Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ten on Tuesday : books books books

This week's Ten on Tuesday topic is The Ten Last Books You Have Read.

1. God will make a way by Dr. Henry Cloud  and Dr. John Townsend 
This is the only book I'm actually reading with my eyes while holding a paper book in my hands.  I'm reading this with a group of ladies for our bible study group.  It's...ok.  Not much to say about it. Would never read it on my own. Seems a little too new age spiritual for my tastes. And the authors seem to live on some kind of spiritual cloud outside of the real world all the while trying to convince you that you can be as holy as them in the midst of craziness whereas they seem totally sheltered and disconnected from life's true tribulations and trials.I'd say pass on this.

The rest of the books in this list have been listened to on my ipod or on my smart phone with the audible app. I have an audible Gold membership where i get 1 credit a month for  14.95$.  You can get a free trial membership if you've never signed up before. I really enjoy my audio books as they let me "read" and knit at the same time. Or wakl the dogs and "read" or clean house and "read" or commute and "read" - you get the picture! And too you can have a ton of books without junking up your home ;)

2. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
This is book 2 of the outlander series.  Not enjoying this one as much as Outlander though as i get further into the book I find myself getting caught up in the story again. In fact I think as long as Jamie's in the picture, all's well ;).  I dont see how you could listen to part 1 and not want to listen to the next in the series but i wish i had stopped while i was ahead ;)
Whereas i loved listening to Diana Porter's character portrayals in Outlander, though i cannot attest to the authenticity of her scottish vs english accents, I will say that her attempts at an american accent annoys the bejeesus out of me. She really hits some words like momma, roger but the rest sounds artificial, stilted, and contrived. Thing is if she said momma and roger in the same manner as the rest of her "american" accent it wouldnt bother me so bad but those two words sticking out like a sore thumb in the rest of Brianna's dialogue annoys me to no end.

3. Outlander also by Diana Gabaldon
 Book one in the series. I have heard about this for years.  A lovely ravelry friend suggested it many years back but i dont know..."scottish porn" didnt really catch my interest. But my friends in the group started talking about it again and i was looking for a book to spend my next credit on and voilĂ ! Only when i went to purchase it it said it was in my library lol.  Apparently I ordered it back in 2012 and promptly forgot.
Wow! I loved this!  I was so engrossed in this beautiful though improbable love story set against a historical background that i didnt even notice the erota until a large part of the story line unfolded and the plot started dragging and then i was all "geez! this is nothing but sex scenes" lol. Defnitiely a good listen though.  I think this is much better in audiobook form as you get the accents and lilts and can really submerse yourself in the context.

4. The Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
"Who is Septimus Heap? A lost child? An ordinary Hero? A powerful wizard? The Magyk begins here.
The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. Magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart."

Loved loved loved this!  So much fun. It's teen fiction. It's Harry Potteresque.  Needs great suspension of belief. It's a little predictable.  It's not "great litterature" . But it's captivating, a lively listen, imaginative and just plain FUN.

5. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Freedom. In 1776 New England, that word is on everyone's lips. But for 13-year-old Isabel the word holds a different meaning, especially after the only mistress she has ever known dies, and instead of receiving the freedom promised, she and her sister are sold to the Locktons, a wealthy New York family. In a matter of hours Isabel has to leave Rhode Island for the hustle and bustle of colonial New York City - a community divided and caught up in the American colonies struggle for independence. 
WOW! This is a great book! Characters are so touching, story-line gripping, historical context heart-wrenching!  The only down side is the ending. NO! It cant end!!! Not yet! MUST LISTEN or read!

6. Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
The young soldiers at Valley Forge are suffering from hunger, cold, and the threat of the British army. Their newly forged bonds of friendship might be enough to help them survive. But the chains of Curzon’s past threaten to shackle him again. Surrounded by the fires of ignorance, mistrust, and greed, Curzon can’t risk sharing his deadly secrets with anyone. Does he have the mettle to hold on to his freedom? To claim his rightful place as an American? 
Well, Ive never downloaded a book so fast before! After the rather abrupt and unsatisfying ending of Chains I had to listen to this sequel! Right away!  Stop while you're ahead. It's disappointing.  Too contrived. The characters lose their appeal and depth and realism as they're forced into a sequel for sequel's sake.  They behave "out of character".  I had wanted to love it though. I loved the fact that this sequel was told from a different character's point of view and pardonned the incongruities with the reasoning that now things were told from a male perspective but no, the main characters seem off, out of sync.
Quit while you're ahead and make up your own ending for Isabelle and Curzon.

While looking through other titles of LH Anderson i'm quite perplexed. She definitely has an ecclectic writing style.  Feel like Chains was the novel of her life and nothing else will be up to par.  Would love to hear opinions of any of you who have listened to or read some of her other works.

7. Daughters for a Time by Jennifer Handford
Feelings of abandonment filled Helen at a too-young age when her mother died and her father walked out. Left in the care of her sister, Claire, she moved on, but never truly healed. Now thirty-five, married, and starting her own family, she must confront her inability to bear children by accepting the idea of adopting. But just when Helen experiences holding her new baby for the first time, she is blindsided with the worst possible news: Claire has cancer. Helen’s wounds are again torn open as she balances the delight of parenthood with the grief of her ailing sister.A poignant and probing exploration of life and loss, Daughters for a Time is a tale of unconditional love, the destructive and healing powers of family, and the search for solid ground between pain and joy. 
Stop reading this post and GO BUY THIS BOOK!  Shivers shivers shivers. Tears abound. And laughter.  And hope and dispair.  Beautifully written.  A story full of life, full of love, a beautiful tribute to sisterhood.

8. Winter Turns to Spring by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman
This audio will focus on Brad and Ashley Hanes, young newlyweds who are facing their first season of winter. Opposite work schedules, differing views on finances and when to start a family, and Brads selfish and immature habits are forcing the young couple apart, causing them to question why they ever got married in the first place. It will take a whole lot of help - mostly from their nosy but well-meaning neighbors - for Ashley and Brad to pull their marriage out of the winter blues and into a hopeful spring.
Eh, why not lol.  It's sappy, goody-two-shoes, drippy, but heart-warming and love-inspiring.  I am listening to this seasons of  love series one season at atime. i listened to fall in fall of 2013, this one in decemberish, and will soon listen to It happens every spring. Ive read Gary Chapman's wisdom -filled 5 love languages and these fictional books illustrate in everyday situations the concepts from the book, so it's good to see the principles put into actionand how they work with each other. Enjoyable for a week's worth of walks.

9. Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin
In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow. At the center of the conflict, the Starks of Winterfell hold the key: a reluctant Lord Eddard is summoned to serve as the king's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder both family and kingdom. In this land of extremes, plots and counterplots, soldiers and sorcerers, each side fights to win the deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
I'm sure you've all read or at least heard of this series or maybe watched the HBO series.  LOVE IT!
Can be a little hard to follow as there are sooo many characters, plots, sub-plots, intrigues... Might need to listen to the whole series and then relisten as i am doing ;)
And can i just say it's both refreshing and enfuriating that an author has no qualms about killing off your favorite characters and letting good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.
I also like that none of his characters are all good or all bad (well excpet Ned Stark who is a perfect example of a Christ-like figure)
My faves are Ned Stazrk, Jon Snow, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister. How about you?
Are you as impatient as me for the final installment?

10. Desparate Marriages by Gary Chapman
This is a non-fictional work where Dr Gary Chapman expounds upon his 5 love languages principals as they apply to seemingly doomed marriages. Excellent.  Dr Chapman really understands people and has a God-given gift and mission to help couples work through their problems and seek perfect love.

Any books on my list tempting to you? Have you read any ofthem already? What did you think about them if so? Do you prefer listening to or reading your books? Reading a traditional paperback or hardback or reading on a kindle type device?
Check out Carole's list and at the bottom of her post link your own and check out other bloggers' lists to find some future good reads (or ones to avoid).


Bonny said...

I'm also a devoted Audible listener, and did it for the same reasons as you. I get so much more knitting and reading done since I don't have to choose between them any longer!

I've resisted Game of Thrones for a long time but you may have convinced me with your comment about how none of the characters are one-dimensional. Chains also sounds interesting. Thanks!

Rebecca said...

oh bonny! do give game of thrones a listen - you wont be sorry! and if you get hooked in then you have several more to look forward to ;D

Anne said...

I've read the Game of Thrones, but several on your list that I think I'd enjoy - Obviously you and I have similar reading tastes!!

Mary said...

I am an audible listener, too - usually save my monthly credits for something long and meaty and maybe I should try Game of Thrones? I adore the HBO series but couldn't imagine actually wading through all those pages to read the books. Agree 100% about favorite characters - Tyrion is, I think, my favorite.

Rebecca said...

anne, if you like game of thrones, maybe try the outlander series. not that it's the same, but the adventure and plots subplots subsubplots, bazillion characters, parallel worlds...there are similarities there

Rebecca said...

mary, do give it a try - if you like the hbo series you'll LOVE the books!

Liana said...

I adored the Outlander series. I've read through 5 of them. I'm also starting the Lord John Gray series (one of the characters in Outlander)

I listen to a lot of audiobooks on my 90 minute commute (3 hours total). I download all of mine from the library, I don't buy any of them. In the evening, I find I read on my Kindle. While I love hardbacks and papaerbacks, it's so much easier to lie in bed and read withthe kindle. Again, I get all of my fiction content kindle books from the library. Non-fiction...I'll get from the library first and then if I like it, I'll buy it. I have not started the Game of Thrones yet and I don't subscribe to HBO, so I've not seen it on TV either.
Becca, it's good to see you posting again!! I've missed you.

dianne said...

I love Audible too! I think I listen to more books than I actually read now, but that's ok :-) I keep hearing great things about the Outlander Series. I'll have to add them to my Wish List!