Tag: ebook

Another day, another review of a Philippa Gregory book. I feel I must again begin this with the disclaimer that I love her books. However, it’s not unwarranted.

This book was no exception. I was so excited that even though a friend bought me a signed copy, I bought the Kindle copy so that I wouldn’t ruin the physical book. I had waited to read this novel until after I had finished Three Sisters, Three Queens by Gregory, so that I could have my mind set in the correct time period.

This novel is told in three parts, each following one of the Grey sisters. The first section is told by Jane Grey, also known as the “Nine-Days Queen.” She was forced to marry Guildford Dudley and then told that after her cousin Edward died, she was next in line for the throne rather than Mary, who was Henry VIII’s oldest daughter. By all accounts, Jane was reluctant to take the throne, insistent that Mary was the true heir. Her parents and in-laws ignored her and pushed her upon the throne. She was only queen for 9 days until Mary came in and took the throne back. At first, Mary was lenient, leaving Jane in the Tower of London. However, since her father and father-in-law continued to muster forces to put her back on the throne, Mary I saw her as a threat and had her beheaded.

The second part is told through the point of view of Jane’s younger sister Katherine. The bulk of her section occurs after the death of Mary I and the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth I. She had the gall to marry a man she loved (Edward “Ned” Seymour) without Elizabeth’s permission. As she was a princess of the blood (and Elizabeth’s presumptive heir), Katherine needed Elizabeth’s permission to marry. As punishment, Elizabeth throws Katherine into the Tower. We end her section with Katherine as the mother of two strong boys, away from her husband and court.

The third part is told by Mary, Katherine and Jane’s youngest sister. She is of short stature, supposedly having a twisted spine. She’s often juxtaposed against the court dwarf, Thomasina. Like her sister Katherine, she married for love. And, like her sister, she was punished for it.

I really liked that we saw history progress through our three sisters. Each of them lends their own voice to the story. One thing that I noticed was that my love of Elizabeth was lessened because of her treatment of the sisters. She was not what one would call “kind.” This was interesting, as some of Gregory’s previous novels showed Elizabeth in a positive light. I liked that we are shown a different side of her, even if it’s not her best side.

I highly recommend this novel to any history fans. We get to see history through the Grey sisters in a way that only Gregory can show.

 

 

To get your copy of “The Last Tudor” by Philippa Gregory, go here.

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Well guys, here it is! My review of the All-New Kindle Oasis. This review is for the 2017 version at 32GB with Wi-Fi and Cellular. I also want to state that I’ve read a lot of reviews for the Oasis, so I will also be referring to things that I’ve seen many others talk about.

My first impression of the Oasis was “square.” I’m used to my Paperwhite, which is rectangular. This was because of the larger screen size, which is 7″ compared to the 6″ on the other Kindles. While an inch may not seem like much, trust me, it is. While reading a book, I compared the same page on both my Oasis and the Paperwhite, and the Oasis fit an entire paragraph extra on the screen. This would lead to less page turns, which is handy.

In terms of the design, it’s beautiful. It’s a lot lighter than I had expected, especially with the metal back. I had read that the edges of the screen were rather sharp, and I do have to agree. If you hold it wrong, it could cause some discomfort. I love the fact that there is no bezel around the screen itself. With my Paperwhite, there’s always at least one cat hair stuck in the bezel. It drove me nuts. I’m glad it won’t happen with the Oasis. I love the little area to the right of the screen where the buttons are. It gives you a place for your thumb to grip onto the reader. I also had not realized how much I missed the buttons that were on my Kindle Keyboard. While the default setting for the Oasis’ buttons is to have forward at the top and back on the bottom, I swapped them so that they were more like the layout of my Keyboard’s buttons.

I started the Oasis up, and boy is it snappy. It flips pages far faster than my Paperwhite, which is amazing. I immediately loaded it up with all of my books using Calibre (if you want to know more about this amazing program, check out my review here.) With my Paperwhite, if I added a bunch of books, it would take them forever to load, if they loaded at all. On the Oasis, it did take a little bit of time (to be fair, I was adding over 600 books), but it was FAR faster than on my Paperwhite. And it loaded all of them up, which was a surprise.

One thing I liked was that it listed all of my collections on the new Kindle, which makes sense because the collections are actually saved on the cloud. What surprised me, and made me love the Oasis even more (though it may be just a Kindle thing) was that after I had all of the books loaded up onto the Oasis and connected both that and my Paperwhite to the internet, it put all of my books into the right collections! I thought I would have to spend days sorting through and adding things to the right collections, when there it did it for me! It did forget some of the items in collections that had over 50 items, but it had about 40 of them in there. I must also note that these were not books purchased from Amazon. I expected my Amazon purchased books to be in the right collections, but not the ones from Calibre. As I said, it was a pleasant surprise.

One thing that had concerned me was the price. A lot of reviewers stated that they preferred the Paperwhite over the Oasis because they did not find the Oasis to be worth the hefty price tag. I personally have to disagree. While it is pricey, I feel that the 32GB and water-resistant aspects of the Oasis made it well worth the price. If you don’t mind spending the money, I highly recommend purchasing the new Oasis.

 


 

I also got the Fabric Standing Cover in Indigo from Amazon for the Oasis. I was concerned because I had read quite a few bad things about the cover. Many people stated that it doesn’t stay attached very well. I do have to say that this is a partial truth. You can indeed hold the Oasis by the cover and it will stay attached. However, if you fold the cover back like a book and then go to flip it back, you have to do it a certain way or else the case may pop off. I would like to have seen the magnets on the case be a little stronger, so that it stayed attached more strongly.

As you can see I did add a sticker to the case, which makes using the “standing” part of the case obsolete (it pops part of the sticker off). If you plan on using the “standing” aspect, do not attach a sticker across the crease.

Altogether, I love the Oasis and I really like the Case. While there were some things I would like to see changed (stronger magnets for the case, rounded edges for the Oasis), I feel that it was a great purchase and I look forward to using them for many years to come.

 

You can get the new Kindle Oasis here and the Fabric Standing Cover here.

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Calibre

Wow, somehow I must find words to describe the awesomeness that is Calibre. Like, I mean. Seriously. I love Calibre. Almost as much as I love my fiance. Yeah, it’s that awesome.

So, I guess I should tell you guys what Calibre is. According to the website, it’s “the one stop solution to all your e-book needs.” And boy, is it ever!

I have used this software almost as long as I’ve had a Kindle, so quite a few years. It’s so easy to use, especially if you want to put books onto your Kindle (or other device) and it’s in the wrong format. Calibre not only converts, it bulk converts! I’ve done a select-all and bulk converted many times, which saved me so much time. You can sort by author, title, or even file type. This is especially handy when you need to bulk convert from epub to mobi, which I’ve had to do numerous times.

If you get your books from a place other than the official Amazon/B&N ebook store, you can add your books to Calibre. It allows you to edit the metadata so that you can fix the name. This is handy if you have multiple books in a series and want to change the title to reflect which number the book is in the series. I did this with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Now, even if I don’t have internet, I know which book is next in the series.

I also love the convert method. Almost every book I’ve put on my Kindle has had to be converted from epub to mobi. One handy feature is that if you have a lot of comics in the CBR file format, you can use Calibre to convert them into mobi. It doesn’t ruin the comic and the text is still very easy to read.

Then there is the saving grace: you can copy your entire library from your Kindle and put it in a file on your computer. This was very handy for me, as I had most of my ebook files on my other computer. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’m getting a new Kindle on Friday. I want to have my entire library transferred onto my new Kindle. With Calibre, I was able to take all of my books (many of which were not purchased in the Amazon store) and put them onto my other computer. Now, I’m ready to load up my new Kindle when it arrives.

The one thing that kinda bums me out about Calibre (which is not their fault) is that you cannot natively create collections and add books to them on an un-jailbroken kindle. This is more Amazon’s fault than Calibre, as it requires special access to your Kindle to manage those collections. Kind of a bummer, but with everything else made so easy by Calibre, I’ll take this one caveat.

So, if you’re looking for an effortless way to manage your Kindle or ereader device, I HIGHLY recommend Calibre.

Oh, did I mention it’s FREE!? And available for both PC, Mac, and even a “mobile” version (for Chromebooks!!!)

Yeah, you’ll want to get it here.

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