Tag Archive: text-to-speech-enabled



The ForetellingThe Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun mythological story to read before bed. I always love an Alice Hoffman tale. I wonder if this could be made into a movie like Practical Magic? A tribe of women living their truth in their own time. And HORSES. Yep! All the fun things a fem could want to read about.

I may have to read this again sometime when escape isn’t my only intent. Or even if it is. I could jump into this world again. Maybe take it slower and absorb it more.

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The Jems and Jamz Series: Books 1-2The Jems and Jamz Series: Books 1-2 by Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a find on Kindle Unlimited. It was a fun light-read. I was a little bored at first, just couldn’t get into the story. I adjusted my expectations to my high school or new adult self and the story rang bells for me. It especially touched my former stage-singing self. The author captured that fear/excited feeling of performance arts. The main characters were in pop-bands. That reminded me of stories I wrote as a teen about Meeting the Beatles or other stars. Unavailable then were stories of a different kind of love than boy and girl. This treats everything the same. Love is love. There are a couple of erotic scenes that may not be appropriate for immature young adults, but other than that, I think it is a love story with many lessons, even for older folks about forgiveness and love.

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Spirit ElfenSpirit Elfen by Ella J. Smyth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another fantasy for the end of summer. I breezed right through it and started the next. So last night I tried to read the book I thought I was in, and it turned out to be this one that I already read. I thought maybe it all sounded familiar because it was the intro presented after the first book. No. Even as far as the last chapter it was familiar. But I enjoyed getting the review before realizing I was actually finished and ready for book 3 (in fact, I was 12% into it). I almost think this set is short enough to be one larger book.

I think the above paragraph is my example of the review. It was a fun read with characters from book 1 with the fae. Oh, my favorite part, it was set in Germany. Wish there would have been more of a feeling of the land. Yeah. It won’t go into my favorite books. But a good distraction. Definitely not for preteens or younger teens.

But try it. You might love it!

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Seed to Harvest: The Complete Patternist Series (Patternist, #1-4)Seed to Harvest: The Complete Patternist Series by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have loved other books by Octavia E. Butler, but this set of four books just didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t figure out the characters, who was who. Maybe it was because I had to listen to it on text-to-speech, though I did try to follow with my eyes. Still, I did stay with it. A lot of times if something doesn’t make sense it comes together in the end. But I didn’t find that. I found four different stories about similar things.

But don’t take my word for it. Others have loved these books so maybe it is just me and this time in my life. Heck, toothache from infection, smoky-hot summer, Covid19, and its craziness could have flavored how I took the books in. So maybe I’ll read them again later. I see that many people read these in publication order rather than chronological and get a lot more out of all of this combo. Ms. Butler writes well and keeps the reader interested, even when the story itself doesn’t go in the flow I think it should.

Try it. You might like it!

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This is my second reading of the first book of this box-set Find my first review here.

This reading, I was surprised at how current this dystopian story feels. It was only a year ago that I read the first book. Yet now, this seems so scarily close. The author died in 2009, so it was before all of this. How prescient!

As I mentioned in the previous review, I didn’t know what happened after the end of the first book. The second fills in the holes of what happened with the daughter.

At the same time, I wasn’t happy with how the story goes back and forth in person and times, beginning with that second book. I think it is more noticeable when you listen to your books on text-to-speech. I think my eyes might have noticed subtle changes. But that was such a little thing that it didn’t lower my rating.

I cried at the end of the book. I felt I wanted more. I wanted to be with Lauren and everyone in the story longer. The author was excellent in how she created a religion and gave us the ways it grew. How she drew the reader in to know the main character so profoundly was amazing. Now I want to read all her books! I am a fan!!!!


Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I want to thank my friend Tania for highly recommending this to me. I read it with text-to-speech and I just couldn’t stop reading it. I think it will be even more fun on Audible where Wil Wheaton is the narrator, so I plan to order it next month and reread again soon.

I already miss being in the cyber world with Wade. This book isn’t for my generation. It is for my offspring’s generation. The list of games and early computers, the list of movies and music brings excitement for me vicariously mostly because I remember my children getting so excited about their games. Sure I was lucky to learn as I watched them absorb computereze. Commadore64 and Tandy Sensation were my first chances to go beyond snail mail and long-distance. I wrote to a friend on the BBs. Met many more online friends. My kids played game systems. This book brings the 80s and 90s back with a huge adventure!

If you get the chance read the book!

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Independence Day: Crucible: The Official PrequelIndependence Day: Crucible: The Official Prequel by Greg Keyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay. Not my favorite book. But it certainly filled the bill for missing information.

We watched, as usual, Independence Day on, yep, July fourth. I wanted to watch our DVD but the machine ate the DVD. Luckily, the show was on Live TV. We recorded so we could watch when we could get together as a group at the same time. We, also, recorded ID Resurgence. Getting all four of us in the same room at the same time is rare. So we barely got ID finished on 7/4. IDR happened on the fifth.

We’d seen Resurgence before and were unimpressed. This time we seemed to be more into the identifying stars and characters from before. That’s when we noticed that there were characters that seemed to be important but were unknown to us.

My husband watches shows with Google ready. It was when I asked him who is that and why are they supposed to be important? I don’t remember them from ID.

This book is the missing piece. Though it isn’t exciting enough to have a movie of its own, without it Resurge keeps you wondering. Maybe this should have been a series of three one hour shows? At any rate, this helped make the final show make more sense.

On the other hand, I am no more interested to rewatch Resurgence now that I know what I do. And it seems this could have the possibility of another movie or two as we learn more about aliens of all kinds and the hope of global cooperation.

So, it’s worth the read.

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FireFire by L.B. Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Is it the pandemic or what? I think I would have loved this book before but…

Tanya Eby, narrator, was quite good at the many voices it took to tell the story. I tried just using the text-to-speech and found that dull. Maybe if my eyes were good enough to follow along I would like it more. I would have been able to get deeper into the story. Ms. Eby’s voice brought me into the world of the fire elemental.

I must have enjoyed it because I listened to the end. I did like the main character. But often I tired. I honestly don’t think it was the writing or character development. I really think this could have been the most exciting book ever. It was just my inability to concentrate. So don’t take my word for it. Check it out. Maybe when life settles I’ll try it again and see if I don’t actually love it.

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The Storekeeper A Tale of Small Town Life: A Tale of Small Town LifeThe Storekeeper A Tale of Small Town Life: A Tale of Small Town Life by Pearl Whitfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was young I loved spending the night with friends. I loved seeing how other people lived. I found it interesting how the parents were different from my own, even how the friend became different in their own home than they were at school. I think that is why I love to move to new places. Not traveling, you don’t get the truth by visiting, but sinking into a community. Big cities, small towns, and finally the smallest I have ever lived in. I think those raised and who stayed find fault in the other. Small town people make fun of city-folk, city folks laugh at the country folk. They both have their points and their blindnesses.

Such is reading The Storekeeper. It is a tale about a small town. It takes a few people and follows them as does the main character, Ralph Johnson, widower, sinks in as a storekeeper. As the spiderweb of acquaintances grows we learn about others as he does. We hear the bigotry and the gossip, but we see the mature people that are open to help those in need rather than make fun of something different.

I was not a fan of Ralph. I wished he were female. But of my seventy years, fifty or more was spent reading books about males. When I asked my librarian when I was a kid, then as an adult the only answer was that it was to encourage boys to read. Why didn’t I deserve to be encouraged? Oh, yeah, because they were going to get jobs and needed to be readers to be smarter. And the reasoning loses something for me in that with all my reading I still didn’t get the good jobs my male classmates got for a lot less education. So as an old lady I am more demanding of my main characters, especially those who were created by female authors.

Still, Ralph gave us the insight we needed for the various people we meet in the town. He is kind and tries to give as much as he can to those around him. This is where my interests in the book developed. I loved the females brought into Ralph’s circle. I wanted to know more about the little girl and her mother. I wanted to know more about the woman dying of cancer, I wanted to know more about the love interest.

The book seemed longer than I would have liked, yet in the end, I wanted more. Maybe there is a book two coming that focuses on the other people other than Ralph? As a newbie in a small town, I get lost as to how to negotiate social situations. But that may be my own social anxiety. And fibro that keeps me as unreliable as I stay home when I am in pain to great to be out driving. I have no clue as to how folks move from being the grocery bagger to the big farmer, maybe there is a way besides being born to it? The difference between rich and poor seems far more visible here than in the city.

Anyway, during this pandemic, while everyone is looking for peace, this is a great book to slow it down and sink into another life. This could make a great television series!

By the way, here is the cover as it is on Amazon:

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Reign of Monsters (Artifact Hunters, #2)Reign of Monsters by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who doesn’t enjoy a were-squirrel? Shatter Cage is one of the most fun characters in Sara Reine’s worlds. He is determined. His heart seems in the right place, for a thief. And he seems to have more energy than most folks.

With all that is going on, it was a nice fantasy to get lost in. We visit other places and characters from Reine universes. The setting of this one wasn’t Reno like a lot of them but it is a place we recognize. I don’t want to give much away but I think many will love the world-making and character depth that Ms. Reine puts into all of her beings. Again, she is the most prolific author I know of!

If you like fantasy especially urban fantasy that uses real places and remade to her characters’ purposes. Though this is the second book with Shatter, I find that by having read all the books from the beginning, Seasons of the Moon series starting with Six Moon Summer. In fact, this book gave us a nod or two to that beginning. Please enjoy!

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