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Kelly "kelly" RSS Feed (United States)

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Ashen Winter (Ashfall Trilogy)
Ashen Winter (Ashfall Trilogy)
by Mike Mullin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.44
57 used & new from $5.45

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Disappointing Sequel To A Great First Book!, May 28, 2014
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I loved "Ashfall" so much - it was one of the best books I've read in a long while. I was very excited about reading the sequel [in fact, I purchased all 3 in hardback because I liked the first one so well].

I really did not like "Ashen Winter". It felt very slow and boring. The pace was really off, in my opinion.

One of the main things that put me off was that the main characters kept doing stupid things that did not make sense to me. The fact that they left the relative safety of Alex's aunt and uncle and sister and cousins to go back out into the "uncivilized" parts of the world looking for Alex's parents, without any real plan or even an idea of where the parents might be, annoyed me. I just really couldn't believe that this would really happen in a real situation like that. I could not quite get over that sense of disbelief at them doing something so stupid [and leaving the loved ones at home to starve without their desperately needed labor]. Then there was the matter of it being "so urgent" for Alex to go find his parents, but then he decides inexplicably to stop and try to steal grain from the mercenaries? It just didn't make any sense. One stupid decision after another had me not caring about these characters at all - which was very unlike the first book where I was completely invested in the characters.

I also just never did really get into this book - the plot was so slow and draggy that it was literally painful to read. 143 pages in, I just gave up and put it down. [I almost never do this]. Reading some of the reviews here, I'm glad I did - some of the spoilers indicate things that I would have really hated. [Darla was my favorite character from book 1, and it sounds like she isn't as strong in this book, perhaps]. And Alex was really just annoying in this book. I liked him so much in Book 1, but by page 143 of this book, I didn't care if he lived or died.

One personal pet peeve I'll mention - I just don't think sex scenes are appropriate for young adult novels. [I admit I am biased - I work on the maternity floor of a hospital and we see far too many very young pregnant teens for me to think books like this aimed at teens are a good thing.] I also read Young Adult fiction because I don't want to wade through sex scenes and because most of the books I read, I also read along with my teens. I got really sick of the sex scenes and constant mention of sex in these books. In a situation where they are that exhausted, hungry, frozen, and stressed, it is just a little odd to be so obsessed with sex in the first place. When one is weak from malnutrition, over work, and stress, how much energy does one *really* have for sex anyway? Add to that the "life or death" nature of pregnancy in this situation, and the emphasis on sex just didn't seem realistic to me.

I really hate that this book went so far afield of the amazing "Ashfall". I doubt I'll finish it or ever start on Book 3.

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1)
Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1)
by Patricia Briggs
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
262 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, Lame Cover!, May 28, 2014
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The only complaint I had about this book was the stupid cover! I almost didn't buy the book because I had very low expectations of any book that portrays the female lead like that - but I'm so glad I bought it anyway! [I bought it on someone's recommendation to "Ignore the cover!" SO glad I took their advice!]

This book is an excellent read! The female lead is *outstanding* - smart, strong, admirable in every way. She is really complex and interesting. Her history is fascinating. I really liked her and thoroughly enjoyed reading her story.

The secondary characters are all amazing as well - very interesting, very varied, awesomely real. The plot was non-stop and intriguing. The world is well drawn and interesting as well. [And, honestly, this is really saying something coming from me - I'm pretty burned out on werewolf and vampire fiction - for me to love this book so much is high praise indeed!]

I enjoyed this book cover to cover and have already ordered the next one. This author is extremely talented and I am so pleased that I decided to read this series!

Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup, 3-Ounce Bottle
Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup, 3-Ounce Bottle
Offered by HAPPY-DEALS
Price: $14.99
13 used & new from $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Miraculous!!, May 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been hearing about the benefits of Elderberry Syrup for the immune system for years. I finally decided to try it.

I ordered this at a time when I'd been dealing with a pretty severe cold that would not go away. When it arrived in the mail, I took it as directed just before bedtime, and I woke up the next morning feeling 100% better! It was really amazing. I continued taking it for a few days to be sure, and the cold was just gone.

A couple of weeks later, I started to feel like I was coming down with another cold. I took this again just before bed and woke up feeling fine the next morning.

I will never be without this product again! It is extremely helpful and effective. Tastes great, too!

Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
by Martin J. Blaser
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.71
63 used & new from $13.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating And Terrifying - Every Human Should Read This!!, April 24, 2014
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This is one of the most important books I've ever read. Dr. Blaser manages to take a very scientific subject and make it completely readable and fascinating from start to finish. What he has to say about the destruction of our internal microbes and the far reaching effects on our health is both enlightening and absolutely terrifying.

Based on his own cutting edge research over the last several decades, this book goes into riveting detail about how our "modern plagues" have been created by our own overuse of antibiotics. He gives a clear and understandable explanation for why our rates of obesity, autoimmune disorders, GERD, and a host of other epidemic disorders have come to be so high in the modern age.

I do have to say, if you are a parent, this book will make you feel guilty for all those rounds of antibiotics you gave the children without knowing any better. I left this book with a lot of regret and a feeling that I'd do things much differently with my children's health care, had I the opportunity to do it all again. [which, of course, I don't]. I can clearly see the effects he outlines in both my own health and in that of my children.

I believe that this book is about to spark a radical change the world. I hope so. His advice is advice we have to either take... or die. [pretty literally].

The is the most interesting book I've read in ages, and also the scariest. I believe every human being on the planet ought to read this and act on it, immediately.

Oxiclean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent, Lemon Clean, 20.3 Ounce
Oxiclean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent, Lemon Clean, 20.3 Ounce
Offered by yich
Price: $8.99
2 used & new from $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Worked Well, April 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This detergent worked well and did what it was supposed to do. I am not honestly sure if I would buy it again or if I'll stick with my usual bargain brand, but if price is not an object in your household, this is a great product.

A Perfect Day for Digging
A Perfect Day for Digging
by Cari Best
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.79
43 used & new from $6.74

5.0 out of 5 stars My Children Loved This Book!, April 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a really cute book with adorable illustrations. My children really enjoyed it as a read aloud. I also liked the message - it is fun to be outside digging in the dirt! This is a book we will read over and over and enjoy!

Suave Moroccan Infusion Dry Shampoo, 5 Ounce
Suave Moroccan Infusion Dry Shampoo, 5 Ounce
Offered by Hanson Online
Price: $9.80
7 used & new from $3.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Works Really Well On Days You Don't Have Time To Wash Your Hair, April 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This dry shampoo works really nicely. I found it useful on days when I was too busy to wash my hair - I was still presentable and my hair did not look oily or gross. I was surprised at how well it worked.

Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series)
Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series)
by Steve Solomon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.27
75 used & new from $5.92

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Negative - Not Helpful and definitely NOT for "Survival Gardening" In Hard Times, March 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I am a hobby gardener who has been [successfully] gardening for decades. I want to move from hobby gardening towards growing as much of our food as possible. I also don't have much money to do this with, so a book that was subtitled "Growing Food in Hard Times" seemed like the perfect fit for me.

First, I agree with some other reviewers about the negative tone of the book. The author seemed very self satisfied with his methods and felt that he was FAR more intelligent than anyone else out there gardening. He spends an inordinate amount of time in the book bashing everyone who holds an opinion different from his. Ironically, I agreed with a lot of what he said, but I didn't like all the negativity.

Second, this book makes gardening sound *impossible* to do:

- He recommends very specific kinds of fertilizers, made to his exacting specifications, full of stuff I'd never heard of [ie: "4 1/2 parts less-potent coprameal, supplemented with 1 1/2 parts tankage"] [p. 21] He goes on to explain a bit what this is - tankage is apparently ground up scraps of animals left over from slaughterhouses. OK. I have NO idea where the heck I'd find such a thing [or that I'd be willing to use it on my organic garden]. Or coprameal [I'm still not sure what this is, exactly].
- He makes it sound so incredibly hard to amend your soil in order to grow anything - in fact, after going on page after page with very specific and complicated instructions, making it sound impossible, he says that he just personally bought a truck load of top soil and had it delivered to his farm and dumped on his garden - at a cost of $1,200 for one load. I don't know about you, but "hard times" for me would mean not having $1,200 laying around to drop on top soil for my garden... [heck, I don't have $1,200 laying around during "good times". LOL!]

Third, he goes on and on about balancing soil nutrients - if you don't do exactly what he says and use exactly the ratios of the products he recommends, your soil is going to produce nutrient deficient plants and you are going to end up with all kinds of health problems. He includes a nasty anecdote about his friend "Ken", an avid gardener whom he feels has unbalanced soil nutrients. As a result, in the author's opinion, Ken's children have messed up teeth and jaw development. [Which was just a discourteous and mean spirited story to share, in my opinion]. Personally, I just don't think Mother Nature is this stupid that she needs us to "fix" her with some very specific equation of additives - I'm sure soil deficiencies CAN develop, but people have been gardening and surviving just fine for millennia without his special mix of soil amendments.... my grandparents did.

Fourth, his chapter on plowing up the garden bed made me bonkers. The only method he recommends is hand digging the whole garden to a depth of 12 inches [I'm planning a really big garden where there is existing sod - this would take me forever the first time around]. If you do anything else, he feels that you are doomed to failure. If you use a tiller or a plow, he says you are going to create a "plow pan" 5 or 7 inches under the soil that is going to form a rock hard surface that will keep your plant roots from growing deep enough. So tillers and plows are BAD. Ironically, 4 pages later, he ridicules the raised bed method, which requires 2 feet of digging down, according to him. He feels that digging that deep is a waste of effort, and says "Over time the second foot will become looser without any extra effort on your part as worms transport the organic matter you put into the surface, and as plant nutrients leach into the subsoil [which chemically loosens clay...]. [p. 57] So, worms and leaching work in a raised bed but somehow won't work with a bed you've tilled mechanically? Maybe I'm missing something here, but that seemed contradictory to me.

Fifth, to do everything he says you have to do, you are going to need to spend a *fortune* on soil amendments, special things to balance your soil nutrients, and maybe bringing in several loads of top soil [at $1200 a load]. And then, according to him, the seeds or seedlings you are trying to use are probably from an "unethical" seed seller and won't work anyway.

Sixth, just about everything in the book is negative. If you buy seedlings, you are an idiot. If you buy seeds, you are an idiot. [He gives a very short list of seed companies that he considers "OK" to buy from, but this is based on research he did in *1989* - two of my favorite seed companies - Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co and Select Seeds - weren't even founded back then. Companies that did exist back then have probably significantly changed in the last 25 years. I did not think this list was useful.] If you start your own seedlings, you are probably going to do it wrong [because you are an idiot?]. Only buy the expensive tools because quality is better than low price, and he knows you are going to want to buy the cheap tools [because you are an idiot?]. [I agree about buying quality, but the condescension was obnoxious.] The book just goes on and on with negative things that can and will go wrong with this garden venture.

Seventh, I just didn't think the book was written well. In some places it is incredibly dry. In other places, the author just goes off on long rants about how he disagrees with this or that. I found this book difficult to read on many levels.

There IS some good information here. It was good advice to be cautious about where we buy seeds from, for example. Some of the information on growing individual vegetables was helpful. If the book could have been cleaned of the negativity and rants, I think it would have been worth my time [though still demoralizing and discouraging]. The author is unquestionably knowledgeable, but his delivery was very much lacking, in my opinion.

I am completely mystified as to how this book got so many glowing reviews...

At the end of this book, I basically have the feeling that I can't possibly grow anything, it will be completely impossible to have a successful garden, and I should not even bother. That was not exactly the "inspiration" that I was looking for when I bought this book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2014 5:01 PM PDT

Build Your Own underground Root Cellar
Build Your Own underground Root Cellar
by Phyllis Hobson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $3.95
60 used & new from $0.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Is Really Just A Little Pamphlet, March 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This "book" is really just a cheaply produced little pamphlet. It looks like something you would get for free through the county extension office.

While it does cover the basics of how to build a root cellar, I just felt a little cheated once I saw it. If I had paid .99 for this, I would feel OK about that, but unfortunately it cost quite a bit more. I did not feel that the brief information it contains was worth the money they charged for it. I could have easily found this basic information online for free - I expect a bit more from a book I'm paying for.

Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) (Living Free Guides)
Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) (Living Free Guides)
by Angela England
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.70
74 used & new from $9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, Readable - Best Book Available on This Topic, March 26, 2014
I own a shelf full of books on backyard farming and suburban/urban self sufficiency at this point. I think this book is the best of the bunch.

This book covers a wide array of topics and covers them each in more depth than other books on this subject do. I felt like each chapter of this book was very "meaty", with tons of useful information. After years of doing this, I still go back and consult this book [I've had it for two years and have also reread it a couple of times, which I have not done with any of the other books I have on this topic]. Last night I just re-read the chapter on fruit trees and berries, for example.

This book is, by its very nature, an introduction to this lifestyle. It isn't fair to criticize it for being what it is. That said, there is far more comprehensive information in this book than in any other book I've found on this subject.

The writing style of this book is very conversational and easy to read. She explains the concepts well and the book holds your attention.

This book is a great starting place for beginners, but is comprehensive enough to be very useful to seasoned veterans, too.

I think this book is an all around winner.

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