CategoryAudiobook Reviews

The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham

My friend Molly mentioned listening to this book and was wowed by the beautiful language. I had recently told her about the book by Tan Twan Eng, The House of Doors, that both reminded me of Somerset Maugham books and had him as a character. So I  listened to it myself and once again fell in love with Somerset Maugham. The mother of the beautiful Kitty, the main character, has hopes that her...

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Although I had reservations about the previous book I read by Banana Yoshimoto, I wanted to try this one, her most well-known and loved. The main character, Mikage, begins by telling us how much she loves kitchens of all types. She is happy when she is in one and in her grief at losing her grandmother, she can only sleep in the kitchen. Her grandmother, along with her grandfather, had raised her...

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis

Jeanne Theoharis is a professor at Brooklyn College and has written eleven books on the topics of civil rights and Black Power movements. This one was written in 2013 and is the first definitive political biography of Rosa Parks. The audiobook I listened to was recorded in 2024 and has a substantial introduction, occasioned by newly available papers, photographs, and other materials of Rosa Parks...

A History of Women in 101 Objects by Annabelle Hirsch

I don’t remember where I saw a reference to this very new book; the only major newspaper review I have seen was done by The Guardian and only 29 people have written about it in Goodreads. I’m hoping it will receive the appreciation I believed it deserves. I was intrigued by the unique idea of 101 readers, many you’ve heard of, reading seven or eight minute descriptions of a wide...

The Premonition by Banana Yoshimoto

I read JacquiWine’s take on this 1988 book that was only recently translated from Japanese into English. She was drawn by the haunting and enigmatic story of a young woman’s barely remembered childhood. Yayoi was in an apparently happy family with loving parents and a slightly younger brother Tetsuo. One day out of the blue she has a vision of having had a sister and comes to realize...

All the Beauty in the World by Patrick Bringley

It’s hard to imagine a better audiobook than this one; hearing a deeply personal memoir read by the author reflecting on his brother’s death and on being a guard for ten years in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as he healed was great. The author had been a staffer at The New Yorker at the time of his brother’s death in 2008. His job was to work with eminent writers as...

The Road from Bellhaven by Margot Livesey

Having admired The Boy in the Field, I was excited to read Margot Livesey’s new book that was published in February. It is the story of Lizzie Craig, from her childhood in rural Scotland in the 1880s and 1890s to her adulthood in Glasgow and Fife, near Edinburgh. She was cared for by her grandparents as her parents had died when she was very young. When she was 10, she learned she had an...

Netherland by Joseph O’Neill

Interest in Joseph O’Neill’s new book that will be published in June reminded me that I had not read his much-loved Netherland from 2008. It worked as an audiobook despite roving over time from 2001 to 2006 in an apparently random way. Because much of the joy of this book is its focus on the love of the game of cricket and a largely mysterious character named Chuck Ramkissoon, this...

The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine

The story of this family is distinguished by the focus on two aspects of their lives: ┬áthe daughters are red-haired twins and words are very important to them, toys when they are children, central to their lives as adults. Each chapter begins with a definition from Samuel Johnson’s dictionary. The twins are brilliant, have their own language, and begin communicating wittily while still in...

An Astronomer in Love by Antoine Laurain

Ah yes, another delightful book by the author of The President’s Hat, Vintage 1954, and The Red Notebook. This one connects the historical figure, Guillaume le Gentil, Louis XV’s astronomer, to a fictional Parisian real estate agent in 2012. Before I began the book, I read Wikipedia’s entry about the astronomer and wonder if it is a spoiler to tell the true story of his life. If...

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Blogs I Like