Fall 2012 Reading Events: RIP & MX3

1 09 2012

Well, it’s officially September, which means that soon the leaves will begin changing, the kids will; be back in school, and the dark forces that inhabit the night will be unleashed upon us. Fall is a wonderful time to explore the darker themes of literature, and to help us along the way are two excellent blogging Events.

First up is hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings:

Readers Imbibing Peril VII

The seventh edition of Stainless Steel Droppings ode to the macabre brings together a lot of wonder4ful bloggers who will be listening. reading and reviewing books, movies, television and whatever else may give you chills at night. This events runs from September 1st until October 31st.

Murder, Monsters, Mayhem

Once again, Jenn from Jenn’s Bookshelves will be our Dark mistress all through the month of October. Jenn will highlight the thrilling and frightful and be giving out some goodies along the way. Look for some excellent guest posts as we celebrate all things bone chilling.

While I have a lot planned for the events, here are some of the new releases coming out that I plan on listening to and reviewing:

From Tantor Audio

From Blackstone Audio

Macmillan Audio:

Simon & Shuster Audio:

Random House Audio:





Awards, Challenges and other Bloggy Type Things

2 09 2011

Taking a break from posting reviews, I wanted to touch on some events and other blog type things that I think are interesting.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is coming up, and I am planning some special reviews, interviews and features for the week. Also, I have made the long list for Best Audiobook Blog. There is a lot of stiff competition, so the chances of making the final 5 is slim, especially for a relatively new, obscure blog. There are 9 nominees on the long list and all of them are worthy of this award. You can check them all out in preparation for voting which begins soon.

The Long List:

The Guilded Earlobe (Me!)

Audiobook Jukebox
Bewitched Bookworms
Book Journey
Devourer of Books
EARphoria
Free Listens
Hot Listens
You’ve GOTTA Read This

 

The Independent Literary Awards are open for nominations. Any reader/blogger can nominate their favorite books from 2011. I plan on making my nominations, including The Cut by George Pelecanos, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

 

I’m really bad at these challenge things, but I decided that I should start posting my links for the audiobook challenges as support for audiobook listening and reviewing. The 2011 Audiobook challenge hosted by Teresa’s Reading Corner is a good one, and a great place to find audiobook reviews as well.

 

The Queen of the wonderful Audiobook Week event (also nominated for BBAW) Devourer of Books, is hosting a weekly meme on Friday where you can post your audiobook reviews. So, go there. Post your links and check out the excellent reviews there.

 

Finally, fellow BBAW nominee Bewitched  Bookworms are running this Audiobook challenge that looks interesting. I will be staring to post my reviews there next week, as part of the challenge. I hope to find some excellent reviews as well as new bloggers here. And maybe some of the participants will discover the awesomeness of Zombie Audiobooks, or any of the others I post. As part of this challenge I will begin to include the length of the audiobook with my reviews, since the challenge takes length into consideration. Ummm…. not that size matters. 





Audiobooks I Plan on Listening to in August

2 08 2011

The following is simply audiobooks I’m planning on listening to and reviewing in August. Most are releases in July or August. Hoping I can snag a couple Pre-release review copies of September titles.

Blackstone Audio

Germilne by TC McCarthy

Read by Donald Corren

This is actually my next planned listen. I was gonna wait until it become available on Overdrive, but I gave in and just downloaded it on Audible. Patience is not my virtue.

Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry

Read by Tom Weiner

Joe Ledger Missing Files by Jonathan Maberry

Read by Ray Porter

 

From Audible Frontiers

The Undead Situation by Eloise J. Knapp

Read by Kevin T. Collins

 

Hissers by Ryan C. Thomas

Read by MacLeod Andrews

 

Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines

Read by Jay Snyder

 

Random House Audio

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Read by Wil Wheaton

 

The Devil all the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

Read by Mark Bramhall

I’m currently on the waiting list for this title, so I may or may not get to it in August.

 

Hachette Audio

Flashback by Dan Simmons

Read by Richard Davidson, Bruan Kennedy, and Joe barrett

I am on the Overdrive waiting list waiting for this one.

 

The Cut by George Peleconos

Read by Dion Graham

 

Harper Audio

A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane

Read by Jonathon Davis

Harper is releasing all the Kenzie/Gennaro books on Audio, and I plan on taking advantage of. Being that this is released towards the end of the month, can’t promise a August review, but I will try my damdest.

 

Macmillan Audio

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

Read by Dennis Boutsikaris

This is also a let August release, but I am trying to get a pre-release review copy. This is one I am really looking forward to.

 

Since I listen roughly to about 15 audiobooks a month, I expect a few surprises to crop into the August mix.





Audiobook Review: The Magician King by Lev Grossman

12 07 2011

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Read by Mark Bramhall

Penguin Audio

Release Date: August 9, 2011

Genre: Fantasy

Quick Thoughts: With its grand fantasy adventure told in tandem with a tale of devastating realism The Magician King may possibly be the best fantasy novel of a year full of great contenders.

Grade: A+

I almost feel bad for the hard core fans of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, since they are in the process of a grueling wait of over a year for sequel to Grossman’s first Fillory novel. I have done that wait before, the 7 year stretches between King’s Dark Tower releases, and the multiyear waits between each release of Donaldson’s Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Heck George RR Martin fans have now officially survived their long wait, as did the legion of Patrick Rothfuss fans earlier this year. So, yes, we all know the feeling, the anticipation, the knowing it will be great but fearing it will suck. Yet, for me, the wait was roughly about two weeks. I only recently discovered the brilliant adult fantasy novel The Magicians, and fell in love with its world. So, I will try to do a service for lovers of Fillory and it’s often caustic, and frustrating human visitors by letting them know that there wait will be rewarded. The Magician King has all the beauty and realism of The Magician, in fact, I personally believe it is an even more engaging novel than its prequel. Of course, my love for this novel isn’t going to make August 9th come any faster.

In the Magician King, Quentin, along with Julia, Janet and Elliot are now Kings and Queens of Fillory. As a lover of the Fillory novels this is everything that Quentin had dreamed of as a child. So, of course he wants more. It’s one thing to achieve Royalty status of a magical land, but Quentin wants adventure, a chance to be a hero. So, when the Kingdom needs to collect back taxes from Utter Island, Quentin think it’s his chance to break out of his kingly rut and experience a true adventure. Of course, as fans of The Magician know all to well, when Quentin gets what he wants most, the unexpected always happens and not always in Quentins‘s favor. Thus begin The Magician King, a beautiful and brilliant fantasy adventure reminiscent of CS Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader and other seafaring fantasy adventures. So, yes, Quentin’s routine mission turns into a true adventure right out of the storybooks, with possibly the whole universe on the line, and if this was the full tale of The Magician King I would be happy and content with a fun fantasy that embraces all the tropes I enjoyed as a child. Yet, this isn’t the whole novel. What escalates this from a delightful adult fantasy to something so much more is the story of Julia. As we follow our heroes on their Fillorian quest, we flashback to Julia’s story from the moment she failed the Brakebill’s test. Julia’s tale is dark and brutal. Unlike the isolated vanilla magical training of the Brakebills lot, Julia must travel through the dirt and scum of the magical underground. While the school years of the Magicians were analogous to an adult Harry Potter, Julia’s training was more reminiscent of Gaimen’s American Gods.  In The Magician’s King Grossman surpasses his previous novel by creating  competing vision of worlds, showing both the brutal and the beautiful , while still managing to remind you why the best fantasy tales never really leave you.

In The Magicians, it took me a while to fully get into Mark Bramhall’s reading, yet in The Magician King the story and narration instantly engaged me. In fact, it’s tough to truly evaluate Bramhall’s reading because I became so immersed in the tale, so totally engulfed that I lost myself in the reading. If anything Bramhall came off as a gruff grandfather reading us to bed at night, when we are in the momentary stage between consciousness and our dreams. What’s truly hard to evaluate is if this was because of the story, Bramhall’s talent as a narrator, or, more likely, a combination of both. With its grand fantasy adventure told in tandem with a tale of devastating realism The Magician King may possibly be the best fantasy novel of a year full of great contenders. More simply, it is one of those few novels that I wish I could scrub from my brain, just so I could experience it again fresh.

 

Note: I recieved This Advanced copy of The Magician King courtesy of the good people at Penguin Audiobooks. The Magician King is available for preorder at Penguin.com and Amazon.com.





Upcoming 2011Titles I Can’t Wait to Get my Ears On

25 05 2011

I’m about a day late for this, but I thought I would point out some 2011 titles that I am look forward to.

 

First off, one title I really have been wanting to listen to is The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry. I have been on the waiting list at my library for a while.

 

The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry

Read by Ray Porter

Blackstone Audio

 

Blackstone also has a short story collection by Jonathan Maberry based on his Joe Ledger novels, and audio versions of his Pine Deep Trilogy being released in 2011, that I am quite excited about.

 

 

Now, some upcoming audiobooks I’m excited about.

The Ridge by Michael Koryta

Read by Robert Petkoff

Hachette Audio

 

2030: A Novel by Albert Brooks

Read by Dick Hill

Tantor Audio

Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Read by James Marsters

Blackstone Audio/Penguin Audio

 

 

The Dead City Trilogy by Joe McKinney

Book 1 Dead City Read by Michael Kramer

Book 2 and Boo 3 Read by Todd McClaren

Tantor Audio

 

Flashback by Dan Simmons

Read by Richard Davidson, Bryan Kennedy, and Joe Barrett

Hachette Audio