Category: Books



The Unicorn GirlThe Unicorn Girl by M.L. LeGette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is NOT McCaffrey’s Unicorn Girl which is taking me forever to read. It is not on another planet or sci-fi interplanetary travel. In fact, it is set in a past of no cars. Horses provide the travel.

Though it is set in the past in a land I have never heard of, the author doesn’t let it feel antiquated. She often uses modern colloquialisms that don’t feel out of place even in the ancient world.

I was sad when the book ended. That doesn’t happen often. Young People will love this, I think. The main character is strong and knows what she doesn’t want. She isn’t sure what she wants but that is part of growing up.

Maybe that is all I need to say here. Except–I might want to read this again someday and look at why it works so well for M.L. LeGette.

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Poor Jane

A story in the style of P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins. by Darlene Milner

Mary Poppins as imagined by the illustrator of the book series, Mary Shepard, for the first volume.

As Mary Poppins, Michael and Jane sat on the bus, they wanted to get up and play but the bus driver told them to sit still. Mary sighed and told them she wouldn’t be embarrassed by their behaviour. “Come sit and I’ll tell you a story.”

Mary’s stories were always fun. They never felt like stories. They felt like adventures they were alive in. This story began with the chimney sweep, Bert. “You remember him and his chalk drawing?” The children nodded and scooted closer to their friend.

“Well, ole Bert had just cleaned the chimney at your house, remember? Only after he cleaned up the mess on the fireplace rug, he noticed a noise in the chimney. He had just been in there, so he knew there wasn’t anything there. But there was the noise again.”

Michael interrupted with, “What was it, Mary?”

“Patience is a virtue, Michael. Now hush.” She went on to tell them that Bert crawled back up into the chimney. Suddenly he was calling out. It seemed he was stuck.

“I remember! I went back in to save him!” Jane said.

“Yes, you did. Do you want to tell this story?”

Jane nodded again and started from her point of view. “Well, I got stuck, too! There was a small bird fluttering around Bert’s head. It was saying that it accidentally flew into the flue and couldn’t get out. I felt so sorry for her that I forgot about being stuck in there.”

“Oh, I remember that Jane! I tried to go in to save you but Mary stopped me and sent me to bed.” Michael complained.

“Well, I didn’t know about that because I couldn’t seem to get around Bert to get to the bird. Finally, Bert slid back down and out the front of the fireplace. I was in the chimney alone and I was so afraid. But then the bird started singing to me and I felt better.

“The bird didn’t seem so upset anymore. She lit on my shoulder. I loved that. She started telling me how she got blown by a strong wind that she tried to stay out of. It seemed a magical wind that was directed at Nannies but the bird was the only one that got caught up in it.”

“‘I was trying to get back to my nest of eggs when it happened.’ the bird said shaking her head in sadness.

“I remember curling up with the bird and tried to make her feel better. She was so sweet and sang with such a high trill. We told each other stories and she let me pet her head.” Jane suddenly grew quiet.

“What’s wrong, Jane?” Michael asked. He was engrossed in the story.

“I can’t remember the rest, except I got very hot like someone had lit the fire.”

“That is because you caught the flu and all of this was due to your fever climbing.”

“Did it really happen, then, Mary?” Michael and Jane asked

But as the children knew, Mary would never tell.

Thank you, Linda, for this fun opportunity. Just Jot It January is so fun! And thank you, M. Oniker for the fun prompt.

 

 


Excerpts of Things I Will Never Say: (A collection of short excerpts and poems)Excerpts of Things I Will Never Say: by Nagham AB
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was a teen I was into poetry. For the most part, I find it too emotionally crippling. Or vague enough that a poem written about a stubbed toe can mean it was about your true love. Yes, I write it on occasion. And yes I read it sometimes.

In the case of this book, I felt, often, like I had walked into someone else’s life. It felt autobiographical. So how can I judge it? This is the author’s feelings about things that have happened in their life. It was well written. Deep feelings reached out. Never once felt like I would quit reading. But none of the excerpts or poems seemed to lead into others. Yet I wanted to hear (text-to-speech) what the author had to say.

I know others will love this, will relate to it deeply.

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Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary CollectionMary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection by P.L. Travers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was in fifth grade, I was a library regular. I would check out the limit of ten books at a time. Mary Poppins was a series I got into and read all of them. I never had seen Julie Andrews version. We weren’t allowed to go to movies in my family. Maybe that’s the reason I am so into movies now?

Anyway, I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations, still don’t care for them. I got irritated with Michael getting so much attention. I felt that this read through, too.

Something that I noticed that I don’t remember my childhood thoughts on. How prideful Mary Poppins was, and how grumpy/bossy she was. But now that it’s been a couple days since I finished this quartet of books I think I’m glad she was that way. She didn’t feel she needed to tell the family when she’d be leaving. She rarely admitted to the kids about her friends or her habits with them. It was like she had her own life apart from the wards of her job. I think she shows women and girls that they don’t have to tell everything and they can be independent.

Since I read these four books in a row using text-to-speech, I didn’t notice where one book ended and another began–except when she left and said she wasn’t coming back–but then she came back.

I don’t remember finding the adventures tedious as a child. But as an adult, I see they are far too similar and I lost interest sometimes.

Particular to this version, the Audible available as whispersynch to this book was just for the first book. Most folks would probably read on without a problem. I need the text-to-speech to take over and it was hard to make my Fire understand that. The good news was that I called Amazon and they made it all good. I had loved the Audible narration. I just didn’t have the money to get the rest of the books at that time. They let me remove it and then my text-to-speech with the British voice that always sounds like Julie Andrews got me through the rest of the books.

Now I feel ready to watch the new Mary Poppins movie.

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2018 READING CHALLENGE

2018

READING
CHALLENGE
Congrats!

You have read 80 books of your goal of 80!

80/80 (100%)

Wandering Koala rides The Phantom Coach comic 1Wandering Koala rides The Phantom Coach comic 1 by Jeff Thomason
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sorry, just couldn’t get into this one. Even when I finished, it wasn’t and I don’t feel like buying the next book.

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The Boy Who Flew With EaglesThe Boy Who Flew With Eagles by Ben Woodard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I loved this story. Having been on a female author/leading female character entertainment diet, I saw how female empty this book was. (My youth was spent on a diet fed to females by males).

Yes, the book spoke to sharing and caring for others on the planet, but it is entirely lacking female, except for the mother eagle. Even the boy had no mother or sisters. No human fem anywhere.

If, in fact, this kind of book was to help reluctant males to read, why do they go on and get better jobs and never get judged by what they wear or their size? If the males that read this kind of book were actually addressed, why is ecology poohed upon by the heavily male corporate and politicized world?

The overall lesson I learned from this book is that we have gentled males of their own responsibility for themselves and others to the point that if this book were about the female equivalent the boys wouldn’t have read it? How sad! Not only didn’t this story get the point across, but it also didn’t even embrace it, itself! Sharing and caring.

The minor truth was that father eagle flew away and gave the job to the mother eagle cause he couldn’t handle it!

No, I didn’t lose sight of the main objective of the book. It is marvelous that the boy got to learn how to fly and help the eagle family and eventually his own tribe. That is why the story got four stars. But the rest is lost for society.

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Little monsters, it's time to go to bed!: How to put little monsters to sleep with a toothbrush and dental floss (Bedtime Story Children's Picture Book, Ages 3-7)Little monsters, it’s time to go to bed!: How to put little monsters to sleep with a toothbrush and dental floss by Olivia Longray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When my second oldest was a toddler he saw the commercial about how the tooth-monster can attack teeth that aren’t brushed. I never had to remind him to brush his teeth. That was an effective commercial for him. This book would have had the same effect for him and probably lots of children who might be reluctant to dental hygiene.

The pictures are delightful. The fantasy goes a bit too far but it just gives the readers more pictures to enjoy and there is plenty of room for discussion about tooth care.

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The Alien Within: Book 2 of The Alien ChroniclesThe Alien Within: Book 2 of The Alien Chronicles by Robin Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I like this book better than the first one. There was a little more sanity and well thought out decisions made. Of course, there was a little teen angst but it seemed the major characters thought with true love and caring for the object of the love.

The author chose to go into the heads of the major characters to give the reader insight into their souls. I think I would have loved this book as a teen. I liked it a lot as an adult.

The ending came far too soon but at the appropriate time. I can’t wait to read the next book! I’d love to see the author take us to the cloud to meet the other aliens that were still in their own form and see how this Alien turned human affects their thoughts and ways of living.

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Happiness is a CollageHappiness is a Collage by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t like short stories. Give me a long series any day. But this book was marvelous! It is a collection of stories of women who have paths of their own and how they deal with cultural, spiritual, educational issues and mix that with those mores of American feminism and ‘modern’ ways of life and these stories seem nearly as truth, not fiction.

If there were more story for each told here I would be happy. Nearly any of these stories can be full novels, that I would love reading. I love the education I pick up as I read of each of these life situations.

This wasn’t a long read. I think it was a couple of nights. With text-to-speech it was often hard to know when I had moved into another story, but other than that I enjoyed Gita V. Reddy’s writing. I think others will like it, too.

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