Monday, March 23, 2015

Audible review


My favorite quote from the book Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore - Robin Sloan is when Clay buys a walkman off ebay to listen to an old book on cassette tape and he says:
 "I've never listened to an audiobook before, and I have to say it's a totally different experience. When you read a book, the story definitely happens inside your head. When you listen, it seems to happen in a little cloud all around it, like a fuzzy knit cap pulled down over your eye." 

This is exactly how I felt when I listened to the next two books on my phone via the Audible app. I normally borrow all my books from the library but since the following two books are new releases, the top two books on the New York Times best sellers list and in the top 10 of Amazon's best sellers (ahead of them were American Sniper and 50 Shades of Grey), they each had either a 300 or 500 person wait at the library. I went to Barnes and Nobles book store and one of the hardcovers retailed for $27!  So I got a livingsocial deal in February to get 2 months of Audible free, it's a part of amazon that sells audiobooks. 

Normally Audible is $15 a month for which you get one credit for a book each month, so it makes sense to only get new releases that cost more than that. Sometimes the Kindle version of the book plus the add-on Audible version together are less than the full price audible version so be sure to look for Whispersync matches. Since I don't have a commute to work, I found it was easiest to listen to at the gym on the bike, while cooking or while I finished my photobook of my last vacation. I've found that I can't listen to them before going to bed because I fall asleep and thus lose my place in the book. lol  If you ask if listening has the same effect as sitting down and reading book, I'd say with the first book I didn't retain as much while listening but that may have just been my adjustment period. I will say that the narrators reading the books gave an amazing performance and really drew me into the story.

Thankfully the audible app does not drain my iphone battery but it does take up a lot of storage space on my phone, more than any other app I have. Well it's not the app that takes up space, it's the book I downloaded so as soon as I was finished I had to immediately delete it. 


All the Light We Cannot See -  Anthony Doerr 544 pages 2014
The book tells two parallel stories about a blind French girl and a German boy and their wartime experience during World War II in occupied France and Germany. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable diamond that Hilter is looking for, so he conceals it in a model he makes of Saint-Malo for Marie-Laure.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister and becomes an expert at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge. The light in its title is, among other things, a topic that Werner hears discussed on a late-1930s radio broadcast by Marie-Laure's grandfather about the brain’s power to create light in darkness (radio waves). This book is very lyrically written, which took the author a decade to write and Amazon ran out of stock of it at Christmas. Having listened to this book, I still want to go back and slowly read the book so that I could soak in every detail of the vivid images, puzzles and metaphors. I read the questions and answers readers posted to goodreads and got a bigger appreciation for the mysteries of the book. 
"In August 1944 the historic walled city of Saint-Malo, the brightest jewel of the Emerald Coast of Brittany, France was almost destroyed by fire....Of the 865 buildings within the walls, only 182 remained standing and all were damaged to some degree." -Philip Beck 


Girl on the Train  by Paula Hawkins 336 pages 2015
If you liked Gone Girl, you'll love this psychological thriller. 
This book is totally worth all the hype of the library wait list being hundreds of people deep, even Amazon had gone out of stock of it once. The best part about the book is that no one can be trusted, including the three female narrators who share the storytelling of this book. Between an alcoholic, a liar and a cheat, who can you trust? This book is just full of secrets. Rachel is divorced, gained weight and lost her job due to alcoholism. She spies on her ex and his beautiful new wife and kid. She gets up every morning and takes the train to London, pretending she's still employed, to watch people from the train, especially one couple who seem to have the life she has always wanted, they are both attractive and loving to each other, and live houses down from her ex. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. I couldn't figure out the mystery until the very end and listening to this book kept me on my toes the whole time! 

See the rest of my books I've read here.

2 comments:

  1. I read The Girl on the Train recently and really liked it, too. Just finished The Good Girl--that was another good one. You won't expect the ending!

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  2. Thanks I just added that book to my to read list!

    ReplyDelete

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