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Friday, January 20, 2017

Step one in our changes

At the end of last year, I had wonderful new visions for Literary Litter.  I even began to implement some of them.  Shortly after that, I found out that my vision is failing.  It has been for awhile, but I've been forcing it.  I can still see!  I just can't see to read.  I can force it for a page or two at a time, but that's my limit.  It just seems silly to run a book review company when you can't read.  So I closed.

We've got some great new stuff coming up, and I think it'll be even more useful and entertaining than before.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We will no longer be posting any reviews here.  Editing the reviews, writing them, and posting them are just too much for me.  It goes far beyond my reading time limit each day.  Minding Spot has kindly agreed to take over our reviews for us.  All of our review staff will continue to do reviews, but they'll be posted there instead of on Literary Litter.  I'll still be doing reviews, but it will have to go down to a few a year instead of what I was doing.

I sincerely want to thank all of my wonderful friends for being so supportive the last few weeks.  Everyone has had great ideas for how to continue reviewing as well as showing sincere sympathy for what I've been going through.  It's nice to know I'm loved :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Announcement

It is with great sadness that I announce the closing of Literary Litter.

Due to medical constraints, I can no longer read for any length of time.  It seems a little silly to be a book reviewer who can't read.

I don't know what's coming next for me, but I'm sure it will be a grand adventure.  I believe in miracles and I believe in magic.  I don't remember a time when I wasn't glued to a book.  This is definitely going to be a change for me.

Should things improve in the future, I'll return to doing reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.  I still want to be as supportive as possible to my author friends out there, so please keep me informed when you have something new coming out.  Even though I currently can't read, I still need your books for my library and I'll cherish them just as much.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Mouth by Henry Anderson



When sixteen-year-old Jack's hometown is burned down and his family killed, his only chance of survival is to travel through a device called 'The Mouth' that opens doors into other worlds.

He must do the impossible-find the world that gave his enemies their extraordinary power and travel to a place known simply as 'The Maximum.'

This book is Anderson's transition from news reporting to novelist.  He shows a lot of promise as a novelist, but I think there's still some work to be done.  Needless to say, it's a tough job to go from such extremes of writing.

The plot is phenomenal.  It's a fresh idea that is carried out pretty well when looking at the timeline.  The characters are bold and vibrant, however any information that you have about them is what you glean along the way.  The worlds that we enter are vast and intricate, but once again, we only have the information about them that we glean along the way.

I didn't finish this book.  It's non-stop action.  It's like being in a chase dream where you never get to stop and breathe.  To tell you the truth, I was just too fatigued to finish it.  Action is a great thing to have in a book, but even more importantly, we need balance.  A little time spent on world building and scene setting and inspecting our characters would go a long way.

I think Anderson could make a great novelist and I'm looking forward to reading more of his works.  He has the facts down.  He's great at keeping you on the edge of your seat.  I'm just hoping he slows down enough to add more of the human interest side of the story so that you don't want to jump off the edge of your seat.  When I find myself chanting for the hero to die, I know a little work still needs to be done.

Over all, if you're an action junkie, you'll like this one just as is.  If you're looking for more than that, wait for his next book and give that one a shot.

Tail & Trouble by Victor Catano



-Judy

When Gabriel's witch girlfriend doesn't return from her latest trip, he gets on the road and heads out to find her.  Sheila's coven is secretive and distrustful of Gabriel, so the only help he has is Sheila's familiar, a bulldog named Orson, who is psychically linked to both of them.

In Florida, they walk right into an elaborate plan to steal Orson.  A mysterious wizard named yareth is behind the plot, and he may also know where Sheila is.

Gabriel and Orson will have to fight for their lives as they navigate around all the magical roadblocks to force Yareth's hand.  They won't give up until Sheila is safe.

In the beginning, I was so frustrated because our main character isn't getting any answers.  No matter where he goes, he's greeted with the same 'I can't tell you' attitude.  Once Gabriel and Orson start to communicate, the story really starts to pick up speed.

As a familiar, Orson is perfect.  He's different than any other familiar that I've read.  I was thankful it wasn't another darn cat.  He has a great humor about him and the best part is that he realizes he's a dog and can get away with things that humans can't.  Not only that, but he makes sure that the humans are aware of his unique position.

Yareth is a wannabe warlock who stumbles on some power.  He's pretty evil and not likable at all.

As a cozy mystery, I enjoyed that this had some new things to offer.  I enjoyed it and I would love to read more by the author.  I hope there will be more in this series.

Catano does a great job of making the usual cozy mystery a unique experience and pulls everything together nicely.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ezicash by Ian Thompson

The year is 2060, the month June, and it's raining outside.

So starts this tale of a time when the men and women of the United Kingdom, more specifically the residents of Stoke Hammond-a place some seven miles south of what used to be Milton Keynes- have to rise up and vanquish a posturing foe.


Set forty years after the collapse of the European Union, this story tells of a titanic struggle between Europe's strangling, new shadow, EZICASH, a plumber called Phil Lud and his apprentice, Snot.

Called out to what appears to be nothing more than a dripping tap, they are soon pulled into a conspiracy where their actions could very well change the world forever.  Banding together, a community is formed, one that could see these fair isles free, truly free, from its controlling yoke just a few watery miles away.

Can they defeat EZICASH?  Will another European behemoth fail?  Will Britain finally succumb to a destiny plotted so many years ago?

Or can a plumber put a spanner in the works...

Let me start off by reading you a passage...one that perfectly explains what you'll find in this book.

"...Abraham thought it best to just panic, half crouch, half stand and bob about while making an 'eeargg' sound.  Soon pushed out of the way by May, he felt relieved to be marginalised and useless."

You can't help but notice the humorous imagery.  These two, tiny sentences, completely convey exactly what's happening and the reader can see it clearly.

We also have the option of taking this snippet at face entertainment value, or delving deeper.  On the surface, we see a man panicking and being shoved out of the way.  Digging a little further in to it, we see that he has made the conscientious choice to panic.  His feelings at being pushed out of the way show that he feels relieved to be back in his comfort zone, as well as what that comfort zone is.  We also get a glimpse at what sort of person May is.

The entire book runs this gamut.  It's intricately designed so that it can be read for pure entertainment value or studied and discussed.  There's plenty of humor, but it's not raucous, laugh out loud humor.

This book is part of a genre that I shall henceforth term 'chameleon' because of how versatile it is.  It's deep, yet shallow.  It has an intricate plot that you can easily ignore.  We have plenty of political and sociological statements, but if you don't want them, you can gloss right over them.  It's a dystopian as well as a fantasy as well as science fiction as well as mystery.  We have romance and adventure.  What makes this a chameleon book is that it's built so that you can pick and choose which ones you want to take part in.  None of them is overwhelming.

If you're looking for something a little different,  I suggest you check this out.  The flow and storytelling are smooth.  You can pick and choose which elements of the story you want to stick out. There truly is something for everyone here.  If you're looking for a book for your book group, this is a definite.  There are so many different facets to the book that you could take months discussing them.

What we're buying this week!!

Since I wasn't able to get here to put in last week's order, we're doing double this week!!  Let's take a look at all the wonderful books we have coming in!

Let's start with our staff reviewer's requests!!  I love that my reviewers all have different tastes in books!!





Next up, let's we have suggested books!



Now we'll go through and order from our 'to buy and review' list.



Lastly, we have our random picks.  These used to be books that I randomly found that had five reviews or less, but we're branching out a little.  I have entirely too many books that I want to read and too many holes in the library!



Happy reading this week!  Don't forget to stop in Tuesday to give us more suggestions!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

50 Things Your Parents Want You to Know by Shelly Campbell-Harley, M.A.ED



This is the second of Shelly's books that I've read, and I really enjoy them.  The purpose of the 50 Things books is to give short snippets of information that can be shared.  It's a starting off point, a jumping off point if you will, for difficult conversations.

In this book, we take a look at fifty things that your parents want you to know.  You probably already figured that out from the title.  In order to do my review, I first read the book.  Then I gathered my son and my mother and we read through each thing together.  I read aloud each item and then we had a short discussion on it.  Had we been a different family, it may have been more lengthy discussions.

As it was, nearly all of these were discussions that we'd already had in the parent/child relationship.  Now, we're a bunch of weirdos.  We like to talk.  We like to discuss after we've mulled things over.  We don't normally take a lot of time to think about what we're going to say.  We think about things and then just blurt them out to each other and see where it takes us.

For a lot of families, having some of these discussions can be tough.  Most of them involve having faith and believing in yourself.  They talk about how to be happy and how to be a productive person.  Sometimes, especially when you're angry or disagreeing with your child, it's hard to keep an open mind and sit down and tell them that you love them even though you disagree with them.  I think the most difficult part of conversations with your child is getting them to respond to you.  You can give them advice for living their life, but half the time they'll tune you out.

Between the three of us, we all agreed that everything in this book is something that a child needs to hear from a parent or caregiver.  Not only that, but great wisdom can be found for adults as well.  Knowing something and living it can be two entirely different things and sometimes a reminder is exactly what is needed.  These are all great discussion points in the book.  Even if you have a great relationship with your child, it doesn't hurt to add a little reinforcement.

The only issue that was brought up is that this book has a religious background.  Though most of the pages are good, logical sense, some of them involve faith and a belief in God.  While we all are firm believers, we also realize that not everyone is.  For those who do not have religious tolerance, feel free to skip those passages.  You can still find valuable information here.

Whether you have a good relationship with your child or not, this book can be a valuable communication tool.  You can go through it all at once for lengthier discussions, or go through one number at a time.  If you don't know how to talk to your child, you can gain some great ideas.  If you're a child who feels like your parents don't believe in you, they're probably thinking the things in this book, they just don't know how to say them to you.  Communication can be just as difficult on the part of the parent as it can the child.

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Notice

All books (unless otherwise specified) belong to me already, have been borrowed, or are sent to me by the author, publisher or review company for review. I do not receive any monetary rewards for reviewing books. The opinions expressed in my reviews belong solely to me.