Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Temporary Life by Martin Crosbie

Malcolm Wilson learns that everything is always temporary. Growing up, he's raised by a promiscuous mother who can't stay out of trouble, his best friend is a thirteen-year-old alcoholic, and the masters at his tough Scottish school are always raising their canes in his direction.

When he becomes an adult, he escapes, and chooses the safe route, watching the world from a distance.

Everything changes the day he meets the beautiful, alluring, green-eyed Heather, and when he learns of Heather's own abusive childhood and the horrific secret she's been carrying, Malcolm decides to help her.
And, this time he's not backing down, whatever the cost.

It was a recommandation from a friend of mine, so I was curious about what kind of story has attracted him, as well as knowing more about the plot based on the promising summary.

To be honest, I wasn't able to finish it. Got stuck on the middle for a long time and wasn't able to pick this story up again.

Nothing wrong with the style, it's well written. I was even pretty much into Malcom's adventures wanting to know about about his past.
But then, he has grown up and met a girl... It was the whole point. Discovering how the relationship will evolve. Strangely, it's exactly when the author has lost me.

I wanted to know more about the boy Malcom was, like some pieces where not adding up in my reader's brain to be able to enjoy something else. Hasn't fallen under the girl spell and it was becoming harder and harder to turn the pages.

Thought i will need some time since I don't like to close a book before the end. But it has been six months, so i now i will not go back to it any time soon.

If I do so, i will add a new review. If not, I hope you will have a better experience with the plot and the characters cause there is something attractive and interesting in the author writing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Art of the Brick: A Life in Lego by Nathan Sawaya

Nathan Sawaya is renowned for his incredible, sometimes surreal, sculptures and portraits--all made from LEGO bricks. The Art of the Brick is a stunning, full-color showcase of the work that has made Sawaya the world's most famous LEGO artist. Featuring hundreds of photos of his impressive art and behind-the-scenes details about how these creations came to be, The Art of the Brick is an inside look at how Sawaya transformed a toy into an art form.

Follow one man's unique obsession and see the amazing places it has taken him

This spring and summer, Nathan Sawaya art was exposed in Paris. And I was really curious and tempted to go.  Unfortunately, something was always distracting me when I was planning to have a closer look at his work.
And now, I deeply regret it! :-(

So when I've seen the book, after missing my chance to do it for real, I've decided to read it and enjoy his creations.

It's amazing since Lego is a toy, we all have played with at some point in our life. I've appreciated how the author explains why he has decided to build a skull or what he was thinking when creating Yellow and the way the meaning of this sculpture has changed over the time.

"Yellow is not about death at all, but about opening yourself up to the world without fear or reserve. It's about dropping the mask and the hundred of little compromises you make every day to show the world the true you, and letting life come at you as it may."

Nathan Sawaya's creations are impressive but in this book, i've really enjoyed the stories about his life, his depression, his work. It's direct, easy and really add something more to this art book. It's not boring, it's little bit of himself he is sharing to make us understand his art.
Cool artist!

The Red Dress is one of my favorite and Yellow too.

Don't hesitate to read this art book, it will do you some good to the heart and to your art. ;-)

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

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Abundance Now by Lisa Nichols

Abundance Now: Break Through from Scarcity to Life's Prosperity
by Lisa Nichols, Janet Switzer

A New York Times bestselling author and now the recurring motivational speaking coach on the Steve Harvey Show and the Today Show, Lisa Nichols’ own story is inspirational in and of itself. In 1994 she had $10 in her wallet and was living on public assistance.

Today, through a resolution to break out of the mindset traps, limiting behavior and bad habits that kept her from enjoying a rich life, Lisa has built the life of her dreams. She is now sharing her journey, and her secrets, with readers. A beloved icon in the personal transformation space who speaks to hundreds of thousands through events, on-line courses, and regular television appearances, Nichols is poised to become a household name with a television show pilot and long form infomercial in the works.

This book is a key component of Nichols’ strategy, but also her life’s work to help everyone hone in on the four areas of life that must be refined to bring true abundance. Her 4 E’s-Enrichment, Enchantment, Engagement, Endowment-are the framework upon which a truly rich life is built. Abundance Now offers provocative lessons, actionable plans and real-life case-studies, Nichols reveals what we must do every day to attract abundance, how to act as if we are already leading abundant lives, and how to open the door to a life of richness in your work, your relationships, your money, and in your view of yourself.

Interesting but full of repetitions!

Written like the author was chatting with you or giving a speech to an audience, at some point you are asking yourself why Lisa Nichols is going, back and forth, with her ideas and advices to motivate you.
Why can't you close a chapter and move on to another topics without  coming back to the same thoughs being reformulated?

Don't get me wrong, the ideas and tips are easy to practice and she is very good with motivation.
Ok, there is some cliché and you have already heard of the power of visualisation and positive thinking before. Especially, when you read a book where you are looking for guidance to change your life and yourself. It often means that you are in need of been told, again and again, that you are great, that you can reach your goals and that you are not lacking.

But compare to other book, I got the feeling that I was looking at a show. So in the middle, I got less enthousiastic about my read. Too bad, cause she points her figers nicely on a lot of ways to change our views on our life, relationship and how to achieve our dreams.

See for yourself!

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV by Charissa Bremer

David, Pascal-Francois Bertrand (Contributor), Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnee (Contributor), Jean Vittet (Contributor)


Meticulously woven by hand with wool, silk, and gilt-metal thread, the tapestry collection of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, represents the highest achievements of the art form. 

Intended to enhance the king’s reputation by visualizing his manifest glory and to promote the kingdom’s nascent mercantile economy, the royal collection of tapestries included antique and contemporary sets that followed the designs of the greatest artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, including Raphael, Giulio Romano, Rubens, Vouet, and Le Brun. 

Ranging in date from about 1540 to 1715 and coming from weaving workshops across northern Europe, these remarkable works portray scenes from the bible, history, and mythology. As treasured textiles, the works were traditionally displayed in the royal palaces when the court was in residence and in public on special occasions and feast days. They are still little known, even in France, as they are mostly reserved for the decoration of elite state residences and ministerial offices.

This catalogue accompanies an exhibition of fourteen marvelous examples of the former royal collection that will be displayed exclusively at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from December 15, 2015, to May 1, 2016. Lavishly illustrated, the volume presents for the first time in English the latest scholarship of the foremost authorities working in the field.

Interesting and impressive work of art!

Since I'm interested in art and its different representations, when this book has come to my sight, at first I was afraid it will be a boring one. Because who really want to read about old carpets? o.O?

When in reality, it was a very great read.
This textile art is impressive for its size and often very well detailed that you can ask yourself how complicated it must have been and how much time it must have taken. I have an attachement for realistic drawing and some of Louis XIV tapestries are just fantastic piece of work.

The French King, during is reign, has gathered 304 differents tapestries and was only rivaled by Henri VIII, King of England, in the amount of his possessions.

Coronation celebration and ceremonies, hunting scenes, Old Testament, Mythology or Alexander war stories, angels, nature...

You will discover a lot of amazing scenes as well as some drawings that were made to help the artist to create his masterpiece. Most of the tapestries under Louis XIV brought the art of Renaissance from Rome to Paris and throught the art, you learn a lot about the French history.

It was a great combination between art and history. I'm very glad I've been able to appreciate this awesome collection.

A very good surprise!
Arc provided by Netgalley. I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Game Art by Matt Sainsbury

"Game Art" is a collection of breathtaking art from 40 video games and interviews with their creators. Featuring major studios like Square Enix, Bioware, and Ubisoft as well as independents like Tale of Tales and E-Line Media, Game Art explores and celebrates the creative process that turns a video game into art.

Art from: Akaneiro: Demon Hunters Alice: Madness Returns American McGee's Alice Atelier Escha & Logy Atelier Meruru Atelier Rorona Atelier Shallie Atelier Totori Bientot l'ete Bladestorm: Nightmare Child of Light Contrast D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die Dead or Alive 5 Deception IV Dragon Age: Inquisition Dynasty Warriors escapeVektor Fairy Fencer F Fatal Frame II Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn flowmo Gamebook Adventures The Graveyard Hyperdimension Neptunia KILLER IS DEAD LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW Luxuria Superbia Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox Monster Monpiece NaissanceE Never Alone Ninja Gaiden 3 The Path Samurai Warriors Shadows of the DAMNED Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God Spirit Hunters Inc Sunset Tengami

Interviews with: Peter Budziszewski and Tamara Schembri Amy Fredeen and Alan Gershenfeld Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn Yosuke Hayashi Keisuke Kikuchi Makoto Kitano Mike Laidlaw American McGee Naoko Mizuno and Tsunako Alex Norton Yoshito Okamura Jean-Francois Poirier Guillaume Provost Neil Rennison Jennifer Schneidereit Mavros Sedeno SUDA51 Hidetaka Suehiro Akihiro Suzuki and Hisashi Koinuma Nic Watt Naoki Yoshida"

Not only do video games provide a complete visual and audio experience that rivals any other form of art, they also put players at the center of the action with the ability to control what happens.
Larry Goldberg

Strange and cool!

I know my introduction may be confusing but this book was not at all what I was expecting. I was thinking about a retrospective of the video games. Instead, I got the vision about gaming and how it would evolved from independant artists.
It was interesting and pretty cool to discover other stuff than the usual best sellers.

I'm not a gamer but I've always been attracted by animation and the art behind the programming. So this book was also a good way to have a glimpse into the gaming world without being too scary. ;-)

I've enjoyed the different perspectives about art, inside a game, given by the interviewers. Like Jennifer Schneidereit's vision of a game that should be more about details and beauty than a commercial story. I've also appreciated  her Japanese approach in "Tengami". It’s beautiful.

Like the title of "Purveyors of Beauty and Joy" or the way Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn describe themselves and their vision of a video game. The difficulty of joining art and programming and creating a game that will please the gamers and the non-gamer too. Frustrating for them as much as for the people outside the video industry.

So even if it was not what I was expected, it was a cool way to spend an afternoon in company of talented artists.

Have fun reading this book!

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

Friday, December 18, 2015

The duality of silence

The duality of silence

Some nights, all is still and calm
The mind savors the absence 
Of music, of noises, like a balm
You cherish the sound of silence

Clearly thinking, creating, 
No humming, no madness
Gives you wings for dreaming
Without borders, without darkness

Silence can free your soul, 
Heal or smooth your doubts, 
Make you feel wonderful
By coloring your blackish thoughts

Some nights are not so blessed 
Your core dreads loneliness, absence
The mind is acidly stressed
You fear to suffocate in silence

Choking with anxiety, sinking, 
Unable to smile, talk or sleep
You rock back and forth, you’re shaking
Collapsing into a silent hole fast and deep

Since nothing stays still, beauty of the evolution 
You can choose the quiet or the cacophony 
Just don't use sound as a weapon
Too loud or mute, it creates agony

Silence is beautiful when made of gold
Proof of trust and acceptance
Sinister and cold when turned into coal
Can bruise a soul with indifference, words untold 
Don't replace its comfort by silent distance. 

Art: Malo And The Whale. Found on Pinterest.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Divah by Susannah Appelbaum

Eloise meets Rosemary's Baby in New York City’s very own Carlyle hotel.

Seventeen-year-old Itzy Nash is spending the summer at the exclusive Carlyle hotel in New York City. But the hotel harbors more than the rich and privileged; it is host to a gorgeous fallen angel, reclusive movie stars, and—Itzy soon learns—demons of the worst sort. When the Queen of the Damned checks in, all Hell breaks loose. Itzy is called upon to save herself—and all of humanity—from the ravages of the Underworld. There’s only one problem: Itzy’s possessed.

Part gothic thriller, part historical fiction, the novel straddles the Upper East Side and the lush trappings of the Carlyle hotel, and Paris during the Reign of Terror in 1789. Marie Antoinette is the Queen of the Damned. Marilyn Monroe is an expert demon hunter. To kill a demon, Hermès scarves, Evian water, and a guillotine are the weapons of choice.

For anyone who loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this has an epic battle between angels and demons with a doomed love story at its core. But it’s also darkly funny, for fans of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and more than anything it’s something original—dark, funny, clever, and glamorous.

It's everything the summary promises you: dark, original, clever and full of monsters. I had an awesome time with Itzy!

There are a tonnes of details I've enjoyed in this story. First, the historical part of the story with the French revolution and Marie-Antoinette has a background plot/monster story.

Then, the Carlyle Hotel has the main place to build the storyline. It was great to have a tour of this famous location basement and the perfect scenery to invite monsters and ghosts.

Also liked the "walking dead" vibes in the apocalyptic ending, as well. As all the clever and creative ways, the author has mixed demons to her real life characters. Like her vision of the battle between the good and the devil and the fact that we are all teinted.

It was really amusing and entertaining to learn about Itzy past, potential and to follow her adventures. Easy, creative and dark.

The final opening of the gates of hell's scene is very well pictured. I've enjoyed the different level of the combat. The personal motivations of all the characters, the manipulations, the easy way you can succomb and the darker and cold aspect of Angels.

If you want to spend a great moment with monsters, this story is a cool read!


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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook

Vol. 1: Countless Haints

Emmy always knew that the woods surrounding her home crawled with ghosts and monsters. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she learns that she is connected to these creatures--and to the land itself--in a way she never imagined.

Collecting the first four issues of the southern gothic fairy tale from the creator of smash hit The Sixth Gun, beautifully and hauntingly realized by B.P.R.D.'s Tyler Crook!

Not bad but the ending of this first volume is not strong enough to make me read more of this comics.

The plot was easy to follow and the story has some potential. To be honest, the art of the illustrations was not my cup. Some pictures are awesomely done and the drawings are great. Other times, it has a unfinished vibe to it.

And even if the comics was cool to read, it will not be something I will continue to read as the author hasn't been able to hook me with the plot or mesmerize me with the illustrations.

Read it and see if you fall under the spell of this witch and of her strange country.

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

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pinterest Perfect! by Walter Foster Creative Team

Creative prompts & pin-worthy projects inspired by the artistic community of Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social media sites on the Internet -- especially among creative professionals and arts & crafts enthusiasts. 

Beautifully designed to emulate the clean, elegant aesthetics of Pinterest that users recognize and love, Pinterest Perfect! features the artwork, projects, and inspirational designs of talented artists and crafters, each of whom enjoys a sizeable fan base in the digital space and elsewhere. 

Filled with step-by-step projects, tutorials, art tips, and crafting techniques on everything from drawing, painting, and illustration to mixed media, typography, and papercrafts, each featured artist shares her unique art style with readers in an interactive and engaging format. Each section features a brief introduction to the artist, followed by four to six easy-to-follow, step-by-step projects and/or art techniques. 

Open practice pages at the end of each section invite readers to brainstorm, sketch, and collect inspiration for their own artistic projects. In addition, useful sidebars throughout the book share tips for using Pinterest efficiently and effectively, as a hobbyist and professional artist. Sidebar topics include creating a virtual artist morgue, collaborating with others on community boards, using boards to promote a business or share a portfolio, and much more. 

One part inspiration, one part how-to, and filled to the brim with color, inspiration, and beautiful artwork, Pinterest Perfect! is the picture-perfect visual resource for any artist, crafter, or creative Pinterest enthusiast.

Not what I was expecting but yet interesting.

To be honest, I was looking for a book about Pinterest but one that would have focus on the way you could use this social media as an artist. So when, I browse through the book I was dissapointed because i was expecting something different.

Then, I went back at the beginning and learn about great creative people who were willing to share tip and secrets to realise craft, paintings and original gift through this book.
And it was a really nice journey as the artists are all different in their art, personality and process they are using to create stuff.

If you are into making your own calendar, drawing on a mug, painting and decorating, you will love this book to find some inspiration.

And it's also true for Pinterest. Whatever you are looking for on this social media, you always find yourself seeing cute impressive picture or learning something new to try at home.

Nice idea for a Christmas present.

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

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Girl of Myth and Legend by Giselle Simlett

The Chosen Saga, Book One

A girl with a past she tries to forget, and a future she can’t even imagine.

Leonie Woodville wants to live an unremarkable life. She wants routine, she wants repetition, she wants predictability. So when she explodes in a blaze of light one morning on the way to her college, it’s enough to put a real crimp in her day.

And things only get weirder…

Leonie learns from her father that she is last of the Pulsar, a phenomenally powerful member of a magical species called the Chosen. It will be her sole duty to protect the Imperium, a governing hierarchy, from all enemies, and to exceed the reputation of the Pulsar before her. So – no pressure there, then.

Leonie is swept away from her rigorous normality and taken to a world of magic. There, she is forced into a ceremony to join her soul to a guardian, Korren, who is both incredibly handsome and intensely troubled, a relationship for which ‘it’s complicated’ just really doesn’t cut it.

But Leonie is soon to learn that this ancient world is no paradise. With violent dissidents intent to overthrow the Imperium, and dark entities with their own agenda, she and Korren find themselves caught in a war where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to survive.

Dare to dream. Dare to hope. Dare to be a legend.

Surprising and very well written!

Since I'm reading marketing and digital books lately, I was looking for something perfect to relax before going to bed. As I like Fantasy, the summary caught my eyes and the art of the cover too.
I wanted to escape reality and this story was promising.

And it really was!

I've not been able to put the book down. Every time I was trying to read only a few pages, I was staying up late just to know what will happen to Leonie.
It's not really the monsters, powers, assassins that got me interested, it was the characters.

I've appreciated Leonie for her simplicity and humility. The fact that she will become someone powerful but is currently helpless and unable to save the people she likes. Maybe I'm strange but I'm tired of the superheros that discover their powers and master them in the blink of an eye.
She is useless but she has strength and a great heart.

Like the subjects, the author is trying to focus our attention on: racism, difference, all the decisions we make to protect the people we love that hurt them even more. The power we own in our own hands.
It's a really great story.

And of course, there is Korren and his somber, rude, grumpy attitude. I like that he is a monster who wants to die as much as fight for his beliefs and freedom.

Really enjoyed the characters and their depth. Of course, there is a lot of adventures, dead people and the promise of the great sequel!
Can't wait!

It was really a great discovery!

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

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