Tag Archives: audiobook reviews

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1-30-17 #IMWAYR

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I’m still reading Swing Time and The Bone Clocks! I realize they are taking me forever, but I am savoring them instead of devouring them. However, I need to pick up the pace with The Bone Clocks because the other #BoneClocks17 Readalong participants are way ahead of me!

So today I’m going to talk about my current audiobooks.

cover image of audiobook Memory ManI listened to Memory Man by David Baldacci last week because I have never tried reading one of his books and he is so popular at the library.

The main character in Memory Man, Amos Decker, has an altered brain due to an injury resulting in synesthesia and a photographic memory. In addition, he has suffered a hugely tragic loss, so he has the potential to be an interesting detective character and the book could go into some fascinating neuroscience digressions, but if you take away the action of the story, there’s not much else there, so I won’t be going on to #2 in the Amos Decker series (The Last Mile). Not right away, anyway.

Audiobook narrators Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy are very good individually, and I like them both. but I didn’t like having Orlagh Cassidy pipe up only whenever a female character said something (even just in Amos Decker’s memory), when the bulk of the book was narrated by Ron McLarty. That was distracting!

cover image of audiobookThis week I’ll be listening to Wicked Autumn, an English village mystery, too dark to be a cozy, by G.M. Malliett, which is more my cuppa. The detective character, Max Tudor, is a tall, rangy, recently ordained Anglican priest who is a former MI5 agent. The village of Nether Monkslip, where he is the vicar, is full of promisingly quirky characters; one of whom is now dead. Next up will be A Fatal Winter (Max Tudor series, #2)!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (#IMWAYR) is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in, everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at Book Date.

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Audio)

cover image of audiobook on CDThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, a novel by Gabrielle Zevin, is about a grieving widower named A.J. – old before his time at not even 40 – whose lonely life as a judgmental, cantankerous bookseller on Alice Island (a fictional Massachusetts island much like Martha’s Vineyard) is transformed when a small child named Maya enters his life. Narrated by Scott Brick, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was one of my favorite audiobooks of 2014. Bookish and clever, funny and moving, it’s a wonderful story, even if completely unrealistic.

I started this post back in May, but never wrote up a review, so I thought I’d just share a couple of quotes from the book. Lambiase (pronounced Lamb-bee-ay-zay, as I recall) is the police detective who is investigating the abandonment of Maya in A.J.’s bookstore.

“Lambiase does not miss his wife, although he does miss having somewhere to go after work. He parks himself on the floor and pulls Maya onto his lap. After Maya falls asleep, Lambiase tells A.J. the things he’s learned about the mother.

‘What’s strange to me,’ A.J. says, ‘is why she was on Alice Island in the first place. It’s kind of a pain to get here, you know. My own mother’s visited me once in all the years I’ve lived here. You really believe she wasn’t coming to see someone specific?’

Lambiase shifts Maya in his lap. ‘I’ve been thinking about that. Maybe she didn’t have a plan of where she was going. Maybe she just took the first train, and then the first bus, and then the first boat, and this is where she ended up.’

A.J. nods out of politeness, but he doesn’t believe in random acts. He is a reader, and what he believes in is narrative construction. If a gun appears in Act One, that gun had better go off by Act Three.”

* * *

Lambiase nods, and drinks his wine. “Nobody’s saying you have to keep her.”

“Yeah, yeah, of course. But do you think I could have some sort of say in where she ended up? She’s an awfully smart little thing. Like she already knows the alphabet, and I even got her to understand alphabetical order. I’d hate to see her land with some jerks who didn’t appreciate that. As I was saying before, I don’t believe in fate. But I do feel a sense of responsibility toward her. That young woman did leave her in my care.”

If you like quirky books like Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore or Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, or books that are about books and reading, you’ll probably like The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry very much. Listen to an excerpt here.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Zevin, Gabrielle
Brick, Scott (narr.)
Highbridge Audio
April 2014
9781622313532
7 hours on 7 CDs
$29.95

Disclosure: I bought my own copy of this audiobook, which is nice, because I might want to listen to it again sometime.

Other opinions on the audiobook edition:
AudioFile
The Literate Housewife
Words and Peace

Scary and Horrifying: Big Driver by Stephen King (Audio) @SimonAudio

cover image of audio editionBig Driver by Stephen King is the kind of heart-pounding, adrenalin-filled horror story that will stay with you for a long time after listening. The reading by Jessica Hecht is excellent and the horrifying scenes drawn by the author are extremely vivid.

I requested Big Driver for review, not realizing that it was a story from Full Dark, No Stars, a collection of five stories by Stephen King that I had already listened to.

But this is one of the best stories from Full Dark, No Stars, and is definitely worth the $9.99 price, if you haven’t already bought Full Dark, No Stars, that is. Big Driver has already been made into a TV movie already, so you may have already encountered spoilers, but I’m not going to discuss the plot here more than to say the story is about an author of cozy crime fiction who makes a routine visit to a Massachusetts library to give a talk. (In lieu of a trigger warning, I’ll just say if there are certain types of violence that you can’t bear to read about, you should look up other reviews to find out more before choosing to read Big Driver.)

BTW, have others noticed how a lot of e-books and e-audiobooks are being re-released separately this way? A little bit misleading! I also recently bought the e-book edition of what I thought was the story collection 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill, at what I thought was a fantastically low price, but it was only the title story, 20th Century Ghost (no s), I realized just after the final click.

Recommended for listeners who like ’em scary!

Big Driver
King, Stephen
Hecht, Jessica, narr.
SImon and Schuster Audio
October 2014
9781442383746
4 hrs, 20 min
$9.99, audio download

Disclosure: I received a free audio download from the publisher for review.

Other opinions on the audio edition of Big Driver from book bloggers who posted their reviews in a more timely fashion:
Book Chatter
Book Journey
Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Eargasms