04 September 2017

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: 3 Audiobooks, 3 Lists, 1 Video

3 Audiobook ReviewsHappy September! I started out the month with the delivery of my new computer. It came just in the nick of time, and now that I have a machine that works smoothly, doesn't crash, and allows me to do more than two tasks at once (yes, it was getting that bad), I can rejoin social media on a more regular basis.

I spent the week preparing myself for the switch from Win7 to Win10. That's a big jump. Thus the bulk of my reading involved the exciting world of computer books. Yay me.

The weekend has been all about transferring files, customizing the new computer, and downloading programs. It's a huge job. I feel lucky to have finished two audiobooks and to have started a third. No print or e- reading got done at all. The good news is that I'll be all set to get back to work tomorrow.

For those who are celebrating Labor Day (USA, Canada) or Father's Day (Australia), I hope you're indulging in some holiday fun.

What I Listened to Last Week

3 Audiobook Reviews
  • I loved the third entry in N. K. Jemisin's Broken Earth series, The Stone Sky. The books are a kind of mix of fantasy and science fiction and are quite good. The plot lines and characters in this entry were consistent but not predictable. A reveal and a twist took me a little off-guard (in a good way), and I was satisfied with the ending, though already impatient for more. The audiobook was read by Robin Miles, who is a-maze-ing in giving voice to the characters, picking up on the emotional atmosphere, and keeping me glued to my earbuds.
  • I listened to Jillian Cantor's The Lost Letter, which is set Austria in the 1930s and in California in the 1980s. I enjoyed both time periods and was relieved that this wasn't just another WWII book. It's much more a story about two young people and how greater world events affected their relationship and who they became as adults. The uniting thread of the books involves the world of stamps (collecting, engraving). The audiobook was primarily read by Allyson Ryan and George Newbern. Although my full audio review will be available through AudioFile magazine, I can say two things here: I was not sorry to have listened to the book instead of reading the novel in print, but the performances were only so-so. I'm not discouraging you from trying the audiobook, I just can't enthusiastically recommend it. (review copy for a freelance assignment)
  • I started listening to Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer on Sunday. OMG, I'm so totally hooked and why did I wait so long to give this series a try? I don't quite know exactly what's going on, but there's a region of the world that's blocked from the public. Our hero, a woman biologist, is on a government-sponsored mission to investigate Area X, along with three other professional women. The time period is fairly contemporary, but I can't tell if the world has undergone a major environmental disaster or if only this particular place is, well, not normal. Carolyn McCormick isn't the strongest narrator I've listened to, but I'm not turning off my phone. On the other hand, I may switch to print for the rest of the series because McCormick isn't winning me over. In either medium, I know I'll be zipping through the Southern Reach trilogy.
Book Lists

In other book news, I've found two good reading lists for books that have been or will be published this year, plus a bonus list.
  • Southern Living's list contains many expected books (Little Fires Everywhere) and some surprises (Perennials).
  • Popsugar's list is a little more predictable, but it contains solid recommendations.
  • Bonus list: Real Simple has a list of books to read before they head to the small screen. Even if you don't care about the television adaptations, most of the books are well worth your while.

I am counting the days (6 to be exact) until this:


TP 9/4/17, 7:25 AM  

Oh my gosh I'm on the waiting list for the audiobook of Stone SKy and I can't wait! I listened to the other 2 as well well and totally agree that Robin Miles is an amazing audiobook narrator. And I still haven't watched Outlander yet - I might binge watch the series over Christmas.

Tanya Patrice

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 9/4/17, 7:26 AM  

Why does it take so long to go from using one operating system to using the update? At my school, there are still some who don't feel comfortable with the last update! It is nice to get a new computer, though, isn't it? Finally there is time to start anew.

Annihilation has always looked interesting to me. I await your full report.


Jackie McGuinness 9/4/17, 7:44 AM  

My beloved laptop gave up the ghost in the spring and I have a new one also had to go to Win 10, which I don't mind.
What I wish I had noticed that there was only one USB port my baby had two.
Did get my back lit keyboard an absolute necessity when travelling and I am up at the crack of dawn.
Hate how sensitive the keyboard is on the new one.

(Diane) bookchickdi 9/4/17, 7:59 AM  

I heard Jillian Cantor speak at an event in Rhode Island this summer, I have The Lost Letter on my TBR pile. Southern Living's list has lots of books that are new to me and sound so interesting.

bermudaonion 9/4/17, 8:25 AM  

Getting a new computer is fun and frustrating at the same time. The Lost Letter sounds really good.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 9/4/17, 8:25 AM  

I liked Southern Living's list! Will check out Popsugar's...

Tina 9/4/17, 8:39 AM  

A new computer is exciting. I tend to to use a tablet more often but I couldn't do without my laptop. Nice book selection, Stone Sky has my attention.
I have not seen any of the seasons of Outlander except the first one.

Susie | Novel Visits 9/4/17, 9:19 AM  

Just reading your description of all the work that goes with a new computer gets me twitchy. I hope my current MacBook lasts forever!

Kathy Martin 9/4/17, 10:30 AM  

Good luck getting the new computer set up. It can be really time consuming. I must start Jemisin's series. They sound like something I would really enjoy. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Vicki 9/4/17, 12:18 PM  

Oh me, I checked out those book list sites and fond so many from Southern Living. I love Win10, hope you do too.

Laurel-Rain Snow 9/4/17, 12:20 PM  

I have put off changing from Windows 7 to Windows 10...as my computer guru lives in Prague!

He visited two years ago, so it will be a while before he returns.

Should I do it on my own? Or call the Geek Guys?

Enjoy your books...The Lost Letter caught my eye.

Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

Sue Jackson 9/4/17, 7:57 PM  

Oooh! I am still in season 1 of Outlander. I love it, but we don't get Starz, so I binge-watch whenever they offer a freebie week!

Annihilation sounds really intriguing - just the kind of novel I like.

My son loved Jemisin's The Killing Moon. I really need to get him started on the Broken Earth series - Christmas is coming soon!

Enjoy your books this week - hope with your new computer up and running, you get more reading time!


Book By Book

Greg 9/4/17, 9:59 PM  

Yay for the new computer! I'm kind of dreading the switch from Win 7 to 10, when that time comes. Which I will put off as long as I can!

Annihilation is new to me but sounds good? Will be checking that one out.

Laurie C 9/4/17, 10:34 PM  

I thought I was familiar with Robin Miles, but now I'm not sure. I hate switching computers, but I love having a newer, faster computer, so I guess we can't have one without the other! Hope all goes well with the switch!

rhapsodyinbooks 9/5/17, 6:46 AM  

Glad you got your new lifeline! I read Annihilation but I had too much trouble figuring out what the heck was going on, so I didn't continue with the series. And yes, can't wait for Outlander!

Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks 9/6/17, 5:50 PM  

I'm waiting for some crazy sale so I can get the second Jemisin book :) I'm glad you loved the last one! The Fifth Season simply blew my mind.
Have a great reading week :)

Nise' 9/6/17, 9:46 PM  

It is getting time for me to make that computer change too. I am behind on Outlander and need to catch up.

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