Category Archives: Books

Writing book reviews.

I’ve recently started getting paid to review ebooks. I question whether this is a good thing to do because I’m reading books I would never think to pick up on my own so I don’t feel my reviews are accurate. If I don’t normally read mysteries I don’t have anything to judge or compare to. Some books are torture to read but some people might enjoy their particular genre.

I try to write fair reviews based on the writing ability not the subject matter but some are just so hard for me to read. Others have surprised me because the synopsis sounds so uninteresting but the book ends up being completely different.

I’ve only refused to read one book and that was because I had read two of the authors previous books and knew that he needed a good editor to trim down his 700 page manuscript. I did not want to waste my time in order to make $5.

Yep, that’s what I make to do these reviews. Not exactly a fantastic career choice. I just figure, if I’m not doing anything else, then why not? Of course I don’t read every word or do research into the author or topic, but I get a fair sense of the mood and tone of the book and whether I like it.

The main dilemma for me is that people are reading these reviews and possibly basing their purchases on what I say. These aren’t books I’ve chosen to read or genres I necessarily enjoy so I don’t think my judgements are accurate.

Also, there are certain tricks such as purchase times and endorsing other reviews that are used to boost ratings that aren’t exactly honest.

I will eventually get tired of giving up my reading time for these books but for now it at least pays for my eBay shopping habit. It has opened up my range of titles that I’ll consider when choosing a book for myself but considering the level of writing that most of the books I’ve written about, that might not be such a good thing.


Books about Hawai’i

As I settle into Hawaiian life, I find myself wanting to learn more about the history and culture of the islands. When I was preparing for the move with the Removals Service I turned to several guidebooks to research where to live and what to expect but didn’t have the time to explore the rich history of Hawai’i. So here are a few books that are primers for living the aloha way.

Moving to Hawaii: A Step-By-Stp Guide by Michele Meyer was my go to guide for all questions moving related. Michele has a well-orgaized website and clearly written book that addresses many aspects of daily life in Hawaii such as cost of living, finding a home, enrolling in school, and questions you should ask yourself before you make the move. The link below takes you to the author’s website where you can start answering these questions yourself.

Moving To Hawaii

Now, moving on to the more classic, traditional Hawaiian books.

James Michener’s Hawaii is a book that I’ve been aware of my whole life since it sat on my family’s bookshelf but I never gave it any consideration until I moved here. It’s length is intimidating and I admit that I’m just getting started with reading it.

This book of historical fiction takes you through the geology, evolution and cultural development of the islands. This book was first published in 1959 and there is some cultural insensitivity within the story that may not be for everyone. Just because it’s dated doesn’t mean it’s not a good read. I’ll let you know once I’ve finished it.

Until then, here’s some quick quotes of reviews posted on Amazon.

“Wonderful . . . [a] mammoth epic of the islands.”The Baltimore Sun

“One novel you must not miss! A tremendous work from every point of view—thrilling, exciting, lusty, vivid, stupendous.”Chicago Tribune

“From Michener’s devotion to the islands, he has written a monumental chronicle of Hawaii, an extraordinary and fascinating novel.”Saturday Review

“Memorable . . . a superb biography of a people.”Houston Chronicle

Here’s Jame’s Michener’s Hawaii.


The other book I’m currently reading is Eddiie Would Go: The Story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian Hero and Pioneer of Big Wave Surfing by Stuart Holmes Coleman. This is a much easier book to read than Hawaii. It transforms a tragic, true story of a surfer who lost his life to the ocean into a tale of a Hawaiian waterman’s strength, courage and goodwill that has inspired surfers for decades. I’m much more likely to finish this story.

Eddie Would Go

I’ve been looking for books on the flora and fauna of the islands but have yet to find any that I really like. I’ll keep searching.


What I’m reading now.

I usually have at least two or three books that I’m reading at one time with several others that I’ve started but haven’t committed to reading yet. My cut off is 60 pages. If I’m not hooked by then it usually doesn’t get completed. If I find myself thinking about a book during the day then that’s a book I’m probably going to finish even if it’s not a subject that usually interests me.

When I log on to my Kindle I like to start off with something that’s going to make me think, read a few pages and then move on to the entertainment.


So, right now my fluff entertainment is Susan Vreeland’s Clara and Mr. Tiffany: A Novel.

It’s a lovely story of what it might have been like to be a single woman in the 1890’s in New York. Mr. Tiffany is preparing his glass pieces for the World’s Fair in Chicago and the newly widowed Clara returns to her former employer to help. Mr. Tiffany did not believe in hiring married women so Clara is thrilled to be back working in the arts.

My more thoughtful book right now is Anthony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within.

This is an older book of his but still useful. I read it in little bits.

I also just received this book as a gift and am mostly skimming through it. Dr. Walter Crinnion’s Clean, Green & Lean.

It is a diet book but it is primarily about detoxing your body by making the reader aware of which foods to avoid and which are beneficial.

Spend some time reading something you enjoy today.


Cheap ebooks

There are a lot of inexpensive ebooks out there. Some are classics, some are crap. Anybody can self publish a book with a little effort but should they?

There are websites that will guide you to these low priced books, Book Gorilla and Book Lending to name a few. There are some established authors on their lists that will sell older books at a reduced price, sometimes only for a day. You can find some bargains but it takes time and you’ll probably end up reading books that only mildly interest you. Most of these inexpensive books are by first time authors that couldn’t find a publisher and there’s a reason for that. The writing is amateur and the editing poor or nonexistent.

Classic works by well known authors like Jane Austen or Edgar Allan Poe are being marketed in multiple formats as ebooks. Do I really need to have all my favorite books on my reader just because that only cost $0.99? I’ve decided “No” for the most part. If I want to reread an old classic I’ll buy it then. The quality of the layout varies on these so if thee’s a sample, look at it. Of course, it’s good to have a few old favorites loaded on your reader for those airport layovers or doctors’ waiting rooms.

You may discover new favorite authors by buying these inexpensive books, but I admit that I’m a diehard review reader and if a respected source like the New York Times recommends it I’m more likely to read it than  trusting a few Amazon reviews that were probably written by the author’s friends.

Happy reading!


I love books, my Kindle and my Kindle Fire.

I’ve always been addicted to reading. My mother used to kick me out of the house to go play and I’d just bring my book out to the picnic table. I still feel naked without a book of some sort in my bag. I want that chance to escape into another world at any moment. Now we have so many choices of ways to read.

I read full books on the tiny screen of my iPhone before I got my Kindles and if necessary I still will read from my phone.

My first Kindle, the original Kindle, was not a favorite but I appreciated being able to carry multiple books around with me. It seemed kind of low tech and clunky and we never really bonded. It eventually died.

It was replaced with a Kindle Touch. That is more sleek and sexy and since I make a point of carrying the smallest bag possible, it fit my lifestyle. I currently have 140 books on it. I haven’t read them all but they are there in case I’m stranded at a bus stop or doctor’s appointment. I bought a rubbery cover for it so it isn’t so slippery. It makes the Kindle feel secure in my hands. Because of its size, it goes with me almost everywhere.

Then along came my Kindle Fire. It was kind of a gift. My husband bought it for himself and decided it didn’t really meet his needs. Plus I was always borrowing it to watch Amazon Prime movies.

I like the Fire for its apps and internet capability. I use it to view books I’m publishing on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to make sure the formatting looks right on different devices. Also, it makes PDF documents easier to scroll though than trying to read them on a laptop. It makes reading magazines on a plane much easier. No more elbowing the passenger next to you while turning the page.

So now when I leave the house, I have to decide whether to take the Touch or the Fire. If I have room, I sometimes take both. If I’m just going to be reading and in the sun, I take the Touch. The glare on the Fire makes it difficult to use outside. The Fire has become my laptop replacement if I might need to look something up on the internet.  It’s certainly not a replacement for my MacBook but it’s a step up from my phone. I kinda feel if you are going to use an iPad you might as well use a laptop. Anyway, that’s another conversation.

I still love the feel of a good hardcover book. It’s now become a special treat. There’s nothing like a good novel taken from the library shelves and brought home to savor with a good cup of tea. The smell and weight of it is comforting. Textbooks and nonfiction sometimes work better for me in paper as well. Flipping to a certain page to get the information you need quickly is easier for me when I can actually see the pages.

So, there you have it. I love books in any shape and form.


kindle books