Book Review: The Round House by Louise Erdrich


Author: Louise Erdrich Title: The Round House Narrator: Gary Farmer Publication Info: HarperAudio (2013 Summary/Review: Set on a fictional Indian reservation in North Dakota, this is the story of the teenager Joe who at the beginning of the novel learns that his mother has been brutally raped.  What follows is a story of legal complications surrounding the crime,…

Book Review: The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman


Author: Francis Parkman Title: The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life Narrator: Robert Morris Publication Info: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (2012, originally published in 1849) Summary/Review: This narrative describes 23-year-old Parkman’s travels west in  with fellow Boston Brahmin Quincy Adams Shaw.  Together they travel with settlers adventurers through the future states of of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado,…

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray


Author: Libba Bray Title: The Diviners Narratorr: January LaVoy Publication Info: Listening Library (2012) Summary/Review: Evie, an outspoken youngster from Ohio is sent away be her family to live with a strange uncle in Jazz Age New York City and ends up helping him try to solve a series of occultist murders.  An outlandish premise, but we…

Book Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson


Author:  Jenny Lawson Title: Furiously Happy Narrator:  Jenny Lawson Publication Info: [New York] : Macmillan Audio, p2015. Summary/Review: This collection of humorous essays is a laugh riot from the perspective of the author of The Bloggess which skips among topics such as depression, anxiety, marriage, therapy, and taxidermy.  Really, a surprising amount about taxidermy.  Listening to the…

Book Review: My American Revolution: Crossing the Delaware and I-78 by Robert Sullivan


Author: Robert Sullivan Title: My American Revolution: Crossing the Delaware and I-78 Narrator: Mike Chamberlain Publication Info: Dreamscape Media (2012) Other Books by Same Author:  The Meadowlands and The Thoreau You Don’t Know Summary/Review: Robert Sullivan and I share a surname and a lot of common interests.  In this case, local history and travelogue.  The American…

Book Review: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald


Author: Helen Macdonald Title: H is for Hawk Narrators: Helen Macdonald Publication Info: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (2015) Summary/Review: After the death of her father, Macdonald works through her grief by adopting and training a young goshawk, Mabel whom she calls “Thirty Ounces of Death in a Feathered Jacket.” This lyrical book is part memoir and…

Book Review: Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville


Author: Eliza Granville Title: Gretel and the Dark Narrators: Cassandra Campbell, Stefan Rudnicki Publication Info: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (2014) Summary/Review: Deeply rooted in Grimm’s fairy tales, this novel tells two stories. One set in 1899 Vienna is about a woman given the name “Lillie” who claims to be a robot and is brought to psychologist Dr Josef Breuer…

Book Reviews: My Misspent Youth by Megan Daum


Author: Megan Daum Title: My Misspent Youth Narrator: Xe Sands Publication Info: Dreamscape Media, LLC (2015) Summary/Review: I listened this book of essays on recommendation of Slate magazine’s best audiobooks of 2015 article (although the essays were largely published more than 15 years ago leading to a time warp sensation hearing them).  The first few essays are largely…

Book Reviews: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell


Author:  Sarah Vowell Title: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States Narrator:  Sarah Vowell, with  John Slattery, Nick Offerman, Fred Armisen, Bobby Cannavale, John Hodgman, Stephanie March, and Alexis Denisof Other Books Read By Same Author: The Partly Cloudy Patriot  The Wordy Shipmates  Publication Info: Simon & Schuster Audio (2015) Summary/Review: This audiobook includes numerous well-known actors performing…

Book Review: Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello


Author: Elvis Costello Title: Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink Narrator: Elvis Costello Publication Info: Penguin Audio (2015) Summary/Review: The memoir of Declan MacManus, better known by his stage name Elvis Costello,  is more of a collection of thematic essays than a birth to present memoir.  Like the lyrics of his song, Costello’s way with words is evident. His…

Book Review: The Glorious Cause by Jeff Shaara


Author: Jeff Shaara Title: The Glorious Cause  Narrator: Grover Gardner Publication Info: Books on Tape, 2003 Summary/Review: Turns out that wasn’t the book I intended to read. That’s okay, because this is an entertaining historical novel about the American War for Independence. Or is it a novelistic history? Because it really reads like a history book.  But a…

Book Review: Through the Children’s Gate by Adam Gopnik


Author: Adam Gopnik Title: Through the Children’s Gate Narrator: Adam Gopnik Publication Info: Audible Studios (2014) Summary/Review: This collection of essays documents Gopnik’s life upon returning to New York City with his wife and young children after living in Paris.  The September 11th attacks occur shortly after they move in and they color a lot of the stories…

Book Review: Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado


Author: Linda Tirado Title: Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America Narrator: Linda Tirado Publication Info: New York : Penguin Audio, p2014. Summary/Review: Tirado writes and narrates this extended essay on the poor in United States, unflinchingly and wryly explaining why the poor do the things the do and how both right-wing and left-wing  stereotypes of…

Book Review: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson


Author: Erik Larson Title: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania Narrator: Scott Brick Publication Info: New York, New York : Random House Audio, 2015. Other Books Read by the Same Author: The Devil in the White City In The Garden of Beasts Isaac’s storm Summary/Review: In typical Larson fashion, he crafts the story of…

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


Author: Ransom Riggs Title:Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Narrator:  Jesse Bernstein Publication Info: Random House Audio, 2011 Summary/Review: 16-year-old Jacob travels to a remote Welsh island to learn more about the shelter that took in his grandfather during World War II.  Through some mysterious encounters and time travel he learns that the children at…

Book Review: Flight by Sherman Alexie


Author: Sherman Alexie Title: Flight Narrator: Adam Beach Publication Info: [Ashland, Ore.] : Blackstone Audio, p2008. Summary/Review: This novel is told from the point-of-view of “Zits,” a teenager of Native American heritage being passed through the foster care system and acting out in response.  After growing increasingly and gruesomely violent, Zits is magically transported into other peoples’ bodies…

Book Review: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough


Author: David McCullough Title: The Wright Brothers Narrator: David McCullough Publication Info: Simon & Schuster Audio (2015) Summary/Review: The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, are figures shrouded in the myths and legends of the pioneers of aviation.  David McCullough presents them as two distinct personalities, and introduces the Wright Sister, Katharine, an integral part of their team although…

Book Review: You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day


Author:  Felicia Day Title: You’re Never Weird on the Internet Narrator: Felicia Day Publication Info: Simon & Schuster Audio (2015) Summary/Review: Felicia Day’s memoir is funny and inspiring, and especially good narrated in Day’s own voice.  Day describes her unusual childhood where she was homeschooled and first found community through gaming communities on the internet.  Growing up and…

Book Review: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote


Author :Truman Capote Title: In Cold Blood Narrator: Scott Brick Publication Info: New York, NY : Random House Audio, p2006. Previously Read by the Same Author: Breakfast at Tiffany’s Other Voices, Other Rooms Summary/Review: This is one of those books that’s long been on the list of “Why haven’t I read this yet?”  In Cold Blood is…

Book Review: The Myth of the Spoiled Child by Alfie Kohn


Author: Alfie Kohn Title: The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting Narrator: Alfie Kohn Publication Info:Tantor Audio (2014) Summary/Review: The current generation of children are often described by the media, politicians, and even parents as entitled and narcissistic.  Alfie Kohn shows through his research that 1. similar statements have been…