I use both a Nook and Kindle so if you see a book you wish to borrow just let me know and let's be

June 30, 2014

Book 25 of my 2014 Goal

Your Family Tree! What's in Your Roots?Your Family Tree! What's in Your Roots? by David L Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Your Family Tree! What's In Your Roots? by David L. Cole gives some very good tips on finding your ancestors to trace your family tree. He did a lot of work to find his and tells why the history of the country, natural disasters, and education plays a part of why you may be coming to a dead end when you try to find yours.

He also explains why some families have Coats of Arms associated with their names and how to go about finding it. What some of the symbols may mean but don't be discouraged if they don't make sense to you because I know on our's there are three bats. I can not find any connection of anyone in my family tree doing anything with bats so what the bats stand for or mean, I don't know but it is still nice to have my families' Coat of Arms.

Another thing that the author does is he tries to list the best sites that don't cost a lot of money. Many he lists are free, the ones that do have charges are reasonable. In no way is he pushing one site over another or trying to sell anything. He is just stating what he found to be the most helpful during his search and why he likes it. (In fact, he even spends a whole chapter on what to watch out for: he calls them Hawkers.)

Although the book is short, it is useful information if you wish to find your family tree. I know I had run into dead ends once I went so far back (in England) so I may just have to try again with some of the author's information on other possible sources to search. (Some of these I didn't even think to check.)

I think the book is useful so I would recommend it to those who wish to find their family tree.

*I received a free copy for my honest review.

View all my reviews

June 21, 2014

Book 24 of My 2014 Goal

A Descendant of Adam or Progeny of Apes -Which Are You?A Descendant of Adam or Progeny of Apes -Which Are You? by David L Cole
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Descendant Of Adam, Or The Progeny Of Apes-Which Are You? by David L. Cole is a short read which by the description and title I figured it was about that age old question of where man came from: Did we evolve from apes or was man really created by God? The book was indeed about this subject but not quite what I thought it would be. Instead of stating the two beliefs and then backing up both, it is definitely slanted toward the creation: Adam.

There is a bit of the history of the church at the beginning which I found interesting as well as some of the comments made by the author throughout the book. I did not check any of the dates or any of the scientific subjects that were covered by the book but found the argument of the author notable.

I especially found the chapter "The Carbon Dating Problem" fascinating since I had always questioned the accuracy of carbon dating myself. I can verify that the half life of Carbon 14 is 5,730 years as the author stated but have no knowledge of how the geologic column came to be. The author does a great job of explaining it all but as I said, I did not check the accuracy of it.

Don't get me wrong, I know I made it seem like you need to have some scientific background just to read the book but you really don't. The author does a great job of simplifying things so someone who has little science/chemistry in their background can still understand it.

Although I found this book to the point and definitely not repetitive, I still feel it lacks depth. It made me feel like I was reading someone's assignment for High School. So much more could have been used to support and define the points the author brought up but wasn't. It brushed the surface without really getting well into the real controversies. Then again, maybe this is because the Bible is a matter of interpretation and it seems like no one agrees on what it is saying.

I also know the author states the Bible doesn't contradict itself (which again, is a matter of interpretation on the reader's part) but either it is doing so in his closing statements or he is contradicting the Bible by saying, "The Bible tells us that Jesus died as a ransom for the redemption of Adam's and Eve's descendants. There is no redemptive ransom provision for those who think they have an ape in their family tree." The reason I have a problem with it is because although I do agree that the Bible does tell us Jesus died for us but I don't remember ever reading any exception to this so that statement includes even those who do believe they have an ape in their family tree.

I did come across a few typos but it didn't take away from the book. Although I wouldn't give this a great rating, it is still interesting since I like to read about other people's opinions on religion. I recommend it to other that like to read the same.

* I received a free copy for my honest review.

View all my reviews

June 10, 2014

Book 23 of My 2014 Goal

The Collection of Heng SoukThe Collection of Heng Souk by S.R. Wilsher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Collection of Heng Souk by S.R. Wilsher is a fictional story that takes place 40 years after and during the Vietnam War. Sun (one of the main characters) delivers a box to her uncle, Heng Souk after her father's death. It is during this meeting that Sun takes a notebook written by Ephraim (a POW) from her uncle and reads about the past and what really happened while her uncle was commander of the Citadel (POW Camp).

This is a gripping story about love, forgiveness, understanding, and so much more. The emotions of the characters and intensity of the situations within this novel is beautifully written. In fact, it is written so well that you have to be prepared for that which is not written into words. I don't want to write any spoilers so I really can't explain this statement but you will know what I mean once you read it.

The story has subplots that connect to the plot. At the beginning of the book (which is where it is the slowest) I wasn't quite sure where the story was going but it didn't take long for it to take off and then there was no putting it down. I found it interesting the way the story came together and how the war affected the men on both sides, others, and the generation to come.

The endings were unexpected and by endings I mean the closures for the characters toward the end of the book not necessarily just the very last page of the book. There were many things said and done that I didn't see coming but what Sun did (regarding her husband, Huy) and the closure Thomas provided to his mother was amazing.

The characters in the story were believable. Sun was a curious, brave, and smart young women who really knew how to control her temper. Although she had an abusive husband, she seemed like she could hold her own in most situations. She was likable and I found the 'growth' in her character interesting.

I hate Heng Souk for what he did to the POWs but at the same time I found him to be a fascinating character. It was almost like he was two separate characters because of what he was like during the war isn't what he is like now. He seemed distant and a mystery (as he was to Sun) throughout the book. He never directly answered many questions yet he answered them (I was expecting a simple "yes" or "no"). Even at the beginning when Sun brought him the box and was going to tell him that his brother (her father) had passed away she eventually tells him that her father had spoke highly of him and his reply was, "We had different skills. People often hold the skills they don't have in high regards." At another point she asked if he thought highly of her father and he replies, "He was my brother." The most notable one to me is at the Citadel when Sun asked if it felt wrong for him to kill the men and he answers, "Few people commit evil without any stain on their conscience. But there are times when your life changes so gradually that you don't realise what you are doing is wrong. The abnormal becomes normal in slow uncertain steps of misfortune and poor judgement; the worst can unwind so slowly that it appears reasonable. But if you want to win wars you need men prepared to do terrible things."

Then there is Ephraim Luther and the notebook he wrote while he was being held at the Citadel about himself, Heng Souk, as well as other POWs. Enough was revealed in the notebook about the horrors of being a POW, I was grateful it did not go into vivid details of the treatment, torture, and death of the men. (What is written is sufficient enough to get the point across without making me sick to my stomach.) The notebook also reveals how everything isn't what it seems, even to Heng Souk. It also helps provide a better understanding of the other characters and how the war affected them.

I thought I would mention that although I came across a few errors, the author is from the U.K. so there are some spelling differences from "American" English (e.g., realise instead of realize) which to me are not errors at all. Either way you view it, it didn't take away from the story. I did not come across any kind of formatting issues although I should mention that the cover of the book on Amazon is not the cover that I have on my Kindle. The one on Amazon is a picture that I assume is of a Vietnam but the one on my Kindle is a red background with a single (partial) tree that looks to be drawn (vs. photo). I contacted the author and found out that the cover was in fact drawn by his daughter for his book however with the comments he received he changed it. If the cover matters and you got the wrong one I am sure if you contact him he will send you the one on Amazon because he had offered to send to send it to me but I much rather have his daughter's drawing.

I have gone over the review for this book for weeks. It is taking me longer to write this than it did to read the whole book because I want to convey the emotion, the thoughts, the feelings, and everything else that was written into this book but even now I still feel I am not expressing it enough. This is a powerful book that I do recommend to those who enjoy history based fiction.

View all my reviews

June 3, 2014

Book 22 of My 2014 Goal

The UnbelieverThe Unbeliever by E L Baylis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the cover to the very last page of The Unbeliever by E. L. Baylis is memorable. Once you start reading it, it is next to impossible to put it down. Page after page I wanted to know more about what was going on only to find the plot thickens (with subplots) and so much more is involved than I ever first anticipated, everything from life, death, love, mystery, faith, religion, and lack of both faith and religion just to name a few. This work of fiction has it all!

The characters are well developed, some as children and again as adults, but not done all at once. Throughout the story I knew enough about the characters to know what is going on and this gradual development of them added to the mystery and suspense of the story. There were many things 'hidden' about the characters (on purpose by the author) until the end of the story which really was amazing to learn. One of those "Wow!" moments which I found myself repeating time and time again.

Because the author doesn't have much as the description of the book, I am afraid to sum up the book in fear of telling something the author rather not be known in a review but as I said, the story itself which I thought was a simple 'Who done it' is so much more than that.

I feel I wouldn't be writing a complete review unless I mentioned this about two of the main characters, Jessica is a Christian and Art is an Atheist and although I would not say this is a total religious story, there is quite a bit of talk between the two that include bible quotes as well as spiritual talk and each fighting their own demons or as Art calls it, "The Beast." I found these parts of special interest as well as how man has changed what was being said and/or omitting certain things, such as, the Sabbath being Saturday not Sunday.

I didn't notice any typos or format issues and recommend this book to anyone into mysteries, romance and religion (or lack of).

View all my reviews