Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I brought you some books on tape since you say you can't concentrate to read.

Props to you if you are still reading these. This is the final installment of the book reviews (until I decide to write a bunch more....)


To explain a little bit about the audiobooks: I found that I was having a really hard time falling asleep, and one thing that I discovered helped (helps? I'm still doing it) is to play an audiobook on my phone. The Overdrive app lets me check out audiobooks from the library and it has a timer on it, so I can set it for 45 minutes and fall asleep with someone reading to me.

The other thing I found about this is I got frustrated trying to listen to books that I had never read before. Because they fulfilled their job of helping me fall asleep, I would often pick up the next night and have no idea what was going on in the book. This gets worse if I wake up at 3 am and start it up again to get back to sleep. So to avoid that frustration, I began getting books that are very familiar to me because then I can start them again and still know what is going on, because I know the story.

That led me to listen to a lot of the books that I read as a kid. And that always leads to different discoveries because things stand out that I had never noticed before.

The Eight by Katherine Neville
This is a very long, sweepingly epic novel that begins in France in the 1600s (or something) and jumps back and forth to the present day. I remember it being about chess and nuns, but otherwise I have no real memories of this book.

I would suggest that if you are curious about this one (how could you not be with a great review like that?), it would be better to read it than to listen to it, simply because of how the chronology jumps and for the easy of tracking the characters.

Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen
This is another one that I don't have any memory of. I think I stopped listening to it because it was causing the above problem.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A reread. With Little Women, it is interesting how women's perspectives change on the March girls depending on how old they are when they read this novel. But what I noticed this time is the long digression on "spinsters" and "dear reader, be kind to the spinsters. They were once girls like yourselves."

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Reread. Oh my gosh. Could Anne Shirley possibly talk any more? I didn't realize until I was actually listening to everything she says how much she talks, and honestly how annoying that is. And yet, Marilla still loves her.

The Song of the Lioness Series (Numbers 1-4) by Tamora Pierce
I read these in middle school. Oh, how I loved this series. And it was shocking to me how much I remember the exact wording of these books. Why can't I harness that brain-power for good?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Did you realize when you read this as a kid that the entire novel is a treatise on the power of positive thinking? Weird, right?

Emily of New Moon by LM Montgomery
A little-known second series by the Anne of Green Gables author. I liked it better as a kid because she has my name. And I liked it better now because Emily doesn't talk as much as Anne. She writes instead.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
As I was listening, I could just see Emma Thompson playing Eleanor.

Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne
Ok, this was a really cute audiobook. It was a full cast reading of the Winnie the Pooh books. Steven Fry played Pooh, Judi Dench read the narrator, and a cast of a half dozen other easily recognizable names. It was cute and well-performed.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
This is a classic gothic mystery novel about a huge diamond with a curse on it that goes missing. It's actually a really entertaining book, and one most people aren't familiar with.

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio
I was awake for this one. I listened to this as I was driving.

It tells the story of a young woman with vision/neurological problems who discovers that the vision problems are caused when she sees love between two people. She is under a curse and must identify the six types of love before the stroke of midnight on her 30th birthday.

I found her to be really annoying as a character (probably partly why I don't remember her name), and the story had a lot of problems and holes in it. The idea was meant to be cute and clever and a different take on a romantic story, but it just fell flat for me.

I don't recommend it. 

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