Tag Archive: kindle-books-i-own



The Rules Do Not ApplyThe Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a fan of fiction more than any other kind of reading, it is alway hard for me to “grade” an autobiography. It isn’t up to me to judge another’s life or path, so I feel I am invading a bit when it is time to review. Yet this book called to me from NetGalley as one I might like to read and review.

I have to admit it kept my interest. Many reviewers say the author’s emotions are raw in this memoir. That may be so. I just found them honest and refreshing. As a fertile-Myrtle, who had, as most of my generation, my children in my early twenties, I never heard that egg-timer to get pregnant or forget it. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have another?” and boom I was pregnant. So the despair of the author seems another reality I’ve not been close to. In that case, I think it right to go into the depth with her and see what her reality has been. Would my story of a baby every couple years and only at home ever be as interesting to her generation? So I find her lucky to have experienced so many things I never got to see. That she had the freedom to explore her sexuality after being an adult, who got to see the world I may never see, isn’t sad. Those were the parts of the story I truly enjoyed.

But I don’t want to demean or in any way put down her path and especially not the sad parts of it. That need to reproduce is very strong in many of us and to have that turn out so badly hurts my soul for her.

That is why I like to read autobiographies. I can lead many lives that way. I can see how things might have been had I made other choices or had nature played nasty tricks on my life. I think it helps to develop empathy to read another’s story. And this may be one you might like. Give it a try.

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The Last Chance Matinee (The Hudson Sisters #1)The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I noticed as I wished this story hadn’t ended was that it has a series name: The Hudson Sisters #1. Yay! I don’t have to leave my new friends forever! And while I am talking about the ending, relax, it isn’t a cliff-hanger. Everyone is safe. I just miss them.

You can look up the blurb to see what the book is about. I try to concentrate on my feelings about the story. What I noticed most of all, was the lack of conflict and yet I kept wanting to read more. I suppose the conflict is the undertone of how the characters ended up owning a theater. They had to spend the time getting to know each other and see how they fit into the scheme of things. But there was no great adventure, no one is in grave danger. Yet through each of their perspectives, you see their birth order and history.

It was because of the description of the story on the blurb on NetGalley dot com that I picked this up to review. I am so glad I did. It is quite an interesting story. I look forward to book two so I can see these women and watch them remake a theater together.

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All Good StoriesAll Good Stories by Linda G. Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As an author of a busy, fun blog who is a single mom facing some special needs tests, trials, and triumphs, Linda G. Hill won my admiration long ago. I love reading her blog. I enjoy participating in her challenges. So it is understandable that I had to read her book.

Remember the challenge question in When Harry Met Sally? No. Not the restaurant scene. Wouldn’t we all want what she ordered? No. The question was: Can best friends that are male and female remain friends or is it inevitable that romance would play a part? Sally believed in the friendship as I recall whereas Harry said that friendship can’t stay in that realm. That sex was the most likely outcome.

All Good Stories attempts that question once again. This time it is through a series of smaller stories (started as A-Z challenge on Linda’s blog) that tell of the ebb and flow of friendship of Jupiter and Xavier. I won’t tell you how the story goes. I will merely say that there are topless pirates and bookstores involved. And there are laugh aloud situations. This is worth an evening with popcorn, at least. I enjoyed it and I think you will, too.

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The Shadow LandThe Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THIS is my kind of book! Okay, it isn’t fantasy or sci-fi but the elements I love in those stories are here. Adventure, new horizons, philosophies, some things to learn and think about. Those are all present in this book. I am sad that it has ended and think I may have to read it again sometime with Audible version. The text-to-speech was great but with this taking place in Bulgaria, I needed someone to pronounce words better than the British female robot. Which usually works quite well for me, but there were some names that when I was reading with my eyes too, I could see they were not pronounced anywhere NEAR right.

The main character is well developed, the secondaries not as deeply but the story wasn’t about them so that was okay by me. With the person so developed and the world so real I felt I was watching a movie. In fact, this would make a marvelous movie, there is just so much depth here!

The time of the book moves back and forth from about WWII and now. The political themes presented seem very poignant, and apropos warnings to our current system and how delicate it is.

But my favorite part of the book, though the saddest, was how music played a part in the day to day survival of the musician. I don’t want to expound on this as it would be a spoiler. Needless to say, it gave me the unavoidable courage to face the cold of my studio and play the piano for as long as my fingers could move, and then left me with a fire to get back in there as soon and as often as I can as Spring brings warmer weather.

Oh, how I wish there were a book two. I don’t know how it could be done as none of the situations or people remain in the right places for that. But I did want to see what happens now that the main character has made friends with the musician’s son. What could they give each other? Will they become more than friends? And what about the taxi driver? Is there happiness in his future? What a cool guy he was! Like I said, I am left wanting more and that may have to happen by re-reading with audio.

By the way, I was given this version for review by NetGalley dot com. Please, if you get the chance to read this, do. I hope you love it as I did.

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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the WorldFluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this a couple days ago. No, I was not in the haze of wanting to stay with the story or characters. This is a non-fiction about learning other languages. I didn’t want to leave this one because it helped me so much and I want to re-read it a lot more times.

As many of you know, I have been working with Duolingo learning Spanish and German. I have taken two levels of both in school but would like to be fluent in both of them. Right now I can read a bit but I feel so very elementary in both of them.

There are so many good ideas on how to learn a language and get to the point of fluency! And I read this using the Audible with the author’s voice. What a delight to hear his accent and enthusiasm! And he is a polyglot. For those of you like I was, who don’t know, that means he is fluent in many languages, all learned since he was an adult.

The best part is that there are web-links to study certain aspects of each chapter. I didn’t follow those with the first reading, but I will with the next. And I will take notes and make flashcards.

This is the best book about languages I have ever read. If you are thinking about studying another language, this should be your first book to read to give you the best start.

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Painted Doll (Only In Tokyo Mystery, #4)Painted Doll by Jonelle Patrick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this author’s work. Though I am not a fan of mysteries, I do find that I love how she presents her stories. I always feel like I have been to Japan and visiting with old friends when I read this series. There is just enough education of the culture and a few words to make you feel like you are there. Yet it isn’t over done.

When I finished this book, I didn’t want it to be over so I just left my text-to-speech going as it read all the glossary of Japanese terms and English definitions and then the first chapter of Jonelle’s first book of the series. That made it worse because I already read that and knew how it would turn out. Yet I got to stay with my friends in Japan just a little longer.

Please, if you get the chance, try this series. There is a lot to learn about Japan and about writing from Ms. Patrick.

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Dreams Before the Start of TimeDreams Before the Start of Time by Anne Charnock

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from NetGalley.

This story called to me. It is labeled as sci-fi. But mostly it seems a good excuse to do character development stories. It was for that that I kept reading and actually finished the book. In fact, as I was listening and suddenly it was the Acknowledgements. I don’t know what the ending was.

The other thing about the book was it was presenting the idea that shows results of natural pregnancy versus choosing a child gestated out of the womb. Then the story follows the parents and children and grandchildren of these differing beginnings.

But I never got to know anyone enough to care. After just having read something similar and not finishing it, I found myself trying not to give in and toss the book. But I got through it and I am left feeling I wasted time. I know I won’t remember this book. I am only giving 3 stars because I finished. So I guess the stars are for me. Not the book. I am so sorry to feel this way about it. I hope others love the book and maybe I will go back someday and find it wonderful.

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This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This may be my favorite book of the series. I love watching the development of the main character, Miranda. I think the author did a good job giving us a picture of how life could get if anything happened to our neighbor the moon. With tides and volcanic action, the world becomes one that is trying to survive. But with volcanic ash in the sky messing with the weather, and lack of warm sunshine, food, and clean water are a constant struggle to find. Miranda has long since given up on the life of a teen with proms and homework. Now she is just trying to help her family survive.

Though this is my shortest review of the series, you can see what I think of the rest in a bulk review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

I do wish there were more books to this series!

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The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2)The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to follow when I’ve finished #4

******
Okay. Due to what I learned as I wrote the review for #4, this was my least favorite book of the series, with Alex being my least favorite main character. But through his point of view, we learn more about how the world, at least that part of the country is dealing with the problems brought about through the meteor hitting the moon and the changes in gravitational forces on the earth.

Though this book centers on the faith that Alex and his family are devoted to, it was okay as there are a lot of people in the world and how they choose to believe affects how they see the world. But that and the misogynistic viewpoint of this faith and cultural leanings leads us to see a male who feels he must be in charge and has no compunction of hitting his sisters whose only reason to be on this earth was to cook and clean for the male. I just couldn’t abide by how he treated his sisters. I never got to where I liked him much at all. But, it is through his eyes we see what happens to the world as endures more disasters and recovery.

I had to return the Audible version of this book as the narrator’s acting was horrible. The deep gravelly voice didn’t fit the teen, either. I felt my text-to-speech did a better job. I didn’t even attempt to buy the one for #4 for it is the same voice. A younger sounding voice with more pep would have been better.

Even still, this is a great series and I want it to continue from other points of view.

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The Shade of the Moon (The Last Survivors, #4)

Sorry that the following reviews are a little out of order. But maybe you’ll still get the drift.

The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have really enjoyed this series. That said, it is a toss up between #2 and #4 that I disliked the most. It may actually be this one. If there were a less redeemable character, it would be Miranda’s youngest, spoiled rotten brother, Jon. Alex of #2 was nearly as bad. Still thinking Maybe Alex wins as I think beating your sister or anyone else is unacceptable, I don’t care what your religion or culture says. He never redeemed himself in my eyes. I don’t even know what Miranda saw in him. Even if he were the last guy on earth, he wasn’t worth it.

Jon, on the other hand, saw the error of the ways taught to him. I would have hoped he wouldn’t have internalized that bigotted manner of his new society since his parents had worked so hard to get him to what they considered a safe place. But in the end, I began to be okay with him.

I would have much preferred the story just be about the females. Or just Miranda. She was a normal teen in the first book, but through it all, she grew to be selfless and caring.

Oh, a word of the narration. I loved the voice on #1 and #3. She could act out all the characters with distinction and humor. ButI didn’t buy for this book because I hated the voice on #2. I love a good deep voice. My dad had a bass voice and was a great speaker and reader (and wonderful singer) so it isn’t the depth of the voice. But it didn’t fit for the teen Alex. I rarely return Audibles but I did that one. I preferred my text-to-speech to the actor who emoted so seldom. I didn’t even attempt to buy the one for this #4 book.

Okay. It looks like all I had to say here were complaints. That’s not true. I LOVED the series even the books I didn’t like. I love seeing characters grow. I love watching people survive through the seemingly impossible circumstances. I am sorry to write this possible last review. There are more stories in this one story that I would love to see. It almost seems there should be an in between book just after #3. I would love to see the trek that took Miranda’s family to what they thought would be a sanctuary. I’d like to see one from Mom and Dad’s point of view. I’d like to see a book about the reparations as the country and world heal. Maybe one that includes letters from others on the other side of the world. Still, this fourth book didn’t leave one on a cliff of any kind, it just ended too soon and maybe too pat. I’m sad to see this story end. If you like sci-fi especially dystopian/post-apocalyptic nature, you will love this series.

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