Book Review: Strange Beautiful Music

strangeStrange Beautiful Music is a memoir by Joe Satriani. The book tells about his life growing up, how he got his first guitar and what got him interested in being a musician. Throughout the book there are also some in sets with information from others who were around at that time giving their take on what happened, which I thought helped round things out a bit.  The rest of the book is a bit too detailed and while interesting was almost a bit MORE than I wanted to know or expected to find out when I picked up the book.  If you’re a fan of Joe’s, then maybe you will appreciate this detail more than I did.

The end of the book also has a section called “The Gear: Album by Album”, if you’re really into music and gear then this is the chapter for you – lots and lots of detail on everything that was used for every album and EP that Joe released.

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


About the Book

Go behind the scenes with the musician The New York Times called “a guitar God!” Oft-hailed as the Jimi Hendrix of his generation, living guitar legend Joe Satriani has long transcended stylistic boundaries with a sound that raises the bar like a new horizon for the broader genre of instrumental guitar rock. Joe’s 6-string secrets have astounded listeners around the world for nearly 30 years.

In Strange Beautiful Music: A Musical Memoir, Satriani and coauthor, music biographer Jake Brown, take fans on their first authorized tour of the story behind his climb to stardom and the creative odyssey involved in writing and recording a storied catalog of classics including “Surfing with the Alien,” “Summer Song,” “Satch Boogie,” “Always With Me, Always With You,” “The Extremist,” “Flying in a Blue Dream,” “Crowd Chant,” and more.

Featuring previously unpublished photos and hours of exclusive, firsthand interviews with Satriani, Strange Beautiful Music offers a unique look inside the studio with Joe, giving fans a chance to get up close and personal like never before. With insider details about his collaboration with multi-platinum supergroup Chickenfoot, exclusive interviews with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony of Van Halen and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, commentary from fellow guitar legends such as Steve Vai, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Primus’s Larry LaLonde, and legendary music producers including Glynn Johns and the late Andy Johns, this memoir offers a rare inside look for die-hard Satriani fans, guitar enthusiasts, and anyone who loves to rock

Book Review: The Ace

theaceThe Ace is Book 2 in the Men of the Show series – which I had previously read and reviewed The Changeup and liked the book.  While the Changeup is about Maddie and her relationship with baseball rookie Chase – The Ace is about Maddie’s BFF Karen and her relationship with Chase’s teammate Jerry.

Karen is not interested in a long term relationship.  When something starts blooming with Jerry, her crush on the baseball team, they decide that it should be just sex and nothing more.  Except they both kind of end up wanting it to be more but neither quite knows how to say it to each other, so they end up fighting a lot over it.  When Karen finally comes around and realizes that Jerry IS what she wants – he gets hit in the head with a pitch and ends up in the hospital.  When Karen and Maddie rush there to see him, Chase has to pull some strings to get Karen in his room as his “girlfriend”.  When they enter it is evident that Jerry has amnesia and doesn’t remember the relationship that he and Karen had beyond seeing her at Maddie and Chase’s engagement dinner. (He is best man, she is maid of honor!)

Will Jerry remember what he had with Karen?  Karen thinks that she blew it and has lost him forever.  If he remembers, will she take the chance to let him know how she really feels?

I enjoyed the first book in this series, and I enjoy the amount of baseball related romance novels that seem to be popping up.  I was anxious to read this second installment and it did not disappoint!

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

About the Book

Book two of Men of the Show

“Love ’em and leave ’em” has been real estate agent Karen Bently’s motto for as long as she can remember. She doesn’t need a man, except to make her toes curl. Or so she thought, until her longtime crush, Ace pitcher Jerry Smutton, sets his sights on her.

After signing one of the largest baseball contracts in history with the Detroit Rockets, Jerry enlists Karen to help him find the house of his dreams. Their connection is instant and electric, but neither of them is the relationship type. When Jerry proposes a friends-with-benefits arrangement, that suits Karen just fine.

Passionate sleepovers soon turn into long, romantic evenings… Still, Karen and Jerry refuse to acknowledge they’re a couple. Karen insists that she’s immune to Jerry’s heart-melting charm. Jerry’s not ready to settle down. Denial is the name of the game, until one pitch changes everything…

Meet Jerry’s teammate Chase Patton in The Changeup!

Book Review: The Wizard of Oz FAQ

ozAs a kid, I used to take out all of Frank Baum’s Oz books from the library to read.  I’m not sure what it is about that world and those characters that I loved, but even to this day I love all the various versions out there.  So when I saw The Wizard of Oz FAQ available for review, I knew I had to check it out.  The book is almost 500 pages and is jam packed with everything you want to know about Oz (and then some)!  I thought it might be a quick read with questions and answers, but it’s not set up like your typical FAQ – it is instead a very complete book breaking down books, adaptations, etc throughout the pages.  It even ponders Shirley Temple being cast as Dorothy instead of Judy Garland.

I particularly liked the “Merry Old Land of Rumors” which addressed some rumors about the film of MGM’s The Wizard of Oz.  Some are already talked about earlier in the book but others are not. Also included are some of the “oops” in the shooting of the movie.  One night I pulled these up on the computer and tried to find them while we watched the movie on TV but unfortunately they were not in order so it made it harder to find them. I believe this list is in order as they appear in the film.

One of the most in depth looks at Oz you will probably ever find or read.  If you’re a fan of Oz and want to know all there is to know about the history of it – movie and otherwise, then this is certainly the book for you.

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

About the Book

The Wizard of Oz FAQ is a fact-filled celebration of the beloved 1939 fantasy masterpiece starring Judy Garland. It’s all here – from L. Frank Baum and his Oz novels to the complete background story of the movie’s conception, development, and shoot, with special attention given to the little-known parade of uncredited directors, casting difficulties, and on-set accidents and gaffes, as well as more than 75 sidebars devoted to key cast members, directors, and other behind-the-scenes personnel.

You’ll find a wealth of fun facts: How MGM overworked Judy Garland before, during, and after Oz; why director Victor Fleming had his hands full with the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy’s other friends; what it was about Toto that really bothered Judy; the physical horrors of filming in Technicolor; the racial Oz gag that was scripted but never shot; when the Wicked Witch was going to be beautiful; why The Wizard of Oz owes a lot to silent-screen star Mary Pickford; the story of deleted scenes, and a full two weeks of shooting that had to be scrapped; why MGM star Mickey Rooney was part of the movie’s traveling publicity blitz; how the Wicked Witch was literally blown off her broomstick one day; the place where lions, tigers, and bears really do live together; singers you hear but never see; the day MGM fired Judy Garland; and much more. Just follow the yellow brick road!

Book Review: Sticky Fingers

stickyIf you read the blog you know I’m always looking for new crafty things to try out.  I’ve never made anything out of duct tape before (aside from taping it to paper for a scrapbook layout and I’m not sure that actually counts.) and I’ve always wanted to try it out.  This book should help me find a project to do as well as show me how to do it! The first chapter tells you what you need to get started, the second chapter is all about setting up your work station.  Chapter 3 is all about the basics and different types of strips that you can make with the tape, pouches, etc.  Chapter 4 is quick crafts – flowers, bows, etc.  Chapter 5 is all about wallets and the different types you can make (I had no idea there were different types). Chapter 6 is purses, bags and cases.  Chapter 7 is wearable duct tape – pins, lanyards, belts, etc. Chapter 8 is things you can use at school like bookmarks and pencil cases.  9 is things for your room – baskets, frames, etc. And Chapter 10 teaches you how to use every last bit of the roll.

Each project is ranked with a skill level of 1 to 5 circles and also the estimated amount of time it should take you to complete it.  Materials needed are listed right at the top and there are photos to show you how you should be moving along in the project.

I wasn’t able to do any projects right away because I didn’t have any tape handy, but I’ve bookmarked a few projects for future consideration.

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

About the Book

Sticky Fingers is a vibrant, easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to creating amazing projects with the hottest crafting material on the market today duct tape! The book includes tons of photographs alongside directions designed to make creating a wallet and making a bag even easier, while also providing a steady stream of ideas for personalizing and embellishing your duct tape creations. Each project includes icons showing difficulty level and project time, as well as helpful hints, such as how to keep your scissors clean and what to do with end pieces. So grab a roll of duct tape, pick a project, and get started!

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