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Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons: One Woman's Quest to Trade Self-Help for Elf-Help by [Mazzanoble, Shelly]
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Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons: One Woman's Quest to Trade Self-Help for Elf-Help Kindle Edition

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6010 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (6 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #999,681 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b013810) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94974048) out of 5 stars I feel like I just drank a +4 Potion of Stuart Smalley 20 Sept. 2011
By R. Fenimore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has just enough D&D to warrant the title, but it is more of the author's experiences and thoughts on stuff than a book about the game. The D&D references usually branch off into light-hearted (in a heavy hors d'oeuvres sort of way) examinations of subjects such as spirituality, commitment, and fashion. Often funny and always witty, it definitely touches on her relationships with others: pets, co-workers, her boyfriend, random psychotic children on Big Wheels, and, especially, her mother.

What gives the book it's real charm to me, though, is that underneath all of the humor, wit, and sarcasm, there is an honest examination of self going on in it as well. If you are interested in a well-written, funny book with a little bit of "self-help" sprinkled in, then by all means, buy this book. It is good enough, smart enough, and, doggone it, I think you will like it. Any interest you have in D&D will just be the cherry on top.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94c77e58) out of 5 stars A nice coming of age story by a highly successful, lady gamer 29 Dec. 2011
By Richard Staats - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I very much enjoyed Ms. Mazzanoble's Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons: One Woman's Quest to Trade Self-Help for Elf-Help.

I highly recommend the book for anyone who played D&D as an adolescent or has kids that are playing it now.

Ms. Mazzanoble does an excellent job of recalling some of the humorous, awkward, and pure fun bits of her role-playing experiences, and, then, Ms. Mazzanoble rolls it all together in a series of credible and valuable life lessons starting with "never split the party."

While many of the books on the topic, e.g., Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange, trounce down a dark road of self-loathing and take some glee at lampooning their hobby, Ms. Mazzanoble points out how her gaming experiences were a positive influence that significantly helped her with life's challenges.

Much has been made of how role-playing used to be a male dominated hobby, and I found it refreshing to have "Everything I Need to Know ..." told from a decidedly well-adjusted woman's perspective.

As the father of two role-playing young ladies, one medical doctor and one chef, I found myself nodding in agreement with Ms. Mazzanoble's points.

Just to manage expectations for the would-be reader, this is not an in-depth look at Dungeons and Dragons. Ms. Mazzanoble tells a D&D anecdote and uses that as a springboard for broader topics like peer pressure, friendship and loyalty, and spirituality. For anyone who has ever played a table-top RPG, the connections are clear.

Well done! I cannot wait to get a copy of Ms. Mazzanoble's Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress: A Girl's Guide to the D&D Game (Dungeons & Dragons).

In service,

The Original Dr. Games since 1993
HASH(0x94cc5684) out of 5 stars I'm really just angry 22 April 2016
By Kate Alfrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I had high hopes for this. I did a small amount of research on the author before starting, and I thought that since she's so entrenched in gaming culture for women, she would write outside of the prevalent stereotypes for women who game.


This book is nothing gamer girl drivel that paints all women to hold superficial interests but can still be cajoled into playing D&D if they must. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a good pair of shoes just like the author does. I'm facing planning a wedding with a mother who I love dearly but am never quite on the same page as, and yet, I would hope I never talk to people like Ms. Mazzanoble writes.

I'm now going to tell you what I hoped this book would get around to saying: do what you like, pursue what you love, and don't let the preconceived notions of others create personal turmoil. If you love reality TV and table top gaming, pursue both with fervor. If you like swan diving off of cliffs, please research the proper equipment so you don't die and then have at it. But please, don't let this book, or ANY book, dissuade you from a way of thinking or an activity that interests you.
HASH(0x9497448c) out of 5 stars Too cutesy in style and substance 23 July 2015
By Shannon Roy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the profusion of role-playing memoirs of recent years, I've read and greatly enjoyed both "The Elfish Gene" and "Of Dice And Men".

This one, however, I just could not enjoy. Perhaps it was the too-cute conversational style, perhaps it was the device of including social media "conversations" (hint to aspiring authors: without the context of friendship, nearly all social media exchanges are meaningless to outsiders). Perhaps it was the gushing about the workplace (WotC, making this seem like marketing dressed as a novel).

Perhaps it was a lot of things -- but mostly I suspect it was because I didn't learn anything! Neither about the author's journey, nor about the hobby I've enjoyed sporadically for decades.

There are great D&D memoirs (see above) but I'm afraid that for me, this wasn't one of them.
HASH(0x94cc578c) out of 5 stars Excellent! 2 Jan. 2014
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not much into slice of life non-fiction, but I could not put this down. It normally takes me a month to read anything, but I finished it in about a week. Mazzanoble creates a hilarious insight into her life and Dungeons and Dragons. I've even used this for an Education project in college. Got an 'A' on that one!
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