Review- 5 Year Journal

I am a big fan of journaling. I think it’s a very healthy habit and I think it is very helpful. I think this so much that I actually have published a book of Journal Prompts. So whenever I have the opportunity to check out a book of journal prompts, I take it. This one was interesting because it was not just a journal, but a 5 year journal.

I liked the journal prompts that were offered. They were really nice for someone who is busy and just needs to take a few minutes before bed to write and reflect. The space for writing was a tiny bit small. If you write in full sentences you’re kind of out of luck.  My biggest complaint was how very SMALL the font was inside, it’s hard to read, and would be pretty impossible for some people with vision problems. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cover either. But I digress.  If you are not a very religious person, the questions might not be for you. It is very much aimed towards a Christian writer. That’s not a problem for me, but it might be for some people.

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Review-American Wolf

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Julie of the Wolves, I read those books multiple times.

So when I saw American Wolf A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West, I decided to try it out.

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This book to me is very scientific. The author is clearly very passionate and driven by the wolves and their survival.  The writing is very high quality.  It doesn’t really read like a diary of a wolf pack to me, as the video below describes.

https://www.cbsnews.com/embed/videos/american-wolf-author-on-the-complicated-return-of-wolves-in-the-u-s/

That being said,I felt that there is a little bit of a disconnect with the telling of this. It is very well researched and very detailed, but it lacks a little bit of the heart of the story. It isn’t for lack of effort, talent, or attention to detail. It is just the writing style.

This book to me is very scientific. The author is clearly very passionate and driven by the wolves and their survival.

It felt a little more like reading a News Article rather than the novel feel I was hoping for when I picked it out. if you are wanting to be very informed about the Yellowstone wolves, or are writing a paper about them, then absolutely get this book. If you are hoping to be entertained, I wouldn’t recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: 30 Days to Joy

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I love journaling. I love journaling so much, that I have done it for 20 years, and I even wrote my own book of journal prompts.  Perhaps it is that experience that made me a bit sour towards this book of prompts.

I felt that this was much too vague. I think that the reader/ writer needs a little more guidance in these prompts.  When I wrote my prompt book, it had 10 times as many prompts and many more questions.

The first prompt is really one that put me off, the question is what is the difference between happiness and joy? I actually said, “They’re freaking synonyms!”

I guess this would make a cute door prize of stocking stuffer, but at $10,you are really better off buying a blank notebook.

Book Review: Draw 50 Sea Creatures

I cannot draw.

LIke, I really cannot draw.

It’s not that I am not artistic, indeed I am quite artistic and creative, nevertheless, I cannot draw.

If there is something that could motivate me to learning how to draw, it would probably be a sea creature. I used to draw a stick figure equivalent to a dolphin a lot as a child.

My biggest criticism is the same I have with a lot of drawing books and diagrams, is that there always seem to be a step missing. Like a missing link between ape and man. This book uses 6 images to help guide the student, I feel like maybe a diagram between 5 and 6 would go a long way.

If you want something visual to guide you without a lot of frills, this is a series for you.

Book Review- My Rad Life Journal

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This is a sister book to Rad Women Worldwide, I loved that book and have even used it in my classroom. I am a huge advocate of keeping a journal and of free-writing. Once again, I am impressed by the authors dedication to the empowerment of young girls and women in the making. Their website, which you can explore here, is great.

The thing I like about this journal is that they have really made the effort to make it special. There are writing prompts that are enough to make you think but not so much that it is exhausting (that is something I have experienced with other structured journals.) I feel encouraged to write all over it, paste in it, and shove it in my purse.

 

 

Book Review- Foundations of Drawing

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I studied art formally for two years before I had to drop it as my second major. I was lucky to get to take several art classes. One class I didn’t get to take however, was drawing.
It is because of this that I elected to receive a free copy of Al Gury’s Foundations of Drawing: A practical guide to art history, tools, techniques, and styles

This book is exactly, exactly as described. It is a quick and straightforward guide to the very basics of drawing as an art form.

This would be a nice start for anyone wanting to dabble in drawing or sketching. It would be a nice textbook for a teacher teaching a basic art class, a beginning drawing class, or an intro to fine arts class. It covers the very basics of techniques, history and mediums.

Review: The Story Cure

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Writing is hard.
No really. Writing is really hard.
I have kept a journal for 15 years. I have been blogging for 4 years.
Any new project is always, always a challenge. I personally have found narrative storytelling to be far and away the most challenging of all.
I am always looking for ways to be a better writer, so I picked up The Story Cue by Dinty W Moore.

Here is the offical copy from Amazon:

A collection of cures for writer’s block, plotting and characterization issues, and other ailments writers face when completing a novel or memoir, prescribed by the director of creative writing at Ohio University.

People want to write the book they know is inside of them, but they run into stumbling blocks that trouble everyone from beginners to seasoned writers. Drawing on his years of teaching at both the university level and at writing workshops across the country, Professor Dinty W. Moore dons his book-doctor hat to present an authoritative guide to curing the issues that truly plague writers at
all levels. His hard-hitting handbook provides inspiring solutions for diagnoses such as character anemia, flat plot, and silent voice, and is peppered with flashes of Moore’s signature wit and unique take on the writing life.

I have read many books about writing books, and this one is different from the standard self-promotion and pep talks that many others of this genre tend to have.
For about $10, it is worth the read.

Rad Women Worldwide

I recieved a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

From the authors of the New York Times bestselling book Rad American Women A-Z, comes a bold new collection of 40 biographical profiles, each accompanied by a striking illustrated portrait, showcasing extraordinary women from around the world.

Rad Women Worldwide tells fresh, engaging, and inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. From 430 BCE to 2016, spanning 31 countries around the world, the book features an array of diverse figures, including Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica). This progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women’s history and belongs on the shelf of every school, library, and home.

Together, these stories show the immense range of what women have done and can do. May we all have the courage to be rad!

As a feminist, I couldn’t pass up on the oppertunity to write about the book Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl

This book proved to be very educational an informative for me. As I flipped through it, I got all kinds of inspiration for use within the classroom. It would be a great text to help with all forms of education. I could use it with history and politics, but also English. I will try to incorporate it into my ESL classes as much as possible.

Review-Wee Alphas

I teach ESL, and I like to use flash cards in my teaching, so when I saw the Wee Alphas cards, I was really excited to get them in exchange for a review.
So I was expecting flash cards, because what else could they be?
Well, when I got them, I realized that they were in fact, post cards.
I can’t use them in the way I intended, so that leaves me in a bit of a pickle for reviewing them. These could make a nice addition to the home-schooled classroom, as a Flat Stanley kind of project. I could use them for a bit of a writing assignment, but alot of the cards don’t have space for writing, some have a list of words to pick from. I am not sure what age group this is aimed at, because the illustrations on the front are aimed at younger kids, but the words from the list include “loquacious”.
So, for me, this one was a miss, I am afraid.

Book Review-Pop Manga Coloring Book

After acquiring four coloring books, and a set of 72 pencils, I think it is safe to say I am officially on board with the adult coloring trend.

It is just such a nice little mental break to color in a bit when I’m watching television. I can feel my focus improving afterward.

I was so anxious to get my hands on this book. I love manga, but I am really, really picky about quality, Camille’s work in unbelievable. She is a genius of this style, truly. If you don’t like manga or anime, this might not be the book for you, as out of context drawings of a girl with octopus tentacles might not be your thing. If you do like manga, grab this now.

Aside from the drawings being unbelievably beautiful, the paper is very high quality. This is probably my favorite coloring book I’ve gotten.

(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)