Quick Book Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Title: Soundless

Author: Richelle Mead

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Date Finished: 4/19/2020

Recommend for: Fantasy enthusiasts looking for a quick read

Short Review: At less than 300 pages this book was super short and not a huge time investment. As a fantasy novel I wish the world was a bit more fleshed out, but overall it was entertaining. I hadn’t read any books that focused on hearing loss before. It really made me think about how much I rely on sound during my daily life.

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Travel Journal Tips: Cuban Edition

How do you document your travels? Traveling is one of my core values, but I never knew how to document any of my adventures that captured, not only images, but also stories and mementos. Last year I went to the Chicago Planner Conference and I learned about Traveler’s Notebooks and it really changed the way I looked at travel memory keeping.

A month after that conference I went to Cuba and decided to try out this new technique and guess what?! I loved it! It also acted like a sketchbook while I was there. It was weird, like I could have it all – a way to document pictures, stories, insert mementos, and sketch. Why didn’t I think of this before? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Here are some techniques I used during my vacation and recommend:

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Quick Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Title: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Date Finished: 3/8/2020

Recommend for: People who love post-apocalyptic books and alien invasions

Short Review: You know how sometimes you sit down with a new book and it ends up being EXACTLY what you were looking for! That’s what the 5th Wave was for me, it had the right amount of suspense, survival, and Others. I devoured this book in a matter of days and it would have been sooner, but work got in the way.

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Quick Book Review: Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi by Rob MacGregor

Title: Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi

Author: Rob MacGregor

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Date Finished: 2/4/2020

Recommend for: Anyone missing an 80s adventure icon

Short Review: I’ve had this book for a very long time. I remember getting this in grade school at a garage sale, paying for it with my own hard earned chore money. I even found my old bookmark inside – a Looney Tunes playing card.

I watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom wayyyy too much as a child. After re-watching it recently, I’m wondering why I was allowed to watch it. That’s besides the point, the point is, I had a mild obsession with the Indiana Jones franchise and jumped at the chance to continue his story. I started and stopped this book many times in my childhood. I think it was just too dry for me to get passed the first 20 pages.

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Bob Ross Paint-A-Long: Autumn Mountains Edition

Well, the father/daughter team is at it again! We finished another Bob Ross paint-a-long session for the Autumn Mountains painting. I am happy to say that we have improved from our first one. We learned quite a bit!

What we learned from the last time is watch the whole video first, then start from the beginning. That way you’ll see where Bob is leaving space for rivers and what not. He also follows the rule of thirds, which is something to keep in mind to judge if you are putting that tree in the right spot. We also learned this time around that paint from college can go bad 🙂 College was many moons ago, yet the thought never crossed my mind that paint might separate or dry out. At times it felt like I was painting with Play-Doh, which is when I would try to mix linseed oil into my paint. Probably not what you are supposed to do, but it worked.

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Book Conundrum…Advice Wanted

I just recently moved out of a place I had lived at for about 10 years. I’ve accumulated so many things and I didn’t realize just how many things I owned until I had to pack them all in boxes – and try to make those boxes not weigh 50 million pounds.

There were soooo many books and because of all the books it took the movers awhile to move everything which ultimately cost us more money. One of the movers in particular kept sort of joking about all the heavy books, which rubbed me the wrong way because I felt like I was being shamed for my love of books. A lot of the books were from my 100+ TBR tower. Since it’s possible that we might move again in 3 months I was thinking about donating a lot of my books, but the libraries and donation centers are all closed due to COVID-19.

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Quick Book Review: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Title: The Martian Chronicles

Author: Ray Bradbury

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Date Finished: 12/30/2019

Recommend for: people who wonder what it might be like to start a settlement on Mars

Short Review: I’m not really one for hardcore science fiction, but I like Ray Bradbury’s writing style. I picked this up expecting it to be an intense, weird science fiction novel about Martians. I still went ahead and bought it though since I like Bradbury. I also thought the cover was pretty cool looking (yes, I know the old adage).

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Quick Book Review: At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft

Title: At the Mountains of Madness

Author: H. P. Lovecraft

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Date Finished: 9/30/2019

Recommend for: People who love a slow build up to terror

Short Review: This was my first venture into the “terrorscapes” of H. P. Lovecraft. Honestly, I tried reading this book three different times and couldn’t get through the first story – At the Mountains of Madness. The story has a VERY slow build up and sometimes gets too bogged down in the scientific descriptions of alien specimens. Eventually though, a little over halfway, I was finally really into the story. It started to get really spooky, especially near the end. If you were getting stuck like I was, I suggest you power through since it has a good ending.

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Quick Book Review: The Fear Institute by Jonathan L. Howard

Title: The Fear Institute (Johannes Cabal, #3)

Author: Jonathan L. Howard

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Date Finished: 9/15/2019

Recommend for: Lovers of the bizarre, surreal, creepy, and Lovecraftian.

Short Review: Johannes Cabal is just a necromancer trying to unlock the mysteries of death. In this book Cabal is approached by the Fear Institute to accompany them on a quest to the Dreamlands. Their ultimate goal is to find Fear in a tangible animagus form and destroy it. In theory this will lead to a happy life of no worries.

The concept was really interesting. I feel like most of us would love to vanquish fears we have. The atmosphere was delightfully creepy. There were also a lot of H.P. Lovecraftian vibes throughout the story – from the unusual creatures to the surreal world, controlled by powerful, vengeful gods.

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Quick Book Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

Title: Inferno

Author: Dan Brown

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Date Finished: 8/5/2019

Recommend for: Fans of ancient European history as well as Dante Alighieri

Short Review: There’s not a ton to say about this book. It’s just like the other novels by Dan Brown, nothing mind-blowing or out of his comfort zone.

If you are in the mood for a typical Dan Brown book, then this won’t disappoint. There’s still action, history, a love interest, and of course our symbologist hero, Robert Langdon, falling into a mystery that determines the fate of the world.

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