Audiobook Reviews...

Yes, I'm a book reader, but I'm also an audiobook listener, and have been for the last ten years or so. I have found that I can no longer get ready in the morning, clean the house, quilt, or drive to "the big city" without an audiobook going. There's something about listening that makes everything I'm doing "multitasking", which is super satisfying.

That's not to say all audiobooks are created equal - so much depends on the narrator, the production, and of course, the story, to make it a positive experience. As with favorite authors, I also have favorite narrators (Scott Brick, Tony Roberts, CJ Critt, Barbara Rosenblat, Jenna Lamia, to name a few) who really elevate the experience. Here's a few "listens" of late...

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand is another Nantucket-based, family-based novel from Hilderbrand, whom I have never read, only listened to. I really love having these stories narrated - it makes the setting that much more evocative. This time, it's wedding bells for one family, who are guided every step of the way by a notebook left by the matriarch, who died of cancer years before. Of course, there are a lot of family splinters along the way...Therese Plummer did a fine job with the narration of this novel with a lot of characters!

Second Honeymoon by James Patterson is another fast-paced, totally improbable but still enjoyable read - I find that I can tolerate Patterson way more if it's an audiobook, rather than reading it. This novel ties the murder of honeymooning couples to one serial killer, while a parallel murder story takes place in the novel. Jay Snyder and Ellen Archer both narrated this - it's actually sort of unusual to have a male and female voice on one novel, as well as the fact that Patterson audiobooks always have extra sounds (dramatic music, the sound of a splash for someone falling in the water, gunfire, etc.). Weird, but not in a bad way.

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts was narrated by Peter Berkrot, who did a fine job. I was actually expecting a female voice and protagonist from Roberts, so this was a nice change of pace. Eli Landon had his life destroyed when his wife was found murdered several years before, and has come to Whiskey Beach to recuperate, hide, and get his life back on track. With the help of a winsome yoga instructor named Abra, he gets more than he bargained for...

Family Pictures by Jane Green is the first Green novel I've read in a long time, but I really enjoyed it. It's the story of two women who live on opposite coasts - and have opposite problems - who are inextricably linked, and not necessarily in a good way. Though you know early on what the tie is, it's still interesting how Green gets the reader there. Amy Quint did a great job with the female voices, especially with accents and inflection. A worthy read!

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