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Old 07-30-2008, 05:39 PM   #16
nekokami
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Soap-making! I believe Hearthsong has some kits. This month's CRAFT magazine also has an article (and a bunch of articles about weaving).

Actually, a few volumes of CRAFT would be a good idea in general. It's a quarterly, so a subscription might seem rather pointless, but you should be able to get back-issues from their website.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:17 AM   #17
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I'd recommend:
Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn), which is a vampire romance series, very well written and hugely popular.

Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing). A fantasy series with a bit of romance set in a historical fantasy world around 1895 if I remember correctly. The books start of a little slow, but become very addicting later on.

"Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card. Mixes old russian fairytales with a fantasy world and our modern world. Very good, but not specifically directed at young adults, but appropriate none the less for a 15 year old.

Non-fantasy:
"Lock and Key" and "Just Listen" by Sarah Dessen. "Lock and Key" is about a girl who has been abandoned by her mother and starts to live with her older sister. Now she needs to learn to open up and trust other people again. "Just Listen" on the other hand describes the struggle of a girl who has been rejected by her friends at school. She meets a boy who's rumored to be a violent guy, but strangely he's listening to music all the time without talking to other people.

"How Not to Be Popular" and "Alpha Dog" by Jennifer Ziegler. Both books are more light-hearted than the other books I've recommended. Humorous and about believing in oneself.

"Skin Deep" by E. M. Crane. A girl who thinks of herself as ugly and boring meets a strange lady with a huge dog. As she gets to know them better she develops self-confidence.


Everything I recommended is available in e-book form.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:32 AM   #18
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Oh and manga I'd recommend:
"Land of the Blindfolded" (Mekakushi No Kuni) by Tsukuba Sakura.

"Love Roma" by Minoru Toyoda. The English translation is very good by the way (published by Del Rey).
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:08 PM   #19
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THANK YOU ALL!

So, the surgery and the immediate aftermath appear to be going well.

I liked the craft idea, and decided she was a bit old for me to be making a bunch of decisions without her input, so I talked to her about what she would like, in terms of a craft, ebook reader, books, etc. Quite the eye-opening experience.

As for the craft, she has been wanting to take up art, specifically computer art. As she shares a computer with her sister, and at her grandmother's she won't even have that, this is a bit difficult. So, we have re-purposed an older mac laptop we had here at the house that will give her some flexibility for watching DVDs and will work with an inexpensive digitizing tablet we picked up.

As for the ebook reader, she preferred something that would fit in her pocket for the hospital/doctor visits, and specifically something that would play some mind-numbing puzzle games as she tends to be too nervous during those visits to read. Again, the gadget-hoarding uncle to the rescue, with an old Palm-OS handheld. Still works, and I installed Bejeweled and some others. Since she wants to read on both the handheld and the mac, and PDFs seem to be a poor choice, she is getting her books in eReader format. It does limit her choices, but she did find lots of good choices.

I offered several of your suggestions, and let her look around a bit on her own. She has downloaded Terrier (by Pierce), several by Pratchett and Lackey, and a new trilogy by Weis and Hickman, since she liked the old Dragon Lance chronicles. She started to get the Gemma Doyle series, but one of the books is not available in eReader at the moment, so she is holding off for now (I may pick it up in paper for her). I won lots of points with several of your recommendations, and I thank you all!

I will say I get quite the lecture when I suggested the Twilight series someone mentioned, and seemed to be the topic of several threads here last week. Sounded like a popular series to me but, as she put it, they need to go back to using the name Horror for that genre, as she is tired of people confusing Dark Fantasy with "real fantasy books" (whatever that is). Specifically, vampires popping up in her otherwise normal fantasy books is considered a bad thing, and when they try to make the vampire sympathetic, or worse a good guy, I think the girl's head simply explodes.

The paper graphic novels also went over well, Ranma and Fushigi Yuugi in particular.

Thank you all again for the wonderful suggestions. You made things easier for her, and made me a popular uncle in the process. Her mother does not allow her to participate in online forums, but the entire family has asked me to offer their many thanks as well.

The Bandit

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Old 08-04-2008, 04:48 PM   #20
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Glad to hear the surgery went well!

She may be able to use a 3d art program called Daz Studio on the Mac, depending on how old it is and how much memory it has. I mention it because it's free and there's also a lot of free content available for it. I'm using it to draw an original manga. More info at http://www.daz3d.com
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:44 PM   #21
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Readers aren't all that wonderful for playing games. So the best bet is either a PSP or DS Lite. The readers are best for reading.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:28 PM   #22
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A DS Lite can also be used as a book reader, though I think at present it only supports plain text formatting.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:30 PM   #23
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GIMP is available for mac and would give her almost the robustness of photoshop for digital art. (and it's a freebie) http://www.gimp.org/macintosh/
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