15. B is for Beer

You might want to grab a cold brewski before sitting down to read B is for Beer by Tom Robbins.  You’re going to need one to get through it.  This is another book I picked up two years ago and didn’t get around to it until today.  This is the latest from Robbins but unfortunately not his best.  It came out in 2009.  I’m a real die-hard fan of Robbins, especially Jitterbug Perfume, Skinny Legs and All, and Another Roadside AttractionB is for Beer doesn’t have a really absorbing storyline like Robbins usually writes, nor is there the strong character building.

This is a fairy tale about beer and Gracie Perkel.  At the beginning of the story, Gracie is five years old and curious about the customary liquid substance of choice of her father that makes him go pee-pee. His refusal to let her have a sip while watching a football match leads her to getting one from her Uncle Moe.  Her Uncle Moe schools her a little on life and of course on beer.  Henceforth, commences her interest and slight obsession with beer.  He leaves the day of her sixth birthday for Costa Rica and doesn’t get to honor his promise to take her to visit the Redhook brewery.  Disheartened she guzzles her first beer, gets sick, meets the Beer Fairy, and the adventure begins.  Yes, I said the Beer Fairy.

I really have to say not an interesting book other than to find out facts about beer and to learn how it’s made.  If you know that already there’s no need to read this.  You do get funny info like; “Speaking of inventions, did you know that the tin can was invented in 1811, but can openers weren’t invented until 1855?” B is for Beer p. 15 or”….thirty-six billion gallons of beer are sold in the world every year.” B is for Beer p. 83   Since it’s a fairy tale you can guess how it ends.  Robbins does every now and then show his talent for witty one liners and funny descriptions, but I wouldn’t suggest you read this if it’s your first time reading Robbins.  I would suggest Jitterbug Perfume.  Overall I’d rate this 125 page, two and a half hour read two and a half stars.  I was disappointed.  The cover was promising.  I was expecting a whirlwind ride and I got B is for Boring.  If you do decide to read it, for God’s sake don’t buy; have a friend lend it to you, check it out from the library, or buy it for a couple of dollars on your Kindle!  I hope this won’t be Tom Robbins’ last word because I do love his crazy, outlandish, adventurous, and unpretentious storytelling.  It’s refreshing!  It would be a shame for him to finish his career like this.

14. Hair Products 101

Organic Root Stimulator, Shea Moisture, Jane Carter’s Solution, Oyin Handmade, Uncle funky’s Daughter, As I Am, Ouidad, Talijah Wajid, Carol’s Daughter, Hair Rules, Koils by Nature, Karen’s Body Beautiful, Jessicurl, Komaza Care, Mixed Chicks, Giovanni Cosmetics, Darcy’s Botanicals, Hairveda, and so on….. The list is getting longer and longer as natural hair becomes more popular in the African-American community.  Companies are jumping on the natural hair bandwagon to try to earn lots of money in the ever-growing market of natural hair products.  Companies that are developing natural hair care products are sprouting like mushrooms.  Some are even trying to sell their products, while promising stupendous results, without even taking an ounce of care towards the ingredients that they use in their products.  Inticing naturals who are searching for the product that will give them the perfect curl, the product names often contain the word curl or curly.  The question is:  Which products are the best for your hair?

In the beginning, I spent time worrying about products and living in France didn’t make it easy for me.  Sporting my twa (teeny-weeny afro), I realized that I needed moisture in my hair and I wasn’t ready to turn into a product junkie trying to find the right one, especially since I would have to order everything online.  I survived and my hair grew with the simplest methods, *co-washing, leave-in, and sealing with jojoba oil.  Two years ago, I didn’t have Hair Products 101 A 4-Step Process to Empower You To  Select the Best Products for Your Hair.  Chicoro hadn’t written it yet.  I was fortunate enough to have read her first book, Grow it!  How to Grow Afro-Textured Hair to Maximum Lengths in the Shortest Time.  Having been very impressed with all the efficient information in Grow it! made me want to check out Hair Products 101 and I wasn’t disappointed.  This is an excellent guide for choosing the right hair products for your texture.  Chicoro breaks it down and explains how we can get side tracked into buying products because we like the shape of the bottle or the color of the label.  These new companies are using all the marketing strategies possible to make their products attractive.  But, did you? “Most studies on hair are conducted using Caucasian and Asian hair.  It is difficult for research centers to obtain long, unaltered, unprocessed Afro-textured hair……The practice of the hair care industry is to use Asian hair to represent Afro-textured hair.  The Asian hair is treated with alkali, or it is steamed and heat damaged until it crinkles so that it looks “kinky” and curly.” Hair Products 101 p. 7

An overview of the 4-step process is given in the beginning after explaining the rare commodity value of afro hair.  She then gives an explanation of the human hair fiber, comparing Afro, Asian, and Caucasian hair.  She then urges naturals to follow the growth of their hair through photos and answering all the questions in her “understanding your hair” survey.  It’s a template that you can copy from pages 42 to 49 and answer with care to continue a successful healthy hair growth journey.  There is also a big section on solvents , surfactants, protein treatments,etc.  This leads into what Chicoro calls cheat sheets.  They designate how to identify, recognize, and categorize, ingredients.  The end of the book contains case studies.  There you can read a problematic from a natural and what Chicoro suggests as solutions.

Interesting book and explained clearly and simply in 111 pages.  I rate it 4 1/2 stars.  This could be the book to help a product junkie to repent and to prevent others from becoming one.  I don’t know much about Chicoro, but she definitely has a wealth of information that should be more publicized.  This information will enable us to stop being victims of the sharp marketing tactics in the hair care industry.  Please check out both of her books and her website at http://beautifybitbybit-chicoro.blogspot.fr/