Tag Archive: adventure



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another reread. I needed something while waiting for my next Outlander read. I figured with all the stress of my cataract surgery, I needed something in the fantasy realm.

I did enjoy the book, but I kept remembering the ending and hated reliving it. I don’t think I would have been a good candidate to read this as a kid.

Besides the ending, I had a hard time with this whole series is the lack of good fleshed-out female characters. Hermoine was okay, but there weren’t enough good girls or women. It was very male-heavy.

I may be reading the next one and making it to the series’ end, but it will not be soon.

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A Breath of Snow and AshesA Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Below is the review from the last time I read/listened to this book. I have re-rated this and given it five stars. I think this reading corresponds with the newest episodes on the show. The last episode I watched was exactly what I had just listened to that day. I love following both the book and the show and seeing how they translate the written word, especially a long book like this, into a show excellently done.

Though I stay with the thought that the narrator, as excellent as she is, for the most part, had a hard time helping the listener to know who’s point of view she was portraying. Still, I followed better this time than the last read.

I highly recommend these books. Like last time, I have already started book 7. Yay, William as a grown-up!

***

Wow! Am I finally finished with this book? It is the longest book I think I have ever read. I don’t think it needs to be that long, either.

Look. Don’t get me wrong. I still love the story, the characters, and the time travel element concept. I just found the length unbearable with the thousands of books on my TBR shelf.

It is fun to explore the early days in America with the characters. I have to admit that I loved the time in Scotland the most, so this book is missing that aspect.

The other problem with this book is that our magical narrator, Divina Porter, couldn’t handle all the characters. Now that Brea is an adult, she sounds like Clair. Now that Roger is an adult, he sounds like Jamie. All the children sound the same. Maybe if I could read simultaneously as listening, I could sort them out. But that is not possible for me and my eyes.

The last thing I need to point out, in case it counts for your reading the book is that I am already reading book 7, so…

It is worth the read. Stay with it. There are rewards in the story. And in this crazy world, a sweet time-travel romance can calm the worries that like to strike at bedtime.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m on my second reading of this book. I read the actual hardback the first time. Now the eyes wouldn’t be able to. So I chose to listen to Jim Dale read the book to me. For the most part, he is a good narrator, but ugh, for the females. He makes them sound like he’s making fun of them. And he seems to use the voice of Hagrid for another character making it a bit confusing.

Still, I am raising my rating from three stars to four as I found this more pleasant this time. I don’t know if it is my interpretation of the book versus how Jim Dale portrayed it. I just remembered this book as scary and dark. Yet this time, I found it lighter and happier. Maybe I knew where it was going, so I didn’t shake in fear?

As with the first two books, I find them male-heavy, which is disappointing because it is a female author. Seeing that she chose to be more acceptable to males by having a male pseudonym makes me admire her less. But maybe now, she might not choose that path.

Since I have the collection on Audible, I plan to continue listening. I do wish there was another actor to play the females. Still, how many can say, “Buckbeak’s back” multiple times without tripping over their tongues? Jim Dale got points for that!

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The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Well, there are a couple of weeks I won’t get back.

Okay. Some people will love this and climb down my throat about this epic adventure. These may be the same ones who hate my opinion of the Lord of the Rings series and the Star Wars series. Those people are more likely males or still haven’t shaken free of forgiving male-heavy reads or shows. Look. I get it. We had no choice of what to reading when I was a kid. All the adventures were about guys. But for the adventure, I’d read.

‘Oh, but you had Nancy Drew!’ I hear them say. Yes, a girlie girl who took time to straighten her nylon seams, donned lipstick and could run like the wind in heels. No, thank you! Sure I enjoyed looking like a girl, but the reality is, let’s have the adventure without vanity like most of the guys could.

Ahem. Sorry, here’s me stepping off the soapbox.

This read was the Libby audio version. The narrator, Michael Kramer, was hard to take. His female voices were demeaning. And though it says there was a female narrator, Kate Reading, I don’t remember hearing her voice until the end of the book.

I remember when they were giving this first book away to entice folks into reading the series. It was EVERYWHERE. I refused. I hate coercion like that. The only reason I gave in now was that the television show is coming up, and I wanted to compare. My husband has watched a bit of the series, and he loves it. I hope they have learned since the writing and the show will be equal in adventure.

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my second reading of the series. I noticed I haven’t changed my star rating. I’m still only giving it three stars. Jim Dale is part of the reason for this rating. His voice is suitable for all the males in the book but is horrid with the females. I do feel the grumpiness of Professor Minerva McGonagall and the hyper-energy of Hermoine. But for the most part, Mister Dale’s females sound demeaning and whiny.

But things I love about the book are the basilisk and the phoenix. These are two very fantastic beasts. Oh, and I love the idea of a diary that talks to you from someone else. I don’t like the Tom Riddle part or Voldemort parts, but I suppose we need the bad guy. I did like getting to know Tom’s back story.

When I read the tome about a decade ago, I thought it was a slower slog. This book was over quickly. And for these stressful days having something I know and enjoy, helps the sleep come faster at night.

I’ve already started book three. And I remember how each book gets darker. Maybe by the end, I won’t use these as bedtime books.

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Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest TrailThru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Carrot Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book will stay with me for a while. Erin Spencer (Narrator) made me feel like I was right there, on the trail, soaking wet or extremely tired. Sometimes a narrator is so good that you think it has to be the author as they seem to maintain the cadence of the written speech as if it were their own. It was fantastically done.

That means the writing was natural and felt genuine. This was a journal of sort of the hiker, Carrot Quinn. She was honest and told the good and the bad of her travels. There were times that I laughed out loud at what happened. And there were tears of seeing the incredible scenery and tears of hurt along the way.

I have to admit I want to do this. But it seems so far away from possible when just getting the dog and I out for our mile walk is tough. A windy day will keep us in. Rain is my dog’s least favorite. She won’t go out, yet I have the raincoat and boots and plenty of umbrellas. Snow is my favorite, but my dog can’t handle it very long, even with coat and pad coverings, so we walk around the yard. So much for my trek.

So it is fun to live vicariously through those who do the long hikes or marathons. Inspiration helps with daily life and gives hope for more.

I want to read this again soon.

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My Journey around Mont BlancMy Journey around Mont Blanc by Dan Karmi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a one-evening read. It makes me feel bad that the journey Dan Karmi took can take a little over an hour to read.

I loved how Mr. Karmi just made the decision to take this hike and got busy prepping and then gets the job done. I enjoyed seeing this adventure through his heart and emotions and connections with others along the way. It is inspirational. It makes me want to get busy and take hikes around here. I just need to do some short trips up my driveway first.

I think my friend in Israel recommended this book. If so thank you. If not I recommend it to her and others who need a little ompf to get out and get healthier. This is still free with Kindle Unlimited so take an hour out and give this a try.

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Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I loved book number one. But this one was even better. And I am not a gamer from the 80s. But my adult kids were. They met most of their friends in their games. I think they would like this. But then again, I remember enough of their games and terminology that this was serendipitous for me.

If you read the first book (or even saw the movie), you will remember that the story started fast and nearly left you breathless. This book started lots slower. Video/computer game nostalgia and reconnecting with the main characters keep that slower first part moving and interesting. But you will be left not sleeping and breathless by the end of this book.

Though I bought the Kindle version of the book and then the Audible to Whispersynch both versions. I just liked the way Wil Wheaton acted the story that I gave up reading and just listened.

I can’t wait to reread this. And wow! If there is going to be one, the movie will be even better than book number one! I hope you check it out!

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The Whizz Pop Chocolate ShopThe Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kate Saunders has written a delightful children’s’ book that is fun for all ages. I would have loved to have this around while raising my kids. It would have been a favorite for me as a child. For those two reasons, it reaches four stars in rating. But the narrator, Jayne Entwistle, brings the listeners into the Whizz Pop world, and therefore I have to give this story five stars.

If the real world is getting you and your family down, this is such an uplifting story. The characters are marvelously brought to life with Ms. Entwistle’s acting. I imagine families gathering around the audio machine you all may use (I used my Kindle Fire). Adults can find as much fun here as children. I even see great family discussions coming from the book.

I am sad to leave this behind. I will see if, like this one, my online library has book two. Libby is how I heard it. So even if you haven’t the money to buy the book or audio version, your library may have it, or you can request that they order it.

Happy Listening!

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The Believers (Breeders, #2)The Believers by Katie French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished this book a couple of days ago. Snow, elections, NaNoWriMo, and other distractions got in the way of my review. Sorry.

This is the second book of the Breeder series. The story of the girl looking for her mother and aunt continues. It is far from an easy feat. But Riley and her boyfriend and her brother try to find a way to them.

The story kept me interested. Often I found it nauseating. I think that was the author’s intent. Still, I couldn’t put it down. Maybe it was the train accident effect? You can’t just let it go. You have to look. That is the very reason I just ordered the Kindle Unlimited version. I think the first and second are KU also. So what is there to lose? Find Aunty and Mom!

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