Review: Crystal Clear

Click the photo to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★½

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

So first off, I just want to mention that this is not a guidebook on crystals. If you are looking for a guidebook about different crystals and their properties, then I would suggest picking up another book. 

This book was an excellent collection of personal essays that connects the properties of certain crystals to the author’s own experiences. The author weaves the history and properties of the crystals into the essays very well. Sometimes with essays like these, they can become too textbook like when describing factual information. Here, it all felt very natural and not forced. The author has a very effortless and conversational writing style which makes reading the essays a breeze. 

My favorite essays were the ones on Pearl, Pyrite, Carnelian, and Obsidian. I liked that there were similar themes in some of the essays. For example, she discusses her mixed race heritage in a few of them. It made the collection cohesive. 

I also liked the brief mentions of tarot cards and astrology. Crystals, tarot, and astrology often go hand in hand so I was glad to see the connections. 

Design-wise this book is stunning. Quirk Books knows book design so well. There are cute illustrations before each chapter and the edges of every chapter are color coded to correspond to the crystal. 

The one thing the book was missing was a short concluding chapter. It had an introduction, but a concluding chapter with some final thoughts would have tied it all together neatly. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it if you like personal essays. Even if you have absolutely no interest in crystals, the essays are still relatable and thought provoking. 


Connect with me!

Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | TikTok

Review: Good Things Happen to People You Hate

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★½

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

This was an interesting collection of personal essays. As with many essay collections, I liked some of them, but didn’t like others. 

This book is a pretty typical account of a millennial woman in New York City so there wasn’t anything ground breaking or new about it. I’ve encountered similar stories before. That being said I did relate to the author quite a few times. 

For example, the essay, “Real Men Will Disappoint You, Date Fictional Men Instead,” was so relatable. I took one look at the tile and went, isn’t that the truth! Also, all the essays had funny titles like these. Another relatable essay was “Sometimes Your Irrational Fears Come True and Fire Destroys Your Home.” That scenario (thankfully) hasn’t happened to me, but I related to her childhood fears. As a kid, I worried a lot over things other kids would never worry about (ex. car accidents, dangerous criminals, etc.) 

The writing style is very blogger like which I enjoyed. It worked well in telling her stories. 

I did feel like some of the essays fell a little short. Like they didn’t quite live up to their potential. Sometimes they just ended when I was expecting her to say a little more.

Overall, this was a quick essay collection with some hits and some misses. I did find it entertaining so if you just want to read something fun, go ahead and read it! 


Connect with me!

Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | TikTok

Review: One Day at Disney

Click the picture to purchase the book through my Amazon Affiliate link

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.

Twitter | Instagram 

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.

Twitter  

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: Bill Marriott

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Initially, I thought this book might be on the dull side since it’s nonfiction, but I was wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

First off, I’m a big fan of Marriott hotels. Whenever I stay in a hotel, it’s usually a Marriott. However, I had no idea just how big the Marriott company actually is. 

This book is jammed packed with information. I could tell that the author did a tremendous amount of research. I learned so much about Bill Marriott and the company. Like I had no idea that Marriott built Great America, which is an amusement park in my hometown. I also did not know that Marriott almost bought Disney. Or that the Marriotts were friends with the Romneys (Mitt Romney is actually named after Bill’s father). My mind was blown. 

The book also discusses Bill Marriott’s faith. Bill belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The discussion o his religion never gets too overpowering or preachy, but instead gets woven throughout the book. It was interesting to see how his faith influenced his business decisions and his way of life. 

Overall, this was an insightful book about an incredible man and his company. I’m so glad I read this book because now I love staying at Marriotts even more since I know all the history behind it. 

Review: Dead Girls

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★

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

Despite the title, this isn’t really a book about dead girls. It’s more a book about girls in pop culture, but also a book about the author’s experiences in LA. However, even that doesn’t seem to adequately describe this book. It’s kind of just a collection of essays that are very loosely connected. 

Basically, I felt a bit confused by this collection. The essays themselves were sometimes very interesting, but there just wasn’t a strong enough theme to connect them all together. 

Also, some of the essays themselves were a little disjointed. For example, “The Daughter as Detective,” started out as an essay about a book series her dad liked, then ended up discussing whether her father could possibly have Asperger’s syndrome. Not at all where I thought it was going to go. 

I did like some of the essays, like “Lonely Heart” which explores Britney Spears. I was also happy to see Lana Del Rey mentioned, since she alludes to the dead girl trope a lot in her music. However, I wish the book went deeper into her. The 3 page analysis of her was not sufficient. 

Lastly, the final essay, “Accomplices,” was a mess. I was ready to give this book 3 stars and then I read this essay and had to drop it to 2. I just didn’t get it. It was very long, seemed to try to cover too much, and didn’t really touch upon dead girls at all. It felt more like an afterthought. 

Overall, a few well-written essays can’t save this jumbled collection.