Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds – Audio Edition

Posted by on Jan 19, 2018 in 2018, Audio, Book Review, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds narrated by Jason ReynoldsLong Way Down by Jason Reynolds narrated by Jason Reynolds

Genre: Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: 2017
Length: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Source: Library

The Book:
From the cover flap:

Sixty seconds.
Seven floors.
Three rules.
One gun.

Will’s older brother, Shawn has been shot. Dead.
Will feels a sadness so great, he can’t explain it. But in his neighborhood there are THE RULES”
No. 1: Crying
Don’t..
No matter what.

No. 2: Snitching
Don’t.
No matter what.

No. 3: Revenge
Do.
No matter what.

But bullets miss. You can get the wrong guy. And there’s always someone else who knows to follow the rules.

My Thoughts:
I heard about this one from when Beth Fish Reads mentioned it on twitter. My libreary had the audio cd edition available so I requested it right away. I knew it was a novel in verse and I prefer to hear verse rather than read it.

It’s a short book (1 hour and 43 minutes) so it won’t take you long to either read or listen to it. This book was so good and powerful that I requested the print edition from the library so that I could read it again in that format.

Most of the story takes place in a one minute elevator ride. Fifteen year old will sets out to get revenge for his older brother’s shooting death. He has Shawn’s gun and he is planning to kill the person he’s sure killed Shawn.

That elevator ride becomes a powerful experience for both Will and readers.

This book is phenomenal. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished listening to it. I’m glad I read both the print and audio editions but I highly recommend that you listen to this one. The audio edition includes an interview with the author in which he talks about what inspired him to write this and his reasons for narrating the audiobook himself.

Don’t miss this one.
Rating
5 stars 5/5 for the book

5 stars 5/5 for the narration

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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – Audio Edition

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in 4.5 stars, Audio, Book Review, Robert Galbraith | 2 comments

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith narrated by Robert GlenisterThe Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith narrated by Robert Glenister

Genre: Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Series: #1 in the Cormoran Strike series
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication Date: 2013
Length: 15 hours, 54 minutes
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

My Thoughts:
I pretty much avoided this one when it was first released. There was all kinds of publicity around the fact that Robert Galbraith is actually J.K. Rowling and everyone I know seemed to be reading it. Then there were sequels so it couldn’t be bad. Then I read something about Tom Burke being cast as Cormoran Strike in a television adaptation. At the time we were winding up a binge watch of The Musketeers in which Burke plays Athos.

So I knew I would be watching the show (Strike in the UK and C.B Strike when it hits Cinemax in June) so I might as well read the book, right. BethFishReads mentioned that the audio edition was good and I had an audible credit sitting there waiting to be used so the inevitable happened.

This was wonderful. Robert Glenister does a fabulous job on the narration. His gruff Cormoran Strike and soft efficient Robin are excellent characterizations. He has quickly earned a spot on my list of favorite narrators. His performance of the story made it much better than I could have if I’d read the print edition.

Strike is a mess but he’s also an excellent detective. Robin starts out as a temporary secretary but is soon a capable part of the investigation even though she knows the job is temporary and she has to look for another. The story moves along rather slowly at first then continues to increase the pace as the investigation continues. By the end I was taking the long way home so I could listen to as much as I could before arriving home.

The story was wonderful. The characters were likeable (or detestable as needed) The case was interesting. I cannot wait to listen to the rest of the series.

Rating
4.5 stars 4.5/5 for the book

4.5 stars 4.5/5 for the narration

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Mudbound by Hillary Jordan – Audio Edition

Posted by on Dec 8, 2017 in 2017, 5 stars, Audio, Book Review | 2 comments

Mudbound by Hilary Jordan narrated by multiple artistsMudbound by Hillary Jordan narrated by Ezra Knight, Kate Forbes, Joseph Collins, Tom Stechschulte, Peter Jay Fernandez, and Brenda Pressley

Genre: Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2008
Length: 9 hours, 16 nminutes
Read by: Ezra Knight, Kate Forbes, Joseph Collins, Tom Stechschulte, Peter Jay Fernandez, and Brenda PressleySource: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

In Jordan’s prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband’s Mississippi Delta farm—a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family’s struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura’s brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not—charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.

The men and women of each family relate their versions of events and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.

My Thoughts:
I read the print edition of this when it was new in 2008. I loved it. When I saw the trailer for the Netflix film version I decided I wanted to reread the book before watching it. I chose to reread by listening to the audio version. I think I loved it even more the second time around.

The book is formatted with alternating chapters told by six of the characters. Sometimes their chapters overlap. The six narrators representing those six characters do a marvelous job. I think the story was more impactful in the audio format than the print. The writing was beautiful to begin with but the narrators made it even better.

If you haven’t read this book or even if you have the audio edition is excellent.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

Rating
5 stars 5/5 for the book

4 stars 4.5 for the narration

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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – Audio Edition

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in 2017, 4 stars, Audio, Book Review | 2 comments

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson narrated by the authorAstrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson narrated by the author

Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2017
Length: 3 hours, 41 minutes
Narrated by: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.
But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in digestible chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. While waiting for your morning coffee to brew, or while waiting for the bus, the train, or the plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the big bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

My Thoughts:
This was exactly what I expected, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was expecting an introductory level of information not a super in-depth study. This is a collection of a series of essays by Tyson that were originally published in Natural History magazine.

The audiobook is 3 hours and 41 minutes long but with all the rewinding to listen again I did it probably to me more like five and a half hours to finish. Listening to this book reminded me of sitting in a favorite professor’s class in college. The subject matter was interesting and presented in a conversational manner with plenty of wit and humor along the way.

I can’t imagine anyone other than Neil deGrasse Tyson narrating this.

I learned a lot and definitely recommend this one. Now that I’ve listened to it I would like to get the print edition. This is a book that lends itself to reading or listening to one chapter and then putting it aside for a while before reading or listening to the next. I enjoyed listening to it straight through but for a reread I might take it in smaller chunks.

Rating
4 stars 4/5 for the book

4 stars 4/5 for the narration

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Divided in Death by J.D. Robb – Audio Edition

Posted by on Nov 3, 2017 in 2017, 3.5 stars, Audio, Book Review, JD Robb | 2 comments

Divided in Death by J.D. Robb narrated by Susan EricksenDivided in Death by J.D. Robb narrated by Susan Ericksen

Genre: Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Series: #18 in the In Death series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: 2004
Length: 12 hours, 10 minutes
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

Reva Ewing was a former member of the Secret Service, and then a security specialist for Roarke Enterprises—until she was found standing over the dead bodies of her husband, renowned artist Blair Bissel, and her best friend. But Lieutenant Eve Dallas believes there was more to the killing than jealous rage—all of Bissel’s computer files were deliberately corrupted.

To Roarke, it’s the computer attack that poses the real threat. He and Reva have been under a code-red government contract to develop a program that would shield against techno-terrorists. But this deadly new breed of hackers isn’t afraid to kill to protect their secret—and it’s up to Lieutenant Eve Dallas to shut them down before the nightmare can spread to the whole country.

My Thoughts:
This series has long been a guilty pleasure of mine. The mix of police procedural, romance and just slightly in the future science fiction elements is a lot of fun. Now that I’m listening to the audio editions instead of reading the print editions I’m enjoying it even more.

Susan Ericksen does a fabulous job of narrating this series. She creates recognizable character voices with a variety of accents. Even though she is female her voice for Roarke is yummy.

In this volume Eve and Roarke are at odds with each other for most of the book so it’s a little lighter on the romance than other books in the series. The identity of the perpetrator is known about halfway through the books so it changes from a ‘whodunnit’ to a ‘How with they catch ’em’ with a side of ‘Will Eve and Roarke be OK?’.

Peabody continues to be my favorite supporting character. She and her boyfriend/fellow cop are so delightfully earnest and funny. I love them.

 

Rating
3.5 stars 3.5/5 for the book

4 stars 4/5 for the narration

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The Western Star by Craig Johnson – Audio Edition

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in 2017, 4.5 stars, Audio, Book Review, Craig Johnson | 2 comments

The Western Star by Craig Johnson narrated by George GuidallThe Western Star by Craig Johnson narrated by George Guidall

Genre: Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Series: #13 in the Walt Longmire series
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2017
Length: 7 hours, 39 minutes
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of 25 armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff’s Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back. Armed with his trusty Colt .45 and a paperback of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, the young Walt was ill-prepared for the machinations of 24 veteran sheriffs, let alone the cavalcade of curious characters that accompanied them.
The photograph – along with an upcoming parole hearing for one of the most dangerous men Walt has encountered in a lifetime of law enforcement – hurtles the sheriff into a head-on collision of past and present, placing him and everyone he cares about squarely on the tracks of runaway revenge.

My Thoughts:
The bad thing about catching up with a series is the year long wait for the next book. And now I’m at that point again. It’s a little more painful this time because there is some unfinished business in the story that will have to wait for the next book.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. One story is in the present and Walt is preparing to attend the parole hearing of someone he was involved in apprehending years ago. The other story told in flashback is about when Walt was a deputy and had just started working for Lucien. The two stories gradually converge and not only is the identity of the prisoner revealed, the reason for Walt’s doggedness in seeing that the prisoner wasn’t released becomes clear.

It was fun to see the younger Walt on a case and to also spend some time with the younger Lucien. I’m glad the story was not totally in the past because I like the supporting characters in the present-day story.

The Hubster and I went to see Craig Johnson at Powell’s. I was only a couple of chapters into the book at that point but he was good about not giving anything away. He said that he had too much story to fit into one book with this one so he had to find a way to split it into two books yet still have part of it resolved in this one.

Clearly I like this series since I’m still listening thirteen books in. George Guidall does a fabulous job of narrating these books. His voice characterizations are spot on and consistent.

As always with this series I highly recommend it and if audiobooks are your thing you should try that route. There is a progression to the books so you should really start with the first one.

Rating
4.5 stars 4.5/5 for the book

4.5 stars 4.5/5 for the narration

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