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.

Vegetables by Martha Stewart- Absolutely Tantalizing

Vegetables is a mouthwatering book. The pictures make you wish you had the time to drop everything and cook all the recipes you see at once. I went through with book mark tabs to mark the recipes I wanted to try and had a hard time not marking every other page.

This book is simple. It’s divided by type of vegetable, and each section starts out by giving you “the basics.” Some ingredients feel a little exotic to me, but overall the recipes are very approachable. They’re laid out cleanly, and the steps are organized into sections, so you’re never overwhelmed by looking at a twenty step recipe. The photos are equally understated, but there’s still a sense of grandness to the book.

Despite the title, this is not a vegetarian or vegan book. Sure vegetables are the main star, but there are many recipes in this book that use meat. I’m very excited to try more recipes from this book in the future.

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

Lessons in Classical Painting- Perfect for learning to paint on your own

I am in love with the way Juliette Aristides writes Lessons in Classical Painting, just as she is clearly in love with painting. The writing is poetic and encouraging. She uses her own life to explain the difficulties an artist might face, but still pushes the reader to pursue art despite its difficulties.

The book is beautifully organized. It is organized like an in person painting workshop would be. Each chapter focuses on a different topic with lessons and exercises. I was glad to notice that I’ve received some of the same advice in previous art classes I’ve taken. However, there were a lot of new lessons for me.

Aristides uses paintings from great artists to describe the process. I got a lot of ah ha moments about why I was drawn to certain pieces as I read her descriptions about different works. It also broke up the large chunks of writing, so it seemed less like a textbook.

This book lays down exercises to strengthen your painting fundamentals. If you’re just learning and you take the time to do these lessons, your painting will improve. It would also a be a great refresher book for someone who’s stepped away from painting and wants to get back into it.

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

Creativity and Innovation: Theory, Research, and Practice by Jonathan Plucker, Ph.D.- A Review

When I got this book, I expected a chaptered non-fiction book. What I got instead was a collection of academic papers. The pieces  aren’t overly difficult to read. However, many of them have lots of citations so it also doesn’t feel like a leisurely read.

The good thing about this book is that it’s easy to read in pieces. You’ll also get something out of it if you only read a few pages, as that’s how long an article is. Each chapter has a “Key Take Away” before it, that allows readers to get a brief idea of what the article will be about. I found it a great resource in choosing what chapters I wanted to read first.

Overall, this is an interesting book for those looking to go deeper into the field of creativity, but it takes time to completely digest the information.

Overall- 3/5

Story Genius by Lisa Cron- A Review

Story Genius is in essence a writing workshop book. It takes you through pre-planning and then back through your story after you’ve written it. Lisa Cron tries to take the book in a different direction to than most. She wants us to focus on the building a story based on the character’s struggles. As she puts it “the electricity that illuminates the [story]…. flows directly from how the protagonist is making sense of what’s happening, how she struggles with it.” This is great advice, and I completely agree with it. What I had a hard time with is Cron’s writing.

 

I found Story Genius difficult to get through. It feels as though she took a high school English class on how to write an essay and applied it to an entire book. At the same time, the book has a very casual tone that I don’t think works. There were a lot of repetitive statements in the beginning. This felt pretty ironic in a book where several of chapter exercises focused on being concise and getting to the point.

 

However, Cron does do a good job of bringing in examples, and the exercises are useful. I’d suggest skimming the chapters and focusing on the exercises.

 

Overall Rating- 3/5

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If you wanna learn more about the book, here’s a link: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/252747/story-genius-by-lisa-cron/

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

 

Natural Color by Sasha Duerr- A Review

Natural Color is a treat for the eyes. It was clearly assembled by an artist. It makes me feel very down to earth. There is a perfect balance between energy and calm in the photos. For example, if the composition is calming, the colors are energizing and vice versa. I would get this book just to look at it.

But the book has more to offer than just pictures. It’s a cookbook for the craftsman. The author herself acknowledges “making natural color from scratch is much like cooking.” The book starts from the very basics of plant dying, materials, and setting up a studio and moves on to more advanced techniques. I wouldn’t say that the recipes in this book are for dabblers. You’ll have to be willing to go out and get at least a few ingredients, some more exotic than others. However, if you’re interested in going deep into the topic and spending time with this type of work Natural Color is great place to start.

Lastly, I love how Duerr has sectioned the book off into seasons. With a title like Natural Color it’s easy to assume that it would be a book meant for summer and spring, but there are projects for every season. It also includes a great variety of items to work with, including necklaces, curtains, and sweaters.

My only true qualms are the small letter sizes and that I don’t have more time to dedicate to the projects in this book.

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

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For more information about the book please visit:

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/530292/natural-color-by-sasha-duerr/