I Have Something To Tell You by Chasten Buttigieg

I enjoy memoirs and biographies that are narrated by the author. I Have Something To Tell You was just as wonderful as I had hoped. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Chasten as well as learn more about Pete. ~Sheila

I Have Something To Tell You is a wonderful adventure in Chasten Buttigieg life – both in his early years of immense shyness and struggling to find his place in the world to his meeting of Pete and becoming the Social Media person to follow. I was fully engrossed in the book which I listened to on audio. It is narrated by Chasten and I love it when an author tells their own story. I feel it adds so much more.

From Chasten’s early years as he struggled to make ends meet trying to attend school and hold down a full time job to the days of meeting Pete and the decisions that follow when Pete decides to run for President are incredible. I enjoyed hearing the first hand perspective of Chasten being supportive as he decided to give up his teaching job for the campaign trail. The stories that follow are heart warming as well as heart wrenching as the stories of the trail unfold.

A highly recommended read – or if you are an audio lover like me, please consider audio for the wonderful narration of Chasten. I am now a follower of his great humor and insight.

Welcome to the Audie Awards…. Your Ticket Awaits You At The Door


Hello everyone and welcome to the Audie Awards post.  I so hope I did not keep you waiting to long but what is an event like this if you do not have to wait for it to happen.  Creates buzz I think 😉

Last Wednesday May 11th, I was lucky enough to be the plus one to the Audie Awards in Chicago at the Planetarium.  I was the guest of our very own Candace, Beth Fish Reads, who won the Audio Book Blogger Of The Year.  WOOT!!!!  *Oops that wasn’t very lady like…. I mean *polite clap muffled by silk gloves to my elbow*

All kidding aside, this was quite an honor.  This is a $700 ticketed invite only event and we were there!  So let’s go in shall we?


We arrived at 5:30 pm per instructions for Candace to have a chance to go over what she would be saying when she gave out the awards.  I was an observer at this point but it was pretty cool to watch. Everyone was incredibly nice.  I even had a chance to go and look at the cool Audie Awards that would be handed out to the winners when the event began.  I looked.  I did not touch.  I wanted to touch.

And then, before we knew it, we were being ushered upstairs to the reception area.


The signature drink offered at the door was ummm….. I don’t know.  It was good, kind of a grapefruit flavor to it but not bitter.

Candace and I mingled with the Narrators and some of the big name narrating names.  It was really amazing and I think we were both a little shell shocked as waiters and waitresses encouraged us to take the delicious little appetizers that I soooo wish I had taken pictures of (but did not want to look too fan girlish 😉 ).




Can’t you just hear the mingling?  It was the sound of many narrators at once. 🙂

Then the big moment came and we were all sent back downstairs for the main event.


Paula Poundstone was the emcee and I have to say she was hilarious.  I do not belly laugh often, but this woman had me laughing until I cried.  Better yet, you do not even have to take my word for it, the whole thing is available on You Tube! (See Below)


One of the hilarious moments in the award ceremony was when Paula asked that the screen be backed up so she could get a closer look at one of the audio book covers.  Her question?  “Why do we not judge the covers?”  There is a pretty funny give and take on this one with the narrator who was in the audience.


Candace did a wonderful job of giving out the awards in four different categories.  I was the careful photographer behind the scenes trying to capture the moment.



It was a wonderful event and it went by so fast.  It was amazing to be one of the first to know what audio books won the award for best of the year.  I loved watching the audio books show up on the screen and then hearing which one won.  Many I have read… there are many more that were added to my “must listen” list.


When it was over Candace let me take one of the audio award envelopes that announced the winners.  TOTALLY EXCITED!!!!!!  This was pretty awesome…. and I picked…



After the awards we were back up stairs *should have worn a Fitbit* and into the hall again for dessert and champagne.  We had a wonderful time being able to talk with many of the narrators, and still looking at one another saying, “Yeah… that just happened.”

Thanks Candace for letting me be your plus one.  What an AMAZING experience!





Note that the show does not start for the first 30 minutes so forward this baby and get ready to laugh and see our very own Candace of Beth Fish Reads give away a few awards!

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar and Narrated by Kathleen McInerney

louis sachar, fuzzy mud, book journey MG, middle grade, audio, Kathleen McInerney

Seventh grader Marshall Walsh has been walking his neighbor 5th grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi to school ever since elementary.  When a bully by the name of Chad Hilligas forces them off the road home one day both Marshall and Tamaya wind up cutting into the woods in hopes of escaping Chad.  While trying to find their way out of the woods and avoid Chad at the same time, they stumble into an area that has strange mud that appears to have fuzz floating on top.  Little do they know the danger they are all in by being near this mud – but they are about to find out.



You may think that Louis Sachar sounds familiar and you would be right – he is the author of Holes which brings a smile to my face just by saying that title.  Another incredible MG read and movie.

Fuzzy Mud contains Louis’ unique story telling style.  He amazes me how he can pull a subject out of nowhere and create an interesting story within that not only captivates, but contains a lesson as well.  He did it in Holes, and he does it again in Fuzzy Mud.  I loved the story and the parts where the senate and authorities get involved explaining what has happened.  Brilliantly done.

I listened to this on audio on my way home from Chicago.  Kathleen McInerney has a voice that works well in this book.   She can really bring out her inner child and captures Tamaya as well as the other tweens flawlessly.

This is a perfect family audio book for a road trip.  One I think all ages can enjoy, I sure did.


  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 5 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Listening Library
  • Audible.com Release Date: August 4, 2015



First Women by Kate Andersen Brower and Narrated by Karen White

first women, kate andersen brower, karen white, narration, audio, book journey


If you think the President has a tough job, imagine being the First Lady!  From uprooting your children from their homes, schools, friends, to be in the very public eye;  to letting go of any sense of privacy, the ability to go shopping/drive for yourself, or even take a nice quiet walk in a park.  You are “on” 24/7 standing next to your husband supporting his decisions (both good and bad), being scrutinized by the public for the way you dress, talk, your weight, your habits, and your contributions to the world at large.  You run a staff in the White House and are in charge of decorating and planning White House events.

First Women takes you up close and personal to witness Michelle Obama’s desire to leave the White House as soon as possible hating the constant over attention and lack of any private life.  Lady Bird Johnson’s struggles, Patricia Nixon’s ability to hold her head high, Jacqueline Kennedy’s marriage and heartbreak, Rosalyn Carter removing all alcohol from the White House, Nancy Reagan’s refusal to use a paper napkin, Barbara Bush being a part of the White House not only once, but twice with her daughter in law Laura, and Hilary Clinton…. potential to return to the house that blew her personal life up to the public and yet she wants back in.




I absolutely enjoyed Kate Andersen Brower’s book The Residence.  I loved how she gave us an inside look into the inner working of the White House through the staff’s eyes.  I gobbled up every word and was thrilled when I heard she was going to do it again but this time with the focus on First Women to our Presidents.  As someone who values their privacy and down time I can not even imagine a life in the constant spot light.

Karen Andersen Brower once again does an amazing job of sharing with the reader/listener the inner dealings of the First Women of the White House.  If you do listen to this one on audio, know that Karen White (who also narrated The Residence) does an exceptional job of capturing each of these women’s essence through her words.  I listened to this audio from Minnesota to Chicago and thoroughly enjoyed all of it.

Highly recommended to those of us who enjoy great non fiction with interesting facts about people.  I hope that whatever Karen Andersen Brower offers up next includes Karen White’s narration again… enjoy this duo!

I picked up First Women from the Brainerd Public Library



  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 26 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Harper Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: April 12, 2016


Allegiant by Veronica Roth Narrated by Emma Galvin and Aaron Stanford


The final chapters in the Divergent Series….

Tris and Tobias along with a few of the gang we have come to love (or hate), continue to try to make things right.  As the factions are no more, Divergents such as Tris are no longer outcasts, by considered genetically pure.  Tobias who was once a strong leader of the Dauntless is not considered one of the genetically damaged.  As both Tris and Tobias try to make sense of this new world, coming to term with past hurts, family, and what the future holds there is still an underlying plan humming through the city that can once again..

change everything.



I have a funny history with these books.  I loved Divergent and everything is stood for.  I read the follow-up of Insurgent and continued to love the books.  When Allegiant was just a whisper with a release date I pre-ordered the book to read as soon as I could get my hands on it….

and then the buzz began…

about a week before the book released the word was out that the alternating chapters of Tris and Tobias from their point of view was not appealing.  The word on the net was that a golden opportunity with this series was missed and I, I am ashamed to say, caught up with the hype, put the book on my book shelf…


Fast forward to the movies…. I loved the first two movies and seen both in the theater.  Then it came time for Allegiant to come out, and I still had not finished the series.  My rule (occasionally bent) is that I read a book before I see a movie made from it.  So Allegiant was not a movie I seen at the theater.  And then, I found the audio available for download from my library.  Well then….. let’s do this.

My review…

After that LONG lead in, here we go.  This is a good example of why we should not listen to others thoughts on anything and always see for ourselves. I did not mind the alternating chapters at all.  Maybe it flowed better on audio, I do not know as that original book I bought is STILL unread on my shelf.  I enjoyed this final to the series, how the world would work when you think you have fought for freedom that never really comes free.

The narration was wonderful.  LOVED both narrators and I thought that Aaron Stanford was the perfect rough, young, dare I say sexy, voice that was right on for Mathias.  Emma Galvin handled Tris’ character perfectly with just the right tone of self-confidence and intelligence you expect out of Tris.

My over all thoughts – initially I felt the books could have ended with Insurgent.  Now I see why Allegiant was necessary.  It is not the ending I would have wanted…. it is the one it needed to be.



  • Listening Length: 11 hours and 55 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • Audible.com Release Date: October 22, 2013


Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson and Narrated by the author (AUDIE AWARDS)

Furiously happy, book journey, jenny lawson, mental illness, audie awards

In Jenny Lawson’s second book, Jenny again shares a little deeper this time into her journey with mental illness.  In her crazy, funny, unique way Jenny both makes fun of some of the things she comes up with, as well as handles more serious moments woven within this unique tale of taxidermy raccoons,  a cat named Ferris Mewler, the tolerance level of her husband Victor, dreams for a more tolerant understanding world, and more.



I met Jenny Lawson years ago in New York at the book expo. Honestly, her humor is at times a bit crude and the whole taxidermy discussions freaks me out, but I do appreciate her underlying humor and the message within.  Saying that, while I know I am not her target audience, there are many who are and I applaud her for her unique voice and a unique listen in a world that can create many cookie-cutteresk books and audio.  I think anyone who has listened to Jenny Lawson can attest to the uniqueness!  🙂

There are moments of laughter for sure.  While driving through town and listening to this audio I had to laugh out loud when she talked about taking Smokey The Bear’s Message quite literally…

“Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”

Yikes.  That is a lot of pressure.

I do appreciate Jenny Lawson’s quick whit, I can not deny laugh out loud moments.  As a narrator, she rocks. In a book like this, no one else could narrate Jenny’s story other than Jenny.  She can put just the right emphasis (or not) to each story of her life happenings.  She can use just the right tone, and just the right amount of pause for the listener to catch what was just said.

While I may have passed on this one if not for the audio and Jenny Lawson being up for the Audie Award, I have to say I am glad I did listen to it.  It is that same style of humor you get from her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, but there is more here – a deeper message that spoke to me a little bit and I think if most of us are honest…. we would say the same.

Well done Jenny.  Keep up the good fight.



  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: September 22, 2015



A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman narrated by George Newbern (Recommended by Bookies Book Club)

3a - Copy

Ove is the kind of man most tend to avoid.  He is 59 years old and retired.  He likes things the way he likes them and that is all.  He is a rule follower.  He doesn’t understand people who just can’t mind their own business and for Gods sake.. follow the basic rules.  Most refer to him as a crabby old man and worth avoiding but Ove could care less.  Is he supposed to plaster a stupid smile on his face and pretend that the local idiots are ok?  Ove doesn’t think so.

Then one day new neighbors move in and in the princess of doing so they hit Ove’s mailbox because clearly they have no idea how to back up a U-Haul.  Seriously?   And they are chatty… this family of “The Pregnant One”, the “Lanky One” and their two little ones. What Ove does not expect is how much this family will turn his world around… in surprising ways for all involved.


A Man Called Ove was our book club pick for April.  Having just come off a not-so-delightful read, A Man Called Ove sounded lighthearted and funny and who doesn’t like that?  For myself, I listened to it on audio and enjoyed the narration of George Newbern, a narrator to keep an eye (or ear?) on as he has narrated several audio books I have thoroughly enjoyed.  While I enjoyed this book, and occasionally smiled at the things that Ove would say or do, it was not the funny award-winning read that I had hoped for.  This could be because I may not have been fully engaged when listening to the audio, or it may just not have lived up the hype that I was expecting and that in a nut shell is the problem with hype.  🙂  It may have been better not knowing any opinions on the book prior to listening.

My book club, The Bookies, all read the book version.  There was great discussion over the different themes that flow through this book:  depression, self-worth, relationships at all levels, the importance of community…  listening to them share about the book I almost wish I would have read it just for the fact that I think that I may have not been in the right frame of mind for such an audio and missed some things by listening instead of reading in this particular case.

Over all the bookies rated this one in the high 4’s to 5 on our scale of 1-5 on book ratings.  They enjoyed Ove very much and we all discussed the Ove’s we have in our own life.  I actually came in at the lowest rating of a 3, which is not bad.  I found it to be an average read, good but not over the top great.  Perhaps this is one I need to someday read again.

If you read my morning post you seen all the delightful food we had centered around this book.  We tried a few Swedish recipes.  I made a sausage and potato hot dish as Ove liked to eat that dish every day.   Oh… Ove.  🙂


Why A Man Called Ove makes for a good book club book:

The book lends itself to many topics that are discussion worthy…. relationships, generations, suicide, depression, aging…

As I mentioned, most of us know an “Ove”, someone set in their ways and see things as black and white and never gray.  Talk about your “Ove”.  How do you relate to this person?  Do you see underneath the hard structure?

The Swedish background allows for some creative food to go with your discussion.  There is a lot of food and drink mentioned within this book and experiencing this as a group is fun.

Several movies come to mind when you are discussing AMCO.  Consider watching one of these movies with your book group… Grumpy Old Men, Gran Torino, About Schmidt, As Good As It Gets…



  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
  • Audible.com Release Date: August 5, 2014



Level Up. Beyond The Turning Of The Page

audio meme

About once a year, I get on my audio soap box.  If you read me here, you already know I LOVE audio books.  When I discovered audio books in 2010, I was amazed that I had found a way to enjoy books beyond the turning of the page.  If you are into real books or your E-Reader, what I want to share here is that this is another way to EXPERIENCE books that will (I promise) take you to the next level.

One thing we can agree on before we get started….. we all love to read.  We enjoy engaging in a well written story.  We can close our eyes and picture our favorite reading spot…. a cozy chair, on the porch in the sun, in the evening curled up on the couch, outside on a swing, a park bench, leaning against a tree….

I get that.  I am that.  Often… I love to be on the back deck in the summer with ice tea and a great read.  But for me.. life does not stop so I can read a book.  Lets try this visual:

3a - Copy

So many books…. so little time right?

So let’s get started.

We just covered the WHY and WHEN you should listen to audio….


HOW To Listen To Audio.11

Audio books may give you a visual of old school audio tapes…..  and uhhh….. no.  Fast forward to something a little more current.  Hip and happening…..

Audio books come in CD format.  Perfect for your car and in your home.  They also can be downloaded off your computer to ITUNES or even directly to your phone (my personal favorite).  With an auxiliary cord, you can easily hook your phone up to your vehicles radio and listen to it within your car.

11My personal favorite is on my phone because my phone is usually everywhere I am.  I picked up an external speaker at Wal-Mart (found at most stores that has electronics).  This allows your phone to connect with the speaker and amplify the sound.  This way I can set the speaker and phone on my kitchen counter and work my way around the area without having to carry my phone with me to hear it.  External speakers range any where from $9.99 to $89.99.  I paid $14.98 for mine three years ago and it still works wonderfully.  No need to go fancy. 🙂

For traveling purposes, such as walking the dog, traveling on a plane or mowing the lawn, ear buds come into play.  These too can be picked up at most stores that carry electronics for fairly reasonable.


WHERE To Find Great Audio Books.confused-smiley

Audiobooks can be purchased in CD format at most stores that carry books.  You can also pick them up on line off Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc…  For downloading audio to your device of choice, there are several options.

Audible.com:  This is the one I use and have used for 5 years.  Audible lets you choose up to two audio books a month at a greatly reduced price from what you would purchase audio in the stores.  I am on the two credits per month program and pay $22.95 per month.  Many audio books, especially new and popular titles go for anywhere between $25 and $50 an audio book so this is a great reduction.  As a new customer, you receive your first audio book free – just go on and pick one. Another thing I love about Audible is that if you are listening to a book that you do not find to your liking, go into your account and ask to return it.  No questions asked they will give you your credit back!  They also have wonderful sales where you can pick titles up for $4.95 each, as well a daily special where one audio book will be $2.95.  No contract, quit any time.

Downpour.com is another site much like Audible, however they do not have DRM (which honestly I knew little about until I read the linked article.  I have not spent a lot of time on this site yet, but I will. Definitely one worth checking out.


WHAT To Listen To

Ahhhh….. one of my favorite topics…. what to listen to on audio?  Most sites will allow you to listen to a sample of the audio book.  I highly recommend you do this.  Not all audio is treated alike.  Narration is so important and while you can read here or on other sites about favorite narrators….  you really need to hear for yourself and choose what you like.  A good narration (IMO) lets you lose yourself in the book.  You don’t hear someone reading, instead you become part of the story.  You don’t hear a change in character voices, instead you hear a discussion.  And when you are really really lucky – you fall in love with the narration and…. you stalk the narrator.  You look for books that this narrator has narrated.  That’s when you know you have it bad.  I have done it.

I can give you a short list here of some of my favorites…. but definitely look around and see what other reviewers are talking about in audio books.  I have picked many audio books on my own, but I have picked just as many or perhaps even more on someone elses raving.


A few of my top picksfavorites-yellow-star-icon-29360

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Narrated by Wil Wheaton (soon to be a movie!)

11-22-63 by Stephen King Narrated by Craig Wasson (do not write this off because it is a King book.  It is, and it isn’t!)

The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower Narrated by Karen White (This is such a great listen and so informative)

The Martian by Andy Weir Narrated by R.C. Bray  (From the very first sentence I was all….. oh yeah.  This is going to be fun)

YOU by Caroline Kepnes narrated by Santino Fontana  (oh my word!  The narration and Joe….. WOW!)

Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain Narrated by Susan Bennett

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty Narrated by Caroline Lee  (Oh I fell in love with this story and this narrator!  I also enjoyed Big Little lies with the same narrator!  It’s like narrator crack!)

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

hidden bodies, caroline kepnes, book journey

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to the sacrifices one has to make for love.  In fact, within the past ten years, he has four bodies that he has buried to prove just how much he is willing to sacrifice.  Once a book store manager, Joe thought he had met the love of his life but that turned out to be wrong.

Very wrong.

And now once again, Joe finds himself in love with someone new, someone better… and also someone who hurts him very badly.  Joe makes the decision to move and start fresh, perhaps a different view will give him just what he needs to leading a much simpler life.  Yet the past has a way of creeping back up and Joe has to wonder how many more bodies is he going to have to hide to keep his secrets safe?



Oh wow oh wow.   You know the books that you hate to finish because you don’t want them to end?  This would be one of those books.  I, sickeningly enough, adore Joe.  Like YOU  (the first book that brings this creepy funny witty protagonist to life) I listened to Hidden Bodies on audio.  Let me say this.  If you enjoy audio, I absolutely insist that you listen to both of these books.  If you are new to audio, this would be a great way to start.  Narrator Santino Fontana literally embodies Joe.  This narration is so good, you forget that you are listening to a book.  I had moments where I laughed out loud, and believe me, I do not laugh our loud often.

I also absolutely need to give a hats off to author Caroline Kepnes.  I am so impressed that this book is written by a female author.  She has captured Joe, the essence of GUY in these books.  She is an amazing writer, and I love her dry humor.  I can not wait to read (or hopefully listen to!) more from her.

As you can probably tell, I find this book gush worthy.  I don’t think I loved it as much as YOU, but it was pretty close.  YOU is somewhat lighter if I dare say that, and while I believe YOU was more sexually graphic; the book references, the movie references, really made it wonderful.  If it wrong to fall in love with a killer I don’t want to be right.  If you can handle a book that is a little vulgar at times, I have to tell you this one is so worth it.  If you read my reviews, you know I don’t say that lightly.  While this book does have sexual content, I would say it is never over the top and never gory.    I would say I think the difference is Joe.  You have to experience Joe.

Hidden Bodies starts off right where YOU leaves off.  While you do not have to read/listen (oh my gosh listen to this one!!!) to You before you move into Hidden Bodies, I highly recommend that you do.  YOU really lets you get to know Joe in a way that is not as fully developed in Hidden Bodies.  There are also many references (some really funny) that you will miss if you have not experienced YOU first.

Please look at other reviews of this book as well.  There are quite a few bloggers out there that I enjoy that are gushing about these two reads as well.



  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 13 hours and 3 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: February 23, 2016


Gretel and The Case Of The Missing Frog Prints by PJ Brackston and read by Kate Reading

gretel and the case of the missing frog prints, p j brackston, book journey

No, not my typical read/listen… but a story based off Hansel and Gretel,

a play on words in the title and that cover… how could I pass the temptation? ~Sheila

Many years have passed since Hansel and Gretel had that fateful day the witch lured them to her house made of cake and candy.  Sadly, not a whole lot has changed.

Since that sugary encounter, neither Hans (yes he goes by Hans now) and Gretel (now 35) have had a hard time with their eating habits….both of them craving sweets constantly and always up for a bite to eat.

When Albrecht Dürer the Much Much Younger’s valuable frog prints go missing, he does not hesitate to call the best Private Investigator money can buy, Gretel.  Yes, THAT Gretel.  Gretel leaps at the chance to take on such a case, bribing her hefty brother to go with her with the fact that the city’s Annual Sausage Festival will be taking place around the area she will be investigating.

Having grown up on stories like Hansel and Gretel (which now come to think of it is a HORRIFYING story of attempted cannibalism) I was interested in exploring an adult version of the siblings.  I listened to this on audio with narration by Kate Reading which was a big plus for the story.

I initially thought I would be listening to a middle grade (MG) story but please note, depending on the child, this may not be for them.  There is a part of the story where Gretel is undercover in a Brothel for a time.  I have to add, completely unnecessary to the story line and without that the book would have been wonderful for middle grade children as there are encounters with talking mice, and solving the crime itself would be something I would think children would have fun figuring out.

For the reasons I mention above, I was disappointed.  I looked on-line and did not see on the sites I looked at any age suggestions for this book.  While nothing is really said to make this book inappropriate, an inquiring child may inquire what a brothel is.  This is entirely my opinion as all my reviews.  What initially I thought I could promote as a family listen on a car trip, in the end I cannot say that.

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 14 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 15, 2015