CategoryAudiobook Reviews

Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear

This is the sixth in the series that I have enjoyed listening to.  Though we have moved into the Depression era (the beginning of 1932) the Great War continues to be an important backdrop to the story. Maisie is recruited to work with the police, in particular a high-ranking Scot named Robbie McFarland, to find a madman sending threatening letters to the PM and others. While others are looking...

Island Home: A Landscape Memoir by Tim Winton

It was such a treat to read a book that lovingly describes Tim Winton’s unique home, “the world’s largest island,” as he has it. For me the best part is being reminded of the sense memories of my own childhood, though my Virginia countryside couldn’t be more different from Australia. One topic he wrote about that resonates with me begins this way:  “Like most...

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Once again I have Tony to thank for writing about this wonderful book. His description of an affectionate humorous portrait of an extended family appealed to me; those qualities were enhanced by listening to the author read it. It is the story of three generations of a Mexican-American family in San Diego. It centers on Big Angel as we learn the stories of him, his father’s and...

Robin by Dave Itzkoff

This qualifies as the perfect audiobook for me:  it maintained my interest throughout, made me laugh, and was a poignant story. Robin Williams first became famous for the TV show Mork and Mindy which came at a time (1978 to 1982) when we only watched IU basketball and old movies on tv. We all probably remember him from appearances on late night shows like Johnny Carson, where he first appeared in...

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...

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