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Monday, December 30, 2013

Audio CDs I'm Listening To This January 2014

I've had some surgery this fall that's made it difficult for me to keep up with all the books I wanted to catch up with from 2013, so I've decided to "read" a few of them via audio book.  Here are some of the ones I've chosen to start the year out.  I hope you'll like them when review time comes up, and that you may decide to listen along with me!

OVERVIEW of "Light in the Ruins":

From Barnes & Noble
While World War II raged all around them, the Rosatis lived quietly in the pastoral tranquility of their ancient villa in Tuscany. Then their solitude was broken, first by a simple request by two Axis soldiers to visit their Etruscan burial site; then by a virtual invasion of uniformed Nazis who turn their sanctuary into a prison. Ten years later, the events of those days reverberate when the surviving members of the family are a targeted by a relentless serial killer. Another arresting novel by the author of The Sandcastle Girls.

Produced by Random House Audio

 

Overview

A New York Times Notable Book • A Time Top Fiction Book • An NPR "Great Read" • A Chicago Tribune Best Book • A USA Today Best Book • A People magazine Top 10 Book • A Barnes and Noble Best New Book • A Good Reads Best Book • A Kirkus Best Fiction Book • A Slate Favorite Book
National Book Award Finalist and shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death.

Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up.  But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.
But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.
Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.

Published by Random House



 
Publishers Weekly
After 13 years as a memoirist, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) has returned to fiction, and clearly she’s reveling in all its pleasures and possibilities. The Signature of All Things is a big, old-fashioned story that spans continents and a century. It has an omniscient narrator who can deploy (never heavy-handedly) a significant amount of research into the interconnected fields of late 18th- and early 19th-century botany, botanical drawing, spiritual inquiry, exploration, and, eventually, the development of the theory of evolution. The story begins with Henry Whittaker, at first poor on the fringes of England’s Kew Gardens, but in the end the richest man in Philadelphia. In more detail, the story follows Henry’s daughter, Alma. Born in 1800, Alma learns Latin and Greek, understands the natural world, and reads everything in sight. Despite her wealth and education, Alma is a woman, and a plain one at that, two facts that circumscribe her opportunities. Resigned to spinsterhood, ashamed and tormented by her erotic desires, Alma finds a late-in-life soul mate in Ambrose Pike, a talented botanical illustrator and spiritualist. Characters crisscross the world to make money, to learn, and, in Alma’s case, to understand not just science but herself and her complicated relationship with Ambrose. Eventually Alma, who studies moss, enters into the most important scientific discussions of the time. Alma is a prodigy, but Gilbert doesn’t cheat: her life is unlikely but not impossible, and for readers traveling with Henry from England to the Andes to Philadelphia, and then with Alma from Philadelphia to Tahiti to Holland, there is much pleasure in this unhurried, sympathetic, intelligent novel by an author confident in her material and her form. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, the Wylie Agency. (Oct. 1)

Produced by Penguin Group

 


SUMMARY:

Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants, the first novel in the extraordinary historical epic Century Trilogy, was an international sensation, acclaimed as “sweeping and fascinating, a book that will consume you for days or weeks” (USA Today). Now Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs and the beginning of the long Cold War.

Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide, until daring to commit a deed of great courage and heartbreak....American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific....English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism....Daisy Peshkov, a driven social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until war transforms her life, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war but also the war to come.

Produced by Penguin Group



I've currently started "The Lowland" which I also started in hard copy last month.  It's clearly a wonderful story, but I need some "rest" time and I know I'll continue to enjoy it though someone else is reading it to me!!  The narrator is excellent....

So, I encourage you to listen to an audio book yourself as this season's business draws to a close and the new year whips up quickly with its own business.  I love to stitch and knit quietly while I listen to my "stories."  What do you do?

Sending hugs to everyone this end of the holidays!!

Deborah
 

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