CategoryAudiobook Reviews

Reasons to Be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe

I enjoyed the three previous Nina Stibbe books, and I was happy to listen to the foibles of Lizzie who is now 18 years old. Lizzie gets a job as a dental assistant, replacing the current assistant who has become the dentist’s girlfriend. The job includes an apartment above the dental office, so this job means Lizzie will live on her own for the first time. She becomes the almost-girlfriend...

All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw by Theodore Rosengarten

It was the list of the 50 best memoirs of the last 50 years according to a recent article in The New York Times that took me to this book. I expect it to be my own Book of the Year. How this exceptional book came to be is a story in itself. Theodore Rosengarten went with his friend Dale Rosen to interview Ned Cobb about his experience in the 1930s as a member of the Alabama Sharecropper’s...

The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell

This 1973 Booker Prize winner is the story of a siege in a fictional town during the actual Indian Rebellion of 1857 when the East India Company controlled the country. The British inhabitants find it difficult to give up their social structures in the face of the attacks of the sepoys and deaths by cholera and starvation. Their dedication to various irrational beliefs they are unwilling to...

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Having read Sally Rooney’s second book, Normal People, I was interested in moving back into her orbit. As I mentioned in writing about that book, while I was happy to accept her terms and live in that world, I was glad to get back to my own world of “normal people.” Frances, the narrator of this one is in college and along with her former girlfriend Bobbi, does spoken word...

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia by Anita Heiss

Anita Heiss compiled these 50 short pieces by Aboriginal people in Australia and has gathered a pleasingly varied anthology of voices. I read that some of the stories are by well-known figures, but they were all unknown to me. Some were successful in sports, some are musicians, some were quite young. I loved them all and grew addicted to the six readers. Many spoke of their parents’...

The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

It’s the time of year for beach reads and this book qualifies as pleasingly as you could imagine. I’ve had hours of happy entertainment as I weeded, cooked, and cleaned. Not exactly the beach, but there it is. The multi-generational story is set on a fictional island off the coast of Sicily and begins around the turn of the 20th century. The characters abound:  the doctor who began...

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

This short book came out of a series of interviews Hurston had done as an anthropology student several years before she wrote the book in 1931. She interviewed a man brought to the US on the last ship importing enslaved men and women which had been illegal for 50 years by that time. The account of her conversations with Cudjo Lewis about his life in Africa, his time as an enslaved person, and his...

The Parade by Dave Eggers

Dorothy described this short book as having a twist at the end.  As I listened, I developed several speculations for what that twist might be, making this a fun book for me. Otherwise, it is a pretty odd one. Two men are given the task by their company to surface an already created roadbed in an anonymous country just emerging from 10 years of civil war. The company had countless rules for...

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

This polemic against intolerance toward gay men, is vehement about the church in Ireland. It begins with the day the narrator’s 16 year old mother was denounced by the priest from the pulpit in a village in the west of Ireland because she was pregnant. Not only was she denounced as a whore, she was driven from the village that same day by the priest who himself fathered two children. Her...

Lost and Wanted by Nell Freudenberger

A review by Maureen Corrigan led me to this book which begins with a physicist receiving a text on her phone from her college friend, then learning a few days later that her friend, a woman called Charlie, had died before it was sent. The characters are almost all Ivy educated brilliant, appealing bi-coastal characters. The narrator and her friends are not without interest; Helen tells us about...

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Blogs I Like