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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Review: The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary

The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary by Nancy Wagaman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Curious Dreamer's Dream Dictionary is a good starting point when you want to start interpreting what signs, symbols, and objects may mean in your dreams. This book serves more as a reference guide to look up different dream subjects than a simple book to read straight through.

I've been working to interpret my own dreams for years, and so I used this book to see what it would say about one of the most common themes in my dreams--the bathroom. Sometimes the dream is having difficulty finding a bathroom, or finding it in shambles once I get in there, or the worst of all--having sinks and toilets so tall that they are beyond my reach. This guide did pretty well in seeing the same interpretations I see in these symbols. However, there are a lot more obscure symbols (thyroid and wombat, for example) explored in this book and some of the more common themes are lumped together in too-wide umbrella topics. It's a good start to get you thinking, but so vague as to fit everyone that you would be better served taking the time to analyze your dreams on you own.

*Book provided by NetGalley

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review: Evening in Paradise: More Stories

Evening in Paradise: More Stories Evening in Paradise: More Stories by Lucia Berlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Evening in Paradise is a short story collection that takes readers throughout the Southwest and Mexico, providing characters that are flawed and frustrated and ready to tell a story. While the idea that this author is getting more recognition posthumously than she did alive is a greater part of the overall appeal of her work, it still stands on its own as a solid body of work. And since this seems to be a spillover book from what was left out of the previous collection, that will be the book that I explore next.

*Book provided by NetGalley

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Review: The Red Address Book

The Red Address Book The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Doris is 96 years old and she knows that she doesn't have much time left. She doesn't want to leave this earth without someone knowing her story, so she begins to write her grand-niece Jenny the story of her life, told through the names that she has placed and crossed out in her red address book.

This is a story that spans across the twentieth century through the eyes of Doris, a native of Sweden who traveled all across Europe and America. While not all of her trips were of her own choice, they did provide her the chance to meet friends, mentors, and loves that shaped her and made her who she was for Jenny and for all of those that she touched. It is a story that reminds everyone that no matter who you are, you have a story to tell and you have an eternal place within history that can't be forgotten.

*Book provided by Bookish First

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Review: Bluff

Bluff Bluff by Jane Stanton Hitchcock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maud Warner, past her prime and spending her days at the poker table, is out to get her revenge and it isn't going to be pretty. Now that she is the center of a murder at the famous Four Seasons, she must figure out a way to make sure that the person responsible for her and her family's misery is brought to justice.

Bluff is a novel that is full of questions and answers that seem to change with every turn of the page. Although the main players of the book all belong to the privileged class, they show themselves as no better than anyone else when it comes to family, sex, jealousy, and most importantly, money. I thought that the book did a decent job of showing different sides of the crime, and I do like how it had a bit of a big twist just past the halfway point. Light crime fans will want to pick up a copy of this book.

*Book provided by Bookish First


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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018

Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018 Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018 by David Kipen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dear Los Angeles is a unique look at the city throughout its existence, from the days before California became a state to present day. Each letter and journal entry belonging to a person who has a unique point of view of their daily lives in the City of Angels.

This book was a bit hit and miss for me. I truly enjoyed the letters that belonged to people that I recognized, such as musicians, writers, and those in Hollywood past and present. The more historical accounts I couldn't really get into because I know very little about west coast history in general. I may have enjoyed it a bit more if I had read the physical copy instead of the ebook because it would have been easier to quickly flip to the back to read the bio of those I did not recognize. That said, anyone who has a deep interest in Los Angeles history will probably want to pick this one up.

*Book provided by NetGalley


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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Review: An Anonymous Girl

An Anonymous Girl An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jessica was only looking to make a few extra bucks--but what she got when she swiped a spot in a research study from a college student was much more than she bargained for. Once she is offered more money in exchange for a deep dive into her innermost secrets, Jessica's relationship with Dr. Shields becomes dangerous.

While I like the premise of this book being a psychological thriller, it doesn't really live up to the hype. Although I thought the ending was predictable (and I was proven wrong, of course) the actual ending didn't deliver what I wanted it to, and it was really rushed given how slow the rest of the story went. The manipulation by Dr. Shields and Jessica's attempts to thwart it were a little absurd, even though they were not out of the realm of possibility. It'll suck you in, but it won't wow you.

*Book provided by NetGalley

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: New York on a Budget: The complete guide to saving money on accommodations, attractions, restaurants, shopping, and more

New York on a Budget: The complete guide to saving money on accommodations, attractions, restaurants, shopping, and more New York on a Budget: The complete guide to saving money on accommodations, attractions, restaurants, shopping, and more by Laura Peruchi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but when you travel there, it doesn't have to be. The key to saving money while traveling in NYC is to plan ahead. This guide is a helpful addition to those who are getting ready to travel to New York and don't want to confront high prices when it comes to shopping, food, and tourist attractions.

There was a lot of information within in this book about saving money. However, it certainly isn't everything you can do, see, and eat that is more affordable than what's on the surface for tourists. What I found most strange about this book is some of the topics that it focused on. This book spends a lot of pages with the basics of booking a hotel or hostel online--something which most people are familiar with. However, it spends a lot less pages talking about New York's transit system, which to outsiders can be a mess of confusion.

The book also explores how you can save money while shopping, but it lists a lot of pretty standard discount stores that happen to have locations in New York, rather than unique local places that are also affordable. This is when I realized that the book is not focused for domestic travelers like myself, but for international travelers who already know how to navigate big-city transportation and who may not be familiar with a place like TJ Maxx (and the fact that most Americans live within 50 miles of one).

The biggest clue to discovering who the real audience for this book was that the last 20% of the book is dedicated to the topic of how someone can buy used high-end electronics on Craigslist while traveling. A domestic audience would know that this sounds crazy dangerous and most Americans simply wouldn't take the risk, not only with their own safety, but the risk that the products may be damaged or stolen.

Still, I will be using this book when it comes to the attraction and restaurant listings, though I do hope since the book lists operating hours and prices that it is updated on a regular basis to reflect any significant changes.


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