18 November 2016

Sound Recommendations: A Pair of Good Listens

Genghis Khan and the Quest for God by Jack WeatherfordGenghis Khan and the Quest for God: How the World's Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom by Jack Weatherford: I'm fascinated by Genghis Khan. He had a rough start in life, and it wasn't until he 44 years old, in the early 1200s, that he set out to make a name for himself by conquering the known world. Genghis was many things: warrior, husband, father, and ruler. He was also a seeker of spiritual wisdom. He talked with religious leaders of many faiths, including Judaism, Sufi, Islam, Catholism, and Buddhism. He made religious tolerance a mainstay of his empire, and his ideas reached into the centuries, influencing people like Thomas Jefferson. Mark Bramhall was the narrator, and he nailed this nonfiction account of Genghis Khan. He was expressive and seemed to easily handle the many non-English words. I appreciated his ability to use his voice to signal the difference between the narrative and quotes, which helped keep me on track. If you're interested in history and the ways different religious groups get along or not, this is a recommended book in print or audio. (Penguin Audio; 14 hr, 43 min; review copy)

Every Single Second by Tricia SpringstubbEvery Single Second by Tricia Springstubb: I'm not sure what I expected when I started listening to this audiobook, which is a contemporary story geared to a middle grade audience. I was pleasantly surprised that the novel explores one of my favorite themes: how life can change in the tick of a second. Twelve-year old Nella is having a tough go of it: her grandmother isn't doing well, her Little Italy Catholic school is closing, her girlfriend is going away for the summer, and she learns something disturbing about her father's past. But even worse is when a family friend mistakenly shoots a young black man, which divides the neighborhood and makes national news. This coming-of-age story is nicely paced, and Springstubb injects enough humor to keep the story from being too heavy. I totally believed narrator Arelle DeLisle's youthful voice and especially liked her use of pacing and tone to contrast Nella's outwardly cheery personality with her deeper and more brooding inner thoughts. This cross-over novel addresses issues relevant to our troubled times. See AudioFile magazine for my complete audio review. (HarperAudio; 6 hr; 49 min; review copy)


Kailana 11/18/16, 8:40 AM  

I really like stuff about Genghis Khan, too, so wish list! I read the first book in Conn Iggulden's series about him and it was so good. But never read the sequels. I am so bad with series. lol

Greg 11/18/16, 5:13 PM  

I'm very interested in that Genghis Khan book, as I've kind of always been fascinated by him and the Mongols in general. I did not know he was into religious freedom or that he sought out the different faiths like that, I find that really interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

Fence 11/20/16, 1:52 PM  

The Genghis Khan book sounds really interesting. Might see if I can track it down at some point.

Daryl 11/22/16, 8:16 AM  

two good recommendations ... thanks!

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