Category Archives: 2015 Monthly Audio Book Lists

February’s Audio Books

*Twelve books this month*I’m grateful I kept decent track of February’s books. this is definitely the way for me to do my book posts methinks. I’m over 25K words into writing my memoir so the last thing I want to do is worry about getting behind on audio book posts even if it is a self-induced unnecessary goal ha! Do let me know if you read a book based on my mention of books here at the Roof, won’t you?

23. “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank – narrated by Will Patton

Finished February 28

Note I jotted just after finishing: Brilliant and timeless. I was shocked when the copyright was given at the end.

This book was so so so good. I’m scrolling down my library in the Audible app and reading books I bought on daily deals that I don’t remember buying. I downloaded this one since it’s narrated by Will Patton and I love him. At times I could hear him breathing rather audibly which was distracting but other than that he did a tremendous job as always.

This book makes it very easy to imagine what life would be like after nuclear war for the survivors. Highly recommend!

22. “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and other clinical tales” by Oliver Sacks – narrated by Jonathan Davis

Finished February 25

After Oliver Sacks’s name started appearing online since he came out publicly that he is dying of cancer, I checked my Audible library because I was pretty sure I had gotten this book on a daily deal and I had. The book was fascinating in the beginning but the latter half didn’t quite hold my attention since it dealt more with psychological issues without concrete diagnosis. The book is definitely worth reading however, especially if one is a medical junkie like I am.

21. “Naughty in Nice”(Royal Spyness book 5) by Rhys Bowen – narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Finished February 23

These books are just getting more and more fun and the mysteries getting a little more complex. I think this one might be my favorite thus far and such a good pallet cleanser after a rough book. ‘Naughty’ actually caused me to gasp with surprise at an unexpected turn of events which was a nice change from how I generally predict what happens with georgie and the other characters I’ve come to love in this series. I hope they never end!

20. “The Power of the Dog” by Don Winslow – narrated by Ray Porter

Finished February 22

This was a hard read. Not difficult writing just difficult material. The older I get I just can’t handle descriptive torture and this book had a lot in it. I’m glad Ricardo Recommended bookending it with light reads since the second I finished it last night I jumped into the next royal Spyness book.

I guess you can’t have a book about drug lords without disturbing torture. I also didn’t care for the way the narrative shifted when focus went to New York gangsters. The narrative literally changed from regular third person narrative to a bad grammar version of third person narrative. That’s the only way I can think to describe it and it was distracting. It makes me glad I decided not to play with switching narrative style from chapter to chapter in my fiction novel. Maybe “The Godfather” ruined me for all other mafia books.

(I’ve since learned in my writing studies that what I had described so badly as bad grammar third person narrative could better be described as a shift in prose from eloquent to rough though I’m not sure that’s accurate either since my studies are all self taught ha!)

Ray Porter was brilliant as always. I can’t say I recommend this book unless you’re ok with torture. I’m just not anymore. There also weren’t quite enough likable characters for me and there was so much unredeemed corruption. And the way women were viewed, oh man. It started really good but then about halfway through I just wanted to be done and to think about puppies.

19. “Royal Blood” (Royal Spyness book 4) by Rhys Bowen – narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Finished February 17

I love this series for a nice lite read. This one might just be my favorite so far. I remember being disappointed with the last one I read last year. I thought I might give up on the series but Ricardo recommended a book narrated by Ray Porter and said I’d want something lite before and after it. It was perfect since I had two credits and no plans for them so I bought the next two Royal Spyness books to bookend the one Ricardo recommended.

These books are just plain fun with fun characters and fun narrating. The murder mysteries aren’t exactly riddled with twists but they’re entertaining enough to keep you “turning the pages”. They are the perfect pallet cleansers between raw books that claw at the emotions. Just found @RhysBowen on Twitter. I love the spelling of her name!

18. “Freedom (™) (Daemon book 2) by Daniel Suarez – narrated by Jeff Gurner

Finished February 16

The sequel wasn’t as good as the first but it explained everything nicely and wrapped up the story so there weren’t any glaring loose ends. I found myself not knowing what side I was on since who was good and bad seemed to shift. That was a very uncomfortable place to be as a reader and I’d love to achieve that in my own writing some day.

I’ll definitely be reading more Daniel Suarez (@ItsDanielSuarez) and finding more books narrated by Jeff Gurner (@JeffGurner.

17. “Daemon” (Daemon book 1)by Daniel Suarez – narrated by Jeff Gurner

Finished February 13

Holy crap was this book ever freaking good! In the beginning some things turned me off but after we got past some of the early character development and the story really started flowing, holy crap! I just finished it and I’m so grateful there’s a sequel and that I have it because I’ve already started it. Wow! Thanks Ricardo, for the recommendation! I can’t speak highly enough about this book. Weee!

16. “Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden rivals that Ignited the Space Age” by Matthew Brzezinski – narrated byCharles Stransky

Finished February 9

I picked a book at random from my Audible library without reading its description or remembering anything about the book based on the title. It turned out to be about how the first ever space vehicle Sputnik was born and all the things it made possible. Sputnik wasn’t just a cool space toy, it’s the reason for student loans in America. What! yep.

The book started slowly after it began with a cool description of a missile in flight but after awhile it picked up and the characters involved in our past made it interesting and character driven. The more I learn about the Cold War, the more I am amazed we didn’t go to hot war with the USSR. That time in our history is fascinating and I’m so glad I read this book to add more to my vault of knowledge around the Cold War.

I only wish it had been narrated by someone like Scott Brick or Ray Porter. Maybe this narrator wanted to read the book straight or something but a Russian accent or two would have been nice. And listen how he narrates people gasping after a failed launch attempt: Click here.

I couldn’t help but smile when Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was mentioned since I know an engineer who works there.

In my Twitter browsing today I ran across This article about the DSCOVR satellite set to launch today. Crazy coincidences. Gotta love them.

15. “The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Novel” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – narrated by Simon Prebble

Finished February 7

I read this book in high school and remember liking it so when it was a daily deal I thought, why not? I enjoyed this reading as much if not more than my first time, especially since this time I was looking out for things Stephen King mentioned in his book on writing, though he specifically says he doesn’t read books to study them, just for the pleasure of them. I, on the other hand, study every single book i read, I can’t help it!

I was pleasantly surprised when ‘Hound’ was over to find a novella, ‘The Adventure of the Dancing Men’. Maybe it was mentioned on the Audible page but I don’t remember it, and it certainly wasn’t mentioned before ‘Hound’ started. I think I almost like this story better than the first! Definitely pick this up from Audible if you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan. The narrator is great, so no worries there.

14. “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King – narrated by Stephen King

Finished February 5

This book was just plain awesome. It begins with an autobiography of sorts of Stephen King, the ingredients that went into the recipe of an author if you will. I was immediately transported to books of his as he told stories from his youth and young adulthood.

I think anyone would enjoy this though when he gets to the part on writing, if you aren’t interested in writing, your mind will probably wander. I was riveted however. So much of it was stuff I’ve noticed in my own writing journey which only helped validate to me that I am a writer and a lot of it was just plain good info that I soaked up like a sponge. I’ll never forget the blue eight on the rabbit.

At the end, King talks about the accident that nearly killed him in 1999 when he was struck by a van while on his daily walk. I’ve always been curious about that. That experience definitely became more ingredients for his writing, evidenced in “11-22-63”. I’m so grateful I read “the Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins which led me to look her up on Twitter which led me to reading her tweet about this book being an influence of hers. I think it was the right time for me to read it. Oh, and Stephen King narrates, which is always fun to hear. He’s on Twitter, here. Oh and Stephen King hates abridged audio books as much as I do! Wahoo!

13. “Holy Cow: A Modern Day Dairy Tale” by David Duchovny – narrated by David Duchovny

Finished February 4

This was great! I don’t usually get books as short as this one which was three hours, but c’mon, it’s David Duchovny and I’m an X-Phile. The premise sounded fun and I needed fun after that sinister “In Cold Blood”. I lay in bed last night laughing my fool head off at “Holy Cow”. It’s awesome! If the premise sounds good to you, I highly recommend the audio book because Duchovny’s deadpan narration just adds to the fun. I loved this novella! It had a fantastic message too.

I must say I felt a little weird making a ham sandwich at the end of this book. sorry, Shalom.

12. “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote – narrated by Scott Brick

Finished February 3

I was in the mood for some Scott Brick narration and this had been a daily deal not long ago. I am reminded why I stopped falling asleep to the Investigation Discovery channel. I used to love true crime but now I just don’t like the way it makes me feel. Scott Brick said on Twitter the book was sinister. That is an excellent word for it.

I read Truman Capote’s Wikipedia page, reading about his friendship with Harper Lee literally one or two days before her sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird” was announced. Begin Twilight Zone music.

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January’s Audio Books

I’m changing the way I keep track of books here on the blog. I’m going to experiment with writing a monthly post summarizing all the books I read, rather than writing a post for every single book which last year proved to be too overwhelming.

I listed these in descending order. I suppose that makes sense for the future if someone wants to read all the monthly posts. total books this month: Eleven.

11. “The Mime Order” by Samantha Shannon – narrated by Alana Kerr

Finished January 30

Oh man this book was so freaking good! If I thought “The Bone Season” was good, I had no idea what I was in store for with book two. The story picks up right where it left off in book one and Shannon does a brilliant job of recapping without being tedious and obvious. She weaves in reminders of book one as the story goes along in book two. ‘Bone Season’ was definitely the series set-up (see a few headings down). The story continues with non-stop action and intrigue. The dystopia takes on a very Victorian feel and has many more characters it seems than did ‘Bone Season’. I just did not want it to end! Did you ever see the French Film City of Lost Children? If so, that’s how I imagined this world looking. Very dark but with bright colors. The book is so visual! Shannon is just a brilliant writer, in my opinion. the novel is three dimensional, if that makes sense. It was like a movie in my head. Absolutely loved it. There were questions posed that leaves me impatient for book three. And Warden…*sigh*.

alana Kerr seems to have found her groove as a narrator, sounding more animated in this one and less like she was reading the phone book like in the first book. It’s fun watching these two women grow in their art! Samantha Shannon’s Twitter is linked a few headings down. You should become a fan of this awesome young lady!

10. “The Girl on the Train: A Novel” by Paula Hawkins – narrated by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher

Finished January 27

I probably would have gotten done with this book faster but my friend Chupa was visiting so I didn’t read at all during the day. Her visit was so much fun! I converted my den into a guest room and couldn’t help but feel very adult with the purchase of an air mattress and guest towels. the weather was beautiful and we spent most of our time sitting outside listening to music, except for the day we took paratransit out for Mexican food and our traditional Walgreens visit. Be well. The first paratransit driver decided to give Chupa the whole experience by driving down bumpy roads on purpose. I was sad when she left on Wednesday night. We did an impromptu podcasty thing if you’re interested in our ramblings.

I saw a New York Times article about this book on Twitter and just so happened to have an extra Audible credit so I picked it up. This book is about an alcoholic who rides trains all day. Not like, cargo trains, passenger trains in and out of London?London I think. yes, London. I think, ha! She rides trains and tells herself stories about the people who’s homes she passes. She ends up getting involved in a missing persons investigation after one of the women who’s house she passes goes missing. Actually she pretty much inserts herself into it. It’s quite sad really.

The book is told from three different points of views, hence the three narraters. Every time we got back to the drunk I’d roll my eyes. She really did get tedious. Hawkins nailed the self absorbed alcoholic though, that’s for sure. She must have some sort of personal experience whether it’s herself or someone she loves. Maybe the alcoholic isn’t so tedious to a normie but for me, I just wanted her to get off the drunkalog and into the solution haha!

The mystery was really well done. Literally every character is a suspect. The drunk? The ex-husband? The red haired man? the psychologist? did the missing woman just run away? and each one gets some time in the red herring spotlight. The aha moment hit me about thirty minutes until the end of the book and then I sat on the edge of my seat waiting to see how the book would resolve. Excellent mystery! The three narrators were pretty good too, all very British which is just soothing. It was nice to read a current IT book haha. I found Paula Hawkins on Twitter.

Oh, my only pet peeve was some outdated technology. I have to wonder if Hawkins started writing this awhile back and didn’t catch phones with buttons and phrases like “logged on to the internet”. I’ve noticed outdated tech in my book that I’ve done some revisions on. Maybe it’s a snobby pet peeve ha!

9. “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr – narrated by George Guidall

Finished January 24

How interesting that I read a book narrated by Alana *Kerr* and then a book written by Caleb *Carr*, both names pronounced the same way. Am I the only person who notices things like that? Also, Steve Kerr pronounces his name differently than Alana: ker. Kerr, ker. Anyway…

Ricardo really really wanted me to read “The Alienist”. I’m glad I did, though I wasn’t sure at first that I would finish the book. It got off to a slow start in my opinion and the book begins with a gruesome murder of a child prostitute. It was tough to stomach. Slowly but surely however, the story drew me in as a psychologist, otherwise known as an alienist in 1896, his friend a reporter and a police secretary begin investigating the murders of the child prostitutes no one cares about. Special Victims Unit anyone?

This wasn’t a typical detective novel which was good because I’m pretty much sick of detective novels. This one had a fun historical fiction element and while the character development took awhile to click, when it did, I enjoyed the people very much. The criminal profiling was fascinating and had a ‘Silence of the Lambs’ feel about it. george Guidall is always a good narrator. I definitely recommend this book. I also want to see what else Caleb Carr might have out there. Thanks Ricardo! Oh, let’s see if Carr is on Twitter. I didn’t find a Twitter but I did find this site, which has info about his other books. I’m going to have to check it out since it sounds like there’s an Alienist movie and TV show. Interesting!

8.“The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon – narrated by Alana Kerr

Finished January 19

I read this back in November of 2013. You can read my review here which I just did and I think it was a pretty good review. It’s interesting how differently I would have written about it this time around. Honestly it’s sometimes hard to write reviews about books which is why I got so far behind last year trying to write a single post for every book I read. I think a simple list in a monthly post will be much easier.

I read “The Bone Season” again because book two of the series was due out this month and I needed a good refresher since Shannon’s world is so complex. She tweeted links to a lot of good posts for a refresher but I just wanted to read it again. I got to follow Shannon on Twitter while she wrote the second book. So cool! I just adore her. You can follow her here.

1. – 7. The Kara Gillian series by Diana rowland – narrated by Liv Anderson

I started this series last year and finished the sixth book early This month. I often times will go back in a series and read a little bit of the first book in a series just to see how it all began. I did that with Kara Gillian and next thing I knew I was finishing the whole book. I just wasn’t ready to be done with Kara Gillian the summoner of demons, her friends and the demons themselves. I ended up reading the whole series again, enjoying being absorbed in pure fiction with fun and interesting characters, human and demon alike. I even bought a can of Cafe Du Monde coffee with chicory. I mixed some in with my usual coffee and it is most definitely an acquired taste. I drink coffee black at home but I found the chicory needed the sweetness of some Splenda to help off set the bitterness. It was fun to drink the coffee one of my new favorite characters drinks though! I highly recommend this series if you’re craving some pure escapism. In fact, is it April yet? I seriously cannot wait for April.

Book seven is out in April and I cannot wait! Diana rowland has put some quotes from the book up on Twitter, torturing her fans. Isn’t she kind? She is definitely one of my most favorite people. She never fails to make me laugh, both in her books and on Twitter. You can follow her here.

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