Blog Archives

July Update

That moment when you realize you *might* have too many books…

Oh… My… Gawd…

I’ve been housecleaning, and coming to the realization that I have more books than some small libraries… And not nearly enough bookshelves.

And all people can ask me is…

And I’m all…

So as I continue my book adventure, this summer (don’t worry, more reviews are in the works) will also be an adventure in scouring for bookcases, ingenious book storage solutions, building projects, and more… Stay tuned!

New Day, New Me

Well, back in the writer’s chair again. As my co-author types away nearby, and I just adopted a new pet from my favorite addictive site, I feel that it is time that I do something productive with my time, other than workouts, running errands, and shopping.

Time to catch up.

Well, as you may know, it’s been some time since I got much of anything done here. And I should probably give a little background and perspective. I owe it to somebody, I figure.

When I decided to detox from GoodReads and move away from their new interface, I didn’t have any idea how that would affect me, both as a writer, a reviewer, and most importantly a reader. I wound up reading very little, and doing more loafing. It didn’t help much that my medication is constantly being adjusted by my doctor, and I have had ALL KINDS of stuff going on in my personal life that I just wasn’t handling very well.

In short, I was all:

Detox

And, oh yeah, we also got this nasty virus on the laptop I had come to rely on for EVERYTHING (thanks to some selective content viewed by my consort) so it was down for the count for a long while. It still does not connect to the internet from home (Thanks, Windows. Thanks, Dell.). So I had to look for an alternative, and can I say now:

Toughbook

Yeah.

Mine may not be an Ultimate, nor is it even remotely new, but it has survived alot of harsh environments, treatment, and even something like this (with Dr. Pepper):

Water

So now here I am, back for all your smart-ass needs in reviewing books. And movies. And whatever else comes up. ‘Cause baby, “You can’t keep a good dog down!”

~*~*~*~*~*~

And now, on to the long awaited reviews:

Catching Up With Reviews

I am working on catching up with my reviews again, so this page is going to go through alot of transformations in the next few days. Feel free to check back often and click on the covers for their reviews. If a cover doesn’t take you to a review right away, check back in a day or two – I may not have finished it yet.

I post short reviews with the link back to the full reviews on many sites:

GoodReads

Powells

Amazon

and introducing: NetGalley (for select titles)

Posting all of the reviews at approximately the same time takes a little time in itself. I try to make sure each is given equal love. To write and post a review takes about an hour, although depending on distractions, it can take longer. Some books it is hard to say something about, and others I can’t say enough, but each review takes a chunk of time. I try to make it worthwhile, for me and anyone who reads this.

That said, I also have a bit of literary events and interests that I post about from time to time, and since I travel for work, I may get to share locations like this:

IMG_1518

Yes. That is a tunnel made from books. (There will be more photos later.)

I also attend some fascinating events that pertain to literature – in some cases remotely, some directly. Like this one:

IMG_1614

#Thinkitup

And I am continuing my reading challenge – are you still reading along? I’ll be posting my selections for each category soon, and would like to know what you have read…

57dc67ea360b1b6b1c3bfcdb0806f3

Finally, this is the year I have declared to be The Year of Women Authors (#yearofwomenauthors #2015YoWA).  I have read books by men and women, but have tried to find books with an emphasis of women. This has expanded my usual reading choices, and encouraged me to release my own story for publication –

BookCoverImage

So continue reading along, and I’ll have more exclusives coming your way soon!

 

Baby Donald Makes a Snowfriend

Read: 20 September 2015

1365998

Punky Brewster (#1)

Read: 19 September 2015

25188505

 

Cheese & Quackers

Read: 18 September 2015

24486107

Movie Night – Max

MV5BMjA2Nzk0NzIyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEyNTE5NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_

Watched: 06 September 2015

Last night we seen a touching story of a boy and his dog, Max. It was an instant family favorite, irregardless of the little inconsistencies that we noticed, coming from a military perspective.

Max is a war hero with PTSD, Justin’s brother’s dog. Justin’s brother Kyle, the good son, was killed while on maneuvers, and even while overseas, Max knew that everything was not kosher in Denmark, as the saying goes. Kyle’s childhood friend was doing a little side business, and used his friend as a cover.

Back home, Justin was a hacker, constantly at odds with his veteran father and hold-it-all-together mother. His friend had him doing a little side business of his own, and the heat was starting to make him sweat as his father was starting to catch on to him.

Not good family relationships, and after Kyle’s funeral, the addition of a strung-out dog adds to a ticking time bomb.

Justin’s friend’s cousin steps in, helping Justin work with Max and challenging racial perspectives (I liked this) with a bit of sass and a bit of manners and a large dose of right and wrong.

But Max isn’t the only Marine come home.

Kyle’s friend shows up, and as soon as he sees Max, everyone knows that something is wrong. What nobody wants to admit, though, is what. Why does Max have such a strong hate for his former handler’s best friend?

A story that does not follow the rules, but leads to a stronger family in the end, the only thing I found missing from the final scenes was Max’s trainer. Did that ever get resolved and cleared up? Or is that a blemish for future sequels? I don’t know.

Max was a great action story, coming-of-age story, family story, military story… the list could go on and on, but I say watch it. Watch it with someone, because most of all, this is a Coming Together story, and you’ll want to to share a smile with someone as it wraps up. Because.

 

Movie Night – Robocop (2014)

Another movie courtesy of out local public library:

MV5BMjAyOTUzMTcxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjkyOTc1MDE@._V1_SX214_AL_

Tonight was Family Movie Night, and tonight’s selection was Robocop. The original version was somewhat corny, and so is this one. Good cop gets injured thanks to the line of duty, gets revolutionary treatment, melding what is left of his body with a mechanical suit and computer programming, turning him into a tool (literally and figuratively).

While the man/machine story is not new, the take was modernized, and something believable for the very near future. However, this wasn’t a complete copy of Robocop – it seems they threw some Judge Dredd in there, Cylon (Battlestar Galactica) in there, and Hunger Games-like media coverage. Obviously this is an updated, pop-media aware version of a cult classic!

Good action movie, but don’t expect a replay of the original – this one has all of the updated tech you would expect from a modern action flick, plus some advanced tech befitting its futuristic storyline. I’d give it 3.5 stars (out of 5).

Behind…

Okay, so I have fallen tragically behind on my reviews, although I have been reading still. It’s just that time of the summer, where the kids are getting bored with summer, errands and chores that were put off at the beginning of summer need doing, and everyone wants a piece of your time – so the constantly growing list starts to look daunting. (This sounds like the good premise of a short story…)

But, I am not to be put off, even if the task is challenging – it just needs to be re-imagined and put into a different format to make it easier to read (or do).

So, without further ado, the list of books that will be pending review (please note that links to the reviews will be available as the reviews become complete):

The Diggingest Dog

Read June 22 2015

 1215867

Let’s Go To The Park!

Read June 23 2015

(picture currently not available)

Splat the Cat: The Big Helper

Read June 24 2015

22693210

The Pudgy Pat-A-Cake Book

Read June 25 2015

 2103405

The Guardian Herd: Starfire

Read June 26 2015

 20483084

In The Blood (A GoodReads First Read)

Read June 27 2015

 20736539

The Walking Dead: Volume 1: Days Gone Bye

Read June 28 2015

 138398

96 Cats

Read June 29 2015

 (picture not currently available)

All I Need To Know I Learned From My Cat

Read June 30 2015

 76722

Ignite

Read July 03 2015

 22323658

Sailor Moon 3

Read July 05 2015

 11251704

Biscuit Goes to School

Read July 06 2015

(picture not currently available)

Fifty Shades of Chicken

Read July 06 2015

 15798628

Charlie’s Dirt Day

Read July 07 2015

 

Birthday in the Barrio

Read July 08 2015

 

Bad Cat

Read July 13 2015

 

New Dad (A GoodReads First Read)

Read July 13 2015

Book of the Week

I am behind on getting this out due to an ongoing illness. But the addition of some new books recently, and a trip to my local Library Book Sale (look for details soon) has given me quite a bit of material to pick from!

Without further ado, I present this (past) week’s selection for Book of the Week:

Dorothy Must Die (PrePublication Excerpt)

 18053060

By: Danielle Paige

Click on the book to check it out on my GoodReads page, or read the review above under Novel Novels. Trust me – it’s worthy of this week’s pick!

Book of the Week

A new feature, Book of the Week, where I share the most interesting book that I have read this past week. Since Wednesday is my writing night, the week runs Wednesday to Wednesday.

This week’s choice is:

7769

By: Dr. Seuss

A great little board book version of the original, shrunk down for little hands and little attentions, and perfect for a before naptime story. You can even let the little one take this book to bed with them, and know that its sturdy construction will be safe.

So, I post my reviews that I write here on more than a few sites. And as I added this book, pulling up pages for it from many different sites, I was amazed at the number of complaints from adults about this book! I mean, really people? Really?

There seems to be a vast chasm between purists who like the original text and feel that there should be no further versions, and those who like this little, edited version for it’s own value (myself included). Holy crap! There was even significant swearing involved in this on the review forums! Over a kids’ book! From most everyone’s childhood!

Note: I’m sorry for the liberal use of exclamation marks in this, but I feel that they express my feeling better than writing in all caps. I am seriously wound up about this right now, and will calm down later. Just please be patient.

Back to rant.

So, as for my opinion (the point of having this little blog), this book is awesome, and lyrical enough in a sing-song way to lull a little fussy-butt (of which I have one) into a drowsy state. The book covers the entire alphabet (it’s not like they skipped L-N or something) and the repeating letters (B…b…B, O…o…O) are enough to let the child know what letter was just covered. Extra lines are nice, but not necessary.

As for those purists, get over yourself, and stop being cheap. Buy the full sized book for the full-sized price instead of fussing you were ripped off. Your complaints completely go against the spirit of Dr. Seuss. If the children are happy with it, then all is well! I understand and agree with preserving a complete version of the text, but it doesn’t have to be the *only* edition.

End rant.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know!

Updates, Dallas, and Doing Stuff

photo 5

So I just got back from a long trip in Dallas, TX. That was the longest lay-over I have ever experienced. Words don’t even begin to describe. But, as you can see above, I had a travel companion. My suitcase was also packed with books. (My friends laughed at me, but somehow, with everything, I still managed to pack smaller and more completely than they did. Books are magic like that!)

What you don’t see here is my shoulder bag. It, too, was packed with books (and my friend’s laptop). After being stuck in the airport for almost two days, and stuck in the hotel in Dallas for more than that, I was so glad that I packed so many books. (Can you believe that I was starting to doubt myself?!) I got alot of reading done, but I also spent time taking in the sights. Unfortunately, my chargers were all in my suitcase, which I had checked due to the weight of it. (Won’t be doing that again.) So that means you’ll have to take my word on stuff.

But this site is not about my travels, oh, no. It’s about books. More specifically, the books I’ve read. And did I ever read!

Besides the stuff I needed to read for this training conference, I managed to read about one complete book a day. (Did I mention that I had alot of downtime due to being stuck?) When the world gives you time, READ!

I also had, in moments of brilliance, ideas about this site. I have added three new classifications above: Children’s Choices (books my daughter has chosen), Graphically Graphic (a home for graphic novels), and Noticing Non-fiction (an under-appreciated genre). Check them out, and the books that are being added to each.

I have also been working on collaborations and other artsy projects. My younger brother has suggested that I write some of my travel stories, so I am at the idea stage on that. Still not sure about it. I have also been working on taking old pictures from the phones and putting them into mini videos. The editing process is longer than I thought it would be, especially since the software I’m using has updated, and I’m still figuring it out. And now that warmer weather is in sight, there are loads of home improvements to be made, and painting projects to be done.

That means, reviews will still keep coming, but after I catch up, there may be some further house-cleaning here, too. I want to make this site easy to navigate, the pages better formatted, and fun for me! After all, once stuff gets easier to update, that means more time to read!

Oh, yeah, and that update from the mystery author I promised… stay tuned! I have an exclusive excerpt to share! And it is amazing…

Book Madness

Book-Madness-Bracket_2013_585 mini

Got March Madness? Want to do the bracket thing, but really aren’t into guys in shorts? Well, for those who would rather curl up with a book than watch guys run around, playing with their balls, here’s just the thing (no matter your reason – I don’t judge!):

Out Of Print is running their own bracketing, and it’s all about books! What’s the best book/series out there? Want to have your say? Download the bracket sheet here, and fill it in.

WARNING: This ends on March 25th, so fill it out as soon as possible, and email it in to fans@outofprintclothing.com.