#PrayForManchester

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It is absolutely shocking, the world that we live in today. Why can’t people just play nice. My heart goes out to all the people affected by the Manchester bombings May 2017.

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The Kindle Fire Saga – Random Wittering #2

I upgraded my Kindle Keyboard 3G (which had died a slow and painful death) in December 2015. Being a bit short of cash but really wanting (needing) a Kindle device, opted for the cheapest at the time which was the Kindle Fire 7. It only cost me ¬£35, which was a lot cheaper than my original Kindle (R.I.P Sweet eReader ūüė¶ ) and I was impressed with it for the most part. I made the decision to only use it as a kindle (apart from having Netflix installed for emergency TV binges) rather than its intended use as a tablet.

As many of you know, Amazon have this thing called the “Cloud”. For those who don’t know, it’s like your very own personal library where all your purchased and downloaded books are stored for you to read whenever you want. The KK (or Kindle Keyboard) didn’t have the cloud feature, all your books were downloaded to the device and when you had finished it you could remove it from the device and it would be stored on Amazon’s servers until such a time that you might want it again. This was my favourite feature, it made it simple to keep track of all the books that you hadn’t started and which ones you had read – if it wasn’t on the device, you had already read it. This is where my issue with the KF (or Kindle Fire) comes in. The KF has a live running version of the Cloud on the device. You can swap between a downloaded or cloud list, but the cloud is always there, so if you delete the book from your kindle then it still appears on the KF under the cloud. I understand that (amongst other reasons) this was done so that users didn’t have to go to Amazon to download their next read from the website, ease of use and all that, but I don’t like it. They (Amazon) support and promote the use of creating collections on your device to keep track and sort books into groups depending on your individual needs, so you could have a “Finished” group, a “To Be Read” group or even a “Strong Female Characters” group if that was what you wanted. However, whether its pure bad luck for me or karma for something I’ve done wrong, my (attempted) collections don’t update and sync properly. Amazon have investigated and said there is nothing wrong so I really do think its my fault.

Finding it difficult to keep track (without having to check an external website such as Goodreads) of what I have already read I decided (on 12th May 2017) to manually download ALL 1879¬†of my eBooks to my device then I could delete it once I’d finished it. I had purchased and installed a 64gb memory card to my KF and according to the information online this should easily accommodate my books. I set about the download. It went swimmingly for a while, I managed to download 1072 of the 1879 books. Then it stopped. It would download them, they would appear on the device as downloaded (with the “new” banner across the corner and the “tick” mark) but within a maximum of 5 minutes they would remove themselves from the device and have an “!” on them along with a “Unable to download book. Please try again or contact Amazon Customer Services” message. After re-trying the books for a while, I gave in and contacted Amazon.

I contacted them via the live chat on their website and spoke to V. It was very early and after a quick chat, they did something that seemed to kick start it. I left the chat to take the kids to school and left the KF downloading at home. Upon my return (around 3 hours¬†later) I found the same issue had occurred, so again I set upon the live chat. This time I spoke to someone called S. They were extremely helpful and I/We were on the chat for around 2 hours 10 minutes. They tried various things but it was still doing the same thing. At the end of the conversation, they offered me a replacement KF (even though my warranty ran out in December 2016). I immediately went to facebook and sang Amazon’s praises about how helpful they were.

My new (refurbished) KF arrived the very next day (13th May). I contacted Amazon again via live chat and spoke to A. I asked them to manually force through ALL of my Amazon purchases, they told me that it couldn’t be done (I already knew it could from my conversation the day before with S). After a bit of to’ing and fro’ing, I went off to check my email for the name of the person I spoke to who had already said it could be done. When I returned to the chat it had been disconnected (through my own fault as I was on my phone browser and not the laptop). So, for the 4th time, I contacted them through the live chat and spoke to V (this could have been the same V from the first conversation but I couldn’t remember their name so I’m not entirely sure). I explained what I needed doing and V said they would do it. That was that. The books started coming through and I left the KF plugged into the mains, right next to the router to make sure it had the strongest wifi connection possible. A short while later I noticed it had stopped, upon checking, they’d only sent through the first 72 purchases from the cloud list. I was heartbroken but determined to see this through, so I set about manually downloading the remaining 1807 books. Again, it worked without a problem, but then I started noticing it was doing the same thing it had done before. I checked and had managed to successfully download 1030 books this time. I decided not to contact Amazon again purely because they must be fed up of me and I didn’t want them to think I had broken another KF (oops!).

Now I’m starting to wonder if it’s my memory card that’s the problem. It worked fine when I had it in my phone and even after the books start to display the error message, the ones already downloaded work fine. I’m really confused and seriously contemplating buying a Kindle Keyboard from eBay (but then my Graphic Novels won’t work correctly). Needless to say, I’m feeling a bit disheartened by the whole situation at the moment.

Review: Grimm: The Essential Guide: Seasons 1 & 2

Grimm: The Essential Guide: Seasons 1 & 2
Grimm: The Essential Guide: Seasons 1 & 2 by NBC Entertainment

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Being a fan of the TV show, when this came up as free on Amazon Kindle I decided I’d download it and have a little read through. It gives information on some of the TV shows characters and the Wesen they encounter. Other than that, it’s full of stills from on set etc. Not all that interesting and doesn’t really tell the reader anything they didn’t already know as a viewer.

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Review: Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I downloaded this for free from Amazon I expected a Graphic Novel. What I got was a story with some illustrations to go alongside it. That being said it was still a decent book, definitely aimed at the kids. Timmy and his Polar Bear run a detective agency which his mum puts kosh too.

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April 2017 Reading Summary

For April, I felt like I had read a lot of books. According to Goodreads, that isn’t the case (and I log ALL my books when reading and when finished).

I read a total of 6 books in April. Not really enough to do a top and bottom three this time so here goes the summary of what I have read.

Starting with my 2 star reads, I read a Graphic Novel called The City of Shifting Waters (Valérian #1). This is a french (I think) book, translated to English. My review can be seen here. Although it was free on kindle so no big loss there.

Personal Verdict: If you prefer your graphic novels to have interesting and well drawn illustrations, don’t bother with this one

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Damned Lies by Dennis Liggio is my other 2 star read for April. I started this book in 2016, but gave up after a few pages because I couldn’t get into it. Then as part book club’s monthly read, I was tasked to read a book that I had previously started but not finished. I had choices between this, Twelve Years A Slave and The Book Thief. I chose Damned Lies as it was the shortest option. I gained nothing by finishing the book, nor did I feel any different once I reached the end.

Personal Verdict: Another one for the “don’t waste your time” pile

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The House of Horrors, It’s Murphy’s Law and It’s a Madhouse Out There form one of my 4 star reads and two of my 5 star reads for April. I had first read all three of these books in novel format. Written by Jazan Wild, I felt like the novel was decent but WOW did these graphic novel versions of the same book pack a much better punch than the written version. The story came across so much better in picture format than writing. Read my review here¬†(I reviewed all three books in one).

Personal Verdict: Definitely worth reading, as long as its the graphic novel versions AND as an added bonus, they were free on Amazon Kindle UK.

American Gods is my favourite book from April even though I only rated it 4 stars. I read it in anticipation of the TV show and also as part of another monthly read from book club. Neil Gaiman brings us into a world where Gods roam the Earth and they encounter modern age Gods. It was a fascinating way of looking at the world, and who knows, it could happen. Read my review here¬†(This is one of my better reviews, I’ve become a bit lazy and one-sentencey lately).

Personal Verdict: Read it. Now. That is all.

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I’ll be back next month with a new summary, and I’m hoping to get going a bit more with some more reviews and random posts so stay tuned.