Tag Archive: text-to-speech-enabled



The Novice (Summoner, #1)The Novice by Taran Matharu
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book was not my cup of tea. One of my best friends loved it, so don’t take this review to heart.

If you loved Wheel of Time, Lord of the Rings, etc. This book is for you. Those and this are too male-heavy and too similar that I just got bored. I never got into the main character. I never felt anything about him was worth my time.

But, please don’t take my word for it. It was a quick read that I borrowed from the Libby library app. The text-to-speech was enabled for those who like to listen to books as they do other things like artwork with their hands. So it was painless. Still, when it got to the preview of the next book, I didn’t care if the MC was alive or dead. I was ready to move on to a series more to my liking.

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One Golden SummerOne Golden Summer by Clare Lydon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was one of those beach-read type of books. Done in a couple of hours. It was fun for the most part. It felt very like the male-female romance books in the part I hate them ost about romance. Jealousy. And lack of communication. But it was cute and a quick read, so great to pass the time.

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How To Write a Beloved (and Bestselling) Memoir (Creative Catalyst Series)How To Write a Beloved (and Bestselling) Memoir by Laura Bradbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started this short read when I couldn’t sleep one night and finished before I knew it. It was very informative.

Laura Bradbury, the author, kept the information accessible and alive. Though I read this via Kindle Unlimited on text-to-speech, I am thinking about buying this as a paper book for reference.

If you are writing a memoir or autobiography like I am, this is a great book to help you along. I’m still at the “Messy” part of vomiting the story out. But as I get to the following stages, I want to check in and see what Ms. Bradbury has to say about it. She even covers editing and publishing. I love that she aims to help you write it with a creative bent.

Because it was so inspiring, I picked up her first memoir in her Grape series, My Grape Year. I can’t wait to dive in.

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Through the Magic SunglassesThrough the Magic Sunglasses by Mariia Manko
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book gives the phrase “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses” a whole new meaning.

I picked up this book for free on Kindle Unlimited because of the blurb. Okay. I’ll share it.

“When Mariia storms out of her boyfriend’s Kyiv apartment forever, she has no idea what is awaiting her. She is handed a pair of ‘magic’ sunglasses by a mysterious cabdriver on her way to Berlin, and what begins as a journey to get over her breakup turns out to be the adventure of her life. The sunglasses become her secret helper, always showing her an escape route as Mariia is chased by a trio of rich, vindictive women who want a compromising flash drive back from her, going from Berlin to Düsseldorf to Paris and then on to Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.
Combining urban fiction and self-help with a dashing tale of adventure, Mariia Manko’s Through the Magic Sunglasses is an enchanting story about independence, strength, and believing in yourself.”

And yes, it was an adventure. But the most challenging part for me was how the main character couldn’t stop thinking about her ex and get on with the magic she had been given. I think that was the part that ruined it for me. The rest of the book was fun. And it was upbeat and a bit of a self-help book.

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Apsara by Pearl Whitfield

Apsara by Pearl Whitfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I don’t often share the blurb, but since it isn’t on GoodReads, this is the one I found on Amazon:

“Apsara is the story of a young girl in a remote village in 12th century Cambodia who loves to dance. She is chosen to train as an Apsara for King Jayavarman VII. Apsaras dance to bring heaven to earth, blessing the land with prosperity. Bopha walks from her home to Angkor Wat, and begins a life she could never have imagined.”

I was so happy to pick this book up on Kindle Unlimited. That way, I could listen to the story in text-to-speech. As the author was writing it, I heard parts of the story. I often missed the chance to listen to more. That broke my heart. Still, I could hear the author’s voice in my head as I listened to the British representative of TTS. I would love to have this story on Audible so that the pronunciations of non-English words and names would be proper.

The story itself is so riveting. I had a hard time putting it down when it was time to sleep. Ms. Whitfield managed to keep the story interesting while throwing in the history, culture, language, religion, and dance of the people of 12th century Cambodia. I loved the main character, Bopha, and wish there was more. I’d love to know more about the teen twins and the daughter.



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A Passage in Time (A Thief in Time #7)A Passage in Time by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do you prove that your time machine works? Prove something exists, then vanish it by changing events. Then hand over proof. It’s more complicated than it sounds. In this case, no Disneyland is proof the time machine is working.

I love time travel books. They always make you think. Could this work, and what if it could? What would happen if…? This book fulfilled and kept my curiosity going. Because of the Disney monopoly, I had mixed feelings about reading a book about Walt and the beginnings. At the same time, though broke most of my life, our family did have some fun times at Disneyland. I would cry at the end of every Mickey Mouse Club and Wonderful World of Disney as a girl. So Disney impacted my life. Without those memories, how would I know if I didn’t have them? Maybe other memories would be as sweet?

And this book continues the adventures set up in previous A Thief In Time books. So you get to see how old friends are doing.

I highly recommend this and all Cidney Swanson series.

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Yellow CrocusYellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished listening to this a few nights ago. I still feel warm and fuzzy from the experience. No, it isn’t all a cozy read. But the author went into the characters’ psychology in a way that women. mothers could feel. Most of us haven’t had to experience this kind of life. But it doesn’t take a lot to feel how it might affect us. And how it could mess up the children.

Bahni Turpin (Narrator) was marvelous. I could listen to her voice all day, especially when she would sing lullabies. She expressed emotions fully. And get ready to be angry, and make sure to bring the Kleenex.

This is a beautiful read. I was able to hear the Audible version. But I could have read the Kindle version as I had it for quite a while.

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Fortune FallsFortune Falls by Jenny Goebel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fun book! Though aimed at middle grades to young adults, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

My friend and her granddaughter were co-reading this. They shared on a Zoom friends-meet how much they were enjoying it. I started looking around to see if it was on Libby. I couldn’t afford to buy it right now. Thankfully my friend gifted the Kindle version to me. Yay! And thank you!

Imagine a town where superstitions come true. Sadie lived there and was considered unlucky. What an adventure she takes us on while making us question those beliefs!

If you want to take a break from the adult reads, this will fit the bill. I am amazed at the vocabulary and writing. I believe young me or my kids would have enjoyed this even more than I did, which seems an impossible bar to reach!

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The Butchers (Breeders #6)The Butchers by Katie French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are many different reviews on this book, low stars and high. I’m giving it five stars as I still care for the characters and the situation enough to make it through the whole series. And I look forward to the new book in a takeaway series in the future but in the same place.

What I hate has nothing to do with this book, except the way books have to be labeled. Yes, it is nice to have a guideline of readability levels. But maybe we need something that says, this is gory and has a lot of killing and blood. There is a romantic element but no sex. There are gender issues addressed in the way of this series’ settings.

But here’s my thing: Why do young adult books have to have young adults? I remember being a young adult and loving science fiction. The more, the better. Those characters were men, not anyone that looked like me. Still, I consumed them. Am I happier to see books that reflect every age of me now? Absolutely! I’m not ever depicted in exciting books, adventures, etc. Auntie is the closest to me. I think all of us need a variety of types of characters to get to know. What we relate to are the places, flaws, ability to rise above, etc. 71 year-olds are people who need all that, too!

The reading level is easily accessible by middle grades though a parent or teacher may want to talk to the child about it. Certainly, children these days watch shows on the media that contain all that is here. And for many, the survival of our characters teaches how one might be to be out in the New Mexico desert with bad guys everywhere out to kill you.

But barring all those elements, this story pulls me in. From the very beginning, The Breeders. I do agree that it is hard to differentiate between characters. Even having the title of the chapter as the heads up for the viewpoint, the character Sounds the same until he/she bring up individualized things. I’m not sure how to fix that confusion that happens if you are reading by listening only to text-to-speech. But I somehow got used to it and felt the new chapter beginning.

All-in-all, I loved these books enough to overcome the issues presented. I’m looking forward to reading more by Katie French.

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Girl Love Happens: Season ThreeGirl Love Happens: Season Three by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my favorite of the series so far. The main character is coming into her own emotionally and using wisdom and care with others as she goes through the problems presented in her life. Tegan is far from a perfect person, but her growth is so fun to read about.

I love how T.B. Markinson writes. Her characters, even the secondary ones, all feel real. The situations feel plausible, and she brings wisdom to the story.

I like that we are getting to go through the college scene while Tegan learns about her sexuality. And as she learns how to help her mother adjust to Tegan’s self-discovery.

Though this book didn’t leave me on a cliff-hanger, it indicated that it would continue. I can’t wait to see how Tegan grows.

By the way, the book is free with Kindle Unlimited.

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