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review 2019-01-14 22:11
In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire--- great addition to the series!
In an Absent Dream - Seanan McGuire

Looking for fair value in an unfair world can lead even the most sensible child to look elsewhere for a place to call Home. What would you do or give up to be seen, truly seen, understood and surrounded by those who see things as you do?


This series just keeps getting better and better! I really thought I couldn't be any more impressed. That was until I devoured my preordered copy, the very day it was released, and suddenly I am blown away... again! How can a simple concept such as children who don't easily fit in finding a way to escape their mundane/ill fitting reality only to encounter and enter a fairytale like, alternate, more accepting world give us such a gamut of supremely worthy material? The world building and prose are vivid while the characters are diverse. Ultimately Mrs. McGuire has graciously thought into being new and fantastical worlds that surpass the proceeding ones with imagination too beautiful for words.


This one is centered around Katherine Lundy who prefers to be called by her last name only (it's a Goblin Market thing, you'll see). Lundy finds the world she was born to to be unjust, especially with how it treats its children. When she finds her way to the door in the tree that is boldly displaying the words "BE SURE", Lundy has never been so sure of anything in her whole life. This book, based on Rosetti's poem The Goblin Market, has an ethereal and melodic cadence. The writing is simply gorgeous without being too flowery or verbose. The characters are rich, multidimensional and at once relateable. I won't go into anymore detail than that because I went into this one blind, enjoyed every single second of it and believe wholeheartedly that you will too.



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review 2019-01-11 04:05
Another Wayward Child's story -- magical, enchanting, heartbreaking. You know the drill.
In an Absent Dream - Seanan McGuire
...the worst she was ever called where anyone might here was "teacher's pet," which she took, not as an insult, but rather as a statement of fact. She was Katherine, she was the teacher's pet, and when she grew up, she was going to be a librarian, because she couldn't imagine knowing there was a job that was all about books and not wanting to do it.

Here's a quick recap of this series for those of you who haven't heard about it yet/have ignored everything I've said about the series these last few years: Imagine Children who go off to a magical kingdom for a bit from our world -- Narnia, Fillory, the Lands Beyond, Neverland, Lyrian, whatever you call that land on the other side of the fourteenth door in Coraline, etc. -- and then return home. Some will go on to live "normal" lives -- others can't forget or outgrow their attachment to the magical world -- some of those, those who want more than anything to return to whatever was on the other side of the door wind up at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. This series is about some of those children.


There's a basic outline to these books -- McGuire introduces you to a Child and a new world. Her language will be lyrical, playful and enchanting. She'll draw you in with the awe and wonder and while you're not looking, she'll set the hook, and you will be as emotionally tied to her characters as you are close family members*. Then something devastating will happen to those characters, and you will feel horrible, yet love the experience. No matter what kind of resolution is found in the book (death, rescue, brokenness), when you close the book you'll almost instantly start waiting until the next book comes out, because McGuire is just that good.


In this book we meet Katherine -- Katherine's never been good at making friends her age (there are justifiable reasons for this), but she likes talking to adults more, she likes rules, and she loves reading. There's something about each Wayward Child that readers can identify with, but Katherine is more relatable to readers than the others have been. One day, Katherine comes upon a tree that hadn't been there before. This tree had a door in it, and before she realized what was happening -- she was on the other side of the door, walking down a hall, on her way to a Goblin Market. In the last book, we saw a nonsense world -- this is a logic world, through and through. There are rules, enforced by everyone who lives there -- and somehow, by the world itself.


Unlike that (mostly) tongue-in-cheek outline above, each of these books are so different from the rest, it's hard to compare them -- so I'll try not to. But the structure of this seems more different than the others have. So I'm not going to tell you any more about the plot than I have -- I'll just say it's a great story, incredibly well told -- and even when the narration tells you the ending is not going to be "kind", you keep expecting/hoping/wanting for things to work out for Katherine and her loved ones.


I've made the ending sound bad -- it's not "happy," but I'm not complaining, I'm not criticizing, I'm most definitely not warning a reader away. It's the right ending for this story, it's absolutely how things needed to go -- but this is not the Feel-Good Novella of the Year. It is wonderfully written, beautifully written, imaginative, awe-inspiring, delightful, and eventually heartbreaking. McGuire's one of the best at work today -- and this is proof of it.


Yes, you can read these out-of-order -- but I don't recommend it. And hey, were talking 200 pages or less each, you've got time for that. You'll be glad you did (once you stop feeling horrible)


* That might be a bit hyperbolic.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/01/10/in-an-absent-dream-by-seanan-mcguire-another-wayward-childs-story-magical-enchanting-heartbreaking-you-know-the-drill
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text 2018-12-24 10:55
Oman Is an Attractive Location for Arabian Sands Dream Desert Camp

Oman was once beneath the rule of an oppressive sultan, who wouldn’t enable international guests into his country. This modified in 1970 once he was overthrown, and also the country openly welcomes guests. Today, Oman has evolved into a preferred vacation location attributable to its welcome, luxury amenities at family-friendly hotels and exclusive resorts, non-public beaches, and best cooking. Families from around the world will currently get pleasure from Oman along. Luxury Asian country family holidays supply a unique chance to expertise a distinct culture as a family.

Oman holidays enable families to pay quality time along quiet, happy and eating. Best Holiday Tour Packages in Oman, in general, reminds us of the importance of playing time with family. Whereas on vacation in Oman, families will choose between a good sort of activities, like the ever common desert discovery tours, the tours feature long mobile tenting excursions, guided tours, camel rides, deserted beaches and luxury accommodations in building titled rest homes. Throughout your visit to the present lovely, culturally wealthy town, you’ll understand that Asian country travel provides several exciting and exotic decisions for each member of your family.

Another reason to choose Arabian Sands Dream Desert Camp is that the final family vacation destination is that the country is incredibly clean and very safe. Crime is nearly unknown during this intensely lovely country. Oman offers the right juxtaposition between the trendy and also the recent world. There are urban areas crammed with open markets, wherever the scents of incenses fill the air that co-exists in excellent harmony with rustic, sheep social, desert villages.


Source link-https://sandsdreamtours.wordpress.com/2018/12/24/oman-is-an-attractive-location-for-arabian-sands-dream-desert-camp/

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review 2018-12-22 19:04
Disney Magic: The Launching of a Dream by John Hemingway
Disney Magic: The Launching of a Dream - John Hemingway

The dreammakers of Disney have done it again! Disney Magiccelebrates the creation of a cruise ship different from all others. This keepsake volume reveals how the Disney Cruise Line creative team turned a dream, long held by Walt Disney, into reality. It documents the care, innovation and originality that led to the birth of a remarkable ship. Discover why the Walt Disney Company decided to enter the cruise industry, what prompted the decision to design a fanciful, modern classic, and how the ship's storyline sets it apart from all others in the water today. Richly illustrated with more than 180 never-before-seen images, Disney Magic includes preliminary exterior design sketches, photographs of the ship's bow being towed up the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy for the "Float Together" and a vintage shot of Walt Disney himself aboard the Italian luxury liner The Rex. The images provide a taste of the ship's evolution, examining what went into designing and building not only its body, but the highly distinctive interiors. Be dazzled by insights into little known details of the Disney Magic.





Published in 1998, this keepsake book focuses on the development of the Disney Cruise Line, with special focus on the ship Disney Magic. This ship's build began in 1997 in the port of Marghera, Italy. Disney CEO Michael Eisner was inspired to create a cruise line exclusive to the company after touring various popular cruise lines and noticing too much of what he saw as "glassed over floating hotels".




...most suffered from self-imposed industrial constraints, that they all appeared to be built around a framework that was, at best, utilitarian. There seemed little romance, "little sense of Hollywood in contemporary cruise ship design." Yes, they were stylistically fleet, even elegant at times, but structurally they had been driven by a simple formula of compressing the maximum number of cabins into a hull. Where was the fantasy?


Eisner wanted the Disney ships to have a more classic look, something that harkened back to the halcyon days of luxury sea travel. He also wanted to offer a more magical and cozy experience to families. Following an initial billion dollar investment, the dream gradually became a reality.









"We are excessive," observes Michael Eisner. "I must have attended 5 meetings about every room on the ship. I went to see life-size mock-ups of the ship's staterooms in Italy before we committed to any design detail. We change everything 3 or 4 times at least."


"Creativity is an open process," concludes Judson Green, President of Walt Disney Attractions. "The technique that led to the perfection of the ship design is typical of Disney. I always say I'll never accept the first 'take' on anything --- no matter how brilliant. At Disney we have no shortage of ideas. Just turn on the spigots. We let ideas nurture. In the end, they always turn out better..."


Disney Magic, the flagship, was built with inspiration primarily being pulled from two sources: the Queen Mary and a general incorporation of Scandinavian ship design. This book gives readers not only text detailing the project but also a step-by-step visual of the ship (and thus the Disney Cruise Line itself) slowly coming to fruition. Looking at the pictures of the interior now, many will see the chosen fabrics seem pretty dated now (they read VERY 90s, lol) but still, there's something about the nostalgia it now brings forth. Along with the photos of the project itself, also incorporated around the text are vintage photographs of the days of sailing that inspired the vision for the Disney Cruise Line, sketches of the ship design (preliminary suggestions for styling, cabin set up, etc) as well as some rarely seen photographs of the man Walt Disney himself.



just partly built, already immense!



It's an interesting and easy read if you have interest in Disney history or shipbuilding techniques (or both!). The bonus of the photographs is extra fun! 

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review 2018-12-19 01:08
Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream - Doris Kearns Goodwin

I bought this book at a used book sale on Constitution Ave., NW, in Washington DC many years ago and was enthralled with it. Here is a book that gives a reader access into former President Lyndon Johnson as he was, mainly during his Presidency and shortly after his return to Texas for the last time. Doris Kearns Goodwin first met Johnson when she came to the White House in 1967 to serve an internship from Harvard. And after Johnson left the White House in January 1969, she also worked with him on his presidential papers. All in all, it was a very rewarding experience to read this book, which I recommend highly

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