Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

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This is a memoir written by Josh Foer about how he won the memory championship in the states and placed 15 in the world. Throughout the book, he discusses techniques he used and regales the reader with stories of his friends that he made in the process of improving his memory. He also reflects on his progress and how useful he thought it was.

Throughout the book, he refers to a plethora of books, and when you’re an audiobook listener it is a little difficult to keep track of them. I feel like they should publish a bibliography online so I wouldn’t have to find a pirated book online to get the end of it.

This book really gives the reader a sense of the niche world of the memory championships and their community. It gives the reader an introduction to the sport as well. Personally, I had never heard of the memory championships before and it was interesting to see what it entailed.

I also enjoyed the stories about Foer’s friends in this book. Ed and Ben just seem like interesting people to hang out with, though a bit eccentric. You do get to learn about their techniques and different memory techniques. These can easily be incorporated into daily life if you want to better your memory for remembering some things. However, as Foer mentions at the end, is just easier to write down a phone number than to memorize it.

I really enjoyed this book and I learnt a lot from reading it.

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Turkey and Terror (The Diner of the Dead #6)

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Thanksgiving is a big thing in Frank’s family, and Sonja is along for the ride. Having to split holidays between family isn’t easy but they have it figured out. After a long drive to Frank’s family home, everyone is ready to have a good time. However, when Sonja finds a body in a field, things get a little spooky. Now Sonja must deal with 2 native spirits who have been warring for centuries.

I loved this book. I felt like it went a little to fast for my liking, however, that’s how all these books are. I enjoyed getting to know Frank’s family, as well as sinful. I felt like Frank became a more fleshed out character in this book. He’s always been in the background even though he is one of the main characters in the book. Having the background is something that has finally anchored the character past being Sonja’s boyfriend. Sonja has also grown in this book and has become more adept with her powers, though she still can’t tell Frank about them. I feel like this is going to be a theme throughout this book series.

The mysteries have definitely trailed towards the supernatural. Like the last book, we have a witch or at least someone who tried to kill people using a summoned spectre. I will say that it was interesting. However, the reader was never given enough information to really know who did it or make an educated guess. My gut feeling was right but it wasn’t supported by anything.

Overall this was a really fun book.

Vacations and Victims (Senoia Cozy Mystery #10)

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Felicity has finally gotten a vacation for the first time in the two years that she has opened the store. So she heads out, a few hours away to the small town of Helen with her sister for a girls trip. While there they get caught up in a murder investigation and Iris finally gets to see what Felicity does for a live, well other than party plan. Meanwhile, back at the event shop, someone has broken in an stole a case file. Jack and Jefferson try really hard to resolve everything before she gets home.

I’m enjoying the fact that we are getting to find out more about Felicity’s family over the last few books. Though she has spoken with Iris on the phone, however, we never really got to know her. All of the main characters grew in this book, and though Jefferson and Jack have been slowly becoming friends in the last few books, they really worked well as a team in this book. I feel like Felicity is also finally moving on from Brian which is allowing her to be a full character again.

Thanks to the murder mystery being in a different town, we actually got to explore a different town. I found it was really easy to figure out, however, there were a lot of nuances in this book that was fun. We also got to meet another police force in a small town which was fun.

I will say, I don’t like that this book ended with a cliffhanger. Though I’m pretty sure you guys already know my dislike for them. However, thankfully, the last book is out so I can actually finish up the story.

Pumpkin Pie Waffle (The Diner of the Dead #5)

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Halloween is in the air and Sonja is excited. There couldn’t beer the worst time to find out that the Halloween kidnapper was out and wandering the streets. Frank asks Sonja to keep her eyes peeled for anything suspicious. After a middle schooler goes missing at the schools Halloween party things get kicked up to high gear. Now Frank and Sonja must rush and find out where she went before the night is over.

It’s been a little while since I read this series and I forgot how much I enjoyed this series. Though there wasn’t much in the way of ghosts in this book. However, thinking back on the book there may have been one, but I’m uncertain if he was a ghost. We did very you encounter a witch in this book which was interesting.

This book didn’t have a murder to solve, just a missing person which was hectic enough. Sonja was pulled into the mess by not only her cop boyfriend but also she was the last person to see Marissa before she went missing. In some way, she might have been pulled in sooner or later by the witch.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and three little bit of character that there was in this book.

Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales

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I will start with one note. This is a memoir written by Penn Jillette about his weight loss, what he did, why he did what he did, and who was around him what he lost his weight. This is not a diet book. He even tells you throughout the book that he doesn’t understand the science behind the diet and he’s a Las Vegas magician so taking advice from him is dumb.

This was an interesting read, but that could be coming from the fact that I love Penn and Teller since I was a child. I grew up watching them on t.v. and have always wanted to see the life but have never my way to Las Vegas. It’s a tad far for a Montrealer to go for one show… yea Las Vegas doesn’t interest me much.

The science behind the diet he did was known techniques that were just taken to the extreme. He performs a mono-diet to reset his taste buds. You can do this too, to a smaller effect. If you as cream and sugar to your tea or coffee, stop for 2 weeks and try to go back… you can’t I know I’ve tried, it just tastes weird. Next part was extreme intermittent fasting. Google it, there is a lot of information on it.

What I found the most interesting was the people around him and the interesting stories he had about his friends, as well as his journey.

Penn keeps referring to a book that I looked up and can find no reference for. I did find a kick starter for the broken plate by Cronise, however, there hasn’t been any activity on it for years and people are a tad miffed. But I digress.

I really enjoyed this book for what it was, a memoir of Penn Jillette. If you like memoirs them you’ll enjoy this stroll down an insane 3 months.

Sixty Minutes for Murder (Sky High Pies mysteries #23)

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When a local businesswoman is found dead at her apartment building, Crescent Creek is abuzz with suspicions and theories. With the way the victim had been acting before her death, Katie suspects there might be more than meets the eye to the murder. When Dina calls her in to help, she knows this one will be a doozy of a case.

This mystery was interesting in the sense that we got to see the character and interact with them. Though there is a lot that we will never know about the victim, we got to see the changes in her personality before the murder. We also get to see the investigation into another crescent creek resident in this book.

I enjoyed the freedom Katie had in this book. Dina came to her as a consult which was interesting. It was fun to see her have free reign looking into the mystery. We got to explore crescent creek a little more which was fun. W also got to learn a little more about Zack’s work at the newspaper. Sadly it only comes up now and then in this series. I would really like more information about Zack in a future book.

Overall, it was an enjoyable book. Better than other books in this series.

Union of Damaron

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I will start off with a disclaimer…I actually know this author personally and we work together at my day job. He told me that he wrote a book and I offered to review it for him, hoping to give his book some exposure. I also told him it was going to be an honest review. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start the review.

Humans can be cruel, and that is a lesson that the young crow Kolie finds out very quickly. After having lost his parents in the bird massacre, he finds refuge with some other birds. However, even they look down on the little crow. When their refuge is threatened by a witch looking to use their blood to dethrone the current King, they have no other choice than to leave their home and find somewhere else to live. They here stories of the great bird Simurgh and the paradise where he lives. They decide to make the dangerous journey to try and find a safe place to live in peace.

Let’s start with the good points, the base of the story was really fun. It was a nice fantasy book where we got to see the characters grow and learn from their mistakes. The main character, Kolie, was truly the underdog in this book. He was put down by not only the humans and the other birds but also himself. He really grows through this book and learns to trust himself. All of the other birds grow and learn about themselves through the story as well. It was interesting to see the most shallow birds become more compassionate throughout the book.

This book also does an excellent job of touching on racism and bullying even within a refugee population. We also see how propaganda lies not only persist through the human but also the birds when it comes to the belief that crows were the reason for the diseases of man. This is also very true in the real world if you hear something enough you will start to believe it, no matter how ridiculous it is.

Now for the parts I didn’t like, the beginning and the end felt a little disjointed from the rest of the story. I understand the book is supposed to be a fairytale or a fable that the queen is telling this boy, however, it was just jarring. Had those parts been removed it would have worked better. Also, there are areas in this book that were a little wordy. Thet felt like they dragged on and didn’t add to the story. You can tell that this is his first book.

Overall, this book has an interesting concept and storyline. The writing style could be cleaned up, however, I believe that will come with time and practice. An author must write to get better at writing.