TTT: Audiobooks

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Freebie Week! Pick a topic near and dear to your heart! Something you wished was on our official list!

I fell in love with audiobooks in 2015. Some books are particularly good in audio format, whether it’s something about the writing, or just a great narrator. Here are 10 of my favorites:

ONE. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, narrated by Ari Fliakos

Any book that includes this quote is meant for audio!

When you read a book, the story definitely happens inside your head. When you listen, it seems to happen in a little cloud all around it, like a fuzzy cap pulled down over your eyes . . .
– Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

TWO. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, narrated by Graeme Malcolm

DiCamillo knew so well that her story was meant to be read aloud that she allowed the audiobook producers to change the many references to the “reader” into “listener”.

THREE. The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Kellgren’s vocalizations for the 3 children are completely hilarious and wonderful!

FOUR. Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis, narrated by Mia Barron

I just loved the way Barron read the drone’s voices.

FIVE. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, narrated by Susan Duerden

Duerdan’s voice is just lovely and soothing, even though the story is exciting. Something about that juxtaposition spoke to me.

SIX. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, narrated by Sissy Spacek

This one was a little different as Spacek just read the book without doing voices for the different characters. It was like listening to your Mama read a bedtime story.

SEVEN. Rebel Belle series by Rachel Hawkins, narrated by Amy Rubinate

These books are uproariously funny, and Rubinate’s Southern Belle accent was spot on.

EIGHT. Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton, narrated by Shaun Grindell

I read the first Hamish Macbeth mystery in print and I didn’t love it, but I’ve listened to a bunch of the others and the Scottish accents just make them fun!

NINE. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

When the author is a fabulously funny actress, she should totally narrate her own book!

TEN. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Even non actor authors sometimes read their own books, and it’s wonderful.

I’m linking up: Top Ten Tuesday

2015 Reading Wrap Up

Behold, the thing that reads a lot!

On this final day of 2015, I am wrapping up all the reading I’ve done this is year. It’s a lot.

First, an update on my 4th Quarter TBR:

  1. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ I could just as easily have re-watched the film version since, as far as I could tell, it was unabridged. Witty and charming, as expected.
  2. Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ This has always been one of my favorite books from one of my favorite series. It shows its age poorly in a few places (racism) but I love it nonetheless. Patty’s Place, Phil, Aunt Jimsie, and the cats are all wonderful additions to Anne’s world.
  3. Emma by Jane Austen.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Probably my least favorite Austen heroine and hero. Emma is a brat and Mr. Knightley is a creeper. The hilarious supporting characters are what earn this one four stars.
  4. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ I can appreciate all the hallmarks of the genre that Poe created in this story, but the far-fetched solution is rather ludicrous.
  5. Wicked Autumn by G. M. Malliet.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Max Tudor, MI-5 operative turned Anglican priest (nominative determinism?), is an interesting character. The village and its inhabitants were okay, as was the mystery itself. This one is definitely all about the detective.
  6. Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? by Lemony Snicket.
  7. Spinning Starlight by R. C. Lewis.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Rounded up from 4.5 stars. R. C. Lewis has done it again! Like Stitching Snow, Spinning Starlight is a brilliant fairytale retelling interwoven with a fully realized a sci-fi world, and a teeny bit of a love story.
  8. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ I’m torn about this one. Strike and Robin are great characters. I’m attached to them and I want to continue reading their stories. The crimes / mysteries are ancillary. However, the books just keep getting more profane and violent (I didn’t think that was possible after The Silkworm, but Galbraith / Rowling managed it). I will probably continue to read the series, but I will NOT be re-reading nor will I buy any of the subsequent books. I can wait for a library copy.
  9. Beastly Bones by William Ritter.
    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Jackaby is still delightfully Wholock (this time with a significant dash of Harry Potter thrown in). This series is charming, although too derivative for a five star rating.
  10. All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark.
    ⭐ ⭐ 1/2 Decent entry in the series knocked down from 3.5 stars for the eye-roll inducing deus ex machina in the climatic scene.

Now, on to the challenges (unless otherwise noted, my specific challenge books are listed here):

  1. Goodreads Challenge – Read at least 365 books. Surpassed! I read 475 books this year (or I will by the end of today 😉 ). See them all here.
  2. Birthday Month Reading Challenge hosted by Lois @ You, Me, and a Cup of Tea – Read a book each month by an author whose birthday is in that month. Achieved!
  3. Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge hosted by Lois @ You, Me, and a Cup of Tea – Re-read a bunch of books. I entered at Level 3 30-40 Re-reading fever. Surpassed! I re-read 75 books this year.
  4. Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge hosted by Yvonne at Socrates’ Book Reviews – Read cozy mysteries. I entered at Level 3 -Super Sleuth – read 13 or more books. Surpassed! I read 85 cozies this year.
  5. Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Books and Chocolate – Read classics in 12 particular categories. The rules of the challenge state the a classic must be at least 50 years old. Achieved!
  6. Personal Classics Challenge – Read (or re-read) classics that I currently own. For this personal challenge I am defining classics as books that are at least as old as I am. I read 42 books from my list this year.
  7. Poirot Challenge – I am attempting to read all of Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels and short stories in original publication order. I read 10 novels and 18 short stories this year.
  8. Reading My Library Challenge co-hosted by Stefani @ Caught Read Handed – Read lots of library books in April. I read 50! Wrap-Up post here.
  9. 20 Books of Summer Challenge hosted by Cathy @ 746 BooksRead 20 books between June 1 – September 4. Achieved!
  10. Pop Sugar Reading Challenge – Read books in 50 different categories. Achieved!


TTT: 4th Quarter 2015 TBR

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR. I’m doing my 4th Quarter 2015 TBR.


  1. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. My October read for the 2015 Birthday Month Reading Challenge hosted by Lois at You, Me, and a Cup of Tea.
  2. Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery. My November read for the same challenge.
  3. Emma by Jane Austen. My December read for – can you guess?
  4. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe. For Halloween!
  5. Wicked Autumn by G. M. Malliet. Seasonal reading makes me happy. 🙂
  6. Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? by Lemony Snicket. Pre-ordered, releases 9/29/15.
  7. Spinning Starlight by R. C. Lewis. Pre-ordered, releases 10/6/15.
  8. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith. Pre-ordered, releases 10/20/15.
  9. Beastly Bones by William Ritter. Releases 9/22/15. Downloaded the eBook from my library this morning!
  10. All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark. Releases 11/17/15. #4 on the holds list. No cover yet.

Update on my 3rd Quarter TBR:

  1. Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  2. Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  3. Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark DNF
    After some ranting I skimmed the end of the title story – meh. I’m not bothering with the rest of the book.
  4. The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  5. Superfluous Women by Carola Dunn ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  6. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George DNF
    I really loved the actual bookstore scenes, and the quotes about books were divine, but mostly I was just bored. I felt like if I kept reading this book I would end up in a reading slump. 😦 I’ve since discovered that my library has an eaudio version, so I might try again someday.
  7. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  8. Kes by Robin McKinley ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  9. Uprooted by Naomi Novik DNF
    This makes me sad. Several people whose opinions on books I trust really enjoyed this one. However, at 50% in I was bored. I didn’t really care about any of the characters, the plot is incredibly rambling, the “romance” is squicky, etc. Sigh.
  10. The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton DNF 
    This is getting ridiculous y’all! I loved The Just City and I was super excited for the sequel, but about halfway through this book (and therefore halfway through the trilogy) the author took a strongly anti-Christian stand. I feel like that was her agenda for the series all along. :/

I’m linking up: Top Ten Tuesday