Tag Archive: Fiction



Independence Day: Crucible: The Official PrequelIndependence Day: Crucible: The Official Prequel by Greg Keyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay. Not my favorite book. But it certainly filled the bill for missing information.

We watched, as usual, Independence Day on, yep, July fourth. I wanted to watch our DVD but the machine ate the DVD. Luckily, the show was on Live TV. We recorded so we could watch when we could get together as a group at the same time. We, also, recorded ID Resurgence. Getting all four of us in the same room at the same time is rare. So we barely got ID finished on 7/4. IDR happened on the fifth.

We’d seen Resurgence before and were unimpressed. This time we seemed to be more into the identifying stars and characters from before. That’s when we noticed that there were characters that seemed to be important but were unknown to us.

My husband watches shows with Google ready. It was when I asked him who is that and why are they supposed to be important? I don’t remember them from ID.

This book is the missing piece. Though it isn’t exciting enough to have a movie of its own, without it Resurge keeps you wondering. Maybe this should have been a series of three one hour shows? At any rate, this helped make the final show make more sense.

On the other hand, I am no more interested to rewatch Resurgence now that I know what I do. And it seems this could have the possibility of another movie or two as we learn more about aliens of all kinds and the hope of global cooperation.

So, it’s worth the read.

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Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8)Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought that book 7, Echo In The Bone, was my favorite of the Outlander books. Nope. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood wins. It was fantastic!

Regardless of the time the characters land in they all grow and help us learn the rules of Gabaldon’s Time Travel.

What can I tell you that won’t spoil it for you?

As usual, there is a lot of research evident in the reading and as one supposes, there are instances of poetic license, which Diana Gabaldon admits that she has it framed on her wall.

The most exciting part of the book is as Breanna talks about Doctor Who in a chapter called, Thank You For The Fish. (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). Now I really wish I had a TARDIS so I could play in all three universes.

And I wish I could move on to book 9 but my Audible credits don’t come until the middle of the month. A quick note about why I read by Audible most often now. Actual reading is impossible for my eyes. It seems a tracking issue. So I use a lot of Kindle Text-to-Speech. Though TTS works well for most books when there are other languages involved I want to hear the words pronounced correctly. Davina Porter is able to range the language barriers and character ages and sexes with apparent ease. I love listening to her.

If you get the chance, the books are as good if not better than the shows, and the Audible versions are the best of all the worlds. Enjoy!

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An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book may be my favorite of all the Outlanders. Maybe because of how I chose to read it nearly 24/7. After all, I had reached the skinny-mini underbelly of all streamings–teen or young people who look like Barbie Dolls going through the samo-samo life issues. Give me some older adults, women of all shapes and colors, real people, not Hollywood-mothers, whores, or weaklings. Not enough streaming of strong women holding up half the world. So back to reading the only way I could. Audible.

Also, I was making scrubbies and washcloths while listening. That helped me ‘hear’ better.

By constant reading, I could stay in the story better. And family members came and listened with me on occasion. So it wasn’t a lonely process.

At any rate, I loved watching the cast of the characters struggle with life and time travel issues and historical moments. I especially loved the parts about Brianna and Roger at Lallybroch recovering letters from Claire and Jamie. And though I used to find Willy obnoxious, I think I clicked with him this time. And I grew more in love with John Grey. How nice to see good, honest, quality men portrayed.

I tried to find something else to read last night as my bedtime read but couldn’t resist looking for more Outlander. Now I am listening to book 8, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.

Time to lower my reading goal as I seem stuck in tome reading. I love it! I hope you get the chance to read these. Oh, and Davina Porter does so many voices so well. I still wish for more actual actors for sometimes Bri and Claire sound the same, and all the children sound the same, and Roger, even with his sore throat, sounds like other men. Still, for one person covering so many people, Davina is fantastic!

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The StandThe Stand by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Why am I finding myself reading/listening to such long books lately? Maybe because I don’t have to carry them around? Maybe because at least something in my life feels secure and always there? I don’t know. But this fits that bill. I will once again have to lower my reading goal to accommodate this new penchant of mine.

What a fun book! I wish I would have read it before I ever watched, much less owned, the DVD series. I saw Molly Ringwold and the rest of the cast playing in my mind as I listened. But for the most part, that didn’t interfere with the character development. Except for Harold. But I guess back when the show filmed it would have been hard to put a minor character actor through the process of losing a lot of weight while dealing with the travel with his team. I hope the new one gives us a more true-to-book Harold.

Grover Gardner, the narrator of this book, should be given all the awards he has. He was able to portray most of the characters that kept them separated in my mind as we went along. I didn’t feel the aversion of the female characters in the way I often do with male narrators. There is usually a feeling the male is making fun of the female. I do think we should just start hiring both male and female, and possibly children actors for the appropriate characters. But that is my own opinion of that.

What was fun for me was I had the book reading to me in the living room. My husband or my son, or brother would walk in and start listening with me. They all seemed to enjoy it from the point I was listening to when they felt the need to find other tasks for their day. My son became most involved. He’s in his forties and is well acquainted with the show—an excellent way to bond with others.

I read The Dome quite a while ago and King’s book about writing. Both books were fantastic, and I think by the end of The Stand, I have to admit to becoming a fan. I love how he keeps the reader involved. He makes you feel you are in the story almost always.

Some parts of the story involved a bit of the Bible and brought in demons and prophets. It felt right for the time it was written, but I wonder if we needed that. I believe that the good and evil, and I don’t think that is our position to judge who is or isn’t, will die or live, not accordingly but just chance or biological, genetic predispositions. I think that a person might have some bad luck shouldn’t make them drawn to the demon. I don’t quite know how to say that. It is worth the thought process the book takes you through, but I wonder if it could be without the demon? I think caring people might flock into teams, and those who are just looking for advantage regardless of others’ needs might find themselves in a herd situation. But again, it played out as King’s story and not offensive.

As I got into the story from the first chapter, I found King’s research quite evident. Had everyone read The Stand, we might have been more ready for our own Captain Trips. A cautionary tale all should read and glean what they can. It seems like a book two could help us figure out the next steps.

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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow! Am I finally finished with this book? It is the longest book I think I have ever read. I don’t think it needs to be that long, either.

Look. Don’t get me wrong. I still love the story, the characters, the concept of the time travel element. I just found the length unbearable with the thousands of books I have on my TBR shelf.

It is fun to explore the early days in America with the characters. I have to admit that I loved the time in Scotland the most, so this book is missing that aspect.

The other problem that I had with this book is the magical narrator, Divina Porter, just couldn’t handle all the characters. Now that Brea is an adult, she sounds like Clair. Now that Roger is an adult, he sounds like Jamie. All the children sound the same. Maybe if I could read at the same time as listening, I could sort them out. But that is not possible for me and my eyes.

The last thing I need to point out, in case it counts for your reading the book is, I am already reading book 7, so…

It is worth the read. Stay with it. There are little rewards in the story. And in this crazy world, a sweet time-travel romance can calm the worries that like to strike at bedtime.

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The Storekeeper A Tale of Small Town Life: A Tale of Small Town LifeThe Storekeeper A Tale of Small Town Life: A Tale of Small Town Life by Pearl Whitfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was young I loved spending the night with friends. I loved seeing how other people lived. I found it interesting how the parents were different from my own, even how the friend became different in their own home than they were at school. I think that is why I love to move to new places. Not traveling, you don’t get the truth by visiting, but sinking into a community. Big cities, small towns, and finally the smallest I have ever lived in. I think those raised and who stayed find fault in the other. Small town people make fun of city-folk, city folks laugh at the country folk. They both have their points and their blindnesses.

Such is reading The Storekeeper. It is a tale about a small town. It takes a few people and follows them as does the main character, Ralph Johnson, widower, sinks in as a storekeeper. As the spiderweb of acquaintances grows we learn about others as he does. We hear the bigotry and the gossip, but we see the mature people that are open to help those in need rather than make fun of something different.

I was not a fan of Ralph. I wished he were female. But of my seventy years, fifty or more was spent reading books about males. When I asked my librarian when I was a kid, then as an adult the only answer was that it was to encourage boys to read. Why didn’t I deserve to be encouraged? Oh, yeah, because they were going to get jobs and needed to be readers to be smarter. And the reasoning loses something for me in that with all my reading I still didn’t get the good jobs my male classmates got for a lot less education. So as an old lady I am more demanding of my main characters, especially those who were created by female authors.

Still, Ralph gave us the insight we needed for the various people we meet in the town. He is kind and tries to give as much as he can to those around him. This is where my interests in the book developed. I loved the females brought into Ralph’s circle. I wanted to know more about the little girl and her mother. I wanted to know more about the woman dying of cancer, I wanted to know more about the love interest.

The book seemed longer than I would have liked, yet in the end, I wanted more. Maybe there is a book two coming that focuses on the other people other than Ralph? As a newbie in a small town, I get lost as to how to negotiate social situations. But that may be my own social anxiety. And fibro that keeps me as unreliable as I stay home when I am in pain to great to be out driving. I have no clue as to how folks move from being the grocery bagger to the big farmer, maybe there is a way besides being born to it? The difference between rich and poor seems far more visible here than in the city.

Anyway, during this pandemic, while everyone is looking for peace, this is a great book to slow it down and sink into another life. This could make a great television series!

By the way, here is the cover as it is on Amazon:

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Hello LoveHello Love by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After spending so long time traveling with the Outlander, I needed a light read. This one was free on Kindle Unlimited. And I used a credit to get the Audible because I needed to just relax and listen to the story.

If you are looking for something light, this is for you. It was enjoyable. Karen McQuestion’s writing made a nice story with plenty of character development. It is both a believable story and not. But with all that is going on in the world right now, I needed a bit of fiction to help me sleep. If you have a dog or love dogs, the story plays out even deeper.

Just one little problem. Dan John Miller, the narrator does a good job playing the male main character but like all male narrators, in my estimation, all the woman voices sounded like a male making fun of women. But I think he did his best and he did keep the reader’s interest. Give it a try if you get the chance.

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The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These are such great books. The story continues. And now I can watch the current series on TV. But…

Until this book, Divina Porter, the narrator of all the Outlander books, was able to change the voices for most of the characters enough that a listener could tell who was talking. Now with Bree and Roger and Ian grown, they all sound like Clair and Jamie. If my eyes could handle the tracking I would try to have the book or Kindle version open to track who is speaking. Instead, I have to back up a bit to see if I can find out. Or I just keep listening and finally, context will indicate who had just been the speaker. That throws me out of the story.

Is it me, or is this book a little less exciting? I know with Covid19 all around and the stress that has caused us all, it may be playing a part in my attention levels. I may have to reread the series later when life returns us to quieter minds. So I will try not to affect my rating on this issue. I still loved it and have already downloaded the next book. I can’t wait to see how Jamie and his men adjust to the American Revolution. What if you were on the wrong side of history and knew it but couldn’t do much about it as no one but you had access to future history? Yeah. What a conundrum! Great writing, Diana Gabaldon!

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Going BovineGoing Bovine by Libba Bray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me by a very good friend. I couldn’t afford to buy it at the time. Luckily the library had the Kindle and Overdrive versions. I seemed to like listening to the audio more than trying to track the Kindle.

Guys doing girl or women’s voices as it always sounds condescending, to me, but Erik Davies (Narrator), kept my interest and I soon lost the distraction of his female voice.

Though a serious subject matter, this story has you wondering what is happening and nearly breathlessly following the characters on their adventures to save the world and the main character, Cameron’s life.

It has been labeled “Quirky”. I agree! It is certainly worth the read.

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Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oops! I nearly forgot to review this one. I just moved into the next read (a library book).

I really wish I would have read this before the series on television. I liked the rhythm of the story better. I like the viewpoints presented here as Clair’s rather than Bree. It is different not having the information that comes with the daughter making the voyage back in time and back to America.

I think we got into Roger’s head a little more, too. It doesn’t take away from the show. It is actually interesting the take the directors and actors took the storyline without losing the story.

No spoilers here. Just glad I read (listened to the Audible) it and can’t wait to get into the next one!

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