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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….

YES.

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…

Audio….

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.

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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

`Sheila

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. 
~Sheila

 

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.

 

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David Spade is Almost Interesting Narrated by David Spade

david spade, book journey, almost intersting, audio, audie awards

You probably know David Spade best for his time on Saturday Night Live (SNL), movies such as Joe Dirt, Tommy Boy, and Grown Ups, as well as TV shows like Just Shoot Me and Rules of Engagement.

In Almost Interesting David talks about the hard road to breaking into stand up comedy with no money or even a car to his name.  He shares his experiences of making his way on to SNL and working alongside legendary comedy giants such as Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and Adam Sandler.  There are moments of sadness, when David shares of his friendship with Chris Farley, and moments of freakishness, when Eddie Murphy threatens to pound David into the ground and does not talk to him for years, as well as many moments of laughter.

 

 

 

I listened to this audio book because it is up for an Audie Award.  While I am familiar with David Spades work, I am not what you would call a fan.  Still, I do love a good biography/memoir.  I went into this one not expecting much but am happy to admit I was pleasantly surprised.  Other than a few bumps in the narration and occasional long pauses that made me think my battery went out on my audio player, David Spade did a nice job.  One of my favorite parts in the audio is when he shares a joke and he starts to laugh a bit, and I think he cracked himself up.  That was fun and it made the experience feel all the more real, like David was just chatting about his life.

Overall I found this audio book to be engaging.  I really enjoyed the back stage pass to SNL and everything it takes to get on stage and continue to be on stage.  As a fan of Chris Farley’s work, I enjoyed listening to David’s friendship with Chris and how they kidded around together.  David does a great impression of Farley.  I especially found interesting how David got him start and how hard it was to break into the “funny” crowd.

I can see now why it was nominated for an Audie Award.  I have new insight and respect for David Spade having listened to this audio bookarmchairaudies-300x300.

 

 

 

  • Listening Length: 6 hours and 32 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • Audible.com Release Date: October 27, 2015

 

Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski and Read by Nicholas Guy Smith

nightfall, jake halpern, peter kujawinski, audio, nicholas guy smith

Bliss Island is a place where daylight lasts for fourteen years, followed by fourteen years of darkness.  As the years of darkness approach, the inhabitants of  Marin’s Island work diligently to make everything spotless and then leave the island on awaiting ships that will sail south with the tide and they will not return until daylight comes again.

For Marin, her twin brother Kana and their friend Line, this will be the first time they will be leaving the island and they are curious about what strange things will happen while they are away.  Their parents seen usually frantic, scrubbing all surfaces, taking locks off the doors, setting tables and arranging furniture.  When the teenagers ask about this bizarre preparation they are met with looks but no answers.

On the day the boats are set to launch, Line goes missing.  The twins set out to find him knowing they have to get to the boats before they leave the island.  Yet night, is upon them…. and the island…. is changing.

 

 

 

Cover, synopsis, what is not to love? This creepy tale caught me up from the start.  I had to know more about a place that stays light for 14 years!  Nightfall is just as creepy as described in a good spine tingling YA way.  Suspending any hopes of realism is a must, this is a read you need to let sink into your bones and marinate.  There’s something about things in the woods that always gets my heart beating a little faster.

While I personally found the story line to be good, the best part of this book was the narration.  Nicholas Guy Smith has this gravely accented voice that was perfect for this book.  Like someone telling a tale of old… I loved it.  I wish I could find a way to describe the narration better…. perfect.  Delectable.

9

click on picture for sample of audio

Overall, I think older MG (Middle Grade) and Younger YA (Young Adults) would find this an enjoyable listen or read.

 

 

  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Listening Library
  • Audible.com Release Date: September 22, 2015

 

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer Narrated by Philip Franklin

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In 1996, Jon Krakauer along with a team of climbers including two company climbing leaders and their team, set out to climb Mount Everest.  For Jon, this was going to be a first hand story of the appeal to climb for the magazine he worked for at the time, Outside Magazine.  Rob Hall was the Guide for Krakauer’s group and knew what a positive story about the climb would do for his business.

On average, from 1920 when groups started climbing Everest, one climber would die for every four who gave the mountain a try.  There were no promises made of your success to the top, or even coming back.  At the time of Krakauer’s climb, the cost for this experience was a whopping $65,000 per person.

Unfortunately, this climb would become the deadliest in history.  After a storm hits on May 10th, 8 of this groups will die on the mountain….

Into Thin Air, is the story of this fateful trip.

 

 

Recently, my husband and I rented and watched the movie Everest.  It was, fantastic.  While watching the details of this event, the name Jon Krakauer kept ringing a bell.  I told my husband, I think he is an author.  Crazily enough, I had forgotten that Jon Krakauer was not only an author, but the author of Into Thin Air, the book about this event and this movie we were currently watching.  I had completely forgotten that this author was actually on this guided climb that took the lives of many.

I know at some point I had read Into Thin Air.  Looking through this site, I discovered it was prior to my blogging days.  Suddenly I wanted to listen to it on audio, knowing the first time around I had read the book.  I am so glad I did.

Obviously the whole story in remarkable and sad.  Narrated by Philip Franklin, he was as impressive as a narrator as those I find my favorites for non fiction listens.  Fully engrossing, his voice steadily unfolded the story.

While the movie Everest is the loosely inspired by this book, it has its differences and a few that have upset author Jon Krakauer.  I wont give anything away, I encourage you to see the movie and of course read or listen to this amazing book.

What drives a person to spend that amount of money?  What is within some that makes a goal of reaching the top of a mountain known to take the lives of many so appealing?

Highly recommended – the audio is fantastic and so is the book.

 

 

  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 8 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Books on Tape
  • Audible.com Release Date: December 15, 1999

 

Hand To Mouth by Linda Tirado

Hand to mouth, linda tirado, Poverty thoughts, book journey

The Author of the popular “Poverty Thoughts” essay puts into her own words what it is like to be poor in a world that expects more from you even if you don’t have the means to grasp for more.  Author Linda Tirado shares what it is like to not have the money to get the clothes, to get the car, to get the education,to have what it takes to get the job that one needs to make a living that is actually to provide LIVING.

 

 

This is why I usually don’t chose to read and review non fiction about authors lives or memoirs unless Ihave purchased the book/audio myself.  It is so hard to review a non fiction about someone’s life without somehow it being taken as a personal jab on that person.  Basically, what I am trying to say is that it is hard to separate the book from the author when it is about the authors life.

When I accepted this audio for review I had never heard of the essay “Poverty Thoughts”.  I chose this book because I thought it would be interesting to hear from a person who struggles to make a living and make ends meet.  I totally understand that it is a hard world we live in and it is hard to get ahead – and in many aspects in this book, Author Linda Tirado has valid points on working for minimum wage, trying to cover rent costs, etc.. and get ahead of the bills – that I get.

However –

I did not enjoy hearing about her smoking habit and how she is tired of hearing people tell her how she should not smoke (waste of money) when clearly she feel she must smoke (stress).  The same goes for her reasons to drink.  AND if we are going there, and I guess we are – she also had excuses of why it is ok to have sex with random people because poor people are also lonely people.

Linda has very poor teeth and she talks a lot about this int he book and how they stop her from getting better paying jobs.  I understand that.  She says she can not go to the free clinic because of how many appointments she would need and how much time it would take off work and I understand that as well, however something as important as your appearance seems to me like it would be worth making it work out in the long run doing whatever it takes.

She complains about the low paying jobs she has had and the lack of respect that comes with them, calling out Walmart many times.  Again, I know that not all Wal-Marts are created alike – but I worked at our local store for 14 years and not only was I paid a good wage, I was treated very well.

She also talks about the expense of having a child but speaks of the child at times as a piece of property and not in very flattering ways.

Ok  – I may be way off base on this one.  I feel that Linda Tirado may have been on to a decent book here, the one that I had hoped to get when I agreed to review this.  I did not need to listen to sexual stories or why she has bad habits.  It started to seem like she was just talking about anything to make it book length.

This review is absolutely nothing against the author or her family.  This is my personal opinion on what was said in this book.  It was not a win for me.  The essay however – was interesting to read.  And in Linda’s defense, I am not in her shoes, so maybe – most likely – that opinion is all my own.

 

 

  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 24 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (October 2, 2014)

 

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell

The disaster artist, The Room, Movie, Greg Sesero, Tommy Wiseau

At nineteen, Greg Sestero knew he wanted to be an actor.  Against his mothers better wishes he participated in an acting school in San Fransisco and this is where Greg met the quirky Tommy Wiseau.  Tom had a strange accent, and had a very unique way of doing things and thinking.  He was a huge frustration to all who had to act with him.  Greg however, was memorized by Tommy’s uninhibited ways.. not caring or even acknowledging others opinions.

A friendship developed between Greg and Tommy.  Greg was curious about Tommy’s belief that he would be a famous actor, his avoidance of anything about his past, and apparently a bank account that had no bottom.  As Greg’s career goals start to take off, Tommy still struggles not understanding why his photos he sends out to acting agencies go unanswered.

Then Tommy starts writing his own screen play.  A screen play that eventually Tommy put in over 6 million of his own money into creating throughout a time where many were fired for not agreeing with Tommy’s bizarre vision.  The movie,The Room eventually is finished with crazy plots introduced and not finished, and becomes known as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity.

 

 

 

Why this audio?  I found this one in an Audible $4.95 sale and thought it sounded interesting.  I had never heard of the movie and after listening to the audio sample (of you must listen to the audio sample and hear how Tommy talks) I was really interested.  Greg Sestero who flawlessly narrates this book, is also the Greg who was with Tommy through all of this so is giving his first hand account.

The craziness of Tommy’s ideas, refusal to change a thing, and how the movie is made and Greg explaining what to watch for in the movie – honestly makes me want to try and watch this movie that sounds painfully ridiculous.  It looks like their are many sites on line that you can stream the full length movie.  (I just watched a think on You Tube called Everything Wrong with the movie The Room in 8 minutes…. I think that is enough of seeing the movie for me).  While the movie looks horrible – the audio was pretty good.

I enjoyed the crazy truth of this non fiction audio. I found that when I wasn’t listening to the audio, I couldn’t wait to get back to see what Tommy would do next.  This is an excellent example of how the truth really is greater than fiction.

 

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 11 hours and 38 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: May 19, 2014

 

The Astronaut Wives Club (A True Story) by Lily Koppel

The austronaut wives club, Lily Koppel, Book JOurney, audio

Thank you to my friend Gail for recommending this one to me!  ~Sheila

1959.  We have all heard of the astronauts that have graced our history books… the first man in space, the first on the moon, those who followed, those… who did not make it.

Starting with project Mercury behind each of these original 7 men were 7 women who suddenly found themselves the center of the world’s attention.  What did they eat for breakfast?  How did they raise their children?  What were their greatest fears?  Their greatest triumphs?  It was all a bit much to be under this constant magnifying glass by NASA as well as the public.  These wives were expected to be perfect, look perfect.  After all… they were representing America.

Some of them thrived in the lime light, other worked hard to keep the details of their marriage under wraps.  The world expected nothing but perfection.  This led to the women creating the Astronaut’s Wives Club.  Together the women supported one another as each man went into space.  They were their, first and foremost, when as it happened, that the husband did not come back.

The wives from Project Mercury, The Kennedy Years, Gemini Missions, and finally the Apollo program were women who didn’t sign up for this assignment but they received it any way.  Some eventually divorced, and one, can not handle the great price her husband paid.  All….

had a story to tell.

This audio book was amazing.  It was so interesting to learn about the women behind the names we know.  If you think it is hard to be shot into space… imagine being the wife left back here on earth trying to hold it together while cameras and reporters are everywhere (even in your house) can capture your every emotion.

I really enjoyed listening to this in audio format.  Narrator Orlagh Cassidy is a new narrator to me and perfect for this book.  In fact many times I checked the case to read her name trying to submit it to memory so I can look up what else she narrates.  (For the record, it looks like she narrates many David Baldachi books).  Her smooth voice flowed through this listen, never a flaw.

I highly recommend this book or audio to those who enjoy non fiction history.  The book is like reading a fiction novel, it is not a difficult read at all and I enjoy spending time with these amazing women.

Side note:  I just read that this became a series on ABC, Thursdays 8/7c starting on June 18th.   Might be interesting!

  • Listening Length: 7 hours and 46 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged

 

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Unabridged edition (June 18, 2013)