How to Make Money with Your Blog by Duane Forrester & Gavin Powell

How to Make Money with Your Blog: The Ultimate Reference Guide for Building, Optimizing, and Monetizing Your BlogHow to Make Money with Your Blog: The Ultimate Reference Guide for Building, Optimizing, and Monetizing Your Blog by Duane Forrester

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read blogging books before, but this was the first one I read in paperback, and so it was a little different, a little more in-depth, a little more like a reference guide as in the title. It’s written by a blogger and a computer programmer, which I think made a good combination for making this kind of book. You have Duane who knows the front end (blogging) and Gavin who knows the back end (programming) so you get a lot of information.

They cover a lot of the similar elements as the other blog books I’ve read: affiliate marketing, Google Adsense, ad networks, and general getting started information. However, thanks to Gavin you get a lot of SEO coding, RSS coding, and some other things I’ll have to reread to understand better.

They must have their blogging experience with Blogger as they use that as the basis for most of the book (with mentions to WordPress and others). They also use their own blogs as points of reference, but it would have helped to see other blogs and how they worked. Also, as Gavin is a musician, there are many references to MySpace, which dates this book quite a bit. My MySpace knowledge is limited, but it’s not a big social networking site anymore unless you are a musician(?).

This book also predates Facebook, so again a bit of common sense is needed but the general information presented is useful.

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YouTube Marketing Power by Jason Miles

YouTube Marketing Power: How to Use Video to Find More Prospects, Launch Your Products, and Reach a Massive AudienceYouTube Marketing Power: How to Use Video to Find More Prospects, Launch Your Products, and Reach a Massive Audience by Jason Miles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the first YouTube marketing book I’ve ever read, I do not have anything to compare it to. I have read marketing books, but nothing specifically on online marketing. So with that out of the way, I did like this book even though it is a bit dated, YouTube has changed quite a bit since this book was published just to give some context.

This book comes at YouTube from a business stand point. The author refers to using it from a corporation view point, or to promote your business. It is not how to do YouTube for a living, or how to make any specific channel. It is more as how to use YouTube as part of your business.

Having said all that, there is some good information here: what types of videos to use, what style of videos to use, upload schedules, how to run a giveaway, and how to build your subscriber base. Take some things with a grain of salt, as parts of the book refer to YouTube features that are unavailable or have changed and don’t work the same.

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The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness (Classic Edition)The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve not read many personal finance books in my lifetime, so this is one of, if not the, first book I’ve read on the subject. It was recommended to me by a coworker, and so I found it at the library one day and took it home.

Having no reference point, I found this book to be straight forward, informative, and very much life changing. Holy crap do I have a new outlook on money.

Dave Ramsey starts out by dispelling myths, and letting you know that his book is nothing more than common sense, and maybe there isn’t even anything in the book you don’t already know. The secret is the HOW. He tells you how to get started, how to pay off debt, how to get financially fit. Step by step through his proven seven baby steps.

I’ve been discussing the book with said coworker throughout the entire process and that has helped to flesh out some of the ideas even more. All I can say if you’ve never read a book on personal finance this is the book to start with.

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Dark Lycan by Christine Feehan

Dark Lycan (Dark, #21)Dark Lycan by Christine Feehan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m reading these out of order and I like it for myself. I read Dark Wolf (the next book) then this book. I also have the book after Dark Wolf, Dark Blood. I know it’s all a bit strange as series are made to be read in order, but for this plot line I like what I’ve done. It’s building the suspense and anticipation for what’s to come in the next book.

Dark Lycan is the story of Tatijiana Dragonseeker and Fenris Dalka, the first Guardian of All or Lycan/Carpathian mix. There is progress on Dimitri/Skyler and Zev/Branislava, but also there is plot of Lycan and Carpathian politics that continues in the next book.

The only thing I find a little unimaginative is the name Fenris. Fenris is a very traditional well known Norse mythical wolf name, not sure I care for that decision, but the characters all call him Fen anyway so maybe it’s just my delicate sensibilities crying out for something more creative.

Aside from that, the book flows very well, is an enjoyable read, and continues the Carpathian race.

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C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton

C is for Corpse  (Kinsey Millhone, #3)C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kinsey is back working out the kinks from what happened in the last book. I like this subtle continuation of the series, it links back to the previous book without need to explain or read the entire previous book.

I was also happy to see that no new love interests inserted themselves into Kinsey’s life, a nice break from the previous two books. But! Someone else who is a staple in this series has a brief interlude with love. We also meet more of the neighbors, which I liked.

This plot line kept me guessing until the very end. I kept trying to put two and two together and kept coming up with three. I like these kinds of books too, that way the ending is a surprise!

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Little Wizard Stories by L. Frank Baum

Little Wizard Stories of Oz (Oz Series)Little Wizard Stories of Oz by L. Frank Baum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Different book representatives put this book as either #15 in the series, or #7.5. Either way the 6 short stories in this book do not have a place in the events of the full story books. My collection of Oz stories has this book as #15, so it’s the last book in my series.

The six short stories are all less than 10 pages long and my copy has a lot of pictures as well. So these would almost be flash fiction stories. Each story follows a different set of characters through a mini adventure in Oz.

The Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger get tired of being docile, Dorothy and Toto go exploring, Tik-Tok has a run-in with the Nome King, Ozma and the Wizard check on their subjects, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Saw-Horse go on a rescue mission, and Scarecrow and Tin Woodman have an accident.

They’re quick, they’re cute, and I liked reading them.

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Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stephen King is firmly lodged in the section marked “Sarah’s All Time Favorite Authors”, but what lured me to this short story collection was the fact that two of the short stories have been made into Netflix Originals; 1922 and Good Marriage.

I will also admit to watching 1922 before reading 1922. And…the movie follows the book closely. Like, really closely. I can’t think of anything that wasn’t in the book that isn’t in the movie (did that make sense?).

The other short stories are easily just as good even if they weren’t made into Netflix Originals (thought they probably could be). I related to “Big Driver”, as I try my hand at writing every now and again and have cats myself. Fair Extension is an interesting read, and I’m slapping myself for missing Good Marriage while it was on Netflix. I think I would have enjoyed it too.

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