Sunday, November 25, 2012

Eyes of the Dragon


Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

Unabridged audio read by Bronson Pinchot

I really, really liked this audiobook. The narration was excellent and the story a bit different from any Stephen King I've ever read. It was more wizards and demons and beloved kings. Much more of a fantasy with a bit of the supernatural. Excellent!

Written in 1987, this is the only description I can find. From Barnes & Noble:
A tale of archetypal heroes and sweeping adventures, of dragons and princes and evil wizards, here is epic fantasy as only Stephen King could envision it.
In the kingdom of Delain, a young prince must struggle against powerful forces to gain his rightful inheritance.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Matched




Matched by Ally Condie

Audio-ebook Read by Kate Simses, Jack Riccobono, and Matt Burns
Book #1, Matched, is a very good, very disturbing book. The society in the book, make all the choices for everyone. What to eat, how to exercise, what their career will be, who they will be marry. 100 books, 100 paintings, 100 poems were chosen to keep. Everything else was destroyed. Archivists are made to destroy artifacts and books. Botanists are made to destroy plants that don't serve a purpose. Everyone wears brown or black except on special days like on their matching. It puts me very much in mind of libraries now where librarians are forced by city or school officials to get rid of books. Books are no longer needed "everything is on line." Disturbing.

The two books that follow, Crossed and Reached, continue the story of Cassia, Ky and Xander as they loose each other, find each other and fight for freedom.

An awesome trilogy.

Book Description from Amazon:
Matched: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Crossed: Cassia and Ky grapple with secrets, wilderness and the tumultuous meanings of love in the second installment of this addictive, layered dystopic trilogy… Although two-boys-one-girl triangles run rife in this genre, Condie’s is complicated and particularly human, involving real emotional scars… Both rich and easy to digest, this will leave fans hungry for the third book.

Reached:
Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter. The wait is over. One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ready Player One




Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Unabridged audio read by Wil Wheaton

Totally awesome! This book is for anyone who likes video games. I listened to this book almost non-stop for two days - I could not turn it off.  Wil Wheaton supplies a flawless narration and is even mentioned in the book! 


Overview from B&N:


At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut-part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune-and remarkable power-to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved-that of the late twentieth century.  And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt-among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to his prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life-and love-in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

A world is at stake.
A quest of the ultimate prize.
Are you ready.....

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter



Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Unabridged audio on 9 CDs. Read by Scott Holst.

I was not going to read this book. I had read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by the same author and disliked it. Not so much for the content, but for the fact that it was sold as being written by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. I doubt very much that Ms. Austen would have approved. So one could say I was "prejudice". But I had several people tell me how good this book was and it was coming from people that I would never have thought would read a book about vampires, so I thought I should give it a try. I was amazed. The story captured me on the first CD and kept my attention throughout. The narration was very good, exactly right as a matter of fact. I enjoyed the interview with the author at the end and it was interesting to see where he got the idea for the story. A very good read and I'm looking forward to watching the movie.

Overview (from Barnes & Noble)

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."
"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.
Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.
When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.
Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Graveminder



Graveminder by Melissa Marr

One of the best books I've read all year with an ending that truly surprised me - which, to be honest, doesn't happen very often. A good paranormal that almost borders on horror.

From the publisher:

Three sips to mind the dead . . .
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words"Sleep well, and stay where I put you."
Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.
Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Beautiful Creatures



Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Unabridged audio read by Kevin T. Collins & Eve Bianco

This book was unbelievable on audio. I don't know what reading it would be like, but I am so glad I did the audio instead. It made the whole story come alive. When there was a storm, you heard the thunder and rain. When there was singing, you heard the song. The story itself was awesome, so the whole experience was well worth the listen. I've already ordered the second book on audio and then horror of horrors - the third book is ONLY a download, not on CD. Bleep Bleep I hate that publishers don't give you the option anymore. I don't want to be tied to a blasted download. I want to listen in my car! 


From the publisher:
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Night Circus



The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, read by Jim Dale
Unabridged audiobook, 11 CDs

I got a real shock on the first CD of this audio, Jim Dale, who did the narration for the Harry Potter series, dropped the "f" bomb. It was a shock to hear him say that, but I also find it surprising that I didn't notice another single curse word in the rest of the book.

There is only one word for this book "Magical". Magical all the way through. This has to be one of the best of the year.

From the website:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Deadlocked




Southern Vampire Series #12: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Unabridged audio, 8 CDs, read by Johanna Parker


I love this series. I used to call them my Harliquins (since I don't read real Harliquins). Quick, easy reads that were total escape for me. They still are and I have read or listened to all of them several times.

Amazon has chosen to offer this only as an Audible download. Fine, except, I didn't want an Audible download, I wanted CDs. I don't like downloads all that much. I listen to most audiobooks in my car and I don't like taking an extra device to listen to, finding all the right connections and wires, etc and then remembering to turn off or pause the device when I get out of the car. It feels like a production to listen to downloads in my car! Anyway, I was almost in a panic because I usually buy everything from Amazon, but then a light bulb finally came on and I looked at the Barnes & Noble website and there it was on CD. B&N to the rescue!!

Tiny Spoiler Alert!

Poor Sookie, she just can't get a break. Ever since meeting the vampires and the werewolves and the twoies and the fairies and the demons, etc., she just can't seem to have any length of time going by without a major event. Good for us, bad for poor Sookie! I liked this book all the way through except at the end and I have to admit, I'm not surprised about the outcome with Eric, but that doesn't mean I have to like it!


Millennium Trilogy



The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

Unabridged audio

For all it's faults, this is a great series. The story that it tells is intriguing and held my attention through all three books. The first book is good, but the story really heats up in book two and leaves you with an awesome cliffhanger lead in for book three. The first book had a bit too much detail about publishing, the hero, Blomkvist, gets girls a bit too easily and the books tend to drag a bit in places, but overall, it was well worth the listen.  

Hunger Games: The Movie



I saw this movie when it first came out, but just now got around to writing my blog post about it. I actually saw the movie twice and as soon as DVD comes out, it will become part of my permanent collection. The movie was very, very well done. It left out or did not stress some of the things I wish it had (just how big a drunk Hamish is for one, lol), but overall, it was great.

I have always been surprised by these books. When they first came out, I thought that I would never read them because of the subject matter. So many people urged me to read them, that I finally did and they are amazing.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Discovery of Witches





All Souls Trilogy #1: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Unabridged Audiobook read by Jennifer Ikeda


I thought this one was a slow started, but once it got going, it was a very good listen. I've received an Advanced Readers Copy of the 2nd book in the trilogy. I usually like to continue listening when I've began a series in audio, but since I have the 2nd book in print, then I'll give it a try.


Overview:
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Daughter of Smoke & Bone


Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, unabridged on 10CDs, read by Khristine Hvam.

Where to start, how to start.... Twilight and Hunger Games move over! Awesome, awesome story, read beautifully by Khristine Hvam. I am so ready for book #2 and I really don't like series books that much!  

From the box:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spam People

I don't let your comments be published here - go somewhere else or better yet, start your own blog to publish your advertisements or, in the case of this mornings offering, nasty nonsensical gibberish.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Every Other Day



Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


"Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.
And then every day in between . . . She's something else entirely."

Very intriguing introduction to this book. It was a fast read for me because it was hard to put down. Kali risked her like to save a girl she barely knows, a girl who can see the future befriends her, and the three are off to solve a mystery. All the makings of a very good teen read. 

Dance With Dragons





Song of Ice & Fire #5: Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin


Ok, it took Martin 6 years to publish this book. The last was published in 2005. By the time I started this book, I had forgotten most of what when on and the parts I had remembered, I seem to have remembered wrong. I had to look up a synopsis online to even begin to understand what I was listening to.


The language has always been far more vulgar than I like to listen to. The story is very violent and he is killing off all the characters I like. There are suppose to be 7 books in all. If it takes 6 more years to publish book #6, then I'm done now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This World We Live In



Life As We Knew It #3: This World We Live In
Susan Beth Pfeffer, Unabridged audio, 6 CDs

One of the most disappointing third book of a series I've ever read. The last 2 or 3 CDs were painful to listen to. The characters were doing all this stuff so out of the character that you knew from the first two books, that it was painful. Miranda goes crazy, Alex turns into a closed minded idiot, and Matt is a jerk. If there are other books in this series, I doubt I'll bother.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Best of 2011

This was a year of 55 books and 56 audiobooks. I took some time this year to revisit old favorites and to try new authors. It was also a frustrating year because so many were free e-books that tried to give me a hint at what a good book the next one would be, but failed to draw me in.

Audiobooks this year, were amazing. I listened to so many good books. Wonderful year for audios.

For good or bad, these were my favorites in no particular order. Well, sort of the order I read them in. (Extra stars given to extra good books!)

Books
**Chalice by Robin McKinley
How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
A Pour Way to Dye by Tim Myers
Goddess of Fried Okra by Jean Brashear
Poisoned House by Michael Ford
13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelope, both by Maureen Johnson
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
Misfit by Jon Skovron

AudioBooks
Blasphemy & Impact, both by Douglas Preston
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (an old favorite)
*Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Myer
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laura Viera Rigler
Lighthouse by PD James
**Mistress of the Art of Death & Serpent's Tale, both by Ariana Franklin
**Match Me if You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
**13th Hour by Richard Doetsch
Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
***The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
The Gardener by SA Bodeen
All the Blue Blood series by Melissa de la Cruz (old & new favorites)
***People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Chime by Fanny Billingsley


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Speaking of Reading Challenges.....




Within my Mt. TBR challenge, I have made some mini challenges of my own.

I will try to read at least 6 of my "Classic" TBR books.

I will try to get caught up on 6 of my "series" TBR books. Outside the challenge, I hope to get any new books in the series I do not have and read those as well.

ARCs are not permitted in the challenge, but I have a large number that are TBRs, so I would like to read around 10 of those.

Actually, I just decided to make a whole new blog hoping that will help with the challenge:
http://myreadingchallenges.blogspot.com/

Mt. TBR Challenge





I've never done online book challenges. Lots of my online book reading friends do, so I thought I would give this one a try. My TBR mountain includes print books, audiobooks, and e-books. There are way more than I can read in a year, so I thought I would try reading or listening to at least 50 this year. I usually do a total of around 100 books a year, so I will reserve the right to read new things as well as TBR things.

Therefore, I am joining the Mt. TBR at the Mt. Kilimanjaro level of 50 books from my TBR pile.

The Mt. TBR Challenge can be found at: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/10/mount-tbr-reading-challenge.html