Category Archives: Book Review

A Change Worth Noting

In order to keep my writing blog a writers blog, I am not reviewing books except for those on writing on this site anymore. I am reviewing books on the site Moniques Bookshelf. Please hop on over and follow me there for the book reviews that discover treasures for your reading enjoyment. If you have books to be reviewed, contact me there. Tweet about me if you feel you can.

Thanks for checking me out.

Monique

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Book Review: Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore by Barbara Connelli

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...I live vicariously through the travels, research and words of the authors setting their stories and essays in foreign countries. Countries I would like to go to, but I lack the means to go in real life. So authors like Barbara Connelli take me on their journeys and I am sated with the smells, tastes, sights and sounds of an exotic city like Milan. Her writing style in Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore brings you to the city and you want to linger and savor the mood and the imagery she creates:

“…To me, love means something completely different and much simpler. The smell of morning cappuccino and fresh pannetone at Pasticceria Marchesi. A brisk stroll through the awakening city and sensual curves of gold shadows on the wet paving of Via della Spiga. Joyful shouts of bohemian artists and their graceful muses at Fornace Curti. A crispy panzerotto savored in the company of cantankerous pigeons on the piazzetta of San Fedele. Old furniture stores in narrow streets and adorable trinkets I can never resist. The tinkling of a tram from 1929 with uncomfortable wooden seats and a hundred-year-old conductor. Sublime flamingos and peevish peacocks in an emerald-green garden that has never been owned by anyone. Remote nooks and crannies whose secrets have been revealed only to me and the few ghosts with aristocratic hearts who appear in them from time to time. Visionary dreams, inextinguishable hopes, the desire to live, the courage to create, the strength to grow. To me, love means all this and much more. This and much more is what I receive from the city that makes me fall in love a hundred times a day, breaking my heart over and over again, only to make it beat faster five minutes later. Milan. My city of love.”

There are a myriad of magical places to explore in Milan, like the hidden Flamingo Garden that no one owns yet it belongs to everyone. For a memorable sweet treat there is the venerable Pasticceria Marchesi’s , where you can also get freshly baked Panettone  which has three different legends as to its inception. A recipe for the famed bread is included.

A city tour will show you the architectural wonders that the city contains. The Rinascente store has a phoenix rising from the fire story that resonates with renaissance and rebirth. I love the story of Chandelier –where you can get the finest dinner and a sofa if you need one as they change their furniture out and sell it every year to stay fresh and evolving.

There are so many Milanese treasures described, too many to list here. Plus I think some of these locales should be a surprise to you as they were for me, making the book all the more magical.

The book is romantic and makes you want to book a flight as soon as possible to enjoy what is so elegantly written about. I can’t go right away so I will linger over the stories contained in Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore. I feel like I should root out the local beauty and stories of where I live now that I’ve read this love letter to Milan. Everyone should love where they live the way Barbara Connelli loves her city.

I say read this book and dream, or act on the dream and go. I was given a copy of the book to review and I would say it is worth more than its price and is certainly worth your time.

About the author:

Barbara Conelli is an internationally published bestselling author, seasoned travel writer specializing in Italy, and Chiquenist on the mission to bring Fantastic Fearless Feminine Fun into women’s lives. In her charming, delightful and humorous Chique Books filled with Italian passion, Barb invites women to explore Italy from the comfort of their home with elegance, grace and style, encouraging them to live their own Dolce Vita no matter where they are in the world. http://www.barbaraconelli.com

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Book Review – You Are A Writer, So Act Like One – Jeff Goins

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

The title made me notice this book. It was offerred for free on Amazon last week, but I missed that offerring. I bought it, since the author seems to be everywhere. He seems to know what he’s talking about, so I took the plunge and paid for the book.

As a beginning writer seeking out information on publishing and the writing life, I am doing a lot of reading. Some of the information is redundant. The basics being touted by everybody. Goins take on it seemed more believable than others, like he was writing from experience not unsubstantiated research. Why do I say experience, again, I’ve seen him around the internet at prominant websites that he couldn’t be on if he wasn’t the writer he claims to be.

His premise is simple. You have to write. You have to market yourself and build a platform. He gives you his take on that. But the message he keeps coming back to is doing the work of writing. Unlike other “experts” that tout the riches to be had freelancing, Goins says the pay isn’t good (when you are starting out, it isn’t) and I believe it make always stink for some people. Since marketing is so vital to progression in this industry. Not everyone can market themselves effectively.

I have yet to read an author other than Goins that says you have to write for yourself, not for others. By writing for yourself, the following will come as a result, if you are authentic. He says you do have to have talent, but that the platform will “bring the gatekeepers to your door”. He does say you can accomplish this in a short period of time, which I question. It isn’t easy to build a platform and it does take a long time to accomplish, no matter what he says. It’s part of doing what he says to do; do the work of writing. Platform is a numbers game, and he says it’s about building relationships. Well, it’s been my experience that relationships take time and effort and they will yield positive results if you work at it. So his saying it will happen in a few months, I don’t believe to be the case.

For those of us working towards our first book, he does reccommend building your platform early on. Do not wait to do this. This I believe to be true. Because it takes time. OK enough about time, I’ve made my case for it. I say read the book, and then apply what you’ve learned, and do what he says: Write. Keep writing. Keeping working and dreaming and moving forward. I say, buy the book if you are at the beginning of your writing career. He practices what he preaches. I am glad I read the book and spent time with this author. Now we will see how his advice works for me.

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