Tag Archives: 3 Stars

Horrible Histories: Vicious Vikings by Terry Deary

Horrible Histories: Vicious Vikings is a fun to read history of Vikings aimed at kids. It is light on facts and heavy on entertainment, but gets the basic information across. The Kindle version is a bit annoying since it just looks almost like scans of the pages of the book. Some of the writing is underneath pictures making it hard to read and the quizzes are difficult because you have to go back and forth between the pages to see the answers. It’s good enough for a kid interested in Vikings, but I’d recommend getting the paper version rather than buying it for the Kindle.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 91(this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 25,493
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Fritz for Next School Year

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Filed under Non-Fiction

The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit

When their father is taken away, three children and their mother must move and are left very poor. The children make friends with the railway near their house and many people associated with it including an old gentleman who rides the train.

The Railway Children is a sweet book with a lovely ending. It is very, very, very dated which I suppose makes it a bit quaint, but also makes it a bit annoying to read. Regularly, the author as narrator inserts their random thoughts into the story which is a bit jarring and pulls you out of the story. The children have interesting adventures, but nothing in how they are told is especially engaging. It’s a decent enough book to read for adults and children alike.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 82
Pages Read in 2017: 22,989
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Adrian for Next School Year

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Filed under Children

Don’t Make Me Come Up There! by Kristen Welch

Don’t Make Me Come Up There! is a collection of 52 very, very short stories/devotionals for busy moms. Each ends with a (at least somewhat) related scripture and prayer. Written by popular mommy blogger Kristen Welch of We Are THAT Family, most of the stories are cute and relatable. The first couple dozen are much better than the rest. They got a little repetitive and sometimes the religious lesson was a bit of a stretch. It was good enough, but probably not worth paying full price for.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 61
Pages Read in 2017: 17,962
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (D in EMERALD)

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Filed under Humor, Non-Fiction

Killing Hemingway by Arthur Byrne (aka Brian D. Meeks)

Teddy is a genius who skips four grades and gets his master’s from MIT at age 18. He then decides to take a break from physics and get a PhD in literature. And so he spends his first semester at college again drinking, trying to get laid, and hating on Hemingway.

While the book included lots of witty dialogue (in the second half at least) and had an interesting premise, most of the time I just found myself annoyed at how utterly obnoxious Teddy was. I was a bit confused by his sudden abilities with that witty dialogue since it was definitely not apparent until he returned to college and suddenly, for the first time in his life, made friends easily. Killing Hemingway was a good enough book, and certainly read fast and had a nice moral at the end, but I wouldn’t say it was even remotely a must-read.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 58
Pages Read in 2017: 17,338
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: A to Z Authors (B)

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Filed under Realistic Fiction

Death in Yellowstone by Lee H. Whittlesey

Covering over 300 deaths since the 1800s, Death in Yellowstone ranges from drownings to bear maulings to burns in hot springs to murders to Native American attacks to poisonous plants to carbon monoxide to runaway coaches. Sometimes it’ll jump 100 years and then go back. Sometimes the information about what happened is sparse and sometimes it’s well documented. All of it adds up to one simple warning: Follow the rules and you will probably stay safe in that particular National Park. Climb over a barrier or try to take a picture with a bear and you may not come out alive.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 55
Pages Read in 2017: 16,715
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (D in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Non-Fiction

Once Upon a More Enlightened Time by James Finn Garner

Once Upon a More Enlightened Time is a collection of fairy tales (and the story of Pinocchio) retold politically correct to the extreme. Sometimes they are utterly hilarious. Sometimes they are a bit tedious. They are good enough to pass the time reading when you can’t really concentrate on a book.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 51
Pages Read in 2017: 15,423
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (O in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Fairy Tale, Humor

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Ove is 59. Ove is a curmudgeon. Ove wants to die to be with his wife. But the universe definitely does not want Ove to die, however, because he clearly still has things left to do.

More than once it was mentioned that Ove was 59. The problem was he just didn’t match that age, nor did other characters who were apparently the same age as Ove. They struck me more as about two decades older than that. I got the feeling that the author must be relatively young and not really have a grasp on being “old.” Sure enough, in 2012 when A Man Called Ove was published, the author was just 30. Ove is just not very likable or relatable and got quite tiresome, even when he started being slightly less curmudgeonly. The story was told well, though very slowly, moving seamlessly between past and present. It’s a good enough book. The last couple chapters really make it worth reading.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 26
Pages Read in 2017: 7766
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Real Life Book Group

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Filed under Realistic Fiction