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Word Rings
Word Rings
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, May 11, 2015
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This review is from: Word Rings (App)
Think outside the box.


Artisans of Florence: Where to Buy Authentic Florentine Fabrics, Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica Ceramics, Paper, Silk, Woodcrafts & More, Made ... Artisans (Laura Morelli's Authentic Arts)
Artisans of Florence: Where to Buy Authentic Florentine Fabrics, Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica Ceramics, Paper, Silk, Woodcrafts & More, Made ... Artisans (Laura Morelli's Authentic Arts)
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Shopping in Florence? Don't leave home without this book!, April 1, 2015
There are many reasons to love the Authentic Arts series by Laura Morelli:
 She excels at sharing with her readers the beauty of Italy.
 She knows how to share the history of the region in an engaging manner.
 Her books' photos of the topics are stunning.
 She knows how to bring Italy to life, both past and present.
This review is for two books by Laura Morelli, Florence: A Travel Guide to Fabrics, Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica, Paper, Silk, Fabrics, Woodcrafts, and More and the accompanying shopper's guide, Artisans of Florence.
In Florence: A Travel Guide to Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica, Paper, Silk, Fabrics, Woodcrafts, and More , the reader learns about the living traditions of the artisans. Some work out of their shops where they sell their crafts, and you can watch them work as you peruse their wares. Others work in a private shop and sell their wares at traditional and yearly festivals. Reading about the artisans gives you a glimpse into the history and process of their work, and a new respect for the high quality craftsmanship.
This book is all about learning how to find authentic souvenirs to bring or ship home. "Authentic doesn't have to be expensive, but it will be the most valuable souvenir of your trip," says the author.
Of course, if you're going to visit and shop in Florence, you need to know how to get around town. Ms. Morelli explains that the neighborhoods are identified by the main church anchoring it. For example, Duomo and San Lorenzo are named for the churches in those neighborhoods. Also, if you're looking for a house number, you'll get lost immediately unless you know the secret of the door colors. Red, or rosso, after the street number tells you the place is a business. Black, or nero, after the street number tells you it's a residence.
Now that you know those two important things, you're ready for the shopper's companion, Artisans of Florence. In it, the author lists artisans and museums by neighborhood. She also listed the artisans and museums by their traditional arts. You'll find the contact information and addresses for each one.
Shoppers will be happy to learn how to tell if something is authentic, made in the traditional way. Also, determining price can be a confusing matter, but not once you've read Ms. Morelli's book. Before you begin your shopping adventures, she suggests you visit several museums to help train your eye in the traditional arts of the area and see for yourself what is truly authentic.

Disclaimer: I received e-ARCs of the two books reviewed today from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Florence: A Travel Guide to Fabrics, Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica, Paper, Woodcrafts & More (Laura Morelli's Authentic Arts)
Florence: A Travel Guide to Fabrics, Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica, Paper, Woodcrafts & More (Laura Morelli's Authentic Arts)
by Laura Morelli
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.99
20 used & new from $16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This book and it's shopper's companion book are essential for a trip to Florence, April 1, 2015
There are many reasons to love the Authentic Arts series by Laura Morelli:
 She excels at sharing with her readers the beauty of Italy.
 She knows how to share the history of the region in an engaging manner.
 Her books' photos of the topics are stunning.
 She knows how to bring Italy to life, both past and present.
This review is for two books by Laura Morelli, Florence: A Travel Guide to Fabrics, Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica, Paper, Silk, Fabrics, Woodcrafts, and More and the accompanying shopper's guide, Artisans of Florence.
In Florence: A Travel Guide to Frames, Jewelry, Leather Goods, Maiolica, Paper, Silk, Fabrics, Woodcrafts, and More , the reader learns about the living traditions of the artisans. Some work out of their shops where they sell their crafts, and you can watch them work as you peruse their wares. Others work in a private shop and sell their wares at traditional and yearly festivals. Reading about the artisans gives you a glimpse into the history and process of their work, and a new respect for the high quality craftsmanship.
This book is all about learning how to find authentic souvenirs to bring or ship home. "Authentic doesn't have to be expensive, but it will be the most valuable souvenir of your trip," says the author.
Of course, if you're going to visit and shop in Florence, you need to know how to get around town. Ms. Morelli explains that the neighborhoods are identified by the main church anchoring it. For example, Duomo and San Lorenzo are named for the churches in those neighborhoods. Also, if you're looking for a house number, you'll get lost immediately unless you know the secret of the door colors. Red, or rosso, after the street number tells you the place is a business. Black, or nero, after the street number tells you it's a residence.
Now that you know those two important things, you're ready for the shopper's companion, Artisans of Florence. In it, the author lists artisans and museums by neighborhood. She also listed the artisans and museums by their traditional arts. You'll find the contact information and addresses for each one.
Shoppers will be happy to learn how to tell if something is authentic, made in the traditional way. Also, determining price can be a confusing matter, but not once you've read Ms. Morelli's book. Before you begin your shopping adventures, she suggests you visit several museums to help train your eye in the traditional arts of the area and see for yourself what is truly authentic.

Disclaimer: I received e-ARCs of the two books reviewed today from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Do the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately
Do the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately
by Daniel Lubetzky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.34
86 used & new from $8.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Does your brand shout out who you are and what you stand for?, March 31, 2015
If not, this book may help you to clarify your brand.

I presumed this was a self-improvement book from its title, Do the KIND Thing, Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately. However, it's actually about the KIND corporation's history and mission. The author takes a straightforward approach to living a rewarding life and learning how to run a rewarding business you can be passionate about. It has a clear and timely message for everyone.

As an author, my biggest takeaway was Chapter 4, "Truth and Discipline: Staying True to the Brand and to Yourself." Daniel Lubetzky and his team took such a serious yet practical approach to their branding, and spent many days and nights discussing what message they wanted the company brand to convey to the public.

As authors, we can ask ourselves, what is the message we want readers to know about us? The KIND company has a laser-like focus on the brand, and no product is passed on to the public unless it strongly supports that brand. The author tells some humorous stories of mistakes made and how they recovered. He tells the reader that a consumer product should never disappoint.

Never disappoint the customer.

Authors know that. Surely, we pore over our words, make our writing perfect, send it out to beta readers and editors, all in the effort to make our books worthy of the money and time our readers will spend to enjoy them. This is all of utmost importance.

Do you have a strong brand? A focused brand? A brand so clear, so definitive, that anyone picking up your books knows exactly what to expect? This is one of the valuable business lessons in this book, whether you're an entrepreneur or authorpreneur.

The passion Daniel Lubetzky has for his product and for his mission in life is his driving force. The message in this book is to be kind to yourself, kind to others, and to stay focused on your passion. Do the KIND Thing can help guide you to sharing your passion with the world.

Disclaimer: This review is based on the ARC I received from the publisher through NetGalley.


Snowbound
Snowbound
by Richard S. Wheeler
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.29
38 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly researched and engaging, March 15, 2015
This review is from: Snowbound (Mass Market Paperback)
Not many people know about the disastrous 1848-1849 winter trek of John C. Frémont and his men. Thirty-three men with one hundred thirty mules and plenty of supplies set out for California along the 38th parallel. Frémont brought along an expert topographer, a doctor, an artist, and many loyal men from his previous California campaigns. John C. Frémont was one of the premiere trailblazers of his time, yet through arrogance or poor judgement, or a little of both, he incurred devastating losses in this fateful journey.

The author develops the story through multiple viewpoints; that of John C. Frémont, Dr. Andrew Cathcart, Edward Kern, Bill Williams, and others. I especially enjoyed the chapters in the doctor's point of view. All of these men lent a different slant to the story, but throughout it all, the reader is led to believe that Frémont had an oversized ego and a distance from human emotion and connection. Yet, he still managed to make him appear to care about his men and their condition.

The story begins with the team heading westward across the mountains in good cheer and good health. Bill Williams, the guide, tells Frémont the route along the 38th parallel is too dangerous, but Frémont doesn't listen and instead pushes forward. Later, as the mental acuity of the guide begins to wane, they find themselves boxed into an impassable area buried deep under snow in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, fighting to keep themselves alive. By the time Frémont understands that Bill Williams is lost, he has one option. He leaves most of his men behind in small camps and goes to New Mexico for relief. The story of the relief efforts is heartrending.

This biographical novel is engaging and thoroughly researched. Snowbound was my introduction to the author Richard S. Wheeler, and I'm quite happy to have discovered his book. I'll be looking for more books by this author.


Venice: A Travel Guide to Murano Glass, Carnival Masks, Gondolas, Lace, Paper, & More (Laura Morelli's Authentic Arts)
Venice: A Travel Guide to Murano Glass, Carnival Masks, Gondolas, Lace, Paper, & More (Laura Morelli's Authentic Arts)
Price: $8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and what is the best way to send the new treasures home, March 3, 2015
I had the recent pleasure of reading and reviewing The Gondola Maker, by Laura Morelli. Her book is an enjoyable way to immerse yourself in the past culture of Venice and Italian arts. In addition to writing this historical fiction novel, Ms. Morelli has a series of travel books about Italy. They're full of interesting facts, insider tidbits, and fabulous photography.

Venice: A Travel Guide to Murano Glass, Carnival Masks, Gondolas, Lace, Paper, & More is a handy guide to everything a shopper and traveler needs to know while visiting this city on the water.

It's divided into sections by topic, and begins with a chapter teaching the reader how to shop in Venice. How does one know if a piece of art is authentic, and what is a fair price for various items? What questions should one ask an artisan before purchasing their wares, and what is the best way to send the new treasures home?

In addition to answering these typical questions that might arise during a Venetian shopping trip, the author gives a short art history lesson about each of the topics. For example, in the chapter on Murano lace, there is information about sixteenth century lace pattern books, and historical designs. She even goes as far as describing how the lace is made.

I found the chapter on masks fascinating, especially the section on a particular style worn by the Plague Doctor, or medico della peste. My favorite chapter is the one on paper and bookmaking, in which the author writes about the techniques used to produce marbelized paper and customized bindings. She even suggests taking a small class with an artisanal bookmaker if you wish to delve deeper into this topic. I think that's something I'll have to add to my bucket list.

In addition to her marvelous books, Laura Morelli has an art history blog that I highly recommend. Her articles are short and interesting anecdotes covering all sorts of things you may or may not find in her books. Reading her books and following her blog will make you feel like an expert in Italian arts.


The Girl on the Train: A Novel
The Girl on the Train: A Novel
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a ride! Don't look up, don't put it down until you're done., January 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What a ride. I couldn't get off this train until I finished the entire story in one sitting. Paula Hawkins is a master at telling a story and diverting attention from the real crime and criminal. It was a satisfying psychological thriller. Recommended.


The Gondola Maker: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
The Gondola Maker: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
Price: $8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gondola Maker is a written work of art, January 19, 2015
Don't you just love it when you come across a book that you want to read again and again? This happened to me with Laura Morelli's The Gondola Maker. As soon as I read the ending, I went back and reread the beginning and started over.

I came across this book through one of those ubiquitous recommendations on Amazon. It seemed a good recommendation, so I added it to my TBR wish list. A couple of weeks later, I went to Laura Morelli's website. I like to find out a bit about the authors whose books I choose to read. She's an art historian and an expert on Italy. I love all things Italian, so I subscribed to her newsletter.

Shortly before Christmas, she sent an offer of receiving a signed paperback copy of The Gondola Maker for only the cost of postage. "Absolutely!" I said. "Sign me up!"

When I read a novel, if I really, really, love it, I slow down in my reading, turning each word over in my mind's eye, delighting in turns of phrase and prose, sometimes rereading sections before moving forward. I read The Gondola Maker slowly, stretching out every stroke of the oar, floating through the Venetian waters in my mind.

The sights, the smells, the senses that Laura Morelli evokes in her book bring the world of Venice in the 1500s to life. The art and craft of the gondola is turned into a living thing in the author's hands, taught and passed down from one generation after another. Watch the TedEd video Laura made about gondolas and their history.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/B5x5CnwQZD4]

Yet, what if someone decided to take a different path than the one ordained through his family history?

This is the story of Luca Vianello, a young man witnessing the burning of a beautifully handmade gondola in the opening scenes of the book. When tragedy strikes Luca's family, he runs. He runs as far away from his family as he can get, changing his name and identity. He meets a woman so far out of his reach, he's a fool to even imagine he might ever be able to have a future with her. He has a stroke of luck that brings him into touch with his past and allows him to engage in his passion and talent in boat making. He finds out that we all make mistakes, but we don't have to let our mistakes ruin us.

The story travels a circular route through the canals of Venice, somehow ending where it began. It has just the right amount of tension to pull you through the waters and the art of the era without making you feel rushed.

I encourage you to add this book to your collection. Then pull up a comfortable chair with soft cushions, and lean back in your own personal felze to enjoy the ride with The Gondola Maker.


Lower Your Taxes - BIG TIME! 2015 Edition: Wealth Building, Tax Reduction Secrets from an IRS Insider (Lower Your Taxes-Big Time)
Lower Your Taxes - BIG TIME! 2015 Edition: Wealth Building, Tax Reduction Secrets from an IRS Insider (Lower Your Taxes-Big Time)
Price: $13.49

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss out on the fantastic tax saving advice in this book, December 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I preordered this book and received it already. I saw a webinar with Sandy Botkin, and after hearing his no-nonsense advice about reducing taxes and staying audit free, I immediately ordered the book. The webinar was terrific. The book is even better. If you are looking for a way to lower your taxes legally, this is the book to buy.


Waning Moon (The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael trilogy Book 1)
Waning Moon (The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael trilogy Book 1)
Price: $0.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful beginning to the trilogy, October 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've read other books by award winning author PJ Sharon, and I always enjoy them. This book, Waning Moon, The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy Book 1, was no exception. I purchased the copy about a year ago, but didn't get to read it until recently. Now I wish I'd started sooner. The minute I finished the last page, I was eager to begin the next book in the series, Western Desert.

This dystopian young adult novel opens in the year 2057. Lily Carmichael is living off the grid with her family. She is a healer, and her knowledge of herbal remedies helps save a young man, Will Callahan, (don't you love that name?) who stumbles into a game trap on her family's land.

Lily's uncle is ill with cancer, and her healing methods aren't working. She needs to go to the city to obtain medicine for him. Traveling to the city is a dangerous proposition, because she could be hunted down by an entity called the Industry. She and Will travel undercover to the city together, but along the way, she discovers Will has secrets that could put her in more danger than anything else she might encounter.

PJ Sharon has done a remarkable job of creating characters that are memorable and realistic. Lily has qualities anyone would want in a friend; brave, smart, compassionate. Will has a strong exterior, but has a kind heart and a personal burden that no young man should have to bear. I found myself rooting for him as much as for Lily.

This is an enjoyable read that I became so engrossed in, I put everything aside to finish it in one afternoon. The good news is I already have the second book in the trilogy, Western Desert, on my Kindle. Even better news is the third book is coming out soon. I highly recommend this series.


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