Tag Archive: Fiction



Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost StoriesHorton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now, here is a special book! A long lost treasure. And you know what? I couldn’t wait to read it. I had to read the first story out loud to the dog. I don’t think she appreciated the subtleties of the story. And my throat hurt since I haven’t read aloud in years!

What made this book a treasure is the Introduction. It told about this book and other stories. Then having a deeper understanding of where the stories came from made the reader even more happy to see how wonderful and crazy Dr. Seuss’s stories were.

And it isn’t just crazy. zaniness Ted’s stories there are always little morals or thought processes for the reader to get into and squeeze the life out of.

I hope you are able to get this book to enjoy.

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Bittersweet (China Bayles, #23)Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My librarian suggested this book knowing I wanted to try a ‘real’ book written by and starring a strong female. Now that I am finished with it I can say I did enjoy much of it. (I had to renew it–six weeks!)

“Oh, but here comes her complaints…” I hear some of you saying. And, yes, I do have some negatives.

The very beginning. I think it is highly unnecessary. When you read the Prologue you’re given the answer to the whole mystery. Many call this a cozy mystery. What, I ask you, is cozy about murder? Not just one but TWO? What is cozy about people who think more about money than the environment that we all have to live in humans, fauna, and flora alike?

At least the author uses this as an educational moment. That is what brought it up to four stars. Otherwise, I would have said I was rather bored. Though the excitement of the mystery gets wrapped up, the parts of the book I cared about, the main character’s mother’s husband’s health. It is the cliffhanger of that issue that brings this rating down to a three again. I didn’t like this story where the men of this book were being talked about. If women can grow, let’s show that men can grow, too. Many have been raised with sisters or single moms so they know the issues and don’t need to be cavemen.

I loved learning about the herbs and plants.

I never knew about the shooting-fish-in-the-barrel type hunting and moving the game to places they shouldn’t inhabit and the problems that brings. I will have to look into our area and see if that is here. I don’t have a problem with hunters. I hope we never get desperate enough to look to that as a food source, but if we do I guess I will have to accept it. Plenty of people around here do that for their food source. There are laws to keep it safe and less draining on the environment while filling the freezers with protein for cold winters. I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like the texture of meat, not a preachy one telling others what they should or shouldn’t eat. Anyway, the things I learned here made the rating roundup.

I don’t like to cook. Most of the foods in the recipes here did not appeal to me but I take no points away from the book for these. There are people who will love that aspect. I do appreciate that most of the recipes are at the back of the book where they don’t interrupt the story flow.

One more thing, I did get my eyes checked and will be getting new glasses soon. Meanwhile, I couldn’t read the hardback for very long at a time. Luckily, the Kindle version was available on our e-library to borrow. Once into that version, I was able to immerse in the story and rest my eyes as needed.

Check it out and tell me what you think of this book, regardless of version

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Blackbird HouseBlackbird House by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let’s suppose there was a plot of land that was the main character of a book. I would have done better had I known that simple fact. For some reason, the Kindle version did not download properly so I just listened to the Audible version.

I could have done without the first narrator. Oh, goodness what a bombastic voice! The rest of the narrators were great. In fact, it was fun that each chapter, which was each new inhabitant of the property got a new voice many of them were fantastic!

When I finally got my Kindle to download, I did much better as I could read along with the Audible. In fact, it synched perfectly.

Alice Hoffman has become one of my favorite authors. Remember she is the one who wrote Practical Magic. So I had to grab this when it was on special. This one read similarly to the Red Garden. She refers to witches and red shoes and other symbolism that would be fun to discuss in a book group.

I may have to read this again someday as I know there was a lot more there than I absorbed. One of my issues with the book was I wanted more of each resident. I always felt each story too short. Maybe I wanted a series?

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American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if you mix a radio show, comparative religion, with a road trip? This is it!

Look, I see a lot of differing reviews on this book. I think if you are able to listen to the Audible version you would like it better. The many actors bring this far-fetched story alive. The narrators: Ron McLarty, Daniel Oreskes, and full cast (whatever that means) make you see gods, goddesses and dead people and other characters. They help you feel the cold, the pain, smell rot or smoke.

I don’t know if I would have liked the book had I just read it without the Audible narration. I think it might have been more meandering and possibly boring. What kept me going was wanting to see what would happen to the main character. And having a bit of interest in other religions and cultures I wanted to see how Neil Gaiman would portray them and the war between them as they were fading into the obscurity of disbelief.

This wasn’t my favorite book. It is very male-heavy. Goddesses and women were given little time or depth. BUT I doubt I will forget it and may want to read it again in a few years and see how it affects me then. I highly recommend using the audio version to immerse in this world, which may be America, but a different dimension than where most live.

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Forest Park: Logan Book 2 (The Logan Series)Forest Park: Logan Book 2 by Valerie Davisson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished the Audible version of this a few days ago. I just never got around to reviewing. That and I wasn’t sure what to say.

There are many aspects of this book I dearly love. The author explores education from an angle I was able to be a part of in my past and hope others get the idea to put some of these ideas into action.

I loved the care for homeless and drug abusers. The book makes a person stop and examine their own theories. Also discussed: Racism and gangs and how people’s ideologies are formed and can be changed.

With all of the theories played out in a fictional form, I felt it easier to wrap my mind around them. There is also a murder mystery and a bit of romance. But neither are overpowering. Mostly we get to know the main character as she reacquaints herself with life after death in her life.

This and book one move slowly and seem to lack the tension most people like in their books. But I found it nice to just explore with the main character/ author through fiction.

Oh and since this was the Audible version, I should mention that the reader kept the book interesting. She wasn’t my favorite narrator but did the job.

This series is well worth the read. Curl up with cocoa, tea, or coffee and take the ride.

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Shattered: Logan Book 1Shattered: Logan Book 1 by Valerie Davisson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story. I could have done without the mystery, especially the murdery bit. But I kept reading beyond when the book didn’t work for me.

As I have stated before, I have trouble reading tree-books. It has to do with my tracking abilities. But I am a life long reader that doesn’t give up that easily. So I set up my Kindle with black background and largish white font. Then I use the text-to-speech to track with what I do read. I don’t do well with just audio as I tend to ADD away with shiny things. But with both modalities working I can get into stories very deeply.

This version was difficult for me. I don’t know what happened but I couldn’t use the black background/white font. It only wanted white background black font or everything went black. The text-to-speech worked but I couldn’t follow with my eyes. I finally gave up. At about 60%! I do hope the author and or the publisher got that all fixed. Since I was asked to review this book I have to be honest, the font/formatting, was the worst for me.

I let it go for a couple months but the story kept haunting me. I wanted to know what happened. I had loved the research shown about glassblowing. Native American bits. And seeing what seemed to me a realistic look at bereavement. I loved the realism of teaching and use of music. Honestly, I didn’t need the murder bit. I did like the character that did the killing and I thought it gave her a humanity having lupus and all. But I guess some people like to have the tension a good old murder gives a book. Just not me.

Still, I can’t wait to see what happens next. For book two I have the Audible version. I’m getting better at keeping my hands busy doing sudoku, knitting, or drawing. So in the next few days I will review that one, too.

I think others will enjoy this story, too.

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The Witch's Vacuum CleanerThe Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a light, funny read, this is your book. It was like watching cartoons or Monty Python. Very bad for a bedtime book for me. I found it hard to stop reading, well, actually, listening to this one. 3:00 came too quickly. So, sorry if this sounds more disjointed than my usual reviews.

Oh, I listened to the Audible using the whispersynch. Julian Rhind-Tutt (Narrator) is facinating! His voice changes with every character. He tells the story with so much gusto that sometimes I think I missed story for enthusiastic energy. Even still, at the end of each story I had that sigh of fulfillment.

The stories themselves are sadly, mostly, male. In fact, the very first one ended with the main character marrying the witch with us hardly knowing a thing about the witch except that she was a witch. I wanted more about her and that parrot. Please forget that you just read the last two sentences if they seem spoilers. After all, the title of the book is The Witch’s Vacuum. Seems like there should be a lot more witch and vacuums than men in the form of police or gnomes. But hey, Mr. Pratchett wrote this when he was a teen and the adage says ‘write what you know’. Sadly, Mr. Pratchett knew nothing about the other half of society then. Later he did write some fun books that did have fems but mostly they are witches. Is it any wonder how the world is now if this is all anyone has read most of their lives?

Still, I have loved Terry Pratchett’s writing, so creative! Magick exists, but sadly without fems. Even colors we have never heard of exists. Don’t get me started! YET, I love his writing. Fun, fun stories!

So take it with a grain of salt that in male authors’ worlds, fems hardly exist. We will try to change that with our own writings and making sure they see us as the other humans. After all the whole language system leaves us behind. Even human. We could be called hu.

But it is for this teeny-tiny problem that I am giving the book four stars instead of five. If you can get the audio version you are in for the best story telling around–save for girls, fe=iron.

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AffinityAffinity by Sarah Waters

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t actually read the book but rather listened to the Audible version of the book. Juanita McMahon (Narrator) added her talents to the story so well-written by Sarah Waters. Both the story and the actor made this a wonderful experience.

What can I say that won’t spoil the adventure of the moment by moment read? I can’t seem to come up with anything! I went to look at the blurb and I think even that spoils it. Just know that the main character draws you in and you get curious to see what happens next. Her questions become the reader’s questions and you can only hope for the best and dread anything less.

I wish the ending would have been with the main character stronger from her experiences and then a book two for us to follow her travels. I don’t think that is a spoiler as that is me rewriting the ending. Come back to my review when you finish to tell me if you agree or not.

If you get the chance to read or listen to this book I think you will enjoy it,

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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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The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

November 8, 2017 –
54.0% “Due to Kindle’s new updates I haven’t been able to read for a week trying to recapture the book I’m reading and figuring out where I left off. Then the text-to-speech stops working and the formats get changed so I can’t even read what to do about it. AMAZON!! DON’T FIX WHAT ISN’T BROKEN!!!! KINDLES ARE FOR READING BOOKS!!!!!”

The above was the first thing I wrote about the book. I tried listening to the Audible version and found the woman’s voice just didn’t work for me. Especially when the older woman voice seemed the same as a male voice. I finally just returned it to Audible thinking I would have better luck with my British text-to-speech voice. And that did help me but as I said above, Kindle itself ruined this experience altogether.

As for the story, there were parts I found interesting but mostly I found that the quote that Tyrion spoke about the gods repeating in my head while reading this book. Neither seemed to care for the women even though the goddess was supposed to be helping the women. Sorry I won’t quote Tyrion here because I don’t want to offend anyone. But those of you who are Game of Thrones fans will remember Lord Varys and Tyrion on the wall talking about the gods.

Maybe had my reading experience been more consistent with books in the past I would have a more favorable review. But I am quite disappointed in the book and with Kindle and Amazon for ruining it for me. I am not at all caring to go read the rest of the series. I’m sorry to everyone that this is how I feel about this book. I have heard so much praise for it over the last few decades that all I can do is shake my head. Please do try it. It’s just me, I’m sure.

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