There really is something about the unbridled enthusiasm and resilience of children that can draw out the best in adults, warming hearts once frozen. Vanderah plumbs this eternal spring, focussing on the good to be found in dire situations in Where the Forest Meets the Stars.
I had my reservations in this novel’s first few chapters. Female lead Jo’s sharp-edged veneer and fortified emotional walls make her difficult to connect with. But it was hard not to be won over by little Ursa the alien’s stubborn conviction and penchant for learning. The gradual revelation of Gabriel Nash’s dysfunctional family history introduced another valuable layer of intrigue to the story web also.
When a great story is matched with a talented audiobook narrator the result can be something truly special. Read on for my best audiobooks from the last decade.
I have experienced some wonderful pairings of book and audio narrator, across a broad range of genre: Drama & Romance Fiction, Crime Fiction and Thrillers, Historical Fiction & Classic Novels, Contemporary Literature & Essay, Fantasy & Adventure Novels. In this list of I bring together my all-time favourites. Some were bestselling novels, others under-appreciated audiobook gems:
Great quote from Liane Moriarty's The Last Anniversary.
Delightful. Liane Moriarty’s novel The Last Anniversary is a wonderful blend of chick lit, drama and cozy mystery. Moriarty’s protagonist Sophie Honeywell projects the image of an independent, sophisticated 39-year-old career woman who knows and gets what she wants, but deep down she yearns for something more. Continue reading >>
Literary awards are rarely sufficient motivation for me to choose one title over another — the enjoyment of literature being notoriously subjective — but since Less was already on my wishlist, its recent Pulitzer Prize win firmed up my decision to purchase.
What immediately struck me was the unusual narrative structure… predominantly first-person present tense (identity undisclosed) yet omnipresent.
From where I sit, the story of Arthur Less is not so bad.
Look at him: seated primly on the hotel lobby’s plush sofa, blue suit and white shirt, legs knee-crossed so that one polished loafer hangs free of its heel. The pose of a young man.
But on occasion more like third-person. It is both confounding and intriguing. Continue reading >>
A trip down reading memory lane with one of the countless inspiring quotes from Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist:
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is a perfect example of the saying ‘good things come in small packages’. The simple little tale conveys a very powerful and inspirational message. First published in Portuguese in 1988, it is considered a modern classic. Continue reading >>
A trip down reading memory lane, with a quote from the novel I called "candy in a book" - Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair
The first title from Sarah Jessica Parker's imprint for Hogarth
Unlike many reviewers, I was not immediately absorbed by Mirza’s family narrative. The prose itself was strikingly assured for a debut novelist but I struggled to truly engage with the characters, my personal feelings about the entrenched cultural-religious gender bias impacting their lives getting in the way.
Many of the characters’ behaviours/actions are frustrating to an outside observer also. But to Mirza’s credit, her attention to detail and absence of sentimentality in the presentation of the different character viewpoints soon had me seeing past those differences. It is with the nuances of behaviour explored, the family dynamics, and the gravity and impact of what is often left unsaid that I engaged. Continue reading >>
Despite containing fantastical story elements, Soon feels uncommonly gritty and grounded. Murphy’s character development and evocation of both the natural environment and small town setting is first class — a reader cannot help but become invested in their plight. The sense of foreboding is at times gut wrenching.
Read our full review of SOON at bookloverbookreviews.com >>
From the Wreck‘s synopsis has to rate as one of the most unusual I have come across in the literary genre. But Rawson does more than ‘pull-off’ this lofty creative and artistic challenge… in her deft hands this concept soars. It is something special — confronting, haunting and life-affirming. One of our Top Reads of 2017.
Read our full review of From the Wreck by Jane Rawson at bookloverbookreviews.com >>
The prose within Montpelier Parade is itself a thing of beauty – and for that alone I would recommend this novel. But it is Geary’s characters’ capacity to be buoyed by glints in darkness and this story’s moving denouement that elevate it to the truly memorable. One of our Top Reads of 2017.
Read our full review of Montpelier Parade by Karl Geary at bookloverbookreviews.com >>
Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant, the narrator of her debut novel is more than fine, she is wonderful! One of the most genuine and deeply moving character journeys I’ve read in a very long time – powerful enough to evoke tears of laughter and sadness. One of our Top Reads of 2017.
Read our full review of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman at bookloverbookreviews.com >>