Monthly Archives: June 2012
Good morning! Happy Saturday!
What a week! I was busy with Audio Book Week, (thank you Jen!) and the weather finally has been beautiful here in Central Minnesota! I have been on a cleanse for 5 days now and that picture above of the coffee looks really good….
Today for Saturday Snapshot, (thank you Alyce!)I thought I would show a few pictures of when my Navy son was home last July…
I show these pics today because Brad will be coming home this week for two weeks!!!
And as mentioned…. I have winners.
From The Lets Talk About Books Baby post, the winner of the audio book (one audio book) up to a value of $20 from Amazon is:
The winner of the audio book A Night To Remember by Walter Lord:
The winner of the $10 Amazon gift card from The Magicians review is:
The winner of the $10 Amazon gift card from the Finding Ultra review is:
The copy of the Ravens Audio book giveaway will remain open for the next two days, winner announced on Tuesday.
Congratulations to all the winners and thanks for chatting audio with me this week! Steph and Leslie I will need you to emails me at journey through email@example.com with address info, and Steph your audio book choice…. Christina and Steve I will email you your gift cards yet this morning. Enjoy!!!
This weekend I hope to get in some bike riding and definitely some reading. Any big plans this weekend?
Shaw McBride was sick and tired of his luck. Shoot, if he had any luck at all, it was all bad. Taking off on a road trip to Florida with his buddy Romeo Zderko, he thought things could really only get better. Then sure enough… as they passed through a small town in Georgia they had to stop to fix a leaky tire.
Just like Shaw thought… no luck at all but bad…
But when Shaw enters the gas station he overheard the lady behind the counter talking excitedly on the phone…
“Yes! The 318 million dollar Georgia Lottery ticket has been sold at this very station! Yes! One winner! Yes, the Boatwright’s, right here in town! They can really use the money!”
And at that moment… Shaw had a plan that he knew would change his luck forever.
Finding the Boatwrights was easy, and fooling them in to believing he was with the State Lottery just stopping in to give them some advice on what would happen next went off without a hitch. Once invited inside, Shaw laid out his plan to the family – when the camera people arrive, they say the ticket was purchased by both he and the Boatwrights and therefore, he rightfully receives half. Meanwhile, Romeo is watching the town, visiting friends and family of the Boatwrights, ready to start killing the moment Shaw says….
but if the Boatwrights cooperate, all will be spared and Shaw and Romeo will be a lot richer.
The Boatwrights find themselves in a nightmare… what should have been the most exciting time of their life has turned out to be the deadliest.
Why did I want to listen to this audio? I remember about a year ago seeing some reviews on the book. It sounded interesting but I did not have time to take on another book… audio however, is another story
Ravens is like nothing I have experienced before. The story of two low life characters like Shaw and Romeo going after lottery winners didn’t seem like it could hold an entire book. And when so much had happened by the third cd in this 8 cd listen, I wondered what would hold the story up for the rest of the read.
I shouldn’t have worried.
George Dawes Green does an amazing job keeping this story moving. Not only moving, but moving in a powerful way that made me wonder “what could happen next, and then…. that did not just happen!” How the whole lottery winner plan plays out is brilliant. Actually, it was almost spooky how well it is done because I can imagine it actually happening that way.
The many characters of Ravens are all well-developed which is no easy task. With narrators Robert Petkoff and Maggie-Meg Reed alternating charters you are in for a treat! Both narrators do a fantastic job. I have heard Maggie Meg Reed several times before but this was a first time for Robert Petkoff. Maggie-Meg taking on the thick Georgia accents was a lot of fun.
I really, really, enjoyed this book. Fantastically played out, constantly engaging, Ravens comes highly recommended!
Its Audiobook week! Comment on this review between June 29- July 2 and a winner will be chosen using random.org for a copy of this audio to be sent to you!
Good morning! Today is the final day of Audio Book Week. SO why am I yelling in my post title this morning? Because I have not had coffee in 4 days now.
Seriously, I am not yelling, I am just speaking loudly and clearly this morning as this topic is an important one. If you have been around here at all this week you have seen audio posts, audio reviews, and audio giveaways. If you missed any of the giveaways, check out the sticky post – I have them all listed there and they all end tonight so get in on that deal!
AND you may have seen many audio postings around the blogesphere this week – people chatting and gushing audio books. So now that you have seen all this wonderful information about favorite audio books, what to look for in an audio review, best narrators…. really what else is there to know?
Todays topic covers the how to find great audio choices. We first and foremost, I pick up a lot of audio recommendations from other audio book bloggers. If a book blogger I trust is gushing up an audio book that sounds good to me… there is a good chance I want to listen to it.
“But, Sheila (*raising hand and waving it*) I don’t have a clue how to find book bloggers who are reviewing audio books!”
No worries! I am one of them, Jen at Devourer of Books is another, but rather than me list out off the top of my head who I know reviews great audio books, here is a great source:
Audio Jukebox is a place where any book blogger who writes audio book reviews may add their review to the list. This is a one stop shop where you can check out what reviewers are saying about an audio you may be interested in.
Then, my favorite place for great priced audio books:
What can I say about my love for Audible? First off, if you are a new user, your first audio book is free! You can choose from 10,000 audio books titles to try! The audio you choose downloads to wherever you want it to, I have mine go to I tunes where I then plug in my IPOD and it automatically loads on to there. I love this! I use my IPOD filled with audible books for when I am mowing the lawn, getting ready in the morning, working out… it is fantastic.
Uh huh… and after that first one what does it cost?
$7.49 a month for one audio of choice per month, $14.99 if you want two audio books a month. And you are under no contract. Stop any time. I highly recommend, it click the link above and nose around – each audio book has a little sample so you can hear it before you decide you want it.
If you are looking for CD audio’s not a download that are priced well, try bookcloseouts.com, I recently picked up about 14 audio books there averaging 3.99 a piece and they were newer titles! Also, you local library is a wonderful source to get you started.
That’s what I have this morning – I am running late to meet a friend for garage sales today. I will be back later to see what everyone else is chatting about and yes – one more audio book giveaway later today and it is a GOOD one!
What are you listening to today?
Right around the time that Rich Roll was about to turn 4o, he took a good hard look at his life. Nearly 50 pounds overweight he wondered if this was his future… more and more tired, no energy and unable to climb a flight of stairs without stopping to catch his breath.
Rich describes himself as having a very addictive personality… he never did anything half way. If he sat his mind to something, he was going to do it… in his younger years he learned that the hard way when he decided if he was going to have one beer, he might as well have 10…. (but that is another story….)
Rich immediately took inventory on what he had been eating and how he had been washing his years. He changed his eating habits overnight, making all processed foods off-limits and made plant nutrition and working out part of his daily plan. In a few months he had turned himself completely around, now fit and a drive that was unstoppable.
Finding Ultra is all about Rich’s change in his eating and the way he thought about food and exercise. Once he conquered his eating habits, he then challenged himself by running and biking and eventually the Ultra Man World Championship Competition, which is by invite only, 320 miles of running, swimming, and biking.
Finding ultra takes you through Rich’s life, his strong desire to succeed at a young age, to his fall into alcoholism and out again. Rich’s story in one of never giving up on your dreams.
Why did I want to listen to this book? I am fascinated with people who turn their lives around for the better. Always searching myself for the next big thing to try, Rich’s story was right up my alley.
I really liked that this audio book was narrated by author Rich Roll himself. After all, who better to tell his story? Rich’s narration of his life is well told, starting out wanting to be a swimmer even when his school did not have a swim team. What you learn quickly is once Rich sets his mind to doing something it more than likely is going to happen.
Rich lays it all on the line, leaving nothing back as he shares his battle with alcohol and what it cost him. I enjoyed most his story of how he became fit again, how he tossed out all foods that were processed from his diet and never looked back. In the very end chapters Rich goes into great detail about what he ate and how he prepared it, which I found very interesting. I even tried the coconut water which he swears by for putting electrolytes back into his body after a work out. He said to freeze it so during your work out you can drink it as it thaws.
Uh yeah… more power to you on that one Rich, I could not choke down the funny tasting coconut water.
I enjoyed this audio version of Rich’s story and found it inspiring to see that is really is never too late to make positive changes in your life. I understand that what Rich did was extreme, but even small changes can make a difference. I picked up some good tips on ordering out and work out habits.
It is audio book week and every audiobook I have reviewed this week has come with a giveaway! Comment on this review and be entered for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card to go towards an audio book (or book) of your choosing
Audio Book Week is here! Watch for audio giveaways every day during Audio book week!
**All winners will be announced on Saturday morning June 30th.
Good Morning! It feels like forever since I have just chatted it up with you! I guess in reality, it has been since Sunday. It has been a busy week here with it being Audio Book Week and I have been playing audio advocate and using a bullhorn to shout the benefits of audio to the world…
There are two days left of audio week and I am still on board, just wanted to do a life check in.
I am on day three of a Cleanse. Mmmmm hmmmmm….. here is what happened… a friend of mine who had a baby in January started this 21 day cleanse the Monday I was in New York. The week I returned she was on vacation and so by the time I seen her next and we worked together was after she had been on the cleanse for 16 days. And wow. She had super thinned down and anyway – I was impressed.
The cleanse itself once you maneuver it isn’t that difficult – it is just a new mind-set. You can eat all the vegies you want and half the amount of fruit as you eat vegies. You can have two protein shakes a day, and one egg. You can use Virgin Olive oil to cook, steam, whatever. You can have 1/2 cup of brown rice a day or 1 cup of lentils. Rice noodles are also (1/2 cup) ok to have. Your only beverage is water.
After the first 10 days, on day 11 you can add in a serving of fish or chicken each day through the rest of the cleanse that ends on day 21.
You picked up on the fact I am not drinking coffee?
SO… day 1 went ok but at the end of the night I ate a Skinny Cow ice cream cone. I am not a pro at this…… (the cleanse that is, the ice cream I can hold my own on) Day 2, yesterday went better, for dinner I cooked the rice, and then put it in a little olive oil with my one egg and mushrooms, onion. Seasoned that baby up with Cajun spices and a side of asparagus cooked it a little olive oil, a little lemon and sea salt and it was delicious and filling.
Surprisingly, the coffee, or lack there of, has not bothers me too much other than I am a bit foggy much to the delight of my co workers. I have had to ask questions on how to do things I know how to do. Here all this time I thought I was smart and it was the coffee talking!
But this morning… this morning was the kicker and that is what led up to this post. I got up at 5 am with hubby because I was AWAKE. Made the bed brushed my teeth, washed my face, put on night cream….
I put night cream back on my face after washing it off. I looked in the mirror and told myself, seriously?
So that is what is happening around here. Oh yes, and the Literary Blog Hop ended yesterday and the winner of the Literary book of choice from Amazon or the Book Depository Using random.org is:
Woo hoo!!!! Congrats Mystica! Email me at journeythroughbooks@ gmail.com to tell me which book you would like of $20 dollars or less – I am guessing this will come from the Book Depository but you can let me know when you email your address and which of the companies ship to you.
I think a good narrator surrounds you with the story. You should be able to get lost in the words and not notice things like throat clearing, swallowing, chair moving…. that may sound funny but I have heard all of these things, but before you run away screaming “Audio is scary,” you dont hear this in a well narrated audio book and my hearing it is rare.
If the book is narrated well you move as smoothly through the story as though you were reading it yourself, and in some cases – even better than you reading it yourself. The characters, the accents, the voices, should come off natural not forced. As you are reading through all the fantastic posts this week on audio take note of the narrators people are listing as the ones to watch for.
For more audio book related topics, posts, and giveaways, stop by and check our Devourer Of Books Audiobook Week 2012.
And that’s a wrap for me this morning. I am going to make breakfast and put a new sticky post up this morning and if time start writing my audio review for this afternoon as well.
Have a super day!
Quintin Coldwater is less than content hanging out with his two best friends James and Julia. He wasn’t always this discontented.
Yet when James and Julia started being more than friends, it just got AWKWARD. It probably didnt help that Quintin also kind of had a thing for Julia.
When an incident has Quintin chasing a paper up a tree, he finds himself in quite literally, another world. He is told that this is Brakebills Academy, a school for magic. Soon Quintin finds himself hanging out with the select few that pass the entrance exams. Although these teenagers are unknown to him, they seem to all have in common the love for a set of magical childrens books that took place in an imaginary land called Fillary.
But – as Quintin starts to learn, where really is that line between real and imagination? When he makes friends with the ever moody Penny, and the sweet Alice, things start to happen. As their magical powers become stronger they find themselves set upon a mission that no one could have ever dreamed up.
What do you do when the things of beloved fictional books suddenly become real? And what would you give… to have everything you ever wanted?
Why did I listen to this audio?
This audio book was recommended to my by John from Brilliant audio while I was in New York for BEA. He described it as very Harry Potterish and I was sold.
Opening words: Quintin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.
Imagine if JK Rowling would have written another book about Harry Potter in his college years… they could have called it Butter Beers College for Wizards, and THAT is what The Magicians is like.
Well… scratch that. That is what I THOUGHT I wanted The Magicians to be like. Always on my continuing search for the next Harry Potter book, I was hoping that was it… and it was, and it wasn’t. Yes The Magicians is a story of magical teenagers, going to school to learn their craft, but The Magicians does not have the innocence of the Potter books. For starters this is COLLEGE. And college means parties, and beer (not butter beer) and relationships. And I admit at first that bothered me…
Then I got over it because this is not Hogwarts. It is Brakebill. And this is not Harry. It is Quintin.
The Magicians really is fantastic on audio. Narrator Mark Bramhall did a fantastic job managing the many characters and in a way that made it hard for me to shut this audio off.
The teens of The Magicians are very likeable. We don’t get to know them all very well, a few float in and out of the conversations but a few like Quintin, Alice, and even Penny, you get to know a little better. They feel real, they are flawed… they are lazy teenagers, they are cocky and competitive. And if you were ever a teenager in college I suspect you can relate.
In the beginning I felt that this was so Harry Potter, three friends, two guys one girl…. uh huh…there is even a Quidich reference in the book! Towards the middle through the end it felt way more Narnia. The series of books Quintin and his friends all read as children about this other world… talking animals, etc… but it all works.
I recommend this read if you enjoy a deeply layered well-developed fantasy read and if you like good audio, I say definitely try this one in audio!
**I noticed on Amazon’s synopsis it mentions sex and yes, there are a couple of instances but nothing over the top.
For audio book week if you have an audible.com account I will send one lucky commenter on this post a gift of this audio through audible.com gifts. If you do not have an audible account I will send you a $10 Amazon gift card to hopefully be used on an audio book that you will enjoy, maybe even this one!
Good morning! We are now mid-week in audio week and I feel like it is going so FAST! I need to tell our host Jen from Devourer of Books that I need more time! I have audio books yet to review I….
Oh…. it’s not about me?
Ok then. Moving on…..
Current/most recent audiobook: (For me, there are three…)
1. Ravens by George Dawes Green, narrated by Robert Petkoff and Maggi-Meg Reed (In the car)
Fabulous! Not only is this a captivating book, the narration from both Robert and Maggi is very good.
2. The Prophesy Of The Sisters by Michelle Zink, narrated by Eliza Dushku (In kitchen cd player)
Excellent story line and the narration is good, I find I need to listen a little more closely to catch all the details.
3. The Magicians by Lev Grossman, narrated by Mark Bramhall (In IPOD)
FANTASTIC! This is such a great audio and I am loving the narration too! I can not wait to review this one!
Current/most recent favorite audiobook:
That is a tough question. I seem right now to be listening to three very impressive books, which is exciting as it rarely happens that way that all three really grab me. I would say most recent 11-22-63 was so fantastic by Stephen King and narrated by Craig Wasson. What an amazing story!
Favorite narrator you’ve discovered recently:
I am actually pretty impressed with Mark Bramhall. I am fairly new to the narrator watching part of audio and have been just excited about titles. Now I am getting more into who I enjoy narrating and watching who is winning awards, etc… (I feel like such a newby!)
One title from your TBL (to be listened) stack, or your audio wishlist:
Well since audio week has begun, I have added Bringing Up The Bodies, The Bird Sisters, and A Land More Than Home to the wish list.
Your audio dream team (what book or author would you LOVE to see paired with a certain narrator, can already exist or not):
I don’t have enough narrator knowledge to answer this one… BUT – ask me again… next year
And that’s todays morning Audio Book discussion brought to you by Devourer of Books. Stop by and check out how others are answering these questions! I know I will
Be sure to check out my other posts this week, yesterday I had posted two giveaway posts and when I put up my audio review for today later – that too will be a giveaway post
How would you answer any of these questions? Any suggestions you would give me on narrators and or audio?
She was built and marketed as unsinkable. A grander ship you would not have found. To be aboard her on this maiden voyage was privilege for the 2,207 passengers aboard, no matter if you were first class or steerage, you knew you were experiencing history in the making.
If only they had known how true that would be…
As she sped across the dark waters one cool April evening no one knew what was about to happen, and when it did happen….
“Iceberg right ahead!”
… no one thought it would do the damage it did. But once the damage was done, The Titanic in all her glory sunk quickly. A Night To Remember is the true minute by minute account of what happened after the Titanic struck ice, how some people reacted with an honor that is unmatched to this day, giving their lives… and yet other people brought out the ugliest side of humanity, and greed, and the instinct to survive, no matter what the cost.
Why did I want to listen to this audio? I am a history buff when it comes to all things to do with the Titanic. The whole tragedy from start to finish mesmerizes me today; the band playing on as the ship sank, the people of what was referred to as lesser class not given the rights to try to survive as the upper class was. Heart wrenching, heartbreaking, and I want to know their stories.
In 1898, 14 years before the Titanic sailed, a book was written called The Wreck Of The Titan. The ship, according to the book, was unsinkable. This fictitious ship was sailing the North Atlantic in April when it struck an iceberg 400 miles from Newfoundland, causing it to sink. There were not enough life boats for the people on board…
As told in the opening of A Night To Remember
A Night To Remember is as accurate a recap as I have ever heard as to what happened that fateful April night in 1912. It’s easy to understand that 100 years later, movies are still bring produced and books are still being written about one of the greatest tragedies of the sea.
Narrated by Martin Jarvis and 5 hours and 4 minutes long, this book is read at a wonderful pace filled with facts brought forth by those who lived to tell the story. While listening you will hear the conversations that took place after the ship was hit, the concerns over belongings, and of some – who were not concerned at all… hero’s and villains…
I was amazed at how close what I was hearing was to how the Titanic movie was made, all the way down to the large Irish man who fought to have the steerage women be released to have a chance to save themselves. Many of the lines from this book/audio, were also used in the movie,
“She is Unsinkable!”
Listening to this audio was at times painful when I thought of all the lives that were senselessly lost. In the end, it is told that the Whitestar Line never did have a policy for such an emergency, the crew made it up as they went along… in the panic that unfolded they did the best they could under that extreme amount of pressure. Many things changed after that fateful night:
Never again did a ship sail without enough life boats to accommodate ALL on board. Assignments and directions to lifeboats are now stated in each stateroom.
All passengers were created equal, no matter what their class in an emergency.
ALL iceberg warnings were taken seriously.
Every steamship carrying over 100 passengers must now carry two electric search lights
Walter Lord published this book in 1955, a classic that any Titanic follower must have in their collection.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Titanic and its final night, this is an audio book I highly recommend. This one definitely goes on my keeper shelf.
For audio book week I am doing a giveaway with every audio review I post. To win a copy of this amazing audio book, please leave a comment below. Winner will be announced on Saturday after audio book week ends.
Thank you to Audio Jukebox for sending me this incredible audio for review!
Leslie from Under my Apple Tree, and myself both enjoy audio books. I love to look at her audio reviews and see what she is suggesting. Yes, even us audio book lovers need go-to audio book lovers… much like us book people seek out other book people.
Through our chatting recently on audio books we though it would be fun to give you a little bit of our background with audio, and then open it up to you to ask questions on each of our blogs. We will have a random drawing on each blog for those who do ask questions about audio books. Feel free to ask the same question on each blog as we will probably answer it differently. I have about 2 1/2 years of audio book experience but Leslie has about 4 years!
How long have you been listening to audiobooks and how long did it take you to be comfortable with the format?
For me, I didn’t start getting into audio book until after I had begun book blogging. My opinion on audio books was something my aunt and uncle did when they drove their RV from California to Minnesota each spring. In other words… old school. Outdated. I imagined them surrounded with a case of cassette tapes, choosing what to listen to next as they bounced along the highways…
Then, in late 2009 I was offered a few audio books through Hatchette audio for review. I remember starting with James Patterson. I liked some of Patterson’s books, so why not? The series I started with was The Michael Bennett series and the first audio was Step On A Crack. What I thought about audio books that day (monotone readers blah blah blah) went out the window.
What I learned is that audio can be exciting! The narrators show emotions, the different characters have voices you come to recognize, and in this audio books case and the others in this series that followed – they had sound effects!
So began my love of audio. It was truly trial and error in the beginning. I had no idea how to pick out good audio. Many in the early listens were mediocre. But when I hit a good one – I knew they were out there.
Since audiobooks are an acquired skill, what should listeners look for when selecting a book? What should they avoid?
When selecting an audio book watch to see if the audio is abridged on unabridged. I always go unabridged, I think most of us do.
If the narrator is new to you, many websites offer sample listening of the audio so you can see if it is too your liking. I also like to watch from ratings on narrations and see what others are saying about the audio.
See how many hours the audio book you are thinking of is. I personally prefer my audio books between 6 and 10 hours. However, in the case of books that I really want to read, I will go longer. 11-22-63 was 30 hours and 40 minutes. The Passage by Justin Cronin was 36 hours and 52 minutes. Both were well worth it.
Audio books can get pricey however many libraries have audio for rent as well as to download. Sites like Amazon, half.com, Bargainbooks.com, Ebay all can have great deals on audio books. I recently picked up 10 audio books of newer titles for $2.99 each at Bookbargains.com. I am also a HUGE fan of audible.com where you can get an audio a month for $7.99 your choice! Your first audio book with Audible.com is free, and there is no contract ever…. you can stop any time. I have been using them for two years and just recently updated my account from one audio a month to two. They also have awesome sales where many titles will be $5 or less. See my audible.com link on the right sidebar for more information.
What audiobooks would you recommend to new listeners?
If you are dipping an ear into audio let me just say, YAY!!! Now that first audio experience is important so here are a few I would suggest depending on your tastes…
- Any of The Harry Potter books with either narrator Stephen Fry or Jim Dale. Both are fantastic and you will sweat that is Hagrid in the room with you!
- Ready Player One. If you have reading the audio book week posts, then enough said. We are all raving about this one.
- The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks – f you like historical non fiction this one is incredible!
- The Magicians King – a grown up Harry Potter. Picture Potter if they could have done the college years and tossed him into Narnia… ok, now you are with me
Now we open the discussion to you. Feel free to add to what was discussed here. Please ask questions! Any comment that contributes to the discussion or relevant question will count towards a chance to win an audio book of choice from Amazon up to a $20 value. Winner will be chosen randomly at the end of the Audio Book Week.