Audiobook Week Giveaway – Audies-Nominated Audios

I want to make the audiobook love available to all readers, whether or not they are able to participate in Audiobook Week posts this week. To that end, some of our sponsored prizes are going towards giveaways, open regardless of participation.

I will be giving away an increasing number of audiobooks each day all week, each on a theme. Today’s theme: Audies-nominated audios.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Audiobook) by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, narrated by Jon Stewart, with Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac, Jason Jones, and John Oliver, featuring Sigourney Weaver
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, narrated by Tony Hsieh
Despicable Me: The Junior Novel by Annie Auerbach, narrated by Tim Curry
Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom by Queen Latifah, narrated by Queen Latifah
Room by Emma Donoghue, narrated by Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and Suzanne Toren

This prize is supplied and went by Hachette Audio and can only be shipped within the United States.

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2011

Audiobook Resources – Audiobook Week Discussion

If you wrote a post on this or any of my other discussion topics today, Friday, June 10th, please leave your link in the Mr. Linky before midnight Central time (US) and you will be eligible to win a prize.

Today we’re talking about audiobook resources. There are a lot of great ones out there, but I’m welcoming Susan from Audiobook DJ to share a little about one of my favorite resources: Audiobook Jukebox. Make sure to read all the way to the end for a special mini-challenge.

——————

I want to thank Jen for inviting me to tell you about Audiobook Jukebox, a project that’s become one of the most exciting things I’ve worked with in a long time. Originally founded by BethFishReads and myself, Audiobook Jukebox grew from the desire to have a place where bloggers could share links to their audiobook reviews and find audiobook reviews contributed by others.

We liked the imagery of a jukebox because, just as a jukebox provides a link between listeners and its collection of songs, we wanted our jukebox to be a link between listeners and all of the great audiobooks waiting to be heard. We quickly learned we weren’t the only ones who loved listening to and reviewing audiobooks – the response from bloggers has been tremendous!

When you submit a link, we add/verify bibliographic information and the correct cover shot for the title. We include this information, along with your link, in a post which alerts readers to the availability of your review. Once posted, all of the bibliographic information is available for searching on our site’s search engine and when readers find interesting titles, they can use the links to go directly to your reviews. Started in August of 2010, we’ve already posted over 3,000 review links. My husband, Jeff, and I now operate the site and we hope you’ll drop by www.audiobookjukebox.com to add a link and search for that next great listen.

Susan Dunman
Twitter – @audiobookdj
http://www.audiobookjukebox.com

——————

For an extra chance to win some of our Audiobook Week prizes, link up the audiobook reviews you wrote this week – or any that you have not already linked up – to Audiobook Jukebox. I will choose at least one winner from among the people who post reviews today, Friday, June 10th.

What are your best audiobook resources?

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2011

Sweet Jiminy by Kristin Gore – Audiobook Review

Sweet Jiminy by Kristin Gore, narrated by Hillary Huber
Published in audio by Tantor Audio; published in print by Hyperion

If you posted an audiobook review today, Friday June 10th, please leave your link in the Mr. Linky before midnight Central time (US) and you will be eligible to win a prize.

Synopsis:

Lost and unsure what she is doing with her life, Jiminy leaves law school in Chicago, and heads back to her grandmother Willa’s house in Mississippi. While there, she discovers that she is not the first Jiminy in the town. Her grandmother’s housekeeper, Lyn, had a daughter named Jiminy as well, a girl who was murdered with her father by members of the local arm of the Klan. Jiminy the current can’t let this case rest, and becomes determined to solve the cold case, stirring up long-buried trouble in the town in the process.

Thoughts on the story:

This plot has all the hallmarks of a story I would love. Somehow, though, it managed to be utterly unengaging. Part of the issue was that Gore simply introduced far too many characters, many of them unimportant, like Willa’s friend who likes guns and gaming consoles. She added little or nothing to this relatively slight book, and took up space that could have been better used to further develop the story of either of the Jiminys. The other issue was that none of the characters – the current Jiminy in particular – were particularly deeply drawn, leaving the whole thing feeling incredibly shallow, with no emotional investment on the part of the reader.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Hillary Huber is a highly competent narrator, and she certainly did the best with the mediocre material she was supplied. She brought Sweet Jiminy up to the point where it was fairly enjoyable, at least during the listening. It wasn’t until after I finished and reflected on the story that I realized just how mediocre it really is.

Overall

I really can’t particularly recommend this at all, but if you want or need to read it for some reason, I highly suggest you grab the audio so that Huber’s narration can improve your experience.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound: Audio/Print*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2011

Audiobook Week Giveaway – Beach Listens

I want to make the audiobook love available to all readers, whether or not they are able to participate in Audiobook Week posts this week. To that end, some of our sponsored prizes are going towards giveaways, open regardless of participation.

I will be giving away an increasing number of audiobooks each day all week, each on a theme. Today’s theme: beach listens.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin, narrated by Katherine Kellgren
One Summer
by David Baldacci
Silver Girl
by Elin Hilderbrand
Summer Rental
by Mary Kay Andrews, read by Isabel Keating

These prizes are supplied and sent by Hachette Audio and Macmillan Audio, and can only be shipped within the United States. Readers/listeners with Canadian mailing addresses may enter, but may only be eligible for The American Heiress and Summer Rental.

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2011

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly – Audiobook Review

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering
Published in audio by Listening Library; published in print by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House

If you posted an audiobook review today, Thursday June 9th, please leave your link in the Mr. Linky before midnight Central time (US) and you will be eligible to win a prize.

Synopsis:

Andi should have everything going for her: well-to-do family, great school, brains, beauty, and musical talent. Somehow, though, none of that means anything since the death of her little brother, Truman; a death Andi witnessed and for which she blames herself. Andi is angry, at herself and at the way her parents fell apart after Truman’s death. Nearly flunking out of school and not particularly well liked by much of anyone but one friend and a guitar teacher, Andi is even considering suicide.

And then she gets dragged to Paris over Christmas break by her father, who has been appointed to do the DNA testing on a heart purported to be that of Louis XVII, son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Furious at being dragged along by her father like a child, Andi is suddenly motivated to work on her senior project by the promise of a plane ticket home. At roughly the same time, she discovers a very old diary, written by a girl around the time of the French Revolution; a girl who, it seems, knew Louis XVII; a girl who was in political trouble.

Alexandrine’s story begins to exert the same, or even stronger, pull over Andi as a trip home, and Andi begins to lose her present troubles in those of the past.

Thoughts on the story:

Early on, Andi is very difficult to take. The reader truly wants to sympathize with her, after all, this girl witnessed the death of the brother she so dearly loved. The evidence is pretty clear that she wasn’t this horrible before Truman’s death. But really, Andi is horrible. She is rude, vindictive, and self-loathing, whiny, a difficult character to like. It isn’t until she gets to Paris that this begins to change. Donnelly has Andi on a very believable arc of growth, but that does require allowing her to continue to be awful just to the point where she strains the reader’s empathy. By the time Andi starts to grow, you are so relieved that you no longer have the unbearable urge to slap her, that you fall headlong into the book.

Perhaps the best part about Revolution is how Andi and Alexandrine’s storylines converged. Both are fascinating and engaging, and they mirror one another in not overly obvious ways – the parallels are clearly there, but Donnelly sees no need to beat her reader over the head with them. When the storylines come together, though, that is when Revolution becomes impossible to put down.

Thoughts on the audio production:

As I mentioned earlier this week, I often have trouble with the narrators of young adult books sounding too old. Emily Janice Card was probably just on the cusp of this for me. Certainly she didn’t sound quite like the seventeen year old that Andi is. After pondering it for the first 30 or 45 minutes, though, I decided she was analogous to the 30 year olds that play high schoolers in movies and sitcoms. Clearly most actual high school students don’t sound/look like that, but it is close enough that you can still suspend your disbelief.

If anything, Emma Bering sounded even older than Emily Janice Card, but for Alexandrine, that worked. Both Andi and Alexandrine had been through a lot in their lives, but in Andi’s case it turned her into a petulant child, while Alexandrine was forced to mature very quickly. With this characterization in mind, the different aged sounds of their voices worked perfectly, and the fact that Bering gave Card a voice to sound younger than worked very much in the favor of the audiobook, keeping everything reasonable for girls in their late teens.

Apart from possibly sounding slightly old, both women were amazing narrators, breathing life into their characters. I would not hesitate to listen to anything either of them narrated.

Overall

This was an amazingly well put together book. The amount of research required, as well as the necessity to create parallels between the girls that felt natural, could have resulted in an awkward info dump, but Jennifer Donnelly wrote an incredibly moving story that was expertly narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering. You can’t go wrong with Revolution in print or audio.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound: Audio/Print*

Source: library.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2011