Thursday, June 11, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 ½ Stars

I won this book from Tekreads

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Boo by, Neil Smith

Boo by, Neil Smith

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

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

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

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

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

5 Stars

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

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Reading Log for the first half of 2015

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

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

So far my favorite books have been:

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

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

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tallgrass by, Sandra Dallas narrated by, Lorelei King

Tallgrass by, Sandra Dallas narrated by, Lorelei King

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

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

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

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

4 ½ Stars

Thursday, May 21, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Luck To All The Nominees!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Armchair Audies…Solo Female Narration—And the Winner is……

Armchair Audies…Solo Female Narration—And the Winner is……

This was a tough category this year, we all know how fabulous all these ladies are and honestly I will be happy whoever wins because every one of these narrations is an award worthy performance

The nominees are:

Boston Jacky; by L.A. Meyer; Narrated by Katherine Kellgren; Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
Katherine Kellgren IS Jacky Faber she has made this series come to life for me and this offering is no exception every accent every voice is amazing. Every single voice is different and this book has a huge cast of characters.

Life Drawing; by Robin Black; Narrated by Cassandra Campbell; Penguin Random House Audio
Even though this book was not my cup of tea, 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.

Murphy's Law; by Rhys Bowen; Narrated by Nicola Barber; Audible, Inc.
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.

Until the End of theWorld; by Sarah Lyons Fleming; Narrated by Julia Whelan; Podium Publishing
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!

Written in My Own Heart's Blood; by Diana Gabaldon; Narrated by Davina Porter; Recorded Books
Ahh Davina she is the voice of the Outlander Series and I have listened to every one of this series many times so this is a favorite and Davina Porter’s narration is as always amazing. So many accents and characters all with their own voice you never wonder who is speaking, and there is a lot of characters in this series!

Yellow Crocus; by Laila Ibrahim; Narrated by Bahni Turpin; Brilliance Publishing
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.

Now to pick a winner……That is really tough!

And the Winner is….

Katherine Kellgren for Boston Jacky, for not only this book but this entire series her narration is amazing so many different voices and accents from all over the world she is an amazing talent.

Good Luck to all Nominees!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Armchair Audies …Mystery Category…. And The Winner Is……

Armchair Audies …Mystery Category…. And The Winner Is……

This year we really had a lot of different kinds of Mysteries in this category, some I enjoyed others not so much. I will be going back and listening to others in the Castillo series I really enjoyed that one and will look for other books by Katherine McInerney. I wasn’t a big fan of Malice or Providence Rag I thought both of these books dragged on and didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed Missing You and had listened to this before the nominees were announced and even predicted it was going to be nominated (I said Solo Female Narration) but it was still nominated! The Silkworm was a pretty good book but I think I should have read the first one because I did feel I was missing out on some character development.

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

 Hounded; by David Rosenfelt; Narrated by Grover Gardner; Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
I listened to the last book in this series last year and didn’t enjoy it much so I only listened to some of this book. Grover Gardner’s narration is good I like his voice but couldn’t get past not liking the book.

Malice; by Keigo Higashino; Narrated by Jeff Woodman; Macmillan Audio
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.

January LaVoy’s narration was very well done I liked that you always knew who was talking and that everyone had a voice, I must mention though there are times some of her male characters sound like cartoons but that was only a couple people so it was easy to overlook. This is my second narration by January and I really enjoyed both so I will seek out books where she is the narrator.

Providence Rag; by Bruce DeSilva; Narrated by Jeff Woodman; Audible, Inc.
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 Silkworm; by Robert Galbraith; Narrated by Robert Glenister; Hachette Audio
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.


January LaVoy for Missing You, I thought she was the perfect choice for this book. I know Sleepless Reader and I disagree on this one and it was a tough call between Glenister & LaVoy but none of the other books brought out the emotion of the book the way January LaVoy did and for that reason she is my winner.

Good Luck to all Nominees!