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Getting Real I don't usually read biographies or autobiographies but when I saw that Gretchen Carlson was putting out a book I was rather intrigued I had no clue that she was a violin prodigy This book left me feeling good inside In some parts of the book I felt like she was speaking directly to me as if we were girlfriends I enjoyed this book and may explore in this genre More Than Meets the Eye This book was reviewed as part of 's Vine program which included a free advance copy of the bookGenerally drama is the only thing that draws me to a biography Down and out rock stars actors and actresses hitting rock bottom or those who’ve enduredsurvived horrible situations they have a tale to tell I find the worst biographies are written when the subject is “on top” at a peak in their life those books tend to be a little arrogant preachy and oftentimes pre mature I didn’t know what to expect with Gretchen Carlson’s GETTING REAL as she seems to be at a peak in her career then I found out she was a former Miss America and wondered if there may actually be a story worth readingOn television Gretchen Carlson presents herself as a strong willed and assertive individual I will admit at times she comes across as somewhat tough and maybe even a little rigid but I figure those traits are necessary with her line of work But the tough and serious image doesn’t mesh with the Miss America title and I became curious to learn about her GETTING REAL proved to be an eye and mind opener for me as I discovered there is a much complex and talented individual behind the person I was seeinghearing on televisionNo GETTING REAL is not a flame throwing bomb dropping tell all that reveals dirty disgusting secrets that shock Carlson’s story is can do than cautionary and while it lacks a certain “danger” it definitely proved to be an interesting and worthy read What I enjoyed most about the book is that behind the on air persona is a deep and immensely talented individual with a personal drive that commands respect Told in a self deprecating manner Carlson reveals a great deal about herself throughout and proves that success was never something handed to her she’s worked hard and earned every bit of it A self described chubby girl whose immense skill with the violin earned her right to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra as a young child While strong bonds to her faith and family keep her grounded it also contributed to an inner strength that has guided her independence the ability to stand by decisions and face challenges The focus and drive necessary for her to maintain the highest level of academics she was Valedictorian in high school and earned Summa Cum Laude honors at Stanford and music is both impressive and inspiringThe chapter dedicated to the Miss America contest was particularly interesting and educational I learned a great deal about what Miss America is all about much than swimsuits and how Carlson saw it as an opportunity to crush the negative “tall blonde bimbo” stereotype associated with its contestants Even though she admittedly blew the “uestionanswer” phase of the competition she stunned judges with her violin talent this prompted me to see her performance on YouTube and believe me it’s extraordinary While the Miss America title served a boost to Carlson’s confidence it proved to be a double edged sword as the pageant stereotype was still a formidable obstacle to overcome when staring her broadcasting career In fact she took efforts to steer attention away from that achievementOther revelations in the book include a struggle with selfbody image even through the Miss America phase of her life dealing with sexism attempted sexual assault and a frightening experience with a stalker who haunted her for almost two decades Carlson has been through some trying times in her life but always managed to pull herself together and successfully move forward regardless of the challenge And while most know her for the gig she has at FOXNews it is only a small part of the life she’s livedGETTING REAL is a relaxing read that puts you in a position of understanding the person you see on TV is just the tip of the iceberg Gretchen Carlson proves to be a person of substance not appearance Her book not only reveals her as highly intelligent but genuine and kind a successful role model for anyone not just women A candid funny memoir from the charismatic FOX News channel anchor and Miss America Pageant winner  Celebrity news anchorwoman Gretchen Carlson shares her inspiring story and offers important takeaways for women and men about what it means to strive for and find success in the real world With warmth and wit she takes readers from her Minnesota childhood where she became a violin prodigy through college at Stanford and her in the trenches years as a cub reporter on local television stations before becoming a national news reporter She describes her rise to anchor of  The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson on FOX News channel as a testament to personal strength and perseverance Carlson addresses the intense competitive effort of winning the Miss America Pageant the challenges she’s faced as a woman in broadcast television and how she manages to balance work and family as the wife of high profile sports agent Casey Close and devoted mother to their two children An unceasing advocate for respect and euality for women Carlson writes openly about her own struggles with body image pageant stereotypes building her career and having the courage to speak her mind She encourages women to strive for their goals never give up and always believe in themselves In Getting Real Carlson emerges as a living example of a woman not afraid to chase her dreams and embrace life fully I really enjoyed this book I liked her story the fact that she started playing the violin at such a young age 5 yrs old and the fact that she played her violin at the Miss America pageant talent part of the show is just astonishing By the way she won the Miss America title in 1989 and she was only 5' 3 She later went on to become an anchorwoman and reporter She comments that aside from all of that she feels that her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her two kids Awesome I remember watching the Miss America Pageant in 1988 with my mother I bet my mother that Maya Walker Miss Colorado would win and she chose Gretchen Carlson Miss Minnesota Obviously as a Minnesotan I secretly wanted Gretchen to win but the fun of the competition is to bet against each other My mother and I sat watching Gretchen during her violin performance in the talent competition with tears streaming down our cheeks I had to uickly brush the tears away so I wouldn't be a traitor to Miss Colorado I was truly happy for Gretchen Carlson and Minnesota even though I lost the bet and had to cough up 5 my Dad gave me the 5 ha Gretchen Carlson is the real deal She shares her experiences and struggles with weight loss learning the violin becoming Miss America breaking into television news and the balance of marriage motherhood and a career I found her story to be an inspiration to anyone that has a goal to achieve; whether it be weight loss winning a competition or going after your career I highly recommend this bookI'm a person who likes to give 100 percent to everything I do I want to be the best at my job and as a mother But I realize I can only give 100 percent in the moment I know from experience how wonderful it to compete and win and while it is disappointing to lose it's also an opportunity for parents to teach kids a very important lesson that failure is the key to success I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review2015 Book Challenge 2575 Books Fascinating Insight into Gretchen Carlson's Back Story When you watch a broadcast journalist like Gretchen Carlson on Fox News I wonder what personal journey this person has traveled to be there The answer is inside GETTING REAL This memoir reveals a personal look at Carlson’s journey and it is filled with key turning points and insights for every reader whether you are in journalism or not I loved the storytelling and transparency which Carlson writes into the pages of this book In particular I found the final chapters of the book moving and insightful This journalist who reaches millions and a former Miss America 1989 is thoughtful and open about the words in this book For example on page 243 she writes I've carried the Carlson family dictum—To whom much is given much is expected—with me as a core philosophy my whole life When I think about it I can still hear the rich tones of my grandfather's voice as he preached about love and charity from the pulpit I can see my parents opening their hearts and their checkbooks time and again to help others in our community in Anoka I can recall the intense feelings of compassion when we traveled overseas and met families who could barely afford to put food on the table We were blessed and my parents were determined that we could not suander our good fortune or feel prideful but learn humility and use our advantages to help othersAs I read the pages of GETTING REAL I gained immense respect for Gretchen Carlson While I have not watched her regularly on Fox I'm going to be setting my DVR to capture some of her programs For a uniue and rich reading experience I highly recommend this title Maybe 2 stars is a bit harsh; it’s just that Ms Carlson and I seem to have some philosophical differences I admire her candidness her willingness to speak openly about her faith I believe she was sincere in her desire to change people’s minds about Miss America and the opportunities it offers to young women with talent intelligence and ambition She certainly worked hard enough to earn the title and afterward to adjust to the celebrity it brought her both positive and negative Her story is inspiring It’s not perhaps the way I would choose to influence young women but I have to respect her determination and ability to maintain a positive outlook This book is a solid three and a half stars for me There's no shocking reveal here just the story of how God given talent and gasp hard work pays off Being from Minnesota it was fun to hear her reference places she went whole growing up It was also incredibly interesting to hear her complementary comments of Roger Ailes a year before the lawsuit she filled against him I listened to this book which I would not recommend The author reads it herself and considering she's been in broadcasting for most of her life it's not great It's like she's reading it to a group of children with way too much inflection and emphasis on words It got a little old towards the end To whom much is given is rightThis book greatly saddened me with her message you can do anything She had an extraordinary childhood to build on She thoroughly covers all of her hard work to get where she was but I found she is completely not relatable Her bar that she seemed to always exceed made me feel like a failure Fortunately for her she never experienced the true test of human tenacity the deaths of immediate family members Very few of us are gifted prodigies and lead lives within constant privilege I won Getting Real by Gretchen Carlson in a GoodReads giveaway I received a standard size hardback book of professional design and a full cover photograph of the author Getting Real clocks in with 260 properly thick hardbound book pages with 8 pages of color photographs and tall serifed fonts formatted with easy to read line spacingGetting Real by Gretchen Carlson self agonizes humble brags and then purports to keep a stiff upper lip over whatever small misfortunes can be mustered across a life time span of events that read like a made for TV movie about a woman who stumbles from one once in a lifetime accomplishment to the next all the while feigning of suffering and low self esteem A little too chubby as a kid? Well you became Miss America so things must have worked out Being a violin prodigy wasn’t enough? Well Stanford and Oxford are on the horizon Not everyone you met was kind and supportive? Well you were competing against 50 other women for a shiny tiara made of diamonds That tends to bring out the worst in people And you wound up on topGretchen Carlson’s Getting Real is well enough written It’s perfectly paced and immediately engaging The prose is an example of perfunctory performance precise and correct and neat It’s all tidied up and controlled like a glamour photo Like a made for TV movieAnd that’s how it comes off because no matter how “real” Getting Real gets it’s still wrapped up in this larger than life persona that is “Celebrity Journalist” from this platform that is “Fox News” And so no matter what this book says or does it ends up being what you bring to it It no tells a story then reflects back what you think of itFor me Getting Real was not about this overall story arch of a child violin prodigy who overcomes self esteem issues to become first Miss America and later a 25 year television journalist For me Getting Real was about this perfectly assembled narrative that positive affirmation might makes right and single minded self assurance rules the day A case study in this sort of Grandeur of the Moment that is the American Cult of Personality ruling class Getting Real is recommended as a Good Read for all the right wing Kool Aid drinkers and the detached social observer