Amazing authors…

Last night was an author jamboree. If you can try out local authors all you can, reviews will resume ASAP. I finished 8 books last week and did not write a single review,oops.

Life is like that sometimes.

Please keep reading and I will catch up when possible!

Book Reviews: A question for all

Sundays are for book reviews, but not today.

Today I was in Kalamazoo selling books. Sundays are always unpredictable. Sometimes they are busier, but often they are less engaged. I did well, but not near as well as I would have liked. As I sold I considered the books I have read this week and have a few questions. Help me out here:

Details or Summary

I have written many polls and tried to avoid telling too much of the story or giving away spoilers. Would you like to see reviews like this, or more detailed reviews that could compromise the book?

With that in mind I wonder about honesty or avoidance.

Honesty First

In life if you ask me a question that is direct, I will not lie, but I may not answer. I also may tell you the truth even if it is painful. There are also pointed questions I will always ignore, just out of general purposes. (Am I fat/thin etc etc) If I lie I will never remember what I said. With that in mind some of the books I have read by indie authors are less than perfect. Most of the authors at shows are polished and have worked hard on their books. Some people have not, or lose the purpose of the story in favor of something else. (I will give no examples)

Would you rather see these reviews knowing they will be painful to some, or leave them alone and try to talk 1-1 or drop these items. I now have hundreds of indie books and I have read most and am a significant number of reviews behind so it will take time anyway. Just let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for any help that you can give. I appreciate it!

Sunday Reviews: THE MAN FROM BURNT ISLAND: A Novel

Sundays are for book reviews! The man from burnt island: A Novel : Wendy Sura Thomson ☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I have to start by saying this isn’t the type of book I normally would read. It was enjoyable and there were places, situations, and people, that were a lot of fun. It is always great when you look at historical fiction or in this case semi historical fiction. That being said I enjoyed the book because of the characters. There were pieces of it that were awkward and difficult, like in real life. This added to the story works well.  They awkwardness comes from complex situations with people and difficult situations.

The book is a sign of its time and obviously a time when men nearly ruled over women and where women often did not get the recognition that was necessary or deserved. The book achieves exactly what it set out to do as the reader is filled with multiple emotions. As they experience the lives inside the story struggling, they can often feel the pain. I enjoyed parts of the book because it gave me unique perspectives and allowed me to grow in many ways. It is a book that will open your mind and as you read there are parts that will make you smile, make you laugh, and potentially make you cry.

In the end I do not give away too much about anything I read because I find people who give spoilers make my day a little sadder. If you read “The Man from Burnt Island”, and I suggest you do, I think you will find a unique story about life, immigration, and another view of the American Dream.

5 of 5 stars simply because the book taught me something. Take your time and enjoy the read.

Sundays Reviews: Road Home

Sundays are for book reviews!

Road Home : Jules Nelson ☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆ 

There are three books in the Shadows of Home series. I read the first some time ago and was impressed with both the characters and simplicity of the story. I have found that books that over complicate sometimes lose their story. In the case of Road home the characters from the first book return and I truly enjoy their interaction.

On of the more compelling positives in this book is the use of time to drive the story and the accuracy of the particular time period. I realize both of these have to do with time, but the book is measured a a slice of time with chapters denoted to give the reader a sense of time passing.

The civil war time period is well written with a focus on the tribulations that most modern readers can only fantasize about. The attention to historical detail and accuracy is not only well written, but a big part of the story.

Without throwing in spoilers let me say simply this is a good addition to the trilogy and I look forward to the third book in the near future.

5 stars for keeping history real!

Sunday Reviews: Hope for the Flowers

Sundays Reviews: Hope for the Flowers

Sundays are for book reviews!

Hope for the flowers : Trina Paulus Paulus ☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I reread this book again this week. Then I went on Amazon and read the reviews that were on there, and then reread the book again.

I can start by saying that was not a long read. The book is simple and straight forward and not exactly like reading war and peace. It is not meant to be that. It is meant to be uplifting.

A few of the reviews I looked at were less than favorable, mostly because the author of the reviews was cynical, or the condition of the book was less than perfect. This is one of my favorite books because it points out a flaw in who we are, the constant push to be number one.

Let me rephrase, that is also a huge selling point for the human race but sometimes we get so lost in the pathway to success we forget to define what success is to us, and to others.

Hope for the flowers follow two caterpillars trying to understand life. As they do they come to pillars where everyone is trying to get to the top. It is a brutal race and no one seems to know what is at the top. The two, Stripe and Yellow, push to the top until one day they have to compete each other. As they do they go back to the bottom of the tower and try to start a new life. Eventually one goes back to fight the tower and succeeds in finding there is nothing at the top. Instead they are inspired and find another way.

This is an easy read and a super lesson. Sure, there are those that will not understand, but the majority should get this. Worth the read for you, and for any age.

Sunday Reviews: My Smart Puppy

Sundays are for book reviews!

My Smart Puppy by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilsopn

☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I have to start by saying I don’t have a new puppy. Sorry, if you are looking for puppy pictures, ooops. I do, however, read a great many books on dogs and other approaches. I have been reading books on dogs since the early 70s when my family bred and showed poodles, and along the way found my place training German Shepherds and enjoying American Eskimos. (The dog, well, the people too, but I am talking about the UKC dog breed here)

I had not read the authors previous book and when I bought this I was highly interested in the approach. I will say up front a lot of this is both common sense (If readers have it) or pretty straightforward but I was struck with some of the tables, figures, and narratives of cause and effect and some of the easy repeatable ways of dealing with many types of dogs.

As I read through the chapters I compared the approach of the authors to my past approaches and was pleased at how they saw dogs. There are things I do differently but I think this book can do two things for any reader: 1) introduce them to dog ownership and how to “read” their puppy and 2) Train the puppy owner to do things well.

Lots of good advise about behaviors and training approaches as well make this a good addition to my library. The index is a little clunky, but nothing that is hard to overcome. A good reference, 5 of 5 stars!

Sunday Reviews: Billy Summers

Sundays are for book reviews

Billy Summers by Stephen King

☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I have read most of what Stephen King has to offer. It is rare to find anything I haven’t but I still do and do not use a checklist. Billy Summers is new, and a new type of book out of all that I have read of Stephen Kings.

I was fascinated by the characters and walked into this without a thought about what it would be. I expected paranormal, but got a book similar to many others about people, and a person who lead a difficult life, and how he not only learned to cope, but learned to overcome life.

As with every King book I have read, Stephen King does an amazing job of developing his characters, from the most important to the smallest people involved in the story. If you are like me you find yourself wandering around in your mind considering that person at the convenience store or the flamboyant man at work that overachieves and wonder their histories, and how they react in a variety of situations.

This is a book about characters, and more, about growth. It did not go the way I thought it would and in doing so, I felt good. What started as a normal book about a person dealing with their past became a book about discovery, and a book about a young woman finding her life, and her future. With few exceptions Stephen King continues to give us escapes, and this was no different. As I said, I will not ruin it, but this book is worth every page. The only thing I walked away wondering is where his childhood friends ended up, but it really didn’t matter.

Sunday Reviews: Emmett Elephant’s Love

Sundays are for book reviews

Emmett Elephant’s Love by Diana Katheryn Plopa

☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I like reading younger books sometimes simply because they are relaxing. They do not take long and this book was a very short read. It was impressive that the books was also illustrated by the husband of the writer and he did a very good job. I was not sure what to expect and walked away both happy and sad with this book.

Of course reading always makes me happy and the books introduces you to Emmett and his family rapidly. It also takes a turn to a warm approach on a hard topic for many, death.

There are a lot of books that approach death, but not many for children, and this eases into the subject and brings it full circle. I am not sure if all children will understand, but I know that many will see it a different way after reading this book.

5 of 5 stars for this wonderful book with a cute character and fun illustrations!

Sunday Reviews: Horror Short Stories

Sundays are for book reviews Horror Short Stories (Edited by Joanna Blythe) ☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I was excited when I purchased this hardcover book as I love horror shorts and longs. On one hand I was excited about the possibilities, on the other hand after I read the book I found that I had read virtually all the stories and had almost all of them in other books and collections I already owned. This was a little disappointing and hence the 4 of 5 starts. With that in mind though each of the stories is fun and enticing, and I feel that the selection done by the authors is appropriate for many audiences.

My favorite of the authors, Guy DE Maupassant did not disappoint and of course Poe, Lovecraft, and many others were great as always. A super collection, but still a reprint for the most part.

Sunday Reviews: The Dishwasher – A Gift from God.

Sundays are for book reviews

The Dishwasher: A gift From God by Leslie Karsten

☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

This was an impulse buy as I met the author at another book signing. We discussed a great deal about theology, philosophy and life as we talked about the new book by D.A. Reed: “All the Things we Didn’t see”

I was fascinated by the thoughts and bought the book and it shipped very quickly. This is a tough rating as the book content is good and works for what it was intended, a bible study guide and series of points to incite thought, but it was not so good because it was fare too short.

I was impressed with the stories and approaches, and enjoyed the witty statements and sometimes pointed questions. I also enjoyed the story from the title as I hate doing dishes as well. So, a fun read and worth the time, and worth it for a study group to go for weeks and get some people moving forward, but in the words of Andrea True: More More More.