Book Review: B as in Beauty by Alberto Ferreras

Beauty Books

By Saira Toppin

B as in Beauty is a novel about self appreciation and uplifting one’s spirit. The novel informs the reader in subtle ways, that we can learn lessons in unimaginable ways. This is a cliché technique, but works every time. I think that is why many authors use it over and over. We see this happen with the main character B (Beauty Maria Zavala). She has very little self-confidence, but one day an encounter with a tax preparer changes her entire outlook on life.

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Book Review: The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Books Shopping & Acquisitions

By Saira Toppin

In light of the Twilight saga craze, I decided to join the wave. I am not a huge sci-fi fan. I once read Dreamcatcher by Stephen King and had to stop about half-way through (I enjoyed the movie better). You have to maintain all focus when reading and/or watching sci-fi. All the small details are critical and almost 95% of the time you are dealing with non-human entities. The Host was recommended to me by a good friend. I told her I did not like sci-fi, but she ensured me that I would like this book. After taking a peek at I knew my friend was right. The first sentence on The Host page says, “Science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction.”

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Book Review: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks


By Saira Toppin

People of the Book, Geraldine BrooksReading about the past may not always be exciting. It is not always filled with twists, or ups and downs, but Geraldine Brooks makes this happen in her novel People of the Book. The various settings of the book take us to  different parts of history that make reading that more enjoyable. This fictional novel receives its inspiration from the true story of a book well known in the Jewish community, the Sarajevo Haggadah. The reader follows the journey of the haggadah starting in Sarajevo in 1996, Vienna in 1894, Tarragona in 1492, and other intriguing locations. Continue reading

Book Review: The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik


By Saira Toppin

The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnikI found the perfect beach book while perusing my mother’s library at home. The Smart One and the Pretty One is a story about two sisters. One who always wants to be in the mix and the other who always wants to appear proper, sometimes coming off as a prude. After reading the book I recognized that even though these two sisters seem like two opposite ends of a stick, they certainly need one another. At some parts in the book I felt like I was reading about my life with my best friend or sister, always having to hear a comment about something.

The Smart One and the Pretty One tells the tale of two sisters, Ava, who hasn’t had a decent boyfriend or sex in over a year, and Lauren, who has a one night stand with a soon to be husband. The story circles around a contract that Ava’s mother signed for her as a young girl and the new contract that Lauren signs. The “love” and financial documents that these two women are tied to is where the drama ensues.

Lauren’s cunning and manipulation are intriguing. She tells half-truths to Ava and her “contract” lover Russell. You know, some of Lauren’s tricks could be used with your own friends. Maybe you can help your girlfriend find a new male companion this way, however, you have to pick up this good read and pay attention. Ava’s sister’s tricks certainly worked. Not only did Ava meet a great guy, but she finally had great sex, and received a pair of Prada pumps and new clothes! I want that too!

All in all, The Smart One and the Pretty One is a good choice. It can entertain you on the beach, on your way to work, or when you have free time. Pick it up at your local library, or support author Claire LaZebnik, and add it to your personal collection.

Exclusive Rates for GIVE US BREAD and CleanPlatesNYC Event this Friday

Books Events Performing Arts

We’re Invited!

CLEAN YOUR PLATE – A Local Food Tasting and Evening of Theater
Friday, June 19 @ 7:30PM
Clean Plates NYC tasting with Author Jared Koch followed by a performance of Give Us Bread

Women’s Mafia Special Discount Code: BOGOWM – Buy One Ticket, Get One Free!
Tickets normally: $20/$15 (students/seniors)

Give us Bread

A letter from Melissa Fendell, Artistic Director of The Anthropologists:

Dear Women’s Mafia Members,

Your support and enthusiasm means the world to us – both by coming to the show and joining in on our Post-Show discussions!

Please join us at 7:30PM on Friday, June 19 for an exciting evening at the theater, hosted by Clean Plates N.Y.C.
Mix and mingle over a tasting from local restaurant Broadway East  before the 8PM performance of Give Us Bread, FREE with your ticket to the show!

At the event you can also meet Clean Plates NYC author Jared Koch and find out where you should be eating in New York. As Deepak Chopra says, “Jared’s nutritional advice in Clean Plates has the power to transform your individual health and our collective well-being.”

Will we see you there?

Hope to see you at the theater!
Melissa Fendell Moschitto
The Anthropologists


The reviews are in!
“…a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking play, mixing elements of realism with dance and stylized movement to create a piece that is wholly within its own hybrid Anthropologists genre.”        –

“The company has effectively resurrected a lost revolution from New York’s past and given it a chance to shine in such a way that it will never be forgotten again.”     – OffOffOnline

Only 6 Shows Left!
Now through June 21!
Wednesday & Thursday @ 7:30PM
Friday @ 8PM
Saturday @ 2PM & 8PM
Sunday @ 3PM
The Milagro Theater at CSV
107 Suffolk Street
F/J/M/Z to Delancey/Essex
Women’s Mafia Special Discount Code: BOGOWM – Buy One Ticket, Get One Free!
Tickets normally: $20/$15 (students/seniors)