Why I Do VFX: The Untold Truths About Working in Visual Effects by Vicki Lau

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Welcome to the blog tour for Why I Do VFX hosted by Iread Book Tours!
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Why I Do VFX book cover
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen

From the city of Singapore to working on over twenty Hollywood blockbuster films and TV series such as “The Walking Dead,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Aquaman,” and “War for the Planet of the Apes,” comes one of the first books of its kind in the visual effects (VFX) industry.

With a unique blend of self-help, career strategy, and memoir-like elements, Vicki Lau speaks to the core of what it is like to work behind-the-scenes on some of your favorite Hollywood titles, covering strategies employed in order to maneuver her way into the upper echelons of the industry.

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Girl Shock! by Maria Konner

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Girl Shock book cover with girl body but boy head coming out of body (showing that the girl is a trans woman).

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This memoir is amazing! Maria Konner has provided the reader with such a genuine view of her life, and it’s an amazing journey. I’m so appreciative I had the chance to read this!

“We all create a huge impact that we can’t measure. Of course, when you’re changing your sex and entertaining folks, your presence tends to hit a little harder!”

Girl Shock! by Maria Konner

There were so many wonderful comments from Maria throughout the book. I really loved this one above. She’s talking about how a trans person impacted her as a child, and how in turn she may be impacting others. I loved that whole section.

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When She Comes Back by Ronit Plank

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
When She Comes Bac
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When She Comes Back is an absolutely amazing, yet heartbreaking memoir. The strength of Ronit throughout this story is amazing, and it speaks volumes to the determination to overcome that she had.

Her story takes us through her parental abandonment of her and her absolutely devastating childhood. Ronit provides a view of her life through the lens of hope rather than devastation though, which makes this emotional read one that provides an uplifting feeling for the reader.

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Shit Adults Never Taught Us by Natasha Sattler

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
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with rip
Book Genre "Learning" with "Learn" spelled in blocks

𝙎𝙝𝙞𝙩 𝘼𝙙𝙪𝙡𝙩𝙨 𝙉𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙏𝙖𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙐𝙨 it is filled with hilarious life lessons that you truly don’t get taught until you are smack-dab in the middle of life trying to figure it out yourself.

The book is broken up into different “Shit” sections:
Career and Money Shit
Relationship Shit
Mind Shit
Life Shit

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Serious Little Catholics by Kathy Gereau

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Serious Little Catholics book cover with photo of three children
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a wonderful memoir! Kathy’s personality is fun and really comes out through the words on the page! I really enjoyed that she writes this book with light-hearted stories and a lovely attitude.

Serious Little Catholics is a story of growing up Catholic. We see Kathy’s thoughts and perspective of being in Catholic school and beyond. She tells stories that make you laugh, and she provides great context around the faith that she grew up in.

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Cerebral Palsy: A Story by Ilana Estelle

Welcome to the blog tour for Cerebral Palsy: A Story hosted by iRead Book Tours!
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Book Cover "Cerebral Palsy: A Story" with birds flying over a stormy water
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen

Born the second of premature twins, Ilana knew she was different from a young age, but for all the wrong reasons. Part memoir, part motivational guide, this is Ilana’s open and honest journey, from an angry confused child, knowing something was wrong, but not knowing what, to the ‘real’ her – a courageous woman using her experiences and lessons to create inspiring messages about mental and physical health, positivity, resilience and change.

Just the Facts:

Cerebral Palsy: A Story by Ilana Estelle
Genre: Memoir
Page Count: 288 pages
Publisher: RedDoor Press
Pub Date: Feb 1, 2020

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Into the Deep by Robert D. Ballard and Christopher Drew

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Into the Deep book cover with words in big wave
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen

I have always been interested in the Titanic’s wreck site, and when I had the chance to read this book, I was all about it! Bob Ballard’s memoir, Into the Deep covers not only his discovery and exploration of the Titanic’s site, but also so many other wonderful underwater finds!

This was a great read that really brought me along on some fantastic journeys! I loved that there were photographs included to bring these discoveries to life as I read. I feel like there was so much to learn, and so much I never knew about the Titanic, but also about all the other wonderful things Ballard has done for underwater exploration.

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Strong Like Water by Laila Tarraf

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Book cover "Strong Like Water" with cover image of water rippling
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is all memoir, self-help, and inspiration. I loved that while it discusses ways to be stronger in a business setting, this story really prepares you to be successful in life.

Tarraf takes the reader on her emotional journey of heartbreak and growth. I was saddened reading about Laila’s childhood where her parents’ fighting turned physical, creating a poor home environment for her. After she started her own family, she endured a devastating loss of her husband as well as both of her parents. Her story talks about her therapy and finding a way through her grief. The things that she learns, she speaks to us about applying in our daily lives, both personally and professionally.

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Survival of the Thickest by Michelle Buteau

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Hilarious! I laughed out loud reading this book more than I have in a long time. Michelle Buteau is hilarious. She also had the ability to create extremely emotional moments that had me bawling while I listened. This is a book that you should listen to the audio if you have the chance. Michelle narrates it, and she does an absolutely phenomenal job!

This is a memoir that will take you on a journey of Michelle’s romance situations, both absolutely hilarious and heartwarming, her friendships, her family, her job, her journey to being a mother, and her overall thoughts on life.

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Have You Seen These Children? by Veronica Slaughter

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When Veronica was only 8 years old, her father kidnapped her and her four siblings taking them from the Philippines to the United States. Moving from state to state to avoid getting caught, they lived a life of fear and abuse with their father. Her memoir of this horrible experience is a moving, emotional story that is hard to put down.

This book is so filled with emotion, as a reader, I was pulled into the story, but as a human being, a mom, a sister, a daughter…I was INVESTED in the story. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering of a mother finding that all of her children have been kidnapped in one fell swoop. For children to have to go through an experience like this is awful. I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know what was going to happen!

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I’m So Glad You’re Here by Pamela Gay

Rating: 3 out of 5.

My Synopsis:

I’m So Glad You’re Here is a memoir written by Pamela Gay. She shares her very traumatic early life experiences and how those shaped her life. Pamela witnessed her father’s forced removal from their family home at a young age. He was restrained and wheeled out right in front of her, leaving a terrible mental imprint on her. Pamela’s family later moved to Florida leaving her behind, which further impacts her mental health.

Pamela shares with the reader that she was later diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. She tries a multitude of methods to help her, but finally finds eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as a therapy method and finds that it helps her. This leads her to the beginning of her healing process.

How I Felt:

Pamela Gay’s story was written with such an honest, emotional voice. I thought that she was very open about her experiences and her recovery process, and I appreciated that. She talks a lot about her family’s dynamic, how they interacted with one another, and also about their mental health history. I like how this information helped to shape her story, and I found it very interesting.

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Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Mikel Jollett wrote this memoir in a way that made me see how he felt going through these experiences. His narrative changes as he ages, so I really got a sense of the issues that he dealt with during each age range of his life. As a child, his story is written with a child’s narrative, and it was my favorite part. I loved how he chose to spell or write words, making me understand what this word meant or how it sounded to him as a child.

How I Felt:

I listened to the audio version of this book, so my review will discuss both the book itself, and the narration of the book.

Mikel Jollett spent the early years of his life in a cult called Synanon in California. Synanon started as a drug rehabilitation group, drawing Mikel’s parents to the cult, as his father was an addict. Synanon leaders soon forgot their original purpose, transforming into the cult Mikel grew up in. All children were separated from parents and raised in an orphanage-type environment within the Synanon encampment. Many children did not understand who their parents were, and some families rarely saw each other. Mikel writes about his brother in a description of the treatment of the children and it broke my heart.

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