Tag Archive: cheryl-recommends



The Snow Kept on FallingThe Snow Kept on Falling by Kathie McQueary
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thank you, Cheryl. This was fun. I do have the child’s point of view about snow. I get very excited. And yes, I understand why Gramma said what she said. We have had snow around Halloween. But it never stuck. So when it started snowing on All Saints Day, November 1st, I figured it would melt away. Guess what? It still hasn’t melted a bit. It isn’t as deep as the picture book’s snow. But the snow is still here because we haven’t gotten above freezing for this month, often hitting nearly double minus digits. Sadly, it isn’t that fluffy stuff of the first snow. This is the dangerous to walk or drive on snowy ice. The kind my husband broke his shoulder in a few years ago.

This fun book reminded me of the Henry and Ramona stories I read to my children. I felt the cold and smelled the hot chocolate. As a mother, I relived dressing my kids in the snowsuit on the few snow days we had back then. Over and over, strip, dry, redon the suits, rinse and repeat. It’s worth searching out and reading. In fact, my friend led me to read it on Open Library  . I also found it on LibraryThing  . I must admit that I wouldn’t pay $26 for this book, even if the pictures are retro fun.

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Antics!Antics! by Cathi Hepworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A couple of friends recommended this fun little treat. After their great reviews knew I had to find a copy.

Okay, so it might be a little advanced compared to other alphabet books. Still, the pictures and one word per page make it a quick memorized book. It may be more fun for older siblings to read to younger ones with a more advanced vocabulary. And parents and teachers can find a lot of conversation starters on each page.

First of all, ANTS! Hey, you could obtain a good ant farm for the kids to watch or a walkout to see ants in their true habitats. Hopefully, you haven’t been inundated by the ones that love your kitchen. But, heck, there’s another educational moment for you and the students.

The illustrations are so much fun! Who knew ants could be so expressive? This brings me to the choose your favorite page. My friends chose Deviant and Chant. I do like both of those. But my favorite is a psychological thriller with personal history. Hesitant. I remember graduating to the level of the high dive. I remember the first time actually climbing back down the ladder to my shame and embarrassment. I gave myself speeches for days and was determined to do it the next time. I did get all the way out on the board—no diving for my first few times. Even the first jump, I felt hesitant. I don’t remember ever getting confident on that dive. I preferred the sturdy diving platform, and I could dive from and reach the other end of the pool in one breath.

I think I will donate this to our little library.

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The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar CountyThe Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an adorable tale! The little girl, Baby, as Big Mama calls her, sees it as her mission to catch every chicken. But one eludes her.

Shelley Jackson makes the story come alive with illustrations that seem real yet whimsical with a bit of collage throughout the book.

My children and I would have loved this when they were 5-8ish years old. It might have helped as educational moments as we had chickens back then. Learning that you must chase down a chicken every now and thing to medicate or isolate certain ones. But chasing, as fun as it could be, frighten the chickens and can be bad for them. My kids never found that a goal. Instead, they learned to gather eggs and mostly leave the chickens to live their own lives. They saw hens clutch and babies hatch and follow mothers around.

This fits in the Black Lives Matter category as the child, and her mom are black. It is incidental. This could have been any race living in rural areas. I like that. I can’t wait until things like this book become commonplace. Books and the arts should reflect our lives. All kinds of people live on this earth. Why not enjoy the variety?

Now that I am finished reading this book, I will donate it to the local library as I think it might be a good addition.

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DreamsnakeDreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was fortunate to find the audio version on Overdrive through my library. I enjoyed what my friend, Cheryl said about the book.

The narrator, Anna Fields, seems to have a raspy voice that is a little offputting at first. Then that voice becomes the healer. She can act out the other characters in a believable way.

The story is a little hard to follow at first. One wonders what tribe or group of people this person is from. When you give up trying to identify, the story feels more natural.

Since I read at night before bed, I was worried I’d have snake dreams. But not a one. Yet, it is a warning to watch for. There are snakes all through the book if you have a bit of phobia.

Like Cheryl, I wanted more from this story. Much of the action feels vague to me, and I felt lost. I love the little girl and wished there was more of the healer and her adopted daughter. But I guess that wasn’t the mission of this book. It was more about the healer and her travels.

It is worth the read. I may try it again sometime.

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The Storied Life of A.J. FikryThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Um. Yeah. What if Data wrote a book? The emotions and exciting adventure are missing. Lots of telling that seem to lead nowhere.

But if you love books and bookstores, you are hooked without mercy. You don’t want to quit because there has to be a reason for all the quotes and little notes that start each chapter.

I didn’t care for A.J. Fikry. The author doesn’t paint him in any kind of good light. The other characters around him are equally yawn-producing. But BOOKS and a BOOKSTORE! Keeps the engine running, the reader reading. Weirdly, at the end I found tears flowing. How did the author do that? I even found myself wondering how the next book would look. I wanted more of the characters. (trying not to spoil here.)

A friend recommended the book. I’m glad she did. I recommend this for readers who love books. I will look into other books by this author. I may reread this to see if I can figure out how the author wrote this intriguing book in the dryest of fashions, throwing ‘show-not-tell’ and other rules of writing out the window.

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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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Planetfall (Planetfall, #1)Planetfall by Emma Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Darn cliffhangers! I cannot wait until the library can get book two onto my Kindle Fire! That is the only reason I rated it four stars.

If you are a sci-fi fan like me, especially the kind that include space travel or new planets, you’ll love it, too. One of my friends recommended this to me and she is not wrong, this is my kind of book!

Ren is the main character. She has some personal issues but tries to stay professional. We aren’t sure what causes her to be the way she is. But we like her and follow her life on this planet. Other characters aren’t nearly as developed but don’t need to be. There are a couple of them that are not as nice or are too pushy but, hey, in any group of people there are going to be individuals who are not as accessible.

The science used in this book was fascinating. It all seems not only plausible but necessary if we are ever to explore other worlds.

What isn’t often explored in sci-fi are mental issues and how that could affect all on a new planet. And mental issues may not be there at the beginning when being processed towards being an astronaut but that doesn’t mean that issues won’t come about later to trigger individuals.

I love how issues like anxiety and depression and even hoarding are brought up. As we all know, the patient is the one that has to ask for help for help to be most effective. I seem to be making this sound clinical, it isn’t. It is exciting and kept me up reading far longer than I should. The excitement of a new planet and flora and fauna never seen before kept my interest until nearly sunrise a couple of nights.

I highly recommend this book. And as I said, I can’t wait for the next book to become available.

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The Delany Sisters' Book of Everyday WisdomThe Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom by Sarah L. Delany
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m so behind on my reviews. Sorry. I finished this over a week ago. It was my hardback read. At least it didn’t take nearly a year like my last ‘real’ book. I think the font, paper color, size of page worked out pretty well for my crazy eyes. And I loved the sisters and their stories.

How does one live so long as the Delany Sisters? (Well over the century mark.) They tell us what they think works, at least for them. They even include their favorite recipes from soap to cobblers. Since I don’t like to cook, those weren’t for me but other readers will love that. My favorite parts were reading how the sisters related to each other, their family and the world at large.

Since it was an easy read for me, it will be quite a fast one for those with better eyes. Maybe you’ll glean some good advice for your own life.

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The Host (The Host, #1)The Host by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been weeks since I finished ‘reading’ this book. I couldn’t decide how I felt about it. I think it is somewhere between hating it and being okay with it.

Kate Reading was the narrator. I nearly returned the Audible version. The voice seemed all wrong for the alien. And all wrong for the strong host.

The story did start to get interesting about halfway in. We finally meet the human tribe hiding from the aliens. I liked some of them. But the narrator’s voice seemed wrong for these characters, too. It amazes me that I stuck with this book in spite of how I felt listening to it every night.

The ending was a surprise for me and satisfying. I know a lot of people loved this story. The writing was good. But it didn’t do much for me.

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A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently read the third book in this series and decided to reread the whole series again. I stand with what I wrote below. I was lucky to find the book on Libby as an audiobook. I have since bought the Audible version as I may have to read this another 100 times. I love Becky Chambers’ writing and these stories SO much!!!! Now I’m ready to read #3 again. I’m a happy camper!

***

Can I give this book 20 stars? This is MY kind of sci-fi! No wars and shooting and one-up-manship. We get to know another social order, the good and bad of it. We watch someone growing up within and without that order. We get to know other beings. We get to travel in space. There just happens to be males and females. In this case, a female lead but it could as easily have been a male. Good choice to have a female to have the adventure. YAY! Male in the story, not necessarily a romantic counter point. A friend. Believe it or not!!!!

Though this is book two in the series it could stand alone. But if you get the chance to read the first book, do so. It was fun, too! You can find my review of the first book in GoodReads under The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

What I think I liked best about this book is how the author took us into a young girl’s thoughts without making us feel childish or talking down to us. And how well she matured said girl through the years helping the reader feel that maturity and sense of growth. How a sense of time alone doesn’t become boring as it might if we lived it, but a chance to learn and explore ideas and abilities.

Oh, and one of my favorite reasons for reading sci-fi is to learn new philosophies or enjoy those we might have left behind for a revisit now. I think Becky Chambers may be my new favorite sci-fi author!

This book is now on my gotta buy the Kindle and Audible versions so I can reread it soon!

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