Month: March 2019

“A Song of Shadows” by John Connolly

“A Song of Shadows” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Charlie Parker Series Book 13

This may turn out to be more of a ramble than a book review. I loved listening to this book. This is, in my opinion, the best so far of the Jeff Harding narrations. He pulled me into the drama quickly and didn’t let me go until the end. As for Charlie, he’s recovering from the gunshots he received at the end of Book 12 and has decided to rent a house in the small coastal town of Boreas for the duration. Charlie has changed some as a result of his experience. He has accepted the presence of his dead daughter in his life and seems to commune with her frequently. Meanwhile, his other daughter, Sam, continues to grow and mature and has a significant presence in this story. She is a delightful character and I really enjoy her enlarged role in this book.

So what’s the story about? Well, Charlie has come across a dead body which initially appears to be a suicide. He offers his thoughts to the local sheriff and suspects it may be a murder. The investigation reveals the victim has a connection to a federal investigation into Nazi war criminals. The deeper Charlie gets the more complicated the conspiracy becomes but with the help of Angel and Louis the perpetrators have no chance of getting away with it. I love the direction that the characters are going in with this book. This book is a huge hit for me!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

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“Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor

“Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor

Narrated by Steve West

Lazlo Strange is a young man who has recently come of age. He has been trained as a librarian and he is a bit of a loner. Left as an infant at a monastery, his life took a turn for the better when he discovered the library. Over the years he has immersed himself in the legends of a city, far away from his own. The city no longer has a name and no one can even remember the last time and resident of the city was seen. Then one day a mysterious caravan arrives in the his city and Strange finds himself on a mission to save the legendary city, known as Weep.

This is a fantasy and I don’t often read books in this genre but I’ve come across so many good reviews of this one that when it showed up in an Audible sale I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed. This is a hefty one with the audio running for a little over 18 hours but it’s a wonderfully engaging 18 hours. I really grew to like Lazlo, who is still an awkward kid when the story begins but matures into a young man with a keen sense of responsibility, a positive outlook on life and an endless imagination. The story has lot of drama and some thrilling close calls, plus an ending that definitely took me by surprise. I found that the author’s world building was very effective by not overwhelming. She has worked it into the story in a way that flows really nicely. The love interest is a sweet young woman with an incredible power, who just wants to be normal. I found the cast of characters to be very diverse and the relationships between them complex. This is the first book in a series and it left me curious as to what will happen next for these characters.

Finally, the narrator did an excellent job of telling the story and bringing the characters to life. Overall, I found this story really interesting and I think it is worth of the high praise it has received.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

3/23/19 at Alinefromabook

3/23/19 at Alinefromabook

It’s a beautiful, sunny day in North Dakota. Yesterday the temperature got up to 50 degrees and there are slushy puddles everywhere as the snow is melting off. But we have been able to open the windows as couple of times for short periods, so the air in the house is fresher.

My company had it’s annual meeting this past week. A first for me, but spending a day and a half in a large crowd of people is not my preferred way to spend my time. I also got my annual eye exam this week and was quite pleased to learn that my eyes are in excellent shape with no sign of old age maladies and I don’t need to buy new glasses because my prescription hasn’t changed since last year. So, bottom line, I’m approved for another year of reading! Sidenote: when I bought new glasses last year I had them add the blue light filter since I knew I would be spending hours in front of a computer every day. I think it’s made a huge difference so if you’ve been thinking about it I’d say go for it.

This past week I was able to listen to the audiobook of “A Song of Shadows” by John Connolly. I hope to have my review up the next couple of days. Yesterday, I started listening to the next book “A Time of Torment“. I previously read this one and my review of it can be found here. I’m also reading “The Fordbidden Door” by Dean Koontz. Crossing my fingers that I have time to finish it this weekend. The next installment in the series, “The Night Window” is coming out in May. I received a review copy from NetGalley and can’t wait to get into it. I also have reviews coming of “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor, and “The Energy Codes” by Sue Morter.

So that’s what’s been happening here. Looking forward to a quieter week coming up so I can get caught up. Hope everybody is having a great weekend and reading lots of books.

Happy Reading!

“Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly

“Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly

Narrated by Titus Welliver

I just have to start by saying that after listening to this book, I have a total crush on Titus Welliver’s voice. I’m not sure what I ever thought Harry’s voice would sound like, but this is definitely it. So, “Two Kinds of Truth” is book 20 of 20 in the Harry Bosch series. I try as often as possible to read a series in order but for some reason, with Harry, I always end up with with a book at a different part of the series than the one before. Harry is no longer working for LAPD but instead is in San Fernando helping out with their murder squad, when he is called to the scene of a pharmacy where the father and son pharmacists have both been shot. Initially, the suspicion is that it may be gang related but it quickly becomes obvious that this is no ordinary gang killing. Soon, Harry finds his life on the line as he hunts for this ruthless killer.

Ahh, Harry Bosch. He’s like a favorite uncle for me. You know, the one with all the dangerous, exciting stories to tell. That’s the feeling I get whenever I pick up a book in this series. His former partner from earlier in the series makes a return visit in this story which makes for nice continuity. I also really enjoyed installments where Harry’s daughter makes an appearance. Some detectives are just meant to have a daughter and Harry is one of them. I really enjoy their relationship. This story has some tricky twists and a lawsuit against Harry as a sub-plot which adds to the drama. Basically, there is nothing I didn’t like about this book and if you haven’t discovered Harry Bosch yet…what are you waiting for?

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon/Audible   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

3/12/19 at Alinefromabook

3/12/19 at Alinefromabook

Well guys, I just couldn’t resist a weather update because we got above freezing today!!! First time in two months! I left the office at lunch, the sun was shining, I even took my coat off for a few minutes just so I could feel the air on my arms. Of course there is a small downside in that when the outside temperature increases the inside heating systems don’t quite know when to stop and my office felt very overheated by 5pm.

In book news today, I have finally started “A Song of Shadows” by John Connolly on audiobook. This is the 13th book in the Charlie Parker series. There are currently 16 books in this series available in the U.S, with #17 coming in October, so I might just get caught up before the release. Jeff Harding is the narrator again in this one and I am really enjoying his narration. Unfortunately, one of the buds on my wireless headphones died today so I’m missing out on half the experience. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

I was so proud of myself yesterday because I got my review of “The Liar’s Child” out BEFORE the actual release date. Which was today, so not too big a pat on the back, but I am trying to get better. This accomplishment did not however boost my NetGalley score. So since my husband and I have recently discovered “Silent Witness” on Britbox, I’m going to watch an episode before I go to bed and do it all again tomorrow.

Happy Reading!

“The Liar’s Child” by Carla Buckley

“The Liar’s Child” by Carla Buckley

Sara Lennox has left her past behind and relocated to the Paradise apartments on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She quickly finds herself having random encounters with the kids who live next door and their father. As a hurricane approaches, Sara realizes the kids are alone, their father can’t be found, and she has to get herself and the kids off the island. Now what?

This is not a mystery in the traditional sense, but it is a thriller that centers around a family drama that the reader won’t fully understand until the end. I found the story to be more and more captivating as I got further and further into it. None of the characters are candidates for sainthood and the lot of them could keep a whole office full of therapists busy for months, but I still found them engaging and felt compelled to find out what had happened to them. One of my favorite parts was the driving in the hurricane. The descriptions were so vivid that reading it was like being in the car with them. I was just completely engrossed in this story from beginning to end and I think everybody else should read it too!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine for providing a review copy.

 

“Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cahalan

“Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cahalan

Narrated by Heather Henderson

If you like true medical mysteries, you will love Susannah’s story. What she experienced is truly terrifying. What begins as a suspected case of the flu quickly morphs into Susannah’s immune system attacking her brain. This condition goes on for weeks before the doctors on her case finally find a diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.

This is a very moving story but also disturbing when you realize the extremes to which a body gone wrong can take a person. Susannah is a reporter by profession and the writing is excellent while also being very approachable for the average reader. The narrative is based on what recollections she has of the period but also relies heavily on a journal she kept and the medical records that documented the progression of her illness. It’s also very moving not just because of the intensity of Susannah’s illness but the impact it had on her family and friends and how they reacted to her situation. I listened to the audiobook version and I’m giving the narrator an A+ for her interpretation of this book.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Audible   |   Author’s website

 

3/9/19 at Alinefromabook

I’ve just finished lunch and according to my To Do List for today I should be writing book reviews. But I also have a sinus infection with the attendant headache which is making it very hard to focus. So, I thought I would just ramble a little bit. I’ve got 3 audiobooks ready to be reviewed and I’m hoping to finish an e-book this weekend. Question for you all, I’ve been listening to quite a few of the Audible Originals recently. Are you guys interested in them? Would you like to see reviews? Let me know in the comments.

It’s snowing here…again…and the handle crank on the snowblower has somehow gotten out of alignment so I have to take a look at that this afternoon before my husband needs to use it again to clean the driveway. On the upside, the temperatures are supposed to actually get above freezing by the end of the week.

Reviews coming soon:

Brain on FireTwo Kinds of Truth

Strange the DreamerThe Liar's Child

What I’m reading next: “The Suffering of Women Who Didn’t Fit” by David J. Vaughan, “The Energy Codes” by Sue Morter, and “A Song of Shadows” by John Connolly.

My TBR currently stands at 196 and I am, miraculously, on track with my Goodreads challenge. So, I guess I’ll leave it at that. Not sure there was really any point to this post but I guess not everything has to make a point.

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

“The Highwayman: A Longmire Story” by Craig Johnson

“The Highwayman: A Longmire Story” by Craig Johnson

Narrated by George Guidall

What happens when you combine my favorite audiobook narrator with a Walt Longmire story? 3 hours and 45 minutes of  enthralling listening! Mysterious radio dispatch calls are being received in the Wind River Canyon, Walt and Henry find themselves putting their lives on the line to confront a legend.

This is a novella so there’s not a lot of room for character development. I think I definitely enjoyed this book more having already become familiar with the main characters in the longer books. That being said, it would also be a good choice if you just want to dip your toe in and see what the water feels like. I also really enjoyed the touch of the supernatural that’s incorporated into this story. And, what can I say about George Guidall? He is a master of his craft and there’s something in his voice that makes me feel like I’m sitting by the campfire on a starry night. This novella is just perfection for me. Great writing, great characters and a great narrator. I’m in heaven!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

3/3/19 At Alinefromabook

3/3/19 At Alinefromabook

So I’m sitting here this evening thinking that I have 4 reviews that need to be written and I haven’t posted anything all week. But I’m bored with my usual stuff so then I thought I’d try something a different. If you are interested than keep reading, if not you can click away now. Also feel free to leave a comment/question/suggestion while you are here.

Today, when I can find a minute, I’ve been reading “The Liar’s Child” by Carla Buckley. I’m about a third of the way through and the further I go the more intriguing and complicated the story gets. I haven’t read this author before so I’m very pleased to be enjoying it so much.

Mostly, I’ve just been alternately baking and relaxing after an exhausting week. My husband thinks he may e coming down with a cold so I’m also doing my best to avoid him lest he pass those little germies my way.

We are still in the negative temperatures here but the weatherman has promised we will see the 20’s by the end of this week, so something to look forward to.

Last night we watched the movie “What They HadWhat They Hadand it is an amazing story about a family whose mother has Alzheimer’s. I think it’s one the best such films I’ve ever seen but I completely fell apart at the end when I was hit by the realization that I was watching my mother’s not to distant future. I thought after watching my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s that I was prepared for it if it happened to my mother. But I’m really not sure that I am prepared at all.

I recently finished reading “A Murder UnmentionedA Murder Unmentionedby Sulari Gentill and it was wonderful. This book is the sixth installment in the Rowland Sinclair and I’m ever so curious now to go back and read the series from the beginning. I don’t often get a chance to read and Australian author and I am very impressed by Ms. Gentill. In this story, Rowly and his friends have returned to Australia from Europe. Rowly soon finds out that the gun that killed his father 13 years earlier has been discovered on the family property and he’s the police’s prime suspect. Rowly’s friends are determined to find the real killer and what unfolds is a complex conspiracy to bring down the Sinclair brothers and see Rowly in prison.

I was delighted by the characterizations of Rowly and his friends and family. From his aging mother to his young nephew they all have distinctive personalities and add color to the story. This story also has an airplane, the single-engine kind that my dad used to fly when I was a kid, which I found irresistable. In fact, it was the airplane on the cover that got me interested in the book in the first place. There are some wonderful descriptions of the landscape as seen from the air and some less than perfect landings. The family drama here is as intriguing as the mystery. Bottom line, while this is not a thriller, I really enjoyed everything about it and would highly recommend it. 5-star-rating

I guess that’s about all I have to say for now. I hope you all have a great week.

Happy Reading!

Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.