Audio Book Reviews

Things have slowed way down on the blog. If it makes anyone feel better, everything (besides work) has been shoved brutally to the back burner since I started my teaching job. I work 8:30-4:30 (or 8:30-1:30 2 days per week), then come home to make dinner & put kids to bed, then work some more. It’s been more than I expected, and it has definitely caused some issues.

Thankfully, I will be done with 2 of my classes next week, which means more time in general.

I still had a book club book to get through, and it wasn’t happening with my own eyes, so I gave in and borrowed my first ever audio book from the library. I enjoyed it because I could listen to it in the car to and from work – a time where I can’t get anything else done. Now, I’ve listened to two, so I thought I’d do a couple book reviews to get a blog post up finally!

The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The story is set in Barcelona and follows the life of a boy who finds a strange and unique book when he is 11. He becomes pretty much obsessed with the author, and as he finds out more about him and grows up himself, their lives have countless and inexplicable parallels. I found the story to be slow at times, and even boring, and yet I always wanted to know what happened next (even if nothing seemed to be happening at all). There are so many characters it was hard to keep track, especially since they all seemed to be connected in so many different ways. A character map would be greatly helpful! The book was beautifully written, and the audio version was gorgeous to listen too. The female characters were strong, surviving hardships beyond imagination, while the male characters seemed to be secondary to the story even though the main characters were male. I’ll give this book a 4/5, but I would recommend listening to it rather than reading it.

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Wiener

After a few rather serious books in a row, I needed a fun read by a reliably fun author. I looked through Wiener’s books that I hadn’t yet read, and choose The Next Best Thing based on its rating on Amazon. It tells the story of Ruth,  a woman who is badly disfigured in a car accident in her youth and her grandmother – who moved to live with Ruth to take care of her after the accident which also killed Ruth’s parents. Ruth is a writer, and the pair decides to move to Hollywood so Ruth can pursue her dream of writing and creating her own TV show. There are the requisite flashbacks, to her younger days, the love stories of varying success, the relationships she creates with her co-workers, and how difficult it really is to make it in Hollywood – especially the way you WANT to make it. I’ll give the book a 3/5.The book was fun and certainly entertaining, but the audio version brought nothing special. It wasn’t Wiener’s best work, with some very predictable plot elements to the point I wasn’t sure if I had read the book before.

Our next bookclub book is The Martian by Andy Wier

What have you been reading lately?


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