CategoryAudiobook Reviews

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...

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

When Mr. Tumnus the cat named by the SPCA arrived in Evie’s house recently, I concluded it was time for me to read this book. I hadn’t read it as a child and my children read it after they could do so on their own. The fictional Mr. Tumnus is a good-hearted little faun who saves Lucy from the witch and is turned to stone for his trouble. Though the young cat has not yet been called...

Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson

One of Lynne Olson’s previous books about World War II, Citizens of London, was terrific, so I didn’t hesitate when I learned about this one. It is the wonderfully informative story of the woman who ran the biggest and most effective resistance movement in France during the war. The focus of the network, Alliance, was to provide intelligence for British MI6 for their work against the...

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

What a pleasing book this is. It kept surprising me as it tacked in one direction, then another. It begins with Juliet Armstrong being hit by a car in 1981 and though she can hear someone calling her name to help her, she was unable to respond. She had been at a concert of Shostakovich string quartets  (the 7th, 8th, and 9th) at the Wigmore and it came to her she would miss the rest of them. She...

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

Tony’s enthusiasm brought me to this book, and a better audiobook I cannot imagine. It is the story of a young woman making her way in London during the blitz. Thinking she was applying for a newspaper job, she found herself typing for a failing women’s magazine from another era. Emmy lives with her friend from home Bunty in the upstairs of Bunty’s grandmother’s house...

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