Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, by Jennifer Ryan

Jennifer Ryan put together a wonderful variety of women that were all equally interesting and thought provoking. That might be hard to do with 5+ voices to carry out and make unique, but she handled it marvelously, the different stories and methods for their communication weaving together very nicely throughout the book. While I may have wished for a little less from Mrs. Tilling, I enjoyed reading every character's journal entries, letters, and diaries.

As for criticism, I can't find a lot. Sometimes I wished to hear what the recipients of those letters wrote in return, or have some indication of what their correspondent thought of their last letter. I also wished for some sort of resolution at the very end regarding the war, perhaps Kitty 5, 15, 25 years later, with where they are now, and what they've made of their lives post-war.

I even found myself tearful during parts of the book, particularly the funeral of Hattie, when the priest fretfully told the ladies that there were no men to carry the coffin. When all the women stood together to bear their friend, it was so heartwarming and sad, to know that this most likely happened on many occasions.

Overall, this book captivated me, and I loved getting involved in the lives of a small village in England. Very well written, 4.5 stars!

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Q & A a Day for Writers, A Review

I have a couple different writing prompt books, but not one quite like this. I like the fact that it's a calendared journal, so even if you don't complete all of them within the year, you can use it for multiple years if you want. You can also scrap the idea of the calendar and pick and choose the prompts to write, which range from personal views on topics, to expounding on given quotes, to writing about the weather. I like that they aren't all prompts that have you come up with a new story every time. Some days are simple, like, "Clear your mind. Write a sentence as quickly as you can without thinking." Others ask you to think about what life would be like on Mars.

I think this is a great little journal for any writer, and I myself will do my best to use it throughout 2017 and beyond!

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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

This book had me chuckling not just once, but a few times, and even had me wishing I had a marking pencil with me to underline those lines that made me do so. Mindy writes truthfully, yet sarcastically and irreverently, and somehow that makes it an entertaining and also heartfelt read. Only a couple times did I feel like she inserted an anecdote only because she needed to fulfill a word count requirement, but overall, I enjoyed reading about her views on her life and how she got there.

I didn't get a chance to read her first book, but it's been on my list, and now I think it's a must! 

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Photographs from the Edge, Art Wolfe

As famous as this photographer seems to think he is, I'd never heard of him before getting this book. Still, I enjoyed the layout of the book, with the pictures from different decades, little facts about the shot, tips, and the story behind it. I've always wanted to take a photography class, and this was pretty much my introduction. I liked that Mr. Wolfe adapted to changes in technology and didn't let those changes hold him back.

While I wasn't sure I liked a lot of his subject matter, there were a few photos that made me pause and stare a bit. The reflection of the canyon wall, the bison in the snow (!!!), the tiger's eye, the insane mountains in China... I will definitely have this on my coffee table!

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish

This book, the story of it, the recipes, are so beautiful! Although I don't have a lot of time to be making food like this a lot, I can't wait to try some of these gorgeous recipes! My boyfriend can't eat a lot of pizza though for health reasons, but I'm hoping the homemade aspect of it will not cause as many problems! 

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

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Mapmaker's Children, Sarah McCoy

While the beginning drew me in, the middle and even the end of this book fell flat. Even the doll's head mystery in the chapters for the present time only got a paragraph, which seemed unfair since the whole book was based on where it came from..! I don't know, this book was just okay. I didn't like how the author drew out Eden's story, making her 'forget' to mention the doll's head every single chapter. Her husband makes the excuse for his non-affair that it's because American's are overly familiar. Um, thanks for reducing the entire population of America to a single trait? Also the mention of 'Mormons' was not necessary. The people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints suffered greatly, and to reduce their mention to a statement about a group seceding from them and then getting support from the army was crass.

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

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Woman Who Would Be King

While I appreciate that the author tells us that this book is mostly conjecture, by the end of the novel, I was quite tired of hearing that 'this *might* have happened, or *this* might have happened, but we don't know, but maybe.' It got a little irksome, but I understand that we don't know a lot about what actually went down with Hatshepsut. The most confusing part of the book was how the author starts off telling us a story, and I thought, 'hm, I didn't know this would read like a historical novel,' but then it jumps into a historical narrative instead for the rest of the read. Kind of weird. In any case, I did learn quite a bit about how life might have been for the ancient Egyptians, how it seemed like sunshine and daisies, but there was disease everywhere! While they were sitting on their thrones of gold, they were also dealing with lots of nasty stuff. Ew! I would love to meet Hatshepsut in the next life or something and have dinner with her, and ask her what really happened. It's a really interesting story with lots of mysterious holes!

I do with the author had focused less on the sexual aspects of Egyptian life, if they really were that extensive. I realize that in some cultures that is something that highly featured, but it was a little much at times.

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