Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Permission Slips

Summary: Covering topics such as "It's Jesus or Jail," "Marriage, the Hard Way," "Children: The Gift You Can't Give Back," and "All the Things I Don't Know...And All the Things I Definitely Do," stand-up comedienne, actress, and ABC's The View co-host Sherri Shepherd comically chronicles her struggles to keep up with the many roles-professional, wife, mother, daughter, and friend-that women must play in today's world. Sherri urges women to pursue their most important dreams and to never give up, but also let's readers know that it's okay to give themselves "permission slips" when things don't always work out the way they want them to. -- Grand Central Publishing

I am going to be honest and tell you that PERMISSION SLIPS by Sherri Shepherd is not a book that I'd normally pick up. Before I started blogging, I used to read celebrity tell-all books quite often; but my reading tastes have kind of changed in the past few years. It wasn't until Anna from Hachette invited me to attend a BlogTalk Radio show with Ms. Shepherd that I actually decided to give this book a try.

I was somewhat familiar with Ms. Shepherd from her time as a co-host on The View; however, I really didn't know much about her background. I knew she was an actress and a stand-up comedienne, but I couldn't actually recall seeing anything she'd ever starred in. I had picked up bits and pieces about her life from occasionally watching The View. But my knowledge was pretty much limited to a few things -- that she was a single mom whose husband had cheated on her and that she had very strong Christian beliefs. At the very least, I figured she would have some good stories to tell!

I liked the basic premise of the book -- every woman's guide to giving herself a break. Ms. Shepherd admittedly has made a few mistakes in her life (like when she wasn't sure if the earth was round on live television); and she has not only learned from her errors but she has also bounced back to be wiser and stronger because of them. Her main message is that we are all going to make mistakes and we should allow ourselves "permission slips." So after each section in this book, she writes a permission slip for the reader. These permission slips appear as bold-faced text within a black box and reiterate Ms. Shepherd's messages that she learned from her live experiences.

When I first started reading this book, I didn't think I was going to enjoy it at all. I valued Ms. Shepherd's honesty (at times, brutal honesty) about her life, but I felt as if the beginning of the book had too much male-bashing. I am not one to complain about my husband and I don't really tolerate it from my friends, so I wasn't particularly thrilled to be reading about it either. Make no mistake, I realize there are lots of "bad" guys out there; but I think it's up to us as women to make better choices. Once I got past the initial male bashing, I realized that Ms. Shepherd and I were pretty much saying the same thing about relationships. I think maybe I was just being too judgmental.

After I got past the first few chapters, I found that I did enjoy this book. It's a light, quick read that's filled with Ms. Shepherd's unique perspectives as well as sense of humor. And while I don't really have anything in common with Ms. Shepherd (and I didn't actually find myself relating to her), I was still entertained by some of her stories (especially those about her career.) I also thought she was very courageous to share her battle with weight loss and diabetes. I think many women will find themselves enjoying this book and appreciating Ms. Shepherd's advice and wisdom.

The Blog Talk Radio show with Ms. Shepherd will be tomorrow, October 29th at 1:00 p.m. ET. You can listen-in or chat on the Grand Central Publishing channel on BlogTalkRadio. In addition, you can call-in with your questions during show time to participate in the live interview at 646-378-0039. If you would like your questions to be read on air by the host or if you would like to give advanced notice of your participation during the live call, email I look forward to "seeing" you there!

Thanks to Kathy aka Bermudaonion for sharing an ARC of this book with me!


bermudaonion said...

I'm glad you ended up enjoying this book. I also think the basic premise is great - we women need to cut ourselves some slack - but it got a little repetitive to me.

Beth F said...

I'll take your word on this one -- it doesn't sound like a good match for me (and I don't think I've ever seen The View!)

writergal said...

Great review. Sounds good, the Christian thing doesn't usually sit well with me but it sounds like she has a good sense of humor. [I know what you many about the celeb books: I still have Prairie Tales to read.] The View is on my TiVO Season Pass is don't watch it every day and remember seeing Sherri on her old sitcom several years ago.

carolsnotebook said...

I loved this one. It had me laughing out loud.

Cindy Hudson said...

I haven't read the book, but I appreciate your link for the interview on Blog Talk Radio. I listened in today and really enjoyed it.