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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Les Miserables – Take 2

les misA few years ago (geez, has it really been that long), I attempted to read Les Miserables (written by Victor Hugo). It has been on my goal list of books to read, since I fell in love with the musical nearly 15 years ago. But like many of my reading goals, I fizzled out on it about halfway through (which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to anyone who knows me).

Fast forward to December 2015 and when I was putting together a list of challenge books to tackle in 2016, I decided to put Les Mis back on the list to try again. And to make it even better, in an audiobook group that I am part of, we started talking about bucket list books and several people mentioned Les Mis. Before long, the idea had been thrown out to do a buddy listen over the next few months.

There are a wide variety of translations of Les Miserable available. In my inital foray, I went with Norman Denny’s translation from 1976. According to this article on Hubpage, is supposed to be one of the translations that does a pretty good job of keeping Hugo’s original language, but making it more readable in Modern English. However, when I was looking at available audiobooks, the Denny version wasn’t available (or at least, not that I could see) – so based on the narrator (George Guidall, who I like), I ended up going with the Julie Rose translation. The Rose translation is one of the newer ones available (having been done in 2008) and supposedly one where she takes some liberty with the translation, adding some quips here and there. This translation has been seen as possibly ruining Hugo’s voice – so it will be interesting to see how it flows in audio.

Anyone else interested in joining me for a Les Mis read or listen? i’m planning on kicking it off on February 1st (on my commute either to or from work) and going to ration it, so make sure that I have time to enjoy it as well as process it.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Buddy Listen

 

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Armchair Audies Overview – Erotica

Armchair Audies

This is the second in a three post series for the Armchair Audies, where I’m doing an overview of the categories that I am reviewing with my initial thoughts on the books and narrators nominated. Erotica is a category that I picked up last year after realizing I wouldn’t be reviewing the romance category and what is probably the closest to romance to listen to. I will admit that I kind of feel like i’m cheating by listening to this category, because of the 5 nominees, I’ve already listened to 2 of them – 1 to continue a series, Beta by Jasinda Wilder, which is the sequal to Alpha that won last year; and Curing Doctor Vincent by Renea Mason which I was offered as a review copy. (you can see my review HERE

The EROTICA Nominees are…

beg tease submitBeg Tease Submit – CD Reiss
Narrator: Jo Raylan
Audio Publisher: Flip City Media

Description:
Jonathan Drazen is a known womanizer; a gorgeous piece of man I’m not letting into my heart.

Yeah, he’s rich, beautiful, charming as hell, and he has a wit as sharp as a double-edged razor… but he’s made it perfectly clear that this is a short-term fuck. Three nights, tops, then we part like sexually satisfied grown-ups.

I believe him when he says he can’t love me. I’m not trying to fall in love, either.

We get in. Get it on. Get the hell out. Done.

Right?

Right.

Initial Thoughts: I’ve heard a lot about CD Reiss over the last year, both from friends who have read her stuff to talking to Jo, the narrator via goodreads. So i’m excited to finally have an excuse (if you want to call it that) to dive into this series. Since they were originally short stories – i’m intrigued to see how the books flow.

betaBeta – Jasinda Wilder
Narrators: Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne
Audio Publisher: ACX/Seth Clarke

Description:
Roth and I are on an open-ended tour of the world. Roth being Roth, this means missionary in Morocco, reverse cowgirl in Calcutta, bent over the bow of a houseboat in Hanoi, slow and sleepy on St. John. Anywhere and everywhere, in every conceivable position, and some I didn’t know were possible.

Life was pretty incredible.

Until I woke up in his chateau in France, alone. On the bed next to me was a note. There were only four words:

He belongs to me.

Initial Thoughts:
When I was listening to the erotica category last year, I picked Alpha as the winner, fairly early on (in fact, it might have been in my initial predictions)…unfortunately for me, Beta was a disappointment on the erotica front – it had much more of an action adventure feel than Alpha did, which was so much more about Roth and Kyrie – Beta honestly just irked me – i wasn’t able to suspense my disbelief through everything that Kyrie did, it was so far beyond the bounds of pluasibility. The narration from Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne was solid (and I liked hearing from Tyler in this one than the last one), but yeah…

control burn resistControl Burn Resist – CD Reiss
Narrators: Jo Raylan and Christian Fox
Audio Publisher: Flip City Media Inc.

Description:
I want to just clarify a couple of things. Submission is not abdication. Submission is not resignation. It’s not weak or fragile. It doesn’t mean I break at the first sign of trouble.

Well, I broke for a few weeks. When I realized I was falling in love with Jonathan and that I’d never be the same if I allowed it to continue, I broke into a million sharp little pieces. I think I damaged him in the process.

But what could I do? Stay with him and untangle the mess of his life? Commit to his rules, his secrets, his troubles? No. Just, no. If we’re doing this, we’re doing it. If I’m committing, it’s to a man, not a lie. I’ll strip away everything between us, even if it ends us.

Initial Thoughts:
I have a feeling that I will likely end up listening to both this book and the first one (discussed above) pretty close to together – if the storyline plays out how I think its going to. Its intriguing to see that the first one was narrated solely by Jo, but in this one, the author opted to also have Christian Fox narrate, so i’ll be interested to see if he adds to or distracts from my listening experience.

curing doctor vincentCuring Doctor Vincent – Renea Mason
Narrators: Noah Michael Levine and Erin deWard,
Audio Publisher: Renea Mason

Description:
One kinky doctor + one indecent proposal = one life-changing week in Paris

Elaine Watkins, Public Relations Advisor, is surprised when she receives a summons from the very attractive and enigmatic Dr. Xavier Vincent. She worships the talented physician and company icon responsible for developing the cure that saved her sister’s life and isn’t immune to his charm. Even though puzzled by his request, she is excited and eager to get started on his latest project.

But Dr. Vincent has other ideas. Instead of discussing cures, drugs and marketing strategies, he asks Elaine to join him in Paris to indulge his unique sexual appetites.

Torn between gratitude for saving her sister, her attraction for the powerful man and compromising her pre-conceived notions of sexuality, she must decide if it’s easier to feed his desires or walk away. Until she devises a plan of her own.

“Make no mistake, Elaine, I am a king. Kings command and conquer. They are brutal and uncompromising. You don’t want a king. Face it, you came here expecting a saint.” – Dr. Xavier Vincent

Initial Thoughts:
When the author initially approached me about reviewing Curing Doctor Vincent, she compared the narration of Noah Michael Levine and Erin DeWard to that of Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross (from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series). I can safely say, IMHO, they are better! I added both of them to my narrator buy lists for future listens and can’t wait to see where they go and as for Renea – well, I’ve already bought the second book in the series, although haven’t listened to it yet, as well as listened to the prequel in her fantasy-ish series.

trustTrust – Ella Frank
Narrator: Shannon Gunn
Audio Publisher: Audible Studios
Description:
TRUST – verb: to believe in the reliability, truth, or strength of another.

Up until now, Logan Mitchell has never had much of a reason to trust anyone.
Having struggled with a self-identity crisis throughout college, he’s spent the years since then creating a sophisticated facade to present to the world. It’s an armor he thought was impenetrable—until he met Tate Morrison. The gorgeous, headstrong bartender he’d sat across from only months ago has taken a tight hold of his heart, and Logan is discovering that it’s time to let go. It’s time to let someone inside.

After years of placing his dreams on hold for his family, Tate has finally chosen to do what makes him happy and follow his heart. The one thing he never would’ve imagined was that it would lead him into the arms of a man—and not just any man—the striking, never-takes-no-for-an-answer Logan Mitchell. Tate has fallen hard, and as his world is turned on its axis and they move forward together, he finds his life becoming more entwined with the confident, successful lawyer.

Even though neither man expected the other, it’s time to trust in their relationship—but not everything comes so easily…

Initial Thoughts:
I’ll admit that I was excited to see a m/m romance make it to the finals. I’ve been reading on and off in this genre for several years and audiobooks have started to become more popular. This author is new to me, although the nominee is the third in a series that I have to read the previous 2, so I am currently doing that. The narrator is also completely new to me, but as with other Armchair Audie books, I’m looking to discover new voices.

Initial Prediction of Final Rankings
1. Curing Doctor Vincent – Renea Mason
2. Control Burn Resist – CD Reiss
3. Beg Tease Submit – CD Reiss
4. Beta – Jasinda Wilder
5. Trust – Ella Frank

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in Armchair Audies, Listening Events

 

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Armchair Audies Overview – Romance

Armchair Audies

On Friday I gave you a brief overview of all the different categories of the Audies and the books that had been nominated as finalists in each of them. Now its time to dig down into my specific categories that I will be reviewing for the Armchair Audies. This is my 4th year reviewing books that have been nominated and I’ve gone back to my roots with the romance category (in addition to the erotica and paranormal catagories that I added in last year). For me, the decision was simple – when I saw that the 5 nominees for romance were traditional romance (with the required happily ever after – as defined by the RWA), compared to the literature with romantic themes that has made an appearance the last couple of years (with books by Nicholas Sparks, James Patterson and others), I knew that it was time to go back to where my reading and listening interests predominant lie.

And the ROMANCE Nominees are…

the duke's holidayThe Duke’s Holiday – Maggie Fenton
Narrated – Sue Pitkin
Audio Publisher – Brilliance Audio

Description:
The Duke of Montford, cold, precise, and more powerful than the Prince Regent himself, wants things the way he wants them: cross-referenced, indexed, and at his beck and call. And he always gets what he wants.

Until he meets Astrid Honeywell. And a giant pig. And a crooked castle in the middle of Yorkshire.

Astrid Honeywell, staunch bluestocking, has struggled for years to keep her family together by running the estate and family brewery after her father’s death. She is not about to let the tyrannical Duke of Montford steal away all she has worked for because of some antiquated contract between their families. So when the priggish Duke comes to call, she does everything in her power—including setting the family pig on him—to drive him away.

She didn’t expect him to be so… well, infuriatingly attractive. Every time he scowls at her, she has the most improper desire to kiss him—and a whole lot more.

Montford can’t decide whether to strangle Astrid or seduce her. The one thing he knows for a fact is that he must resist his powerful attraction for her at all costs. He has a very proper, very demure fiancée waiting for him back in London, after all. But when Astrid is kidnapped by a disgruntled suitor and whisked off to Gretna Green, Montford will do anything to get her back.

Will these two drive each other to Bedlam… or can they make it to the altar without killing each other?

Initial Thoughts:
Both the author and the narrator for this nomination are new to me, so i’m kind of going in blind here on my thoughts. The description sounds interesting, Astrid is likely one of those quirky historical heroines, who doesn’t really fit in the time and place that you would expect – sometimes that works in a romance, other times, not so much. Also sounds like it has the potential to be an enemies to lovers type theme, which is one of my favorite tropes in the romance realm – I just hope that the author does it justice.

the highwaymanThe Highwayman – Kerrigan Byrne
Narrator: Derek Perkins
Audio Publisher: Tantor Media

Description:
STEALING BEAUTY
Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of London’s wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who’ve wronged him…and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception—and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands…
COURTING DESIRE
But Farah is no one’s puppet. She possesses a powerful secret—one that threatens her very life. When being held captive by Dorian proves to be the only way to keep Farah safe from those who would see her dead, Dorian makes Farah a scandalous proposition: marry him for protection in exchange for using her secret to help him exact revenge on his enemies. But what the Blackheart of Ben More never could have imagined is that Farah has terms of her own, igniting a tempestuous desire that consumes them both. Could it be that the woman he captured is the only one who can touch the black heart he’d long thought dead? 

Initial Thoughts:
While both this author and narrator is also new to me, they aren’t unknown, I’ve heard the series mentioned in the Goodreads Romance Audiobooks group that I moderator several times and people seem to really enjoy the narrator. They’ve indicated some potential issues with some writing in the books, but nothing that totally killed their enjoyment. I like the whole redeemable hero theme in historicals (Sebastian St Vincent from Lisa Kleypas Wallflowers series is one of my all time favorites), and from the description, Dorian fits right into that mould. I found the name Farah to be intriguing and not sure if its entirely historically accruate name(yeah, I like checking those things out), but for now, i’m taking it at face value.

never judge a lady by her coverNever Judge a Lady by Her Cover – Sarah MacLean
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Audio Publisher: HarperAudio

Description:
By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a Duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.

Initial Thoughts:
Both Sarah MacLean and Justine Eyre are known qualities to me – Sarah is one of my current go-to authors for historical romance, because for the most part her heroines are kick-ass and push the bounds of society – I’ve actually had this book sitting on the to-be-read pile for a little while, so maybe its a sign that I was supposed to listen rather than read. Justine Eyre is one of the narrators that I’ve been coming across more frequently – while i’ve never listened to any of her historical romance narrations, I do like her performance in Nalini Singh’s Archangel series.

sir richard kenworthyThe Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy – Julia Quinn
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Audio Publisher: HarperAudio

Description:
Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second—or third—look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

Initial Thoughts:
Julia Quinn is also a known quantity for me – i’ve probably read her entire backlist of the years and while she’s had a few misses here and there, most of her books are solid reads. that being said, i’ll readily admit that I haven’t been totally enarmoured with Rosalyn Landor’s narration in the past (I think i’m probably one of the few in the romance community). I think in part that is because the books i’ve attempted to listen to that she has narrated, have been multiple read favorites and her voices just didn’t match up with my characters. But since I haven’t read this one, here’s hoping, I enjoy more.

A Sorceress of His Own – Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Audio Publisher: Tantor Media

Description:
Since the day Lord Dillon earned his spurs, rumors of his savagery on the battlefield have preceded him into every room, stilling tongues and sparking fear. Weary of battle, he wishes only to find a woman he can wed who will approach him not with fear, but with the tenderness that has been absent from his life for so long. Yet only the wisewoman seems invariably at ease in his presence. Perhaps because she garners the same fear in others that he does himself.

For seven years, Alyssa has been by Lord Dillon’s side, counseling him from the shadows, healing him with her hands, and staving off the worst of his loneliness while his fearsome reputation keeps others at bay. Blessed–or cursed–with gifts that label her a sorceress, she is forced to conceal her youth and the love she harbors for him beneath umbral robes that lead Dillon and his people to believe she is the same aged wisewoman who served his father.

All is revealed, however, and passions flare when an enemy threatens Dillon’s life and Alyssa sacrifices everything to save him. When Dillon discovers that the wisewoman is far from elderly, he is instantly entranced. And, as he and Alyssa work together to defeat an enemy bent on destroying them both, Dillon will risk anything–even the wrath of his king–to be with her.

Initial Thoughts:
Dianne Duvall is also a new to me author, although I’ve seen her mentioned many times in different discussion forums. I’ll admit to being intrigued by the idea of a novel that mixes historical with paranormal romance, since those seem to be on the rarer side. I’ve listened to Kristen Potter previously (ironically a couple of years ago when she was nominated for another Audie in the romance category) and I remember enjoying her narration, but for some reason, hadn’t sought out any more books by her.

Initial Prediction of Final Rankings
1. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy – Julia Quinn, narrated by Rosalyn Landor
2. The Highwayman – Kerrigan Byrne, narrated by Derek Perkins
3. Never Judge a Lady by her Cover – Sarah MacLean, narrated by Justine Eyre
4. A Sorceress of His Own – Dianne Duvall, narrated by Kristin Potter
5. The Duke’s Holiday – Maggie Fenton, narrated by Sue Pitkin

*initial rankings are based on my thoughts on the book description/author; knowledge/experience with narrators

Stay Tuned for posts on Erotica and Paranormal

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2016 in Armchair Audies, Listening Events

 

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2016 Audie Awards – Overview

audie-award-2016-logo-260x200So this overview of the nominees for the 2016 Audie Awards is definately a bit late in coming. I’ll try to blame it in part on my insane work schedule and my inability to remember to finish writing up a simple overview…yeah, i know excuses, excuses. Heck, I even lost track of when the nominees were going to be announced until after the fact – so I didn’t even get to do my twitter party with my fellow Armchair Audies bloggers.

My initials thoughts on the nominees (prior to listening to any of them)…I’m so excited to see that the romance category is actually full of traditionally defined romance again (happy ever afters and all that). I’m also excited to see a number of self published authors with self produced audiobooks nominated, many of them in the Erotica category (in fact, all but 1, which was done by Audible, is self published). Father/Son duo, Stephen King and Joe Hill, both have nominees in the Original Work category – it’ll be interesting to see how that one plays out. Overall, I’m excited to see how things play out and i’m looking forward to digging into my Armchair Audies categories, so stayed tuned for those reviews.

AUDIO DRAMA
*Amok by Sebastian Fitzek, narrated by a full cast
*Christmas Eve, 1914 by Charles Olivier, narrated by a full cast
*Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling, narrated by a full cast
*The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt, Lara Pulver, Niamh
Walsh, Adjoa Andoh, Peter Forbes, John Sessions, and Michael Maloney
born with teeth*The Starling Project by Jeffrey Deaver, narrated by Alfred Molina and a full cast

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
*Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew, narrated by Kate Mulgrew
*The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath by Ben S. Bernanke, narrated by Grover Gardner
*Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius, narrated by Simon Bubb
*I Must Say by Martin Short, narrated by Martin Short
*Keep Moving by Dick Van Dyke, narrated by Dick Van Dyke
*Travels by Michael Crichton, narrated by Christopher Lane

BEST FEMALE NARRATOR
*All the Stars in Heaven by Adriana Trigiani, narrated by Blair Brown
*The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant, narrated by Linda Lavin
*Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, narrated by January LaVoy
*The Lost Landscape by Joyce Carol Oates, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
*The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Polly Stone
dead wake*Wild Rover No More by L.A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

BEST MALE NARRATOR
*Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, narrated by John Malkovich
*Classic Love Poems by various authors, narrated by Richard Armitage
*Dead Wake by Erik Larson, narrated by Scott Brick
*The English Spy by Daniel Silva, narrated by George Guidall
*Finders Keepers by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton
*Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, narrated by Scott Brick

BUSINESS/EDUCATIONAL
*Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Expanded Edition by Steve Harvey, narrated by Mike Hodge,
*A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer with Charles Fishman, narrated by Norbert Leo Butz
*Get Big Things Done, The Power of Connectional Intelligence by Erica Dhawan and Saj-nicole Joni,
narrated by Christina Moore
*Talk to Crazy by Mark Goulston, MD, narrated by L.J. Ganser
*Wake up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life by Michael Strahan and Veronica Chambers, narrated by Michael Strahan

EROTICA
*Beg Tease Submit by CD Reiss, narrated by Jo Raylan
*Beta by Jasinda Wilder, narrated by Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne
*Control Burn Resist by CD Reiss, narrated by Jo Raylan and Christian Fox
*Curing Doctor Vincent by Renea Mason, narrated by Noah Michael Levine and Erin deWard,
*Trust by Ella Frank, narrated by Shannon Gunn

FANTASY
*Ascension: The Trysmoon Saga, Book 1 by Brian K. Fuller, narrated by Simon Vance
*The Cycle of Arawn by Edward W. Robertson, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds
*The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, narrated by Robin Miles
*Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron, narrated by Vikas Adam
a god in ruins*Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds

FICTION
*Citizens Creek by Lalita Tademy, narrated by Bahni Turpin and J. D. Jackson
*A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, narrated by Alex Jennings
*Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal, narrated by Amy Ryan and Michael Stuhlbarg
*The Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig, narrated by David Aaron Baker
*The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Polly Stone
*The Sellout by Paul Beatty, narrated by Prentice Onayemi

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY
*In Search of Sir Thomas Browne by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, read by Simon Vance
*A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin and Tom Hanks, narrated by Bronson Pinchot
*Operation Nemesis by Eric Bogosian, narrated by Eric Bogosian
*Pacific Pacific by Simon Winchester, narrated by Simon Winchester
*Texas Rising by Stephen L. Moore, narrated by P.J. Ochlan

HUMOR
*Almost Interesting by David Spade, narrated by David Spade
*Car Talk Classics: No Factory Recalls, So Far by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, narrated by Tom and Ray
*MagliozziFuriously Happy by Jenny Lawson, narrated by Jenny Lawson
*Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari with Eric Klinenberg, narrated by Aziz Ansari
*Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg, narrated by Amy Landon and Zach Villa
her brother's keeper*Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling, narrated by Mindy Kaling

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED FICTION
*Come to Me Alive by Leah Atwood, narrated by Pamela Almand
*Her Brother’s Keeper by Beth Wiseman, narrated by Clifton Harris
*The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton, narrated by Kate Forbes
*Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke, narrated by Morgan Hallett and Suzy Jackson
*To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander, narrated by Melba Sibrel

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED NON-FICTION
*And Then There Were Nuns by Jane Christmas, narrated by Elizabeth Wiley
*Boy Born Dead by David Ring, narrated by Paul Michael
*Glory Days by Max Lucado, narrated by Ben Holland
*The Pastor’s Wife by Sabina Wurmbrand, narrated by Sadie Alexandru
*Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko, narrated by Levi Lusko

the fishermanLITERARY FICTION & CLASSICS
*The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, narrated by Chukwudi Iwuji
*Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, narrated by Kieron Elliott
*Little Big Man by Thomas Berger, narrated by Scott Sowers, cameo by David Aaron Baker
*Sweetland by Michael Crummey, narrated by John Lee
*Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma, narrated by Ron Butler and Bahni Turpin

MIDDLE GRADE
*Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, narrated by Mark Bramhall, David deVries, MacLeod Andrews, and
Rebecca Soler
*The Enchanted Files: Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville, narrated by various people
*The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book V by Maryrose Wood, narrated by Katherine
Kellgren
*Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar by Sally Derby, narrated by Dion
Graham and Bahni Turpin
*Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper, narrated by Heather Alicia Simms

MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE
*Clockwork Lives by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart, narrated by Morgan Hallet, George Guidall,
Richard Poe, Jim Jenner, Tandy Cronyn, Pete Bradbury, Barbara Rosenblat, and Brian Hutchison
*Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, narrated by Mark Bramhall, David deVries, MacLeod Andrews, and
Rebecca Soler
just kids from the bronx*How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon, narrated by Cherise Boothe, Shari Peele, Kevin R. Free, Avery Glymph, Patricia R. Floyd, and Brian Hutchison
*Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe, and
Jonathan McClain
*Just Kids from the Bronx by Arlene Alda, narrated by Alan Alda, Arlene Alda, Christina Delaine with Milton Glaser, Regis Philbin, Robert Klein, Gabrielle Salvatto and Carlos Serrano
*With Lee in Virginia by G.A. Henty, narrated by Brian Blessed, Sean Astin, Kirk Cameron, and a full
Cast

MYSTERY
*All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer, narrated by Ari Fliakos and Juliana Francis Kelly
*Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith, narrated by Robert Glenister
*Corrupted by Lisa Scottoline, narrated by Kate Burton
*Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty, narrated by Gerard Doyle
*Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen, narrated by Katherine Kellgren
*The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny, narrated by Robert Bathurst

NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR or AUTHORS
*The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, narrated by Amanda Palmer
*Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew, narrated by Kate Mulgrew
*Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, narrated by Jenny Lawson
*I Must Say by Martin Short, narrated by Martin Short
the dorito effect*Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann, narrated by Colum McCann

NON-FICTION
*The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker, narrated by Chris Patton
*Ghettoside by Jill Leovy, narrated by Rebecca Lowman
*I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out by Lee Gutkind, narrated by Tavia Gilbert
*Missoula by Jon Krakauer, narrated by Mozhan Marno
*Song Machine by John Seabrook, narrated by Dion Graham

ORIGINAL WORK
*Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, narrated by Rose Leslie and David Tennant
*Drunken Fireworks by Stephen King, narrated by Tim Sample
*Locke & Key by Joe Hill, narrated by Haley Joel Osment, Tatiana Maslany, and a full cast
*NPR American Chronicles: First Ladies by National Public Radio, narrated by Cokie Roberts
*The Starling Project by Jeffery Deaver, narrated by Alfred Molina and a full cast
white trash zombie*Storycorps: Outloud: Voices of the LGBTQ Community from Across America, by David Isay, narrated by Ari Shapiro and a full cast

PARANORMAL
*The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, narrated by Charlotte Parry and Christian Coulson
*Hounacier by Seth Skorkowsky, narrated by R.C. Bray
*Lycan Fallout 2: Fall of Man by Mark Tufo, narrated by Sean Runnette
*Seven Years by Dannika Dark, narrated by Nicole Poole
*White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland, narrated by Allison McLemore

ROMANCE
*The Duke’s Holiday by Maggie Fenton, narrated by Sue Pitkin
*The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne, narrated by Derek Perkins
*Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean, narrated by Justine Eyre
*The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, by Julia Quinn, narrated by Rosalyn Landor
*A Sorceress of His Own by Dianne Duvall, narrated by Kirsten Potter

SCIENCE FICTION
*Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, narrated by Adjoa Andoh
*Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, narrated by Ali Ahn
*Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds,
*Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, narrated by Scott Brick
season of fear*Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! by Tom Angleberger, narrated by Marc Thompson

THRILLER/SUSPENSE
*Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, narrated by Rene Auberjonois
*The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry, narrated by Scott Brick
*The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer, narrated by Scott Brick
*Season of Fear by Brian Freeman, narrated by Joe Barrett
*Signal by Patrick Lee, narrated by Ari Fliakos

YOUNG ADULT
*All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, narrated by Kirby Heyborne, Ariadne Meyers, and Jennifer
Niven
*Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, narrated by January LaVoy
*The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman , narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt, Lara Pulver, Niamh
Walsh, Adjoa Andoh, Peter Forbes, John Sessions, and Michael Maloney
*Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation) by Laura Hillenbrand, narrated by Edward Herrmann
*The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr, narrated by James Langton
appleblossom on the possum*X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon, narrated by Dion Graham and Ilyasah Shabazz

YOUNG LISTENERS (up to age 8)
*Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan, narrated by Dustin Hoffman
*Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe and S.D. Schindler, narrated by Gildart Jackson
*Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon, narrated by Suzy Jackson
*The Eloise Collection by Kay Thompson, narrated by Bernadette Peters, with music by Anthony de
Mare
*Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine and Marc Brown, narrated by Jack Black
*Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales, narrated by Adriana Sananes

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2016 in Armchair Audies, Listening Events

 

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Wishlist Wednesday – 03 February 2016

Wishlist WednesdayWishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper where we post about one book that has been hanging out on our wish list (either for a long time, or not so long)

Sometimes I randomly come across books that look interesting but aren’t available yet and then promptly forget about what intrigued me about said book to begin with… This weeks Wishlist Wednesday book is no exception. According to GR, I added this book in early January, so its likely that I came across it mentioned in a thread reads to look forward to.

association of small bombsThe Association of Small Bombs
Author: Karan Mahajan
Release Date: March 22nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, World Fiction (India), Diverse Reading

Description:
When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their family’s television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bomb—one of the many “small” bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across the world—detonates in the Delhi marketplace, instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys, to the devastation of their parents. Mansoor survives, bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb. After a brief stint at university in America, Mansoor returns to Delhi, where his life becomes entangled with the mysterious and charismatic Ayub, a fearless young activist whose own allegiances and beliefs are more malleable than Mansoor could imagine. Woven among the story of the Khuranas and the Ahmeds is the gripping tale of Shockie, a Kashmiri bomb maker who has forsaken his own life for the independence of his homeland.

Why am I excited to read it?
Talking about events such as terrorist events, especially in fiction, is a topic that IMHO takes a brave writer to tackle. Many of us remember where we were on 9/11, but there have been numerous other attacks around the world since then, many in countries that most of us possibly couldn’t locate on a map. This book intrigued me for that reason – an insight into the effects and after-effects of a series of small bombs (and while I haven’t read it, potential terrorist attacks). I’m intrigued to see how the author manages to weave the story of a bomb maker into that of his victims. An additional enticement to read The Association of Small Bombs is my desire to diversify my reading in 2016 by reading authors from different geographical regions of the world.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2016 in Wishlist Wednesday

 

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TBR Tuesday – 02 February 2016

TBR TuesdayWow, its the first week of February already…i don’t know about you, but it seems like the older I get, the faster the time flies. It also doesn’t help that I’ve been completely slammed at work with sometimes upwards of 3+ hours round trip for a commute. My book this week has had the dubious pleasure of being on Mt TBR for over 300 weeks…

When Alex Was Bad
Author: Jo Davis

Purchase Date: 29 October 2009
Date Read: 22 January 2009
Time on Mt TBR: 2276 days

Review:
So I bought this book back in 2009 while I was deployed to Iraq, so I don’t remember what the inspiration for purchasing it was, but it was later in the year not long before I headed home, so maybe I bought it as something for the flight home…and of course, then didn’t read it…lol! Reading When Alex Was Bad reminded me how much I like/enjoyed erotic romances that were written pre-50 Shades of Grey. It might be a personal preference of mine but I find books written back then to be much better in character and plot development with satisfying conclusions. Added to that Ms Davis took a lesser known romance plot (a couple that has been married for a while) and managed to weave a story line about rediscovering why they fell in love to begin with. She managed to push the boundaries with my comfort level in places (especially with the approved cheating of both of the husband and wife – normally not a fan of cheating in romances but it worked in relation to this story). While the rest of Ms Davis books are much more in the line of traditional contemporary or historical romance genres, I liked her foray into erotic romance and would be interested to read more.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in TBR Tuesday

 

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It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? (01 Feb 16)

book date its monday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme has had various host over the years and I’ve loved checking in with their different blogs – the newest host is Kathryn and The Book Date. I’m looking forward to following her and participating in this meme again 😉

Just a couple of weeks ago, I mused in this post how we were already half-way through January, and now we are officially into February. So we are 1/12 of the year through the year…if you weren’t tracking the weather, then you might have missed that DC was hit with what I am terming Snowzilla 2016 last week, which while I gripe about having to shovel snow was good because it justified me being able to be a bum and just chill on the couch and read for a few days in an attempt to get caught up on my 2016 reading goal. Yeah, I know we are only one month in and i’m saying get caught up, but thanks to the handy dandy Goodreads challenge widget, I know that if I want to read my goal of 365 books in a year (which is my standard goal) that I am currently 6 books behind target). I know that isn’t too many, so here’s hoping i’ll be able to get caught up in February.

snowzilla comfort readsI’d probably term this last week, getting back to old favorites when it came to my reading (also known as comfort reads). I got caught up on Nalini Singh’s Rock Kiss series, reading books 1.5 and 3 in the series; I also returned to visit Mustang Ridge with Jesse Hayworth’s, Harvest at Mustang Ridge and finally, I went back to where it all began with the Quilter’s Apprentice in the Elm Creek series (it was one of those series where I didn’t start at the beginning…naughty reader than I am). For me, all of these were books were like visiting old friends and were perfect for curling up while the snow fell for over a day and a half. Unfortunately, then I had to dig myself out…

snowzilla new authorsI also tried a few new authors who were hiding out on my virtual Mt TBR, or in the new release section at the library (does that count as hiding?). In the new to me authors, it seemed to be the week of businessmen (or is it businesspeople) with 2 CEO’s (one a real estate mogul and one the owner of a jeans company); a bakery owner and the disparate character, a nun(or specifically Mother Superior) in 1920’s Ireland. After reading these four, I know i’ll be checking out more by these authors in the future. I love it when I can add new authors to my massive Mt TBR (being serious here).

This upcoming week, I am pushing ahead on the major reading challenge that I am doing – we are in the last month of the three month challenge (and then it starts all over again) and for the first time in the 4+ years that I’ve been doing this challenge, I don’t know if I’ll finish it (which stabs me in my competitive little heart). But with 47 books to go (including the several that I have in progress), I don’t think its doable in the next month…that being said, I’m currently revisiting Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series with Archangel’s Shadow (book 7 in the series, although I am bouncing around with this series as I have with other series recently); I am already getting ready to launch into both Kimberly Kincaid and Robin Covington’s new books (Reckless and Her Secret Lover respectively); finally, I’m revising Anitra Lynn McLeod’s Onic Empire with Wicked Empress. On the non-fiction side of the house (or my hoity-toity thinkin book), i’m working on The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.

first week of feb reading

What about you guys – what are you reading this first week of February?

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in It's Monday! What are you reading?

 

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