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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Audiobooks I've listened to lately

I forgot about the audiobooks I've listened to lately, and there have been several. All of these except Maisie Dobbs: Among the Mad are grown-up books.

Maisie Dobbs: Among the Mad - Jacqueline Winspeare. I've read (mostly listened to, actually) several of the books in this series, and I really enjoy them. Maisie is a young woman in post-Crimean war England who was a nurse but now has become a detective. I just love her style, her smarts, and her accent. One of the reasons I love audiobooks. This story was a bit more depressing than other stories in the series, as it focused on war veterans who were struggling with what we'd undoubtedly call PTSD nowadays but which had no label, and very little help at that time. I have to admit, the red herrings in this book did throw me off a bit. That, combined with the dark storyline, made this my least favorite in the series, but I'm still waiting excitedly for the next one because I won't give up on my Maisie.

Little Bee - Chris Cleave. A brutal grown up book that left me completely wiped out after finishing. The wirting was lovely, the accent was lovely, the story line was awful (events, I mean, not the putting together of the events), and they just seemed to keep getting worse. I read several reviews afterward, and some people mentioned that htere were to many coincidences and poor choices, which I do kind of have to agree with. A little TOO much suspension of disbelief required. I did also read about Nigeria and the situation with the oil companies there, and it's been pretty horrific. I never knew Nigeria was the 6th largest oil producing nation. Is all the backlash worth it? We've GOT to get off this oil dependence!

Peace Like A River - Leif Enger. Another difficult book, but I LOVED this one. The writing was amazing. Of course it was recommended by my friend Suzanne, so I should not be surprised by this. Young Reuben Land's brother Davy has been jailed for killing two boys. He did it, and everyone knows it, but the question is, was it in defense of his family or a set up? Before his trial, though, Davy escapes from jail, and most of the rest of the story is his family's journey to try and connect with him. There is a lot of pain in this story, but so much overflowing love, too. This story also requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, but somehow I found it more do-able than the other book. did I say already that hte writing in this book is incredible? Because the writing in this book is incredible. Probably the best written book I've read in a year.

The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff. Interesting story, but I was not a fan of how this book was made up of so many parts. There were about five different storylines coming together in this book, and as an audiobook, it was challenging. They did use different readers, which helped, but it just didn't flow for me, and I found myself wanting to skip parts I wasn't as interested in and get back to the parts I really did like. I actually DID skip some parts of this book, but not too many as that gets kind of tricky on audio. I have read other polygamy stories before, and this was similar, but had some different twists that I thought were nice inclusions. It had a lot of historical background about the polygamist sect and how and why they broke off from the LDS church which I didn't know and I found interesting. But there was a little TOO much of it. The audiobook was 19 hours of listening, and if it's going to be that long, it ALL needs to be compelling, because there's no skimming. There were storylines about kids who'd been kicked out of their homes, about a 19th wife who was accused of murdering her husband, about a grad student researching LDS/polygamist history, and about Brigham young himself. LOTS to take in. I preferred the similar novels Sister Wife and The Chosen, although those books did no provide hte background information this one did.

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