Category: Kindle



Children's book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestraChildren’s book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestra by Daphna Lustiger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read to review this book.

Almost. That is the best thing I can say. I was excited, as a former music major, to see a picture book about the orchestra. But on the first page, I got disappointed. Two of the instruments named were not shown.

The text wasn’t rhythmic or as fun as it could be. And I think it still needs a good editor.

The pictures were fun and I wanted the story to be as fun.

Still, I would have read it to my children. I think I could have made it more fun with sounds of the instruments lined up to actually introduce each part. It could be a fun story, if cleaned up a bit, to a field trip to a concert or an educational segment about Peter and the Wolf, and possibly pulling out triangles and fun band percussion instruments. and a good old march around the classroom.

My deepest disappointment was the piano not named as it was being called a pipe organ (not usually in an orchestra, and no pipes).

Still, the book could have hope with a bit more clean up.

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 4: The Heart's DesireThe Walking Dead, Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m a Walking Dead fan. As opposed to how I read/watch other stories and come up with the book winning over the show, this book loses. Had I read it long before the show, I think this one would have made sure I was NOT a Walking Dead fan. Nor would I have been impressed with Robert Kirkman.

This book was not about the Heart’s Desire. It was about male testosterone! The Hard’s Desire! The males fought and tried to kill each other because they were just part of the “No Girls Allowed” Spanky McFarland boys club.

Many bits of this book were used in the show but it gets confusing when so much of it isn’t a part. I can see why it was left out of the show. If you want fans you have to remember that 50% of the world’s population are women! And even when this was written the author must have been in his basement not aware the women’s movement had already happened and even in the Zombie apocalypse women needed to be talked to and included and all responsibilities shared.

I would give this book less than three stars but I love reading comics on Kindle. This was a Kindle Unlimited freebie by the way. On Kindle you can tap on the frame of the picture or talking caption you want to see better and it will enlarge it and you can take one frame at a time. You can look over the whole framed picture and see what you might miss on the paper book. Oh, and this book gives the series its name.

I hope the books get better. Michone needs to show grrls are tough!

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The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere, #1)The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book kept me awake! I couldn’t stop reading. Meg Elison’s writing was engaging; the main character was believable and interesting. The plot was well thought out and much more plausible than zombie-apocalypse. It is a similar idea in that masses get sick and die, but no biters. It just sucks because a lot of people die. Mostly women and newborns. Again, it’s possible.

With that scenario, the story is told in many ways. There is a third-person point of view. Then the main character writes in her journal bringing it to first-person. Thrown in are chapters about other characters or even globally how others are dealing with a new world with very few women. And though I read this Kindle Unlimited version with Whispersynch to the Audible, I found myself READING as much as listening because even the fonts were different and interesting.

But without the narration by Angela Dawe, the book becomes less. Angela’s acting was flawless and added a lot to the story. I think this book is read best the way I did it as all the layers the author intended are there.

Though this was book one and you know there is more, there was no cliffhanger. You reach a natural somewhat comfortable ending. I was just excited to know there was more! I have already downloaded the Audible and Kindle Unlimited of book two. I can hardly wait to get to it!

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The Girls in the PictureThe Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so lucky to receive this book from NetGalley to read for an honest review. I loved it.

Stories about women friends are the best, especially those who stood strong and were able to fight the male machine. The early days of motion pictures either sex could do the job. Both were needed to reflect the real world while inventing a new one. Sadly after the two World Wars women were sent back to the kitchen. Such an unfair state of affairs.

I loved how these two, actress and screenwriter supported each other while they could. I was sorry that, as they predicted, once they had a male counterpart that friendship had to take a backseat. And as the reality seems to hold, the male world still stifles that of the female. It is sad that only now many decades later we are just now seeing that the fight for equality may be within sight, again.

Everyone needs to read books like this. History/HERstory is possibly more palatable in fiction. There is enough truth that a person can Google (as I did) and see these early movie marvels. Meanwhile, there are gems of wisdom for us all to carry into the rest of our lives.

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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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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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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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A2Z, Camp NaNo, K 20190412


Here’s yesterday’s first scene in the fun of the A-to-Z Challenge.

 

“Come in. I was just setting a kettle for tea. What’s up” Judy was used to working. Even on Haven, when Haven was there, she preferred doing for herself as much as she could. She thought all the wishing for things was a killer in disguise. People need work to grow.

“Have you heard from the guys? It is so much harder to stay centered down here. I don’t hear telepathic messages as often. How are we supposed to stay sane in here, knowing Haven is in danger, knowing our friends and family are out there. I’m getting a knot in my stomach from the worry.”

“Chamomile for you, dear.” Judy laughed. “I’m kidding. I do worry, now, too. I do think the key to this is to keep ourselves as open as possible and meditate several times a day. We had gotten out of practice out there.”

Rather than sit at the table while waiting for the teapot to whistle, Anna and Judy kneeled and then sat in the lotus position and held hands. They didn’t know what they didn’t know until they were quiet and knew. Anna nearly kicked Judy in getting up so fast. “Haven is in trouble. Enelrad can’t land here. I wish she hadn’t left again.”

“At least we know that the guys are okay. Henry says they found the group in the cave. They are all happy and healthy and willing to help.” Judy kept her knitting kit next to her chair. While she waited she knitted. She covered her knees with a light-weight blanket, not for the draft, but to keep the yarn from going everywhere. Everyone in the cave had something made by Judy. They all wore them with pride. Others were now learning to make clothing or playthings. Keeping the hands busy helped them to stay focused on here and now, rather than lost in worry.

“Hey, I’m making some kidney bean soup. Would you take that knife and cut up the onions?” Judy knew that Anna needed something to do and cutting up vegetables seemed to help. Their kinship had been active since way back on the ship. Sisters of the planet. Judy loved her cave home. There was a king-size bed, and bookshelves full of everything from fairy tales to the Koran. She was even fond of her copy of ‘How to Kill a Mockingbird.’

By the way, my current word-count is: 18,510.

Have the planet becomes a human in Haven in 3D Here she is as Ora Ja Ja.


My first book, Haven can be found on WattPad. Or the first three chapters, on my site, here. I am gradually bringing the whole thing here. But right now writing Haven in 3D is taking up my time.

I have been needing to review one of my other books, Earth the Final Frontier. A lot of the characters from that book are in my current book. Is it wrong that I really like that book? I’m reading it as my night time read and yes, there are things I need to edit, but I am loving the adventure once again. I wish I could bring that excitement to all the books in the series.

By the way, Earth the Final Frontier has over 92K so it is taking me many nights of reading. Are there writers in my blogosphere that have a way to keep track of all the characters, where they’ve been what we left them doing, quirks, etc? I do have yWriter to keep track. I have an Excel spreadsheet but my eyes have troubles with looking at it. I almost think I need to write it all on a wall. Wish I had one I could use like that. I know before I publish these I will have to make a character list to go at the beginning or end of each book so no one gets lost.

Something like this would be wonderful!


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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