Tag: audiobook

Sunday Summary – 22nd April 2018

Hi everybody! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend, whatever it is you are doing.
Without looking at any of the stats or details, I have a gut feeling that I didn’t make much progress with my reading this week. Things just got in the way, and when I did have time I didn’t feel all that inclined to read. It’s a real shame, because I am reading some great books at the moment!
It’s not you, fantastic pieces of literature, it’s me…
Rather than reflect on what I haven’t done this week, let’s take a look at what I have done instead! On Wednesday I posted my review of Ekata: Fall of Darkness by Dominique Law, which admittedly, was less than complimentary of my experience reading the book. I had some nice feedback from that review actually – it’s hard to write reviews about things you don’t like for fear of crossing the line, but so far the review has been well received. In one day it received as many likes as other posts have over time.
The following day I posted Top 5 Quotes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld… so far! I’ve read a number of books from the collection now, so it was a lovely way to re-cap through some of the older books. Picking favourites out turned out to be a lot harder than I expected!
 

Books Read (or procrastinated over…)


 
I made a bit more progress with The Seventh Scroll this week, but I find it’s a book I cannot binge read. Some parts are great and others can be on the slow side, which results in me picking the book up and putting it down again a lot. It’s also quite a lengthy one at just over 600 pages, so I don’t think I should beat myself up too much. I’m now just over a quarter of the way through the book. Truthfully, I hope the story picks up a bit soon. It’s not that I am not enjoying it, it’s the flow and consistency that isn’t there for me at the moment.
Knowing that there were times I wanted a break from The Seventh Scroll, I started reading Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio. I have taken to reading a chapter or two before going to bed at the very least, and I spent an hour or so reading yesterday. I’m currently 16% through the book; whilst that doesn’t sound much, that equates to 128 pages. This is also a mammoth book!
The one piece of good news is that I finished listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris this week. I found myself so immersed in the story that until I got to the author’s note at the end, and the brief chapter written by the MC’s son, I had forgotten this is based on two real people’s experience of the camp! It’s a harrowing thought, the reminder that people were forced to live this way and suffer the way they did.

Books Discovered

A Brief History of Time.jpg
This isn’t usually the type of book I would attempt to read; whilst I like science-fiction, I’m not actually all that clued-up on the science. After his recent death, I decided that I had to at least try to read this book! All I have heard is positive things about his genius and wit, so I’ve finally added it to the list.
 

Coming Up…

Scheduling this week is going to be a little bit different! Normally I bring you a review on a Wednesday, but instead I am taking part in a Blog Tour for The Ghost of Glendale by Natalie Kleinman. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to review this book as part of the tour, but instead I’ll be bringing you the details so you can see for yourself what it is all about!
I will post my usual review on Thursday, and this week I am reviewing my first read of the month, Soul Music by Terry Pratchett.
I hope to see you around!
Rebecca mono

Audiobook Review: The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

The Girl on The Train

Goodreads – The Girl on the Train

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

I listened to this audiobook back in February, after listening to The Stand by Stephen King. I decided that listening to this book was probably going to be better than reading it; after listening to a sample, I knew it was the right decision!
The narrators for Rachel and Megan did a fantastic job of the perspective they represented – Rachel was my favourite in particular. So as not to spoil anything, I will be vague and say that they each have a uniqueness about them… an experience or two that has coloured their view of the world, or changed them. The voices, tones and expressions used embodied these characters perfectly and brought them to life.
That probably sounds daft – “you can’t hear expressions!” I hear you say! Having dabbled a little in Performing Arts and created a radio drama as one of my projects, I actually think you can. It is impossible to express joy or sadness with a neutral expression on your face. You can still call me daft if you like – I’m sticking to my guns.
In fact, being entirely dependent on audio to convey these things, I think it is even more important to do this well. The narrator for Anna didn’t really do it for me at all. I found myself wishing her chapters passed quickly. Her narration felt clinical and disassociated with her character, which for me broke the flow.
I struggled to relate to Rachel, but so do a lot of characters in the book, so perhaps as a reader, we are not meant to. Her perception and her actions more often than not leave you shaking your head in disbelief, or cringing on her behalf. Plenty of the latter! Her life is the type that you can observe at a distance and determine what has gone wrong, but you find it hard to imagine yourself in the same shoes if you were to experience the very same thing. I would like to think I wouldn’t, at least…
Whilst the story itself had plenty of twists, turns and unexpected surprises, I think I would have gotten bored reading the book. Whilst I was listening to this I was completing a project, so I was always concentrating on something else at the same time. I think that kept me going. It had a great ending (loved the ending) but I think I would have struggled to get past the many embarrassments of Rachel to read this… especially since it takes really good while to get to the point where the plot starts to unravel.
I have mixed feelings about the book and if I am honest, I don’t really see why the book had as much fuss as it did. That being said, crime/psychological thriller isn’t my favourite genre, so maybe that’s why I don’t appreciate it hugely. I find myself on the fence about it really – I don’t think it is all that often I write a review from such a mediocre standpoint.
I am glad I have listened to it, but that is as far as it goes. It is time to move on to something else.
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 8th April 2018

Happy Sunday!
How has everyone’s week been? Mine has been pretty good overall! It got off to the best start with a bank holiday too – what a shame!

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

Okay, a little optimistic perhaps! But not having to get up at 6:45am is a win – right?
I took the opportunity to publish my Reading List for April on Monday, which I have been looking forward to sharing with you. This month I am switching it up a little and instead of reading a mixture of ARC’s and traditionally published books… the intention was to give the ARC’s a wee break. Then I received an ARC I requested which changed the plan SLIGHTLY. Just a little bit, okay? I broke the ARC-only plan for March with Strange The Dreamer, so it’s all good!
Speaking of which, I published my review of this amazing book on Wednesday! I can’t wait until October for Muse of Nightmares! If you haven’t checked out my review yet, you can find a cheeky little link here.
 

Books Read


 
I finally finished reading Ekata: Fall of Darkness by Dominique Law at the beginning of this week. I mentioned in my previous Sunday Summary that I was struggling with this book. The situation of the relations between characters got a little better, enough to finish the book.
Next, I picked up Soul Music by Terry Pratchett. At the time of writing this post I am 74% through the book. I am enjoying the book, but I don’t think it is going to be one of my favourites of the series. That being said, there are some great quotes I have pulled out of this one. My favourite has to be this one:-

‘Glod Glodsson,’ said the dwarf. ‘You just play the harp?’
‘Anything with strings on it,’ said Imp. ‘But the harp is the queen of instruments, see.’
‘I can blow anything,’ said Glod.
‘Realllly?’ said Imp. He sought for some polite comment. ‘That must make you very popullar.’

Such is Pratchett’s humour. Sure, there are more sophisticated quotes about the nature of existence and suchlike, but when it comes down to it, it’s these quotes I find the funniest! All the quotes I come across on my Kindle are shared on Goodreads, so if you want to look at any others, you could read them there!
Lastly, I started my next audiobook this week. I am listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. The story so far is both compelling and harrowing in equal measure. It is awful to think that people were actually forced to lived in concentration camps and were treated no better than cattle. Between this and The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas, a book I am reading later in the month, you can tell I enjoy historical fiction. It’s a morbid month in terms of subject matter!
 

Books Discovered


 
It’s a very Pratchett week! I received an e-mail from Bookbub to tell me that The Fifth Elephant (Book 24) of the series was on sale, so I bought it! I already know I’ll be reading it at some point, so it was a no-brainer!
The Foes Between Us by J M Robison is a pre-order. I was introduced to the author when I read The War Queen for her in exchange for a review! As I really enjoyed this book and I want to support her, I pre-ordered this next one!
 

Coming Up..

I listened to The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins back in February, so I will be sharing my thoughts on this audiobook with you on Wednesday! I am catching up with myself on the books/ebooks I am reading, so I am going to give myself some breathing room by reviewing this for this week!
Writing this post has inspired me to write another one, so later in the week I am going to share my Top 5 Terry Pratchett quotes from the books I have read so far!
Until next time!
Rebecca mono
 

Audiobook Review: The Stand – Stephen King

Getting into an audiobook was a huge change for me.
I had tried some free ones before as a means to experiment with whether I liked them or not. I was still hugely undecided, but after much insistence from a very good friend who loves them, I signed up to a free trial on Audible.
When you sign up, you get a free credit to spend on any book you would like. I thought that was pretty reasonable – even the bestsellers are available! I half expected you to only be able to choose from a limited library, but I am glad I was wrong.
I deliberated long and hard about what to download for a while. I wanted my credit to be worthwhile, so I purposely chose a long book.
 
The Stand

Goodreads – The Stand

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.
And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.

By the time I had downloaded and began to listen to this, I had read a few of Stephen King’s books: The Green Mile, Pet Sematary, IT and the first book of The Dark Tower series. I love how King’s interpretation of the horror genre is very much based around the psychology of fear. I have to say it has almost become something of a fascination in me. Not being a lover of horror otherwise, the realisation came to be a pleasant surprise.

Do not get me started on budget horror films, unless you want to take an unconventional exit from the spotlight, (unlike all the highly stereotyped characters typically involved), by being bored to death by my incessant ramblings. I really could go on about it all day *sigh*

My point is this – King has contradicted every stereotype and shown me that not all horror is just a cheap shot at giving you an adrenaline rush. There is far more sophistication to his writing… and his in-depth understanding of people and the way they think is a scary thing in itself! It is almost as if King can see into your soul and just know your every thought, feeling and fear just by looking at you.
You must have gathered just how high he has risen in my expectations by now. I love his writing and the characters he creates. Although all of his stories are wildly different, they are all enjoyable in their own ways. The Stand explores how society rebuilds after a catastrophic event and the struggles it experiences with the forces of Good and Evil, embodied by Mother Abigail and The Walking Dude. All the while trouble stirs the pot from within, and things blow up in quite spectacular fashion.
This audiobook was an astounding 47hrs and 47mins long. The narrator, Grover Gardener was brilliantly consistent throughout. From the first minute to the last, there was no compromise in the narration or how well he brought each of the characters to life.
If I wasn’t sure about audiobooks before, I can assure you there is no doubt now. I am choosy about what I download and thankfully the sample option allows you to be. The next two books I have downloaded are ones that I was unsure as to whether I would actually pick up the physical book. Some stories are best told I think.
This however is definitely an exception, and I feel sure the next time I read this book, it will be a physical copy.
Rebecca mono