Book Review Ratings

In the time I have been doing reviews I have come across a growing trend. Those who believe that books should only get 4 or 5 star ratings. This includes authors and blog book review sites who ask for an “honest review” of a 4 or 5 star rating. Anything lower and the reviewer is requested to contact the author, or site admin, prior to posting. Among the reasons why they want only 4 or 5 star ratings:

  • The overall rating of the book has to stay close to a 5
  • It is respectful of the author
  • Anyone who rates lower than a 4 has ulterior motives
  • Anything else has to be a fake review.
  • Nothing will ever be perfect
  • If you enjoyed the story it should get at least a 4

I understand that it takes time and energy to write a novel. And to the author the book has to be perfection, or at least near perfect. As such they would only want the highest rating possible. Especially from those on their advanced copy reader lists. However; it is hypocritical to ask for an honest review so long as it is a 4 or 5 star. This to me takes away from the “honest review” and casts a shadow on all star ratings.

Here are some of the things I look for in a novel:

  • Compelling plot. The story should draw me in within the first few pages.
  • Characters that are three dimensional, a bit flawed, realistic, and consistent.
  • Any facts are actual facts.

When it comes to reviews here are some of the items that cause me to lower a rating:

  • Lack of research: this can be any “fact” that is either a well known item that the author got wrong; or any “fact” that a simple internet search could clear up.
  • Technical issues: formatting, spacing, spelling, run-on sentences, grammar issues.
  • Character issues: consistency, point of view issues, too many characters.
  • Plot and sub-plot issues: too many different plots and sub-plots that a chart is needed.
  • Too much redundancy
  • Too much telling vs showing

If a novel earns a 4 or 5 star rating I give it that rating. If it has too many issues then I give it a lower rating.

Red Charm Peony Blooming

Since my last post on the Red Charm Peony they have gone from here:

RedCharmMay132017.jpg
May 13, 2017

To here:

RedCharm May172017.JPG
May 17, 2017

To finally open:

RedChrarmMay18.jpg
May 18, 2017

They were worth the wait.

Related Blog Post: https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/red-charm-peony/

 

Red Charm Peony

For years I have been a fan of Red Charm Peonies. Last year I finally managed to get a root.  This spring it has come up in a dense cluster:

Peony1
March 22, 2017

Here they are eleven days later:

Peony 2.jpg
April 2, 2017

I can’t wait until they bloom.


Post Inspired by:  Photo Challenge Dense (https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/dense/)

 

Sugar Ants

Sugar ants seem to stake out their territory; as much as I stake out mine. Once they find a food source them come out in a dense pack to gobble it all up. Battling them is an ongoing challenge. The other day I put down some maple syrup to get them to go to one spot:

DenseAnts.jpg
Mmmm maple syrup

In a few days I will add a few drops of ant poison. Once the flood of ants slows down I will clean up the area to remove their pathway. It seems to be a good method to combat the sugar ants.

Since ant poison is a poison I only put it in locations where my dog won’t get access.

 


Link:

Ant Conference (https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/ant-conference)

Post Inspired by:

Repurpose

I have a lot of house plants. Instead of going out and buying a saucer to put under them; I use clean microwavable meal dishes. They work great and if they get dirty I can toss them in the washer or just recycle them. The black and white/clear ones are easier to hide from view.

Plantindish.JPG

A few more ideas:

  • Yogurt containers for starting seeds for the garden. I punch a few holes into the bottom and then fill with dirt. They are a great size and can be reused from one season to the next.
  • Using old jeans to make pot holders.

POTHOLDER

  • Using an old coffee cup as a pen holder.
  • Cutting up old towels and using them as rags.

Finding a new use for old items also saves money; and keeps some items from just filling up a landfill.

 

 

Post inspired by the Photo Challenge: Repurpose

Lottery

Once again one the Powerball jackpot prize is over $400 million. I’ve noticed that with the higher jackpots two things seem to happen:

  1. More advertisements on TV and radio.
  2. More scams and people trying to sell their “lottery winning systems.”

Here are a few tips to avoid the scams:

  • In order to win a lottery you first have to enter that lottery.
  • Any lottery with an anonymous entry system (like the multi-state ones) won’t have your name and address until you give it to them. You have to go to their offices with your signed winning lottery ticket.
  • When a lottery prize is this large buy the ticket yourself.
  • Don’t waste your money on “lottery winning systems”. Search online for tips. If the person wrote a book, wait until it gets to the library. Or read through the online reviews.

Remember that unlike Poker, BlackJack, or other skill based games; the lottery is based on chance. There is a chance that the numbers on the ticket will match the numbers randomly drawn. The current odds of winning the game are 1 in 292 million. Put another way the odds of winning are: 1/292,000,000 or 3.424e-9 or 0.000000003424%. No matter what “system” is used those are still the odds of one set of numbers winning.

Have you bought a Powerball ticket?

Would you trust someone else to buy and hold the ticket?

 

 

Link:

Board Game (https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/board-game/)

Lottery Jackpot (https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/lottery-jackpot/)

Deer

Today I looked outside and saw that the deer have returned. They appear so graceful as they munch on my neighbors blackberry bush:

gracefulberry.jpg
Yummy blackberry bush

Then after all that hard work they look peaceful resting:

gracefulsleep
“I’m resting here. Enough pictures.”

 

 


Inspired by the photo challenge, “Graceful” (https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/graceful/)