From a Book Lover

September 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm (Education, Guest Blogger, Reviews) (, , , , )

An unnamed Guest Blogger allowed me to share this…

I have always been a fan of EB White’s children’s books. This is a great biography of him and is beautifully illustrated, too. EB White truly respected children as persons. Here is one of my favorite passages from the book:

“Much of what he wrote was not for children, yet many consider Charlotte’s Web not only White’s magnum opus but one of the best children’s books ever written. Did EB White ever wish he’d written a masterpiece for adults? His stepson Roger Angell said that the thought would not have occurred to him. Andy (EB White) once said, “Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth….. Children are game for anything. I throw them hard words and they backhand them over the net.”

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Blood Myth – A Book Review

January 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm (Guest Blogger, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

from Guest Blogger Angelina JoiAnn

Blood MythTitle: Blood Myth

Author: Stacy Moran

I did not know there was a glossary at the end of the book because I tend to just jump into books… I don’t even read the back cover.  So at first it took me awhile to understand what was going on.  (Words of Wisdom = Read the glossary first)

It was very interesting and unique.  I enjoyed the dom/sub relationship, the broken past that Zakan had and dealt with, and the passion.  While reading my kept going back to Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.  The mystical parts with witches and shape shifters, “little rabbit” blood and gore took my mind to the Anita Blake series by Laurel K. Hamilton.  (If you like those books, you’ll like this one)

There is definitely a lot going on in this book.  Not just the dominate/ submissive relationship, but good vs. evil,  sex, violence, drama, myth, family history, and more.

It took some time for me to wrap my head around everything that was happening, but it did end with a decent shock.  And the best way I could describe Blood Myth is “interesting.”

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Whispers for the Soul

November 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm (Guest Blogger, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

nemerTitle: Whispers in the Dark

Poets: Ashley Nemer, Stacy Moran, Torie N. James

Genre: Poetry

A Product of The Art of Safkhet

A Guest Review by Angelina JoiAnn

As I was reading Whispers of the Heart by Ashley Nemer I felt depressed at the beginning by reading words like cry, darkness, kill, and beat. The first poem “They Say” gave me hope with “angel, strength and spirit.” I did not understand why “I walk and feel wetness” is in the “Darkness” poem – I am guessing it is raining, but to me darkness is not wet. Rain is more of a cleansing – a way to feel alive – not isolated. The the depression goes into a vampire and human relationship with “Forever you are mine” and “Immortal Love.” I can picture a vampire saying/writing those words after biting a human. I kind of get the darkness feeling going into the Vampire poems but after that I get thrown off with memories, dog, and grandpa.

While reading Whispers in the Storm by Stacy A. Moran I felt like the section would have been more aptly named Whispers of the Soul. It felt like the poet was writing poems from different growths of her soul, and perhaps had even lost a child. The poetry seemed to speak from a child to a woman, from a woman to a mother and so on. I would have liked to see them organized from love to heart break, but I felt a lot of growth over all and really enjoyed this section.

Whispering Flames by Torie N. James has to be my favorite. I felt like a phoenix flying out of the fire. I felt free while reading the different poems – as though the weight of the first two sections were being lifted off my shoulders.

Overall, I was taken on different feelings and journeys throughout the book and felt the different aspects and growth from the souls of the writers. I did feel that each section had a weird, random organization, and that the poems could have been better placed within each author’s portions, but that’s just my OCD. I enjoyed peeking into each poet’s lives.

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Kim, World Traveler

September 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm (Guest Blogger) (, , , , , , , )

KimMeet today’s Guest Blogger: Kim Ogonosky.  She’s a reader, a writer, has the most *amazing* singing voice, and loves to travel…

I firmly believe that people who love to read are natural born travelers.

There is no scientific data to back this up; it is my [completely biased] personal opinion based on firsthand experience. Simply put, I love to read, and I love to travel.

Of course the word “travel” does not necessarily need to be understood strictly as the physical act of traveling. For avid readers who get metaphorically lost in literature, are they not, in a sense, traveling as well?

pemberleyYou bet they are, and I can attest to this. I traveled to Pemberley with Elizabeth Bennet where I fell hopelessly in love with Mr. Darcy. I partied with the wild, over-indulgent upper crust of society at Jay Gatsby’s mansion on Long Island’s West Egg. I’ve been to post-apocalyptic worlds and dystopian societies. I’ve traveled halfway around the world and broken the barrier of time. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I’ve thrown things across the room in outrage.

And if anyone dares tell me this is not a form of travel, I assure you they have never gotten lost in a book!

Aside from traveling through books, I also love to physically travel. Never one to sit still, I am always looking for the next adventure. I once said my life’s goal is to visit every single country before I die. I have 13 under my belt, which means I have approximately 183 to go. Hey, a girl can dream!

florenceMy favorite place in the world is Florence. My favorite family vacation has been to Disney World. And I definitely recommend taking your significant other to the Caribbean for a vacation that looks like it came straight from your computer’s screensaver. But the most influential trip I have ever taken was to Tanzania.

In graduate school I was given the opportunity to travel to Dodoma, Tanzania to help film a documentary about a nongovernmental organization called BRAC. Another student and I were sent there to highlight their Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescent girls program. I had never picked up a video camera before in my life, and I only knew a few choice phrases in Swahili, but off I went with just one other person, malaria pills in tow!

Side note: I have never taken any sort of illegal substance, but I’m pretty positAfrica - BRAC ELA Girls Club 2ive if I did, the effects would be similar to that of taking malaria pills. That stuff is no joke.

When I got back from Africa, I remember people asking me if I had “fun.” Yes, it was the most influential experience of my life thus far, but I would choose other adjectives to describe it: Eye-opening, humbling, transformative, educational, challenging, and emotional all come to mind.

The pinnacle moment of the trip came when the Internet at our hotel went out, and I almost had a nervous breakdown.

My Family

My Family

Now, in my defense, the reason I had the nervous breakdown was because I wanted to contact my loved ones, not because I wanted to update my Facebook profile, so it was coming from a well-intentioned place.

However, we had just spent the day in the nearby villages interviewing these incredible young girls who had faced more hardships in their lives than the majority of us could ever imagine. Many didn’t have shoes. Most didn’t have clean water. And a startling number were in danger of not finishing their educations. Yet they came together to sing, dance, play, learn about how to start their own businesses, and support one another through strong female friendships.

And here I was at my hotel, with a pool, a nice restaurant, and plenty of clean water, crying about the Internet going out.

Needless to say, I was dealt with a healthy dose of perspective in that moment.

So yes, my trip to Africa was the most eye-opening, humbling, transformative, educational, challenging, and emotional experience of my life. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I learned so much from these brave young women, and I was inspired to immerse myself in similar travel situations again. Not because it was “fun,” but because I learned so much about the world, about humanity, and about myself.

Sounds a little like reading a really good book, doesn’t it? And here we are, coming full circle!

I recently stumbled upon what I consider to be the opportunity of a lifetime. An up-and-coming travel website called Jauntaroo is hiring a “Chief World Explorer” who will travel the world for a year, while blogging and filming webisodes about their experiences. Moreover, this person is encouraged to participate in “Voluntourism” activities while traveling. Sign me up!

Yes, the competition is stiff, but if I’ve learned anything from my books it’s that you must go after your dreams. Or simply put, if you don’t shoot, you don’t score!

I went for it and submitted a video application for this position, which can be found at It is only a minute long, so should you decide to watch, it will not take up a lot of time. After having read this and watched the video you feel I would be well suited for the job, I would be incredibly grateful if you “liked” my video. You don’t have to fill out any forms, and you can do it once every 24 hours if it tickles your fancy! This would be an incredible experience, and I would love to be given the chance to travel the world and take others with me on the journey- through the fun, the relaxing, the challenging, the emotional, and the meaningful times.

Africa - BRAC ELA Chicken Farm

Thank you for taking the time to hear my story. I wish all of you safe, exciting, and meaningful travels, be it in the metaphorical or the physical sense. Life would be so less interesting without them.

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Antique Book Find

June 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm (Guest Blogger) (, , , , , , )

Antique Book Find

#thingswelove: discovered at the antique store yesterday: Victor Hugo The Man Who Laughs from 1888 #goodreads – Jennifer Fritz

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A Tidbit from Miss Golightly

January 7, 2013 at 4:27 am (Guest Blogger) (, , , , , , , )

If these images don’t put you in the mood to read Lord of the Rings, I don’t know what would.

Muir Woods

JJ in Trees

Miss Golightly at Muir Woods National Monument.

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A Tidbit from Miss Golightly

January 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm (Guest Blogger) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

This is what Peace looks like…

Peaceful at Manhattan Beach

at Manhattan Beach, CA.

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A Dubious Review

December 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm (Guest Blogger, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I get offers to review e-books all the time, it is the most efficient and affordable way for an author to get their work out there.  However, I do not own an e-reader just yet.  So as per my Review Policy, I found a guest blogger to read and review the book for me.

Lavois is an intelligent, honest gal that I’ve know most my life.  She’s an intuitive reader, a good friends, and happens to own the device needed to help sort through pending e-book review requests.

I hope to feature more of her reviews and guest articles in the future.

dubious artifactTitle: A Dubious Artifact

Author: Gerald J. Kubicki

Publisher: Self-published/ Indie

Format: E-book

Let me begin by letting you know that I am not an experienced reviewer of books. In fact, this is my first. I’ve always been a voracious reader, even to the point of having to avoid reading certain books during certain times in my life, knowing that the book would consume all of my attention and free time. I had recently allowed myself to really start diving into reading full time again when my wonderful friend Anakalia offered me the opportunity to review a book for her. The book she sent me was A Dubious Artifact by Gerald J. Kubicki, the sixth novel in his Colton Banyon mystery/adventure series.

I think it’s also incumbent upon me to let you know that I have not read the first five novels published by Kubicki. I began with the sixth. I feel that it’s important for me to let you know this because I believe I may have connected better with the novel had I been involved in the rest of Banyon’s adventures. I initially wanted to chalk this up to weak character development but after thinking about it, I realized that these characters had been involved in five previous adventures together. Kubicki probably assumes that his readers would have started with book one and routinely references past adventures and past characters with only minimal explanation in A Dubious Artifact. For this reason it may serve you to start from the beginning. The first in the series, A Dubious Mission, can be found on Amazon by following the title link.

I must admit, had difficultly staying engaged while reading A Dubious Artifact and I believe that this can be remedied in large part by another round of editing. Kubicki’s story had some true potential, and at times I could feel myself slipping into the story, forgetting that I was reading a book, but then a spelling error, misused word or clumsily written sentence would yank me back into the reality of my reading chair. This was somewhat frustrating for me, not only because I so badly wanted to get into the novel, but because these were completely avoidable issues. Eventually, I had to set the book aside because I couldn’t get past this. It may be a good time for Kubicki to take stock of his entire series and come out with a newly revised second edition. While I had some difficulties with the novel this time around, I did get to know the characters enough that I can genuinely say I would give them another go in a revised edition.

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A Tidbit from Miss Golightly

November 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm (Guest Blogger) (, , , , , , , , )

Sal and I walked to Lakewood to enjoy a book and the outdoors. Every day should be as temperate as this one. – Jennifer Joy Golightly

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A Tidbit from Miss Golightly

November 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm (Guest Blogger) (, , )

Deceased teddy bear found in Belmont Addition alley; name, age, and cause of death unknown. – Jennifer Joy Golightly

Photo by Jennifer Joy Golightly

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