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.
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.
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.
Why did I want to read (listen to) this book? I have a friend who just recently read it with her book club. It was her first Dan Brown and when she was done she was thrilled with it. “A real thinker” she told me. I downloaded it on audio and as the story pulled me in… I remembered, I really enjoy Dan Browns writing. How could I have forgotten?”
Synopsis: Robert Langdon (our hero of such literacy wonders as The Davinchi Code, Angels and Demons, and The Lost Symbol) finds himself once again pulled into a horrific plan on deceit and “God playing” centered this time around “Dante’s Inferno” .
When he awakens in a hospital bed not knowing where he is or how he got there, the pieces start to fall into place quickly that Robert has stumbled into something big and there are people – powerful people who do not want him anywhere near the plans they are making. When Robert takes a look out the window of his hospital room and sees an architecture piece that just can not be… he realizes….
“Toto.. we are not in Kansas anymore.”
As the pieces start to fit together Robert Langdon is not sure who he can trust. What he thinks is true can possibly be just a play on his lack of memory over the past few days, but as Langdon starts to see more clearly the truth is both fascinatingly outrageous as it is frightening. He has a very short window to move forward on and try to stop a genius of a mad man from altering the worlds population in a effort to save us all….
Whoa. Double whoa.
Within minutes of getting into this audio, I was hooked. Paul Michael does an incredible job with the narration, but if you are more of a book person, I think you will be just as quickly hooked.
Dan Brown does not mess around with a long drawn out intro to Inferno. Instead, it opens with a rush of energy and we as readers/listeners are instantly engaged in the “What happened? Who…. wait….” and all in a good heart pumping way.
There is something fascinating about the under belly of the earth and those who dwell there. I have always enjoyed how Dan Brown can take an existing piece or art or history and wrap a story around it so engaging you start to believe that this was always part of the history of the piece and it would be easy to associate one with the other from this day forward. Remember readers – while Dan Brown writes with a fascinating pen… he is writing fiction…. great fiction. But fiction all the same.
Inferno moves with a rapid pulse and I found it so engaging and so interesting. I have heard of Dante’s Inferno, but knew little about it.
Inferno (Italian for “Hell”) is the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin.
I thoroughly enjoyed Inferno. Never predictable when I did find out what was going on and how it took my breath away. There are pieces of Inferno that make you think “what if”. There is so much more I would like to share about Inferno, but it is a pleasure to read or listen to it fresh with no pre-thoughts so I am going to leave it at this. Do you need to have read the other Langdon books to understand this one? Nope. All of the books mentioned above are incredible stand alones.
If you would like to dig deeper into this one, I am rolling out the Spoiler Button which when pressed, will take you to a new page for those of us who have read Inferno and want to talk about it more.
Why did I want to read (listen) to this book? Is this tomorrow sounded like a great “what happened?” style read when three close childhood friends one day come home not knowing what happened to the third… Police are involved and people are suspiciously but nothing comes of the disappearance. But the question is – did Lewis and Rose possibly know what did happen to Jimmy? And if so – why have they waited so long to tell?
Synopsis: It’s 1956 and Ava Lark is both beautiful and single. She rents a home for herself and her twelve-year-old son Lewis in the Boston area. Lewis finds friends within the neighborhood brother and sister Jimmy and Rose and the three become inseparable.
When one day Jimmy goes missing the neighborhood falls apart. Ava is watched with suspicion as she had a boyfriend Jake at the time who had a record, unknown to Ava…. and Lewis and Rise go their separate ways as they grow older and find it hard to be around one another without Jimmy, but both still carrying the broken pieces of the unknown.
When years later Rose and Lewis find their way to each other again a decision much be made to tell the truth or to leave well enough alone knowing enough hearts have been broken over this whole ordeal.
The story line behind what makes Is This Tomorrow is captivating. Of course, I as the reader want to know what happened to this young boy who disappears without a trace. As the story opens and the setting is put into place you can get the vibe of the book – an almost Jodi Piccoult feel as is unrolls page after page.
While the story played out and I enjoyed it I never had a strong feel for any of the characters – they all felt a bit vague to me… not three-dimensional. Due to that lack of feeling for the characters it affected my over all feel of the story. Basically while I felt bad about Jimmy’s disappearance, I was not emotionally charged by this event. I hung in there as I really did want to know what happened to Jimmy.
I listened to Is This Tomorrow on audio as Xe Sands is the narrator and that is almost always a win. Almost always. One thing that I picked up on was the tone of voice that was given to each of the characters… Ava always sounded weary. I thought about that a lot during the listening of this book. It bothered me that she never sounded strong or confident, or even happy… weary was actually a word I thought about while listening to the audio which in hind sight, probably took away from some of my enjoyment of the book. Lewis as well always sounded weary… and the boyfriend….. while weary is a perfectly acceptable emotion for the book – I had trouble getting beyond the weary of the entire book…
in the end – when all was said and I done… I too felt weary.
Note – that I am in the minority on this one. I looked at Amazon and there are gushing reviews. This may be one that came across better in book format than audio but certainly please check out other opinions on this one.
Leslie Carter and her husband Wesley have enjoyed many years of the upper class Atlanta society. But times are changing when two of Wesley’s long time buddies trade in the mothers of their children for younger models. Leslie, in her later 50′s finds she can not relate to these young women with their modern taste in clothing, music, and childish (in her opinion) ways. When Wesley seems to be more engaged in golfing and his buddies, Leslie takes a good long look at her life and realizes that Wes has always put his own needs and wants above hers. As she tally’s up the sacrifices she has made through the years she comes to realize she has given up way too much of herself.
With two adult children that can not seem to get it together, and Wes acting as though Leslie is lucky to have him, Les decides enough is enough. When a discovery is made that Wes has been keeping something very big a secret, it is the final straw. Les packs her bags and returns to her home town of Sullivan Island in Charleston where she stays with her brother, Harlan (who Wes couldn’t stand because as he put it “Harlan was a little pink”).
When Les finds a connection with Johnathan a long ago boyfriend, Les rekindles the friendship between them and finds that life did not have to be as hard as she had made it to be and decisions on how to move forward from here were now what needed to be thought through. There are obligations to her husband of many years and to her children – but exactly what those obligations are clearly needed to be changed.
Oh how can I even describe how much I enjoyed this book? Told in alternating chapters between Leslie and Wesley (yes the matchy matchy names bothered me at first) you as the reader get a first hand look at what is happening through each of their eyes and opinions. It was actually enjoyable to go from reading Leslie;s matter of fact smooth dialogue to Wesley’s more demanding, almost pout like tone of what he felt should be the ideal wifely duties and what he felt was due him.
Definitely a hard to put down read that I enjoyed very much. I liked that it had a different twist to it than other “returning home” reads. And let me say – Harlan, who in my mind felt like Rupert Everett (George in My Best Friends Wedding).
Additional format note: Due to time restraints I read part of this book and then downloaded the audio book and listened to it -which is a rave! Fantastic narration – I loved the voices of the smooth southern flow talk of Leslie and then the harsher whiny tone of Wesley – definitely a treat for the ears!
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me try Dorothy Bentown Franks books
and making me a HUGE FAN as a result!
A local woman is killed in a tragic car accident that looks to be a clear-cut case of drunk driving with her blood alcohol level dangerously high, yet friends and family assure Detective Patrick Hedstrom that this woman never drank.
A Reality Show is being filmed in town as well, and jealousy brews as some seem to get more camera time than others. When a party on the set ends with the murder of a contestant, no one knows who they can trust. Of course much to the producers delight – ratings spike as people tune in (literally) to the reality show with a real murder!
Two incredibly different crimes – but are they connected? Patrick and his new partner Hannah will just have to figure that out…
I liked the idea of The Stranger. When the book opens with the details leading up to the car accident and all the pieces that led up to the accident – possible people involved, motives, I was deeply engagedm looking forward to an enticing story. Then the addition of the reality show story line and the murder took me out of the zone to try to get what one would have to do with the other….
I don’t feel I became as attached to the reality show part of the book as I did with the car crash and the personal story line that follows through the book like a mysterious smoke – the relationship of Patrick and Erica was interesting as well. I listened to this one on audio which may be a part of my disconnect but in the end, while interesting – I have no big take away from this one.
The writing is beautiful and flowed well – I did enjoy the narration. Just because this was not a love for me, be sure to check out other opinions on this one.
Thank you to Highbridge audio for the chance to listen to and review this audio book.