Jade Dragon Mountain needs a book editor


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Elsa Hart’s ‘Jade Dragon Mountain’ is set in China in 1708. A mystery to solve when they didn’t have DNA or forensic science. The main character, Li Du, is a former librarian.

Well, that sounds different and I thought why not? I have one simple question…WHERE is the book editor? Did they go on vacation? Did they even read this book? Do book editors still exist? This could have been a good book. The start of a trilogy that you can’t put down? Like ‘the girl with the dragon tattoo’ series, but really ‘Jade Dragon Mountain’ fails to leave an impression on me at all. In fact, the main character just doesn’t seem to pop.

The book suffers from too many explanations of how things work in China. I usually don’t mind but these are too detailed and go on for one to two pages. I don’t need all these facts. Its a work of fiction, not a historical novel.The storyteller, Hamza, is funny at times but including his LONG stories that’s he’s telling the audience are not needed and don’t really add to the plot. All it adds is more pages for me to read.

The prediction of a solar eclipse. What could go wrong?

But the biggest issue is the ending where too much is thrown at you at once and you don’t care of the outcome.

Where instead of just finding out who killed the person (yeah I guessed why they did it ages ago) but you also learn that the dead person was so and so’s father (huh?). And you discover who is leaving graffiti up over town (I didn’t care I must admit). AND (yes there’s another and) there’s an assassination attempt on the emperor via phosphorus (don’t ask).

And that’s just in the last few pages. It leaves you not really sure what to make of this book. Are these characters I wanted to keep track of or and go on another adventure with? No, not really but it is a trilogy (of course it is).

Someone should have called Jessica Fletcher instead. She could have cut this book in half.

Discovering Rosamunde Pilcher


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I’ve had a few Rosamunde Pilcher books sitting around and ‘Flowers In the Rain & Other Stories’ happen to be the first one I grabbed off the bookshelf. Is it the best introduction to Rosamunde Pilcher? Hard to say but this is a charming collection of short stories that were originally published for ‘Good housekeeping’ back in the day (or so the introduction told me).

All the stories end on a positive note with some stories being far better than others. Most deal with finding lost loves, new romance aka clean romance, garden settings, weddings etc.

Are they predictable? Most of the time they are but if your looking for an easy read on a hot summer day give this book a try.

Flowers In the Rain & Other Stories by: Rosamunde Pilcher

“The Girl Who Lived Twice” shows its time end the Millennium series once and for all


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“The Girl Who Lived Twice” by David Lagercrantz is a book that should never have seen the light of day.

I have always been a huge fan of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.  One of my favorites that I have read a number of times. These three books had it all. Amazing characters, mystery you name it these books had it.

When it was over I wanted to read more about Lisbeth and Mikael. Who wouldn’t but with all things now a days be careful what one wishes for.

And then David Lagercrantz took over.

Let me say that the first two books by David Lagercrantz were ok. Again nothing to write home about and not even close to what the original trilogy was. But again they were ok.

Now here we are at book #6 ‘The Girl Who Lived Twice’ and I feel its time to put the series to rest. This was clearly a cash grab.

Its a very cookie cutter book that mimics his past two books and did not feel like a Lisbeth Salander story.

Lisbeth is doing something over there and might email Mikael. And Mikael is covering something else and then the two stores that have nothing to do with each other  come together for whatever reason and you get a scene with Mikael and Lisbeth in the same room. Now this format kind of worked for the other books but now its getting old.

On top of that there is far too much detail in certain areas that I don’t need to read about. I don’t need to read about the size of the bed, who sleeps with who or how he walked from point A to B. Too much information about side characters I don’t care about.  Also what is with this odd and very boring dialogue that really goes no where. Could this be an issue about being lost in translation? There is no flow to this story at all.

Might this book have been better had Lisbeth and Mikael been in the same room working one case about the homeless person. Yes. Maybe if the interacting and dialogue had been better. This book sets up the plot line  of trying to find Lisbeth’s sister Camilla which for some reason is NOT the main part of the story.

Side note: the fact that their father suddenly took a different interest in the sister which was not part of any of the other books is uncalled for.

So instead we are tying to track down a homeless man which ties into a story about climbing Mount Everest.  Oh and lets add a dozen more names of people I can’t keep apart.

The ending is so over the top…I kept shaking my head. Yes I have read better fan fiction. Thank goodness I borrowed this book from the library. Not to mention the fact that the ending of the book isn’t really an ending.

But its clear this series will never be at the top ever again. Or even try to attempt that level. And with his sad excuse of a book its clear its time to put it to rest. Let Lisbeth and Mikael go.

Skip this book. It is not a Lisbeth Salander story. Its a cheap imitation. Want to read something good. Stick with Stieg Larsson’s original Trilogy.

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man’ is an Unnecessary Sequel


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You want an example of a unnecessary sequel to a hit book? I give you ‘The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man’ by Jonas Jonasson.

What a waste of paper.

The first book was smarty written by connecting historic events in history. Not to mention funny.

What happens in this book is nothing but current politics disguised and sold as ‘a work of fiction’.

One is told to ‘get over it’. Its all in ‘good fun’. Well no its clearly not. This Swedish writer feels the need to lecture someone in the USA about Trump. Being portrayed as dumb, who can’t read, mocking his tweets and other items. You will find many, many real world names in this book. Hally, Pribus, Flin, breitbart news and what not which made me check the cover to make sure I really had gotten the correct book.

Of course Putin, Merkel and Kim Jong Un just to name a few pop up as well. I will give you three guesses as too who the good guy (hint its a gal) is in this book.

It mocks mass shootings, walls, NATO well anything you see in politics today you will find this book. BDS, AfD yup its got it all.

So that’s why its not funny. Now I’m sure I will be told to ‘get over it. Its just a work of fiction.’ Adding current evens/people in a book is not fiction. Criticizing these people is not fiction. Unless Mr. Jonasson would like us to comment on the current state of Sweden?

More to the point we are being bombarded 24/7 with news and politics. WHy is it so hard to find a nice work of fiction that ovoids this. But then I guess that’s too much to ask for.

Birds, Birds Everywhere

I am so happy to see that they made some of  David Allen Sibley drawings into postcards. I have gotten a few of Sibley’s books and I always loved the drawings. So these ‘Sibley Birds of Land, Sea, and Sky’ 50 Postcards by David Allen Sibley do not disappoint at all.

All I can say is that these are some amazing postcards. Some birds I know and see from time to time in my backyard, while others of course not so much. I must admit I was expecting to see a robin, cardinal or even a bluejay in the postcard mix but still there are such lovely drawings that’s ok.

Some of the drawings are ever so life like. There is one of an owl where truth be told I could not tell if it was a drawing or a photo.

I love the details. One where the duck is looking right at you or the other of a duck flying out of the water.

Comes in a wonderful keepsake box with tabs dividing them by type (sea birds vs songbirds ec)

Printed on very good paper. So you could send these in the mail if you wanted to (but why would you). Keep them in the box of hang them up on the wall.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Now This is What I call a Gardening Book


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Oh Martha now this is what I call a gardening book. Just what I need. Wow. And yes I could not want to receive ‘Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying’ by Martha Stewart and Kevin Sharkey.

Its nice and large. The cover pops the second you hold it in your hand. The photo’s are amazing.

Yes there are so many gardening books to choose from but what I enjoy about this one is that she talks about flowers that one will find in ones own garden like poppy, hydrangea’s, sunflowers, lilac’s, roses ec. So its not some exotic plant that does not work in your zone.

Good instructs on how to plant them, when to plant/maintain them ec. On top of that this book also gives you tips on how to arrange the flowers when you cut them.

So yes I was already looking forward to spring but again after this book I can’t wait to get more plants.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Color over this one

‘The Chalk Man’ by C. J. Tudor is suppose to be about a mystery and suspense. A Thriller. It was none of those. Its a book that bounce’s between the events of 2016 and 1986.

Looking back on it this feels like an over hyped story. I have read better fan fiction.

I could not get into the characters and really didn’t like any of them. There is no real character development of any kind. And you’d be surprised with such wInning names such as Fat Gav, Hoppo, Metal Mickey and Nicky.

The prologue sets it all up all nicely but then it kind of falls apart. I found it to be very boring and despite it being a short book I had a hard time trying to finish this story. I kept reading parts of it and then putting it down again before picking it back up weeks later. Hence the very late review.

Its not thrilling. Its not a page turner. Its more of a read it and forget it book.

As if someone threw water onto the chalk drawing. Its not my kind of book.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

The Crown


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I had heard that there was a TV show all about Queen. Now I have to admit I have not seen the show yet but when I had the opportunity to read the book I thought why not. So this book is called “The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen (1947-1955)” by Robert Lacey and really the title tells you all you need to know.

As I said before its a companion book to the Netflix series so I can take a wild guess and say that there will be a few more books coming out as the series moves ahead.

I did enjoy the photo’s tremendously. It was a mixture of actual photo’s and photo’s used for the tv show.

I felt the book gave a good perception of what happened and then it was compare to what the tv series showed. So I felt that was well done. And no you do not have to see the show to enjoy this book.

All in all a very interesting book, now I just have to watch the series.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

I judged the cover


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I have to admit I love the cover of this book.

‘Noelle: A Novel’ by Greg Kincaid from my understanding is the 3rd book in this book series and the authors 4th book. Now can it be read as a stand alone. Sure it can BUT I have to say I feel like it might have helped me connected with the characters a little more if I had read the build up of this family. And maybe seen their past struggles in the pervious books.

Noelle focuses on the McCray family from Kansas. Its a Christmas story about Mrs Claus. Throw in some family drama and dogs and a lot of other families and more dogs. It does end on a happy note. Which I’m sure will lead to another book.

So its good. Easy read but it does make you want to hug your furry friend in the end.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

‘Look’ this book up


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I expected  ‘What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky- by Kelsey Oseid’  to be a short little book with a few nods to the things we try and see in the stars at night. Or that this was aimed at very younger readers. Boy was I wrong. Imagine my surprised when this book came. Wow. Turns out to be a wonderful book that covers so many things about our night sky.

The cover, I just love the cover. You get a good overview of space, not just the constellations, the moon and sun, the north star, aurora’s, the planets as well as deep space ec. It also talks about Total eclipses (totality) which we had just had a chance to experience a few months ago. So really this book gives a great over view with just enjoy information to not overwhelm you.. As well as a nod to what might of might not be out there.

he art, the art is wonderful.

Now some people have said that this book doesn’t specify where to look for the constellations but in this day and age where the sky is always changing I am glad this was not included. Plus there are some amazing sky viewing apps out there.

In fact there is a great site that tells you when the international space station flies by: http://spaceweather.com/flybys/

So grab some blankets and look up.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”