Posted in books on CD, Fantasy, general fiction, tagged Audrey Niffenegger, Chicago, Clare, Henry, Survival, Time Travel, Time Traveler's Wife on November 22, 2014|
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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ISBN 978-0156029438 – Read by
Have you ever listened to a book which was a little confusing in audio but thought that if read from a page would have made much more sense? I do not know about anyone else but this book fell into that category for me. I really enjoyed the book and the lovely twists and turns and back and forth; the idea of love that transcends time and place. Maybe my confusion was something that every reader felt, but I believe that this is one book to be read.
cover art from The Time Traveler’s Wife
Each chapter opens with a time date and age of Henry and Clare. The audio book has two readers – one reads Henry perspectives and the other reads Clare’s. They are excellent readers and my complaint has nothing to do with the readers, but unless you have an eidetic memory, very few people as they are driving down the road can remember “Christmas Eve 1991 (Clare is 20, Henry is 28)”
Henry has a condition. With no control or planning he will all of a sudden leap from this life into a scene from the past, usually a scene with great emotion. He has seen the car crash where his mother died on any number of occasions, he goes back to when he meets Clare for the first time. As he ages, the condition is worsening and he has less and less control. He has found a doctor who is trying to help and found a friend who concocts drug combinations to try and help him stay in one place; but there comes a point when nothing helps.
Clare is a studio artist and Henry is a librarian in a special collection. A fitting occupation for one who travels through time.
Henry takes nothing from one time to another and arrives naked. So he has had to adapt — find clothes quickly, be able to pick locks and has a loose moral code to allow himself to survive. Though I may not agree with theft, I might think otherwise if I continually ended up in a strange place in winter with lots of snow on the ground.
This is first and foremost a love story. Henry and Clare are truly an amazing couple. Yet this is also a story of fantasy and the magical “what-if”.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys literature with a hint of romance and fantasy. It is a very well written work with some great characters.
From Publishers Weekly
This highly original first novel won the largest advance San Francisco-based MacAdam/Cage had ever paid, and it was money well spent. Niffenegger has written a soaring love story illuminated by dozens of finely observed details and scenes, and one that skates nimbly around a huge conundrum at the heart of the book: Henry De Tamble, a rather dashing librarian at the famous Newberry Library in Chicago, finds himself unavoidably whisked around in time. He disappears from a scene in, say, 1998 to find himself suddenly, usually without his clothes, which mysteriously disappear in transit, at an entirely different place 10 years earlier-or later. During one of these migrations, he drops in on beautiful teenage Clare Abshire, an heiress in a large house on the nearby Michigan peninsula, and a lifelong passion is born. The problem is that while Henry’s age darts back and forth according to his location in time, Clare’s moves forward in the normal manner, so the pair are often out of sync. But such is the author’s tenderness with the characters, and the determinedly ungimmicky way in which she writes of their predicament […] that the book is much more love story than fantasy. It also has a splendidly drawn cast, from Henry’s violinist father […] to Clare’s odd family and a multitude of Chicago bohemian friends. […] It is a fair tribute to her skill and sensibility to say that the book leaves a reader with an impression of life’s riches and strangeness rather than of easy thrills.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Posted in books on CD, general fiction, mystery, tagged 978-0345542885, Grandma Bella, Grandma Mazur, Janet Evanovich, Lorelei King, Ranger, Stephanie Plum, Trenton New Jersey on February 24, 2014|
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Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich ISBN 978-0345542885
I appreciate Janet Evanovich’s humor and characters, they are fun and a great way to relax when the snow is falling far too much and winter is just surreal. Is this intellectually stimulating? No, but it wasn’t intended to be it is meant to be fun and happy and ridiculous at times.
In an interview given at one of the end of the audio books, Janet said that she plots out which characters are going to be the supporting roles in the book. In “Takedown Twenty” — the supporting roles fall to Ranger and Grandma Mazur, in my opinion a great combination.
Stephanie has a file on “Uncle Sunny” — he is FTA for running someone over … twice. Uncle Sunny is Morelli’s godfather and protected by the mighty Bella. It seems that everyone wants to keep quiet about the whereabouts of her FTA.
Ranger is searching for someone who has killed the mother of his client and because of Stephanie’s many connections he calls her to help him track down the killer of old women.
Grandma Mazur turns out to be the key to all the investigations and in her usual quirky sense provides many chuckles.
Overall a pleasant read beside the wood stove on a winter day.
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The Third Victim by Lisa Gardner
cover art from The Third Victim
I had heard Lisa Gardner speak at a conference and since was sounded so interesting in person, I felt I had to read her work. So off to the InterLibrary Loan site and I requested “The Third Victim” on audiobook.
It opens in a small town in Oregon. Rainie Connor (short for Lorraine) is one of two full time officers in Bakersville. She has grown up there and was only away a few years when she went to college, but she returned a few years ago and lives in the home she grew up in. She has just finished her lunch in a small diner when an emergency call comes in concerning the school. Her boss calls her via radio and asks her to take lead and says he will meet her there. As a single woman with no children, she has no immediate ties to the school and she does have a hard time trying to gain order in the parking lot and the surrounding area. Keeping frantic people out of the school, investigating to see if the perpetrator is out of the building, to see about getting injured people out, and otherwise securing the crime scene.
As it turns out there were three victims: two students and a teacher. The alleged suspect was the sheriff’s son.
Because of the small town jurisdiction the State Police were involved and because it was a school shooting an FBI serial crime expert was called in. Most of the book seemed to be about the three parties and how they did and didn’t work together.
Another aspect of the book was how the small town dealt with such a blow. Feelings were high and though the investigators felt that the youth didn’t do it all by himself, finding the one who helped was very hard work.
Rainie also had to deal with demons in her own past. Her mother had been brutally murdered in her own home and her good-for-nothing boyfriend who many suspected as the possible murderer was not found.
This was a fine mystery with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing all the way through.
“A suspenseful, curl-up winter read, this thriller teems with crisp, realistic dialogue and engaging characters.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Riveting, hold-your-breath suspense.”
— Iris Johansen
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Posted in books on CD, Fantasy, tagged Bon Temps, Charlaine Harris, Dead Ever After, Johanna Parker, murder, shape shifters, Sookie Stackhouse, vampires, werewolves on December 28, 2013|
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Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (read by Johanna Parker)
cover art from Dead Ever After
The conclusion to the Sookie Stackhouse series was a very interesting.
I enjoyed listening to this book.
The maneuverings of the vampires. The jealousy of Eric. The confusion of Sam, brought back from the dead with special elfin magic. Demons and pacts with the devil. A death in town that is blamed on Sookie who through the bail hearings and investigation finds out who her friends are. This story has so many twists and turns that it is hard to find out where exactly you are in the whole book. You almost need a flow chart. It wrapped up many of the characters quite nicely — leaving it so that we had a nice feeling of resolution and though we may not liked how things turned out, it made a certain amount of sense.
It holds a logic and sense of continuity that holds to the authors beliefs and follow the story line of the series.
It is hard for an author who has a successful series to hold firm to the thought that this is a good time to end. I give Charlaine Harris credit for having the fortitude to do that now.
“The Sookie Stackhouse series seamlessly mixes sensuality, violence, and humor.”—Boulder Weekly
“Harris’s creation offers a magical and mysterious twist on traditional vampire stories.”—Houston Chronicle
“What sucked me in? Definitely the books’ oddly charming, often funny mix of the mundane and the absurd. And the chills and thrills in boudoirs and various locales around the South aren’t too bad either.”—The Seattle Times
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The Art of the Start: the time-tested, battle-hardened guide for anyone starting anything by Guy Kawasaki read by Paul Boehmer
cover art from Art of the Start
The draw back of listening to this on audiobook as opposed to reading it in print was that I didn’t do the exercises or write down ideas of things that I really thought were important … it is hard to do when driving 65 miles per hour down the highway!
But it is my hope to re-listen to this book soon so that ideas can percolate in my head and turn into action.
This breaks the project into many points. If you are starting a business or a church group or a new hobby; you need a plan. All projects start with a dream. I want to create a world changing app for the tablet. I want to write a book.
Then bits and pieces need to come into place.
The dream needs to be made manifest in pieces — sometimes starting is the most difficult thing so break it into manageable chunks and slowly move forward. Articulate the pieces and the more you share with trusted associates, the more you can figure out what will work. Part of this process will be pitching to important individuals who can help you. Something that may also be part of this preliminary time is writing a plan of how to proceed and what you hope to gain.
If this is a company you will need to raise capital or if you want to write a book you will have to determine how much funding you need to move forward. If you are starting a church group this may not be as important a goal. However every new endeavor needs support if it is financial or emotional. Do you have people who share your vision?
Every dream needs supporters. Every project needs a brand so that when people see the image they know exactly what to expect. Then you need to be a person of integrity who will stand by your dream and give that vision to the world in such an amazing way that your audience will think of you and your vision before all others.
This book is a great resource if you are starting to formulate a new dream or business. My recommendation would be to read it in print or eformat for listening, though very well-done, was hard to capture all the wonderfully helpful points that he had to make … unless you have time to listen multiple times or have an eidetic memory.
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Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill by James Patterson
This is the first book in this series that I had read and/or listened to. I really don’t remember why I picked it up, but I think it had something to do with I was looking for something to listen to with the kids and we had just finished “Angels & Demons” and we needed something light and fluffy. This fit the bill perfectly.
Though I am sure we missed something by not starting the series at the beginning — it was fine. The main character was going to summer camp with his sister. His sister was going to the advanced academic side of the camp and he was going to the remedial camp section.
The camp was split into cabins and of course judging by the name of the book we find that our main character is in the ‘loser’ cabin and we see all kinds of bullying that occur and have occurred over the years at this camp. Many of the campers are repeat campers and know each other.
There are some great antics. Typical potty humor that all middle school students love and yet some really serious sections that make people think about motivations and what makes people tick. Plots of revenge for misdeeds, midnight adventures, and running away from camp.
I can see this is a great book for reluctant readers who may need encouragement to read or, like us, a great bit of light humor between harder, deeper books.
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