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Book review – Big Magic Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love)

I got the unabridged audio book using my Library’s Libby app.

I love audio books. I have eye issues, and it is easier to read this way, plus they read faster than I do, so I get more books read in a month. I still do not understand why people do not think it is reading? What about the time our parents read to us, did that not count as reading a book?

I love books like these, it is like having coffee with a friend, but in this case, they are doing all the talking.

I thought this book was really enjoyable. I even had a few aha moments because of it. I loved her idea on what ideas are. I thought it was creepy and fascinating at the same time. I will not say what it is, as I do not want to give any spoiler alerts. I loved how she used her life as way to explain things. Her ideas on how to get rid of fear, were refreshing, not the usual cookie cutter advice. By the time I was finished with the book, I wanted to start working on mine, I just loved how inspirational she was.

Elizabeth Gilbert did her own narration and I thought she did a wonderful job. Like I said before, it was like having coffee with a friend, tho in this case she was doing all the talking. The pace of the story was well done, and no interference from music or static, which I like. I never understood why they add music to a story.

If you need a dose of inspiration or a kick in the butt(can I say that in a blog) to get started on your creative project, then I would highly recommend this.

I admit I have not read Eat Pray Love, tho it is a best seller. I may have too now. I tend to cringe at the word pray, tho.

Peace and Luv, Renee

Ps..if you are a book blogger, here is a wonderful site to find more books to read, and to share your blog! Please, do not let the name fool you, any format is good,not just, audios.

Lovelyaudiobooks

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What is the proper etiquette for blogging?

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Hello everyone! Thanks to a comment someone made recently, it got me to thinking about proper etiquette for blogging. I know in the real world, common decency and politeness is getting hard to find these days. I would like to think we can still find it in the blogging world?

I admit, I am new to blogging, technically a couple of years. I made a few mistakes along the way. Also, my grammar is a bit rusty, been 30 years since I did any writing. But, I like to think my grammar is not that bad, I catch mistakes in books I read and such. One of the reasons why I took up blogging, was to get practice with my writing skills, hoping to be a content marketer or copywriter someday. You are never too old to start over.

Anyhow, my last blog had a comment that has me scratching my head. They just wrote down one word. No explanation or anything? I assume they were trying to correct me, but I looked at my sentence, and in my context the word I had is right. I have no idea who this person is, what their qualifications are or why they thought it was ok to just write one word. Seems rather rude.

My advice, if you are going to be a grammar nazi and correct someone’s “mistake” you should explain who you are and why you think it is a mistake. Especially, if someone is blogging without pay.

I know someone told me that I should be thankful someone commented. But, I think it should be the quality not the quantity of comments. One word is not quality to me.

My questions for all of you….

Do you have the nerve to tell someone they made a mistake, usually I chicken out.

How do you handle it if someone tries to fix yours, without much of an explanation? Is there a proper way of doing this?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments please. Thanks bunches!

 

PS…teaching yourself how to blog is a great way to cure boredom! Lots to learn, and the library (Libby app) is a great place to get info for it too.

Peace and luv, Renee

 

 

 

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#bookreview #cookbook – Snack Hacks Over 100 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Gamers, Coders, Freaks and Geeks by Claudia Christian and Mark Michel

I got Snack Hacks by Claudia Christian and Mark Michel used on Amazon. I was surprised someone gave it away, and it is in pretty good condition, just a couple of dings.

I have been a huge fan of Claudia Christian since she played Commander Susan Ivanova on Babylon 5. So, I was super excited to see that she wrote a cook book. I will have a link for the book at the end of the blog. It is not an affiliated link.

This cookbook is amazing! It has more than just snacks, it also has meals and desserts too! Plus, tips and tricks on preparing food. She also has stories about her past and interviews with other voice actors. It is more than just a cook book.

I love to read cookbooks that have more than just recipes in them. Especially, if it has info on my favorite celebrities. It is like reading their Biography, which I have been obsessed with lately. I loved that she talks about how she got into gaming and voice acting, and how she got into cooking. And she interviewed other actors as well and they shared some recipes. Mark Michel also shared his recipes too. It made it all seem more personal, which I love. She has some really great tips and tricks too, like how to cut a pepper. My favorite recipe is the homemade ice cream without a machine, I am definitely trying that this summer. Claudia Christian also gave some ideas on how to make the recipe a bit different, then she suggested that you try to make it your own. I thought that was so refreshing.

I do not think you have to be a geek, gamer etc. to enjoy this book. You do not even have to be a good cook, I know I am not. But, for those of us who are geeks and such, will love the extras in this cookbook. I highly recommend it, and hope she writes more of them!

Snack Hacks by Claudia Christian and Mark Michel

June Link Up

If you want to find more books to read or a place to add your review, please click on the June Link Up!

 

Unlimited Monthly Link Party

For more link sharing please click on the Unlimited Monthly Link Party!

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Thank you librarians! Here is how we can use the library safely.

Now that some of the states are opening up, like mine,that means some of the libraries are opening too. So, I wanted to give a shoutout to our wonderful librarians. Thank you for putting your lives at risk so that people can enjoy the library again. I hope you know that some of us really do appreciate all the had work you do.

Libraries have always been a safe haven for me. Ever since I was a little girl, I would hide at the library to get away from my control freak parents. I also used the library when I was living in the streets. It was the only safe place for me to go and find help.

Now, I can not go to the library, cause of mobility issues, but they have a way to  help me with that too. Thanks to the library, I can learn new skills, for free, so I can get a job.

Since the library was always a safe place for me, I would like to find ways to make it safe for the librarians who keeps the library open. Here are a few ways you can use the library safely.

  • First, if you are not  following their newsletter, make sure to call them to find out what their rules are. Some, might only have curbside pickup and dropoff.
  • Check to see if they have a website, you can get all kinds of information there, like how to handle the covid issues.
  • Download some apps….I love the Libby app, Overdrive app, and Flipster app. You can  use those to  borrow ebooks, audiobooks(my fav), comic/graphic books, magazines…etc
  • See if they have online classes…you can learn some new skills that way, and might keep you from being bored or help you get extra income.
  • Since, they can not do book fairs, see if you can help by donating books or money for their cause.
  • Do not be afraid to call them to ask questions, they love to help.


If you do get to go to the library, please please please, wear a mask and gloves.  I know it seems like a small price to pay, but some people do not understand.

I am sure I missed some ways, if you could think of any, please feel free to share in the comments section. Thanks!

And thanks again to all the wonderful librarians out there.

Luv and hugs, Renee

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#audiobook #minibookreview – Do You Mind if I Cancel? (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti

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I got this audiobook version from the library. It is written and read by the author, Gary Janetti(writer for Family Guy).

I have recently been hooked on biographies and memoirs. This is an excellent one. The audiobook version is a little over 3 hours, so it is a pretty quick read, compared to some.

This is Gary Janetti’s story on how he ended up in LA, now writing for the show Family Guy(highly recommended, btw). He talks about how he came out of the closet and how he ended up becoming a writer.

I love these kind of biographies, it is like listening to him tell his life story.  I highly recommend the audiobook version, for that reason. I loved that not only did he tell the things he has done, like working for Paramount Hotel, but what he was thinking at the time. Gary Janetti had some fascinating stories, like how he took a bike trip to Europe. I admit it was a little confusing sometimes, cause it was not in chronological order. One minute he is talking about being 28, then he is 12..etc. If you do not mind jumping around, this is a great read. I love that he ended it with a lot of hope. If you need a feel-good pick me up a book to read, then I definitely recommend this.

If you are looking for more book review blogs, here is a great  site! Also, a great place to add your book review.

Eline’s book review linkpage

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#bookreview – How to Unf#ck Your Brain by Dr. Faith G Harper…and a link for a free copy!

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I had gotten the audiobook from the library, using the Libby app. But, Amazon has a free copy of an ebook! I will post the link at the end for you. I do not know how long it will be free.

I have been reading a lot of these self-help books lately. I have been dealing with a generalized anxiety disorder my whole life. I am usually skeptical about books like this, even if it is written by a doctor. This time I was pleasantly surprised.

This time she talks about the causes and how to use that to manage your anxiety/depression, instead of just managing the symptoms. I thought that was a unique approach and rather enlightening. I loved that she talked in detail about the causes and the symptoms and gave definitions of them too. She mostly talks about  trauma, which is usually the cause. I loved that she reminded you not to self diagnose and to see a doctor. Even if she is giving advice, she said not to take her word for it, but to see a doctor. That was so refreshing. Most people who write these types of books, keep saying they have the magic cure-all. Just cause they cured themselves, they think they can cure everyone else. If that was the case, then all the psych doctors and therapists would be out of a job now.

I had the unabridged audiobook version. You could tell that she was reading from the book, cause sometimes you hear the paper turning. And the sound quality seemed off somehow. Kind of like listening to a podcast. But, I liked her narration she had a nice clear voice.

I should warn you, tho the title probably does that already. There is a lot of cussing in it, so if that bothers you, I doubt you would like this book. But if you are like me and use cuss words like a second language, then I highly recommend this book.

Not sure why, but you can get the ebook for free on Amazon! Here is the link for you, I do not know how long it will last. The pandemic might have something to do with that?

How to Unf#ck Your Brain

 

I do hope you all are adjusting ok and staying safe! But if you need help, please remember to call a doctor. Do not be ashamed, that is what they are there for.

Luv and hugs, Renee

#books, Uncategorized

#audiobook #bookreview – Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich

 

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Title: Twisted Twenty-Six

Author: Janet Evanovich

Narrator: Lorelei King

Date released: November 19, 2019

 

Twisted Twenty-Six is part of the Stephanie Plum series. It is actually the last one that will have a number in the title, not sure why. 

 

I love this one, it deals with Grandma Mazur, who is one of my favorite characters. I hope to be like her someday. Diesel also shows up again. I just love this crossover idea, he is from the charmed series. Somehow he and Stephanie keep having similar cases, so they work together on them. I love these series, I am always laughing out loud and they are such an easy read. Most of us, Stephanie Plum fans, always ask if you are a Ranger or Morelli fan. I am a huge Ranger aka Carlos Minoso, fan, and the end of this book made my heart go pitter-patter. Gave me hope for Ranger. Plus, there was a twist, that I did not see coming. I had an idea, but I was only half right. I love that.  If you love a good mystery with a twist ending, then I definitely recommend this.

 

 

So….Stephanie Plum fans….Are you a Ranger or Morelli fan, and why? Feel free to share in the comments…thanks!

 

Renee

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#audiobooks #minireviews – Reese Witherspoon, Whoopi Goldberg, and William Shatner

 

I have been on a book written and narrated by celebs kick lately. Thanks to my eye issue, I have been hooked on audiobooks.

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Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup written and narrated by Reese Witherspoon. I got the audiobook version from the library thanks to the Libby app. I am hoping to buy the print version someday, mainly for the recipes, she had some wonderful ones, but she had the in pdf format for audio, but I could not access it on the Libby app. But this is a great book, it is like sitting on the front porch listening to your friend tell you about her family and giving great tips on gifts and how to plan parties. And talking about her love of the South, made me wish I lived there. If you are a fan of Reese Witherspoon, I would highly recommend this, she is the epitome of a Southern lady.

 

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Whoopi Goldberg’s If Someone says, “You Complete Me,” Run! Big Book or Relationships is hilarious! Once again, I got the audiobook at the library thanks to the Libby app. I loved the fact that she reminds people that she can not give you advice, but she is willing to tell you what worked for her, and then you can decide. She talks about everything, even the S.E.X. word. There are times I was laughing so much I had to put my earphones on so I can hear her. You definitely have to be extremely open-minded, which I admire her for that. She also has a lot of swear words, so if that offends you. If not, I highly recommend this book, not sure the print version would do this justice, would definitely want the audio. She is such a hoot.

 

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William Shatner’s Live Long and… What I learned along the Way with David Fisher is narrated by William Shatner. Another Libby app version from the library. Like Whoopi,(yes, both Star Trek actors, I am a geek) he also says he can not give you advice but can only tell you what worked for him, then you decide for yourself. He has one of those voices that are perfect for narrating audiobooks. I could listen to him tell his stories all day long, and boy does he have stories to tell. Some are quite shocking. It was also surprising to hear how much we had in common. I admit I was and always shall be a Spock gal, but I admire William Shatner, and after reading this, even more so. I am not sure if the print will do him justice, but either way, it is highly recommended for any Trek fan or William Shatner fan.

 

Maybe someday, I can afford to buy these. I would definitely re-read them again.

 

Renee

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#audiobook #bookreview -One Million Ways to Die in the West by Seth MacFarlane

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I got the unabridged audiobook from the library, thanks to the Libby app.

A Million Ways to Die in the West written by Seth Macfarlane(Family Guy, American Dad, the Orville) is based on the movie written by Seth Macfarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, and was narrated by Jonathan Frakes(most know him as Commander Riker on Star Trek TNG).

This is about a guy named Albert, a sheep farmer, who is known as a cowardly nerd. His longterm girlfriend brakes up with him, while a new woman comes to town. He befriends this woman and she teaches him how to shoot. It comes in handy a couple of times.

This is the first book I finished for 2020, and I tell you this year is starting off with a bang. I loved this book! There were a lot of fun characters and the world-building was incredible. There is one scene near the end, that I was particularly awed by. (How did I miss this movie?). I should warn you, there is a lot of cussing in it, and a few sex scenes. Also, some detailed gunshots and such. You need to have a very open mind and a very strong stomach to enjoy it. There were times when I almost fell out of the chair from laughing so hard.

I admit I was bummed that Seth did not do the audiobook, but Jonathan Frakes was a perfect choice. I tend to worry about males reading female characters, but I had no issues with Jonathan Frakes doing it. Tho, I am ashamed to say, that a couple of times I had to remind myself it was not Commander Riker reading it(I am usually good at keeping actors separate from the characters they play). But Jonathan Frakes was impressive. How he was able to read some of that with a straight face is beyond me, now that is what I call acting.

If you love westerns, and or comedy, I highly recommend this book. And if you are a fan of Seth Macfarlane and/or Jonathan Frakes, then you definitely need to read this. I highly recommend the audiobook, not sure if the regular book would do it justice. But this is my new favorite book of all time now.

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#bookreview – Small Feet on the Run by Sieglinde Martin

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Small​ ​Feet​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Run​ ​is​ ​a​ ​WWII​ ​book​ ​written​ ​by​ ​Sieglinde​ ​Martin.​ ​She​ ​had​ ​asked​ ​16​ ​people​ ​to​ ​tell​ ​their​ ​stories​ ​about​ ​growing​ ​up​ ​ ​during​ ​WWII.​ ​

All these stories had hope in them.  The children would find ways to amuse themselves.  Like Annemarie would dress her Aunt’s dog in dresses and scarves. Ingrid found watching the activities at a Makeshift hospital new and exciting. Surprisingly, they would also collect bomb shrapnel to trade like baseball cards. Even in an air raid shelter, they can find amusement. Like this one gentleman had to use a pot for a helmet, and had trouble getting it off. The kids found it amusing, though the parents, of course, did not. 

They also had to travel long distances by trains that were so packed, you could only carry a few things, and no facilities, only when the train stops and they can use the outdoors. One little girl, Anna had to travel alone. Her parents had to leave her behind at a hospital since she was too sick to travel.  She had gotten some money from her father and was able to use that for a ticket. She had help from a couple of lovely ladies as well. 

I liked how the kids thought the American Soldiers were nice. The Soldiers would even give some of the candy. 

 At​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​each​ ​story,​ ​she​ ​asked​ ​the storytellers if the​ ​war​ ​affected​ ​them​. ​It​ ​was​ ​nice to​ ​hear​ ​how​ ​they​ ​coped​ ​afterward,​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​like​ ​a​ ​sequel​ ​to​ ​their​ ​stories. 

 

She even gave her own story, which I thought was a nice touch.

 Ms.Martin​ ​was​ ​kind​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​map​ ​and​ ​gave​ ​details​ ​about​ ​the​ ​cities and regions,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​nice when​ ​you’re​ ​not​ ​very​ ​good​ ​at​ ​geography.​ ​She​ ​also​ ​gives​ ​definitions​ ​for​ ​German​ ​or Russian​ ​words,​ ​in​ ​case​ ​you​ ​didn’t​ ​study​ ​those​ ​in​ ​school. 

 At​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​the​ ​book,​ ​she​ ​goes​ ​into​ ​great​ ​detail​ ​about​ ​how​ ​the​ ​war​ ​would​ ​affect​ ​the economy.​ ​Some​ ​of​ ​those​ ​numbers​ ​seemed​ ​staggering,​ ​you​ ​wonder​ ​if​ ​Politicians​ ​really understand​ ​the​ ​complexity​ ​of​ ​it.  

 She​ ​even​ ​talked​ ​about​ ​how​ ​it​ ​would​ ​affect​ ​​ ​climate​ ​change,​ ​which​ ​I​ ​found​ ​fascinating. 

 You​ ​wonder​ ​how​ ​people​ ​can​ ​go​ ​to​ ​war.​ ​I​ ​mean​ ​we​ ​are​ ​all​ ​humans,​ ​how​ ​can​ ​we​ ​just​ ​kill innocent​ ​people​ ​as​ ​they​ ​did​ ​in​ ​WWII?​ ​They​ ​hadn’t​ ​done​ ​anything​ ​wrong,​ ​yet​ ​they​ ​still get​ ​punished.​ ​And​ ​the​ ​Governments​ ​don’t​ ​seem​ ​to​ ​care ​about​ ​stuff​ ​like​ ​that​ ​when​ ​they go​ ​to​ ​war. 

 I​ ​agree​ ​with​ ​Ms.​ ​Martin,​ ​we​ ​should​ ​get​ ​rid​ ​of​ ​war.​ ​But​ ​that​ ​may​ ​never​ ​happen.​ ​Maybe​ ​if we​ ​get​ ​rid​ ​of​ ​all​ ​the​ ​weapons?​ ​But​ ​that​ ​seems​ ​like​ ​a​ ​daunting​ ​task. Maybe​ ​someday​ ​we​ ​can​ ​live​ ​in​ ​Peace.​ ​But​ ​for​ ​now,​ ​we​ ​can​ ​only​ ​hope. No​ ​more​ ​war​ ​is​ ​a​ ​slogan​ ​Ms.​ ​Martin​ ​uses,​ ​maybe​ ​we​ ​should​ ​all​ ​start​ ​saying​ ​it. 

I had learned a lot from this book. But the main thing I learned, is that people are resilient. No matter how hard things are in life, there is always a silver lining.  People learned to make do with what they have and know exactly what is important, mainly their family and health. As long as you have both of those, you can overcome anything. Even if you don’t, you still push on, no matter how tired you are.

 

If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​a​ ​fan​ ​of​ ​History​ ​or​ ​a​ ​WWII​ ​buff,​ ​then​ ​I​ ​would​ ​highly​ ​recommend​ ​reading​ ​this book.  And​ ​even​ ​if​ ​you​ ​aren’t,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​a​ ​fascinating​ ​read.​ ​It’s​ ​like​ ​sitting​ ​with​ ​your​ ​Grandparents and​ ​listening​ ​to​ ​them​ ​telling​ ​their​ ​stories​ ​of​ ​their​ ​past.