Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff
Author and Narrator: Chip Gaines
Published: October 17, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 11-13, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father of 4 in Waco, Texas. But long before the world took notice, Chip was a serial entrepreneur who was always ready for the next challenge, even if it didn’t quite work out as planned. Whether it was buying a neighborhood laundromat or talking a bank into a loan for some equipment to start a lawn-mowing service, Chip always knew that the most important thing was to take that first step.
In Capital Gaines, we walk alongside him as he relives some of his craziest antics and the lessons learned along the way. His mentors taught him to never give up and his family showed him what it meant to always have a positive attitude despite your circumstances. Throw in a natural daredevil personality and a willingness to do (or eat!) just about anything, and you have the life and daily activity of Chip Gaines.
Capital Gaines is the perfect book for anyone looking to succeed not only in business but more importantly in life.
I previously listened to The Magnolia Story which was narrated by both Chip and Joanna Gaines. (My review is here). Capital Gaines is a bit of a ‘rehash’ of it but solely from Chip’s perspective. I must say I have only ever seen Fixer Upper once when my car was getting serviced, so I don’t really know much of their story other than what I read in Magnolia Story.
Chip is the better narrator of the couple, so I enjoyed listening to his narration. Chip’s writing is more juvenile than Joanna’s and it seems like he writes the way he talks. He comes off on the impulsive side. Several times he talks about the cover of the book and how it came to be. Honestly, I did not care about it and the cover is not that great of a picture. But he is proud of it, so go for it Chip. The book comes off a bit scattered, and maybe that’s how Chip is himself.
I did like how he talks about his faith in God. I am curious about their show, though it is off the air now. I may try to find a couple of episodes to watch and ‘get to know’ the Gaines’.
I would say Capital Gaines would be for fans of the show Fixer Upper.
Today I am one of the blogs sharing my review for the blog blitz for The Little Gate-Crasher: The Life and Photos of Mace Bugen by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer.
Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.
“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”
“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”
In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace Bugen, I remember my amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.
Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.
Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see.
The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.
The Little Gate Crasher: The Life and Photos of Mace Bugen
Author: Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
Published: April 18, 2016
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: August 26, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
You see a picture of Mace Bugen and think “I know him from somewhere!” He’s one of those faces you won’t forget, and not just because of his size. Mace was an achondroplastic dwarf who did not let his small stature get the best of him, instead of blaming his height, he accepted it! His size was the equivalent to a four year old. He was ahead of his time taking what we now know of as selfies with some of the biggest celebrities, politicians and sports figures of his time! Sometimes the celebrities were willing participants; sometimes the pictures are blurry in his creative ‘photo-bomb’ attempts to get photos. He even got a photo with Former President Nixon and the man who would later develop the polio vaccine: Dr. Jonas Salk.
This book is more than just a picture book of a man with celebrities: we learn about him, his family (which includes the author) and his life in this biography. The author, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is his great-niece and she put her heart and soul into this book. Mace may have been short in stature but his personality and antics were larger than life. This should be a book everyone should have, it would make a perfect coffee table book.
Moishe Morris “Mace” Bugen
June 12, 1915- October 31, 1982
About the Author:
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Gabby writes for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
**Win a paperback copy of The Little Gate-Crasher (US & Canada only)**
*Terms and Conditions –USA / Canada entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]
A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
Author: Sue Klebold
336 Pages in Hardback
Published: February 15, 2016
Dates Read: May 24- June 7, 2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
Book Summary from Amazon:
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.
For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?
These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.
Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.
All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.
Wow. What a heart breaking and at times hard to read book. But I made it through it. It is also hard to review. It is hard to review a book that is about something so tragic in so many way. All those lives lost, including Sue Klebold’s son. Sue Klebold gives her story of that fateful day at Columbine High School. You can feel her anguish and sadness at first losing her son to suicide and coming to the realization of what Dylan did.
You can see the whole “hindsight is 20/20” realizations she has afterward. And you can see how much it hurts.
The book also deals a lot with raising awareness on suicide and mental health, which she calls brain health and brain illness, with good reasons.
This book is recommended![Top]