Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Review #4: The Jungle Book

     I know of at least three movies that were made based on The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. The most familiar on to many of us is the animated Disney movie from 1967 that follows Mowgli, a boy that was raised by wolves and that was hated by the tiger, Shere Kahn, who is trying to kill Mowgli.

     I decided to read the book and was surprised. I expected the book to be one continuous story of Mowgli and his adventures. Instead it's a collection of short stories and poems about animals. There are three stories in which Mowgli is one of the main characters that the events of the movie are based. Those three stories are less than half of the book.

     All but one of the stories take place in India. One of the stories Is "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" which I remember reading for school decades ago about a young mongoose. It was good reading that story again along with the other stories.

     I liked these stories of a small slice of life in India in the late 19th century from the view of animals. If you like reading about animals, ou might like this story.

Tim's Rating: ****
(Four out of five stars)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review #3: Pollyanna

      The theme for one of the Goodreads groups that I'm in for this month are books that were made into movies. I've been reading a lot of more in depth books lately by Charles Dickens, Sinclair Lewis. Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. I decided to read something a little lighter this time. I chose a children's classic that was made into a Disney move back in 1960 starring Hayley Mills. The book is Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter.

     Pollyanna was the daughter of a missionary whose wife (Pollyanna's mother) died when she was young. Her father fell ill and died just before the book begins. She is taken in by her aunt, Miss Polly, who is one of the wealthiest and strictest people in town. Pollyanna would always tell people that she was glad about something. It turns out that it was a game her father taught her in which the object is to whatever situation you're in, think of something to be glad. Miss Polly didn't want Pollyanna to talk about her father around her. So Pollyanna didn't tell Miss Polly about the game, but she told around everybody she met in town about it. One day a car hits Pollyanna and she was paralyzed below the waist. When she heard that she wouldn't ever walk again, she couldn't think of anything to be glad. Then people from all over town came to visit letting Miss Polly how much better they feel because of Pollyanna's game.

     That is all I'm going to tell you of the story. Mot of the characters in the movie are in the book. There are different ways that some of the adventures are in the book than the movie.

     I enjoyed this book because it emphasizes to look for positive attitudes to have in various situations no matter what how bad it is.

Tim's Rating: *****
(Five out of five stars)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Review #2: The Time Machine

     It seems that movies and television shows that incorporate in them are big hits. Look at the popularity of the three Back to the Future movies. I have looked at listings of other movies and I have seen a good amount that have a tie-in to time travel in the description. I have to admit that I'm a fan of Dr. Who, I have been since the mid-70's.

     With the popularity of the desire to travel through time I decided to read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. The book was published in 1895 which shows that people though of time travel for a good while. The book starts out with the Time Traveler talking with a group of learned people of various types of backgrounds at his house and lab. He was talking of geometry which pretty much only talks about three dimensions. He keeps hinting to the fourth dimension which is time. He tells the group that he is about done building a time machine. Around the full group feels the he's pulling their leg.

    A week later some of the same group plus a fewer come to his house as the had been doing weekly for a few months. He's not there when they get there, but he left a note for them to wait or him. He comes in where they're waiting dirty and scraped up and walking with a noticeable limp. He told them that he finished building the time machine that morning. Around the rest of the book is his narrative of his trip to the year 802701. In it he compares what he sees in the future to what it was like in the late 19th century England.

     I had to reread the first chapter a few times because it was rough grasping what he was talking about at first. Once he goes into his narrative the book gets a lot more exciting. While reading that part, I pictured in my mind of Dr. Who taking a trip in the Tardis to that time (it would make a good episode).

     If you like some of these time travel movies or television shows like Dr. Who, you might like this book.

Tim's Rating: ****
(4 out of 5 stars)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Book Review #1: A Journey to the Centre of the Earth

     There have been a few movies that have been based on Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth. It also inspired an album of the same title by Rick Wakeman (Yes) along with The London Symphony Orchestra and The English Chamber Choir in 1974.

     The only movie that I've seen of it was the one from 1959 with Pat Boone and James Mason.  After reading the book, I tell people not to expect the book to be the same as the movie. Yes there are some similar adventure, but characters and the country that it started out was Germany instead of England. I can understand that they tried to make the movie more appealing to a wider range of people, but the book is better than the movie in my opinion.

     The main characters are Professor Von Hardwigg and his nephew Henry (Harry) along with Hans, their Icelandic guide. The book follows Professor Hardwigg and Henry, when after Professor Harwigg comes across a loose document when looking at a 12th century book about Norwegian princes that had reigned in Iceland. After deciphering the document they discovered that the document was written by Arne Saknussemm, a 16th century professor from Iceland that claimed he found a route and had gone to the center of the earth and back. The document told where to look for the starting point for the journey. Within days of deciphering the document they started of for Iceland from Germany with a stop in Denmark along the way. After arriving in Iceland, they were introduced to Hans by a prominent person in Iceland. They start for the place the document said to enter the journey a few days later.

     This book refers to geological terms quite often (mainly different kinds of rocks) and science throughout the book. If you are a fan of science, you might like this book.

     The only confusing thing to me in this book is sometimes the nephew is called Henry and other times as Harry. I'm just wondering if Harry was a nickname.

Tim's Rating: ****
(4 out of 5 stars)

New Blog

     I have tried writing blogs in the pat, but horribly failed. I would write a few posts and then would stop adding posts. For this new blog I'm starting out by saying that there is no set frequency for when I write new posts.

     You may have noticed the title of the blog, "Tim's Reviews" and wonder what I'll be reviewing. My response is that I'll mainly be reviewing books and music. Every once in a while I'll write a movie review.


     Most of the books the I'll be reviewing will be in the form of ebooks that I got for free from Project GutenbergMany BooksFeedbooks  or Internet Archives. I have FBReader installed on both my laptop and tablet that enables me to read the the books that I download from those websites.

     I also have the kindle app loaded both my laptop and tablet where I can purchase books from Amazon's kindle store which includes many that you can get for free.

     I have Nook SimpleTouch as well as the nook app on both my laptop and tablet. I can purchase ebooks from including many that are free.

     For finding deals on new books that I can get for free, I am subscribed to Many Books email that is a daily email that lists the ebooks that you can get for free or a low price (under $5) and store/device that has them for that price.

     Last of all for books, I do go to the library at times where I check out books that I'll review. I also own some physical books that I might review.


     I collect music in the form of records, cassette tapes and compact discs. Combined I have over 2,000 albums on at least one for those media. Most of them are from between 1960 and 1989 from most genres. At times I'll review an album from my collection.


     At times I'll review a movie that I viewed from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Internet Arcives or a DVD that I own. I watch many genres and if I like a movie, I'll review it.

     This post is longer than what my posts will normally be. I just wanted to give you information in this post of what I'll review and the sources for the items.

     If you have comments for any of my posts, please leave them in the comments below.