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Armchair Audies 2014

Armchair Audies

I had so much fun listening to the various books nominated for the Audie Awards next year that I decided (prior to the release of nominations), that I wanted to participate again and that I would likely do the romance category again. But that being said, when the nominees were announced, I was kind of disappointed in the nominations. Looking at the nominees garnered as interesting selection of books, two of which I may have trouble understanding because they are books 10 in series where I have only read up to book 5 in one and hadn’t even started the other; one by an author I don’t particularly enjoy (and debate whether he actually falls into the romance category or one); one book I had already read and one book that i’m actually interested in listening to…so all in all, I’m feeling a bit ehh going into my listen.

The nominees for an Audie in the Romance Audiobook Category are:

The Darkest Craving – Gena Showalter; Narrated by Max Bellmore
For My Lady’s Heart – Laura Kinsale; Narrated by Nicholas Boulton
Kissing under the Mistletoe: A Sullivan Christmas – Bella Andre; Narrated by Eva Kaminsky
The Longest Ride -Nicholas Sparks; Narrated by Ron McLarty and January LaVoy
The Wanderer – Robyn Carr; Narrated by Therese Plummer

I will admit that while I’m ambivalent about the books themselves, I’m looking forward to checking out the narrators, many of who are new to me. So it will be an interesting listening season.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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2013 Armchair Audies – Multi-voiced Performance

Armchair Audies

Since I finished up my first category of nominations for the 2013 Armchair Audies (romance) and there was still a month and a bit before winners are to be annouced (sometime in May, I finished my category up in mid-April). I decided to take a look through the other categories and find one that no one was writing on and see if I could fit those books in prior to the announcement of the winners. I was surprised to see that there were several categories not being represented, and so I opted to do the Multi-Voice Performance Category. This is something totally new to me, I have listened to books with multiple narrators before (normally 2 or 3 – or in the case of The Help, 4). But never to the extend of the books that are being recognized in this category.

The nominations for this category are:
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Narrated by Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren, Susan Duerden, John Lee, Graeme Malcolm, Steven Crossley, Simon Prebble, and James Adams

My Awesome-Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudetsky
Narrated by Seth Rudetsky, Andrea Burns, Paul Castree, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Gad, Ana Gasteyer, Megan Hilty, Marc Kudisch, Will Swenson, and James Wesley

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman
Narrated by Emily Beresford, Luke Daniels, Tom Parks, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, and Christina Traister

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
Narrated by Ellen Kushner, Barbara Rosenblat, Felicia Day, Joe Hurley, Katherine Kellgren, Nick Sullivan, and Neil Gaiman

Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories by Etgar Keret
Translated by Nathan Englander (translator), Miriam Shlesinger (translator), and Sondra Silverston (translator)
Narrated by Ira Glass, Willem Dafoe, Ben Marcus, Gary Shteyngart, Michael Chabon, Neal Stephenson, Nicole Krauss, and Josh Radnor

That Is All written by John Hodgman
Narrated by Dick Cavett, Patton Oswalt, Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, Sarah Vowell, Brooke Shields, Scott Adsit, Robin Goldwasser, Jonathan Coulton, John Roderick, Rachel Maddow, Wyatt Cenac, Stephen Fry, Paul F. Tompkins, and Prominent Ragnarok Denier Dr. Elliott Kalan

Initial Thoughts:
It was interesting to see the wide variety of genres presented here, from the classic Dracula to a book of poetry (October Mourning). I was also interested to see that for two of the books, the authors played a role in the narration. I’m looking forward to broadening my reading boundaries and listening to these books.

multivoice narration nominees

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Armchair Audies – Romance – Summary

the audies

Armchair Audies

Last week, I finished listening to the last book that was nominated for the Romance category for the Audie Awards. As a quick recap, the nominees were:

Don’t Cry for Me, written by Sharon Sala, Narrated by Kathe Mazur, Produced by Audible,Inc.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, written by Jennifer Ashley, Narrated by Angela Dawe, Produced by Tantor Media
Never Seduce a Scot, written by Maya Banks, Narrated by Kirsten Potter, Produced by Tantor Media
Scandalous Desires, written by Elizabeth Hoyt, Narrated by Ashford MacNab, Produced by Hachette Audio
The Witness, written by Nora Roberts, Narrated by Julia Whelan, Produced by Brilliance Audio

Overall, I found the nominees to be a good representation of the genre as it currently stands. Quite a bit of historical romance, but with a good romantic suspense, and a serial romance to round out the category. I’ve written reviews of each of the books nominated, but my general thoughts were:

The Witness – really liked Whedon’s narration of Robert’s book and it was one of my favorites by her recently. Definately a strong contender to be the winner.
Don’t Cry For Me – Unfortunately, Kathe Mazur’s (a narrator that I normally enjoy) couldn’t quite make up for a weak plot. This was probably the weakest book out of all the nominations for me.
Scandalous Desires – I have to admit that I was expecting a male narrator with a name like Ashford McNab – but enjoyed her narration. I found her Irish accent very strong and intriguing.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie – this was a re-read/listen for me – but I don’t remember that much about my initial read, so I found it enjoyable. I liked Dawe’s narration and her scottish burr was pleasantly surprising, sometimes they are hit or miss with narrators.
Never Seduce a Scot – I really enjoyed this narration, although I think that Potter’s weakness is her male voices – I found that they just started to blend together and there wasn’t anything really distinctive. While not the weakest narration, I wouldn’t place it as a forerunner.

When I sit down and consider my listening experience with each of the books, the narration, the story in general and my overall enjoyment – I would rating them in the following order/prediction for winning:

1. The Witness
2/3. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie/Scandalous Desires
4. Never Seduce A Scot
5. Don’t Cry For Me

But I look forward to seeing what the official committee thinks when the awards are announced.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Audiobook Review

 

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2013 Armchair Audies – Romance

Armchair Audies

What are the Armchair Audies?
The Armchair Audies are run by Jennifer over at the The Literate Housewife where all of us audiobook listeners can have an opportunity to listen to and review the audiobooks that have been nominated for the Audies. The Audies (for those who haven’t heard of them) are the annual awards for the audiobook community – similar to the Oscars, but on a much smaller scale.

The nominations were announced for the various categories this past week and I am excited to listen and review the ones that were nominated for the Romance category.

The nominees for Romance Novels in Audiobook form were:
Don’t Cry for Me, written by Sharon Sala, Narrated by Kathe Mazur, Produced by Audible,Inc.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, written by Jennifer Ashley, Narrated by Angela Dawe, Produced by Tantor Media
Never Seduce a Scot, written by Maya Banks, Narrated by Kirsten Potter, Produced by Tantor Media
Scandalous Desires, written by Elizabeth Hoyt, Narrated by Ashford MacNab, Produced by Hachette Audio
The Witness, written by Nora Roberts, Narrated by Julia Whelan, Produced by Brilliance Audio

Of these nominations, I have only read one before (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie) and 3 of the 5 narrators are new to me (Kathe Mazur and Julia Whelan have been on my previous listens list – Kathe for her narration of a couple books in Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series and Julia Whelan for her narration of Amy in Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)).

Over the next couple of months, until the announcement of the winners on May 30, I will be listening and reviewing these audiobooks. So stay tuned and look for the Armchair Audie logo at the top of the review.

audie nominees romance

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Winners of the Read or Listen First Audiobook Giveaway!

Thanks to Randy the Randomizer ;), all the participants names were entered into the drawing and the following 3 people were lucky enough to win an audiobook.

1. Brenda
2. Samantha
3. Michelle Bilbrey Angulo

Please email me at deesbookblog@gmail.com and let me know your prioritized order for the following audiobooks that I have for a giveaway. I will do my best to get you the book that you want.

A Lady Cyclists Guide to Kashgar – Suzanne Joinson – read by Susan Duerden
Catch of the Day – Kristin Higgins – read by Xe Sands
Reaper’s Justice – Sarah McCarty – read by Kathe mazur

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Musings

 

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Audiobooks – Read first, then listen, or Listen only?

One of the things that has interested me in the past is how do people pick audiobooks that they listen to. Do they pick a favorite book and then listen to it? Or do they listen to a book without reading it first?

For me, I rarely listen to a book that I have read first. The one exception would be the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by the awesome Davina Porter.

I have tried to listen to other books I have previously read in the past, but unfortunately, none of the narrators have lived up to the voices that I had in my head for how the characters should sound. One particular example for me is the narration of Lisa Kleypas Hathaway series. I loved her Wallflower series, and at the time I tried to listen to the audiobook for the first book in the series, I had loved the Hathaway books. I managed to pick up book 1 at an audible sale (4.95 for various first in series books) and was excited to listen, but the voice of Cam (this rouge-ish Gypsy) just didn’t do it for me – he sounded too much like an uptight British toff…since then, I don’t think I have ever tried to listen to a book that I had previously read.

What about you guys? Do you often listen to books you have previously read?

Comment here for a chance to win an audiobook. Commenting will be open until the 25th. Re-tweet this post, link on your facebook etc and I’ll throw your name into the drawing multiple times ;)

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Musings

 

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June is Audiobook Month

Did you guys know that June is Audiobook month? Ok, so I’m a few days late in blogging about it, but since we’re still technically in the first week, i’m safe, right? lol!

I’m a huge fan of audiobooks, especially on my commute to and from work each day (hello, I-95 traffic in NoVA and Washington DC – yes, you suck!!). Some days for me, it can be anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours to get home at night and I would probably go insane if I had to listen to the radio the entire time (honestly, there is only so much hearing about how much traffic sucks in various places before you start feeling the first signs of road rage)…just kidding ;)

Anyways, I thought over the next month, as I try desperately to get caught up on all the reviews that I have pending for you guys (lots of audiobooks and print books), that I would also throw up a couple of random posts about audiobooks. And who knows, maybe there will be some prizes involved…but hey, you got to participate first ;)

If you are on twitter, look for the hashtags #JIAM or #JIAM2012 through-out the month to chat with me, as well as other audiobook listeners, and narrators.

Now for my first question – What was the first audiobook you ever listened to?

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Musings

 

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