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Category Archives: Book Reviews

Review: Housework Harmony, by Andrew McAllister

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If ever you wanted proof of how sexy a man may look while doing the dishes, you’ve got it here.

All joking aside, I was surprised at how down-to-earth and honest a manner this subject could be discussed. It didn’t seem like the kind of thing one needs lessons for. How wrong I was!

This book showed me just how easy it was to fall into the trap of internalised emotion and unfounded assumption, the tiny grain of sands that can be the starting point of friction and discontent between spouses or partners.

In awe at what I’d just discovered, I read on, wondering what more could be said on the subject. There are ways to allay every concern, tips on asking for help without sounding like a slave driver, ways to look at the other person’s perspective that you probably haven’t thought of before, and different angles to every line of reasoning. And when you’re done with that, you still get a set of winning principles which can be applied to more than just this situation.

This book is more than just an essay in how to divide chores evenly, it is a lesson in how to be more attuned to the people around you, and ultimately to yourself, and also a lesson in communication. No one ever made much progress by avoiding interaction with the world outside themselves, and this book shows you the steps you need to take to get there. After all, we all want progress, we all want to be winners, and we all want fair, ethical treatment. Read this book, and encourage the others in your life to do the same. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

You don’t know you need to read this…until you do.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review: Tiara, by John Reinhard Dizon

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I love reading books based on actual fact, and Tiara is probably the best I’ve read so far. Based loosely on the “Troubles” and the political storm between Northern Ireland and Britain, though still fiction, this story is so near the knuckle, it is impossible not to do the occasional double take.

Names have been changed, but there’s no doubting the main players, Princess Jennifer of Edinburgh especially. It takes some guts to be so accurate when relaying the setting and intrigue, and I wondered more than once where did the author manage to find all the details. Whatever the answer, it is a brilliant account of those events and the many players involved in the power games, even those who didn’t become clear until months or years later.

While crafted as a thriller, John R Dizon tempered the fast pace and tension with genuine Irish humor and a quirky dry wit, making the whole package a much more enjoyable read than it could have been. Beautifully written, this is prose at its best, and you can be assured of not one dull or tedious moment. The characters feel real, because they have been based on real people. The storyline is flowing, because it is well thought-out, and the plot is suspenseful and brilliantly paced. For a historical-political thriller, it doesn’t get any better. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Five shiny stars from me.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review: Confessions of a Fat Girl, by Ebony Daniels

Confessions_of_A_Fat_Cover_for_Kindle  (2) (1)Amazon US

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Mostly a personal account of a woman’s growth from stick-thin teenager through to a fully formed adult, this was an emotional experience for me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more truthful account of life with a plus-sized body. So many elements rang true, and I could empathize in so many ways. The author leaves no aspect of her existence untouched. The ways in which additional weight reflects in every angle of a fat person’s life is various and painful. Yes, I said ‘fat’ and I am aware it is not a politically correct, acceptable description, but what is the point of calling an apple a round-shape-fruit-which-is-often-red-and-tastes-good? Will it make it more appealing, or maybe less? Its essence doesn’t change regardless. Get what I mean here?

Ebony Daniels, I wish you the best in the journey you set yourself. You are a beautiful person and I am lucky to have had access to your thoughtful words and amazing story.

For all of you out there who may think you have – or really have – a body that is bigger than what society tells us is a perfect size, please read this book. You will find truth and wisdom, and maybe even your happily ever after. There is no way this book could earn any less than 5 stars. I’m going right back to the beginning and reading it again.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review and New Release – The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty, by Steve LeBel

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This book is fantasy at its best. Perfect escapism in the world of gods. I’ve always wondered how our solar system was created, and now I suspect Bernie my have had something to do with it.

Bernie’s predicament is simple: freshly off the benches of God School’s building program, he gets a job, but in order to pass his probation he must impress his very strict boss. It wouldn’t be an easy task on a good day. When Bernie’s work is being sabotaged, it becomes impossible.

This is just one of the layers of this story – the surface one – but dig deeper and you’ll find there is so much more to Bernie as a person. Multiple factors influence his personality and convictions, and growing up fast isn’t easy. Popular teenage themes wind around the main plot – self-confidence, social mingling, incipient attraction, a need to prove oneself, the youngster’s place within his community – and all are treated with finesse and understanding. I wish I had a book like this to read when I was that age. But even now, I have enjoyed Bernie’s story far more than originally anticipated.

The narrator’s voice is so smooth, I picture him as a wise old storyteller that may have seen the passage of many millennia, sitting in a rocking chair with a thick tome on his knees. Observations and dialogue are peppered with humor, and the whole blends together into this really satisfying package. In the end, everyone gets what they deserve.

This book works on so many levels – it’s suitable for youngsters and mature readers alike. If you like fantasy with a good dose of wit and originality, then this book is for you. Five shiny stars for Bernie. I’m certainly looking forward to a sequel. Will there be one?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review: User Pays, by Tabitha Ormiston-Smith

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A thinking person’s political parable – short and chilling – showing all-too-clearly the hazards of following political dogma without giving it even the most cursory discerning, intelligent thought.

Very well-written, though too short for me. I would have liked to have seen this story more developed. Perhaps the author may have plans to build on this idea – it certainly has merit, in my view. In this day and age, following doctrines sheep-like is an extravagance humanity simply can’t afford anymore.

Recommended.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review and Stock-Taking: I’ll Do It Tomorrow, by Norah R Collins

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The title is self-explanatory – what more can I say? It was getting ridiculous – my talent for procrastination – so I did something about it. My kindle is chock-full of books, it keeps resetting itself on a daily basis. Light-bulb moment: instead of just accumulating books, read, review, dispose or keep. Clever, huh?

I’d downloaded this book recently, and as I write this it is still FREE – see the links above, if interested.

It’s well-written, easy to digest, and most importantly CLEAR. I found I could get a better handle on my personal avoidance techniques, and even discovered a couple of things I wouldn’t have thought about. All in all, I am so glad I spent an hour or so reading this book.

As for the results… We’ll see how it goes. I’m implementing a few ideas right now.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review (and an AWARD): Back to December, by Patti Korbet

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I knew I was in trouble as soon as I was done reading the first page of this book. There was no way I was going to be able to stop myself from reading more. But I was busy. So the clever thing to do was to put it aside and pick it up again when my schedule cleared. Only I told myself a few more pages wouldn’t hurt.

By the following day, when I finally finished reading, my work schedule had suffered a lot. Warning: this is not a short read, or a boring one. Make sure you’ve fed your family and pets before you sit down to read.

Just take this intro. It’s an absolutely classic hook.

“Emily Ward could pinpoint the moment everything in her life changed, and it wasn’t even her moment. It was the second Dan proposed – not to her, but to her little sister, Charlotte.”

From here on, this book only gets better and better.

I loved Emily right from the very beginning, perhaps because I could identify with her so easily. It was almost as if I could see myself in her – well, if I was younger and prettier, anyway. The other characters are beautifully formed. Rob… Ahhh, Rob… Who could resist him? I still dream of him. Even the secondary, rarely mentioned characters I loved. I feel invested in them all, so much so that I’m experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

So after gushing over the characterization, you’d think that’s it, right? Wrong. The plot is so much fun, so I-know-what’s-gonna-happen-next… until it doesn’t. Loved, loved, loved the twists in the plot, and the ending was fantastic – the perfect happily ever after.

I’ve been bowled over by the deep insights and meaningful perception of family relations, greed and envy, and redemption, shown by this author. It takes a lot of living to learn all that. Or a lot of sensitivity. And a lot of talent to relay it in a story just right.

At heart, Back to December is a romance, but one with many layers. It’s hard to explain quite how profoundly enjoyable I found this book to be. At this particular moment in time, I have one conundrum: do I proceed to book 2 in the series, or do I re-read this one?

Brilliant read. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Well done, Patti Korbet. Five stars are just not enough.

 

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For the depth of feeling this novel has awoken in me, for the tears it made me shed and for the giggles that made my family look at me with a she’s-lost-it frown on their faces, I award Back to December the Life Changing Read Award. Congratulations, Patti Korbet! I am so pleased to be able to add your name to my Awesome Authors Gallery. Thank you for a wonderful experience.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Blood is Heavier – a fan reviews my work

BLOOD IS HEAVIER WRAP COVER~~~

“From the outset, Ms. Medler shines in her ability to switch genres with a masterful touch.  Her book, “Martin Little: Resurrected”, was the first one I’d read of her works, and I was expecting more of the same.

This is nothing like that one.

Dark, dramatic, mysterious, at times near-terrifying, this book kept me interested until the very end.”

~~~

Read the whole review on the Pen to Paper blog here.

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review: Amazon Book Reviews: Fair & Unbiased, by Thomas Jerome Baker

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Ok, so I approached this book with about as much respect as your average teenager would your grandma’s set of false teeth. What is the point, I wondered, of writing a book about writing book reviews? As if there weren’t enough tutorials online, or hints and pointers on every site. Don’t be personal, control your emotions, stay objective, focus on the good parts of a book, mention what segment of the market would enjoy it, yadda, yadda, yadda. I’m a reviewer, too, I published hundreds of book reviews. I know all that.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the level of intelligence and intuition with which this book is written, nor did I expect the absolute honesty with which the content is presented – all done so smoothly, and with such effortless tact, that you’ll be halfway through the book before you even realize you got there. You get explanations, links, comparisons, pointers – everything you need to get you walking down the right track – offered in an easy-follow, entertaining voice full of wisdom.

I expect every reader will take away only those words they agree with, but if you consider yourself a serious reviewer, or maybe are just starting out with a mind to make book reviewing a possible career, or even if all you are looking for is a technique to help you formulate and present your opinions, you need to read this book. It will give you the tools for writing not just a review, but a useful evaluation that will help the prospective reader, and the author alike.

Very impressive work, well deserving of 5 stars. I simply couldn’t pass the chance to write this review.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review: The First, by Lisa M. Green

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What an honest-to-God beautiful read!

The survivors are safe, but only within the walls. This nugget of an idea has formed the basis of many sci-fi, fantasy, or post-apocalyptic novels, but I can honestly say I have never enjoyed the way this concept was treated more than in this book.

What do you do when the trusted elders who are there to guide you turn out to be your guards? When you discovered you’re not merely being protected, but held prisoner?

This is a beautifully written novel, original, and a very enjoyable read. I loved the narrator’s voice – that of Corinne, a young girl who notices far more than she is expected to, and really far more than it’s good for her. The familiarity and ease of address certainly counts for half the fun because, let’s face it, which young girl’s thoughts are straight-flowing and completely logical? But the other half – the quest, the other characters, the plot twists – all blended superbly well to make a very satisfying read.

Absolutely, truly, hugely loved this book. The five stars I award it are fully deserved. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to anyone, any age. It will bring you hours of fun and enjoyment. I’m certainly glad I found a new author voice to follow. Well done, Lisa M. Green.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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