Tattoo Lettering & Banners: Classic and modern script designs by Britt Johansson

Goodreads Summary:

For both the experienced and aspiring tattoo artist, as well as creative tattoo customers, this book of inspirational examples of script and banner lettering in a wide range of styles is the ideal cheat sheet. Beginning with traditional handwriting, the book moves into more complex script styles. Discover a range of banners for application on the chest or back, in styles that look elegant and ornate, yet are designed to be natural and easy for artists to draw and apply. Tattoo collectors can choose from the many script samples to write a loved one’s name and bring this book to the shop, where artists can make a tattoo that appears custom made. An assortment of classic, well-preserved matchboxes with decorative labels provides special, eclectic lettering ideas. Professionals as well as beginners working from the drawing board are guaranteed to take inspiration from this portable, convenient collection.

Review:

I initially had some issues reading the digital copy in Bluefire Reader, but when I recently downloaded it to Adobe Digital Editions, the pages showed correctly. I’’m really glad I was still able to redownload the DRC into the second app or my review would have been much harsher based on what I saw with the first app.

Though I’m not a tattoo artist, I’m quite fond of the art form and currently have six tattoos, one with lettering. What I liked about this book was that it was not just pages of alpha-numeric alphabets in various fonts. There were also plenty of examples of compositions of many of them. I think this would be helpful to people when choosing a font, because looking at just the letters doesn’t give an easy idea of how it will look as part of your tattoos. I also think this will be useful to other types of artists. As tattooing has been influenced by other mediums, many artists will use tattoos to influence their own art. I know this book has already given me some embroidery ideas. If you like the book and/or want to see some more examples of Johansson’s work, check out her Instagram page.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher, Schiffer Publishing, through Edelweiss for an honest review.

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Small Dreams: 50 Palm Springs Trailer Homes by Jeffrey Milstein

Goodreads Summary:

Jeffrey Milstein is fascinated with how similar forms repeat themselves in distinctive ways. Here, he examines classic Palm Springs trailer park homes, each composed of the same basic units–the box-like “house,” the flanking carport, and the patio shelter. Photographing each one from exactly the same viewpoint, he shows how the owners have personalized their dwellings in a delightful range of architectural styles from Chinese to early Egyptian to Desert Modern. Parked on small plots with their narrow ends facing the street, these tiny homes were made of surplus sheet metal using technology developed in aircraft factories during WWII. Over time, people remodeled them, creating decorative facades and in some cases adding elements of architectural styles found in more affluent neighborhoods. In documenting these older mobile homes, including the Blue Skies Village Trailer Park founded in 1955 by Bing Crosby, Milstein reveals how we shape our world to reflect our dreams and aspirations.

Review:

This was a lovely “coffee table” style photography book. With the digital edition, I was able to view the photographs on my largish TV screen instead of my iPad screen. Even blown up, the photographs were beautifully vibrant and crisp. I haven’t spent much time reviewing these types of books because I’m really not anywhere near being an authority of photography, visual composition, etc. I like it or I don’t and can usually tell you why on a level of a normal 5 year-old. I liked the book because the photos are brilliant. I’ve never been out West, so I don’t know if the colors are really that saturated or if that is how Milstein edited his photos. Bright Tim Burton-esque color contrast (ex. Alice in Wonderland) is how I see the world before the pain of a migraine hits and it truly is the only good thing about getting them. Experiencing the world in that way makes even the most drab moments seem fantastic. This effectively made the subjects of Milstein’s photographs also seem fantastic. I also loved seeing how people have modified their trailers or left them the same over time and that they all seemed to be in great shape. To me, this was a testament to both good craftsmanship and taking care of something you love.

You can find more of Jeffrey Milstein’s work on his website and Instagram pages.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher, Schiffer Publishing, through Edelweiss for an honest review.

 

Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price

18079705Flight of the Silvers (Silvers #1)

Daniel Price

February 2014 Blue Rider Press

ISBN: 9780399164989

 

 

 

Goodreads Summary:

Without warning, the world comes to an end for Hannah and Amanda Given. The sky looms frigid white. The electricity falters. Airplanes everywhere crash to the ground. But the Givens are saved by mysterious strangers, three fearsome and beautiful beings who force a plain silver bracelet onto each sister’s wrist. Within moments, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light and everything around them is gone.

Shielded from the devastation by their silver adornments, the Givens suddenly find themselves elsewhere, a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances.

Soon Hannah and Amanda are joined by four other survivors from their world—a mordant cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted, the sisters and their companions begin a cross-country journey to find the one man who can save them—before time runs out.

Review:

Stopped reading 6/10/17
I read a little over half the book, but also gave up after about that, also. It took me roughly two weeks to get to page 330, which is far below my speed reading capabilities. There are sections that are fantastically paced, but also some that feel like I’m mentally slogging through quicksand.
Liked:
Character development: the main characters are well though out and multifaceted. They are all likable and unlikable at different points.

World building (setting, “rules,” social hierarchy): I think most of this was pretty clear. There’s a parallel Earth that had the same history until the early 20th Century, then a big event happened that changed the development of this alternate Earth. Their understanding of Time and how to manipulate it are more advanced, the United States is a lot more insular, and while there are many similarities, there are some different social issues and concerns than we have.

References to other works (intentional or not): There are definitely some similarities to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Silvers are saved from a cataclysmic event that destroys their version of Earth by mysterious people who look human, but don’t quite act human. They also need a certain object (silver bracelets in this case) to be saved and transported to safety. There’s pop culture references throughout that are like inside jokes for the group, as many of them don’t exist in this alternative Earth.

Disliked:
My biggest and main dislike is the plot itself. Honestly, I think that at 300+ pages in to a 550ish page novel, I should have a better understanding of Why. Why was this specific group of people saved? What is their purpose? What is the main goal they’re supposed to be working toward? What do the Pelletiers want? Why should I finish reading this? Obviously, that last question is still unanswered.

I’m pretty sure I chose to read this because of the upcoming sequel (The Song of the Orphans), however I doubt I’ll read that now that I’ve stalled out on this.

Review: Dexter Is Dead by Jeff Lindsay

Dexter Is DeadGoodreads description:

Dexter Morgan has burned the candle at both ends for many years. Blood spatter analyst . . . husband . . . father . . . serial killer. And now, for the first time, his world has truly collapsed. Dexter is arrested on charges of murder. He has lost everything—including his wife, his kids, and the loyalty of his sister. Now completely alone, Dexter faces a murder charge (for a crime . . . ironically . . . he did not actually commit). His only chance for freedom lies with his brother, Brian, who has a dark plan to prove Dexter’s innocence. But the stakes are deadly, and the epic showdown that lies in Dexter’s path may lead, once and for all, to his demise. 
     Jeff Lindsay’s trademark devilish wit and cutting satire have never been sharper. Dexter Is Dead marks the end of a beloved series, but is also Dexter’s most satisfying and suspenseful outing yet.

First, I should say I received a digital copy of this book through Edelweiss for an honest review.

I was actually pretty disappointed in this book. It seems as if it, and the previous book, Dexter’s Final Cut, could really have been just one book. They both seemed disappointing on their own, yet I have a feeling that they would have both benefited from some cutting (heh, heh) and merging.

The book starts with Dexter being almost as obtuse as he had been in Dexter’s Final Cut. He had clearly lost his clever wits by this time and it took a few weeks in jail for them to start coming back. Even then, he was ignoring the instinctive warnings from his inner demon, aka his Dark Passenger; forgetting to keep track of little bits here and there; and pretty much dependent on his brother, Brian, to look after keeping him from going back to jail and helping get him out of trouble. The witty, devious Dexter that we were first introduced to in Darkly Dreaming Dexter was no more. In his place was a mostly pathetic man. He even describes himself as such.

Dexter said it himself, he expected to go out in a blaze of glory or manage to be able to sail off into the sunset. He didn’t expect to just kind of fizzle out. Sadly, that’s what happened to him.

I suggest reading this if you’ve read the other books. I wouldn’t suggest it if you haven’t read any of the others, even if you’ve watched the show. Speaking of, if the ending of the TV series made you throw a shoe at your TV (or at least want to), then I can at least put to rest your fears that this is as bad as that. Comparatively, it is a much better end for Dexter than the TV show gave us.