Category: Audible



The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

November 8, 2017 –
54.0% “Due to Kindle’s new updates I haven’t been able to read for a week trying to recapture the book I’m reading and figuring out where I left off. Then the text-to-speech stops working and the formats get changed so I can’t even read what to do about it. AMAZON!! DON’T FIX WHAT ISN’T BROKEN!!!! KINDLES ARE FOR READING BOOKS!!!!!”

The above was the first thing I wrote about the book. I tried listening to the Audible version and found the woman’s voice just didn’t work for me. Especially when the older woman voice seemed the same as a male voice. I finally just returned it to Audible thinking I would have better luck with my British text-to-speech voice. And that did help me but as I said above, Kindle itself ruined this experience altogether.

As for the story, there were parts I found interesting but mostly I found that the quote that Tyrion spoke about the gods repeating in my head while reading this book. Neither seemed to care for the women even though the goddess was supposed to be helping the women. Sorry I won’t quote Tyrion here because I don’t want to offend anyone. But those of you who are Game of Thrones fans will remember Lord Varys and Tyrion on the wall talking about the gods.

Maybe had my reading experience been more consistent with books in the past I would have a more favorable review. But I am quite disappointed in the book and with Kindle and Amazon for ruining it for me. I am not at all caring to go read the rest of the series. I’m sorry to everyone that this is how I feel about this book. I have heard so much praise for it over the last few decades that all I can do is shake my head. Please do try it. It’s just me, I’m sure.

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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always admired Felicia Day. It was great to see a smart female actress playing smart female characters on the shows I’ve seen her on.

This book gave me insight to the person and her history. It was fun to know that we shared a similar history. No, I’m old enough to be her mother. But my children shared her history and I through them. We learned the computer from way back with CompuServe, Prodigy (where I met my husband) and various video games and bulletin boards. Her ultimate game was WoW whereas my kids got into EQ. It was fun reading about how it was physically meeting the friends she made online. That experience the kids and I shared. But it was fun to watch the computer evolving with the generation who came of age at the same time.

My children were homeschooled, too. It was interesting to see her thoughts on it. I find that we who were schooled who wasted so many years with more time dedicated to kids with bad behaviors or teachers who bored us to sleep and were still quite socially shy and experienced depression tried to save our children of that. Instead, they blame their very anxiety on not having to school. They don’t realize the opportunity they had without all the wasted time. Felicia became a professional violinist. And all these skills she acquired that makes her unique are a direct result from not being squeezed into a mold that schools force children into.

Anyway, I loved being able to listen to Felicia read her own story. It gave, even more, credence to autobiography. I knew I wanted to listen to her read it. But I found that there was no Text-to-Speech. That made me sad because had I not been able to afford the Audible version to whispersynch I would have had no way to enjoy this book. Still, it was delightful to listen to her voice. I wish her the very best in life. She deserves it!

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An Unnecessary WomanAn Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A friend recommended this book to me. She and I are fascinated by languages. I think that was why she thought I would love this book. She was right.

I went looking for the book on Amazon and found the Kindle version a bit too pricey for my book budget. So I went to Audible and found I had a credit sitting there waiting for me to use. I was so glad I did! Suzanne Toren is a great voice for Aaliya Saleh, the woman living alone in Beirut, Lebanon.

Look, this book wasn’t nail-biting excitement or in anyway stress inducing. But I loved hanging out with Saleh. This is the reason I love books. It is a chance to travel to other places and get inside other people’s heads. This book is a perfect example of both of those. And it left me wanting to start doing my own translations for my own edification. I have plenty of books in other languages. I plan to pull out a notebook and just get busy.

I want to read this again and have the Kindle version to read along with the Audio. It helps me internalize the story better. Even so, the narrator kept the story very interesting and age appropriate. By the way, the fun of this book was it was about an aging woman. Stories of this type are rare! I don’t think it would matter what gender or age you are this story has something for everyone to relate to and learn from. Enjoy.

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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the WorldTemple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to pick this up from my local library system through Overdrive. My friend, Cheryl, wrote an intriguing review that had me searching it out. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1…

I had hoped to read while listening but the ebook but it didn’t come to me in time. That was okay. It provided my background entertainment while I worked on the charity hats and dolls. The reader, Meredith Mitchell, kept me involved in the story of Temple Grandin’s life.

I have read other books about and by Ms. Grandin. Though this book is for young people, I found it more thorough than the others in covering the aspects of autism, living with it and knowing someone who has it. The author was able to bring this disorder to the understanding that a young person would need.

Something that I felt when reading this book and others about autism is that I think there are levels of this that many of us have. The sensitivities Temple had to scratchy clothing or loud noises or too many people or strong light I can relate to. The inability to connect to others, especially in a crowded room, I can understand, too. Knowing that Ms. Grandin found ways to make her disability work for her in her life gives us all inspiration to see how we can overcome our own problems.

Though this is for children, it is neither a short book nor pablum for babies. I felt there was a lot of depth to the stories told and much to learn for all of us. Please, seek it out and see how you like it.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Because of this review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show… by my friend, Cheryl, I couldn’t wait to read this book! And it was everything she said it was and more!

I picked up the Kindle copy from Amazon and the Audible version to go with it. It made a perfect go to sleep book at night. I was able to have my girl dreams of space travel and meeting new creatures. Oops! If there’s one thing I learned from this book is that we don’t consider the aliens creatures. They are just beings that are different than us. Often in many ways, they are superior to us that we should expect that. But as the author points out just because beings that look like, maybe, um, a giraffe from earth, doesn’t mean it has the intelligence of a giraffe from earth. It may actually have the abilities to move back and forth in time or travel in a different dimension. This was a good lesson for me as I like to write science fiction about other beings on other planets.

The narrator, Rachel Dulude, brought this book to life in ways I don’t think could have been possible to just read or even with the text-to-speech. She was able to separate the characters and beautiful ways, so you knew exactly who is talking without even reading it.

I do want to read this book again. Maybe when I’m more awake, to see how it is she actually built these characters and her plot and her worlds. It was very well written! And I can hardly wait to be able to afford and read her next book in the series!

If you like science fiction that isn’t all men and war. If you like science fiction that uses imagination with science possibilities, this book is for you! Well done, Becky Chambers!

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Fomorian Earth (Star Borne, #1)Fomorian Earth by Lars Bergen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was lucky to win the audible version of this book. Luckily the Kindle version was and is free so I could do immersion reading. And the voice of Elan O’Connor, narrator kept me listening beyond the boring part.

I love sci-fi. I’m currently reading The Martian. Though it doesn’t fit with my goal of books written by women authors about strong female characters, it could easily be. The main character isn’t a macho type who demeans ladies. Ann McCaffery wrote my kind of sci-fi.

But here we are again… It started out in outer-space. I started liking one of the main characters, Brigit. But she sort of got lost in the story and then it became another excuse for a war.

Here you have a story with possibilities, of invention and exploration. What we end up with is a backward planet (Earth) who believed men should rule and fight, and women stay home and birth babies. Tell me, if the best fighter, killer, is the winner of any war, how is it possible to make a better world? And if women were in charge of that, they wouldn’t want war. They don’t want their sons or husbands or fathers to die. Why go through the trouble to birth these people to send them out to die?

On the other hand, this story is a representation of what could have happened in early Irish history. That there are stories that include THEE Brigit that include space travelers in it quite interesting. But that part of the tale came after the story was told. The author telling how the story came into being from research done before writing the fictional version.

So, hey, you may like it. Maybe, if you are like me, the narrator will win your heart, or the possibility that Brigit is from another world? Imagine if sci-fi was a record of history of a religion! Enjoy!

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Return of the Matka-Zem (The Sorain Chronicles)Return of the Matka-Zem by Deborah Chanley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sci-fi/fantasy Yay! Okay, no space-travel or space-wars. Oh yeah, that’s what makes this more real than male sci-fi. But this author didn’t waste time showing her research about science. You see, in the sci-fi realm, without the science, life on other planets, or those same lives on our Earth has to take on the label: fantasy. But that becomes the problem doesn’t it. If we added in all that extra research and boring science facts that the main male sci-fi authors put in, we lose story. And this was full of story!

Oh, a bit about the title. Return of anything sounds like it should be a sequel of something. But you’ll get it as you start to read the story.

I was able to get the Audible version to read along with my Kindle edition. Steven Barnett (Narrator) was great! I usually can’t stand listening to stories whose main characters are female read by a man. Not that they can’t tell a great tale but as they project female voices they sound comical. That usually takes me right out of the story. But Steven Barnett grew on me. I soon could see how many voices he was able to act out and keep separate. And after my initial giggle of his Matka-Zem, Valencia, I found he was able to portray this young woman in all her flaws and strengths. Great job!

I love the characters in this story. There are the Matka-Zem and her romantic body guard and then, once they hit San Francisco, we get the human, Donna. I love her! She helps the humans who are reading the story to ask the questions and get the answers the aliens wouldn’t have thought of. She is delightful. And she has my biggest flaw: constant talking. I love her the most! We are so glad she is along when the get to the Matka-Zem’s planet. She steps up and show her strength when needed.

If you get the chance, this is a fun book to read. I can’t wait for the next in the series as I want more of these characters and strange new worlds!

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Maximum Ride ForeverMaximum Ride Forever by James Patterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon Prime isn’t all it’s supposed to be. Okay, I know that has nothing to do with the book at hand, but it affects how I felt as I went into it. You see, when you have Amazon Prime, you can have a family account. How exciting is that? That means we shouldn’t have to replicate purchases. My husband has a normal amount of books in his Kindle collection. The Maximum Ride Forever was a part of it. I tried to borrow it.

Okay, let me back up here. I have a full public library’s amount of Kindle books and I get more every day. With Prime, my poor husband was getting all my books onto his Fire carousel. So he called Amazon and they worked him through a couple fixes (two phone calls). He thought he had it fixed. But as of that moment, his copy of Maximum Ride Forever disappeared from my carousel with only 15% read. After much hassle, we decided to sign him into my Audible so I could listen to it on my tablet. Phooey with the book. So I spent my day listening to the story while I sewed. Not a bad way to read, huh?

Kasey Lee Huizinga does an amazing job as narrator for the story. She encompasses Max’s attitude. She does all the characters with the acting skills that should be on Broadway. BUT…

I just wasn’t thrilled with yet another Maximum Ride book that seemed the same as the last few. Boring! Even in the height of adventure, even with bad things happening left and right, it seemed the same story as last time and the time before. Sure, it was a distraction I was glad to put my non-sewing mind to. Still, I found myself calling out to the room, “Again?” I know. What do I want for a post-apocalyptic world that still had mutants in it? There were a couple surprises but I shall not place a spoiler here if you can read it and be as surprised as I was with each… bad or good surprises.

By the way, I think that listening to Maximum Ride is far better than reading it. Get the Audible version if you can. Just an FYI: the Kindle version is $9.99. Too high for me. But it does have text-to-speech. It may not be as much fun as with Kasey Lee Huizinga, but it could help the story go faster as you drive and listen.

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Good OmensGood Omens by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay. This was fun. I love the dark, tongue-in-cheek humor throughout this book. I loved trying to find where Pratchett left off and Gaiman takes over. BUT as much as I love the British sense of humor, I found I often fell asleep while reading this book. Could be just me… or Winter doldrums taking over. But my favorite parts of the book were where the authors talked about each other and the writing of the book. I know if I had tried to read it without the Audible version going on with the reading I would have not finished reading it. Martin Jarvis (Narrator) kept the story alive for me. I loved how he could move from character to character seamlessly, and at one part I think that must have been quite the feat! When two voices inhabited one body it had to be difficult to keep the people straight. But he carried through and had me laughing out loud at times.

I have a problem. When male narrators read for the female character, it always sounds strange. It makes the female sound even funnier than I think the author might have wanted. When female narrators read for the male character, it sounds more realistic, like an adolescent boy. I don’t know what the male narrator can do to make up for that to make it work, but I thought I’d mention it to see if it bothers other listeners.

I have read tons of Terry Pratchett and love his writing and imagination. Rest in Peace sweet man. I’ve not read so much of Neil Gaiman, but each book I’ve read of his makes me want to read more. Neither author needs my approval with their huge fan base so I don’t feel bad giving this book less than 5 stars. BUT I must for the dull parts where I nearly feel asleep while reading. I just remember thinking that they needed to get on with the apocalypse already. Seems awful to wish that even for a humorous book like this.

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Rippler (Ripple, #1)Rippler by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my second read of this book. It was fun to go back and re-experience Sam and the gang and see the rippler life reborn. The reason for the reread was to listen to the new Audible version. I did enjoy the narration of Sarah Mollo-Christensen. Now as good as she was, Ms. Mollo-Christensen, I found her voice too low in comparison with my inner voice. Only the fake male voices were right. So my guess is that if this was your first time reading this book the narrator’s voices will be the correct ones. By the way, the hardest voices for me to hear were Sam’s friend, Gwyn Li and her mother. They just were too low and too — boring. They should sound a lot more energetic. But even so, I am giving this audio version five stars. That is because I am assuming a first time listener wouldn’t have so many preconceived ideas.

Thank you, Cidney Swanson for letting me enjoy this version at a discount. I love your work!

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