Tag Archive: Fiction



A Ghoulish Midlife (Witching After Forty, #1)A Ghoulish Midlife by Lia Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I needed a light read. This did the trick. Though it had scary topics, it was all tongue-in-cheek fun.
Coleen Marlo, the narrator, was fun to listen to, although her males sounded hoarse and hard to distinguish from each other.

This is a story for you if you like witchy stories with humor. It is a fast read; I think I read it in one night. It’s weird that I still call listening to a book ‘reading.’ But it goes in my head as if my eyes were on it. I like Audible because I don’t have to have the light on to read. I like how narrators can pronounce words that might not be common in my world. And in this case, Coleen giggled or nearly shouted at the appropriate moments, keeping me interested the whole time.

Sadly, I am not in the mood to reach out for the next book. I think it was the googly, girlie attitude toward the handsome man. I hate that stuff. Not romantic. Just small-minded reasons to do things. I like stronger, smarter characters.

Still, like I said before, it was a quick, fun read.

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The Light PirateThe Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rosemary Benson’s narration gave this well-written story a deeper sense of credibility. I am so glad I got to listen to the Audible version of this book. Was it the author, Lily Brooks-Dalton, or the narrator that caused me to smell the world, feel the humidity, and stand strong in the wind blowing around me?

As tangible as the world seemed, the grief was palpable. Each stage of life has happy occurrences and endings. The book takes us through many lives and increases in ecological disasters, but we witness the good in the bad. The magic in the dull, difficult world.

The main character, Wanda, born during the hurricane in Florida that she was named after, grows up as severe weather changes take effect. She needs to survive. Her family and a good neighbor friend see her through as much as possible. Wanda grows anyway.

I feel I have made this sound very depressing. It is, in parts. But mostly shows us how we can survive if we pay attention. Not just to the warnings but to the world around us as it is adapting. I’m leaving this book behind with a promise I may read it again. It will haunt me. In a good way.

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The Messy Lives of Book PeopleThe Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun read. Katy Sobey (Narrator) kept the story interesting.

The thing that stands out in my memories of this read was how often, as an aspiring writer, the author captured the insecurities I have often felt.

Watching the main character, Liv Green, find her inner superhero was fun. Strength. Courage.

And another story about books. And writing. It was fun!

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EmbassytownEmbassytown by China Miéville
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My friend recommended this book. Thanks, Kay!

Libby had this book in the Kindle version, so I picked it up. And though it was text-to-speech enabled, there are many reasons the Audible version is so much better. Susan Duerden (Narrator), for one. Her voice and acting skills made the story come to life. I went ahead and picked up the Audible to Whispersynch. I finally gave up on the Kindle version, as the Audible was all I needed. Still, it was interesting to see how the author stacked the words visually as well as auditorily.

This story is about how language being taught to alien beings could help them and the Terrans to live. But first, the Terrans had to understand the alien language., which seemed non-existent. And when it is to be heard, it is in layers. TTS can’t do that. Somehow the narration system can do it. Fantastic!

If you are a language nut like I am, you will love the vocabulary of this book. I felt my heart race faster as words that weren’t junior high level popped up. So in a sense, I became the alien who loved words.

If you are a sci-fi fan, this book should do the trick!

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The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London, #1)The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If you like a romantic tale of the victorian era, Mimi Matthews has written one for you. Not for me. And though Lydia Hanman (Narrator) did a good job reading for her part, Vidish Athavale was horrible. I always hate males doing female parts. He didn’t even do well for the male he was supposed to portray. But then he tried to read for his counterpart, which threw the whole story.

It just wasn’t my kind of story. But I thank Libby for letting me read it.

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UnshelteredUnsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve gotten behind on my reviews. But after thinking about this book, I remember a lot more than I thought I did. My first thought was how the teen daughter had so much to say about life here and elsewhere, Cuba, for example.

Then I remember the historical references and am so glad I read this book.

The author narrated it. She did an excellent job keeping the story and characters separated and believable.

I highly recommend reading this book. Since it’s been a while, I will leave you to read other reviews of the book. I still have good feelings about it and wouldn’t mind rereading it. I was able to read it through Libby, the library app.

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There ThereThere There by Tommy Orange
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

These narrators made Tommy Orange’s story come to life: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Ceurvo, and Kyla Garcia. I can’t imagine actually reading this story. At first, and for a long time, I couldn’t figure out if it were an anthology or all one story. I did feel it gave me a glimpse of Native American life nowadays. To say the least, it isn’t pleasant what these characters, and I would assume most American Indians might grapple with. We all are a product of our forebears, and our experiences bring us physically and emotionally. The more negative past makes the present more difficult to live with. Hence this story of several characters as they get ready to meet at the Pow Wow in Oakland.

I lowered my rating because I found it confusing to know who I was listening to. I think stopping the story to say Chapter so-in-so, then a character name helps the listener know more about what is happening to whom.

Still, if going into the story if you know what I mentioned above, it might be a better more cohesive story than how I perceived it. So I still highly recommend this book, especially the audiobook.

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Before We Were YoursBefore We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a while to figure out who was who. And until that lightbulb went off over my head, I found the story boring. Suddenly, there was the clue, and it all fit together. My biggest problem was not reading to see if I was right. That need to know for sure seemed to pull me more than the plot or characters.

Still, in the end, I was deeply caring for all the characters and hoping for their best endings.

Above and beyond the story is the truth of the story that this happened and continues to happen in real life. The cruelty to children and poor parents that cannot have their own true lives. That money can buy others’ lives for their own purposes.

This book is worth the angst it brings as you dive into the story. The awareness of how it can happen will be with me forever. As it should. Oh, and Emily Rankin’s narration was acted out like a full-blown movie. It made every chapter come to life.

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The Secret Benefits of InvisibilityThe Secret Benefits of Invisibility by C.W. Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was just as fun as the first book in the series by C.W. Allen. Ivy Tara Blair (Narrator) is excellent at acting out the different characters.

If you need a break from overly adult, angsty books, this book and the first one will make you feel better. I bet it would be a fun read-aloud book for parents and kids.

I loved meeting the Dodos the most. Obviously, not the world we know.

The adventure is intense, and you are invested in the outcome immediately.

The boy and girl are not typical kids. Both have their take on how things should be. And I love how they respect each other while teasing here and there, but lovingly.

Give this a chance. I think you’ll like it!

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Relatively Normal Secrets (The Falinnheim Chronicles, #1)Relatively Normal Secrets by C.W. Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want a little reprieve from the heavier material you’ve been reading lately? This is the book. It is so much fun and a quick read. After all, it is a chapter book for middle grades. But I don’t quite know how to intrigue you without giving spoilers. Here is the blurb, even it has spoilers I wouldn’t have included.

“Tuesday and Zed Furst are perfectly normal children with perfectly strange parents. Their father won’t discuss his job, their mother never leaves the house without her guard dog, and the topic of the family tree is off limits.

When a last minute “business trip” gets the adults out of the way, Zed and Tuesday decide to get to the bottom of things once and for all. Too bad some thugs with shape-shifting weapons have other ideas. Their escape leaves them trapped in the modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim, where everyone insists their father is a disgraced fugitive. They hope whoever is leaving them coded clues may have some answers, but they’re not sure they’re going to like what they learn.

If they ever want to see their parents again, they’ll need the help of a smuggler with a broken compass, their unusually talented dog, some extremely organized bandits, and a selection of suspiciously misquoted nursery rhymes.

Zed and Tuesday may not have all the answers, but one thing is certain: when it comes to normal, everything is relative.”

Add to the adventure the great narration by Ivy Tara Blair in this Audible version, and you will be in a place of pure enjoyment.

I don’t remember how I heard about these books, but I am already reading the second. I love the characters and how they go about solving the mysteries around them.

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