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review 2017-05-24 01:23
I loved that grumpy ole bastard!
A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman 

 

I had heard from many book friends that I would enjoy this book.  And clearly they know me better than I know myself because I was reluctant to try this book.  But from the first scene in the Apple Store, I was hooked.  

 

Ove made me laugh, made me roll my eyes, made me angry, and in the end made me cry. This story was full of just so much, but I loved the man's journey to find his way after life had dealt him yet another blow.  One that he didn't think he would ever be able to get past.

 

My family more than once looked at me like I was crazy as I was laughing out loud at one outrageous scene after another.  I have no idea how this man got in the situations he did.  But, man did I love the guy by the end.

 

I had this on whispersync and I had started reading it, but once I heard the narrator reading this, I couldn't go back.  He did an excellent job, and being that he's a new narrator for me, I was very pleasantly surprised.

 

A MAN CALLED OVE is one of those books that I know is going to be sitting with me for a long time.  I loved every second of it and was so sad to see it end.

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review 2017-05-24 00:31
Such an amazing novel!
Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor 

 

Wow, this was so elaborate and so well-written.  It was amazing to watch even the most non-consequential thing have significance later on.  I loved the way everything was woven together to make this fantasy so amazing.

 

I felt horrible for Lazlo at so many different times in the book, but he was much stronger than I gave him credit for.  I really wasn't sure how things were going to come to a head, but I got a bit of shock when it came to him and Sarai and how things ended.

 

I have no idea how I'm going to be able to wait until the next book comes out.  I have to know what happens now!  LOL

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review 2017-05-23 15:41
My forty-seventh podcast is up!
The Civil War Diary of Rev. James Sheeran, C.Ss.R.: Confederate Chaplain and Redemptorist - Patrick J. Hayes

My latest podcast is up! In it I interview Patrick J. Hayes about his edited edition of the diaries of Patrick Sheehan, a Catholic priest who served as a chaplain for the Confederate army during the Civil War. Enjoy!

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review 2017-05-23 00:27
Apparently playing 'Catch-up' is my new favorite game...
Sunset Park - Santino Hassell

Before I get into this one let me just say these books need to come with a serious 'holy hell, hot sex here' warning.

 

I've been listening to these books over the course of the weekend and it just happens my hubby is home...let me just say I'm now really good with the pause and/or volume buttons. I'm actually listening to 'First and First' at the moment and finally decided it would be best if I broke down and got out the headphones before things get too awkward around here, lol!

 

Don't get me wrong hubby knows what I read/listen to and he doesn't care, but he's not interested in reading and/or listening to every book that I do...thank heavens for earphones or there would be some awkward moments at my house, lol. Good times my friends, good times.

 

Now, back to 'Sunset Park' the second book in Santino Hassell's 'Five Boroughs' series. This is David and Raymond's story. Initially I really wasn't sure how I felt about David given what I knew of him from the first book. Basically David came off as a drinking, cheating, bit of a skank...to say the least he was not impressive. Happily for me by the end of this one my feelings towards David and about the events in the first book definitely mellowed. Do I think that his cheating was acceptable no...never but as is often the case there are two sides to every story and while David was in a bad relationship with Caleb. He definitely compounded the problems with his choices resulting from their problems and that's all on him, but the fact that his relationship with Caleb wasn't good was on both of them. Ok, so let's just leave this at it's complicated and move on to Raymond.

 

While I was intrigued with Raymond by the end of 'Sutphin Boulevard' by the end of this book I liked Raymond a lot and I liked David a lot more than I had anticipated. More importantly I really liked David and Raymond together. They worked, they made each other want to be better people. Yes, they had their disagreements and differences but they worked them out.  There was definite growth on the part of both men and I loved that they were each others biggest defenders.  That the biggest challenge faced by these two men was caused by the disparity in their backgrounds this again went back to a very real challenge faced by many couples today and to the realism of the stories in this series.

 

Michael Ferraiuolo was the narrator for this book and overall I liked his voices. He ticked that basic checklist of mine...every last item. His voices were consistent, conveyed emotions, matched or meshed with my own impressions of the characters, he was consistent. In particular I liked his voices for both David and Raymond (I actually liked Raymond's voice in this book better than the first book).  

 

So needless to say, I'm really looking forward to the remaining two audio books that I have in this series and so far I'm totally into 'First and First' the story is excellent and the narration is superb. I love a series where the books just keep getting better and better!

 

 

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review 2017-05-22 23:07
And yet again, I'm playing catch-up...
Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs Book 1) - Santino Hassell

So here I am finally listening to a series on audio that I'm been dying to read. I loved this story. It's not happy and light or fun and fluffy that's for sure. But what it was...was gripping and painfully told with brutal realism.

 

Michael and Nunzio have been friends for most of their lives and they've had each other's backs and shared pretty much everything their whole lives... everything except maybe how they really feel about each other and maybe, Micheal's growing dependency on alcohol and prescription drugs. As things heat up between them, Michael's dependencies spiral out of control until he wakes up in the hospital with no real memory of how he got there.

 

Michael spends so much time trying to maintain the image that he thinks he should show to the world that he loses sight of who he really is and wants to be. Micheal is so wrapped up in himself that what he misses is how much both his friend Nunzio and his brother Raymond both care about and need him. 

 

For as much as I enjoyed this audio book there were also moments of incredible frustration for me because I've had my own life experiences with people who struggle with addiction so I have to admit sometimes my tolerance and understanding for this isn't what it should or could be but still there were times when my heart ached for Michael and what he was going through while at the same time my frustration was unlimited. It was real life...sometimes we love the person just not who and what they can become.

 

While I definitely had issues as to how I felt about Michael, I very much liked Nunzio. He was a good friend and cared about Michael...not just as a love interest but as a true friend and his interactions with other characters in the story showed him to be a good person...well, maybe with everyone except David but that's another story because Nunzio really did have his reasons for how he felt about David so we'll give him a pass on that. I was also a little intrigued by Raymond, Michael's brother. While I can't necessarily say that I liked him. I was intrigued and there were definite glimpses of a good and caring person. Raymond struck me as some one who had a little growing up to do and just needed to find out what he wanted from life...just a little time to finish growing up.

 

Rusty Topsfield was the narrator for this first installment in Santino Hassell's 'Five Boroughs' series and while his narration was consistent and thankfully ticked my basic list of what works for me with an audio book somehow it just ended up being ok. For whatever reason the voices just weren't quite what my mind was imagining, so not a case of good or bad...just a case of the connection not being there for me when it came to the voices. I'm looking forward to the next book 'Sunset Park' it's a different narrator and I'm curious to see if I connect with his voices better.

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