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.

Kevin Cole’s Days of Throbbing Gristle

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

Overview: Let’s meet Samuel Henry Hay, a poor boy from one of the unsavory towns in England. But, he has a plan. He is going to America as an exchange student. His host family won’t know what hit them. After all they aren’t expecting him to play them for all that they are worth. Methinks someone should have warned him about the country he was moving to.

Story Telling: Mr. Cole took an interesting path with this slice-of-life/coming-of-age novel. Sam has definitely given me something to think about. The small city/town life was well fleshed out, all the way to the unabashed gossip. A warning: this is a long book. (It comes really close to ‘War and Peace’ length.) Be ready for that one.

Likes: For the most part, it was the minor characters that made this story for me. Shauna definitely has good tastes. Who can go wrong wit George Strait? (Hey Sam? Not many will admit to listening to country in school.) Clyde and Bonnie Turner are some cool. I wish I could see their farm. It was a great growing point for Sam to have tried to help Heather.

Dislikes: Okay, this might be a little long. For starters, I accept that Jill is supposed to be a sympathetic character. She didn’t do a good job for my tastes. She knew what Donna Turner was like. Jill saw how domineering Donna was and where her priorities lay. Yet, with all of this knowledge, Jill doesn’t let loose her anger on Donna. Family honor for her sister’s heartbreak insists that she lays her rage on the head of the insecure, fifteen-year-old, former friend Heather. How many fifteen-year-olds are actually strong enough to face someone like Donna? Jill was wrong. Sam had more sympathy for Heather, and they despised each other.

Speaking of Donna, I have but one message for her. You aren’t a victim; you’re a dictator. Allow me to dip into my southern roots. It ain’t all about you. Donna and Neal got married for the wrong reasons. There was always adoption. Heather didn’t destroy her parents’ lives. Their choices did that.

You hear that Paul, Chelsea, and James? Your choices matter. It is too easy to blame someone else for all of your troubles. No amount of showing someone love will fix what is wrong with him or her. Paul was an obsessive personality. That is never good for a relationship, just ask any woman in a shelter. By the way Chelsea…women don’t even understand women. Sorry, that’s just how it goes.

Favorite Character: Um, this would have to be Clyde Turner. He took Sam horseback riding.

Favorite Quote: Clyde so has it right here. “That’s all you can do to stop wild animals from attackin you.”

Favorite Scene: Well I particularly enjoyed the time that Sam spent in Comfort. That was beautiful.

Conclusion: The story was okay. Paul ruined it for me. Well, the way everyone seemed to view Paul and the innocent angel, that is. Also the length of the book, as well as some of the situations that Sam found himself in, made it so that I am uncomfortable reading this one to/with anyone.