Showing posts with label non-fiction. Show all posts

"Just Add Watercolor" Review

"Just Add Watercolor"
by Helen Birch
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

A beautifully illustrated, easy-to-navigate guide to creating contemporary watercolors, pairing full-page paintings with insights and tips for artists.
     Featuring 200 of the best works of young, modern watercolor painters, paired with bite-sized painting tips and art instruction, Just Add Watercolor gives aspiring artists access to information about--and examples of--top work in the medium. Artist and instructor Helen Birch breaks down each painting by techniques, subject matter, and tools, providing art enthusiasts and painters with a one-stop resource and gallery of the best that modern watercolor has to offer. Its small trim size with one painting per spread provides a bold, but user-friendly alternative to traditional, process-heavy painting instruction texts. Just Add Watercolor shines the spotlight on featured paintings, while still giving readers all the insights needed to get started painting in this popular medium.
My Review:

This is just such a lovely little book! The size is small, perfect for adding to your bag to read while out and about. Honestly, even if you don't read the advice on watercolor painting, the wonderful illustrations alone are worth picking up this book to see!

There are no step by step instructions, its more of a compilation of advice, techniques, and tips for a watercolor artist. The tips come from many different artists, which gives such a great range of styles. If one artist isn't your style, there are many others that may right up your alley!

The format of the book is perfect for paging through. There is a grid at the front of the book with all of the artwork contained inside. So you can pick and choose that way or you can just page through. There are 200 watercolor artworks to choose from, each with a full page of tips and techniques from the artist.

Bottom Line: This book is the perfect gift for the watercolor artist of any skill level. It's small in size, but packed with info and beautiful paintings.

More info about the book here

Author bio

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

"Monstrously Funny Cartoons" Review

"Monstrously Funny Cartoons"
by Christopher Hart
Publisher:  Watson-Guptill
Release Date: Oct 14, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Learn to draw the silliest and scariest monsters, zombies, vampires, witches, mummies, and other creepy cartoon favorites.

Cartooning master Christopher Hart teaches aspiring artists all the drawing tips and tricks they need to create laugh-out-loud renditions of their favorite monsters and scary creatures. This jam-packed cartooning guide shows readers how to capture the lighter side of these creepy creatures by combining them with Hart's incredibly popular cartoon drawing style! Taking readers step-by-step through each monster type, Hart demonstrates how to draw everything from terrifyingly silly heads to wacky comic strip-like scenes of monstrous menace. Chockful of hints, humor, and horror, Monstrously Funny Cartoons is guaranteed to be a real scream for aspiring and professional artists, as well as all fans of things that go bump in the night.
My Review:

What a fun book! This instructional cartooning book, has it all-easy to follow how-to advice, and background information, as well as a fun writing style. The author blends his drawings of fun cartoon monsters with funny descriptions as well as the reasons why the characters are drawn the way they are. He doesn't just tell you to draw a zombie with an open jaw, he tells you WHY zombies have open jaws. This is such a great teaching style. The artist learns why they are drawing a certain way, not just copying what another artist has done. This method really helps you develop your own style instead of copying the instructor's style.

The book is divided into section by type of monster. Zombies are first, followed by vampires, mummies, aliens, etc. I really enjoyed the vampire and zombie monsters the most, but I liked all of the monsters. There is a good variety  of types to draw, some are cute like the zombie cheerleader on the cover, and some are more silly and icky. All of the monsters are in good fun though, there's nothing scary in the book. It's perfect for children, teens, and adults in my opinion.

I think the author achieved his goal of providing information for both beginning artists, and for experienced artists who want to develop their craft and learn how to draw a new category in order to stay current.

Bottom Line: A monstrously fun cartooning book, suitable for all ages and skill levels. Let's get drawing those zombies, vampires, and mummies!

Disclosure: book sent by bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review

"Daily Painting" Review

"Daily Painting"
by Carol Marine

Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Release Date: Nov 4, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:
A unique system for jump-starting artistic creativity, encouraging experimentation and growth, and increasing sales for artists of all levels, from novices to professionals.

Too many artists find themselves in a frustrating rut: unable to sell paintings hanging in galleries, bogged down by projects they can't finish "or "abandon, and using any excuse to avoid working in the studio. Author Carol Marine was herself suffering from painter's block--until she discovered "daily painting." The idea is simple: do art (usually small) often (how often is up to the individual) and, if you desire, post it and sell it online. Today Marine is among the best and most celebrated daily painters, and the curator of the popular online gallery dailypaintworks.com. In her debut, "Daily Painting," Marine reveals the tips and tricks that helped her and other daily painters pick up the paintbrush and start creating beautiful, bountiful, marketable work.
My Review:

This book is both informative and very inspiring! The author encourages artists of all skill levels to practice their art every day (it's ok if you miss a day!) to become better at their craft, and also break free from a rut.

The artwork in the book is amazing! The book features mini masterpieces by the author as well as many other daily painters. It's fascinating that each piece of art in the book was created, from start to finish, in one day. One way that the author is able to achieve this is by producing many small works, normally 6x6.

This book contains both practical advice on painting, with great information on supplies and techniques.  It's not just an instructional book though, it also includes motivation to create every day and break free from a rut. I really enjoyed the section at the end where other daily artists chimed in with ways that they lose their artist's block.

Bottom Line:
This book is great motivator for any artist to get painting today!

Buy from Random House

Disclosure: "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

"Adventure Time Crafts" Review

"Adventure Time Crafts: Flippin' Adorable Stuff to Make from the Land of Ooo"
by Princess Bonnibel Bubblegum, 
Cartoon Network, 
and Chelsea Bloxsom
Publisher: Potter Craft
Release Date: Oct 7, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from Random House:

With Jake the dog and Finn the human, the crafts will never end! Learn how to stitch, paint, sculpt, and crochet more than 23 projects featuring your favorite Adventure Time™ characters. You'll find designs by fans just like you for plush toys, chic jewelry, crafty home decor, and stylish fashions straight from the Candy Kingdom:

* Reversible Jake/Cake Plush
* Marceline's Axe
* Bubblegum's Like-Like Sweater
* Peppermint Butler Pillow
* Oh My Glob, Nail Art!
* Fionna and Finn Hats
* BMO's 8-Bit Fuse Bead Coasters

And so much more! What the lump are you waiting for? It's time to D.I.Y.!
My Review:

This book is amazing!! It's full of so many awesome crafts based on the Cartoon Network show, "Adventure Time". I honestly want to make every single project in this book! I love that there are projects for all skill levels. Not ready to try sewing Finn's hat or the Jake plush? You can try the itty bitty felt finger puppets or bobby pins! All of the projects can be done exactly like the examples in the book, but the author also encourages the reader to make changes and add personal touches to each project. I just love that creative thinking is really encouraged, especially since this book will appeal to a young audience. It's so great to encourage kids to think outside of the box!

Most of the projects seem very inexpensive to make as well. I think $5-$10 and a trip to the local craft store could get you started on almost all of the projects. Many involve felt and they should be pretty foolproof since patterns are included in the back of the book for you to photocopy.

My favorite project may be the sweater featured on the cover, Bubblegum's Like-Like Sweater. The sweater is absolute genius and I can't believe I haven't thought of doing something similar already. The author takes a store bought sweater, and uses duplicate stitch (a kind of embroidery that mimics a knitted pattern) to add a simple version of her fave character to the front.

In case you didn't notice, the authors of this book are Chelsea Bloxsom and Princess Bubblegum herself! The intros to all of the projects are written in the princess' voice, and they are seriously fun to read! Even if you don't ever make any of the projects, an Adventure Time fan will love reading Princess Bubblegum's descriptions and looking at the annotated illustrations throughout the book. 

Bottom Line:
This book is a surefire way to make a tween, teen, or adult fan of Adventure Time a happy camper this holiday season!

Add on Goodreads

Buy from Random House

Disclosure: "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

"The 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff" Review and Giveaway

"The 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff"
By Six Sisters' Stuff
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date:
Sep 30, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars


Summary from Goodreads:

New for the holidays, 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters’ STUFF mixes memoir and lifestyle into a creative cookbook, showing how food communicates love and is a way to connect and share family traditions. The authors are the bloggers behind SixSistersStuff.com which has 3.2 million unique visitors each month, connecting with a wide spectrum of readers who relate to the sisters, each at a different stage of their lives from college-bound to raising active families.

In this book the Six Sisters share their stories and expertise for making a memorable holiday season with practical tips, delicious recipes and great ideas as we share with them and their families the traditions and joys of Christmas. Includes recipes, projects, and ideas along with full-color photographs and easy-to-follow instructions.

12 Christmas Cookies
12 Days of Christmas for Your “True Love”
12 Family Traditions
12 Christmas Brunch Recipes
12 Sanity-Saving Christmas Tips
12 Christmas Party Ideas
12 Spectacular Christmas Treats
12 Ways to Give Back
12 Gifts for Neighbors
12 Quick and Easy Family Dinners
12 Homemade Christmas Gifts
12 DIY Christmas Decorations

My Review:

This book gets an "A" from me for the Christmas cookie and dessert recipes alone! Each cookie recipe looks more delicious than the previous one! The Eggnog Cookies are a must-try for me, as well as the Cherry Cheesecake Cookies. And the Santa Claus Cookies are just too cute not to try! Some of the cookies and treats even use boxed cake mixes to cut down on time in the kitchen. I know some readers aren't that keen on the pre-processed mixes, but all of the recipes aren't from boxes, there is a good mix of different types of recipes. One refreshing thing about all of the recipes in the book is the small list of ingredients for each item. Yay! I don't have to buy a ton of things I won't use again or haven't even heard of before!

To me, the stars of the book are the recipes. The tips for the Christmas season are fun, especially the 12 Days of Christmas for Your True Love, where the Sisters give tips on how to modernize the classic 12 Days of Christmas. For instance, a dozen donuts on the 12th day. Too cute! However some of the other holiday decorating and sanity saving tips are bit repetitive of others that I have seen on blogs and in magazines. The tips are still fun, but the real gems are the easy recipes and the delicious looking full page photos of the food! Yum!

Bottom Line: This is another great installment of the books by the Six Sisters, I can't wait to try many of the Christmas cookie recipes!

About the Sisters:
The Six Sisters, Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra, started their blog in 2011 to keep in touch after they moved out of their house and started lives and families on their own and in just a few years it has become one of the top blog sites for women with millions of visitors each month, sharing stories of family, recipes and tips for running a home. The sisters live in the Southwest and Midwest.

This giveaway is tour-wide contest provided for my readers by the publisher. The publisher is responsible for the running of the Rafflecopter and the prizing, I am simply posting the Rafflecopter with permission from the publisher! Contest ends 10/17, please see Terms and Conditions on the Rafflecopter widget for details! Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"Idiot's Guides: Manga" Review

"Idiot's Guides: Manga"
by 9colorstudio

Publisher: Alpha

Release Date: Sep 3, 2013

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from dk.com:
Whether you have little drawing experience or are just new to the style, Idiot's Guide®: Drawing Manga is the essential guide for the beginner joining the Japanese Manga craze.

The creative minds behind 9colorstudio offer a simplified approach with easy step-by-step instructions and mini-lessons, set out as if you were having a drawing lesson. Learn to draw the basic features of characters with line-by-line walkthroughs and practise some of today's recognised styles. In no time, you will be able to create your own crazy characters in many of the most popular Manga styles. Or, use your understanding of the basics to develop a style that is unique to you.

My Review:

This fully illustrated guide to drawing Manga is a really great guide for beginner or intermediate artists wanting to try out some Manga specific techniques. You will also learn some basics in proportion and expression. I love that book teaches you to draw many different types of people, from toddler to older adult, all in both male and female forms.

The section on drawing eyes was especially insightful to me. The Manga eyes are very stylized and it was great to see so many different ways to draw them. Eyes can really make or break a character.

The finishing touches that make a Manga character Manga are a lot of fun to see. I've already mentioned the eyes, but also the specific styles and ways of drawing hair and clothing really make your character into the Manga style.

The author makes the drawing look very easy, and the lessons are broken down into simple steps. The reader isn't expected to make something too complicated. One thing I love about this way of teaching is that it is so easy to make the character your own, by adding a few of your own touches here and there.

Bottom Line: For an artist wanting to learn the Manga style, or brush up on different features to make their drawings look more stylized, this is an excellent guide. The lessons are easy to follow, and the drawings are a lot of fun to create!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition" Review

"A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition"
by Lee Mendelson with Reminiscences by Bill Melendez

Publisher: ItBooks

Release Date: Oct 22, 2013

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
No holiday season would be complete without watching Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang give a forgotten tree a little love, recite the Christmas story, and sing "Silent Night."

For nearly fifty years, since first airing in December 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas has been one of America's most beloved television shows and is a holiday television staple. Every year millions of fans tune in to the Emmy-winning Christmas special featuring Vince Guaraldi's iconic jazz score and Charles Schulz's Peanuts characters as they remind Charlie Brown, and all of us, of the true meaning of Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition is a lushly illustrated tribute to the beloved television classic that takes readers behind-the-scenes of the Peanuts holiday special. It includes the script of A Charlie Brown Christmas, more than two hundred full-color pieces of original animation art, Vince Guaraldi's original score and publication notes for the songs "Christmas Time is Here" and "Linus and Lucy," and a look at the making of the feature from producer Lee Mendelson and original animator, the late Bill Melendez. The two share their personal memories and charming reminiscences on the Christmas special and reflect on their three decades of working with Peanuts creator, Charles M. Schulz.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition is a delightful and fitting salute to the holiday special that never fails to deepen your love of Christmas, touch your heart, and give you hope.
My Review:

This beautiful book is a must have for fans of the television special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." The book not only gives us a behind the scenes look at Charles M. Schulz and the actual making of the animated special, but we also get to read the actual script from the show, illustrated with scenes from the special. For a fan of the show, it's truly something special.

I loved to see the vintage advertising for the original special, and the vintage record covers. Images like this are pieced in throughout the book, along with vivid black and white photos of the actual making of the film. There are also original storyboards to enjoy, along with full page sheet music from the special. I was very impressed with how much memorabilia from the film is included in the book.

This would be a wonderful gift for a family member or friend who watches this special every year as part of their Christmas tradition. It's great to see so in depth what an impact this little tv special made on all of us!

Bottom Line: A beautiful book that includes a little bit of everything about "A Charlie Brown Christmas." It's a must have for fans!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"The Lady and Her Monsters" Review

"The Lady and Her Monsters"
by Roseanne Montillo

Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: Feb 5, 2013
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
The macabre meets art in this startling blend of grotesque nineteenth-century science and fascinating literary creation that examines the actual Victor Frankenstein's and the real-life horrors behind Mary Shelley's gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein

A highly entertaining blend of literary analysis, lore, and scientific history, told with the verve and ghoulish fun of a Tim Burton film, The Lady and Her Monsters traces the origins of the greatest horror story of all time-Mary Shelley's Frankenstein-using the novel as a centerpiece from which to explore the frightful milieu in which it was written. Roseanne Montillo recounts how Shelley's Victor Frankenstein mirrored actual scientists of the period-curious and daring iconoclasts, influenced by their predecessors in the scientific age, who were obsessed with the inner workings of the human body and how it could be reanimated after death.

Montillo reveals how Shelley and her contemporaries were products of their time-intellectually curious artists, writers, poets, philosophers, and others intrigued by the occultists and daring scientists appearing across Europe who risked their reputations and their immortal souls to advance our understanding of human anatomy and medicine. But their remarkable experiments could not be undertaken without the cutthroat grave robbers who prowled cemeteries for fresh corpses. The newly dead were used for both private and very public autopsies and dissections, as well as the most daring trials of all: attempts at human reanimation involving electricity-experiments eagerly attended by the likes of Shelley and other onlookers compelled by the bloody and grotesque.

Juxtaposing the monstrous mechanization and exploitation of rising industrialism with the sublime beauty and decadence of Romanticism embodied in the legendary artists who defined the age, Montillo takes us into a world where poets become legends in salons and boudoirs; where fame-hungry "doctors" conduct shocking performances for rabid, wide-eyed audiences; where maniacal body snatchers secretly toil in castle dungeons. The result is a unique, rich, and revealing look into the creation of a classic.

My Review:

I'm fascinated by all things related to Frankenstein and the author, Mary Shelley, so I knew I had to read this book. The book is a great addition to any fan's library, and I was not disappointed. Yes, the subject matter here is definitely a little graphic in the beginning. I had no idea that scientists were doing that many experiments on reanimating the body, and the author does not shy away from the details. Equally shocking is the lengths that the scientists went to in order to obtain human bodies to experiment on, including grave robbing.

I greatly enjoyed the biographical information about Mary Shelley herself and her partners in crime, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron. Some of this was familar to me, but I did learn a lot of new things about Mary, Percy, and Byron. I learned a lot more about her family as well. Shelley doesn't make her first appearance in the book until about the halfway point though.

I think fans of Frankenstein, or the author Mary Shelley, will want to add this book to their collection. It's definitely got a shock factor that some of the other non-fictional works don't have. I think it will also appeal to fans of the horror genre in general.

Bottom Line: A great way to learn more about Mary Shelley and the background that inspired her to write Frankenstein.

Giveaway and Review "Swoon"

"Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them"
 by Betsy Prioleau

Publisher: W.W. Norton
Release Date: Feb 4, 2013
Source: sent by publicist & publisher

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Casanovas: where are those great romancers of women? In Swoon, Betsy Prioleau gives us a smart, entertaining study of ladies men, demystifying their character, seductive secrets, and killer charm. Combining history, science, culture, and colorful contemporary research, Prioleau gives us a portrait of the successful seducer that explodes every stereotype and shatters every clich . Instead of a satanic rake, slick player, or rich, handsome powerbroker, he s an unlikely, often homely Romeo who cares about women and understands what they want. Through analyses of history s legendary lovers and interviews with today s heartthrobs, Prioleau uncovers the surprising seductive secrets that really rock female hearts, from unfeigned ardor to conversational flair. In doing so, she destroys the pick-up artists advice of such books as The Game. Finally, Prioleau critiques the twenty-first-century sexual malaise, especially women s record discontent with men, and argues that it s high time to retrieve and celebrate the great seducer.

My Review:

This book was different than I expected it to be. I normally enjoy this type of non-fiction because I enjoy reading about all of the historical figures and their outlandish stories. While there are definitely historical ladies' men mentioned and referenced, this was more a book about how to spot and celebrate the different "types" of seducers.

I guess I thought it was going to be more fun to read about these ladies' men, but it really wasn't. I felt like the book was celebrating a less than stellar type of guy, and how he is great for women. Yes, it's nice that this type of man really does seem to love women, but still the lack of monogamy isn't something to celebrate for me.

I think if the book had been in a different format, I may have liked it better. Maybe if each of the men referenced had their own chapter or section devoted to their story, instead of each stereotype of seducer having its own chapter.

Bottom Line: While this non-fiction book wasn't for me, other readers may enjoy reading about the different types of men that have made certain women swoon in the distant and not so distant past.
The publicist has generously provided a copy of "Swoon" to a lucky reader of my blog.
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US/CAN only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Mar 26
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway and Review: "Six Sisters' Stuff"

"Six Sisters' Stuff: Family Recipes, Fun Crafts, and So Much More"
 by Six Sisters' Stuff

Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: Mar 4, 2013
Source: sent by publicist/publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Cook, craft, and create with recipes, projects, and ideas from the blog SixSistersStuff.com. Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra are six sisters who share their easy, affordable recipes and crafts in this collection of family favorites. These pages contain more than 90 tried-and-true recipes that use ingredients commonly found in your pantry, with easy-to-follow instructions and photographs of each dish. Charming do-it-yourself projects, such as stained Mason Jars and a Ruffles and Yarn Wreath, are fun to create and require little time or money. Suggestions for indoor activities for kids, healthy snack ideas, or an inexpensive night out are among the many lists included in the book.

My Review:

Wow, these recipes really do sound easy! I think I can do this! I've read some cookbooks that have me scratching my head and saying, "What is that?" about certain ingredients. But these recipes use ingredients that I have actually heard of and possibly even already have!

The main dishes portion of the book does use a lot of ground beef, which isn't something I eat much of. But as I was reading through the recipes, a lot of them sound like they would still be great even if the beef were omitted entirely, or if  a substitute were used.

The side dishes and desserts parts of the book were the best part for me. I love that the sisters give us healthy ingredients without going overboard or being unrealistic. There were some skinny cupcakes that just sounded delicious! And 7-Up seems to be a secret ingredient in a lot of their recipes! I can't wait to try it out.

The photos were beautiful, and there is a large photo of each recipe-yay! A lot of readers want to see what they are going to make, isn't that half the fun of a cookbook?

The extra stuff like the crafts and the to-do lists were more of a bonus or a background detail for me. The real stars of the book are the recipes!

Bottom Line: This cookbook is definitely a keeper, with beautiful photos and recipes so easy that I want to try them all!

Giveaway: Join the Six Sisters' 4X4 Family Dinner Challenge and enter to win a copy of the book!

The Six Sisters' 4X4 Family Dinner Challenge: During the month of March, have dinner with your family 4 nights a week, for 4 weeks!

To enter the giveaway: Join the 4X4 Family Dinner Challenge one of two ways:

Like The Six Sisters' Stuff page on Facebook and leave a comment on their page that you are joining the challenge.

Leave a comment on The Six Sisters' webpage saying that you are joining the challenge.

The publicist/publisher have generously provided a copy of "Six Sisters' Stuff" to a lucky reader of my blog.
All you have to do is join the 4X4 Dinner Challenge, and follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US/CAN only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Must join the 4X4 Challenge either by commenting at the Six Sister's Facebook or their website
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Mar 18
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway and Review: "Dog Trots Globe"

 As part of the "Dog Trots Globe" blog tour, I have my review of the book as well as a contest for a lucky reader to win their own copy!

by Sheron Long (and Chula!)
Publisher: OIC Books
Release Date: Nov 10, 2011
Source: sent by publicist and publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  

In this fun read — Chula, a 9-year-old Sheltie, shares her dog’s eye view of France. She sniffs around the boulangeries, lavender fields, and big outdoor markets of Provence. In Paris, she trots across the Seine, stands on her hind legs in awe of the Eiffel Tower, and attends opening night at a gallery. Through more than 150 color photographs, four videos, and Chula’s unique perspective, you’ll get a delightful view of Paris and Provence.

In the videos (built into the enhanced eBook for iPad and online for all customers), you’ll visit markets of Provence, see sheep in the streets, admire the sparkling Eiffel Tower, and take a glorious walk with Chula through Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The book also includes a helpful Afterword with tips and suggestions for taking a dog to France

My Review:

In this adorable book, Chula, a Sheltie, recounts her experiences in Provence and Paris, France. There are beautiful photos of Chula and the sights that she comes across on her adventures. We even get to see the flight from her point of view. There are also adorable illustrations of Chula's world, in which she is the queen of course!

The print version of the book is such high quality, that it makes reading a pleasure. It's a hardback with full color photos and illustrations on every page. The pages are semi glossy and the substantial paper is a rare treat in books these days. It's the perfect book to curl up with a cup of tea and spend an hour or so reading.

The story doesn't have super deep or philosophical moments, it's just a sweet, relaxing read. I do like the over all message of stopping to smell the roses though! This book is written for adults, but I do think kids would enjoy it too. I think maybe it's something you could read together. Just a small warning, on the first page, there are a couple of mentions of a word similar to 'darn' :) Personally, I would have left those words out just to make the book 100% family friendly, since the rest of the book is suitable for all ages, and I think kids would really enjoy it.

Bottom Line: A high quality book with plenty of photos and illustrations, with a fun, relaxing dog's eye view of Paris and Provence. This would be a wonderful gift for dog lovers and readers who love France.

Here are a few examples of the fantastic photos you will find inside the book! All photos are used with permission, copyright c Sheron Long.

 photo copyright c Sheron Long
Chula at an Outdoor Provencal Market 

 copyright c Sheron Long
Chula at the Sault Fountain

 copyright c Sheron Long
Chula at a Sidewalk Cafe in France

 copyright c Sheron Long
Chula at the Hotel

Catch up with Chula on Facebook and for contests and free ebooks! 


The publicist has generously provided a print copy of "Dog Trots Globe" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Sun Dec 2
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

"Alexandre Reza" Review

"Alexandre Reza"
by Vivienne Becker

Publisher: Assouline
Release Date: Sep 11, 2012
Source: layout sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from assouline.com:
For the past five decades, gemologist Alexandre Reza has been one of Paris's—and indeed, the world's—most exclusive jewelers, a master artisan and exporter based in Place Vend?me, the heart of fashion and luxury.

To experience his ornaments is to discover history reborn: The diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies of his collections have seen the most extravagant centuries and epochs, from French monarchies to Persian dynasties to the Italian Renaissance. And yet Reza's precious stones are never meant to be an antiquated homage to a prestigious past; a creator by instinct, Reza takes history as inspiration rather than for reproduction. His handcrafted pieces mix ages and eras to create something special—a "harmonization of contradictory forces," according to historian Arlette Seta.

This monumental edition, part of Assouline's Ultimate Collection, presents more than one hundred rare pieces of Reza's creations, and includes a history of the famed gem house in archival documents and vintage photography.

My Review:

I reviewed a layout of this book, not the finished product, but it looks like the finished product is a work of art in itself. Hand-bound, in a suede clamshell case, I'm sure the finished book is exquisite. With a $1,000 price tag, this book could be displayed along with the jewels pictured on it's pages.

The book has so many vivid photos of various jewels from the Reza collection. The colors really jump off of the pages. The pieces are all shown in lush detail. The vast variety in styles is really surprising, there is something here for everyone.

There is a brief history of Alexandre Reza and his design house, but it wasn't really readable in the format that I received for review, however I trust that it was a basic history of the designer. The real bulk of the book is the detailed photos of the extravagant jewelry pieces.

Bottom Line:  The photos of the jewelry are exquisite, and I'm sure the packaging is swoon-worthy. The price tag reflects the extravagance of both the book and the jewels on it's pages.

Here are a few more photos from the book, all from Assouline.com

"Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures" Review and Recipe

by Cornelia Guest
Publisher: Weinstein
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Source: sent by publicist

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Partial Summary from goodreads.com:
Daughter of fashion icon C. Z. Guest and Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, polo champion and heir to the Phipps steel fortune, Cornelia Guest resisted eating animal products from childhood because of her passion for critters.” When her mother became ill, her research compelled her to take the leap to eat cruelty-free. In Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures, she reveals the secrets of understated elegance she learned from her parents and the family’s extraordinary friends. Her favorite simple recipes are so delicious, even the most fervent carnivores do not miss the meat, and her tips on entertaining take the stress out of any event. Her ulterior motive is to inspire readers to have fun experimenting with healthy alternatives and to change the way they think about food.

My Review:

This cookbook, and entertaining guide, is really so nicely done. It is a beautiful book, with a gorgeous teal hardcover and beautiful photos and drawings inside. The photos are really inspiring and lovely to look at. The recipes themselves are vegan, so they may not be for everyone but I think anyone could find at least a side dish or breakfast item that they would enjoy making and eating.

The first half of the book is devoted to entertaining, something I don't do that often, so I really enjoyed the cooking portion of the book more. The author's style of entertaining is on the frou frou side so take that into consideration before reading the book. Even if her tastes for entertaining may be fussy, the photos are still beautiful to look at, and she shares the history of her family's home and it's nice to read about all of that history as well.

I loved the tiny sketches of little animals throughout the book, they are just too cute. I also loved that the author let her adorable pets model with the food for some of the photos. The book really is beautiful, and it would make a lovely and lasting gift for a vegan friend.

I want to try a lot of the recipes, they don't look too difficult and they are all made with fresh seasonal ingredients. The recipe portion of the book is split into the four seasons and consists of recipes and foods that pertain to that time of year. One of my favorite parts was the fall breakfast section. There are a lot of new things I want to try!

I liked that the author added basic instructions for cooking some vegan staples like grains and beans. It's helpful to have a list of cooking times and instructions for many grains and beans at a glance.

Bottom Line: A beautifully made book with lots of inspiration for cooking, entertaining, and even decorating.

 Bonus Recipe from the Book!

The publicist has given me permission to post two recipes from the book on my blog to celebrate the release of the book! I shared the Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad a few weeks back and today I'll feature Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Amaranth! Enjoy!!

Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Amaranth 
By Cornelia Guest,

Author of Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining
Serves 4
Total time: 45 minutes
Zucchini blossoms are so beautiful. This is so easy to make, and your friends will be very impressed. You can make the stuffing the day before so you can enjoy your friends, stuff the blossoms and have a great lunch. Amaranth is a gooey grain that works well as a stuffing. I serve this dish with iced tea with mint or a crisp white wine. Fresh tomatoes go well with the squash blossoms.
3 cups amaranth
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 zucchini
1 small eggplant (you want to end up with 1-1/2 cups after its is cooked)
1 garlic clove
4 large blossoms per serving
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add amaranth. Simmer and cook until water is absorbed, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Quarter the onion and cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 30 minutes over medium heat until caramelized.
3. Dice zucchini and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Dice eggplant and garlic and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 10 minutes.
5. Mix the cooked vegetables with the amaranth and add parsley. Fill the squash blossoms with the mixture. Serve at room temperature.
The above is an excerpt from the book Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining by Cornelia Guest. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

© 2012 Cornelia Guest, author of Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining

I'm sharing with Weekend Cooking over at Beth Fish Reads!    

"Nom de Plume" Review

by Carmela Ciuraru

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 29, 2012 (hardoover released 2011)
Source: sent by publisher 

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Mary Anne Evans. Charles Dodgson. Eric Blair. William Sydney Porter. Or, as they are more commonly remembered, George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, George Orwell, and O. Henry. For these writers and many others, from Mark Twain to Stan Lee to Robert Jordan, the invocation of a "nom de plume "has been an essential part in the creation of an authorial identity. Now, in a captivating series of biographical snapshots exploring the lives of famous authors and their pen names, author Carmela Ciuraru delivers a unique literary history and a penetrating examination of identity, creativity, and self-creation, revisiting the enduring question--what's in a name?

My Review:

I really enjoy reading non-fiction, as they say-truth is often stranger than fiction. I especially like non-fiction when it's not too dry, and the writer makes the stories come to life. I can definitely say that this book was a quick and fun read. One thing that kept the book moving right along was that it consisted of a different chapter for each different writer. It was almost like reading short stories. Of course, all of the stories were connected by the same theme-the pseudonym, and the duality of self and personality that occurs along with it.

I admit that I was most interested in the stories of favorites of mine, Lewis Carroll and Mark Twain. I learned some new info about both of these writers. I also found most of the other writers' stories very interesting as well. I know a lot of readers will be interested in the Bronte sisters' stories.

For some of the writers, I was very familiar with their work, like George Orwell and O. Henry, but I really didn't know anything about their personal lives. This was a great starting point in learning the bios of many great writers all at once. Another great thing about this book is that now I'm really interested in reading books from some of the authors whose books I haven't read before.

The author has a great way of getting the reader's attention at the start of each chapter with a statement about one of the eccentricities of the upcoming writer. These were fun and a great way to entice the reader into reading the next chapter.

Bottom Line: A great read with lesser known and sometimes scandalous stories about some very influential authors.

"I Suck at Girls" Review

by Justin Halpern

Publisher: It Books
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Soon after Sh*t My Dad Says began to take off, comic writer Justin Halpern decided to propose to his then girlfriend. But before doing so, he asked his dad's advice, which was very, very simple (and surprisingly clean): "Just take a day to think about it." This book is that day. Crossing the warmth of The Wonder Years with the candour and observational humour of David Sedaris, this follow-up to the hottest comedy debut of last year is a hilarious, toe-curlingly true book about life, and love.

My Review:

You may have heard of another book by this author, "S*** My Dad Says." The book started as a Twitter feed, became a best selling book, and then became a tv show staring William Shatner. A lot of this book is more "S*** My Dad Says" but there is a lot about the author's experiences in dating too.

The advice and snippets that the author's dad actually says is awesome. It's so quick witted and funny, and most rings true. However, I think the snippets might be better as actual snippets, such as quick tweets, and one-liners. The rest of the book is only ok.

I really don't like separating books by gender, but I do think the book might appeal more to men than to women, especially softies like myself. Some of the book is just "TMI" for me personally. That's probably why I would have preferred just to read the snippets from Justin's dad. On the other hand, the book was a really quick read, and aside from a few cringe-worthy moments, I never really felt like I didn't want to finish the book.

As much TMI as there was in the book (does anyone else find this happening a lot with memoirs?), the overall message of the book was very sweet and heart-warming. I think this was really the charm of the book.

Bottom Line:  A great book for fans of the author's work, and for those who want to read more "S*** My Dad Says."

"The Queen: A Life in Brief" Review

"The Queen: A Life in Brief"
by Robert Lacey

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: May 15, 2012

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from harpercollins.com:  

The Queen
Elizabeth II was not born to be queen. She came into the world on April 21, 1926, the equivalent of the modern Princess Beatrice, first-born daughter of the Duke of York, destined to flutter on the royal fringe. So while Lilibet was brought up with almost religious respect for the crown, there seemed no chance of her inheriting it. Her head was never turned by the personal prospect of grandeur—which is why she would prove so very good at her job. Elizabeth II's lack of ego was to prove the paradoxical secret of her greatness.
For more than thirty years, acclaimed author and royal biographer Robert Lacey has been gathering material from members of the Queen's inner circle—her friends, relatives, private secretaries, and prime ministers. Now, in The Queen, Lacey offers a life of the celebrated monarch, told in six succinct chapters, accentuated by elegant color and black-and-white photographs that capture the distinctive flavor of passing eras and reveal how Elizabeth II adapted—or, on occasions, regally declined to adapt—to changing times.
My Review:

With Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee this month, I realized that I really didn't know that much about the Queen. During my lifetime, she is someone who was just always there, as a fact-the sky is blue, Elizabeth is the Queen of England-something that doesn't change. I wanted to know more about the Queen, and this shorter bio seemed like a great place to start. I've seen complaints about the shorter length of this book (about 160 pgs) but I had no problem with that, I wanted a less overwhelming way to dive into her history.

I did enjoy reading the book, and I learned a lot about the royal family, but there were some drawbacks as well. I felt like it was more of a family history during Elizabeth's lifetime instead of her personal bio. The early chapters about her childhood up to the coronation were fantastic and I learned a lot about her. But then the book seemed to focus on the scandalous exploits of the other members of the royal family (well, mostly Charles and Diana) and how Elizabeth reacted to that instead of her own story of things she did as Queen.

Again, it was really fun and addicting to read about Charles and Diana's exploits because I was too young to know what was going on when it was really happening so all of the scandal was new to me. But at the same time, I read the book to read about Queen Elizabeth.

Sometimes I got the feeling that book had a wishy-washy viewpoint on the royal family. Sometimes they were portrayed in a positive light, but sometimes they were portrayed more scandalously. I, personally, found myself wanting to read the story through rose-colored glasses I suppose, but it wasn't written that way. I did love the things that were mentioned at the very end of the book, which was actually the wedding of William and Kate. The author spoke of forgiveness for the past and looking to the future and I think it was a great way to sum up the roller coaster ride of the royal family during Elizabeth's reign.

Bottom Line: A great primer for the history of the royal family during Elizabeth's lifetime, but I would have loved to see more of a focus on the Queen herself.

Check out a preview of the book on the HarperCollins website:  http://www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/index.aspx?isbn13=9780062124463

"Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage" Review

"Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage"
by Nancy Stewart

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Release Date: Apr 25, 2012
Source: sent by publicist and author

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from Guardian Angel:  

All Katrina Simpkins longs to be is a normal girl. Because she must wear prosthesis as a leg, she feels anything but. When she meets
and befriends Winter, the tailless dolphin, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, everything changes, including Katrina’s whole life.
A true story!
My Review:

This is a very special book about a girl named Katrina, who has a 'helper leg', and how her bond with a special dolphin named Winter helped her break out of her shell.  I am a huge fan of Winter, the star of the movie "Dolphin Tale", and I've been to see her in person at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium multiple times. She is so strong and inspiring, and I couldn't wait to read a book based on her and her amazing story and how she helped someone to start living again.

Surprisingly, Winter wasn't in as much of the book as I had thought she would be. But Katrina never forgot about the dolphin who originally inspired her from being a shy girl with no confidence who always hid behind her 'helper leg' and let it define her. Then she met Winter, who didn't let not having a tail hold her back from doing anything. Katrina was inspired to do things most girls her age with two 'normal' legs wouldn't even do. She joined every activity she could dream of. She started holding her head high, and speaking up. The transformation was really about more than just becoming used to her helper leg. It was about her inner confidence coming through. Katrina never stops thanking Winter for how much she helped her, and the story comes full circle when Katrina films a video for the aquarium, and people start looking to Katrina herself as an inspiration.

Bottom Line: If you don't have a chance to meet Winter herself, this story will be inspiring to kids and adults of all ages, and abilities, to overcome obstacles in their own life, just like Winter and Katrina inspire others every day.

You can purchase this book at Amazon


"The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide" Review

"The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide"
by Stacey Graham

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  

What was that noise? The cat? The wind?
Little brother stealing a peek at your diary?
Or is it a ghost?
The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide will help you identify the creepy crawlers from the spooky spirits, the howling winds from the haunting phantoms. And with this guide you can learn from real experts how to investigate and contact your very own ghosts!
Everything a girl needs for a night full of fun, including:
• Spooky urban legends to set the mood
• Must-have stuff for your ghost hunting kit
• Pointers for leading the best-ever ghost hunt
• Tips for writing your own ghost
• With fun quizzes, games, recipes, and more!
So gather your friends if they are brave enough, grab a flashlight, and go investigate!
My Review:

I'm a big fan of spooky ghost stories, and there are a lot of ghost stories and urban legends throughout this book. It's not all ghost stories though, there is a large portion of the book devoted to going out and doing your own ghost investigation. There are a lot of practical and fun tips for young girls (and not so young girls!).

The book itself is so cute, it's printed on shiny paper with cute designs on every page, when I was expecting plain black and white. The sections go really quickly and there are a lot of aspects, quizzes, ghosts stories, how-tos, all mixed in together.

I have to warn you though, that even though I enjoy ghost stories, some of these were pretty scary. I thought maybe a little too spooky for the middle grade age group. I didn't want to read this one at night, and I can see a lot of young readers having some sleepless nights after reading this.

I really liked the chapter about the ghost themed slumber party. Who else remembers "Light as a Feather and Stiff as a Board?" The author lists a few other new similar supernatural tricks and treats, like tipping the table and more.

Another great chapter that I really wasn't expecting was the chapter about writing your own ghost story. There are some awesome tips about how to write a good spine-tingler, as well as how to tell the story to others at your party. I'm ready for the campfire and s'mores now!

Bottom Line: A fun, if scary at times, sampler of ways to host your own ghost themed slumber party and ghost hunting expedition.

Bonus Materials:

Check out the Phantom Party Packet and Event Guide, available on Sourcebooks' educators' page. You can really tell a lot about the style of the book from this sampler! 

"The Lean" Review

"The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss "
by Kathy Freston

Publisher: Weinstein Publishing
Release Date: Mar 27, 2012

Source: sent by publisher and publicist

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  

If you’ve ever dieted, you’ve undoubtedly worked very hard to achieve results--only to experience the disappointment of having the pounds creep back on. But now wellness expert Kathy Freston lets readers in on her secret: losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can last. With this book she shares the powerful concept of The Lean--a radically effective approach to positive change--with a practical 30-day plan to transform your health and jump-start weight loss in the most gentle, easy, and automatic way possible.“Leaning in” is about setting an intention for what you want, weight- and health-wise, and then nudging yourself ever so gently in that direction, even if getting there seems impossible. It’s about choosing to eat foods that are delicious, filling, and supportive of your goals.
Each day of the scientifically based, vegan-friendly Lean plan, Kathy shows how to make and commit to small diet and lifestyle changes that, over time, yield unexpectedly significant results--something as simple as swapping in nondairy milk for cow’s milk, eating an apple a day, or having an afternoon power shake. These changes propel you almost effortlessly into a forward momentum of ever more healthy choices, and work together to bolster your progress. There are only two rules:
1. All you need is the willingness to take just one step.
2. As you add the healthier foods to your diet, eat the new foods first.
By gradually adding in these nutrient-dense and fiber-rich foods, you’ll crowd out the problem foods, feel fuller for longer, and simply stop feeling cravings. On Kathy’s Lean plan, readers can experience sustained, healthy, and permanent weight loss of 1-3 pounds per week--plus increased energy, improved digestion, clearer skin, and renewed purpose. Complete with exercises, recipes, and powerful testimonials, The Lean offers not only a truly leaner frame, but also the little push we all need to get on the path to lasting change.
My Review:

I am really impressed with this book. The author has a lot of facts to back up her statements about healthy eating. I feel like the book was more about a healthy lifestyle rather than counting calories to lose weight, which was what I was looking for. I'm not sure I agree with everything she mentions, but the great part about books like this is that you don't have to apply everything to your own lifestyle. There is a fair amount of shock value about animal products, since she is a vegan, but I like that she takes a powerful stance, it gets your attention. I might not agree with everything, but she has encouraged me to do my own research and find out more about certain parts of the modern American diet.

The basis of the book is to add a new element (or eliminate an unhealthy one) to your lifestyle/diet each day. So the first day, you add one new element, then the second day, you still do the first task, and add another, until at the end you are doing all 30 tasks. Some are simple, but they still aren't easy. It's easy to say I will eat an apple every day, but it's another thing to actually get it done. She also has other great and practical suggestions like a hearty, but still healthy breakfast, drinking enough water, and getting exercise even if it's just walking on your lunch break. Then some of the other tasks, I feel are a little extreme, so I probably won't add them into my own version of the plan. I prefer vegetarian foods but I'm not ready to give up meat completely and especially not dairy and eggs. She does make a great argument for cutting back on all of the above though, which I think is great and I am going to try.

The final 1/4 of the book, after you've completed the 30 days of tasks, consists of recipes. They all sound really great. I can't wait to try the Creamy Pumpkin Pasta. Lots of her recipes sound so different and unique.

I'm not going to plan on implementing all of her 30 days worth of elements, but I do think I have found more than a few great tips to get me headed in the right direction towards healthier eating. There are still a lot of facts that I will be investigating further, so maybe somewhere along the line I will add more elements too. I think it would be hard for someone to strictly follow everything in the book unless you had already planned on becoming a vegan.

Bottom Line: Kathy Freston offers great advice on a healthier lifestyle. I highly recommend the book even if you don't complete the entire Lean challenge.

Kathy Freston is offering a 7 day Lean Challenge! You can participate for free. Find out more here

I'm linking up to Weekend Cooking over at Beth Fish Reads! 

"Jackie After O" Review

"Jackie After O"
by Tina Cassidy

Publisher: It Books
Release Date: May 1, 2012

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  

A former "Boston Globe" reporter delivers a remarkable account of one year in the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, America's favorite first lady and international icon, as she lost her second husband, saved a landmark, and found her true calling.
My Review:

I went into this book without too much prior knowledge of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' personal life. I'm glad to say that I learned a lot about this fascinating woman, both of her later life, and her life during her tumultuous years as First Lady.  Gladly, the book is never gossipy, the author relies on facts and first-hand accounts to tell the story. There are many footnotes on every page so that the reader can go to the original source. That being said, the author does a great job of writing the book in an almost novel-like way.  Her style made the story really exciting.

For most of the book, the author would start off by telling the reader the events happening in 1975, the year that Jackie faced a lot of big choices about where her life would lead after motherhood and wife-hood. Then, almost in a flashback style, we would see how Jackie faced similar issues during JFK's presidency.

I think the author was very sympathetic to Jackie and definitely respectful of her at all times. At the same time though, she doesn't leave out Jackie's faults. Her background might have made her spoiled, and she might have spent a lot on dresses. But that also shaped the way that she stood up to those in power, and quite often, got her way. I loved reading about her days working as an editor at Viking with her assistant/partner in crime, Rebecca Singleton. They were a no-nonsense team dealing with a lot of nonsense from fans and media concerned with Jackie's celebrity.

I had no idea that Jackie was such a great writer. Not only in speech-writing or writing articles for magazines, but also in writing personal letters. Persuasive, and always charming, personal letters from Jackie helped to restore much of the furniture in the White House that had been sold, auctioned off, or given way by previous Presidents. That's a pretty wonderful letter that influences a family to donate a priceless antique that had been owned by a US President, but that's exactly what many families did in response to Jackie's handwritten letters.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed learning more about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' life, both during JFK's presidency, and also about the life she made for herself as a single woman later in life.

Buy the book on Amazon:  Jackie After O