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Kalie Lyn "Kalie Lyn" RSS Feed (Pinto, Spain)

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Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat
Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat
by Gwen Cooper
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.54
330 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining and Emotional True-Life Animal Tale, March 8, 2013
Everyone loves a good pet tale. Whether it is about a naughty dog or a curious cat, stories about animals are both entertaining and emotional. And Homer's Odyssey, a true-life account of a naughty and curious kitty, is no exception.

After adopting an eye-less kitten who nobody wanted, Gwen Cooper realized her life had suddenly changed. When she was not blind-proofing her numerous homes, she was making sure Homer, the newest addition to her now three-cat family, was not getting into too much trouble. But, sure enough, Cooper had her work cut out for her, and realized quickly that though Homer was blind, he was more than a normal, curious cat.

Filled with chapters of Homer's antics, Cooper takes you on a journey from kittenhood to the elder cat years of twelve. The different stories of Homer's adventures are engaging, and whether Homer is annoying his two cat sisters, or making friends with practically every human he meets, his shenanigans are quite entertaining. Two chapters though really stuck out to me. The first consisted of Homer literally saving the life of the author from an intruder, and the second of the harrowing ordeal the author and her cats endured during 9/11. Both of these chapters were two of many which portrayed how much Homer truly impacted Gwen Cooper's life.

The writing itself is captivating, though I did have a few issues with the author. At times Cooper came across as a know-it-all and slightly self absorbed, but to be fair, this is a memoir about her life and experiences. However, throughout the whole book she preached how important her cats were to her, especially Homer, and it seemed her entire life revolved around the care of her cats; throughout the the 9/11 chapter, she was more concerned about her cats' safety than that of her own. So, it honestly surprised me when she ended up falling in love with a man who did not like cats to begin with. Though her future husband did eventually warm up to her three kitties, I was still a little taken aback by how unperturbed Cooper was by what I would consider a huge flaw.

All in all, Homer's Odyssey was a compelling and sentimental read. It made me smile at the mischief of my own cat, and forced me to examine how important my own pets are to me. We all need love in our lives, and whether you are a cat-person or a dog-person, this book is for everyone.

Check out more of my book reviews at: [...]
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A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
by Robert M. Sapolsky
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.69
162 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Honest, and Intriguing, January 9, 2013
This is the true story of one man's life among the baboons of Kenya. Scientist Robert Sapolsky had only prepared to study the mental and physical behaviors of the baboons, but instead he found a life of adventure and formed his own primate family. From developing close bonds with the baboons, to learning the way of the Masai people (and often messing with them), Sapolsky takes readers on his more than twenty year journey through Africa.

Naturally hilarious and honest, A Primate's Memoir is an exciting and entertaining read. His writing is quick and to the point, and his witty, often sarcastic humor makes this book that much more enjoyable. Each chapter contains a unique story, and whether he is being kidnapped and shot at, or playing a "wizard" in the Masai village, Sapolsky's true-life tales never disappoint.

The chapters highlighting his time with the baboons were a personal favorite. Sapolsky describes each member of his primate troop as if he were describing close human friends, and even admits to developing a baboon crush, along with a special human-baboon friendship. However, it is not all fun and games, and his research of the baboons is detailed throughout, allowing the reader an in-depth look into the exhilarating, yet tiresome days of a scientist.

A Primate's Memoir is a funny, clever, and ultimately heartbreaking account of Robert Sapolsky's experience in wild Africa. Highly recommended, this is definitely a book for animal lovers and science enthusiasts alike.

Check out more of my book reviews at: [...]


The Villa (Dan Branson)
The Villa (Dan Branson)
by Ben Rolphe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.95
20 used & new from $1.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming Work of Spiritual Fiction, September 4, 2012
The third book in a series about the Branson family, The Villa by Ben Rolphe is a book about the power of God, and just how important spirituality is. Following the lives of Dan Branson and his special family, Rolphe takes us on a journey into the hearts and souls of some dedicated followers of God.

Threatened by the dangers of the world, the Branson family and friends must keep their faith strong as they encounter life's uncertainties. Watched over by God and His angel, Angelo, the family's faith is continually tested both at home on the Triple Peaks Ranch, and abroad in Central America.

A heartwarming and easy read, The Villa is a great work of spiritual fiction that will strengthen the faith in all of us.


Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries)
Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Karen Russell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.74
450 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting but Disappointing Read, August 18, 2012
Gators, the tropical scenery of Florida, and an adventurous young protagonist: what can be better than that?! Karen Russel's debut novel takes you through the lives and journeys of a quirky "tribe" family, known as the Bigtrees. Swamplandia!, their gator-wrestling theme park, is the only home this family has known, and each of them risk their lives and fight for the park and one another.

The first few chapters of Swamplandia! were captivating. Instantly, Russel demonstrated her talent and imagination, and the story seemed as if it would write itself. However, throughout the book, the plot began to break apart. During the first 5 chapters, Ava, the engaging protagonist, was the sole 1st-person narrator of the story. Suddenly, once chapter 6 arrived, every other chapter switched to 3rd person narration, which focused on Kiwi's (Ava's brother) life on the "mainland". The issue was not separating the two narrations or stories, the problem was simply that Kiwi's story was just not that interesting, and personally, I would have much preferred Osceola's (Ava's sister) side of the story versus Kiwi's.

Another issue I had with the book was how much potential it contained, but Russel just did not follow through. (Alert, SPOILERS ahead!) In chapter 4, Ava attempts to enter a gator-wrestling contest her legendary mother had once competed in, and she witnesses the hatching of a rare red alligator. Right away I was excited with both of these additions, and could see the plot going in the direction of an action-packed, thrilling, and cheer-for-the-heroine read. However, as quickly as these exciting twists occurred, they abruptly dissolved, which made them appear random and unnecessary to write in the first place. The remainder of the story was simply just plausible, and less "haunting", "thrilling", or "inventive" as it was described to be.

Russel's writing could also be criticized, though there is no denying the girl has talent. While her prose is poetic and (for the most part) fluid, her long descriptions, jumbled sentence structure, and often unnecessary detail made the book much longer than it needed to be, and was quite frustrating at times. However, I will say that her sheer ability to write saved the book from, in my opinion, being put aside.

Finally, the ending was the biggest disappointment of all. Nothing was really explained or finalized. I was hoping that Russel would return to the competition or red "Seth" details, and possibly a sequel would be hinted at, but the entire 397-page story that was just read ended so abruptly, and quite frankly lazily.

Overall, Swamplandia! did not live up to all its hype. Yes, it was an interesting read, but also a disappointing one. I wanted more adventure and less "mainland" views, more Swamplandia! and less World of Darkness, and more alligators and less ghosts. While I would not recommend this book for its story, I would recommend it for the fact that it was a readable debut by a talented, first-time novelist.

You can check out more of my book reviews at: [...]


The Guinea Pig Diaries 1st (first) edition Text Only
The Guinea Pig Diaries 1st (first) edition Text Only
by A. J. Jacobs
Edition: Hardcover
48 used & new from $2.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need to Experiment with this Book!, July 24, 2012
Life is an experiment in and of itself. Whether it's when we fall in love, attend college, or have kids, each event brings a new and exciting adventure. However, what happens when we decide to go beyond these common and everyday goals, and instead intentionally experiment with the bizarre and out of the ordinary?

Well, just ask A.J. Jacobs. He has been living as his own personal guinea pig for most of his adult life. From posing nude at the request of Mary-Louise Parker, to living like George Washington, to being his wife's servant, Jacobs lives his life as if he is constantly being studied by a team of mad-scientists. Add on more zany life-altering experiments such as being a human unitasker, having no filter between his brain and mouth, and outsourcing his entire everyday life, and you have yourself a book!

Jacobs is hard not to fall in love with. His writing is witty, organized - his notes in the back of the book are as good to read as the actual stories themselves - and he's hilarious as hell. When you are actually able to laugh out loud at a sentence, or read a paragraph to your spouse, then you know you're reading something good! Not to mention that he is the definition of an "average Joe" (in a good way!), which makes all his books even more interesting to read.

The Guinea Pig Diaries is one of those books that is hard to put down. Once one chapter - or experiment - is finished, the next one instantly calls as you want to see how crazier Jacobs' life can get!

Check out more of my book reviews at:[...]


My Life as an Experiment: One Man's Humble Quest to Improve Himself by Living as a Woman, Becoming George Washington, Telling No Lies, and Other Radical Tests
My Life as an Experiment: One Man's Humble Quest to Improve Himself by Living as a Woman, Becoming George Washington, Telling No Lies, and Other Radical Tests
by A. J. Jacobs
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.44
195 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need to Experiment with this Book!, July 24, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Life is an experiment in and of itself. Whether it's when we fall in love, attend college, or have kids, each event brings a new and exciting adventure. However, what happens when we decide to go beyond these common and everyday goals, and instead intentionally experiment with the bizarre and out of the ordinary?

Well, just ask A.J. Jacobs. He has been living as his own personal guinea pig for most of his adult life. From posing nude at the request of Mary-Louise Parker, to living like George Washington, to being his wife's servant, Jacobs lives his life as if he is constantly being studied by a team of mad-scientists. Add on more zany life-altering experiments such as being a human unitasker, having no filter between his brain and mouth, and outsourcing his entire everyday life, and you have yourself a book!

Jacobs is hard not to fall in love with. His writing is witty, organized - his notes in the back of the book are as good to read as the actual stories themselves - and he's hilarious as hell. When you are actually able to laugh out loud at a sentence, or read a paragraph to your spouse, then you know you're reading something good! Not to mention that he is the definition of an "average Joe" (in a good way!), which makes all his books even more interesting to read.

The Guinea Pig Diaries is one of those books that is hard to put down. Once one chapter - or experiment - is finished, the next one instantly calls as you want to see how crazier Jacobs' life can get!

See more of my reviews at: [...]/


A Dubious Plan: Colton Banyon Mystery #5
A Dubious Plan: Colton Banyon Mystery #5
by Gerald J Kubicki
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
13 used & new from $6.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Kubicki Has Done it Again!, July 16, 2012
Gerald Kubicki is back with the fifth book of the Colton Banyon series. Set in Death Valley, it starts off innocently enough, but the plot soon thickens with intrigue when a German war plane is discovered. Banyon and his team must solve many mysteries, along with engaging in a battle for their lives, and for the lives of the present-day world.

Filled with even more adventure, sex, and suspense, A Dubious Plan proves that the Banyon series is unstoppable. Short and attention grabbing chapters make this book an easy read, and one that you will not be able to put down. Topping off its success is the non-stop action, realistic dialogue, and come on, who doesn't love a good World War II story with some Nazis thrown in?!

Drama, suspense, and mystery, Kubicki provides another fun and engaging read. A Dubious Plan is as good, if not better than the first four books in the series, and is a must if looking for some weekend entertainment!


A Dubious Plan (A Colton Banyon Mystery Book 5)
A Dubious Plan (A Colton Banyon Mystery Book 5)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Kubicki Has Done it Again!, July 16, 2012
Gerald Kubicki is back with the fifth book of the Colton Banyon series. Set in Death Valley, it starts off innocently enough, but the plot soon thickens with intrigue when a German war plane is discovered. Banyon and his team must solve many mysteries, along with engaging in a battle for their lives, and for the lives of the present-day world.

Filled with even more adventure, sex, and suspense, A Dubious Plan proves that the Banyon series is unstoppable. Short and attention grabbing chapters make this book an easy read, and one that you will not be able to put down. Topping off its success is the non-stop action, realistic dialogue, and come on, who doesn't love a good World War II story with some Nazis thrown in?!

Drama, suspense, and mystery, Kubicki provides another fun and engaging read. A Dubious Plan is as good, if not better than the first four books in the series, and is a must if looking for some weekend entertainment!


The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
by A. J. Jacobs
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.19
556 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and Thought-Provoking Read!, June 12, 2012
The Bible has been described as many things. Some look to the Bible as a guide and source of rules to live their life by, while others only think of the Bible as a collection of stories and myths. Even those who believe the Bible as fact, do not necessarily follow it in its entirety. However, what happens to someone's life when they do in fact follow the Bible as literally as possible?

A.J. Jacobs takes us on a year-long journey as he strives, and sometimes struggles, to follow the Bible as literally as he can. Interested in religion, though a self-proclaimed agnostic, Jacobs is searching to find many things throughout his year of biblical literalism. Can and should the Bible be taken literally, especially in the modern era? What happens to one's faith when they devote their lives to the Bible? And what can be learned about everyday life from the Old and New testament?

Jacobs takes on the role of a naÔve but interested student as he consults many different religious teachers and mentors to aid him throughout his journey. He takes his biblical project seriously, and tries to adhere to every commandment and lesson in the Bible. From stoning adulterers - which I laughed hysterically throughout - to using a specific hyssop paint brush to paint his door with lamb blood during Passover, it seems as if the rules never stop and his beard continues to grow.

The Year of Living Biblically is a thought-provoking and hilarious read. Broken down in different sections pertaining to different Bible passages and their corresponding rules and lessons, it is an easy read, and I had trouble putting it down before going straight to the next month's chapter. Filled with humor and pure honesty, Jacobs' writing is captivating, and this factor has made him my newest favorite non-fiction writer. Whether you are a religious person, interested in religion, or just looking for an entertaining read, The Year of Living Biblically is a must-read for everyone.

Check out more of my book reviews at: [...]


Coin for a Killer
Coin for a Killer
by David Snowdon
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Quick, Easy, and Absorbing Read!, June 9, 2012
This review is from: Coin for a Killer (Paperback)
Coin for a Killer, by David Snowdon, is a thriller, mystery, and action-packed read all in one. Focusing around the hunt for notorious killer, Anton Okienka, authorities from different countries around the world are after this jail escapee. But the question is, who will get to him first?

The story dives straight into the action, keeping readers interested from the very first page. With clear character descriptions, realistic dialogue, and non-stop action, it is hard to put this book down until you have finished it. And if all those characteristics do not convince, the ending surely will!

A quick, easy, and absorbing read, Coin for a Killer is perfect for some captivating weekend entertainment.


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