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Book Review – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Book Review The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Book Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. This was my book clubs read last month and it was discussed last week. Unforchantly I was sick the night of the meeting and was unable to attend. But I did receive feedback and wanted to share our review with you.

About the Author

Kamkwamba was profiled on the front page of The Wall Street Journal December 8, 2007, as well in major articles in The Malawi Daily Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, La Repubblica, and myriad blog posts such as Boing Boing, and his blog has been featured on the front page of news aggregators such as Digg and Reddit. He is featured in a special Africa issue of L’Uomo Vogue.
Find William’s blog at http://www.williamkamkwamba.com

 

The Synopsis of the Book

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and science was a mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills and he dreamed of building one and it would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala – crazy. But William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, some scrap metal, tractor parts and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.

Our Review

Book Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

I’m going to give you mainly my review of this book because I wasn’t at the meeting. First of all, this is not a book that would normally appeal to me if I was browsing in a book store. The subject matter is not a genre I would read. But with that said, I must say the story captivated me from the very beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was an easy read and I was intrigued right away. I loved how the book put me smack bang in the middle of Africa. I felt like I was right there with William. We’ve all heard about the struggles and the horrific stories of starvation affecting all ages in Africa. Well, this book opens your eyes to just how devastating the conditions are. Every day these people live to survive and will do anything to accomplish it including eating goatskin which really grossed me out but made realize just how little these people have and what desperate measures they are willing to take to simply stay alive.
The book was sad in many ways, reading about the many deaths of children and the sufferings many endured on a daily basis. But it was also very uplifting when William set out on a dream to make his and his family’s life better. He didn’t give up and succeeded and to my surprise and joy, the rest of the world soon learned about his amazing achievements. I love how he now travels the world and gives back to his small town and many of the other struggling communities in his country. He is a great inspiration for many.
 The only time I found my mind wandering was when he went into details about how he made the windmill and what parts he used and what each part did. I learned a little about electricity, but most of it went over my head. I understand why it was included in the book because it’s the root of his story.
The book was well-received by the rest of the group. I believe there was one person who did not enjoy it and gave it a low score.
Since reading the book I’ve watched some clips of him on YouTube and the videos are very uplifting.

The author is currently on tour and will be visiting my part of the world on October 30th in Bakersfield which is only forty-five minutes away so I may attend. Here is a link if any other locals are interested in going.

https://www.facebook.com/events/california-state-university-bakersfield/author-visit-book-signing-the-boy-who-harnessed-the-wind/2231500180473985/

Our Overall Rating

BBook Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – The choices of colors and font are perfect – easy on the eyes and bold print.

CHARACTERIZATION – 4 STARS – Being a memoir the characters were well developed and described well. 

STORY & PLOT 3 STARS – Parts of the story were drawn out and when he talks about building the windmill, it gets a little too complex for my taste.

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – I absolutely enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. 

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Book Review My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

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Book Review – My husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

Intrigued by the title, this is a book I’ve been wanting to read for some time. How did the book measure up? Read my review below.

About the Author

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist who has written regularly for numerous newspapers and magazines including The Daily Telegraph Weekend Section, The Mail on Sunday and Woman. She has spent time working as the writer-in-residence on a high-security prison for men. An experience that helped inspire My Husband’s Wife, her debut thriller.

Jane runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals all over the world. She was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University until her recent move to Devon. She is also an associate member of the Royal Literary Fund.

The Synopsis of My Husband’s Wife

When young lawyer Lily Marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start and leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe, a convicted murderer to whom Lily is strangely-and for whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything.

But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants.

When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep twelve years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way.

My Review

This book began well and had me intrigued but as the story progressed it began to lose me for many various reasons. As mentioned before, I was intrigued by the title. I assumed it was about a bigamist. Well, that wasn’t the case and after finishing the book I found the title to be deceiving. I also had a problem with the female on the cover. If this is supposed to be Lily, it doesn’t match the description in the book where she describes her self as overweight and a size fourteen. That is not what the image portrays on the cover.

The author is British and many British terms are used in the story. Being English myself, I didn’t have a problem with that but if you don’t know some English terms it might be an issue for you.

It was a confusing tale with too many plots and twists that had no connections. It had too much going on and not enough background about the characters. I felt like I didn’t really get to know any of them.  Out of the blue, the characters began behaving strangely for no apparent reason or explanation. I found it odd that the character Lily was written in the first person and Carla was written in the third person. That just added to the confusion. For me, none of the characters were likable and there really wasn’t anyone to root for. The plots were weak and somewhat far fetched with no concrete conclusions. As much as I tried to like this book, I just couldn’t.

My Overall Rating

Book Review THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd

COVER DESIGN – 1 STAR– The cover and title didn’t represent the story at all. I found it very misleading.

CHARACTERIZATION – 2 STARS – The characters were very shallow and at times confusing. None were likable.  

STORY & PLOT 2 STARS – The story was too confusing and just seemed to drag on with no level of excitement.

OVERALL RATING – 2 STARS – Overall I gave this book two stars. It was a hard book to read that left me disappointed at the end. 

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See what readers are saying about Reckless Beginnings

It was a wonderful book and also a great ethical thriller especially for this being the author’s first book. I am definitely looking forward to reading more by this author. I would also definitely recommend this book to other members of my book group and my literary friends. – Anoynomous

 

AMAZING STORY. So well written, I could not put it down. I CANNOT WAIT FOR BOOK 2… I sometimes read so fast, I can skim over words.. not this book. I hung on to every single line.. so well written, such good detail, I felt and knew each character and felt each feeling.. was just great.. thank you! Sad I am divine with it! So glad Judy hit him with the poker! – Jennifer Dobos-bubno

 I loved this story, it was amazing!! It totally captured me from page 1. After reading the first few chapters I was addicted and couldn’t put the book down. I did nothing for the rest of the day but read even though I had a long list of stuff to get done. Reckless Beginnings by Tina Hogan Grant is a well-written story based on the author’s life. This is such a touching story about surviving. I personally find her work amazing in every way. Her writing is so good. The book is exceptionally well written and beautiful. The characters are all well developed and relatable. you can feel all their emotions and they grow beautifully as the story progresses.  – Stewart’s Book reviews

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

Updates for debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

Updates for debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

The clock is ticking

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve given any kind of updates for my debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS. So here is what’s going on.

  • After going back and forth a few times with the publisher over corrections, the book formatting phase is finally complete.
  • Next week we will begin the cover design.  There’s an air of excitement and anticipation while I wait to see the final product.
  • Finally, a release date for the book has been set. – hold your breath  – drum roll, please!  It’s October 4th, 2018. As I stare at my calendar, I see that it’s not too far away. Butterflies are beginning to stir.

Current tasks while the cover is being designed

While we go through the cover design process I have plenty to keep me busy. Does it ever end? The time frame for the completion of the book cover is around four weeks. During this time I plan on reaching out to other authors, and readers that are willing to review an advanced copy of the book. If this is something you’d be interested in, contact me 

Location of Book launching party & signing

I met with our local library here in Frazier Park and they have agreed to host the book launching party and book signing. A date has yet to be set. I will post updates on this event as they unfold.

Other leads I will be researching are:

  • websites that will be willing to host a cover reveal.
  • websites/blogs that will have me as a guest to talk about the book.
  • Reviews that can be quoted on the cover of the book.
  • Prepare a custom press release to target specific media outlets.
  • Reach out to book clubs to consider reading and discussing my book. Offer to attend the discussion via skype or in person.
  • Seek other book signing events – bookstores, private parties, libraries.
  • Reach out to podcasts for interviews
  • Book a virtual book tour

Sites I am researching for reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Readers Favorite

Book Reader magazine

Trust me the list will get longer but I think I have enough here to see me through the month. Phew! I’m exhausted just looking at the list. And I thought writing the book was hard.

AND let’s not forget, while I continue to promote “Reckless Beginning I am also in the beginning stages of writing book two, “Better Endings.” Currently, I am designating an hour a day to this project.  I need more hours in a day!

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been following me since the day I signed the contract then you know this has been a long journey. Sometimes it has been so frustrating that I just wanted to give up and walk away. But I prevailed and stuck it out during those difficult times and I’m so happy I did. To see an idea that began over fourteen years ago, finally, reach this stage is such an amazing feeling. It has been worth all the headaches, tears of frustration and tears of joy and all the anxieties I have been carrying from the start. There’s still a long way to go and the work will never cease, but overall I’m thrilled that I will be sharing my story with you soon and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Upcoming Reviews

Upcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author’s Corner

Upcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's Corner

My Current Reading List

 

These books are up for review and will be featured in the upcoming months.

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Previous Reviews

 

 

 

Upcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's CornerUpcoming Reviews & interviews for the Author's Corner

 

 

 

 

 

new-york-times-adult-fiction-best-sellers-of-2017-part-2
Everything books

New York Times Adult Fiction Best Sellers of 2017 – Part 2

 

The List part 2

As mentioned in last weeks post, there are thirty books on the New York Times Adult Fiction Best Seller List. This week I have posted the remaining fifteen that held the number one spot for one week or more.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

new-york-times-adult-fiction-best-sellers-of-2017-part-2
Click to buy from Amazon

A gripping psychological suspense thriller. A single mother is found dead at the bottom of a river. Earlier in the summer, a teenage girl was found dead in the same river. The daughter left behind is placed in the care of her aunt, who is now dragged back to the place she vowed she’d never return to. Continue reading “New York Times Adult Fiction Best Sellers of 2017 – Part 2”

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Book Review – KILLER SMILE by Lisa Scottoline

 

book review killer smile by Lisa Scottoline

I’ve been a fan of Lisa Scottoline’s books for many years. This is book 9 of 11 in the Rosato & DiNunzio series. Like the other books in the series, I enjoyed Killer Smile immensely. A murder mystery thriller with history and some humor added to the mix.

About the Author

Copied from the author’s page of the book – Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and a former trial lawyer. She has won the highest prize in crime fiction, Continue reading “Book Review – KILLER SMILE by Lisa Scottoline”

Author's Corner

Interview With Michele I. Khoury – Author of “Busted”

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Michele I. Khoury – author of “Busted” and write my own personal review of the book.

I must state that I have been communicating with Michele for the past few months, sharing author to author tips and experiences. I consider her more than an acquaintance, to me she is a friend. I did not let our friendship reflect my honest reviews of her book. I remained transparent and taking into consideration, only the book. Continue reading “Interview With Michele I. Khoury – Author of “Busted””

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4 Books on writing that have made me a better writer

books on writing that have made me a better writer

 

So many choices but these 4 books on writing have made me a better writer

With so many books out there on writing, it was hard to narrow it down to just four. I have read many books on writing, but these four that I have listed, have been the most helpful, the most inspiring and are the ones that get me excited to write.  I continually refer back to these books, for inspiration, reference, and a memory jolt. They have definitely made me a better writer. Continue reading “4 Books on writing that have made me a better writer”