performance. She’s a New Yorker, and me being one myself I wanted to hear more about that.
  • Too Political for my tastes – I didn’t care for the tone the book was taking towards the end with the political talking. I understand, shit I would love to talk about Obama too. But about the whole Trump and Hillary thing… I don’t know. It just got too political for my personal tastes. That’s all.

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                          ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

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If you’re an Alicia Keys fan, absolutely. You should read this immediately, and definitely the audiobook. If you know about her but aren’t necessarily a fan and don’t have any issues with her, I would also recommend this to you. If you don’t like Alicia Keys, and I don’t really know why you wouldn’t, then probably don’t pick this up, but definitely look at the decisions you’re making in life because Alicia is not a bad person or someone you should hate what-so-ever 🤣.

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WWW Wednesday #41 – 5/6/20

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is doing good so far this week! This week I am basically just focusing on the blog and reading, practicing healthy habits. Trying to get my overall mental health kind of back on track since things are starting to become a little more normal. 

Now, it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This book meme is hosted over at Sam’s Taking On A World of Words page! Just answer the 3 questions below every Wednesday, and feel free to post your answers in the comments and of course check out the other participants and see what else they are reading for the week. The questions are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What have you finished reading?
  3. What will you read next?

So let’s get onto the post!

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What Are You Currently Reading?

 

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💚 So This Is Love by Elizabeth Lim – I started this one on Sunday and I am already in love with it! It is such a good story already and I can’t wait to finish this one soon!

💛 Light Filters In: Poems by Caroline Kaufman – I’ve been into poetry this month, and although this doesn’t exactly help me with my Asian Read-a-thon challenges, it definitely helps calm my soul a little bit, which is what I definitely need right now. 

What Have You Finished Reading?

The Sun and Her Flowers

💚 The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur – Like I said, poetry has really been my thing this month so far, so reading this on the first day of May was really nice. I actually enjoyed it and ended up giving it a 4/5 stars!

What Will You Read Next?

The Way You Make Me Feel

💛 The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo – I’ve heard a lot of good things about Goo’s writing style, so I can’t wait to pick this up next to continue on with the Asian Read-a-thon month! 

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May 2020 TBR | Asian Readathon

Happy May everybody! This month I have been super excited for because it is *drum roll*… the Asian Readathon! This month is Asian Heritage month, and although I am not Asian, I think this month kind of comes at a very important time during these dark days where people, Asians especially, are receiving a lot of unnecessary hate.

This readathon is being hosted by readwithcindy over on youtube! Definitely check out the video in which she goes over her prompts and other things like that in regards to the readathon.

I think celebrating our Asian authors and characters is a great way to shed some positive light on a really negative situation. I have a pretty exciting TBR this month, where all the books are either by Asian authors, or feature Asian characters, or even both! So let’s dive into the TBR!

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The Sun and Her FlowersThe Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

So This is LoveSo This Is Love by Elizabeth Lim

*I have actually pretty excited to pick this one up since it sounds like the most interesting plot the series has put out. I have feelings Cinderella is going to be a badass and I am so here for it!*

What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper? Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella attempts a fresh start, looking for work at the palace as a seamstress. But when the Grand Duke appoints her to serve under the king’s visiting sister, Cinderella becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king-and the prince-out of power, as well as a longstanding prejudice against fairies, including Cinderella’s own Fairy Godmother. Faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom, Cinderella must find a way to stop the villains of past and present . . . before it’s too late.

 

Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1)Loveboat, Teipei (Loveboat, Teipei #1) by Abigail Hing Wen

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine—and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom (Death Note, #1)Death Note, Vol 1: Boredom (Death Note #1) by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata, Pookie Rolf (Translator)

Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami, a death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

Boredom
Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note’s powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily, Light’s father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father’s files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn’t know?

The Way You Make Me FeelThe Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

Emergency ContactEmergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

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Well… this is my Asian Readathon TBR! I am hoping that everything continues to go smoothly enough to where I can read and control my anxiety like I did a little bit better in April. Are you guys participating this year? What are your guys picks? Let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday #55 – Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child

Hey everyone and happy Tuesday! It is almost May and I am super excited to get some more of that warm weather. Reading and sitting outside in the sun is one of my favorite summer activities, so as soon as I am able to get to that maybe quarantine won’t be so bad, right? 😅

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child

(1) Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

(2) The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series – Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

(3) Matilda – Roald Dahl

Matilda

(4) A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snickett

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)

(5) The Oz series – L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1)

(6) Winnie The Pooh – A.A. Milne

Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1)

(7) Where The Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends

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Top Ten Tuesday #54 – Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

Hello everyone and it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

(1) The Vincent Boys – Abbi Glines

The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)

(2) Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)

(3) Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1)

(4) Radio Silence – Alice Oseman

Radio Silence

(5) The Diviners – Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

(6) SHOUT – Laurie Halse Anderson

SHOUT

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