Standalone Sunday: We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!
Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list

My Standalone Pick this week is: We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union.

BLURB: In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.


I chose this book because I love Gabrielle Union aka Miss Mary Jane. She seems to be a down to earth person and a straight shooter. My husband said it was an interesting look into her life and views. I believe I will enjoy it because she keeps it real.

Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott & Larry Platt

Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott & Larry Platton 2015-03-10
Pages: 320
AmazonB&NNarrator: Adam Lazarre-White, Cassandra Campbell
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer.  You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” – Stuart Scott The fearless, intimate, and inspiring story behind ESPN anchor Stuart Scott’s unrelenting fight against cancer, with a foreword by Robin Roberts. Shortly before he passed away, on January 4, 2015, Stuart Scott completed work on this memoir. It was both a labor of love and a love letter to life itself. Not only did Stuart relate his personal story—his childhood in North Carolina, his supportive family, his athletic escapades, his on-the-job training as a fledgling sportscaster, his being hired and eventual triumphs at ESPN—he shared his intimate struggles to keep his story going. Struck by appendiceal cancer in 2007, Stuart battled this rare disease with an unimaginable tenacity and vigor. Countless surgeries, enervating chemotherapies, endless shuttling from home to hospital to office and back—Stuart continued defying fate, pushing himself through exercises and workout routines that kept him strong. He wanted to be there for his teenage daughters, Sydni and Taelor, not simply as their dad, but as an immutable example of determination and courage. Every Day I Fight is a saga of love, an inspiration to us all.From the Hardcover edition.

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Stuart said “This is what Cancer does. It makes everything profound. It makes everything urgent.”

I just finished this book and I feel inspired. I have lost family members to cancer and I hate cancer for the insidious disease it is. But listening to this audiobook, I felt hope and courage. Stuart Scott said “You beat Cancer by continuing to live, by refusing to be just a cancer patient.” And he did his best to live despite having this disease that ravaged his body.

To hear his life told from his own words was so thought-provoking and motivating. He said about cancer “it can kill you and make you stronger, all at the same time.” What an intense, yet poignant outlook on the sickness that did eventually take Stuart’s life. The narrator Adam Lazarre-White was amazing.
From the beginning, through his voice I heard Stuart Scott and forgot it was another person narrating. He had all the same general easy going tone and even excitement that drew audiences from every facet of the sports universe. It is a thing of beauty when the narrator doesn’t displace the narrative, but instead, immerses the listener into the words on the page.

It felt like hearing Stuart in my ears, directly from his own mouth. This is one of the most reflective audiobooks that I have ever listened to. I heard the author’s love of his life, his family and his job. If there is one thing I saw on ESPN, it was that Stuart enjoyed relating the daily goings-on in sports. This was a man who brought his all and made it entertaining and relatable to me.
This book also gave me a different insight into the life of a person trying to live despite cancer. It was eye opening that hearing what I considered words of support such as “you are going to beat this” or “you are stronger than this disease” may not be what the cancer patient may want to hear. It also made me cognizant that “the cancer” not be the subject discussed all the time since they already live it every minute of every day.
This memoir also serves a love note to his fans but most of all, to his loved ones to tell everyone how much he enjoyed his life and loved his family. It also imparts to the reader that Stuart recognized the trust sports fans all over placed in him. This narrator delivered this story with confidence and it was amazing that Stuart was devoid of self-pity. That’s not say Stuart didn’t express misery at times, but he continued in spite of his despair. That is what I take away from this memoir. As Stuart said:

“Cancer can kill you. But it can also make the man you always wanted to be.”

I take that quote to mean that I should make every minute count. So I will hug my family and tell them what they mean to me by words and deeds daily. When I don’t feel like working out or eating properly, I will remind myself, that Stuart Scott went to work out for 45 minutes after each chemotherapy treatment. When I don’t feel like doing my job because I don’t feel like it, I will remember the effort it took for Stuart to pull himself together to accept the Jimmy V award at the 2014 ESPY. He embraced each opportunity he could in his 49 years of life; I will seek to do the same.

*Special Thanks to PENGUIN GROUP Blue Rider Press via Netgalley

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