Invitation was not very inviting- A review

Invitation is a horror thriller written by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky. It’s the first of a possible series, but the authors don’t seem to be too sure. Overall, I’m not too please with this book. Although, I’ll have to admit that I’m not really one for books where separate authors are writing a book together, unless they can make it seamless. This is not one of those books. You can clearly tell that it’s different authors for each story. For me, this was irritating. The stories themselves are acceptable. Although not my favorite. Overall, I wouldn’t go looking for the next in this series even if there was one.

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I received this book from Bethany House for this review.

 

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Connecting with Portraits in Portrait Revolution by Julia L. Kay

After painting self portraits for years, Julia L. Kay decided that she wanted to use portrait to connect with other artists. The book, Portrait Revolution, is a collection of this virtual portrait party along with some portraiture basics.

The book is a exploration of modern portraiture and some of the many forms that these may take. I wouldn’t call all the pieces in this book masterpieces, but they are interesting. They helped give me an understanding of how other artists interact with the form and what happens artists from multiple disciplines meet.

The book is divided up into portraits by medium, style, and theme, as well as some more featured artists and subjects. Throughout the book, there are some tips and comments about portraiture. However, these are geared towards a beginner than a more experienced artist. There is also a how to section on portraits. Once again, this is mostly for beginners. If you’re just getting into portraiture, this book will provide you with a wide range of ideas. However, if you’re more advanced, you might get something out of the images of other artist’s work and inspiration from some of the quotes, but most of the content will be old news.

 

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

Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love- A Review

Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love is an intriguing book. I’ve been waiting for what feel like months to get this book. After reading it, I felt that I’d judged the book by the cover (and summary) correctly.

It’s hard to find a book with this kind of plot. Lola is so strong but beyond that she is brilliant. She uses men’s underestimation of women to outsmart them. This in itself gives me a thrill. I’m so glad I was able to finally get my hands on this book.

I Hated Mexico by Josh Barkan

Mexico by Josh Barkan is one of the worst books I’ve laid my hands on in a while.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when the author bio said that Barkan had taught writing at places like Harvard, NYU, or Boston University. This man can barely write. His prose sounds like someone who’s still really trying to find his footing. It feels like he’s trying to copy the writing format of better writers in the hopes that the tricks will work for him too. Instead they fall flat.

Don’t get me started on how fake his characters or their speech seems. Everything feels so one dimensional. He’s trying to explore personalities and lives that aren’t his own. But it really feels like a middle schooler trying to imagine what someone’s else’s life might be like. It’s all laid out with much more telling than showing. This is one author that should really stick to the advice of writing what he knows.

Often, his statements contradict each other, and it’s just so irritating. There is so much that could have been done with these stories. But these stories all just feel a bit like wasted potential. There’s this strange voyeuristic undercurrent to all the stories that really confuses me because it’s all from a first person point of view.

Overall, I’d definitely avoid this book. If you want to read about Mexico or crime stories, look elsewhere.

 

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

32 Yolks Audiobook- A review

32 Yolks by Eric Ripert read by Peter Ganim is filled with descriptions of delectable foods. I guess that’s to be expected for a book that follows the life of a chef. Sadly, I’m not worldly enough to know what many of the things described might taste like. Yet it was still pleasant to listen to the audiobook.

The book starts off a bit rough, in topic, and I found myself skipping many pieces I didn’t really want to hear. It goes through all the hardships that Eric faced as a child. Some of them are rough, and some of them are embarrassing. He seems to bare it all in this book.

The audiobook is relatively short- only about 6 CD’s. I found it simple to listen to during my commute, but it wasn’t so interesting to me that I looked forward to my drives because of it. However, if you’re a food buff this is a great audiobook to try.

 

 

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

Cooking For Picasso-Audio book review

Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray is written beautifully. There is so much descriptive imagery that beautifully outlines the settings. This book has intrigue, drama, and characters that feel real.

I’m new to audio books. I wasn’t quite sure that I’s like it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Usually I listen to mindless radio in the mornings. I decided to break this routine and listen to the audio book instead. I’m very happy that I made this decision.

Mozhan Marno has the most calming voice. It beats out the stress of traffic. She uses different voices for each character and it’s just so nice to be able to unwind to this beautiful story. It’s like I’m a child at story time again. However, this is definitely not a children’s story. There is a lot of depth. The book pulls together the stories of many different characters seamlessly. Occasionally, the book will switch view points, but it felt natural.

My one warning is that although the book does not condone misogyny in any way, there are many misogynistic characters involved. However, I would definitely recommend this book to others.

 

For more information on the book please go to: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/536011/cooking-for-picasso-by-camille-aubray/

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

The Great Suppression by Zachary Roth- A Review

Readers, if you can’t already tell be the title of the book, this is a very partisan book. The Great Suppression was difficult for me to get through. I agree with a lot of the points made in this book. However, I have a hard time with the way it’s written. I can’t pin point what it is though.

The book uses a lot of good examples and starts you off with the Tea Party, and how destructive it was. There are plenty of facts, and whether you agree with the topics or not this is still an interesting read if a bit depressing.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

The Mortifications by Derek Palacio- A Review

The Mortifications by Derek Palacio pulls you in on a very strange journey. From the start, this book feels more like a story told than a story shown.The book focuses on one family and their time away from and in Cuba. Through the whole of it, I didn’t feel quite inside the book as I usually it. It felt more like I was floating along with the story, then ever getting sucked into the drama of it (and oh boy is there a lot of drama in this book).

The writing style is jarring. (Spoiler: There are no quotes for speech in this book, ever.) After I got used to the writing style, it seemed to fit with the story. It makes the book feel more ephemeral, less like documentation and more like a memory. I’m still not sure if I’m sold on it though. Every time I came back to this book after a break, my first thought would be confusion as to why the author chose not to follow the “show, don’t tell” rule. Perhaps because if the story had been shown, it would have been much longer?

From the title to the last page, this book is religious, but it also feels blasphemous. It’s about desire, a destruction of desire, and a lack of satisfaction either way. Although I can’t say it was every painful to read, the story is a sad one. When I think about the story separate from the book, I feel as though it should have been a more emotional read for me. It just didn’t stir my heart as much as a tale like this should have. I’m not sure why it didn’t though, and I think for that reason this isn’t really a book I would recommend to a friend.

Overall, it feels lonely and hollowed out. Maybe that’s what Mr. Palacio wanted? I’ll never know.

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Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling- A hilarious read

I’ve always loved the Mindy Project, so I though I’d give Kaling’s book a try. I was not disappointed. Each chapter is an opinion or information about a different topic. These range from beauty tips to personal stories or motivational advice. Whatever the topic, every chapter is hilarious! I was cracking up, and it always felt unexpected.

In Why Not Me?, Kaling is very frank and revealing. She gets deeply personal, even about some things about herself that are not so appealing. But I think it’s important to realize that she’s a flawed human being who is continually trying to improve. At the very least, I found it refreshing to see someone admitting their own faults and truths so openly.

I read this book very quickly, in about 2 days. I just couldn’t put it down and that’s not something that happens very often. It just felt like this was the book I needed to read right now. If you need a laugh or need encouragement, than this is the book for you. It was lovely, and I know that I’ll definitely pass this book on to as many people as I can.

More about the author: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/127911/mindy-kaling/

More info about the book: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/231576/why-not-me-by-mindy-kaling/

 

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

Cat on the Scent-A book for animal lovers

I picked up Cat on the Scent at a small second hand store because of the shop owner’s recommendation. It didn’t disappoint. Having never read any in the series before, I was a little overwhelmed by the vast number of characters at the beginning. Yet by the end, they were all so familiar and thoroughly fleshed. Even the side character animals felt unique.

Although it’s set in the 90’s, you can’t really tell except in one or two spots. The story switches pov’s seamlessly from humans to animal creating an intriguing story. There are several plots going on all at once, just like real life, and at the end, they all tie in together.

Overall, the mystery was much better than I expected. It was more creative than most shows and books I’ve read. I could guess some elements with the hints Brown left, but I was shocked at some of the other reveal. If you’re looking for a fun, relaxing read, I’d definitely give this book a chance.  I know I’ll be picking up another in the series soon.