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Friday, November 15, 2013

Audio Books~ November 2013


Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

I TOOK A NOTION to collect some audio books for listening over the next couple of weeks.  I have a love hate relationship with them.  First of all, I see them as a convenience more than a pleasure...  When I grab one, it's usually because I want desperately to read a certain book, but can't find a way to fit it into my otherwise slammed schedule. 

I tend often to find the narrator's voice grating.  Rarely do I find it fits the tone of the book.  When it does, it's really a slam dunk.  When it fails badly, it can completely ruin a book for me.  Usually, it's just a tinnitus in the background that I can learn to live with after a couple of chapters.

It's a wonder to me when I come across blogs and vlogs with those who spend a good deal of time "reading" audio books.  Where do they listen to them?  What are they doing when they listen?  I find it unbearable to just sit still and listen.  I have to be doing something.  The times I've traveled and listened to a book on CD have been the most rewarding to me.  I also knit, do needlework and quilt while I listen.  I really do wonder what others do...

Audio books are a sort of necessary evil to me.  I love the convenience of them, and their being available as a sideline when I can't get time to read the book I've had on a long list.  I applaud the good they do to a community of booklovers who may be unable to get to books or read them otherwise. 

This week, I've been tasting a couple and thoroughly enjoying myself.  I'll just share them in summary here and say that I recommend them highly.  :]


The brilliant new novel in the New York Times bestselling series by Louise Penny, one of the most acclaimed crime writers of our time
No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”
But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery’s massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of  prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.

Winner of the 2012 Agatha Award for Best Novel


"It is 1940. France has fallen. Bombs are dropping on London. And President Roosevelt is promising he won't send our boys to fight in "foreign wars." "But American radio gal Frankie Bard, the first woman to report from the Blitz in London, wants nothing more than to bring the war home. Frankie's radio dispatches crackle across the Atlantic Ocean, imploring listeners to pay attention - as the Nazis bomb London nightly, and Jewish refugees stream across Europe. Frankie is convinced that if she can just get the right story, it will wake Americans to action and they will join the fight."

 "Meanwhile, in Franklin, Massachusetts, a small town on Cape Cod, Iris James hears Frankie's broadcasts and knows that it is only a matter of time before the war arrives on Franklin's shores. In charge of the town's mail, Iris believes that her job is to deliver and keep people's secrets, passing along the news that letters carry. And one secret she keeps are her feelings for Harry Vale, the town mechanic, who inspects the ocean daily, searching in vain for German U-boats he is certain will come. Two single people in midlife, Iris and Harry long ago gave up hope of ever being in love, yet they find themselves unexpectedly drawn toward each other."

 "Listening to Frankie as well are Will and Emma Fitch, the town's doctor and his new wife, both trying to escape fragile childhoods and forge a brighter future. When Will follows Frankie's siren call into the war, Emma's worst fears are realized. Promising to return in six months, Will goes to London to offer his help, and the lives of the three women entwine."

Alternating between an America still cocooned in its inability to grasp the danger at hand and a Europe being torn apart by war, The Postmistress gives us two women who find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news yet afraid to hear it.






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