Tag Archives: Kate Reading

A Memory of Light

Barbara Vey -- February 25th, 2013
joysann

joysann

Hi There. joysann here. Have you experienced this?

This morning I’m looking at a huge audiobook case with 33 disks in it. I have been dying to get this book, and I’m certain I’m going to love it. Yet I’m looking at the box here with trepidation and hesitate to get started.

What I’m looking at is the VERY LAST book in a series into which I’ve invested years, twelve of them, at least. The series is Robert Jordan‘s Wheel of Time. It’s a wonderful sword and sorcery fantasy epic that has enthralled millions, including me. Here it is, something I’ve been waiting for… The. Very. Last. Book. I’m feeling reluctant and a little sorrowful about listening to it. When I do, it’s all over. And that makes me sad.

Robert Jordan passed away in 2007 with the story incomplete. But his estate contracted celebrated fantasy author Brandon Sanderson to use the notes and plans that Jordan left behind to complete the series the way he intended. Sanderson wrote the last couple of books, and I have been very happy with the results, and think he’s done justice to Jordan’s work. Since the release of A Memory of Light in early January this year, I have completely avoided any reviews or spoilers regarding this last book for I want only my opinions in my head. I want the wonder of it all for myself.

Another part of my regret involves the audiobook itself. All fourteen books in the series have been read by two fantastic narrators, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. These two have faithfully rendered the characters the same way with the same voices for all of these years, and they are wonderful to listen to. I have listened to all 30-something disks of each book at least twice, and I know that I will go back through the whole series again some day, just for the comfort of listening.

But this is the last book. I’m almost afraid to start it, and afraid for it to end. I’m thrilled and sad, all at the same time.

Book 14 of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light by Brandon Sanderson, audiobook from MacMillan Audio, read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading.

Bottom Line: Once I start this, DON’T BOTHER ME. I’m busy!

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- October 4th, 2012

Yesterday I volunteered to serve free lunches to college kids at UW-Milwaukee.  It’s such an exhilerating feeling to be around them.  Their thirst for knowledge, their whole lives ahead of them.  I hadn’t been back to the campus since I went there 30 years ago and it all looked the same (except for the ways the kids were dressed).  Next time I’m going to take books to pass out along with their lunches.  Fun books to be read when the text books get overwhelming.  Now here’s what the WW Ladies have been reading this week.

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joysann

joysann

Take It Like a Vamp by Candace Havens

Read by joysann

Casey Meyers is wild about her best friend and neighbor, Nick Christos, as he’s so much more to her than gorgeous and wealthy, though she takes pains to not let him know that. However, Nick is aware, and feels the same about her, but he’s constrained by his years on the Supernatural Council, and the laws about vampires and other supernaturals not revealing themselves to mortals. Now he has to decide whether to risk his love and her life to the dangers and politics of his volatile secret world.

Take It Like a Vamp was a fun, romantic read that made me laugh even as I was wishing to be in Casey’s shoes. Part Cinderella, part Pretty Woman (without the hooker part), and maybe a little Sabrina, it’s hard to not dream of the fantasy. Candace’s new paranormal will not disappoint.

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Ashley

Ashley

Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex

 

Read by Ashley

Sally Kent comes from a long line of royal sailors, her family has served the crown for generations that is until her youngest brother decides he doesn’t want to anymore. So in order to save their family name Sally disguise herself as her brother and takes his place on the ship. Sally is an amazing sailor but what she doesn’t count on is a tall, dark, and handsome Cole, who is her Lieutenant, and might just make her blow her cover.

Almost a Scandal is a bold and brazen fast paced romance with a daring heroine and smoldering hot hero! With an explosive danger and red-hot romance this book is most definitely a book to treasure!
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Heidi

Heidi

Jacked Up by Erin McCarthy
Read by Heidi

Eve Monroe may live up to her reputation as the most up-tight PR agent on the planet, but she can hold her own. Growing up with two brothers in the car racing industry, as well as her father, has made her the woman she is today. She thinks she is happy, that is, until Nolan Ford’s wardrobe malfunction on National Television turns her world upside down. Now she is racing herself to fix the problem while denying her attraction. Because she is good at that too. Until Nolan starts to break open that hard shell of hers, and shows her that she has a softer side, and how he likes it.

I think there are only 3 words I can think of for this book: Hot, steamy, and sexy!! And no pun intended, but I raced through the book, and I definitely liked it!! Thanks goodness fall is here, so I didn’t overheat with this book!
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joysann

joysann

The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig

Listened to by joysann

Augustus Whittlesby has been boring the new French society circles with his awful poetry and dramatic affectations to the point that everyone ignores him, including the secret police. This gives him leeway to spy on Napoleon’s plans to invade England by finagling his way into accompanying annoying American Emma Morris Delgardie to Malmaison to observe the rumored testing of a new weapon. But Augustus’ and Emma’s friendship grows into something more as danger of exposure threatens each in a different way.

The Garden Intrigue is part of The Pink Carnation series, a delightful and fascinating blend of historical and contemporary romance as a modern-day scholar uncovers the 200 year old manuscripts, revealing English spies and their work. I highly recommend listening to these in audio as narrator Kate Reading is marvelous at instilling the already delightful characters with even more life and color, making listening a real pleasure.

 

Bottom Line:  I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  ~ Anna Quindlen

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Ashley

Ashley

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens

 

Read by Ashley

Angelica Cynster is attending yet another ball which are usually very dull. Angelica hoped for some excitement but what she didn’t expect was meeting the very handsome and mysterious Earl of Glencrae. And she never in a million years would have expected him to kidnap her! What Angelica doesn’t know is that he is forced to kidnap her in order to save his castle and his clan. Fighting against all odds, Angelica and Earl are desperate to find a way to make it work.

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae is a sinfully sexy and irresistible book, which breaks away from the traditional historical romance novel. It is a well-crafted and fast-paced book that kept me entertained from beginning to end!

 

Bottom Line:  I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  ~ Anna Quindlen

Celebrating National Audio Book Month

Barbara Vey -- June 1st, 2010
Joysann

Joysann

Because Joysann is an audio book aficionado, I bow to her expertise in celebrating National Audio Book Month.

An Audie Award is prized by Spoken Word artists

My passion is fiction on audio. I had started my library job back in the early ‘90s, and that’s when I learned about them. At that time the big thing for visually-impaired outreach patrons was the state-supplied Talking Book Program, which required a special machine. This was/is a truly essential service, and I‘m not knocking it, but I listened to one of those, and it was awful. Very literally someone simply read (read well, of course, but disinterestedly) into a microphone and recorded whatever, from books to newspapers and magazines, and just droned on and on. But a new medium was becoming more easily available then, and that was books recorded to cassette tapes that could be played on ordinary players in cars or at home. One time I heard one patron explaining to another that these were for “blind people, and should only be checked out for them”. Oh, was she wrong. These were for the pleasure of everyone!

Mind you, audio books had been around for a long while already, but I had just discovered them. I remember first falling in love with audio books when I was gardening in my yard, weeding not being a favorite thing, with a Walkman plugged to my ear, and Stephen King and Blair Brown reading Rose Madder to me. I was enthralled. I don’t know what the heck I did to my yard – it so didn’t matter. From there I went through every Stephen King book I could lay my hands on, whether I’d read it before or not, whether read by him or not. And, in between, I started on everything else. Stephen King reads his stuff very, very well, by the way.

Now, nearly twenty years later, I’ve become totally addicted, and I can’t live happily without an audio book close to hand. And that’s not a bad thing.

I have my particular readers/narrators whom I adore, and often simply having their names on a book cover will make me decide to “read” (listen to) something. George Guidall, Dick Hill, Davina Porter, Simon Prebble, Scott Brick, Kate Reading, Phil Gigante, and so many others, are names that can catch a listener’s eye (ear?). There are many talents one knows from stage and screen, like Derek Jacobi and James Marsters who also record books.

Barbara Rosenblat

My very favorite is marvelous Barbara Rosenblat. When she reads, every character becomes as large and as vivid as if on a movie screen, visually complete in the mind’s eye, with no relevance to sex, age, race, nationality, or locale; all the characters are simply real. Jim Dale, of course, brought audio books to a whole new level with Harry Potter, and daily there are more productions vying for that magical performance.

At first, long ago, I couldn’t have told you who a narrator was, barely able to put title to author consistently, but that’s no longer true. One of the first names I committed to memory came with the reading of The Green Mile when narrator Frank Muller took my breath away. He read many of Stephen King’s books, as well as other fascinating fiction and non-fiction, and the world lost a special talent to a motorcycle accident. Another tragic loss to accident was of Kate Fleming/Anna Fields, who will always be, to me, the voice of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, though she read many wonderful books by other talented authors. It’s bittersweet to play an audio book and hear them again, knowing they’re gone forever.

Stephen King is not the only author to read his own books. Many non-fiction authors do, and more and more frequently fiction authors. Garrison Keillor, of course, and Tom Bodett are fabulous by their very nature, being radio performers. The late Roger Zelazney did one of the most memorable readings I’ve ever heard with A Night in the Lonesome October. Neil Gaiman reads several of his stories, and I’m presently listening to the mystery The Inheritance read (quite well) by author Simon Tolkien, and I’m looking forward to hearing how Barry Eisler does with his new release, Inside Out, later this month.

There’s another thing, though; that other side. An audio book narrator can make or break a story for me, and I’ve had to learn not to dismiss either the reader or the author out hand. If a voice is annoying, or the narrator’s performances are not top rate, a book can be ruined. Conversely, a performer has to have something to work with. I’ve had to learn to find the book in print to see if it’s the story that reads poorly to me, or find another audio book read by that narrator to see if the performer is consistently annoying, whereupon, of course, I will avoid him/her, either one.

Blackstone Audio, Brilliance Audio, Harper Audio, MacMillan Audio, Penguin Audio, and on, and more names I don‘t know or am not recalling, publishing houses are producing audio books, often now released at the same time as the print, and bringing the magic of books even to those who can’t find the time to read. And, of course, audio books are now available in a variety of ways: cds, mp-3, downloads, self-contained pocket-sized gizmos, and who all knows what else.

My husband thinks my headset is permanently attached.

I’m no expert… this is only my opinion and experience. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the audio book world, but if I’ve enticed even one of Barbara’s readers to give an audio book a try, I’ve celebrated National Audio Book Month properly.

Bottom Line: I still have to figure out how to listen on the motorcycle without losing a single word to the wind.