Tag Archive: hardback



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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Acorna: The Unicorn GirlAcorna: The Unicorn Girl by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is no secret that Anne McCaffrey has been one of my favorite authors of all time. I think it is within this decade that I was in a bookstore in Reno that had some pretty good deals. They told me that they had just received a huge collection of First Edition Anne McCaffrey’s books. I nearly passed it up. I’ve never been rich monetarily. I figured I wouldn’t be able to afford it. But being a store that wanted to keep their merchandise moving, they actually quoted me a price for the whole collection that I could afford.

But I was working and found that reading “real” or “tree” books hard for my eyes. And I was always tired with fibromyalgia. So the books sat on my shelves.

When we moved here the McCaffreys sat in a box until I got a new bookshelf. Now they are out on display so I can’t resist. Except reading the old way is slow. So I try to keep my paper bookmark where I am in the Kindle version and read a bit when I can.

Luckily, I’ve been collecting the Kindle versions of Anne’s treasures. At least this one has text-to-speech. I kind of hoped for Audible but they don’t have this book. It’s okay as I can speed up the listen-rate to 2x and get through a book in no time.

As much as I looked forward to Acorna, who wouldn’t want to read a story about a unicorn girl? I have to admit that as much as I love her writing style, I found this book wasn’t so much about the girl as it was about child slavery and the men who found the girl. You never get to see her point of view, even when she grows up. Still, Ms. McCaffrey and Ms. Ball cover the issues well and made a good story. I am already into the next book and I see the plot continues with other people. Acorna is still not showing up personally. Maybe that will change soon.

I still liked the book and can’t wait to see what happens in the series.

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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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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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The Organic Artist: Make Your Own Paint, Paper, Pigments, Prints and More from NatureThe Organic Artist: Make Your Own Paint, Paper, Pigments, Prints and More from Nature by Nick Neddo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay. I didn’t read this word for word. It isn’t that kind of book. I doubt I’ll ever read it that way. This is a reference book of how-tos. It is well illustrated and the instructions for each craft is well-written. I loved what I saw here so much that as the book became due back to the library I had to go to Amazon and buy my own copy. By the way, our librarian recommended it to me. Thanks, Julie! I can’t wait to try some of these crafts!

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Felting: The Complete GuideFelting: The Complete Guide by Jane Davis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a beautifully illustrated, how-to book. I loved that it was ring-bound rather than a glue and stitching binding. It makes it easy to hold the book open on the page as you try the methods. If I were working on the projects presented I would be ever so grateful. But I’m trying to make other things.

I think if one were working on a wet felting this would be even better as your hands would be too wet to turn pages that accidentally flip.

If I had read this before the era of YouTube I might have given it five stars. But, hey, there are so many tutorials out there to walk you through everything. So, if you don’t have a computer go check this out at the library, or if you have the cash, buy it. You’ll love it. I’d love to see what you make!

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Help Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People ProblemsHelp Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems by Janet Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve fallen behind in my reading goal for this year so I decided to include a few picture books or other short books to catch up. Most of the books I’m reading lately are quite long. So these are a bit of a relief for my eyes and energies.

Help Me, Mr. Mutt! Jumped out at me when I visited the library last. I loved the cute dog on the cover and decided that would be a good one to try.

The idea of a dog answering letters for other dogs with people problems was delightful. I loved the sneaky letters after Mr. Mutt’s reply from Queen the cat were hilarious. I loved that Mr. Mutt was able to give charts to prove his answers (though I wonder at his fact finding abilities–seems rather fake news to me). Still, the dogs reading said letters would be grateful to see their desires as proven fact. A great introduction to charts and how they work!

And while I think this was all fun and games, I think a good pet owner would insert proper care for said pets when reading this book aloud to a child. After all, if a child were to read this to his or herself, he might think it okay to give pets people food or sugary foods, or follow other advice not so good for a dog or cat. Still, read with a sense of humor it could be a fun book for parent and child or teacher and students to share.

And did I mention the illustrations? They were awesome! Fun read!

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Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, how, sweet! One of my GoodReads friends, Lovely Primrose, recommended this to me. That was a long time ago. I couldn’t afford it so I put it on hold from my library. It seemed forever before it came my turn to read. Of course, I ordered the large-print version. I was glad. It was quite comfortable for my eyes to read. Even more, it was a joy for my heart.

Romance. Yuck! That’s what I usually think. But this book grabs you right from the beginning. You get the story from Eleanor and Park’s points of view. The angst of the story wasn’t ‘does he/she love me?’ but rather the angst of not fitting in. And it shows the inner beauty of these two people.

You get to see how their lives work at home and it all becomes clear why they act the way they do. Even though it was a hefty one, because of being large-print, book, I found I didn’t want to stop reading. I thought about it when I wasn’t reading. And… I am sad it came to an end. I would love to see a book two. It isn’t needed except for the fact that I miss the characters. It ends with a satisfactory feeling. But… please, please, please??

I recommend this one for anyone young at heart.

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Light, Coming BackLight, Coming Back by Ann Wadsworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For once, I was glad that the font was too small for me. It meant that I had to savor my moments with the story. This was like the fine wine, dark chocolate, aged cheese kind of book. I cherished every moment with it. It wasn’t the kind of book that left you tense or anxious in any way. In fact, I felt very little tension in the book. That goes against what I have been taught about writing.

The main character, Mrs. Mercedes Medina, is in her sixties. Her husband is 20 years her senior. I love the depth of relationship they have. The author, Ann Wadsworth, did a wonderful job creating the couple and each individual. They were wonderfully human characters with faults and follies of their own and a comfortable chemistry between them. But as life is changing and Patrick, the husband, starts failing in health, Mercedes, is trying to figure out her own life.

Since I am in my sixties, I found her life to be interesting. It is far from my own life. I felt like I moved in with this couple and lived a different life for a while. Isn’t that the best part about books? You can step into someone else’s life, their cities, their adventures, their music. Mrs. Medina’s life is rich while she is searching.

I have been thinking about what I would write about this book since I started it. There are no words I can come up with to do it justice. I wish everyone could read it. I don’t want to let it go. That’s how much I loved it. I registered the book on BookCrossing. BCID: 71813027955 ย Please read it if you get the chance.

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Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates
Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As most of the Tom Robbins novels I have read, this gave me many smiles and chuckles. I love Mr. Robbins’s sense of humor, depth of research, and verbal diarhea. No, not as a steady diet. I have to be in the mood for his ways and stories. The fact that I have owned the hardback for decades is proof of how I must pace my intake of his work.

I waited too long. The last time I tried to read this book I realized the font was too small to enjoy. So I waited until I could afford the Audible version. Even then I wasn’t ready. But this was on my virtual and physical shelves the longest and I wanted to set it free of those binds.

Aubible is such a wonderful system for those of us who need the help. Not only is the story easier to read with the assistance of the narrator, but, I felt, deeply enhanced. Keith Szarabajka seemed to have the innate ability to channel Tom Robbins. He had characterizations for for the population in this book. His sexy deep voice gives the main character, Switters, a bit of a 007 quality.

Looking at all the reviews of this book I see that the ratings range from the one star to five. I really think this is due to moods and lack of audio version to enjoy. For those that couldn’t stand the book, please do as I did and put it off until you are ready to enjoy the nuances Tom throws into all his book. Yes, a little crazy helps the read.

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