Terry Ray’s Revolt!

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: It is the year 2018. The Greentown Militia is meeting in the elementary school for a discussion with one of the National Militia Commanders. It turns out that the President’s plan to negotiate peace with some militant Muslims has failed. And we lost Georgia to boot. The militia has decided, along with the help of the other factions of the Armed Forces, that they are going to make it right. It’s time for a national revolt!

Story Telling: This seems to be a cross between a near futuristic sci-fi and a cautionary tale. This is not an easy thing to pull off without sounding a bit paranoid.

Likes: It was an intriguing story. Jimmy Ford and the rest of the militia showed the stress of the times well. You can easily feel their fear and anger. Mr. Ray also showed what the families of the militia members went through.

Dislikes: Remember when I said that this type of writing can leave the author looking paranoid? Mr. Ray danced along that line. Personally I think if he hadn’t spent so much time trying to prove that liberalistic ideology was ruining the nation, and defending the former President Bush, he would have made out better. Most want a nation of checks and balances, and Mr. Ray should remember the pendulum never freezes at the height of the arch.

Now onto the characters. I can’t believe how stupid they were. I don’t care how many times they were taken in by the enemy’s assurances, they would just walk into another trap. You would think that their paranoia would be at an all time high.

Favorite Character: I would have to say Greta. She always stood by Jimmy, even when she wasn’t sure things were going the right way.

Favorite Quote: It was hard for me to find one this time around, but I pulled it off. ““Tell me the truth, Jimmy…are we going to lose this war?”

“Not if we can help it.””

Favorite Scene: The best part was when the militia found one of the enemy’s strongholds.

Conclusion: Read this story as a good action story. Let’s face it, if one State was to be sacrificed for the President’s negotiation tactics, he or she would be run out of the White House before the ink was dry. I hope you enjoy the read.

Nan McAdam’s Saving Mim: Charlie Kadabra Last of the Magicians

I received this book courtesy of Ms. McAdam for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Charlie Kadabra seems like just the average geeky kid in school. He likes to study, has problems with bullies, and has a crush on the new girl. It just takes one odd encounter to throw his life upside down. It turns out that he is the last of a rare breed. He is a magician of Mim, and Mim needs his help. Mim seems to be dying. Should we warn them that Charlie is just twelve years old?

Story Telling: This chapter book is designed so that you could either read it with your children or they can read it by themselves.

Likes: Charlie was a fun guy to follow. He was powerful, but it didn’t seem to go to his head.

Also, Ms. McAdam didn’t fall into the ‘bad guy is bad because he or she was mistreated’ idea. Dr. Pi was rotten in spite of the good men in his life that tried to teach him.

Dislikes: I get that it was a robot, but did Charlie really need to fight a giant spider? That’s just freaky.

Favorite Character: Fen was pretty neat. He was everything a magician needed in an assistant, as well as a friend. Galzria was a close second.

Favorite Quote: King Ariel gives us the quote. It just happens to be something we all need to hear from time to time. “You already have.” Granted it is better in context.

Favorite Scene: The times that Charlie spent in the Citadel were some of the best parts in this book.

Conclusion: This is a cute fun story. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what happens next to Charlie Kadabra. Please enjoy it with your child.

Vanna B.’s Waist Training 101: A Guide to Using Corsets to Slim Your Waistline

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: It seems like the mainstay of Victorian fashion has made a comeback. The corset is being bought so that women can get a similar shape as some of today’s actresses and singers. Oh boy! Vanna B. is going to show us how to properly use one.

Story Telling: We have some interesting tidbits of information here. Other than that, or because of it, this is a typical self-help book.

Likes: This was a pretty good way to learn how a corset works, what they look like, you know the things that those with an interest in the medieval, or even Victorian era, might find fascinating.

Dislikes: Now, my problem is that some of her sources ignored the wisdom of the doctors of the time of the corset’s height of fame. Perhaps, both Ms. Steele and our host should give those experts, at the time, credit. After all, as it is mentioned, corsets were a vital part of a lady’s modesty. In fact, women were seen as indecent without them. I think it was more along the lines of the doctors suggesting that, perhaps, the extreme hourglass figure was just too deforming. Do you really think that any doctor at that time would come out against corsets, and keep his job?

Now the other part. The ‘Measurement Tracker’ seems like a dangerous position to include in a book like this. It will not surprise me to find that some have used this to aide their self-competition for the perfect form. It could lead easily to a new style of body image problems.

Favorite Quote: This fits simply because it comes at the end of the chapter advocating the corset’s safety. “Trying to rush the process by tying our corset too tightly, wearing it for too long, or forcing it to lace to small too soon is dangerous and increases the risk of injury.”

Favorite Scene: This really makes the song “Yankee Doodle” a lot funnier than, perhaps, it was meant to be (I hope). All I can say, is to read the little square on dandyism in Chapter 4. You will see what I mean.

Conclusion: I can understand the use of a basic corset. Some times the smooth look is required. It’s the deforming corsets that I don’t like. I see it the same way as the Indonesian neck-stretching, or the Chinese foot-binding, or wherever they stretch their earlobes. There’s just something wrong with such self-mutilations.

Sati Achath’s 12 Qualities of Highly Successful People And How You Can Develop These 12 Qualities

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Achath for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Mr. Achath has studied the most successful people, in his opinion. He believes that he has identified the qualities that breed success, and wishes to share these qualities with the reader.

Story Telling: This self-help book is mostly a, forgive the expression, cliff’s notes version of biographies as well as a few checklists to help encourage the qualities.

Likes: Some of the biographies were interesting.

Dislikes: The problem is that I don’t agree with Mr. Achath’s definition of success. It seems like his definition was based on how much money the person made, if he or she got into politics, focused on education, or was an extremity in his or her field. This is too lofty for my views, as it ignores the successes that the average person finds in his or her life.

Favorite Character/Story: The best examples of successes that I found in this book were those of Mrs. Margaret Scott and President Abraham Lincoln.

Favorite Quote: It comes from Thomas Edison’s biography. “I am 67; I’m not too old to make a fresh start. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

Conclusion: The biographies are quite interesting, but take care over the checklists. This book depends strongly on how you see a success. If it is just the financial windfall aspect, then you might find it useful. But not all successes seem big in this world, nor are they all financial. In my opinion, if someone, who has not had the ability to walk, takes a step, then he or she has found success.

Lillian R Melendez’s Auditory Viewpoint

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Melendez for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Gloria Rank has quite the life. She is a co-host of a popular radio morning show, and she manages to live a rather independent life. That doesn’t sound like too big of a success until you consider the fact that she is blind. After an interview with an expert in identity theft, Gloria gets a call from Anna. It turns out that Anna is living out the warnings Benjamin, her recent guest, has just given. When a man is murdered outside of Anna’s door, Gloria offers to help her stay alive. Can Gloria, Anna, and Benjamin find out who is stalking Anna? Or will one of them be next on the killer’s list?

Story Telling: This seems to be more of a thriller that the mystery that it is proclaimed to be…more on this one later. Moving on, the descriptions can be a bit jarring at times. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy descriptive writing. But is an action scene the best time for it?

Likes: Benjamin was a cool guy. How many men drop everything just to help a woman that they met a couple of days ago? Also, the book was hard on them, but Sanchez and Henderson were looking for the killer throughout the book.

Dislikes: This would be both Gloria and Anna. Gloria struck me as a control freak. Everything had to be done her way, in her time, so that Anna could, I guess, understand her better. And Anna was, well, wishy-washy. She would do anything as long as you used the right tone of voice with her.

Now the mystery part. I would have preferred to know: who was killed outside Anna’s door, and what happened to that poor security guard. There didn’t see to be much in the way of looking for clues. Or letting us know why that first guy was killed.

Favorite Character: Ah, that would be Benjamin, Brenda, and John. They all seemed to want the best for Gloria.

Favorite Quote: The best comment came pretty close to the front of the book. “Don’t let this situation control your life.”

Conclusion: this is a good start for Ms. Melendez. I hope her next book is stronger.

Jim Cobb’s Prepper’s Financial Guide Strategies to Invest, Stockpile, and Build Security for Today and the Post-Collapse Marketplace

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: Have you seen those “Doomsday Preppers” shows? Well, Mr. Cobb intends to show us how this type of person might be gaining the financial security to fund his or her lifestyle. Also included are lists of good that could possible double as trading goods.

Story Telling: There’s not a lot of ways to make a financial guide, or any other type of self-help book, entertaining. There is dry reading in some parts of this book.

Likes: There were some interesting concepts concerning hydroponics, as well as a few other gardening suggestions. I also appreciated the way that Mr. Cobb included the credit score information. Specifically, he not only advised you to get yours checked, but also included ways as to how to check it.

Dislikes: Here’s my problem. This book is written from a ‘financial collapse’ point-of-view. Yet, Mr. Cobb implies that life will be more than a bit uncomfortable, even with this scenario. For starters, Mr. Cobb implies that some of the weaker members of society won’t survive. And that very well might be true. But let me ask you this: isn’t it more likely that the community will come together? After all, isn’t this what we have seen during the past natural disasters, and even during the Great Depression?

Also, I disagree with the idea of trading tobacco products. And it’s not because I view smoking as a sin. I’m just more likely to say something along the lines of “it’s not fresh, but here’s a pack.” Nobody’s crutch ought to cause them to consider whether they lean on the crutch and starve, or find food and go nuts. Just my opinion.

Favorite Quote: “Few people are in a position where they can do it all, at least right now.” It’ll be found in Chapter 8, but I’ll take it a step further. Not even in a post-collapse society will many people be able to do it all.

Favorite Scene: I appreciated the skill bartering and gardening chapters the best.

Conclusion: This is an informative book. But if I may add something to Mr. Cobb’s funding chapter: if your heart isn’t in it, it wont work out the way you think it will.

Clifton K. Meador’s True Medical Detective Stories

I received this book courtesy of Dr. Meador for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: The human body, as well as the mind, is very impressive. Sometimes things go very wrong with nobody being the wiser. This book shows the doctors who asked just the right question of the right person at the right time.

Story Telling: This is kind of like most any anthology, with the notable exception that all of these stories are true. Also, as most medical stories can be dry reading with all of the terminology, Dr. Meador has made this collection fun as well as informative.

Likes: Dr. Meador found some interesting stories, and he isn’t even the star in all of them. It’s amazing how the human mind works. The chapter on psychosomatic illnesses tried to have empathy for those who are suffering from their own minds. The idea of the doctors asking questions of the patients or their loved ones, getting to know them, as to learn how to help them is something we need to see more of.

Favorite Character: Dr. Allen Kaiser was nosey enough to really help people out. How did he always seem to find just the right question to ask?

Favorite Quote: I found our quote at the end of chapter ten. “I wonder how many medical mysteries would be solved by full confessions.” Truer words were never spoken.

Favorite Story: The best part of this book was “A Near Death from Hexing.” The way that Dr. Doherty handled the case was beautiful.

Conclusion: This was a terrific book. I found it quite entertaining. It made my library, I hope it makes yours as well.

Kenneth Kirkeby’s Red Stick One

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Kirkeby for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: It has only been a few years since Virgil Cleary returned from Viet-Nam. The closest thing he has ever had to a father, Tom Jay, has gotten Virgil a job with the Florida Wildlife Service. Now, tragedy has struck. Tom Jay has been killed while he was in the field. Virgil believes, rightly, that he is the best tracker for the job of catching up with the killer. Not that his superiors are willing to let him go after the killer. What they don’t know, won’t hurt anyone, right? At least for a little while anyway.

Story Telling: Mr. Kirkeby told this one in five parts. We have the benefit of each section being well enclosed while leading into the next. It was a nice transition.

Likes: We stay with Virgil, but we also get to see what those from the Sheriff’s office and The Wildlife Office are thinking when they hear about Virgil’s exploits. Virgil is willing to work any job, or take a ride in almost anyway that he can in order to catch up with Luten.

Dislikes: There were a couple of problems in that lessened my enjoyment in this book. Mr. Kirkeby wrote out Luten’s and Virgil’s accents…come to think of it, that was for all of Florida’s residents that made an appearance. Also, how to put this gently?, Virgil’s and Michelle’s…um…happier moments, uh, got a little too intense for my tastes.

Favorite Character: This would be Tom Jay, even though he went on to his eternal rest rather soon into the story. He proves the old adage that it takes a real man to be a dad. He took the time to teach, correct, protect, and just spend some bonding time with Virgil.

Favorite Quote: From Tom Jay: “You come down there in the morning and maybe you kin work off some ‘a that fine.” It’s the wisdom he showed here. He wasn’t trying to demean Virgil, just trying to show him the best way to live.

Favorite Scene: I appreciated the part where Luten and Virgil were on the rickety old bridge. It made for a beautiful climax.

Conclusion: It was a great book. The accents weren’t too hard to decipher, they just slowed the pace down a bit. This one made my library: I hope it makes yours as well. I look forward to Mr. Kirkeby’s next novel.

William Wright’s Dizziness and Vertigo-A Simple Guide to Figuring It Out

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: Do you remember my review for “Jailhouse Doc”? Well, Dr. Wright is back with a handbook straight from his specialty. He is, to put it simply, a doctor who deals with those suffering from dizziness.

Story Telling: It’s rather simple really. This book uses case studies to take us through the main causes of dizziness and vertigo.

Likes: Dr. Wright uses humor in some of his explanations in order to make his points. It made it so the reading wasn’t dry.

Dislikes: No matter how hard you try, you can’t get away from the medical terminology in books like this. It’s not so easy to pronounce.

Favorite Quote. It comes right after Dr. Wright gets through explaining how dizziness works. “Equilibrium, if not dignity, is restored.”

Favorite Story: It may be a little scary. Lorin’s story left me a bit unnerved.

Conclusion: I would highly recommend this book for those suffering chronic dizziness. After all why not go to an expert? It made my library strictly for the research potential.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be…a Nurse!

I received this book courtesy of Wigu Publishing for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Amber has a problem. During a soccer game, she broke her arm. What can she teach your child about being a nurse?

Story Telling: This is much like Wigu’s books on the army and veterinarians. We have a story aimed to interest children into joining a certain career path. In this case the tables of information deal with the history and specializations of the nursing department.

Likes: This is an interesting approach to the nursing lifestyle. Amber shows the nursing profession, not by playing nurse, but by needing one. Wigu’s author didn’t deny the roles that religion or military played in the career.

Dislikes: My problem with the story is how Mom got Amber to play soccer. The focus wasn’t on Amber’s likes or fears, but on her friends. It would have been better to suggest that she go to practice and try one game, if she doesn’t like it then she can quit. I had a problem with the approach taken, because it seems to push a collective-thinking lifestyle. As in: you don’t matter, the whole does. Amber’s wishes didn’t really matter, what mattered was that her friends deserved her to play soccer. This can be dangerous thinking.

Also, just learning about something won’t necessarily overcome your fears. Yes, there is a fear of the unknown. But in some cases, there is a greater fear due to knowledge.

Favorite Character: Mrs. Ellis or George fits this slot. They showed to be good examples of nurses.

Favorite Quote: I got this one when Amber saw the other team. “We must be on the wrong field.

Favorite Scene: When Amber and Sophia saw each other after the accident was pretty good. Oh, Easter egg time, Amber probably broke the small bone in her arm, but the illustrations show a radial brake with both bones.

Conclusion: I’m not quite sure what to make of this book series. On the one hand, it seems to encourage children. And on the other hand, the series seems to push an agenda. This particular books seemed to dance along a fine line between the two. The nursing sections were encouraging. The soccer sections can lead to a bitter life, especially if you always think that someone deserves your attempt. Read this series with caution, and be ready to explain the difference to your children.