Non-fiction on the LP Radar Part I

I have recently complied a list of non-fiction books I want to eventually read. If you have read any of these, I would love to hear your thoughts. I’ve always been drawn to non-fiction for several reasons including, evidential support on subjects that interest me, and the value it brings to the table of reading, knowledge and looking at sources from different avenues. I’m also interested in reading about people from different walks of life and why they do what they do or what led them to do it in any situation whether it be crime, or making major decisions that impact lives. That is only the beginning of my interest in the genre but it sure does back a punch. 

Today I’m sharing three from my list and will be posting more in the coming weeks. -Stephanie Hopkins 

The Splendid and the Vile A Saga of Churchill Family and Defiance During the BlitzThe Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

by Erik Larson

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.

The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

Bad BloodBad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers.

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at The Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company’s value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors. Here is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a disturbing cautionary tale set amid the bold promises and gold-rush frenzy of Silicon Valley.

American PredatorAmerican Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

by Maureen Callahan

Go deep into the investigation behind one of the most frightening and enigmatic serial killers in modern American history, and into the ranks of a singular American police force: the Alaska PD.

Most of us have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern time. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as “a force of pure evil”, he was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried ‘kill kits’ – cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools – in remote locations across the country, and over the course of fourteen years, would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger’s house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter.

When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years – uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake – many of which remain unsolved to this day.

American Predator is the culmination of years of on-the-ground interviews with key figures in law enforcement, and in Keyes’ life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files.

Be Brave, Believe in Yourself

A You Be Brave Mixed Media Page IIYou Be Brave

“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop being my own critic. It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.”
― C. JoyBell C.

This page I created is to remind myself to continue to be brave. Never give up. Have courage. Be strong always. Believe in yourself because you are loved. -Stephanie Hopkins

 

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Cherish the Moments

A cherish the moments pageThis is an art page from my art journal that I created this past Saturday. I was in a mood for cool colors and a simple layout. Yet it expresses cherishing moments in our everyday lives and brought me to mind of a quote by John Adams.

“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.”

This quote is so fitting to the moment of creating this piece and for my love of reading and journaling.

Also, I took the time to look out the window and enjoyed the beauty of the day that the season of spring brings us. It is a symbol of new beginnings and reflection, in my view. We are seeing trouble times in our world at present and I hope with the social distancing we are experiencing gives us time to take a step back and think on what is important to us and if there is a change we need to make in our lives that going forward will bring that change.

I’m praying for us all and praying for the families and friends of the people we have lost due to the virus. My heart and thoughts go out to you all. Please be safe and God be with you all. -Stephanie Hopkins

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(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

 

Discovery and Expression

A Mixed MEdia Circus Image PageOver the weekend I created several pages in my Mixed Media Journal and I discovered a couple things about myself in the journey. For this page I used a magazine clipping that my dear friend Lisl sent me and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

This week I will be sharing three of the pages I made and a couple bookish things.

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I highly recommend expressing your feelings through art journaling or just writing your thoughts down. Sometimes I have a lot to write about and other times I just create a page to just be in the moment and not think too much about things going on in life. The medium is truly therapeutic and so calming. You don’t need a lot of materials and toy can use what you have on hand.  -Stephanie Hopkins

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

The Art of Mixed Media

 

A Mini Pocket I

Paper Crafting and Mixed Media Art are my two favorite mediums in creating my Art Collages, Bookmarks, Cards, Tags and Journals. More times than not, I am combining both mediums in my art projects. The last few days I’ve been creating mini pockets for journals out of pages from a book and using different craft mediums to complete the pockets. Let’s take a look at the two mediums and their usage. You’ll find they go hand in hand.

Paper Crafting: When it comes to Paper Crafting, I think of scrapbooking, journaling, cardmaking, paper cutting for patterns, decoupage, collaging, creating backgrounds, quilling and the many other craft projects.

Mixed Media: Mixed Media is taking different materials and combining them to create a whole piece-if you will. The medium tells a story and gives the eye many different details to explore.

When you begin using this form of art, you’ll begin to see your surroundings in a new light and discover many ways you can use materials around you.

Stephanie Hopkins

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Cover Crush: Ikebana Unbound by Amanda Luu

My thoughts on the cover and my overall impression about my first glimpse of the story description: 

Ikebana UnboundIkebana Unbound

A Modern Approach to the Ancient Japanese Art of Flower Arranging

by Amanda Luu; Ivanka Matsuba

Artisan Books

Crafts & Hobbies

Pub Date 28 Apr 2020

Cover: The image of the flower arrangement on the cover tells a story. That is what captured my attention. This cover is a piece of art in itself. Absolutely beautiful.

Premise: For those who are new to Ikebana, it is the art of Japanese flower arranging. The arrangement if the flowers even the vase is very specific. Flowers hold meanings and Ikebana portrays that in the most beautiful ways! This book shows the readers new ways to tell new stories. I’m adding this book to my wish-list!

I rate the cover five stars!

Stephanie Hopkins

Description

At its heart, the Japanese art of ikebana is about celebrating an intimate connection with nature. To practice ikebana is to find inspiration in the seasons, favor unassuming blooms and branches, seek balance and simplicity, and remain fully present in the moment. It is a beautiful, pure antidote to our age of distraction and excess. Honoring the lineage of ikebana while making the art their own, Amanda Luu and Ivanka Matsuba of Studio Mondine show us new ways to tell stories with flowers. They offer step-by-step instructions for dozens of stunning, seasonal arrangements, while in the process introducing readers to the themes and stylistic signatures of the art. In Studio Mondine’s hands, this centuries-old practice feels undeniably fresh—and readers are given the gift of learning to create unique, meaningful, and authentic arrangements.

The Previous week Cover Crush

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Cover Crush banner

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

New Beginnings: Spring is Near

Butterfly II

Happy Wednesday! Today I am sharing a glimpse at a recent page in my smash book. I have always been drawn to butterflies and this coming Spring is inspiring me to create in depths I haven’t reached before. They’ve been bottled up inside me far too long and the Butterfly is about new beginnings. How fitting.

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Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. -Nathaniel Hawthorne

Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th Century American writer whose literature of the Nation’s Colonial history is well noted. His writings focus is around new England and evokes moral Puritan inspiration.

What stories have you read by Hawthorne?

Stephanie

Growing Up with Timeless Classics

Saturday Sunday:

There are many books that make an impact on your life and your reading experience. There are endless classic titles to discover and one never grows too old to read them. There are classics that are girl’s favorites, young and old. I grew up reading hundreds of them into my adulthood and still do. There are the ones that you will always remanence by holding the book in your hands and scheming through the pages. To not to over-whelm you, I’ve listed just a few of the many I’ve read. I can’t remember if I have ever posted something like this before but it is always good to have a refresher. This might turn into a series as I remember the classics I’ve read over time. Enjoy!

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara

A Wrinkle IN Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Charlotte’s Web by E. B White (Re-read MANY times) Charlotte's Web

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

The Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Little Women by Louisa May Scott

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls

Matilda by Julie Andrews

Pippi LongstockingPippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Ramona by Beverly Cleary

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Great Expectations by Charles DickensGreat Expectations By Charles Dickens

All books by Charlotte Bronte

All books by Jane Austen

Marry Poppins by P.L. Travers

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brian

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum

Nancy Drew books

Trixie Belden books-which I’m torn if I like this series better than the Nancy Drew series. The Author started the series in 1948 and published six books total in the series. After that several other writers continued the series under the pseudonym Kathryn Kenny I believe.

Then there is a non-fiction list! That is for another blog post my thinks. -Stephanie

The Road Less Traveled

The road less traveledLast night I created this piece for a journal page and thought to put it in my Smash Book. I was super tired and it had been a long day. I thought to myself that I just need to go to bed but instead I sat at my desk and created. This piece is a reflection on how I felt yesterday. The windows are crooked and the doors look like they have seen better days. I was frustrated, tired, unsteady and had so many different thoughts running through my mind. I wanted to cover the page up and start over again. I posted this art page in The Paper Outpost Facebook Group I’m a member of and have had all sorts of different reactions from it. I wanted to their opinions before making a final decision. I needed some clarity one might say.

The members of the group are amazing and so encouraging. They lift each other up and all share the same passion of Junk Journaling. Many people don’t understand the term or premise to Junk Journaling and I’ve seen people criticize the past time. Not this group. I feel at home with them and our fearless leader, Pam is an extraordinary lady. The group also reminds me that art isn’t about being perfect all the time. Its a self-reflection, expression and that not everyday goes the according to plan, just like our creations. That is a big part of what makes creating so special. We learn, we grow and we inspire. My decision to share to the group was the right one and I’m glad I did.

 

Judy, one of the members, made a comment saying, “If you want my humble opinion, this turned out really well. It reminds me of a street in St. John’s Newfoundland (brightly coloured houses.) And the woman in the foreground is remembering…” I quickly googled search St. John Newfoundland and wow, wow! She was right and she opened the door for more inspiration! I want to go there and explore! I’m adding St. John Newfoundland to my bucket list. Meanwhile, I’m going to be doing some features and inspirational art based on this discovery.

Judy also said, “The woman in your picture was such a contrast. Newfoundlanders are resilient people. She could represent their stamina and determination.”

Other inspirational comments about the piece:

“Keep it. it’s cool. Plus, if you look at any museum, they have all kinds of art that isn’t perfect. That’s the beauty of it. I like it. I vote to keep.”

“It’s abstract.”

“I think your houses have charm. Get some rest and start fresh tomorrow.”

“I think you should add it. It’s a reflection of how you got your daily art in despite being tired, thereby winning. And besides, I think it’s quite charming.”

“Keep it! Shows you don’t have to be perfect to do beautiful work. By the way, I think it’s fab!!!!”

“I like how the figure stands out in the foreground as though she represents that she is bigger than all of it!”

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To further add, there are a couple lines in The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost that reminded me last night of what I was working on.

“Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way…”

A big thank you to Judy and to everyone who commented about the picture. Your take on the piece and compliment put me back in the right frame of mind. Love to you all.

~Stephanie

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Coffee | Art | New Projects

Starbucks banner

Hello! I’m back with fresh new ideas and wonderful projects coming up! Last week I was able to get caught up on some projects and now this week I’m wanting to start working on an art piece for a local Starbucks. I have several ideas in mind and I can’t wait to see where they take me! I’ll be blogging about this project once it’s completed and when it’s at its new home. Starbucks opened its first store in 1971 across the street from the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle and that is one of my focuses for this project.

In other news, I have been sharing some fun mixed media pieces over at my Layered Facebook Page and a video on a technique for a Mixed Media Altered Journal Page a dear friend asked me to post.

Lately I’ve been inspired with new projects and I look forward to featuring them in the near future. Be on the lookout for that and stay tuned for upcoming book reviews! I hope you all had a lovely past weekend and keep smiling! -Stephanie Hopkins

Art 3-2-20

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(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)