Saturday, January 28, 2012

Audiobook Review:The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley narrated by, Nicola Barber

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley narrated by, Nicola Barber
I do so enjoy Susanna Kearsley’s writing it flows so beautifully from one century to the next; her characters are so fully fleshed out and believable. This is a great time travel book with a wonderful story in both times.

Eva comes to a place of her childhood to recover from losing her sister but soon after arriving odd things start to happen, at first she thinks she’s hallucinating, and then losing her mind, but then realization strikes that she is actually traveling through time. In the past she meets Daniel Butler, smuggler and rebel, the times she ends up in are full of danger and treachery but there is one shining light and that is Daniel Butler. The romance aspect was sweet with both Eva & Daniel still recovering from a loss and both slowly heal as they come together. I think Fergal (*sp audio) was my favorite character other than Eva he was so kind and witty. The twist at the end I didn’t see coming and actually rewound back to listen again it was so good!

If you like time travel, historical fiction with a nice splash of romance, or a fan of Daphne DuMaurier or Diana Gabaldon I highly recommend this book and this author. I have become a huge fan of Susanna Kearsley and plan on reading everything she has ever written!

Audio production: Nicola Barber was the narrator and I didn’t really like her attempt at accents I think it would have been better if she just stuck to the accent (guessing her real voice) she used when narrating the in between people talking. Since I had already listened to The Winter Sea I couldn’t help wishing Roslyn Landor had narrated this one too because she did such a great job with the accents in that one. It wasn’t awful and I still enjoyed the book very much but there were times the narration just wasn’t right. And I’m not saying I would never listen to this narrator again as long as she’s not doing accents especially an American accent.

4 Stars

Friday, January 20, 2012

Audiobook Review:Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie narrated by,Mark Deakins

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie narrated by,Mark Deakins

This was a great biography it is non-fiction but reads like fiction and kept my attention all the way through. Catherine is a very fascinating woman, one of the great Empress’ of Russia even though she was not Russian. I learned so much about her and her life and what kind of a strong woman she was.

This is a very thorough look at Catherine’s life and I really enjoy the authors writing style and I will be reading his other books. When I was younger I loved Russian history and have always been fascinated by the Romanovs but haven’t read anything about them in a long time and now I think this will begin a re-immersion into Russian history.

Even if you are a reader who usually reads historical fiction and not non-fiction I highly recommend this book it reads like fiction and Catherine had a very fascinating life. It has everything from wars, fights for power, love, jealousy just everything a fiction reader loves in a book but what is great is it’s all true!

This audio book is 23 hours long but I enjoyed every minute of it, Mark Deakins did a great job on the narration and would definitely listen to others by this narrator.

4 Stars

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Audiobook Review:The Rum Diary by, Hunter S. Thompson narrated by, Campbell Scott

The Rum Diary by, Hunter S. Thompson narrated by, Campbell Scott

These journalists don’t seem to do much reporting except to each other about the beach, drinking and women. But they aren’t getting paid so I guess that explains why they aren’t really working. This reads like a day in the life but it is called a diary so I guess it sets out to tell the story that way. Once you realize this then you can just go with it and enjoy the storytelling.

This book really doesn’t ever get around to telling you what it’s really about other than as I said a day in the life it’s just kind of a romp through the underbelly of a town and people with corruption and murder and drinking and cheating. Of course this was written by a very young Thompson and was only published as I understand it at the urging of Johnny Depp who I wish had done the narration for this audiobook.

I am not sure how I feel about Campbell Scott’s narration of this book there were times it sounded like he needed a drink of water a lot of popping and clicking mouth noises between words. I also don’t understand the track length on this production some tracks were up to 17 minutes long and others were 1-4 minutes there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the length of the tracks. However there were times I liked his narration then he’d do a different voice and it wasn’t that great again.

I received this book from the publisher via the Audiobook jukebox Solid Gold reviewer program.

3 stars-Good Book but some things didn't connect with me

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Audiobook Narrators:A Year in Review

I read 122 books this year with 75 of them being audiobooks.I decided to mention only the narrators without the books because you can see best of 2011 post just what audiobooks I listened to in 2011. I just wanted to put the spotlight on these fabulous narrators who brings our books to life!

My narrator of the year:
Even though I only listened to 2 by her (this year) Bahni Turpin is my narrator of the year because the 2 were so completely different one being The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and the other The True Meaning of Smekday these two polar opposites showed Bahni’s amazing range, the seriousness of Henrietta and the hilarity of Smekday, she did both so flawlessly and if you are looking for a great family road trip audiobook I highly recommend the True Meaning of Smekday.

Narrator Love: narrators I will listen to no matter what they are reading!
6 books read by, Katherine Kellgren
5 books read by, Hillary Huber
4 books read by, Emily Gray
4 books read by, Cassandra Campbell
3 books read by, Caroline Lee
3 books read by, Lorelei King

3 books read by, Len Cariou
2 books read by, Bahni Turpin
2 books read by, Simon Vance
2 books read by, Karen White
2 books read by, Jenna Lamia
2 books read by, Emma Galvin

New to me narrators that I look forward to hearing more from:
Xe Sands
Bernadette Dunne
Jennifer Ikeda
Peter Altschuler
Christopher Evan Welch
Polly Stone
Janet Song
Tim Curry (know him as an actor now love him as a narrator)
Sarah Paulson
Hope Davis

Honorable mentions with just one book by each listened to this year. Most of these are narrators I’ve listened to previously and enjoy their work:
Roselyn Landor
Jim Dale
Kirsten Potter & Katie Macnichol
Kirby Heyborne
Kate Reading
Lorna Raver
Dion Graham

Also a nod to the ensemble casts:
Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, Suzanne Toren
Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, Sarah Jones

2011 Reading Year in Review

2011-Books by Rating
**'d books are Audiobooks these are in no particular order except by rating

5 Stars
Sarah’s Key by, Tatiana de Rosnay narrated by, Polly Stone**
Snowflower and the Secret Fan by, Lisa See narrated by, Janet Song**
Madame Tussaud by, Michelle Moran
Revolution by, Jennifer Donnelly Narrated by Emily Janice Card, Emma Bering**
The Bird Sisters by, Rebecca Rasmussen
Rivermarked by, Patricia Briggs
The Peach Keeper by, Sarah Addison Allen
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by, Rebecca Skloot narrated by, Bahni Turpin & Cassandra Campbell**
The Kings Speech by, Mark Logue narrated by, Simon Vance**
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by, Ransom Riggs
I Shall Wear Midnight by, Terry Pratchett
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by, Fannie Flagg
The Eyre Affair by, Jasper Fforde
Love You More by, Lisa Gardner narrated by Kirsten Potter, Katie Macnichol,**
Trespasser by, Paul Doiron
The True Meaning of Smekday by, Adam Rex narrated by, Bahni Turpin**
The Legacy by, Katherine Webb
Dracula by, Bram Stoker narrated by, Simon Vance**
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by, Shirley Jackson narrated by, Bernadette Dunne**
We All Wore Stars: Memories of Anne Frank from Her Classmates by, Theo Coster
A Christmas Carol by, Charles Dickens narrated by, Tim Curry**

4 1/2 Star
The House on Riverton, The Forgotten Garden & The Distant Hours by, Kate Morton narrated by,Caroline Lee**
Changeless,Heartless, by, Gail Carriger narrated by, Emily Gray**
Nobodies Album by, Carolyn Parkhurst
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by, Helen Simonson narrated by, Peter Altschuler**
Left Neglected by, Lisa Genova narrated by,Sarah Paulsen**
Seer of Sevenwaters by, Juliet Marillier
You Had Me At Woof by, Julie Klam narrated by, Karen White**
A Discovery of Witches by, Debrah Harkness narrated by, Jennifer Ikeda**
The Wake of the Lorelei Lee by, LA Meyer narrated by, Katherine Kellgren**
Maisie Dobbs by, Jacqueline Winspear narrated by, Rita Barrington**
Ashfall by, Mike Mullins
The Weird Sisters by, Eleanor Brown
Ingenue by, Jillian Larkin
Hearts, Keys & Puppetry by, Neil Gaiman & the Twitterverse narrated by, Katherine Kellgren**
The Winter Sea by, Susanna Kearsley narrated by, Roselyn Landor**

4 Stars
Sidewalk Thoughts by, Mickey Renner
My Bonny Light Horseman & Rapture of the Deep by, LA Meyer narrated by, Katherine Kellgren**
Abby Cooper Psychic Eye by, Victoria Laurie narrated by, Elizabeth Michaels**
Year of Wonders by, Geraldine Brooks narrated by, the author**
O Pioneers by, Willa Cather narrated by, Kate Reading**
Live to Tell by, Lisa Gardner narrated by, Kirsten Potter, Rebecca Lowman, Ann Marie Lee**
The Prince of Mist by, Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Room by, Emma Donaghue narrated by, Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, Suzanne Toren**
Wicked Appetite by, Janet Evanovich narrated by, Lorelei King**
The Art of Racing in the Rain by, Garth Stein narrated by, Christopher Evan Welch**
A Northern Light by, Jennifer Donnelly narrated by, Hope Davis**
You Know When the Men Are Gone by, Siobhan Fallon narrated by, Cassandra Campbell**
The Reversal by, Michael Connelly narrated by, Peter Giles**
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by, John Elder Robison
Water for Elephants by, Sara Gruen narrated by, David Ledoux, John Randolph Jones**
Blameless by, Gail Carriger narrated by, Emily Gray**
Skellig by, David Almond
Crunch Time by, Diana Mott Davidson narrated by, Barbara Rosenblat**
Dead Reckoning by, Charlaine Harris
Smokin’ Seventeen by, Janet Evanovich narrated by, Lorelei King**
Immortal Beloved by, Cate Tiernan narrated by, Kelly Lintz**
Dragontime by, Anne & Todd McCaffrey
Forever by, Maggie Steifvater
The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life & I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl & Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood & We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive& It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy by, Laurie Notaro narrated by, Hillary Huber**
The Poisoned House by, Michael Ford
Variant by, Robinson Wells
fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science by, Lucia Greenhouse
Rules of Civility by, Amor Towles narrated by, Rebecca Lowman**
Artemis Rising by, Cheri Lasota
Life by, Keith Richards narrated by, Johnny Depp & John Hurley**
Birds of a Feather by, Jacqueline Winspear narrated by, Kim Hicks**
The Night Circus by, Erin Morgenstern narrated by, Jim Dale**
The Woman in Black by, Susan Hill
Suicide Run & Angle of Investigation short storied by, Michael Connelly narrated by, Len Cariou**
Steampunk Santa (A Short Story) by, Marc Vun Kannon
Hide by, Lisa Gardner (Re-read)
Freaks (A Short Story) by, Tess Gerritsen
The Christmas Pearl by, Dorothea Benton Frank
Divergent by, Veronica Roth narrated by, Emma Galvin**

3 ½ Stars
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by, Jacqueline Kelly narrated by, Natalie Ross**
Still Life by, Louise Penny narrated by, Ralph Cosham**
Storm Front by, Jim Butcher narrated by, James Marsters**
Bloody Valentine by, Melissa De La Cruz
The Demon Trapper Daughter by, Jana Oliver
The Sherlockian by, Graham Moore narrated by, James Langton**
Lost in a Good Book by, Jasper Fforde narrated by, Emily Gray**
Water Witch by,Deborah LeBlanc narrated by, Xe Sands**
Save Me by, Lisa Scottoline
Lethal Lineage by, Charlotte Hinger narrated by, Karen White**
The Lantern by,Deborah Lawrenson narrated by, Gerrianne Raphael, Kristine Ryan**
Praise Jerusalem! by, Augusta Trobaugh
Peace Locomotion by,Jaqueline Woodson narrated by, Dion Graham**
Nothing with Strings: NPR's Beloved Holiday Stories by, Bailey White narrated by, Lorna Raver**

3 Stars
The Murderer’s Daughters by, Randy Susan Meyers
American Gods by, Neil Gaiman narrated by, Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, Sarah Jones,**
Paper Towns by, John Green narrated by,Dan John Miller**
I am Number Four by, Pittacus Lore narrated by, Neil Kaplan**
Running with Scissors by, Augusten Burroughs
Bossypants by, Tina Fey narrated by the author**
The Evil Genius by, Wilkie Collins narrated by, John Bolan**
The Lottery and Other Stories by, Shirley Jackson narrated by, Carol Stewart**
The Haunting of Hill House by, Shirley Jackson narrated by, Bernadette Dunne**
Deck the Halls by, Mary & Carol Higgins Clark
Mary Bolelyn Mistress of Kings by, Alison Weir
Blue Christmas by, Mary Kay Andrews

2 ½ Stars
The Twentieth Wife by, Indu Sundaresan narrated by, Sneha Mathan**
City of Bones by, Cassandra Clare narrated by, Ari Graynor**
The Winter Ghosts by, Kate Mosse
If I Stay by, Gail Forman narrated by, Kirsten Potter**
The Borrowers by, Rebecca Makkai narrated by, Emily Bauer**
The Ballad of Tom Dooley by, Sharyn McCrumb
The Red Pyramid by, Rick Riordan narrated by, Katherine Kellgren & Kevin R. Free** (This rating is for the book NOT the narration!)

2 Stars
Hungry for Happiness by, James Villa
The Bluest Eye by, Toni Morrison (This is just My Opinion no need to tell me I'm wrong!)