Monday, July 29, 2013

books Books BOOKS

Finally!  Some book reviews.  Two of the books below were audiobooks.  It's so different listening to a book.  Some of whether I like it or not has to do with the person narrating the book and whether or not I liked their voice or if I thought they did a good job.  But I like to listen on long car rides to pass the time.  Or while I'm knitting so I can do two things I love at once.  Do you listen to audiobooks? 

The Good House by Ann Leary:  Audiobook.  From Goodreads  "Ann Leary's The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston’s North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She’s also a raging alcoholic. Hildy’s family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place—“if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday,” she advises “run for your life” — and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key to her drinking problem."   The story takes us through how she deals with this "moderation" and how it affects her life, family and friends.  It is at times sad and at times funny.   Plus, there is an element of small-town scandal in which she tries not to get involved.  Overall, I enjoyed the book.  The narrator was pretty good, and had a very distinctive voice, and I just can't help but wonder how I would have perceived certain things if I was reading the actual book.  I keep thinking of the narrator's voice when I think of the book. (Click down there to get on Amazon...)

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg:  Another Audiobook.  From Goodreads: "For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food--thinking about it, eating it--and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live." The story is told alternately through Edie's eyes, as well as the eyes of Richard, her two children and her daughter-in-law, how her declining health affects them and how they try (or not) to help her.  I enjoyed this one too, however, could not stand Molly Ringwald's narration! Monotone and horribly "acted", especially in contrast to The Good House, whose narrator was good at acting out the parts and narrating.  Looking past the narration to the story, the writing was very good.   Sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, and very good at relaying each character's emotions.

The Heist Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.  For this book, Janet has teamed up with the writer of the Monk tv series (which I loved and I'm sad it ended).  I've enjoyed Janet's Stephanie Plum series for many years, so I decided to try this, which is "the first adventure in an electrifying new series featuring an FBI agent who always gets her man, and a fearless con artist who lives for the chase."  Two more fun characters and a fun story line.  Action, adventure and lots of humor.  I found myself laughing out loud several times.  The FBI agent is, like Stephanie Plum, a flawed quirky woman who you can't help but route for.   Light and fun, and a quick read.

Long Gone by Alafair Burke:  Another exciting and suspenseful book.  Couldn't put it down at times, but at times wanted to put it down because I was getting worked up about the suspense.  Lots of twists and turns, making you try to guess what is going on.  Alafair's style is to switch gears/points-of-view/story lines in each chapter so that at first you are thinking, "How can these things be related?" but then you slowly realize, chapter by chapter, how they are terribly, horribly, unfortunately related.

Next post:  Spinning and knitting.... the Altamont Fair Spinning Bee is coming up! I know... the excitement is killing you, too.


  1. Very interesting reviews, Lizzy - especially appreciated your take on audiobooks! The major problem i have with them is the fact that, in the past, I've only listened to books while driving - evidently I can't do both safely..if I concentrate on the book, I forget to pay attention to the driving part OMG!!! LOL(NOT!), Recently, per your suggestion, i signed, up for the Audible App -> grrrreat :) ,,,tiny problem: I listen at night and it's so relaxing I sometimes fall asleep. BUT: a good feature to this APP is the timer - I use it to avoid the book's "voice from continuing on into the night whie I sleep.

  2. LIZZY ..this is a continuation of my comment above ( finished with "audible APP" - must have met the max in # of letters allowed :( ).
    Just wanted to say I was glad evonovich can right e
    Good books without the S.Plum character, AND, with another writer !.
    also, have the hard copy of The Middlesteins - yet to be read :). XXOO,
    Me :)