Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

If you use the search are of this website,  you will find that I have talked about this audio many times throughout the years.  I have probably listened through it ten time, and to this day call it one of my all time favorite audio books.  ~Sheila


Ir is the year 2044 and life is dismal at best.
When students are not in their virtual schools, or adults trying to eek out a small existence, everyone spends their time in the Oasis, an online virtual world that is far better than the real one.

The Oasis was created by a brilliant man names James Holiday who never married, kept to himself and created like a mad man.  At the time of his death he is worth billions.

And that is the kicker.

As Holiday had no family to speak of, he instead offers up a challenge.  He has hidden an aster Egg in one of the many worlds of The Oasis.  There are keys that must be collected in order to reach the final destination of the egg. The first person to find it, wins it all.
Total game changer.

Wade Watts is on the low-end of the food chain.  He lives with his aunt in the stacks (trailer homes stacked upon one another).  He has no money to his name and spends all of his spare time in the Oasis.  Hearing about the Easter Egg and receiving the first clue along with millions of others was enough to make him dream of possibilities – yet years go by and no one figures out the clue to get the first key and many are starting to think it was Holiday being a little off.

Until one day something changes.  The score board to the Easter Egg has remained the same for years… until today.  Someone has figured out the clue and now possesses the first key…

that someone is Wade Watts.

Ready Player One.


Ready Player One is an audio I promote all the time.  Narrated by the AMAZING-YOU-CAN-READ-THE-NEWSPAPER-TO-ME-ANYTIME Wil Wheaton.  (SIGH girl crush…..)  I can’t praise this one enough.  In fact every time I talk about it – I want to listen to it again..  This is why it makes my all time favorite audio list .   If you enjoy a good dystopian novel, 80’s references and a fun gamer theme… seriously YOU MUST listen to this audio.  While I own the book, I have never read it.  I always have gone audio and can not imagine it any other way.

It is now set to be a movie in 2018 that has me so über excited I can not stand it!!!

Morning Meanderings… A Silence So Deep You Could Hear A Jockstrap Drop

It is true…by the time I am writing this, it is not exactly morning anymore…. but wanted to do it any way… my site.. I can pick if it is day or night.  ;P


It is Audio Book Month and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this event and promoting audio, however June is sooooo full of big stuff…it seems I can never give it the full hurrah that it deserves…

I am a big audio advocate… like tie me to a fence post with a picket sign promoting audio… like disturbing the peace in front of the city council and getting locked up for the night promoter of audio….


That is how much I love it.

Earlier today I was driving home from a breakfast with an author friend (more on that later…) and listening to Fredrick Backman’s latest book on audio – Beartown.  While driving this line caused me to admire Fredrick sooo much.

A silence so deep that you could hear a jockstrap drop.

Ahhhh come on, it is like poetic beauty….  and so different from Backman’s other books that I am falling in love fast and quick on this one…


Continuing with that theme, today I wanted to touch on one of the Audio Books I brought home from the expo.  James Patterson may catch a lot of slack on the mass production of books, short short chapters, and well..whatever we want to pick on him for… but there is a soft spot in my heart for him.  Patterson can be contributed to my love at audio.  When I first started reviewing audio, his were some of the first I was sent for review.  I loved the narration, even the sound effects that in some audio can come off as feeling odd… his seem spot on.

James (yes I call him James) was one of the speakers this year at the Book Expo Audio Tea…and this is one of the books I brought home…


Black Book…

Billy Harney was born to be a cop. The son of Chicago’s chief of detectives, whose twin sister is also on the force, Billy plays it by the book. Alongside Detective Kate Fenton, Billy’s tempestuous, adrenaline-junkie partner, there’s nothing he wouldn’t sacrifice for his job. Enter Amy Lentini, a hard-charging assistant state’s attorney hell-bent on making a name for herself – who suspects Billy isn’t the cop he claims to be. They’re about to be linked by more than their careers.

One missing black book.

A horrifying murder leads investigators to an unexpected address – an exclusive brothel that caters to Chicago’s most powerful citizens. There’s plenty of incriminating evidence on the scene – but what matters most is what’s missing: the madam’s black book. Now shock waves are rippling through the city’s elite, and everyone’s desperate to find it.

Chicago has never been more dangerous.

As everyone who’s anyone in Chicago scrambles to get their hands on the elusive black book, no one’s motives can be trusted.


Hmmmmm? Yeah I thought so.


Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham (Audiobook Review)

If you have read this blog for any amount of time you probably know I adore all things Gulmore Girls.  When I noticed that Lauren Graham had an audio out – narrated by HER, well… just try to stop me from listening.  ;P


From growing up to failed attempts at dating  (tall is not always awesome), Lauren shares it all.  When you look at her today and who roles she plays on TV you see a confident fun woman, that honestly I would love to go have coffee with and call her friend (hint hint!!!)  Yet listening to this audio you will find out that as often is the case, looks can be deceiving.

Of course I listened to hear all the inside scoops on Gilmore Girls… what is was like to work with the amazing Alexis and how crazy was that cast and Stars Hollow (although not so secretly I wish I lived there).

Lauren shared much about life, advice, and yes, Gilmore Girls original and Gil More Girls the special that came on Netflix recently and how that came to be.  Most of this I loved… some of it droned on that while I could listen to Lauren Graham’s fast talk all day…  maybe not all day about re watching episodes or diet advice…  some felt like filler when I think there could have been more about Gilmore Girls (yes yes I am bias)

Over all?  Liked  to the point of loved but not quite.  I am of course glad I listened to it, as I did walk with away with some fun facts and of course found her narration on her own book – fantastic.  That’s the way is should be.

For Gilmore Girls Fans… a must.

Did you know June is audio book month?  If you do decide you want to listen to this book…

please do just that – LISTEN to it… there is something pretty amazing

about Lauren Graham talking to you about Gilmore Girls and although I am sure the book is good…

come on people this one needs to be on audio. 


Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris (Bookies Book Club Review) Audiobook review

A Bookies Book Club read and one I was glad I had an opportunity to explore….creepy good. 


Jack and Grace are the couple to envy.  Jack is handsome and attentive, has money, a good job, and charm… every girls dream in a guy…  he is contemplative to Graces beauty and shyness. 

But what happens behind closed doors?  Why is it that Grace never has her friends over that she used to hang out with all the time?  Why is that every time she is asked to go out to lunch she says yes, yet cancels hours before actually going?  And why is it the few places that you do see Grace, Jack is always there?  Always.   And Grace is looking thinner and thinner every time she is seen….

OOH yeah…  This was our Bookies Book Club pick for April.  The synopsis of this one made this book an easy win for our vote and we were not disappointment.  There is much that goes on in Behind Closed Doors and soooooo appropriately named.

Admittedly, I struggled a bit with Grace, it is no secret that I like to read about strong independent women and some of Graces choices (or lack there of)made me grit my teeth. The longer she stayed in the situation, the more power it seemed that Jack gained.  Of course on the flip of this – if Grace had been stronger…we would not have had this book.

Our book club had a good discussion over this book and the overall rating came in around a 3.75 out of 5.  For the most part the book was enjoyed.

Of course, we always need to get in to the book so here is our pictures from our review…

Recommended for book clubs because there is great discussion topics such as abuse, awareness, self-esteem….

Did you know that June is Audio book month?
I enjoyed this book on audio and loved the smooth narration by Georgia Maguire.



Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye (audio book review) Bookies Book Club Read

First up…. I love Peter Geye.  He is genuine and funny and writes a pretty great story as well…  I hope you will indulge me here as I tell you about this one, and I do hope you pick up one of his books sometime soon.

When Noah returns home to the North Shores of Minnesota to be with his dying father, he has much apprehension.  After all Olaf, has been fairly estranged from his son for many years and an absent father since the since the ship he was on sunk and Olaf was one of the few survivors while his shipmates lost their lives to the harshness that can be Lake Superior.  Noah now married and trying to have a child with his wife, struggles with the decision to go and be with his father while at the same time, how can he not?

What Noah learns about his father, and the shipwreck changes Noah’s whole misconception of his father.  The time they spend together as Olaf shares what really happened that cold stormy night all those years ago, the first time he had ever shared the whole story with anyone.  As Olaf’s story unfolds, Noah comes to realize that one does not fully survive such a tragedy, and there is much more to his father then he had ever known…

My book club The Bookies, chose this as our June read.  Author Peter Geye is one of our Wine and Words authors coming this fall, and he was one of our authors in 2015 as well.  I was excited we chose this book to read as I had yet to read it.  Due to a busy June, I chose to listen to it on audio and I was so glad I did. Narrator David Aaron Baker lent the right voice to this book, while gardening, I was easily immersed into the lull of his voice as he brought forth the story of Noah and Olaf…

The Bookies enjoyed Safe From The Sea.  It was interesting as going in, for some reason I had my head wrapped around that this was going to be a “guy” book… meaning more appealing to men as it centered around a male protagonist, boats,and fishing.  I can tell you, I was wrong.  This book weaves a story of family, and tragedy, and coming to terms with what was and what is and what will be.  Well played Peter, well played.

The discussion was centered around family and around the setting as we all are familiar with the North Shore setting, the beauty of it and the dangers of Lake Superior.

Over all the book rated a fairly solid 4 our of 5 from the Bookies as a whole.


Did you know that June is Audiobook Month?
Be sure and try this book on audio –

recommended by Book Journey.


Audio Book Month: Let’s Talk About That Audio with Florinda

audio meme J

Holy smoly….  I have dropped the ball on Audio Book Month.  SO many plans and then life has a way of keeping you running in other directions.  The good news?  I am not derailed so easy.  JULY will also be audio book month here at Book Journey. Because….

  1.  I really love audio
  2.  I really want to talk about audio
  3.  I have some great posts lined up with others that want to talk about audio
  4.   YOU need to be listening to audio.  If not, you are missing out an excellent way to experience books.

Today I want you to meet my friend Florinda.  Florinda runs the 3 R’s Blog and LOVES audio.  She is fun she is crazy (as you are about to see but that is why we love her 🙂

Please welcome her now.


Hi!  I am Florinda as Sheila said, from The 3 R’s blog.  I spend upwards of two hours every weekday in my car driving to and from my job. I’ve been doing this for over a decade, and there’s really no alternative…but since I started listening to audiobooks along the way, the drive’s been a lot more bearable–and productive!


Despite having a seemly ideal environment for audiobook reading, I resisted them for years because juggling tapes or CDs did not appeal to me at all. Once I got an iPhone and discovered there were apps available to listen to audiobooks on it, there was no more reason not to give them a try. I listened to my first audiobook just about five years ago this month, and I have never looked back. Ironically, my car has become the place I do the bulk of my reading, and when there’s a new book I want to read as soon as possible, I’ll look for it in audio first.

More than a third of my reading during the last couple of years has been audiobooks, I buy audiobooks from Audible and borrow them from the public library through the Overdrive app. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to make my daily drive without having someone reading to me through the car speakers–and when the book’s really gripping, I’ll even listen to it on the weekend!

Want to see what Florinda is listening to?  Check her out at 3 R’s Blog. 

On another fun note….

Florinda is a big Dr. Who Fan and has participated in Cosplaying events  (and I am a bit jealous they do not do some of that around here )   I do not know a lot about this, but it looks like amazing fun and I wish we had something like this here!

PicMonkey Collage



Morning Meanderings… It Is About Time To Talk About What Month It Is


Where did the month go?

Seriously.  Where is it?

I swear I was prepping posts for Audio Book Month and laying out a plan of what that would look like and then I blinked and it is June 14th.

June 14th.

Are you kidding me?

So I am starting late but I do have a plan it just was a postponed plan due to life, and camp, and work, and everything else I cram into a day.

June is audio book month.

This is when I usually tell you all how much you are missing out on when not listening to audio.  Yes, this is when I try to convert you Laurel ;).  I have posts lined up with narrators who will share with you some interesting (and fun!)things about being a narrator.  I will post what I am listening to and why.  There will be giveaways.


Let’s start here.  Ready Player One.  I have listened to this audio four times.  Yes.  Four.  Other than the Harry Potter books, I have never done this before.  Here is the review.  This is my go to gush worthy recommendation for anyone who loved gaming, dystopian and the 80’s.  It is a great combo, read by the amazing Wil Wheaton, and it will be a movie in 2017.

Recently when I was in Chicago I went by an audio display of the best audio books and included was this audio.  I started gushing about it to my roommate Candace.  Whenever that happens.. I usually fall in love with the story all over again and sure enough, I came home and started listening to it again.  It was every bit as wonderful as I remember.


So stay tuned.  Please. I am getting it together.  I am.  Camp wiped me out and this is a busy week but I will get through it.

I will leave you with this –

What audio book do you gush about?  Share here – I lOVE recommendations.

audio meme J


Morning Meanderings… Dog Surgery and Audio Anticipation (a CRAZY mix)


Good morning!  Thursday and I imagine many of you are making your plans (if you have not already started) for the big 4th of July weekend!

I mentioned yesterday I was taking Mater to the vet.  He was running a fever and acting like Eeyore walking slowly around with this head down.  No energy.  Turns out he had a lymph node infection in his shoulder and it had to be cut open to drain (yes… you may want to put down your breakfast for a few minutes).  They had him in the office for the day but he is home now, doing well and my job is to place a warm wash cloth over the would area several times a day to keep it open so it can drain.  Due to this, there was no strawberry picking as originally planned.




Dog and owner are doing well this morning.


I did want to talk about audio.  June as you know was audio month and I did not have my normal posts on how awesome audio is and why you all (yes you too Laurel!  😉 ) should give it a try.  However… this little gem on info from crossed my path in email format yesterday and I can not help but share some highly anticipated audio coming in July.

6Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.  Harper Lee!!!!  Yes the author of To KIll A Mockingbird brings in this long anticipated jewel.  Narrated by…. wait for it… wait for it…. Reese Witherspoon!  I am seriously curious about this one. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.   Release date 7/14/15




1Armada by Ernest Cline (author of one of my all time favorite audio books Ready Player One).  I have gushed about this one before.  Another gamer type book, save the world, blah blah blah but also narrated by the great Wil Wheaton who is an EXCELLENT narrator.  Also release 7/14/15.  Can not wait!!!





2Circling The Sun by Paula McLain, author of the Paris Wife.  This one is about the British born Kenyan Aviator Beryl Markham, the first woman to successfully cross the Atlantic solo from east to west.  There is  lot more to Beryl than meets the eye, so venture in to this historical treasure.  Released 7/28/15





8 Dexter Is Dead.  I never followed the whole “Dexter ” hype.  My son Brad said it was a crazy good series but I don’t think it is for me.  Anyhoo… Dexter is arrested on charges of murder. He has lost everything – including his wife, his kids, and the loyalty of his sister. Now completely alone, Dexter faces a murder charge (for a crime, ironically, he did not actually commit.  Written and narrated by Jeff Lindsay this is probably one to listen to if you are a fan of the series.  Release date 7/7/15



8Bradstreet Gate catches my eye.  Georgia, Charlie, and Alice each arrive at Harvard with visions of what the future will hold. Then, just before graduation, a classmate is found murdered on campus, they find themselves facing a cruel and unanticipated new reality. Moreover, a professor who has loomed large in their lives is suspected of the crime. Though his guilt or innocence remains uncertain, the unsettling questions raised by the case force the three friends to take a deeper look at their tangled relationship.    Sounds good to me!  Release date is 7/7/15



There are more on the list that you of course can check out for yourself.  For new audible users, your first audio book is free so take a peek if you have not tried audible before.  I have used it for three years and love it.  The audio downloads right to my phone and I have it everywhere I go.  I also like that if I start listening to something I do not enjoy, I can return it to them and they give me my credit back to choose something else.


Today should be a fairly quiet day.   I am running to town this morning to get a few errands done and then working around the house today on a mailing I am working on and the monthly newsletter for the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library.  I may have a coffee date this morning this will be nice as it is a lovely day to also sit on the deck.


Audio Book Month Giveaway!


If you read me here at Book Journey you are probably well aware that I love audio books.  Often, I listen to more audio than I read books because I can listen to audio while doing other things:



mow the lawn

work in the flower garden

sit on my deck

painting a room

Normally I make a big deal out of audio book month trying to talk my non audio book friends into trying an audio, offering up giveaways, narrator interviews….  Of course, I am searching to find a new normal so here we are the 17th of June and this is my first mention of audio book month.  When it was offered for me to give away a couple of audio books here at Book Journey I though I can do this much.


Those who wish me dead, Michael Koryta, Book Journey, audio book, audio book month, giveaway

When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he’s plunged into a new life, issued a false identity, and hidden in a wilderness-skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare.

The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness-survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains.

The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.



  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 30 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio


This giveaway is open to US addresses only.  To enter please leave in the comments an audio book that you would highly recommend and why.  (I am always looking for great audio). If you are not an audio book listener, please tell me in the comments what you would consider listening to if you were to try audio (ie.  a memoir, comedy, favorite author, genre…)  For an additional entry please subscribe to Book Journey by signing up to receive my posts by email (upper right side bar).  If you are already a subscriber that is a free entry.  Share link to this post on Twitter using the hashtag #audiomonth and/or #audies2015 for a third entry.

I am working my way back towards this site.  I love my bookish on line friends and while my posts are more sporadic right now, I am still here.  Still trying.

Like Audiobook Community on Facebook

Check Them out on Twitter  (hashtag #audiomonth)


Winner will be announced here on Sunday June 21st.




How To Become A Narrator by Narrator Robert Fass (included in the June Audio Month Giveaway)

Audio month

Yes, yes… I know it is July.  If you read my morning post you will know that I inadvertently missed posting one of our awesome narrators responses for the June Audio Book Month features.  Robert Fass was also one of the narrators that was at the Narrator Luncheon in New York in May.  I had the pleasure of meeting him, but did not have enough time to really chat much with him.  Now, Robert has graced Book Journey with his thoughts on Narrating – a question that seemed to pop up frequently throughout the comments last month.  How does one become a narrator?  Please welcome, Robert Fass.



I’m Robert Fass, and I started narrating professionally in 2005, though it took a number of years before I started making a living at it.

I have completed around 80 titles at this point, across just about every genre, including:
  • THE UNWINDING by George Packer (2013 National Book Award winner for nonfiction)

  • DOUBLE DOWN: GAME CHANGE 2012 by Mark Halperin & John Heilemann

  • SNOW WHITE MUST DIE by Nele Neuhaus (bestselling German crime thriller)

  • SAY HER NAME by Francisco Goldman (fictionalized memoir – listed in AudioFile Magazine’s Top Ten

  • Audiobooks of 2011, Earphones award winner)

  • IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY by Ned Vizzini (YA)

  • THE LIEBERMANN PAPERS series of historical mysteries by Frank Tallis

  • EMPIRE OF LIBERTY by Gordon S. Wood (Audie winner for history, 2011)

I am one of only two narrators approved by the authors’ estate to narrate the Ellery Queen mysteries (I’ve narrated 10 so far), plus works by John Steinbeck, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Carlos Fuentes, Jeffery Deaver and more.  Along the way, I’ve had 7 Audie nominations and won twice.
I have been a professional actor for over 30 years – a longtime member of the performers’ unions, trained in the classics, studied for many years with the great Uta Hagen – and I have always loved the spoken word. My mother was a librarian and my dad was a volunteer narrator for the blind for over 25 years. When my dad passed away in 1997, I began volunteering in his honor at a local radio reading service for the visually impaired here in NYC. I lucked out the first week I showed up: one of the readers for THE NEW YORKER magazine was out and I was asked to step in. It became permanent and I spent nearly every Wednesday for the next 11 years reading the best fiction, journalism, criticism, and poetry around to a national audience. It was the best training ground anyone could wish for.

My mother was a librarian and my dad was a volunteer narrator for the blind for over 25 years.

Around 2005, a fellow volunteer offered me her invitation to a seminar given by the Audio Publishers Association (APA). They were at that time seeking to bring more theatrically trained performers into the narrator community. I went and was given the opportunity to record a sample and send it to the senior producer at Brilliance Audio, which is a large producer in the mid west (now owned by Amazon). His response was that while I didn’t have the richest voice in the world, he thought I was a very good reader and might expect to find a small amount of work in this field. That was enough encouragement for me to create a professional demo CD – and I sent it to every single producer and publisher in the APA member directory.  A handful of producers were impressed enough with it that they wanted to give me an opportunity to narrate for them. I was lucky to get to narrate works by some major authors right out of the gate, my first couple of titles got reviews (positive ones) and I started to make fans within the producing community. That put me firmly on the path and I chose to pursue it from there.

So… You Want To Become A narrator…

1. Know that narrating audiobooks is a craft. If you’re serious about it and you aren’t a trained actor, start taking classes in acting and vocal production.
2. Don’t think you can be a narrator simply because people tell you that you have a nice voice.
3. Get good before you cut a demo.
4. Join SAG-AFTRA so that if you are fortunate enough to find work in this field, you can begin receiving pension and health benefits.
5. Be prepared to spend long periods of time alone working your ass off in a little box. And loving it.
6. Unless you are in one of the major markets, you will very likely need to invest in a home studio which – even if you do it on the cheap – ain’t cheap.
7. Be aware that any narrator starting out today also has to be an engineer and a director, because it’s just you in the booth doing everything.
8. Know that you rarely have a choice in the material you are offered.
9. Be patient and tenacious.
10. There are many versions of this next basic piece of advice, but if you think you would like to be an audiobook narrator, the first thing you should do is to take a book off the shelf at random, open it to a random page, take it into the closet and read the entire page aloud. Then go back to the top of the page and read it again. Then do it two or three more times. If that’s your idea of a good time, you might think about taking a first step into narration. There is a more comprehensive version of this point in a video by narrator/instructor Sean Allen Pratt.


Amazing Narrator Happening… oh yes…. IT HAPPENED


An illustration of the need to be patient when starting out: when I sent my original demo around, a very senior, highly respected producer responded with tremendous enthusiasm. “You’re on my A-list! You can obviously do everything! I can’t wait to work with you!” She was quite sincere about it. But at least a year went by before a project came along that she felt was a good fit for me to audition. It was going to be a big deal, a new series that was hoping to be the next Harry Potter. We worked in the studio for a long time together, but in the end I didn’t get it. And I didn’t hear from her again for months. But one day, I got a call from her out of the blue. Unbeknownst to me, she had been circulating an excerpt from that audition as a voice sample for consideration in various projects, and it turned out that Ray Bradbury had selected me to narrate what turned out to be the last book published in his lifetime, FAREWELL, SUMMER (which was the sequel, 50 years in the making, to his beloved classic DANDELION WINE). That was the second book I ever narrated.



This is the final audio book month post.  For every post you comment on in June (and this one on July 1st) that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn this week!