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Profile for Michele Kingery > Reviews


Michele Kingery's Profile

Customer Reviews: 66
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Helpful Votes: 515

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Reviews Written by
Michele Kingery "author of "Starfish"" RSS Feed (COLUMBIA, SC, United States)

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Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Small or Go Home!, April 25, 2015
No motivation? No willpower? No problem! Those things won't help you achieve your goals anyway, at least not in the long run.

According to neuroscience, our brains are lazy and resistant.

Based on the – um – years it took me to grind out my first novel, I agree. Motivation is too mood-related and willpower too scarce to depend on in any lasting way. So what’s a “blocked” writer (substitute your own vice; out-of-shape person, unhealthy eater, non-reader, etc.,) to do to break the iron grip of verbal constipation?

Enter Stephen Guise’s “Mini Habits”. This short, easy to digest book is the equivalent of mental Metamucil. Set your goals in small doses, take on a daily basis, and soon you'll be s%#tting words all over the place (or, exercising, eating healthy, reading books, etc.)

Guise’s advice is to set goals that are so small (his fitness goal was 1 pushup/day, writing was 50 words/day) you can’t NOT succeed at doing them. Chances are you’ll exceed your mini-goal from day one, but that’s not the point. The point is to repeat the behavior enough to ESTABLISH a HABIT. Habits are what keep people going when boredom and monotony (see: writing a book, going to grad school, dieting, exercising, etc.,) set in. “Losers” quit at that point, “winners” keep going because they’ve established a habit.

Keep it simple.

Keep it “stupid small”.

Start today.

I did. In fact the 400 + words I’m writing now exceeds my goal for the day. I might even write more because it was so painless! YAY! That's a lot more success than I ever had setting those big, nasty 2k word/day goals that were so overwhelming I couldn’t even start (sorry, Stephen King, it may work for you, but for us mortals…), and ended without so much as a single word for weeks. I'll check it off for today and repeat tomorrow(and the next day and the next, etc., length of time to form a habit varies with the individual), until writing becomes so second nature it would feel unpleasant not to do it, like not brushing my teeth.

P.S. Now that I’ve completed my mini-habit goal for today, I’ll enjoy purging my bookshelves of the countless other self-help books bought over the years that have resulted in absolutely NOTHING.

Thanks, Stephen Guise, this one really works!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2015 3:07 PM PDT

We Were Liars
We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.87
177 used & new from $4.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Sad and Haunting, February 20, 2015
This review is from: We Were Liars (Hardcover)
One of the YA recommendations from the teacher's conference I attended a couple of weeks ago. Just finished. Can't stop thinking about it. Beautiful, sad and haunting. So many references to fairy tales and Shakespeare. And yes, I was surprised by the ending.

Extinction Machine: A Joe Ledger Novel
Extinction Machine: A Joe Ledger Novel
by Jonathan Maberry
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.78
99 used & new from $0.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Formulaic and Predictable. That's WHY I Love it!, January 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Maberry's winning combo of likeable characters, snappy dialogue, and high tension moments guarantees a good time, EVERY time.

At its core this is "good guy vs bad guy" stuff. The good guys will win, but they'll go through hell in the process. By the time they come through, Joe, "Bunny" and "Top" will feel like friends. And Mr. Church, for all his mystery and ambiguity, is someone you'd definitely like on your side.

I call on "Echo Team" whenever I'm in danger of overdosing on too much serious, heavy, overwrought, dark and/or head-scratching, "important" "literature" (see: "Olive Kitteridge", anything by Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood or Cormac McCarthy (esp Cormac McCarthy) "The Goldfinch", most "memoirs" (see "Wild") and a lot of contemporary fiction). Joe and the guys are the perfect antidote to all of that.

As long as Maberry keeps writing them, I'll keep buying them.


Revival: A Novel
Revival: A Novel
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.00
464 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars What am I Missing?, January 22, 2015
This review is from: Revival: A Novel (Hardcover)
More than halfway through this book and still can't figure out what it's about. Feel like King's going twice the long way around to get at something, but what? Long on words. Short on story. Frustrating.

by Peter Clines
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.67
71 used & new from $6.62

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hundreds of Readers Can't be Wrong. They Weren't!, September 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: 14 (Paperback)
Peter Clines pulls off a RARITY with "14"- one heck of a sci-fi thriller with very little (if any) of the graphic stuff that's become the hallmark of our culture. Likeable characters, great dialogue, and a well paced story MINUS the zombies and vampires! What's NOT to love??

I'm comfortable giving this to a grandmother or a high schooler. How many books can you say that about?

I hope to read more like this. : )

Ajax Penumbra 1969 (Kindle Single)
Ajax Penumbra 1969 (Kindle Single)
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Take the Magical Mystery Tour..., April 7, 2014
...through 1960's San Francisco; a world of lost ships, hidden books and enigmatic characters. The Audible version was excellent. Perfect narrator. I felt enveloped in an alternate universe. Didn't want this little gem to end.

THIS is the book I wish "Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four Hour Bookstore" had been!

The Signature of All Things: A Novel
The Signature of All Things: A Novel
by Elizabeth Gilbert
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.71
286 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gilbert's Latest is Tedious at Times, April 6, 2014
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Lists. Five hundred pages of them. I was too conscious of it.

Characters were kooky (Retta, Ambrose), frustrated (Alma), mean (Beatrix), wimpy (George), angry (Henry), repressed (Prudence). Couldn't connect with any of them. Retta felt like a "shoe from the blue", created for the purpose of shaking things up a little. What was her diagnosis? And Ambrose? Did he have synesthesia? An end note from the author addressing this would have been helpful.

Henry's arrogance and thievery in the set up didn't endear him to me. His request to Joseph Banks about a recommendation into the royal society was a complete misstep and a foreshadowing of Alma's inability to read people or situations.

Though Alma was described as having a "handsome profile" and a "fine, friendly nature", what "essential, invisible ingredient" was she missing that "despite all the frank eroticism that lay hidden within her body" prevented her from kindling "ideas of ardor in any man"??

The third person voice was distancing.

The narrative felt researched and crafted to the point of stasis.

Did like the scene when the Italian astronomer came to dinner and posed all the guests in planetary tableau. Alma played the part of a comet, running through the scene with sparklers.

Twenty pages into part four on Tahiti I was skimming (only ninety more pages to go!).

Btw, what's a "fingerstink"? Um, never mind. Just looked it up on "Urban Dictionary".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2015 12:41 PM PDT

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
by Dorothy Gilman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.79
169 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly Great!, March 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There was much more substance to the story than I expected. Every moment with Mrs. P. was enjoyable. I loved how she endured with a noble spirit and lack of self pity and whining. She was the least experienced character in the book, yet, in some ways, the strongest in heart, mind and spirit.

I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel
by Robin Sloan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.52
286 used & new from $0.50

3.0 out of 5 stars A WHOLE lotta "Hewlett Packard" and not a lot of "Hogwarts" -, March 8, 2014
-which was the exact opposite of what I hoped for. Not to be missed, however, is the excellent, short story length prequel "Ajax Penumbra 1969". That's what hooked me in the first place (okay, so maybe it was really the glow in the dark cover...). In the prequel there are no personal computers because - well - it's 1969. Boring old html code and Google algorithms don't exist. Now they do. And someone, somewhere might be interested in reading (282 pages) about them. If so, "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" is their book. : )

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
by Alison Bechdel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.90
398 used & new from $2.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Take on a Tired Genre, March 7, 2014
A College of Charleston pick. Not an easy read, emotionally, but one I appreciated for its sincerity and frankness. As a graphic novel, it's a welcome and refreshing take on memoir, a genre I've grown increasingly weary and wary of.

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