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March audiobook thread

It's already March?! Wow, that was fast!

I am currently listening to a charming little story called *The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper*, a debut novel by Phaedra Patrick. I had never heard of it but it caught my eye at the library and I wanted something light so I decided to take a chance.

Arthur Pepper is a widow whose 2 grown children are on their own. He is alone for the first time in his life and leads a rather dull routine life. Until the day he decides it is tie to clear out wife's thing from their closet and move on. There he finds a charm bracelet he does not recognize. One thing leads to another and he decides to follow the trail of each charm, to discover the life his wife appears to have led before she met him.

It is 7 discs longs and I am currently on disc #3. So far, it is quite enjoyable. The narrator is excellent.

So, who's reading to you this month?

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It's already March?! Wow, that was fast!

I am currently listening to a charming little story called *The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper*, a debut novel by Phaedra Patrick. I had never heard of it but it caught my eye at the library and I wanted something light so I decided to take a chance.

Arthur Pepper is a widow whose 2 grown children are on their own. He is alone for the first time in his life and leads a rather dull routine life. Until the day he decides it is tie to clear out wife's thing from their closet and move on. There he finds a charm bracelet he does not recognize. One thing leads to another and he decides to follow the trail of each charm, to discover the life his wife appears to have led before she met him.

It is 7 discs longs and I am currently on disc #3. So far, it is quite enjoyable. The narrator is excellent.

So, who's reading to you this month?
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It was delightful; a quiet, understated story, gentle humour, even if there were a few almost moments that stretched belief. In some ways, it appears to be a light-weight story, on the surface, but in fact, there is depth to it, in unexpected ways. And the narrator is excellent! He does different voices and various accents really well. I apologize for not jotting down his name (I have already returned it to the library and can't remember his name now).

Next up: The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro (author of The Art Forger). Looks good. I will start it today.
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I just finished Iris Murdoch's "The Sea, The Sea" ( https://www.audible.com/---/B06ZYCZWDZ ), narrated by the awesome Simon Vance; it's a very odd book, a mix of dark and funny, with more dysfunctional relationships than I could shake a stick at. [Some passages were so wildly slapstick-like that I couldn't help wondering how the whole book would have sounded if read by John Cleese in a "Fawlty Towers" kind of way, rather than Vance's more staid version!]

Have moved on to The Rules of Supervillainy ( https://www.audible.com/---/B016X128EK ) by C. T. Phipps. So far it's a whimsical take on super powers, with the protagonist having inherited a super-suit (with its own consciousness), and who has made the choice to be a villain instead of a hero. Complications ensue!
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I've been reading "The Women" by T.C. Boyle since February. It's the story of the women in the life of Frank Lloyd Wright. Boyle always has a unique way to tell a tale, I love his style and have read many of his books. FLW flaunted all moral convention during his life and lived with and loved several women who were married to other men or not yet divorced and who were not yet married to him. The people who lived locally near his rural home in Wisconsin were appalled at his behavior. I've learned a lot about the man and his work from reading this book, but much more about his personal life than his architecture.
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This is an Audible Original series and is 7 hours, 52 minutes in length. It is a free download through May 9, 2018. It is good and I recommend if if you like listening to true crime podcasts.
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This is an Audible Original series and is 7 hours, 52 minutes in length. It is a free download through May 9, 2018. It is good and I recommend if if you like listening to true crime podcasts.

It was pretty good but reminded me why I prefer fiction: authors generally feel obligated to give you a definite "whodunit"; real life often doesn't. :s
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I know this is historical fiction, but it left me wondering how much of it was true. It was the story of the first Mrs. Einstein, but also the story of the women of that era. Women were not expected to be academics unless they were unmarriageable and most universities would not accept female students. Women with any "deformity" were part of the unmarriageable category--Mileva had a club foot.
I hope that Albert Einstein's cruelties were exaggerated in this recount of his marriage, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for Mileva and angry (and disgusted) with Albert.
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I finished Rules of Supervillany, which was quite fun - though it did end on a cliffhander, so I may need to get the next book. (I especially appreciated the many pop culture references, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the Evil Overlord list to TV Tropes!)

Am now listening to a newish audiobook of Dracula, narrated by Nick Sandys ( https://www.audible.com/---/B074XK2QDT ); my thoughts on the original novel here ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13115520/ ). I'm enjoying the audio so far; Sandys is doing a lovely job with the early chapters from the still-naive, cheerful Jonathan Harker as he natters on about the scenery, customs, and food ("Must get recipe for Mina!") while en route to meet the Count.
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It's really well read by Cassandra Campbell! I highly recommend it if you like cozy mystery novels! https://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/---/louisiana-longshot-miss-fortune-mystery.html
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It's an odd mix of personal stories, name-dropping, advice... but good enough to stick with.
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Historical fiction, 2 stories, linked, one taking place in early WWII (1939,40) and one in 2015. There were some memorable real-life characters (Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, and a few others of the abstract impressionist era), and a mysterious disappearance. I like that the ending was one I didn't see coming.

I just started *A Memory of Violets - A Novel of London's Flower Sellers* by Hazel Gaynor. The narrator is Nicola Barber and she has a lovely voice, doing the various accents very authentically. I am only on disc 1 but I think it will be a good one. Completely unplanned, to follow the last one, but this one also follows that format of 2 linked stories in different time periods. Coincidence!
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The first in a series of mystery novels. Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts is set in Las Vegas and is a really good listen!

https://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/---/wanna-get-lucky-by-deborah-coonts.html
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I just found this posted on Facebook, and I'm sharing it here because I think we're all interested in getting good recommendations. This is extra nice because of the additional links at the end of the article.

https://bookriot.com/---/most-perfect-audiobooks/

I read, and loved, Tartt's 'Goldfinch,' but I'm hesitating before committing myself to 32 hours. My personal all-time favorite is 'Ghost Riders' by Sharyn McCrumb, performed by Susie Breck and Dick Hill. What other nominees do we have for most perfect audiobooks?

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Interesting. I tried to listen to *Lincoln in the Bardo* on audio and ditched it barely half way through the first disc. Impossible to follow the story line, impossible to know who was speaking and who was being quoted (and why). I looked at a paper copy and every other paragraph there was *op cit* which I guess referred to some reference or something. In the audio, the narrator(s) actually SAID *op cit* every time it appeared in the book. It was just too crazy for me to follow. I know a lot of Library Thing friends read it and loved it but many agree that it works better on paper than audio.

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The Goldfinch in audio was AMAZING. Recommended.
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Now listening to Pacific by Simon Winchester, who also narrates. He talks about a variety of subjects loosely linked to the Pacific, from (so far) nuclear testing to the rise of Japanese technology. He reads well, and I'm finding the material interesting - often to the point where I have to make note of something to research in more depth.
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I LOVED this one! He is also a wonderful narrator of his own works. In *Pacific*, he seems to go off on numerous tangents, but always manages to tie them all back together and back to his main story. What a great storyteller Winchester is!
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I LOVED this one! He is also a wonderful narrator of his own works. In *Pacific*, he seems to go off on numerous tangents, but always manages to tie them all back together and back to his main story. What a great storyteller Winchester is!


"Tangents" is right - I just got to the part where Jack London helped make surfing popular. Who'd 'a thunk it? {wry grin}
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Read by Hope Davis with an intro by Ava DuVernay (director of the new movie, which I haven't seen yet), a foreword read by the author, and an afterword by one of her granddaughters. I still love the book, and I found the afterword quite interesting as well.
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This is a door-stopper of a book by Dan Simmons ( https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14526018/ ), retelling the tragic saga of the 19th century Arctic expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The actual events are more than enough for a harrowing story, but Simmons opted to throw in an extra terror or two - so, yeah, the title doesn't just refer to HMS Terror, the ship. Anyway, there's a mini-series adaptation of the novel that's starting tonight [US-centric cable], so of course I decided to try the audiobook (narrated by Tom Sellwood) at the same time.
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*A Memory of Violets*. First, I had never head of this author before but already, I have bought another book of hers that I found at my local used bookstore. This was a haunting tale of London's child flower sellers in the 1800s. It is actually 3 interwoven stories taking place in the 1880s and in 1912. I have to say, though, I was absolutely riveted and mesmerized by the narrator, Nicola Barber. She is flawless in her accents of the various London and Irish accents and was able to create characters so well and so easily by changing her voice and mannerisms. I actually got the hard copy out of the library as well because I wanted to go back and check something and couldn't easily do that in the audio format. I am so glad I did that as there is more at the end of the book that is absent in the audio. An interview with the author, some historical background, etc. While this is a fictional historical novel, there are aspects and even one character based on real people, places and events. I love this type of historical fiction. I am looking forward to the other book by her, a novel of the Titanic, called *The Girl Who Came Home*. I wonder if it's on audio, and if it is, and if it's read by Nicola Barber...

About to begin Annie Barrows' *The Truth According to Us*
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Robinson is a black standup comedian, and this book is about all kinds of things: from things she doesn't like, to a history of black hair, to letters to a newborn niece, to an essay about being an Angry Black Woman. I miss about half the pop and cultural references she uses (and she speaks really fast), and she both challenges and provokes me. I don't always agree with her, but appreciate hearing her point of view and her life experiences with racism and challenges of being a woman especially in her field.

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