When Felicity at The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog mentioned she was helping to host an audio book hop, I had to get involved. If you read my here – you know I love me some audio! Of course, then I went ona 17 day trip to Australia and New Zealand and forgot all about it. 😳
My bad and I am late posting this.
Here are a few of my favorites of 2014 AND at the end of this post… a giveaway as well as info to the other blogs participating.
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Listening Length: 8 hours and 6 minutes
High school student Jam Gallahue is still recovering from the tragic loss of her boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield, the adorable exchange student from Britain. It has been over a year since Reeve died and Jam is still stuck in her thoughts of kissing him in the library, or watching a funny movie together. Her depression and inability to move on is so deep, her parents feel they have no choice when they send her to The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont for youth of similar struggles.
Jam is selected along with four other students to be in a class called Special Topics. An English class that turns out to be all about the works of Sylvia Plath. When the teacher hands each of the students a beautiful leather bond journal and encourages them to try to write something in them once or twice a week, Jam is certain that she will NOT be writing in a journal.
Yet one evening, Jam does decide to try to write a few lines in the book and when she does she finds herself whisked away, back to a time when she is with Reeve once again. While she fears she may be dreaming, his arms around her are all to real and when she comes back to the present, she finds she has written 5 pages in the journal. What is even more odd, Jam discovers that the other students in the Special Topics class had similar experiences, each going back to a time when things were right before their personal tragedy happened; and each coming back to find that 5 pages in their journal have been filled.
As the group begins to meet outside of class time to discuss their secret; they all wonder what will happen when they get to the end of the journal… and will that close the door to the past even if they are not ready to let go?
Gush Thoughts: It is YA meets a little magical “what if” and toss in Sylvia Plath for a mix of fun and mystery and well… LOVED IT!
The Martian by Andy Weir
Listening Length: 10 hours and 53 minutes
Mark Watney was part of an epic win for mankind. He was one of a group of astronauts that were the first to land on the planet Mars. Congratulations were short-lived when a dust storm comes up flinging the crew about like sheets of paper. Mark was struck hard by debris and the team makes an emergency evacuation of Mars feeling certain that Mark is dead.
But Mark is not dead.
He is however left on a planet with no way to communicate to earth that he is alive, and left with a hab that will possibly keep him alive for a month or so, a tent that was left behind, a land rover that may or may nor work and no plans for another team to come to Mars for about 4 years.
Mark is screwed.
For his own sanity he starts a log of what he is doing with his time and how he is making do with what he has for someone many years from now to find and hopefully learn from…. or at least know how Mark lived his last days… or how he died…
Gush thoughts: This one had me from the first sentence. Loved the narration and Mark’s “Macgyver” type dealings with his unique situation. If you missed this one you will want to go back and listen! Trust me 🙂
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
Listening Length: 6 hours and 27 minutes
Tall, blond Cadance Sinclair Eastman is the apple of her grandfather Harris’ eye as the oldest granddaughter. The Sinclair family come from money and each summer the Aunts (Cadance’s mother and her two sisters) gather with their children off a private Island in Massachusetts owned by Harris. The children, or really teens (all around 15) fondly refer to themselves as “The Liars” and consist of Cadance, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat, who is a friend of the family.
During that 15th summer, Cadance finds she has a crush of Gat; and really – he on her as well. It is a summer of new love until an accident leave Cadance with a concussion and no memory as to what happened. She misses the next summer at the Island but returns her 17th year still knowing little of what happened. Her cousins had not responded to her emails over the past year, and even Gat seems to have been avoiding her; no one wanting to tell her the details of what happened those two summers ago as her doctor has said it was best if she remembered on her own.
As Cadance slowly begins to remember snippets of what happened she starts to piece together a horrible truth.
Gush thoughts: OOH! Twisty turny and honestly blew my mind in the end (yes that is a good thing!)
Delicious by Ruth Reichl
Listening Length: 12 hours and 58 minutes
Billie Breslin is excited when she lands a job at Delicious, the cream of the crop magazine of New York. She is young and feels unqualified to be playing in the big league, but Billie has something that is rare, she has a refined palate that can identify even the toughest of ingredients within a dish. While Billie loves to be a part of the behind the scenes of the magazine, even with much prompting she has no desire to actually cook for reasons she chooses not to say. Then suddenly, while it looks as though all of Billie’s dreams are coming true, the magazine is shut down, leaving long-term employees stunned and Billie in shock as her dreams seem to tumble broken to the ground.
When Billie is asked to stay on as the sole employee of Delicious to continue to respond to letters to uphold the Delicious guarantee (if any recipe is not to your satisfaction you will be refunded the cost of your ingredients), she reluctantly agrees as she has no other immediate plans. While exploring the abandoned Delicious library before it goes on the market, she discovers a series of letters hidden in a secret room off the buildings library. These letters dating back to WWII, written by Lucy Swan, an intelligent 12-year-old open up a part of Billie that she did not know existed, and may finally help her to release the secret she has held on to tightly for way too long.
Gush thoughts: Oh my! This story is BRILLIANT! I also learned after seeing Ruth Reichl in New York this past June that it is not all fiction. Good stuff! Seriously try this audio!!!
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
Listening Length: 11 hours and 39 minutes
Riley MacPherson was only two years only when her older teenage sister Lisa committed suicide. Although Riley was too young to really remember Lisa, who was on her way to Julliard as a very gifted musician, Riley does know this was about the time her family fell apart. Her mother battled with depression and eventually cancer takes her from them. Her father acts as though nothing has happened at all and refuses to discuss it. Riley’s older brother Danny begins to pull away from the family and continues to be estranged even into his adult life.
Riley, now in her 20’s returns to her childhood home after her father’s passing to take care of the family properties. Through encounters with different local people and finding in her father’s home – evidence leads to the fact that Lisa may not have committed suicide after all…
and if that is true….
What happened? And where is she now? Is she alive?
Gush thoughts: What an amazing listen! What an amazing author! This audio sent me on a binge of other audio by this author. Fantastic!!!
These are the 5 audio books I am putting forward for this post. If you love audio these are do not miss listens. If you are new to audio or skeptical… these listens can turn you into an audio book listener. AND before you non audio peeps tell me how you can not focus or do not have time for audio let me give you a few suggestions of when is a great time to listen:
- while cooking or cleaning
- while scrapbooking or working on other projects (painting, knitting, crocheting)
- while mowing the lawn
- while in your car
For my giveaway – I am giving away an Audiobook of your choice from Audible or a $15 Amazon gift card that I hope you will use towards an audio book 🙂
To enter – leave a comment here telling me either of an audio book you have really enjoyed and would recommend, or tell me which of these audio books appeals most to you.
For an additional entry, please sign up to receive my posts by email (link is on right sidebar). If you already receive my posts by email let me know in a comment and it will be a free entry.
I will choose a winner using random.org and announce the winner on Tuesday January 27th
Trips and projects can be much more enjoyable when listening to audio. Here is a list of others on this hop for more great audio and giveaways: