Book Review: Hollywood Park (ARC)

Title: Hollywood Park
Author: Mikel Jollett

Source/Format: Celadon Books; Paperback ARC
Publisher/ Release date: Celadon Books; (Expected) May 26 2020

Book summary:
Hollywood Park is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer. Read more on Goodreads

What I thought:

I didn’t know what to expect when I received an ARC of Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett. The only thing I knew was that the synopsis immediately caught my interest. It recounts Jollett’s life after Synanon, and the eventual beginnings of The Airborne Toxic Event. This memoir was an emotional roller coaster, but I don’t feel like I can squeeze everything into this review.  However, there were a couple of things that definitely stood out.

In the beginning, it was written from the point of view of Jollett’s childhood self. As he got older and experienced various things, the POV shifted too. It painted his life in a way that the reader could easily visualize it, and contributed to being a page turner. There were all the sad moments that had me on the verge of tears, but of course, there were the times that made me smile too.

By the end, I found that I really enjoyed Hollywood Park. Three words from the synopsis caught my attention in particular: “…raw, poetic and powerful…” I think this is the perfect way to sum it up. I recommend checking it out if it sounds interesting to you.

*I received this book from Celadon for this review

Side note: I’ve never heard of The Airborne Toxic Event, but I’ll definitely be checking out more of their songs. Also, FYI, they’re going to be releasing an album of the same name on May 22nd.

Thanks for reading.

Tambour Hook

After watching several videos last year, I became interested in getting what I now know is a tambour hook for myself. I was especially interested in the pace it seemed to offer. I found a Lacis one at Walmart for $16 (here's the link).

For this post, I decided to make a simple design featuring my blog's
name and URL. As you can kind of see in the sketch I wanted to keep it simple. But, as you can see in the finished photo, I kept adding on as I saw fit.  The scallops, which are hard to see in the sketch,  were always planned, but as a single line.  I ended up adding everything else.

Next, I really wanted to do something I haven't done before.  And that was adding beads. I wasn't going to do it at first, but then I thought to myself, "If not now then when?" Again, I turned to Youtube. The beads that make up the L, H, and two Os were done from the underside right side up. I followed this tutorial from Sarah Homfray Embroidery. The lower beads, below the scallops, were done from the right side. The video I saw for this wasn't really a tutorial, but it really helped me. It's from Alexandrina Dordea and you can find that video here.

When I first started beading I had a really hard time and had to take several breaks. It also didn't help that I was doing this on muslin instead o something like organza.  But, I eventually learned the technique.
And finally, I don't really have the proper frame yet (I'm shopping around), so I kind of jury-rigged two different set ups. The first was with an embroidery hoop sandwiched between two heavy books. However, once I expanded on what I was doing, I figured it wasn't going to work. I didn't feel like constantly removing and replacing the fabric. I took foam from my serger's packaging, cut out a square piece of it, and pinned my fabric to it. During the process I realized I messed up. I should left  some foam on top to pin the fabric to. That's why I decided to try and use felt to mend it. It sat a little weird, but it was good enough.

I initially started and finished this in November, but I had other plans. In total, this took about three weeks on and off. If I had continuously worked on it with breaks, it probably would have taken about three days.

Last, but definitely not least, here's the list of the Youtube Channels (and other places) I watched. I definitely recommend checking them out if you're interested in learning tambour embroidery.  Or to see pretty Embroidery:

Thanks for reading.

Book Review: You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy (ARC)

Title: You're Not Listening
Author: Kate Murphy

Source/Format: BookishFirst and Celadon Books; Paperback ARC
Publisher/ Release date: Celadon Books; Jan 7 2020


My Thoughts

As soon as I saw it on Bookish first, I knew I would be interested in You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy. By the time I reached the end, I realized it did not disappoint and it was everything I was expecting it to be. While staying close to the synopsis, points were driven home with interviews and research.

More than listening (or the lack thereof) is covered in You're Not Listening. At times, the author delves into how certain responses and misunderstandings can affect a conversation. Other times, it is discussed how feeling unheard and technology can have an impact on people's mental and emotional state, as well as feelings of loneliness. And, Murphy often recounts small comments from people she's met. Like I said in my first impression, I started recalling and assessing how I felt in similar situations. And finally my favorite thing is after all that, there is a chapter dedicated to not listening. As for things I didn't like about this book, there were none. 

Basically, if the definition of listening was the length of a novel, You're Not Listening is it. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend it; especially, if you want to become a better listener

*I received this book from BookishFirst and Celadon Books for this review.

Thanks for reading.