Review: I Used to Have a Plan

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Design) in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a gem of a book! 

The book is full of illustrations and sayings to help you through tough times. It is divided up into 5 sections for every step in your journey. I found the whole thing to be so relatable. My life has definitely not gone according to plan. There were many pictures/sayings that resonated with me. I particularly liked one in the beginning that said, “This was not how it was supposed to go” with a headstone that said “My ego” on the opposite page. That one hit hard. 

I loved the overall aesthetic of the artwork. It was very clean and simple yet still packed a punch. Because of its simplicity, it had a calming effect. 

I also liked the short introduction that the author wrote explaining the inspiration of the book. I can tell that the book comes from her heart and experiences. 

The book is fairly basic, so I wished there was a little bit more in terms of depth and content. It could have been expanded more. 

Overall, I loved how relatable this book is! I recommend it for anyone who may need a little pick me up after life knocks them down. 


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Review: Dogstrology

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. 

I love dogs. I love astrology. So of course I loved this book! 

This is a cute little book that pairs adorable pictures of dogs with astrology. The tone is light and humorous. I laughed out loud a few times. I particularly loved the little note on the edition notice page. It said, “Any resemblance in these astrological readings to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Also, it’s astrology, of course it’s accurate.” I loved that they put that there even though very few people read the edition notice page. 

I enjoyed looking at all the photos of the dogs. However, it is worth noting that none of the photos are original to the book. The photos are from Shutterstock.

As for the astrological content, it is very basic. Don’t expect to learn a whole lot. The descriptions are very brief. I’m already well acquainted with astrology so nothing was new to me. I also just want to point out that this book is not about astrology for your dog, it’s a book that uses dogs to explain astrological concepts. 

Overall, if you love dogs or astrology or just super fun books in general, then pick this book up! It would also make a great gift.


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Review: A Wealth of Pigeons

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Celadon Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a delightful book of cartoons!

In such uncertain and anxious times, it’s nice to be able to just sit down, take a breather, and have a laugh. This book did exactly that! 

The humor is very much like the cartoons you encounter in the newspaper. The same goes for the artwork. It definitely made me nostalgic for the cartoons I used to read in my local paper when I was a kid. 

As typical with a cartoon collection, there were some cartoons that I really liked and some that I didn’t quite get. 

I liked that there were cartoons about the creation of the book interspersed throughout it. It was a fun touch and I liked seeing the collaboration between Steve Martin and Harry Bliss come together. I also liked that the end pages showed rough drafts of some of the cartoons. It was cool to see that behind the scenes aspect. 

Overall, if you like the cartoons that you get in your Sunday paper, then you’ll probably like this collection! This book would also make a great gift.


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Review: One Day at Disney

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour.

When I first heard about this book I was beyond excited because I actually have the old One Day at Disney book that Disney put out in 2000. That book shows one day at the Disney parks. 

This book goes above and beyond the parks and shows cast members in all areas of the company. I loved the range of people and jobs they showcased. One of my favorites was Thomas Self, who checks the underwater mechanics of The Jungle Cruise. Who knew that Disneyland had divers to do that? My other favorite was Cyril Soreau, who is a fruit and Vegetable sculptor at Disneyland Paris. Aside from park jobs, jobs in Imagineering, television/film, hospitality, and live entertainment were all featured. 

The write-ups on each person were incredibly well done. I felt like I really got to know each person and what made them and their job unique. 

The book itself is a massive coffee table book that is absolutely gorgeous. The pictures are stunning. It is definitely a book you will want to proudly display. 

Overall, this book is perfect for fans of all things Disney. It gives fans an exclusive behind the scenes look into the magic of Disney. 


Title: ONE DAY AT DISNEY

Author: Bruce Steele, Bob Iger (Introduction)

Pub. Date: December 3, 2019

Publisher: Disney Editions Deluxe

Formats: Hardcover

Pages: 224

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD, Target, Disney Store

Disney+ Subscribers can watch the original documentary on December 3rd!

Discover what it’s like to report to work every day for The Walt Disney Company. Step behind the scenes to immerse yourself in one “ordinary” day at Disney. In addition to the book, the Disney+ team was on hand to capture stories along the way. A full-length documentary and 52 short-form episodes expand the profiles and delve deeper into the essence of what it’s like to be a Disney cast member.

On a Thursday in 2019, a small army of photographers and videographers scattered across the globe to capture what goes on beyond those tantalizing “Cast Members Only” doors – whether eavesdropping on historic endeavors or typical tasks. All the photos in this book were taken on that single Thursday, beginning early in Tokyo and following the sun around the world through Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and dozens of places throughout the United States. More than 40 hours after it began, the day ended as the sun set on the Aulani resort in Hawaii.

On that day, some 80 Cast Members agreed to open up their workshops, dressing rooms, kitchens, cubicles, TV studios, labs, locomotive engines – and some even more surprising and diverse work spaces. They also shared their stories: childhood dreams and chapters, career pivots and triumphs, workaday hurdles and joys. It was just a day in the life, as extraordinary as any other day at Disney. As any Cast Member can tell you, a Disney job is less a destination than a limitless journey. And for just One Day at Disney, we can all tag along for the ride.

Book & Documentary Trailer:

About Bruce:

Bruce C. Steele is a journalist and Disney fan with a long career of profiling the famous and the unheralded, from the pastry chefs at the Biltmore Estate to the stars of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. A Pennsylvania native and University of Alabama graduate, he started his career at a daily newspaper in Louisiana and most recently worked at the paper in his current home of Asheville, North Carolina. In between he was the executive editor of Out magazine and the editor in chief of The Advocate newsmagazine and also took time to get an MFA in film studies from Columbia University. He has lived in New York City and Los Angeles, where his husband was a Disney animator. He’s now a freelance writer and regular contributor to Disney’s twenty-three magazine. Apart from this book, some of his favorite past interviews have been Emma Watson, Sir Ian McKellen, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson and crawfish farmers in the Louisiana bayou.

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About Bob:

Robert A. Iger Chairman and Chief Executive Officer The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. As Chairman and CEO, Mr. Iger is the steward of one of the world’s largest media companies and some of the most respected and beloved brands around the globe. His strategic vision for The Walt Disney Company focuses on three fundamental pillars: generating the best creative content possible; fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology; and expanding into new markets around the world. 

Mr. Iger has built on Disney’s rich history of unforgettable storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar (2006), Marvel (2009), Lucasfilm (2012) and 21st Century Fox (2019), as well as the landmark 2016 opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in Mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort. Always one to embrace new technology, Mr. Iger has made Disney an industry leader through its creative content offerings across new and multiple platforms, most recently leveraging cutting-edge direct-to-consumer technology to successfully launch the Disney+ streaming service on November 12, 2019 and ESPN+ in 2018. 

Disney’s exceptional entertainment experiences, widely diverse content, and unique skill in managing businesses in an integrated manner have led to strong results. During Mr. Iger’s tenure, The Walt Disney Company has been recognized as one of the “Most Reputable Companies” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2006-2019); one of the “Best Employers” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2019 and 2018, respectively); one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine (2009-2019); one of the “World’s Most Respected Companies” by Barron’s (2009-2017); one of the “Best Places to Launch a Career” by BusinessWeek magazine (2006-2010); and as “Company of the Year” by Yahoo Finance (2013). 

Prior to his current role, Mr. Iger served as President and Chief Executive Officer beginning October 2005 and President and Chief Operating Officer from 2000-2005. Mr. Iger officially joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as Chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group and in 1999 was given the additional responsibility of President, Walt Disney International. In that role, Mr. Iger expanded and coordinated Disney’s presence outside of the United States, establishing the blueprint for the Company’s international growth today. As Chairman of the ABC Group, Mr. Iger oversaw the broadcast television network and station group, cable television properties, and radio and publishing businesses and also guided the complex merger between Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company. During Mr. Iger’s years with ABC, he obtained hands-on experience in every aspect of the television business—including news, sports, and entertainment—as well as in program acquisition, rights negotiations, and business affairs. He began his career at ABC in 1974. 

Mr. Iger has been named one of the “World’s Most Powerful People” by Forbes magazine (2018); one of Fortune magazine’s “25 Most Powerful People in Business” (2006, 2007); one of the “Top Gun CEOs” by Forbes magazine (2009); one of the “Best CEOs” by Institutional Investor magazine (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011); MarketWatch CEO of the Year (2006); and “CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive (2014). Mr. Iger serves on the boards of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Bloomberg Philanthropies. In 2012, Mr. Iger became a member of the Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, which recognizes some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. 

Mr. Iger is a graduate of Ithaca College.

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Giveaway Details: 

3 winners will win a finished copy of ONE DAY AT DISNEY, US Only. To enter click here.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/18/2019For the Love of KidLitReview/Feature
11/19/2019Pooled InkReview/Feature
11/20/2019HBB ReviewsReview/Feature
11/21/2019onemusedReview/Feature
11/22/2019FictitiouswonderlandReview/Feature

Week Two:

11/25/2019DevourbookswithdanaReview/Feature
11/26/2019Eli to the nthReview/Feature
11/27/2019BookHounds Review/Interview
11/28/2019What A Nerd Girl Says Review/Feature
11/29/2019Not In Jersey Review/Feature

Week Three:

12/2/2019BookishRealmReviewsReview/Feature
12/3/2019Savings in SecondsReview/Feature
12/4/2019Life Within The PagesReview/Feature
12/5/2019PopthebutterflyReview/Feature
12/6/2019YA Book NerdReview/Feature

Week Four:

12/9/2019Novel NoviceReview/Feature
12/10/2019She Dreams in FictionReview/Feature
12/11/2019She Just Loves BooksReview/Interview
12/12/2019NerdophilesReview/Feature
12/13/2019Paper ReaderReview/Feature

Week Five:

12/16/2019Here’s to Happy Endings Review/Feature
12/17/2019fictitious.foxReview/Feature
12/18/2019The Reading Corner for AllReview/Feature
12/19/2019Wonder Struck Review/Feature
12/20/2019Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview/Feature

Week Six:

12/23/2019Odd and BookishReview/Feature
12/24/2019Southern Girl BookaholicReview/Feature
12/25/2019Two Chicks on BooksReview/Feature
12/26/2019Thepagesinbetween Review/Feature
12/27/2019Two points of interestReview/Feature

Review: How to Survive a Horror Movie

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a fun read! 

This book essentially makes fun of horror movies and all the cliches that come with them. For example, one of the things it says NOT to do is investigate strange things. The book explicitly states, “Investigation = mutilation” (pg. 36). Nothing good ever comes from checking something out. That’s just asking to be murdered. 

The book also alludes to many famous horror movies, so horror enthusiasts will have fun catching them all. 

The short forward/apology from Wes Craven was perfect. So on brand and a great way to kick of the book. 

The illustrations and the list of movie recommendations were a nice touch as well.

The only critique I have is that I would have loved a concluding chapter to bring the book full circle. Or even a short paragraph stating something like, “Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far then you are one of the rare survivors of a horror movie…” I thought it was a missed opportunity and would have been the perfect place for one final joke about horror movies.

Overall, if you’re a fan of horror movies or just want a fun Halloween read, then read this book! 

Review: Love Street

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

I always love a good coffee table book and this one was perfect! 

This book is a spoof on 80’s pulp love magazines. I loved the whole vibe of it. The photographs were amazing. The aesthetic was very retro Los Angeles meets millennial women.

I loved the antidotes that the author shared. Some of them were incredibly funny, like the first one, “George from the Beach!” Others were really insightful and relatable like “15 Reasons Why I Wore a Dress Like This” and “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby!” 

The book also has some great one liners that accompany some of the pictures. My personal favorites were, “I wish I was full of donuts instead of anxiety” (pg. 72) and “One day we’ll look back on this period of unemployment and wish we had called it FREEDOM (pg. 2). 

To complete the pulp love magazine experience, there’s a crossword puzzle, recipes, and horoscopes. If that wasn’t enough, there are even paper dolls included that depict women in various situations like new relationship and recently single. I thought the dolls were a very clever and fun touch. 

Overall, this is the perfect coffee table book or gift for millennial women who love being in love. 

Review: Renegade Women in Film and TV

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

First off, this is a gorgeous coffee table book! The illustrations are so cute and I love the backgrounds of each portrait. The backgrounds all showcase something special about the woman featured.

I loved the selection of women featured. It was very inclusive. There were lots of women of color and even some LGBT ones as well. 

As for the descriptions of the women, they were on the short side, but this is a coffee table book so I was 100% okay with that. This book is meant to be more of an introduction to these incredible women, rather than a full analysis on them. The author even complied a list of essential viewing (films and TV episodes) for each woman listed to further encourage readers to physically see the work they have created. I could definitely tell that she worked in the entertainment industry because she knew her stuff and it showed. 

I also enjoyed the interviews. They were short but still insightful. The author asked the right questions that really fit the theme of the book well. 

Lastly, I liked how current this book is. It does mention some current issues like the #MeToo movement a few times.

Overall, this is a beautiful coffee table book that highlights 50 amazing women and their groundbreaking accomplishments. 

Review: HausMagick

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book. 

I was so excited to read this book because I am super interested in witchcraft and I love interior design and all things homey. I was not disappointed.

First off, this is a beautiful coffee table book. Everything about it is high quality from the pages to the photos. It makes the perfect addition to any coffee table or bookshelf display. 

Just a little side note: since this is a coffee table book, this book is not meant to give you a large or comprehensive overview of witchcraft. If you’re looking for that, I suggest reading something else. 

Secondly, I love love LOVE that the author brings up cultural appropriation in witchcraft. It’s a small little mention but much appreciated. She also includes a recommended reading  list at the end for those who are interested in learning more about the original context of some of the practices. 

I also loved the self help elements. Even though this is a book about homes, the self-help elements felt very natural. It ultimately boils down to how YOU connect with your space.

Overall, this is the perfect coffee table book for those looking to add a little magick to their home and life.