28 March 2014

Sound Recommendations: Nonfiction, Fiction, Historical Fiction

Anything That Moves by Dana GoodyearDana Goodyear's Anything That Moves explores extreme eating, from the raw milk movement to dining on exotic animals. I was quickly caught up in Goodyear's encounters with twenty-first-century food fanatics looking for the next big thing and came away with a whole new perspective on what's going on in the current food scene. Bravo to the author for being willing to taste almost everything, including insect eggs and pigs' noses. The unabridged audiobook (Tantor, 8 hr, 32 min) is read by Jane Jacobs. Unfortunately, I couldn't shake the feeling that Jacobs was not full invested in the book. Her odd pauses and stilted narration detracted from my enjoyment of this eye-opening treatise. Pick this one up in print. (Riverhead, 2013, ISBN-13 9781594488375)

What I Had before I Had You by Sarah CornwellWhat I Had before I Had You, by Sarah Cornwell, is a novel about self-discovery and new beginnings. Before moving back to New York City after her divorce, Olivia Reed makes a stop at the Jersey Shore to show her children where she grew up. The visit unleashes a flood of memories, as Olivia recalls the summer she learned the truth about her mother's--and her own--sometimes odd behavior. The audiobook (HarperAudio; 8 hr, 17 min) is read by Karen White, whose expressive reading adds an appropriately dreamy feel to this story, which is told primarily in flashbacks. Bipolar disorder is a central theme of this novel, and White's sensitive characterizations increase our empathy and draw us into this tale of motherhood and family. Recommended in audio. (Harper, 2014, ISBN-13 9780062237842)

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy HoranOne of the latest entries in the recent trend of stories about the wives and girlfriends of famous men is Nancy Horan's Under the Wide and Starry Sky, which focuses on Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson. Although I was aware of Stevenson's delicate health and eventual move to the South Pacific, I knew little about his American wife. Horan draws back the curtain to show us the remarkable contrast between the strong, independent Fanny and the idealistic, easily influenced Robert. I was left thinking Fanny deserves sainthood. The audiobook (Random House; 17 hr, 7 min) is read by Kirsten Potter, whose accents and nicely paced narration add a wonderful layer to Horan's well-researched and beautifully written novel. Recommended in audio. (Ballantine, 2014, ISBN-13 9780345516534)


Unknown 3/28/14, 7:31 AM  

Anything That Moves looks fascinating. I'm definitely going to have to check that one out.

Karen White 3/28/14, 8:23 AM  

Thanks so much for your recommendation - I loved working on this book and I'm glad its resonating with others. Truly cannot believe it's a debut novel.

Book Bloggers International 3/28/14, 8:46 AM  

Anything That Moves sounds interesting. It reminds me of the shows where the host travels and eats all kinds of crazy stuff all over the world. I am a pretty adventurous eater but there are some things I just won't try - namely pig's feet or snouts (or any animals') and I refuse to try organs. It skeeves me out.

Daryl 3/28/14, 9:16 AM  

i wish i could enjoy non fiction but alas ... thanks for the reviews!

rhapsodyinbooks 3/28/14, 11:56 AM  

I have an abnormal attraction to any book with stars in the title or cover!

bermudaonion 3/28/14, 11:59 AM  

I've been excited about Under the Wide and Starry Sky but already have the book in print so will probably go that route.

Kailana 3/28/14, 2:02 PM  

oops. Should have blog-hopped and then used some Audible credits. Since I just got two new audiobooks today I will add these to my wish list. :)

Tina 3/29/14, 6:59 AM  

Nancy Horan's book is on my list at the library. Maybe this time I will listen to a book instead of reading. Sounds appealing

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