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
No matter what.

No. 2: Snitching
No matter what.

No. 3: Revenge
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.
5 stars 5/5 for the book

5 stars 5/5 for the narration

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Bout of Books 21 – Kickoff and Updates Post

Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Bout of Books 21

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 21 kicked off at Midnight last night. I can always find a way to make Bout of Books work for me. I have a busy week ahead but I’m going to make as much time for reading as I can.

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon was created by Amanda @ On a Book Bender on a complete whim in August 2011. It took on a life of its own and was such a hit that Amanda decided to do it again and turn it into a somewhat regular occurrence.

  • Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon, usually from 12:01am on a Monday through 11:59pm on a Sunday in whatever time zone you are in.
  • It is low pressure, meaning participants are only asked to push themselves to read more than they normally would during any given week. There is no competition between readers.
  • How much time a reader wants, and can commit, to read, tweet, or network with fellow bloggers is left to individual preference. All challenges and giveaways are optional.
  • Networking with fellow bloggers is actively encouraged, though never required.
  • Use Twitter to post updates throughout the read-a-thon. Everyone will be tweeting with the #boutofbooks hashtag.

I have several books on my desk and on my ereader. In addition I’m almost done with  one audiobook and may or may not finish another short one this week.

I will be using this post as my tracking post and adding daily updates each morning about what reading I have accomplished the day before. I’ll post updates here every morning Tuesday through Saturday. I’ll include my Sunday reading on my final wrap up post.

One thing I do a little different this week is to track all my reading time. I have a time tracking app on my phone and watch so it’s easy to hit the start and stop button and track whether it’s reading or listening time. One benefit of using this is it keeps me focused. I find I’m less inclined to get distracted by stuff that I could be doing around the house or playing on my phone if I’m feeling like I’m “on the clock” for reading.

I’m not making any specific reading plans because I’d rather just read whatever looks good at the moment.

So . . . Let the reading begin . . .

Monday Reading

I had a great day of reading. I usually don’t listen to my audiobooks at work but I managed to have some time where I was working on stuff that didn’t take much concentration and was able to listen to my book.
I ended up with 2 hours and 20 minutes of audiobook time and I finished The Cuckoo’s Calling. I enjoyed it and plan to continue with the series.
I had an 1 hour and 50 minutes of print reading time. I started The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.

Total reading time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Books finished: 1
Books started: 1

Tuesday Reading

I had another great reading day.
2 hours and 34 minutes of audiobook listening. I listened to all of Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (a short but powerful novel in verse) and started listening to Going Clear by Lawurence Wright.
I read my print book (The Mysterious Adventure at Styles) for an hour and 40 minutes.

Total reading time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
Books finished: 1
Books started: 1

Wednesday Reading
Somehow I managed another four hour reading day.
2 hours and 18 minutes of audiobook listening all of Going Clear
1 hour and 42 minutes of print reading and I finished The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

Total reading time: 4 hours, 1 minutes
Books finished: 1
Books started: 0

Thursday Reading
It was bound to happen. A busy day at work made for less audiobook time and a short lunch made for less print reading time.
I ended up with an hour and 49 minutes of listening to Going Clear
1 hour and 4 minutes of print reading. I started Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Total reading time: 2 hours, 53 minutes
Books finished: 0
Books started: 1

Friday Reading
I worked from home today so my commute listening time turned into take a walk after work listening time. I liked that trade off.
I listened to 2 hours and 14 minutes of Going Clear.
I got an hour and 32 minutes of print reading. I finished Binti: Home and started Fables Vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland by Bill Willingham

Total reading time: 3 hours, 46 minutes
Books finished: 1
Books started: 1

Saturday Reading
One hour and 13 minutes of reading Fables: Cubs in Toyland.
That’s it. This is exactly why weekend readathons are never a good thing for me. Weekends is when we do stuff.

Total reading time: 1 hours, 13 minutes
Books finished: 0
Books started: 0

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First Lines of 2017

Posted by on Dec 30, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Teddy Bears Reading

I’ve always liked the list of first lines that Michelle at That’s What She Read keeps on her blog. I decided to copy the idea this year and keep track of first lines of the books I read. Some say a lot, others nothing that would give you a clue about the book.

It’s been fun and I think I’ll continue this. Thanks Michelle, for the idea.

  1. The morning of June 27 was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day.
  2. Okay, here we go!
  3. Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive.
  4. Armand Gamache sat in the little room and closed the dossier with care, squeezing it shut, trapping the words inside.
  5. My name is Uhtred
  6. This is what you should look for on this 90-degree June morning: The broadcast news interns pairing running shoes with their summer business casual, hovering by the Supreme Court’s public information office.
  7. Welcome back to “Coast to Coast AM” on the first day of June, 2016.
  8. Charlie still thought about the phantom planes sometimes.
  9. Forty-five minutes north-east of Cambridge is a landscape I’ve come to love very much indeed.
  10. Some nights, if I’m sleeping on my own, I still dream about Whitethorn House.
  11. Wade disappeared on us when I was nine years old, and then he showed up out of nowhere the year I turned twelve.
  12. Oda. Why are we meeting out here?
  13. My name is Harry Clifton.
  14. How did the Marquis de Lafayette win over the stingiest, crankiest tax protesters in the history of the world?
  15. The Planet Hepton. Fringe world of the UGC.
  16. So I am fifty-two years old.
  17. It was as black in the closet as old blood.
  18. Malorie stand in the kitchen, thinking.
  19. My grandmother Nanny and I were at the picture show.
  20.  “One of the most important events in the history of mankind — after the discovery of fire, the development of the wheel, and the invention of chocolate, of course — occurred in London on an overcast chilly rainy afternoon, and it is entirely typical that it should have been witnessed only by two bedraggled pigeons and a scrawny cat.
  21. One of the best things about our job is that if you live long enough, you get to choose your last jump.
  22. Hurry up!”
  23. Matilda is under siege.
  24. This is Tony Chu.
  25. On the afternoon of Thursday, October 26, 1775, His Royal Majesty George III, King of England, rode in royal splendor from St. James’s Palace to the Palace of Westminster, there to address the opening of Parliament on the increasingly distressing issue of the war in America.
  26. Driving to the office in her battered white van, down the Tlokweng Road, past the stand of whispering gum trees, Mma Ramotswe, founder and owner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, allowed her mind to wander.
  27. Hurry up, Ollie!
  28. Uh oh. Lenny slipped me LSD.
  29. Well to tell you the truth, you get used to the place.
  30. When my mother was angry with me, which was often, she said, ‘The Devil led us to the wrong crib’.
  31. If it had not rained on a certain May morning Valancy Stirling’s whole life would have been entirely different.
  32. Ah, this looks like it might be something.
  33. When most people think of the periodic table, they remember a chart hanging on the front wall of their high school chemistry class, an asymmetric expanse of columns and rows looming over one of the teacher’s shoulders.
  34. There was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks.”
  35. That’s him?
  36. I am a stranger.
  37. You never saw it all.
  38. This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
  39. Duty Ops Officer.
  40. I powered up the transporter and said a silent prayer.
  41. Every so often — frequently when consenting adults are reported to be having sex in some manner that would have been banned in the Victorian Age — a TV commentator will shake his head and discuss how this behavior let to Rome’s final days.
  42. One fine summer’s morning the sun peeped over the hills and looked down upon the valley of Silverstream.”
  43. Thank you for coming.
  44. It was a dark and stormy night.
  45. Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table.
  46. It’s Christmas Day 1066 and a team from St. Mary’s is going to witness the coronation of William the Conqueror: or so they think . . .
  47. If I told you my mother’s name, you’d recognize it right away.
  48. ‘Lord Chesney?’ Jensen’s voice cut through the midmorning stillness of the stables.
  49. I turned up the volume to hide what I was doing because . . .
  50. I know you’re there 21.
  51. From the harbor, the port of Alexandria is an attractive sight.
  52. Are you ready?
  53. I pressed in on the knurled end of my Colt 1911A1 with my thumb at the same time rotating the barrel bushing a quarter turn clockwise to gree the plug and recoil assembly, my hands working from rote.
  54. It was hard to be a tsar.
  55. Mrs Bantry was dreaming.
  56. The tower, which was not supposed to be there, plunges into the earth in a place just before the black pine forest begins to give way to a swamp and then the reeds and wind-gnarled trees of the marsh flats.
  57. Troy fell.
  58. Killing was too good for him.
  59. In the beginning, nearly fourteen billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence.
  60. You wanna know my problem with Capitalism?
  61. Charlie hadn’t been to the house in years.”
  62. They are just kids.
  63. Henry and I dug the hole seven feet deep.”
  64. When at last I was taken out of the plaster, and the doctors had pulled me about to their hearts’ content, and nurses had wheedled me into cautiously using my limbs, and I had been nauseated by their practically using baby talk to me, Marcus Kent told me I was to go and live in the country.
  65. “Crossing the Long Island Sound in dense fog just before midnight on the night of June 11, 1880, the passengers and crew of the steamship Stonington found themselves wrapped in impenetrable blackness.”
  66. “The buzz in the street was like the humming of flies.”
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Weekend Update – The Things I Liked This Week December 2017

Posted by on Dec 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

The Things I Liked This Week November 2017

The Things I Liked This Week August 2017

I started doing The Things I Liked This Week in June of 2015 and it’s definitely become my favorite monthly post. I love adding to my list throughout the week.

Here are the things I liked this week:

1. The orphaned baby sea otter at the Oregon Zoo
He can’t be released to the wild so he’s been sent to the Oregon Zoo and will soon join their other two sea otters.

His name is now Lincoln and he’s adorable.


2. Esther the Wonder Pig
I just recently learned about Esther and she’s quickly become one of my favorite media stars.

Have a classy Christmas my friends.

A post shared by Esther The Wonder Pig (@estherthewonderpig) on


3. A smart chipmunk


4. This annual tweet
He posts this every year and it cracks me up every single time.


5. Hope and Nora playing
It’s been a tough road for Nora the Polar Bear but she’s now with another bear and they’re finally beginning to play together.

Hope and Nora water play for the first time!

Hope and Nora fans!! Feast your eyes on this!

Posted by Utah's Hogle Zoo on Thursday, December 21, 2017


6. This Christmas library puzzle
My friend loaned this to me and it’s the perfect puzzle for me to be doing Christmas weekend.
Christmas Library Puzzle


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #93

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #90

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Finished in Print

The Blackhouse by Peter May

The Blackhouse by Peter May

So many of my friends have recommended this trilogy. Now I know why. It was a little slow to start but once it got going I really liked it.

Started in Print

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

It was time for another Miss Marple book.

Finished on Audio

Mudbound by Hilary Jordan narrated by multiple artists

Mudbound by Hilary Jordan narrated by multiple artists

I read the print edition of this when it was first released. Now that Netflix has a movie version I wanted to reread it before watching. I decided to reread the audio edition this time and I’m glad I did. It’s excellent.

Started on Audio

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

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

This is one of those books I hesitated to read when it was first released because everyone was talking about it. I’m glad I finally started it and I’m enjoying the audio format for it.

Reviews since my last update:

The Fade Out Act Three by Ed Brubaker

The Blackhouse by Peter May

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan – audio edition

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update – Bookish Nostalgia December 2017

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia November 2017

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

Some of these are pre-blog so the links take you to Powell’s for more information. Links for 2007 and later take you to my review.

Hornet Flight by Ken Follet – audio edition narrated by John Lee
A good World War Two spy thriller.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Sijie Sai – audio edition narrated by B.D. Wong
This is the story of two teenage boys sent for “reeducation” during the Chinese Cultural Revolution

Hell at the Breech by Tom Franklin
This book will always be on my list of top books. It’s a brutal story that’s beautifully told.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
I did not like this one at all.

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
It’s gruesome but a fabulous psychological thriller and the first in Cain’s series featuring serial killer Gretchen Lowell.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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