Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #20

Happy Sunday!

Do you listen to audio books? That is the poll of the month, by the way. If you haven't voted yet, there is still plenty of time. I am curious to see how many do make time to listen to books. I'm not sure 'make time' is the right way to phrase it though. I think some people have more time to fit in for audio books than others. Those with long(er) commutes, for example. I don't have much time to squeeze in for audio, personally. It's not that I devalue audio books. That I think listening to a book isn't the same as reading a book. But when you think about it listening isn't the same as reading. (I think they take different skills.) And I've found that I have a harder time listening than reading. (Perhaps I just haven't exercised those skills enough yet.) I can (and do) listen to audio books as a way to reread a book. I love, love, love The Book Thief. And I really have enjoyed Life As We Knew It and This World We Live In. And I probably shouldn't admit how many times I've listened to The Willoughbys. And the narration on the Little House books was just so delightful. (I'm so thankful to Sarah Miller for blogging about those.) But it's hard for me to listen to a book if I'm new to it. (Or to listen to a book if the narrator and I clash.)

Anyone have any experiences to share?

What I've Reviewed This Week:

North and South. Elizabeth Gaskell. 1854-1855.* 452 pages.
The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle. 2010. September 2010. Henry Holt. 160 pages.
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. 2010. March 2010. HarperCollins. 316 pages.
Swoon at Your Own Risk. Sydney Salter. 2010. April 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 356 pages.
The Wager. Donna Jo Napoli. 2010. April 2010. Henry Holt. 272 pages.
Gimme A Call. By Sarah Mlynowski. 2010. April 2010. Random House. 320 pages.
The Red Pyramid. (Kane Chronicles #1) Rick Riordan. 2010. May 2010. Hyperion. 528 pages.
My Best Frenemy. Julie Bowe. 2010. May 2010. Penguin. 240 pages
Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story. Vicki Myron and Bret Witter. 2010. May 2010. Little Brown. 214 pages.
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya. Donna Jo Napoli. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. 2010. January 2010. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.
The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano. By Margarita Engle. Art by Sean Qualls. 2006. Henry Holt. 192 pages.
Rise and Shine. Illustrated by Tim Warnes. (Song is in the public domain.) 2010. February 2010. Board Book. Simon & Schuster. 26 pages.
Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. 2010. April 2010. Tyndale. 384 pages.
Mighty Acts of God: A Family Bible Story Book. Written by Starr Meade. Illustrated by Tim O'Connor. 2010. Crossway. 288 pages.
Jesus. Illustrated by Gennady Spirin. 2010. March 2010. Marshall Cavendish. 32 pages.
Animal Soup. Todd H. Doodler. 2010. May 2010. Random House. 14 pages.
I Love My Mom. Anna Walker. 2010. March 2010. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages.
Mommy is a Soft Warm Kiss by Rhonda Gowler Greene. Illustrated by Maggie Smith. 2010. March 2010. Walker Books. 32 pages.
The Wild, Wild Inside. Kate Feiffer. Illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith. 2010. March 2010. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages.
I'm the Best. Lucy Cousins. 2010. May 2010. Candlewick Press. 32 pages.
Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't) by Barbara Bottner. Illustrated by Michael Emberley. 2010. March 2010. Random House. 32 pages.
Dancing Feet. Lindsey Craig. Illustrated by Marc Brown. 2010. May 2010. Random House. 40 pages.
Please Take Me For a Walk. Susan Gal. 2010. May 2010. Random House. 40 pages.

Currently Reading:

The Last Christian. David Gregory. 2010. Waterbrook Press. 416 pages.

Fire Will Fall. Carol Plum-Ucci. 2010. May 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 485 pages.

Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia. Brandon Sanderson. 2009. October 2009. Scholastic. 336 pages.

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter. R.J. Anderson. 2009. April 2009. HarperCollins. 336 pages.

Doctor Thorne. Anthony Trollope. 1858. 639 pages. (Oxford World's Classic, 1981)

What I Hope To Begin/Finish Soon:

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 432 pages.

Hester. Paula Reed. 2010. February 2010. St. Martin's Press. 308 pages.

Sisters Red. Jackson Pearce. 2010. June 2010. Little, Brown. 328 pages.

My Life With the Lincolns. Gayle Brandeis. 2010. March 2010. Henry Holt. 256 pages.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kim, Too 3:31 PM  

I listen to audiobooks every day on my commute to and from work and while I run errands on the weekend. (I wouldn't begin one on the weekend, because I would already have to be into it to enjoy listening to short segments of the book.) One of the first audiobooks I listened to was The Time Traveler's Wife. I was hooked. Other GREAT audiobooks I've listened to are with much credit to the narrators are: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Anansi Boys, books in the Disc World series, and The Life of Pi. I started out listening to books on CD, but now I download them from the library and listen to them on an mp3 player. Love. Them.

Anonymous,  3:55 PM  

Yay for "Doctor Thorne"! And you seem to have a good mix going there, otherwise as well.

Audio books. The short answer is that I just don't know what to do with myself when listening to them. (Of course there is a long answer... :)) L.

Vasilly 4:24 PM  

I sacrifice the time I could be spending reading a physical book to instead listen to an audio book. The format of the book doesn't matter.I think it often takes a great narrator to love an audio book.

DesLily 5:26 AM  

I have never listened to an audio book... no particular reason , just haven't. I searched for one particular book in audio and never found it.. it's the reading of Watership Down..but read by Roy Dotrice..have never found it. If I ever do I want to hear it lol,  11:47 AM  

I listen to audion books all the time, usually when I'm running and, if the book has me hooked, in the car. I think certain genres make better audio books than others. The many books of Orson Scott Card, for example, make for excellent listening (he uses a narrator named Stephan Rudnicki, who has an awesome James Earl Jones-type voice). The Jason Bourne series is good on audion. And, if you like guy-type, non-fiction, The Perfect Race was incredible. But I admit that most worthwhile literature is not nearly as good on audio. I've tried to listen to The Brothers Karamazon at least a half-dozen times, and I've never made it even halfway through.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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