18 October 2012

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts 3

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts are my random notes about books I've read, movies I've watched, books I'm looking forward to, and events I hope to get to.


I've listened to an eclectic group of audiobooks over the last few weeks. And as  I was writing this post, I realized I never reviewed Fall of Giants, which I really loved. At this point I think I'll just add it to my review of Ken Follett's Winter of the World (Penguin Audio), which I'm listening to now. I also need to review My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher (Hachette Audio) I have mixed thoughts about the story, but liked the narration.

I wrote about other recent audiobooks for AudioFile magazine and the SheKnows Book Lounge, click on the links, for the reviews. Narrator Todd Haberkorn did an outstanding job on Kiana Davenport's The Spy Lover (Brilliance Audio). Molly Ringwald kept my attention during her reading of Jami Attenberg's The Middlesteins (AudioGo). The Jewels of Paradise by Donna Leon (AudioGo) was beautifully read by veteran narrator Cassandra Campbell. And don't miss Libba Bray's The Diviners (Listening Library) and the award-winning narration by January LaVoy.

Print Books

I'm currently in the middle of two print books, and both involve mystery. I'm going to blame my current craving for mysteries and thrillers on Halloween season. I first learned about Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal (Bantam Books) at the book club session at BookExpo America (BEA). This is the second in a series that takes place in Europe during World War II. I like the strong female lead as well as the time period. I'm also reading and enjoying the latest in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, The Woman Who Died a Lot (Viking). I plan to hold an international giveaway for a hardcover copy of this title in a few weeks.

For the SheKnows Book Lounge, I recently wrote about All Gone by Alex Witchel (Riverhead Books), which is about her mother's early-onset dementia. Louise Erdrich's The Round House (Harper) is an emotional coming-of-age story that shouldn't be missed.

Movies and TV

Our Sunday nights have gotten out of hand. I've become the master of the DVR, On Demand, and other television scheduling. We're watching Dexter, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, and whatever is on PBS's Materpiece. Mr. BFR watches 666 Park Avenue, but I think it's too scary for me. Five shows plus the political debates means there isn't a lot of time for movies. On top of all that, we've also recently started watching season 1 of Revenge on Netflix streaming. The only movie we've seen in the last couple of weeks is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer; I'll have a review up next week.

In the Stacks

All three books at the top of my stacks this week seem like intense stories, perfect for long, dark evenings. Michael Robotham's Say You're Sorry (Mulholland Books) is a mystery about two missing teenaged girls who may or may not be dead. It's Fine by Me (Graywolf Press), the latest Per Petterson, is also about a teen, in this case a troubled boy is trying to find his way in a rough world. Dennis Lehane's new novel, Live by Night (William Morrow), takes us to the Roaring Twenties, complete with bootlegging and corrupt police.

What's on your read, watch, listen, or review list?


Sandy Nawrot 10/18/12, 6:52 AM  

I can't even tell you what is on my list...probably 40 or 50 books that are clawing at me, wanting attention. It is crazy. I can't keep up. I do have the latest Follet on audio but not Fall of Giants (I sure did love his two books about the medieval cathedrals) but they are SO LONG. So please convince me!

Marie 10/18/12, 7:01 AM  

Like Sandy, lots of things are clawing at me. I did finally watch The Avengers. OMG boring! But now I don't have to watch it again! I'm listening to a CD I got in Florence of a classical guitarist/busker who was playing in the Piazza Vecchia. Brings me right back!

Literate Housewife 10/18/12, 7:09 AM  

Your print books especially look good this week. As for me, I'm looking forward to reading books off of my own shelves next month. Just knowing that month is out there is powering me through the rest of this month.

bermudaonion 10/18/12, 7:18 AM  

I thought things would settle down once summer ended but they haven't for me and it doesn't look like they have for you either. I don't even want to think about my review pile.

Julie P. 10/18/12, 8:15 AM  

I really liked MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTLEPIECE and I thought the audio version was terrific. I think it would make a great discussion book for tween book clubs!

Zibilee 10/18/12, 9:14 AM  

Fforde has been really busy!! I just read a review of his other new book, The Last Dragonslayer. I love him, and you can bet your buttons that I will be entering that giveaway! You have been a really busy bee over there, listening and reading! I wish that I could be so productive!

Carrie K. 10/18/12, 10:10 AM  

I'm going to look for Jewels of Paradise on audio - love Cassandra Campbell!

My daughter got me hooked on Revenge and over the summer I watched all of season 1 on Hulu. We're now caught up, so have to wait a week between episodes.

I'm listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone on audio - truly unique YA fantasy, and expertly narrated.

My husband and I have been catching up on last season of NCIS on DVD, too.

Anita 10/18/12, 11:48 AM  

Your books look very interesting. I'm trying to finish 3/4 books and begin November Reading My Own Books. I've got a long list of older books waiting on my shelves! I hope to tackle a dozen or so.

Jessica Howard 10/18/12, 2:11 PM  

Gasp! How did I miss the publication of The Jewels of Paradise? I LOVE Donna Leon.

I've been scrambling to finish books lately, because I embarked on this crazy 31 Days series, where I'm posting a kid book review for every day of October.

Audio-wise, I finally got around to trying Louise Penny, which many people have recommended to me, and I'm loving Still Life.

Jennifer Hartling 10/18/12, 7:29 PM  

I want to read nearly everything you have coming up! Especially the Follett, I just love his stuff to bits!

Jenners 10/18/12, 8:50 PM  

I listened to a book narrated by Cassandra Campbell (mauve the Henrietta Lacks book?) and thought she was excellent.

Peppermint Ph.D. 10/19/12, 7:47 AM  

My DVRing, Netflixing, On Demand watching is slowly but surely getting out of control thanks to the recent Emmy awards calling my attention to several shows I didn't even know existed...I've had to rope myself in and catch up on one series at a time. Right now it's Downton Abby...but I can't miss my Dexter on a weekly basis :):)

Charlie 10/19/12, 8:35 AM  

I can't imagine how you can watch all those series and read all those books too! Good for you though, I can see why you'd want to, lots of great stuff.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 10/19/12, 9:46 AM  

I was surprised at how scary 666 Park Avenue is. When that dead guy sat up I almost fell off the couch. And those scenes in the basement... chilling. My husband wandered off, he said it would give him nightmares!

Daryl 10/19/12, 10:16 AM  

LOVE Revenge, I watch it on my iPad while getting my weekly pedicure! Is Vampire Slayer on NetFlix?

Nise' 10/19/12, 9:51 PM  

My daughter tells me that I made a mistake not watching Revenge. So I have to catch up. Did not start watching 666 Park Ave. I was looking over the audiobooks today at the library and this guy plowed in front of me to grab Live By Night off the shelf. Rude!

Chinoiseries 10/21/12, 7:15 AM  

I really like your new feature, Beth :) I hope you are enjoying The Woman Who Died a Lot. It's another installment in one of my favourite series, one that I thought was pretty good!

As of now, I've not seen any of the classics gone monster movies, like the one on Hanzel and Gretel, or Abraham Lincoln: vampire hunter. Wondering what you made of it :)

Michael Robotham and Dennis Lehane are both authors I've got listed highly on my tbr. I can't believe I've not yet read Shutter Island...

Oh, there is a new Per Petterson out in translation? Must read! I enjoyed Out Stealing Horses and I Curse the River of Time!

Finally, I've been considering to get Ken Follet's books in audio, but I'm afraid I'll lose track of the story, because the audiobooks are so long. What do you think of the narrated versions?

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