Tag Archive: america



Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American PoliticsPlaying with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O’Donnell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like Lawrence O’Donnell. He’s not my favorite. But I relate to him in that he is about Southern California where others are all in New York. I relate to him because he’s close in age to me. He seems to see things the way I do, most of the time. Not always. So when I had another credit on Audible I decided to grab his book.

It makes me a little embarrassed to admit that this was tough to get through. Not because it was a difficult read or that Mr. O’Donnell is boring. It is just… well… I lived through this history.

1968 is the year I graduated. The draft and Viet Nam were in the news and alive in our school. The boys who graduated the year before us were drafted. By 1968 we lost so many guys that were friends. So this history is painful. Oh, and if we didn’t lose the guys to death they went to Canada and we never saw them again. Or they killed themselves. It was a hard time to be a teen. In our high school, the spirit of our class was depressed. We lost most of the games. The year before and the year after the spirit was normal. But I really feel that that depression that lived in our souls was due to everyone knowing we might not see each other again. So I entered this read with that heavy weight.

Not only was this hard to listen to because of the death of friends, but we’d also lived through Kennedy being assassinated and the disharmonious political life was on the news every day. Listening to the political upheaval again did give me a little understanding as to what happened but it also hurt like reliving it all. As my bedtime book it brought dreams back I never wanted to see again.

On the other hand, if you didn’t graduate that year, especially if you are younger, this is an important look at that history. Lawrence reads and tells this history with reverence and his research was deep. Even if you aren’t his fan, this may give a bit of history to your political understanding. I know I am nowhere near politically adept, I like seeing how others perceived that time. Just like now, our families, friends, churches, and personal experiences color how we see our moment in time. It wasn’t quite such a divided world as it is now, and yet it was. Walter Cronkite helped us get through some of it but I can remember family members arguing about all of it. A Catholic President? Unheard of! The Pope will be running the show. Yep, I heard that said. People who were marching were unAmerican? Really? What about the Tea Party? Anyway, if you get the chance, read or listen to this and see what you can remember way back then.

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Alpha: An Urban Fantasy Novel (War of the Alphas Book 3)Alpha: An Urban Fantasy Novel by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given this 4 in 1 book containing this series for free for review. I have to admit that is has been the best way to read it. One right after the other. In this case, listening to British female text-to-speech just kept the story going. But I couldn’t tell when I was in the “Alpha” book. I did feel Deidre becoming stronger though this book shows her struggles with authority and addictions more than the others, I feel. Even so, it is fun to watch her grow as a character and as a leader. Mostly I stick to the first review below.

Disclaimer: I was gifted this book for an honest review.

Maybe it was because my life has been so busy with fun road trips and not so fun hospital time for my husband, but, I had a hard time getting through this story. Usually, I can’t stop reading a Sara Reine book. There were just so many places where my mind wandered away from the story.

I think it is hard to make the main character a favorite for me. Deidre has no respect for Rylie our favorite Alpha werewolf. She doesn’t even have respect for her own alpha. But then he isn’t worth the respect. Meanwhile, Deidre Tombs goes all gooey about a dragon shifter and/or her alpha. It’s hard to know where she stands. She hasn’t much to stand on as she searches for her own animal to shift to. Once she finds it, she has a hard time making it happen.

Okay, all that aside, I am still looking forward to the next book to see what happens next. No, we weren’t left on a cliffhanger. We were left with many threads left undone, possibly fraying at the ends. How can our prolific author tie this all up? Wow!

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Alpha: An Urban Fantasy Novel (War of the Alphas Book 3)Alpha: An Urban Fantasy Novel by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was gifted this book for an honest review.

Maybe it was because my life has been so busy with fun road trips and not so fun hospital time for my husband, but, I had a hard time getting through this story. Usually, I can’t stop reading a Sara Reine book. There were just so many places where my mind wandered away from the story.

I think it is hard to make the main character a favorite for me. Deidre has no respect for Rylie our favorite Alpha werewolf. She doesn’t even have respect for her own alpha. But then he isn’t worth the respect. Meanwhile, Deidre Tombs goes all gooey about a dragon shifter and/or her alpha. It’s hard to know where she stands. She hasn’t much to stand on as she searches for her own animal to shift to. Once she finds it, she has a hard time making it happen.

Okay, all that aside, I am still looking forward to the next book to see what happens next. No, we weren’t left on a cliffhanger. We were left with many threads left undone, possibly fraying at the ends. How can our prolific author tie this all up? Wow!

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Fever 1793Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this masterpiece a couple of days ago. It was part of my anti-depression about my husband being in the hospital while I was home with fibro-flare. In this case, I would say misery loves company. Or… at least things aren’t as bad as it was then.

This was a birthday present from me–to me! I had picked up the whispersync for voice also so I was able to listen to Emily Bergl’s narration. I have to admit she is not my favorite narrator. But once she was into the story I felt drawn in and forgot that there was a narrator.

Laurie Halse Anderson always amazes me with her works. This book is no exception. Wow! The amount of research that she dug through to write this fiction is overwhelming! This is based on a real epidemic that happened just a few years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Yellow Fever takes over. But no one knows yet that it is due to the mosquitoes. Medicine was still in its infancy. Through Ms. Anderson, we get to see what could have happened to a young girl, her family and her community.

Okay. Confession time. I have never been a history buff. I did have a fabulous professor in college that made me appreciate it a bit. That class was when I was in my forties. So imagine how long it was that I hated history. I think with books like this I might have been able to relate to historical events as a middle grader on. This younger generation is so lucky to have such writers as Laurie Halse Anderson!

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Immutable (Ripple Series Book 5)Immutable by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, I am sad. I am nearing the end of a great series. It has been so much fun to read the Rippler series by Cidney Swanson. You may remember her name from the Mars series I went so crazy about.

The Rippler series isn’t space travel but I consider it to be sci-fi rather than fantasy as the condition that causes one to ripple into invisibility is caused by a certain gene, as I understand it. Scientists discover these genes and work with a multitude of medications to control the side effects and or the people that are able to vanish. As in all groups of people there are good scientists and bad/evil scientists. The results push the main characters and plot of this series.

What I don’t yet do like about this series is that even though you have the oldies but goodies from former books, each book or so introduces a new point of view. The reason I like it is because you can travel to new places and see things you might not have had Ms. Swanson kept the same main character for all the adventures. I like getting to know characters in their depth so that is why I don’t like a new character every time. I know, I’m hard to please. 🙂

At any rate, what I am left with is a case of wonderment. What if one could go invisible, hide in walls or in plain sight? What if one could read another’s thoughts? And how fun would it be to hitch a ride in an airplane anywhere in the world by hiding in the wall? And not only can you be invisible, but you can fly! Or you can take a dip in the ocean with a school of dolphins and not get wet or cold. These are just a few adventures the main characters have in this series.

I’d say try either the Rippler series or the Saving Mars series if you want to have some fun.

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Review: Under the Dome


Under the Dome
Under the Dome by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being an Under the Dome TV series addict, I knew I had to read the book.

 

 

I have only read one other Stephen King book and that was On Writing, which I loved.

Cover of "On Writing:  A Memoir of the Cr...

Cover of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

 

 

I have avoided SK because I don’t do horror. I get nightmares. But since I loved this so much I may have to read his other, less scary books. I already have The Stand in my personal library, but I would rather have Large Print or Kindle version and the Audible version to help me along.

Cover of "The Stand"

Cover of The Stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The narrator, Raul Esparza, was amazing! He is the first male narrator that did believable women and children voices without sounding fake in my experience. He had many accents to throw in for good measure. What I felt the most unreal was there were few Maine accents and many southern types. But it didn’t make the story less interesting, it did help keep the population of Chester’s Mill individualized.

A warning, outside of the same main characters and a couple incidences, this book is not like the television series. Still, I can’t wait to see what gets thrown into the mix.

It is nice to know that the man who wrote a book on writing writes a heck of a book!

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