Tag: Audiobook

Review: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Posted November 1, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: The House of Silk

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Publisher: Mulholland Books

Publication Date: November 2011

Genre: Adult Mystery

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
Audiobook from audible.com


Review:


Sherlock is back!
It seems that everywhere you turn nowadays, there’s a Holmes reference. Sherlock, on the BBC, is by far one of my favorite shows at the moment. And Elementary has come out switching the Holmes and Watson relationship up a bit.
And then there’s The House of Silk, which came out last year and is endorsed by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate. And it lives up beautifully.

Watson is old now, and writing his memoirs. But there is one case that he has never shared with anyone and that is the House of Silk. Reaching into his memory, Watson narrates a twisted mystery filled with wrong turns, misconceptions and dangers. Even when Holmes is in peril, and Watson isn’t sure how they will get out of it, Holmes stays calm and cool, keeping his observations and theories close to the chest.

From what started as a simple robbery case, leads the pair into the darkest parts of London, to the highest pedestals of society. People don’t want Holmes to know about the House of Silk, and they will do anything in their power to stop him.

A slow and well laid out mystery, I loved Horowitz’s writing. I was easily transported back to that age, the sights and smells overwhelming me. When Homes was in danger, I was on the edge of my seat. And as the clues carefully began to unfold, I followed Holmes’s logic too. While the ending wasn’t a huge surprise as I had already begun to put the pieces together, the ride was fun. And the best part, a little cameo from a mysterious mathematician.

I listened to the audiobook which was well read, with great feeling and depth. Derek Jacobi’s deep and soulful voice was excellent as Watson, bringing much life into the dear doctor.

Overall, a great Sherlock read.

Rating 7 Pretty Cool Would Recommend

Posted November 1, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments


Book Review: Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

Posted September 17, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Title: Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Author: Christopher McDougall

Publisher: Vintage/Knopf

Publication Date: May 2009

Genre: Non Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone


Synopsis can be found here.

Review:
Let’s get one thing straight- I don’t run. I may lightly jog on occasion or perhaps bolt to catch a passing ice cream truck, but run for fun? May I quote a man at the bar in Back To The Future Pt. III- “Run for Fun? What the hell kinda fun is that?”

Well, my friend, perhaps I was wrong. Because after reading Born To Run, I think of little else to do besides, well. Run.

Born to Run chronicles the adventure of the author, Chris McDougall, when he asked the simple question- Why does my foot hurt? Well, Chris, you’ve suffered from some very bad running injuries. So bad, in fact, most modern doctors are telling you to stay off it and stop running. But as McDougall goes deeper and deeper into the history of running, and befriending some amazing characters who will eventually compete in an ultra run of 50 miles, McDougall does the impossible. He finds a way to run, long distances, with no pain. Effortlessly.

McDougall’s narrative is well done, slowly weaving an incredible story of runners, hidden tribes, Olympic games, and foreign cultures. A few times, I found myself wondering where he was going on this tangent, only to have it loop back round again in the perfect conclusion. The cast is a fun line of eccentric characters, including Scott Jerek, Jenn Shelton, and Barefoot Ted, who seek adventure in the Cooper Canyons, Mexico’s remote range of mountains.

The story is so amazing, it’s almost hard to believe.
Almost.
It’s an adventure story, a history lesson, an anthropology class and an exciting race all rolled up into one.

I listened to the audiobook in the car. The narrator was excellent. I even got my husband to listen to it! He finished the book in two days, went out to buy new five fingered running shoes, and has since started running long distances. Inspiration.

Maybe you’re like me, not a runner. It doesn’t matter. You’ll love this book anyway.
And you may go out and get a new pair of running shoes. Maybe the five finger kind. Maybe you’ll run outside a little bit.
Maybe I’ll see you there.

Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream

Posted September 17, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments


Book Review: Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Posted April 30, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: Still Missing

Author: Chevy Stevens

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: July 2010

Genre: Adult Fiction/Thriller

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone


Synopsis can be found here.

Review:
On a beautiful, bright and perfect day, Annie O’Sullivan is taken at gunpoint from her Open House and kidnapped. What happens next is a story of survival both during and after the ordeal.

Annie is a complicated character. Her life hasn’t been exactly easy, and her relationship with her mother, her only family, is shaky at best. Her boyfriend Luke is sweet and good, and her memories of him and her best friend Christina are what keep her hopeful through her ordeal.

One of the most refreshing things about this book is Annie’s struggles after she returns. Her narration through the book is her story told to her psychiatrist. The tale is jarring and sad and even when she returns, her pain stays with her. The fear and terror continues to haunt her, even after she has left the cabin in the woods. There was so much emotion in this story, I couldn’t put it down. I listened to the audiobook, expertly read by Angela Dawe, was so gripping, I walked around my house most of the time listening. Even my husband asked me what I was so enthralled by.

After the book was finished, I couldn’t help still thinking about Annie, The Freak, Luke, Christina, Annie’s mom and Gary. Without giving anything away, I was shocked by the ending. It left me openly cut, wishing the book didn’t have to finish quite so soon. A part of me wants to listen to the whole thing again, but another part of me cant help feeling that it’s too thrilling/emotional for me to do just yet.

Overall, Still Missing is a wonderfully written, emotional thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. The subject matter is not pleasant, and there is sexual, physical and mental abuse so younger readers be warned. But it’s mostly a story of survival, change and hope.

Rating 10 One of The Best

Posted April 30, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment


Book Review: A Game of Thrones Book One (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin

Posted April 16, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Title: A Game Of Thrones

Author: George R.R. Martin

Publisher: Spectra

Publication Date: August 1996

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.


Review:


Before the HBO series started, a friend of mine told me I HAD to read this book. Now, let’s get something straight. My friend does not agree with me on most things. In fact, I can honestly say I think we hardly ever agree. Maybe once. Every few moons.
So I was reluctant to commit to a bazillion page book with only his recommendation that it would be good.
Then I got to thinking- well, why the hell not? 
Audible, here I come.


Many, and I do mean MANY, hours later, and more than a couple of months, I finished Game of Thrones. 
And sadly, now I have to admit to my friend, who I love giving a hard time about everything, that he was right. It was fantastic.


The mythology is given to the reader in bits and pieces through the whole book. I never felt like I was bombarded by dry history. The characters are so well developed, I clearly pictured them in my mind. It wasn’t until I was done with the book did I dare peek at the cast for the HBO show. (Thank God they got Ned right! Helllooo Sean Bean!)
The suspense almost killed me. I was listening to this audiobook back and forth from work. Most days, I would sit there in the parking garage at work waiting for the chapter to be over. Many times I was late to work. I blame Mr. Martin.


Yes, the book is intimidating coming in over 700 pages. I listened to the audiobook which was amazing. I recommend the audiobook. Yes, I may have been able to read it faster but the audiobook is such a wonderful ride, you shouldn’t miss it. The reader, Roy Dotrice, does an exceptional job. It’s a long, long story, but well worth it.


And let’s not forget the story. 
There are so many layers, upon layers of history, politics and romance I thought I would need a chart to put everyone together.


My only complaint is the idea of the series itself. Game of Thrones did not feel like a massive novel. Looking back on it now, it felt like a prologue. I don’t know where it’s going but I know I’m not anywhere close to being through the beginning. 
I’ll probably continue reading the series, but I have to gear myself up for it. Taking on 34 hours for the first book was quite a challenge so I’m allowing a slight break until I tackle book two. 
Don’t worry though! I already bought it and it’s ready to go.


And to my friend- yes, you were right. 
Just. This. Once.

Rating: 9 Ridiculously Awesome, Like Cookies and Ice Cream

Posted April 16, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments


Book Review: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Posted September 22, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: State of Wonder

Author: Ann Patchett


Publisher: Harper Collins
 
Publication Date: June 2011

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here
Review: 
Marina Singh is sent into the unknown, the most remote region of the Amazon, to find her former teacher Dr. Annick Swenson. Dr. Swenson is working on creating a drug for Dr. Singh’s company- a drug that will enable women who are long past menopause to be able to conceive children. A drug that will bring their company millions of dollars. A drug that may be worth more than a life lost along the way.
I haven’t read Bel Canto and had nothing to compare this novel to. I’ve heard wonderful things about Patchett’s writing and decided to listen to the audiobook. No one could have read it better than Hope Davis. She brought Marina to life, and made Dr. Swenson into a clear and sometimes even sympathetic character. And I’d like to mention quickly that the cover of the book is beautiful. It caught my eye right away.
I loved the contrast between Marina and Dr. Swenson. To be honest, I found Swenson much more interesting than Marina. Marina, for all her good intentions, seemed weak and unsteady. Sure, she was pushed into going to the Amazon for a number of reasons, and the left over baggage between her and Swenson didn’t make it any less appealing. But as much as Marina lacked character, Swenson made up for it. A force to be reckoned with, she was strong, selfish and unapologetic. Read the book for Swenson alone, but be warned, she doesn’t make an appearance until almost half way through.
The writing is lyrical, flowing easily with deep descriptions. The Amazon feels heavy, thick and suffocating. Minnesota is clear, clean, cut and dry. The contrasts were beautifully done. I could see Mr. Fox. I could see Anders. I could see Easter, another solid and beautifully written character.
The book is almost cut into two halves. The first is Marina getting to Brazil and trying to locate Dr. Swenson. The second is her exploration of the Amazon and what she finds there. The segue way felt jarring and unnatural for some reason, the book changing direction so wildly it felt like another book altogether. I would have liked more time in the Amazon, more time with Easter and Dr. Swenson. Even though the book was evenly divided between her time in and out of the Amazon, I felt like the timeline was uneven.
I can’t say enough good things about Hope Davis’s performance. I highly recommend the audiobook. 
Rating 7 Pretty Good Would Recommend

 

Posted September 22, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments


Book Review: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Posted August 25, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Author: Helen Simonson

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: January 2010

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand AloneSynopsis can be found here


Review:

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is a charming story that takes place in the English countryside. As the Major finds himself drawn to Mrs. Ali, a widow who owns the local shop, the townspeople and their own families throw them obstacles which each must overcome in order to be together.

The language rolls over me, warm with beautiful descriptions. Every character is brought to life vividly.  This is a book about a sleepy town and the prejudices that crawl to the surface. The book is on the slower side, but not in a bad way. I felt the rolling of the English countryside and the quietness of the town which accents nicely the mayhem of the shooting party and the drama that unfolds later in the novel. To its core, it is an incredibly romantic story, about two people finding love but having to cross many barriers to be together.


Major Pettigrew, for all his upright and conservative views, is a kind and gentle man. Simonson makes him sympathetic without being narrow-minded and old. Mrs. Ali on the other hand is like a breeze of fresh air. Their courtship starts slow and it’s amazing to read about these two people whose relationship blossoms so slowly and naturally.
Roger, the major’s son is certainly on the other end of the spectrum. He’s equally parts yuppie young man and aimlessly wandering son. While he isn’t a totally unlikeable character, I found myself cringing at Roger’s comments.

I listened to the audiobook, read by Peter Altschuler, which was breathtakingly beautiful. The words and descriptions of the townspeople of Edgecombe St. Mary are well developed, even to the most minor of characters. And Altschuler does a superb job of reading in Major’s narration, his voice rich. 


Review 8 Cookie Worthy, bordering on 9!

Posted August 25, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments