07 August 2017

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: Sound Recommendations

2 Audiobook ReviewsLast week started out lazily but ended up being full of errands and appointments. We did manage to get in a longish hike on Saturday and a good walk on Sunday, taking advantage of the cooler weather.

The farmers' markets are bursting with all kinds of wonderful fruits and vegetables as we get into the peak of the growing season. The peaches are outstanding this year and I've made peach cake and peach cobbler already (sharing most with neighbors and family) and plan to make some jam or chutney this coming week. I also hope to put up some brandy peaches to enjoy at Christmas.

Review: Lockdown by Laurie R. KingI finished Lockdown by Laurie R. King (Bantam, June13). The novel interweaves the characters' background stories with a minute-by-minute account of how a routine career day at a California middle school went horribly wrong. We know from the start that the day isn't going to turn out pretty, but we don't know the details or the perpetrator of violence: Everyone, it seems, has a secret past or is harboring a grudge. While this wasn't my favorite King novel, I liked the structure and pacing of the story, and it wasn't all that easy to figure out how it was going to end. The unabridged audiobook (Recorded Books; 10 hr, 43 min) was read by Pilar Witherspoon. Although she kept my attention, I was not a fan of her style of delivery (odd pauses, for example) and her characterizations could have been stronger. On the other hand, her Spanish accent seemed authentic. If you're curious about the book, I suggest reading it in print. (My full audiobook review will be available at AudioFile magazine.)

Review: The Address by Fiona DavisI also listened to The Address by Fiona Davis (Dutton, August 1). One of the principal characters in this novel is the famous Dakota apartment building in New York City. The book is told in two time periods: first in the late 1800s, when the building was built, and second in the 1980s, a few years after John Lennon's assassination. Each story line features a troubled but smart woman trying to make her own way in the world. I really liked the way Davis connected the two woman, presented the details about the Dakota and its history, and brought each time period alive. The unabridged audiobook (Penguin Audio; 11 hr, 42 min) was read by Saskia Maarleveld and Brittany Pressley. Each narrator took a different time period, and I was impressed with how smoothly their performances blended together. They were equally skilled at characterizations, accents, and pacing. Recommended audiobook. (My full audiobook review will be available at AudioFile magazine.)

I also finished Caitlin Hamilton Summie's story collection To Lay to Rest Our Ghosts and the audiobook of What She Ate by Laura Shapiro. I'll be writing about these books later in the week.

What I Watched

If you get HBO and aren't watching their documentaries, you are missing out on some of the best viewing available on television. This week, we watched the HBO documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, in which her sons and others close to her (no Charles or the queen), reminisce about her personality, her life as a mother, and her work with charities and other causes. I thought it was very well done, with little overblown emotionalism and lots of focus on Diana's connection with everyday people in the UK and around the world and especially her work with AIDS patients and the victims of land mines. This is well worth your time. (65 minutes; produced and directed by Ashley Gething, with HBO)


Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 8/7/17, 7:30 AM  

I'll be curious to hear what you thought of What She Ate. I couldn't get into the writing style and put it down pretty early on.

And Lockdown sounds really interesting!

JoAnn 8/7/17, 8:11 AM  

I just added What She Ate to my wish list, so will keep an eye out for your thoughts.

bermudaonion 8/7/17, 8:53 AM  

The peach crop here was pretty much wiped out by a late freeze. :(

I've never read a King book and don't think I'll start on that audio. The Address sounds good, though.

Susie | Novel Visits 8/7/17, 9:32 AM  

The structure of Davis's The Address sounds very similar to The Address. Both use women in two times who have a connection and feature a prominent NYC building. I was only so-so on The Dollhouse, so am a little on the fence with this one. Audio might be the way to go for me.

Peaches! I seem to be addicted this summer.

Vicki 8/7/17, 9:33 AM  

I was going to watch Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy but I didn't. I'll have to see if it's still available to watch.

Laurel-Rain Snow 8/7/17, 10:34 AM  

Lockdown looks good!

I downloaded The Address because I enjoyed The Dollhouse...and also because of The Dakota. I am intrigued by that residence and its history.

I also enjoyed the HBO tribute to Diana, and have set my DVR for more in Diana's Story, starting this week.

Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

Kathy Martin 8/7/17, 10:37 AM  

I am a Diana fan and have heard good things about the documentary. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Kailana 8/7/17, 2:01 PM  

I am hoping to get back into audiobooks now that I am connecting with AGE OF SWORDS. Hopefully it is going to break my streak!

Greg 8/7/17, 4:26 PM  

I do want to watch that Diana documentary.

pussreboots 8/7/17, 5:47 PM  

My entire summer has been nothing but errands it seems sometimes. Come see what I'm reading.

westmetromommy 8/8/17, 12:56 AM  

I really want to read "The Address." I thoroughly enjoyed "The Dollhouse" and am looking forward to reading more by Davis. Plus, she is a fellow W&M graduate!

Daryl 8/16/17, 7:43 AM  

my week(s) have been blurring .. and i think i maybe the only non Diana fan in the world ...

Unknown 8/17/17, 5:20 AM  

so will keep an eye out for your thoughts.


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