"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Audiobooks We Listened to On a Recent Trip

On our recent 16-day, 3000+ miles vacation, my husband and I listened to five+ audiobooks together. Last night we finally took the time to compare notes on our thoughts. Now you get the benefit of two opinions on each book.

The Fraud by Zadie Smith
This is Ms. Smith's first historical fiction book and the first either of us read by this famous author. The story is based on actual people and a famous court case in British history. Unfortunately, as Americans, we'd heard of neither the court case or any of the people, other than Charles Dickens.
My rating: 3 stars. I honestly think Zadie Smith tried to do too much with one novel and moved back and forth in time too many times. It was confusing. My review.
Don's rating: 3 stars. Zadie Smith read the audiobook, and though she did quite well with the Scottish accent, it didn't translate well to his ears above the car noise. He admits he gave up trying to keep all the details of the book straight after a while.
12 hours, 26 minutes. Read by the author.

Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Moonflower Murders is the second book in the Susan Ryland series by Horowitz. Don and I listened to the first book, Magpie Murders, a few years ago and enjoyed it a lot. Moonflower Murders was very similar to the form used in the first which involved a book within the book.
My rating: 3 stars. I didn't connect with any of the characters and the plot just didn't add up for me.
Don's rating: 4 stars. Having met Susan Ryland in the past book, he was glad to "meet her again." The book within the book was better this time because he understood what was happening and it didn't jump from present to the book and back, which was confusing about the first part in the series.
18 hours, 29 minutes. Read by Lesley Manville and Allan Corduner.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
A novel of the American Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg and the days leading up to it. The story is character-driven and told from the perspective of historical figures from both the Union and the Confederate side. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and a filmed titled "Gettysburg" was made from it. My review.
My rating: 5 stars. Even though I know how this battle works out I still was hanging on every word, eager to get back to the book each time after we had to take a break. I learned so much, too.
Don's rating: 5 stars. He's visited Gettysburg three times and has a military background. We had to stop the book often to allow him to expand on aspects of the battle or to describe the terrain. He was very moved.
13 hours, 45 minutes. Read by Stephen Hoye.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
In a small village in Ireland in 1985, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant, makes a discovery that causes him to confront is past and the complicit silences of town's people due to the church's influence. It is touching Christmas novella.
We both rated the story: 4 stars.
1 hour, 57 minutes. Read by Aidan Kelly.

Sweet Thunder by Ivan Doig
Morrie Morgan returns to Butte, Montana in this third book in the series. This time Morrie is asked to serve the miner's union by writing editorials about their cause for a new newspaper, The Thunder.
My rating: 4 stars.  I absolutely LOVE Morrie Morgan as a character and Ivan Doig as a writer. I probably should rate this book with a 5, but I keep comparing it to the first book in the series, The Whistling Season, and I love that book more. Ha!
Don's rating: 5 stars. He's an even bigger Doig fan than I am. Don is a strong supporter of unions and of freedom of the press, so this book spoke to him on this level, too.
11 hours, 11 minutes. Read by Jonathan Hogan.


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