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

10

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)

Audio Book Month Giveaway!

4

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:

cook

clean

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.

So….

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.

 

 

 

Twisted Fate by Norah Olson

Twisted Fate, Norah Olson, Book JOurney

The Tate sisters could not be more different.  Allyson is all about fashion and appearance and Sydney likes punk rock music, skate boarding and hanging out with her friends.

When a new mysterious boy moves in next door, both girls take notice.  Graham is cute and quiet and takes his camera wherever he goes, always documenting people and life.  Allyson is instantly intrigued but Sydney feels something is off about Graham and worries about her sister.  Graham in turn, takes interest in both girls.

When the unthinkable happens, it is Graham and his camera who may be able to save the day, but at what cost to everyone involved?

 

 

 

This book had great potential.  The synopsis was good, however the first part was a lot about Sydney and her pot smoking friends which I did not find to fit into the main story line at all.  About mid way through the book the narration changes to the adults and it started to get interesting and that lasted through the end of the book which then felt hurried and not satisfactory.

Ugh.

Ok, to explain what I just wrote, Twisted Fate is told from multiple narratives.  Both Ally and Sydney narrate, as well as Graham, and his parents.  There is a lot going on in the book and I think that might just by the problem.  The book lays out in too many directions and nothing felt finished to me.  Where it starts out with Sydney and the pot smoking (which nothing ever comes of this although she is supposedly wicked smart and going to be class valedictorian) and suddenly shoots to Graham and the story changes to something else.  It felt choppy.

I think the makings of a good read was there, it just did not execute right.  Oh, and on another note.. the overuse of any descriptions or words in a book always gets me going.  In this book, “skinny jeans” were mentioned often and on the audio I started repeating it every time they talked about it I would say out loud “Skinny jeans!.”  It could have been a drinking game. 😉

I don’t mean for this to be a harsh review.  Clearly it wasn’t a great read for me, yet as I did mention, the Graham story line is very interesting. Perhaps if the story could have focused a little more on that and flushed it out, it had real potential.

Narrated by Emma Galvin (Narrator), Tara Sands (Narrator), Michael Crouch (Narrator), Rachel F. Hirsch (Narrator), Dan Bittner (Narrator), Peter Ganim (Narrator), Tavia Gilbert (Narrator), Ellen Archer (Narrator), Jason Culp (Narrator) .  It was a great cast of narrators, surprisingly many for a fairly short audiobook.

 

 

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (January 20, 2015)
  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 5 hours and 43 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Harper Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 20, 2015