Category: ebook



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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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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The Night of the Screaming Horses (Dead Air Season 1 Episode 1)The Night of the Screaming Horses by Gwenda Bond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I finished this in a couple of hours. It was basically a short episode. Like a short story that ends with a bit of cliff-hanger. No. It was written well. It was a good idea but to only have one at a time available, this binger of shows and books wanted to throw my Fire across the room.

Like I said, I like the podcast idea. The podcaster had a great curiosity about a murder and used that sent the DJ out to explore the mystery. Though she seems a strong person, I felt the main character foolish. But I was game and read along hoping she would get satisfied in her search. But it ended before I felt it had a chance to even get started.

Maybe others will like this. I do seem to be in a minority in my need to read very long series. I like getting to know all the characters in depth and watch history in the making in fictional worlds.

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Return to Woodbury (Walking Dead Novel #2)Return to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know those books that you can’t put down? Yep. This is one of them. I never read book 1 so I have no clue if it is about The Walking Dead characters we know and love from the television show. This is a whole new bunch of people. Not even of the Fear of the Walking Dead bunch. I loved the characters right away. The slip of Rick Grimes’s name near the end lets you know it is a part of the same series.

And who wouldn’t want to live in an IKEA? What a great place to ride out the apocalypse? But our fearless leader has other plans, against this reader shouting to stay put.

I don’t like reading books out of order but it was available on NetGalley and I couldn’t resist. I’m glad I got to read it. Especially since the new season doesn’t start until, what, the 18th or something. And I had just finished another binge of all the seasons on, I think, Netflix. Yeah, including Negan’s bad behavior. So I was jonesing for more TWD. This book filled the sudden void.

If you are going to read it, block out a space in the daytime so you don’t have to stay awake until the sun comes up in the morning. It is THAT good!

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Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every now and then a person needs a good disaster movie or book. I’ve yet to figure out why. I think it is watching how predictable those in charge cause even more problems and how the human spirit can rise to the occasion in spite of everything. By the way, this one doesn’t have zombies. Imagine that!

I bought this Kindle book and its Audible companion quite a few years ago and just forgot about it. I don’t know what brought it to mind now, but I am glad I found it again.

Not only is the story engaging from the very beginning, Emily Bauer’s narration keeps it all alive. I love that this particular disaster stays rather calm in the crises as the mother tries to get her family prepared and she fiercely protects them.

The story starts with a family that is probably as familiar as our own, divorce included. It shows how love is still there even where the living together failed. And the children of this break up are not less well off, just different.

As the world becomes spread out because of the lack of working communication devices, the daughter keeps her diary going. It is through her communications with herself that we learn the story of life after the meteor hit the moon and causes tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanos and more. The global mess becomes personal as this teen tries to adjust from boys and kisses and proms to washing the laundry by hand and staving off hunger.

I highly recommend this book. There was a lot to learn here for all of us.

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Elphie Goes Trick or Treating (Elphie Books Book 3)Elphie Goes Trick or Treating by Hagit R. Oron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from the author. Thank you!

Do you have a child that is afraid of masks or other aspects of Halloween? I remember when my first was afraid of masks. The one that frightened him was made of rubber. I turned it inside out and said it was made of rubber. Then I picked up other things around the house made of the same substance. I don’t think it helped at all. This little story might have helped.

I loved how the parent let the little guy go out without his mask just so he could still have fun wth his friend. When the child got used to how everyone responds to the fun of the evening he decides for himself that wearing a mask is okay. It is always better to let the child come to his or her own healthy conclusions than forcing an issue. Wise messages are here.

I think that the only problem I had with the book was that it was written in first-person. For some reason that was jarring. I tried to imagine reading this story to a child reading the “I” statements would seem to take a child out of the story. If it is meant to be an early reader that might work. But books like this I would want to read aloud to my children long before they learned to read so we could talk about the subject matter.

Still, I do think this is a cute book. I love the little elephant, Elphie.

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Life After CoffeeLife After Coffee by Virginia Franken

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this book. I liked the title and the premise of the story.

If you are under 45 this may be the book for you. Being a child of the 60s and the era of bra-burning, I was excited to see a book about a reversal of roles. Stay-at-home dad, mom travels for a high paying job. But I didn’t much like the characters. The dad seems the abandon the parenting job when the wife needs him to step up. She is left floundering with a couple young children after losing her job. She makes a lot of bad choices while her husband won’t see that his ‘back-up-plan’ won’t keep the family feed.

Look, I am glad we are in an era where this kind of story can be told and most of the reviewers LOVE it. The feminist in me is SO happy. But the humanist in me is still not satisfied with most of this story. I do love that the author researched about the finding and securing good coffee for the Starbuck’s obsessed. But for me, a tea-drinker, the story ended where I wanted it to start.

Still, I am giving this four stars for being modern and different. But YOU may just LOVE it.

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That's What Friends Are ForThat’s What Friends Are For by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short review on a short book. It was sweet and I wish there was more. I read this a couple weeks ago but life got in the way of reviews. I hope you’ll give it a try. I have a glow as I am writing this so even though it was a long time ago, it left its bittersweet mark on me. Enjoy!

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The Empress' New GownsThe Empress’ New Gowns by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oops! I thought I actually wrote a review on this book as I ACTUALLY DID write a review already. But there was a computer glitch and the computer shut down. Then, well, life happened and I forgot. Luckily a friend “liked’ the review so I came back to the page and saw what I wrote wasn’t there. Sorry.

Let’s see if I can remember the gist of it. First of all, I do a lot of reviews for Gita V. Reddy. I like her work and when I saw this one I picked it up. I think I actually paid for this one but it was cheap and an author does deserve compensation for their work. I just am on such a limited SS budget that I rarely can buy a book. My small amount won’t keep a roof over her head, but I hope my reviews help lead people to try out her books for their edification and entertainment.

As for edification… this book was a cautionary tale to the pride that can be in each of us. The original tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes is the first part of the story. But the next part should be read by preteens, teens, and new adults. Pride can be a good thing, but if we keep it in check we retain our humanity. Gita was clever telling the female version of the original story. I enjoyed it.

Most readers will find this story fun. For me, the formatting stopped the full enjoyment. Since I do most of my reading at night and always using the black background with white font, I found I couldn’t see the words. I had to change my background to a lighter color but then found it too bright. Luckily, I always use Text-to-Speech and that worked fine. But had this been a longer story I think I would have given up. I have to read while listening as my brain needs to be fully engaged to get into a story. But for most people, this formatting issue won’t cause them a bit of a problem and they well enjoy this story fully.

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Meantime GirlMeantime Girl by Sindhu S.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When I picked up this book on NetGalley.com, I saw an interesting concept of a female Indian journalist. In the world of men here was a woman who could stand up for herself. That piqued my interest.

Instead, I got a woeful romance. I didn’t much like any of the characters. And I hate to admit it but this codependent romancy thing is so boring to me. It’s bad enough when the pursuit is for a single person, but when it’s for a married man, there has got to be a lot you can do with your time instead. And yes, I know smart women get themselves hooked in such situations, but I don’t really want to read about it. Not even on a higher-speed text-to-speech.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer about this. It’s not my kind of book.

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