listen

If you are taking a trip or have a long commute, try listening to a book on tape.
They will make the time fly by!


While driving in my car, I listened to...

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
From Amazon
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book... The Book of Lost Things.
An imaginative tale about navigating the journey into adulthood, while doing your best to hang on to your childhood.
One of the best books evvvvvverrrrr!!! it is an adult fairly tale book! I say a MUST listen!

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
From Booklist
In the process of preparing her grandmother's house for sale, Harvard doctoral student Connie Goodwin discovers a key hidden inside an old Bible. Attached to the key is a scroll bearing the name "Deliverance Dane." A little research reveals that Deliverance Dane was a 17th-century woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials--and that she kept a "physick book" full of arcane knowledge. Connie wants to find the book, hoping that it will aid her research. But others want to get their hands on it for more sinister reasons. With parallel narratives that unfold during the colonial era and the present day, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is a "keen and magical historical mystery laced with romance"
Loved it!!!

Bones (Alex Delaware, No. 23) by Jonathan Kellerman
From Publishers Weekly: In this run-of-the-mill police procedural from bestseller Kellerman, his 23rd novel to feature L.A. consulting psychologist Alex Delaware (after Compulsion), high school miscreant Chance Brandt has been assigned to perform community service at the Bird Marsh, a nature sanctuary near Marina del Rey. After Chance dismisses as a prank an anonymous phone call warning him that there's a corpse buried in the marsh, Lt. Milo Sturgis, now Special Case Investigator for the LAPD, and Sturgis's team find four bodies there, all women missing their right hand. When Sturgis identifies one of the victims as Selena Bass, who worked as a piano teacher for the wealthy Vander family, the police focus on Travis Huck, the manager of the Vanders' Pacific Palisades estate, as the prime suspect because Travis has a criminal past. Kellerman fans wanting more of the same should be satisfied, though Sturgis gets less benefit from Delaware's psychological expertise than usual. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Well, that is a pretty good description of what the book is about, but I do not think the book is so "run of the mill" I am enjoying it so far.
Out of 5 stars, I would give this 3

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
On September 18, 2007, computer science professor Randy Pausch stepped in front of an audience of 400 people at Carnegie Mellon University to deliver a last lecture called
"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams."
With slides of his CT scans beaming out to the audience, Randy told his audience about the cancer that is devouring his pancreas and that will claim his life in a matter of months. On the stage that day, Randy was youthful, energetic, handsome, often cheerfully, darkly funny.
He seemed invincible. But this was a brief moment, as he himself acknowledged.
Randy's lecture has become a phenomenon, as has the book he wrote based on the same principles, celebrating the dreams we all strive to make realities.
Sadly, Randy lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008,
but his legacy will continue to inspire us all, for generations to come.
http://www.thelastlecture.com/
What a heart wrenching, but excellent lesson about life and what is really important.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
English nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and husband Frank take a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands in 1945. When Claire walks through a cleft stone in an ancient henge, she's somehow transported to 1743. She encounters Frank's evil ancestor, British captain Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, and is adopted by another clan. Claire nurses young soldier James Fraser, a gallant, merry redhead, and the two begin a romance, seeing each other through many perilous, swashbuckling adventures involving Black Jack
Not "highbrow" literature, but what a GREAT, absorbing story.
I could not wait to get into my car to hear the next segment!

Peony in Love by Lisa See
Peony was a girl of 15 who was captivated by a play and it's heroine.
Ultimatley, she duplicates the play's story by her own untimely and senseless death.
The rest of the narrative is her speaking to us from "the other side."
Interesting descriptions of what life was like for woman in 17th-century China.

When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin
This is AWFUL! I have always liked George Carlin because in spite of how vulgar he can be, his humor was always clever. This is not the case here. It appears as if he is channeling an adolescent boy, who's main goal in life is to string together as many foul words, thoughts and bodily functions as humanly possible.
What a disappointment. Save yourself the horror and don't bother.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier  by Ishmael Beah
Very tough to get through due to the content. But good.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
She is the Kay Scarpetta of the 1400's
Beautifully narrated

Queen's Ransom by Fiona Buckley
A woman with a '90s attitude living in the 1560s--that's Ursula Blanchard, the heroine of Buckley's jaunty historical mystery. The 27-year-old lady-in-waiting is sent on a dangerous mission to France on the brink of civil war. In an effort to mitigate the threats from Spain and France, 28-year-old Queen Elizabeth I wishes to negotiate accords among the warring French Catholics and Protestants, and to secure her support among the latter. Since Ursula had planned to accompany the father of her deceased husband (Luke Blanchard) on a trip to retrieve his young ward from the Loire valley, Elizabeth entrusts her with a letter to be personally delivered to Catherine, Queen of France. Never mind that Ursula is a young woman vulnerable to harm or that she's taken on a task that many find unsuitable for a lady. On her guard, she sets out for Paris to complete her mission. She soon realizes that the "protection" she's traveling with may not be on her side: the senior Blanchard's shifty behavior and suspicious guardians leave her feeling unsure whom she can trust. Adventure (and coincidence) abound, as she encounters her estranged second husband, Matthew de la Roche, who's at the forefront of the raging religious battle. Buckley's amusingly modern characters mesh successfully with the well-researched, though at times contrived, plot, and readers will be wrapped up in the 16th- century thrill of pitfalls lurking around every corner.

The Coffee Trader by David Liss
This novel is set in the confined world of 17th-century Amsterdam's immigrant Jewish community. Miguel Lienzo escaped the Inquisition in Portugal and lives by his wits trading commodities. He honed his skills in deception during years of hiding his Jewish identity in Portugal, so he finds it easy to engage in the evasions and bluffs necessary for a trader on Amsterdam's stock exchange. While he wants to retain his standing in the Jewish community, he finds it increasingly difficult to abide by the draconian dictates of the Ma'amad, the ruling council. Which is all the more reason not to acknowledge his longing for his brother's wife, with whom he now lives, having lost all his money in the sugar trade. Miguel is delighted when a sexy Dutch widow enlists him as partner in a secret scheme to make a killing on "coffee fruit," an exotic bean little known to Europeans in 1659. But she may not be as altruistic as she seems. Soon Miguel is caught in a web of intricate deals, while simultaneously fending off a madman desperate for money, and an enemy who uses the Ma'amad to make Miguel an outcast. Each player in this complex thriller has a hidden agenda, and the twists and turns accelerate as motives gradually become clear.
There's a central question, too: When men manipulate money for a living,
are they then inevitably tempted to manipulate truth and morality?
I really liked this one.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
In Oryx and Crake, a science fiction novel that is more cautionary tale than "fictional science" (no flying cars here), Margaret Atwood depicts a near-future world that turns from the merely horrible to the horrific, from a fool's paradise to a bio-wasteland. Snowman (a man once known as Jimmy) sleeps in a tree and just might be the only human left on our devastated planet. He is not entirely alone, however, as he considers himself the shepherd of a group of experimental, human-like creatures called the Children of Crake. As he scavenges and tends to his insect bites, Snowman recalls in flashbacks how the world fell apart.While the story begins with a rather ponderous set-up of what has become a clichéd landscape of the human endgame, littered with smashed computers and abandoned buildings, it takes on life when Snowman recalls his boyhood meeting with his best friend Crake: "Crake had a thing about him even then.... He generated awe ... in his dark laconic clothing." A dangerous genius, Crake is the book's most intriguing character. Crake and Jimmy live with all the other smart, rich people in the Compounds--gated company towns owned by biotech corporations. (Ordinary folks are kept outside the gates in the chaotic "pleeblands.") Meanwhile, beautiful Oryx, raised as a child prostitute in Southeast Asia, finds her way to the West and meets Crake and Jimmy, setting up an inevitable love triangle. Eventually Crake's experiments in bioengineering cause humanity's shockingly quick demise (with uncanny echoes of SARS, ebola, and mad cow disease), leaving Snowman to try to pick up the pieces.

Anything and Everything by Augusten Burroughs

When listen to the author's above mentioned works I laugh out loud,
but also feel his pain. He is one sick pup, but he is wonderfully honest about
who he is and what he is about. He has become popular enough that they made his book "Running with Scissors" into a movie.
The movie was pretty good, but listening to him tell the story was oh, so much better!
Augusten is not for everyone, but I love his work.

Abundance: a novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund.
A fictional tale of the life of Marie Antoinette presents the story of a teenage empress's daughter who is forced to leave her family home to marry the future king of France and who rebels against the formality and rigid protocol of court life.

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
Having set aside her own life in her support of her parents, husband, and children, Helen Knightly confronts the realities of the choices that were imposed upon her during a harrowing twenty-four-hour period of death and revelation.

Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris.
Chronicles serial killer Hannibal Lecter's childhood and early adulthood after being taken from a Soviet orphanage to live with his uncle and aunt in France.
He becomes the youngest person ever to attend medical school in France.
You know the story.... and how it ends, but I have to admit, this was better than I expected.

Gone: an Alex Delaware novel by Jonathan Kellerman
Psychologist Alex Delaware and homicide cop Milo Sturgis embark on their most dangerous excursion yet, as they are pitted against a serial killer targeting Hollywood starlets.

Rage: an Alex Delaware novel by Jonathan Kellerman
Troy Turner and Rand Duchay were barely teenagers when they kidnapped and murdered a younger child. Troy, a remorseless sociopath, died violently behind bars. But the hulking, slow-witted Rand managed to survive his stretch. Now, at age twenty-one, he's emerged a haunted, rootless young man with a pressing need: to talk - once again - with psychologist Alex Delaware. But when the young killer comes to a brutal end, that conversation is silenced forever." "Did karma catch up with Rand? Or did someone wait eight long years to dine on ice-cold revenge? Both seem strong possibilities to LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis, but Delaware's suspicions run deeper ... and darker. Because fear in the voice of the grown-up Rand Duchay - and his eerie final words to Delaware: "I'm not a bad person" - betray untold secrets. Buried revelations so horrendous, and so damning, they're worth killing for." "As Delaware and Sturgis retrace their steps through a grisly murder case that devastated a community, they discover a chilling legacy of madness, suicide, and multiple killings - and even uglier truths waiting to be unearthed. And the nearer they come to understanding an unspeakable crime, the more harrowingly close they get to unmasking a monster hiding in plain sight."-
-BOOK JACKET.

Obsession: an Alex Delaware novel by Jonathan Kellerman.
Phychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD detective Milo Sturgis investigate the aunt of a former patient, after she confesses to a crime shortly before she dies.
Anything by the Kellermans (Faye Kellerman) are always easy and enjoyable.
I like the guy who narrates Jonathan Kellerman's books.