Category: Books



Against the Current (Zombies! #2)Against the Current by R.S. Merritt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the second book that was also on Kindle Unlimited. I enjoyed it as much as the first, maybe more as there were fewer mistakes. Starting a sentence with Him is never a good idea unless you’re baby-talking with an infant. And only if you don’t care how that child learns to talk. Luckily that only happened at the end of the book so I managed to actually enjoy the story more.

As one can’t really predict who might die or live in the Zombie Apocalypse, I will try not to take offense at who died and who didn’t. I certainly won’t give spoilers, as much as I wish I could.

My biggest problem is the cliffhanger. Truly I think this would be a better book if sold all as one. I’m not at all thrilled to wait until the next is written. Even if it is free I don’t want to read it. I will assume the right people survive and all becomes good in the world after.

This is not to say that others wouldn’t love these two books. There is enough to make the reader engage and hope for the best. The characters are nicely developed and one wishes them all a good life!

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A Small World (Zombies! #1)A Small World by R.S. Merritt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shreaking, fast running zombie. Yikes! At least they aren’t all skinny and slow. They have differences like the people they were before the virus. That’s my biggest complaint of The Walking Dead. If 70% of Americans are overweight, how would all the zombies become skinny? I’ll take that diet! LOL!

It isn’t the zombies that pull me into books about zombies. It is the survivors. You probably don’t get a choice who you spend the apocalypse with. Our ways of defining each other, style, size, shape, gender, age, etc., are wiped away. Good and bad show up. The good guy isn’t really when you put him against the zombies, the bad guy comes up with ways to save everyone. Moment by moment the apocalypse tests people. As I read/watch these kinds of stories I jump in and wonder how would I react, how would other people handle it all? Since the author gave us characters and their traits we are surprised and yet not at the reactions of trying to survive. I think there is a wisdom to how people can’t be enclosed in a box of what you think might happen. It is often the people that are scary, maybe more than the monsters.

In the above character arch, I find this book interesting. Mr. Merritt seemed to try and change things up to what you might expect in these kinds of situations. And he wrote the story in such a way that the reader doesn’t want to put the book away for the night.

BUT narratives that say Him and take me right out of the story. There were a few places an editor needed to be stronger. AND I’m not an editor! I usually don’t see oopsies. I get caught up in the story and rarely notice the problems. So if I see it, I am hesitant to recommend the book to my more astute friends.

My biggest problem is not finishing the book. Yep! Cliffhangers! HATE THEM!!! If I didn’t already have the next book from Kindle Unlimited (how I got this one) so I could move on I wouldn’t have moved on. If I had bought this, I would not buy the next!

By the way, are you being paid by Disney? It seems there are a lot of references along the way. I felt those rather out of the blue and weird. I suppose if the person is from Orlando, FL or Anaheim, CA, that would be a big part of your life, but most aren’t lucky enough to be near those, even in the apocalypse!

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Knave of Blades (Tarot Witches: The Raven Knights Saga #1)Knave of Blades by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not since the sixties have I seen such sexy flower power! Sorry, that’s all you get, no spoilers! Just this is mostly Ms. Reine’s usual story with twists and turns in the fantasy world within our own. Familiar places with unfamiliar buildings or beings.

This one is a bit more erotic than most. If that’s a turn off for you, maybe skip and read some of her other books. If not ENJOY!

I like reading about the Tarot Witches, even if this one finds herself in new places with bizarre but fun abilities.

I want to say more but don’t want to ruin the adventure of reading it yourself.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. It comes live to Amazon tomorrow. Hope you get the chance to read it. It is a new series within many series(s) and I think it could be a place to start on Sara’s writing. I still advice starting at the beginning with Six Moon Summer.

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Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You ThinkFactfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love books that make you think. This one certainly does that! It took a while to get through it. As you probably know, my reading is done at bedtime. This was not that kind of book. Though it was nonfiction, a lot of it kept me up at night.

There were eye-opening statistics that one might not have thought of before. Predictive statistics that the book talked about were even more eye-opening. One of the most striking was made clear to me, showed that like the chart of a newborn baby can’t predict with the same growth later in life. We don’t expect a baby to continue to grow as much or as fast as a school child as the newborn. If a person kept that same growth rate we’d all be giants. So predictive charts need to look at other aspects during different times, incomes, health and wealth influences. I know I’m not saying this the way the author did. But the points he made similar to the example I tried to put forth, were equally stunning.

My friend recommended this book and I am glad I followed through. On the other hand, I must admit that I would have gotten a lot more out of the book had I had the paper book. Since I have trouble reading tree-books for the eye-sight and font issue, I listen to the text-to-speech. The problem was that I didn’t take the moment to read the charts and graphs presented to help the reader understand how things really are as opposed to how we think they are.

Even so, I found this a super interesting book that in the future I might just try to find the paper book just for the illustrations. Maybe I don’t agree with all his perspectives, it seems I have read somewhere that statistics are rarely pure. Most are bent to reflect the person’s paid position to research to the paid end. Still closing one’s eyes to the possibilities presented in this book are so much more destructive than paying attention and learning what we can from it all.

Give it a try. I picked my copy from the local e-library.

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I was on that long trip to the town for shopping. I’m exhausted. But at the end of my day, I was rewarded. If you have a Grocery Outlet near you maybe they have these little gems. I can hardly wait to play with them. Zen Doodle books that are $11-20 each. But I think it was $3 for both! I was looking for a clear shower curtain for cheap. That didn’t happen but these books! Yay!

 

 

Sorry for the bad lighting so I included the Amazon links if you click on the pictures. They aren’t badly priced there either. I think I might like to work some of these for Escapist Coloring Club.


We Witches Three Books 1-6We Witches Three Books 1-6 by Humphrey Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m pretty sure I’ve read these books before, at least the first three or four. I can’t find my review anywhere. I think I felt the same thing for the books then as now. There are aspects of the story I like. Witches and librarians (bookstore owner). The things I hate are too many males overpowering in any way the females. There are too many brothers trying to hold down the young witch. Plus a vampire who feels he should protect her. Then a jealous boyfriend. And that teen angst. UGH! Does he love me? What if I do this will he still love me? What garbage. Books should teach girls to be strong in their own individualism.

Don’t get me wrong. I stayed with it and kept reading. There is enough going on that the reader gets into the tension of what will happen next. And this six-book combo was free on Kindle Unlimited. So I went with it.

One last thing I HATE is cliff-hangers! I would have just left it at that had the next set of books cost even a penny. But it was also free on Kindle Unlimited. But I have a ton of books to read before I can get around to it.

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Oh, Nurse!: One Man’s Journey Through the Nursing Life, a Personal Account of the Highs and LowsOh, Nurse!: One Man’s Journey Through the Nursing Life, a Personal Account of the Highs and Lows by David Daniels
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When the author asked me to review this book I stated that I mostly read books by females with strong female leads. But I took a moment and realized that this was a male nurse. He knew where I was coming from, and he’d proven himself. So I figured his book deserved my read.

It was good. If my feet and back could have handled it, I would have tried to be a doctor or a nurse. I was a candy striper with that aim. But not only couldn’t I handle it physically, when one of my patients died I found that to be too hard to take. Granted I was sixteen, not enough life experience to know people come and go from your life. But that little bit of experience made what I read in Oh, Nurse! ring even truer.

As I usually say when reviewing a biography or autobiography, this is someone’s life. It is hard to play judge and jury when watching them walk in their own shoes. I wish I would be able to say this book encourages future nurses. But, with medical marriage with insurance, I don’t think it is going to get better any time soon. The greatest profession should still be nursing. They are the patient advocate, or at least they should be. They are invaluable to doctors, at least they should be.

I have always loved shows like Greys Anatomy, ER, all those medical shows. They are there to give us all an eye into what is happening or can happen when personalities and money are involved in trying to take care of medical issues people present with.

I hope that in spite of his honest story of his life as a nurse, others will choose to go into that career. I hope his story opens the eyes of those in charge of our medical needs to how to make things right for all.

Good job, David Daniels!

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The Payback Letters (Payback Society Book 2)The Payback Letters by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Gladly. I have loved every book Cidney Swanson has written. I always admit that my favorites were the Saving Mars series. But the time travels, and Ripplers and now the Paybacks have been a delight to read, also.

Cidney has characters that are believable, relatable, even when they seem to be well to do, and going to a rich-kid boarding school. BUT this brain got confused in this book. So a warning: Clair is the main character of the first book and Fiona is of this second book. What kept confusing me (or unconfusing) were that I remembered that Clair’s parents were dead and her brother had helped in significant ways. Fiona’s aunt keeps referring to her parents helping with tuition and her brother being dead. I am horrid at remembering names But relatively good at recognizing certain aspects of a story. I had to go to the book blurbs to understand where I was getting confused. If you read book one, you remember poor Fiona going with the horrid Sly. That should lead you down the trail of the story Ms. Swanson has present us.

After I understood who the star was, I think I love her more than Clair. Yeah, she gets a little gah-gah about a guy, but in the long run, I was rooting for them as much as for Fiona’s future.

Since the Payback series is separate from Ms. Swanson’s other books, you can pick them up and enjoy them now without reading everything else. That said, I hope you read the rest, eventually, as they are all fun adventures. I wish I had someone writing these kinds of books when I was a teen.

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FledglingFledgling by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a different take on a vampire story. I listened to the Audio from my Library Overdrive system. There was nothing scary about the main character. There were some of her kind that were, but the author didn’t stay with them. This story goes with the main character who is a young vampire who has lost her memory.

I finished this audio a couple of days ago. I can’t remember the MCs name. I did like her and rooted for her. I liked her humans, too. But towards the end, I didn’t like it so much. The court scenes were kind of boring. And the worst part was that I wanted to see more of what happened after. I felt the story ended abruptly.

Still, I think I will remember the feelings this story gave me. For that, I upped my rating from three and a half to four stars.

I did like the writing, too. It’s worth the read.

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SmilodonSmilodon by Alan Nayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My husband seemed really excited about a book he was reading. He even brought it into the living room with his headset while I was watching some show. He doesn’t usually read during the day. He is usually on the computer during the day. So I asked him about the book. It sounded exciting. I was able to borrow it on Kindle.

He was right it was right. It was exciting.

Anyone who reads my reviews know I am on a mission to read mostly female authors with strong female characters. After all, I spent my first sixty years like most people, reading mostly male authors and male characters. This book didn’t fit my new goal. But my husband convinced me that is was intriguing. So I couldn’t resist.

I have to admit that the first few chapters were boring. It was male heavy. And the only females were eye-candy. The main female (secondary character) was the ranger in charge but was seldom given her due of being in charge.

Beyond those complaints, the Smilodon part of the story was exciting. Imagine a creature that big that takes over a park! I don’t want to give any spoilers. It is well worth the read, but maybe not at night. It was hard to sleep after!

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