Book Review: In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

Book Review: In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel PhilbrickIn the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
Published: May 1, 2001
Format: Paperback (302 pages)
Genres: Non-fiction
Source: Purchased

In the Heart of the Sea brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex—an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. In a harrowing page-turner, Nathaniel Philbrick restores this epic story to its rightful place in American history.

In 1820, the 240-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage for whales. Fifteen months later, in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific, it was repeatedly rammed and sunk by an eighty-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew, fearing cannibals on the islands to the west, made for the 3,000-mile-distant coast of South America in three tiny boats. During ninety days at sea under horrendous conditions, the survivors clung to life as one by one, they succumbed to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear.

In the Heart of the Sea tells perhaps the greatest sea story ever. Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of whale lore and with a brilliantly detailed portrait of the lost, unique community of Nantucket whalers. Impeccably researched and beautifully told, the book delivers the ultimate portrait of man against nature, drawing on a remarkable range of archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship's cabin boy. At once a literary companion and a page-turner that speaks to the same issues of class, race, and man's relationship to nature that permeate the works of Melville, In the Heart of the Sea will endure as a vital work of American history.
3 Stars

In the Heart of the Sea is an addicting read mostly because I was horrified and had to know what happened next.  This story honestly sounds made up but it is not.  As nail biting as the story itself was, it was written like a historical textbook.  I know this story happened a long time ago, but using “perhaps” a lot dragged the story down.  He uses lots of dates and what feels like info-dumping of historical details that don’t seem relevant to the story.  Some information felt like showing off how much research he did.  Right whales, sperm whales – I learned a lot about whales.

I enjoyed the clever similarities in the history pointed out by the author that I might not have otherwise noticed.  For example, the female dominated society in Nantucket from all the missing whalers is similar to the female dominated society of the whales.  The whaleship Essex slowly died and sunk just like the whales they hunted did.

Speaking of whales, the description of hunting and killing the whales was very graphic.  You don’t have to be an animal lover to find the way that they hunted these whales extremely sad.  It was also very disturbing to read about the cannibalism and insanity among the sailors that came from being lost so long at sea.  Journaling at sea helped the Captain maintain his sanity, but not everyone was so lucky.  I thought it was interesting how much journaling can help people cope with tragedy.

Overall, it was fascinating to see the historical story that inspired Moby Dick that I knew nothing about before reading this book.

Is there such a thing as luck?

The first mate, Chase, was actually the person that Captain Ahab from Moby Dick is based on.  He seems to be more likable than the actual Captian, Pollard.  Ironically, Chase makes very poor decisions but because of his forceful personality Pollard relents to his decisions even though Pollard’s decisions were usually better.  Pollard’s life after the shipwreck is full of bad luck which made me wonder – is there really such a thing as bad luck? Or was it his passive personality and bad decisions that caused bad things to happen to him?  Pollard has very sound judgment but he often doesn’t follow it.  In my mind, that is a bad decision.  Chase seemed to have a happier life because he acted in charge of his destiny but then he suffered from insanity.  Watching the differences in both of their lives made it seem like luck, if it exists, has a very small influence on our lives.  What do you think about luck?

Content Rating: Medium, for violence and disturbing situations of survival.

This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of sales made through these links. 

About Nathaniel Philbrick


Philbrick was Brown’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978; that year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI; today he and his wife Melissa sail their Beetle Cat Clio and their Tiffany Jane 34 Marie-J in the waters surrounding Nantucket Island.

After grad school, Philbrick worked for four years at Sailing World magazine; was a freelancer for a number of years, during which time he wrote/edited several sailing books, including Yaahting: A Parody (1984), for which he was the editor-in-chief; during this time he was also the primary caregiver for his two children. After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People. He was offered the opportunity to start the Egan Maritime Institute in 1995, and in 2000 he published In the Heart of the Sea, followed by Sea of Glory, in 2003, and Mayflower. He is presently at work on a book about the Battle of Little Big Horn.

Book Review: It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh

Book Review: It’s All Too Much by Peter WalshIt's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh
Published: December 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover (230 pages)
Genres: Self Help
Source: Library

Peter Walsh, the organizational guru from TLC's hit show Clean Sweep, understands how easy it is for clutter to creep into your life and how hard it is to get rid of it. In It's All Too Much, he shares his proven system for letting go of your emotional and physical clutter so that you can create a happier, more stress-free home and life. At last, here is a system for managing your clutter, regaining control, and living the life you imagine for yourself.

Peter has helped clients from every walk of life. With his trademark humor and insight, Peter guides you step-by-step through the very charged process of decluttering your home, organizing your possessions, and reclaiming your life. Going way beyond color-coded boxes and storage bin solutions, It's All Too Much shows you how to reexamine your priorities and let go of the things that are weighing you down. Clearly and simply, Peter gives you the courage you need to go through your home, room by room -- even possession by possession -- and honestly assess what adds to your quality of life and what's keeping you from living the life of your dreams.
5 Stars

This book was so much more than just a really long pep talk about getting rid of your stuff.  It’s full of great ideas about everything from paperwork to kitchen cabinets to basements.  Peter takes the overwhelming task of organizing your entire house and breaks it down into manageable steps with a process to easily maintain and it keep it that way.


I love how personal and customizable this book is.  Instead of diving right into a lecture on why you should organize your stuff, Peter Walsh starts out in a surprising way.  He has you take a quiz about what you want in your ideal home (there’s also a hilarious quiz about how much of a hoarder you are).  I had a blast making a long list of what my dream home would be like.  My list was full of things like: colorful, smells nice, clean, can find things easily, and relaxing.  Because of this approach, it made me more open to the ideas he had.  Now I had this image in my head of what I wanted and I knew this process was going to get it for me.  Plus, who doesn’t love quizzes about themselves?

I loved this whole book.  I took 10 pages of notes.  I’ve recommended it to everyone I know.  But I’ll share the things that resonated the most with me.

Organizing isn’t really about the “stuff.”   Like most people in my generation, I had grandparents who lived during the Great Depression and stuff was hoarded for good reason.  This was passed down to my parents and it was instilled in me.  But unlike the time of my grandparents when even hoarding everything you could find still left you wanting, hoarding now creates an excess of stuff that is ultimately making me unhappy.  The amount of stuff you had used to be limited by money but since everything is much cheaper now, it has to have a different limit.  That limit has to be the size of your house.  Until reading this book, I hadn’t realized that I even was hoarding.  I like minimalism.  I don’t like knick-knacks.  But when he pointed out that we can’t keep adding to our stuff without ever subtracting, I realized that I buy and buy but never get rid of anything.

Even though this was something I knew, I still liked his discussion about value vs. cost.  Cost and value aren’t the same thing.  Just because something was expensive doesn’t mean it is adding value to your home.  See also the broken $2000 TV sitting in my basement that no longer works.  Maybe we could fix it someday but most likely not.  Maybe the TV example is too obvious.  But what about the expensive bike I hardly ride?  Or the books taking up room on my shelf that I don’t like?

Peter says that most people make quick decisions about where things go the day they move in and never change it.  They never question if things function where they are or make thoughtful decisions about where to put things.  He’s so right! I did that! I think this is most true in the kitchen. It’s the first thing I set up because I … um….food and I just hurried and shoved things in cabinets.  Then I got so used to where things were that even changing one drawer was annoying.  I’ve rearranged my kitchen a few times since reading this and it is so annoying to open three drawers before you remember where something actually is.  I thought I needed more furniture in my kitchen, but after decluttering and rearranging I realized I didn’t.

The room function chart in this book is simple yet genius.  He just asks you to go through each room and ask what it’s current function is, what it’s ideal function is, who uses it, and what needs to leave the room.  For some reason I never looked at my rooms this simply and logically.  I transformed my mud room because of this chart.  I have a closet in there as well as coat hooks on the wall.  Since I didn’t need the closet for coats, it seemed obvious that I would use the closet as a broom closet.  But when I went through the functions of the mudroom I realized I wanted it to be a place to grab everything you need before leaving and put everything back when you come in the door.  Having my brooms in there didn’t make sense especially when all the diaper bags, church bags, school bags, library bags, and work bags were on the bench/floor/everywhere and you couldn’t move in there.  It was only obvious after going through this chart that I should stick all those bags in that closet.  My mudroom is gorgeous and clutter free now.  (I stuck all my brooms in my laundry room in case you’re wondering.)

He goes through common problems for each room in the house.  Having stories about how people struggled with a certain area and then fixed it made me feel normal.  I loved the stories from people’s lives because even though they didn’t always apply to me, they did give me ideas about what to do with each of my rooms.

I know that all organizing books essentially say the same thing, but I loved Peter Walsh’s approach.  It’s personal yet logical and easy to use.  He’s funny, likable, and has great ideas.  I could tell he was passionate about what he does and it rubbed off on me a little bit.  It’s made me motivated to get rid of stuff and I’m much happier because of it.

Content Rating: None. Clean read.

This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of sales made through these links. 

About Peter Walsh

Peter Walsh

Born and raised in Australia, Peter moved to Los Angeles in 1994 to launch a corporation to help organizations improve employee’s job satisfaction and effectiveness. He considers himself to be part-contractor, part-therapist in his approach to helping individuals attain their goals.

When not wading through clutter and large-scale disorganization, Peter divides his time between his work in Los Angeles and visiting Australia as frequently as possible. Peter’s passions include mid-century architecture and design, home renovation and transforming chaos into order.

Book Review: Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Book Review: Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Published: 1926
Format: Hardcover (145 pages)
Genres: Childrens, Classic
Source: Purchased

More than sixty years ago, Christopher Robin took his friend Edward Bear—who came to be known to millions as Winnie-the-Pooh—by one chubby paw and brought him unceremoniously downstairs. Pooh has endured, still slightly rotund, a Bear of Very Little Brain, but very generous of heart: the immortal creation of A. A. Milne, who wrote this book for his only son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave Pooh and his companions shape.

The adventures of Pooh and Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and the ever doleful Eeyore, are timeless treasures of childhood. These tales still speak to all of us with the freshness that distinguishes true storytelling.
4 Stars

A classic that really shows the charming literalness, innocence, and adorable self-centered logic of childhood.  The writing really shines when you read it out loud and I enjoyed reading it as much as my kids enjoyed listening to it.


I was surprised at how many writing “rules” this childhood classic breaks and yet it works so well!  It’s told in the style of Princess Bride by having a story within a story.  There’s the story of Winnie-the-Pooh and his fictional adventures and then there’s the interruptions and questions from the “real” Christopher Robin.  But the two stories are blended together since it’s written in second person.  Every time Christopher Robin is mentioned in the fictional adventure, he’s referred to as “you.”  It can be a little confusing at first, but I think the kids liked it because it involves them if you pretend like they are Christopher Robin.  The writing is so animated and a lot of fun to read out loud to my kids.  I recognized a lot of the stories from the Disney movie, which is how I was first introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh.

In the chapter “In Which Piglet Meets A Heffalump” I loved how it illustrated the adorable self-centered logic of kids.  Piglet and Pooh decide how to catch a Heffalump entirely based on how they would be caught in a trap.  It’s endearing to see it play out. I feel like the best kid’s stories have insights for adults but are appealing to kids as well.  Winnie-the-Pooh definitely does that.  There were a few times where I would laugh and they would ask me to explain what was funny.

Maybe it’s just an example of how much the world has changed, but I found the chapter where they kidnap Baby Roo mildly alarming.   I’m not criticizing the chapter – it was just a realization for me that the world I live in is very different from the world even 80 years ago.  It was still a lot of fun to read.  Kanga got back at them for kidnapping Roo in the funniest way possible.  Don’t mess with moms.  They will outsmart you.  There were a few other elements that felt dated that needed a little background and explanation for my kids like putting a message in a bottle.  They really just couldn’t grasp that idea.

Winnie-the-Pooh has a very distinct writing style that is easily recognizable.  My favorite element of the writing style were the capital letters which changed the tone of the sentence.  This is one of my favorite examples of it.  It also has some of that humor that appeals to adults.

You can imagine Piglet’s joy when at last the ship came in sight of him.  In after-years he liked to think that he had been in Very Great Danger during the Terrible Flood, but the only danger he had really been in was in the last half-hour of his imprsionment, when Owl, who had just flown up, sat on a branch of his tree to comfort him, and told him a very long story about an aunt who had once laid a seagull’s egg by mistake, and the story went on and on, rather like this sentence, until Piglet who was listening out of his window without much hope, went to sleep quietly and naturally, slipping slowly out of the window towards the water until he was only hanging on by his toes, at which moment luckily, a sudden loud squawk from Owl, which was really part of the story, being what his aunt said, woke the Piglet up and just gave him time to jerk himself back into safety and say, “How interesting, and did she?” when — well, you can imagine his joy when at last he saw the good ship, The Brain of Pooh (Captain C. Robin; 1st Mate P. Bear) coming over the sea to rescue him.

 – A. A. Milne, Winne-the-Pooh (pg 145-146)

I forget how charming kids can really be when they are being their cute, literal selves.  The story of them going on an expedition to the North Pole was a good example of that.  Instead of a place, they were looking for an object.  Obviously it’s a long pole that Pooh happens to find.

Summer is just starting and I’m having a blast doing all kinds of fun things with my kids.  This is my new mantra for the summer.

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

– A. A. Milne, Winne-the-Pooh (pg 160)

Content Rating: None. Clean read.

This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of sales made through these links.  

About A.A. Milne

a a milne

Alan Alexander Milne (pronounced /ˈmɪln/) was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems.
A. A. Milne was born in Kilburn, London, to parents Vince Milne and Sarah Marie Milne (née Heginbotham) and grew up at Henley House School, 6/7 Mortimer Road (now Crescent), Kilburn, a small public school run by his father. One of his teachers was H. G. Wells who taught there in 1889–90. Milne attended Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied on a mathematics scholarship. While there, he edited and wrote for Granta, a student magazine. He collaborated with his brother Kenneth and their articles appeared over the initials AKM. Milne's work came to the attention of the leading British humour magazine Punch, where Milne was to become a contributor and later an assistant editor.

He married Dorothy "Daphne" de Sélincourt in 1913, and their only son, Christopher Robin Milne, was born in 1920. In 1925, A. A. Milne bought a country home, Cotchford Farm, in Hartfield, East Sussex. During World War II, A. A. Milne was Captain of the Home Guard in Hartfield & Forest Row, insisting on being plain 'Mr. Milne' to the members of his platoon. He retired to the farm after a stroke and brain surgery in 1952 left him an invalid and by August 1953 "he seemed very old and disenchanted".

He was 74 years old when he passed away in 1956.

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du MaurierRebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Published: 1938
Format: eBook (441 pages)
Genres: Classic
Source: Purchased

Working as a lady's companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers...

Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
4 Stars

This passionate, gothic romance will appeal to people who loved Jane Eyre.  It’s a thoughtful, beautifully written novel about honesty and finding yourself.


The setting of Rebecca draws you in with it’s beautiful but haunting mansion and the wonderful, vivid descriptions of it.  The writing in this whole novel is just beautiful.

A lilac had mated with a copper beech, and to bind them yet more closely to one another the malevolent ivy, always an enemy to grace, had thrown her tendrils about the pair and made them prisoners.

– Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (p. 3)

The voice of the nameless main character was lovely to read.  She was honest but naive which gave her a charming, sweet quality that I liked.  This quote is a good example of it.  She’s not being snide or sarcastic but simply honest.

I wonder what my life would be today, if Mrs. Van Hopper had not been a snob.

Funny to think that the course of my existence hung like a thread upon that quality of hers.

– Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (p. 12)

Here’s another great example of the main character’s simple, sweet honesty and I kind of agree with her sentiments.  I believe in being honest all the time, but I’ve also learned the value of keeping my mouth shut when my blunt honesty isn’t needed.

“Yes, according to the letter I got this morning. [Grandmother] won’t stay long. You’ll like her, I think. She’s very direct, believes in speaking her mind. No humbug at all. If she doesn’t like you she’ll tell you so, to your face.”

I found this hardly comforting, and wondered if there was not some virtue in the quality of insincerity.

-Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (p. 89)

Rebecca reminded me a little of Downton Abbey since the setting and politeness are so important in both.  The passion in this gothic novel reminded me a lot of Jane Eyre.

I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.

– Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (p. 37)

I found the writing so thoughtful.  I liked this quote because it’s such a Harry Potter way to keep track of memories.  I think of memories like movies and pictures, but memories as scents sounds like something Snape would do.

“If only there could be an invention,” I said impulsively, “that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”

-Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (p. 40)

The narrative plays a lot with time.  It jumps around a lot to show how time can speed up and slow down.  I don’t usually like jumpy narratives like that, but it worked really well with the themes in this novel.

Rebecca is actually the dead first wife of Maxim, whom the main character marries.  The main character is constantly being compared to Rebecca and how she did things and how pretty she was etc.  I kept getting this feeling that Rebecca was not as great as everyone made her out to seem.  But the way every thing was worded so politely, our poor, naive main character couldn’t see that people actually didn’t like Rebecca.  Instead of the compliment the comparisons could have been, she took them as her not being good enough. I could see that Rebecca probably wasn’t a saint even though the main character couldn’t, which made it all the more fun to read. 

This has nothing to do with the story, but I like tangents especially if they are gross and funny.  When I read Julie and Julia, the author talked about making chicken in aspic.  Aspic is basically chunky, meat flavored Jell-o that is served cold.  I was horrified along with the author of Julie and Julia to think that people actually ATE that.  It couldn’t be true!  And then I saw chicken in aspic mentioned in Rebecca. Ew, it is true.  Tangent over.

The main character and her husband have the same fatal flaw–they couldn’t stand up for themselves and for the truth.  It drove me nuts but maybe that’s the point of the story.  The truth would have set them free so quickly and easily but the good manners of the time didn’t allow truth–only politeness.

Another flaw about this novel that people might not like is the fact that the main character seems very passive.  She is so passive that it almost becomes ridiculous.  But it makes it so awesome when she finally does stand up for herself.  It also reminds me that I need to remember to do that more often in my own life.

I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth.

– Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (p. 309)

If you’ve heard people talk about this book, you will almost always hear about the abrupt ending.  And it is.  But at the same time this whole novel is told in a flashback so when you to get to the end and it suddenly ends, you still know what happens next because what happens next is actually at the beginning of the novel.

Which do you think is more important –

truth or politeness?

This novel points out the strengths of both.  Truth can be very freeing, but at the same time politeness and considering others feelings is important, too.  It reminds me of that robot in Interstellar where he’s only 90% honest because “absolute honesty isn’t always the most diplomatic nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.”  Truth is much more powerful and I think that’s why I’m afraid of it sometimes.

Content Rating: None. Clean read.

This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of sales made through these links.

About Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier

Daphne was born in 1907, grand-daughter of the brilliant artist and writer George du Maurier, daughter of Gerald, the most famous Actor Manager of his day, she came from a creative and successful family.
The du Maurier family were touring Cornwall with the intention of buying a house for future holidays, when they came across "Swiss Cottage", located adjacent to the ferry at Bodinnick. Falling in love with the cottage and its riverside location, they moved in on May 14th, 1927, Daphne had just turned 20.
She began writing short stories the following year, and in 1931 her first novel, 'The Loving Spirit' was published. It received rave reviews and further books followed. Then came her most famous three novels, 'Jamaica Inn', 'Frenchman's Creek' and Rebecca'. Each novel being inspired by her love of Cornwall, where she lived and wrote.

June Reading Queue


Reading Queue is a monthly meme where you share what books you plan to read for the month.  You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide.  Reading Queue is hosted by Book Tasty and Books:  A true story.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs – I got this book for review many months ago.  I’m going to update my review policy soon to no longer take review books.  I love my new style of reviewing books which are full of spoilers and discussion, but that style of reviewing doesn’t work well with brand new books.  No one has read it so there’s no one to discuss it with and they definitely don’t want to be spoiled.  So I think from now on I’m going to keep my reviews to older books.  Until then, I’m going to make sure I read the small pile of review books I have left and this is one of them.  I really enjoyed the first book and I can’t wait to see what crazy pictures are in this one.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – No migraines this month so I hope I can actually read this one!

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley – I’m actually in the middle of reading this.  The main character has an extremely strong voice.  It’s mean, sarcastic, and bitter.  It sounds eerily close to the voice in my own head.  I obviously keep those thoughts to myself because I generally like people, but I can see why people wouldn’t enjoy the voice in this book.  However, I’m loving it so far!  I’ve seen a lot of my friends DNF this book so I hope it doesn’t crash and burn at the end.

summer-readingSummer reading is here!

I signed up for my library’s reading program and I am so excited! Do you do anything special for reading in the summer? I try to read a 1000 page book.  I don’t know if I will this year. I have so much yard work.  I’ll try in July if most of it is done.

I like to try and read outside in the summer as well.  Not sure if that is going to work out so well, either, since I have a baby to watch this summer.  I need new summer reading traditions!  I want to hear yours!


FINISHED The Eternity Key by Bree Despain. So I had terrible migraines for two weeks in May.  It’s funny how slowly it sets in and little by little you feel more and more crappy until you wake up one day and can’t function anymore.  For the life of me, I couldn’t concentrate on reading.  I couldn’t remember anything about the prequel to this book (The Shadow Prince) so I went back and re-read it.  By the time I finished it, my migraine meds had kicked in and I was feeling much better.  Migraine-free, I realized that I understood the recapping at the beginning of The Eternity Key just fine and I didn’t really need to re-read the first book.  Anyway.  I loved this book!  I think I loved the romance even more in this book than I did in The Shadow Prince.

DIDN’T START Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  I’m going to try again this month.

DIDN’T START What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. We ended up not reading two books for book club this month and because I had such bad migraines, I only read one book.  Maybe some day I will get to this one, but I’m going to take it off the TBR for now.   Speaking of book club, it was the first day I had taken my meds for my migraines and I just felt soooooooo good.  They were a little strong and my friends got a kick out of their introverted friend acting a little loopy :).