Speaking for themselves: audio books


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  The topic this week is :

Audio Freebie

In which I confess that I’ve never listened to a book.  I think if I was to pick 10 books though to give audio a try they would be as follows:

  1. The 3 Fairytale retellings by Sarah Pinborough: Beauty/Poison/Charm – because these are relatively short books, they’re retellings based on fairytales and they’re quite fascinating and cheeky takes on the original stories – I don’t think my attention would wander.
  2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – because I understand Neil Gaiman narrates this one on audio and so I would love to listen to it.
  3. The Road Brothers by Mark Lawrence – this is a series of short stories all connected to The Broken Empire series – I think it would be very easy to listen to these, one at a time, not all in one go but just every now and again.
  4. Something spooky that would give me the chills – The Haunting of Hill House of Shirley Jackson – I have a notion that listening to something scary would be excellent – providing it was narrated well, I suppose it could go horribly wrong!
  5. Monstrous Little voices – 5 stories retold, based on some of Shakespeare’s most famous works but given a more modern voice.  Each five of the stories connect but I figure listening to these would be great – overall just shy of 350 pages but taken individually they’re lovely little chunks.  As a rule I don’t like short stories but when they all connect in this way they’re excellent.
  6. I think I would like to listen to some of the Sherlock Holmes books on audio – particularly Hound of the Baskervilles.
  7. I think a book with excellent dialogue throughout – such as The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  8. Bram Stoker’s Dracula – because of the style of narration I just imagine this would be an excellent audio book.
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling – I think the first in the series had a lighter feel and would be a good starting point
  10. Suggestions – given that I’ve read all of the above – do you have any suggestions that feel similar??


One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire readalong week No3

Posted On 17 September 2016

Filed under Book Reviews
Tags: , ,

Comments Dropped 4 responses

Today is week three of our radalong for One Salt Sea.

The schedule is below with relevant links.

Week 1: Saturday 3rd September, Chapters 1-9, hosted at Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 10th September, Chapters 10-18, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 3: Saturday 17th September, Chapters 19-29, hosted at Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 24th September, Chapters 30-End, hosted at On Starships and Dragonwings

Now to the questions with the customary warning regarding spoilers

Firstly, I’m curious as to why Rayseline would want a war – any thoughts on this at all – is there something else at stake?

i don’t really understand Rayseline to be honest and I don’t understand what she would want to provoke a war for. I don’t see what she stands to gain really.  I almost wonder if she’s being used by somebody else although that doesn’t seem to be immediately apparent.

We got another visit from the night haunts – they seemed almost incredibly helpful and didn’t seem to require anything from Toby – do you think they’d be that helpful to just everyone or is Toby getting special treatment?

I think this aspect of the story is really fascinating to be honest.  I’m just really intrigued.  I don’t particularly feel any fear for Toby during these visits and I can’t help wondering if Toby’s own genetic make up and her affinity with blood has something to do with that?

All sorts of strange prophecies from the Roane – any light to cast on what they all mean?

Unfortunately as I’m away from home I can’t include my quotes!  But the Roxane did quite a bit of prophesising and none of it gave me a good feeling, I can’t help but worry about Toby’s daughter in all of this.

Raj is playing more of a role – are we going to have two squires as oppose to one do you think?

I think there’s a possibility or maybe I’m just hoping so.  I like the way Quinten and Raj interact and I think it would be really cool for him to spend more time with Toby.

The Luidaeg – always seems to know more than she lets on and only helps when circumstances are dire – any thoughts about why that is? 

I really don’t understand it. It feels like her hands are tied. Like there’s some external force or other being that won’t allow her to interfere with Toby’s comings and goings unless  things become really dire. She is a great character and one of my favourites to be honest. Just very mysterious!

Apologies for the brevity and lack of images but I’m away at the moment so a bit constrained. Can’t wait to read the outcome of this now.

‘What’s in a name? that which we call a rose’


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme being hosted by Books by Proxy .   This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple and can be found here.  Each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite (stop on over to Tenacious Reader to post your link so we can all check out each others choices).  Simples.   This week the theme is:

16th Sept: A bouquet for you m’lady – A cover featuring a flower/flowers.

Not as tricky as last week – I at least had a couple of ideas!  Anyway, my choice this week is Beauty by Robin McKinley.  A lovely retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale with plenty of covers to choose from:

And my winner:


Which is your favourite?

If you fancy joining in with FFO the themes for the next few weeks are below.  I’ve listed these as BooksbyProxy is currently a bit swamped and MIA as a result.  Don’t worry, ordinary service will be resumed soon😀

23rd Sept: Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, timorous beastie – A cover with a beast or beasts.

30th Sept: This solitary tree! A living thing – a cover with a tree or trees.

7th October: Consumed by the darkness within, it hides all our sins” a cover that is predominantly black.

14th October: There was once a princess, who lived in the top of the highest tower – a cover with a castle.

Friday Firsts: A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt

Posted On 16 September 2016

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 6 responses


Friday Firsts is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraph of your current book and try and outline your first impressions as a result. This is a quick and easy way to share a snippet of information about your current read and to perhaps tempt others.  Stop on by and link up with Tenacious Reader.  My book this week is A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overheat

A deadly affection.jpg


‘The first Sunday of 1907 was so bitterly cold that icicles were hanging from the watering trough spouts in front of Mr Fuller’s house, and the sanitation men had resorted to chipping, rather than scooping, the manure from the street.  I barely felt the chill, however, as I walked east across town, warmed by long-simmering anticipation.  The months of preparation were finally over.  Today, my experiment would begin.’

My First Impressions

What is this experiment!  Colour me intrigued.  And, ew, chipping manure from the street!  Why, just why?  Only kidding.  I like the start of this one and looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

What are you reading right now? Did it start out strong? Feel free to join in.

The Hike by Drew Magary

Posted On 15 September 2016

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 11 responses

Untitled-4.inddThe Hike was one of those reads that quite unexpectedly takes you by storm.  I had no idea what the book was about and in fact confess I felt a little anxious before picking it up but as it happens this story grabbed my attention completely virtually from the start and held me captivated for the duration.  I think my biggest dilemma now is how to actually write an effective review that gives nothing away at the same time as making you want to read it.

I can say that this book has something of a surreal feel to, well, that’s how I  felt reading it.  It’s a strange journey of discovery following in the tracks of a hapless man, Ben, who seems to have stumbled onto the strangest path, a path on which, having witnessed a murder he is forced to flee for his life deep into the wilderness, is nothing like you could ever imagine.

So, being unable to really say too much more about the plot, because this really is a journey that you have to make on your own, I’ll make this review simply about why this worked for me.

I found this a fast paced read.  It starts out with an unusual opening, one that you read with a slight feeling of something already being not quite right and that feeling quickly escalates into a very real understanding that things are far from normal and Ben is definitely in the strangest place.

This book had oddity in abundance, it feels like a weird coming together of John Connolly’s Book of Strange Things and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland almost bound together in a Stephen King type of style and feel.  It reads like a coming of age story, but for grown ups, and the overriding feeling I had when reading was that this is a world where anything could and would happen.  A world where you can one moment be lost in the forest and the next on the beach talking to a crab.  In that respect it put me in mind of certain video games, where one minute you have a character riding on a dinosaur eating mushrooms and the next in a haunted house or running through a volcano.  In other words anything can turn up.

The writing style at times has a whimsical, fairytale feel as Ben wanders down his path encountering little old ladies in gingerbread style houses one moment only to then turn to a scene of horror in the next.  I confess I enjoyed the writing style and was hooked from the opening lines.  In fact, upon consideration, I’m not sure whether it’s the pace of the read that is fast or whether it compelled me to read at breakneck speed in order to find out what was actually happening but I admit I was utterly intrigued.

I hope that I haven’t overstated the strangeness too much.  Yes, this is undoubtedly a trippy type of read but it’s really well executed and so intriguing, it has touches of horror but also touches of humour and on top of that, it completely threw me.  As I read this I started to have that feeling that I knew what this was going to be about, and even how it might end, but as it happened I was completely and very satisfyingly wrong!

I admit that this might not be for everyone.  It’s an unusual book without doubt and certainly one that is difficult to review.  But, I’m certainly glad to have picked this one up, I had no difficulty in dashing the Hike and although I’m unable to give much away with this review I can say that this book left me impressed.


« Previous PageNext Page »