Tag Archive: library-kindle



Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an adventure!

Fledgling was the last book I read by Octavia E. Butler. I liked that it had a different take and more diversity than many other ‘vampire’ book. So I wanted to see more by this author.

This book takes the apocalyptic point of view from the beginning of the end. Our main character is the daughter of a preacher. She is black but the color of her skin is not the point. She is a teenager in a protected community that suddenly isn’t. As a teen, she sees things her own way, not like her parents or anyone else. So it is a story of growing up in social, physical, and psychological chaos.

I have to admit to loving the story. I did get tired of the God Seed of her making against the biblical verses of her father. But it was her experience so I accepted it as the character point of view not preaching to the reader. This blended with her bringing together a group of people wandering up the California highway and byways while protecting each other and defending their rights to live in this new world.

Though the story leaves the reader in a safe place, not a cliffhanger, I feel the need to read the next and see what happens now that they have settled. My e-library had this one but not the next so I requested they get it.

It must be nice for black readers to have stories that reflect them. I’m not black but I would love to see diversity more often. As much as I am loving seeing female authors writing strong female characters, let’s see more of the female experience in other races and experiences. Maybe our future generations of people will have books written from all points of view encouraging the reading experience by all society! I’d love to read more about women who are in their sixties and seventies and older! Let’s make sure everyone gets to see the world from characters like them!

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If you read the above you will notice I used the prompt word ‘social’ a couple times. I was going to do two separate posts but computer issues prevented it. So this is a combo of Review and Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

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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 Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's StoryThe Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, what a fantastic book! Hyeonseo Lee tells her story in an immaculate way. Her story was so messy yet the writing was well-done and kept my interest all the way through. It is an autobiography. As such we get the inside view of people who live in North Korea and how hard it is to escape and integrate into other countries.

I want to write more but I’m afraid of ruining your reading experience with this book. I wish Ms. Lee continued success and I hope as time goes on more people will break loose and that country will be independent. It does make you want to make sure the things you think of as truth are truth and not something others want you to believe.

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Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12)Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a read full of trials for me. The library sent me the Kindle copy. Borrowed it. Found that the text-to-speech didn’t work. Found a credit at Audible to get that version to help me along. It was the cheaper version. Didn’t like that narrator at all. Returned that version and was able to try another Audible version.

Look, I don’t think a male voicing for four females interesting or even funny. I hated both versions of the Audible. Returned that one, too.

By that time my Kindle spit out the older Kindle version that didn’t have text-to-speech and replaced it with one that had it. What a welcomed relief! Though I had a hard time telling one character from another my text-to-speech is set for British female. So about everything I listen to sounds like Mary Poppins! So it is a delight even if it is confusing as to which female is talking, all I have to do it look at the words and see for myself.

I think there was a time I would have loved this story. I used to enjoy the punny stuff Pratchett gave us. But I am weary of more fairy-tale spoofs. So, I’m afraid I didn’t give this story any more than three stars. I was glad when I was finished reading it. I know others will love this. Enjoy!

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The Museum of Extraordinary ThingsThe Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alice Hoffman does it again! I am always certain of a deep and interesting read if I pick up something she’s written.

This one has well researched historical events and has thrown in the fictional characters making a seamless story. I loved the main characters who felt real, flaws and all.

Of course, this book drew me in as the main character posed as a mermaid. My inner mermaid was overjoyed and scared for this girl as she attempted to fool the public for her father’s museum of defected folks that he revamped into scientific anomalies. In the mermaid’s case, webbed fingers, has her dad putting her in water most of her life.

The story was played against a backdrop of labor strikes and unhealthy work conditions that causes fires. The other main character is a young man whose father seems deeply depressed. The world has treated his people horrendously. This young man’s story plays out near the mermaid’s. Though the romance doesn’t happen through most of the book, and it doesn’t take over the story, get ready, love happens. But it helps the story.

I don’t know why I don’t want to give this five stars. It is a story I will remember. I guess because overall, it left me depressed. And I wanted more of the happiness these people deserved. Maybe a book two will bring them back? It is depressing history, but necessary to read and learn from. Please give it a read if you get the chance. I was able to pick this up from our e-library. Best way to read books that are normally too expensive for my taste. 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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Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War IIElephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Constantine Croke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love elephants. Such smart sensitive beings. And this book is by a woman so it sort of fit my requirements of reading diet. The guy was a human being who cared, so I dismissed my final mission of female main character. Besides, it is about WWII so the chances of the main character being female was diminished as women were back then.

The writing was dry, historic. I wish there was a way to get into it all more deeply. It seemed to be a his-story. Bits about elephants were interesting but I wanted more. I wanted to know more about his wife who seemed very much of kindred spirit.

Still, had I not read the book, I wouldn’t have known about how the elephants helped in the second world war.

Many people have given this book high ratings. Maybe you will, too.

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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would gladly give this book 5 stars. But making poor people (the Kindle version is $12.99!) and/or those with vision problems to buy the audio-book ($19.99) is just plain greedy! Sure the Audible version helps the reader know how certain words are pronounced. And the narrators are very good. And (although I had to wait until I had a credit over there) it was ‘free’ on Audible. I could have had that Kindle version back to the library earlier had I been able to listen to a Text-to-Speech as I read. All that inconvenience and not being able to save my credit for something else I was planning on, should actually lower my rating. But, doggone it! This was a fantastic book! Please, dear author (Lisa See), since the book is about poor people and their struggles, consider the struggles of those who can’t afford to buy your book and or have vision problems!

Gripe ended. The book was so good that I didn’t want to stop reading it for anything! I loved the amount of research the author put into the whole story. And yet I didn’t feel inundated with information. It all felt quite naturally a part of the tale.

It is told mostly from Li-yan’s point of view in a minority village of China. Later her daughter, Haley’s, point of view as an orphan in Orange County, California. What is genetic, instinct, or just natural curiosity? In a culture discouraging more than one child and girls the least desirable, what are the results on those poor girls sent away? What happens to the country that makes that happen? What are the results for the family or parents that are forced into this kind of situation?

These questions are answered. AND you will learn more about tea than you may ever want to know but find yourself longing to know more!

It has been over a week since I finished reading/listening to this gem. I still miss the characters and wish I knew what happened next. I doubt there is a second book in the making. The book leaves you just wishing for more. If you can get the book or audio recording, I think you will like it! Thank you, Leslie, for recommending it!

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Heart Felt Knits: 25 Fresh and Modern Felting ProjectsHeart Felt Knits: 25 Fresh and Modern Felting Projects by Tamara Mello

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How can I fairly review this book? The wool that was donated to us is good for cores of toys but I don’t think it will do well for wet-felting. It certainly can’t be spun into a decent yarn. This book centers on felting that is done from knitted items.

Yet, if this appeals to you, and the pictures are certainly appealing, you might want to go out and buy good wool yarns and get busy. In fact, the scarf featured on the actress on the front of this book is beautiful. If you recognize her, from the show Popular, it may be even more fun to read this book. Ms. Tamara Mello spent much of her downtime on set, knitting. Reading about her path of learning knitting was fun. I loved the looks of all the items pictured in the book. The instructions, even for learning to knit, were thorough and well illustrated.

So I guess I should mark this 5 stars, even though it isn’t helpful now. Who knows how far I will get into the felting hobby? I may find myself buying this book later instead of borrowing it from the eBook library.

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Imagine Me GoneImagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A few days ago I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t finish this book. I just couldn’t like the characters or the story. What parts I related to were triggers of my own upbringing and depressions. I figured this wasn’t a good book for me.

After looking at the reviews and realizing a friend had recommended to me, I decided to stick it out. I must admit that the book got a little better but still was not one I will remember in the future. I would normally give this book a single star, but I do think the subject matter needs to be shared with others that may not have had the opportunity to learn about it first hand. And explore why the treatment of depression and other mental health issues don’t get looked at is because many think the patients are needy, attention-getters or otherwise diminish the pain the person is going through. The author gives us a couple glimpses into the minds of severe depression. So I raised the star rating by one.

Since I review and rate for my own future reference I have to leave it at 2 stars. Others love this book and say it is their favorite of the year. So don’t take my word for it. Pick it up and see what you think. Oh, I should mention this was a library Kindle version.

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