Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Truth According to Us by, Annie Barrows narrated by, Ann Marie Lee & Tara Sands (and various)



The Truth According to Us by, Annie Barrows narrated by, Ann Marie Lee & Tara Sands (and various)

It’s funny I never even read the description for this book I just knew I wanted to read it because I loved her Guernsey book so much, so imagine my surprise when this book was not set in Britain but in the American south, I know authors don’t write about the same place all the time but I guess I assumed the authors of Guernsey were British. I also didn’t realize the author writes the children’s series Ivy & Bean, so now that I’ve admitted to being a bad librarian I will get on with my review of this fabulous book.

Layla Beck a senator’s daughter is being taught a lesson and is sent away by her father to work for the WPA, a writer’s project that is part of the New Deal, she is sent to write a history of the town of Macedonia, West Virginia. She ends up in a rooming house run by Jottie Romeyn who lives there with her nieces Willa and Bird and their divorced father Felix.

Between Layla’s research for her book and Willa’s snooping no secret is safe in this small town and those secrets will affect everyone at the Romeyn boarding house and beyond. When Layla starts falling for Felix, Willa gets involved because she wants her parents to get back together and no one is good enough for her father, but is Felix as good of a man as these two think he is?

The characters in this book are at times eccentric and some are sad and lonely ( Jottie) but she keeps that sadness bottled up so everyone thinks she is just fine and when you come to understand the reasons for that sadness you will wonder why she let it go on as long as she did. But, family loyalty is important to the Romeyn’s even though some members of the family are holding back important details of the night that changed their entire life it seemed like the right thing to do. Ah, but secrets have a way of wiggling to the surface and when these secrets come to light this family will never be the same.

I really enjoyed this story and the characters and will read anything this author puts to paper!

Read by Ann Marie Lee, Tara Sands, and Julia Whelan, with additional readings by Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell, Mark Deakins, Kimberly Farr, Kirby Heyborne, Lincoln Hoppe, Paul Michael, Linda Montana, and Arthur Morey. The narration was very well done with the main narrators being Ann Marie Lee and Tara Sands who both did a fantastic job at bringing this book to life. The other narrators read letters and histories which I found interesting and thought it added credence to the letters.

I highly recommend this one on audio.

5 Stars

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Flying Circus by, Susan Crandall, Narrated by, Jacques Roy


The Flying Circus by, Susan Crandall, Narrated by, Jacques Roy

Another great book from Susan Crandall.

All three of these people are flawed and affected by the First World War; these three are so different yet form a family of sorts. There were times Cora bothered me because she had to push and push but she was so far ahead of her time that she had to because no one ever listened to a woman or talked about anything serious to her she may get the vapors( insert sarcasticon here). And there were times it felt like she was playing Henry and Gil and other times I thought she was just naïve. Gil was a flyer in WWI but doesn’t like talking about his time at war, Henry lost his brother in the war and lost the rest of his family he ended up an orphan until Mr.Dahlgren took him in over his wife’s objections but things went terribly wrong there and now Henry is on the run from the police. Cora’s mother and father were rich NY socialites until the money was gone, her father died and she lost a brother to the war too. Cora rides her brother’s motorcycle and invites herself along with Gil and Henry, these 3 lost souls setting out on an adventure. All 3 are also keeping a secret and the reveal of these secrets is a slow burn and makes for a great story.

I truly enjoyed this book, I didn’t know much about barnstorming and how they got crowds and how much traveling they did and inner workings of PR in the 1920’s was interesting, this is not the age of viral videos and Facebook events, most of the time they couldn't even afford posters and would just show up do a few tricks and hope people would show up willing to give their hard earned money for a chance to ride in a plane.

I came to care about these three people and was completely attached to them so when secrets started getting out and things happened I was so involved that my heart hurt for them! Susan Crandall has a knack for writing characters that you care about so much and it is hard when the book ends because you don’t want to let these people go. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Narrator Jacques Roy is a new to me narrator however I am now a fan, I thought he did a great job with male, female, different accents and general storytelling. I would definitely listen to another book narrated by him.

5 stars

I was fascinated by the descriptions of the bi-plane Jenny and of barnstorming I did some research and found these fun videos.

Mid Air Repair Gladys Ingles…. This could be Cora!

Vintage Barnstorming Clips

Curtiss JN4 Jenny Montage

Stock Footage - Roaring 20s - Biplane Wing Walker Daredevil


And this website:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by, Erik Larson narrated by, Scott Brick



Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by, Erik Larson narrated by, Scott Brick

This book was fascinating and kept me interested all the way through. It is about so much more than just the Lusitania it’s also about seafaring during a time war. It also gives a glimpse into who some of the victims were, the key players President Wilson being one I found out things I didn’t know about him, a young Winston Churchill gets a bit of a storyline to that I found interesting. And the first edition of A Christmas Carol that was also a victim was very sad too.

We all know the story of the Titanic, I’ve read countless books and seen so many documentaries and movies about it but I never knew much about the Lusitania, which is why I wanted to read this book. I found it interesting that the Germans didn’t care if it was a military boat or civilians because they could be bringing supplies so let’s torpedo them all, and that President Wilson said as long as no Americans are on the ships they are shooting down it’s fine, which is quite a different attitude than our government has today. And the British knew that they weren’t shooting at American boats so when the boats got close to England they would fly an American flag, then when the Germans figured that out it was a shoot at everything mentality.

The sad part of the Lusitania being shot down was there were so many children onboard, and that there were destroyers in the area, who I feel should have been escorting and protecting the Lusitania but because of an order to not engage with the subs they knew were there, left these people stranded and I believe more could have been saved had they intervened sooner.

I found this book completely fascinating and it was hard to stop listening, I found all the stories about what seafaring was like in this area during this time period really interesting, as I knew nothing of any of it.

Erik Larson is a great writer I really enjoy his writing style and I liked how he humanized all sides in this conflict.

Scott Brick’s narration was of course wonderful, I thought his male and female voices were well done and he really brought this story to life.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone curious about history or seafaring; also if you like to read books about the Titanic, you should read this book.

4 ½ Stars

I won this book from Tekreads

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Boo by, Neil Smith



Boo by, Neil Smith

This was a wonderful story; sad and beautiful in its own way. Boo is a character that will tug at your heartstrings you'll want to take care of him you'll want to make everything better for him. The other characters are well-written and fleshed out and you'll care about them too. Johnny is an interesting character because you're just never sure if what he remembers is true if it's what really happened or is he misremembering events.

This is such an interesting look at what heaven could be, part of me thinks it’s kind of sad to be 13 for 50 years , dear lord that's a long time to be 13, it is such a hard age as it is and to have to live it for so long would be tough. On Earth Boo was a boy with a holey heart (his words for a heart problem) so he was small and pale like a ghost and that is how he got his nickname, he was also bullied for these same things but Boo (Oliver) is also extremely intelligent and would just like to study everything. The last thing Boo remembers is memorizing the periodic chart before his holey heart gave out. But is that what happened? When another boy, Johnny, from his school also shows up in Heaven he tells a much different story.

This book was different from anything I've read for a while I fell in love with these characters; I fell in love with the writing style and the story. I really like the writing style of this author it is the first book I've ever read by him and I would definitely read another.

I don’t  want to give away a minute of this book because I want to enjoy every second, yes there are sad parts, but there are also uplifting moments, funny moments and moments that will pull at your heart. This book is YA but I would highly recommend it to adults and teens alike.

Gosh can you tell I loved this book? So I will end here by saying do yourself a favor and read this book!

5 Stars


I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss and the publisher for a fair and honest review. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Reading Log for the first half of 2015

We are at the halfway point of the year and so far I’ve Read 56 books 42 have been Audiobooks 14 Ebook or hardcover
Listened to 677 hours of audio
Read 5678 pages
23 Female Narrators
19 Male Narrators
32 Female Authors
24 Male Authors

Last year I noticed that I listen to way more Female Narrators than Male I’m doing a pretty good job at getting these numbers a little more even. I also tend to read more Female Authors than Male too and wanted to get those more even too but as you can see I’m still reading way more women than men.

So far my favorite books have been:

































See what I mean, out of these 10 books only 3 are by men and only 2 narrated by men, and I don’t set out to read or listen to only women it just seems to end up that way. Another point I think is kind of funny is all these people out there saying “read more women authors” but I need to read and listen to more men to make my reading diverse!


So I am going to really try for the month of June which is Audiobook Month (but that’s every month for me) to listen to more male narrators and read some more male authors. Wish Me Luck!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tallgrass by, Sandra Dallas narrated by, Lorelei King



Tallgrass by, Sandra Dallas narrated by, Lorelei King

This would make a really good book club book. It’s a fascinating look at the Internment camps, actually more of a look on the people in the towns and how they felt about it; it was nice to find out that some didn't want the camps and that these people should be released because they were American citizens. It’s a sad chapter in the US History but something that we need to look at so it doesn’t happen again especially in this day and age.

I enjoyed the characters in this book especially Rennie and her family, she was lucky to have great parents who objected to the camps, even when their own son was off at war. This book is also a bit of a coming of age story for Rennie. There is also a mystery added in and I’m sure you can guess who is blamed for the crime.


This was my first book by this author but it won’t be my last I really enjoyed her writing style and thought she was a very good storyteller. I also enjoyed the interview at the end of the book with the authors reasons for having the story told from the townies prospective and not the Japanese in the camps, which I felt made this a unique read because we are on the outside looking in just like the real people in the towns that were near any of these camps. The confusion of should you hate these people, then the realization that these are American citizens, and the backlash from other community members if you try to stick up for the people in the camps or say anything about releasing them. That’s what I find the most fascinating about this period in our history, is the how would you feel question, I’d like to think I would feel as Rennie’s father did but you just never know.


Lorelei King’s narration was as always spot on, everyone had their own voice and it was easy to differentiate between all the characters.


4 ½ Stars

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Armchair Audies..Thriller/Suspense Category …And the Winner Is….


Armchair Audies….THRILLER/SUSPENSE Category …And the Winner Is….

 Again in this category we have many different kinds of Thrillers and one I felt didn’t belong in this category. Here are the nominees:

The Avengers, Lost Episodes Vol 1: Hot Snow; Adapted by John Dorney; Narrated by Various; Big Finish Productions
I didn’t feel like this book belonged in this category I felt it should be in Audio Drama and it also seemed old radio show, which I enjoy but I didn’t feel like it was a good fit for the category. The narrations were okay but the music was extremely annoying.






Dead Six; by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari; Narrated by Bronson Pinchot; Audible, Inc.
We all know Bronson is amazing but even he couldn’t get me all the way through this 20 hour book. As always all his voices were great but I didn’t feel his range as much in this one as I did in his other nominated title in CHILDREN’S TITLES FOR AGES 8-12 (The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw)




In the Morning I'llBe Gone; by Adrian McKinty; Narrated by Gerard Doyle; Blackstone Audio Inc.
Gerard Doyle’s narration is fabulous this man has a chameleon voice he can do any accent and every single person has a very distinct voice he is amazing!







The Lost Key; by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison; Narrated by Renee Raudman and MacLeod Andrews; Brilliance Publishing
I must admit to liking MacLeod Andrews narration faster than Renée Raudman’s I thought his narrations were fabulous and all his accents seemed real and well done. Raudman though it took me a little while to enjoy her voice by the end I was enjoying her narration. I would listen to more by both of these narrators.




Those Who Wish MeDead; by Michael Koryta; Narrated by Robert Petkoff; Hachette Audio
I thought Robert Petkoff’s narration was amazing  and very impressive especially the narration of the 2 psycho hit men The Blackwell Brothers that are after Jace/Conner then when one of the characters describes how these men talk, it was even more right on, because he narrated them exactly how the author describes them. Every character has a distinct voice and his female voices were well done.  I will be seeking out other books Petkoff has narrated. I see he narrates quite a few of Koryta’s books so; I will be listening to more of this author & narrator combo.



Wayfaring Stranger; by James Lee Burke; Narrated by Will Patton; Simon & Schuster
I liked this book and at first I enjoyed Will Patton’s narration but after a while everyone sound like an old southern man with cotton in their cheeks.







And The Winner Is…..
Robert Petkoff for Those Who Wish Me Dead, his narration blew me away. The narration of the bad guys had my stomach churning from fear, his female voices sounded authentic and it was a great story.


Good Luck To All The Nominees!