BBC Audiobook: Winnie-the-Pooh

3c22fde7610bf01818b37bc9de298973What do heffalumps, woozles, birthday parties, and very tight places all have in common?  Why Winnie-the-Pooh of course!  And autumn is the perfect time to settle in for the evening with some classic Pooh-bear stories read by Alan Bennett.  So grab your children, grandma and grandpa, too and get ready to go on an expotition!  Only available for a limited time.


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Posted by on October 19, 2016 in Audio/Radio Dramas


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Jungle Books… Audio version!

You’ve seen the new live-action Disney film of The Jungle Book this past year, but have you listened to the recent audio drama?  I so enjoyed watching this behind the scenes video of the dramatized Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling done by Audible Studios.  It features Richard E. Grant and several other wonderful voices.  (BTW, it also happened to win best audio drama in this year’s Audie Awards.)


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Posted by on October 13, 2016 in Audio/Radio Dramas


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Quote for September 17, 2016

2178939c01db7793d38d1a586bd4cfbe“A public library is the most democratic thing in the world.  What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants: demagogues can persecute writers and tell them what to write as much as they like, but they cannot vanish what has been written in the past, though they try often enough… People who love literature have at least part of their minds immune from indoctrination.  If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.”  ~Doris Lessing

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Posted by on September 17, 2016 in Quotes


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Shakespeare Uncovered, Season 2

05a3d4c36d4d45f823f66e9baf196029Good grief– it’s taken me forever to get around to posting this!

Do you love Shakespeare?  I can’t say I’ve been an avid aficionado, especially when it comes to reading him (though I have done that).  His plays were mainly meant to be watched/heard rather than read in any case.  I have enjoyed watching some very well done films of his plays, including As You Like It, King Lear, and Hamlet. 

But while watching the PBS series, “Shakespeare Uncovered,” I brought deeper into Shakespeare’s wonderful stories by professors and lovers of literature, and actors who played (with various interpretations) the different characters.  I absolutely loved the first season (which I posted about here), and so I was thrilled to learn about the Season 2.  Both are playable for free here.  In this season, many of Shakespeare’s stories featuring strong female leads are the focus: Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, Othello, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Different hosts of the show include Morgan Freeman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugh Bonneville and Christopher Plummer.

I would urge some caution for younger viewers on some of these, as Othello features some violence, Romeo and Juliet a bedroom scene, Taming of Shrew touches on some sexual explicitness, Midsummer discusses bestiality.  Also, playactors take liberties in a public elementary school where they switch male and female roles in the Taming of the Shrew (male actor wears female clothes and vice versa).  It is interesting that the children, who had formerly been enjoying the hilarious play, grow suddenly quiet and uncomfortable when the costumes are changed.  It’s sad when adults mess with children’s minds in this way, twisting the nature of gender.

Despite these few issues, I really did enjoy these a lot and think you will as well.  I’m looking forward to perhaps more seasons in the near future!

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Posted by on September 14, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Audiobook Review: History Decoded, by Brad Meltzer (Read by Scott Brick)

3e491930deb1591a8d9310a3012e4b94Genre: non fiction; history

Story Review: I first heard of Brad Meltzer on the Glenn Beck radio show.  Later, when we were able to get the History Channel, I enjoyed watching several of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded shows.  I’ve seen several other different programs on tv that explore various conspiracy theories, but Brad Meltzer’s are the best mainly because they don’t usually go off the deep end when it comes to the wild claims people make.  I learned that Decoded had a recent book out, but when I saw it at my local library on audiobook I decided to check out that version instead.

Brad Meltzer writes in a unique, conversational, one-on-one style with the reader.  Again, I appreciate his logical approach to exploring conspiracies instead of buying everything that comes down the pike (okay… barring the chapter on UFO’s).  You can sense the enjoyment he gets out of learning about theories.  I love the point he makes that it’s healthy for people to question things, instead of taking everything for granted because somebody said so.  Meltzer lays all the different angles to the different theories out before the reader for you to make your own conclusions, something else I enjoyed.

This book tackles 10 popular conspiracy theories, most of them from American history, but a few international ones as well.  Some of them I had never heard of before, others I skipped over either because I wasn’t interested in them, or because I’d already seen the Decoded tv show on it.  Actually, the book is taken from the information gleaned from the show itself, so if you’re an avid fan of the series you won’t find anything new or earth shattering from the book.

Truthfully, I want to go ahead and check the book version out soon so I can look at the pictures referred to in the text.  In the audio version, photographs and figures are mentioned, but there is no way to see them.  This is one drawback to an audiobook.  I understand there are a lot of really neat maps, pull out charts, etc. in the hard copy.

My favorite theory had to have been the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  I had never heard that John Wilkes Booth could possibly have lived years after killing the president.  If you’re a lover of history, I think you’ll enjoy hearing new angles on it.

scott_brickThoughts on the Narrator: Slay me now, but for all my hype on audio, audiobooks, reading aloud, etc., I am not an avid audiobook listener.  I don’t really know why this is.  I know I can easily get distracted and annoyed with different narrators’ reading styles.  I didn’t realize until after I’d finished the book who the narrator was, but I immediately loved his reading!  I mean, this guy did everything right!  His voice is smooth, includes delicious pronunciation, has great nuances in his voice, the tension, ups, downs… Drawing you in, stopping you dead in your tracks, taking you up to heights, then bringing you back to earth with a jolt.  :)  Just great!  Duh.  I should have known it was… Scott Brick.

Scott Brick reads this nonfiction book as though he were the author Brad Meltzer himself, which is just the way one should read nonfiction.  He engages the listener and reads with passion.  So much so that when my mom came into the room and heard a snatch of it, she asked, “Is that the author reading that himself?”  Now I’m hooked on Brick and want to hear more.  Sigh~ I can only hope to aspire to his talent.

You can watch many of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded episodes (some of which are included in the book) for free here.

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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Book Reviews, Uncategorized


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Lost Tolkien Recordings

961a852c3c3158b591e5edcbb31a22d1I came across this interesting piece about the BBC’s lost J. R. R. Tolkien audio recordings when poking around on the internet a few days ago.  I thought I’d pass it along to all of you!  As someone who devoted a great deal of time when I was a teenager to recording history in the making on my tape recorder, this fascinates me.  So glad a part of history has been recovered!

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Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Interviews With Authors


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Book Review: “A Shred of Truth,” by Eric Wilson

1573358Genre: mystery; suspense; intrigue

Plot Summary: [from] In “The Best of Evil, “Aramis Black uncovered family secrets and historical conspiracies, hoping that his own dark past had come to certain resolution. But now, in the dark of night, he finds his brother unconscious and tied to a statue in Nashville’s Music Row …with the initials AX carved into his back. A shadow from his former life has reappeared, casting threats of violence and retribution. And soon the attacker is swinging his blade of self-righteous judgment directly at Aramis, calling upon him to “face his sins.” Can Aramis finally break free from the guilt of his old ways… or will he succumb to the vengeance of an arrogant sociopath?*

My Book Review:  If you’ve read my book review of the first in the Aramis Black mysteries, you’ll know I highly enjoyed The Best of EvilNow Aramis’ story continues, starting with an assault on his older brother.

The narrative stays consistently the same in this second installment with Aramis telling the story in first person, often ruminating over his pain and anguish– first at one end of the spectrum of emotions and then swinging the next moment to the other end.  One of the hallmarks of this series seems to be the Blacks’ family history wrapped up in various conspiracy theories of American history.  This time around, it’s the Pilgrim father William Brewster and his involvement in Freemasonry.  A mysterious ring wanted by an anonymous person who calls his himself “AX.”  What does this have to do with Aramis’ mother, Diane Lewis Black, who was killed when Aramis was yet a little boy?  …Or was she?

I have little knowledge about William Brewster and the Freemasons.  Is it true or is it hype?  All I know is that even though I don’t accept Freemason teachings, I’m not freaked out about American founding fathers being involved, mainly because I don’t believe they believed they were doing anything anti-biblical in the early days of it.  But again, this is just my own speculation and I don’t know enough about it.

491d413f37cb35f482c25b3f3f479a0bI enjoyed the read, but wished that the story had given more information about the theory itself, and didn’t continually dwell on the same old ruminations that go through Aramis’ mind as he works his way through the mystery concerning his family.  He seems to go round and round in circles a lot because he doesn’t know exactly what he wants.  But overall the book was suspenseful and intriguing.  I never saw the end coming!

I can very well imagine Aramis in my mind.  I’m convinced that one of the librarians at my local library is Aramis under a different name (has black hair, always wears black, and has tattoos down both arms).

I wish there were more in this series, but sadly it doesn’t seem as though there are any on the horizon.  I know I like this author enough to want to try several others by him, and am looking forward to it, too.  So if you like a good story loaded with mysterious historical secrets, family intrigue, and riddles, I’d say A Shred of Truth would definitely be a good fit for you!

*For whoever wrote this book summary: For the record, I think this word really ought to be changed to ‘psychopath’.  Do your research.😉

?Did any one else take the hint at the end of the book and figure out what the last letter of each chapter spells out?  Very creative!

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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Book Reviews


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