I have fully embraced books that are not in book form and it’s really changing the quantity and type of book I’m reading. I was a hold out for so, so long, but audiobooks and my Kindle are here to stay. I love being able to go to the library without going to the library. I like being able to fill up my Kindle with ten books for the cost of one hardback. I like not having as much clutter – and that’s saying a lot because I take a ridiculous amount of pride in showing off how well read I am in my bookshelves.
So far in January I’ve finished 11 books, 3 comics and shelved one book I lost interest in. I already gave my thoughts on a few over on Instagram, but I wanted to post the rest here.
With the Kids: (via Audiobook, we’ve also read a number of real picture books that I don’t keep track of)
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary I adore Henry Huggins, and most of what Beverly Cleary writes in general. I like having a wholesome book with a boy character who doesn’t spend most of it making inappropriate jokes. I love that Henry is resourceful and (mostly) honest. I hope we can get through the rest of Henry’s books soon. Neil Patrick Harris was okay as a narrator, I found his Mrs. Huggins voice a bit grating, but not enough to ruin it all.
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary As with Henry Huggins, I love Beezus and Ramona as characters – I grew up with them though I don’t think I read all the books. To be a broken record I love how Cleary writes children – it’s an honest look at how children think, rationalize and love each other and how they interact with the bigger world. Yes, Ramona is naughty and Beezus can be a bit overbearing, but I love getting to grow with them and see them mature just like I do my children or the kids next door. Stockard Channing is okay as a narrator, I’d like to see these redone one day with a different actor. Her little girl voices are a little too much for me.
Timeless Tales of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter I’m not a Beatrix Potter fan in general (but I don’t like talking animal stories for the most part unless they’re fables or similar) but I enjoyed listening to these at bedtime with my baby. Particularly I liked how they put the songs to a real rhythm and beat – something I always struggle with while reading aloud myself. Bonus: this one streams for free on Audible Channels if you have a membership.
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne Another one I’m never keen on reading out loud myself (again with the talking animal stories), but I enjoyed this as an audiobook and will probably try to find the rest via Overdrive. A good reader and a good performance. Another one free via the streaming Channels on Audible.
Vox Machina #1-3: This is my nerdy side coming out, but these are comic books feature characters from a online live-streaming role-playing series that is run by a number of voice actors. My husband loves them and while I don’t spend the time he does invested in the series I watch occasionally and they do a really good job. I’ve been looking for a series to replace my beloved Fables graphic novels and this just might be it if they can keep the violence, sex and language to a PG-13 rating. It’s nerdy and has magic and adventures, etc. and worth picking up if you’re into all that too.
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin: I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never read any Baldwin. If you’re like me you should work on rectifying this too. An amazing voice: author, essayist and so much more. Notes of a Native Son was not what I thought it was when I picked it out, but it was still an amazing read – a series of essays on a variety of topics, mainly on race and the author’s experiences. I’ve been trying to expand the scope of my reading and my awareness this last year or so, and I’m looking forward to working my way through Baldwin’s works. I read part of this in text and finished in via Audiobook and wasn’t thrilled with the narrator choice for this one. It was a bit of a dry reading for a really amazing text.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: My friend Kathleen has been singing the praises of the Lunar Chronicles for a while and while I enjoyed the first one I picked up the second and never really got into it. With all the stuff my family has been going through this last month I needed something lighter and easier to digest so I gave it another shot via audiobook and was hooked. For YA, and it does follow some standard YA tropes, it well done and satisfying and I’m looking forward to getting through the rest of the series soon.
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan: I read (well listened) to this book in one day. It grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It’s your standard romance novel in some ways, but Ms. Colgan gets it just right by not having all of the main characters happiness and worth set in her romance. Nora becomes her new self separate from romance, and much of that new self is in finding confidence, separating real life from fantasy and in what she gives to others. I love that the first love interest didn’t work out, I’m glad that she had her character not pussyfoot around someone obviously not right once the truth came out. It gave Nora a strength not always seen in these books. I could have done without what was basically a chapter about Nora and her final love interest shacking up – it seemed unnecessary and I could have done with a bit more development and change on his part, but in general I was very satisfied with this read. The narrator for this audiobook was just about perfect as well.
A Swing and a Miss:
The only book I didn’t make it all the way through this month was “The Miniaturist” I won’t get too far into it, but it seemed so promising – an interesting plot and Davina Porter, one of my absolute favorite narrators, reading the audiobook. But in the end it was just not right – too many anachronisms, and not things or sayings, but behaviors. There’s “ahead of your time” and then there’s just plain “not believable” when it comes to actions and beliefs. I hate to say it but Davina Porter was not the right narrator for this one – she just sounded to old of a voice for a book seen through the eyes of a naive 18-year-old, small town girl. I’d skip this one if I were you.
So what are you reading now? What I should I add to my list? Are you over on Goodreads?
Feature Image: Cesar Viteri via Unsplash.com