Grammy-nominated audiobooks giveaway

Hey all! I know I’ve been sort of MIA around here and I will be writing more about that in the next couple of weeks, probably after the ‘best of’ post that I’m seriously hoping to get to.

I know you all probably have NOTHING else to do without me around (yeah, I’m sure), so I want to help you fill your time and the hole my lack of blogging has left in your hearts. Enter Meg from Tandem Literary, the Audio Publishers Association, and the publishers whose audiobooks have been nominated for the Grammys.

One lucky reader/listener can win ALL FIVE of these Grammy-nominated audiobooks. In case you can’t read the titles they are:

Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys by Billy Crystal, narrated by Billy Crystal
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris, narrated by David Sedaris
The Storm King: Stories, Narratives, Poems: Spoken Word Set to a World of Music by Pete Seeger, narrated by Pete Seeger
Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Carol Burnett, narrated by Carol Burnett
America Again: Re-claiming the Greatness We Never Weren’t by Stephen Colbert, narrated by Stephen Colbert, Tim Meadows, and Jordin Ruderman

Just fill out the Google form below by 11:59 pm Central on Friday, December 20th. Please remember these are being shipped by the publishers, so some/most of them will probably not be to the winner until the new year.

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The Registry by Shannon Stoker – Audiobook Review

The Registry by Shannon Stoker, narrated by Kate Reinders
Published in audio by Harper Audio, published in print by William Morrow, both imprints of HarperCollins

Synopsis:

From the publisher:

Welcome to a safe and secure new world, where beauty is bought and sold, and freedom is the ultimate crime.

The Registry saved the country from collapse, but stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

Thoughts on the story:

You know, two or three years ago I might have dismissed The Registry as being outlandishly unrealistic. With the whole ‘war on women’ of the last couple of years and the seemingly-concerted effort to erode rights, I don’t see it as necessarily being totally insane if set far enough out. Is it actually likely? Well, no, but (hopefully) few dystopians are actually likely. It has a very similar concept to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, at least as far as the role of women and in my opinion has a similar level of likelihood. Atwood does spell out the events that lead to her dystopia more clearly, but she also has them happen much, much more quickly, so it is logical that her characters would know exactly what led to their current situation, while Mia is in a world that is generations removed from the one we know, which is why neither she nor anyone around her truly understands how they have come to be in such a predicament.

Uh, so that was a lot of stuff to say I found the story interesting, and believable enough to keep my interest, even if I don’t exactly think this is going to happen next week.

Thoughts on the audio production:

For the most part, I really enjoyed Kate Reinders’s narration. She was a big part of what sucked me in to the book right away. The only thing that  bothered me was her depiction of one of the male characters who, thankfully, came in later in the book. I found the way she presented him to be very creepy, one might even say ‘rape-y.’ Luckily he came in a good portion of the way through the novel, but I don’t think that Stoker intended him to come off like that and it distracted me from the story every time he spoke, wondering whether or not he was actually a total creep.

Overall:

All in all I found The Registry to be a fun, enjoyable audiobook.

For more information, please see the publisher’s page.
Source: Publisher.

Sound Bytes is a meme that occurs every Friday! I encourage you to review your audiobooks on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

 

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A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams – Audiobook Review

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams, narrated by Kathleen McInerney
Published in audio by Penguin Audio, published in print by Putnam Books, both imprints of Penguin Random House

Synopsis:

For Lily Dane, the summer of 1938 promises to be another quiet season at Seaview in Rhode Island. When the Greenwalds move into the old Burns house, though, Lily’s idyllic summer is shattered. Lily has a history with both of the Greenwalds, she and Nick Greenwald were an item seven years earlier, at the same time that his now-wife Budgie Burns was Lily’s best friend.

Thoughts on the story:

I really like the way that Williams structures A Hundred Summers, alternating between 1938 when the Greenwalds have invaded Lily’s quiet life in Seaview and 1931 when Lily, Budgie, and Nick were seniors in college and Lily and Nick fell in love. It helps maintain the narrative tension, as events in both time periods are being teased out, and the revelations of the past (1931) are generally arranged perfectly to reflect on the present (1938). There are some events that I saw coming a mile away, but Williams kept me interested in the process of how and why things happen, as well as the reaction of her characters when they learn hard truths. By the end, I was disappointed to leave Williams’s world.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Initially I was slightly confused by the jumping of the time periods in audio, but that’s mostly my fault because I don’t really pay close enough attention to dates at the beginning of chapters. I’m bad about it in both print and audio, but in audio I can’t go back and check easily, so it is more of an issue. Once I figured out the rhythm, though, it was easy to follow along. Kathleen McInerney does an absolutely fabulous job with the audio. Her voices are fabulous, particularly her voice for Budgie Burns, which was absolutely fabulous.

Overall:

A fun historical novel. I don’t think you can go wrong with this either way, but Kathleen McInerney’s expert narration adds so much that I would remiss not to urge you to listen.

For more information, please see the publisher’s page.
Source: Publisher.

Sound Bytes is a meme that occurs every Friday! I encourage you to review your audiobooks on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

 

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – Audiobook Review

The Ocean at the End of the Lane written and narrated by Neil Gaiman
Published in audio by Harper Audio, published in print by William Morrow, both imprints of HarperCollins

Synopsis:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane opens with the protagonist, now an adult, returns to his childhood home and happens upon an old friend’s house, where he finds one of her older relatives. The longer the protagonist stays at Lettie Hempstock’s house, the more he behinds to remember his time with her. These memories are long buried, other more reasonable memories of the same time have taken their place, but the Hempstock farm brings back the truth of what happened when the protagonist was seven years old.

Thoughts on the story:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is so magical that it is scary. It begins as a simply charming story of  a sweet little boy, but strange things begin happening around him. When he tries, with his new, slightly older friend Lettie Hempstock to appease the spirit causing problems, he inadvertently creates a far larger problem. The story builds along very nicely. While I wouldn’t classify it as horror, there is one section that would nearly qualify as a supernatural horror, although it invokes more tension than outright fear, since we know the protagonist survives. The details about the Hempstocks are beautifully crafted, making this otherworldly family seem absolutely realistic. It is a short but utterly absorbing novel, if you have it in print you could probably easily read the whole thing in a single sitting.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Ah, Neil Gaiman is one of those few authors who really should narrate his own work. His narration is particularly effective since his protagonist seems to be approximately his own age in the framing pieces and his protagonist as a child is said to be loosely based on his own childhood (minus the magical creatures trying to kill him, I’m assuming). As such, his narration fits the novel beautifully and he is able to give his words a level of emotion that take them to the next level.

Overall:

The story in itself is fabulous, so I don’t think you can go wrong with The Ocean at the End of the Lane however you consume it, but Gaiman’s narration gives it that extra special something. If you can listen to this audiobook, please do.

For more information, please see the publisher’s page.
Source: Publisher.

Sound Bytes is a meme that occurs every Friday! I encourage you to review your audiobooks on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

 

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Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff – Audiobook Review

Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff, narrated by Mitchell Zuckoff
Published in audio by Harper Audio, published in print by Harper, both imprints of HarperCollins

Synopsis:

From the publisher:

On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men vanished.

In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing crashes and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors. Frozen in Time places us at the center of a group of valiant airmen fighting to stay alive through 148 days of a brutal Arctic winter until an expedition attempts to bring them to safety. But that is only part of the story. In present-day Greenland, Zuckoff joins the Coast Guard and North South Polar Inc. on a dangerous expedition to recover the remains of the lost plane’s crew.

Thoughts on the story:

I picked up Frozen in Time primarily because I really wanted to read Zuckoff’s Lost in Shangri-La and never managed to get around to it. I should have known that a World War II-era rescue mission wasn’t really my thing, but I really didn’t think that far. All the crashes and missing planes got a bit hard to keep track of, but overall I was surprised how much Zuckoff managed to pull me into the story.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Zuckoff does a very competent job with the audio production. I can see where a professional narrator might have made the story all the more compelling, but on the other hand nothing in his narration detracted from his story.

Overall:

If you are into search and rescue or WWII military operations you may be more intrigued in this story than I was, but regardless it is a solid work of nonfiction.

For more, please see the publisher’s page.
Source: publisher.

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