Author: S. J. Watson
Published: 2011; Pages: 368
Narrator: Orlagh Cassidy
Audio Length: 11 hrs, 32 min
Genre: Fiction, Suspense
Summary: Christine was in a terrible accident and doesn’t have the abilities to make new memories and has lost many of her old memories. Under advisement of her doctor, Christine begins a daily journal and slowly realizes things have gone awry and she cannot trust the man who has been caring for her–her husband Ben.
Descriptors: Thrilling, absorbing, emotional rollercoaster, thought-provoking, satisfying, at times a bit over the top and a bit unbelievable, found excuses to clean my house so I could keep listening.
Bottom Line: I would definitely recommend listening to Before I Go to Sleep! Orlagh Cassidy did a fantastic job of conveying the range of emotions Christine experiences throughout the novel.
Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief/ Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 2005/2006 Pages: 384/279
Narrator: Jesse Bernstein
Audio Length: 10 hrs / 7 hrs and 56 mins
Genre: Fantasy (Middle Grade)
Summary: Percy Jackson, a young pre-teen who struggles with ADHA and dyslexia, learns that he is son to one of the Olympian gods. He meets other demi-gods, satyrs, and creatures, and gets transported into a whirlwind of mayhem and quests to make all right within the universe.
Descriptors: Fun, action packed, engaging, reminiscent of popular Greek myths (Odyssey, Jason and the Golden Fleece), pre-teen hormones (ick).
Bottom Line: I enjoyed listening to the first two books in the series but don’t feel a big pull to continue. I’ll download from the library when I feel a lull in my listening but am not in a big hurry.
Author: Tom Franklin
Published: 2010? Pages: 304
Narrator: Kevin Kenerly
Audio Length: 9 hrs, 30 min
Genre: Fiction, Mystery?
Summary: Larry Ott and Silas Jones were once unlikely childhood friends whose friendship ended abruptly. Years later their paths cross again as Ott is suspect in a missing persons case and Jones is the constable investigating.
OK Fine: I listened to this one on my bike trip in Arkansas last fall and I was interested enough to keep listening but not really invested in the story. Kevin Kenerly’s narration was wonderful, though. And for those who wondered, I thought the Mississippi dialect sounded very authentic on the audio.
Bottom Line: Everyone loves this book. Thinks the writing was awesome. One of the pitfalls of listening is that I don’t notice laudable writing styles (conversely I also don’t notice terrible writing either). It was also much grittier than I expected–my fault for hearing the raves but not taking the time to learn the subject matter.
Author: Bill Bryson
Published: 2010; Pages: 700
Narrator: Bill Bryson
Audio Length: 16 hrs, 38 mins
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Summary: Everything you wanted to know about nearly everything you can think of in your home. Like seriously everything. Like bed bugs and salt and wigs and meat and hermits and and and everything.
Descriptors: Fascinating, Fascinating, Fascinating. Information Overload. Great small talk fodder…”Did you know…”
Bottom Line: It took me an hour or two or three to really get into this book, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. Once I realized that it was basically just a bunch of random history and information, I was able to let go and allow my brain to be filled. But overwhelming at times and I’m sure I tuned out of at least 30% of the book. And only remember 10%?
Whew! So glad to have those done. I listened to some other really great audiobooks in 2011, but other than Ready Player One and Elegance of the Hedgehog I don’t plan on writing about them at this point. If you’re curious, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Alice I Have Been, and And Then There Were None were all fantastic. Bedwetter was not. Nor was Three Cups of Tea–it’s possible I didn’t even finish that one?
Have you read/listen to any of these? What did you think?