Tag Archive: audible



Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8)Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought that book 7, Echo In The Bone, was my favorite of the Outlander books. Nope. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood wins. It was fantastic!

Regardless of the time the characters land in they all grow and help us learn the rules of Gabaldon’s Time Travel.

What can I tell you that won’t spoil it for you?

As usual, there is a lot of research evident in the reading and as one supposes, there are instances of poetic license, which Diana Gabaldon admits that she has it framed on her wall.

The most exciting part of the book is as Breanna talks about Doctor Who in a chapter called, Thank You For The Fish. (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). Now I really wish I had a TARDIS so I could play in all three universes.

And I wish I could move on to book 9 but my Audible credits don’t come until the middle of the month. A quick note about why I read by Audible most often now. Actual reading is impossible for my eyes. It seems a tracking issue. So I use a lot of Kindle Text-to-Speech. Though TTS works well for most books when there are other languages involved I want to hear the words pronounced correctly. Davina Porter is able to range the language barriers and character ages and sexes with apparent ease. I love listening to her.

If you get the chance, the books are as good if not better than the shows, and the Audible versions are the best of all the worlds. Enjoy!

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An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book may be my favorite of all the Outlanders. Maybe because of how I chose to read it nearly 24/7. After all, I had reached the skinny-mini underbelly of all streamings–teen or young people who look like Barbie Dolls going through the samo-samo life issues. Give me some older adults, women of all shapes and colors, real people, not Hollywood-mothers, whores, or weaklings. Not enough streaming of strong women holding up half the world. So back to reading the only way I could. Audible.

Also, I was making scrubbies and washcloths while listening. That helped me ‘hear’ better.

By constant reading, I could stay in the story better. And family members came and listened with me on occasion. So it wasn’t a lonely process.

At any rate, I loved watching the cast of the characters struggle with life and time travel issues and historical moments. I especially loved the parts about Brianna and Roger at Lallybroch recovering letters from Claire and Jamie. And though I used to find Willy obnoxious, I think I clicked with him this time. And I grew more in love with John Grey. How nice to see good, honest, quality men portrayed.

I tried to find something else to read last night as my bedtime read but couldn’t resist looking for more Outlander. Now I am listening to book 8, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.

Time to lower my reading goal as I seem stuck in tome reading. I love it! I hope you get the chance to read these. Oh, and Davina Porter does so many voices so well. I still wish for more actual actors for sometimes Bri and Claire sound the same, and all the children sound the same, and Roger, even with his sore throat, sounds like other men. Still, for one person covering so many people, Davina is fantastic!

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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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, the concept of the time travel element. I just found the length unbearable with the thousands of books I have 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 that I had with this book is the magical narrator, Divina Porter, just 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 at the same time 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, I am already reading book 7, so…

It is worth the read. Stay with it. There are little 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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Hello LoveHello Love by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After spending so long time traveling with the Outlander, I needed a light read. This one was free on Kindle Unlimited. And I used a credit to get the Audible because I needed to just relax and listen to the story.

If you are looking for something light, this is for you. It was enjoyable. Karen McQuestion’s writing made a nice story with plenty of character development. It is both a believable story and not. But with all that is going on in the world right now, I needed a bit of fiction to help me sleep. If you have a dog or love dogs, the story plays out even deeper.

Just one little problem. Dan John Miller, the narrator does a good job playing the male main character but like all male narrators, in my estimation, all the woman voices sounded like a male making fun of women. But I think he did his best and he did keep the reader’s interest. Give it a try if you get the chance.

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The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These are such great books. The story continues. And now I can watch the current series on TV. But…

Until this book, Divina Porter, the narrator of all the Outlander books, was able to change the voices for most of the characters enough that a listener could tell who was talking. Now with Bree and Roger and Ian grown, they all sound like Clair and Jamie. If my eyes could handle the tracking I would try to have the book or Kindle version open to track who is speaking. Instead, I have to back up a bit to see if I can find out. Or I just keep listening and finally, context will indicate who had just been the speaker. That throws me out of the story.

Is it me, or is this book a little less exciting? I know with Covid19 all around and the stress that has caused us all, it may be playing a part in my attention levels. I may have to reread the series later when life returns us to quieter minds. So I will try not to affect my rating on this issue. I still loved it and have already downloaded the next book. I can’t wait to see how Jamie and his men adjust to the American Revolution. What if you were on the wrong side of history and knew it but couldn’t do much about it as no one but you had access to future history? Yeah. What a conundrum! Great writing, Diana Gabaldon!

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Food, Friends, Frustrations,

& UNFinished

Pixabay.com

How many of you are finding it hard to finish anything? I’ll raise my hand.

Sure the lack of things in stores added to the end of month lack of funds, make creative group cooking takes some of my time. In normal times I cook about once or twice a month for group meals. Now we need to make things like potato/beans/rice burritos. Today pressure cooker potatoes, and frozen asparagus, were my contributions. I had vegetarian bacon with mine, the guys added their own proteins like frozen chicken breast or tuna. In the old days, potatoes and beans and rice were only for the end of month eats. And though it is exactly that, by now, the potatoes would be sprouted. But since the shopping was done a couple days ago, these babies were gorgeous! I love using my pressure cooker as everything is done so fast and tasty. But I don’t feel like sharing my pressure cooker or special pans with just anyone. Wait. I need to restate this: I don’t want anyone to cook in it, or my special non-stick ‘tofu’ pan. I have shared things like that and ended up not having them after one use by someone in the house beside me. So call me selfish. At least I share the food I make in these special pans. But that means at this time I become a chef. Since standing in one spot is the hardest of exercises for me I made a bargain that the guys do clean up if I cook. That worked out just fine. Tomorrow spaghetti. No need for the pressure cooker. But the people here don’t seem to understand how to cook pasta. Being married to an Italian the first twenty years of adulthood, I have an advantage. Darn! Did I mention I hate cooking? I do like to eat, though so this is in self-defense.

~~~

After I had my food ready I was able to get on Zoom with my friends. I love our Friday ritual. The three of us chat like there’s no tomorrow. Oh, wait, say that isn’t so. But at our ages, and health restrictions, we need to embrace love fully!

~~~

Due to this:

My handwritten journal with day to day entries about the pandemic and how it applies to us, some of my knitting didn’t get done. But it is fun to write and kind of keep track and reflect the lows and lowers of something scary but bringing out the best in most people. Yes, I include those, too. But no projects got finished this week.

Embarrassingly, here are a few more reasons things didn’t get done:

Onnect - Pair Matching Puzzle - Apps on Google Play

Onnect

For some reason, that game can suck me in and hours later when I look up from my phone, nearly blind with daylight changed almost magically to night. Thoughts to self, Stop playing this game when there are so many things you need to do. I have this game on my tablet, too. The phone, though smaller, has better graphics. Still, addictive and dangerous to your eyes. Play at your own risk!

 

While I’m at it. Here are a few of my favorite games to play while listening to audible books (Outlander 5 is the longest book ever!) In general, these games are fun. But I hate how you need to be socially connected or have money to keep playing. At 2 or 3 AM I am trying to quiet my mind, not find friends! And I certainly can’t afford to pay for cartoon games!

Cover art

Toon Blast

Toon Blast is probably my favorite of these in that I love the graphics, the cute cartoons, there is a little bit of a challenge and strategy to use, without making me nervous. When any of these games tell me I’m out of lives I just move on to another. I don’t care that lives will be restored in 20 minutes. I usually go away frustrated that I couldn’t keep working at it until I complete a level. In fact, sometimes I enjoy a level so much that I’d like to keep on long after I complete the goal. I just like watching the blocks fall away.

 

Cover art

Toy Blast

Though a lot like Toon Blast, there are fewer chances to earn lives or coins within the game. I quit discouraged. I don’t play for the challenge or social status. I play to relax and have something to do with my hands while listening. I can’t knit that time of night as that is too much light for my hubby.

Merge Dragons!

Merge Dragon

I just got this and have played only a couple nights. There is far too much to read, in tiny print past the time of glasses to make me happy about it. It’s interesting, though.

Fishdom

Fishdom

This one was over-advertised so I refused to get it for the longest time, even though watching fish swimming through tubes and not get eaten by the shark or burned by lava. Finally, I gave in. It isn’t the tubed fishy thingie. Instead, it is a connect three or more, like the blast games above. The part I like is the opening scene is an aquarium of fish that swim around and sometimes they actually chat with you. Since the goal for me is to help me get sleepy the aquarium is the best part.

There are other games, card games or Sudoku. I find the card games a bit boring after playing them most of my life in one form or another (like with real paper cards!) Sudoku can distract me from the story as I try to figure each puzzle out. During the day I will play different word games. I love them but I don’t get addicted. I can’t play them while listening to stories as the words distract from the words being spoken.

What helps me sleep the most?

Teddy on special blanket is leaning on my left shin.

and

Kali sleeping while leaning on my right thigh.

Best stress relievers ever!

So that’s my March 27, 2020 edition of What Day Is It Anyway? It is Linda’s prompt to help us all through this tough time.

Per Linda:

…if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.


Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oops! I nearly forgot to review this one. I just moved into the next read (a library book).

I really wish I would have read this before the series on television. I liked the rhythm of the story better. I like the viewpoints presented here as Clair’s rather than Bree. It is different not having the information that comes with the daughter making the voyage back in time and back to America.

I think we got into Roger’s head a little more, too. It doesn’t take away from the show. It is actually interesting the take the directors and actors took the storyline without losing the story.

No spoilers here. Just glad I read (listened to the Audible) it and can’t wait to get into the next one!

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Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama


BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, how I miss proper English. Oh, how I miss people who care for others and not just themselves. That is what I found in this audiobook. A person who can read their own words in a book with such elegance was so beautiful I didn’t want to stop reading. I was awake until four in the morning two or three nights.

It wasn’t as if most of the story was new. We all lived through those eight years. I didn’t know about much of Ms. Obama’s life before the White House. So that was interesting.

When I was young, I loved spending the night with friends or cousins. It was fun to see how other people live their lives. I think that is why I like honest memoirs like this one. Michelle didn’t try to pretty it up and sweep the bad parts under the carpet. This was her life. Period.

Most of the story was pre-election, before children. She is a confident woman. Her parents’ influence was the basis of her life along with extended family. The love she felt for and from family gave her the strength to be herself. Being raised financially challenged gave her the wisdom to deal with money properly. Knowing that politics was the least of her aims in life, makes her all the more interesting.

I think it was that deep love that she got as a child that made her the loving adult she became. It was evident in how she treated people of all ilk. I am so interested in what Michelle Obama becomes now that her life is closer to what is her kind of life.

This is a book I highly recommend as an audiobook. Her voice is rich and brings the words to life.

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Anne of Green Gables UnabridgedAnne of Green Gables Unabridged by Lucy Maud Montgomery
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I couldn’t find this version on GoodReads, and so had to add my own. This one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083DYJB1X/…

is whispersynched with this version: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gab…

I had just finished listening to an Audible and just wanted to hear it again.

Beth Kesler was the narrator I got to hear. I think she did an excellent job sorting through all the characters.

I had just finished watching Anne With An E and wanted to see the differences. Here is the YouTube link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5qJX…

The differences are the original story didn’t have the modern takes about gay rights or bigotry of any kind. I like it when shows or books do bring in these topics. But not in an older classic like this. I think it is vital that we all see how it was and, if need be, have the discussion in class or with parents about how we could have improved the lives of others or adapt the old kindnesses to today.

I do think that the narrator caught the Chatty Cathy of Anne in this version. I highly recommend it. I will be reading/listening to other versions as I don’t want to leave these characters yet.

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Review: Brave by Rose McGowan


BraveBrave by Rose McGowan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rating memoirs are not my thing. It’s a life. Someone else’s. But in this case, her negatives were lessons for all of us. Some might say she was too angry or strident. But with good reason. I was happy to be able to listen to Rose’s voice on the Audible version.

There is so much I want to say about this book, but I don’t want to give anything away. As strong as Ms. McGowan comes across, I believe this is a book everyone should read or hear. In fact, I think the audio gives the story more veracity. It is the story of women, especially those in the Hollywood scene, but much of what happened has happened in other businesses.

Please, give it a chance and learn what is there for you to learn. I may try to reread it in a couple of years. Hopefully, by then, society will have become more humane. I hope I am not wishing, and it happens from all of us becoming more aware and intolerant of inequality.

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