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  • Writer's pictureEmily

Audiobook round-up

I'm completely addicted to having audiobooks on my phone all the time so I can listen in the car and while I'm doing my kitchen work. Sometimes I search my TBR list for titles, and sometimes I just scroll through what's available that day. Here's a list of what I've been listening to in the last few months.


The Moving Finger and A Murder is Announced, by Agatha Christie. Read by Joan Hickson.

Note: I'm linking to paperbacks because Bookshop doesn't have the audio I was listening to; however, they have The Moving Finger narrated by Richard E Grant, which I bet is awesome. Their audio of A Murder is Announced is narrated by Emilia Fox, who was in a BBC production of the book, but it's backordered- even the MP3 (?).

The Moving Finger: Pretty good. Has all the things from Christie that you like or don't like. It gets on my nerves that one of the main characters is a twenty-year-old who gets a makeover and is completely changed by it. All she needed was a decent pair of stockings and a haircut! I would have given anything for a makeover when I was a kid. I really thought that there was some magic dress and hair product that would fix my whole life. But honestly, it's a pretty good book. This audiobook was read by Joan Hickson, who played Miss Marple in the BBC series from the 80s. Miss Marple doesn't come in until about the last third of the book.

A Murder is Announced: Another Joan Hickson audiobook. I liked it pretty well except for the character Mitzi. She's a refugee from Europe who tells lies and gets over-excited (by Agatha Christie-style British standards). One character does take up for her, pointing out that some of the things she says happened to her probably didn't, but that she probably had an awful time in the war, but I think that she's supposed to be comic relief, and I didn't like that part. There was a female character who only had two personality traits, and one of them was being very pretty, so that was dull. But most of the characters were just around to be possible suspects, so that Miss Marple could suss them out and find the one. I like the twist in this one. I'd seen a dramatization of it, so I knew what would happen, but I'd never read the book, and I liked it.

Both of these were pretty short and fairly enjoyable. Something good to have on in the background while you get some work done, if you're a Christie fan.

DNF: The Sentence is Death, by Anthony Horowitz

This is mean, but I like these covers so much better than their books. Anyway, this is fine, but I lost interest about a third of the way in. I don't care who killed that guy or how they figure it out. I'm sure I liked The Word is Murder, but now I don't really remember it. I mean, I remember nothing about that book, and that's unusual for me. I do remember finishing it, but who did it? And who got killed? It's totally gone.


Note: Linking to WorldCat since it's unavailable on Bookshop.

These twelve stories are about each iteration of the Doctor from the beginning of the series through Capaldi (12), minus the War Doctor. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you won't like this.

The stories each did a good job of differentiating; the doctor in each story is unique. The writers captured the way the different doctors speak and behave. Of course, with twelve stories by twelve different authors, I liked some better than others. I liked the stories with my favorite doctors the best. (Yes, I have favorites. I like 9 and 12 alot. And I have a soft spot for 1 and 2.)

I think I liked Twelve's story and Ten's stories best (Ten's had books in it), but Five's had some really funny lines. (In that, a small-town general store started selling Truth Tellers, which people wore in their mouths. They did what they said they'd do, but the truths were usually rude and unnecessary.) Eleven's story got on my nerves. It worked the word "doctor" into a Bible verse. He was the one they kept calling a god in the TV series, which got old before long. But it's an entertaining collection for any doctor fan. Each story also has a different narrator as well as writer, so there's lots of variety.

DNF: The Passage, by Justin Cronin

I listened to hours and hours of this book. I never liked it much, but I snarkily enjoyed tearing it to pieces, and half-expected it to get so good that I'd have to eat my words. That didn't happen, but I'll be fair and say that I didn't finish this book. I just looked at the reviews on Goodreads, and lots of people say that it drags in the middle and then gets good, so maybe if I'd stayed with it... But I just couldn't. There's a Chosen One, she's Special, an Old Soul. Ugh. Maybe there's something later than explains this child, but I gave up caring about it. There was a Black man who had been tricked out of leaving jail to participate in a military medical experiment, and it made me queasy. His whole story. It actually sounded plausible until the experiment. It's bad when the precarious (and, to me, dull) society is about to collapse within a hundred years of its founding, and I didn't much care. And I think that was about 2/3 of the way through the book. It's.... so.... long. I was going to watch the TV show, which never seemed to take off, but not now. I think I was supposed to like, maybe even admire the main male character of the first part, but, what was his deal? What was he thinking? Ugh, whatever.

I listened to the second book in The Three-Body Problem trilogy, but I'm going to write about that later, after I've read the 3rd book.


Plain Bad Heroines, by Emily M. Danforth. Read by Xe Sands.

This was a re-read for me. Plain Bad Heroines was one of the books that really stuck with me last year; I was thinking about it months after I'd read it. So, I was curious to listen. I liked the narration. I couldn't believe that I'd forgotten that there's a character named Harper Harper.

It's such an interesting book, and I recommend the audio if you haven't listened to it yet. I think that I might not like the way it was read for many books, but this one had all the notes interspersed, that made it seem kind of chatty, and the narrator really made that work.

I wrote about A Dangerous Education by Naomi Novik in my last post, Language Studies and Survival Skills. I just missed my hold on the sequel! I fixed my notifications immediately, and should only have to wait a couple of weeks to get another chance.

Right now, I have Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian lined up to listen to next. Then, I'll listen to Belgravia, by Julian Fellowes. It's narrated by Juliet Stevenson. I always like listening to her, although her reading of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning put me to sleep. I had to stop listening to it. But otherwise, a favorite of mine.


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