Category: Audible



Have You Seen Luis Velez?Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I give this book ten stars? I loved it so much that from 60% I couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, turn off the fan (I was getting cold!). I barely moved! I was so immersed in this book!

As a writer, unpublished, I hear that a book needs lots of tension. I didn’t feel that in this book, at all! All I can see is that I loved the characters, right from the start and adopted them into my heart. Then I didn’t want to leave their world.

I usually don’t read books with the main character male. Especially a teen. Since I entered my sixties I go for strong fems by fem authors. That is because most of my life I was subjected to only males by males and I want to see more people like me in books and movies. All I heard growing up when I asked about that, was that boys needed encouragement to read. Then why I would ask as an adult, did those non-readers, lower grading people get better jobs? Why did the world circulate around the males?

But this book didn’t center on a male of privilege. This seventeen-year-old had none of the usual adolescent angst. When would that girl give it up to me; didn’t seem to be on his radar. Rather he was more anxious about his family where he felt he didn’t belong, or how he didn’t even feel he fit in his skin. He only seemed to have one friend and that one is leaving as we meet this guy. And he is sweet to a little kitten. Heart won over!

Then our protagonist befriends an elderly blind woman. Both characters are so well built that they feel like family members to the reader.

The author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, is a genius! She keeps the reader engaged. I should mention, she is the author of Pay It Forward. I loved that book, too, and the movie. Well, I love the concept but it was an extreme tear-jerker. This one was more heart-warming (fewer tears more cheering the characters on) with a similar message of how positive life can be by being kind and caring for other people. I may need to actually buy this book and study it!

By the way, I got this book through Kindle Unlimited along with the Whispersynched Audible. The narrators brought the book to life.– I just looked up the book on Audible and it seems there is only one narrator! Michael Crouch. That was a surprise! I don’t normally like male voices doing females. But Mr. Crouch did an amazing job! I actually thought there were about three narrators acting it out! Wow!

Maybe this should be required reading for the world?!!! I highly recommend it! In case you haven’t noticed.

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Only Two Seasons? But Wait!


Well, as I told you yesterday we are binging many shows but as of a couple hours ago, we finished both seasons of Outlander on Netflix.

We closed up the living room and all walked to our rooms in despair.  But look what I just found Hulu:

YAY!!!

I love shows/books like this because it makes me learn more history while playing with Sci-fi and Time Travel. Meanwhile, I had a credit with Audible and picked up the Kindle version from the e-library. So I’ll get to see more in the book than the show could ever cover. I’m practically giddy!


Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1)Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up the combo-version for four Mary Poppins books. I got the Audible for the book for whispersynch. But I wasn’t careful and found out that the Audible version was just for the first book.

I called Amazon and Audible about the problem that I couldn’t read the next books with Audible or text-to-speech. They made it right and took back the Audible and so I will continue reading with TTS. But I wanted to make sure that folks understood that the narrator was fantastic. She didn’t play Mr. Banks very well but Mary Poppins and the kids she acted out quite nicely.

I read all these books as a kid so it is fun to read them now with an adult (some find that hard to believe) point of view.

Hope others get the chance to read/listen to these books!

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The Christmas HirelingsThe Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yawn. Another gruff old rich guy who finds love. Bah Humbug!

The narrator, Richard Armitage, did a marvelous job of acting/reading this. It made a nice bedtime story. But mostly I was irritated that the story was about the mean guy finding love and not the children or their mother who worked so hard at making life loving and kind. Even the guy who instituted the children as hirelings would have made a better story. The rich old codger made me worry about the little girl he was so fascinated by. Sure it was ‘innocent’ still it was shudder-inducing for me.

Still, for a freebie from Audible, I guess I shouldn’t complain–much.

If you love the Dicken’s Carol garbage, you’ll love this.

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Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12)Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a read full of trials for me. The library sent me the Kindle copy. Borrowed it. Found that the text-to-speech didn’t work. Found a credit at Audible to get that version to help me along. It was the cheaper version. Didn’t like that narrator at all. Returned that version and was able to try another Audible version.

Look, I don’t think a male voicing for four females interesting or even funny. I hated both versions of the Audible. Returned that one, too.

By that time my Kindle spit out the older Kindle version that didn’t have text-to-speech and replaced it with one that had it. What a welcomed relief! Though I had a hard time telling one character from another my text-to-speech is set for British female. So about everything I listen to sounds like Mary Poppins! So it is a delight even if it is confusing as to which female is talking, all I have to do it look at the words and see for myself.

I think there was a time I would have loved this story. I used to enjoy the punny stuff Pratchett gave us. But I am weary of more fairy-tale spoofs. So, I’m afraid I didn’t give this story any more than three stars. I was glad when I was finished reading it. I know others will love this. Enjoy!

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What HappenedWhat Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought I wrote a review for this one. Sorry, after looking all over I somehow never did.

As I usually say about autobiographies, this is HER story, not what I think I wanted from her. But I agree with a fellow reviewer on GoodReads Jessica Mae Stover. Here’s her review URL

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

for those reading on Amazon and Audible, you’ll have to look it up on your own as they don’t allow websites in reviews. Those on my blog enjoy.

In short, I listened to the Audible version and I felt she read her story okay. She didn’t get screechy as she did on some of her speeches. But what little she did address she did a good job.

Granted she had a lot to deal with that no other person running has ever had to deal with. And with the political temperament since the election has been a bully pulpit supported by his own channel. Misinformation and lies are starting to come out into the light. Still, Hillary owned up to most of her own issues.

My biggest issue, and I know nobody is asking me, whereas Bernie addressed the poor, Hillary dismissed him and the poor. Her deal seemed to be directed at the middle-class and above. Those of us who have slipped out of her sight, those who used to be middle-class, who were the first affected by the mortgage issues and were not given any help when the house got beyond the income. Now many of us are too old to help ourselves up by our bootstraps. We can’t afford the boots! Sure there are those with plenty of energy and health at our age, but we are not worth anyone’s time in politics. She didn’t address how we should get to the miracle cures out there, we can’t afford to go to the doctors. She didn’t address, nor did anyone except Bernie, those of us not able to afford to HELP them get into office.

That’s all I have to say about that. Others loved this book, a few hated it. I guess to each their own. Still, I think it best reading things we might not like as we can learn something here and there.

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Extra YarnExtra Yarn by Mac Barnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a review for the Audible version of the book. I can’t afford to buy the paperback or hardback right now but couldn’t wait to read it as I heard it was exquisite.

I love picture books. They inspire my inner artist. Still… I’m truly surprised to see how much fun just listening to the story without pictures was.

Narrated by Nicola Barber with accompanying music made this a beautiful story about never-ending yarn. Don’t think that this magic was lost on this knitter. I almost have that wonderful situation. I get to knit from donated yarn. I make comfort items for the homeless, homebound, cancer patients and others. It is a win-win craft for me. I get to knit forever and other people get warm hats or toys or scarves… I haven’t knitted a sweater yet, but it would be fun to yarn bomb everyone and everything around me!

I’m hoping to finally READ and enjoy the pictures in the book someday soon, but this Audible version does hold its own.

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The Hot ZoneThe Hot Zone by Richard Preston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do I say “Research?” It is due to the fact that I am writing a fictional ‘zombie’ book for NaNoWriMo that I picked up the Kindle and Audible versions of this book. My zombies are merely sick people. I am not a medical person so I needed some input on how it all starts and how contagious it all is. As it turns out it isn’t as bad as Ebola, but the gore of my book might evolve due to this book.

Meanwhile, this is a book I put off for decades. I remember a guy named Jason at the school I worked at that came up to me with the paperback. He was so excited about it. But the more he talked the squirmier I got. “And it’s a true story!” He exclaimed. I started watching shows like Outbreak. We saw it in the theater. Remember that sneeze? I nearly ran out of there when someone coughed.

I grew–good or bad, I guess that’s for others to judge. But lately, I can watch a disaster movie, or The Walking Dead and notice only the social reaction to the monsters or the disease or the overwhelming snow. So I thought I could now face this book.

Reading happens at bedtime. Bet you can guess how this book blended into dreams. And since I listened as I read the Kindle with the Audible, that voice! Richard M. Davidson’s voice. What a deep bass and excellent for the genre! Creepy and authoritative! Wow!

What I learned is that my characters in my book were dressed properly to deal with their strains of disease. And I learned I never want to be anywhere near someone coughing! If I was a germaphobe before… well, let’s just say there isn’t enough hand sanitizer in the world for me!

Knowing this is nonfiction made this even more frightening. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago there was an Ebola scare. What a horrid disease! And this author did a poetic job of helping the reader to see it and feel it. If you haven’t read it yet, climb out of your hiding place and give it a try. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. Might as well get the Audible version to make it even more real. I will try to read more of his books now. Time for more vitamin C and Airborne!

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Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American PoliticsPlaying with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O’Donnell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like Lawrence O’Donnell. He’s not my favorite. But I relate to him in that he is about Southern California where others are all in New York. I relate to him because he’s close in age to me. He seems to see things the way I do, most of the time. Not always. So when I had another credit on Audible I decided to grab his book.

It makes me a little embarrassed to admit that this was tough to get through. Not because it was a difficult read or that Mr. O’Donnell is boring. It is just… well… I lived through this history.

1968 is the year I graduated. The draft and Viet Nam were in the news and alive in our school. The boys who graduated the year before us were drafted. By 1968 we lost so many guys that were friends. So this history is painful. Oh, and if we didn’t lose the guys to death they went to Canada and we never saw them again. Or they killed themselves. It was a hard time to be a teen. In our high school, the spirit of our class was depressed. We lost most of the games. The year before and the year after the spirit was normal. But I really feel that that depression that lived in our souls was due to everyone knowing we might not see each other again. So I entered this read with that heavy weight.

Not only was this hard to listen to because of the death of friends, but we’d also lived through Kennedy being assassinated and the disharmonious political life was on the news every day. Listening to the political upheaval again did give me a little understanding as to what happened but it also hurt like reliving it all. As my bedtime book it brought dreams back I never wanted to see again.

On the other hand, if you didn’t graduate that year, especially if you are younger, this is an important look at that history. Lawrence reads and tells this history with reverence and his research was deep. Even if you aren’t his fan, this may give a bit of history to your political understanding. I know I am nowhere near politically adept, I like seeing how others perceived that time. Just like now, our families, friends, churches, and personal experiences color how we see our moment in time. It wasn’t quite such a divided world as it is now, and yet it was. Walter Cronkite helped us get through some of it but I can remember family members arguing about all of it. A Catholic President? Unheard of! The Pope will be running the show. Yep, I heard that said. People who were marching were unAmerican? Really? What about the Tea Party? Anyway, if you get the chance, read or listen to this and see what you can remember way back then.

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Wives and DaughtersWives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As I just wrote on the Kindle version on GoodReads, I found the text-to-speech didn’t work for me. I had an Audible credit sitting there when my friend recommended this book so I pick this up. The Kindle and the Audible didn’t synch up so I gave up trying to read while listening and just listened.

The story didn’t grab me as much as the narrator’s voice and her ability to characterize the whole story. It took me a longer time than books usually take but I felt I needed to soak Nadia May’s storytelling in. She was fantastic. I could see the story as if I were watching it in a movie. It might make a fun movie.

Since this was the Victorian British Isles, the history of women shows. It shows how far we’ve come and yet how far we need to go until there would be real equality. Even the title represents the ownership of fathers and husbands. Yet it is a good example that young women today should read and take their time to soak in why many modern women are still not happy with our positions in life.

Still, just as a story it is fun. Often I would get bored with it and then Nadia May’s voice and excitement would pull me back in. I’m glad I read it. Give it a try.

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