Sunday, August 14, 2011

Facebook as a solution to our political problems.

I am amazed at what Facebook has become. What started off as a way for us to interact and talk about our pets, and ex's has now degenerated into a way to spread hate, paranoia and social garbage.

I have deleted 31 of my FB friends this past week as they have truly shown themselves for what they are. Bigots, racists, and hate mongers. I am tired of seeing Islam and Muslims blames for everything. I am tired of hearing people cry and whine over our politicians, when they voted them in.

I know this is a book review blog, but I had to chime my opinion in here. It is a frightening thing when I see people demanding the deportation of Muslims, I have seen the demand for "removal" of them from our society. I have seen a HUGE demand for Islam to be banned due to it's "Un-Amercian" ways.

The problem is that my grandfather put it best last night when I was talking to him. He said that his sacrifices during WWII and his fathers sacrifices during WWI are now all for naught. He has seen this before. There was a time when... In America.. The land fo the FREE.... The land of the RIGHT for FREE SPEECH and FREEDOM of RELIGION....

  • Blacks were deemed dangerous and radical.
  • Japanese were interred into camps for our nations safety.
  • Germans had their windows broken, and had to post I AM AN AMERICAN in their windows due to fear.
  • Mexicans were arrested in the streets of LA due to how they "Dressed"
  • Indians were corralled and labeled "Animals."
We are committing the sins of the past, ones that are dangerous and also shameful to our flag and what it represents. Our Constitution and also Bill of Rights are no longer documents to be followed, they are to be referenced only when it pleases us, and proves a point.

There are horrible people in every religion and society. There in every society and religion those that are radical and practice hatred. I am a Christian and I hold my head in shame over what Timothy McVei did in the name of Christianity. However, I also am an American and am scared to see what those in our society are leading up to.

It will be the Muslims now. What is next? Yes you haters out there, get your way and lets throw em out, lets ban Islam, lets isolate every Muslim because of fear and ignorance. However, next time when it is YOUR religion. When it YOUR thoughts and beliefs that get you targeted do not complain.

For you were part of the movement. You were part of the wave that began it all. Ask a Jew who was in Dachau, or who was in Auschwitz what fear mongering can do. What a label of hatred could do. Go to the internet and search those two places, look at the faces of the victims of fear mongering.

I love my Country, however everyone needs to place the hate where it belongs. In the laps of the radicals who strive to hate. And by the way.

Those people are in EVERY religion.

The Duchess of Whimsy

This is simply a picture book, one that is wonderfully illustrated and colorful. The artist of this book is a well known illustrator and the pictures are colorful and clean.

The writer also is fairly well known, and this book proves an old adage I like that says, You cannot always judge a kids book by it's illustrations.

The story line although meant to be cute is frankly far above what a typical kid would be able to understand. The writing is meant to be fancy and follows almost a Shakespearean style.

Thus it uses concepts and words that the two kids I read it to (5 and 7) were confused over, and really did not get anything out of it except WOW cool pictures. The writer really did this wonderful job with the illustrations. However the writer cheated the illustrator with their arrogant sounding prose. This book gets 5 stars for the illustrator. However, due to the writers seeming attempt to impress and failing to do so. I give this book...


The Keeper Of Lost Causes

This book by veteran writer Jussi Adler-Olsen is at first glance a boring read, one that even though his list of writing awards is long, seems to bore and blither along.

However once I got past chapter two the book engaged me and took off in interesting and unexpected ways. The story which is designed to be from what I can gather the start of a series. Has it's problems like I said, however it does take off, and take off fast.

A washed up and emotionally screwed up detective who is the sole survivor of a shooting that took two of his comrades, and of course he blames himself. Finds out that a long though cold case involving a missing politician, is in fact deeper in its deciet and scope than first thought. While his comrades in law scoff at his interest in this cold case, he of course finds more.... Now don't let my seeming contempt there shake you. I want to say that this is where it gets good.

The author does a good job of keeping the reader interested and engaged. His storytelling is compelling and the editing is spot on. Some of the characters are a little over used, and are kind of cliche' however I think he does this on purpose. Overall this is an excellent book, and will kindle an interest in the world of Noir fiction that I think has been lost for years. This writer gets a firm...


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gordon The Goldfish

This new book by up and coming author William Middleton promises to enthrall the reader.

Big claims for a new book, so I am going to give my feedback on this book. The cover is cute, and the interior artwork is done in rich pencils. I normally do not like kids books with pencil in them, however the imagery is bright and crisp.

The story line works well with the imagery, and I found it engaging and fun. The author has nice plays on words, and the storyline flows smoothly.

Editing for this book is well done, and I found no issues. Overall the book is an excellent books for kids, and I hope the author continues with more. So this book gets a well deserved...


Friday, July 29, 2011

Meat Puppet

Meat Puppet is a horror book from Jackson Michigan author Thom Futrell. My normal taste does NOT go to this genre however I am going to review this on the facts.

First impression is not impressive. The cover is frankly uninspiring. Whomever this author gets to do his covers, he needs to fire the man or woman. The cover IS a look into the soul of the book, and I have seen a couple of his books, and with his cover designers work, they have cost this author I am betting hundreds, if not thousands of sales. How do I know this. Well read on.

I am going to say something that I rarely do when it comes to an authors writing. He is an outstanding author of horror. He has a way to creep you out that while reading one of his stories, the undead one was unsettling to me, which this author will probably enjoy.

One other problem is his editing. Although it is good it is not as it should be. There are many classic mistakes, however they were minor and few and did not take me too far from the read. I was impressed with his skill in weaving situations and circumstances where I became unsettled, and started listening to the dishwasher downstairs running, wondering if something dead was crawling up the stairs.

I give this advice to the author.. Thom... Thom baby... PLEASE get a new cover designer, I PROMISE YOU that you will sell tons more. I give this book due to the covers...

4 Stars

All The Wiser

This book by author Kristin Sauerhoff is about her battle with breast cancer. I am a firm supporter of anything that will educate, inform, and frankly aid any woman or man who gets this disease.

That is where the problem comes in reviewing a book like this. If a great review is given then am I just doing so out of compassion? However if I give an unfavorable review, am I being a heartless wench with no feeling.

I am a book and product reviewer and I am going to give my honest impressions. Initial impression is the starkness of the book, the cover has no real bells and whistles, and frankly that is a huge draw for me on a book like this. Simply the cover fits. I like that the designer did not over do pink.

The book is broken into two sections mainly. There is the first part that is based off of her online blog that she kept while going through this ordeal, and she then follows with reflections that she brings her post or later insights to bear. Now this was a great part, and one I enjoyed. The editing is spot on, the book is laid out and presented very nicely. Her blog entries range from funny to heart breaking.

The author did a wonderful job on this. Now if this book was this alone I would give it 5 stars and brag till my voice is harsh. However, where the author then countered this is on the second section or part.

The second part is medical information that is designed to inform the reader, family or other person. This woman is not a doctor, however she gives very medical "advice." Now she doesnt specifically say "take 2 tablets and call me in the morning." However the medical information in the second half of the book that I think she "meant" to inform, frankly befuddles and confuses her work in the first part. The information is very technical, and loses me as a reader, I had two friends read her book, with no input from me, except and I quote. "Great book, read this and tell me what you think."

There response from both was great on the first part, lost on the second. My one friend even went so far as to ask if this book was also designed for doctors to read.

She really should have kept the technical medical information out of the work. I was being pulled into her story, I felt (and still do feel) great respect for her courage in the battle she faced, I felt empathy for her two children, and her husband. THEN... Part two came. She should have delineated the medical information at best, put it into more layman's terms.

Now in all fairness I think I know where she "wanted" to go with the medical part. However the very technical information included really dampened the read for me. I went from one extreme to another when going into part two.

Part one deserved 5 stars, but with part two and it's confusing, technical jargon that really brought the overall scope of the book down. I have to give it...

3.5 stars

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Honest, I plead NOT GUILTY !

Questions have been raised at our so called "harshness" when reviewing books. We do not feel we are harsh at all. We review books and judge our reviews on not the popularity of a book, but instead we judge the books we read on several things.

  1. Content.
  2. Editing.
  3. Cover design.
  4. Age Appropriateness.
  5. The authors honesty when writing about themselves.
So yes we look at more than the sales of a book. We look deeper than "WHO" the author is. We are honest and feel that as time goes by our reviews will become something that more and more people appreciate.

Authors are not all created equally, and we do not get paid, bribed or get Harley Davidsons from those we review. I and my friends who do this, do it on our own time. In other words we do this for FREE. The only perk we get is publisher send us books for free so we can review them, or maybe the author does.

I am not an author as I lack the essential skill of doing so, I am not embarrassed about it. However, I also am an avid reader and know a good book, well written, well laid out, great covers when I see it.

If you do not like my review of your book, I am sorry. I give feedback as to reasons, and instead of getting angry with the CAG, why not learn from the review, and grow as an author. If you think you are a perfect writer, then please cease writing, as no one is perfect. Steven King still does not know the difference between Their and There....

So since my trial is over, and I feel I am not guilty of being a bad reviewer, lets move on to more books. Boy do we have a lot of them to review.

Gracie's Day With Daisy

This new book released in Late 2010 by Author Kristina Garcia is part of a larger series called the "Country Secrets Series".

The book is designed to be a chapter reader, however it is oriented to a kindergartner crowd. My initial impression was that this was not a very good thing, as children tend to read and progress at specific levels.

Saying that, I was pleased upon reading it. The books premise as is the whole series according to the publisher 2 Moon Press, is that each book (there will be 12) contains a stand alone story. Each one revolves around a child going off to the country and they learn a secret.

The "secrets" involve animals, bugs and fish, and these fun and friendly animals, bugs and fish all talk and interact with the kids in a positive and fun way. The author writes in a fun and interesting way, and she makes the reading experience something that young readers will enjoy.

The editing is crafted well, with attractive covers that are whimsical and make sense for the story. Spelling, syntax and flow is done properly and in a sensical manner.

What interests me the most about this book is the possibility of the next four books in the series. The publisher sent us an advanced reader copy of her fifth book that we cannot go too far into I can just say these books will make the average mom or dad make sure they collect them all. We are so impressed with the innovative nature of these books that we have selected the book for an Outlook Award for Childrens writing.

We thus give this book and so far the first 4 in her series...


Sunday, June 26, 2011

This is one of my first ventures into my Kindle, and although I detest the little piece of over priced plastic, I have to admit I wish I could find this book in Paper form.

This Kindle book is LOADED and I mean loaded with some of the best classic mysteries, everyone who ever knew anything about writing mysteries has a hand in here. This is truly a gem, and if they ever put this into print (hint hint) then I will buy it price I do not care.


What amazes me is some of the whining reviews, people saying not having a table of contents is a pain, hey rocket scientist, try thumbing through the pages. Or clicking the Kindle in this case. I admit I am giving a review based on the book and not the Kindle.

The editors of this book did a great job with it, and the way the stories are presented are very well done and make sense to me. I am still not used to the way the Kindle lets me go to a story, I find it very cumbersome. However the authors, Dickens, Christie, Doyle, Collins, Poe are all so good and they are at their very best here.

I have to admit the kindle version made me want to give it a lower rating than I normally would, and I am doing just that because I think they are releasing it in the kindle as a cost saving measure, however for those of us that love this genre, this would be an easy 50 or even more dollars spent, and I would do it with no complaints.

Great books, awesome stories, horrible platform to present them. Thus they get.

4 Stars

Grin and Bare It

This book from author Colleen Clement promises to be the "Rants of a single non-lesbian woman over 40"

I read this short work thinking of the promised biting satire that it said it contained. I love satire, and I love more when someone just says it the way it is, and this book really promised to do that.

Saying that, I walked away amazed, breathless at the utter frustration that this author obviously has towards anything resembling the male gender. She to me is angry at a lot of things, mainly men. She makes silly statements such as a there is no such thing as a special love between a mother and her child, that love is love. I am no mother, however I can tell you I see this in my friends with kids. She also feels that if you are single, and do not have kids, somehow you are out of place socially with those around you whom have kids.

HUH? Come to me again? I have NO kids, and have friends who have many and interact socially with them all the time and feel totally a part of the group. The authors writing is so self loathing that I felt sorry for her, she is obviously so unhappy deep down, and frankly her man hating diatribes against men makes this short read seem SOOOOO long.

I am sorry but what the author needs is a man, and a therapist in equal doses. I am not trying to be cruel, but this book is so horribly one sided. However my review is not. I really wanted to read some fun and biting commentary, something that would make me laugh, and agree, to pat her on her back and yell GO GIRL YEAH! But instead I walked away disgusted.

1 Star

Speaking Earth

Written by Maureen Lynah, we gave this one of our book cover awards, however what matters with us is the meat of the book. This book touts itself to be a book to help kids have a better appreciation of the Earth and what it gives us.

This book had SO and I mean SO much potential fora real ringer, a real cool book that could have done something I have been a fan of for my adult life, and that is Earth Awareness. In other words to you pigs who like to throw your McDonalds wrappers out the car window.. STOP.

The writer attempts to place lessons in this book, and the book is broken into sections that have a different theme or end lesson. However this is where the author fails. She places mundane questions in the book, that have nothing really to do with "lessons" or education of the earth. I would like to have seen practical lessons where the "student reader" would have to go outside, and actually interact with the outdoors.

Instead she just asks mundane and nonsensical questions that make the book if anything the opposite of what I think she is intending. Wonderful cover, wonderful design, and a SUPER concept, but the author frankly fails on executing that concept into something that it really should be. Thus I have to give her a I feel well deserved.

3 Stars

Go The &%^%%& To Sleep

I have been itching to read this book since it came out and caused so much tiffyiness. I am not a mom (thank god) and even if I was a parent, how in the heck can anyone see this book and not KNOW it is a spoof, a satire designed for adults.

If you read this, or even looked at the cover and thought it was designed for kids, you need to go to your kids Kindergarten class and learn a few things over.

The book is frankly funny as hell to read. You read it and it is laid out and illustrated like a kids book, but the "F" Bomb is dropped a lot, and I mean A LOT. So if you are offended by the "F" word then do not get it.

Now of course this is not a book for kids, and again honestly it is not my cup of tea for my personal collection, however overall the book is funny, and I have to hand it to the guy it plays on something that got him sales.

Sorry I have to give it an Effin....

5 Stars

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I was surprised when I started reading this book as the book markets itself to be horror, however it really is fantasy with a heavy dose of the paranormal. That normally would upset me, however in this case it was a smart marketing move.

The Author Ransom Riggs writing is very polished, and the research I could find on him indicated that this is hist first novel published. His writing is oddly familiar, almost like a Lewis style, however he does have the heavy Christian overtones that C.S. Lewis had.

His writing is filled with vivid descriptions of both scene and character, and he does not disappoint when it comes to plot. He is a very crisp writer, and if this is his first work, then watch out, as I want to see his fourth or even later books. Editing is spot on, syntax and scene setup is seamless.

I have to give this REALLY good book a deserved.

5 Stars

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Jungle - Clive Cussler

This is Cusslers latest work, and is from his "Oregon Files" series. I admit that I like his books normally, even though I find his character Dirk Pitt more than a little cliche', then again I think Cussler designed him that way.

However this work falls flat as Cussler yet again teams up with Author Jack DeBrul, and sorry... But they styles are just to clashy if that is a word to feel right.

Cussler needs to go back to his solo writing, and bring his work back up to par. Editing in this work is Cusslers normal... Really good. The story line flows and is interesting, however the plot is fraught with silly cliche's and is blase in it's approach.

Without giving it away, his ending is frankly a dead give away for his next book. I was interested, however not enthralled as I usually with his work.

Cussler gets a solid..


Been a long time sailor.

Well since our blog has been down for a silly week, we have much to post. Plenty of reviews, and our 2011 awards are in order again.

See the next posting for more information.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Everything Birthing book

Not that I will ever have kids, I have decided LONG ago that I am an inny not an outy... Okay, now that you know my deepest female thingies I shall continue..

I purchased this book as a gift, and couldn't help crack the cover. This book says that it will inform you of the various options available to you for child birth so you can be informed. The book is hefty in its page count, over 300 pages, and even though the information is informative, it repeats itself, I am not sure why the author does this. However, if you removed all of the repeated information, then you would be able to shave off at least a hundred pages.

Editing is semi problematic, in my copy the use of their and there, and the use of then and than are sometimes crossed. This to me is a basis English issue and one that should have been caught. The book is laid out in a common sense manner, and I admit if I was preggo, I would find the information inside helpful.

So the book has some editing issues. Yes...
So the book repeats itself. Yes...

Can I honestly recommend it? Yes... There is a ton of information in here, and I can as a reader and yes reviewer get over some of the more problematic issues. However even though I think the book is "good" I cannot give it any higher than...

3 Stars

Concise history of the Crusades

Thomas Madden's newest book promises the reader to be a concise and accurate history of one of the most misunderstood, and twisted parts of the worlds history.

Well... He delivers.. Sort of...

Although he very clearly and also in an interesting way, explains medieval history, the period, the little interesting tidbits that open ones eyes to what it was truly like back then. I feel also he uses this very good, and accurate accounting od that interesting period, as way way to deliver his version of why some who are Muslim do not like Christians.

He makes huge comparisons from past to present, and although some of them do stick, most of them are more some weird type of attempt to explain away the modern diversities between Christians and Muslims.

Editing is spot on, the book is well laid out, well presented. He has done a lot of research and that shows. Overall the book is really interesting, and he would gather top marks if were not for his pulling out the soap box to stand on with this book.

Overall he gets a solid.

4 Stars