Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lots of Audiobook Mini Reviews

Between adjusting to the new routine of not having a job, getting ready for the holidays, and rearranging furniture I haven't had much time (or inclination) to write reviews lately.  I have been reading all your posts though, even if I haven't been commenting!  I can read on my phone while I'm waiting for Kiddo at hockey or at school, and that has been a lifesaver.

I haven't been reading a lot either, though I have finished a few books (reviews of those will hopefully come soon).What I HAVE been doing is  listening to tons of audiobooks!  They have been great companions for me while I move furniture from one room to another, or sweep all the detritus from under the couch, or gather boxes and bags of "stuff" to donate to the Salvation Army.

Here's a very brief look at eight audiobooks I've finished over the last two months.  Take special note of the last review - I think everyone needs to read or listen to that book!


The Hound of the Baskervilles, with eBookThe Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle - narrated by David Case - 5.6 hours - I've read this at least twice before and really love it.  I revisited it this time so I could discuss Sherlock Holmes on the podcast "What's Old Is New" - check it out now if you missed it! (We had some issues recording the episode so I apologize in advance for the sound quality.)

The Count of Monte Cristo: Blackstone Audio Classic CollectionThe Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas - narrated by John Lee - 46.9 hours - I've wanted to read this one for years but was intimidated by the ridiculous length (something like 1300 pages!). I'm glad that I went with the audio; although I did enjoy it for the most part, it was really REALLY long and I think I might have given up on it had I been reading rather than listening.  I also realized that although I truly love the movie version, it is so different from the book that it really can't be called an adaptation ... I'd refer to it as a movie inspired by a book.


Ender's GameEnder's Game, by Orson Scott Card - narrated by too many people to list - 13 hours - So many people have recommended this book to me that I figured I really ought to check it out.  My husband and I have a hard time finding books to listen to on road trips but he thought this one sounded interesting as well, so we got it from the library for our drive to the Poconos.  It's the story of a boy (Ender) who has been chosen since before his birth to be part of an elite military training program.  The book follows his advancement through years of war games to become a battle commander.  Hubby and I enjoyed the book but we didn't think it was as fantastic as people made it out to be.  Maybe our expectations were just too high? We did like it enough to continue with the series, so that's saying something.

World Without End [UNABRIDGED CD] (Audiobook)World Without End, by Ken Follett - narrated by Richard E. Grant - 14.2 hours - After completely falling for the mini-series based on The Pillars of the Earth (Medieval Bookworm reviewed the show in case you missed it) I wanted to check out this follow-up to the original story. It starts several hundred years after the end of Pillars and follows descendants of the characters from the first book. Although this book had some parts that were extremely similar to the storyline of the first book, I still enjoyed it very much. I'm not sure I'll go back and listen to Pillars but I might - I'm still very intrigued by this whole story.

Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down [SARAH 3D]Sarah: How A Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down, by Kaylene Johnson - narrated by Cassandra Campbell - 3 hours - I saw this while browsing the downloadable audio section of my library's website and I thought it might be interesting.  It follows Sarah Palin's rise through the Alaskan political system but stops before the 2008 presidential campaign.  Although brief, it helped me understand a bit of Palin's background and how she got to be the person she is.

Rescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck,and a Few TurtlesRescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck, and a Few Turtles, by Rescue Ink with Denise Flaim - narrated by Tom Weiner - 5.9 hours - Another book I found while browsing the downloadable audio section of the library.  It's a simple story about some very complex guys and their passion for animals.  The book was a good reminder that people are not always who they seem to be, and that under an intimidating exterior is often a truly kind heart.

The Complete Works of O. Henry Holiday Classics, by O. Henry - narrated by Katherine Kellgren, Oliver Wyman, and Jonathan Davis - .9 hours - This was a free download for the holidays from to all their members.  It included three stories: The Gift of the Magi, The Cop and the Anthem, and The Last Leaf.  It was a quick and fun listen, but still didn't convince me to be a short story fan. I did enjoy it though!

The Sense of Wonder: Library EditionThe Sense of Wonder, by Rachel Carson - narrated by Kaiulani Lee - .5 hours - What a gorgeous little book! If you haven't read or listened to this before you absolutely MUST do it.  It is only a 30 minute audiobook so it won't take much of your time but it will inspire you for a lifetime.  Carson tells about the ways she encouraged her young nephew to explore and appreciate nature at all times and she shares ways that all people, no matter where they live, can do the same.  This little story has inspired me try to rediscover for myself that child's sense of wonder at the world that we all started off with, and has also given me ideas for things to do with Kiddo to ensure that he keeps that sense of wonder.  Highly, highly recommended.


Amanda said...

My book club is reading The Hound of the Baskervilles later this year. I've never read it but listening to it sounds like a fantastic idea!!

Shelley said...

I just don't know if I can do a 47 hour audiobook! I do have a print copy of Count of Monte Cristo that I hope to get to soon. I suppose it's long no matter how you read it!

lilly said...

That's a lot of audio books. I miss listening to them now that I mostly sit home with the baby. Since the last one is so short though, I might be able to listen to it. It sounds like a good book.
Merry Christmas, Heather!

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Beth F said...

Audiobooks are such a godsend sometimes, aren't they? I really enjoyed World without End, too. I generally like to revisit classics on audio -- Counte of Monte Cristo is a commitment!

Heather J. said...

Amanda - I think it will work well for you on audio - I hope you enjoy it!

Shelley - "it's long no matter how you read it" ... you've got that right! LOL

lilly - SENSE OF WONDER is a perfect thing to listen to when at home with a baby! It will really inspire you I think. :)

Steve - thanks for dropping by.

Beth F - They really are a godsend - I don't know what I'd do without them, especially right now. I also like to revisit books I've read previously (classics or otherwise) on audio - it's like mind candy for me. :)

bermudaonion said...

It sounds like you've found some great audiobooks to help make your chores more bearable. I've made a note of a few of them.

Heather J. said...

bermudaonion - I'm glad you found some that look interesting to you! We don't usually like the same kinds of books, so I'm impressed. ;)

Kayris said...

I read Pillars over the summer and while I liked it, by the end I was a little tired of the raping and pillaging. And World Without End seemed like more of same, so I returned it to the library because I wasn't in the mood. Maybe I'll give it another try.

Also loved your post on reading books you already own. Having not had time to visit the library lately, I've been rereading some of my old faves on my shelf. It's like visiting with an old friend.

Robin McCormack said...

Awesome books you listened to. I'm going to try a couple in 2011 and see how I do.

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