Tag Archive: instructional



Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear SugarTiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One day, in the last couple of months, my daughter kidnapped me so I could spend a week back in Reno. It was one of those serendipitous things that made me very happy. I got to spend time with her and with other family and friends.

My daughter loves to listen to podcasts on long trips. When she learned that I had read and watched Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, she pulled up the Dear Sugar podcasts and we enjoyed a long listen.

Once back at home I found the Dear Sugar websites and other books by Cheryl Strayed. I looked at the eBook/Overdrive local library copies. I found this copy but it was just an eBook with no text-to-speech and no audio version. I tried very hard to enjoy the book. There was wonderful advice given here.

I wanted to keep reading past the mid-point that I thought I got to, but with no way to listen it was hard to read. I will try to keep an eye out for the Audible or Kindle with TTS to read later. Besides, most of it was written for younger people. I played the kind of game I used to play with the Dear Abby advice column, see if I can give the same advice the writer does. I was pleasantly surprised that Ms. Strayed gave more personal answers and helped in deeper ways than Abby or her sister Ann Landers ever did.

I think this is a wonderful book for young people to have. I think Dear Sugar is a good podcast for those under forty. I hope to find this book again in an easier form for me to read.

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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the WorldFluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this a couple days ago. No, I was not in the haze of wanting to stay with the story or characters. This is a non-fiction about learning other languages. I didn’t want to leave this one because it helped me so much and I want to re-read it a lot more times.

As many of you know, I have been working with Duolingo learning Spanish and German. I have taken two levels of both in school but would like to be fluent in both of them. Right now I can read a bit but I feel so very elementary in both of them.

There are so many good ideas on how to learn a language and get to the point of fluency! And I read this using the Audible with the author’s voice. What a delight to hear his accent and enthusiasm! And he is a polyglot. For those of you like I was, who don’t know, that means he is fluent in many languages, all learned since he was an adult.

The best part is that there are web-links to study certain aspects of each chapter. I didn’t follow those with the first reading, but I will with the next. And I will take notes and make flashcards.

This is the best book about languages I have ever read. If you are thinking about studying another language, this should be your first book to read to give you the best start.

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Zentangle: Zentangle Art Basics: How to create beautiful patterns and shapesZentangle: Zentangle Art Basics: How to create beautiful patterns and shapes by Hailey Leman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I have a bit of confusion going on here. I picked up two Zentangle books at the same time. One because it was free and the other because I could get it for free with Kindle Unlimited. This one was $2.99 last I looked. Though I got it for free. Now do I have you confused, too?

Either book is a good starting point for learning about the good that doing a bit of Zentangling can do for you. Both have written instructions for getting started. This one had a couple more illustrations. Just as a hint of the type of designs that one can do simply even if you are not an artist. In fact, that is a point made in both books.

Both books are quick reads, even without pictures. And so I read them both yesterday one after the other.

Which one is best? The one with more pictures. But only because of that. I wish either of them had more visual instructions. Can you imagine being taught to draw without anything to look at to compare to? Yeah. Oh, some are upset about the size of the pictures. I found if I clicked on the tiny picture I can enlarge it to a satisfying size.

My advice? If you see these for free, grab ’em and read ’em. After that head over to Zentangle.com and play around that site. Then go check out the Youtubes that the site recommends. Pick up a Zentangle kit. I did and have loved working with it. One of these days, I will post some of my resulting tangles here.

Now I am going to copy and paste this review into the other books review changing only the price range and a word or two here or there. Try Zentangling!

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Miss Kat's School of Genteel WitchcraftMiss Kat’s School of Genteel Witchcraft by Mary Beth Robb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so excited to see Mary Beth Robb’s books on Kindle Unlimited. My finances were very tight. I hope the author still makes money from those of us who use this system.

The last two books I read by Ms. Robb were more fables for children or campfires. This book was more instructional. It taught on ways to behave as a newbie at attending or holding gatherings. Most of that part was common sense for anyone holding any kind of meeting of any flavor. Ms. Robb’s wit is visible all the way through. She uses her own experiences, good and bad to point to ways to avoid embarrassing or fatal mistakes. She never makes the reader feel silly or stupid, just aware.

Next the book covers altars and rituals. This is an area that I still need to work on. Having been in church almost every day of my life as a kid and then as a teen, I find myself standing apart. I guess I have to wait for this penny to drop so I might get the bubble gum.

Gifts, talents, abilities is what the next part of the book talked about. Once, again, I felt right at home. In my metaphysical studies, I have already worked on my own with meditation and practice. I still feel there is so much more for me to learn and absorb.

The end of the book has a long list of books for those of us who chose to grow, to read. It is for that part that I wish I had this book in tree form. But then again, My hands are capable, when I buy the Kindle version of the book I will write the list down and continue my education.

Thank you, Mary Beth Robb, fo these very insightful books. I feel at peace when I read your works.

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Sacred Siamese: Essential Care Guide For Siamese Cat Owners From A Siamese Lover: A HISTORY OF THE SIAMESE BREED, A DETAILED CARE GUIDE FOR SIAMESE CAT ... - INCLUDING KITTEN, RESCUES, COLOR PICTURESSacred Siamese: Essential Care Guide For Siamese Cat Owners From A Siamese Lover: A HISTORY OF THE SIAMESE BREED, A DETAILED CARE GUIDE FOR SIAMESE CAT … – INCLUDING KITTEN, RESCUES, COLOR PICTURES by Jessica Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Siamese cats! I had one for about 16 years and here at a decade later I still miss her so much. Our kitty was a rescue and wasn’t pure-breed. But the pictures in this book made me miss her even more. I would love to take in another Siamese someday.

This book was full of photos and information about this marvelous breed. I learned a few things. But I have to admit that I came out of the book still confused about the words points and seal-points. That may be my own inability to read and retain information properly–or it may be that it wasn’t clear in the book. Still it is worth enjoying and learning what you can.

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How to Braid Hair: Learn How to Do the Most Popular Hair Braiding Styles. Learn How to Braid Your Own Hair, How to Do a French Braid, How to French Braid Your Own Hair, How to Dutch Braid it and More!
How to Braid Hair: Learn How to Do the Most Popular Hair Braiding Styles. Learn How to Braid Your Own Hair, How to Do a French Braid, How to French Braid Your Own Hair, How to Dutch Braid it and More! by Karen A. Reid
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, I’m certainly glad I didn’t buy this book. For this visual learner the written instructions had me lost most of the time. The pictures were very vague, and few. The only saving grace for this book was the collection of YouTube links to watch instructions to braiding hair. To tell the truth I got to where I was just skimming the words to get to the next picture. So this was almost a useless read. I don’t feel any closer to knowing how to do the harder braids than I was before.

If you do well with written instructions this might be a book for you. For me? Meh.

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8 Different Crochet Stitches: Learn to Crochet Something New with Free Crochet Patterns
8 Different Crochet Stitches: Learn to Crochet Something New with Free Crochet Patterns by Prime Publishing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here’s another one I picked up for free on Amazon. It is still free today. I love looking at the pictures on my tablet as they are very clear and I can see what the results should look like.

This isn’t a pattern book. If you are an experienced crocheter you have tons of patterns. This gives you stitches that you might include in your work. Some of them I knew, but could never find the pattern that included this stitch. Others were new to me. I can hardly wait to try them out!

If you like to crochet and need pictures to help you out, this is the book for you. Oh, and there are links to sites that will teach you more. This one is a keeper!

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Everything about Rabbits:  Including an Exhaustive List of Rabbit Breeds
Everything about Rabbits: Including an Exhaustive List of Rabbit Breeds by Amber Richards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What can I say? It must have been in one of my weak moments. The picture of the cute little bunnies and a freebie Kindle book. Who couldn’t resist? I grabbed it then sit it aside for another time. And found it again when inbetween fictional stories.

I had hoped there would be lots of pictures of rabbits in this ebook. I love rabbits but there isn’t room in our small apartment for another pet. But at least I could look at the pictures. Nope. The only picture is on the cover.

This didn’t spoil it for me, though. This little book is chocked full of information about finding, care and feeding of rabbits, even a bit on breeding these little sweeties. I was quite amazed at how much there was to learn, beyond what I already knew from the rabbits we had when my adult children were small.

This would be a great book for those thinking of buying bunnies for loved ones for Easter. One needs to know what they are getting into, and there are too many rabbits that end up at the animal shelters shortly after the holidays. For those who are thinking about it seriously, try the shelter after reading the book. Have the home bunny-ready with kitty litter set up. They make great indoor pets. Also, know the breeds so that you get just what you are looking for in a pet.

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Basic Drawing Technique: The How-to Guide
Basic Drawing Technique: The How-to Guide by Dr. Vook
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was one of my first Kindle books. It seemed like a great idea at the time. The only thing I can think of to say is, what if you were only able to talk to your art teacher on the phone. Not Skype, just landline type phone. There would be no illustrations to show how it is done. That is how this book attempts to teach art. Just words. There wasn’t even a passion from the teacher. Just deadpan instructions. Boring.

When I was in high school, I thought all the teachers felt sorry for me. That was why I got A’s in art and music. Then they decided I was so advanced that I was placed in senior lever art while only a freshman. That might have worked for me had the teacher actually taught. Instead, he wrote on the chalkboard all the notes we were to copy down. The notebook was to be the grade in this class. ART!!! When I brought home the note that said I was failing this class my mom went through the roof. She made me stay after school every day to catch up with that notebook. I didn’t fail that class but I did learn a lot about my abilities and lack thereof. I had no problems with creativity. I was not good at taking notes, even when they were spelled out in front of me.

This book brought that nightmare to mind. I am glad I got it for free. I can’t imagine spending $2.99 for this non-art book.

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Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar: How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil To Lose Weight, Prevent Allergies, And Boost Your Immune System
Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar: How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil To Lose Weight, Prevent Allergies, And Boost Your Immune System by Brian Night
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If this were my first book on coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, I might have given the book four stars. The thing is, I found nothing new here. All the information is there along with a few recipes for food and topical applications. It did remind me to make sure to use these two gifts of nature. If you haven’t read about C. O. or A. C. V. this is a good start.

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