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review 2017-09-20 23:47
For the "right" person it could be a great gift.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Ch... Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World - William H. McRaven

Didn't really know much about the author or the book but probably saw it somewhere as a recommended reading and it sounded interesting. The title may seem "simple" (making your bed) but the author expands upon why the seemingly simple nuggets of wisdom he shares are important tidbits to guiding life.

 

Best way to describe this based on books I've read was that this reminded me of 'Very Good Lives' by J.K. Rowling (her commencement speech to Harvard) and An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Colonel Chris Hadfield. This book is an expansion of McRaven's speech to the University of Texas's commencement and like Hadfield's book it integrate's the author's life and and career in the Navy. How these guiding principles helped in his professional life (and some personal) and why they can help a young person going forward in life.

 

It was okay. I've never cared for books by military people or military history so I found I could really only skim this. I couldn't relate to a lot of what he said (clearly demonstrating I'd never survive in the Navy or any other branch...) and at best it just seemed at times a bit simplistic, perhaps occasionally too "obvious". Accepting failure, learn how to overcome adversity, stand up to bullying, etc. Nothing earth-shattering or framed in such a way that really made me rethink anything.

 

That said: I think some of these approaches just aren't for me. Rowling's words resonated with me a lot more but I'm probably more similar to her than to McRaven. I think for the right person (someone considering military service or grew up with as an Army brat, etc.) might like this a lot more. Or maybe if you liked his speech and want to keep a physical copy that expands more on what he said. 

 

Bottom line it might make a great gift for the right high school or college graduate (I've read younger people like it too but I suppose that would depend on the person) but I was glad I borrowed this book from the library instead.

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review 2017-07-01 23:28
A light, fun, and dynamic story set in the 1920s, particularly recommended to those with an adventurous and playful spirit.
Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story - Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I was the lucky winner of this book as part of a promotion the author run on her blog, Teagan’s Books and I freely chose to review it.

I have been a follower of the author’s blog for several years, although I was not following her when she wrote this serial. Teagan Geneviene is a fascinating and versatile writer. I have read her novel Atonement, Tennessee (check my review here) that is a magical experience, full of finesse, beauty, and attention to detail, evidently the fruit of a lot of thought, careful planning, research, and revision. On the other hand, she is also able to produce her legendary serials. She starts with an idea, or an image, and asks the readers of her blog to contribute certain elements. These might be things (objects, words, concepts), foods, words related to a certain era… She links each one of the posts to the blog of the contributor, and progressively builds up her story, going wherever the three things (foods, objects, or whatevers) and her imagination take her. Although, as I’ve said before, I wasn’t following the author’s blog when she wrote this serial, I have met the main character, Pip in a later serial and I have followed several others, some with familiar characters and a recent one with different characters, and more in the steampunk style. Unsurprisingly, they have a big following and the authors keeps her followers (and I suspect, herself) guessing where the story is going to go next.

Many of the readers of her blog had asked her to publish the serials in book format and finally, she obliged.

Anybody reading the description of this volume will get a sense of how it came into being. The story has a wonderful sense of time (the jazzy 1920s, brilliant, young, full of flappers, parties, movies, and excitement) and it is told in the first person by Pip, a young woman transplanted from the South to the big city, with a huge imagination and an endless curiosity that gets her involved in all kinds of adventures, including but not limited to: kidnappings, rides in fire trucks, romances, secret coded messages, international intrigues, hidden treasures… Pip also has a wonderful turn of phrase (she never swears, at least not as we understand it, and there is no bad language in the book, although she uses her own expressions that colour her language and readers will come to love) and believes she is a very modern woman, although she is less savvy and cool than she would like to believe.

This is a short novel, quick, fast and full of adventures that will delight readers of all ages and will not offend those worried about bad language, erotica or graphic violence. Although in this format readers do not have access to the wonderful images, fruit of the author’s research, which illustrate her blog posts, it does offer continuity and an easier to follow story that will keep readers on their toes. It has elements of historical fiction, of mystery (although not by design, it could fit into the cozy mystery category), and a few touches of romance (or rather, romantic interest).

Although this work is too short to fully demonstrate the author’s abilities, it does give the readers a taste of her sense of fun and adventure, and it introduces a character that will become a close friend in series to come. As an exercise, I would suggest you try and put yourselves in the author’s shoes and every time you start to read a new chapter, headed by the three things, try and imagine how you would use those three words to continue the tale. I am sure you’ll be even more amazed at the story.

The author is working on turning some of her other serials into books, so if you enjoy this one, there are more delights to come your way. And, do not forget to check Atonement, Tennesse.

Recommended to anybody looking for a light, fun, and dynamic story set in the 1920s, particularly those with an adventurous and playful spirit.

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review 2017-02-15 00:00
A Million Little Things
A Million Little Things - Susan Mallery 4.5 Stars

A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery

I don’t usually like books A with more than one story-line going on at a time, usually I only like this if the characters are secondary and it doesn’t impact the main story at all. However, Ms Mallery is a deft hand at using this writing device and with this book it was used to a very good advantage. The three women we meet will all take center stage, so we can look at it as if this book is three separate stories -it isn’t though, since all three women are either related or best of friends.

Three separate women -Zoe, Pam, and Jen - an older woman (Pam) and her issues with widowhood, her son, and her daughter; a younger mother (Jen) who must come to terms with her toddler son who won’t speak. Not can’t but won’t. And Zoe who I think of as the main character because we meet her first and who really will have some big problems to iron out, as we will see later in this book.

I loved this book - it is all about very strong women and how they cope with what seems like insurmountable problems, they cope with romance in their lives, sexual issues, altering ones’ outlook on life, relationship issues, child rearing and birth issues as well as many smaller problems along the way.

The self-growth of each of these women and the paths they had to take to realize their true worth, was well worth the time I took to read this novel. This is way more than a romance novel-it is a romance inside of a women’s lit novel and is well worth the ride. Except for one interesting scene late in this book, there is no sex, not even with Zoe and Steven who are having the ‘romance’. This was surprising to me, but in a happy way.

This book was a joy to read - I am not always happy with Ms Mallery’s writing, but this one was wonderful. If there was one issue I had it was a problem I had with Zoe’s character later in the book and the fact that the author seemed to use ‘beating a dead horse’ as a plot device and it did nothing to move the story along.

*ARC supplied by publisher.






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review 2017-01-01 00:00
A Million Little Things
A Million Little Things - Susan Mallery ARC Review: A Million Little Things (Mischief Bay) By Susan Mallery

Count on Susan Mallery to put her sense of humor on display while penning an insightful yet entertaining story of love, change and the crazy cycle of life. A Million Little Things has complication written all over it, yet is laid out in such a way, that it becomes a relatable quest of self - discovery while teaching the value of family, friendship and moving forward. Zoe deals with a breakup, an ever changing friendship and an attraction to the most unlikely candidate. While paving her way through the chaos of her life, she learns that to truly find happiness, a person has to take risks and accept the things one can't change. Valuable wisdom delivered with candor and heart.
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review 2016-10-18 00:43
REVIEW: Evil Little Things
Evil Little Things: A Tale of Horror and Possession - Matt Shaw

I have several books by Matt Shaw on my Kindle, but there was something about this one... this cover... that made me pick it up first... and I'm so glad that I did. It's such a great little story, and a great little teaser to the awesomeness that is THE Matt Shaw. My first thoughts, upon finishing this, was Wow, and those thoughts didn't leave, even after the story settled in. I find this author to be quite eloquent, even funny, in a horrifically messed up I'm-going-to-Hell-for-laughing-at-that kind of way. It takes a lot to fully impress me, and this man has definitely done that.

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