What Is Hip? The Life and Times of The Tragically Hip [book review]

WHAT IS HIP- The Life and Times of the Tragically Hip

Canada is celebrating 150 years of being Canada and when What Is Hip? The Life and Times of The Tragically Hip came across my desk I thought it would be a nice way to celebrate. By reading books about Canada and Canadians.

Makes sense, right?

The Tragically Hip is one of those legendary stories, everyone I know has a moment where he or she discovered The Hip and many of my friends made it out to their farewell tour.

My journey began with purchasing Road Apples on cassette. What what. I may even still have it somewhere. Even thinking about it song lyrics float through my mind and I smile. What was it about The Tragically Hip that has us so captivated?

To be honest, I didn’t find out in this book. I had hoped I would, but it’s more of a Wikipedia history of the band’s career. It’s all interesting and factual but I guess I was looking for more heart. Perhaps what put me off was reading the introduction. You know, before the book started. Author Marc Shapiro goes out of his way to say he didn’t write the book to capitalize on lead singer Gord Downie dying of brain cancer. I found it strange to have to even bring it up and couldn’t shake the opposite opinion as I read the What Is Hip?

Weird, right? But because it seemed to be missing heart I found I doubted the author’s intentions, and even if he was a fan of the band. Not quite the reading experience I was hoping for.

That said, if you’re curious about the band this is an interesting biography showcasing a great Canadian story. Why not grab a copy and decide for yourself if this is a worthy tribute?


What Is Hip? The Life and Times of The Tragically Hip Synopsis

“The Tragically Hip…the soundtrack our lives.”—Justin Trudeau

On August 20th, 2016 11.7 million Canadians stood transfixed, watching the final concert of The Tragically Hip, and the rest of the world asked, “Who is this band?” New York Times Bestselling pop journalist Marc Shapiro answers that question in the first American book about this Canadian rock band that largely shunned the spotlight but has become the standard bearer of a resurgent sense of Canadian pride and patriotism. What is Hip? The Life And Times Of The Tragically Hip delves deep beneath the surface of this rock and roll story to discover how a band that spent more than three decades in the rock and roll trenches selling millions of albums and opening for the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin’s Page & Plant, remained almost unknown outside their home country, even as they rose to the level of rock royalty in Canada.

What Is Hip: The Life And Times Of The Tragically Hip reveals:

  • The behind the scenes story of how the band took over The Horseshoe Tavern and made it their own
  • How a high up political personality was instrumental in landing the band their manager
  • The day-to-day, often unforgiving, spirit-grinding days of life on the road in Canada

The ins and outs of opening for three of the biggest groups in the history of rock and roll The Tragically Hip are not cartoon rockers. They are real men who live by their creativity and their principles. Through extensive research and a couple of well-placed sources, author Marc Shapiro has put together a complete look at The Tragically Hip’s rise: from their humble Kingston, Ontario roots, to endless tours, to their internal struggles to keep their music fresh, to the fanatic loyalty they fostered in millions of Canadian fans. These fans shed more than a few tears when it was announced that singer Gord Downie had been diagnosed with brain cancer, and that The Hip were about to embark on what might be their final tour.

Marc Shapiro is the author of more than 75 books. His most recent releases include Trump This! The Life And Times Of Donald Trump and Hey Joe: The Unauthorized Biography Of A Rock Classic. When he is not working, which is rare, he can usually be found mowing the lawn, taking out the trash and walking the dog.

My journey began with purchasing Road Apples on cassette. What was it about The Tragically Hip that has us so captivated?

How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically

I’ve written about why I write book reviews before but let’s flip the switch and concentrate on how to get great book reviews. Exciting, right!?

How to Get Great Book Reviews

Is reviewing a book on how to get great book reviews too meta?

I don’t care. If you’re an author you need this book.

First of all, this isn’t something you read once and memorize. It’s the text book of getting book reviews. Covering the gambit in six sections plus appendices, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically addresses everything from Your Review-Getting Arsenal to You Have Your Review. Now What?

But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. Why do you need great book reviews? If you’ve gone through the trouble of doing all the writing isn’t your work done?

Nope. Sorry. Now you get to do MARKETING!!! (My favourite part.)

Why You Need to Get Great Book Reviews

I’m borrowing from the book’s argument here, but I hold it as well.

  • Reviews are platform builders
  • Regardless of negative or positive, stars or lattes, reviews give you the chance to be a better writer, learn more about your genre, and know your target reader better.

  • Reviews are resources for endorsements
  • Blurbs, praise, bullets, whatever. Need some nice quotes? You can get the with book reviews!

  • Reviews can be networking tools
  • Both getting and giving reviews gives you contacts with editors of review journals, contacts with other reviewers who are potential reviewers of your books, contacts with other authors who need quotations for their books or referrals.

    Once you’re convinced you should get great book reviews, then you’re ready for the rest of the book. It walks you through alllllllllllllll the things you need to think through and plan for. It’s a lot, but they payoff is worth it. Not only that, but once you have the reviews the fun is not over! You can reap the benefits of past reviews for years to come.

    If it’s time to market your book, get this book.


    How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career Synopsis

    How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically is the culmination of a nearly two decades Carolyn Howard-Johnson spent helping writers avoid pitfalls, misconceptions, and out-and-out scams perpetrated on unsuspecting authors…and helping them reach their dreams of great reviews, great book tours, and great launches. It turns out that How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically is the essence for a successful marketing campaign that includes all those things and—more importantly—for building the readership necessary for a prosperous writing career.

    Is reviewing a book on how to get great book reviews too meta?  I don’t care. If you’re an author you need this book.  First of all, this isn’t something you read once and memorize. It’s the text book of getting book reviews. Covering the gambit in six sections plus appendices, How to Get Great Book Reviews addresses everything from Your Review-Getting Arsenal to You Have Your Review. Now What?

Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products

Looking for 175 recipes for creams, balms, shampoos, and more? Look no further than The Best Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products.

The best natural homemade skin and hair care products

I’ve always been curious about how skin and hair care products are made. Maybe it’s because I can’t understand how there are so many products on the market or how they’re all so different. Or maybe it’s because I don’t know any of the words they use in their advertising, which are supposed to be a cure for all the things I struggle with.

And I’ve also wondered, do I even need to use shampoo? And, will skin cream really keep wrinkles away? And, will making my own cosmetics save money?

When Mar Gomez’ The Best Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products came across my desk I was all in. Have I ever made my own skin and/or hair care products before? No. Did I know what any of the ingredients were? I have a passing familiarity with essential oils. Did I know where to purchase these ingredients? No, but I have a sister-in-law who does!

When I mentioned my book-review-slash-investigative-journalism-project to my sister-in-law she sent me in the direction of a local cosmetics supply wholesaler. After seeing how many decisions I needed to make I felt overwhelmed and realized I needed a strategic plan before jumping in. First: read the book.

How do you read a recipe book? Same as any other book, one page at a time. The great thing about this book is there aren’t just recipes. There are helpful articles all the way through offering tips and tricks for making creams, ointments, oils, shampoos, and gels—as well as the best ways to work with certain ingredients. Lifeline! I have no idea what I’m doing!

The recipes are organized by their base ingredient, oil. Think flaxseed, baobab, pumpkin seed, etc. As I read through each recipe I realized I could create several from the same ingredients and since I was a first-timer, this would be a lesser investment than purchasing ALL THE THINGS and then being committed to making my own cosmetics for the next however long. My fear: what if I’m terrible at it and make a huge mess and am stuck with all these ingredients forEVER? The truth: I have a sister-in-law who can help me out.

So I chose three recipes, created a shopping list, and returned to the cosmetics wholesaler. This experience was much better. In fact, I ordered everything online in the quantities I needed so I just had to pick it up when they called.

Trying out The Best Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products

To say I was nervous about attempting this is an understatement. I don’t know why I find it intimidating but I do. However. The recipes are SO straightforward. Anything I could have been tripped up on (and used as an excuse not to try) was explained and most of the recipes had three or less steps. I couldn’t wimp out.

So I did it. I measured out the ingredients using my handy food scale (yes, you’ll need one of those) and followed the instructions. It didn’t take long, just heating up a few things and then mixing them together (yes, you’ll need a mixer). After a cooling-off period I put my concoctions in glass jars (not plastic, I’ve learned!) and hoped for the best.

The results…

My first attempt didn’t go so well. Yes there were only three steps but my oils and my solids never merged into cream. Why? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I waited more than 10 exact minutes for the cooling off. Maybe my house is too cold. Maybe I bought the wrong wax.

So I tried again.

Results? Better! It’s a usable concoction, although there’s still room for improvement.

I thought I purchased what I needed but I have a lot of leftovers so I can make these three recipes over and over—and I’m glad because I need the practice. I’m thinking if I can get good at this, homemade face cream would make a great Christmas gift. I can get pretty jars…nice-smelling oils…and give my friends something they won’t get from anyone else. How exciting!

In total I spent about $50 on ingredients. It felt like a lot but now I see this will be in stock for my next 30 creams and shampoos. When I do the math I know I’ll spend more on drug store face cream and hair care products. Plus I now know what all the ingredients are and know they won’t harm my body in any way. Everything is natural and easy to source. I trust it.

If you’re curious about how to make handmade cosmetics or if you’re looking for some new recipes to add to your collection, please let me recommend The Best Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products. The formulas are easy to follow and require regular kitchen equipment plus a good scale. I found this entire experience beyond satisfying, and I’m not even very good at it yet!

The best natural homemade skin and hair care products by Mar Gomez


The Best Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products: 175 Recipes for Creams, Balms, Shampoos and More Synopsis

Health-enhancing oils from around the world form the base for all natural cosmetics. With these easy-to-follow recipes and widely available natural ingredients, creating effective, soothing and above all natural creams, balms, face and body oils, exfoliating scrubs, shampoos, shower and bath gels and lip balms is easier than ever.

Mar Gomez features really lovely oils such as monoi oil (a coconut and flower oil that is a staple in beauty and skin regimens in Tahiti), soy oil, nut oils (such as macadamia, almond and peanut), seed oils (such as sesame, hemp, pumpkin seed and flax) and some really beautiful exotic natural oils such as piqui, andiroba, prickly pear seed, tamanu and argan.

All these oils have wonderful skin-care properties, and there are specific formulas for all sorts of skin conditions, from dry to oily, from acne-prone to wrinkled, from young to old.

Each formula is very easy to make and only requires normal kitchen equipment and a good scale. There are formulas for anti-aging creams, firming recipes to fight against cellulite, freckle- and spot-removing oil, moisturizing facial wrinkle cream, anti-dandruff shampoos and many others.

Making luxurious, heavenly-smelling homemade cosmetics is surprisingly simple and satisfying with this book.

Looking for 175 recipes for creams, balms, shampoos, and more? Look no further than The Best Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products.

The Nocturnal Journal by Lee Crutchley [book review]

The Nocturnal Journal: A Late-Night Exploration of What’s Really on Your Mind

The Nocturnal Journal helps readers live with greater freedom and introspection, providing a safe place to reconnect with the most important, and often most neglected, aspects of self. An engaging, supportive, and emotionally aware resource for night owls and insomniacs, this journal teases out the pressing thoughts, deep questions, everyday anxieties, and half-formed creative ideas that need unpacking, bringing more peace of mind and a richer understanding of ourselves.

The Nocturnal Journal. How fun is this idea? If you’re anything like me, there are nights where your brain spins out of control and although sleep is needed, it doesn’t come. As a teenager, I learned to pour my thoughts from my head into my journal—I don’t know if it was the writing/focusing or emptying my mind that did the trick (perhaps a combination?) but it always worked.

But my journal pages were blank. Lee Crutchley’s new book (releasing September 5, 2017) guides the restless (and exhausted) mind through 192 pages of hand-drawn journal prompts like determining what the clouds look like or writing a letter to someone you’ve lost. There are silly prompts, serious prompts, and everything in between. It’s customized for the late-night-can’t-sleep brain, with drawing exercises, writing exercises, and even staring exercises.

This isn’t the kind of book you read from cover-to-cover or even fill out in order. When you’re up at night and can’t sleep, go to the spot that speaks to you and get going.

An engaging and emotionally aware resource for night owls, insomniacs, and anyone else who finds themselves awake at all hours, The Nocturnal Journal will help you explore what keeps you up at night, and why. Prompts and illustrations tease out the pressing thoughts, deep questions, everyday anxieties, and half-formed creative ideas that need unpacking and exploring, bringing more peace of mind and a richer understanding of ourselves.

Although I don’t wrestle with my nighttime thoughts as often as I once did, I have enjoyed flipping through The Nocturnal Journal and allowing the prompts to send my mind in directions I don’t often go. This is a nice way to journal when you don’t have much to say (or don’t know where to start). It also aids in focusing your mind, getting your thoughts organized, and leaving your burden on the page. So you can experience restful sleep.

On the fence about The Nocturnal Journal? Maybe this will help. If you grab your copy now, you’ll get a glow-in-the-dark cover! I mean, who even does that anymore? What a nice touch.


The Nocturnal Journal Synopsis

An insightful, supportive and creative journal for anyone who can’t turn off their restless minds when the lights go out.

An engaging and emotionally aware resource for night owls, insomniacs, and anyone else who finds themselves awake at all hours, The Nocturnal Journal: A Late-Night Exploration of What’s Really on Your Mind will help you explore what keeps you up at night, and why. Prompts and illustrations tease out the pressing thoughts, deep questions, everyday anxieties, and half-formed creative ideas that need unpacking and exploring, bringing more peace of mind and a richer understanding of ourselves.

On these creative and colourful pages, night owls and anyone else who can’t sleep will find inspiration, comfort, and just the right questions and prompts to help sort through the unfinished business of the day (or week or year), offering peace of mind and a window into what matters most.

Part journal, part balm for restless minds, this insightful book is the perfect late-night companion when the lights go out but your brain won’t slow down.

**Order early for a glow-in-the-dark cover (limited edition only)**

Although I don’t wrestle with my nighttime thoughts as often as I once did, I have enjoyed flipping through The Nocturnal Journal and allowing the prompts to send my mind in directions I don’t often go. This is a nice way to journal when you don’t have much to say (or don’t know where to start). It also aids in focusing your mind, getting your thoughts organized, and leaving your burden on the page. So you can experience restful sleep.

Get the Hell Over It by Sarah Beth Moore [book review]

Are you held back by what ifs? It might be time to get the hell over it.

Get the Hell Over It by Sarah Beth Moore [book review]

Do you have a creative dream but don’t know where to start?

Do you wonder if there’s a book in you?

Do you wish you were doing your hobby full time?

Do you want to put yourself/your work out into the interweb but are crippled by the fear of rejection?

Do you have “the fear” from going after what you want in life?

If you nodded at any of these questions then Sarah Beth Moore’s book Get the Hell Over It: How to Let Go of Fear and Realize Your Creative Dream (Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain Book 1) is a must read.

Our digital age makes it easier than ever to put your creative work (be it writing, art, music, etc.) out there but it comes at a price—What if no one notices? What if it’s terrible? What if you offend someone? What if you fall on your face?

Yes, all of these fears could come true. What does Sarah have to say about it? Get the hell over it. Let go of fear and realize your creative dream.

I swear, and I’m speaking as someone who had a book deal within her grasp and lost it (but that’s a story for another time). Failures are painful, but they are rarely fatal.

Ouch.

Or…maybe this is exactly what you (I) need to hear.

In this quick 12 chapter book of simultaneous straight talk and encouragement, Sarah takes you on a journey through dreaming, discovering what’s in your wheelhouse, discerning between hobbies and careers, relying on yourself, teaching yourself, branding yourself, selling yourself, and (of course) letting go of fear. She includes personal examples from her creative life, highlighting times she was afraid, times she was brave, and times she failed. Because sometimes you will fail, it’s part of the journey.

But what if I fail?

You might. You will. And then you’ll try again.

But what if I fail again?

You might. You will. And then you’ll try again.

But what if…

But what if you succeed?

What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?

Do you need some tough love? Get the Hell Over It is a vulnerable look inside a creative’s life and what it takes to succeed in today’s world. Sarah Beth Moore shares the points on her writing journey where she had to “get the hell over it” and be brave, make a hard choice, try, and what happened after.


Get the Hell Over It: How to Let Go of Fear and Realize Your Creative Dream (Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain Book 1) Synopsis

Finally: The Real Way to Claim the Profitable Creative Life You’ve Always Wanted!

Cravings. We all have them. But these days, it’s easier to indulge your sweet tooth than it is to reach your wildest dreams. At least, it certainly feels that way. And you know the type of dreams we’re talking about, right? Everything from living where you want and building a career you can pursue around the world, to accomplishments that stand the weight of time. These dreams go beyond hashtags and high-resolution photos, and the best part is that they’re well within your reach. In fact, they’ve always have been waiting for you. But when we’re afraid, it’s hard to pull back that huge curtain of fear and see our heart’s desires. Don’t worry; you just need help putting it all together.

Using your creative talents to build a lifestyle that’s unapologetically, delightfully, and incredibly all your own is beyond satisfying. Sure, you’ve seen examples of other people doing this. And you know deep down it can be done. Yet you’re stuck in your own personal adventure-movie quicksand, with no handy tree branch in sight.

That’s where this book, Get the Hell Over It: How to Let Go of Fear and Realize Your Creative Dream, comes in. Short and sweet with plenty of ideas, this book will give you a sturdy branch to grab onto when the quicksand starts pulling you down. New opportunities for a profitable, creative life await you…if you dare to reach out again.

In this book, you’ll learn how to dodge those big boulders of fear keeping you from the life you really want. However, it doesn’t end there. You’ll also learn:

  • The real way to use failure to your adventure (no pity party required)
  • Realistic exercises designed to trigger ongoing action (who really wants to save the fireworks for the holidays when every day can be a celebration?)
  • How to set your priorities in a way that pulls you closer to your designed outcomes (hint: this lets you get all your goals met rather than having to settle for just a few)
  • A great way to tell the difference between a dream, an outcome, and a mere fantasy – and why these differences matter
  • How to sidestep the people who don’t “get” what you’re doing (so you can make room for the supporters that are dying to cheer you on!)
  • And other bits of advice to help you reach for the stars (or maybe just a nice dinner on the town, nbd)

Maybe you’ve already read a dozen books on following your dreams. That’s okay too. If you aren’t where you want to be, could reading another book really hurt anything? You can’t just sit still, watching yet another year roll by without any of those big dreams coming into reality. Check out Get the Hell Over It: How to Let Go of Fear and Realize Your Creative Dream (Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain Book 1) today!

Do you need some tough love? Get the Hell Over It is a vulnerable look inside a creative’s life and what it takes to succeed in today’s world. Sarah Beth Moore shares the points on her writing journey where she had to “get the hell over it” and be brave, make a hard choice, try, and what happened after.