Category Archives: audio review
Say what you will about Patterson, the Michael Bennett series has me waiting anxiously for each book!
Michael Bennett missed New York. He misses the ability to pick up a hot slice of pizza at any time, day or night. He misses the hustle and bustle of a fast life, and heck, he even misses the noise. Yet as he looks around the room at his ten adopted children, grandfather Seamus, and the kids live in nanny Mary Catherine, he knows this is the way it needs to be.
Due to recent events and a mad man still on the loose, Michael and his family have been relocated (compliments of the witness protection program and the FBI) to a rural farm area in California. It’s big, it’s secluded, and God willing, it is safe.
Now, big name crime guys are being killed off in bizarre and horrifying ways. What is happening is unthinkable,clearly the work of a mad man and Bennett knows that these crimes reek of Manuel Perrine, the same man who is after Bennett and his family. A choice needs to be made, does Michael stay on the farm like a sitting duck waiting for Perrine to track him down, or does he go back to work and do what he is best at… getting the bad guy before he gets him?
Oof ta. I do love me the Michael Bennett series. I have praised these books before. While they do have essence of James Patterson, author Michael Ledwidge must be the difference in these books. This series follows a great story line… a New York detective, single after losing his wife to cancer, his ten adopted children of various ages, his Pastoral grandfather who lives with them and keeps it real, and the nanny, the sweet Irish gal names Mary Catherine who is the glue that holds it all together.
Gone is another great listen. I enjoy Patterson’s books on audio immensely as he adds sound effects (gun shots, tires screeching, doors slamming…) that never come off as cheesy, but instead make my heart pound.
I highly recommend these books on audio.
for reviews on the other books in this series:
(Fast listens on audio and highly engaging – I encourage you to give Step On A Crack a try and see if you are not hooked. :D)
I use Grammarly’s free plagiarism checker online because my teflon coating on this blog does not always prevent others from re-publishing my words.
Alice Love has it all. She married the cute guy. She found the home of her dreams. And now at 29 years old she is and Nick are so excited for the birth of their first child.
Then she wakes up in the hospital and they tell her it is not 1998, but 2008. That sweet precious baby she couldn’t wait to meet, is now a somewhat snarky ten year old. Her sister who she has always adored, comes to be by her side but she can feel that their is a distance between them. And her amazing husband Nick is fighting her for part time custody of the kids.
Uhhhh… What just happened?
Now close to 40 years old, Alice learns that she had taken a nasty fall at the gym. The gym? She hates the gym! The girl (woman?) in the mirror looks tired, and not the easy going Alice she remembered being. She is told that she does not just have the one child, but three. Wha….
After my recent adventures with author Liane Moriarty in The Husband’s Secret, I was so impressed with her pace of a book and her subject matter that could come off as serious but thanks to a fun writing style actually comes off as lighter and a little funny at times, I dove right into What Alice Forgot.
What Alice Forgot can be described as brilliant. It’s a fun concept, if not at all time realistic, it makes up for it in funny, smart moments. I enjoyed how the story unfolds a little at a time with Alice’s memories of what was, and then the present. I found it hard to stop listening because I wanted to know what was going to happen when she got her memory back... if she got her memory back…. SHE HAD TO GET HER MEMORY BACK!
The Alice she was ten years ago and the Alice she has become collide in ways that can possibly be considered a “do over”. Alice’s head injury takes her back ten years and when a softer, more easy going Alice is presented to the world through this… really anything is possible. Right?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have my eye out for other books from this author. The Hypnotist’s Love Story comes out mid 2014 and you can bet I am watching for that one.
It is early 1978, North Carolina. An 11 year old boy, his father, grandfather, and a family friend are arriving at the families remote hunting property for a weekend of male pondering around the deer hunting season. For the boy, this is his first year that he is allowed to hunt with the men. He is ecstatic to be counted as one of them. This is his year.
A poacher is seen on the property in the distance. And the boy, even unknown to himself as to why, yet filled with the adrenaline of a hunt to begin aims his rifle and shoots.
The poacher falls.
And the world for this group of hunters explodes into a whole new unknown world of accusations, fear, family loyalty, untrust, and for the boy….
A friend of mine had read Goat Mountain. Her thoughts on this book brought it to my attention because it was different than anything I had read before. So I found this one on audio and here are my thoughts.
Goat Mountain is a beautiful listen. Yet it is also terrifying and disturbing. As the events unravel over a weekends hunting trip, a fathers anguish, a grandfathers harsh words, the friends panic, but most disturbing – the young boys lack of…
Where this book may have been a win, I found it confusing that this story is being told by the boy many years later, although we are never given a glimpse of what happened between the accident weekend and the current time of the book. Goat Mountain is about a hunting weekend, and I felt that if it was going to be about an event that happened years prior, it should have had something to bond the incident to the current time. Perhaps to others this makes perfect sense, but when it ended it felt to me to be unfinished.
I wish it would have left me with a better feeling but instead I felt as disjointed as the book came to be.
When once asked what advice Corey Feldman would give to parents who are raising kids in the industry he replied, get them out of Hollywood and let them lead normal lives.
Corey’s career began at three when he was in a McDonald’s commercial. His older sister Mindy was is the Mickey Mouse Club and one day someone heard Corey’s gravely voice while he was on his sisters set and he was hired as the voice of the fox in the Fox and The Hound. From there Corey as he grew launched into larger roles and starred as a teen in The Goonies, Gremlins, Friday The 13th and Stand By Me. He built a strong lifelong friendship with Corey Haim when they started appearing in the same movies such as The Lost Boys, License To Drive, and Dream A Little Dream.
While some may think having the opportunities of being a teen star is glamorous, Corey, in his memoir paints quite a different picture. A verbally and mentally abusive mom took all of his earnings and cost him more than one job. His father was not much better, acting as his manager in Corey’s teen years and costing him larger roles by making Corey accept the smaller easy money roles. When Corey put his foot down and told his dad that he could no longer manage him, his father kicked him out.
Corey falls into the traps of Hollywood with drugs and alcohol and even abusive sex. Told in a matter of fact way, Corey Feldman owns up to all of his past failures, painting quite a different picture than the one that we see on the screen. When Corey Haim his friend of many years dies at the age of 38, Corey Feldman speaks strongly about the causes and rumors surrounding Haim’s death.
An amazing memoir of strength and courage.
I grew up with the movies that both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim starred in. Watching them on-screen they looked like your typical fun-loving teenagers and as a teen myself, I wished I could hang out with them. Now, after listening to Corey Feldman’s memoir…. no way I should have wanted to hang out with them! The things that they both went through is enough to make anyone sick and angry…. both boys really were lost boys.
At first I thought it was a little odd that Feldman talks so much about Haim and what his life was like in this memoir. After I thought about it I feel that they were both so close, and Feldman probably knew Haim better than almost anyone. Haim never got to share his story. He wanted to… he just ran out of time. To hear Feldman stick up for his friend when he was sexually abused, rumored to have been gay, and a drug addict is heart breaking.
I flew through this audio. Read by Corey Feldman himself, I found the behind the scenes movie antics to be fun as that was what I like to know about in this memoirs of actors and actresses. Really though, the childhood, the growing up and all the things we do not see, is what breathes life into the story. So often you hear about these child stars lives at home and you are shocked. Corey’s is no exception. This memoir is brutally honest and I for one am glad to know Corey’s story.
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has a reputation to protect. The other women in her town after all look up to her. She organizes many of the school functions, is always around to help where needed, and you did not even know you needed Tupperware until you attend one of Cecelia’s parties… and then you don’t know how you lived without it. She has three wonderful daughters and a handsome husband. What more could she want? Then while looking around the attic she finds a letter from her husband sealed and saying to only open in the event of his death. And suddenly everything Cecelia thought was right in her life is turned upside down.
Tess O’Leary loves her job and the fact that she is able to work beside her husband Will, and her cousin and best friend Felicity. Then Felicity, who was always a bit heavy loves a significant amount of weight and along with Will, approaches Tess about their love for one another. Stunned, Tess packs up her son Liam and goes to live with her mother in Sydney.
Rachel Crowley is a school secretary. She loves being around children even though she lost her own daughter over 25 years ago to a murder that was never solved. When new evidence turns up, Rachel has to decide if she can wait for the police to take action or will the anger and pain of all these years cause her to do the unthinkable.
These three women’s lives will intertwine in ways they do not see coming. Through friendships and connections, the Husband’s Secret is not to be missed.
I listened to this book on audio and once it started, I had a hard time shutting it off! Caroline Lee was an amazing narrator, she made the book come alive with each of the voices of the full cast of characters. In an almost fun and snarky tone, I fell in live with this book through the narration. It was just a lot of fun to listen to!
The Husband’s Secret was delightful, fast paced, and while dealing with serious subjects, it never came off as heavy. I have heard the book is great, but audio listeners know that the audio is pretty fantastic too.
Note: Because I enjoyed this book so much, I am currently downloading What Alice Forgot, by this same author.
Billy Crystal…. comedian and movie star (When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, Analyze This, Parental Guidance…), several time host of the Academy Awards, and more. Now at the age of 65, Billy reflects on what it is like to age not gracefully (buying a plot instead of Christmas presents, and wearing half your meal on your shirt are just a couple of his topics) and his life and career.
I chose to listen to this audio while looking for something to start listening to on a two hour drive home a couple of weeks ago. Having enjoyed City Slickers (both 1 and 2!) and Billy’s time as the Academy Award host I thought this would be an interesting and entertaining listen.
For the most part I was right. Billy’s dabble into the senior part of his life is humorous as he loses his keys constantly and the inability to sleep through the night yet constantly doze off at plays. His recollection of starting out in comedy and eventually show business was really the heart of this audio for me, I enjoy hearing how people get their start and his big moments and his “not so great ones’ really are heart warming as Billy learned how to capture an audiences attention and hearts.
Billy Crystal’s start in movies both good and bad is also a fun journey, from the stars he worked with, to his unending crush of Sophia Loren. And Billy gets personal too as he talks about the birth and marriages of his daughters and all that is in between.
What I did not enjoy was that part of this audio version is read in front of a live audience. More so in the beginning of the audio, but I found it to be more of a stand up show than a book for a while and did not enjoy the laughter on the audio or some of Billy’s cruder humor (clearly I had not experienced that side of his humor before and wasn’t expecting it… my bad ). For a while I thought I had made a mistake on this one – but audio listeners, hang in there – eventually he levels out into what I thought was a good and informative listen. I do not know how those same chapters in the audio are handled in the book version.
All in all, I did enjoy this audio. I learned a lot about Billy Crystal and his love of family and friends. It was interesting to hear how insecure he often was throughout his career, second guessing his choice of jokes… and always appreciating when colleagues such as Muhammad Ali and Johnny Carson would call or tell him in person, “that was a great job!”
Fans of Billy Crystal, I think you will enjoy this.
Yes yes… we all (or certainly all should) have read the Harry Potter books – BUT before you run the other way – hear me out because if you have not listened to these books on audio… then you are missing something awesome.
So here is the gist of this book… Harry (our hero!) is now preparing to enter his sixth year at Hogwarts. Last year had been a hard one, but really, none of the years have been a cake walk for the boy who lived. Year six… will prove to be yet another challenge. Even more so than he has ever encountered before.
With the inkling (*IHO), that Draco is now a Death Eater and Hermione and Ron finding the boy to be a bit daft, Harry feels there are new deeper and darker secrets within the school. When he sees Dumbledore has a secret of his own with a damaged hand that he will not talk about.
Security at Hogwarts is on the HIGH.
Volde…. he who shall not be named is out there somewhere and the students are to be on the look out. When an old potions book Harry winds up with by being last to class is filled with notes Harry is at first disappointed,but eventually finds out that he is the lucky holder of a book that helps him to create potions faster and smarter than the others in the class and much to Hermione’s annoyance. The book says it was the property of the “Half Blood Prince”, but who was the Half Blood Prince?
As the story goes on – Dumbledore takes to sharing with Harry some of his most important memories involving Tom Riddle who of course (come on Potter fans!) is… Volde…. gah.. He who shall not be named. These memories are to help Harry know what they are up against as they prepare for the inevitable battle.
Anyhoo… so on it goes with the great mix of the school friendships and some fun story lines involving the miss use of love potions, and a potion that gives you a perfect day. Oh and of course there is always Quidich and with Ron now playing you know it is going to be fun.
This is the book where you really get the full effect of just how crazy crackers and power possessed Tom Riddle (Voldem…. yeah yeah….) truly was. The question and the goal of this particular book is to find the power behind Riddle and see what can e done to weaken up – and things have never had greater stakes.
When asked what my favorite of the Potter books are, I have always struggled with that question. I lean towards the earlier years, I prefer the younger more innocent years at Hogwarts – however as I listened to this one over the last few weeks I think I almost have to go with this book. This is really the book where all things come together, you really get to know what is going on and the main protagonists all are coming into their own… Ron and Hermione are hilarious in this particular book as they try to figure our relationships. Harry really has an even more important role than ever before – and even more so I feel than what he does in book 7 as this is the book where he does most on his own without the help of his friends.
The audio is read by Jim Dale and he is well worth a listen. Whenever I listen to him he takes me right there, each character so easily defined in his tone of voice – I just take great joy in listening to him.
If you have enjoyed the Harry Potter books in book format, I HIGHLY encourage you to try them on audio. What a fantastic treat and if you are on a road trip a great listen for the whole family.
I treated myself after finishing the audio, to the movie once again….. ahhhhh Harry….. this is the book that made me cry, and much like all important moments of my life- I remember right where I was when I finished it the first time.
Philippa Gregory weaves a fiction tale so fine through factual history that is at times hard to see where one begins and the other ends. Fantastic reading! ~Sheila
When Henry’s battle ends with a crown to a kingdom that he is not handed, but instead takes from the battle ground as his own , he know that his only hope is to marry the Princess Elizabeth of York to bind the Tudors and the Yorks after nearly two decades.
Elizabeth is both beautiful and strong-minded and in love with a man who was slain during this war. Henry in turn shows Elizabeth no love or affection but instead parades her around as his prize possession and handles her roughly and against er will behind closed doors.
Ahhhh…. the lives of the Tudors and the Yorks.
In the hearts of those in England they hope and pray for someone to come along and return the power of the kingdom to the York’s. When a young man come sup against the kingdom the battle begins as Henry fights to protect his stolen kingdom and Elizabeth watches with interest and fear as this man who claims to be her long-lost brother comes to return the power to York and Elizabeth now has to choose between a man she is coming to love and the boy who could save them all.
Why did I want to read this book? Ever since The Boleyn Girl I have adores Phillipa Gregory’s writing. Her writing flows with passion and facts and fills the holes that time has created giving us “what if” to think about.
The White Princess was just as fulfilling as I had hoped when I chose to listen tot his one on audio. Narrator Bianca Amato is a fantastic choice for Gregory’s books as her accent is perfect for the narration and I found myself trying to roll words off my own tongue as she did.
I tried a few at work but my rendition is nowhere near perfect as Bianca’s. Audio book lovers, you will thank me when I tell you try this one in audio.
Phillipa Gregory is not known as the “Queen Of Royal Fiction” without cause. Her books are interesting and bring you right to the time of flowing gowns, castles filled with servants and royalty, and a longing to be a part of the court. Every time I read her books I find myself fully engaged in whatever part of the story she is sharing at that moment.
The White Queen is breath-taking. We meet Elizabeth in earlier Cousin War books, but this is the storyline where she takes her place as Queen on a throne that is both welcoming and torturous. With her mother by her side, when she is not forced to go elsewhere, Elizabeth tries to be the Queen in every sense of the word, holding her head high and not let others see the pain behind her eyes, behind closed doors, and nowhere to ever escape.
In a reading slump or looking for your next “WOW!”, open up any one of Phillipa Gregory’s books. You do not have to read The Cousin’s War books in order, each one pops you right there and you will have no problem finding your place in the crowd of Gregory fans.
When you see the differences in one another and learn to embrace them rather than exploit them… you become whole.
A cafe in Manhattan. Bobby, a gay man from Georgia, young and trying to find his way as his family pulls from him. Amelia, money has never been a problem for her but finds she can not buy her way out of a family secret that has the power to change everything. Alice, African-American and knows that life can be cruel but finds her way through the day-to-day by looking ahead and using her great gifts in cooking to reach others…
All three have been uprooted from their pasts and they all migrate towards cooking, hungry for companionship, understanding, and acceptance. As the book starts in 1920′s where slaves are being freed, to the AIDS epidemic of the 80′s, all three know the true meaning of sacrifice in order to find authenticity.
Why did I want to read/listen to this book? The synopsis sounded powerful. The three protagonists of the book were all so different, I wanted to know what would bring them together.
Even as I write this review I find myself settling into a state of melancholy, and maybe that is not the right word, but I feel a longing for these characters a sense of wanting more yet saddened that as I write this, they are already a part of my past. Does that make sense?
A Place At The Table was fulfilling, much like the table at which they all sat. While food fills them, it is the relationships that fill them up and that imagery that Susan Rebecca White paints is one I want to hold on to. I listened to this book on audio and loved the narration of Robin Miles (she also narrated The Last Original Wife which I LOVED!), George Newbern, and Katherine Powell. The book flowed smoothly from one scene to the next which I can imagine was no easy task, yet it mixed so well together to create a book I will recommend to others. This would be a great discussion book for book clubs and I will be recommending it to my book club for sure!
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Audio
for the opportunity to listen to and review this audio
Why I wanted to listen to this audio: Heard a little hype about this on Facebook from friends I trust… thought I would give it a try. I am always up for a good laugh.
Dad Is Fat is Jim Gaffigan’s hilarious stories on what it is like to be a father of 5 (yes 5!) children. Jim shares the moments in his and his wife’s life of what it is like to try to maneuver through life in New York with 5 children and no car and taxi’s will not take more than 4 passengers in a vehicle. An awesome listen or read for any parent who feels they may be outnumbered in their home or even for people like me who have no
It’s hard to write a synopsis for this audio when all I want to do is pull up a chair and start sharing with you the funny moments that had me laughing out loud…
“There is no difference between a four-year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor.”
“We are all a little weird. And we like to think that there is always someone weirder. I mean, I am sure some of you are looking at me and thinking, “Well, at least I am not as weird as you,” and I am thinking, “Well, at least I am not as weird as the people in the loony bin,” and the people in the loony bin are thinking, “Well, at least I am an orange”.”
But don’t take my word for it… here is Jim, live from his audiobook – Dad is Fat:
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio, loved listening to Jim – and highly recommend this one for your next road trip. This audio is family friendly.