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~Blogging for Books~ Story Genius by Lisa Cron

While in school my concentration was in Creative Writing, and I struggled with characters, and creating different voices for each character. But I still enjoyed writing each of the different stories I came up with. Story Genius by Lisa Cron stuck out to me because of its catchy cover but also because of its subject matter. It never occurred to me to continue writing stories after college, I haven’t made any effort to write creatively but this book brought back a lot of those college semesters.

What I liked about the book was the voice of the narrator. Very funny and it was almost as if I was discussing literature with a peer. Another thing was the humor, especially when it brought up Fifty Shades of Grey. (If you like this series, take no offense, you are entitled to like any book you like. And hey, if this series made more people read, then right now!) It poked fun at it for sure and explained how ‘beautiful writing’ isn’t enough to get readers interested. It’s the story itself, how does it capture your audience? In the case of this, it had readers wanting more…

The next thing I liked about this book was its helpful prompts…or exercises. The ‘What to Do’ sections. I thought it was an interesting way to sprinkle those in every once in awhile and not beat with it over and over again.  If you are the type of writer that struggles with finishing or developing your story, I suggest giving this a try. If anything, it might just help you think out the parts of your story that you haven’t really put much thought into in the first place. It also made for an interesting read.

Happy reading!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

~Blogging for Books~ Think Happy

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I love affirmations and being positive is something I myself am working on and it’s a bit difficult sometimes. I try not to become a “negative evidence collector” but I find myself leaning more towards negativity rather than positive thinking.

Think Happy by Karen Salmansohn is the pep talk everyone and their pet cat needs. Now this book doesn’t just automatically change the way you view life. However, it helps you slowly want to change. But if you rather remain on the gloomy side, then this book won’t do much for you. I just want to express that.

The cute illustrations and happy go lucky attitude is just the bright light you may need to want to see that rainbow you seem to be ignoring. This book is small and the perfect addition to your coffee table. The cover alone brings a smile to your face and actually reading the different sections was eye opening for me. I found myself agreeing out loud.

My expectations when reading this book was that I figured it would be generic information that, if you’re not always a shiny, happy person, then it would just be annoying to read. I thought this would be the type of book that made me feel bad for not always feeling happy. After reading this little book, I felt myself feel motivated. Motivated to see myself in a more positive way. I expected the line, “If we all saw ourselves the way others see us, then we would all be happier.” But that’s not how this book was written. It was written in a way for you to feel inspired about being positive. And I’m glad the book wasn’t at all what I expected.

Learning how to be something is difficult, there are many tools available and having someone tell us what worked for them might not work for us. But this book isn’t exactly telling you how you can be happy. Only you are capable of finding happiness. I just feel as though this book motivated me, and I don’t want to be a pretzel!!!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thanks for reading.

~Blogging for Books~ Punderdome

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Punderdome -Puns of Fun!!!

This game was created by a father-daughter team, Jo and Fred Firestone. Their last name sounds like a superhero team if you ask me. The game requires at least 2 people to play but recommend having more than 3. I think playing this game with teams would be really fun and can’t wait to try that out.

First impressions: Excited to play

The game is nicely illustrated and brightly colored which makes it eye-catching. It’s packaged nicely, a place for everything included. The box is small and will fit snugly on a shelf or cabinet, so if you’re short on game storing space, worry not.

Continuing on, this is a game of puns.

That’s right! Puns!!! If you do not like puns, this game will either A)change your mind about them, or B)make you a punmaster! Either way, try it out before you decide against it.

Here are the written instructions:

The objective: Win a Mystery Envelope prize(before playing, the prompter fills Mystery Envelopes with a prize. i.e a candy bar or a dirty napkin) by being the first player/team to obtain ten pairs of cards.

  • First, Prompter draws two cards and reads one Quick Pun question
  • The player who responds quickest with a pun wins 30 extra seconds for the Prompt Round to follow
  • Prompter flips cards, reads Green(situations) and White (topics)
  • Players have 90 seconds to write down a single pun (word/phrase/sentence) that combines both topics and then give to the Prompter
  • Prompter chooses best pun and awards that player that round’s Green and White Cards.
  • The winner becomes the new Prompter- rounds continue until one team/player has ten pairs of cards

According to the game’s inserts, the game Punderdome started as a competition in Brooklyn, New York. The card game was only created in 2015, so it’s still fairly new but the live game show in New York began in 2011. This game requires a sense of humor and cleverness that might surprise you. I think I will enjoy this game much more if I play it with a larger group of friends.

I’m definitely adding this game to future game nights. It’s compact enough for trips out to bars or a friend’s house. I guess it also depends on the type of friends you have. Some might not find this as entertaining, but in my opinion, I think it will convert those skeptics.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thanks for reading

~Blogging for Books~ The After Party

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I’ve been getting into poetry lately, so when I saw this book of poems by Jana Prikryl I decided to give it a try.  Critiquing poems is a bit harder for me to do compared to fiction. The cover was striking, however I couldn’t really get a good reading on what the poems might be about. Not that the cover has to allude to that.

There were a few poems I felt like I could interpret more easily than others, not that a sense of ease is what makes a poem good.  Not at all saying that. I jut feel, that in order to truly appreciate writing, especially poetry, the reader needs to be able to have sense of what is being said and have their own interpretation of the work, even if completely different from the author’s or anyone’s opinion.

The cover of the book is gorgeous, and I love the purple hues, however the poetry is not exactly my cup of tea. But like I said, there were a few that I could say I enjoyed. I just prefer finding that connection.

Crackers

Sometimes- sometimes we do not go so good
together. We go to school and other
times we change. I, to shake the clods, ignore
the phone; you can’t connect; resulting mood
is glum. What you have to say won’t bother
waiting for an occupied- it rings more and more

till I pick up. What’s up at home?
and similar caulk to plug us from the sea
exchange- what time we woke, who made the tea-
till we run out of talk. Then hold the phone

without a word, just a rustling soothing
box of crackers voice themself, and on
the final crisp you sigh the line has gone
to sleep, and hadn’t we best be moving?

I believe there has to be some type of connection between author and reader, and even though I can sort of form one in this piece above. I personally do not get that connection throughout the entire book. I found it a bit difficult to follow the poems, but Prikryl is a talented writer. However when it comes to poetry, at least for me, I like having this sense of being able to relate to the poems. Gives me a better understanding of the poem. Still, I enjoy trying out genres I don’t normally gravitate towards. It gets me out of my comfort zone and such any reader to try doing that. Sometimes I find it hard and revert back to my typical fiction.

Let me know, what type of genres do you stick with? And if poetry is your thing, let me know why you like it.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thanks for stopping by

~Blogging for Books~ ARMADA

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Armada by Ernest Cline

I feel as though this book might be a bit hard to review.

But first! Here’s a blurb from the back copy:

Zack Lightman has never cared for reality. He vastly prefers the countless science-fiction movies, books and video games he’s spent his life consuming – and too often he catches himself wishing that some fantastic, impossible, world-altering event could arrive to whisk him off on a grand spacefaring adenture.

So when he sees the flying saucer, hes sre his years of escapism have finally tipped over to psychosis. Especially because the alien ships he’s staring at is straight out of his favorite videogame.

I’ve heard a few booktubers claim how this book suffers from second book syndrome. I have yet to read Ready Player One, even though it is on my TBR list, so I can’t say whether or not this book suffers from this syndrome or not, but I did enjoy it. It’s written in the first person and I love that about books. I love being inside the head of the narrator.

Cover: I have the copy shown above, which is the paper pack cover. I was very happy to receive this edition because  I am a lover of paper backs. However, the hardback cover is gorgeous and gives nothing away to the plot of the story. But if you’re familiar with Cline’s writing, then you know he loves video game, sci-fi, and music culture.  I thought the cover above illustrated the book wonderfully. Giving it an Alice in Wonderland aspect. How? The mix of reality and fantasy for Zach, the main character. Who doesn’t fantasize about being in a different reality from time to time.

I can’t really say that you HAVE to enjoy video games or sci-fi to enjoy this book. But I think if you didn’t, then you wouldn’t pick up this book or his first one for that matter. Knowing his references makes the book hilarious and a bit nostalgic in a way. I think understanding and loving those things make the book more enjoyable. But even if I didn’t personally have an experience or a memory with said reference, knowing it makes it fun.

I’m a lover of video games, and even though I don’t consider myself an intense “gamer” I do enjoy playing games, so having the knowledge that comes with video game culture…even if only a bit definitely puts you in Zach’s shoes as he goes through his life video game life.

I’m excited to read more by this author, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read Armada before Ready Player One but I don’t think it matters. Reading them in the order that they are released allows the reader to see growth within the author’s novels.

Happy reading

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Blogging for Books~ The Never-Open Desert Diner

I want to start off by saying this review shouldn’t be taken too seriously because I did not finish the book. And usually, I don’t feel like I have the right to review a book unless I have finished reading it. But this is my honest opinion and if I’m being honest, this was not the right book for me.

The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson

For me, this book could not grab my attention. I tried again and again to continue reading it and it just never happened. I’d immediately forget what I had read and it just wasn’t memorable for me. I don’t think it’s a question on the writing itself, the story just didn’t interest me as much as I thought it would. The cover caught my attention, which is the first reason  I chose this book.

Second reason, when I read the synopsis, I thought I’d try something different and see if I would enjoy it. And since I’m terrible at paraphrasing I’ll just share what was written on the inside of the dust jacket.

Ben Jones lives a quiet, hardscrabble life, working as a trucker on Route 117, a little-traveled road in a remote region of the Utah desert which serves as a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. For many of the desert’s inhabitants, Ben’s visits are their only contact with the outside world, and the only landmark worth noting is a once-famous roadside diner that hasn’t opened in years.

Ben’s routine is turned upside down when he stumbles across a beautiful woman named Claire playing a cello in an abandoned housing development. He can tell that she’s fleeing something in her past—a dark secret that pushed her to the end of the earth—but despite his better judgment he is inexorably drawn to her.

As Ben and Claire fall in love, specters from her past begin to resurface, with serious and life-threatening consequences not only for them both, but for others who have made this desert their sanctuary. Dangerous men come looking for her, and as they turn Route 117 upside down in their search, the long-buried secrets of those who’ve laid claim to this desert come to light, bringing Ben and the other locals into deadly conflict with Claire’s pursuers. Ultimately, the answers they all seek are connected to the desert’s greatest mystery—what really happened all those years ago at the never-open desert diner?

In this unforgettable story of love and loss, Ben learns the enduring truth that some violent crimes renew themselves across generations. At turns funny, heartbreaking and thrilling, The Never-Open Desert Diner powerfully evokes an unforgettable setting and introduces readers to a cast of characters who will linger long after the last page.

It sounded interesting enough, a thriller mixed with mystery and romance. Now, I feel terrible that I couldn’t give this book more of a chance, but there are too many books that are grabbing my attention and I just don’t want to waste my time on one that I do not find interesting. But just because I couldn’t finish this book and found it uninteresting does not mean you will think the same thing. It just means that as I continue to grow as a reader I find what types of books work for me and what types don’t work for me.

Again, because I didn’t finish the book you shouldn’t take my word for it.  This might be the book for you, it just didn’t work for me. That’s all for now.

Thanks for reading

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Blogging for Books~KoreaTown

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Normally, cookbooks are not on my list of books to browse through when I go into a bookstore…unless I’m just looking at pictures. I struggle with following recipes because I am a very impatient person and tend to get a head of myself. But my sister, Kat, is a chef and she is fascinated with Korean cuisine. I figured I would get a cookbook for her and because this one seemed interesting, plus, I LOVE food!

Koreatown by chef Deuki Hong and writer Matt Rodbard

I may not be a chef but this book is beautifully made, and it offers the reader a look into Korean culture when it comes to the food. The cover jumped out at me, it’s texture is smooth with the title embossed. I love when books have an added texture to it.  I’m not quite sure what type of paper was used, but it’s smooth and soft without having a gloss to it even though it looks glossy. It’s wonderful.

The book is separated into different sections and offers the reader interviews and tips when it comes to recreating different Korean dishes. It’s filled with gorgeous photography that captured moments of food bliss and if they don’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will My favorite thing about cook books, when I look at one, is how the pictures look. I like to know how the dish I’m preparing is supposed to look. Especially, if it’s from a specific type of cuisine.

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The layout of the recipes are displayed with your ingredients on either the left or right side of the page in a column. It shows you exactly what you will be needing and the amount of each ingredient. Each recipe gives advice on the ingredients you will be using, such as what to keep in mind when choosing the type of vegetable..ect. Very helpful, for people like me, who know nothing about produce…or anything involving food. Aside from eating it.

I’ve already flagged all of the recipes I want to try first, so here’s hoping the roomie will assist in the actually making of the dish. But for those of you who lack having access to an actual chef worry not, the book lays out the instructions in an easy to follow manner. I believe even I could follow it.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Blogging for Books~ POP PAINTING

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I want to start off this review by saying, This book is absolutely gorgeous! Camilla d’errico is an unbelievable artist.

Her twist on surrealism is just breathtaking. I love how she adds animals, food or even the look of elements to her paintings. The color of the cover just pops at you, which would make this book the perfect companion for any coffee table. The girls in in her paintings each have her signature pouty lips and textured hair. And she explains her techniques in such a way, you may not able to fully mimic but you may even discover your own technique in the process.

“You are born an original, so don’t die a copy.”- Camilla d’errico

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 She offers the reader tips and answers questions you may have concerning tools and materials. Helpful for anyone aspiring to paint or anyone interested in the topic of painting. The book is broken into two parts and then into different chapters that concentrate on certain areas such as, sketching, blending, composition…ect. In my opinion this would better assist someone who has some beginners knowledge in drawing or painting. But don’t let that deter you from testing out her advice even with no arty knowledge.

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Thanks for reading
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

Blogging for Books~Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy

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Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy by Dinty w. Moore

  • Cover: As usual, the cover of a book is the first thing that sparks my interest. And this one has a very interesting style. The simplistic yet exciting. Of course the title also grabbed my attention. Not that you have have to be interested in writing in order to enjoy this book, I just think sharing the same experiences expressed in the book help you appreciate it more. So, yes, this is probably more geared towards writers or people that at least enjoy writing a bit more than your average joe.
  • Voice: The author is hilarious in in his stories and advice. Definitely the type of style I would like to write in.
  • Style: Since this is an advice column for writers, this book does one of my favorite things. It introduces each question on an envelope and even has the questions typed up as if by typewriter. There are even illustrations that might pertain to said question. One in mind is the question that bout cocktail napkins. Moore answered it by writing on cocktail napkins. I enjoy that style. Makes it seem more hands on when a book does things like this. When they print maps and letters, it’s my bread and butter in the book world.

I was very excited to receive my copy and might even hand it off to another writer friend of mine. I have many that would find this book very interesting.

Thanks for reading

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

Blogging for Books~ Design the Life You Love

  For my second book, I chose Design the Life You Love by Ayse Birsel. This was something that caught my attention right away, the title had this positive message without the cover giving away too much of what was in store once cracking the spine. I’m a huge fan of positive books with doodles in them, however, I’m not sure this particular book is for me. I personally, would probably prefer if this book was only self-help rather than a hands-on type of self-help. I know it acts as a reminder of the fact that you cannot just take another person’s experience and call it your own or have it work the same way for you. Life doesn’t work like that.This guide does it’s best to create a way to brainstorm, a way to relearn certain things like not feeling guilty for rambling or doodling on the corner of each page.There are prompts throughout the book that sort of make it feel like school.

They give you a “time limit” but I feel like it’s the book giving the reader permission to allow time for things in general and not just for this tiny prompt. The purpose of this book is to give you an insight and perhaps look at things differently. An outside of the box/comfort zone insight.

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Now don’t get me wrong, this book has a lovely idea behind it and I plan on giving it more time before I write it off as “not for me”. But at the moment I’m still on the fence about it. Not due to lack of interesting topics, because the interactive part is fun, but perhaps my mood is just not in the right place for this particular book even though I’m in the need of some positive energy and this book has plenty of that. I just need to make the time for it and to remember just to play sometimes.

Thanks for reading and commenting

* I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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