Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Since I read them as e-book on my kindle, as soon as I have finished one I move it to a section called Romance books. So it is easy to see how many that i have read and of course which ones.
I also read e-books mostly in pdf or e-pub format, but I use app called Kybooks on my ipad. This one has some features like unlimited highlighting, text to speech( it supports many languages), tagging the books after completion, auto break after 25 minutes, space to write summary of the book, ability share to the highlights and summaries etc. along with normal reading. some of these features exist in Kindle too , but we need to buy both kindle and audible. The quality of Text to speech may not be as good as in audible. There are many other apps like Kybooks in different operating systems.

The ability to switch between reading and listening helps me to use little pockets of time doing other activities like walking , cleaning, cooking etc. I had a ipad case that has flexible hand strap that makes it easy to listen to it, even if I have to go. Generally the story lines are well written, easy to follow and gripping that makes us to continue to the finish( either reading or listening).
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
When I downloaded Seek10's spreadsheet, I found that I could highlight the titles I have read and that makes it easier to keep up when I order new ones. Ebay has many books at a good deal since I don't have a kindle and get tired of staring at screens often.
Just tell you that Kindle have not the same kind of screen then a computer. Totally different, Kindle do not tire the eyes like a normal screen. In fact reading in a kindle is like reading in a book. Fabulous invention a Kindle!
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I just finished Balogh's A Counterfeit Betrothal and The Notorious Rake.

The first one was much lighter than some other Balogh's, although it contains a strong message about what can happen when we are not able to forgive, hold grudges and don't communicate. And several people willing to sacrifice something in order to help loved ones. And, a loving plot within a loving plot. TWO parallel stories in one, and TWO happy endings. Bonus!

The second one hit me like a ton of bricks. I had some emotional releases, vivid dreams, etc. One thing I can say without spoilers is that it was an excellent depiction of why some people create a mask in order to survive, or from unprocessed hurt, and it takes love and healing to let go of them. And how it also takes people able to see that mask, and appreciate the other person from a perspective of understanding, in order for the mask-wearer to finally let go. The emotions depicted, and how one event can change the course of several people's lives when they aren't able to process the hurt correctly, was super well described. I just couldn't help but loving the male character, even though he did absolutely everything to be disliked!

I could relate to several things in both main characters. Not the details, but the underlying dynamics, the inner thoughts, feelings of unworthiness, yet the desire to be better after a mistake, etc. And I couldn't help but feel very lucky that at different points in my life, someone (like this network) was also able to help me see beyong my "masks" (programs), show love and acceptance instead of judging too quickly, and here I am. And for how, thanks to this group, we all have been given the chance to do the same for others a bit, as we all continue learning. Balogh should have a PhD in psychology! ;-)

Off to reading a new author now, Elisa Branden now.

EDITS: For clarity.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I just finished Balogh's A Counterfeit Betrothal and The Notorious Rake.

The first one was much lighter than some other Balogh's, although it contains a strong message about what can happen when we are not able to forgive, hold grudges and don't communicate. And several people willing to sacrifice something in order to help loved ones. And, a loving plot within a loving plot. TWO parallel stories in one, and TWO happy endings. Bonus!
I was just struggling with the above issues, then decided I didn't want to wallow and do some work on the forum instead when I saw your post, Chu. Amazing timing!:-D I have just bought the novel(s) and will read them after finishing Elisa Branden's When a girl loves an earl. Thank you!!
 

Jones

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
When I downloaded Seek10's spreadsheet, I found that I could highlight the titles I have read and that makes it easier to keep up when I order new ones

Good idea! Thanks for sharing it. I have done that too now and also marking the ones I want to read next based on others comments in a different colour.

I never would have thought that I'd have read almost 40 romance novels in a few short months AND be planning to read more :lol: It is a very useful experience and am thankful that it was suggested.
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
J'ai terminé Mary Balogh La famille Huxtable Le temps du désir Tome 4
Et le dernier tome 5 Le temps du secret qui a fait coulé mes larmes...
C'est celui qui m'a le plus plu...
Je suis triste que cette série soit terminée car je me suis attachée à ses héroïnes et héros...

J'ai commencé Les soeurs Merridew tome 1 d'Anne Gracie


I finished Mary Balogh The Huxtable family Time of desire Volume 4
And the last volume 5 The time of the secret which made my tears flow...
I enjoyed it the most...
I am sad that this series is over because I got attached to its heroines and heroes...

I started The Merridew Sisters Volume 1 by Anne Gracie
 

Andrian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I just finished Balogh's A Counterfeit Betrothal and The Notorious Rake.

The first one was much lighter than some other Balogh's, although it contains a strong message about what can happen when we are not able to forgive, hold grudges and don't communicate. And several people willing to sacrifice something in order to help loved ones. And, a loving plot within a loving plot. TWO parallel stories in one, and TWO happy endings. Bonus!

The second one hit me like a ton of bricks. I had some emotional releases, vivid dreams, etc. One thing I can say without spoilers is that it was an excellent depiction of why some people create a mask in order to survive, or from unprocessed hurt, and it takes love and healing to let go of them. And how it also takes people able to see that mask, and appreciate the other person from a perspective of understanding, in order for the mask-wearer to finally let go. The emotions depicted, and how one event can change the course of several people's lives when they aren't able to process the hurt correctly, was super well described. I just couldn't help but loving the male character, even though he did absolutely everything to be disliked!

I could relate to several things in both main characters. Not the details, but the underlying dynamics, the inner thoughts, feelings of unworthiness, yet the desire to be better after a mistake, etc. And I couldn't help but feel very lucky that at different points in my life, someone (like this network) was also able to help me see beyong my "masks" (programs), show love and acceptance instead of judging too quickly, and here I am. And for how, thanks to this group, we all have been given the chance to do the same for others a bit, as we all continue learning. Balogh should have a PhD in psychology! ;-)

Off to reading a new author now, Elisa Branden now.

EDITS: For clarity.
Very nicely and neatly put Chu thank you for that. About a few days ago I've finished reading also A counterfeit betrothal/A notorious rake that I've found very interesting, with some hidden gems that made me contemplate a lot on our condition in 3d.

In the book A Counterfeit Betrothal the main lesson I've took home is the forgiveness theme, that's a hard lesson that one will have to learn sooner or later if he wants to progress further on his own path and from my own experience i can say that learning to forgive and let go and at the same time not forgetting in order not to fall into the same trap/dynamics once again is not so easy. For me at least it wasn't easy to learn this lesson and I hope I've learned it. Who would like to understand more about forgiving dynamics I would definitely recommend reading this book.

By reading the book A notorious rake, the message I've took home has been once again the forgiveness lesson, that is, forgiveness towards oneself, because otherwise one won't be able to move onward and upward since the predator's mind will suck you dry through self pity and self importance making you punish yourself and act against your true nature to the point that can lead one even to the smashing of his own soul if he doesn't wakeup in time and sees the predator's trap he fell in. And in order to forgive yourself you need help from people who wish you well, I'm talking here from my own experience.

Some years ago I've reached a point where I wasn't able to move any further on my path because of an internal block due to some serious issues and mistakes I've done earlier in my life. By opening up to Laura, thanks to her kindness, unconditional understanding and total lack of judgment I've been able to dissolve that internal block literally. After that my life began to change considerably and I've continued to move onward and upward though without Laura's help I strongly doubt that I'd have been able to do it on my own. The point is that we need each others support, respect and love in order to grow and move forward, that's a fact. No one is able to stand against the General Law all by himself as the C's have mentioned.

I've read also Mary Balogh's The First Snowdrop, here the main theme I've took home has been: sometimes good times, pleasant and abundant surroundings could make good people weak and fickle ( a caricature of their true selves) due to the lack of awareness of the predator's mind manipulations. It's like loosing the control of your own carriage thus letting the predator mind do the driving. In this case I think that it's inevitable that one begins to act against his own nature thus acting as an agent of the entropic center, thus spreading suffering and chaos around himself.

In this case when one finds himself a target of such a 'fool' who lost control of his own carriage, it's his own duty towards himself (to his true nature) to act and give to that fool it's due according to his actions. And that may serve the fool as a shocker in order to wakeup and realize in time where he was heading thus choosing eventually to act in favor of his true nature.

In a nutshell, the main lesson I've took home is, you have to be true to your true nature and fear nothing giving everyone their due according to their actions and their nature without judging, hating or pitying. :cool2::-)
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
When I downloaded Seek10's spreadsheet, I found that I could highlight the titles I have read and that makes it easier to keep up when I order new ones.
Good idea! Thanks for sharing it. I have done that too now and also marking the ones I want to read next based on others comments in a different colour.
Without knowing how this happened, I have noticed that there are highlights in the spreadsheet beginning from around March 19 at 17.14 UTC. Therefore, whoever has by now picked up on the idea to keep track of what is read in a spreadsheet, kindly do not highlight anything in the original spreadsheet or make notes about what books you have or have not read until the issues we are facing now have been resolved.

Besides, if someone downloads a copy to their Google drive and then highlights etc, we still have a problem if the files are synchronized. What you could try to avoid such issues is to export the file into another format or "save as" and rename the file. I don't know if both these options are equally good, but @seek10 who began the spreadsheet will most likely have something to add.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Without knowing how this happened, I have noticed that there are highlights in the spreadsheet beginning from around March 19 at 17.14 UTC. Therefore, whoever has by now picked up on the idea to keep track of what is read in a spreadsheet, kindly do not highlight anything in the original spreadsheet or make notes about what books you have or have not read until the issues we are facing now have been resolved.

Besides, if someone downloads a copy to their Google drive and then highlights etc, we still have a problem if the files are synchronized. What you could try to avoid such issues is to export the file into another format or "save as" and rename the file. I don't know if both these options are equally good, but @seek10 who began the spreadsheet will most likely have something to add.
Thank you @thorbiorn for letting us know. I will check what can I do for facilitating the feature easily - 'who read which books'
 

Keit

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
The quality of Text to speech may not be as good as in audible. There are many other apps like Kybooks in different operating systems.

The ability to switch between reading and listening helps me to use little pockets of time doing other activities like walking , cleaning, cooking etc. I had a ipad case that has flexible hand strap that makes it easy to listen to it, even if I have to go. Generally the story lines are well written, easy to follow and gripping that makes us to continue to the finish( either reading or listening).

Well, I would really appreciate feedback about it.

I started listening to "The Stolen Princess" (Anne Gracie's Devil Riders series) using "Balabolka" software. It is one of the text-to-speech softwares, and it is going ok, beside the fact that the text is in Russian (the software is also Russian), and the auto-narrator is sometimes misplacing accents of the words. It actually sounds funny, as if the narrator is a foreigner that speaks Russian. 😅

So I tried looking for better solutions, and Yandex Alisa (Alice) makes a better job, and there are also other services, like Yandex SpeechKit, where in my personal opinion the text-to-speech sounds even more "naturalized".

But the issue is that it is still far from the quality of the real audiobooks, like Audible, and it definitely can't replace the experience of reading. The reason that I decided to also listen to the books this way, is because I am a slow reader, and since I have up to two hours of reading before bed, I manage to cover up to 4 chapters. And listening gives an opportunity to listen while doing other things, but primarily while sitting in front the computer. My work at the moment does allow me to divide attention this way, because in many cases it is already almost automatic.

It was brought to my attention that this kind of listening doesn't invoke the necessary level of emotions, like it would while reading or listening to Audible. It is certainly true, but even while listening to the basic text-to-speech software (I listened to five chapters so far), I already chuckled in places, and was able to empathize with what Callie and Nicky went though, or specifically their reactions and responses.

Will make the next as a spoiler just in case.

It reminded me of my own reactions years ago that were based on my own personal experiences in childhood and teenaghood, and how such events, no matter how justified and real, can skew one's perception and put one in the perpetual "fight or flight" mode. And how Gabe's and Ms. Barrow's kindness, or the whole atmosphere in the house act as a correcting and calming influence. Something Callie both longs for, but still afraid to be open to.

It was also very moving to hear how Nicky, this bright and cute 8 years boy internalized the abuse he received due to his injured leg, and how Gabe corrected his perception and fears in a respectful and reassuring manner.

So I wonder if there is still value in such listening, or perhaps it is indeed best to concentrate on the reading, and perhaps listen to Audible recording if possible.

I found your comment interesting, because out of the three books in that trilogy, Unforgiven was my least favorite. I really liked Indiscreet and Irresistible though, and could relate much more to the characters. In Unforgiven, some things just didn't make sense to me:

"Like when she doesn't question that the "only" way to keep her warm is by being intimate with her, while he just told her he learned that surviving the cold during the war, with his comrades. And he isn't gay, so... Sometimes it was just too far-fetched, I thought. Or the fact that they hated each other for such a simple thing/misunderstanding in the end. I found Moira so shallow and annoying at times..."
But it goes to show that we are all different, and that there are "pearls" in many of the books if we care to look. Even when I can't relate to one character or another, it still makes me think, or remember things, or feel things I haven't felt in a while, or new things, etc.

I did like "Indiscreet" very much, and still need to finish "Irresistible", but agree that the narrative and the characters are better than in "Unforgiven".

And more in spoiler.

And I agree that this scene in the cabin in "Unforgiven" was rather ridiculous. As if there are no other ways to keep each other warm. :rolleyes:😅, but at the same time I also recognized myself in Moira. Well, myself in the past, but probably some tendencies still remain. Specifically her tendency to be passive and waiting till the last moment with the pregnancy, and only by chance her fiancee, Sir Edwin, had to take care of his sick mother and had a jolly/naive personality in general, so a more serious situation was averted.

I also think that the "feud between families" wasn't justified and that Moira should have done a bit of introspection in regards to her brother, and why he was sent to the military. But I did like Balogh's description of how to handle interactions between somewhat disagreeable partners.

It was something that had been happening between them occasionally: flashes of irritation deflected by a shared sense of humor.

Sounds like a very good advice. :-)
 

Andrian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Well, I would really appreciate feedback about it.

I started listening to "The Stolen Princess" (Anne Gracie's Devil Riders series) using "Balabolka" software. It is one of the text-to-speech softwares, and it is going ok, beside the fact that the text is in Russian (the software is also Russian), and the auto-narrator is sometimes misplacing accents of the words. It actually sounds funny, as if the narrator is a foreigner that speaks Russian. 😅

So I tried looking for better solutions, and Yandex Alisa (Alice) makes a better job, and there are also other services, like Yandex SpeechKit, where in my personal opinion the text-to-speech sounds even more "naturalized".

But the issue is that it is still far from the quality of the real audiobooks, like Audible, and it definitely can't replace the experience of reading. The reason that I decided to also listen to the books this way, is because I am a slow reader, and since I have up to two hours of reading before bed, I manage to cover up to 4 chapters. And listening gives an opportunity to listen while doing other things, but primarily while sitting in front the computer. My work at the moment does allow me to divide attention this way, because in many cases it is already almost automatic.

It was brought to my attention that this kind of listening doesn't invoke the necessary level of emotions, like it would while reading or listening to Audible. It is certainly true, but even while listening to the basic text-to-speech software (I listened to five chapters so far), I already chuckled in places, and was able to empathize with what Callie and Nicky went though, or specifically their reactions and responses.

Will make the next as a spoiler just in case.

It reminded me of my own reactions years ago that were based on my own personal experiences in childhood and teenaghood, and how such events, no matter how justified and real, can skew one's perception and put one in the perpetual "fight or flight" mode. And how Gabe's and Ms. Barrow's kindness, or the whole atmosphere in the house act as a correcting and calming influence. Something Callie both longs for, but still afraid to be open to.

It was also very moving to hear how Nicky, this bright and cute 8 years boy internalized the abuse he received due to his injured leg, and how Gabe corrected his perception and fears in a respectful and reassuring manner.

So I wonder if there is still value in such listening, or perhaps it is indeed best to concentrate on the reading, and perhaps listen to Audible recording if possible.



I did like "Indiscreet" very much, and still need to finish "Irresistible", but agree that the narrative and the characters are better than in "Unforgiven".

And more in spoiler.

And I agree that this scene in the cabin in "Unforgiven" was rather ridiculous. As if there are no other ways to keep each other warm. :rolleyes:😅, but at the same time I also recognized myself in Moira. Well, myself in the past, but probably some tendencies still remain. Specifically her tendency to be passive and waiting till the last moment with the pregnancy, and only by chance her fiancee, Sir Edwin, had to take care of his sick mother and had a jolly/naive personality in general, so a more serious situation was averted.

I also think that the "feud between families" wasn't justified and that Moira should have done a bit of introspection in regards to her brother, and why he was sent to the military. But I did like Balogh's description of how to handle interactions between somewhat disagreeable partners.



Sounds like a very good advice. :-)
Hi Keit, I can certainly relate with you as regarding the reading pace. I'm a slow reader as well and it takes me awhile in order to finish reading a book.

Personally I prefer to keep reading instead of listening audio books since while I'm reading I'm able to immerse myself into the story more deeply thus the emotional roller-coaster i'm going through while reading is much more stronger and I love it. It will take me awhile to read 100 books, no worries, it means that I'll concentrate most of my time on reading since I really feel that while reading the novels there are definitely some serious changes going on in the background. Also the stories in the novels are entertaining and very interesting that keeps one on the edge while reading.

I wanted just to put it out there, this is my personal experience though it doesn't mean that the same can be said about others. :-)
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Je viens de terminer Le plus doux des malentendus d'Anne Gracie - Les soeurs Merridew - Tome 1
J'ai bien aimé aussi, il y a vraiment des gens horribles et des êtres si purs et innocents...
Je commence le tome 2 - Première Valse...
Il ne me reste plus que deux livres Tome 3 et 4 d'avance de la même série
Je viens d'acheter : La série "La légende des quatre soldats", Tome 1 : Les vertiges de la passion
Tome 2 Séduire un séducteur - Tome 3 Le reclus - Tome 4 Le revenant

I just finished The Sweetest Misunderstanding by Anne Gracie - The Merridew Sisters - Volume 1
I liked it too, there are really horrible people and such pure and innocent beings...
I'm starting volume 2 - First Waltz...
I only have two books left Tome 3 and 4 ahead of time from the same series
I just bought : The Legend of the Four Soldiers series, Volume 1: The Dizziness of Passion
Volume 2 Seducing a seducer - Volume 3 The recluse - Volume 4 The revenant

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Since I read them as e-book on my kindle, as soon as I have finished one I move it to a section called Romance books. So it is easy to see how many that i have read and of course which ones.
Where is this possibility in Kindle to put the Romance list? How to do it?
Thank you.
 
Top Bottom