Nancy takes us on a journey through her childhood years with an Italian/Polish upbringing, and continues through the triumphs and tribulations of her adulthood with sarcastic humor and grace. As we become immersed in Nancy’s true-life story telling, it becomes obvious that she has a knack for humor in the most unexpected, yet highly relatable moments that we all share in life. She takes us on a humourous and touching journey in which all stories have a common thread: Life’s absurdities show us that we are not alone for this wild ride. Loving oneself for who you are and not what other’s want you to become is imperative. To quote William Shakespeare’s, “Hamlet”, “This above all: To thine own self, be true.”
“Sometimes a collection of short, humorous observational essays are just what the doctor ordered. Author Nancy Chovancek has honed her craft with two previous books; her third, Angry Birds and Beehive Hair goes down like a pre-dinner cocktail.
(pssst…I love the pre-dinner cocktail anecdote).
First things first: The title has nothing to do with the computer app. Chovancek describes in one short piece how her Italian mother wore a beehive hairdo that inspired neighborhood birds to attack and try to claim it as a weekend nest. Other essays poke fun at conference call etiquette, the perennial pleasure of last-minute Christmas shopping at the mall, and family foibles.
Chovancek is at her best when she tells personal stories. Living with Meniere’s disease, deafness and severe vertigo have presented her with challenges she meets with great humor. Her phrasing can be spot-on, too, as in a story about skydiving: “Honestly, I loved the concept of being videotaped, but the result is not one bit flattering. I don’t care how thin or muscular you are–your skin is going to be flapping around during your free fall like a pair of your grandma’s panties on the clothesline during a tornado.”
Fans of Lisa Scottoline’s nonfiction who can’t wait for more will appreciate Angry Birds and Beehive Hair. It’s lighthearted but feisty, and girded by powerful family love. Chovancek is a good ambassador for her health challenges, always human but gifted with great attitude.” – Blue Ink Review
“Modern Mothers will recognize themselves in many scenes, connecting with Chovancek’s experiences through her biting humor.
We should probably start with the unavoidable comparison to Erma Bombeck. Yes, Nancy J. Chovancek is a suburban mother and a humor writer with a conversational style. And Angry Birds and Beehive Hair draws on the Bombeck tradition of making the mundane details of life humorous and entertaining, but Chovancek’s stories have a modern edge. This collection of cantankerous essays covers everything from conference call etiquette (no flushing) to bird-keeping (don’t try it) with Chovancek’s biting sarcasm always at the fore.
A fast, funny read, Angry Birds and Beehive Hair is an exasperated take on the ridiculous side of modern life. In a succession of quick chapters, Chovancek tells about her well-coiffed, if slightly distracted, mother (she of the incredible no-mirror-needed beehive hairdo), how her family handled a couple of surprise celebrity sightings (not subtly), and how she survived her son’s first year of college (barely). Modern mothers, in particular will identify with Chovancek’s struggle to juggle her family’s ever-changing needs.
The topics come fast and furious, which makes this brief collection fly by. Chovancek’s sarcasm is most successful when she delivers her observations in a dry, self-deprecating tone, such as when she details the worst flu of her life: “Breathing through my mouth,” she writes, “is not a natural condition for me. It feels odd, like I’m holding open the garage door and it’s getting really heavy.”
Modern mothers will recognize themselves in many scenes, from helping the eldest kid get his first college apartment to outfitting the youngest for her Brownie troop. Both the apartment and the Brownie uniform are not quite right, of course–too small in both cases–but Chovancek is doing her best to shepherd her family through the inevitable ups and downs of modern life. Angry Birds and Beehive Hair acknowledges the struggle and encourages finding the humor in it all.” – Sheila M. Trask, Foreword Reviews/Clarion Reviews
“Chovancek (I Can Finally Hear Birds) covers territory similar to the turf once occupied by the late Erma Bombeck in this collection of humorous sketches. Drawing from her Polish-Italian background and her life in suburban Chicago, she takes a breezy approach to topics that include family vacations, gym-etiquette violators, the mixed blessings of Facebook, Christmas-shopping nightmares at the mall, and the tyranny of homeowners’ associations (she calls her the North Korean Homeowner’s Assocation)…”Let Them Play with a Cardboard Box” is a nice evocation of the childhood in the 1970s; and the final chapter, on public restrooms, is a keeper. Chovancek has a strong, clear and, for the most part, appealing voice. She is a suburban Everywoman; Her troubles are our troubles, her peeves are our peeves. But her literary niche abounds with practitioners, and, fairly or not, anyone who enters it risks being compared to humorists like Bombeck–or, slightly further afield, Dave Barry or Bill Bryson…An enjoyable collection of observations on some of the less-than-idyllic aspects of suburban family life.” – Kirkus Reviews
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Have you ever read a book that changed your life? This book may help you or someone you know who is dealing with vertigo or dizziness. If you suffer frequently from vertigo or dizziness, you may have what is called Meniere’s Disease. Meniere’s Disease is frequently misdiagnosed. No one in the medical profession knows what causes it. There is no cure. That’s where I come in. I don’t claim to be a doctor, but I have lived with Meniere’s most of my life. I’ve done my homework, and this book is to educate people about the disease and how it is associated with several other issues such as hearing loss and tinnitus. Being a HearStrong Champion, it is my mission and promise to inspire those who recognize themselves in this book that there are alternatives to help you with this disease.
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A candid and often comical journey about hearing loss, Meniere’s Disease and the process of going thru Cochlear Implant surgery will leave you not only enlightend, but well informed on what to expect with hearing loss, coping with Meniere’s Disease, and the process of obtaining candidacy for having cochlear implant surgery. A MUST read for anyone who has hearing loss, depression, and wants to gain empowerment in understanding that this new way of life is the start of a new journey – not the end of a journey.
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