Sharpsusie's 2015 reading

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2015

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Sharpsusie's 2015 reading

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gen. 7, 2015, 6:10pm

And Away we go!

gen. 7, 2015, 6:11pm

#1- They're Watching by, Gregg Hurwitz narrated by, Scott Brick

This is such a twisty edge of your seat book, there were times I wasn’t sure what was going on but neither did the protagonists so it was perfect because I felt the same WTH moments as the Patrick did. I really enjoyed the way this was written, the suspense was palpable.

How would you react if you found out someone was watching and listening to everything you do? Then they tell you to go somewhere and what you find is a dead body with the cops on your heels? Is it the CIA? Is it Terrorists? Just a stalker with a grudge? What is going on? Do you give in or do you fight back and risk your life and the life of everyone you love? This book keeps you guessing all the way to the end.

I don’t want to give any more away because the unknown is what makes this book great. If you like a good psychological thriller I highly recommend giving this one a try!

As always Scott Brick’s narration is spot on and his narration of Patrick’s fear and anxiety just heightens the tension.

4 Stars

gen. 7, 2015, 6:11pm

#2-Tantric Coconuts by Greg Kincaid

Odd and very different than his previous books. Like a Spirituality 101 class. I admit to skimming through alot of the spiritual mumbo jumbo as the book wore on and started reading again whenever Aunt Lilly's case was mentioned. This started out with such promise then just got to be too much like sitting in a very boring college class with the teacher from Ferris Bueller till my eyes glazed over.

I thought this book would be great from the description, I have loved Greg Kincaids other books but this one fell very flat for me.

2 stars

I received this book from Librarything Early reviewers program

gen. 7, 2015, 6:13pm

#3- Mademoiselle Chanel , by C.W. Gortner Release date March 17, 2015

Enthralled, captivated, fascinated, enamored, I'm not even sure if these words come close to explaining how great this book was and how captivated I am with this woman. This book was impossible to put down I needed to know more and more and more. This is one of those books that when you get finished you want to go back to the beginning and start again because you don't want it to end.

She was definitely a woman before her time she was an absolutely fascinating woman, what she did, not only as a designer but as a single woman in France in the early 1900’s is awe inspiring, she did what she had to do and look what she accomplished, and when you learn where the famous trademark stems from and the origins of her famous perfume it is so interesting. Her rise and how she got there and the people she met along the way is so inspiring I am just awe-struck by this woman. I am far from being a fashionista but I want to go see these older dresses and see more of her life.

This book also made me look up everyone she meets along the way and to look at her styles and the scary lobster dress by her rival Schiaparelli . I love Chanel’s more conservative simple dresses; really without her we wouldn’t have the little black dress. And that she stopped women from wearing fruit and birds on their heads that was a great thing.

But above all she was a woman ahead of her time; independent, opinionated, beautiful and rich, but she didn’t start out that way and everything she had was from her hard work, yes, yes men helped her along the way but she paid every one of them back and without her talent she would have never become the icon that she became.

The life she lived and the people she knew is a who’s who in the artistic world of the time, she was accepting of everyone from the snobs of the British aristocracy, to gay men and women, to the drug addled artists, dancers and musicians, she accepted everyone despite their flaws, she was also a very caring woman though her outward attitude didn’t seem that way I believe from this book that if Coco liked you she would do just about anything for you. Some of the things she did during the war are tough but I believe this version she never wanted to hurt anyone and a person had to survive. I do hope that she was able to find some peace and love at the end of her life.

Okay, I could go on and on about this book but I will stop now and just say read this book the minute it comes out, you will not be disappointed!

5 Stars (if I could give it more I would)

I received this book from edelweiss and the publisher for a fair and honest review

gen. 7, 2015, 8:54pm

Welcome back!

gen. 9, 2015, 1:39pm

Hi Susie, Happy New Year. I am so glad that you tracked me down over at the Category Challenge. Also, a huge Thumbs Up for your review of the Chanel book, which I am adding to my wishlist. I read a book about her some time ago and she was quite a woman - and far ahead of her time!

gen. 9, 2015, 4:13pm

Oh big time I am completely obsessed with her now I am trying to find documentaries! She was a fascinating woman!

gen. 13, 2015, 2:57pm

#4- The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

This book started out with promise but less than half way through and I was getting a bit bored, I really wanted to like this one. I have 4 hours left and want it to be over. Also, I can’t quite get a grasp on what year this is supposed to be set in the language feels modern but the story old.

This one just didn’t do it for me, I didn’t connect with any of the characters and the story was confusing at times. I don’t know what else to say about it. Just not my cup of tea.

I will say though that the author narrated this very well and I was surprised it wasn’t a professional narrator.

2 stars

gen. 14, 2015, 1:51pm

#5-What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman narrated by, Tavia Gilbert

Wow, just, wow, this book is great! I wasn’t expecting so many holding my breath moments. It always fascinates and horrifies me to learn of the treatment in some of these so called hospitals and the reasons so many women were put into these places. Poor Clara all she did was fall in love with a man her father didn’t approve of so she was locked up and lied about and left there with no-one to turn to, in 1929 this was okay for a father to do to his child. Clara starts out in a little better place at least she had one nice nurse but when the crash hits and her father can no longer pay the bill Clara ends up in Willard hospital a state run home that is an awful, awful place! In the present day we have Izzie, she is a foster child whose mother is in prison for killing her father her foster parents are doing a project on Willard for the local museum and when Izzie finds Clara’s diary she becomes fascinated with learning more about this woman. Both of these stories are interesting Clara’s more so but there are parts of Izzie’s story that will break your heart too.

This book grabbed me right from the beginning and didn’t let go till the end it was never boring and there were times I was yelling at my ipod because of things that happened to Clara and Bruno. I was surprised at how invested I got in these characters and that there were some really intense scenes I wasn’t expecting.

Tavia Gilbert’s narration was as always fantastic; everyone had a different voice and inflection so you were never confused as to who was talking. All voices from the main characters Izzy & Clara to the side characters were all done to perfection.

Loved the ending …Oh Clara!

If you are a fan of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox I’d say to give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed.

5 stars

gen. 15, 2015, 5:44pm

Interesting about The Ghost Bride, Susie. I have picked that one up and put it back on the bookstore shelves a number of times. It looks interesting but something has been holding me back from buying it. I think I may just leave it alone.

gen. 16, 2015, 2:13pm

Yes, Judy, it had me fooled the cover caught my eye it's gorgeous and the description sounded pretty good too but it just didn't hold for me.

gen. 16, 2015, 2:13pm

#6-The Mill River Recluse: A Novel (Mill River #1) By, Darcie Chan narrated by, Amy Rubinate

This was a very different book than I was expecting when I started, I guess from the description I assumed it was a mystery but it turned out to be kind of a feel good story. It was the story of a town and the woman who looked down from her mansion on a hill because she couldn’t leave her house due to severe social anxiety disorder, however Mary does have one friend Pastor Michael who has been there for her when she had no one else. I felt this book was also about this friendship that was true and real their friendship was one most people dream about, the kind of friendship that knows all your secrets (or almost all as in this case) and accepts you for who you are faults and all.

I enjoyed this book, it told a good story, even if at times some characters didn’t get fleshed out as much as one would have liked. It’s hard to characterize this book into a genre; it’s has family drama, a bit of a whodunit, town secrets, abuse, friendship and social anxiety so if you can figure out what genre it belongs in let me know!

Amy Rubinate’s narrations was fabulous as always all her voices were distinct and every character had their own voice. She also did well at aging the characters voices as they sounded younger when they were recalling the past and older in the present day. Narration was very well done.

As I said even though I went into this book thinking it was something it was not I still enjoyed it, and would recommend to people who enjoy a well told story. I will be reading the next book in this series as I am curious at what else is going on in Mill River.

3 ½ Stars

gen. 17, 2015, 12:03pm

>12 susiesharp: I read that one in 2012 and rated it the same as you did.

gen. 19, 2015, 2:30pm

#7- The Missing One by, Lucy Atkins

This has a gothic atmosphere to it that I liked very much and it kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time and was a hard book to put down.

Kal( Kali) is in a bad place her mother just died and she found some texts on her husband’s phone that don’t look good, and while cleaning out her mother’s things she finds some postcards from a woman she has never heard of and in her mental state she decides to go half way around the world to talk to this woman to find out more about the mother she was never close to. The woman she finds is Susannah who is at best an unreliable narrator at worst well…

A lot of this book is at a frenetic pace because it moves along with Kali’s mind which is going in 20 different directions and it’s palpable while reading this book, I felt a sense of the frantic as I read and also dread because you just felt there was more to things and Kali was too wound up to see straight, but the problem is she brought her child along for the ride. The recent death of her mother has Kali in a tailspin she can’t think straight but she goes on this mission to find out more about her mother’s youth what was she like in college and is the reason they didn’t get along because her mother gave up her PhD study to have her? But there is the old adage “be careful what you wish for” because what she finds out may not be what she wanted to know.

I don’t want to give too much away because I don’t want to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of this story. So I will close this by saying I really enjoyed this book; I loved the gothic thriller feel to it and as I said I had a hard time putting it down because I needed to know what was going to happen next. My only little qualm was the ending chapter but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this book. So if you like gothic atmosphere, thrillers, and family secrets give this one a try.

4 Stars

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher (Quercus) for a fair and honest review

Editat: gen. 21, 2015, 12:44pm

#8- The Collectors by, Philip Pullman narrated by Bill Nighy
( can't find the correct touchstone)

Interesting but all too short story in the His Dark Materials world (sort of) it made me want to go back and re-read the series. Bill Nighly was great as a narrator.

Also #8 because these are very short stories

The Playground by Ray Bradbury narrated by, Jonathan Davis

A bit creepy, but an interesting look at how far a parent will go to protect their child from playground bullies. Jonathan Davis was great as the narrator.

gen. 21, 2015, 2:40pm

#9-The Girl on the Train: A Novel By Paula Hawkins Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher

This book has had so much hype that I was honestly a little worried that it wasn't going to live up to it but holy cow did it ever.

This was a twisty turny, keep you guessing to the end kind of book, with completely unreliable narrator's all three of these women were unreliable narrator's which is kind of fascinating because you never knew who was telling the truth or the truth as they saw it or are just lying completely. Every time I thought I had it figured out it would turn a different way, I thought I had it figured out many times and I never did.

Told by 3 women:
Rachel- alcoholic, scorned woman, she is the girl on the train and honestly quite a mess.
Anna- Rachel’s ex-husbands new wife and mother of his child, self-centered and paranoid of Rachel.
Megan- missing, confused, self-centered and craves attention.

The three audiobook narrators Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher all did such a fantastic job they truly brought these women to life and endowed each with such emotion. These were all new to me narrators and I will definitely be looking for other books any of these women have narrated!

This book was amazing, it was great from beginning till end never bogged down and kept me guessing all the way through. I don’t want to give any more away because this is one of those books where the wrong word could be a spoiler, suffice it to say Just Read This Book! Now!

5 stars

gen. 21, 2015, 9:40pm

Great review for The Girl On The Train, Susie. I already have it on my wishlist as it was highly recommended by my local librarian.

gen. 22, 2015, 9:59am

Thanks, Judy just be warned it will give you heck of a book hangover!

gen. 23, 2015, 4:15pm

#10- The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport, narrated by, Xe Sands

It took me a little bit to get into this book but once I did I was hooked. The bad thing about reading a book about the Romanov’s is you know the ending and this book endeared me to the family and I really wanted it to end differently.

These girls were very sheltered and this book didn’t feel like it concentrated on just the girls, it’s a story about the entire family. Really what else can you say, everyone knows the story but to get some of these intimate details was interesting. And even though you know the ending it is still so sad!

I am a huge fan of Xe Sands and while I did enjoy her narration it felt different than other books I have listened to by her, not bad, just different to me , that may be because it’s a different genre I’m not sure. I felt like this had been sped up compared to the way Xe usually reads. But I thought she did a great job with all the names and pronunciations this book was a huge undertaking and I will always pick the audio over paper when she is narrating.

On a little aside it was neat getting a background on the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich who about 20 or so years after this book dated Coco Chanel (I recently read Mademoiselle Chanel) so hearing his name meant more to me than it would of if I hadn’t read about him and Coco.

This was a good book about the Romanov’s it’s not just about the sisters but about the family as a whole and I would recommend to anyone who likes Russian History.

4 Stars

feb. 2, 2015, 3:13pm

#11-At the Water's Edge by, Sara Guen

Rich party kids Ellis, his wife Maddie and their best friend Hank could care less that there is a war going on, all they want to do is party, but when a night of partying goes a bit too far and Ellis causes his parents some embarrassment they are tossed from the family home. To try to get back into his parent’s good graces the threesome decides to travel to Scotland to find the great monster that caused quite a stir when Ellis’ parents were involved in the search years ago. What starts out as a whim turns into something completely different.

Both Ellis and Hank are exempt from fighting in the military Ellis is color blind and Hank has flat feet so they both seem so oblivious to the fact that there is a war going on that they travel by ship into Nazi infested waters to the great Loch ness but what they see on the ship and in Scotland still has no effect on the two men but Maddie is starting to see the world, her husband and his friend with very different eyes. Once in Scotland we see a very different side to Ellis and it is not a pretty side he seemed like a happy-go-lucky party boy but there is a dark side a very dark side and Maddie does not like what she sees.

I loved Maddie's journey throughout this book from party girl without much will of her own to a strong woman on her own two feet. I really enjoyed this book and read it very quickly, I enjoyed the growing friendships Maddie made in Scotland and the side stories about the locals.

The writing of this book, the descriptions of Scottish countryside and how the war affected the locals were so good it gave a bit of a day in life of these people so affected by the war. Plus we have the loch ness monster and who doesn’t enjoy a loch ness story.

All in all I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it.

4 Stars

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review.

feb. 2, 2015, 3:55pm

#12-The Thunder of Giants by Joel Fishbane

In this book we meet two female giants Anna Swan who worked for PT Barnum during the civil war and Andorra Kelsey who in 1937 is discovered by a talent scout to play Anna Swan in a movie. This was a good story with sparse writing. I’d never heard of Anna Swan before and this was a fascinating look into her life. Some details of course changed for a narrative fiction story and I don't think Andorra existed but she was also an interesting woman.

Neither woman ever wanted to be a star they just wanted to be normal but when you are over 7 feet tall normal is something you will never be. Both stories will break your heart but there is hope and with hope there is life.

The story of Andorra’s mother is tough to read and may go a bit far into gross factor but it is what she had to live with her entire life. Anna Swan being a real person means you can research her real life which was neat because I found a lot about her online ( of course this is fiction so many facts are different).

This book grabbed me right away and was hard to put down so it made it a quick but enjoyable read. There were times the story between these two women flowed nicely and other times it struggled a bit, but this was a good story and that made up for any of the issues with the flow or sparse writing.

Some of the side characters didn’t seem fleshed out as much as one would hope but it also made everyone flawed in some way or another, being normal sized doesn’t mean your life is all flowers and sunshine, and even if both of these women envied their normal sized friends they didn’t have it all together any more than Anna or Andorra. I thought Anna was a very strong woman who really did what she wanted and lived her life on her own terms Andorra tried to do this but things held her back.

I did enjoy this story and I thought this was a very good debut and would read other books this author comes out with.

3 ½ Stars

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review.

feb. 3, 2015, 3:15pm

#13-Crash & Burn by, Lisa Gardner

Man alive this woman knows how to write a I can't put this down, edge of my seat thriller. I devoured this book in one day I could not stop reading.

This book once again features Tessa Leoni and Wyatt and also features DD Warren in an interesting side story which makes me anxious for the next DD book to see where her life goes after this book. We also get an update on Bobby Dodge & Annabelle.

This was such a different story, it kept me guessing even though I was able to figure out a couple things that didn't stop my complete enjoyment of this book.

Is it memory or delusion or a bit of both? What do you do when you can't trust your own mind and what it is telling you about your life? We have a completely and wholly unreliable narrator in Nicky Frank the book starts out with a car crash and her complete belief that a little girl named Vero needs saving and was with her but does Vero even exist? Nicky doesn’t seem to know what is real, what is a memory or is it a delusion, she has had 3 concussions in a short amount of time and her brain is mixed up she keeps looking for the girl Vero is she lost, gone, dead or just a figment of her imagination. Was Nicky her savior or her killer? And what of Nicky’s husband Thomas is he the caring husband he seems to be or is there more behind the 3 “accidents” that have happened to Nicky, her car crash being just the latest.

This case starts out with a bang and gets weirder and weirder and poor Wyatt can’t seem to make heads or tails out of the information he is being given by Nicky while he investigates her car accident. Hopefully Tessa can help him out but she seems a little on edge and won’t tell Wyatt what is going on however they do work well together as they did on the last case that they have to put their personal feelings aside to try to get to the bottom of this very odd case. They even bring DD in to help them out.

This book will grab on and not let you go but that’s okay, just hang on, and enjoy the ride. Lisa Gardner does it again with another fantastic thriller!

5 Stars

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review.

feb. 3, 2015, 5:11pm

#14-As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes, Joe Layden narrated by most of the cast

This is so much more than just Cary Elwes’s remembrances of filming the Princess Bride it is really all the surviving cast members’ story of the filming. If you are a fan I highly recommend this audiobook which has way more narrators than just Cary there are snippets from many of the stars plus Cary’s impressions of many of the cast.

I enjoyed knowing that the filming of this movie was as magical as the film itself. I really enjoyed all the stories about what a wonderful man Andre the Giant was and was a little surprised at how much everyone loved Mandy Patinkin given the things his recent co-workers have said about him and how much he loved making this film and being a part of it, I don’t know I guess you can’t believe everything you read about stars these days so was nice to hear Mandy’s take on this movie from his own point of view.

I really do think you have to be a fan of the Princess Bride to enjoy this book but if you aren’t a fan then you have obviously never seen the movie and need to remedy that immediately. This movie is a classic and is enjoyed by generations and I believe always will and this book was a nice addendum a day in life say of the making of the film.

4 Stars

feb. 4, 2015, 7:14am

>23 susiesharp: Oooh, I've got that one lined up to read soon! I'm excited!

feb. 10, 2015, 5:50pm

#15- Wreckage by Emily Bleeker

This book started out strong then slowly began to lose its way and the ending, oh please don’t get me started on that. I really wanted to like this book and in the beginning I really did but then things just kept going downhill.

Lillian and her mother-in-law are on a trip together in the South Pacific but things go very wrong on the second week of their trip and their plane crashes into the ocean and I guess it’s not a spoiler since it’s in the description that Lillian and one other survivor Dave are rescued 2 years later. Things happened on the island that they don’t want to tell anyone so they lie to everyone including their spouses. There is a Nancy Grace type reporter that seems hell bent on getting the truth out of the 2 survivors and why they agreed to the interview is never explained to my satisfaction. The characters went from really interesting to cardboard cut-outs one dimensional and it really bothered me because this book had so much promise then fell short.

I guess I don’t have much more to say about this book some people seemed to really like but it fell short, I think with more time and better fleshing out of the characters this could have been a great book but alas it was not meant to be.

2 ½ stars

I got this book from the Kindle First Program.

Editat: feb. 12, 2015, 1:03pm

#16- Among The Missing by, Morag Joss, narrated by, Robin Sachs, Kate Reading, and Cassandra Campbell

Amazing story especially the last hour it made the whole book!

Have you ever thought about starting your life over? What if by a chance of fate you could start anew? When unbeknownst to her husband a pregnant woman sells her car and soon after that car is being shown on all news outlets plunging into the river after a bridge collapses, her husband was not happy about the pregnancy so she decides to stay “dead” and becomes Annabelle. The only problem is she sold the car to a man who had a child with him and they are actually the ones who went into the river, and the guilt of this is hard on her. She makes her way along the river and ends up at the cabin of a woman named Silva, who also happens to be wife and mother of the man and child in the car. There she tries to make a new life never telling Silva the truth and her only other companion is Ron the boatman the 3 of them and their secrets fill the cabin. But secrets never quite stay hidden and when all these secrets come out there is no telling what may happen.

This is not a happy book these three people are all mourning something and keeping secrets and dealing with guilt, however this is a beautifully written book that kept my attention from beginning to end. And as I said the last hour was edge of my seat, nail biting, tummy flipping suspense when one secret bubbles to the surface yet is misunderstood and the tension is palpable.

The narration is wonderful and really enhances this sad story I had forgotten how much I love Robin Sachs voice, his narration was superb he had many different accents and the Scottish man working on the bridge was great, and the ladies Kate Reading & Cassandra Campbell WOW great accents, and such a great range of emotions that make you feel everything these women go through. This is a book to listen to just for the fabulous narration if nothing else. But I did like this story yes it is sad but it is also a very powerful story of what ifs.

Highly recommend this audio!

4 Stars

5 Stars Narration

feb. 12, 2015, 5:03pm

I am a huge Morag Joss fan and this one is definitely going on my wishlist!

feb. 12, 2015, 5:34pm

> Judy this was the first book by her and I would definitely read others. What is your favorite?

feb. 12, 2015, 5:36pm

#17- Hold Tight by, Harlan Coben narrated by, Scott Brick

I must admit this wasn’t my favorite Coben book; it had too many stories going on all at once that didn’t really connected to each other well sort of but only the fact that they are all happening at the same time. If this had just been the story Spenser’s suicide and what went on with Adam and his parents afterwards it still would have been a good book about when do you spy on your children? Is it right? Should you or shouldn’t you? But then we also have a story of women being killed and a teacher who shames a girl in class that sets off some massive bullying by her peers. All these stories at once was confusing to me.

Scott Brick as always does a great job at narrating; I love the combination of this author and narrator.

This won’t stop me from reading Coben he is one of my favorite Mystery/Thriller writers but this one just wasn’t a favorite.

3 Stars

feb. 13, 2015, 1:31pm

I read Half Broken Things just last month and I thought it was excellent. I love the way she leads her readers into the plot and then you have to keep reading to find out how it's going to end.

feb. 23, 2015, 3:07pm

I am once again participating in the ArmchairAudies so I will be listening to books in the Thriller/Suspense category, the Mystery category and the Solo Female Narration category.

feb. 23, 2015, 3:08pm

#18- Those Who Wish Me Dead by, Michael Koryta Narrated by, Robert Petkoff

Hachette Audio
Nominated for an Audie in the Thriller Category

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.

This was a great thriller; you could cut the tension with a knife! Jace Wilson is in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnesses two men getting rid of a body and to make matters worse the men know he saw them and now he must die. Jace’s parents decide to send him to a mountain camp for troubled kids, under an assumed name, he hides from the hit men but they know he’s there somewhere and will stop at nothing to find him no matter who gets in their way or who has to die. Ethan, the man running the camp knows he has a witness in the group but doesn’t which boy it is. But the Blackwell brothers do and these are two of the freakiest, creepiest killers I’ve read about in a long time I would not want to be hunted by these men they scared the bejeezus out of me, they were so well written!

This was my first book by Koryta but sure won’t be my last, this book was very hard to stop listening because from beginning to end it was fraught with tension and you just had to know if Jace and the people helping him were going to make it out of these mountains alive.

This book is set in Beartooth Pass between Wyoming and Montana I have been through this pass on the back of Harley in August and it was snowing at the top so I could imagine what it was like hiking through there and how steep it is and all the switchbacks coming up one side and down the other. So was kind of fun to be able to picture this location in my head as I was reading.

If you hadn’t guessed I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend this thriller!

4 ½ Stars

feb. 23, 2015, 3:09pm

#19- Until the End of the World (Until the End of the World #1) by Sarah Lyons Fleming narrated by, Julia Whelan

Podium Publishing

Nominated for an Audie in the Sole Female Narration Category

Julie Whelan’s narration is well done, I enjoyed her many female voices, however at times her male voices muddled together, especially when Nelly and John are talking and Nelly’s accent isn’t as pronounced I wasn’t sure which man was talking. I did enjoy her narration very much as I always do and love her regular talking voice, and the whininess of Anna was good and not overdone to be annoying well any more annoying the character of Anna is!

I never thought I would be a fan of zombies until The Walking Dead came out actually I didn’t even watch the first season until it was on Netflix then I was hooked. However I haven’t read many zombie books, so this probably wouldn’t have been a book I would have picked up on my own but thanks to the Armchair Audies I had the pleasure of listening to this one. I mention The Walking Dead because this has the same feel to it, in that you care about the group and you want them all to survive.

This is so much more than a zombie book though, it is about survival. This group of people is lucky to have Cassie, her parents were preppers so she has some skills and also a cabin full of food and anything they need to survive but first they need to get there. The group consists of Cassie her now ex-boyfriend Peter (Yes, Cassie picked the day the world fell apart to break up with him), her two best friends Nelly and Penny and Penny’s bratty little sister Anna. And some people they encounter along the way. (No Spoilers) There are some safe havens and one happens to be run by Cassie’s ex-fiancé Adrian, but she broke his heart and isn’t sure he’d want to see her anyway and besides they are doing okay at her parents cabin right??!!?? Well it is the zombie apocalypse and things don’t always go as you want or expect them to.

The characters in this book are very well written, you want to cheer for a couple, and smack a couple others but as a whole you want this group to survive even the ones that need to grow up and stop making things worse for everyone. I am completely hooked on this series and will be continuing on (in fact I am listening to the novella ‘So Long Lollipops’ right now) because I need to know where they go from here and if they ever figure out how to get rid of the zombies and what life will become after the end of this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book both the great writing and wonderful narration will keep you captivated all the way through. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a Walking Dead fan.

4 ½ Stars

feb. 24, 2015, 1:49pm

#20-the One That Got Away by, Simon Wood

I received this book from the Kindle Program, this was a new to me author and the description intrigued me, so I thought I’d give it a chance and I was not disappointed. I really liked this book this was a great thriller. Zoë and her friend Holli take a road trip to Las Vegas but something terrible happens on the way home; Zoë wakes up in a shed naked and handcuffed with Holli screaming in the next room but Zoë is able to get loose but can’t see any way to save Holli other than going for help. The problem is she has been drugged and by the time she finds help she can’t remember any details, she has no idea how she got to the place, she doesn’t know what the man looked like or where he took them from and can’t remember the route she took to get away. The cops in the small town aren’t really buying her story.

A year later Zoë is still suffering from PTSD and Holli has never been found after Zoë got home she dropped out of school took a job as a mall security guard and is taking self-defense classes . She’s also seeing a shrink for her PTSD and her impulse control because she seems to keep putting herself in situations that may put her back in danger and has had a few run ins with the cops because the littlest touch sets Zoë into a rage. Then there is another murder that sounds like what she remembers seeing Holli go through. But can the cops believe her? Is she a victim or a killer or just a nutcase they should be wary of?

I had trouble putting this book down; I needed to know what happens next and when we see the story from the killer’s point of view we realize Zoë is not safe and this guy is a whack job. I liked that the story was told from both sides for me it upped the tension because Zoë kept putting herself out there even after she realized the man who took her was right in her own town. I also understood in some way where Zoë was coming from she wanted this guy caught she wanted to find Holli and that catching him might ease some of the survivors guilt she feels the guilt of leaving Holli there. Yes there are times you have to shake your head and say oh Zoë. However that just adds to the tension because she is working on pure adrenaline and in the back of head knows she is putting herself in danger again but seems to not be able to stop herself.

Ok I’ll stop now, as you can tell I really liked this one and would highly recommend it. I will also be reading more from this author because I liked his style.

4 Stars

feb. 24, 2015, 6:32pm

You got me with a couple today, Susie. I have driven the Bear Tooth Pass a few times, hands down one of my favorite scenic drives. I must get my hands on Those Who Wish Me Dead, sounds like just the thing to accompany me on the treadmill!

Also since I am a big fan of zombie lit, Until the End of The World is also going on my list.

feb. 25, 2015, 12:17pm

Hope you enjoy them, Judy! Yes, Bear Tooth Pass is absolutely gorgeous!

feb. 26, 2015, 1:56pm

#21- Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) by, Rhys Bowen narrated by, Nicola Barber

Audible Inc.

Nominated for an Audies in the Solo Female narration category

Nicola Barber’s narration is well done, she has many different accents in this book from Irish to American to a little Italian, and her male voices are also very good. I enjoyed her narration and I think it added to my enjoyment of this book.

Molly Murphy accidently killed a man after he attacked her it was self-defense but she ran away and ran all the way to America under an assumed name. While waiting to get through Ellis Island another man is murdered and Molly was seen arguing with him hours before his death and becomes a suspect in the murder. Molly decides to investigate and of course things don’t go well.

I did enjoy the descriptions of New York City in this time period (the early 1900’s) how Molly was expecting Americans and found that NY City was really just a bunch of little countries that didn’t mix with each other, when she is out trying to find a job and runs into ladies that make shirts but the boss won’t hire her because she isn’t Italian, and how the Irish all live in one area and the Italians in another and so on and so forth with all the different ethnic groups not wanting anything to do with each other. Also the descriptions of Tammany Hall and the corruption there was interesting too.

This was more of a whodunit than a mystery as Molly tries to find the man she saw the night of the murder, she takes a liking to the good looking police man who seems to be the only one that believes she is innocent. You can guess what happens with them by the end of the book.

This is a good historical cozy with characters you come to like, Bowen is a good author and I liked Molly, but I do like Georgiana from the Royal Spyness series better, however I would pick up another one of these up to see where Molly goes from here.

3 ½ Stars

feb. 27, 2015, 4:28pm

I've read Murphy's Law and I've read Her Royal Spyness and I agree, HRS has so much humor added into it, that it makes for a lively and fun read.

març 2, 2015, 2:23pm

#22-Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim narrated by, Bahni Turpin ~~ Armchair Audies
Brilliance Publishing
Nominated for an Audie in the Solo Female narration category

I read this book in print back in 2012 and if I remember right I read it in Bahni’s voice so was very happy to listen to the real thing. Bahni Turpin’s narration was amazing; she is such a great narrator. Every character has their own voice and her male voices are great too. She makes this story come to life and embodies every character and makes them real.

This is a beautifully written book about a young white girl Lisbeth or Miss Elizabeth as her parents want her known as who grows up on Fair Oaks Plantation in the 1800’s. When Lisbeth is born she is handed from her mother to slave/wet-nurse Mattie who has been taken from the Quarters and her newborn son to the Big House and Elizabeth’s mother thinks she should be so grateful to be living in the lap of luxury. As time goes on Lisbeth learns to love and depend on Mattie much more than her own mother but Lisbeth is young and naïve and doesn’t realize there is much more to life on the plantation than she is seeing.

This is a coming of age story as we watch Lisbeth from the time she is born till she is a grown woman, we watch as innocence is replaced with knowledge and knowledge is not always a happy thing. This realization is a slow building and at times Lisbeth doesn’t want to see but when the time comes she has to make a choice- “ Decisions to make, she thought to herself. She was too tired to make any more decisions.”

I loved the character of Mattie she has this outlook on life that is inspiring especially considering the life she lives as a slave. And even though she had to leave her own child to take care of Lisbeth she loved the girl.

These characters were so real to me I could hear their voices in my head; I could see what they saw. This author gave voice to these people in such a beautiful way I can’t even come close to finding the correct words to explain it. This is a debut novel and I am amazed by that and hope this author writes many. Many more books because I plan on reading them all!

Beautiful southern historical fiction I highly recommend!

5 Stars

març 4, 2015, 2:42pm

#23-Life Drawing by, Robin Black narrated by, Cassandra Campbell
Random House Audio
Nominated for an Audie in the Solo Female narration category

Cassandra Campbell’s narration was really well done with different accents and every character had a different voice. Although I disliked the story itself Campbell’s narration was the only thing that kept me listening.

This book was not my cup of tea. All the characters are selfish uppity people, who I would never want to know. These people were so unlikeable the only reason I finished this book was for the narration.

I’m not going to go on and on about how much I disliked this book and was bored to tears most of the time. It was a bit Franzenish for my tastes. I know I am in the minority here but, ugh.

2 star book
4 star narration

març 4, 2015, 3:59pm

#24- Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4) by, Patricia Briggs

It was so nice to be back with Charles and Anna again. I wish there had been more Bran but you know I always wish that! Charles gets a call from an old friend who is not a wolf which surprises Anna because she never knew he had any friends. Charles decides to go for a visit and buy Anna a horse for her birthday. While there was a bit too much of an info dump at first about horses what we learn about the horses comes into play later in the book. But as is usually the case this non-business trip turns into something more when they learn of a renegade fae wreaking havoc and it is affecting Charles’ old friend and the local pack.

This book had one of the creepiest villain fae ever and who could blame brother wolf for wanting to go after this guy no matter if he steps on the toes of the local pack.

I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone and I was glad I didn’t read the description because even that gives a spoiler.

I love Charles and Anna and there is a personal side story to this one that makes me curious about future books and how the ending of this one will play out. It’s not a bad thing but with Charles’ life it could be tricky.

I will read any story that Patricia Briggs writes she truly makes the characters come to life and makes you care what happens to them. Even the secondary characters in this book she made me quite interested in them that I hope there will be more of a story (short or a whole book) just to see how they deal with the aftermath especially Kage’s family, I would definitely read more about them!

All in all another great installment in Charles & Anna’s story and now for the long wait for another one.

4 Stars

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review

març 9, 2015, 5:41pm

#25-Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed narrated by, Bernadette Dunne

Part boring, part completely unbelievable with a very few little sparks of her actually coming to grips with her life.

Some of the things that drove me insane about this book:

-- The boots that didn’t fit but didn’t slow her down at all then there were her toenails and the ripping of them off and that didn’t slow her down either. Then hiking the mountains in sandals covered in duct tape, come on, really?

--All the men she thought wanted to have sex with her, honey you have been hiking through the mountains you are dirty, sweaty and just plain nasty, this is all in your head!

-- She also seemed to have the quickest and easiest heroin withdrawal of anyone I’ve ever heard of, she just decided one day to quit and never had a single withdrawal symptom or DT’s or anything

--Do I really care that you are too tired to even masturbate? No, really, No, I never needed to know that and why you chose to keep that in the book makes no sense to me.

Some of the things I liked about this book:

Umm well there was…..

No… wait….

Yeah there was the part…

Um no not that either
Oh what about….

No not that.

Well you get the drift.

2 stars

març 12, 2015, 5:31pm

#26-Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

This was a pretty good little thriller I did enjoy the story and though I had my theories, I thought the reveal of the secret was well done. Although there were a few things that were aggravating, like the fact that Zoe has ADHD believe me after it is mentioned on about every other page I know I know. Oh hey did I mention that Zoe has ADHD? Yeah. Also in searching for her birth mother she seems to not be able to google anything on her own and using face recognition to search Facebook for matches, then just jumping in her car and going to see/confront these women just didn’t seem real.

That being said I did like this book and it kept me reading, I wanted to find out what the real story was behind Zoe’s adoption and what she remembered and didn’t remember, what were memories put in her head from a story being told over and over again and what truly happened. I thought the secondary characters were well done and the storyline of her adoptive mom’s dementia felt realistic. I did find it interesting that a budding psychiatrist was on meds for ADHD, having nightmares and seeing her own therapist, it kind of felt like it takes one to know one on this psychiatric ward.

I do believe this is the author’s first work of fiction and for a first book this was pretty good and I would read more from this author.

3 Stars

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

març 16, 2015, 1:58pm

#27-Going Postal by, Terry Pratchett narrated by Stephen Briggs

This one was really funny, and Stephen Briggs' narration made it all the more so, he is a fantastic narrator.

RIP Sir Terry and thank-you for leaving behind such wonderful works!

març 17, 2015, 4:38pm

#28-In the Morning I'll Be Gone (Sean Duffy #3) by Adrian McKinty, narrated by, Gerard Doyle

Blackstone Audio
Nominated in Thriller/Suspense

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 book however, was just okay. Maybe I don’t know enough about the troubles with the IRA in the 80’s in Ireland to really be the target audience for this book. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed this better if I had read the first 2 books.

This book was okay but didn’t really grab me enough to want to read anymore in the series.

2 1/2 star book

març 17, 2015, 5:31pm

#29-Malice by Keigo Higashino Narrated by Jeff Woodman
Macmillan Audio
Nominated for an Audie in the Mystery Category

I usually enjoy Jeff Woodman’s narrations but this one was different he has an odd accent that I can’t place, this book is set in Japan but that isn’t the accent it has an almost upper crust British feel to it but not all out British but it isn’t a straight American accent either, but either way I can’t place it and it threw me off. Also every one pretty much sounds the same, I never knew when it was Detective Kaga or Nonguchi talking their voices sounded so similar. I think he attempted to make one voice higher but that just confused me more because I thought that was his lady voice.

This book was kind of boring you knew who did it from pretty close to the beginning so the whole book is Detective Kaga trying to figure out why. But it was also so very different especially the reveal at the end that was the most interesting part of all. But for a Mystery it wasn’t all that suspenseful.

2 stars

març 31, 2015, 6:38pm

#30- The Stranger by Harlan Coben narrated by, George Newbern

Another great book by Harlan Coben this one again grabbed me right away and was very hard to keep listening.

The premise of this book is so freaky what would you do if a Stranger came up to you and told you a huge secret your wife had been keeping from you? Then the person who has been keeping that secret disappears, is it because she can’t face you and admit to the secret or is it something more nefarious and deadly? What if the Stranger told you something terrible about your child? What would you do? This is what happens to Adam The Stranger tells him a secret his wife has been keeping from him then she disappears, did she leave on her own or has something happened to her? And poor Heidi Dann finds out an awful secret about her daughter and things get even worse for her.

I really enjoyed this book it was very suspenseful and kept me guessing all the way through, as always Coben has many twists and turns to get us to the conclusion. It also leaves you with the question of what would you do? Would you pay to keep your secret? Kill to keep your secret? This is what I love about Coben’s psychological thrillers they leave you wondering about your own life and if these events happened to you, how would you have handled it? The Stranger leaves these people with more questions not just about the secret but about their entire lives and if this is the big secret are there others or is this the only thing the person you love is keeping from you. Is anything about your life together true?

George Newbern is a new to me narrator and I thought he did a very good job especially in the final scenes he captured the moment perfectly. I would definitely listen to this narrator again.

I don’t want to give anything away so I will end this here and say if you enjoy a good psychological thriller pick this one up.

4 stars

abr. 3, 2015, 12:52pm

#31-The Forgetting Place by, John Burley

This was so similar to a book I recently finished (Little Black Lies by, Sandra Block) I can't help but wonder if I would have liked it better if I hadn't read them so close together.

This started out pretty good but then things just seemed to get unbelievable and a bit confusing, but when you get to the reveal it makes things a little clearer.

Aack this book is hard to review because I don’t want to spoil it for people that will enjoy it.

This wasn’t an awful book it was a pretty good story but as I said above I read one that felt similar very recently and I think that may have thrown me a little. I liked the conspiracy angle that kept me guessing. Dr Sheilds has been working at Menaker State Hospital for 5 years but her newest patient Jason comes in with no paperwork and the Administrator seems to not care and when really strange things start to happen and it surrounds Jason things get out of hand.

My rating is because I felt like I’d read this book before and the big twist at the end didn’t do it for me.

2 ½ Stars

I received this book from Librarything Early Reviewers and the publisher for a fair and honest review.

abr. 3, 2015, 1:19pm

#32- Searching for Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan, narrated by,Kristin Kalbli

I enjoyed this book very much it was like listening to an old B&W Movie, which I love BTW. Especially Dolly’s voice it was the voice of so many characters in old films.

The Barbizon Hotel and New York City were almost their own characters in this story, and it gave a look into many different classes of people in the 1950’s from the elite of Park Avenue to the emerging bohemians and even the back alleys where no single girl should go. Every character in this book is so fully fleshed out I could see everything they did in my head, even the side characters were fascinating. Every character is flawed in one way or another and is trying to hide these flaws which lead to some very interesting storytelling. These three girls Laura, Dolly and Vivian come from such completely different worlds yet as roomies in the big city they become fast friends. I loved how strong all these women were even when they didn’t think they were (Dolly I’m looking at you). They are trying to find careers and maybe a husband but that is secondary, Laura finds two wildly different men so there is a bit of a love triangle but it is very well written and I could see why Laura was attracted to both of them. Vivian’s find is less satisfactory and we see her go through the toughest choices. And Dolly dear sweet Dolly I just enjoyed her character, she isn’t as pretty, skinny or chic as her roommates but she is a good friend. I also loved the bookstore I would hang out there all the time too!

Kristin Kalibi was a new to me narrator and I was blown away, great voices, every character had a distinct sound and even all of the secondary characters had their own voices I will definitely be on the lookout for more books she has narrated!

As I said I really enjoyed this book , if you like historical fiction from the 50’s and old B&W movies I’d say to give this one a try and I highly recommend the audio version of this because Kristin Kalibi’s narration makes this book even better.

4 Stars

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

abr. 13, 2015, 7:40pm

#33- A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott narrated by Cassandra Campbell

First off I need to tell you I am a huge classic movie fan; I think movies made before 1950 are the best movies out there. That is why I requested this book from edelweiss but then I saw that Cassandra Campbell narrates it so I waited for the audiobook.

I loved all the insider info into the fights, casting, script writing, censors and producers that went on during the filming of this movie. I am so glad Louis B. Mayer didn’t get his way and that David O. Selsnick filmed the ending he wanted because it was the best ending possible!

Julie Crawford a young writer from Indiana comes to Hollywood to write for the movies, on her first job she doesn’t get a message to one of the directors of Gone With the Wind fast enough and is fired on the spot, however she has just met a beautiful woman who says she will help her out. When someone asks if she knows who the lady is she admits she looks familiar but can’t place her; the woman turns out to be Carole Lombard soon to be wife of Clark Gable who stars and Rhett Butler in the film. What I found a little weird about these scenes was if you are going to Hollywood to write for the movies wouldn’t you at least know a little about the stars you hope to write for? But she and Carole become very good friends and I loved all the scenes of them together Carole seemed like a very down-to-earth person. Also on that day she meets Hank Weinstein and they start a relationship even though he is Jewish. This is 1938-39 so Hitler is starting his holocaust of the Jewish people including Hanks grandparents so he is having a tough time of it.

I was impressed with Gable’s civil rights ideals (I really hope they were true) when he sees that the bathrooms and other places are segregated he has a fit and fights for their rights of non-segregation. Including almost not going to the premier because Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen would have to use a back door and sit in the colored section, even though it was Hattie who convinced Gable to go even when she boycotted the event.

This was a fun book it was such an insider’s look into old Hollywood and especially Carole Lombard & Clark Gable’s relationship. I did think Julie could be quite naïve but it was the 30’s and she grew up in Indiana so …

Cassandra Campbell’s narration was as always fabulous, I like how she made Clark gruff but didn’t try to imitate his voice, every character had their own cadence and tone and you were never left guessing as to who was talking.

If you are a fan of old Hollywood, and /or Gone With the Wind I think you will enjoy this book very much. I have enjoyed all of Alcott’s books so if you haven’t read anything by her before give her a try you’ll be glad you did!

4 ½ Stars

abr. 16, 2015, 2:23pm

#34- The Lost Key (A Brit in the FBI #2) by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison narrated by, MacLeod Andrews and Renée Raudman
Nominated for an Audie Award in the Thriller Category

This book started out a bit slow for me and it took me a little while to warm up to the narrators but I ended up really liking this story and the narration once I got used to it.

This book had a conspiracy theory, a historical artifact that may be the key to the worst weapon ever, a large amount of gold bars and a secret society trying to make the world a better place. However when you have powerful people after something very important there is always a chance for someone to be subverted and when members of this secret society start to die you have to wonder if the threat is coming from the inside of the group or the outside.

I must admit to taking to 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 although by the end I was enjoying her narration. I would listen to more by both of these narrators.

This was my first book by this author and I think I will go back and listen to the first book in this series and follow this series as it progresses.

3 ½ Stars

abr. 21, 2015, 1:40pm

#35-Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway narrated by, Ellen Archer

This was quite a story it kept me on the edge of my seat, especially when you listen to it as a mother and wonder what would you think and feel? Would you also stand up for your daughter even when everyone else thinks she’s guilty? There’s no way you could have raised a daughter who had a hand in killing her father and left you severely beaten and left for dead. Yes, your daughter has always been a bit odd and was bullied and teased as a child because of a lazy eye but she isn’t a monster right??!!??

I had a hard time putting this one down, I needed to know if Hanna was right or if she had just let one of her attackers back into her home. Yes there were times when I thought Hanna open your eyes and listen to what everyone is telling you but then when you look at it from a mother’s perspective of always defending and protecting your child I could understand where she was coming from.

I also liked the way this is written almost from inside Hanna’s head who doesn’t remember anything about the night of the attack but that night when a police officer asked her who did this she implicated her daughter Dawn and her boyfriend Rud. Rud ends up in prison but Dawn is never indicted because her roommate gives her an alibi. A lot of the book is Hanna going through memories of Dawn’s life, I think in her own way trying to justify why she said Dawn did it because she can’t come to terms with the possibility that her daughter had anything to do with it. There are times in these memories when you feel so bad for Dawn and how her classmates and even her own sister, Iris, treated her but there are other times especially in the present day that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and wonder if Hanna is wrong about everything.

Okay I will stop now before I give anything away; this is a taut psychological thriller that I think would be fabulous for a book club because right now I wish I had a friend who had also read this book so I could talk to them about it. This is a powerful story and especially as a mother will pull at your heartstrings and leave you with a lot of “What if this happened to me?” questions.

Ellen Archer’s narration was very well done I thought the tones and sarcasm she gave Iris were perfect and also her narration of Dawn showed us that she really never grew up and seemed stunted as a child/teen. And with Hanna so much of the book is inside her head and I liked that I could tell when she was speaking to someone or just remembering things. I would definitely listen to this narrator again.

This was my first read by this author and I am now curious about her other books and will search them out.

4 ½ Stars

abr. 21, 2015, 10:33pm

Hi Susie, wow, it looks I need to add Lacy Eye to my wishlist, it sounds like it made quite an impression on you!

abr. 24, 2015, 2:16pm

It did Judy, hope it grabs you too!

abr. 24, 2015, 2:17pm

#36- The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo (Kate Burkholder #6) Narrated by Kathleen McInerney

Macmillan Audio

Nominated for an Audie in the Mystery Category

I have had my eye on this series for a while and now thanks to the Armchair Audies I finally listened to one, and I will now go back and listen to the beginning of this series.

I enjoyed this story it was interesting trying to figure out if the victims were seeing a ghost or was it just their guilt over what happened years ago. In this Amish community Kate Burkholder former Amish now Chief of Police has to go into the community she left behind and dredge up memories of a heinous crime where a father and 4 children are killed and the mother is taken and never seen again, one child survived and has stayed in the community although he deals with so much guilt over leaving his siblings to try to catch the people taking his mother he can’t catch them and when he gets back to the house it is completely engulfed in flames. But that was 35 years ago and today there are what at first look like suicides but Kate sees there is more going on here than meets the eye and it seems to have something to do with this long ago unsolved crime.

This book kept me guessing and the reveal surprised me it was definitely not who I thought it was. I liked the character of Kate but was a bit confused when it came to her relationship with Tomesetti but I think if I go back and listen to the previous books it will make more sense to me. That was the only part of the book where I felt like I was missing something although I still enjoyed the main story.

Kathleen McInerney’s narration was really good she used a nice slight accent when she was voicing the Amish people and her male voices were fine and her narration of Kate was very well done.

As I said I will go back and listen to previous books in this series so that tells you I liked it.

3 ½ Stars

abr. 27, 2015, 8:53pm

#37- Paying The Piper by Simon Wood

I could not put this book down; I read it in 2 days. This was my second book by this author I read his book “The One That Got Way” thanks to the Kindle First Program and loved it so I thought I’d try another one and this one grabbed me just as fast as the first one I read. If you are a fan of Harlan Coben I think you will like Wood’s books too.

This book had some edge of your seat moments and also a lot of What Ifs? Or What would you do? I also figured something out early, but thought it was a great red herring then got blindsided by being right!

8 years ago Scott Fleetwood was an up and coming reporter when he gets the call of a lifetime from the man known as The Piper who has kidnapped 8 children and is offering Scott an exclusive, but what he thinks is his big break turns out to be a crank call that causes the death of the Pipers current victim. The Piper has never killed before and there is a note on the boy’s chest saying ‘You’re to Blame’. And everyone blames Scott including the FBI, the public, the family and The Piper. And now 8 years later one of Scott’s twin boys has been kidnapped by the Piper but this isn’t the Piper’s MO this is revenge and it’s personal.

This book had a lot of twists and turns, and since this time it’s personal the Piper is asking a lot more than money of Scott he wants him to pay in more ways than one. I really liked how strong of a relationship Scott had with his wife, Jane and I truly felt the pain of poor Peter whose twin was fooled into getting into a car with a stranger while he was told he couldn’t come, so heartbreaking. All of the side characters in this book were very well developed including all the FBI people I especially like the way Agent Guerra handled matters with the family and how good she was with Peter. Even Agent Sheils who at first wasn’t very professional grew on me eventually.

I don’t want to give anything away so I will just say this was a great thriller, I plan to read everything Simon Wood has written and think he is right up there with Coben in writing a good thriller.

4 ½ Stars

Editat: abr. 30, 2015, 6:18pm

#38- Providence Rag by Bruce DeSilva Narrated by Jeff Woodman

Audible, Inc.
Nominated in the Mystery Category for an Audie

Jeff Woodman’s narration was good although sometimes his women’s voices weren’t believable. I thought his other accents and voices of men were well done. I have liked his narration of other books so I will listen to him again.

The book itself was just ok it was a kind of slow book, but it does have a pretty good moral/ethical dilemma. A man who killed many women including children with no remorse, however, he was a teen when these crimes were committed, and now he will be released from prison when he is 21 because that is the law. Is it ok for the system to frame him for crimes just to keep him in jail? Should you look the other way if you find out the truth? This dilemma was interesting but the story itself is extremely graphic and I felt like the F word was said a little too much to sound natural it felt like the author just threw it in as exposition.

This was my first book by this author and honestly I probably wouldn’t read this author again.

2 ½ Stars

abr. 30, 2015, 6:19pm

#39-Sisters of Shiloh by Kathy & Becky Hepinstall narrated by, Xe Sands

Xe Sands narration was wonderful she had distinct voices for both of these women and she was able to give emotion to what these women were going through in a wonderful way especially with Libby towards the end.

These two sisters are really as different as can be, yet are so close that they both dress up as men and enter the fray of war. Libby decides first to do it; she is going to kill 21 men one for every year her dear husband was alive but killing someone isn’t as mindless as the soldiers would like you to think. Josephine can’t let her sister go off on her own so also dresses as a man and goes off to war. Although Libby does become a very good soldier Josephine ends up with feelings for a fellow soldier but he thinks she is a man and doesn’t want or can’t return those feelings.

The characters aren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked I would have liked to know what their life was like before this , were they strong women before they joined were they spoiled society girls, farm girls I never really got a feel of where they came from, or who they were outside of the world of war. And as Libby starts to lose her grip on reality and Josephine is pining for a fellow soldier who is confused about his own attraction to another man, the ending for me is where the story kind of falls apart it felt rushed and unfinished to me.

This was a pretty good story but maybe I read this too soon after finishing a similar book (Neverhome) maybe I should have put more time in-between.

All in all this isn’t a bad book it’s a good story I just wish there had been more character development.

3 stars

abr. 30, 2015, 6:34pm

#40- A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley narrated by, Katherine Kellgren

I am a huge fan of this author but this book didn’t grab and keep me entranced as her other books have. I liked it but I didn’t love it.

Even with Katherine Kellgren’s narration I still found myself confused as to who was talking and which time period we were in because there was almost too many characters in each time period from different countries it was just hard for me to keep up.

Another problem I may have had is the Jacobite stuff and the Comte St Germaine I have maybe read Diana Gabaldon books too many times to be able to read any other stories set in this time period because I kept thinking of the Comte from Diana’s books and whenever the Jacobite’s were mentioned all I could picture was Jamie Fraser so…

I think this book is a fluke for my love of Susanna Kearsley I will still clamor for whatever she writes next and will be first in line to get an ARC the second it’s available because she does write like a dream. The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden still remain in my favorites. This one just maybe wasn’t for me.

2 1/2 - 3 stars

maig 12, 2015, 3:30pm

Hi Susie. I usually find that I prefer a woman's voice to be imitating a mans' rather than a man trying to sound like a woman. I wonder if this is because when I read to myself I am hearing all the voices in a female tone?

I am currently listening to Katherine by Anya Seton, a book I know I loved when I was younger but really have no memory of. It's being read by Wanda McCaddon and I think she is excellent.

maig 12, 2015, 5:16pm

Judy, She is a good narrator I've had that one on my TBL for awhile will be curious what you think.

Editat: maig 28, 2015, 4:42pm

#41-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.

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

maig 28, 2015, 4:42pm

#42-Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline narrated by, George Newbern

Scottoline does it again with another great standalone thriller. This one had me guessing all the way through and when the reveal/reveals came I was caught completely unaware, never would I have guessed who wanted to ruin Eric’s life.

Eric Parrish doctor extraordinaire has a lot going for him he was just named #2 psychiatric doctor but he also just got divorced and is trying to spend a little more time with his daughter Hannah. When he gets a consult about a young man, Max, with possible OCD and who may be a suicide risk Eric agrees to take him on as a patient. But Max says some things that make Eric a little nervous and when Max goes over the edge he seems to take Eric with him. Eric’s life gets turned upside down but is it all a coincidence or is there something more sinister going on? Is someone deliberately trying to take Eric down?

This was a great edge of your seat thriller, there were times though that I wanted to yell at Eric, Stay Home! Don’t Go! But that would have made for a boring story and this was anything but boring. I really felt Eric’s confusion and felt for him as he was trying to save not only himself but Max too. I love Scottoline’s writing and this one was hard to stop listening to.

George Newbern has got a new fan in me this is the second book in just a month or so I have listened to that he has narrated and I really like his narrating style. He will be a go to for books if he is narrating I will pick the audio version.

This book is for fans of a good thriller that keeps you guessing.

4 ½ Stars

maig 28, 2015, 4:44pm

#43-The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft

This one is an interesting mix of fiction and non-fiction; it’s a fictionalized account of a true event in the author’s life.

Ronnie has had enough of her husband’s drinking and spending, especially when she discovers how many credit cards he has maxed out. She decides it time for the marriage to end and on the day Jeff is supposed to move out he shows up drunk with a shotgun in the car. She and her children take his keys away but then he locks himself in the barn with the rifle. So begins a stand-off with police pleading for him to give up the gun and come out.

Ronnie and the boys along with her mother and Jeff’s mother are taken away from the house to wait out the crisis and in this time we see the story from the view of these 3 women who all see the situation in a different way. As with everything bad that happens these days it is broadcast live on television and I felt so bad for the children yes, they knew what was happening but to see the SWAT teams and police surrounding your barn is still a tough thing to see on TV. I felt so bad for these 2 boys.

What I found most interesting in this story was the way the 3 women saw things so different especially the mother-in-law who also may drink a little much and is always giving her son money to get out of one jam or another and of course believed her son when he told her it was Ronnie who was over spending. Then during the crisis to blame Ronnie then have to eat her words as she finds out the truth was tough because we all want to see the best in our children don’t we?

We received this book from the author and publisher for our book club and I would highly recommend this one for book club’s it made for an interesting discussion.

3 ½ Stars

maig 28, 2015, 4:47pm

#44-I See You: Assumed Identities and Psychological Suspense by, Patricia MacDonald

This is a quick read, you know right away that this family is living under an assumed name and are on the run from something or someone but I never would have guessed what they were running from!

The Wickes have started a new life and things are going well, they are starting to think this might be the place they are able to stay for awhile after moving many times running from… well that’s a spoiler and I’m not going to tell you! But something happens and their faces end up on a news video, Adam wants to leave right away but Hannah likes their life here and doesn’t think anyone will see the video, oh how wrong she was. Okay that’s all I can write without major spoilers.

This book has a lot of twists to and when you find out who the big bad is you will be surprised, at least I was. This was my first book by this author but I would definitely read more by her.

3 ½ Stars

maig 28, 2015, 4:57pm

#45- Liar & Spy by, Rebecca Stead- Good middle grade book but I didn't enjoy it as much as When you Reach Me 3 Stars

#46- Truth is a Black Cave by, Neil Gaiman- Short story and read by Neil himself what more could you need to know? 4 Stars

#47- Wayfaring Strangerby James Lee Burke; Narrated by Will Patton Listened to this one for the Armchair Audies-I liked this book and at first enjoyed Will Patton’s narration but after a while everyone sound like an old southern man with cotton in their cheeks.

#48- The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith; Narrated by Robert Glenister; Another one for the Armchair Audies
Robert Glenister’s narration is very well done he does both male and female voices very well; he also had a lot of different kinds English accents which were well done.

#49-Help For The Haunted by, John Searles- We read this one for bookclub and it was okay but not as good as I was hoping.

juny 2, 2015, 3:58pm

#50- 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.

juny 17, 2015, 1:14pm

#51- Dead Line by Chris Ewan, narrated by, Simon Vance

This book was confusing and not as good as this authors other books. I kept hoping it would start to make more sense and the story would come together for me but it never did.

I should have DNF’d.

Simon Vance’s narration was wonderful as always!

2 stars

jul. 29, 2015, 5:19pm

#52- Eyes on You: A Novel of Suspense by Kate White narrated by,Abby Craden -Meh, this was okay but forgettable just finished it a couple days ago and can’t really tell you anything about it.
2 stars

#53-Never Wave Goodbye: A Novel of Suspense by Doug Magee narrated by, Tavia Gilbert 3 Stars

#54-The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson narrated by, Kathe Mazur --This one took me a while to get into but once I figured out how the story was going I ended up really liking it and had a hard time stopping once I got about 30% in. I don’t want to spoil this for anyone but the premise of this book was interesting and fresh and I would recommend this story.
Kathe Mazur’s narration was fabulous and she had a lot to do with me not giving up on this book. 3 ½ Stars

#55-What I Saw And How I Lied by Judy Blundell This was not the story I was expecting and that is a good thing. I thought this was going to be a pretty little liar’s type story but set post WWII. What I got was a story of lies and families, war crimes and secrets, coming of age and falling in love.
More to come (maybe) 2 1/2 - 3 Stars

jul. 29, 2015, 5:20pm

#56-The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen narrated by, Katherine Kellgren

This was a good story I thought it was high fantasy but turns out it’s actually post-apocalyptic or possibly alt universe, I was surprised the first time it mention the United States. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story even if it did bog down a little about 70% through.

I enjoyed the character of Kelsea but I think my favorite character was Mace. I felt this book was well written and the characters were fleshed out, though I’d like to know the back story as to how they got to where they were, because they talk about our time and the books that were written but how did the world end up where they are now, which may be answered in the second book.

Katherine Kellgren’s narration was wonderful as always, so I am a little confused as to why the second book is narrated by Davina Porter, Davina is wonderful too but when you’re used to Katherine’s voice Davina’s is going to be very different. So I may put a little distance between it before I listen to book 2.

I liked this book and will continue on with the series.

3 ½ Stars

jul. 29, 2015, 5:22pm

#57-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 could 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

To see some fun videos of barnstorming and wingwalking check out my blog post

jul. 30, 2015, 2:49pm

#58-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

Editat: ag. 7, 2015, 3:15pm

#59- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah narrated by, Polly Stone

This was my first Kristin Hannah book and I was completely captivated.

I didn't know much about how life was for the small towns in occupied France and it was heartbreaking. Also to learn about the women left behind and the conditions they had to live under, but how strong these women were was awe-inspiring. These two sisters are very different Vianne is a wife and mother, her husband is off at war her sister Isabelle is kind of a wild child who has been neglected by their father since the death of their mother, Isabelle is a jump first deal with the consequences later type of person and during a Nazi occupation that may not be the best attitude to have.

Although it took me a little while to warm to Isabelle, I did end up thinking she was more courageous than reckless by the end. And Vianne whose house has been taken over by a Nazi , a half decent man for sure she was very lucky with Beck he was, I believe, a kind soul who didn’t really believe in everything the Nazi party stood for. But as things tend to happen in war she ends up with a much meaner real Nazi staying at her home and that is when true darkness sets into her home. Vianne also at times was naïve about the what the Nazi’s were up to and gave a bit of information she later regretted very much, especially since her best friend Rachel is a Jew.

However Vianne and Isabelle both risk their lives for other people’s freedom, all the while not realizing what the other sister is doing, Vianne thinking Isabelle ran off to be with a man, and Isabelle feeling Vianne was a traitor for having a Nazi in her home, when really both women were doing things that could have gotten them killed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, enjoyed might not be the right word for a book like this but you know what I mean, and it is a tough time period to read about but it is also important to know so it will not happen again.

Polly Stone’s narration took a little getting used to but I ended up really liking her , the accents and male and female voices were well done and I would listen to this narrator again.

This was a very powerful book and well written and I am left thinking of these sisters days after I have finished this book. I highly recommend it.

4 ½ Stars

Thank- you to the Ford Audiobook Club on Goodreads for a copy of this audiobook

ag. 7, 2015, 4:25pm

Hi Susie, just popping to say Hi and let you know that I haven't forgot you. We have been having a very hot summer and I don't do well in the heat. Have been spending a little less time on LT and a little more on actual reading. I haven't read anything by Kristin Hannah yet, but The Nightingale sounds right in my wheelhouse and so onto my wishlist it goes!

ag. 7, 2015, 5:15pm

Hi Judy,I haven't been on here much either need to get caught up!

From what I've been able to gather The Nightingale is different from her other works so I would say a good place to start!

ag. 11, 2015, 12:23pm

#60-Black-Eyed Susans by, Julia Heaberlin

Wow this book was so hard to put down. I did not even come close to figuring out who the monster was; she put in just enough red herrings to keep me guessing all the way to the reveal.
For the longest time I wondered if Lydia was imaginary, maybe one of the Susan’s.

This book is told from 2 perspectives Tessa present day and Tessie in 1995 still trying to come to grips with almost dying and being prepared for the trial of the man she is told did this to her. They are the same person yet not. These jumps in time made for an interesting way to tell the story of what happened to Tessa. Especially since she only remembers what happened just before she was taken and waking up in a grave with the other Susan’s. Who did this to her and what happens in between is just blackness but they told her the man Terrell did it and he was put on death row for the crime , but did he? Now she's not sure.

Bringing this entire thing up again is really tough on Tessa especially since she has a teenage daughter of her own now and she doesn't want her daughter dragged down by this, but there is a man on death row that might be innocent and his execution is coming up fast. Tessa already lives with so much survivors’ guilt that she's not sure she can handle the guilt of her part of sending an innocent man to his death.

The forensics were a huge part of this book and you can tell the author did a lot of research for these parts which made this story feel like true crime, I believed it all.

I was so absorbed in this book and as I said it was so hard to put down I needed to know just as Tessa needed to know, what happened to her, who did this to her? The journey to get there was filled with sometimes manic decisions on Tessa's part but you could understand where she was coming from, she wouldn't be able to live with Terrell’s death on her conscience.

This book was amazing so well written; I don’t want to give too much away so I will just say…
Read This Book Now!

5 Stars

I received this book from Netgalley for a fair and honest review.

ag. 11, 2015, 6:52pm

#61-The Night Sister By, Jennifer McMahon narrated by, Cassandra Campbell

Spooky a bit creepy but oh so good!

This is a hard one to review because I don’t want to give anything away. This book is full of secrets and half-truths but I can’t tell you any of them without spoiling the story. Goodness this review is hard to write!

I loved the letters to Hitchcock that Silvie wrote; they added this neat historical side to this story. Especially since Rose & Silvie’s family home is an old roadside motel where mysterious things happen, “did you get the idea from me?” Silvie asks Hitchcock.

There are 3 time frames for this story 1961 with sisters Rose & Silvie, the 80’s when Rose’s daughter Amy and her best friends and sisters Piper & Margot are teens and present day there are also chapters from James the young man with a crush on Amy when they are teens but who is now married to Margot. The jumps in time were well written and I was never confused as to which time period I was listening to.

Something happens that summer though and splits these friends up, then when something terrible happens in the present it brings up memories from that summer and what went wrong between these friends. It may be the same thing that broke up Rose & Silvie’s relationship too, how can something cause generation after generation to fall apart? What is going on in this creepy old motel?

Cassandra Campbell’s narration was spot on as always, I liked how you could tell it was teen Piper & Margot speaking and when they were adults also a good job at the older Rose, also the narration of Amy’s daughter Lou was very well done. I waited for the audio version of this one and Cassandra didn’t let me down!

This would be a great October read, it has good spook factor and keeps you guessing.

4 stars

ag. 18, 2015, 2:36pm

#62-Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade narrated by, Andi Arndt & Ginny Auer

I didn’t feel like either the current or past storyline was fleshed out enough, at times it felt disjointed and I think it was because of not knowing enough about the characters. However I did find the story fascinating I never knew anything about these test done at orphanages’ also after reading some stories on the authors website I really wish she would have went deeper into these characters I feel like she just brushed the surface and I wish I knew more.

I hated the “romance” aspect of this book every time she grabbed someone’s face and pulled them into a kiss I was no longer in the story and Rachel’s sexual orientation had absolutely nothing to do with it , if she had been grabbing men’s faces I would have felt exactly the same. To me there was no reason for these it added nothing to the story and in fact detracted from it.

I can’t put my finger on what it is I don’t like about the narration, I’m not sure if it’s the tone, cadence or accent that I don’t like but there were times when the narration really annoyed me and other times I didn’t mind it. I am not sure who narrated what either so it may be that I like one narrator over the other but I am just not sure.

This book was okay; I liked the storyline about the Orphans Home even though I wish I knew more. I guess in the end this book just fell flat for me.

2 ½ Stars

ag. 24, 2015, 12:41am

>77 susiesharp: Hi Susie, yours is the second favorable review on The Night Sister that I have recently seen. Jannifer McMahon is an author I think I would really like. I have some of her books on my shelves and the rest on my wishlist, but somehow I never seem to get to her! Must correct that.

ag. 24, 2015, 7:01pm

#63- This Is Where It Ends by, Marieke Nijkamp

Release date Jan. 5, 2016

This was a powerful book about a school shooting that lasted 54 minutes, told from the perspectives of the students experiencing it. What I found interesting was there was no perspective from the shooter, but once the narrators realize who the shooter is you get glimmers of who he was but you never really understand just why he does what he does.

This book did pull me in pretty fast I read it in 2 sittings; it kept me interested all the way through. I also liked that there were many races, religions, disabilities and sexual orientations represented. I did have a few problems with how the police were handled though, they took the time to set up tents before knowing just what was going on inside or trying to contact the shooter? Everyone in the auditorium had a cell phone and I just didn’t feel any urgency on their part.

My favorite characters in this book would have to be Far (Fareed) and Tomas (the prankster of the school) these two showed so much heroism, especially since they were free, they were both sent to the principal’s office, they weren’t locked in the auditorium with the shooter they could have just walked away but they didn’t, they stayed and tried to help.

I felt so bad for the shooters sister to have to see your brother shooting people and ranting about life and you can do nothing to stop him, yet people think you should be doing something or that it’s your fault.

I also am not sure what the addition of the tweets was about; I don’t think they added anything to the story at all. (And in my DRC it was big white blocks with the tweets below, I’m not sure what I was supposed to be seeing). These tweets could be cut completely and not lose a single bit of the story.

I’ll be honest there was a few times where I thought why aren’t you all ganging up and taking him down, I guess unless you have lived the situation you don’t know how you would react so I tried to put myself in their shoes and I’d probably be the kid completely shut down and too scared to move, so who am I to judge.

There were a few things off about the book but they in no way outweighed what made this a powerful story.

3 ½ Stars

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review.

ag. 24, 2015, 7:03pm

Judy, I really loved The Winter People but The One I Left Behind fell a bit flat for me.

ag. 28, 2015, 4:31pm

#64-A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab narrated by, Steven Crossley

This was the best fantasy/alt.verse book I have read in a long time. I loved the premise of all the different London’s and how there is magic in some and not in others and that the degrees of magic are different.

The two main characters are Kell & Lila, these two are both so great I loved their bickering, Kell all reserved and noble and Lila all lets go on an adventure who cares if it’s dangerous, but in the end I think they balance each other out he for reigning her in and her for telling him it’s ok to do something dangerous because it is an adventure.

The world building in this book is solidly done by the end of the book you understand about the different London’s and how they relate to each other and how the Antari system works. I thought the author did a great job in revealing the details and differences of each London and how the hierarchy/royalty works in each world. Also the way magic works and how it’s different in different worlds was well done and believable.

I really liked Lila she is a tough as nails kick-ass woman who doesn’t seem to be scared of anything, even when faced with adversity she just seems to have an attitude of yeah and then what, I loved that about her. We do get a few details about her life but there are definitely some secrets yet to come out and I look forward to the next book and finding out more about certain things that were revealed in this book. (Sorry that’s vague but Spoilers)

Kell is a bit of an enigma he is pretty darn tough too but seems to also be a loner even when it comes to his “brother” Rhy who kind of comes off as bratty at first but well some things change I think of him a little better by the end of the book but he still has much to prove and is very lucky that deep down Kell thinks of him as real brother.

Steven Crossley’s narration was fabulous, every accent was superb and his male and female voices were so well done I think he enhanced this book which is really saying something. I will listen to him again in a heartbeat and just from this one book has gone on my favorite narrators list.

I can hardly wait till Feb. 2016 when the next installment of this series comes out; I look forward to more adventures with these two. I will definitely read other books from this author I really enjoyed her style of writing.

As if you haven’t guessed my rating

5 Stars

Thank-you to the Ford Audiobook Club Group on Goodreads for a copy of this audiobook.

set. 1, 2015, 6:29pm

#65-The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan narrated by, Patrick Lawlor

I have seen Ken Burns’ Dust Bowl Documentary on PBS which was quite fascinating so when this was picked for book club I was very interested in reading this book. I found that it put a face on the stories as we followed a few families through the lush beginnings to the terrible endings. I can’t even imagine looking up and seeing a 12,000 foot wall of dirt headed right towards you.

These people were made of stronger stuff than I or probably anyone living today, and that is scary because this could easily happen again. I can’t imagine living in a dugout, or the tar paper shacks which were supposed to be just temporary until the crops paid off but that was where they were still living when the worst of the dust and drought hit. To be living literally in a hole in the ground with your children while dirt so thick swirls around and in your “home” and the poor babies breathing in this dirt, my heart just broke for these people.

I did have a favorite family and that was Bam White’s family this man fought and fought even when there was nothing to fight for. I also thought Hazel Shaw was pretty amazing after everything she went through she still wanted to feel like everything was okay and for her that meant wearing her white gloves every time she put them on I felt like they were her fighting gloves with these on I know I can make it.

All of these people just looking to make a living and provide for their families and things went so horribly wrong, honestly that any of them survived is a tribute to them. I felt so bad that even before the worst happened so many were swindled not only by the banks but by the land dealers there was a lot of corruption that was for sure.

I was also fascinated with this Governor Alfalfa Bill Murray, what a character my goodness some of the things that came out of his mouth wowza I can’t imagine in this social media age what people would say about him. His racism was awful.

Now for the narration, Patrick Lawlor’s narration was very well done it was a semi straight read but yet with emotion, you could tell he enjoyed telling this story and read it like a storyteller which I appreciated I was glad he didn’t do any accents of these immigrants because I think that would have distracted me from the telling. There were a few accents but they were people that needed it I think that Alfalfa Bill saying his three C’s it needed a slight accent.

This was an awful time in our nation’s history between the depression, the dust storms, the drought and unemployment these people lived through some of the toughest times we’ve seen the ones that survived came through tougher than we could ever be. And we should all hope that it never happens again and thank Hugh Bennett for starting Soil Conservation Districts because without these programs like CRP (planting fields to native grass for so many years to revive the soil) it would have already happened again. Soil is not indestructible and people need to remember that.

4 Stars

set. 29, 2015, 5:12pm

#66- Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland By Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Mary Jordan, Kevin Sullivan Narrated By Jorjeana Marie, Marisol Ramirez, Arthur Morey

So powerful, what these women endured and survived is nothing short of a miracle. That they were able to get out of there and live normal lives is pretty astonishing.

Highly recommend this book because it is totally about Hope and resilience.

4 stars

set. 29, 2015, 5:25pm

#67-Queen of Hearts (Her Royal Spyness #8) By, Rhys Bowen narrated by, Katherine Kellgren

This one was pretty funny as always and this time Georgianna is off to Hollywood with her mother this was the most we’ve seen from Georgianna’s mother and wow is she ever a piece of work. There were some fun name drops for old Hollywood actors. I couldn’t help picturing the ranch that the ladies in the old movie The Women went to every time they mentioned going to Reno to get a divorce.

And of course Darcy just happens to be in Hollywood too working on a jewel thief case so we get these two working on a case together again.

I enjoy this series and when I need a break from heavy books I like to listen to these. Katherine Kellgren’s narration is as always perfection I will always listen to these on audio.

3 ½ Stars

oct. 7, 2015, 4:46pm

#68- Still Missing by, Chevy Stevens narrated by, Angela Dawe

This is going to be a short review because I don’t want to give anything away so you can read it yourself.

I really enjoyed this one! The reveal of who was behind it all shocked me completely and that doesn’t happen often, so Kudos to the author!

Annie was kidnapped and held prisoner by a sadistic rapist for a year, when she finally gets away and gets home there are so many unanswered questions, like why did the Freak (as she calls him) pick her, how does he have a picture of her, how does he know so many details about her life, friends and family, and was he working alone. Annie of course is having trouble dealing with life outside of captivity but she doesn’t want to burden anyone so suffers alone, however she is finally seeing a psychiatrist and we get an inside look into what the Freak did to her and all that happened in captivity during her sessions. As the story unfolds you totally understand why Annie is having a hard time adjusting and feeling safe.

Angela Dawe’s narration was really good she gave everyone a distinct voice and didn’t get too shrilly when Annie was dealing with things which I was happy about. This was the second book I’ve listened to by this narrator that I really enjoyed so I will definitely listen to her again.

I highly recommend this book, I enjoyed the authors writing style and how she kept the suspense going throughout the book. I have already put her newest book on hold and will be working my way through everything she has written.

4 Stars

oct. 7, 2015, 4:50pm

I am so behind on my reviews so here are some mini reviews of books I have finished

#69-A Walk in the Woods by, Bill Bryson Narrated By Rob McQuay
DNF'd at 85% just couldn't get past the info dumps, or maybe I just don't like books about hiking. Narration was well done although I wanted it to be Mark Bramhall I think his voice would have fit the age of the characters better.

#70-Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland By Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Mary Jordan, Kevin Sullivan Narrated By Jorjeana Marie, Marisol Ramirez, Arthur Morey
So powerful, what these women endured and survived is nothing short of a miracle. That they were able to get out of there and live normal lives is pretty astonishing.
The narration was very well done and conveyed all the emotions it needed to.
Highly recommend this book because it is totally about Hope and resilience.
4 stars

#71-Queen of Hearts (Her Royal Spyness #8) by Rhys Bowen narrated by, Katherine Kellgren
This one was pretty funny as always and this time Georgianna is off to Hollywood with her mother this was the most we’ve seen from Georgianna’s mother and wow is she ever a piece of work. There were some fun name drops for old Hollywood actors. I couldn’t help picturing the ranch that the ladies in the old movie The Women went to every time they mentioned going to Reno to get a divorce.
And of course Darcy just happens to be in Hollywood too working on a jewel thief case so we get these two working on a case together again.
I enjoy this series and when I need a break from heavy books I like to listen to these. Katherine Kellgren’s narration is as always perfection I will always listen to these on audio.
3 ½ Stars

#72-The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Aching #5) by Terry Pratchett, narrated by, Stephen Briggs
This was a bittersweet read, just knowing this was Sir Terry’s last book made it sad but as always he wrote a great story I laughed and cried, not only from a beloved characters death but from the knowledge that this is the end.
This was the first time I had listened to these on audio because I thought it was a weird choice for these to be narrated by a man but wowza does Stephen do a great job.
4 stars

#73-The King of Lies by John Hart, narrated by, David Chandler

This was a new to me author and narrator and I really enjoyed them both.
This is a mystery, yes, but it is also the story of family; a very dysfunctional family. I couldn’t stand Work’s wife, and even though a person should feel bad for the dead guy once we got to know him I didn’t like him either. I liked Work, yes there were times I wanted to yell at him and thought some of his choices were off but I really liked him especially what he said to his father’s lawyer ** no spoilers** but his response was epic!

I enjoyed this authors writing and see why he is so popular at my library. I will be listening to others by this author.

David Chandlers narration was well done he reminded me a bit of Scott Brick, except there were a few big gulps and mouth sounds but I think once he gets those under control he could be a big name he did all the voices very well and his male and female voices were very well done. So yes I would definitely listen to Chandler again. EDT:** I just noticed that this book was released in 2006 and it looks like it was Chandlers 2nd book, so I would guess he has gotten even better since then.**

4 stars

oct. 7, 2015, 5:11pm

#74-The King's General by Daphne du Maurier, narrated by, Juliet Stevenson

I love du Maurier’s writing let me start with that, she is one of my favorite authors however this book fell a little flat for me, it didn’t have the suspense that Rebecca or Jamaica Inn had. As always she captures a time and a place so expertly and the writing is beautiful but for me this just didn’t have the gothic feel and suspense I look for in a du Maurier book.
You can also never go wrong when Juliet Stevenson is narrating and the combination of these two is perfection but even Juliet couldn’t keep the book from becoming a little boring in the middle and it never quite recovered.

If you are going through a full read through of du Maurier’s books of course don’t skip this one but it’s definitely not in my top 5 du Maurier books. If you like a little more romance than I do maybe you will enjoy this book more than I did so don’t let me scare you off. This wasn’t a bad book it was just not as suspenseful as I had wanted it to be.

3 stars

Editat: oct. 8, 2015, 4:10pm

#75 !!!!! WooHoo!

#75-The Prophet by Michael Koryta narrated by, Robert Petkoff

I enjoy Michael Koryta’s writing and this book was no exception, although the football stuff was a bit too much for me as was Kent’s holier than thou attitude. Brothers Kent, big time football coach, and Adam, semi- low-life bail bondsman/ PI have never gotten over their sister Marie’s death. I felt bad for Adam he has blamed himself all these years for his sister’s death and it tore the brothers apart and that separation has not gotten better with years.

Right before the big play-off game a young girl is murdered and she has a connection to both of the brothers and when information comes to light that Adam may have had something to do with what happened brings up memories for these brothers best left buried.

This book is so much more than just a murder story, it is also about how these brothers dealt with their grief (or didn’t deal with it) for me that is what makes this book unique, yes we have a great mystery and someone killed a young girl but the relationship between these brothers and how they deal with this new tragedy makes for a great read.

As always Robert Petkoff’s narration is fabulous, I love this man’s voice and all his accents and voice are spot on.

3 ½ Stars

oct. 8, 2015, 8:11pm


oct. 9, 2015, 12:14pm


oct. 9, 2015, 6:52pm

Congratulations on 75!

oct. 10, 2015, 2:16pm

Hi Susie, congratulations on reaching the milestone of 75!

I have The King's General on my shelf and was told by my sister that it's not as good as her better known books. I've been having a lot of relatives visiting lately and my reading has really fallen off. For some reason people seem to think it's rude to sit there with your nose in a book when they come to visit!! ;)

oct. 12, 2015, 4:18pm

Thanks lkernagh!

Thanks Judy, I know exactly what you mean!

oct. 22, 2015, 5:06pm

#76- Necessary Lies by, Diane Chamberlain narrated by, Alison Elliott

Another fascinating book about the eugenics program in North Carolina this time told from the perspective of a new social worker who is appalled at the program. The first book I read on this subject was “Unfit by, Lara Cleveland Torgesen” which I found fascinating and I think both of these books should be read to really get a feel for what these poor women/young ladies/children went through.

Jane may be a woman ahead of her time because the only respectable job for a lady was a school teacher or nurse especially when you are married to a pediatrician who really doesn’t want you to work. You surely don’t go to work as a social worker, working with the poor and god forbid the coloreds , it made me sick that her husband was more upset about her having to work with the coloreds and that she wasn’t there to have dinner waiting for him. I for one am so glad at how far we have come as women!

We also meet Ivy Hart who is one of Jane’s clients Ivy is trying to keep her little family together even though she is only 15 years old herself. She takes care of her grandmother who has a problem with sugar which we now call diabetes and an older sister who has already had one illegitimate child but little William is the apple of everyone’s eye and they do try their best to take good care of him. But when Jane takes over as case worker everything changes, Jane makes a discovery and tells a secret that changes everything for the Hart family.

I really liked this book, this was a new to me author and narrator and I enjoyed them both very much. I liked the authors writing style and I found the subject matter well handled. The characters in this book are nicely fleshed out and it gives us a frightening look into social work in the 1960’s in North Carolina, which was the one state that continued the eugenics program longer than any other state, so many women (and men) were sterilized just for being poor or colored, which I feel is horrifying.

Narrator Alison Elliott did a really good job at portraying both of these women and I thought she added to the telling of this story I will definitely listen to her again.

I will be looking for other books by this author.
4 ½ Stars

Editat: des. 15, 2015, 4:09pm

#77- Yes, Please by, Amy Poehler- audiobook

Meh...Not near as funny or informative as I had hoped.

des. 15, 2015, 4:10pm

#78- Marley: The Other Christmas Carol by Donald Allen Kirch narrated by, J. Scott Bennett

I really enjoyed this story and thought the narration was very well done.

Marley is still rattling around the afterlife in chains but he is given a chance to redeem himself, remove the chains and move on, If he can save a family about to implode. It is how he chooses to “save” them that will get you right in the heartstrings if you don’t at the very least gasp or shed a little tear you may not have a soul! Just kidding but really this one got me right in the feels but at the conclusion I was able to breathe again and applaud the author for his great storytelling!

I enjoyed J. Scott Bennett narration he is a new to me narrator who I would definitely listen to again his British accents were the best and I enjoyed his little girl voice his American accent could use a little work but I still enjoyed it overall.

This book is only 2 hours and 46 minutes but I was completely enthralled the entire time. I highly recommend this different little book. A great addition to your Christmas listening list!

4 Stars
**I received this book from the narrator for a fair and honest review**

des. 15, 2015, 5:46pm

#79- Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie, narrated by, Hugh Fraser

Enjoyed it! 3 stars

#80-Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22) by Janet Evanovich narrated by, Lorelei King

I always enjoy these books so much yes the story doesn’t ever seems to progress much but to me that makes me enjoy them because they are familiar and like going home. I love all the characters in these books and will continue reading them.

As always Lorelei King’s narration is perfection I love her narration and can’t imagine anyone else as any of these characters.

3 ½ Stars

#81-The Crossing (Harry Bosch #20) by Michael Connelly narrated by, Titus Welliver

We get a double dose in this book, not only Harry Bosch but Mickey Haller as well. This was interesting because of Harry retiring at the end of the last book so Harry is not a cop anymore which is odd and even odder his brother wants him to work for him, but his brother is a defense lawyer he is the other side and Harry isn’t sure how he feels about that.

I really enjoyed how this story came together and the things Harry was dealing with and how he dealt with it was kind of a different side of Harry he has never really struggled with his chosen path but he did in this book and I am curious at where he goes from here.

Titus Welliver has won me over as Bosch I thought his narration was very well done and he is my Bosch now!

4 Stars

#82 -The Christmas Letters by Lee Smith, narrated by, Cynthia Darlow , Julia Gibson and Christina Moore

This was an interesting little story. I enjoyed some letters more than others and thought the narration was very well done.

3 Stars

#83-The Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block

This is book #2 with Zoe Goldman and I think I enjoyed this one a bit better than the first one; at least Zoe’s ADHD wasn’t shoved down our throats every other paragraph, yes it is mentioned but not as much as in the first book. Also since this is the second book the characters are much more developed and I liked Zoe better in this book and I look forward to reading more in this series.

I enjoyed the story in this one it kept me guessing all the way through and I like the way the author writes. Jane Doe’s story was very interesting.

3 ½ Stars

**I received this book from Netgalley for a fair and honest review**

#84-Thunderstruck by Erik Larson narrated by, Bob Balaban

First off let me say I love Erik Larson’s writing but this one wasn’t one of my favorites.
Too much technical stuff with the Marconi storyline and not enough about Crippen, I guess it took me awhile to understand how these stories went together I kept waiting for Crippen to murder Marconi. On the audio it’s about 8 minutes of the Crippen story to about 20 of the Marconi story and I would have just liked to skip the Marconi story.
I did end up liking this book even it did have a bit more about the telegraph than I ever needed to know.
I wish there had been more about the murder and less technical stuff.
Bob Balaban’s narration was very good , he was a new to me narrator and I enjoyed his narration and would listen to him again.

3 stars

#85- In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters narrated by, Angela Goethals

I enjoyed the look into spiritualism and séances that were all the rage in this time period. This was a very well written historical fiction story the author truly immerses the reading into the time and it takes a good writer to do this. This was my first book by this author but surely won’t be my last.

Angela Goethals’ narration was really well done and I thought she did a good job at all the voices and characters.

4 Stars

#86-If Walls Could Talk (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #1) by Juliet Blackwell narrated by, Xe Sands

I love this author/narrator combo Xe Sands truly brings Blackwell’s characters to life. I liked Mel a lot and couldn’t help but wonder how I would feel if ghosts suddenly started appearing to me. I also enjoyed the renovations of old houses and when Mel talked about saving these old places you can tell the author feels the same way and loves old houses.

I look forward to listening to the rest of this series.

3 ½ Stars

#87-Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica narrated by, Cassandra Campbell, Tom Taylorson and, Jorjeana Marie

This was a different kind of story and I felt I was listening to an unreliable narrator, which I do enjoy. This one was different in the way that I wasn’t sure if certain things were really happening or if it was all a delusion.
The story is told from 3 different perspectives so you kind of get a sense of who is lying or being untruthful to the people around them and to themselves, I found this format interesting and thought the author did it well.
I didn’t enjoy this one as much as The Good Girl but I will definitely read other books by this author.

The narration by Cassandra Campbell, Tom Taylorson and, Jorjeana Marie was very well done and I was glad they had a different person narrating the three storylines.

3 Stars

#89-These Is My Words (Sarah Agnes Prine #1) by Nancy E. Turner narrated by, Amy Rubinate

I really wanted to like this book more than I did, it sounded right up my alley and something I would enjoy however it just didn’t do it for me and that could have just been my mindset at the time , I know I am in the minority here but there it is. The only thing that kept me going was Amy Rubinate’s wonderful narration.

2 ½ star book
5 star narration