Book Review: The Essential WP Kinsella

WPThe Essential W.P. Kinsella is made up of 27 stories in celebration of the 80th birthday of author W.P. Kinsella. There are several sports stories in the book – mostly about baseball – as well as several others.  W.P. inspired the movie Field of Dreams!

There is a lot of great short works in this book and I enjoyed reading it and enjoyed W.P’s writing style.  I didn’t realize that W.P. had stopped writing for a while – he was struck by a car in 1997 and had brain damage and didn’t end up writing again until 2011!

If you like to read about sports I am sure that you will enjoy this book of works. And there’s some non-sports related stories in there too for everyone else ;)

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

This career retrospective celebrates the 80th birthday of baseball’s greatest scribe, W. P. Kinsella (Shoeless Joe), as well as the 25th anniversary of Field of Dreams, the film that he inspired.

In addition to his classic baseball tales, W. P. Kinsella is also a critically-acclaimed short fiction writer. His satiric wit has been celebrated with numerous honors, including the Order of British Columbia.

Here are his notorious First Nation narratives of indigenous Canadians, and a literary homage to J. D. Salinger. Alongside the “real” story of the 1951 Giants and the afterlife of Roberto Clemente, are the legends of a pirated radio station and a hockey game rigged by tribal magic.

Eclectic, dark, and comedic by turns, The Essential W. P. Kinsella is a living tribute to an extraordinary raconteur.

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Book Review: Around The World in 50 Years

aroundtheworldAs someone who loves to travel, I was thrilled to get the chance to read Around the World in 50 years. It is about Al who decided to try and visit EVERY country. The book is made up of 30 chapters and chronicles 72 journeys over the course of 50 years.  The stories include adventure, unpredictable animals, a friend named God and some unusual food (dog and monkey brains?).

At first Al wanted to be the first to travel in a longitudinal direction around the world but then decided he would try to visit every country. Which made him ask – just how many countries ARE there?  Plus with the changes in countries through the years he had to do a few “revisits” of sorts.  He is far more dedicated to this traveling than I am – a lot of these countries I wouldn’t want to visit no matter the circumstances.

I particularly liked the story he told about how he bought some Times Square shirts to give away and trade with. People seemed to like them – but some wanted his hat, a Mets hat. He refused to give it up!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

This is the inspiring story of an ordinary guy who achieved two great goals that others had told him were impossible — first by setting a record for the longest automobile journey ever made around the world — in the course of which he blasted his way out of minefields, survived a breakdown atop the Peak of Death, came within seconds of being lynched in Pakistan, and lost three of the five men who started with him, two to disease, one to the Vietcong.

After that — although it took him 47 more years – Albert Podell set another record by going to every country on Earth. He achieved this by surviving riots, revolutions, civil wars, trigger-happy child soldiers, voodoo priests, robbers, pickpockets, corrupt cops, and Cape buffalo. He went around, under, or through every kind of earthquake, cyclone, tsunami, volcanic eruption, snowstorm, and sandstorm that Nature threw at him. He ate everything from old camel meat and rats to dung beetle and the brain of a live monkey. And he overcame attacks by crocodiles, hippos, anacondas, giant leeches, flying crabs — and several beautiful girlfriends who insisted that he stop this nonsense and marry them.  Albert Podell’s Around the World in 50 Years is a remarkable and meaningful tale of quiet courage, dogged persistence, undying determination, and an uncanny ability to extricate himself from one perilous situation after another — and return with some of the most memorable, frightening, and hilarious adventure stories you have ever read.

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Book Review: The List

thelistThe List is about Phoebe. Her boyfriend cheated on her but she still seems to be hung up on him, even though that all happened a year ago.  She decides that she is going to make a new years resolution and stick with it – making a list of 12 things she’d like to do to try and improve her sex life.  At the advice of her therapist she is keeping a diary – and that is what the book is – reading Phoebe’s diary from the year.

Now that there is a list – of 12 things to do and 5 things she would never do, she needs to decide what men to have help her out. First she thinks about her coworker – but he turns out to be a prick and her and her best friend decide he would probably tell the whole office about what happened.  Next up is her friend Paul, but it turns out that he is gay – so he is out. (literally?) The last resort is her best friend of 17 years – Oliver.  Her best friend Lucy worries that this may mess with their friendship but she decides to ask him and he agrees.

In addition to working through the list they are both seeing other people – but of course it seems like each other is becoming jealous when they go out on dates with other people. It seems like the two of them are going to end up together – until Phoebe’s ex turns back up again and she TAKES HIM BACK!

There is another slight twist as well that I didn’t see coming, but maybe I should have.  The book ends after a year of Phoebe trying to change her life – and that she did.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The List is the hilarious debut novel from Scottish comedienne Joanna Bolouri. Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn’t feel fabulous. It’s been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and wine-fueled nights of relationship analysis with her best friend Lucy have done nothing to improve her dating situation.

Faced with another year without love, Phoebe confronts her fears and decides to forgo romantic love altogether. She comes up with THE LIST: ten things she’s always wanted to do in bed but has never had the courage to try. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right? In a chaotic, embarassing, exhilarating, and ultimately transformational year of self-discovery, Phoebe finds surprises, friendship, confidence, and even love, through good and bad sex.

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Book Review: Wicked Women

wickedwomenWicked Women is the story of the Notorious, Mischievous, and Wayward Ladies from the Old West.  I’m not sure what it is that draws me to these type of books, but I just love reading about some bad ass ladies from history.  There are 28 ladies featured in this book from “The Deadly Paramour” to “The Hungarian Madam” to “The Outcast’s Friend” and everything in between.

Each chapter starts with the woman’s name, her nickname and then a quote about them. Photos are also included. Each chapter is only about 10 pages so it has to pack a lot of information in on each of the ladies.

One of the stories was about Julia Bulette – who was murdered but the scene was set in such a way that it looked like she was sleeping. No one was sure who had killed her, until a woman who had bought some silk that may have been stolen from Julia turned up.  After checking with who sold Julia the silk they identified it as hers and Mrs Cazentre who now was in ownership of the silk was able to ID the guy who had sold it to her. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be hanged. So many people showed up to watch it was hard for them to get the carriage down the street!

It seemed like a lot of these ladies got wrapped up in gambling in the old west.

A lot of fascinating stories from the old west!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

This collection of short, action-filled stories of the Old West’s most egregiously badly behaved female outlaws, gamblers, soiled doves, and other wicked women by award-winning Western history author Chris Enss offers a glimpse into Western Women’s experience that’s less sunbonnets and more six-shooters. During the late nineteenth century, while men were settling the new frontier and rushing off to the latest boom towns, women of easy virtue found wicked lives west of the Mississippi when they followed fortune hunters seeking gold and land in an unsettled territory. Prostitutes and female gamblers hoped to capitalize on the vices of the intrepid pioneers. Pulling together stories of ladies caught in the acts of mayhem, distraction, murder, and highway robbery, it will include famous names like Belle Starr and Big Nose Kate, as well as lesser known characters.

Chris Enss is an author, scriptwriter and comedienne who has written for television and film, and performed on cruise ships and on stage. She has worked with award-winning musicians, writers, directors, producers, and as a screenwriter for Tricor Entertainment, but her passion is for telling the stories of the men and women who shaped the history and mythology of the American West. Some of the most famous names in history, not to mention film and popular culture, populate her books. She’s written or co-written more than two dozen books for TwoDot. She lives in Grass Valley, California.

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Throwback Thursday – Hanson Kiss 95.7 3/10/04

Headliner: Hanson
Opener(s): None
Cost: Free

Setlist:

Wheres The Love
Penny and Me

Recap:

Before Hanson played in Hartford that night, they were doing an event at the radio station.  Try as I might, I couldn’t win my way in, so my friend and I showed up anyway in hopes we could get in.  The radio station kept saying no, they wouldn’t let us all in, but in the end, they did.  Hanson did 2 songs and then we got to meet them and get pics with them afterwards.  Zac was more concerned with opening a box of donut holes than he was with talking to me… but whatever.

 

Unfortunately no flash was allowed at this show and my camera couldn’t handle the amount of zoom and lack of flash so they were almost all blurry.  Here’s some of the better ones!

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Book Review: Redo Your Room

redoyourroomRedo Your room contains 50 Bedroom DIYs you can do in a weekend.  It is geared more towards young girls who are becoming teens and trying to make their room “more grown up” but a lot of the DIYs are organizational tips that can be used in bedrooms of those for all ages!  There is a chart with colors and what they mean to help you decide what colors you may or may not want to paint your room. There are DIY projects for organization, study spaces, bedrooms, walls & windows, closets, vanity and everything else.

Pretty much anything related to your bedroom is covered in this book with a lot of great ideas and photos throughout. There are certainly several ideas in the book that I will consider trying out for my room.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Description

In partnership with Girls’ Life Magazine, Redo Your Room offers creative ideas to girls to help them with a room makeover.

Faithgirlz! and Girls’ Life magazine team up with Redo Your Room, a fun new book girls nine to twelve (and possibly even their older sister!) will love to flip through again and again. Containing tons of fabulous room makeover ideas,Redo Your Room offers step-by-step instructions that help readers create a whole new look for their bedroom without breaking the piggy bank. Girls will be inspired by the creative, stylish, and resourceful tips as they discover their inner designer.

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Product Review: Curl Keeper

 

curlkeeperRecently my friend told me about a product that she loves called Curl Keeper. It is supposed to help you take control of frizzy hair, which is definitely something that I have a problem with! I decided I’d buy it and try it since it got such rave reviews from my friend.  Of course, it’s winter so humidity is not at it’s worst and that will be the real test – but from what I tried in the winter I am thinking that I might be in better control of my hair this summer.

After your shower, comb curl kepper through your hair from roots to ends for an even application. If your hair is very frizzy, use additional product. The less movement that occurs during the first 15 minutes, the more control you will have over the frizz. Once your hair dries, you can easily soften your look by moving your hair around. The more you play, the more volume you will achieve.

I didn’t do too much styling with my hair and just wanted to see what my natural curls would end up looking like.  I do need to work on my application to get it more even because it was clumpy in some spots – but I think with practice I’ll finally have some control over my frizz!

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Throwback Thursday – UNH Spring Concert 4/30/04

04-04-30

 

Headliner: Black Eyed Peas
Opener(s): Eve 6, Dropkick Murphys
Cost: $0

Setlist: None

Recap: This was the first spring concert I went to when I was in college. It was held in the gym at school and no cameras were allowed (a bit of a theme going on in 2004 I guess).  The school had to get a variety of artists to appeal to most of the students so this mix was Eve 6, Dropkick Murphys and Black Eyed Peas.  We left before BEP were done with their set.

Where Are They Now:

Eve 6 disbanded shortly after this, but got back together in 2011 with the same line up.

Dropkick Murphy’s are still around and performing.

BEP haven’t released an album in about 5 years – but are coming up on their 20th anniversary so expect something from them this year!

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Music Monday: She and Him Classics

sheandhim

Stars Fell on Alabama
Oh No, Not My Baby
It’s Not For Me To Stay
Stay Awhile
This Girl’s In Love With You
Time After Time
She
Teach Me Tonight
It’s Always You
Unchained Melody
I’ll Never Be Free
Would You Like to Take a Walk?
We’ll Meet Again

She and Him Classics is the 5th album from She & Him – M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. Released on December 2, 2014 – the album features 13 covers of classic songs recorded with a 20-piece orchestra.  There were only a couple of songs on this album that I recognized by their title so it was no surprise that I didn’t really like the album.  It is very slow and I’m more of an upbeat girl than a ballad girl. Zooey has a really nice voice but maybe I should have done this review in the afternoon instead of at night because it was putting me to sleep.  If you enjoy the classics and like many of the titles on the track list, then I think you’ll enjoy the album.

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Product Review: 700 Thread Cotton Sheet

Recently I have upgraded my bed from twin to king and have been having trouble finding sheets that stay on my mattress.  Even the sheets that claimed to be “deep pocket” weren’t working – so when I got the offer to try out 100% Luxury Sateen 700 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton sheets – I jumped at the chance.  And I am so very happy that I did!  These sheets are nice and soft and even though I usually use flannel sheets in the winter, these are heavy enough to keep me warm when paired with my comforter (and we’ve been having some really low low low temperatures as of late!)

I didn’t get to choose the color – but I got a light green that I think is what they are calling “sage” but it is a bit more seafoam green to me. They have a shiny / satiny look to them which makes me think of sparkly mermaids.  So far, even with all my wiggling around in the bed, the sheets have proven to truly have “deep pockets” and not start coming off the edges like other sheets.

The set includes one fitted sheet, one flat sheet and one pillowcase.

 

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