Category: Reviews



1000 Japanese Flash Cards: For Smart Phones and E-Readers1000 Japanese Flash Cards: For Smart Phones and E-Readers by Kevin Marx

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is no a book you read straight through. As the name implies it is flash cards. I played with a few pages but since I need more progress in my DuoLingo Japanese program, I can’t blame the book for my lack.

Still, for the sake of my goal of 100 books read in 2017, I needed to get it off my currently reading shelf. It will remain on my tablet to play with on a daily basis. I like the idea of flash cards and in the shape of a Kindle book. It is well laid out to play with often.

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Cyrus LongBones and the Curse of the Sea ZombieCyrus LongBones and the Curse of the Sea Zombie by Jeremy Mathiesen

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

You wnt boys to read? Keep the action going. Want girls to read it? I wouldn’t. The action is fine. But here’s the female line-up:
An abusive step mother
A zombie water witch
a girl-sister(?) who needed rescuing

It seems you want to grow heroes but don’t want them to be female. And don’t care to teach inclusiveness in any way.

Sorry. All that action was boring to me and I wouldn’t recommennd it to boys or girls for what it doesn’t teach.

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FridayFriday by Robert A. Heinlein

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this in highschool. I really loved it back then. There are aspects of it that I really loved this time. But the narrator ruined the story for me all the way through. She had a boring voice for Friday and for everyone else male or female,she sounded like Katharine Hepburn. Nothing against the great actress. She might have made a great Friday. But she didn’t fit the rest of the characters. I would have returned at the beginning but I thought I could overcome the voice and stay in the story. That didn’t work out very well. so here I am at the end, wishing I would have just ordered it from the library and listenrd to the kindle text-to-speech.

As many of you know, I have been trying to read about strong women by women for a couple of years now. This was written by Robert Heinlein. I think he understood some of what women go through. But for something that is futuristic, Friday was not as strong as I thought she should have been, still bowing down to the male of her life (Boss) and wishes what all women might want to have in their lives.

I do think people should read this to gain insight. I just suggest text-to-speech or paper book.

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We Should All Be FeministsWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Look, I think of myself as a feminist. But I have read books about feminism that were the most BORING books ever written! This is not one of those! BUT the title kept me from reading it. Not because it is a bad title, but because it looked like it would be boring like those others.

It was far from long and boring. If you are lucky enough to get to have the audio version read by the author there is an extra treat.

Since I didn’t read the book along with listening I can only give my impression of what I think the tree-book is like. I think it is short essays on different aspects of the feminine daily life, especially the world Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie lives in. Her voice and accent make this a delight to hear. The stories/essays are enlighting to intellect and soul.

This is a short read. I read it in an hour before going to bed. So don’t look at it with fear like I did. It’s good and fast!

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We're Going to Need More Wine: StoriesWe’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories by Gabrielle Union

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always feel weird reviewing autobiography. It is somebody’s story about their own life. So I guess I need to review how it was told. I was able to pick up the Audible version with the author reading it. That made it feel like she was in the room just telling me about herself and her past.

Gabrielle Union’s story is unique. And while she is telling her story she covers her outlook on how it felt to grow up as a minority in the school year and as herself with relatives in the summer. She gave her views of feminism and how she went through various discriminating situations. And she told her ‘Me, too” story.

This was an interesting read. I think if I were younger it would have been even more so. I think teens and young adults would get so much out of what she shares.

I hope you get the chance to read/listen to this one to draw your own conclusions.

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1,2,3, Red, Blue, Green Bilingual (English - Japanese) 1,2,3, あか、あお、みどり バイリンガル(英語 - 日本語)1,2,3, Red, Blue, Green Bilingual (English – Japanese) 1,2,3, あか、あお、みどり バイリンガル(英語 – 日本語) by Yael Manor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As many of you know I have been learning languages from Duolingo. Japanese is one of them. I find it to be the hardest of the four I’m working with. German, Spanish, Esperanto are the others but I feel more confident with those three. (Not conversant but able to read it a little.)

I like to get children’s picture books to help me. I figure if it helps a kid to learn, it may help me. Not sure there is hope in this case. Yes, Duo has covered primary colors and primary numbers. But when I try to follow the written language I am totally lost. I do find a couple words here and there that I recognize but most of it is still squiggles to my eyes. The worst part, for me, is trying to get word order. That is true of all these languages.

That isn’t a slam on this book. Even if you weren’t trying to learn Japanese, this would be a fun book. The little story is fun and would make a fun read aloud. It might also be fun to string balls with the children in the book.

I think if you had a child who only spoke Japanese, this would be a fun one to learn the English from. So it is fun from every angle. I just wish there were a small section in the back helping with word order. Very educational and re-readable for everyone.

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Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White HouseHacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House by Donna Brazile

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have always admired Donna Brazile. She seems a classy woman. I love hearing her talk. I always thought she does a good job giving her listeners both side of a picture. So I chose not to get the book but rather the Audible version. Her’s is a good voice to hear before going to sleep.

I always say this when I’ve read an autobiography. I cannot be the judge of her points of view about her own life. Think about your own life. Look back a few years and you may not think of what happened in the same light as how it looked when it was happening. So I do not doubt this is her point of view of recent events.

It took me several nights to read this (NaNoWriMo took my days). I must admit that each night I found this paranoia taking over my psyche. I do feel the Russians have done terrible things to our systems of government. I hope we can get to the bottom of all of it and recover our dignity as Americans.

There are some very scary things in this book. I want to try and warn you. But I don’t want to spoil the read for you. Try to keep your own political point of view out of this. It is this person’s brave telling of what happened in her life at a crazy time in our history. And don’t come after me with your arguments. I will delete them. This is my opinion and you cannot argue a person to think like you.

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The Magician's Turban: A Short Chapter BookThe Magician’s Turban: A Short Chapter Book by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun little chapter book for kids! For an adult, this was a quick read, but for children learning to read for themselves, this would be a fun book for them to read chapter by chapter. It would also make a fun little book to read aloud to your child.

I think if I would’ve read this to my children when they were young we would’ve all founded fun but a little scary. Because it’s never truly explained how the boys ended up inside the turban. I think explaining that part to my kids would’ve been difficult. I’m not sure. Maybe we would’ve taken it as ‘you don’t need to follow your curiosity all the time’. That it can be a bit dangerous to do so. But it does point out to use your brain and figure things out and by doing so the boys get free.

And why don’t girls get to go on adventures like this?

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How to Grow Marijuana: Indoors - A Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide to Growing Top-Quality Weed IndoorsHow to Grow Marijuana: Indoors – A Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Growing Top-Quality Weed Indoors by Tom Whistler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fibromyalgia hurts. Arthritis hurts. I’ve been down every road for pain, that the doctors could give me and none of them worked. I am not one of the children of the 60s who took marijuana as a teen. So I curious as to whether cannabis would work for me or the oils. I tried to pick up a lot of books about it and about growing it for myself to see what needs to be done.

I found myself between books one evening just before going to sleep and decided to listen to this book. I found it very interesting, very well done. I felt the author explained everything very well. He took you from the time of the seed through the different phases of growth and explained what the plant would need in each. It isn’t often that I read a book of instruction using the text-to-speech but I found it worked out quite well for me this time. I’ll keep this on hand as I need a reference guide.

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The Road to Helltown (Preternatural Affairs #9)The Road to Helltown by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, Sara Reine has done it again! Prolific equals S. M. Reine. Sorry, I’m late coming around with my review. Since Kindle did a bunch of updates I have had quite a time trying to get back to reading because they messed up the text-to-speech they messed up the backgrounds they messed up the font sizes and hardly ever can save my place in a book. And as much as they want to think of themselves as a tablet, I choose to think of Kindle as a reading apparatus. I don’t read on my tablet I use my tablet for other things.

Enough of my rant. Cèsar Hawke is not my favorite character in Ms. Raines books. I go into those books kicking and screaming. These books are more male-oriented. Cèsar reminds me of the old detective movies, film noir, I think is called. But when we get past that were back in Ms. Raines universe. Regardless of how San Francisco looks now, through her eyes, it isn’t. Same holds true when she incorporates Reno or Las Vegas. It just is more fun reading from her point of view. Cèsar is a witch who is allergic to magic. If you don’t think that puts some complications on things, you’re not paying attention. It takes a lot of magic to fight a demon. Especially a really big one. So in spite of his allergies, Cèsar does the job.

Even though I would give any of the Cèsar books 3 stars, because they’re okay, the overall stories are always superb, exciting, and hard to put down. I can blame these books for nights of lack of sleep. Not because they’re so scary, but because you want to see what happens.

Please come to the Sara Reine universe starting with the Six Moon Summer series and keep going through all the different series that Miss Reine puts out. They’re all good!

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