Book Reviews, Misc, Netgalley, Quickshot

Quickshots # 2

***This book was reviewed for Quarto Publishing via Netgalley

Christianson’s Don’t Do Coke in the Bathroom is a sassy guide to learning hand lettering. Sometimes a cheeky message us the only way to get your point across, and this guide helps you do so in style. There are many different fonts and styles to choose from. Each has tips and tricks for producing the best results when working with that particular font, as well as the best writing implements to use. Included are several pre-made signs that can be fancied up and used right away if you just can’t wait to start ‘subtly’ sassing the annoying ones in your life.

While funny as hell, this is a fairly short book. I would have liked to have seen less font descript and more practise area for each font. Full alphabet for each would also have been nice. I imagine this is a book more technically useful to someone already familiar with calligraphy, or graphic arts. The pre-made signs are awesome, though. Many would be great transferred to a cross-stitch pattern!

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***This book was reviewed for Quarto Publishing via Netgalley

Coveney’s London Theatres takes you on a photographic tour amongst some of the most beautiful of the theatres gracing London streets. There are eight chapters, showcasing some forty-five theatres. Among them are the Covent Garden Opera House, the Lyceum, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and the Savoy. There’s a richness of culture and history tucked in these pages. Information is given for each theatre, along with funny stories about plays and actors that have graced the various stages.

Full of gorgeous pictures, and stuffed with all manner of theatre history and trivia, this book is perfect for theatre or photography lovers.

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***This book was reviewed for Quarto Publishing via Netgalley

I Should Be Writing, by Mur Lafferty, is a small, concise writing book focused less on the technical parts and more on helping baby writers overcome inner excuses and debunk myths. There are eight chapters, along with a section of writing prompts. The start of each chapter has a nifty quote, and scattered throughout are humorous examples of how the ‘muse’ and the ‘bully’ might respond to what’s being discussed at the moment.

Chapter One looks at the unrealistic expectations new writers may have of themselves, or that friends/family may have. Chapter Two looks at the tools at a writer’s disposal, stressing that things don’t need to be fancy to be functional. A pad and pen works as well as a fancy notebook and $500 quill pen. Chapter Three is concerned with squashing myths. Chapter Four talks about writing advice, and to take it with a grain of salt. To process advice and test it for yourself, seeing what works for you. Chapter Five is all about getting started, putting paid to excuses like ‘no time’, and working through being blocked. Chapter Six discusses the basic ingredients of story. Chapter Seven talks about the editing process, and cultivating the second draft. Chapter Eight, the final chapter, looks at traditional Vs self publishing.

Lafferty’s book is great for quick inspiration if you’re having difficulty getting started writing. With gentle humour, she dispels the myriad excuses the mind can conjure for putting off writing. Most of the information was familiar to me, but I did find good suggestions for online workshop and critique groups, which I’d been looking for. I really liked that she reiterated multiple times that the only hard and fast ‘rule’ for writing is to sit your ass down and write. Nothing else. Everything else is variable, depending on the person’s (and the story’s) needs and preferences.

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