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Posts Tagged ‘Audiobook’


Book: Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 4.5/5
Snooty Rating: 3/5
Total Rating: 7.5/10
Books Read Total: 26/50
Pages Read Total: 4792/15,000

I actually finished this book a couple weeks ago, but somehow never got around to writing about it. A part of a series called The Circle Opens, I found this book as enjoyable as I found the preceding books so many years ago. Interestingly, this book was released in audio before it was printed. The actors did a lovely job, and the story is quite entertaining, if a bit over the top at times. I enjoyed this book, but I think much of my enjoyment was nostalgic. These are great YA books, but do not quite take that step beyond. Fun and quirky!

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Book: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 5/5
Total Rating: 10/10
Books Read Total: 24/50
Pages Read Total: 4220/15,000


Book: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Pages: 572
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 2.5/5
Total Rating: 7.5/10
Books Read Total: 25/50
Pages Read Total: 4792/15,000

Pullman is fabulous. Each time I experience his storytelling I think about it for days afterwards. While listening to this audiobook (narrated by Pullman himself) I was also reading Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and couldn’t help but draw parallels between the two. While I recognize that Brown and Pullman play in two different arenas I think that in terms of depth of character and thought-provoking plots Pullman definitely has the upper hand. While he does have the advantage of a trilogy’s worth of pages to build his story I feel he has been true to those pages and made use of each of them. He’s neat. He cleans up after himself, if you know what I mean. While Brown (miserably, albeit with some witty bits) shoves a weak love subplot in to attempt to add some depth to his action packed adventure, Pullman captures the anguish and complexity of what love really is, but without disrupting the story in any way. As I said, he’s neat.

I am by no means “hating on” Brown’s book. I read all 572 pages in a matter of days (a feat for someone as busy as me) and I hated putting it down each time I forced myself to sleep. Brown can tell a suspenseful story, to be certain. There are no good places to stop, and when it comes to plot twists he has a field day. Still I find that when I’m on the hunt for content the most surefire place to find it is in a Young Adult or even a children’s book. Somehow these authors have taken responsibility for the power they have to captivate young and old alike, and they have put it to good, thought-provoking use.

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Book: Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 9/10
Books Read Total: 22/50
Pages Read Total: 3875/15,000

Like all of the No. 1 Detective Agency books, this one is good, clean fun. Like their main character Mma Ramotswe, Lady Detective, there is no BS or fluff here. Smith tells good, interesting and entertaining stories, and Lisette Lecat does a wonderful job reading them. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this book except that Smith never fails to entertain. The fact that I’ve been listening to them all out of order and still enjoy them immensely should tell you something.

For the record, the reason I’ve been listening to so many audiobooks is because I listen to them at work, and when you spend all morning in a field it’s nice to have company. I’m currently listening to The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman, which is much longer than the Smith books, so it will last a bit longer, I hope!

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Book: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 5/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 9/10
Books Read Total: 21/50
Pages Read Total: 3875/15,000

Sara Gruen has a vivid set of characters, to be sure. Jacob Jankowski recalls the most influential year of his life, one that began his career as a circus veterinarian, from his confines in a nursing home at the age of “90, or 93”. He alternates between venting his frustration at being trapped in an old man’s body, and vividly remembering his past experiences. I am 100% in love with this old man. Gruen did an exceptional job of wrenching my heart in every direction, aided no doubt by the fabulous voices of David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones. A moving, informative story not only about the circus but also about the Great Depression, growing old, and elephants. This book opened up an entirely unfamiliar topic for me, and I’ve enjoyed reading about it since I finished the book last week.

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Book: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: N/A
Snooty Rating: 5/5
Total Rating: 10/10
Books Read Total: 18/50
Pages Read Total: 3188/15,000

This book will blow your mind. It will probably give you nightmares, and if you have any soul at all it will make you cry. It will make your stomach turn, your heart ache, and your palms sweat. There will be times when you absolutely must put the book down and walk away, but I promise you it is worth it. I cannot describe this book to you in any way that will do it justice, but I beg you to read it.

From the website:
A gripping story of a child’s journey through hell and back.

There may be as many as 300,000 child soldiers, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s, in more than fifty conflicts around the world. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. He is one of the first to tell his story in his own words.

In A LONG WAY GONE, Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story. At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope.

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Book: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: 4/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 8/10
Books Read Total: 17/50
Pages Read Total: 3188/15,000

Let me preface by saying that I listened to this book more than a month ago. A lot has happened since then, including a week in New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity, some emotional meltdowns and a lot of work. Anyhow, I do remember enjoying this book quite a bit. I was pleasantly surprised, in fact, thinking from my past attempt at the book that I wouldn’t particularly enjoy Vonnegut’s style. Only my brother’s devotion to him made me give him another try (my brother hates to read, but he’ll read Vonnegut).

I’m sorry I don’t have a whole lot more to say about this book but it feels like it was years ago. So much happens in a month of my life, it feels like ages.

For sure a good book, interesting, emotional, weird. Read it.

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I wonder…

I think I’m missing something in these audiobooks. I don’t know if it’s just that my interaction with books in print is so much more intimate, turning each page, reading each word and smelling the musty smell of paper and ink and libraries. I come away from these audiobooks feeling like I do after I watch a movie. I’ve been entertained but I’m not sure how much of it I’ve really retained. Perhaps it’s these short books that are making me feel that way. I literally listened to Of Mice and Men and Fahrenheit 451 straight through without stopping. Maybe I need time to stop and absorbs going on at points that are particularly challenging, or maybe I’m more distracted than I think when I’m working on other projects. I’m not sure what’s up but I think I’m going to stick to more light “reading” for in the studio and save the heavier stuff for the gym and the car and knitting.

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