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The Other Einstein: A NovelThe Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I was given this ARC/Uncorrected Proof (?) from for an honest review.

Sorry to be getting so far behind on my reviews/reading. Summer. That’s all I can say. I am still knitting and crocheting hats for Hugger Hats (for the homeless or cancer victims) and then there is a lot of going outside and gardening, walking, traveling to Bend, and fighting flares take up a lot of my time now. Reading this book seemed to happen after the sun went down (9:30-10) when I was dog tired. Often getting to bed after midnight and being awakened at dawn (4:30-5) made for a sleep deficit. Warm days call for siesta! Good thing I am taking Spanish (and German) on Doulingo so I could come up with a word meant to take care of people in the summer heat.

As for this book… This was a good book. I appreciate the author going into the research to present to us a brilliant woman who was left behind to be yet another Hausfrau. We need many more books like this as history has only centered on HIS story. It is time to see Her story. Did you know that Albert took full credit for a theory SHE came up with and had the math skills he didn’t have to prove it all? This is a book that will make you mad. But it will give you an idea of what has happened in millions of marriages throughout his-story. Because of biology, women, brilliant or no, are forced to take care of home and children while the man gets all the glory and mental stimulation while she washes dishes and cleans poopy diapers. Why is that? What could have happened had all those chores be shared while all the brains got all the education and stimulation they needed, male or female?

The story was rich. But I felt it lacked a bit in energy. Not sure how I can explain that drag. And maybe it isn’t the author but rather… see my apology paragraph. On the other hand, maybe the edited version are better done. I must admit that the beginning of each chapter with a letter–was it a formatting issue? It was very distracting, especially for a text-to-speech reader like me. But then maybe those who are able to read without the TTS don’t even see that? And maybe all that has been fixed by now.

Those issues aside, I think this is another book that should be required reading for everyone. Except I always hate books that were required reading. SO PLEASE READ THIS BOOK. See if you don’t find enlightenment!

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Fcuk Pretty

coffee and a blank page

Coming out to my 91yo grandmother, that spring I first broke the news to her about dating a woman, did not proceed according to plan.

My mother’s mother took a long moment, squinting at me intently, before she spoke.


“So…when are you going to lose the weight?”

I sputtered back incoherently, shifting quickly into defensive mode while still trying to confirm if she had heard and understood what I had said. But once begun, Gram was not to be dissuaded. From critiquing my body, she moved on to my brother’s, and then my brother’s wife. When her litany of complaints reached the circumference of my preschool niece’s thighs, I stood up to leave the room.

“I don’t understand what happened,” my grandmother’s querulous lament followed me. “You used to be so young and thin.

“You used to be pretty.” 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This is not a story about living in a fat body…

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Far from Home (Belladonna Ink, #1)Far from Home by Lorelie Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I was given this copy for an honest review by

Most of this story was interesting or better. I just couldn’t care for the main character and her anorexia. Sure, I know the disorder exists and causes pain to those who have it and their loved ones. But for some reason, it doesn’t come across for me as a redeeming quality for the main character. Maybe redeeming is the wrong word. I know we need to write characters that are flawed those they need to be rescued from or cured of. And maybe this was the flaw the author thought would endear us all to her. But I found it took away from the story rather than adding a sympathetic quality.

Maybe the story should have told from the Indian woman’s point of view? She looking to marry so as to stay in the USA. But she seems to have no flaws what so ever. She even has a most loving family, a super career. But other than that we know very little of why she longs to stay in America so badly that she is willing to marry someone she doesn’t know, especially a female.

Those points aside, I like the characters as they fall in love and struggle through their new relationship. The erotic scenes are hot but not overdone, they fit in the story quite well.

I always like to read stories that come alive in places I have lived. Orange County, California is one of my favorite places to live. The trouble with it is there are far too many people and it is far too expensive to live there. Beaches were what I lived for when I was there. I miss beaches. I must give my thanks to the author for letting her characters walk the sand and see the surf.

Even though this wasn’t a favorite story for me, I still look forward to reading more from the author and hopefully about this couple. Maybe that was why their histories weren’t told in depth? There’s more to come? I hope so.

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Small Great ThingsSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! Can I give this book 10 stars instead of 5? This was a brave and wonderful story! I need to preface all this with the fact that I got this uncorrected proof from And GoodReads is having a giveaway right now. Good luck! I hope you are able to get this one way or another.

I haven’t read anything by Jodi Picoult that I know of. I have heard of her but just never got around to one of her books. Now I am a big fan! On a day when this happened once again (…) we need a discussion of how it would be to walk in someone else’s shoes. If you are white, do you understand, truly, what it is to be black? If you are black or other non-white, do you understand your counter-point?

This book doesn’t just say that we should all get along. Ms. Picoult tries to get us into the heads of her characters both the black nurse and the white neo-nazi new father. When he bans the nurse from the post delivery room, little does he know that the person he bans could be the only one that could save his child’s life. No one is completely innocent, except the baby. But Jodi takes us into their heads and lives to help the reader learn more about these lives. She, also, takes us into the head of the defense attorney. Through these points of view we learn about their histories and families.

The in-depth research shows all through this story. Not in a boring, author knows more than reader sort of way, but enhancing the characters and story bringing the reader into a deeper understanding of love and bigotry. If you think you are without a bias of some kind, this book will open your eyes to areas you may need to work on.

If it weren’t for the idea that I hated to read required books in high school, I would love this book to be required reading for all human beings. That is how good it is. AND if this was the uncorrected proof, how would one know the corrected proof? I saw no problems. But that may be why I am not an editor. I do get deeply into the story and tend not to see mistakes. Even in the stories I write. Take a look at my reviews, you’ll see tons of mistakes, I’m sure!

Anyway, if you haven’t figure this out: I LOVED this book!!!! Try it and see if there aren’t gems just for you to collect!

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Dead in the Water (Gemini, #1)Dead in the Water by Hailey Edwards

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m four books behind! It is summer. Therefore I have more good days than bad. Therefore I’m outside a lot more. But therefore I’m overdoing it and having to stay inside recuperating. I claim those as my excuses for not being caught up on my reading. Oh, and I’m still knitting and crocheting quite a few hats for the Hugger Hats group. But wait a minute! I listen to books while I knit and crochet. How would that slow me down? Oh, yeah, and then a couple binge watchings. Anyone finish with the Orange is the New Black new season? Seems like there was one more but I can’t remember what it was. Those are my excuses and I’m sticking to them!

Add to that the last book I read was a courtroom (detective/spy) drama kind of book, I wasn’t ready for this one. Even though it’s a fantasy, it’s still more of a crime novel as the main character is doing investigations. The only differences: they’re using the Fae instead of humans. I never really connected with the main character. Even halfway and I couldn’t decide what her name was or even if she was male or female. I’m seeing a lot of good reviews for this book so I’m going to stick with my excuses above and ask you to read the book yourself and see how you feel about it. As for me, this wasn’t even near a Sara Reine fantasy even though she is the one who recommended it. I don’t see myself looking into book 2 of the series or even the rest of this author’s books. Yet, who knows? Maybe in the dead of winter Dead in the Water might come back to me and I’ll fall deeply in love with it. Oh, did I mention: Cliff-hanger?😦

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Just Dreams (The Brooks Sisters Dreams Series Book 1)Just Dreams by L.J. Taylor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book as a gift for an honest review. Thank you.

That said, I feel bad as I should have declined. I’m not much of a fan of romance or court drama. This was both. Now if that is your thing this is a well-written story and you may actually love this. In fact, I recommended it to my husband who loves these kinds of stories. I guess the good thing I could say is that it kept my interest until the end. I wanted to know what would happen to the characters.

I hope others find this book and enjoy it.

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Children's book: I Voice my Choice - I Choose My-self: (good values, Help kids learn assertiveness skills, short stories for children)Children’s book: I Voice my Choice – I Choose My-self: by Ilana Even

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, this book has promise. I was given this book for an honest review. So here goes…

The pictures in this book are adorable. The colors are eye-catching. The idea behind the book is way overdue. But the execution of where the writing appears and its redundancy loses all the good points.

First of all, a book like this should be set up so that text-to-speech is a given. But it didn’t work. So after the initial reading it to your child, I don’t think the child will want to come back to the book. There are places where the text is repeated on two pages and I don’t know how to fix that. I just know that the parent reading it to the children and the children will find that very boring.

I did like the idea that an organized house and organized closets smile at the person who has finished doing those chores. I think given those kinds of ideas the child would be more inclined to want to clean up and stay organized. But I think it could all be said with fewer words. Since this is a book that supposed to be empowering the children I think the children could discover this themselves. Sure the mom could initiate what’s going to happen but the children need to take over. When my children were children they discovered to stay organized meant their favorite things were where they left them and were clean and the things they didn’t like just needed to leave. It was a lot less what they learn from me that what they learn from their own experiences.

Also, I feel this was written by someone who’s not a native English speaker. And some of the ideas don’t flesh out quite right. Still I think this book is full of good ideas and wonderful pictures I think it has a chance of being a very good book.

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King Neptune's DeliteKing Neptune’s Delite by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever noticed how the most popular children’s books have children who have no parents? Hopefully, that is because parents keep children safe. But without that safety what kind of trouble could children get into on their own? King Neptune’s Delite is my proof in point. Orphaned children raised by the community were still orphaned children. And when it came to adventure, they chose adventure over the older sister’s cautions.

I would hope. Parents would read this book with their children. There are so many educational opportunities in this book that parents and teachers could implement. And maybe mature children who already have a good sense of caution could read it and not get caught up in the adventure they might have if they followed the younger siblings leanings. But should the adventurous child read this book it does become a cautionary tale. I suppose much worse could happen no no no no no no do need to do that than happens to the children of the story, but it was pretty bad as it was.

Thank you, Gita V. Reddy, for letting me read this book. It was quite the thriller from beginning to end. I found myself caught up in the story to the point of forgetting to eat or go to sleep. I just wanted to see that the kids would be okay, and if so how?

Gita is quite the storyteller! Her stories take place in her country, in India. So it gives us an education of culture and histories other than our own. I like that her stories lead us to see what we have in common with others. Example: boys who went to go fight the pirates. In this day and age, since Disney has given us Pirates of the Caribbean, even we adults might like to go on that kind of adventure. No wonder a child would!

I worked very hard not giving spoilers in this review. So instead, I say read this book; it’s a lot of fun! And grab a kid to read it to, while you’re at it! Wait, the didn’t sound quite right. But you know what I mean, I hope.😉

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We rounded up the best series by some the best and most prolific writers of the past century.

Source: 8 Great Sci-Fi Series Written By Women, From Ursula K. Le Guin To Margaret Atwood | Inverse

30 Day Novel (How to write a book in a month)30 Day Novel by Tara Maya

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book I’m going to have to read again and again. It is chock-full of ideas both light and serious in the art of writing.

As some of you might know I’m attempting to do JuNoWriMo. I hadn’t planned on doing this but it been a while since I put out the effort for NaNoWriMo and I missed writing like that. Like what? You may ask. Like a crazy idiot who’d just vomits words. When ideas fly around your head and make you crazy. When plot-bunnies plot to kill you. Yeah, I’m not sure why I’m doing it either. And with two days of thunderstorms where the electricity goes out, I’m two days behind now. But I think I could make up two days.

I did one novel where I outlined the socks out of it long before I started writing in November. That book turned out to be the very best book I’ve written so far. So as much as I enjoy the creativity of seat-of-your-pants writing I like to have a bit of a plan as I go into it. Then if some crazy ideas take hold of me I know how to find my way back to the plan.

Tara Maya’s 30 Day Novel works using outlines and storyboards and other great ideas. Some of these ideas I have tried before and they didn’t work quite so well as I would’ve wanted. But she spells out the process in a way that I can understand and I may institute some of these ideas in my plans, maybe for November’s novel. It’s kind of too late for this one. Although if I get too far behind for JuNoWriMo, I may institute some of these ideas for Camp Nano in July.

This is a quick read and the author keeps it moving along. I highly recommend it to all writers to glean what they can from it.

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