You Have No Idea

Well folks, I’ve completed book 5 of my book challenge in 2012. Yay!

My 5th book was You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other), written by Vanessa and Helen Williams. I’ll be honest: I haven’t read a lot of non-fiction books in the past, but I truly enjoyed this book! I was not well-versed on the life of Vanessa Williams until now, and it was incredibly intriguing to learn about her.

The book follows Vanessa through her life, from childhood to the present. With each section of her life she dictates, her mother Helen also provides her insight into the situations. I loved the dual viewpoints the ladies provide! It is interesting to see situations from two separate sets of eyes…and opinions. As I mentioned, I wasn’t well versed on Vanessa’s life (I fell in love with her character Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty, but was unfamiliar with the details of her life before that point), but was so inspired by how much she has gone through, and how poised and talented a woman she is. Both Vanessa and Helen have poignant stories to share and advice to pass on. I found myself taking note of many different quotes from the book as I read through: I’ll share my two favorites because they are (in my opinion) quite wise and thought provoking…

“That taught me that you can’t please everyone and no one really knows who you are through headlines, blurbs, and media sound bites.”

How often do we quickly judge others (celebrities, bloggers, a random person in the coffee shop) without full knowledge regarding their situations? On the blogging side of things, I know that I personally am not able to share 100% of my life with my readers. What you see is essentially a segmented portion of my life: what I choose to share. You can’t possibly know 100% of who I am and what I do by simply reading my blog. You can get a good sense of it I hope, but really…not everything is going to be translated. But people can be quick to judge based off of what they see. Interesting food for thought, don’t you think?

“I wanted her to understand that being called a name doesn’t make you what that name signifies. It doesn’t define you, but it does define the person saying it to you.”

I don’t know what else I can add to this quote: it is so perfect (and so true). It is exactly the type of statement I’d hope to have the eloquence to say to my children one day…

So, in the end, I would suggest giving this book a shot if you are a fan of Vanessa’s and are looking for some entertaining non-fiction. I know I enjoyed my time reading the book! Make sure you check out the book club page on BlogHer and get into the discussions there!

***This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own***

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