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About Laura B Scott Photography

Welcome to the blog!

I am a northwest Florida based photographer & artist. My two dogs & I love to travel & photograph new interesting people. My favorite things include the outdoors, hiking, chocolate chip cookies, a comfy down comforter (any time of year!), and flip flops!

Here you will find posts from my adventures & travels, both personally & professionally. Since I love to travel, do not hesitate to ask about any destination. Special discounts are available for Philadelphia, PA, Charleston-Myrtle Beach, SC areas & San Diego, CA destinations.

I also own an online handmade gift shop with my mom, featuring many different types of lovely & unique jewelry, pottery & home decor. (link at bottom of the blog)

Archive: ‘LOWBC – Book Reviews’



Fifty Shade of Meh {LOWBC 4 Book Review}

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

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Book Review

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Spoiler alert in this review

Meh. I’m honestly not sure what all the hype is about this book. And ok, so I’m not one to read a romance novel & maybe that makes me judgy to start. But I figured what the hey I should see what all the buzz is about for a book that has sold millions of copies & now has a movie coming out this weekend.

The basic story is plain virgin girl, Ana, meets uber rich, insanely handsome guy, Christian, who she has an electric physical attraction to (as does every woman who meets him). He’s drawn to her too. She find out he’s into dominant/submissive sex (which requires a 5 page contract) after he tried to warn her off. He doesnt do ‘real’ relationships & doesn’t know how. And like most girls who fall for a guy with a troubled past & commitment issues, she determined to see if she can change that. There’s no reason she can’t be different than all the other women he’s been with, right?

Now I guess the kinky sex that fills most of this book is what has woman drooling [and googling BDSM terms like what’s a ‘submissive’?’]. And if you’ve never heard of Dom/Sub relationship (or watched Real Sex on HBO), this book could be very exciting.

I found the writing to be repetitive and the story to be slow. There is an overuse of the same words & phrases throughout the book. (Even in the same paragraph at times -‘beguiled’?). There is a constant use of the work ‘gray‘ to describe emotion on Mr Grey’s face. I mean how many times can Ana loos at Christian “beneath my lashes” or her breath “hitch” when she sees him? It feel like amateur writing. With phrases like ” Contain the riotous feelings – Or are they hormones“. Um really? I wish the writer had used a thesaurus. At least then the dull writing would contain more colorful descriptions.

books4And Something about the way he calls her ‘baby’ bugs me. It just seems out of character for a guy with such a coldness about him to have any kind of affectionate term even if generic for a woman he also refers to as ‘Miss Steele‘ (which I get is used an obvious reference to the English novels, Ana is fond of.)

While the ‘story’ is about their relationship & his twisted whatever’s, most of the text of the book is spent on describing their sexual encounters. The actual story was predictable and could have been told in probably less than four chapters rather than 500+ pages.

I was determined to finish this book if only to find out if she’s able to get the love she wants from him. But it ends how I expected – how all relationships end when someone needs the other to be something different than who they are. (although this is apparently a series of books so- meh -whatever. I won’t be reading them)

Laura’s One Woman Book Club {LOWBC} pt 3

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

I love getting books for Christmas! And this year my fellow book-reading family members did not forget this. (Thanks Dad, Mom & Sean!) (and thank you Amazon Wish List for helping them out 😉 )

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Because it is still dark & cold by 6pm, (that’s my excuse & I’m sticking to it) I have been reading up a storm. Let’s dive right in to some really great books I finished since my last book club post:

LOWBC Book Reviews:

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
I’m not sure what made me want to read this book. If you read the dust jacket, it sounds downright depressing. A story about a fourteen year old girl, June, who lost her beloved uncle to AIDS in 1987 when little was understood about this disease. Her life is turned upside down by the loss.

Then at the funeral a mysterious man, her uncle’s great love appears and June begins to realize she doesn’t know the whole story. Eventually she finds an unlikely secret friend in this stranger. But she struggles to piece together the uncle she loved as a naive girl with the man he really was. And what she doesn’t realize is how this loss is also affecting those around her.

Ultimately this book was not a fast passed story. It was more of a meander through the past & into the character’s present & back & forth. Written almost like a memoir, it is about finding unlikely friendships, the bonds between sisters, inappropriate love & the complexities of family.
So it turns out the old saying is true – You can’t judge a book by its cover. And you don’t always know as much as you think about the entirety of who someone is. Although I didn’t cry while reading this book as some readers do, I did find I was inspired by the emotions of the characters. I am reminded to appreciate what I have in the present & remember to show love & gratitude to those around me.

 

House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett

Occasionally there are books that leave an impact on you – they parallel your life in some way that’s hard to explain to others. It’s like the timing of reading the book, the story, the characters makes sense to what is happening in your own life in that moment. You connect & it changes you.

This has only happened a few times in my life where out of the hundreds of books I’ve read, there are a few I will never forget -1984 by George Orwell, Lolita by Vladimir Nabovkov, The Dive from Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer, Of Water and Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman by Malidoma Patrice Somé And this book – House in the Sky

This is by far my favorite traveler book since Shutter Babe (even more so) It has left an impact on my mind that I know will last.

I continue to become a big fan of travel stories – traveler books as I like to call them. This dust jacket of this book, of course, initially spoke to my wanderlust. But I was left with a greater understanding of so many things. (I know this sounds dramatic but I can’t begin to speak of how much I loved this book). I learned more about the perils of world travel, struggles in the Middle East & Western Africa, & how hard it is to be a female world traveler. But there was something I have a hard time writing into words.

I was immersed from the first chapter. This book is a miraculous memoir about author, Amanda Lindhout’s kidnapping & fifteen month detainment in Somalia. It is an unimaginable nightmare filled with a breathtaking account of her time in captivity. This book is filled with so many emotions. While it does account those terrifying months & the horrific moments inflicted by heartless young men who held her & her friend prisoner, she also manages to paint a beautiful picture of her life, her world travels & her passion for adventure.

This book will travel in my mind always. Her endurance & amazing spirit of survival is inspiring. It is an adventure book which really explores the human soul, its profound strength, compassion, courage & ability to find forgiveness.

books3The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory

Spoiler alert in this review! 

A few months ago, I read another book – The Other Boleyn Girl– by the same author. So I am familiar with her writing style.  (and I have a mini-obsession with 15th century European history at the moment) Through many of her books, the author gives a voice to those lost in the bloody struggle of power in the 14th & 15th century Europe. Her writing style & character choice seems to have the feeling of the ‘untold stories’ of royal history. This book is no exception.

This book is an intriguing dramatic historical fiction story as told from lady-in-waiting, governess, Margaret Pole. Within it is a well researched & colorfully detailed story about Queen Katherine of Aragon, Princess Mary, King Henry VIII & and the Tudor’s ambitious reign on the throne of England which caused much upheaval and ultimately downfall of the church as told from her point of view.

This time period in English monarch history is filled with compelling drama. Margaret, a real life powerful woman in her own right, pulls her family from near poverty while at the same time walking the fine line between friend of the court and secretly hoping for the return of the old ways of life when her family bloodline sat on the thrown of England only two generations before.

As a young woman her family name, Plantagenet, stays hidden behind her married name. Here she remains somewhat obscure & befriends the future queen of England.  It isn’t until the death of her husband, a knight to the king, that Margaret is faced with poverty & unable to care for her children. She makes tough decisions to ensure they survive.

On the whim of King Henry VIII, Margaret is removed from her hidden obscurity to a become a celebrated rich land owner with homes around the countryside. This power of course held together by the fondness & friendship of Henry’s first wife & queen, Katherine.  The story becomes a tornado of events as  the unstable & paranoid King is seduced by another woman & the struggle for power among his inner circle becomes deadly. The church is dissolved. The queen is removed from title, replaced by non royal blood. The countryside begins a rebellion.  There are plots to remove the king, broken promises, queens dethroned, beheadings, friends turned foe – all a part of the curse placed on the Tudor bloodline by none other than Henry’s own grandmother!

During this tumultuous time, Margaret tries to keep her wits about her, & children safe as she slowly watches her family bloodline and heirs with potential claim to the throne questioned, imprisoned & killed until at last she must face her own certain fate

This is a great read, especially for someone who loves historical fiction but doesn’t want to get lost in long chapters with monotonous details. The King’s Curse manages to piece together both the Tudors and the Plantagenets families. It is nice to read about all this history through the eyes of a once powerful woman, almost forgotten about in the history books.   I look forward to reading more from this author.

[ Side Note: I have found it unnecessary to know a ton about English Monarch History before reading this book. Nor is it necessary to read this book series in any particular order. Each of the books appears to stand on their own quite well. ]

 

LOWBC queue for the next post:

50 Shades of Grey

Brazen Careerist

A Short History of Everything

As always I will add links to queued books that are reviewed in future posts. If you would like to read more of my past book reviews, click here. Or sign up on the top right to follow my blog 😉

Books {Knowledge, Inspiration & Sarcasm} pt2

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

You should know, I love to read.  If didn’t catch my post from earlier this year  (in which case you already know this)  But I decided I would share my love of reading with all of you by sharing about the books that I have been reading & what’s on my list for next time.

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Let’s call this Laura’s One Woman Book Club (LOWBC for short).

Ok let’s dive in with the Books I’ve read since my last post:

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

I picked up this book at the bookstore because of the title & cover image 😉  But the story, told from different characters, seemed intriguing.  The book begins, ‘Izzy called me Marnie after her mother. She’s dead now, actually they are both dead. I’m just saying that’s how I got it, my name.’   Two young girls with both parents dead are left on their own to figure out how to survive the ghosts that haunt their past. Along with the help of some unlikely adults, Marnie & Nelly come into their own & learn what family really means. The author manages to weave a grimly funny story with sympathy & beauty.

 

I’m a Stranger Here Myself  by Bill Bryson

A few years ago I read a book by Bryson about his unprepared travel up the Appalachian Trail with his friend. It was laugh out loud funny.  I love traveler books. When I saw this in unread-condition in a small used book store in Philly, I knew I had to read it.

Being published in 2000 I will admit does make this book a little outdated compared to other books of his. It is a collection of his writings from the time period when after 20 years away he moved back to the US from England with his family. Because after hearing that many Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens ,”it was clear my people needed me”. Stories about the improved America are both funny and relatable.  It’s a great airplane book if you don’t mind your seat-neighbor giving strange looks when you laugh out at this humorous book.

Books2

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I’ve never been a history buff. It was definitely not my best subject in school.  But over the last few years I have a growing interest in world history – the ancient pyramids, religious history & european monarchies.  And in the last year I have become let’s say slightly more obsessed with european history from the late 14th century thru the 15th.

It started with the show Tudors that I binge watched on Netflix. Loved it! I was sad to see the story line sped up in the last season to fit all Henry VII’s wives in.  But this story got me interested in learning more about the monarchy of that time period. So I bought this book.

I have not seen the movie. And I am kinda proud to say I finished this 600+ page book in less than a weeks time. It was a juicy novel about the rise and fall of Henry’s second wife, Anne Bolyen as told from the perspective of her younger sister, Mary. It’s a very compelling story with ambition, love, sex and fate.  I loved it!

And I definitely look forward to reading more of Philippa Gregory’s books.

 

The LOWBC queue:

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Tell the Wolves I’m Home

House in the Sky

Brazen Careerist

Contagious
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Ok so I realized that keeping track of my book club posts might get tricky (I read a lot) so I’ve decided that the to-read queue list will get a link to my reviews in the future. Make sense?  {Click the titles for links to the reviewed books}

 

Books {Knowledge, Inspiration & Sarcasm} pt1

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

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I love to read. If the books is good I get totally lost in it. Sometimes I read more than one bookat a time depending on my mood. Usually a business/inspiration book along side a fiction/memoir. And good books get read fast.  I make up excuses not to go out just so I can sit at home alone and read. I stay up until –eek! – 3am reading sometimes.  I totally don’t regret this indulgence when I wake up in the morning. I feeling fantastic! (you guys get sarcasm when you read it, right?)  But it is worth it to have all day to think about the story in the book until I get my hands on it again at the end of the day. (not sarcasm)

Books2Recently Read:

Everything Is Perfect When You Are A Liar  by Kelly Oxford

I don’t even know her. But I totally get her. Insightfully Sarcastic. Embarrassing. Funny. I’m bummed it’s already over. You should read this book. And follow Kelly on twitter.

 

Do the Work! By Steven Pressfield

Relatable. Inspirational butt kicker.(obviously a fan of this book. Exhibit A & B)

 

Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

I read this book cover to cover, before the plane landed in Philadelphia from San Diego a few years. But I thought it was worth a mention since this book has always stuck in my head. Good read. Insightful without over thinking the point of the book.

 

Books on my to-read list:

The Other Boleyn Girl

Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Steinbeck Novels 1942-1952

A People’s History of the United States

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

{Click the to-read titles for links to reviews once they have been read 😉 }

 

Any books you would like to recommend, I would love for you to leave a comment below. I’ll keep you updated on my latest reads. . .

 

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