Wednesday, June 27, 2012

See You at Harry's

See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles. Grades 6-8. Candlewick, May 2012. 310 pages. Reviewed from purchased copy.

For twelve-year-old Fern, starting middle school has its own challenges. Her dad forced the family to appear in a commercial for their restaurant, which is now being aired on TV all the time. And her older brother has a secret that he's intent on keeping, even though everyone knows. Facing bullies on the bus and dealing with her changing feelings for her best guy friend are nothing, though, when tragedy strikes the family and they all must figure out how to go on from there.

This is a book that packs an emotional punch and it didn't turn out to be the book I thought it was going to be.

Above anything else, this is a book about family. It's about relationships between siblings and about finding your place in your own family unit. It's about figuring out when your family members each need to get through life's tragedies, big or small.

Fern has a special relationship with each of her brothers. For her older brother Holden she's a confidante, the only one with whom he trusts his secret. You see, he's gay. Fern knows the rest of the family won't care, but Holden's not convinced yet. She's fiercely protective of him, even when it causes trouble for her. She's the one sent out to find him when he's run off because she's the one he'll come back for.

Things happen in See You at Harry's, just like things happen in real life.

Jo Knowles has created a family that readers will care about. And she's created a book that doesn't shy away from presenting Big Life Things to a middle-grade audience. Readers will root for Fern and they will ache alongside her as she struggles to help Holden find his way.

This is definitely a book to open up some dialog and it would make for a great family book discussion. I've been hearing some Newbery buzz for this one, so make sure you check it out for yourself!

Read more reviews at Fat Girl ReadingGalleysmith, The Goddess of YA LiteratureThe Reading Zone, and STACKED.

See You at Harry's is on shelves now.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Marches On

And so summer marches on... I got busy last week and I meant to post this, but it didn't happen. I just wanted to check in with how our summer's going.

We officially surpassed last year's total for Summer Reading Club signups last week. We have 2231 kids signed up in the Children's and Read-to-Me (under-2) clubs and we have 447 teens. Last year at the end of the summer, we "only" had 2119 kids in the Children's and Read-to-Me (not sure what the teen total was last year). And we have a good 5 weeks to go!

True, things slow down for us in July when many of our families take vacations. And we've had great daycare participation this year. Every year, we have some daycares wanting to get their kids involved in Summer Reading Club, but it seems like we have had ALL THE DAYCARES this year. Later in July, I'm going to try to touch base with as many of those daycares as I can to see if we can encourage them to finish the club with their kids. As much as I love having so many children participating, I'd really love to see at least 50% finish (last year, 45% of the kids finished). I know that there are probably many families who do read enough to complete the requirements, but things come up and they forget to come back to the library or they lose their materials or any number of things... 

Last week, we had a great visit from one of our daycamp groups. They brought about 30 kids and we did a storytime for the younger kids and booktalks for the older kids. I was in charge of booktalks for the older kids and they were truly a great group. I booktalked the following titles: 

Hidden by Helen Frost

How Big Is It? by Ben Hillman **This was the runaway hit of the program and I was glad I saved it for last!**

Kampung Boy by Lat

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

Savvy by Ingrid Law

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert by Marc Aronson

They checked out almost everything I booktalked, although the daycamp leader was a little unsure about a couple of the titles I talked (notably A Tale Dark and Grimm, which she felt was not appropriate for their church facility). Nobody was upset. I had printed out lists for all the kids with all the titles so the girl who had wanted to check that title out could ask her parents to bring her back in later if she wants to check it out. Also, lesson learned for me: I'll be sure to evaluate my choices more closely for the next booktalking session I'm doing for them in a couple of weeks! 

We'll take a little break from programming for the week of July 4. That's partially because the holiday makes scheduling our programs hard and we figure many families may be going out of town, and it's partially because we all need a little bit of a break in the middle of summer.

Hey, I loved Marge's post about some of the things she's done in her department to make Summer Reading LESS stressful for herself and her staff. We've done many of these same things in my department this year and last year. Having signups for the SRC going on for a couple of weeks before we start programming has made an amazing difference and this year we don't have a lot of programming scheduled during the last week of SRC either so we can accommodate all the kids coming in to collect prizes and enter the drawings for the last time.

And that's how my summer's marching on... How's yours going? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Many Faces of George Washington

The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon by Carla Killough McClafferty. Grades 6-10. Carolrhoda Books, 2011. 120 pages. Review copy provided by my local library.

It's all about image.

Millions of people only know George Washington's image from the portrait printed on an American one-dollar bill, but is that really how he looked?

When the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association (the folks who own and operate George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, and Gardens) did some research, they found out that many people viewing that portrait of Washington described Washington as "stiff", "old", "grumpy" or "boring". This surprised the site's president, who said:

"Boring is not a word anyone in the eighteenth century would have used to describe George Washington. He was the most robust, athletic, outdoorsy, and adventurous of all the founding fathers. He was the 'man of action' of the eighteenth century. The real Washington made heads turn." (pp 8-9)

What to do? The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association decided to create life-size figures showing George Washington at the ages of 19, 45, and 57. Uncovering the real George Washington would prove to be a real challenge, from researching his bone structure without disturbing his bones to hand-sewing authentic clothing and even recreating his horse.

Interspersing passages about important events in George Washington's life with passages about the research and artistry behind creating the figures, this well-crafted book will appeal to young historians. Full color photos show artifacts from Washington's life and the artists and historians researching and building the figurines. If anyone picks up this book expecting to find dry information about a stodgy dead president, they will be pleasantly surprised to find a thrilling account of the adventurous, take-charge patriot.

This is not your dollar-bill president.

The back matter included in the book is excellent, including an index, timeline, selected bibliography, and many resources for further reading.

Pair this book with Jim Murphy's excellent book The Crossing: How George Washington Saved the American Revolution for riveting reading on one of our founding fathers.

Check out more reviews from Jennie at Biblio File and The Nonfiction Detectives.

The Many Faces of George Washington is on shelves now.

And Happy Nonfiction Monday! This week's roundup is at Simply Science, so head on over there and check it out!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Fourth Stall

The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander. Grades 4-7. Walden Pond Press, 2011. 314 pages. Review copy provided by my local library.

Christian "Mac" (short for MacGuyver) Barrett is the kid who can get you what you need. From his office in the East Wing boys' bathroom, he deals in favors and cold, hard cash, helping kids with their problems, even if it means violating the school's code of conduct. But everything changes when Fred shows up: a scared third grader who's gotten in way over his head with a high school bookie named Staples. As Mac tries to help Fred, he learns just how deeply Staples has infiltrated his school. He's gotta shut Staples down, but when you factor in snitches, hit men, and ultimate betrayal, things get complicated really fast.

This humorous mystery story has a lot of guy appeal and plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Mac and his best friend/right hand man Vince aren't sure who they can trust. And when Vince starts acting a little fishy about the money that they're saving up for tickets to a World Series game, Mac's not even sure he can trust his best friend.

One of my favorite things about this book was Mac and Vince's friendship. They've been best friends since living in the same trailer park in kindergarten. Since then, Mac's family has moved out of the trailer park, but Vince is still there. Mac trusts Vince implicitly and the business truly belongs to both of them. Yes, Mac's the one sitting in the big chair, but Vince keeps all the books and offers guidance when Mac's not sure what to do. With such close friends being in business together, you'd expect some tension and that's something that Chris Rylander gets exactly right. When Mac starts to doubt Vince's loyalty, you see all the conflict he's going through. It's all done in a guy-friendly way, though, among the baseball trivia and dodging hit men and hiring spies.

The writing is a little uneven. Sometimes it's spot-on and hilarious, but other times it's a little repetitive and I think the book would have been stronger if the writing had been a little tighter. The mystery is well-crafted and definitely kept me guessing. I liked that Rylander gives us some peeks into Staples's life; he's not a stock Bad Guy, and the reader gets some of the reasons behind his evil deeds.

Hand this to fans of Swindle by Gordon Korman, Adam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip, or Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer.

Check out Sarah's review at GreenBean TeenQueen. And be aware that  a sequel is also on shelves: The Fourth Stall Part II (Walden Pond Press, February 2012).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mark Your Calendars for ILF!

I'm happy to announce that Kate Conklin (Head of Teen Services at the Charlestown-Clark Co. Library) and I will be presenting a session at the Indiana Library Federation's 2012 Conference!

Striking Gold: Teen Readers' Advisory for Reference Staff is slated for Tuesday, November 13 from 4-5:35pm (time and date is subject to change). Our presentation aims to help reference/adult services staff with readers' advisory for teens, i.e. what do you recommend when a teen asks you and your teen librarian has the day off. We'll be booktalking some great readalikes for some of the most popular teen books and series, as well as pointing librarians to great readers' advisory resources. 

The ILF Conference will be held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN from November 12-14, 2012. If you're coming to the conference, I hope you will come hear our presentation!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

#48HBC Wrap-Up

And the 48-Hour Book Challenge draws to a close...

I actually have more time left in my 48 hours, but I have to get up early tomorrow for a 12-hour work day, so I'm not logging any more hours tonight.

All told:

Challenge time logged: 21.75 hours
Books finished: 5
Pages read: 1288
Amount donated to Reading is Fundamental: $25.00

The five books I finished were:

 See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles
Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery
Laugh With the Moon by Shana Burg

The Letter Q, edited by Sarah Moon
Every Day by David Levithan

My favorite book read for the challenge was Every Day, followed closely by Temple Grandin. I had a huge stack of books to choose from, which really makes a difference as I was able to read what my mood called for at the time. 

My goals this year were a little more modest than in previous years and I think that served me well. I was getting over a cold this weekend, so setting more modest goals allowed me to take it a little bit easy and still get lots of reading done. I read excellent books and I think they have inspired me to make reading and blogging a priority (life's been getting in the way, as of late). Let's cross our fingers and hope that's the case...!

As always, I'm sending a GIGANTIC THANK YOU to Pam at MotherReader for organizing this challenge. It's truly a weekend I look forward to all year and I know she puts a lot of effort into making it fun and organizing everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you for starting this wonderful tradition, Pam!

It was a lovely year for the challenge, although it looks like participation was down quite a bit from what it was last year. Ah, well. That'll happen some years. I had a great time. And next year I won't forget to buy Oreos... :) 

#48HBC: Every Day


Every Day by David Levithan. A wakes up every day in a different body... but every day he's in love with the same girl... Longer review definitely to come. An intriguing premise in the hands of wordsmith David Levithan just kinda blew my mind and broke my heart. I didn't want it to end (which is saying something because I am the type of person who loves to finish a book and add it to my list like pearls on a necklace).

48-Hour Book Challenge Update:

Time spent reading/blogging: 20.25 hours (Yay! I've met my goal! My time goes through 7am tomorrow, so anything else I read at this point is gravy!)
Books completed: 5 (Yay! I've met my goal! I might be able to finish another book tonight... we shall see...)
Pages read: 1288

#48HBC: The Letter Q


The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon. An impressive and necessary collection of letters, essential for all public libraries. Personally, I think I most enjoyed reading the authors with whom I was already familiar (David Levithan, Bruce Coville, Malinda Lo, etc.), but this is the type of book that's going to mean something different to every reader. A diverse range of contributors is included. 

48-Hour Book Challenge Update:

Time spent reading/blogging: Just about 18.5 hours
Books completed: 4 (and nearly done with another)
Pages read: 984

I've also listened to about 2 hours of the audiobook The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, narrated by Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin. I love having the option of including an audiobook in my time. I won't finish this one, but it's given me a chance to get some around-the-house stuff done: laundry, cleaning the kitchen, etc. 

#48HBC Halfway Update

Well, I'm a little over halfway through my 48-hour period and going strong. I've read/blogged for 12 hours of the past 24 and it should be no problem for me to read and blog for over 8 hours today. So far, I've finished 3 books and I'm partway through two others. I've also logged a little bit of audiobook time (listening to The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, read by Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin) I still have some great books on my pile and I have through 7am tomorrow to read, read, read! I have to work Monday morning, so I don't think I'll stay up into the night.

Also, Boyfriend has been unofficially participating in the challenge with me. I picked out a stack of books that I thought he might like and so far he's read:

Pedro and Me by Judd Winick
Laika by Nick Abadzis
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (I've got to get him the sequel... he was bummed I didn't have it here for him!)
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Bad Island by Doug TenNapel
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (another one he was bummed I didn't have the sequel!)
The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian

And on that note, I'm off for some more reading! If you're doing the challenge, go, go, go! You can do it!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

#48HBC: Laugh With the Moon


Laugh With the Moon by Shana Burg. Perfect for armchair travelers, this solid middle-grade novel tells the story of 13-year-old Clare who is forced to spend two months in Malawi while her father works for the Global Health Project after the death of Clare's mother. A spot-on 13-year-old character and rich details of the Malawian bush village and culture are highlights of this book for me. Full review to come. 

48-Hour Book Challenge Update: 

Time spent reading/blogging: Just about 11 hours
Books completed: 3 (and part of The Letter Q; I'm reading that one in pieces when I need a break from longer narratives because as a collection of letters, it's quite easy to pick up and put down)
Pages read: 703 (plus some of The Letter Q, which I'll add to the count once I've finished it)

I think some nonfiction next... I'm on track to meet my time goal. I had a Cherry Coke Zero about 2 hours ago, so I should be up for some time tonight... Hmm... ;) 

#48HBC: Temple Grandin


Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery. You may think you know about Temple Grandin, but this approachable biography feels like sitting down and hearing about her life and her life's work making the world a better place for animals. Great formatting and accessible writing make this a treat of a biography. If you like biographies or are interested in autism or animal rights, don't miss this one! Longer review to come. 

48-Hour Book Challenge Update:

Time spent reading/blogging: 6 hours
Books completed: 2
Pages read: 458

#48HBC: See You at Harry's


See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles. A touching story of family, especially the relationships between siblings. Author Jo Knowles is not afraid to delve into Big Life Things while keeping the book middle-grade appropriate. Put this one on your Newbery radars, people. Full review to come later.

48-Hour Book Challenge Update:

Time spent reading/blogging: 4 hours
Books completed: 1
Pages read: 310

How's the Challenge going for you??

Let the #48hbc Reading Begin!

Good morning, all. My time for the 48-Hour Book Challenge will officially run from 7am Saturday to 7am Monday. I've got my stack of books:

Plus more on my Kindle!
And a notebook for keeping track of time and plenty of snacks stocked up. I think I've got a nice mix of fiction and nonfiction, middle grade and YA.

I've already made a $25 donation to Reading is Fundamental. It would be cool to donate a certain amount per hour, but I've got this head cold lingering and I'm just not sure how much I'm going to be able to do this weekend. My goal is to read/blog for at least 20 hours, but we shall see. I won't be posting full reviews this weekend, but aiming to write some reviews to be scheduled throughout the next couple of weeks.

I'll be tweeting and trying my best to visit lots of blogs and leave encouraging comments. Remember to follow #48hbc!

And on that note, let the reading begin!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oh Those Evening Storytimes...

This summer, I decided to offer a weekly evening storytime. I'll be honest and tell you that I have a love-hate relationship with evening programs. I want our working parents to be able to attend programs and for a lot of families that means offering something in the evenings or on weekends. We get many requests for these programs, but they are usually very poorly attended. I love seeing our families who do attend, but I miss the energy that the larger crowds at our daytime programs provide.

In an effort to attract a larger crowd, I'm offering "Milk & Cookies Storytime" and serving a snack of milk and cookies after the stories. The stories are a mixed bag of my favorites, interspersed with music, felt stories, rhymes, and other activities. I advertised it as a family storytime for ages 3-7. We're holding it on Mondays at 7:00 and it lasts about 30 minutes.

We had our first session this week and I only had six kids. They were six GREAT kids and they loved the books and we had a good time... but it was not the turnout I was hoping for. Part of the problem might be that I am not requiring registration. For some reason, our families tend to do better with registered programs, perhaps because we do a reminder call for them.

But this is what I did (and I'm just crossing my fingers that attendance picks up throughout the summer!):

Opening Song: "Jump Up, Turn Around" by Jim Gill - This opening song was the perfect amount of movement and has very clear instructions, which was important for my small crowd. Being in a smaller group puts more of a spotlight on each kid, so some of them were pretty shy with free dancing, but having a song that told them exactly what to do was a hit. I'll be using this as our opening song for the rest of the summer.

Book: Where's My Teddy? by Jez Alborough.

Book: Below by Nina Crews. This one was definitely a hit and we talked about imagination and pretend play. I love the photo illustrations and I think the kids were really amused that Jack's toy is named "Guy".

Music Break!: "The Freeze" by Greg & Steve. Some of the kids went crazy with dancing to this one and they all loved to freeze, but I think some of the quieter kids needed a little more direction or I should have passed out scarves to dance with or something. Next week, I'll choose something a little more structured.

Book: Kid Tea by Elizabeth Ficocelli. They LOVED THIS BOOK. We first talked about how you make tea and how the tea leaves change the water to a different color. They liked how the phrase "kid tea" sounds and kept repeating it and they found it hilarious when one of the kids is wearing a football helmet in the bathtub.

Felt Story: The Most Wonderful Egg in the World by Helme Heine. This is one of my favorites. It's been a long time since I actually did a felt story with a plot and I forgot how much I love it.

Book: Hunky Dory Ate It by Katie Evans. I thought it was fitting that we end with a story about eating since we were about to have our snack.

After the last story, I brought out the milk and cookies and we had our snack. I had done a milk and cookies storytime over winter break and I learned that it's best to serve all the food after stories are done. Kids are inevitably going to spill something and it's completely distracting if they spill while you're trying to read. Pour small glasses of milk. Tell everyone to start with two cookies (or whatever is reasonable, considering your crowd and your supply). Moms and dads are willing to help pass things out, pour milk, distribute items, etc., so if you need an extra set of hands, ask for it!

Each week I'll be choosing more of my favorite books to share with the kids, so it's sure to be a fun summer indeed!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Two weeks down and just about eight more weeks to go... We had just under 1400 kids and 350 teens sign up for Summer Reading Club in the first two weeks (those numbers are as of Saturday, June 2). I shoot for at least 2000 kids over the whole summer and it's typical for the greatest number of registrations to happen during the first few weeks. I haven't kept good records about how many kids signed up on each day for past years, but it FEELS like we have more kids signed up now than we did this time last year.

Our quiet little Children's Room is now pleasantly (occasionally not-so-pleasantly) full every day. We keep a notebook logging the questions we're asked and normally we use one side of a page each day (and the pages aren't even full), but lately our notebook looks like this:

Basically, it looks like the opposite of our bookshelves, which look like this:

I say this with love, but the shelves look like book locusts have come through.... ;) 

We're starting our programs this week, so I'll have a full report about that next week. I was a little afraid that our program registration lists were going to fill up within the first few days of registration being open, but that hasn't been  the case. Of course, we love having full programs, but I hate having to turn people away. So far, they've been filling up steadily but not crazily... 

And that's how the first two weeks have been going. Have you started your Summer Reading or summer programs yet? How's it going?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

#48HBC is coming...!

I've been working on getting my pile together for this weekend's 48-Hour Book Challenge! I've got some great books in the TBR pile and I'm excited to make time to read and blog this weekend. Honestly, I feel like between work and lots of social events lately, I haven't been inspired to blog or review books lately, but I'm hoping that this weekend's festivities will help me get back on track.

Here's the pile I'm starting with and I'm hoping to add a few more books to it this week.

I'm not aiming to read ALL of these books, but I like to have lots of choices on hand. I've got some galleys from NetGalley on my Kindle, too. I'm hoping to read at least five of these books and spend at least 20 hours reading and blogging this weekend. In previous years, I've posted all my reviews as I write them, but this year I'll be blogging snippets and scheduling reviews to post on later days. 

The 48HBC is always a fun event, celebrating books with a great community of book lovers, so if you need an excuse to set aside an inordinate amount of reading time this weekend, I hope you'll join us! 

I'll have an official kick-off post on Friday when I start my time, but until then I'd appreciate any other suggestion for new(ish) middle grade or YA fiction or nonfiction that I should track down and add to my pile! What are YOU looking forward to reading? 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Letter Q Giveaway

Part of my job (a huge part) is to make the library a safe and welcoming place for all people. And I want the kids and teens at my library to know that I value them for whoever they are. It is essential that we have books like The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves on our shelves.

So, I'm very happy to announce that Scholastic is providing two copies of this book for me to give away!

About the book:

In this anthology, sixty-four award-winning authors and illustrators such as Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom, Jacqueline, Woodson, Terrence McNally, Gregory Maguire, David Levithan, and Armistead Maupin, make imaginative journeys into their pasts, telling their younger selves what they would have liked to know then about their lives as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people. Through stories, in pictures, with bracing honesty, these are words of love, messages of understanding, reasons to hold on for the better future ahead. They will tell you things about your favorite authors that you never knew before. And they will tell you about yourself.

To enter, just fill out this form (once!). You must be at least 13 years old to enter. This giveaway is open to US residents only. I will not share your information with anyone (except the two winners - I will send your mailing info to Scholastic) and all information will be deleted after the giveaway is over. Two winners will be drawn at random on Thursday, June 7.

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!

Friday, June 1, 2012

AudioSynced: May Roundup

Yep, it's that time again! Time for your AudioSynced Roundup! June is Audiobook Month, so check out this post for some great audiobooks to check out for your summer road trips. If I missed your review or post about audiobooks this month, please leave me a link in comments and I'll update the roundup. If you didn't review or post about audiobooks this month, neverfear: Kelly at STACKED will host another roundup next month.

Want more audiobook reviews? Be sure to check out Audiobook Jukebox, a fabulous collection of audiobook reviews across the blogosphere.

Audiobook News and Posts

Becky at RA for All posts about narrator-author teams.

A whole host of interesting people are talking about their favorite audiobooks at The Awl.

Beth at Beth Fish Reads posted about fantasy and paranormal audiobooks this month.

John Schwartz has an essay in the New York Times about the importance of narrators in audiobook selection.

Children's/Middle Grade Audiobooks

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen, read by James Van Der Beek, reviewed by Beth at A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust. Beth says, "James Van Der Beek is the narrator of the audiobook and while I was never a watcher of Dawson's Creek when I was a teenager, even I managed to swoon a little listening to his deep, inviting voice."

The Other Half of My Heart by Sundee Frazier, read by Bahni Turpin, reviewed by me at Abby the Librarian. I said, "Bahni Turpin's excellent narration saved this book for me. I would have put it down right about the spot where Grandmother Johnson comes in, but Turpin so brought Grandmother Johnson to life for me that I was intrigued and kept listening."

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham, read by Richard Thomas, reviewed by Amy at The Show Me Librarian. Amy says, "The five-hour audiobook makes for great listening on an otherwise uneventful car ride, perfect for summer travels."

YA Audiobooks

Sarah at Y.A. Love has flash reviews of three YA audiobooks: Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie; Beautiful Chaos; and Marcelo in the Real World.

Au Reviour, Crazy European Chick  by Joe Schreiber, read by Steven Boyer, reviewed by Beth at A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust. Beth says, "Steven Boyer is the narrator of the audiobook and he does an amazing job of bringing the story to life."

Changeling by Philippa Gregory, read by Charlie Cox, reviewed by April at Good Books and Good Wine. April says, "This is probably not the first audiobook I’d recommend to virgin ears, but one that I’d recommend to experienced listeners going on a rainy drive."

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi, read by Joshua Swanson, reviewed by April at Good Books and Good Wine. April says, "At this point, friends, I am committed to continuing a series in audio if it’s narrated by Swanson - he’s got great range and knows how to keep the pace exciting and intense."

The Wake of  the Lorelei Lee by L. A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren, reviewed by Melissa at One Librarian's Book Reviews. Melissa says, "I once again must rave over the inimitable Katherine Kellgren, who does a fantastic job narrating the audiobook..."

Also reviewed by Lee at Reading with my ears. Lee says, "It’s likely I’d have thrown in the towel long ago were I reading these to myself, because a large part – dare I say, 99% – of the enjoyment here is due to narrator Kellgren. She throws herself into these novels with unflagging enthusiasm and her prodigious talents for storytelling, acting and singing."

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, read by Sarah Grace, reviewed by April at Good Books and Good Wine. April says, "I quite liked Sarah Grace’s soft and vulnerable voicing for the most part. However I was not a huge fan of her male voices and especially her performance of Rosaline’s potential love interest."

Adult Audiobooks

The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye, read by Steven Boyer, reviewed by Lee at Reading with my ears. Lee says, "Steven Boyer, a narrator whose steady, unglamorous work didn't immediately bring him to mind as the reader for this book, does his usual fine job here."

Let's Pretend This Never Happened, written and read by Jenny Lawson, reviewed by Catie at The Readventurer. Catie says, "As a narrator, I thought she was engaging and she is a natural storyteller. The audiobook is absolutely conversational, in a way that I haven't experienced before but which I enjoyed. "

The September Society by Charles Finch, read by James Langton, reviewed by Lee at Reading with my ears. Lee says, "James Langton narrates the novel, and he knows exactly how to do it. He reads with a hint of effete diffidence, perfect for a well-bred Englishman solving the crimes of his social peers."

Still Alice, written and read by Lisa Genova, reviewed by Janssen at Everyday Reading. Janssen says, "I loved the audio version of this...; listening to it, rather than reading it on a page made me feel even more connected to Alice, like I was really in her head, experiencing the devastating loss of her abilities."

Sports from Hell by Rick Reilly, read by Mike Chamberlain, reviewed by Melissa at Book Nut. Melissa says, "It's a completely useless book -- there's really nothing of value in here, unless you want to impress people with your synonyms for vomit -- but it's entertaining. Or, at least, it tries very hard to be."

Unfamiliar Fishes, written and read by Sarah Vowell, reviewed by Lisa at Shelf-employed. Lisa says, "If you've never heard her quirky little voice before... you're likely to love it or hate it. I love it. Listen for yourself."