“The Tiny Owl Guide to Hospitality: How to Make Entertaining Simple and Stress Free” authored by Nina Nelson and Dani Arab
This review has recently been amended. For the newest version, please go here.
With non-religiously oriented hospitality guides so rare on the market, I expected so much more from this book. Unfortunately it did not deliver for me; already halfway through it in less than an hour, it has been woefully disappointing thus far.
The way in which it is written is simplistic in nature. Usually I would consider that a positive as instructional books have a tendency to become dry and too informational after a bit. For this book, however, the simplicity is a negative mark against it. The subjects which could be expounded upon and covered more in depth in order to add sustenence to the book are instead included as tangents with a hyperlink (of all things) instructing you to go to their blog. It is lazy writing and uprofessional- making this book seem more like a ploy to gain viewership for their blog than a novel with a legitimate purpose.
The formatting is also poorly done. It is hard to figure out which of the two authors is writing- and when they do make the distinction it is poorly done. I know how it can be hard to involve the views of two distinct authors cowriting a piece as I had this same problem with one of my own books, The Sisters Grimmoire. However, I do know for certain that it can be done with little effort, and so I feel the poor distinction may be inexcusable. There were multiple options in order to carry the book across successfully and yet they failed spectacularly, making the book fragmented and confusing.
With these two points alone, I wonder how the book would measure up when published in paperback form, and I suspect not very well. At the very least they could have shown initiative and provided textual transcripts of the hyperlink contents. If they had done that, the formatting problems may have at least been overlooked.
The story telling was also sub par. We Southerners know the importance of storytelling, but we also know the importance of cohesiveness; that our story line up with the general purpose, easily connected to the point being made- and illustrative of it. When it is not, the book suffers and the point is lost in the confusion- something very common with this book. The lack of flow in chapter subjects (an issue, again, of poor formatting) only contributes to this.
Another problem I had was the lack of sourcing concerning the essential oils. Who believes, for instance, that Frankincense is spiritually uplifting? Which study did the authors get that from? Was it personal experience? If so, then why are they recommending something that arguably needs a scientific foundation? The science of scent has been well studied at this point, so there is no excuse to omit sourcing when you recommend essential oils for certain moods and behaviors- nor is there any excuse to omit warnings about safety when you speak of applying them directly to your skin (something which, without the use of a carrier oil, is dangerous).
In all it had some decent tips, but I found it sad, lazily and unprofessionally written. They would do very well not only to expand on its content (and not be so lazy overall), but re-write it altogether.
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