Audiobook Review: The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

3.5

3.5 disco balls

Published: December 7, 2017 by Simon & Schuster Audio
Category: Nonfiction, Memoir, Humor

Comedian Tiffany Haddish made me laugh so many times even when describing painful memories. Her gift of humor shines through her narration of her own memoir.

Its a quick audiobook, one that will help quickly pass the time during longer road trips or doing chores around the house. Read More »

Audiobook Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

3_DiscoBalls

3 disco balls

Published: August 21, 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio @PRHAudio
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 9 hours, 27 minutes
Category: Fiction, Sci-fi, Dystopian

Julia Whelan is a brilliant narrator. She keeps you engaged in an audiobook and I was not disappointed in her performance of Vox by Christina Dalcher.

I started Vox last week when it felt like women were truly being silenced. We didn’t have bracelets limiting our words to 100 a day, but it felt as if only 100 words a day (if that) were being listened too. It was a heart pumping, blood boiling experience. This book makes you think and it scares you. Although I gave it 3 disco balls (for reasons I will delve into shortly), it’s a read that all should partake in: a fruitful discussion will certainly be had.Read More »

Audiobook Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith #HSReadingRedo

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Published: August 12, 2005 by HarperAudio (book first published 1943)
Narrator: Kate Burton
Length: 14 hours 55 minutes
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Coming of Age

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was Book 7 out of 8 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. As we approach the new month, I am proud to report I did most of my homework and only need to read the Cliff Notes or watch the movie of one unread book (The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck). 😉

Set in Brooklyn in the early 1900s, we fall in love with the Nolan family; whom are poverty stricken but resourceful. Francie Nolan became one of my favorite literary characters.

Goodreads Synopsis: 4.25 average rating
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

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Audiobook Review: Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

img_2094

4_DiscoBalls

4 disco balls

Published: August 28, 2018 by Listening Library
Narrators: N’Jameh Camara, Jose Carrera, Dean Flanagan, Angel Romero, Toshi Widoff-Woodson, Mikelle Wright-Matos, Jacqueline Woodson
Length: 3 hours 50 minutes
Category: Realistic Fiction, Childrens, Young Adult

When I requested to read and review Harbor Me through Penguin Random House’s Volumes app I didn’t realize it was a middle grade book; BUT, don’t let that put you off from this story. It is for all ages; and would be a great book for families to read/listen to together. The content would spark discussions on topics such as bullying, grief, racism, classism, and immigration.

Author, Jacqueline Woodson, carefully crafted a story that addresses these major issues without forcing them into place; it was an authentic take on what is going on today and impresses upon our youth to talk more openly about their feelings and try to understand each other. We are all the same in that we want to feel that we belong. Even though the story is rather short, the character development was strong and you can’t help but feel for this group of children. I want to see them 20 years from now.Read More »

Audiobook Review: To All the Boys I Loved Before (Book #1) by Jenny Han, narrated by Laura Knight Keating

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Published: April 16, 2014 by Recorded Books, Inc.
Narrated by: Laura Knight Keating
Length: 8 hours 22 minutes
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults (2016), Lincoln Award Nominee (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2014)

Author Jenny Han is brilliant! She delivered a story reminiscent of Pretty in Pink. She’s the modern day John Hughes.

What a delight: a great read/listen for all ages. It made me want to relive my high school days and that is no small feat. Who wants to be a teenager again? Certainly not me; no way, no how. I don’t even want to remember the teenager I was – I like myself much more now – BUT, this book brought me back to that time and I can feel the butterflies in my stomach for youthful crushes as if it were yesterday. I found myself thinking who my fifteen year-old self would write letters to, and what I would have said. It would probably look a little like this: Read More »

Audiobook Review: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, narrated by Julia Whelan

img_1848Overall Story:

2_DiscoBalls

2 disco balls

Narration:

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Published: July 10, 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 7 hours 14 minutes
Category: Literary Fiction, Contemporary

What did I just listen to? If it weren’t for narrator Julia Whelan I probably would have canned this one. (She was brilliant!) Well actually who am I kidding, no I wouldn’t. It was a book club pick and I don’t like showing up to book club unprepared so I would have suffered reading this one (thank goodness it was an audio instead).Read More »

Audiobook Review: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin, narrated by Ann Richardson


Author: Kate Douglas Wiggin
Narrator: Ann Richardson
Length: 8 hours and 11 minutes
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press Inc.
Released: Dec. 8, 2017
Genre: Classics

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm has delighted readers for over 100 years. Published in 1903, when girls were inevitably depicted as pretty, gentle and proper, Rebecca Rowena Randall burst onto the scene of children’s literature. Sent to live with her prim and proper Aunt Miranda, who is expecting her much more demure sister, Rebecca is a “bird of a very different feather”. She has “a small, plain face illuminated by a pair of eyes carrying such messages, such suggestions, such hints of sleeping power and insight, that one never tired of looking into their shining depths….” To her Aunt Miranda’s continual dismay, Rebecca is exuberant, irrepressible, and spirited – not at all “proper” or “demure”. She wins over her aunt soon enough, and the whole town, and thousands of readers and listeners everywhere.

In 1904, author Jack London wrote Kate Douglas Wiggin: “May I thank you for Rebecca?…. I would have quested the wide world over to make her mine, only I was born too long ago and she was born but yesterday…. Why could she not have been my daughter? Why couldn’t it have been I who bought the three hundred cakes of soap? Why, O, why?” And Mark Twain called Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm “beautiful and warm and satisfying”. This recording, narrated by Ann Richardson, whose sweet voice has a facility for accents and character voices, is a satisfying listening experience you’ll want to revisit. Upcoming from Post Hypnotic Press is a new annotated print/eBook edition of this book, with illustrations from the original publication and a new introduction, as well as a work-book for children.

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Audiobook Review: Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Published: March 6, 2018 by HarperAudio
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi & Julia Whelan
Length: 6 hours 21 minutes
Category: Literary Fiction, LGBT

I have been on an audiobook roll lately and hope to keep up the momentum. I am one who prefers to read an actual book, but likes to listen to audiobooks during my drives (or to make doing chores more bearable). There have been a few times where I felt that I had a better experience listening rather than reading and this here is one of them!

Narrator Prentice Onayemi starts the first part of this book and he was absolute perfection. I felt as though I was listening to Prentice – as Niru – tell me his story; as if I was grabbing coffee with him and we were engaged in a conversation. He made Niru real, lent a voice to his story and his family. My goodness was this story beautifully written: there is no doubt that author Iweala is extremely talented. 
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Audiobook Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

4_DiscoBalls

4 disco balls

Published: August 9, 2016 by HarperAudio
Narrator: Katie Schorr
Length: 11 hours, 29 minutes
Category: Women’s Fiction, Chick-lit, Romance
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Romance, 2016

I absolutely loved this audiobook. Narrator Katie Schorr was perfection. I couldn’t wait for my drive to and from the Path train in order to be able to continue listening to the back-and-forth banter between Lucy and Josh. It made folding laundry enjoyable too: and if you don’t know, I detest folding and putting away laundry. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl, but here I was doing multiple loads because I needed to keep the story going.Read More »

Audiobook Review: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

3_DiscoBalls

3 disco balls

Published: June 5, 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing
Narrator: Phoebe Strole (whom I just discovered was Penny on Glee)
Length: 8 hours, 46 minutes
Category: Young Adult, Supernatural, Mystery, Thriller

Plot:  2.5 disco balls
Narrator:  4 disco balls

I recently downloaded Penguin Random House’s Volumes app on my iPhone and registered as an audiobook reviewer. I like to listen to at least 1 – 2 audiobooks a month during my short drive to the Path train, and especially while doing laundry. I hate folding laundry but audiobooks somehow make it more doable. But I digress.

My first audiobook through this program was Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl, which my friend recently read and recommended. I am not sure if I would have had a different experience with the story had I chose to read it versus listen to it; there was too much going on. I found myself losing interest and it was almost a DNF had I not wanted to figure out what the heck was going on.

I will preface my review with: I typically do not read supernatural and found myself feeling the story was a bit farfetched, but still with a rather interesting concept so I was intrigued. I know I need to make up my mind.Read More »

Audiobook Review: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Yes, an audiobook you can sink your ears into – since teeth obviously do not make sense.

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Published: November 15, 2016 by Audible Studios
Audiobook runs 8 hours 50 minutes, narrated by Trevor Noah himself (love that accent!)
Category: Memoir, Autobiography, Nonfiction,  Coming of Age

#8 Most Read on Amazon Charts
Highest-rated new book of 2016 by Audible customers
Winner: Audible’s Best of 2016 – Celebrity Memoirs

I prefer reading books versus listening, but do enjoy an audiobook while driving or doing chores. But, for an audiobook to keep my attention the narrator has to be on point. To me, this book is better as an audiobook since the author is the one reading his story. Trevor Noah knows how he wants his story to come across, and delivers his message with a tone and authenticity that makes it hard to push pause…plus, hello that accent – swoon!Read More »