Sunday, November 29, 2015

Review: The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book by Daria Song

The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring BookThe Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book by Daria Song
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Time Chamber is a truly magical story and coloring book for people who love fantasy. The intricate designs spark the imagination while telling the adorable journey of a small fairy.

This is my first adult coloring book, and I feel it certainly sets the bar high. You feel like the colorist of a beautiful graphic novel. It will take me months to finish it!

It's a great gift for people who collect fairy or owl items, or fantasy stories in general. I could see families working on the story, a page at a time, for hours of fun and togetherness. Color now, and use as a bed-time story later.

I was given a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ten fictional families I'd like to celebrate Thanksgiving with

Ten fictional families I'd like to celebrate Thanksgiving with

The Darcy Family - Who needs the chaos of the Bennet household, when you can relax in the finery of the Darcy family estate? If the weather is nice, we could all enjoy a nice walk or fishing. Maybe play a duet with Georgiana on piano.

The March Family - It'd be lovely to bask in the fruits of Marmee's holiday planning, enjoy Jo's latest dinner theatre production, go ice skating, and maybe run over and taunt Teddy for a while.

Anne Shirley and The Cuthberts - Anne Shirley and the Cuthberts would be the perfect hosts. A beautiful farm to tour with Matthew, proper food and decorations by Marilla, and never-ending entertainment from Anne. Just watch what she gives you to drink!

The Ingalls Family - For an old fashioned, handmade, and hard won Christmas, I'd visit the Ingalls family. The gifts would be simple, but the home would be full of Christmas spirit, Pa's fiddle, and Ma's good cookin'.

The Cullens - If Alice had anything to do with it, the Thanksgiving decorations would be fabulous. Could you imagine dining with their expensive, ancient fine china? I think I'd sit out the after-dinner family football, baseball, or hunting trip.

The Weasley Family - Regardless of the magic, the Weasley family sticks together. Although they don't have much, they have plenty of love, kindness, and friendship to go around.

Jase Garrett's Family (My Life Next Door) - The boy next door sure has a great, hard working All-American family. They seems like the sweet kind of folks who'd welcome you to their table anytime.

The Mortmain Family (I Capture The Castle) - Being eccentric, I'm sure I'd have an easy time settling in with the Mortmain family. Explore the castle, stay out of Mr. Mortmain's way as he pretends to work, and have a grand dinner with the Cottons.

The Finch Family (To Kill A Mockingbird) - Pouring syrup all over our food would make for a sweet literary feast. Afterwards we could whine that Atticus won't play football with the Methodists and enjoy tall-tales with Dill.

Elrond, The Lord of Rivendell (Lord of the Rings) - For awkward fantasy fun, it'd be great to gather around the table as Elrond's daughter, Arwen, brings Aragorn over to meet the family for the first time. "Dad meet my boyfriend, he's kinda human, and I know we're elves, but that's cool, right?"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review: Q&A a Day for Creatives: A 4-Year Journal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For the past three years, I've enjoyed Potter' Style's Q&A A Day 5-Year Journal. It's perfect for reflecting on your day when you're pressed for time, feeling writer's block, or lack an interesting topic. It's amazing to see how much my answered have changed since 2013. Really a personal time-capsule. I highly recommend it.

When I discovered Potter Style's new journal for creatives, I was super excited! I love to draw and doodle, but I lack the time, space, and subject matter to fill a sketchbook. I feel that Q&A a Day for Creatives offers a quick, easy, and organized solution. Each day it poses a question and encourages creatives to draw their answer in the space provided.

My only criticism is the thin pages. It is suitable for pencil, ink, or crayon. But, personally, I wouldn't use watercolor or other paints because it would probably bleed through the book. Maybe in the future they could created a paint and mixed media version with thicker paper.

Otherwise, it's wonderful, and will be my go-to gift this year for artsy-fartsy friends and kids. Give the gift of daily fun and reflection for 4 years to come!

I was given a copy of this book via Blogging for Books for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year

 Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: "Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien: "“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”"

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry: “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon: "“I shook so that it was some time before I realized that he was shaking too, and for the same reason. I don't know how long we sat there on the dusty floor, crying in each others arms with the longing of twenty years spilling down our faces.”"

A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab: “He would see her again. He knew he would. Magic bent the world. Pulled it into shape. There were fixed points. Most of the time they were places. But sometimes, rarely, they were people. For someone who never stood still, Lila felt like a pin in Kell's world. One he was sure to snag on.”

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: "“It is not everyone,' said Elinor, 'who has your passion for dead leaves.""

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan: “a man there was, though some did count him mad, the more he cast away the more he had.”

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl: "“I understand what you're saying, and your comments are valuable, but I'm gonna ignore your advice.”"

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn: “Maybe she was a wallflower. There was no shame in that. Especially not if one enjoyed being a wallflower.”

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee: “Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical.”

Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

It Was Me All AlongIt Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It Was Me All Along is not an easy read. It’s difficult to journey through someone else’s childhood trauma and grown emotional struggles. Having been obese, I know that a lot of the problem is emotional, closely associated with family dysfunction. Although I’ve had the book for months, I put off reading it for fear of reliving my own struggles.

The author successfully conveys her hurt, loneliness, and obsession with food. It concerns me how vividly she describes and recalls what she ate in the book. I mistakenly thought that her story would begin on an inspirational high note, explaining who she is now and then reflecting on her life before. However, instead the book is a chronological emotionally exhausting memoir not for the faint of heart.

If you have struggled with your weight, some of the book will be like holding a mirror up to your face. It’s certainly good to feel you’re not alone. I only wish it had focused more on the positive end result. Overall, it’s a good read to learn more about what many obese children and adults face everyday.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story was a fun and quick escape. If you can't hop a plane to Jolly England, consider it a consolation prize.

I was seeking some comfort-foodesque chick-lit, what I found was a much deeper story than I first realized. Hadley is on the way to her father's wedding. As she misses her scheduled flight, it's clear that the first time she will meet her to-be stepmother will be the day of the wedding. Talk about awkward.

Being of the Lindsey Lohan "Parent Trap" generation, I imagined that something would go wrong with the wedding, or the father would suddenly realize that the to-be stepmother is a horrible person, or she'd just skip the whole wedding to hang with the sweet guy on the plane.

Refreshingly, the story took a braver approach. Through the next twenty-four hours, Hadley, aided by Oliver, the boy on the plane who is easy to talk to, realizes the importance of facing the family awkwardness, having unconditional love for one's family, and supporting the happiness of others. Wonderfully mature. And although the true statistical probability of love at first sight might be slim, the story handles meeting an amazing someone new like a pro.

I hope to read more from Jennifer E. Smith in the future!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Top Ten Books for Halloween

My Top Ten Books for Halloween

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice - If you're looking for a serious vampire story, no romance necessary, Anne Rice is your lady. The book takes you on a journey as Louis adjusts to his life as a tortured vampire. It's a modern classic.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris - If you're looking for vampire love Southern style, Dead Until Dark is your book. Contains mature content. I probably won't finish the series because I've heard too many unfortunate spoilers. But the first book is thrilling.

The Art of Seducing A Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #2) by Molly Harper - If a romantic comedy is more your thing, I highly recommend this series! #2 is my favorite, because in my experience, there's not a lot of stories about lady werewolves. Also contains mature content.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Ah, the combination of a beloved classic and, well, creatures that are gross. But I get the obtuse humor behind it! Read it now before the movie comes out. I can't wait. I love Regency England, even when there's zombies.

Millennium Snow series by Bisco Hatori - If a paranormal manga with comedic elements is more your thing, I recommend Millennium Snow. After Volumes 1 and 2, the series went on hiatus for years, but happily, the author finally finished it.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - There's lots of rumors about a lady Ghostbusters' movie in the works. Well, until then, Paranormalcy is a very cute story about a girl fighting paranormal creatures, while trying to have a normal life.

The Watcher In The Woods by Florence Engel Randall - Travel back to the 1970s in this classic YA that inspired an eerie Disney movie. Nowadays, it's part time capsule, but also an entertainingly dramatic little read.

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell - For those not into paranormal hokus pokus, Winter's Bone is a dark and haunting backwoods story that could be a true crime special.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe - If you like classics, this story is great for reading aloud in the dark with friends. Be sure to download a racing heart sound effect to creep everyone out!

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead - If you love vampire lore and vampire characters in general, this book is a great resource. I have the 1998 edition, I'm sure there's been lots of updates since then (Truth Blood, Twilight, Vampire Academy, Vampire Knight, The Vampire Diaries, etc.).


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