Jane Jeffry Mysteries

As much as I love my Kindle, I still love wandering through used bookstores.

Mom and I found Jill Churchill’s Jane Jeffry mystery series at one of my favorite used book stores;  Books Galore in Festus, MO.   If you live in our area, be Jill Churchill Bookssure to stop in and check out their great collection of books.

After being snowed in last winter (before we got our Kindles), Mom and I made a trip to the book store and stocked up.  I flipped through a couple pages of these books and they sounded pretty good…. so we bought every one in the series.

I like fluffy mystery books.  Nothing too serious.  If I open a mystery and it stars a retired detective or  journalist it goes right back on the shelf.  I like the kind of mystery that the murder wasn’t a huge tragedy, you don’t really miss the victim and the murderer wasn’t very likable either.  Fluff.

The Jane Jeffry series is a pretty good, fluffy set of mysteries.  The characters aren’t as enjoyable as Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow mysteries, but the main characters, Jane & Shelly are fun. They are also reasonably bright… I hate when the killer is so obvious and the main character is too dumb to figure it out.  I can’t quite figure out how old Jane and Shelly are supposed to be….  Given the age of their kids, I’d put them in their mid to late 30’s…  but they talk like old ladies.

If you are looking for a pleasant read that doesn’t tax your brain or emotions, this is a good series.  These are not available on the Kindle, so you will have to find them in print somewhere.  Don’t pay full price… they’re not that good, but if you find them at a bookstore or yard-sale grab ’em up!

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What I’m Reading: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir

 I LOVED this book.  This is probably one of the best books that I have read in a long time.  I’m a pretty voracious reader (see?  I know words like voracious!)… I’ll read most anything…. and lately it seems like I have read most everything.  I know the plot, I’ve read this idea before…. I know where the author is going….. It really takes something different to appeal to me lately.

I heard about this book while listening to a Tech podcast (This Week in Tech)… and it just sounded good. This is why I love having a Kindle…here I am listening to this podcast, putting on my makeup to go to work and they start talking about a book that sounds good.  I grab my phone, tap the Amazon app and WOOSH!… I have a new book!  I don’t have to write it down or remember to look for it next week when I go to the store… Its on my Kindle… NOW!

The first line in the book: “I’m pretty much F***ed.”  How’s that for a start, right?  So.. these astronauts go to Mars to Explore Strange New Worlds and all that and on the sixth day of their mission this huge storm comes up and NASA tells them to come home (I’d be so ticked if I flew all the way to Mars and had to come home because of a storm!).  On the way from their astronaut house (HAB) back to the rocket-ship (I forgot the name..) one astronaut (our main character) gets struck by something and his suit malfunctions…. and the other astronauts think he’s dead…. and they leave… without him.  Good news: he wasn’t dead!  Bad news: he’s alone on Mars.  Worse news: the thing that hit him and knocked him out…. that was the radio antenna…. he can’t call to NASA.  So he is alone…  On Mars….   For six years until the next mission is scheduled to arrive.

I have to tell you, I was dying to get home and read this book.  I sat up late… took longer lunch breaks… I couldn’t put it down.  I loved the character.  I love the story… I love the writing.  I got totally sucked into this book.  It is funny and scary (Not space-monsters-scary.  All-alone-on-Mars-scary.) and chew-on-your-nails suspenseful.

The “science” and “believability” are pretty good… I hate when books ask you to overlook huge flaws in believability.  I’m not an astronaut, but I never found myself saying “oh, bulls**t, that couldn’t happen” about anything… so for us non-astronaut/reasonably intelligent readers the whole thing is pretty well grounded.

Find this book and read it right now.  Then tell me what you thought!

Kindle Love

Love my Kindle

Love my Kindle

I debated about getting a Kindle for a long time.  I love electronics… iPhones, computers, cameras… if its got batteries, I want it.  But I also love books… with pages… that smell like paper and ink… I love book stores… used book stores that smell like old books and big, new book stores that smell like coffee. I felt like I might be betraying “real” books and my favorite used book store by getting a Kindle.   I also like to read in the tub… electronics…. water…. 😦

One of my biggest road blocks was being unable to share my Kindle books.  My Mom, Aunt and I share all our books (we are book junkies… we’ll read anything).

Well the final tipping point was this winter…. we were snowed (or iced) in repeatedly.  It was so miserable… I read all my books… I read my reserve books (stuff I wasn’t excited to read, but thought I should), I even read books that I’d partially read but hadn’t liked and quit halfway through.   Then all my books were gone… and I was still snowed in.  It wasn’t hard to convince my mom after that.  We both ordered Kindles.  We picked the less expensive Kindle, 6″ E Ink Display  that way we felt like we could still read in the tub… yeah, if we dropped it, that would stink… but we like to read in the tub… Neither one of us was willing to give that up.

The very next day I was checking Woot.com‘s Daily Deals… they had the older Kindle Touch on sale…. ONE DAY!  Really?!  Mom and I ordered two, one for my aunt and one for Dad… Happy Next Three Holidays! We didn’t wait to give it to them… Why?  Holding on to gifts until a certain day on the calendar is just silly… if you have something you know someone you love will enjoy… give it to them!  Duh!

We got around the “sharing” issue by putting mine, Mom’s and Auntie’s Kindles all under my Amazon account (Dad likes war books, he’s on his own).  I order the books and manage the account… we share the book costs… it all works out pretty good.  Mom and Auntie aren’t tech-fans… they wouldn’t have gotten a Kindle if I wasn’t managing the ordering and delivering of the books.  Once a week they hand me their Kindles and I sync any new books and clear off the old.  Using the Kindle is super easy though… they don’t have any issues using it.

We have discovered a number of new authors by signing up for the Daily Deal emails and since I have an Amazon Prime Membership we get one free book each month through the Kindle First program.

I still visit my favorite used book store.  Used book stores are still the best place to find old books… and it is wonderful to be able to ask the store clerks what to read next.  Amazon’s recommendations just can’t replace a human.  I have a pile of old mysteries on the nightstand right now.

We all love our Kindle’s now.  I have a couple of suggestions if you decide to buy one… (1) Watch Woot.com for a sale (if you aren’t in a rush… who knows when they may show up again).  (2) If you buy one through Amazon, just get the E-Ink… I don’t get the point of the Kindle Fire…. Those things are $200-$300…. you want to be able to read on the beach… in the car… in the TUB!  Buy an iPad for surfing the web…. get a Kindle for reading books.  (3) Get the one WITH ads…. Mom and I got the one WITHOUT ads…. Dad’s and Auntie’s have ads… the ads only show up as a screensaver when the Kindle is “asleep” …. it’s not a big deal…. save a few bucks. (4) Keep going to used book stores… Amazon doesn’t have all the old stuff.