Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me by Rachel Bertsche
Rating: 5 Star
Description: Want to have toned arms and legs like Jennifer Anniston? Cook like Gwyneth Paltrow? Dress like Sarah Jessica Parker? Work like Tina Fey? Writer Rachel Bertsche sets out to tackle each of these things month by month to see if trying to live like the stars (with a budget) can make her feel like she has it all together.
Why I Picked This Book: I loved the premise - kind of Happiness Project meets Julie and Julia but funny. I had read a book last year that had promised this kind of mash up last year but with Martha Stewart that I ended up being really disappointed with so I was hoping this would fill that void.
Pros: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved how Bertsche set out clear parameters for each celebrity. Instead of jumbling them all up we have one clear chapter on Jennifer's workouts and how Bertsche implements them into her life. She discusses budgets and time and how it makes her feel. There's some talk about diet and she uses a cookbook from Jennifer's personal chef but the focus is clearly exercise. The next chapter is Gwyneth where she focuses more on cooking and the cost and benefits associated with it. She talks about other things including exercise, public perceptions and a smattering of her personal life but it all falls under the umbrella of the cooking. This kept it where it made sense but it was still funny and interesting. Bertsche does a good job about mixing in facts and statistics about the positives and negatives on holding celebrities up as our role models as well as talks about what goes on behind the scenes to make Angelina look so put together while she's herding 19 kids through an airport. I loved that there was thought applied to how she developed this project. Like would Tina Fey really stay up until 1AM working if she didn't have too? I also loved the glimpses into Bertsche's personal life as she and her husband struggle with infertility. They both just seem so nice. The kind of people you'd like to go to coffee with or end up talking to for an hour when you bump into them while running errands. It did make me think about what I was doing in my own life that I could make better.
Cons: For once I really can't think of anything I didn't like about it this book. I can see a possible argument being made that the subject matter is shallow but I didn't think it was.
Overall Impression: Obviously, I loved this book. It was funny and entertaining and it made me think. I really enjoyed her overall conclusions about balance and making celebrity life styles work in real life.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Absolutely!