Tag Archive: kindle-wishlist



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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Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am SO impressed with this series! Especially since I had to read it backward. For the most part, I read it on my local library’s Kindle and listened to the library Overdrive version. This last book, book one, I actually had had the chance to buy the Audible version. I figured I will eventually buy all of this series (Kindle and Audible) so that someday I would read it in the correct order. If it is good and held together reading it the way I did, imagine how good it is reading it the right way!

Spoilers are hard to avoid as I write this. In fact, I thought by knowing what was to come I wouldn’t be able to continue. Then something happened between Metais and Day. Something seemed off as I remembered what was to happen in book two. Luckily, by the end of book one that issue revealed itself properly. Everything else held together very well. Again, I am so impressed with the world, characters and story that Marie Lu (author) built.

In this first book, you get to see how June and Day meet and start falling for each other. I had wondered about that. You get to see how Day meets Tess. You actually meet Day’s family. You meet all the people who play crucial roles later in the series and now you know why (if you read it back to front, that is).

Yesterday, I saw that Legend is on sale on Amazon. It is $3.00. If you can, I suggest you buy it. If I had more than a dollar to my name, I would buy it now. Alas, that will have to wait.

Now a comment on the narration by Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan who play June and Day respectfully. I don’t know if this is their first narration gig or if they were finding their voices to these characters, but this one felt like they were new. Especially, Mariel Stern, whose voice appeared higher and a little crackly in comparison to the later books. Maybe she was attempting to sound younger? And, of course, if they recorded them in order that would still be the case, right? But as this story continues both voices become stronger and true to the characters. I was often in a situation where wearing headphones and listening were impossible and I had to read the book strictly by sight, and there were times my eyes were tired and I just listened, either and both methods hold up and maintain a fantastic story. An author who writes very well, combined with narrators who read very well, makes a wonderful experience, even in a dystopian world.

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Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu


Prodigy (Legend, #2)Prodigy by Marie Lu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have never read a series of books so out of order as I have had to with this series. It was too expensive to buy each of the three books so I consulted the library. They had the large print hardback book and the CDs to listen to available right away. They didn’t have the first book and the second was already borrowed. So I read/heard book three first. I was very impressed with the author that the story line and characters held together without the background of the first two books. Soon the second book became available in only the OverDrive (audio) version. So I took my chances.

Once again, I am impressed with how well the story holds together even reading it so out of order. As with book three the narrators: Mariel Stern (June), Steven Kaplan (Day) keep the story moving from within the characters’ points of view. Though the ending of book two felt like the narrators were hitting their stride, the beginning felt a little unrehearsed. Still, I think this is a great way to tell a story from the male and female viewpoints. I think it makes the book more accessible to both genders. That’s my guess. I wonder how males react to this way of telling a story. Both June and Day are fearless and human and show they deeply care for each other and their people. Both are trying to make a dystopian world a little more livable for all. I imagine that the audio versions of this story add so many more layers of believability to the story.

This was the first book I have had to rely strictly on the audio version. There was no Kindle or tree-book available to read along on. With my ADD that made it hard to stay within the story. But I limited my visual stimuli to crocheting a mundane pattern or closing my eyes. I think if I had a car, this would be a great ride along story. It isn’t so exciting as to make the drive dangerous, but it keeps your attention.

Now that I know how the story ends, and how the middle is told, I will have to read the first part. I found I had one credit on Audible so as to ‘buy’ book one. Once my finances are better I will grab the Kindle version to go with it. I may eventually reread the story in the right order to see how much different it comes across. I highly recommend these books for young adults and older. The romance isn’t horrible sticky. Rather it adds another layer of depth to the story. Enjoy!

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Zentangle Basics: Easy to Learn Zentangle Method. 12 Basic Elements of Fine Tangling Process and Art Mediation (Zentangle books, Zentangle basics books, Zentangle basics featuring ideas books,)Zentangle Basics: Easy to Learn Zentangle Method. 12 Basic Elements of Fine Tangling Process and Art Mediation by Leroy Barnes

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 through Kindle Unlimited. 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 fewer 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 on my website: darsword.wordpress.com.

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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Review: Champion by Marie Lu


ChampionChampion by Marie Lu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five stars! And that’s with me starting to read it on book three! I never do that. I like to start at the beginning and read a long series to the end. Starting in the middle or later can be chancy at best. But there was no choice. I saw such high ratings and I think a GoodReads friend recommended it. So I jumped over to Amazon. WAY too expensive for me right now. So I went over to my library website to see if they had it. The had the regular version of book two and this third book. BUT with this large print book I was able to land the audio-CDs. How lucky was that?

Let me take a moment out for a font complaint. Why is it that large print versions don’t give spaces between lines? Even with the larger font I still couldn’t read it straight through. I needed to use my trusty dusty bookmark to keep track, like a first grader! Old eyes, what can I say?

What kept me going, though, was the audio version. The voices of June and Day were read by Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan respectively. They were wonderful narrators! I must make sure when I finally get this series for myself that I get the Audible Whispersync with the Kindle version.

I must marvel at the writing of Marie Lu. That I can come into the story this late in the game and not feel lost is to her credit. Sure, I felt like I was missing a little background on how it all started and how relationships grew, or didn’t, but I felt I already knew, somehow. There wasn’t a lot of background descriptors dragging the story out, so I assume Ms. Lu snuck it all in there somehow. Magic!

And I am surprised that coming out of the book I have a hunger to read the entire series, real soon! I put all the books on all my wishlists. Just reading a book three should have had me feel I was finished, ya know?

Oh, and if you read this one, have some Kleenex on hand near the end. It’s not horrid, but I haven’t cried like that near the end of a book for a long time. But that shows the amount of truth that this story held for me. No, I am far from being a teen–65, but I could still relate to all that was going on with these characters.

Oh, and this is the first book in a long time that felt that either guys or girls could read it with equal fervor. Each chapter is either June or Day (Daniel) and both are tough but caring human beings.

As I have said before, where were authors like Marie Lu when I was a teen? This book kept my interest from beginning to end. And I think that if you are unlucky enough to not get the first two books you can start here and still have an active adventure!

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My Melancholic DiaryMy Melancholic Diary by Iva Kenaz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I want to thank my GoodReads friend, A.S. Johnson for recommending this treasure to me. She was right, I did love it!

Once I got the recommendation I found that I could get it through Kindle Unlimited so I set about getting it right away. I already had tons of books ahead of it on my ‘currently reading shelf’, but I got around to it finally. So glad I did!

Where was this book when I was growing up? Oh, yeah, the author probably wasn’t born yet. What a great way to learn how fanciful a diary could be! When I was a young teen I had one of those diaries that had a little lock on it. Why I needed a lock always made me laugh. I rarely wrote anything in it beyond “I breathed in and out today.”

That a person in grade school chose to stay the last year of grade school with her eccentric father in the countryside near Prague in the Czech Republic so that she and he could iron out their differences, shows the maturity of the main character, Lisa, who is 14 nearly 15. But the book is full of mature themes but not in a preachy way. I think there is so much depth in this book that anyone of any age would find something to glean from it.

Lisa, the diary writer, the main character, of course, has a romantic heart and the adolescent inadequate self-esteem. Not too different from most people her age, but when you are that age, you don’t realize that. In fact, I wonder how many people outgrow that?

So seeing Lisa’s musings of her life and loves didn’t feel far from most people I know. Except for the fictional character that becomes alive for her. At first, that is shocking in such a mature girl, but as you watch the rest of her life you see that this ghost from another book guides her as much as she guides him. It is the one relationship that is working for her. What a grand idea! We should all have our own fictional hero/heroine who can speak to us while we write out the character’s destiny. Oh, yeah, we who write do just that! That is if we are writing daily. Gulp. We should be writing daily. Note to self…

Anyway, I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think even males will like it.

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Witch to ChooseWitch to Choose by H.T. Night

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just had to slap my hands and get tough with myself. I am three reviews behind my reading! The problem right now is that I already had book two of this series and I didn’t stop reading to do my own writing. Bad Dar, bad Dar!

And look at this! I didn’t know that this author was a male! So I have to give kudos fo his writing. With my goal of the last couple years to read mostly books written by women with strong female main characters, and aiming for the Bechdel test awareness, this book nearly slid right by. I think it was around the third chapter that I had to stop and look up this author. Women talking to each other and not about the male characters, realistic feelings coming from all of the people in the story. Men who cry. Women with power! Wow! H.T. Night, I am proud of you! And I plan to read more by you.

Oh, and look at this: NO CLIFFHANGER! It ended nicely yet I just wanted to see what happened next.

Now I am not a Wiccan and have only studied a tiny amount. So it felt believable…all except the person who is a warlock. I have heard that men are witches, too. Aren’t warlocks dark magicks? If anyone wants to educate me on that I would be happy to know.

For what it’s worth, Mr. Night has a plethora of books out there with vampires and wolves and all. I may have to stretch our my reading chops and finally include those bitie creatures. Now more reviews to do before I can read more!

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Tell Me WhyTell Me Why by Trista Hendren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another amazing gem! This one was dedicated to the author’s son and the male community at large. Still there was a lot of wisdom to be inhaled by all.

Once again, this was one I couldn’t afford right now but when I saw I could get it through Kindle Unlimited, I just grabbed it up and gobbled it down. The illustrations by Elisabeth Slettnes were breathtaking. The quotes by wise ones worth rereading over and over. That’s why I must buy this one once I get paid. Not only do I want the whole series on my Kindle, I want the tree copies to highlight and meditate over.

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Mother Earth (The Girl God)Mother Earth by Trista Hendren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When something intrigues me, I do not stop until I have chased down every butterfly! This was the next book by Trista Hendren. Another wow!

Again the illustrations were amazing. The story to all children of all ages touched me, inspired me. Again, there are quotes to go along with each picture. They made me wish I had the tree book to highlight and review from time to time.

I picked this up for free with Kindle Unlimited. It was a shame to let the book go back, but I plan to buy my own copies when I get paid.

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TracksTracks by Robyn Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, how I hated to see the end of this story. I absolutely loved it! I was lucky enough to pick it up on Kindle Unlimited. Then I saw that there was an Audible version. I bought that. I’m glad I did. I loved listening to Angie Milliken tell me the story. Even though the KU went back to Amazon, I still have the story to listen to again, later.

When I was a girl, at the zoo, I was talking to a camel and he spit at me. Yuck! I hated camels ever since. But between Robyn Davidson’s story and Angie Milliken’s voice I wish I could be around camels, make friends with them.

This is the first book in a long time that I didn’t try to fast forward. There’s no speed reading about a trek across Australia. It was a long hike. I wanted to relish every word of it. If I can’t do the trek myself I will absorb the experience vicariously.

Being alone, Robyn shared her inner conflicts along the track. These were worries about the world in general or psychological problems. Both were discussed with frankness. She alternately shared wonders of Australia’s splendor or the barren rottenness, left overs of the non-ecologically sound non-natives. All the while keeping up with her four camels and her dog.

Shoot! This review doesn’t go near the wonder I felt as I read and listened to it. If you get the chance, please pick of a copy for yourself. I look forward to seeing the movie!

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