Review: Red-Blooded American Male

Red-Blooded American Male

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Photographer: Robert Trachtenberg

Publisher:  Amphoto Books

Received:  Bloggingforbooks.org

Publication Date: September 13th, 2016

Pages:  224

Genre:  Photography, Nonfiction, Art

Format:  10×13 Hardcover

ISBN:  9781607749660

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

This book is full of sexy, candid, humorous and endearing shots from Robert Trachtenbergs own portfolio. It also includes an Introductory interview by Jess Cagle, the editorial director of People and Entertainment Weekly.

Each photo in this gorgeous coffee table book tells a story. None of the males in these photos took themselves too seriously and it shows a playful side to each one. It also includes a few gorgeous females along with men in a couple of pics.  A few of my favorite photos include:

Scott Eastwood

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Neil Patrick Harris

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Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell

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Jimmy Fallon

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I love all the photos and have no problem displaying this book in my home.  The only fault I found with the book was that I wanted more.  Some of the photos didn’t include descriptions, only the person’s name.  Would’ve loved to have read more about some of those talented people.  Otherwise, an entertaining read!

More Info

Author Info

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

~Lisa~

Review: A Boy Made of Blocks

A Boy Made of Blocks

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Author: Keith Stuart

Series: Stand-alone

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Received: from publisher for an honest review

Publication Date: September 6th, 2016

Pages:  390

Genre:  Fiction, Contemporary, Adult, Health, Realistic Fiction

Format: Hardcover

ISBN:  9781250111593

Praise for A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS

“Stuart’s debut novel is a charming and timely tale of learning to connect in the digital age.”

-Kirkus Reviews

“Funny, expertly plotted and written with enormous heart. Readers who enjoyed The Rosie Project will love A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS – I did.”

-Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project

Publisher’s Description and Author Info

As the games editor for the Guardian, Keith Stuart has spent 20 years playing, investigating, and writing about video games and their possibilities. His favorite video game of all time? Minecraft. But not for the reason you might think. Stuart credits Minecraft with helping his son, Zac (who is autistic), find himself.

In his debut novel, A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS – which you will quickly realize was inspired by Stuart’s own life experiences with his son – we meet Alex. Alex is a man who loves his family, but struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. He has become increasingly frustrated by Sam’s frequent tantrums and outbursts and the strain has pushed his marriage to Jody to the breaking point. So much so that he decides to pack his bags and move in with his bachelor best friend, Dan. Alex has always struggled to communicate with his son, and worries he never will. When Sam becomes obsessed with the popular video game Minecraft, Alex worries the game will cause Sam to further retreat into himself. But when the two start playing Minecraft together they become closer. Instead of driving him inward, the game does the very opposite and helps in his development. When Sam is encouraged to enter a Minecraft building competition, Alex resolves to take him, despite the huge challenges it represents.

With controller in hand, Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. The two discover that Sam has much more to offer than they ever thought possible.

A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS is a soulful, tear-jerking, funny, and true-to-life novel about one very special little boy. Through an unlikely medium both father and son find a safe space to talk, share and explore, and come to realize the beauty of differences and the importance of play and how to navigate and make sense of a world filled with obstacles.

About the Author

In 2012, one of Keith Stuart’s two sons was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. The ramifications felt huge. But then Stuart and both boys started playing video games together, especially Minecraft. Stuart had always played games and, since 1995, he has been writing about them, first for specialty magazines like Edge and PC Gamer and then, for the past ten years, as the games editor for the Guardian. He lives with his family in Somerset, England.

My Review

This book tore me apart with so many feelings.  I have a 10 year old son with mild Autism and while there are some differences between him and Sam, there were so many things in this novel that were so familiar to me.  My son ADORES Minecraft and could play it all day long if I would let him. He’s built so many worlds and buildings and is so proud of what he creates.  When someone talks to him about Minecraft, his eyes light up and off he goes, telling everyone within listening distance about what he creates.  While reading A Boy Made of Blocks, I experienced joy, sadness, understanding, amazement, optimism, peacefulness, encouragement, admiration, comfort, fascination, inspiration, and last but not least I’m grateful and thankful for this book and Keith Stuart’s own experiences with his son.  Never before have I read about the honest frustrations of a parent trying to do right by their child but feeling so helpless at the same time, described in a way that resonated with me.  I tabbed up my book with passages that rang true for my son and I, heartbreaking or funny sections and definitely the triumphs.

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Thank you, St. Martin’s Press, for sending me this beautiful book and thank you Keith Stuart, for your novel and sharing your and Zac’s personal story.

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Harry Potter Book Tag

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I was kindly tagged by notsomoderngirl and thought I would try it.  Bear with me, fairly new to blogging and tags! 🤓

Flagrate: Writing Charm

A book whose theme you found interesting but would like to re-write.

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I have to pick The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn.  I found the cult like group fascinating but I think I would’ve enjoyed this book a lot more if the last 1/4th was clearer and not quite so confusing.  I was enjoying the book until that point and it just ended on a low note for me.

Alohomora: Unlocking Charm

The first book in a series that got you hooked.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.  I absolutely loved this book.  It took a little bit to get going but once it did, I was hooked!

Accacio:  Summoning Charm

A book you wish you could have right now.

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I would love to have Slade House by David Mitchell right now. It’s already available but I just don’t have the funds currently.  As soon as I do, rest assured it will be bought! I need to read The Bone Clocks first as they’re supposed to be tied together in some way.

Auada Kedaura: Killing Curse

A killer book.

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The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich.  I LOVED this book.  So in those terms, it’s a killer book!  It also has horror, mystery, death, themes so I suppose that makes it killer too.

Confundo: Confusing Charm

A book that was really confusing.

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My pick for this one is House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I’ve attempted to read this before and gave up about 1/4 the way through.  I was confused about a lot of it but I was quite a bit younger. I’m hoping now that I’m a bit older, I can work my way through it.  It seems like such an amazing book!

Sectumsempra: Dark Charm

A dark and twisted book.

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Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix.  Going into this book, I didn’t have high hopes.  It’s rare a book (or movie) can actually give me the creeps.  This book achieved that!  I was pleasantly surprised!

Aparecium: Revealing Charm

A book that surprised you in a great way.

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 Oh my, did this book blow me away!  I went into it knowing very little, even thinking it was from the horror genre. I won’t go in to too much detail because of spoilers, but this book will stay with me for a very long time!

I tag: 

chocolatenwaffles’ blog

kirsty and the cat read

Book Adventures

I’m new at WordPress so I don’t want to tag too many people, not knowing who has already done it. Feel free to do it skip if you’d like!

Thanks for reading!

~Lisa~