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review 2017-05-02 18:29
Storybook Style
Storybook Style: America’s Whimsical Homes of the 1920s - Douglas Keister,Arrol Gellner

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

 

                I am coming to this as simply a reader who likes to the Storybook style, though before reading this book I would have simply called the style fairy tale houses.    Hey, not my field.

                This book presents a history of the style, including a brief overview of the influences, including the style used in the Renaissance and Medieval periods.  While most of the houses discussed are in the United States, there is a bit of an international flavor to the book.

                The book also looks at the influence of Hollywood upon the style as well as vice versa.  Additional, there are sections of the book that deal with the little things that are not noticed very often, describing terms and history.

                Quite a good little introduction.

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review 2014-09-23 21:41
Clay Play: 24 Whimsical Projects
Clay Play!: 24 Whimsical Projects - Terr... Clay Play!: 24 Whimsical Projects - Terry Taylor

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. No other consideration was offered, expected or received.

 

I am big on arts-n-crafts and have a lot of fun doing them with the children in my life. When I saw this book go up for review on NetGalley, I grabbed it up. We love working with clay and play-doh - and the projects on the cover look like a lot of fun. The next time the kids came over, we sat down at my laptop and took a look, deciding what we were going make. The projects are cute and fun. Even though the book description on Amazon says this is for ages 7-11, grades 2-6, because of the easy instructions and color photos, children of all ages can make these projects.

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review 2014-09-09 05:06
So...well...that was ok...
Inkspell - Cornelia Funke,Anthea Bell

I HATE CLIFFHANGER ENDINGS! 3 1/2 stars.

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review 2014-08-22 17:52
The City of Dreaming Books - Walter Moers,John Brownjohn

The moment I opened this book (and yes I know I say this a lot) I knew that I would love this book from the first page.

My dear readers, did you, like me, never want this book to end? I wanted it to be longer. I savored it, took my time...but at the same time, I was reading pages whenever I had the chance. Literally in the bathroom, during dinner--I'd read into the night until my eyes got sore and even then, the book nagged at me from my bedside tables in my dreams. "Read me, read me!" it cried until I would give in, light a candle and become a night owl once more.

You may ask, what would compel me to do such a thing? Let me fangasm for a moment, if you please. *OMGZZZ THIS BOOK IS SO AWESOME LIKE YEAHHHH I JUST WANT TO LIVE IN IT FOREVER AND EVER AND EVERRRR!" Ok. Now that that's out of my system, let me give my explanation as to why this kooky book is so very wonderful.

Moers writing is so detailed and creative that he invokes emotions, senses. When Optimus Yarnspinner entered Bookholm for the first time, I was in awe. I could smell, at least in my imagination, a place I've only dreamed of: a place dedicated to BOOKS. I smelt leather and paper and ink...As a bibliophile, you can imagine how happy this made me--this book was written for people like me in my mind. I've always loved books about books, but this takes everything and blows it out of the water. Even Inkheart.
A part of me ached because Bookholm doesn't and will never exist, except on a page, and another part was telling myself that I could visit this book time and time again and be enraptured.

This is how I imagine I'd react in Bookholm:

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get across my feelings about this book. I love all the small details and the world building, all the quirky anagrams which were fun to figure out in my head, and the interesting Zamonian book titles, the creatures and the food. I felt like I was in the tavern with Optimus, wincing as he accidentally got a bad sting from Beebread. {watch out for that by the way!} The Poets Ringlet sounds most delicious to me or the book shaped pastry with apple filling and pistachios. I loved all the footnotes and the backstories of Zamonian history, or even Optimus's little asides about a memory and such. I think one of my favorite parts was when I read about Regenschein and his adventures in the catacombs. I swear that in reading that passage, I could hear The Shadow Kings rustling papers behind me, his ink breath on the back of my neck. Another part I enjoyed was towards the end, about the history behind Zamonian horror literature. (pgs. 318-322 in my edition) There are so many passages that I want to memorize, just for the sheer delight. There were so many that felt special to me, but especially this one on pg. 81 of my edition: "Books, books, books, books. Old books, new books, expensive books, cheap books, books in shop windows or bookcases, in sacks or on handcarts, in random heaps or neatly arrayed behind glass. Books in precarious tottering piles, book parcelled up with string ("Try your luck --- buy your surprise package!), books displayed on marble pillars or locked away behind grilles in dark wooden cabinets ('Signed first editions--don't touch!). Books bound in leather and linen, hide or silk, books with clasps of copper or iron, silver or gold--even in one or two shop windows, books studded all over with diamonds." My bibliophilic brain went dizzy with the images I conjured up in my owlie head.

The illustrations make the book come even more alive and the writing is wonderful, have I mentioned that? There was never a point where I wanted to stop or I felt it slowed down, I felt as if every word was placed perfectly in the story--beautiful sentences complimented each other in wit and vivid imagery. and god help anyone who interrupted me. I was irritated whenever my stomach growled or I had to use the bathroom. I wanted to yell at my body and say "Can't you see I'm trying to read!?"

This is a fun charming and gorgeous read for bookish adults who still dream of mountains of old books in a far off fantasy land. I was obsessed with this book to the point where I would be at the edge of armchair, going through a range of emotions just as how most people did reading the manuscript given to Optimus. I giggled with sheer happiness at all the passages describing ancient book lore and the shops, and the stories of the catacombs--I laughed at a lot of things--I bit my lip and nail in fear for Optimus's safety, and shed a tear when it was done, considering picking it up again because I felt as if I had just lost something. I can't say exactly what, but I knew I'd miss the whimsy and the adventure. I had an Oz moment and I wanted to turn to the Booklings and say: "I'll miss you most of all!" The ending with the Booklings made me tear up a little, I must say.

Even though I'll miss this book and I certainly never wanted to stop and start other books, I'm glad I have finished such a wonderful story. Many other stories are waiting on my shelves for me, so this one will be put up in a place all its own and rest for a good while--but I know like a good old friend, it will always be there to welcome me back into its pages.

PS--Beware of Hazardous Books and Animatomes! (or the hybrids)

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review 2014-07-12 18:14
Snow
Snow - Maxence Fermine,Chris Mulhern

I picked up this beautiful gem just this morning at my local library's book sale, and for only $2. I took off the dirty plastic cover that was caped to the dust jacket, cleaned the actual book with some rubbing alcohol, and left the library sticker on it as it was. It felt like one of those books that I was meant to find. It was mismarked and put into the bin with soft cover books, all of which were very worn and with broken spines, and this one was so small and thin compared to them that my eye was drawn to it, as well as the fact that it was a hardcover in the softcover section.

 

I believe I was meant to find this book, or rather, that IT found ME. Before beginning it I looked at other reviews to see what people said and one caught my eye about how sexists this book was and how it's about a guy who is sexually frustrated or something along those lines. But what I found inside was completely different. It's not sexism but a true essence of human emotions that I think not all experience and not all will understand, so I can see perfectly why this book has such mixed reviews, despite the praise that's printed on the back of it. This book is for people like me, who need that blend of magic in the ordinary life and want that fairy tale touch mixed in with a bittersweet twist. It was beautiful and should be approached best with an open mind. It's a life lesson, in a sense, that has been delicately woven into a narrative that was both unexpected yet so chilling that I felt I agreed with all the thoughts the author put forth.

 

I read it in 15 minutes - that really speaks to what kind of power this book has.

 

It's short ad the minimalist approach fits the subject matter perfectly. I'm so so glad I picked this one up and allowed myself to be pulled into the relaxing yet thought-provoking world of Japan, of Yuko and poetry. (I write poems myself so that's probably another reason why this book resonated with me so much). All I know is that this book is going on my favourite books shelf, and is staring there as I revisit it in the years to come. A beautiful, beautiful thing.

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