Category Archives: audio review
Lincoln O’Neil would not have applied for the job of “Internet Security Officer” if he would have known it was going to be this.
Having accepted the position with images of putting his computer knowledge to work in tasks like fire walls and repairs. He was shocked to find himself working the night shift and basically reading the email exchanges between employees to make sure they were work related; and if they were not, writing up reports on them.
When Lincoln finds the conversations going on between two employees, Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder, he knows he should file a report. Instead, Lincoln finds himself absorbed in their conversations and can not bring himself to put a stop to it. Soon, he finds that he is looking forward to work just to see what the two girls will be talking about, and through the email exchanges, he finds that he is becoming attracted to Beth.
Now Lincoln is in a real pickle. He would love to meet Beth, but now he knows so many intimate and personal things about her, how can he?
I enjoyed reading (quite honestly) the exchanges of the two girls Beth and Jennifer. Much like Lincoln, I too was captivated by their humor and some of the more serious topics they covered. I think that is exactly where Rainbow Rowell wanted her readers, right in the shoes of Lincoln.
It’s funny to say I “read their emails” as I listened to this one on audio. Perhaps that feeling that I was there is chalked up to the impressive narration of Laura Hamilton. She navigated through this book smoothly, easily giving each character their own voice.
Attachments, as all of Rainbow Rowell’s books that I have read/listened to at this time, are worth spending time with. Unique and fun.
West Hall, Vermont has, like many small towns, urban legends. The towns most notorious story is one a woman named Sarah Harrison Shea who in the early 1900′s was found in a bloody heap, dead, just months after her own young daughter Gertie had tragically died. Through the years, in the woods that were a part of West Hall, other mysterious deaths and disappearances had taken place, only adding fuel to the legend. The truth of what had happened to Sarah was never discovered but the elaborate stories were ones told around camp fires and during moonless nights….
Now, over 100 years later, 19-year-old Ruthie lives with her mother Alice and her little sister Fawn in the very farmhouse that once belonged to the infamous Sarah. One morning the girls wake to find their mother Alice missing with no sign of where she may have gone. As Ruthie explores her mother’s room for clues she finds part of a diary under the floor boards that says it is the secret diary of Sarah Harrison Shea. As Ruthie begins to read the diary she finds it is filled with stories of people called sleepers, those brought back to life from the dead. Sarah not only believed it was possible, she explained how she did it for her daughter Gertie, and… even more alarming, how to bring anyone back to life.
Sheila’s observation: Have we learned nothing from Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery? Bringing people back from the dead is never a good idea…
The Winter People brought up reminiscence of The Returned, and yes, Pet Cemetery. How often have we thought if we only had a second chance with someone who had passed away unexpectedly and/or far too young? How far would one go to bring that person back if they could? AND time after time in our literature we have discovered…. they never come back the way they were. (Walking Dead anyone? Just not a great time…. :razz: )
This opening description might make you think this book is dark, but actually it is not so much dark as it is just a very interesting tale that travels back and forth seamlessly between Sarah’s time of 1908 , and Ruthie’s life of current time. As you read, Sarah’s story as told through her diary entries and see her life move forward as Ruthie, reading the diary all these years later follows the book back in time to hopefully find a connection to her mother’s disappearance.
Beautifully narrated by Cassandra Campbell and Kathe Mazur. I found Winter People to be a familiar tale, but told in a different way that was unique and that made it a decent read.
In 1808, Solomon Northup was born a free man of color. He grew into a man, owned a home, farmed and played violin. He was married and had three children and did well for himself and his family. In 1841, at the age of 33, Solomon was lured into a false job to play violin, he was then drugged and kidnapped, shipped to New Orleans and sold as a slave. For twelve years Solomon was held and sold from one slave owner to the next. His attempts at escaping were fruitless, if he tried to explain that he was a free man, he was beaten either for his lies, or for the fear the white owners had of what he said was true. During this time Solomon had no way of getting word to his family, not knowing if they were dead or alive or what they thought had become of him.
In the twelve years of captivity, Solomon learned what it was like to be slave. During his time of captivity he was able to see the darkest souls of man, but also see kindness in others. Upon his release, Solomon wrote this recap of his time as a slave. It was 1853.
12 Years A Slave was a powerful listen. Narrated by Louis Gossett, in a smooth tone that made you feel that he really was Solomon Northup, retelling his days and months and years with all of his rights as a free man stripped from him.
What makes this book all the more breathtaking is that it is non fiction. Solomon shares with his readers the good, the bad, and the extreme ugliness of man during this time period. I found my heart heavy as I can not wrap my mind around what it had to have been like for Solomon during this time of loss of family, and loss of hope of ever seeing them again.
12 Years A Slave is a remarkable story. I am looking forward to seeing the movie.
Kitchen Confidential, narrated by the author and well-known chef Anthony Bourdain is a “Don’t eat at a well-known restaurant in New York before you read this” type of book. Anthony, in his typical dead pan style takes you through the ups and downs of his world of when you should and when you should not order seafood, why brunches and buffets are the dirty under belly of the food world, as well as good and bad relationships that go on beyond closed doors – or pointedly the kitchen. Kitchen Confidential will take you through Anthony’s rocky start in the world of white aprons and funny hats. Through sex, drugs, and filet Mignon – the secrets of presentation and “how do I get my potatoes and chicken to stack tall like a restaurants, are all inside, if you dare to listen.
I have listened to and enjoyed Anthony Bourdain before in Medium Raw, another of his books on the adventures and pleasures of food. Kitchen Confidential is, in my opinion, rawer than Medium Raw. Anthony is more vulgar, or I suppose, honest in the relationships of the cooking world. Let’s just say that in Kitchen Confidential Anthony readily admits that what he is sharing in this book could possibly get him fired…. if he is just being his sarcastic self, I do not know, but Kitchen Confidential is not for the faint of heart.
Be sure before you enter into this read that you are committed to really wanting to know what is happening behind the kitchen wall. Kitchen Confidential would easily receive a “R” rating if this were a TV show for language, drunks, sex and drugs. Practices that you would probably rather not know about, but perhaps have often wondered (what do they really do with that bread plate that you did not eat?) are revealed. Yet it is not all stomach turning and checking another restaurant off your must try list. Anthony also shares tips for your own cooking skills – sharing with the reader how not to be caught up in the chef knives industry and expense when really you only need one knife that is not a budget breaker and can do just about everything the bank breaking expensive sets do.
While I will admit that there are times Anthony Bourdain steps over the line of TMI a time or two or fourteen… I still enjoy listening to his stories. Beyond the world of food and chefs, Anthony is also an incredible story-teller and if you can handle the truth (which some of we probably suspected) it is a dish worth trying.
Note: You do not have to be a gamer to enjoy this read,Masters Of Doom is a story of friendship and living the dream of success and feeling the deep cutting pain of success as well. Do not judge this book by its topic. You will do yourself a disservice.~Sheila
Masters Of Doom is the true story of John Carmack and John Romero, two young gamers from broken homes that teamed up together to create games for the personal computer that changed the gaming world (and the real world) forever. They took the flat screen square looking graphic games and brought them to life by adding screen scrolls, better graphics, and eventually… more violence. Their biggest success DOOM was what finally tore them apart. This book (audio) is their story from rags to riches, from binding friendship to a major falling apart of the two John’s.
Today, more money is spent on video type games than is spent on movies. Does that not blow your mind? Many of the population would rather spend time in a virtual world solving puzzles, crimes, or shooting or blowing things up.
Beyond my desire to know more about this story, was the narration of Wil Wheaton. Seriously – the guy would read the newspaper to me and I would be thrilled. If you listened to ready Player One on audio, that’s the guy!
Masters Of DOOM was an incredible listen. I am not a big gamer, I did play some games as a kid but I was never hard core and never played DOOM or Quest (nothing bloody for me thanks), two of the games designed through this team. I do however love the stories behind the success. As I love the movie Social Network (the story behind Facebook), and the audiobook JOBS (the story of Steve Jobs success with Apple), I also really enjoyed listening to the rise to the top of two computer geeks who loved what they did and created an empire.
Gamers will love the behind the scenes insight of how the games were developed. Non gamers will enjoy the amazing story of friends who were just having fun and stumbled on to something bigger than they ever could have imagined.
He or she goes by the name of A. A lives an unusual life. Every day that A wakes up in the morning, A is in a new body. A may be a teenage boy or A may wake up as a teenage girl. No matter who he/she is, the only constant is that A will be 16. A is not sure why life is this way but it is and because of this A has set up a few ground rules:
1. Never get attached
2. Live low… do not do anything that will draw attention to you
3. Do not do anything that will disrupt the life of the person he/she is for the day
And all of that is working out swell until one morning A wakes up as a boy named Justin, and A meets Justin’s girlfriend Rhiannon. Rhiannon is sweet and kind and way to good for this boy named Justin who A can tell does not value her. And now things are all messed up. A’s rules no longer apply… all A does is think about Rhiannon and want to be with her.
As A continues to “body jump” , A spends his time trying to find where Rhiannon is… and this is dangerous as A is taking the person he/she is inhabiting, male or female, out of their own routine to be with Rhianon.
How do you love someone who is never the same person on the outside – but always the same person in the inside? How do you have feelings for someone who is one day a boy, and possibly the next day a girl?
Oofta. When I picked up Every Day on audio at our library I had no idea what I was about to listen to. David Levithan truly has a gift of thinking outside the box as it was a struggle for me to keep up with who A was next. Defining a character as neither male or female was brilliant on Levithon’s part (even writing this review was hard not to refer to “A”as either he or she), but tricky for me, as my mind automatically made “A” male because of his love for Rhiannon.
Tricky stuff her Mr. Levithan…. tricky tricky…
Because of all of this I have a hard time saying how I feel about this book. The ending to me felt like I needed something more solid even though A had nothing solid to hang on to him, errr… herself. It felt as though there should be a second book but I do not see any mention of this being part of a series of books. It definitely fits into my love of books that are completely different than anything I have read before. I still am struggling to come up with a good solid response here.
So -I can say this. If you are looking for something completely different, give Each Day a try. David Levithan was co author of the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson (which I loved!) and he also wrote the books Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Two Boys Kissing which I have heard good things about but have not read.
Did you ever imitate your parents when you were a kid? Or better yet, imitate your parents imitating someone else? Or try to win favor by pretending to be well-behaved children talking in tones like, “yes father, I would be delighted to pick up the common area of all of my things”?
“Real love amounts to withholding the truth, even when you’re offered the perfect opportunity to hurt someone’s feelings”
“I won’t put in a load of laundry, because the machine is too loud and would drown out other, more significant noises – namely, the shuffling footsteps of the living dead.”
“She’s afraid to tell me anything important, knowing I’ll only turn around and write about it. In my mind, I’m like a friendly junkman, building things from the little pieces of scrap I find here and there, but my family’s started to see things differently. Their personal lives are the so-called pieces of scrap I so casually pick up, and they’re sick of it. More and more often their stories begin with the line “You have to swear you’ll never repeat this.” I always promise, but it’s generally understood that my word means nothing.”
I fell in love with David Sedaris’ writing when I listened to his book Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. I then went on to list to Me Talk Pretty One Day and his line about the youth in Asia (euthanasia) still cracks me up when I think about it.
It was only natural for me to crave his style of funny humor again. And trust me – David makes anything funny. He talks about anything from what to eat for dinner to doing laundry and I find myself giggling. Be warned though – nothing is sacred. NOTHING. You never quite know what David will say next.
While Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim is funny, it is not my favorite f the three I have listened to. It is good, and it filled my David fix. I will definitely be listening to him again.
If you are planning to give his books a try I highly recommend to listen to them on audio. David narrates them himself and he has just the right tone and pause in his voice that makes it all the better.
In he year 2044 the earth as we have known it is no more. Now a world of mostly poverty and destruction, people find it is better to spend their time inside a virtual world called the Oasis, created by a genius named James Halliday who has a mad fondness of all thing’s 80′s (ie… arcade games, music, movies, restaurants…) The Oasis is a large virtual world that encompasses many worlds within and to access beyond the first world, real money is used. In the Oasis, you can create an Avatar (an icon or figure representing a particular person in computer games, Internet forums, etc.), to represent you. An Avatar can assume any type of body and look as well as an alias name.
Wade Watts is a teenage student who spends as much time as possible in the Oasis. Here he is more than the overweight slightly acne faced teen… in the Oasis he is Parzival, a taller, leaner, handsomer version of himself. As Wade lives in a very impoverish state, he spends most of his time on the free parts of the Oasis.
When it is announced that the mega billionaire Halliday has passed away and left an elaborate game plan in his will with hints and clues to the ultimate prize – all of his billions of riches and the ownership of the Oasis; the world goes wild. Thousands upon thousands of people are trying to figure out the clues that will lead them to the keys that open up more clues….
and five years go by with no one any closer to the treasure than when it was announced.
Many of the treasure hunters – “gunters” as they are called, have fallen away believing that perhaps this was just the last craziness of a sick old man and nothing more. And then….
Wade figures out the first clue.
Suddenly the news is filled with the mysterious Avatar “Parzival”. Wade’s true identity becomes even more important to keep secret as the hunt inside the Oasis is back up in full force. Not all of those involved are part of the friendly competition. A large corporation called IOI wants the Oasis and all the treasures for themselves and they will stop at nothing to get what they want. Now Wade, and a handful of fellow Avatars that he would like to call friends, are playing for their lives.
Ready Player One?
Yes that is a long synopsis. Yet as I thought about this, this is how I would describe the book to a friend. There is nothing here that gives anything away… not by a long shot. This book is so full of fun twists and turns and awesome (AWESOME!) 80′s references you will not want to stop once you are started.
You do not need to be a gamer to love this book. While I do love games and am an 80′s girl… I was not big into the arcade scene. Let me say that you do need to be to appreciate the book and the dystopian feel to it.
Did I mention that I love this book?
Long time readers of Book Journey may be scratching their head thinking they have heard me RAVE about this book before. You would be right. In December of 2011 I listened to this book on audio and reviewed it then as well. To this day, it is still one of the best audio books I have ever listened to. Narrator Wil Wheaton could read the back of a cereal box to me and I would be all like “Go Wil, read about the red dye #5 again!” Yes, he is that great. In fact – earlier today I was looking for other books narrated by him just so I could listen to him again. I would like him to be the voice on my Garmin, the sound of my alarm…. you get the picture.
Two years later, I still love this book. I chose to listen to it again recently when I went the 3 1/3 hours to our cabin in a car alone. I love being alone in a car for road trips so I can listen to audio. It was just as incredible as the first time.
Seriously – I am not the only one raving about this book. If you have read this, please rave with me. If you have not… please grab this one on audio and treat yourself to something AMAZING!
Rumors have it that the movie rights to Ready Player One have been sold.
(And now I am going to go and read my original review which I have not allowed myself to do until I wrote this one )
*Update: Upon reading my original review I found that I had made two predictions in that review… both have come true.
What if you were adopted and after years of hoping and searching you have a chance to be reunited with your birth mother? And what if this joyful moment is dimmed by a strong feeling that this is not your mother at all… that the agency has made a mistake. It is a mistake… right?
When Investigative Reporter Jane Rand is asked to check into her former co-worker, Tucker’s concerns about her supposed birth mother… things get interesting.
The Wong Girl is a sequel to The Other Women; this I did not know going into this read but it did not seem necessary to have the pre-knowledge of the first read. I enjoyed Jane’s strong lead woman role, as well as her partner, Jack. I liked the idea of the story line centered around an adoption agency.
My only reason for not gushing on this one is that on audio it felt drug out and I admit I became tired waiting for the story to move forward. While well written, and kudos to Ilyana Kudushin’s narration (she also narrated the Twilight audio series), I just became tired. 11 CDS.
Ethan Searle is a good looking guy by all accounts. With his legs injured in an accident as a child, he feels that when women do look at him it is with pity. Love has been something that has never really worked out for him.
Then one day while leaving church, Ethan catches the eye of two year old Britton and he thinks this beautiful little girl may have just stole his heart away. Unfortunately, one look from Britton’s mother Autumn as she at first cautiously looks Ethan over, and then with pity when she sees his legs, and Ethan knows all to well that familiar rejection.
Autumn, carries her own ghosts. After escaping an abusive marriage that left her miscarrying her first child and then escaping while pregnant with Brit, Autumn has no room in her heart for anyone but her own mother and Brit.
But does anyone know the magic that a two year old blue eyed baby girl holds in the palm of her hand? As Autumn starts to warm up to Ethan and dare herself to possibly dream of a future together, she is unaware of the danger that is approaching. Trent, her ex husband is recently out of jail and he has one thing on his mind, reclaiming what is his…. and what is his in his mind… is Autumn.
I have enjoyed Cami Checkett’s writing in the past. I was first introduced to her writing in Sister Pact that I really enjoyed, and then again in Dead Running. The Broken Road is the first of Cami’s books that I have listened to on audio.
The Broken Road is a sweet listen. It reminded me a little of some of Nicholas Spark earlier works, perhaps a bit predictable, but good all the same. I found Britton to be perhaps me favorite character, sweet and innocent she brought not only glue to Ethan and Autumn, but to the book itself.
Narrator Christy Crevier brought a sweet smooth rhythm to the audio. My only complaint was that the voice of Autumn came across as so young sounding that I found myself considering her age rather than listening, her voice sounded to be around 18 instead of a girl who had been married in her 20′s.
Autumn also comes across as a bit babyish at times, not only in narration, but in actions and words. While not a deal breaker, it was annoying at times.
The story as a whole is a good one. Checkett once again writes three dimensional characters that make for a pleasant reading experience. As I mentioned earlier, fans of Sparks and clean light romance reads will enjoy this one.