29 October 2018

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: A Pair of Short Reviews

A pair of audiobook reviewsHappy Monday. You may have noticed that I've been a little MIA in terms of visiting blogs and reporting on my reading. That's because this month, I ended up being extremely busy with work. When I'm reading long, long days as an editor, I often don' have it in me to continue to read for pleasure at night.

To add insult to injury, it rained almost every day in October, which meant no outdoor walks, so I had way less time to listen to my audiobooks.

Oh yeah, and then there was baseball. We don't watch a lot of sports, but we never miss the playoffs and the World Series in October. There were some great games this month, and I couldn't believe one Series game went into 18 innings!

My workload should return to normal after tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to stopping by your blogs to see what you're up to.

Enough excuses, here are the two books, both audiobooks, that I managed to finish.

review of the audiobook of The Ever After by Sarah PekkanenThe Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen (Atria Books, Simon & Schuster Audio, June 2018; 8 hr, 16 min). I don't read a lot of contemporary women's fiction, but when I do, I want a complex story with women facing real issues and in a believable way. I can usually count on Pekkanen to give me what I want. The Ever After is about a Josie and Frank who have a great marriage, until Josie picks up her husband's phone one day to see a text that implies he's been unfaithful (this happens in the first chapter). Now she has to decide what to do about her marriage. Frank is a good father and loves his wife; he downplays his affair by insisting that the whole thing involved only some kissing. Basically, this is a "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" kind of book, and I found it interesting enough to finish but I wasn't wowed by it. Josie's initial reactions and her loss of trust of in Frank were understandable, but I didn't find anything particularly new or surprising in The Ever After. Narrator Joy Osmanski has a good sense of pacing and adds emotion and spark to the dialogue. A good performance, however, wasn't enough to make me love The Ever After. (Review audiobook provide by the publisher)

Review of the audiobook of Lethal White by Kenneth Galbraith Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland, Hachette Audio, September 2018; 22 hr, 31 min). Have I told you lately how much I love the Cormoran Strike books? This fourth in series proves that Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) is a master at complex, multilevel plots that draw you in and don't let go. The basic background to the series is that Cormoran Strike, an Afghanistan War veteran, and Robin Ellacott, his partner, run a sometimes struggling private detective firm. The books are about their cases as well as their private lives. The prologue to this book starts moments after the last book ended and then jumps ahead a year. The firm is handling several cases, but the big money is coming from a Parliament minister who claims he's being blackmailed for no reason. That's all I'm going to say about the plot because I don't want to ruin anything for you. I loved the many layers of this mystery, the way Robin takes on disguises, and Cormoran's insight into how the many clues eventually come together. I particularly like the way Galbraith addresses the detectives' personal lives: there's enough information to keep us invested in the characters as people, but I so appreciate that the books never cross the line into cozy mystery territory. The story lines are gritty and not for the faint of heart. Narrator Robert Glenister nails the Cormoran Strike series; he has created consistent voices (and is good with the variety of UK accents) and really knows how to build the tension. This series just keeps getting better, and I love how the book ended. I can't wait for book five! (Personal copy)


Amanda 10/29/18, 7:20 AM  

I love the Cormoran Strike series, though I admit Career of Evil has been my favorite so far. This one had a bit of rambling in it that felt like it could have been cut, but it also might have been my mood when I listened to it. (Especially since I was on vacation at the time and distracted by quite a few other things!) I do plan to go back and relisten as I've done many times with this series.

rhapsodyinbooks 10/29/18, 7:40 AM  

Agree with you on The Ever After. As for Lethal White, Jim managed to grab it before I could, and is reading it now. The nerve! :--). But I'll be right behind him....

Susie | Novel Visits 10/29/18, 8:54 AM  

Isn'y it a drag when work gets in the way of reading? That's happened far too much for me lately, too. I read Sarah Pekkenen's last book, The Perfect Neighbors, and found that it was just a little too "chick lit" for me. Sounds like this one may be the same.

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours 10/29/18, 10:26 AM  

good harvest! Here is my post: https://wordsandpeace.com/2018/10/29/mailbox-monday-october-29/

Laurel-Rain Snow 10/29/18, 10:53 AM  

I enjoyed The Ever After, and needed it to lighten my usual fare.

I am curious about the Robert Galbraith books.

Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

bermudaonion 10/29/18, 11:03 AM  

I need to try the Galbraith books.

Jackie McGuinness 10/29/18, 11:23 AM  

Based on your review I just grabbed a Sarah Pekkanen book from the library.

The Cormoran Strikes are good, have the latest on my TBR list. I didn't like the TV series at all.

Kathy Martin 10/29/18, 2:29 PM  

I gave up and went to bed in the middle of the 15th inning. That was 1 AM my time and I was getting very tired. Now I face a baseball drought until Spring. I want to start the Galbraith series. I have the first one on my Kindle. Maybe in December. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Margot 10/29/18, 3:50 PM  

I have a few mores hours to go on Lethal White. I completely agree with you - this is such a good, multi-layered story with interesting characters. Each book in the series advances the characters as "real" people. I agree also that the narrator makes the books come alive.

Girl Who Reads 10/29/18, 4:24 PM  

I had the opposite of your month. I had one of the best reading months in a while. I totally understand reading all day for work and then not wanting to read in the evening. I reviewed a science non-fiction book for the blog and it took forever because I read about science all day. It was hard to read more science each night. See what else I read this month at Girl Who Reads

Mae Travels 10/29/18, 6:42 PM  

As a great fan of the Cormoran Strike books, I couldn't wait to read this, and finished it a few days after it was published. Blogged here: https://maefood.blogspot.com/2018/09/jkrowling-strikes-again.html
So good!

Followed up by rereading books 1 & 2 of the series (book 3 was too violent for me to reread), and then watching the wonderful BBC dramatization of books 1, 2, & 3 -- available on Cinemax via amazon prime.

Now nothing to do but wait for book 5 and BBC version of book 4 !

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Sue Jackson 10/29/18, 7:08 PM  

Hmmm...I hadn't heard of Pekkanen before - appreciate the heads up.

My husband and I both enjoyed the first Robert Galbraith book but haven't read the rest yet - sounds like we have some catching up to do!

Enjoy your books this week - hope you have more fun reading time!


Book By Book

pussreboots 10/29/18, 7:28 PM  

That 18 inning game was epic. Have a good week. My weekly update.

Aj @ Read All The Things! 10/29/18, 8:42 PM  

When I’m working a lot, my reading takes a hit, too. Someday I’ll read a Robert Galbraith book. I’ve heard they’re good. Have a great week!

Aj @ Read All The Things!

Kay 10/29/18, 9:04 PM  

I read Ever After some months ago and find that I don't remember much at this point. It was OK enough, but not memorable to me. I've liked others of her books better.

My thoughts on LETHAL WHITE will be up tomorrow. I love this series. And really, really enjoyed this book. Love Cormoran, love Robin, just love the whole thing. Narrated quite well, I too am eagerly awaiting #5. Yes, I know this one has just come out, but still...

thecuecard 11/3/18, 3:22 PM  

Good to hear about Lethal White. I have read #2 in the series and enjoy Cormoran Strike. I guess i just wish maybe it was edited a bit shorter and perhaps the others as well. But I agree they are entertaining mysteries.

Daryl 11/5/18, 8:26 AM  

i have Lethal White sitting in my library and i keep reading/listening to other books keep putting it off because i know it will be forever til book 5 is available and i dont want to be w/o these people ... have you read
The Casual Vacancy? Tom Hollander narrates and he as good as Robert Glenister and such a good involved plot .. it was JK Rowling's first novel after the Potter series ...

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