Joan and Melissa Rivers

WHY ‘THE BOOK OF JOAN’ FROM MELISSA RIVERS MADE ME CRAZY ABOUT HER MOM JOAN ALL OVER AGAIN……By Debra Lewis-Boothman

That was quick! Yup, the lazy days of  summer has begun and with it comes the task of choosing  books that will get  you through lots of hot days by the  pool and at the lake.  I’ve already  planned a weekend  trip to the legendary family-owned bookstore  the  Strand. If I am lucky  I might even bump into  Nancy  who runs the store with her dad Fred.  I haven’t seen Nancy since our kids attended nursery school together.

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I  put my  summer reading  list together weeks ago . It’s an eclectic list ranging from  Chick Lit to memoirs, poetry  books to a few   DIY-ers – learning how to Code and even one on  how to build a doghouse .

In  just a few days  the family and I will  head to Pennsylvania  to officially start our summer vacation. I’ve  made the necessary stops at the library to pick up the  kids’ books for their required summer reading,  With reading materials put on reserve for pickup  our  evenings for  reading are squared away and will be filled with adventures, laughs and visits to far off lands thanks in part to our books.

One title I am looking forward to curling up with  is the Melissa Rivers bestselling  memoir,  ‘The Book of Joan.’

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I’ve had this book a few weeks now but  have held off reading saving it for my summer reading. Having only skimmed over the first chapter I am besides myself to just  dig in and read it all in one non-stop go.

Skimming through the bestseller,

Skimming through the bestseller, “The Book Of Joan” by Melissa Rivers.

After  meeting and  and hearing Melissa speak about her mom at  a  luncheon during  her  NYC  press tour I grew to like her even more than before.  I was even lucky enough to  have my copy of her memoir personally signed by her. So this book  is a define keepsake.

Melissa Rivers signature  in The Book of Joan

Melissa Rivers signed this copy of crownheightsmom’s ‘ Book of Joan’.

Since its release, the book has been climbing the bestseller charts and is  currently sitting on the New York Times,  the Los Angeles Times’ and  USA Todays’ Bestsellers books lists.

A quick sneak peek in  Chapter One  already  has me in stitches.  I can already tell  this is going to be  lots of laughs-out-loud. I am  literally rolling on the floor as Melissa retells events from her life with her mum.  Joan truly shines through each pages and  at every mention .

I am pleased that Melissa was able to take readers into the  world  she shared with her mother,  giving readers a  first class, front row seats into their wacky, funny and  loving family life. I can’t wait to read even more. 

When Melissa arrived  at  the MOMS event  held at Juniper Bar  in Midtown Manhattan,  I half expected to see Joan  following directly behind her.Smiling, she greeted everyone with a wide  smile and  an excited “Hello everybody.”   Dressed in a fun floral swing dress  to the knees and copper pumps she quickly took her seat next to  hosts Denise Albert  and Melissa Musen Gerstein the co-creators of The MOMS . The trio  chatted about everything Joan and family life.

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I left the event feeling that Melissa Rivers   is funny as hell. It was  clearly visible  how alike in personalities she and mom Joan really are.

Writing the book gave me permission to laugh.-—Melissa Rivers

Melissa looked happy and  everyone present noticed it. It  was good to see that  8 months after her mother’s passing the single mom was   looking healthy and happy.

“I don’t come from a family where you sit in a puddle and fall apart,” Rivers said off the bat in  dealing with the loss of her mum,  Joan’s death in 2014 she says plainly, ” You get up and you go forward.”

The MOMS discuss

Denise Albert [L],Melissa Rivers and Melissa Musen Gerstein [R] chat about Joan Rivers.

Readers  will come away knowing  how kind  my mother was and how real she was.”  – Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers poses with mom bloggers  in NYC

Melissa Rivers poses with The MOMS, CrownHeightsMom and other mom bloggers at Juniper Bar in NYC

After Joan was buried  Melissa  jumped head first into writing her memoir. Thanks to  her editor whom she she recalled meeting  the day  of the funeral when, as Melissa tells the  story  “this lady walked up to me extended her condolences   and proceeded  to kindly place a business card  into my hands.”  The rest is history – the result a well written and  oh so funny memoir  that will make Joan proud.

CrownHeigthsMom posing with Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers and Debra Lewis-Boothman

This  book  gives you a moment to laugh.”–Melissa Rivers

Writing the book say Melissa  brought comfort as well as a flurry of emotions– joy and tears. “I sat for a few hours every day  and a couple of times every week with my writing partner and I remembered funny stories and it allowed me to laugh. It gave me permission where nobody can judge me. It’s a funny book.Writing the book gave me permission to laugh.  Melissa  adds that these feelings and memories  spawned a bigger mission for her—preserving her mother’s legacy.

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On June 8  the GRAMMY Museum debuted its latest exhibit, Joan Rivers: Can We Talk?  to commemorate the comedian’s life . Joan won a posthumous Grammy in February for Best Spoken Word  for her  Diary of a Mad Diva. The current Grammy exhibit  showcases various stage costumes worn by  Joan during her career. It  also features family  photos, her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star award,  her hardcover book collection- including several of her New York Times bestsellers, the 1984 Harvard Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Award,  her 1990 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk/Service Show Host and  one of her  Louis Vuitton travel trunks. The exhibit runs  through September 20th.

Going it alone  without both parents, Melissa says she misses them (her dad  passed away when she was almost  18) but,  she has kept going for her only child,  Cooper 14. “Having kids changes the dynamics of how you get through grief”  says Melissa . “You get up and you move forward,” she says,  adding, “That is how we have lived our whole live. There are days  that are angry days, some  that are painful days  and that’s fine. ” Adds the proud mom,   “My son needs to see that there is light at the end of every tunnel. Yes, there are days that are horrible and it sucks, but we are going through it.  The example has to be that life continues and it does. That is what your parents would want you to show your children.”

Joan and Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers and her mom Joan Rivers

 “There was such a realness to our relationship [ it ] that everyone could see a little bit of themselves.”-Melissa Rivers on  the relationship she shared with mum Joan.

On working with her mum for so long.  Melissa says,  ” In creating a career with my mom, it was hard and it was difficult and it was frustrating.   It was coming to peace and terms with a lot of certain  things and understanding that  there  are preconceived notions,” she notes, adding,” For me it was having to work harder than everybody  else to prove that I am  my  own person.”

Coming  from a showbiz family she says of going into the biz.”If you are going where your parents went and your parents were  successful, you are going to have to work harder. You might get the interview but you are not going to get the job because of it.”   If you get the job everybody will say you only got it because of your parents, so you have to work ten times harder just to be considered to be  as good as everybody else and  you know that  and it doesn’t make it fair and it doesn’t make it less frustrating.

“We never let her drive! The worst words to hear at home from my mom was, ‘Melissa get in the car!'”-Melissa Rivers  on mom Joan’s driving.

Melissa admits that growing up as the daughter of Joan Rivers wasn’t easy. “I wrestled  control over  certain things by the time I was 17.”  In facts she  says, “We never let her drive! The worst words to hear at home from my mom was, ‘Melissa get in the car'”. Other things say Melissa  included Joan hiding money around the house.  ” She was also not good with her Blackberry and she could not deal with the iPhone, at all,”adds Melissa.

Writing the book  made it ok to laugh and  ok to say we are all a little crazy.”—Melissa Rivers

Melissa says she hopes  that the  take away from reading “The Book of Joan” will be that, “readers  will come away knowing  how kind  my mother was and how real she was.”  She adds that she  hopes that it gives readers  a moment to stop and laugh. ” About  that  special thing her and mom  Joan shared she says, “What resonated  with us is that people related  to us. Everyone could see a little bit of themselves with us and admitted it was ok to laugh.My mother’s personality was so big and she was so well known and was such a character you are hearing about it in her voice but from my point of view, which is different from her point of view. ”

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I want  people to know that even though our lives were crazy we took  moments to laugh.- Melissa Rivers

Moms are  big fans of Melissa Rivers' new  memoir

Mom bloggers Nichol[L] and Nilsa[R] deciding on who will get this copy.

“I want people to know how kind my mother was and how real she was and that even though our lives were crazy we took  moments to laugh.

“One of the things that always resonated with  my business partnership with my mother and our performing together and her being her and me  being me is that people related to us because of the  mother  daughter relationship.  There was such a realness to  it that everyone could see a little bit of themselves. It made it ok to laugh and say ok, we are all a little crazy,” says the Fashion Police co-host.

If you would like your own copy of Melissa River’s memoir “The Book Of Joan” you can grab it at the  Strand Bookstore  in NYC or at  their website here.

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EMOTIONS GONE WILD? NOT REALLY! JOY AND SADNESS GET TO WORK HARMONIOUSLY TO SAVE THE DAY IN PIXAR’S ‘INSIDE OUT’…….by Debra Lewis-Boothman

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The emotional character  from Pixar's "Inside Out" Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith)

While sitting inside the Dolby Screening Room at a recent MOMS screening of Disney  Pixar’s animated  movie ‘Inside Out‘ three pairs of eyes looked over at me to see if I was crying. I had taken my 9-year old daughter, Kameko,  my 7-year old son  Kai and  his friend Lexi Anne  also 7,  along to the screening.

Three cute NYC kids attending Pixar's 'Inside Out' Lexi Anne 7, Kai 7 and Kameko 9 are over-the-moon happy after seeing the MOMS’ screening of “Inside Out”at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

At a particular point in the movie Kai and Lexi Anne began whispering to each .I then noticed that they were staring intently at me to see if I had tears streaming down.  I quickly said  before they could  say anything, “Hey, guys  are those tears…

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EMOTIONS GONE WILD? NOT REALLY! JOY AND SADNESS GET TO WORK HARMONIOUSLY TO SAVE THE DAY IN PIXAR’S ‘INSIDE OUT’…….by Debra Lewis-Boothman

The emotional character  from Pixar's "Inside Out"

Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith)

While sitting inside the Dolby Screening Room at a recent MOMS screening of Disney  Pixar’s animated  movie ‘Inside Out‘ three pairs of eyes looked over at me to see if I was crying. I had taken my 9-year old daughter, Kameko,  my 7-year old son  Kai and  his friend Lexi Anne  also 7,  along to the screening.

Three cute NYC kids attending Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Lexi Anne 7, Kai 7 and Kameko 9 are over-the-moon happy after seeing the MOMS’ screening of “Inside Out”at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

At a particular point in the movie Kai and Lexi Anne began whispering to each .I then noticed that they were staring intently at me to see if I had tears streaming down.  I quickly said  before they could  say anything, “Hey, guys  are those tears I see in YOUR eyes? ” They  each quickly  replied  “No”, with Kai admitting soon after with, “Oh just a little. That was a sad part.”  I in turn replied, “Yes that was a sad part and I did cry just  a little.”  My daughter Kameko hearing our whispers  chose then to announce matter-of-factly,  with Kai in the background nodding,  “Mommy cries a lot at  movies. She likes to let her  feelings out. She also cried  during  [Rihanna’s movie] Home, and at [ Michael Rapaport’s] Little Boy.

” Shhh, don’t tell anyone, I say to Kameko as Lexi Anne looks on and a mom  sitting in earshot  turns around and  smiles at me.

I learned then that kids are always  paying full  attention  and  especially taking in  our  emotions. Yup,  my kids are definitely  paying attention to mine.Which gets me back to Inside Out.

Screeing Pixar's 'Inside Out" at  NYC's Dolby Screening Room

Kameko, LexiAnne and Kai catching up on kids stuff before watching Inside Out at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

I truly enjoyed this film  and so did the  kids. They have already asked to see it again  and I have promised a movie night  over the summer break. I  definitely see it becoming one of  our Pixar family faves the same way,  Toy Story and  Wall-E has become.  I also already know that this movie  including   all  its   merchandising products will be on their Xmas lists this year.

About the movie if you haven’t seen it  yet. The movie  centers around  pre-teen Riley, an 11-year-old girl  who is uprooted from  her Midwest home and  life as she knows it -to  now reside in the urban city  landscape of San Francisco  when her dad takes a new job  transplanting the family almost 2,000 miles away.

For Riley this couldn’t come at a worst life stage- the pre-teen years – a ball of emotions . Her  feelings of being taken away  from life-long friends, from ice-hockey games on the lake — to now being the new kid having  to make  new friends  and at a new school .Overwhelming? To her , it’s  the end of the world.

But  this is where it gets interestingYes , Inside Out is about  11-year-old  Riley, but behind the  scenes the real stars that take center stage are her emotions that are wrecking havoc in her brain — enter the five brightly colored characters  that represent  joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust . Riley’s emotions.

Disgust, Fear, Joy, Sadness and Anger are 'Inside Out' star emotions

These  five conflicting emotions literally take over the pre-teen’s   life as she attempts to try to fit in to her new surroundings but her emotional “headquarters ” where these five characters reside  is  full of non stop activity.  Joy ( voice of  Poehler ) the mother hen, leader and voice of reason  tries to keep Riley happy  and positive  while the other emotions  each vying to be the “top-dog emotion ” to dominate Riley’s inner life, they just seem to complicate matters  sending everything into a tailspin and  lending to a movie that is  laugh-out-loud, funny, exciting, colorful and splashed with traces of  sadness  mixed in.

It will definitely  be a walk down  childhood’s memory lane and filled with nostalgia for most adults .

Seeming to be at  the forefront though is the  message that sadness and joy can  work hand in hand for an  outcome of happiness and  good. In reality,  we do  go through sadness or loss in order to encounter happiness at the end of the rainbow. This message though,  might go over kids’ heads  as they are watching the movie with it brightly colored and cute as ever characters. So the take-away lesson  of,  “it may take sadness before you get happy” may be a bit too much for them to take in –older ones will get it – but  this  is one  of the messages I found  to  be recurring.

Actor Bill Hader talks to The MOMS about  loving 'Bing Bong"

Bill Hader (Fear) popped in for a super fast chat with the MOMS.

Stopping by just before the  start   of the screening for a quick Q&A with  the MOMS’ co-creators, Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein  was actor   Bill Hader. The actor  plays the voice of Fear in the movie.

Bill Hader is that Guy! He is Fear--some

Bill Hader tell PEOPLE Magazine he “kinda stalked” Pixar execs to play the role of FEAR

Speaking to the  kids Hader  says , “When you see Fear come in , thats my voice, ” adding  “Do you know that this ( movie)  is from the same guys that made “Toy Story ” and “Monsters Inc” and “Up?”

On how he snagged  his  role  Hader  recently told PEOPLE he “stalked” Pixar  execs . He did say at the screening, “I was such a fan of  Pixar [their] movies that I went to where they worked and I asked, ‘Can you please put me in one if your movies’.  I wouldn’t leave  and now because of my persistence, I play Fear in the movie.”

The actor also told the kids that he’s done some other well known kid movies. ” I have been in  “Cloudy and  a Chance of Meatballs,” I played Lachlan,” he says.

On his favorite character in  the  movie  and no,  it is not his character! Hader declares,  “My favorite character is a character  by the name of Bing Bong.”   Adds the former SNL star,  “When Bing Bong shows up just brace yourselves. He’s the  best character in the movie!”

Actor Richard Kind plays Bing Bong who cries candy tears.

Actor Bill Hader says he is a huge fan of Bing Bong played by actor Richard Kind.

The movie took a few years to make .  ” It took five years . I’m not kidding,  says Hader of the  making of Inside Out.  Adds Hader, “Back in 2011, I went to Pixar and I started recording with Amy Poehler who plays Joy  and Mindy Palin who play Disgust and  others. So five years  of recording.  That’s how long it takes to make one of these movies.”

To finally see it  Hader says, “It is a beautiful, beautiful film and we are so happy.”  Say  the  father of three,  “The  cast and film-makers all got to see the finished product three months ago. We all went to Skywalker Ranch, that’s George Lucas’ ranch where all the  Star Wars stuff is.  We  got to watch the movie in a  room(screening room)  like this and we were laughing and crying.”

Yes the movie will make you laugh and  cry.

I recommend that  families go together to see Inside Out. I loved that the movie in a special way lets   both children and adults know feelings of   joy, sadness, anger disgust, or even fear do work harmoniously  together inside of us .

The kids gives their ratings. Inside Out  gets  5 out of 5 POPCORN STARS!  imgres. imgresimgresimgresimgres

The kids summed up their feelings in this  pic below:

'LOVE it" -How kids feel about 'Inside Out.'

The kids say this pic represents their feeling about ‘Inside Out.’ They “LOVED” it!

Also read  what they  had to say about  the movie  below:

I loved that sadness and joy worked as a team even though they are opposites— KAMEKO, 9

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Anger always made me laugh…KAI, 7

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I loved that Joy was alway happy and never gave up on Riley and holding on to her happy memories.–KAMEKO, 9

Joy  is always happy. I like when people are happy. LEXI ANNE, 7

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Even though Sadness is always sad, she has courage.–KAI, 7

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It was a very emotional movie and it was about emotions.  It actually made me feel sad at some places.—-KAI, 7

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 My favorite part of the movie was when Riley was a little girl and she had an imaginary friend named Bing Bong.   I liked how Riley made up a song about her imaginary friend.—LEXI  ANNE, 7

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Bing Bong is Riley’s imaginary friend from her early childhood. He’s a mix of an elephant, a cat, cotton candy and can squeal like a dolphin.

The Lyrics to Riley’s  and Bing Bong’s  song….

Who’s your friend who likes to play?

Bing Bong, Bing Bong

His rocket makes you want to yell hooray

Bing Bong, Bing Bong

Who’s the best at every way, and wants to sing this song to say

Bing Bong, Bing BONG!

Check out the trailer below and go see ‘Inside Out’ at your  nearest movie theater in your city ,See Fandango for listings

BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN IN CROWN HEIGHTS KNOWS HOW TO THROW ONE HECK OF A FROLIC!

It was lots of  skipping, jumping, frolicking and dancing with the  Mark Lamb Dance company amongst real life  butterflies and Spring flowers this past weekend if  you were in Brooklyn  and  experienced the  Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s FROLIC festival and  grand opening of  its  new  Discovery Garden.

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Talk about a whale of a good time! My kids and I have not had this much fun discovering, smelling, touching  and cavorting through the many gardens within the Garden as we did on Saturday. What a thrill!  Making this Frolic even more special was the numerous activities and events  planned around the new Discovery Garden’s grand opening  located  just inside of the Flatbush Avenue entrance.

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The new Discovery Garden is a child’s outdoor dream of discovery —-designed by the award-winning firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.  It encourages children to touch, examine  and explore nature through hands-on experiences. From toddler to adult  one can investigate plants and animals to uncover their mysteries or learn about the Garden  and plant wildlife at many of the  fun  hand-on exhibits  while also exploring the  meadow,  marsh, or  the woodlands habitats throughout the Gardens.

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Activities across  the Garden that kept the kids excited included  crafting their own butterfly  antennae,  going on a  wondrous sonic scavenger hunt with stops in Brazil, India,  Indonesia, West Africa  and Australia. We then  pranced across   the  Cherry Esplanade and bumped into all sorts of  out-of-this-world  larger than life  moths and dragonflies  all members of  a clutch of fantastical creatures courtesy of Ralph Lee’s Mettawee River Theater Company who seamlessly cavorted  amongst the Garden goers  and through the  bare cherry blossom trees and pathways.  The  excitement  and looks of awe on people’s faces was addicting..

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Dixieland Jazz by the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band

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Salieu Suso play the West African Kora

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The kids encounter a cool unearthly being from Mettawee River Theater Company

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A fun creatures encounter

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In awe of this creature

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My favorite encounter witha creature courtesy of the Mettawee River Theater Company

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The only short break -less than 5 minutes— the kids took

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This giant puppet creature lead the parade through the Botanic Garden

 

Go visit The Brooklyn Botanical Garden and check out the Discovery Garden. Hours:  Tue- Fri :8am-6pm ;  Sat and  Sun: 10am-6pm ; Mondays: Closed