Book Reviews

By: DesaraeV

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ideas to Improve Audible

  • I wish that I could provide feedback directly from the iPhone or Android app. I wish that if the application crashed it would save which items have been read or marked as finished.
  • In the list of books it would be nice to see how many stars each book has been rated and to be able to sort them by rating (IN APP).
  • I would like to be able to login to the app with biometrics (thumbprint). The android app integrates the store better than the iphone app.
  • When rating books, there are too many clicks required. Seems like the multiple stars could all just be on the initial screen (with the list of recommended books) rather than clicking overall stars, being redirected, then submitting and going back. When doing this to multiple books it becomes very tedious.
  • It would be nice to integrate the Listener page better with other book lover's social media like Shelfari and GoodReads or even blogs so that feedback can be auto posted to Amazon, Shelfari, GoodReads, and Blogs.
  • Why haven't improvements been made to the gamification of the Audible application? I earned most of the badges a few years ago, but no new badges ever appear or rewards for earning them, or the ability to compete with friends. Most of the application seems to just revolve around the antiquated "share feature" which in its default form is annoying and spammy. I read a lot of books and if I shared every book, every badge, and every other thing from the application with the default verbiage... it would annoy my friends. There seems to be little motivation to this, but if people could earn points or rewards for commenting, inviting friends, sharing books, and writing reviews - more people might be involved. It could track the number of people invited, make a competition out of books read, or for every 100 books offer 1 free credit.
  • The tracking for the number of titles in my library seems to always be off. It would be awesome if books returned would show up somewhere. I'm not sure if I would accidentally repurchase a book I didn't like, but at least I could see the books I rated poorly and the "similar" books recommended.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Findley's Lass (The Clan MacDougall Series, Book 2) by Suzan Tisdale

Findley's Lass (The Clan MacDougall Series, Book 2) by Suzan Tisdale

Book Review: Findley's Lass

Book Author: Suzan Tisdale

"I write romance blended with mystery and intrigue and bad guys that you just want to see hang. Perfectly imperfect heroes and heroines.

And always a happily ever after. -- Suzan Tisdale"

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

The main character is incredibly childish girl named Rachel whose every move invokes anger, sadness, and feelings of ridiculousness. She is conniving and spends a lot of time worrying about herself, immediately followed by extreme pity parties of how her actions effect and hurt those around her. Defiance is the perfect word to describe this book in the series. Granted, some of the laws in the town are archaic and belittling to women, but she is arrogant and the author takes her rebellion and glorifies it without showing the quality of law and order. Then again, the whole time I listened to the book I felt like cheering her on and verbally slapping her. I'm still extremely early in the book but am already very annoyed with the girl. So, I'd say the writing is good. The author's writing invokes feeling and is addictive.

Part of me dislikes Rachel. I hope at some point in the book she grows up and realizes the consequences of her actions, she never sticks with a plan, and the need to think things through.

Findley's Lass (The Clan MacDougall Series, Book 2) by Suzan Tisdale

Findley's Lass (The Clan MacDougall Series, Book 2) by Suzan Tisdale

Book Review: Findley's Lass

Book Author: Suzan Tisdale

"I write romance blended with mystery and intrigue and bad guys that you just want to see hang. Perfectly imperfect heroes and heroines.

And always a happily ever after. -- Suzan Tisdale"

Friday, May 27, 2016

Author: Marissa Meyer

About the Author

Marissa Meyer was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, home of Almond Roca and Stadium High School, which was made famous when Heath Ledger danced down the stadium steps in 10 Things I Hate About You. Marissa didn't actually go to Stadium High School, but she did attend Pacific Lutheran University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She still lives in Tacoma, now with her husband. Cinder is her YA debut.

Rebecca Soler is a film and voiceover actress who won a 2009 AudioFile Earphones Award for her narration of After by Amy Efaw. Her audiobook credits include work by authors such as Judy Blume, James Patterson and Sarah Dessen. Soler has also narrated the popular young adult series The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Her voice over credits include various video games, like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Red Dead Redemption and television shows such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She lives in New York City. 

Marissa Meyer on Cinder, writing, and leading men

Which of your characters is most like you?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles - Levana's Story UNABRIDGED by Marissa Meyer

marissa meyer

Now begins the waiting game

This book includes a preview of the final book, winter. So, I'll spend the next 6-8 months patiently waiting for it to come out and then probably forget half the plot.

The book just before this one left so, so many unanswered questions on the table so I'm glad from the preview that it sounds like we will be skipping back forward to the present.

This book in the series is all set in the past to give us a character background on the queen, her husband, and the two princesses.

Some is expected but most is not. I want to day more but would hate to spoil the book. I enjoyed the mini story but wish this was book .5 and not placed where it is but then again it's good to have a little mystery and this would ruin too much of that for book 1-3.

Disappointed that I still don't know what happened next other than the winter teaser. Now begins the waiting game.

Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats and Weaponry is a book in a series about daring adventure through Scottland, Britain, and the ether. This book in the series focuses more on werewolves and the reader finally gets to know more about Lady Kingair (Sidheag Maccon).

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Moving all Book Reviews

My main blog, DesaraeVeit.com, is getting a little cluttered with various genres so I will be moving all my book reviews to this blog as of today. Other genres may also move to genre specific sites at a later date.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Etiquette and Espionage is a spin off of Gail Carriger's steam-punk world that started with, "The Parasol Protectorate." I loved the Parasol Protectorate and many of Gail's other books. The Parasol Protectorate includes: Prudence, Soulless, Heartless, Blameless, and Changeless. More on that series in another review.

Author: Gail Carriger

I made this drawing as a nod to the Finishing School series. I loved the books and made a quick doodle of some of the characters.

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Audible version Chapter sixteen where they are in the hive had me laughing out loud. My stomach hurts from the 'kerfuffle'. While hearing this nutty predicament I just had to start my review. The verbiage used in Gails books may only be described as smart. In an old school manner of intelligence, every book stands out with an amusing vocabulary and even more amusing antidotes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Review of John Boykin's article, Stop Helping Me Google Calendar AutoSuggest #WTFUX

In John Boykin's article, Stop Helping Me Google Calendar AutoSuggest #WTFUX, published by UXMag.com, he states unequivocally that Google Autosuggest is a ridiculous tool to include in Google Calendar. His assessment appears to be an opinion piece based on personal preference and emotion. Luckily for the rest of us, Boykin does not work for Google and is only one very prolific stakeholder with an extensive online following. I disagree with Boykin's statements, but his article makes an excellent example of informal evaluation in the summative phase of assessment. The language used in this artifact is written for a broad audience, likely meant to provoke emotion and drama so that readers will comment and would not be considered an academic or facts-based article.

Evaluating a Product Based on Kirkpatrick's Training Evaluation Model

This model is not meant for evaluating anything other than education/training. I could see how a product could include the four levels. I'll write an example of how I see that it could be implemented, but would also love to see how you thought they could be implemented. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Defining Evaluation II

I'm looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts on the definition of evaluation, thoughts on the required reading, and how they might be using these in real life.

"This week’s discussion is around other broad concepts in Evaluation. For example, what does evaluation mean? How to define evaluation? We are also looking at how to make distinctions about different terminology: Needs Assessment, Monitoring, Outcome Studies, Testing, Measurement, and Assessment."

-- Ana-Paula, Welcome to Week 3 Online Discussion

I highlighted pages 7 and 9 of Fitzpatrick, J., Sanders, J. & Worthen, B. (2011). Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines (4th ed.). They seem to define the word evaluation for the book. The book includes the dictionary definition, a research definition, and a methods-based definition for  evaluators with external stakeholders.

Defining "Evaluation"

Contents

  1. Foreword
    • Note to class
    • Ana-Paula Quote
    • Fitzpatrick Book Reference
  2. Definitions of 'Evaluation' by Various Resources
    • Google Definition of Evaluation
    • Wikipedia Definition of Evaluation
    • University of North Carolina Greensboro Evaluation Resources
    • Handbook of Human Performance Technology
  3. Discussion Questions and Response
    • Question 1. How does Fitzpatrick, Sanders & Worthen (2011) define “evaluation”?
    • Question 1. How does Kirkpatrick (1998) define “evaluation”?
    • Question 1. How does Newby (1992) define “evaluation”?
    • Question 2. What are the differences and similarities in the meanings, contexts and scopes of their definitions?
  4. Resources

Monday, January 4, 2016

Audible Enhancements Wish List

Every time anything bad happens to my app or it updates I lose my list of listened to books. With over 800 books, this means I also have a hard time telling which books are all of a sudden missing. It means that I'm not sure which books still need read and I must spend a hour or more figuring it out. I also have multiple tablets, ipad/android, with similar issues.