CategoryAudiobook Reviews

Booth by Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler’s book We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves remains one of my favorite books ever. It took me awhile to be prepared to take on this book about the Booth family, but I am so glad I did. I think it is brilliant. And I am glad I listened to the audiobook; at first I was disconcerted at the firehose level of words coming my way, but ultimately the big picture became clear. I...

Montebello by Robert Drewe

What a treat this audiobook memoir by Robert Drewe is! I loved his previous memoir, The Shark Net and especially his novel The Drowner. In this one published in 2012 he ranges around his life recounting moments that are enlightening, or nostalgic, or revelatory. Interspersed throughout is his description of a visit to the Montebello Islands with scientists who were reintroducing some species to...

Straight Man by Richard Russo

Recently I listened to this book that I read decades ago, in the pre-blog days. I recall it as being very funny and a delightful send-up of academia and I was curious to see how it held up after all this time. Before I go into that, I want to say that I have read other books by Richard Russo and loved them, particularly Empire Falls, Nobody’s Fool, and Bridge of Sighs. The memorable moment...

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

This is my seventh Kate Atkinson book; my first and favorite was Life After Life. This one takes place between the wars in London among the dissolute, the innocent, and a policeman named Frobisher. The central character is Nellie, owner of five night clubs run by her children who gather at the end of each night at her club the Amethyst to report the events of the night to her. Nellie believes in...

The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Having loved The Latecomer, I was moved to listen to this one. It was a good choice, always engaging and kept me tuned in. I read somewhere that the college this book uses as the backdrop, Webster, is based on Wesleyan with a bit of Dartmouth thrown in.  The Dartmouth bit was that part of Webster’s original mission was to educate Native Americans. The main character is Naomi, president of the...

Old Baggage by Lissa Evans

I listened to this book some months ago without writing about it and had forgotten it. I realized that when Laura mentioned reading it because Nancy Pearl recommended it. The main characters, Mattie Simpkin and Flora Lee (known as the Flea) are veterans of the suffrage movement in Britain and have the battle scars to prove it. Mattie comes from a privileged background while the Flea always had to...

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

After I finished listening to this book, I listened a second time and found that to be worthwhile. Mrs. Dalloway was irresistible; this one has more ruminative “self talk” that eludes me. Still, I enjoyed the moments of clarity and brilliance. I was reminded of the Edward Albee play/movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” about the elusive Virginia Woolf, dreaded by...

Trust by Hernan Diaz

While I rarely hesitate to divulge plot twists and probably should always post “spoiler alerts” on my posts, I want to limit that as much as possible for this one. Personally I do not mind knowing what to expect in my reading and in fact consider it a bonus to read with knowledge of what’s coming. But in this case, I enjoyed having the feeling of slowly coming to understand what...

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

This is my fifth book by Geraldine Brooks and I do love them all. The complexity of the story she has told by weaving together many strands related to a racehorse that lived in the middle of the 19th century is breathtaking. At the center is the racehorse Lexington, who became famous for his speed and even more for his many very fast offspring, including a horse named Preakness. (I thought...

Robert E. Lee and Me by Ty Seidule

Ty Seidule’s premise, that the lie of the Lost Cause perpetuated from the end of the Civil War is a reflection of White Supremacy that infects the whole country, is not a surprise or new idea. What is different is that a military historian at West Point who grew up in the South idolizing Robert E. Lee has described his beliefs and his coming to understand the facts and reject the myth. As...

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