Feb 092017
 

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My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Written by: Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:01-12-16
Publisher: Random House Audio

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

What I Thought:
Lucy hasn’t had the best life. Her childhood was spent being so poor that they barely had enough food, didn’t have indoor plumbing for a long while, and she was picked on at school, mostly because of the clothes she wore.

What she did have was gentle heart and a lot of love for her family, her two daughters, and for writing. She also said many times throughout the book about the people she had met, that she loved “her” “him”, “them”. She was very grateful for the people who showed her any kindness.

The book is about Lucy’s life, told in a random order, whatever she thinks of at the time. Still, there’s an even flow to the story.

I thought the conversations between Lucy and her mom were a bit strange at times. I can’t imagine having a relationship like that with my mom.

The narrator did a great job with each characters. I thought it was interesting tha there were characters with the last name Nicely. It’s a very unusual name, and is my mother’s maiden name.

This is the first time I’ve tried a Strout book, but I plan on reading/listening to more from her. I enjoyed learning about Lucy, she felt like a friend telling me her life’s story.

The ending came quite abruptly though, I would have liked more.

Feb 062017
 

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Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café  by Max Lucado

with Candace Lee , Eric Newman
Narrated by: Ben Holland
Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:02-03-15
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

What I Thought
I was excited to listen to this book. I liked the blurb and thought it would be an uplifting story, and it was. I liked all the characters, especially Manny. He sure added a lot to the story, and I grew very fond of him and his quirkiness.

While I liked Chelsea, she jumped to conclusions a bit too quickly for me, especially about her husband. Everything is not what it seems, which she found out.

The narrator was good, but it seemed that he took a big deep breath at the beginning of most sentence, and listening to that over and over kind of got on my nerves. He did, however, do a terrific job with all the different voices.

This was a quick listen, just a bit over 5 1/2 hours. I liked that it was a good clean book with a positive message. I really enjoyed this book.

Jan 262017
 

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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Narrated by: George Newbern
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:08-05-14
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon – the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him ‘the bitter neighbor from hell.’ But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

What I Thought
I started this audio book a few months ago but didn’t finish it. Then I started it again, and again I didn’t finish it. To be honest, Ove got on my nerves. I thought he was a grumbling grouch. I decided to give it one more try since I kept seeing so many 5 star reviews for it. This time, finally, Ove’s gruff personality didn’t seem so annoying. I actually started liking him. I laughed more than a few times at some of the things he said and thought. I especially thought the names he gave everyone were funny…the lanky one, the pregnant one, white shirt etc.

Poor Ove can’t stand things that are not what he thinks they should be. It truly angers him. He says “right is right and wrong is wrong” quite often throughout the book. And he can’t trust anyone who doesn’t drive a Saub, among other things.

I loved learning about Sonia, I liked her a lot. I felt bad for Ove because I know what it feels like to lose your spouse.

There a quite a few characters in the book, all personable except for two (not counting Ove), and I enjoyed each one of them. I loved all the different stories from Ove & Sonia’s past, and how Ove’s relationships with the other characters grew into something that surprised everyone who lived in his neighborhood. I was surprised too. I  learned that there was a kind soul behind all that gruffness. I loved how Ove fought so hard for the right thing concerning the people he cared about, just because “it’s the right thing to do”.

I’m so glad I gave this audio book another chance. It made me laugh a lot, and even made my eyes leak a few times.

This was the first book I’ve listened to that is narrated by George Newbern. I’m very picky about narrator’s, but I thought he did an amazing job with all the voices. He made the book very easy to listen to.

Although it took me a few times to start enjoying the book, (I don’t think I gave it enough time the first two times I started it), I ended up loving it, and I even ended up loving Ove.

I highly recommend this, both print and audio.

Aug 032014
 

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The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Narrator: Gary Farmer
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: HarperAudio
Audible.com Release Date: October 2, 2012
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B009KEZ2Y6

In the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe sets out to get some answers of his own. The quest takes him first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. Louise Erdrich’s novel embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.

Thoughts
This story highlights how a terrible attack on someone not only highly effects that person, but also their family and friends. This is such a sad story, but one that also has some humor thrown in, and is very thought provoking.

The idea of your mom having such a horrible thing happen to her, and then she locks herself in her room, and you may never see the person who did this punished for it…what a heavy weight on Joe’s shoulders. He felt a mix of emotions, loss as his mother shut herself away from him, anger that his father, who was a judge on the reservation, couldn’t seem to bring the guilty to justice.  And so, he wanted to get revenge himself. I loved the relationships between Joe, Cappy, Angus and Jake. I’m glad he had someone to help him through this tough time.

The author did such a great job with the story line and characters that I had to keep reminding myself that this was a work of fiction. What happens in this book can and does happen, and you get a glimpse of Native American traditions and laws which added to the non fiction feel.

Excellent book, although the ending wasn’t what I wanted.

I listened to this on my iPod and thought the narrator did a great job.

Jul 302014
 

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What’s So Funny by Tim Conway
Jane Scovell (Author, Narrator), Carol Burnett (Author, Narrator), Dick Hill (Narrator)

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 39 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: October 30, 2013
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B00GBCFR40

Six-time Emmy Award–winning funnyman Tim Conway, best known for his characters on The Carol Burnett Show, offers a straight-shooting and hilarious memoir about his life on stage and off as an actor and comedian.

In television history, few entertainers have captured as many hearts and made as many people laugh as Tim Conway. There’s nothing in the world that Tim Conway would rather do than entertain—and in his first-ever memoir, What’s So Funny?, that’s exactly what he does. From his pranks in small Ohio classrooms to his perfor­mances on national television and movies, Tim has been cracking people up for more than seventy years. Long regarded as one of the funniest come­dians around, Tim also boasts an inspiring rags-to-riches story.

What’s So Funny? captures Tim’s journey from life as an only child raised by loving but outra­geous parents in small-town Ohio during the Great Depression, to his tour of duty in the Army—which would become training for his later role in McHale’s Navy—to his ascent as a national star and household name. By tracing his early path, this book reveals the origins of many of Tim’s unforgettable characters—from Mr. Tudball and the Oldest Man to Mickey Hart to everyone’s favorite, Dorf.

What’s So Funny? shares the hilarious accounts of the glory days of The Carol Burnett Show and his famous partnerships with entertainment greats like Harvey Korman, Don Knotts, Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, Vicki Lawrence, Bob Newhart, and of course, Carol Burnett. As a bonus, readers will enjoy never-before-shared stories of hilarious behind-the-scenes antics on McHale’s Navy and The Carol Burnett Show.

Thoughts
I’ve loved Tim Conway since the first time I saw him, and watching him on the Carol Burnett show made me laugh until my jaw and sides hurt. If you saw the show where he walked down the wall instead of the stairs, or where he was talking about an elephant, you know what I mean. When I was in middle school, one of my teachers told us she went to school with him in Willoughby , Ohio (not far from where I lived) and that he was just as funny even as child.

This book lets us into the life and thoughts of this man, who in my opinion is one of the funniest people, and best comedic actors, ever! I know about his childhood and his unusual parents who he calls by their first names, Sophie and Dan. They were very different from my parents, and did quirky, even strange things. There was a part in the audio where he talked about his mom not likeing a certain family in the neighborhood, so whenever they saw the family coming up the driveway, they’d shut the curtains and hide under the kitcen table! Another thing that stuck out in my mind was when he was going to New York, and his dad told him to go see his sister who he hadn’t seen for years (after they came to the U.S. from Ireland, they lost contact) and when Tim got to her apartment she wouldn’t open the door, so he talked to her very shortly through the door and then he left. This was after he was famous even. But she said she didn’t watch tv so didn’t really know who he was. All I can figure is that she was older and lived alone in New York so was leery that he was even who he said he was, and too afraid to open the door to a strange man.

I could go on and on, but think you should either read the book or listen to the audio version for yourself. It is a LOL audio that I plan on listening to from time to time, whenever I need a feel good listen or a laugh.

Highly recommended!

Jun 262014
 

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Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Audible.com Release Date: March 11, 2014

Welcome to Little Wing.

It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friends—all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town—it is home. And now they are men, coming into their own or struggling to do so.

One of them never left, still working the family farm that has been tilled for generations. But others felt the need to move on, with varying degrees of success. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit, and one of them even hit it big as a rock star. And then there’s Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives.

Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stresses—among the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love.

Seldom has the American heartland been so richly and accurately portrayed. Though the town may have changed, the one thing that hasn’t is the beauty of the Wisconsin farmland, the lure of which, in Nickolas Butler’s hands, emerges as a vibrant character in the story. Shotgun Lovesongs is that rare work of fiction that evokes a specific time and place yet movingly describes the universal human condition. It is, in short, a truly remarkable book—a novel that once read will never be forgotten.

Thoughts
This is a story centered around a few friends who were raised in a small town, went their own ways and then come back together for a wedding. I lived in a small town for a few years as a teen, so I could relate somewhat to this story. I’ve known a Kip, a Ronny, a Leland, a Hank and a Beth. I know that the author nailed the people and life of a small town.

It’s told by alternating characters, which I thought would be strange, but didn’t take away from the story at all. The story moves at a steady pace, then slows for a teeny bit, and then picks up again. Even through the slow part, I never lost interest.

The characters were well written and I enjoyed them all, as well as every aspect of their relationships…the good and the bad parts. The book made me feel so many different emotions. The characters portrayed love, sorrow, happiness, hope and disappointment.

This is a really good book that will be in my head for a while. It brought back so many good memories of living in a small town and I was so drawn to what was going on and to the characters that I was sad when I was finished. I hope the author has plans to bring these characters back in a future book. Either way, I look forward to more from Nickolas Butler.

I listened to the audio cd version of this book, which had multiple narrators. Since I’m so picky when it comes to narrators, I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to handle listening to this. I was pleasantly surprised. None of the voices grated on my nerves or made me want to turn it off.  The author did good on choosing all the narrators, and now I have some more names to add to my listenable list!

Jun 212014
 

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The History Lover’s Cookbook by Roxe Ann Peacock
Narrated by Dave Wright

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 5 hours and 2 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Roxe Anne Peacock
Audible.com Release Date: May 8, 2014
Language: English
ASIN: B00KC3CL0M
Over 150 full-color photos inspired by nineteenth century recipes, anecdotes, and the Civil War

History Lover’s Cookbook will transport readers through the Battle of First Bull Run/Manassas to April 9, 1865, where General Robert E. Lee stood under an apple tree to dispatch his surrender to General Grant. Do you know what he was eating when he surrendered?

Prepare a picnic of lemonade, raspberry shrub, mint julep, fried chicken, ham sandwiches, potato salad with boiled dressing, cold slaw, soda biscuits and quince marmalade to observe one of the many Civil War re-enactments throughout the United States.

Enjoy eating tea cakes while viewing more than 150 full-color photos of replica Civil War items, re-enactors portraying Abraham Lincoln, Generals Custer, Lee and Grant, foods and recipes inspired by the nineteenth century.

Share in the Union’s Thanksgiving holiday by preparing recipes from the chapter, Siege at Petersburg.

Find out what General Grant ate every morning with his breakfast.

Roxe Anne Peacock brings the nineteenth century and Civil War era to life through the wonderful photography depicted throughout the book.

Thoughts
This book interested me at first because I wanted to see what kinds of recipes people made in the nineteeth century. The book has so many that I’d like to try, most of them sound really good. Some were a little more complex than others, but all seem to be easily do-able.

In school I loved history class, but it’s been so many years since I was in school, and I haven’t been interested in reading about history since, so I really thought that part of the book would be somewhat boring to me. Man, was I wrong! What kept me interested far more than I would have imagined was the history and miscellaneous info. I was so engrossed while listening to those sections that it surprised me. I learned things about different battles, I loved learning that Custer went to West Point. For some reason that fact really surprised me.

Did you know that in the U.S., blackberries usually peak during June in the South and July in the north. I didn’t. I thought they peaked during the same month. I also learned that the medicinal plants have been used to treat a variety of ailments like dysentery, sore throat, gout, venomous snake bites and other illnesses. Another thing that I found very interesting was that coffee was scarce so some popular substitutes were roasted acorns, okra that were browned, dried sweat potatoes and carrots, wheat berries, barley, beans, beats, bran, cornmeal, cotton seeds, dandelions, peas, persimmons, rice, rye sorghum molasses, and watermelon seeds. Wow, I’d like to know how those substitues compared to the real thing.

I learned that Hardtack was a simple cracker or biscuit made only from flour and water. The only hardtack I’ve ever heard of was a hardtack candy.

There were notes and tidbits included throughout to give a little more interesting information on something that had been covered.

Since I listened to the audible.com version, I’m glad I also had the had the ebook version so that I could see the photos. There were many of them…food, items they used back then, battle re-enactments etc.

Also included in the ebook version was a Measurements & Substitutions Coversions. A few examples are:
1 jigger = 3 tablesoons
1 pony = 2 tablesppons
1 small pinch = 1/16 teaspoon
Indian meal = cornmeal
Gem = muffin or cupcake

The audio was narrated by Dave Wright and I thought he did an excellent job! His voice was smooth and calming. He talked at a pace that was slow enough for you to hear every word clearly, but not slow enough that you got impatient listening to him.

Roxe Anne Peacock did an execellent job with this book, you can tell she put a lot of time into research.

I love love love this book and would recommend it to anyone, whether they’re a history lover or cookbook lover, or both!

This is one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever read and know I’ll be going back to it over and over.

Here is the first recipe I want to try:
Potato Salad
10 large red potatoes (8 cups cooked)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Boiled Salad Dressing (recipe below)

Wash the potatoes in cold water; drain.
Place then in a large stockpot with enough cold water to cover them.
Cook the potatoes on medium heat until fork tender but before the skins burst.
Cool the potatoes by running cold water over them in a colander.
Peel the slightly cooled skins off the potatoes.
Dice the cooked potatoes into one-half inch cubes.
Place the chopped onions into the bottom of a large bowl.
Put the diced potatoes on thop of the onions.
Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups prepared Boiled Salad Dreesing to the potato salad.
Mix well to incorporate.
Serve immediately or refridgerate.
Best if eaten the same day.

Boiled Salad Dressing
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

Whisk the vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard, salt and peppers in a medium saucepan until smooth.
Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer; whisking continuously.
Add the heavy cream and unsalted butter; continue whisking until the butter has melted.
In a large bowl, have ready 4 slightly beaten egg yolks.
Slowly stir in small amounts of the hot vinegar until it is incorporated into the egg yolks.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Heat the mixture on medium-low and continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Do not boil.
Transfer the Boiled Salad Dressing to a large bowl and cool uncovered until the dressing is room temperature.
Refrigerate covered if you are not incorporating the dressing into a recipe immediately.

This dressing is great for potato salad, chicken salad, lettuce salads and cold slaw.

Note: The common size of an egg in the nineteenth century was medium; now it is large

Tidbit: In the nineteenth century, recipes were known as receipts.

Weekend Cooking

Jun 072014
 

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Can You Hear The Music? by Sandra Farris

Narrated by Steven Cooper
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 7 hours and 57 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Sandra G. Farris
Audible.com Release Date: July 2, 2013
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B00DR0AK5K

The year 1919 ended in tragedy for young Corey James. Her life is shattered when a car crash kills her beloved parents and she is forced to live with relatives she has never seen before. Her aunt is verbally and physically abusive until Corey has no recourse but to run away. Disguised as a boy and, with the help of an old hobo, she begins a journey that takes her on a series of adventures, both perilous and heartwarming. As they ride the rails together, Andy Curruthers helps restore Corey’s self-esteem, teaches her about life, and helps form the woman she becomes.

Thoughts
I fell in love with Corey right from the start. She went through so much in her short life. First she looses both parents and then was abused by the people who were supposed to care for her. Finally she’d had enough and ran away. And nothing was going to stop her. I loved Corey’s spunk and determination. Once she set her mind to do something, she’d let little interfere with it getting it done.

This is a wonderful book about her journey to freedom and the people she met along the way. It’s sad, it’s uplifting, it’s a whole lot of emotion packed in a great story, and boy were there lots of interesting characters! And I loved that she took her dog Muffin with her. I wouldn’t have left my dog either.

Sandra Farris did an amazing job writing this book. She also did a great job of choosing a narrator. Steven Cooper did a great job with all the voices.

I would recommend this audio book to anyone, no matter if you’re male or female, young or old(er).

Apr 052014
 

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Maisy And The Missing Mice by Elizabeth Woodrum
Narrated by Reba Buhr
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Elizabeth Woodrum
Audible.com Release Date: November 6, 2013
Language: English
ASIN: B00GHA4SUK

Dive into Maisy’s world of mystery and lollipops!

Maisy Sawyer is not your average fourth grade student. She is a detective with a special skill for solving mysteries. She loves black and white mystery movies, cherry lollipops, and her dog, Reesie. When a thief known as The Black Boot steals the school’s mascots and her lollipops, Maisy sets out to solve the case. Can she help return the mice to their home in the science lab? Will she ever see her beloved lollipops again? Find out in the first book in The Maisy Files series.

Thoughts
This is such a fun book. Even though it’s a book for children, I think it’s perfect for adults who want a quick fun read. I loved it.

The story starts off interesting and stays that way till the end. It even has some laugh out loud moments. Maisey is such a great character. She’s smart, has good intuition and is a great detective. I was wondering how she’d ever find out who stole the mice and her lollipops since there were so little clues, but being the awesome detective she is, she did figure it out. I also liked the other characters. They were all cute as could be. I love that Maisey thought her 11 pound dog Reesie was a fierce protector.

I listened to this on my iPod and Reba Buhr was the narrater. She did a wonderful job. She gave each character their own specific voice and it was a pleasure to listen to. And that’s saying a lot from me because I’m hard to please when it comes to narration.

I would recommend this book, and especially the audio version, to anyone young or old(er). I can’t wait for volumn 2 of The Maisy Files!

 

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Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children’s books. If you’d like to share a post related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please visit Booking Mama.

Mar 112014
 

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Bones In Her Pocket by Kathy Reichs
Series: Temperance Brennan
Audio CD
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (December 3, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442369167
ISBN-13: 978-1442369160

When a fly-covered canvas bag floats to the surface of North Carolina’s Mountain Island Lake, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is called to the scene. Animal remains? Or could this be related to bone fragments from a human male found nearby?

To Tempe’s surprise, the decomposed body indicates the person was a female young adult. The profile fits the description of a missing graduate student named Edith Blankenship. Was Blankenship murdered? If so, why?

Blankenship’s body turned up on an artist colony where an eco-radical named Herman Blount has been squatting. Blount has posted online rants threatening to blow up a power station he says is polluting the area. Is Blount capable of violence?

Blankenship was a loner, but she proved a dedicated advocate for birds at UNC–Charlotte and the Carolina Raptor Center. Did Blankenship’s passion lead her into danger? Alongside Detective “Skinny” Slidell, Tempe puts life on hold until she discovers the truth behind Blankenship’s death. But Tempe’s own passion for crime solving will lead her into danger of her own.

Bones in Her Pocket is an exhilarating new installment in the Temperance Brennan series.

Thoughts
I don’t watch the tv series Bones, so I didn’t start this knowing anything about it. I loved the story line, but did have a hard time hearing about the puppies. I also felt the story could have been stretched out a little longer so that you wouldn’t find out what was going on so quickly. The characters were very well developed for such a short book and I thought Linda Emond did a great job of narrating.

This was a short one, only a few hours, but it was interesting and well worth the time I spent listening to it.

Dec 202013
 

17860617

The Duck Commander Devotional by Alan Robertson

Audio CD
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (October 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442367474
ISBN-13: 978-1442367470

With the Robertson clan’s flair for down-home wisdom and their wholesome family values, this 365-day devotional re­veals the heart and faith of this much-loved family from A&E’s hit show Duck Dynasty.

Loyal fans of the Duck Dynasty family will relish this col­lection of inspirational messages for each day of the year. From patriarch Phil and matriarch Kay to their four sons—Willie, Jase, Jep, and Alan—and their beautiful wives and children, the entire Robertson clan contributes to this heartening guide. You’ll also hear from Martin, Godwin, and Mountain Man as they share their faith and their personal lives to encourage and inspire readers.

Compiled by the newest addition to Duck Dynasty—the oldest son and former pastor, Al—each devotional contains a brief message, a passage from Scripture, and a prayer. Not only are the messages motivational, but they are also laced with the characters’ trademark wit and revelations of their personal faith journeys. An ideal companion for Duck Dynasty fans, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who want to grow in their faith, The Duck Commander Devotional is certain to inspire you in your own faith journey.

I haven’t listened to the entire audio book but I plan on using this as a daily Devotional for the year 2014.  Each day of the year has it’s own Bible verse, a reflection of the verse, and a prayer. Each devotional is very inspirational and most likely you’ll carry it with you throughout the day. The whole DD group was involved in the devotional, so you get a variety of perspectives. This would be good to read/listen to on a daily basis for years to come. It would make a great gift for anyone, including teens.

Nov 222013
 

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Si-cology 1: by Si Robertson
Narrated by Jay Stone with Si Robertson
Length: 4 hours 43 minutes
Unabridged edition (September 3, 2013)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

As you read this book, there are a few things you have to understand: 95 percent of my stories are truthful. Every member of the Robertson family has the God- given gift of storytelling. Hey, when you’ve sat in a duck blind for more than half of your life, you have to figure out some way to pass the time! It’s better than looking at Willie and Jase for six hours! Many of the stories I like to tell happened when I was a young boy or when I was in Vietnam. At my age, a few of the details are cloudy, but I’ll recollect the coming stories as best I can. Hey, just remember it isn’t a lie if you think it’s true! It’s up to you, the reader, to figure out what’s truth and what’s fiction. Best of luck with that, Jack! May the force be with you.

Hey, another thing you have to know: my stories are kind of like my vocabulary. You might have noticed I like to say ‘hey’ quite a bit. ‘Hey’ can mean anything. It can mean ‘yes’, it can mean ‘maybe’ and it can mean ‘no’. Hey, it could mean ‘next week’. The bottom line is, you have to understand ‘hey’ to understand me.

And if you know anything about Silas Merritt Robertson, you know I’mm a hard rascal to figure out.

If you’re a fan of the A&E hit Duck Dynasty, this book is a must read/listen. I’ve heard some people say that if you’ve never seen the show, you probably wouldn’t like it, but I think it will make you want to check the show out. After all, how could anybody not like Si? He’s honest, hilarious, can find fun in just about anything, and very loving and humble.

This is more of a biography, and that’s what’s so interesting about it. Through these stories you’ll get to know Si better, and see a different side to him than what you see on the tv show. He talks about being in the service, his childhood, his family and more.

I tend to be picky when it comes to narrators. You have to listen to them for hours and they can get on your nerves after a while. Jay Stone read this and I thought he did a great job.

I’ve been trying to get my husband to listen to audio books for years since he can’t hold print books and turn the pages (he’s a quadriplegic), but he was never interested until I got a copy of this audio book for review from Audiobook Jukebox.  He listened to this all the way through without stopping, and said he loved it!

Like my husband, I definitely recommend this!

Author Bio
Si Robertson, one of the stars of A&E®’s Duck Dynasty®, has worked and hunted for Duck Commander since retiring from the United States Army in 1993. Si spends his time making all of the reeds for the Duck Commander calls and working with his brother Phil to prepare for the next duck season. Si lives in West Monroe, Louisiana, with his wife, Christine.

Oct 022013
 

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Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Narrated by the author
Length: 6 hrs.
Unabridged edition (June 4, 2013)
Publisher: Random House Audio

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald’s, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children–everything from cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s Fatherhood, Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

I’ve been struggling with audio books lately. It’s not the stories I’ve had a problem with, it’s the narrators. The last few audio books I’ve tried to listen to I had to stop without finishing, which is hard for me to do. But the narrations were torture to my ears and I couldn’t take it any more.

I first saw this audio book reviewed by Sheila @ Book Journey (go check her review out, she has a few quotes from the book and even a video), and immediately put it on hold at the library. I waited for it to come in with mixed feelings. I was pretty sure I’d  be laughing, but could I take listening to hours of him narrating the book?

Not only is this one of the funniest books I’ve listened to…or read, I had no problem with the narration. His voice was calming and didn’t make me wince once. I even loved his little kid voices!

Jim Gaffigan is one funny dad, but don’t take my word for it. If you need a good laugh, go get this book. I can’t imagine anyone not loving this book!

Jun 242013
 

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The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Narrated By Frank Muller
Length: 2 hrs and 30 mins
Unabridged edition (May 1, 2006)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway’s magnificent fable is the story of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. In a perfectly crafted story, which won for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature, is a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge to the elements in which he lives.

I’ve wanted to read this forever, but never got around to it. It’s my first Hemingway, and I was more than a little bit surprised at how much I liked it.

I absolutely love the character of  Santiago. He’s old Cuban fisherman who is struggling to survive. He’s set in his ways and very determined, and  also very attentive to the things and people around him. Even though he’d gone a long time with no catch, he made up his mind that he was going to catch a HUGE fish.

He heads out to sea, all alone, and finally he feels the tug of what he thinks is a big fish. But this is much more than just a big fish, it’s a huge Marlin,  and he is determined to reel it in.

The book is not just a story about an old man who goes fishing, it’s about believing in yourself and not giving up.

Part of it was very sad to me. It completely through me for a loop because I had no idea about that part of the story. But, thinking about it, it makes sense, and made the story more real.

The writing was so descriptive that I was there with Santiago every step of the way, and the narrator did a great job!

I haven’t listened to an audiobook for very long time that had a narrator that didn’t grate on my nerves. Then I listened to the  narrator of this audiobook, Frank Muller (I was sad to learn while listening to this that he is no longer with us) and he did an awesome job! His voice was so smooth and calm, that it didn’t distract from the story. The different voices sounded like different people, but didn’t sound like he was trying too hard to sound different, which to me is one of the problems I’ve had with listening to most audiobooks. When a narrator tries to hard, the different voices sound ridiculous.

I will be reading more from this author, and listening to more from this narrator and would recommend both to anyone and everyone.