To me, books are everything, pure and simple.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Audio Book Love

A recent minor eye surgery waylaid my reading for a while. Thank goodness for my audio book addiction. Here are just a few of my favorite audio books and narrators. AF-adult fic AF*-adult fic suitable for teens YA-Young Adult MG-middle grade  

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters read by Barbara Rosenblat *AF Mys

Award winning Barbara Rosenblat IS the voice of Amelia Peabody, the young headstrong archaeologist and feminist who is off to Egypt in the early nineteen hundreds. Barbara Mertz had a Phd in Egyptology and used the names of her children as her pen name. Not only are her books accurate and well written, they are hilarious mysteries. Rosenblat is just delightful! 

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith *AF Mys

Lisette Lecat's lovely lilting voice mesmerized me with her Botswana accent describing the beauty and gentle way of life in South Africa in McCall Smith's wonderful mystery series.

Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen Classic

I loved every movie based on Austen's books, but reading them was daunting. Just in the ten minute drive to work, my brain was connecting with the audio book. I could finally HEAR the cadence and the rhythm, and it MADE SENSE! If you have any reluctant, dyslexic, or struggling readers, get them audio books! 

Paperboy by Vince Vawter: 2014 Newbery Honor Book read by Lincoln Hoppe MG Realistic Fic

I wondered how in the world the narrator, Lincoln Hoppe, was going to handle the fact that the main character has a horrible stutter. But he is perfect, in every way. It's a hot July in 1959 Memphis. A friend asks Victor to take over his paper route for the summer. Being the best eleven year old pitcher in town, he gladly accepts, and is as much of a ringer with his deliveries as he is on the ball field. But it's the weekly collection from his customers that makes him sweat. Because he stutters so badly that he can't even say his own name. 

Harry Potter books by JK Rowling and read by Jim Dale Fantasy

If you haven't read them by now, or even if you have, Jim Dale is one of the best narrators EVER! 

Hard Magic - The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia read by Bronson Pinchot (Balki from Perfect Strangers 80's sitcom) Fantasy-Altered History 

Altered history, 1930's, fantasy, noir. The people with magic are asked by the government to help them defeat the ultimate evil. Pinchot is an award winning narrator and this is one of his best! 

Steelheart-First in the Rekoners trilogy by Brandon Sanderson and read by MacLeod Andrews YA Fantasy

Epics used to be good...not anymore, and Steelheart is the worst. Epics want to take over the world. They have scary super powers. The Rekoners do not. David wants to join the Rekoners because Steelheart killed his father.  

Bossy Pants written and narrated byTina Fey Bio

Hilarious! I used to listen to this book while on my walks and I laughed frequently and loudly. After a particularly funny part I noticed a couple on their porch smiling at me. I pointed to my earbuds and said, "Funny audio book," and just kept on walkin'. 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline read by Wil Wheaton YA Fantasy

2044 and the world has gone to crap. People are crazy for anything from the 1980's.  A billionaire video game maker has died leaving his fortune to the person who beats the last game he made. This is the winner's story.  

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor read by Ray Porter Sci-fi/Fantasy AF* Available on Amazon

Bob was cryogenically frozen after his untimely death. One hundred years later, unfortunately for Bob, corpsicles have no rights. He's now working for the government looking for viable planets for humans to live on since most of Earth is toast. Unique, futuristic hilarity. Ray Porter makes this a must read...he will win awards for this if he hasn't already.  

More great titles from my Audible books

The Martian- Andy Weir read by R.C. Bray Realistic Sci-Fi

Beartown by Fredrik Backman read by Marin Ireland Realistic Fic

Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear read by Orlagh Cassidy Realistic Fic Mys

Winger by Andrew Smith read by Mark Boyett sequel Stand-Off by Andrew Smith read by Kirby Heyborne Realistic Fic

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman read by Mandy Williams & Justine Eyre Fantasy

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green read by MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl Realistic Fic

The Stoneheart Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher narrated by Jim Dale Fantasy


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Books I've Recently Loved

I feel guilty...I've probably told you about these already. I've been on the iPad too much, not enough reading! =( I DO make myself listen to a book if I'm doing brain-dead stuff on the iPad. Sigh... Hope you find something you like. =)

Even if you don't subscribe to Audible, you can go to their site, plug in these books and listen to a sample. And look at other book recs! Also, I found out that the audio books I get from the library needs an auxiliary cord if I want to listen in the car. 

Books I've loved recently:

-We Are Legion by Dennis E. Taylor-SCIFI romp, hilarious...get the audio from the library if you can. Narrator Ray Porter is AMAZING, actor & award winning audio narrator. 

-CJ Box- Joe Pickett mystery series...if someone would have told me I'd give a hoot about a game warden in Wyoming...but WOW. Eating this mystery series up like candy. Incredible writing, LOVE the Wyoming scenery descriptions. 

-Maisie Dobbs mystery series by Jacqueline Winspear, just discovered this series, first one written in 2004, just means I have all of them to look forward to. Post WWI, England, young woman becomes a detective and psychologist. Haven't guessed any of the outcomes yet! Superior! 

-Fredrick Backman...have you read him yet? Young Swedish author, best selling already!! MAN CALLED OVE. MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE'S SORRY. Have his next one on hold BRIT-MARIE WAS HERE, read this one last, she's a character from the 2nd one. 

-Everyone..I mean EVERYONE should read Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Movie was great, book is INCREDIBLE. Made me rethink everything I thought I knew about prejudice and race. WOW!!! 

-Julie Murphy YA author, DUMPLIN'. SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY...have her newest on hold, RAMONA BLUE.

-READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline...great sci-fi/dystopian/fantasy. Spielberg is directing movie. Will Wheaton audio narrator is superb. 

-Did you read the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer? LOVED her graphic novel WIRES AND NERVES.

-SCRAPPY LITTLE NOBODY by Anna Kendrick, autobio, HILARIOUS...she doesn't take shite from ANYONE!!! Amazingly honest, tells ALL! 

-I told you about Nicola Yoon's books already, right? EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING. THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR. Teenage romance at its best! Diverse characters, realistic! 

-Do you like Charlaine Harris's books...we love these series, Sookie Stackhouse, Harper Connely, and Midnight Texas. Fun fantasy at its best! 

-Andrew Smith's YA books...great realistic fiction. WINGER. Sequel is STAND-OFF. 

-INVISIBILITY by David Levithan and Andrea Creamer-YA about a teen who is invisible until a girl moves in next door...she can see him. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

I know, in my heart of hearts, that books have changed my life. My mother taught my brother and me that we were no better than anyone else. But no one was better than us. No matter what. To Kill a Mockingbird proved that to me in a way that she couldn't.
Books have let me experience things that I literally cannot. Or let me live through things I would never WANT to or should HAVE to. Books have shown me empathy, tolerance, compassion, kindness, and understanding. They've shown me that I am not the only one, and the "what ifs".
Some books make you feel EVERY single emotion possible. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt is one of these.
Here's all you need to know about the story: A rural family fosters a 14 year old who almost killed a teacher. It's the "why's" you'll want to discover.
Don't read the book jacket....don't read reviews....they ALL give away too much! Just pick it up, start reading and you won't want to stop until it's finished.
I'm so glad that I've found another author who excels at putting words together in a way like no other. I WILL be reading more of his!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

A parent is telling the story to its child about the witch who wants children. They don't know why she takes them. But the town is so fearful, so sorrowful, that each year the Elders take the youngest baby and leaves it at the edge of the forest so the witch will leave their town at peace. No one in the town ever refuses. It is just how it is, how it has always been. 

Unbeknowst to this town, the witch, Xan, is actually most kindhearted, living in the forest with her friends: a giant green bog beast, Glerk, and a tiny dragon, Fryian, whom she loves more than anything else in the world. As like every year, she knows not why, (she is not one to judge) a baby is left in the woods. And again. like every other year, she makes sure to find the baby, and takes it through the forest, across the road, to the Free Cities, to make sure it gets to a loving familly. But on the way she accidentally feeds her moonlight, instead of just starlight. Xan realizes she will have to raise her, not a family in the Free Cities. Because moonlight equals MAGIC. 

I am still verklempt, and my eyes are still red, but my heart is full. First of all, isn't the title just delicious? Oh, and the cover, created by Yuta Onoda...so entrancing. And the words, the sentences...so playful...so gorgeous. Even the chapter titles are divine. 

Another one of those books where I gasped, and cried, and laughed as I discovered the real truth, which of course involes evil, deceit, magic, and the unwavering love of family and friends. 5 stars and I predict many, many awards. I wouldn't be surprised if it is nominated for a Newbery. 


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford andIllustrated by Ekua Holmes


Wow....just WOW! I rate a book on how it makes me feel....I wept through this book. Wept for the people, for Fanny and everything she went through, and everything she accomplished. But I also wept for my naïveté. Last Feb I visited Charleston, SC. We toured plantations. I came away with the feeling that I had never really known the depth of prejudice and racism until I heard the stories of the slaves and seeing their cemetery. My best friend has the kindest soul, and when she entered the cemetery she started coughing horribly. I know she was affected deeply by just the sight of the cemetery and the wrought iron archway at the entrance. The depressions in the ground where the rotting wooden coffins had sunk were the only indication that it was a cemetery, there were no markers of any kind. Of course now there is a sign explaining all of this. Injustice should affect people this way. In the children book world right now, talk of the need for diversity is strong, as it should be. It reminds me of when the picture book about George Washington's chef had smiling slaves on the cover. There are NO smiling slaves, and book people everywhere protested that cover. Scholastic pulled it from it's inventory after the criticism. Another book that makes me believe that reading and books can change your life. Please, please read this book, & then when you think your children are ready, read it to them.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

THE SMELLS OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES by Bonnie-Sue Hicthcock.


I don't buy books...I'm a library rat. But if I love a book, I want a copy...and I usually buy copies for friends and family, too. So I lied...I DO buy books. I also buy books if I KNOW that I love the author and/or it's a series I love & have to have ALL of them! This author and her books will be THAT kind of buying I will be doing!!! 

I did the ugly but good cry SO many times in this book. (I tweeted Bonnie-Sue that I was crying so much I had to finally go take my eye make-up off.) I read it in a little over a day. I started it one night and finished it the next day.

I love a writer that makes me think, "how does she do this...how does she have this life experience that makes her so wise?"

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock shows us what it is like to live in 1970 Alaska through the eyes of many characters, four in particular. It's a small fishing town where everyone is poor, just trying to survive. We weep and cheer for these people because Bonnie-Sue makes us feel like we know them, inside and out. And, boy, are we glad we do!

I judge a book on how quickly I start reading it aloud to my husband. "George...listen to this". Here's what I read to him, p. 13 & 14.

It was the tutu daddy had bought me Outside. You couldn't get a tutu like this in Fairbanks and I don't think Gran knew that it was special, or she never would've let me have something the other girls didn't. I was so excited, and as I came up to the studio, I remember another girl and her mom going inside, too. Alyce was wearing a black leotard and pink tights. I could tell she was jealous, eyeing my tutu as she held open the door let me in, and her mother said, "You have the prettiest long hair I've ever seen."
"I know. I'm pretty all over," I said to her without a second thought.
Alyce's mother smiled at me, but then her face changed quickly as Gran's fingers gripped me by the arm and yanked me inside. I didn't even have time to wonder what I'd said that was wrong. Gran marched me into the bathroom, and said through gritted teeth, "Oh, you think you're something special, do you?"
She pulled a huge pair of orange-handled scissors out of her bag, as if she carried them around waiting for moment just like this. They looked like a bird with a silver metal beak. And they were loud. I can still hear the sound of my hair being chopped off with just a few mad snaps of the bird's jaws.