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text 2018-06-20 19:17
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 383 pages.
Circe - Madeline Miller

I think it's just that I'm not really interested in Greek mythology -- never have been.  I'm not enjoying this story so far, but I'm not giving up.  I will forge on, with hopes that I will be drawn in eventually.  

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review 2018-06-05 03:53
STEM Lab's make learning fun
Unofficial Minecraft STEM Lab for Kids - Chris Fornell Scott,John Miller

This manual helps with aiding in the teaching of Science, using a new way of helping the kids absorb.  While the STEM system is not new, this book shows with 48 projects just how computer games and education can be combined.  If you have not seen this series, you are in a for a treat.


The author's still observe some basics.  They encourage the use of a journal.  Using the popularity of the video game Minecraft, users can gain scientific knowledge.  Making fun  things like glow in the dark items to fireworks.  I loved the lab that was able to be crafted.


Harness the widely enjoyed video game to bring education to students.  This is such a great idea, and a very usable concept.  I was actually excited and at the end, hoping for more projects.  Maybe there will be a volume 2?  I give this guide a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers only.

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review 2018-06-03 05:13
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller

Dr. Montague is an occult scholar who believes that he has found in Hill House the perfect place to document and study paranormal activity. He plans to stay there for several months with a few other people, keeping detailed notes about his findings and experiences. He is asked to have Luke, the heir to Hill House, accompany him, and he selects two others, Theodora and Eleanor, as his assistants. Theodora is a vibrant artist who may or may not be psychic - in laboratory tests she was able to identify fifteen or more cards out of twenty without being able to see them. As a child, Eleanor experienced a three-day incident in which stones showered upon her home's roof for no apparent reason.

I read this because I wanted a good "haunted house" story. It started off strong, if a bit slow. I liked the image of Eleanor as some who had broken free, however briefly, from the cage of her home and family. She'd spent a good deal of her life caring for her ailing mother, and after her mother's death she was forced to live under her sister's thumb. Just starting her journey to Hill House was a tremendous ordeal for her.

Eleanor and Theodora's arrivals at Hill House were great, and underscored one thing that came up repeatedly in the book,

the importance of characters' perceptions of their surroundings. When Eleanor arrived at Hill House, it was an inherently monstrous and evil place, and Dudley's antagonism and Mrs. Dudley's creepiness only enhanced that interpretation. When Theodora arrived, however, Hill House immediately became more tolerable, and Mrs. Dudley's recitation might as well have been a recording for all the notice Theodora and Eleanor took of it.

(spoiler show)

While the characters, Hill House's history, and the tour of Hill House were interesting enough, I started to get impatient as the pages went by and still nothing had happened as far as the haunting aspect went. I enjoyed the supernatural activities once they finally started up, but I wish it hadn't taken quite so long,

approximately half the book.

(spoiler show)

It's been several weeks and I'm still not sure how I feel about how things turned out. It wasn't entirely a surprise, but I still ended up looking at the last few pages and thinking "Really? That's it?" I bet it'd be fun to debate what really happened during this group's stay at Hill House, though.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-05-28 17:23
Princess Hair - Sharee Miller Princess Hair - Sharee Miller

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is a cute book about loving your hair for its uniqueness. A great book about hair acceptance.

The illustrations are great and show various hair styles and textures (puffs, dreadlocks, curls, Bantu knots). The rhymes were a little confusing as each hair style is equated with an activity, which doesn't really make sense and seems a little limiting ("Princesses with head wraps take long naps." "Princesses with twists wrap gifts.") They were interesting rhymes, but didn't really seem to contect (What about girls with curls who don't wear pearls or girls who don't have braids but love parades?)

While this book is very diverse in terms of skin color and hair type, it pretty much focuses on the standard stereotypical girlie-girl princess (dresses, bows, flowers, etc.). The only princesses who wear shorts/pants are bouncing on the bed and may be wearing pajamas? It's good for girls who like that kind of princess, but a bit limiting for girls who aren't into ultra-feminine things. 

A good book in terms of hair acceptance and loving your hair, but I was really confused by the rhyming activities. Great illustrations though despite the focus on girlie-girl princesses. Overall, a cute book.

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text 2018-05-24 22:51
Ridiculous Insta Love I Just Couldn't Go On
State Secrets - Linda Lael Miller

No Stars I did not finish it
I usually love this author but this book is not working for me. First the narration is just sounding too read from a page, not enough emotion and the voice is unpleasant to my ears. Second I'm barely into the book and these two supposed to be wary strangers are already kissing ?!? It makes no sense at all, they haven't even been flirting and she doesn't trust him ?!?! No I'm done. I am not going to finish it.

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