Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dazeworld by Chris Ellis

Dazeworld: The Artwork of Chris Daze Ellis by Chris Ellis, Sacha Jenkins

This is the illustrated story of New York artist Chris Daze Ellis's successful transition from the subways to international studios and galleries. Follow his 30 year career from his teen years as a graffiti writer to his current life as a professional painter, mentor, and family man. 

This book, with more than 250 photographs, is a journey that tracks seminal moments in Daze's life that shaped his art. 

View his aesthetic evolution, from "Graffiti High" (New York's High School of Art and Design) and an "unsanctioned" street art phase to exhibitions with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Train photos from the 1970s and '80s, a broad representation of Daze's studio and mural works, and personal photos guide the reader through an artistic portfolio spanning five decades. 

Contributions by graffiti writer Jay "J.SON" Edlin and essayist Claire Schwartz, and a foreword by graffiti historian and chronicler Sacha Jenkins complete this volume. 

Street art is an art that amazed me and I really enjoy to know more about it.

In this book, you learn about Daze's world as an artist. Through his eyes you discover the graffiti, the underworld art as well as the evolution of New York from the 70th to nowadays.
A great original view of an art.

Tha fact that Daze has started his work on trains also captivated me. As we often think of graffiti as a nuisance and an act of incivility, and of course some times it is, it was also cool to see paintings made to embellish the cars. The art robs them of the murky atmosphere by adding some colors.  It was interesting to understand; how this artist was trying to be part of the city by making everything his canvas.

Worldwide famous for his art, his numerous exhibitions and huge projets around the world, Chris Daze Ellis has had an real impact on street art and its recognition.

Perfect book, if you want to learn more about the artist and its art!

About the author
Chris Daze Ellis began painting the gritty New York Subways in the mid-1970s while attending the High School of Art & Design. His work can currently be found in galleries and museums worldwide.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Dissapointed by the lack of enchantment!

While reading the summary, I was excited to learn more about this Queen of Hearts. So I was expected a story full of magic and descriptions about Wonderland. Something that will make me travel into into fantasy land and dream while reading. Unfortunately, it's really down to earth.

Sure, I have appreciated to learn more about the Queen childhood and past and of course it was nice to have a darker story than the usual fairy tale. However, even if the concept was interesting, as a reader you learn nothing new. The author don't embark you into her world or into the queen's one.

I'm dissapointed because it was promising. If the book is not badly written, it's just a story that will not grab you and you may finish it with a feeling of unsatisfaction.
Maybe not the better feeling to motivate you to read the sequel.

About the author
Colleen Oakes is the bestselling author of books for both teens and adults, including the Elly in Bloom series, and the Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver, CO, with her husband and son, and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable. When not penning new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling, reading, or advocating for adoption and literacy.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Siddhartha's Brain by James Kingsland

Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment by James Kingsland

By the longtime Guardian science journalist, a groundbreaking exploration of the science of enlightenment and mental wellness, illuminated by twin perspectives, ancient and modern: the spiritual wisdom of Siddhartha Gautama and the revelations of today’s scientists, who are confirming the Buddha’s profound insights into the human mind

In the fifth century BCE, in northern India, Siddhartha, the wandering sage who became the Buddha, developed a program, rooted in meditation and mindfulness, for mastering the mind and achieving lasting peace and contentment. Twenty-five centuries later, humans have transformed everything about our world—except our brains, which remain the same powerful yet flawed instruments possessed by our ancestors. What if the solution we seek to the psychological problems of life in the digital age—distraction, anxiety, addiction, loss of deep meaning—had already been worked out by the Buddha in ancient India? Appealing to readers of Eastern wisdom and Jon Kabat-Zinn, as well as to fans of bestsellers by Oliver Sacks and Malcolm Gladwell, acclaimed science writer and practicing Buddhist James Kingsland reveals how scientists are now unlocking the remarkable secrets of Siddhartha’s brain.

Moving effortlessly between science and scripture, Kingsland charts Siddhartha’s spiritual journey and explains how new research by leading neuroscientists and clinical psychologists—many of whom are interviewed in these pages—suggests that mindfulness practice reconfigures our brains to make us sharper, smarter, healthier, and happier, and that it can help treat stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, hypertension, and substance abuse. There have even been hints that meditation can enhance immune function, slow cellular aging, and keep dementia at bay. Featuring six guided meditations, Siddhartha’s Brain is a practical and inspiring odyssey of mind and spirit.

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.”—Siddhartha 

A very interesting book to learn more about our brain and meditation. 
I've enjoyed the way it was written through examples and excerpts to help you with perspective and meditation.
It's always difficult to explain why it has touched me as I've turned the pages early to know more about the author words and Siddhartha's storie. If you are interested in Buddhism, meditation and mindfullness, it will be a good one for you.
A really good read!

About the author
James Kingsland is a science and medical journalist with twenty-five years of experience at Nature, the New Scientist, and the Guardian. For the past five years he has been commissioning editor and contributor for the Guardian’s Notes & Theories blog, and writes frequently about neuroscience and Buddhist psychology. He lives in London.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

A dazzling, witty and tenderly savage satire of London life and the art world that is also a surprising and wonderful love story.

When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered.
Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting - a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called ‘The Improbability of Love’.

Delving into the painting’s past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history – and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.

I was attract by the tittle and the plot with the painting.
And it was a really cool read!

Ok, I may have read diagonally some parts as sometimes too many details were draining the enjoyment and the mystery. However, the story is very well written.
It was interesting to dive into all this character's life and to understand how they were all related to this painting. The history part was also a very nice addition.

To be honest, I've really enjoyed the painting POV and all the love stories that were attached to its personal story. It was fresh and funny too.
Was less a fan of Annie but with all the different personnages, there is always someone to touch you.

It's well pictured and  i've spent a lovely time reading it.

*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!

In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.

A thriller with great psychological inside.

Following the main character, Tanya/Amelia/Debra, who is on the run after making some poor decisions, the reader turns the pages of this story to see what will happen in her crazy life.
Can't tell you too much about the plot or you will not be as surprised as you should while reading this story.
But don't expect explosions or fireworks, it's more subtle and the people she met are original too. especially Blue.
The auhor also raised the issue of morality through the story.
An interesting read on the psychological aspect.

About the author
Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of the six books in the Spellman series, How to Start a Fire, Heads you Lose (with David Hayward), and the children's book, How to Negotiate Everything (illustrated by Jaime Temairik). Her latest book, The Passenger, a psychological thriller, will be published March 2016 by Simon and Schuster. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor's degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. Lisa lives in the Hudson Valley, NY.

*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Inner Runner by Jason R. Karp

The Inner Runner: Running to a More Successful, Creative, and Confident You by Jason R. Karp

Why are so many people drawn to running? Why is running the most common physical activity? What is it about running that empowers so many people? And how can runners harness that power to create a more meaningful life? The Inner Runner addresses these questions and a whole lot more. This book is not about how to get faster or run a marathon; rather, it explores how the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other helps you harness your creative powers. Learn about the psychological, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual benefits of running and introduce lifestyle changes based on the latest scientific research on running and its effects on hormones and the brain.

As a nationally recognized running and fitness coach with a PhD in Exercise Physiology, Jason Karp brings his expertise in science-based coaching to runners of all levels. He believes that running gives you a chance to discover, challenge, and bring out the best in yourself by impacting your creativity, focus, imagination, confidence, and health. Let The Inner Runner help you become not only a better runner, but a more creative, productive, and imaginative person.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.

In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.


As I've started to run 6 months ago, I was attracted by the summary to learn more about the insight you can gain from running. It's amazing how fast you pass from not liking it to the addiction of the freedom, running gives to your body and mind.

I've liked the motivating way the author talk about running, about not comparing yourself to the others and the tones of great information, this running expert was able to give us on the body, the mind while you run.
Like the numbers given, the inspirational pep talks and the declaration from athletes.
Very interesting!

After finishing this book, I'm more determined to improve and to increase my time on my legs to find myself! :-D

A great read for those who run and the ones who want to start!

About the author
Jason R. Karp, PhD, is one of America’s foremost running experts, an established writer and author, an exercise physiologist, and creator of the Run-Fit Specialist certification.
Dr. Karp has given dozens of international lectures and has been a featured speaker at most of the world’s top fitness conferences and coaching clinics.

His previous books include Running a Marathon for Dummies, Running for Women, 101 Winning Racing Strategies for Runners, and 101 Developmental Concepts & Workouts for Cross Country Runners. He lives in San Diego, California.

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Poppies dreams

Poppies dreams

Seconds before I close my eyes, I see yours
My heart sings, my mind forbids the melody
I breathe deeply, banishing you to a mere memory
I’m tired of fate, its rich stores behind closed doors
Teasing me with hopeful occasional gleams.

I sigh, turn and return, then halt

I let my body be engulfed deeply by soft sheets
Powerless against Morpheus and his asinine treats
Intoxicating illusions of a world without reason
Where your smiles lead to passion and oblivion
A devastating drug called my hell, my dreams

I sigh, turn and return, then I realize

Soon the veil will be lifted, I’m ready to let you go
Without fire, your lukewarm arms are fruitless, heavy
Always, of our bond i will be fond, as well as of my fantasy
But Eos is finally calling, time for new sunrises to glow
I’m free to fly away, to enjoy life until the sun's last beams

A5 Painting
Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic