Non-Fiction Book Review: Vlog Like a Boss

Vlog Like a Boss by Amy Landino
Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging 
by Amy Landino (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

I got some really good ideas from this book, and got inspired to polish up my vlogging in a more professional way. Some of the tips were things that I already knew or had learned myself from over 4 years of vlogging on YouTube, but some of the advice was new to me. I wish that I had read this book when I was first starting out, and I might have grown my brand much more quickly.

I like that the author goes in depth into the structure of a video, how to engage your audience, how to film with good lighting, how to promote your brand, how to include a call to action for new subscribers, how to set up a collaboration with another vlogger or company, and a dozen other subjects that come up in the world of vlogging and interacting through social media. And she gives examples, and practical tips, and good solid ideas, that you can immediately use to create a plan and take action.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in vlogging, filming, and creating their own brand on social media.

Book Review: Freddy the Detective

Freddy the Detective by Walter R. Brooks
Freddy the Detective 
by Walter R. Brooks, Kurt Wiese (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

A cute, old-fashioned children’s story about Freddy, an intelligent pig, who reads about Sherlock Holmes and decides to become a detective. All the farmyard animals bring their little problems to Freddy, and he does some sleuthing to solve their mysteries. A little rabbit goes missing, someone steals a toy train, and a cat is wrongfully accused of murdering a crow, but Freddy is up to the task, looking for clues, and tracking down heartless criminals.

I enjoyed the charming old style of writing, and the simple story lines. The characters are sweet and funny, and they kept my interest. I liked how Freddy makes mistakes at first. He is not a very good detective to begin with, but he learns quickly and does a better job each time he tries.
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Book Review: Lorna Doone

Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore
Lorna Doone 
by R.D. Blackmore

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Young John Ridd is called home from school when his father is murdered by notorious highwaymen, the Doones. Although others cry out for revenge, young John focuses on working his mother’s farm, and growing up tall and strong, without bitterness in his heart.

While he is fishing one day, he comes across the lovely Lorna Doone, the innocent granddaughter of the leader of the Doone clan. The two children become secret friends, and as they grow up, their love blossoms. Lorna is promised in marriage to her violent cousin, Carver Doone, but John vows to rescue her from the clutches of the Doone family.  Continue reading

Book Review: Dead Man’s Folly

Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie
Dead Man’s Folly 
by Agatha Christie

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Poirot is invited to give away prizes at a staged murder mystery hunt planned by the scatter-brained Mrs. Oliver, but when an actual murder occurs, only Poirot can unravel the real clues from the fake ones staged in the game.

I really loved the cast of characters in this book! The three or four main suspects are quite interesting and strange characters with forceful personalities, but the remaining extra characters are fairly nondescript, staying in the background.
Poirot is absolute perfection, of course, and the delicious Mrs. Oliver is a wonderful oddball, full of imagination and half-finished thoughts.
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Book Review: Emily and the Spellstone

Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens
Emily and the Spellstone 
by Michael Rubens (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Emily hates adventures, but when she discovers a magical stone that acts as a cellphone, she is thrown into a magical adventure that proves she is strong and resourceful against the greatest of enemies. A fiery monster named Gorgo is trapped in the Spellstone, and vows to eat Emily if he ever gets free. But Emily needs his help to defeat the nasty people who are seeking the stone’s power for their own evil purposes.

I loved the wit and humor of this book! The dialogue is snappy and every new magical situation is hilariously weird. The plot is full of action and danger. The characters are beautifully written with plenty of contrast and development. Continue reading

Book Review: Marvelous Land of Oz

The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Marvelous Land of Oz (Oz, #2) 
by L. Frank Baum

2 out of 5 stars on GoodREads
 Tip is a young boy living in Oz, servant to a nasty witch. He fashions a pumpkin head that comes to life, and they travel to the Emerald City to meet the Scarecrow and Tin Man, falling into the middle of a revolution along the way.
I didn’t really enjoy this book, maybe because I listened to it as an audiobook, and I didn’t like the narrator. Usually I love the Oz books, but this one fell flat. The characters are so dry, the jokes aren’t funny, and even the imaginative setting of Oz felt like a rehash of the same old things from every Oz book. Maybe it was the narrator. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this book. Maybe because I’ve been reading the Oz books out of order, so I already knew some of the plot points. It’s a good story, but I somehow couldn’t enjoy reading it.