Julie D. (ecomama) - Reviews

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Review Date: 4/23/2015


I am basing my rating on whether I consider this "expert" advice...no, it's very basic. A beautiful book with detailed pictures...for the person who has done little to no beading or wire work before. There are tips, but no trade secrets. If you have done any beading before, you've figured out what 99% of this book can tell you.


The Art of Flower Arranging
The Art of Flower Arranging
Author: Zibby Tozer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/7/2008


My favorite thing about this book is the chart at the back...it's a quick reference for flower selection...with information not commonly found in other books!


Beautiful Orchids
Beautiful Orchids
Author: Peter McKenzie Black
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 7/29/2008


"This book has been written in an attempt to discover a little of the reason for the lure of the family of orchids and with the aim of interesting beginners as well as those who have become accepted 'old hands' at orchid growing."

I enjoyed the history and the wonderful pictures in this book...

Contents:
An introduction (really a good historical perspective)
The family Orchidaceae
The life of an orchid
The orchid collectors
The propagation of orchids
Orchid cultivation
Orchids in the living room


Between the Worlds (Snowblind Moon, Bk 1)
Between the Worlds (Snowblind Moon, Bk 1)
Author: John Byrne Cooke
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 8/1/2015


Although I rated highly for detailed writing, I felt the 1st half was incredibly confusing, as it jumped from one character to another with no explanation or introduction.
1st half 3.5
2nd half 4.5
So, yeah, I was being generous, because it started getting interesting.


Bite Me (Pride, Bk 9)
Bite Me (Pride, Bk 9)
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 41
Review Date: 6/4/2014


Just an alternate perspective. I didn't laugh once. I may have smiled on occasion. But, it just wasn't funny. It was mildly entertaining & worth reading as part of the series...
I like the unique relationships she develops, this one included. The Honey Badgers were interesting characters. Having familiar characters participating adds dimension to the storyline.
Overall 3.75* just not enough to bump me up into the 4*...and not a favorite in the series.
It seems Shelly is relying more & more on violence for her "humor"...she's lost her balance & edge, IMHO. Blood, gore, murder & pain are not things that I find particularly funny.


Review Date: 11/15/2009


It's OK. And kudos cause she did write and did get published. But other than that, it's a rather ordinary experience...in a rather ordinary, self-serving book. I didn't think it was funny...more tongue-in-cheek. It didn't suck. I actually read the whole thing...but it has no real purpose, even as entertainment, IMO. If like me, you happen across it for free, it might be worth a read...but surely you can find something better.


Blood Rite (Magic, Bk 2)
Blood Rite (Magic, Bk 2)
Author: Trista Ann Michaels
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 1/2/2015


Author writes entertaining beginning w/sex over 214 pages, then resolves everything (not) in 8 pages...so it's decent & then, you're like WTF? Not satisfying. (refers to #1 also).


Body Surfing
Body Surfing
Author: Anita Shreve
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 185
Review Date: 10/20/2008
Helpful Score: 9


I just don't get it. This has got to be one of the worst books I've read in my life. Okay, the worst I've ever read, that I actually finished; how's that? I was curious, because so many people seem to like/want it. As an author and a person educated in literature, I've got to wonder at society today...we can't write/read books that require more than a moment's attention? Good grief, this author writes like she's ADD! The story went absolutely no where; it was a jumbled repetition of miscellaneous thoughts. If you were wondering (though I would say other reviewers summed it up adequately), it's about few years in the life of a woman, who is a bit lost. And she pretty much stays lost. I would say this book sums up the norm of life for most people...going about their business, making little or no progress whatsoever. That is not something to be celebrated. This book has no purpose...it neither educates or inspires! And it is severely lacking in the entertainment department, as well.


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 301
Review Date: 5/30/2009


Ugh! In the mood to read something from Death's perspective? I think the writer believes he is in some way humorous, but his humor is crass to say the least. I like a book where I can relate to the main characters...there seems to be no way to relate with these characters...I find their development to be superficial. And they just don't seem interesting, except perhaps the "papa"...though not interesting enough to actually want to read more. This is dull, dull, dull. It flows along...so the writing doesn't suck...but it's boring...seems to have no purpose...and since it's not very enjoyable, well, what's the point?! IMO, if you are going to write about WW2...then the story should definitely have meaning...should grab you and shake you and maybe even teach you something. I could be wrong, but I've wasted too much time on this, so I'm not going to finish just to see if the author actually EVER makes a point or the story actually EVER gets interesting (you'd think 150+ pages would be enough).
And I certainly wouldn't recommend it to any teen.


Breaking Dawn (Twilight, Bk 4)
Breaking Dawn (Twilight, Bk 4)
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3521
Review Date: 6/9/2009


Wow! Unbelievably believable! If you've ever seen one of my reviews...it's a rarity for me to be this enthusiastic...I'm actually not even sure if I've rated a book 5 stars before.
I'm a little shocked that the first few reviews (scanned waiting for the page to load) were negative. Personally I didn't even want to like the first book, but I couldn't stop reading. The 2nd book was just as good. The 3rd book I found slow, but still worth reading (not alone, mind you...). And this was fantastic!
So, some details. Bella so totally comes into her own! You get all the enjoyable 'happily ever after' AND you get lots of drama...it's well written, it's poignant, I laughed out loud, I cried (okay, only once...but still), my heart raced with excitement...what more could you want! And if you love Jacob...he gets his love, too!
And there's more! Completely new twists...some even might catch you by surprise! With lots of possibilities to write more in the future...so many interesting characters with their own interesting stories.
Wishlist it, but don't wait...get on the wait list at the library; it's so much faster!


Creating Textures in Pen  Ink With Watercolor
Creating Textures in Pen Ink With Watercolor
Author: Claudia Nice
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 12/13/2009


This book gave me so many ideas, both for myself to explore, and also to use to make painting more interesting and creative with children. We've especially liked using plastic wrap to create a textured painting that even a child can make look professional.
Honestly I haven't used any of the "pen" parts.


Cry for Passion
Cry for Passion
Author: Robin Schone
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 1/22/2011


Great review Jill...I second nearly everything she said! Though I rated it higher...also only because I finished it. It was very difficult to follow the first few chapters, and sometimes the constant sex garble was frustrating...I can't tell you how many times I had to reread a sentence! BUT It educated me in a whole new way. I'm very aware of women's rights now and historically...so that is saying something. Don't read it for the sex (of which there is plenty)...read it for a new understanding! A very personal understanding, both as based on a true story, and imagining how it would have felt. We are fortunate to be in this century and this country...for all its flaws. I do recommend the book for the historical perspective and if you like courageous women. It left me thinking.


Dangerous Games (Riley Jenson, Guardian, Bk 4)
Dangerous Games (Riley Jenson, Guardian, Bk 4)
Author: Keri Arthur
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 509
Review Date: 4/18/2010


I too am going to review these first four books together.
Although I admit this series is well-written, and I have in fact read them...I cannot help but wonder why. Pretty much because they are sitting here and I want to swap them out. But I'm tempted to quit reading and just send them away, because they are so dark. I don't get books where the emphasis is on how ugly you can make it. The sex is ugly. The story is ugly. The people are for the most part ugly, with only occasional redemptions. And every book leaves me thinking, why did I put up with all that (insert more appropriate word here)ick?!
This is NOT a fantasy...nor a normal paranormal. This is a paranormal, horror, suspense, and dark erotica. Not as detailed as a true erotica perhaps, but plenty of bloody whipping gashes while forcibly penetrated from behind and mind controlled orgasm...until the woman literally dies with a smile on her face. Not really what I enjoy reading.
I gave the book 3.5 stars simply because I respect and appreciate authors that can actually write! I'd probably give it an B+ if I was grading it (quite a few cliches and lots of repetition). But I sure didn't like it!


Dark Promises (Carpathian, Bk 29)
Dark Promises (Carpathian, Bk 29)
Author: Christine Feehan
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 2/8/2017


Given the choice between a revised Cheyenne McCray & a new Carpathian...duh. So, why was this sooooo bad? Well, I can write a book about that! I'm off to reading the McCray now, and I feel a sense of relief...it's not me, I can enjoy erotica.
So much wasted potential! I was really looking forward to learning about the monastery & the ancients there. The 2 h sounded interesting...a grandma! Gotta love that! As characters go, Fane & Trixie were okay.
The only thing that kept it from being a complete fail was at the end (and it literally took me one freaking page at time to get there...how long is this book anyway, 3000 pages?!), but it was too brief: you got a name & a physical description.
So, IMHO you can just skip this book unless you have a hankering to read this couple's sex scene & that couple's sex scene, and back to couple #1, and so on. Pretty blah sex...
I advise dear author to get back to the story & leave the copious sex to the erotica writers.
The only plot movement is the devolvement of Gary...here's the gist (SPOILER): because he absorbed the ancients darkness, he lost emotion & color all at once is barely holding on as an ancient predator...a danger to himself & others. There, move on to the next book & cross your fingers!


The Darkest Kiss (Riley Jenson, Guardian, Bk 6)
The Darkest Kiss (Riley Jenson, Guardian, Bk 6)
Author: Keri Arthur
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 420
Review Date: 4/21/2010


Finally! I've been wondering why I bothered reading this series. It's a decent read, but I wasn't enjoying it...just reading cause it wasn't bad enough to toss. Well, this one was the first in the series that I actually didn't dislike. I've been rating them all 3.5 stars, because the writing is engrossing, if a little repetative. I didn't like this enough to give it 4 stars, but it definitely took a turn for the better. The story wasn't quite as obvious and not as disgustingly dark...more normal for a paranormal. This isn't a romance; it's a suspense, btw. Though previous books had more sex than this one, I think this one was much better done; it didn't need graphic or ugly sex abuse ick - I think the author finally matured a little!


The Death Cure (Maze Runner, Bk 3)
The Death Cure (Maze Runner, Bk 3)
Author: James Dashner
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 8/6/2015


Please read my review of book 1...this is a continuation (with a blurb added for book 2):

A positive was an actual resolution or ending (though I would have preferred to see it 2 books ago).
It was the obvious ending...the one that should have appeared obvious & that I had to bring up to my teenager during my read of book 1; kind of a "duh" moment.

Much of the "science" was "shit," btw. You can't create a vaccine based on brain patterns. And it wouldn't work if you could. Dumbest idea I may have ever heard. No excuse that it was thought up by Flare infected.

Okay, flat out, can someone read this for a thrill? If that's your thing. Could it make you think? On a basic level, but it completely misses the Berg getting people to think on a higher level because it's too basic itself. Why do I disapprove as a mom? There is zero value to the violence. It's over hyped & over dramatized...just like a bad movie that pre-plans it's sequels. Layers of drama & violence...hoping to boost ticket sales.


Delicious (Buchanans, Bk 1)
Delicious (Buchanans, Bk 1)
Author: Susan Mallery
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 5/11/2010


Mallery writes books that I could read again and again! But as I got near the end of this one, I couldn't help but wonder "When did Susan meet my grandmother?!" It was an unpleasant sort of deja vu!
The storyline is quite convoluted, but no real mystery. The characters have depth and are, with one exception, quite likable. I really did enjoy reading it, though I had to slow my normal pace down to catch everything. And there were certainly emotional moments.
A good read I can recommend!
I won't be rereading this one though; I have no desire to reaquaint myself with that part of my heritage! Eeeew!


The Dig
The Dig
Author: Michael Siemsen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 9/4/2016


I'm hunting up the next 2 books right now. Added them to my wl. Next stop my libraries (I'd say I'd be shopping, but my book budget is mostly spent on shipping & it's blown for the year).

So, I'd barely call this SciFi. Adventure fiction, historical (in a way, perhaps the others more so), cultural fiction, touch of paranormal (it all depends on your perspective on psychics & psychometry) & a touch of romance & suspense.

But what it was, was interesting! I connected to the main characters, and the historical characters. I often get frustrated with multiple viewpoints & flashbacks, but not in this case...no confusion. Great world building. Great job helping us understand the challenges & trauma Matt dealt with!

I knocked back 1/2 star for obvious overuse of the villain to drive the story. More said would be a spoiler...but I found him an unnecessary cheat & the most uninteresting thing about the book.


The Dog Master
The Dog Master
Author: W. Bruce Cameron
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 6/24/2016


Not just for dog lovers!
Wow <24 hrs; fastest 400 pg book I ever read. Including all the credits. If it was 1000 pgs, I would still be reading & thoroughly engrossed.
My one criticism was the choppiness of 3 tribes, and 3 different time periods; it was a distracting & confused mess. Everything else was 'Masterful.'
As always, the best books inspire & make you think...and this one is a wonderful story in which you also rethink what you know (or think you know) about ancient man & the Ice Age.


Dragonsong (Harper Hall, Bk 1)
Dragonsong (Harper Hall, Bk 1)
Author: Anne Mccaffrey
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 196
Review Date: 11/5/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Excellent Fantasy book and series for YA & Adults alike! I have read and reread this trilogy nearly every year for about 25 years! I've read it to my children and I plan to read it to my grandchildren.
Menolly is a true heroine for those that feel like they are out of skew with the world (i.e. Indigos, Idealists, etc.) which spends far to much energy focused on fighting over every last toy! Far better to learn to co-exist and allow the songs to well up inside you, creating a better world!
Read it...it's short and sweet and well-written!


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