CategoryAudiobook Reviews

Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles

It was Tony’s review of this as an audiobook that led me to it. I had appreciated News of the World, so was happy to have a recommendation for a good book to listen to. And this was a great one. Like News of the World, it is successful in taking you to a distinctly different time and place, in this case Texas during the Depression years. You experience Texas along with the Stoddard family:...

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

The fifth in the Maisie Dobbs series was a satisfying accompaniment to my household chores. As the series continues, there is less emphasis on Maisie’s working class origins, but the author reminds us of her time as a nurse during the war, her academic success at Girten, and her meticulous approach to her work as a detective. Though each book moves further from World War I and deeper into...

My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley

Having heard the author interviewed by Terry Gross, I thought this would make a pleasant and light-hearted audiobook to accompany me in the kitchen and in the yard. And that turned out to be mostly true. The premise is that a long-divorced couple each find themselves in need of help in their current lives and rediscover each other in a new role, friendship. Julie has a daughter who needs help...

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Yet another in the Maisie Dobbs series. (Thanks again, Laura, for this recommendation.) As in the past, I found the doings of Maisie made cooking and other routine tasks more pleasant. Though the period (1930s Depression) with the continuing importance of  the aftermath of The Great War is the same as the last two books, I found this one to be a bit different. Clarifying Maisie’s character...

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Having heard the author, a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at Berkeley interviewed on Terry Gross, I listened to his book. While there was an element of “a hammer sees everything as a nail” to the book, I found much in it that was persuasive. He is able to trace all manner of bad outcomes for individuals and society as a whole to the lack of sleep. It became rather depressing...

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

It is hard to connect the comedian we know from The Daily Show to the story of the person born in 1984 who is the subject of this autobiography. Noah’s mother, Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah was always an independent person. She learned secretarial skills, although those jobs were not available to black women. She lived in the city of Johannesburg, though black women were forbidden to live there...

American Fire by Monica Hesse

The subtitle of this book is Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, and what a fascinating story this is. It is set in Accomack County on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, a 70-mile long peninsula with the Chesapeake Bay on one side and the ocean on the other.  The area experienced great wealth from agriculture at the turn of the 20th century with the early building of railroads that gave...

The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway

This 1989 autobiography tells the story of a truly rare person, a brilliant academic born in Australia who came to the US to study when she was 25. She was the first woman to be president of Smith College. This is the story of her childhood on the family’s 32,000-acre sheep station in western New South Wales, her teenage years in Sydney, and college years at the University of Sydney. Her...

Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear

Another book in the Maisie Dobbs series; this is my third and again I appreciated the accompaniment as I worked on routine tasks. This one, like Birds of a Feather is set around 1930 and though the economic hardships are referred to, the main focus is The Great War. Maisie is asked to find information about two soldiers and she goes to France for research. During that trip she visits the location...

That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott

Kim Scott won his first Miles Franklin Award in 2000 and was the first indigenous writer to win that prize. I listened to his winner of the 2011 Miles Franklin as an audiobook, then bought it for my kindle. And I was amply rewarded for each way of experiencing the book. This is the story of interactions between the Noongar people and the early arrivals of Europeans in the area of Albany, Western...

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