Category Archives: Books

Brock Turner is a Rapist and Deserves More Than Six Months in Jail. And More Importantly To The Rape Survivor, The Warrior, We Stand With You

A terrific response to the Stanford rape case by a good friend of mine. She really got it right.

jambiethoughts

Brock Turner raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. He was stopped by two witnesses on bicycles. Brock stopped what he was doing when they saw him, thus in my opinion and seriously it’s just common sense, signifying that he knew he was doing something wrong.  Then he  ran away. The witnesses chased after him and held him for the police. One witness  was crying and vomiting due to what he saw.

This must have been a truly horrific scene  for a person to have this reaction, to cry and vomit.  Now think about the way that Brock has described what happened that night.   He said he drank too much.

The Judge stated in writing  he was sentencing Brock to six months in jail, not prison,  because he took responsibility for his actions and showed remorse. Really? I think I missed it. I think we all did.

When did that happen? When did Brock show remorse? …

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Are the Republicans punking us? Or Republicans, the bad ones, grow the hell up.

A great commentary on just a few of the crazy stuff that’s in the news today. Must be a full moon, or Flint’s water is reaching us all.

jambiethoughts

I’m just going to start off by writing down the headlines of articles I’ve seen on Facebook today, and then maybe add some sarcastic comments. Then  I’ll try not to swear to much. That’s the plan.

Glenn Beck said that God had to kill Antonio Scalia to help put Ted Cruz in the White House.

An Idaho Senate panel  just approved a Bill to use the Bible to teach biology.

South Dakota approves transgender bathroom bill.

So seriously, what is happening in the world today? I realize it’s basically as messed up as it was yesterday and the day before, but I just have to say something. Are we , the American people being punked by the Republican party?  Because if all of the above headlines are not a joke, they should be.

I’m addressing the people who are in the news, specifically in the above headlines now……What the hell is…

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Japanese town’s Cat Street View lets you virtually tour its backstreets, meet feline residents

Something new for cat lovers.

SoraNews24

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It’s an amazing age we live in, where you can fire up Google Street View and virtually walk the boulevards of many of the world’s cities. But it turns out Google Street View has a bit of a rival in Japan. Granted, its scope is far smaller than Google’s, given that it only covers part of one town, but it shows up the Internet giant by letting you wander its walkways from the perspective of an alley cat, and even provides profiles of all the neighborhood kitties you’ll meet along the way!

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What Teacher’s Lounge? Some information for Governor Kasich

What Teacher’s Lounge? Some information for Governor Kasich.

Death in Kashmir by M. M. Kaye

A book from my youth – one of six romantic suspense stories set in exotic locales by MMKaye.

She Reads Novels

Death in Kashmir I have always thought of M. M. Kaye as an author of historical novels (such as the wonderful Far Pavilions) and although I was vaguely aware that she had also written a series of mystery novels, I had never really thought about reading them. Now that I’ve read the first one, Death in Kashmir, I will certainly be reading the others. What a great book this is!

Death in Kashmir was first published in 1953, but set a few years earlier in 1947, just as India is about to gain independence from Britain. Our heroine, Sarah Parrish, is attending what will probably be the final meeting of the Ski Club of India at Gulmarg, a resort in the mountains of Kashmir. Sarah is hoping for an enjoyable, relaxing holiday but the first sign of trouble ahead comes when another skier has a fatal accident on the slopes. Another…

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The Machine

Great review by SF author Daev hutichinson (Europe in Autumn)

The Automatic Cat

The Machine arrives one day at Beth’s flat on the Isle of Wight, the way many things are delivered to us these days. It comes in several pieces, brought by delivery men, and some bits are so big that they have to take the windows off to get them into the flat. It’s a hot day.

James Smythe’s extraordinary novel begins with a scene of domestic banality. The Machine could be a new bed, or a flatpack wardrobe. But it’s not. The Machine is illegal. It’s a device meant to erase traumatic memories and help rebuild people like Beth’s husband, Vic, a soldier who returned physically and emotionally wounded from a foreign war. Hailed as a miracle cure, the first generation of Machines was outlawed when it became clear that they were in fact doing more harm than good. Vic himself is in a clinic in London, in a vegetative…

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Review: Where the Carnies Are

Where the Carnies Are
Where the Carnies Are by Kayla Curry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This review was done on behalf of The Author Visits: http:theauthorvisits.com

Note – the author provided a copy of the book for an unbiased review in return.

The Magical Land of the Carnival Kingdom. This is a short, sweet paranormal fantasy that is really a fairytale in disguise. Olive Sear is having a REALLY bad day – she caught her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she lost her job, her car stopped working on her way to going back to live with her parents, and it was raining….so when she suddenly finds herself in a bouncy house after taking off across the muddy fields to find a phone, she doesn’t flinch, being already numb from the days events. She continues on into the strange carnival-like place. The first person she mets, Alex, a sword thrower, becomes her guide into this new and fascinating place where she feels strangely at home. A closed, magical kingdom where carnies spend their off-season and retirement lives.

Pros: The characters are likable. A must for me. And plenty of side characters to liven up the place. At the end of the book we are promised “Sideshow,” a collection of 26 flash fiction stories about these side characters, which is what I wanted, although the link didn’t go anywhere at this time. Hopefully they are coming. They interested me, and I wanted more. This world she created was imaginative, and fascinating, and I wanted to step right into it. The author shows great promise, obviously loves a charming story, and a good, solid editor could fix some of the issues mentioned below, and help flesh out some of the people, and the in-between action scenes. I wanted more carny life. Her tone though is perfect for the story, and she obviously knows her knife-throwing stuff. She creates a world you hunger for more of. Who are these carnie folk, how did they come to be there, are they are born carnies, or are there any “new blood” ones? The castle, where a lot of the action occurs, is intriguing, mystifying and perfect for the book.

Cons: First person voice, which jumps in tense in some places. But it works for me, seeing everything through her eyes, even though it isn’t usually what I like. The characters are simplistic, slightly cardboard, and each has a place in the resolution of the story, and sometimes that is all they seem to be there for. There are some inconsistencies in the story, actions left out or skipped over where a page break or something would be appropriate, and places where it was confusing. She asks why her parents didn’t want her to know about carnie life, after just saying that she never knew them (her birth parents). She doesn’t seem to feel alarmed or freaked out as she casually absorbs the workings and people in the carnival kingdom. A normal response for a young woman, who just had a horrendous day, only to be confronted by a wondrous magical place, would either be to break down in tears, or dig in her heels and demand to see someone in charge. But instead, she allows herself to be cared for by the first person she meets, and towed round like a doll.

It doesn’t hurt of course that he is dressed like a pirate for his knife throwing act, and is handsome to boot. She hasn’t been there more than a few hours before she is agreeing to be his assistant until the gates open again in 2 months. Again, no break-down over that either. She is going to be there for two months, and she just accepts it. She takes the attitude that she must have carnie birth parents and so goes right for it. And although there is mention that an “advancer” – someone who can get out of the kingdom when the gates are closed – could get a message to her parents, she doesn’t do so in the month that goes by. Under the guise of “building trust,” she is blindfolded and led around the kingdom. Not sure most young women would go for that, with someone they just met the day before, under very strange circumstances. Her absolute trust in him, so soon, does’t read “real.” By the first few days they are in romance mode, and by the week’s end, in love. Too quick to be believable, but not if it’s a fairy tale. But when she finds out something special about him, instant change – she must be dreaming. Tends to go back and forth. Told she’s in a bubble, not on any planet, and the stars and sun aren’t real, are merely an illusion, and all she says is “Wow. That’s an interesting fact.”

But there is plenty of carny action, and in true fairy tale fashion, the bad are vanquished or rehabilitated, and everyone goes home happy and taken care of.

I think that’s why this became a fairy tale for me. While it can be classified as a paranormal fantasy, it’s slight nature, the somewhat two-dimensional characters, and the neat way everything got tidied up and resolved felt like one of the hundreds of fairy tales I read growing up. But in spite of this, I happen to love fairy tales, and when I had to stop reading in the middle and wait for the next day to finish, I was anxious to get back to the story, and kept thinking about it, always a great sign. The story was clean, love scenes were few and “fade-to-black,” so it’s suitable for the YA crowd. And I loved it’s cheerful, hopeful nature. So, judging it as a YA fairy tale,
My Rating: 4 /12 pixie dusted stars

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Review: DragonFly

DragonFly

DragonFly by Charles A. Cornell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review was done for TheAuthorVisits.com, a website devoted to authors and readers.

Here’s the review. It’s a dieselpunk, alt. history WWII story about aerial combat between Germany and Britain. Early on, I was going to give it 4 stars, but I so enjoyed it, and wanted to read the next book, and knew I wanted to reread this one, that I had to give it 5 stars. Very inventive, and with lovely illustrations that can be zoomed in on.

Title: DragonFly (Missions of the DragonFly Squadron #1) Illustrated

Author: Charles Cornell, Jose “Cutangus” Garcia, Illustrator

# of Pages 365 (no pages on ebook)

Synopsis:

Veronica “Ronnie” Somerset, is a ferry pilot of Lancaster bombers from the factories in Canada to England, or flying the ‘grumpy hippo’, the Sunderland flying boat, on mail runs. Known for speaking her mind, she is sent down to Enysfarne, down by Penzance – a radar station and outpost, but also what was to be her headquarters for the duration of this part of the war. It is also the birthplace of the Dragonfly, a “special” plane, highly experimental, and mysteriously powered. Here she will live up to all that was the British spirit of have a cuppa, and save the homeland.

Joining her in this wild ride of a diesel punk WWII alternative history combat story is her best friend Busbee Collins, Dr. Nigel Pennbridge, the inventor of the Dragonfly and it’s special mechanics, and the girls’ childhood friend, Vicki, HRH Victoria, Princess of Wales, and heir to the British throne, who also happens to be a damned fine pilot.

With an assortment of characters on both the British and Nazi side, and a slew of planes both real and invented, this story takes off and doesn’t stop except to refuel. We go behind the scenes with Hitler and his inner circle and his obsession with the mystical, and are treated on both sides to some interesting and inventive inter-weavings of truth and “fiction.”

Cons: Although there were some areas where it could be tightened up, and a few loose threads snipped, a few leaps in action without explanation, a few misspellings that could be British or jokingly said (cow-towing), and a few references that are un-PC, but probably okay for the time period in question, overall it was more than a decent job.

Pros: Here’s why I have them backwards (pros v. cons). Although I noticed most of those cons in the beginning, by the middle of the story, either they disappeared, or I was so caught up in the story, and in the wonderful flying world the author invented, as well as the incredible illustrations that can be blow up much bigger of the “new” aircraft by “Cutangus” that I never noticed any more issues.

I flew through the book like one of the pilots, nimbly jumping from one sortie to another, from Cornwall to Devon, from Jutland to the Baltic Sea, and back to England to be one of the main reasons the great Nazi invasion of Britain was fought back, esp. after the Americans caved, and made a truce with Germany, withdrawing all their aerial support of the B-17s, the Lancaster bombers, and other aircraft in service at the time, leaving England to stand on it’s own, even as most of the royal family, including the King, went via submarine to safety in Canada.

This is a book about WWII, and the planes and aerial combat figure prominently in it, but with the illustrations, and the website full of additional supporting information on the crew and team members of both sides, the aircraft from both (also experimental, but incredible), and the main hero(ines) being three indomitable young ladies with great talent at the stick, this book would appeal to most people. I’m a 50 something woman, and I really enjoyed it, and would give it the highest praise a reader could – I’d love to read more in the series, and I’d read it again!

My Rating: 5 loop-the-loop stars

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Escape Kit

Here is a good friend’s post on a book that I would enjoy so I thought I’d pas it along. K

The Automatic Cat

I’m more familiar with William Thirsk-Gaskill’s poetry than his prose. The self-confessed ‘socially inept Northerner,’ ‘the lost love-child of Ted Hughes and Alan Bennet,’ is a very fine poet, and I’m delighted to discover that he’s also a fine fiction writer.

Escape Kit is a novella in five parts and it’s a little gem. It revolves around four characters – fourteen-year-old Bradley, who’s travelling from York to Stevenage to visit his grandparents; his parents, Celia and Edmund, who have recently parted; and a man who is escaping from a German prisoner-of-war camp.

It would be unforgiveably spoilery to tell you exactly how all this fits together – there’s one beautifully-constructed reveal in particular – but it fits together with the precision of a Swiss watch. The characters are very well-drawn, each voice distinct, the prose is economical and unshowy. There’s no fat on the story at all.

It’s a very…

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Review: The Aquatic Labyrinth: A Venetian Mystery

The Aquatic Labyrinth: A Venetian Mystery
The Aquatic Labyrinth: A Venetian Mystery by Alastair Fontana
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Due to eye problems I am late with it, and apologies to all concerned. This is first and foremost an historical thriller/mystery. Set in Venice, one of the most fascinating cities in the world, in the 14th century, it is a period piece, much like Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose. The historical detail, and description, as far as I can tell, is well-researched, and even the outlay of the book itself, with illustrations and such, gives it the feel of a more ancient manuscript. I won’t summarize the plot as that is everywhere, but I can say that the characters were well-drawn, and interesting, which is essential in a book to me. The mystery was intricately plotted and added much to the overall gothic feel of old Venice. whose canals create the labyrinth. My rating of a 4 versus a 5 is due to the heavy reliance on historical facts and details, and the Italian parts of the book. They tend to pull me out of a story. That is not just this book, but any book that has much substance. By nature I prefer more action to fact, although he did do a great job of world-building or in this case recreating a world. Would recommend for any who enjoy works such as The Name of the Rose, Kate Mosse, and even Ellis Peters medieval monk series. Great start for this budding writer.

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