Dare to Sketch by Felix Scheinberger

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Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review Dare to Sketch by Felix Scheinberger. The descriptive Table of Contents built my interest in reading this book. Advice and instructions on sketch pads and their uses, drawing tools, different perspectives in drawing and the subjects of drawings are included. I especially like the page entitled, “Drawing is a Global Language”, which advises artists to observe respectfully. The art reminds me of Roald Dahl’s style. 4 stars for a helpful art book with personality!

Gardening in Miniature by Janit Calvo

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Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World by Janit Calvo! New, imaginative and creative ideas for fairy and tiny gardens. This book covers supplies needed for a miniature garden workshop and basic materials and tools required for most projects. The projects cover holidays, special occasions, world travel, storybook ideas and more! For the beginning miniature gardening and for the novice, the detailed instructions and photographs will inspire and get the creative juices flowing. 5 stars for a completely fun craft book!

Quackery by Lydia Kang

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Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for the opportunity to read and review Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang. The book has sections for elements, plants and soil, tools, animals and mysterious powers. The first section begins with the medicinal use of mercury. Interesting and intriguing in its awfulness, especially the part about using it for babies who are teething; whoa! Then I learned about the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty who was desperate for immortality and was given mercury medicines by his alchemists because they thought that was the answer. He died at forty-nine and his mausoleum rivals Egyptian pharaohs and is said to be flowing with rivers of mercury! Tidbits of mercury use include historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon and Edgar Allan Poe. Reading about Opium use was eye-opening and jaw-dropping, especially the part about giving it to quiet crying babies and children! The No More Pain with Cocaine part all the way to cannibalism and corpse medicine kept me morbidly fascinated. 5 stars for a must-read of a sketchy piece of history!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.

Hotel Scarface by Roben Farzad

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Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review Hotel Scarface by Roben Farzad. This nonfiction account of 1970’s-1990’s Miami begins with action. The book continues, highlighting certain characters of the time and tells everything honestly and boldly. I became overwhelmed with the money, drugs, violence and human degradation as I continued to read. It’s difficult to comprehend that this is reality and people’s lives. The notes at the end of the book state that a remake of Scarface will take place in 2017. The whole time I was reading this book, I visualized the original Scarface movie. 4 stars for a true account of crime in Miami!

Rescued by Peter Zheutlin

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Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group for the opportunity to read and review Rescued by Peter Zheutlin. Rescued by Peter Zheutlin is about the all-encompassing wonderfulness of dogs. Each chapter opens with a quote sharing and stating the unconditional love of dogs and then tells of experiences when people’s lives have been touched by dogs. Beautiful, touching, humorous and deserving of a solid 5 stars for a book for all dog lovers!
* I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.

Queso! by Lisa Fain

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Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review Queso!: Regional Recipes for the World’s Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip by Lisa Fain! Queso! by Lisa Fain is a wonderful cookbook containing delicious variations on the chile-cheese dip. The queso recipes vary by region and ingredients. There’s even a recipe for sundaes. The history of queso is included, along with descriptions and suggestions for cheeses and peppers to use in your own queso recipes. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that I would prefer the photos to be labeled with its recipe name. 5 stars for a scrumptious cookbook that made me crave queso!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration!

Holiday Cookies by Elisabet der Nederlanden

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Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season by Elisabet der Nederlanden! Holiday Cookies is a wonderfully festive book full of lovely photos and delectable cookie and candy recipes. I like the setup of a recipe followed by its picture then another picture and its recipe. I love cookbooks with photos accompanying each recipe! I plan on purchasing this book worthy of 5 stars!

The Booth Brothers by Rebecca Langston-George

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The Booth Brothers by Rebecca Langston-George opens on April 26, 1865 when John Wilkes Booth was hiding inside a barn as a fugitive for shooting President Abraham Lincoln. The book jumps back to six years previously, describing the Booth family and the difference between the brothers. The assassination plan is described throughout its transformation, from the idea of killing four people to who was taking part in the plot. The killing of Abraham Lincoln tore the Booth family apart and even though John Wilkes Booth wanted to kill President Lincoln so he would be thought of as a hero by Southern believers, he died only a criminal. 5 stars for this informative nonfiction resource of Lincoln’s death.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.

Epic Cardboard Adventures by Leslie Manlapig

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Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to read and review Epic Cardboard Adventures by Leslie Manlapig. The book is categorized into four different sections of creativity along with a general materials list of supplies needed for every project. A materials list is also included with each individual project and its instructions. Epic Cardboard Adventures will help anyone use their imagination to make the shown creations and even create their very own unique ideas. Fun, colorful and wide open for ideas, Epic Cardboard Adventures will inspire creativity and make life more interesting -5 stars!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.

Project You by Aubre Andrus

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Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to read and review Project You by Aubre Andrus! Just reading the Table of Contents made me feel relaxed and helped me look forward to reading the book. Full of de-stressing activities to help you take care of yourself and feel at peace. Self-care and self-help tips for almost every stressor plus feng shui principles, calming recipes and activities as well as energizing and replenishing tips are found in this book, along with happy music lists categorized by decade, ideas for starting a new hobby and the importance of laughing, ideas about a gratitude journal and a worry box and a cupcake for one recipe for a single serve treat. The book also has a section that explains the benefits of exercise and sunlight and sections for ideas for 30-day challenges to tackle goals, nature journals, inspiring songs list to energize, challenging yourself to build confidence and recipes and ideas for pampering yourself. Project You gives the reader help and resources for a variety of reasons. I am buying this book for the school library. 5 stars!
*I received a complimentary arc of this book for voluntary consideration.