Queen of Soaps

I am not a soap watcher but I know some people who are hooked on them and I wanted to know more about the behind the scenes process so that is why I picked up ‘My Life to Live How I Became the Queen of Soaps When Men Ruled the Airwaves’ by Agnes Nixon. Well that and the foreword was written by Carol Burnett, who’s book I had just read a while back (see review https://theworldisabookandiamitsreader.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/i-saw-it-in-the-window-and-just-had-to-have-it/ )

What I found interesting is how intense it is to write a soap or the even the process of writing for radio. The day in and day out of nothing but writing.

I enjoyed the first half of this book about Agnes Nixon growing up, her family and how she went from college to writing for radio. It had some funny moments. I did feel like the second half of the book dragged a little.

Such as when she talked certain story lines in her soap’s I felt a little lost. Maybe someone who watched the show and knew the characters it would have been great but for me it just kind of mingled together. (I won’t have minded a joke about how long soaps drag out a story line. )

But two things that bugged me were as follows:

She mentions her mother passing away, but I would like to have known how old her mother was.

The same when it says that Agnes Nixon died, well how old was she? Sure I could google it (which I did) but I want the information on hand then and there.

I did like that the book included Agnes Nixon’s entire script that got her started (and also why she wrote it)

I found it interesting how in a day before internet the audience was so connected with a show. And how it moved people to go to the doctor or ask for help. One really no longer gets that these days. Also having her show touch on some political and day to day themes was interesting. It seems she had the right balance on her show.

I would have liked to have seen a  few questions answered:

Did she feel its easier or harder to produce a show like this now a days?

Advice to any young writers?

Did she ever  appear on her show?

How would she have ended her shows?

So just a few things. I think if your a soap fan this book is for you.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Harvest time

I loved the lay out of’Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants’: by Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis. First off amazing pictures, I mean have you seen the cover of this book? It looks so real.

The lay out is like this: Every plant has 4 pages dedicated to it.

The first page is going to be a a photo of the plant. The second page deals with facts such as what the plant is called, where it can be grown/how it can be grown and harvest information.

The third page will give you a nice tip of what you can do with the plant and page four will show you how the plant is being used thanks to the tip on page three.

Some of the tips talk about flower arrangements, creams, items to eat and so on. Some ideas are really good an I will try them out. Some ideas yeah I don’t think so. An example I love the idea of a lemongrass salt scrub but doing a blueberry dye I don’t think so.

And an artichoke  as an arrangement sure but I like to eat them!!!

All in all a good book. Any more plants and the book would have been to bulky plus you want plants you could try and grow and not hard to find ones.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Amazing Postcards

I love these postcards. ‘Animal Facts Postcards 50 Colorable Postcards ‘ by Maja Säfström is a must.

I had read the book by Maja Säfström (see my review here:  https:/theworldisabookandiamitsreader.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/the-book-you-will-read-out-loud/  ) so I was very excited to discover that now these adorable drawings were now turned into postcards.

First of all they come in a nice little box with separate categories.

There are two of each card which is good. So you can keep one card for yourself and send the other one away.

As for the postcards.  You get very cute drawings but also learn amazing animal facts. Everything from otters, to turtles to zebras. Amazing/cute facts.

As for coloring the cards, well I guess there might be one or two you could color but some of them are heavy shades of black. So I really don’t think you could color them but to each his own.

Imagine getting a nice postcard in the mail, not only will it make you smile but you learn a fact or two.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Just cook for Picasso and leave…

What would happen if you cooked for Picasso? Well what if there was a Picasso painting hidden, waiting to be found? This is what ‘Cooking for Picasso’ by Camille Aubray tries to answer.

So I liked the idea of someone cooking for Picasso. I thought ‘I like this mix of fact and fiction…’ so that is why I was enjoying the first part of this story…and then it would not end. No really it just kept going and going and well that’s never a good sign when one gets bored.

This story after a while becomes very long winded. And predictable. So so very predictable. Ondine cooks for Picasso and likes Picasso she then sleeps with Picasso and becomes pregnant by Picasso but the man she loves who has been gone for so long and thought was dead is back…and they go to america…and and and you get the idea. So VERY predictable.

I was finding myself rolling my eyes more and more as the book went on and I think even my cd player had had enough and on disk 6 the cd got stuck and would not go on (very telling).

I mean you start to get hungry and almost wish that some of the recipes had been listed in the book. And then at times it almost feels like a cook book.

Speaking of books I have discovered that I am not a fan of audio books. They are just not for me. I would rather have a book in my hand instead of listening to over 11 disks meaning well over 13 + hours of being read to. Now sure it is read well by Mozhan Marno but this book just did not work for me.

The mystery could have made this a good book but sadly this one failed. Then all these amazing things happen by pure luck. They find the lawyer alive, and the boy is alive and everything works so well…not to mention there are little details that do not move the story any further. Side note the sex scenes… at times its almost a romance novel that made me roll my eyes even more so.

So cook for Picasso but please just let the man paint.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Girl Power

For my next book review I wanted to spend some time with superhero’s so I choose ‘Batgirl at Super Hero High (DC Super Hero Girls); by Lisa Yee.   So let me start by saying I had no idea this was a book on tape. I thought it was going to be a book, I prefer books but hey you get what you are given. The written word might have made a few more things in this book stick more, but that’s just my opinion.

Anyway the tape runs about 4 1/2 hours on 4 tapes (CD’s) and it is read by Mae Whitman who does a good job.

So the main story is about batgirl wanting to join super hero high. I found the book to be pretty funny at times.  Nice girl power and good friendship.

The story has a lot of DC super hero’s and villains at the school all working together which is a nice twist. Plus a ‘birds of prey’ shout out. (Barbara Gordon is Oracle in that comics/tv show)

At times it felt the book ran  a little too long. Such as all the talks with her father.

And you wonder why the book talks about a tech contest and then all the training at school and then the little bat that is saved but the stories all link up and it kind of works out in the end.

Lots of talk about food will make you hungry that’s for sure.

And the story ends on a ‘To be continued…’ All in all I enjoyed it but I would have liked to have read it instead AND now I have to get the other books because I want to know how it all ends.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Classic German Baking

A German cook book. Now your talking. But first let me start off with my biggest complaint about ‘Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen’ – by Luisa Weiss, there are not enough pictures of the recipes themselves. When reading a recipe it always helps to see the finished product and decide ‘that looks great I might give that a try’. I mean we have pictures of Berlin which is nice but this is a cook book not a travel book.

Some recipes are a little to complex such as the quark… but other recipes are wonderful. The recipe for Brötchen made my day. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find this kind of bread in the USA? So thank you for that one.

There are also a number of other good recipes that easily take you back to Germany.  (side note: There is a german word misspelled that should have been caught)

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Escape into the Tunnels

You look at the Berlin Wall and think why. ‘The Tunnels Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill’  by Greg Mitchell is an amazing piece of history with a lot of historical background. Some facts I knew others I did not.

I mainly wanted to read this book because not only had I see the Berlin wall (also have a small part of it) but I had family that were stuck in east germany. Very eye opening book.

When one sees the innovation what people did to try and make it past the wall…not just by tunnels but car, balloon, bus just to name a few. And you think about how long it stayed up and how many made it and yet how many people did not…

Its also fascinating to see what went into building a tunnel and how quickly all those weeks of hard work could come to an end when the wrong people would find out about the operation.  Just as shocking was to see how the JFK white house tried to axe the documentary.  But it shows you how the cold war really interlinked the world.

The major escape was captivating. I do like that some photo’s are included and the epilogue was added as well.

My only issue with the book are this:

1) there are a lot of names and at times I would mix them up.

2) It was mention that NBC had uploaded the Tunnel documentary but I would like to have know if/where one can still see the movie.

3) Minor issue but I felt the paper used for printing was a little thin and since this is a book I found myself flipping back and forth in I worried I might rip a page.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

The Snow Queen who is Not Elsa

You know I have never really been a fan of Hans Christian Andersen’s writings. I always find his stores a little too depressing for my taste. I knew the basic story for ‘The Snow Queen A Tale in Seven Stories’  by Hans Christian Andersen and Illustrated by Sanna Annukka.

Yes its the story of the snow queen (no not Elsa from Frozen). The story seems to be a shortened version of the tale. The story is so/so… there’s nothing I can really add to it.

However the drawings for this book are fantastic. So much detail and so well done. I almost wish there had been more drawings then text.

So if your really into fairytales, or into Hans Christian Andersen’s writings or just want to read the non Frozen  story then give it a try…but your eyes are very easily drawn away from the story and to the amazing drawings.

In the end it comes down like this. The snow queen story I would give a low rating because I’ve never been/or will be a fan of it but the drawings are what drew me to the book.  Story no, drawings yes.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

I Saw it in the Window and Just Had to Have it…

I saw it in the window and just had to have it…thank goodness UPS is fast and the book ‘In Such Good Company’ by Carol Burnett, came asap. And yes I really enjoyed getting ‘into the sandbox’ with Carol and the gang I must admit.

Remembering some of the great moments like ‘the family’ that led to the wonderful tv show mama’s family.

Some stories I knew about, other’s I didn’t such as the night she fired Harvey.

The great mama’s family blooper and of course the most iconic skit of them all the dentist.

‘In Such Good Company’ has some wonderful stories such as a trip to Rome, Australia, how hard it is/was being the women in charge and about the Q&A and well just go read it…go on. Bump up the lights and read this book.

But Mrs. Burnett now you’ve got me guessing who the one actor was who wasn’t so great….let the guessing games begin.

It was a good overview of the show, behind the scene’s, the skits they enjoyed doing (like the charwoman), the actors they had fun with, why the show ended or even started in the first place ec. One thing is very clear they all got along very well.

So after reading this book I really wanted to watch some segments so I popped over to youtube for a good laugh. Yes this included the skit with ‘the dress’.

I loved that the book had pictures and at times I wish there had been a few more. But wow this was television where you could sit back, laugh and have a good…make that a great time.

Thank you for such an amazing show that will stand the test of time and for a wonderful book as well.

In closing I will include a Tarzan yell and mention “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Jump Onto This Adventure

Time to grab some more color pencils another amazing coloring book by Daria Song called  ‘The Night Voyage A Magical Adventure and Coloring Book’ has arrived.

Could you spend hours coloring the little details, yes you could. But I myself find that coloring this book is a waste. The pictures are so lovely and beautifully in black and white I feel coloring them would ruin the magic, But that’s what they are there for. To color them or not I leave up to you.

Each page holds such wonderful little details such as seeing the entire room from above, the little origami birds holding hearts. I loved the little quote on one of the pages about sending a letter which leads you to the last page where you can cut out a card to color and send. Now that one I would color!.

A keen eye will see once or twice there is a package for Daria in some of the pictures.  Don’t forget to check under the cover, a hidden picture is always to be found there.

Oh and the expressions oh Phoebe the cat throughout the book priceless.

I hope Daria Song has a 4th book planned because I want to magic to continue.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”