Tag: audio books

Feb 23

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Audio Books, Cozy Lady Fiction, Humor 25

Cheerio Bookworms!

This may come as a shock to you, but I have a crush on… England. My feelings on the subject can be summed up in the immortal speech Hugh Grant as Prime Minister gives in Love Actually. “We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that.” I could go on and on but nobody wants to hear me sing the praises of clotted cream. You want to talk about books, don’t you? Fiiiiiine, you twisted my arm. The Royal We
by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan is, more or less, the dream of many an American anglophile.

theroyalweRebecca Porter is a down-to-earth gal from America’s Heartland. Her twin Lacey was always the one fantasizing about fame, fortune, and glamour, which is why it’s such a strange turn of events when Bex ends up meeting the dashing Prince Nicholas while studying abroad at Oxford. Bex falls for Nick in spite of herself, and is reluctantly drawn into his tabloid laced, ritual heavy, duty filled, existence.

The book is basically Prince William and Kate Middleton fan fiction. Except that Kate probably had it easier because she at least had the accent going for her. Plus that woman has a fashionista gene that Bex seriously lacked… (Or she’s just got a really good style team. I have no idea what really goes on.) It would have been really easy for this book to fall squarely into the cheeseball Hallmark Original Movie trap (which are prefectly entertaining when it’s Christmas and… You know what? They’re perfectly entertaining. We’re not here to judge my terrible taste in movies.) It managed to avoid that pitfall, though. The Royal We is hilarious without a hint of the saccharine. Think… Hugh Grant movie, vibe-wise. It’s oozing with charm and hilarious sidekicks, but it still manages to pack some intense emotional punches. I may have shed a few tears.

I have one teeny tiny complaint, though. I’ve never met an American girl named Rebecca who goes by Bex. That’s a thoroughly British sounding nickname. A girl from Iowa would go by Becky, maybe Becca, but Bex? It’s like a blaring signal that she’s destined to marry a royal. Is my corner of Illinois MORE BORING THAN MUSCATINE, IOWA when it comes to nicknames for Rebecca?

Obviously I haven’t got anything really to complain about. I’m grasping at straws. The Royal We is delightful. When I finished it, I texted several friends telling them they needed to read it. RIGHT NOW. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is! (Oh, and the audio book version? Dynamite.)

Talk to me, Bookworms. Do any of you know a Rebecca who goes by Bex? Does it strike anyone else as an unusual choice for Muscatine, Iowa? I’m genuinely interested, here. 

 

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Feb 01

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Audio Books, Literary Fiction 15

Greetings Bookworms!

If you pay attention to prize winners, you’ll probably already know that Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff is the toast of the literary town. It’s been shortlisted for oodles of impressive awards. If you DON’T pay attention to literary awards, you probably thoughts that a book called Fates and Furies was the latest young adult fad somehow tied in with Greek mythology. Alright, there’s a distinct possibility that I was the only person who came to that conclusion, but we already know that I am the worst at these things.

fatesandfuriesSuffice it to say that Fates and Furies is NOT a young adult novel related to Greek mythology, but literary fiction of the highest degree. It centers on the 24 year marriage of Lotto and Mathilde, married at the age of 22 caught up in a whirlwind romance.

I don’t typically get along well with award winning literary fiction. In fact, my notes while listening to the first half of the book (audio books, FTW!) include phrases like “I am not smart enough for this” and “this book is so depressing” and “for a book this full of sex, it’s not even remotely sexy” and “the main characters are dancing to Radiohead. Fitting. I feel the same way about Radiohead that I feel about this book.” The first half of the book told Lotto’s story and, for me, it was less than thrilling. I very nearly threw in the towel but stuck with it because I am extremely stubborn and it had gotten to a hate read point. I wasn’t going to let the book win!

Then Mathilde’s story started and I was captivated. The second half of the book flew by. Obviously, it couldn’t have stood on its own, part of the reason it was so fascinating was the way in which it dovetailed with the first half, but it was like night and day for my personal enjoyment. My feelings are all twisted up.

Would I recommend you read Fates and FuriesIt all depends. If you typically enjoy the type of literary fiction that typically takes home awards, by all means. If you’re into beautiful prose and aren’t bothered by gray story lines, then YES. Read this! If you read purely for enjoyment, escapism, and amusing storytelling? Maaaaaaaaaybe skip this one.

Talk to me, Bookworms. Have you ever finished a book purely out of spite and found yourself pleasantly surprised?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Oct 26

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Audio Books, Humor, Psychological 12

Howdy Howdy Bookworms!

Y’all know I’m a sucker for audio books and celebrity memoirs… But only funny celebrities, because the amount I don’t want to read about some celebutaunt’s spiritual awakening is STAGGERING. But. Basically anyone who was a regular on Parks & Recreation who writes a book? I will give that a whirl. (I haven’t gotten to your books yet, Ron Swanson, but I will one day. One day when I somehow stop thinking of you as Ron Swanson and remember you have an actual name. Nick Offerman. Right?) Aziz Ansari wrote a book, so I thought “I should read that with my ears because Tom Haverford’s inflection would be entertaining.” YOU WILL NEVER ESCAPE YOUR CHARACTERS! PAWNEE FOR LIFE!

modernromanceWhat was most interesting about Modern Romance was that it was NOT a memoir. It was pretty funny, but also full of social commentary and some sciencey goodness. Sounds like a winning combination, doesn’t it? Ansari and his impressively credentialed counterparts explore the ways in which dating has changed in the digital age, and the ways in which it hasn’t. Relationship dynamics have gone into hyper-drive with the advent of internet dating sites and texting. And this whole emerging adulthood thing where people don’t typically get married and start procreating right after high school graduation? Talk about a whole new world of dating opportunity. But like anything, it has its drawbacks. Now you have the stress of finding the PERFECT person. I mean, you have the WHOLE internet now and nobody will give you the side eye for saying you met online. It’s not like you’re limited by your small town anymore, but in some ways the pressure is more intense. Fascinating stuff. Really.

OF COURSE this led to a crap ton of self reflection for me, so let’s not talk about the book for a minute and talk about ME. My dating experience is extremely limited, although I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone who ever showed any interest in me, was pursued by me, or actually dated me. I have an overdeveloped fight or flight response and an underdeveloped sense of tact. Seriously, I’m SO sorry. I live in fear of the day I see my adolescent self portrayed in a book or movie. Which is ridiculous because it’s so few people. Still. I was beyond horrible at dating. BEYOND HORRIBLE. Have I mentioned that? The worst. Right here. It ended up working out in my favor though, because by the time I met the guy who’d eventually become my husband, I had virtually no old relationship baggage. I mean, it’s hard to acquire baggage when your longest relationship was 6 weeks… In other news, my husband should probably be sainted for putting up with me.

If you are feeling like an old fart because you met your spouse the old fashioned way, I think you’ll find Modern Romance fascination. And if you’re out there in the big bad dating world? Modern Romance will feel like a chat with a friend about the foibles of dating, and it might just renew your faith in the process.

Alright, Bookworms! Spill it! Those of you in committed relationships, how did you meet your person? We’ll call it science, even though it’s just me being nosy. Those of you in the dating pool: is it as terrifying as I’m imagining?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Sep 21

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Audio Books, Contemporary Fiction 15

Happy Monday, Bookworms!

How was your weekend? Mine was lovely, especially considering I was NOT taken hostage during a swanky birthday party by an ill advised army of teenagers in an unnamed South American country. Obviously, things are going better for me than the characters in my latest read, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. This is one of those books I’ve been hearing about for a long time but took ages to get around to reading (well, listening to, in this case). Just another example of how I’ll never ever get to all the excellent books worth reading in the world. Siiiiigh.

belcantoAs I started saying earlier, this book takes place in an unnamed South American country. In an attempt to bring commerce to the blighted region, the government has arranged an elaborate birthday party for a Japanese business man in order to lure him into building a factory. The government has managed to land Roxane Coss, opera soprano of international acclaim, to perform for Mr. Hosokawa, a noted opera aficianado.

The party is crashed soon after Roxane’s performance by a ragtag army of 18 terrorists consisting largely of impoverished teenagers. Their goal was to kidnap the president, but when it turns out he is not in attendance, they take the entire birthday party full of international dignitaries hostage. Improvisation is not their strong suit. As the relatively simple goal of the terrorists is complicated by unanticipated captives, the group’s quick operation turns into a drawn out standoff.

You guyssssssssss. This book was really good. It sounds like a majorly insane downer, but it was fascinating! As time goes on, the hostages and the terrorists begin to bond in unexpected ways. It’s not Stockholm Syndrome or anything, because nobody’s been brainwashed, but it’s awfully hard to spend a large amount of time with anyone and fail to see them as individuals. I mean, the terrorists aren’t torturing or killing or maiming. They’re just forcibly detaining… With varying levels of enthusiasm. If this has been on your radar in the history of ever, if you like opera, or if you just like excellent messy moral dilemma stories, check out Bel Canto

Talk to me Bookworms! What is the WORST experience you’ve ever had at a party?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Sep 14

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Audio Books, Supernatural 14

How’s it going, Bookworms?

I feel like I should write this entire blog post in 20s slang, but you’d miss out on the inflection. It’s going to take every ounce of restraint I possess not to end every sentence with “see”, see? I place the blame for my new affectation squarely on the shoulders of one Libba Bray, who penned The Diviners, and also on the shoulders of January LaVoy who narrated the audio book.

thedivinersI’ve been meaning to read Libba Bray for a while, and I picked The Diviners because it was on my soon-to-expire list (thanks for nothing, Scribd.) I didn’t realize just how spooky it was going to be before picking it up, so I’m actually pretty grateful for the near comical usage of slang and old timey vocal affectations. But I digress.

The Diviners takes place in 1920s New York City, which was by all accounts a happening place to be. Evie O’Neill is new to town, after being sent away from her boring town in Ohio to stay with her uncle. Some people have no sense of humor when it comes to having their secrets exposed, see? It works out for the best though, because Evie is ready to get her flapper on and party like it’s 1926 and NYC is the place to be! Evie’s Uncle Will has his head so full of the creepy crawlies that he’s unlikely to notice her antics… Or so she thinks. The thing that got Evie booted from Ohio wasn’t really her fault. Evie has a super weird gift that allows her to psychically glean information from objects. If a gentleman’s watch tells her that he’s had some scandalous dalliances, well, she can’t help knowing that!

New York is being terrorized by a serial killer just as Evie arrives in town. Because of the occult-ish nature of the killings, Evie’s uncle, something of an expert in the field, is called in to consult with the police on the case. Evie realizes her gift may help her catch the murderer, and things just start to get weird.

This book was a ton of fun and the scary elements were perfect for the onset of autumn. The slang seemed a little over the top at times, but the campy aspects of it worked for me. There was just one problem. I had NO IDEA this book was the beginning of a series until it was over and ALL THE THINGS were unresolved. I googles to make sure I hadn’t accidentally skipped chapters and lo and behold, book two was recently released. Don’t you just hate that?! Of course, it’s too late. I’m hooked. Just take my money, okay?

Bookworms, I need to not be alone here. Have any of you started a series purely by accident?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Sep 03

Words for Worms Rewind: Road Trip

Audio Books, Rewind 3

Well Hello Bookworms!

I’m resurrecting another old post today that was devoured by the evil spirits of the internet. It’s ginormous and about audio books. I’ve updated it with the occasional aside in bold parentheses, because I simply cannot leave well enough alone.

If you’re anything like me the idea of a road trip is made more pleasant by the sheer joy of having so many uninterrupted reading hours. Unfortunately, that isn’t really an option if you happen to be the driver. Or is it? That’s right, my friends. Today we shall explore the glories of the audio book!

My BFF (we can use that terminology because we’ve been BFF since middle school) gave birth to one of the greatest human beings to ever grace the planet roughly 4 ½ years ago (UPDATE: Jack is now 7 ½. And he has a super cute baby sister named Junie who’s creeping up on 1 ½. I Seriously can’t even.) Unfortunately, my BFF has lived in a different state than I have for the past 15 years (Now 18. Holy smokes.) As an honorary aunt, I vowed I’d never miss one of Jack’s birthday parties (at least, until he’s old enough to decide he doesn’t want his weird Aunt Katie hanging around… At which point I’ll show up anyway and be EXCEPTIONALLY embarrassing. “Hey Jack, remember that time you accused me of pooping in your diaper? No?”) (<— That’s a true story, BTW.) And thus, every year around the Ides of March (I seriously never get tired of the Julius Caesar joke) I make the trek to… Whatever state or city Jack and Heather happen to be residing in.

road trip

The first couple of trips I made to visit Jack after he was born I made in the first vehicle I’d purchased for myself. A 2002 Oldsmobile Alero with crank windows and a broken radio. I fed my CD player hour after hour of music, but 5-7 hours of driving (each way), even with musical accompaniment, is tedious. Then I got smart. I had discovered that even on my 20 minute morning commute, I felt more alert listening to NPR than listening to morning music radio. I assumed the same principal- someone talking to me to keep my mind occupied- would hold true for road trips as well. I was right.

Do audio books count as reading? Umm, yeah they do! At least in my opinion. You hear the whole story, experience all of the description- it’s still theater of the mind. It’s just that you can safely drive while you enjoy it. I would also highly recommend audio books for anyone with a learning disability that makes it difficult to enjoy reading. Put a book on in the car instead of listening Rhianna. I can guarantee an audio book will make you smarter than Rhianna’s lyrics. (Still true.) Without further ado (Seriously 2012 Katie? That was so much ado. SO MUCH), I shall tell you a bit about the audio books I’ve enjoyed over my past several road trips…

herfearfulsymmetryHer Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger was my first foray into road trip reading. I wanted to read it because I’d loved The Time Traveler’s Wife (book is infinitely superior to the movie, no matter how handsome Eric Bana is). Her Fearful Symmetry started out promising, but then started taking turns for the bizarre, and then the REALLY bizarre. Once the book ended I was really quite surprised it had gone the way it did. Part of what I’d loved about The Time Traveler’s Wife was that Niffenegger took an unbelievable situation and turned it into a realistic view of what life would be like to live with and love a man who could at any moment disappear into another time. Symmetry was the opposite- it started out with a realistic presence then steadily got stranger and stranger. And not in the way I like my strange.

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant was my next selection. As I’ve previously professed, I adore historical fiction. I had read other Dunant novels (The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan) that were set in Renaissance Italy, and enjoyed them. Sacred Hearts was set in a convent during the same time period. It gave me more insight into the life of a Catholic nun in the Renaissance period, as well as insight into the few options available to women at the time. That part wasn’t exactly new to me (Hello, Women’s Studies Minor!) but I always like to read things that make situations come to life. This centered on a very reluctant novice who had been sent to the convent by her family to keep her from marrying an “inappropriate” suitor and the nun who took her under her wing. The supervisory nun was also the convent physician of sorts, so you’ll pick up all sorts of useful tidbits about old school diseases and treatments. Fascinating, if I do say so myself.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot was this year’s Jack-spedition selection. I really enjoyed this as an audio book, but I think it might be harder to get through reading in print. This book is non-fiction, and it is about the woman who (unwittingly) donated the first “immortal” henriettalackshuman cells that could be used in laboratory work. I’m not nearly scientific enough to explain how that’s really possible, other than to say that Henrietta Lacks had a very unique and aggressive form of cervical cancer. The cancer ended her life, but took on a laboratory life of its own. The cells were so important that they were the basis of research for countless medical breakthroughs. What’s most interesting about this book is reading about the abject poverty of her descendents and their corner of Baltimore. It’s a long story, but I found it very interesting, and since I was listening as opposed to reading, I didn’t get too bogged down in the scientific jargon. I highly recommend this book. (I really need to come up with a ratings system). (No you don’t, 2012 Katie.)

I’ve since expanded my audio book indulgence to any road trip I take, not just the epic ones. This includes the 2 hour each way drive to visit my parents. I had been meaning to read Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland for years. It was one of the books handed out at the graduation party for my Women’s Studies group. (I got Pope Joan by Diana Woolfolk Cross, which may just merit its own entry *UPDATE* Pope Joan review HERE.) Anyway, I’d been meaning to read this for a long time, and finally decided to get on with it. The story girlinhyacinthbluefollows a (fictional) Vermeer painting from the present day back through time to its inception. Throughout the ages the painting had a profound impact on a number of lives and went through many adventures itself. I’ve always had a soft spot for historical fiction that revolves around works of art (Girl with a Pearl Earring, Burning Bright, and The Virgin Blue all by Tracy Chevalier are worth mentioning) so this was right up by alley. (UPDATE: I made a list of Hist-Art-Ical Fiction. You can read it HERE.) I also learned more about the Netherlands that I’d ever known before, thanks to this book. I rather enjoyed that part, since, if the family lineage I’ve been told is accurate, I’m approximately 25% Dutch. Fun Fact: The Netherlands are mostly below sea level and flood a LOT. Also, horses can swim.

Finally! This has been an epic blog post. Last review, I promise. I just finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith in the car this morning. I’m technologically impaired, so I actually listened to the second half of the book before the first due to a downloading error, but aside from being a bit of a banana head, I enjoyed this book. I was shocked at how well researched this was. I mean, the vampire bits were obviously creative license, but the documented facts of Lincoln’s life and the chronology were spot on. I felt like I’d learned some useful American history by the end. A movie was just released. I will probably see it at some point, but I’m sure I won’t much care for it. What I liked most about this book was the historical accuracy and the filling in of life’s plot holes with fantastic farfetched theories. Judging by the movie’s trailer, it’s just a lot of Abe Lincoln killing vampires and crazy action sequences. I think there will be a lot lost in translation, but since I haven’t yet seen it, I can’t say for sure. (Who are we kidding? Of course I can say it for sure. The book is ALWAYS better than the movie!)

Congratulations for finishing this post, and many thanks. Until next time, my wormy worms!

Holy guacamole, 2012 Katie was VERY chatty, wasn’t she? I’m sorry, guys. I probably should have broken this post into pieces but I’m so very lazy. Also, if you buy anything from one of the 8 zillion links in this post, I’ll get a small commission. Yay for that.

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Sep 01

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Scribd

Audio Books 39

Dear Scribd,

When we first met, I adored you. I wrote you love letters (seriously, read it!) Your $8.99 monthly fee for unlimited access to audio books was the best thing in the history of ever. I was over the moon and wallowing in a glut of fabulous literature being piped directly into my earholes. And then? Then I found out that you’re changing your system. My heart is breaking.

scribdheartbreak

I’m too upset to keep this going in letter style, so I’m switching back to third person. Scribd is moving to an Audible-style credit model at the end of September. They’re claiming they will still have “plenty” of audio books available for unlimited listening, but everything else will be credit based. The $8.99 subscription fee gets you one audio book credit a month and $8.99 for each credit thereafter. It’s still less expensive than Audible which charges $14.95 a month, but unlike Audible‘s model, you don’t get to keep anything with Scribd, it’s just a rental. You can re-listen to audio books you’ve used credits on at any time, but you must have an active subscription to access anything, whereas with Audible, you can cancel and still listen to what you’ve purchased.

Needless to say (again) but I’m disheartened. Still, I’m a realist. I understand that companies need to make money and publishing rights are complicated and all that jazz. And there’s still that unlimited section, right? With “plenty” of titles? I scoped out my library of audio books. EVERY SINGLE TITLE I saved is either expiring or will be a credit-only book. I’ll tell you what, it’s going to be a listen fest to try and get through as many of these titles as I can before Scribd turns into a pumpkin. 

scribdscreenshot

All the gray “expired” bars and blue exclamation points? Yeah. That’s my whole library.

When I contacted Scribd regarding the lack of available unlimited titles, they assured me that once the program goes live, users will at least be able to filter titles and view the unlimited titles in their entirety. I’m skeptical, but not throwing in the towel quite yet. I think it’s safe to say that the honeymoon is over, though, Scribd. Our relationship is on life support, yo.

Grumpily Yours,

Katie

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Aug 27

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Audio Books, Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction 13

Hidey Ho, Bookworms!

I know I’m constantly shoving book recommendations in your faces, but I like to think we have a symbiotic relationship. I mean, when one of my friends says “OMG Katie, read this book right now” I’ll do it… Eventually. Case in point! My friend Ash told me that I needed to read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and I totally did. Seriously, it was in a timely fashion and everything. Let’s talk about it, shall we?

theredqueenMare Barrow is a 17 year old “Red” girl from a poor working class background. She lives in a society where there are two classes of people. Reds like Mare and her family are ordinary folks. They put their pants on one leg at a time and bleed red. They’re also second class citizens because some quirk of evolution has created a group of people with superhuman powers who actually bleed silver. They’re called “Silvers,” natch, and they got a little drunk on their god-like powers and subjugated all the normal folk. The Reds think this sucks, because it does, but it’s pretty tough to win a fight against someone who can manipulate metal or hop into your brain and take over. Mare and her fellow Reds can only look forward to a life of poverty- if they live long enough, that is. All Reds are conscripted to fight in an endless war on behalf of the Silvers once they turn 18, assuming they aren’t already doing something useful for society (ie sewing fancy clothes for the Silvers. Silvers like pretty things.) After a chance encounter, Mare finds herself employed in the Silver Palace, surrounded by demi-gods and with an unexplained power of her own. Let’s just say that being Mare gets a whole heck of a lot more complicated from there.

Alright you guys. This book is the start of yet another trilogy in the glut of YA dystopias on the market. It combined a number of elements I recognized from Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy (review of book 1, as I didn’t finish the series) and The Hunger Games Trilogy. That said, Red Queen was different enough to catch my attention, and not in an eye-roll-y way. Well, except for this love quadrangle thing that was going on, but I feel like that’s par for the course in these sorts of books so I’m willing to overlook it for a hot minute. The book got under my skin and the characters stuck with me. Maybe it’s because I listened to the audio narration and it was excellent? Perhaps I’d have been less engaged if I’d done a strict eyeball read, I don’t know. Still, I think I might give book 2 a whirl and see where it takes me. If YA dystopias are your jam, Red Queen is definitely not to be missed. It may have thawed the heart of even this cranky skeptic.

Talk to me, Bookworms! If you could have the power to manipulate an earthly element, what would you pick? (I’m torn between water nymph skills and the power to do lots of back flips. I bet there’s a Silver whose only talent is doing back flips and their parents are terribly disappointed by it, but I think it would be awesome.)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 24

Armada by Ernest Cline

Audio Books, Science Fiction 12

Hello Bookworms!

Remember when Ready Player One (review) got me hooked on audio books? It was an AWESOME book and Wil Wheaton as narrator SLAYED. I’ve been waiting on baited breath for Ernest Cline’s followup novel and keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Wil Wheaton would be narrating again. I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that Armada was being released WITH Wil Wheaton narrating AND it was available on Scribd. The “Hallelujah Chorus” sang, y’all.

armadaArmada begins with high school senior Zack Lightman. He’s a video game geek to the core and constantly pines for more adventure in his mundane suburban life… And then a flying saucer shows up outside the window of his math class.

As it turns out, the Earth is being invaded by aliens, and the government has been slowly conditioning the world’s population to defend itself through science fiction culture and video game simulations. Giant conspiracy. Dun dun duuuuuuuuuun!

Because Ready Player One was so utterly fantastic, it was inevitable that Ernest Cline’s followup wouldn’t live up to everyone’s expectations. I read several reviews that were disappointed in Armada, so I went in with my expectations tempered. I’m not sure they really needed tempering, though, because I thought Armada was great fun! I mean, Wil Wheaton does a Carl Sagan impression that is spot freaking on. I cannot recommend the audio book highly enough. My word. Wil Wheaton needs to read all the things. Well. All the things that Neil Gaiman isn’t reading, anyway.

If you liked Ready Player One I recommend giving Armada a try. It’s not the same, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a darn good time. Video games and aliens and conspiracies, y’all. It’s a whole lot of fun. And you can totally make “pew pew pew” noises the whole time you’re reading it. Because lasers.

Talk to me Bookworms! Do you think it’s detrimental to have your debut novel be TOO good?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 10

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fford

Audio Books, Fantasy 20

Greetings Bookworms!

Have you ever wanted to jump right into a book? Like dive into the pages and chill with your favorite characters? My latest read offered just that opportunity! I’ve had people recommending The Eyre Affair to me for years and only just got around to it. I’m kicking myself for this procrastination now because this book was the quirkiest little pile of literary geekery I’ve read in a good long while.
eyreaffair

The Eyre Affair takes place in an alternate reality version of 1985 England. Thursday Next is a Special Operations agent working in literary detection. Special Operations encompasses some zany departments including the Chronoguard who jump around through time making sure miscreants don’t try to rewrite history. Performances of Richard III are performed audience inclusion style a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Cloning is totally a thing, so forget tiny dogs in handbags, dodos are the trendiest pets on the block. Though the literary detection agency tends to be a bit heavier on paper pushing than field work, Thursday manages to get herself entangled in danger and mayhem.

This book was so gloriously geeky I want to unabashedly recommend it to everyone I meet. However, I think that in order to really enjoy the novel, you have to have read Jane Eyre (review). It wouldn’t hurt to have read some other classics as well, but since so much of the plot of this book revolves around Jane Eyre, not being familiar with the original story puts the reader at a huge disadvantage. Honestly, though, if you haven’t read Jane Eyre you should. I know classics can be indimidating, but I found it to be much less arduous than I’d imagined and just so darn good! The Eyre Affair is a version of stylized fantasy that won’t work for everyone, but for the right audience it’s amazing. I am that audience. Odds are that if you’re reading this blog, you’re that audience, too. Go forth and enjoy!

Talk to me Bookworms! If you could literally jump into a book, which book would you choose? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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