Audiobooks Reviewed

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read/listen for a couple of very busy days making my jewelry for an up-coming show.  I adored the story of Alice and Mr. Dodgson.  It was a bit creepy in the pediphile-ish way that had to be addressed, and yet, there was the beautiful outcome of our beloved book, “Alice in Wonderland,” to compensate us for the hint of childlove that he displayed.  I have to say that the author handled the situation with great taste and respect in that she only touched on the subject and gave us to think of it as a mutual “infatuation” as if these two were magnets drawn to each other from a source unknown and unfamiliar to both of them.   

Alice’s story is absorbing as it moves from the little girl to the vamp, to the college blooming genius and lover of “kings and princes” of a sort, to the ends of her days.   I was simply entralled and loved this book.  I would read it in full hardback, if  I hadn’t listened to it!     Highly recommended, not just to “…Wonderland,” fans.  It’s much more than a book about a book.

Not being one to waste your time on books that are horrendous, I want to recommend this one to you without reservation.  This is a young author who’s lived a lifetime of sadness and triumph.  She shares her memoir without apology or attempt at sympathies.    What an amazing child who’s grown into a young woman. 

  Her story about the life of a neglected child, taken up by the “system,” kept from her mother and placed from one foster home to another before she is finally adopted is both chilling and educational.   I cringed, I cried, I laughed and I was so angry I could have punched someone in the face!!!     Don’t read this unless you want to really know how it FEELS to be a victim of our Child Protective Services.     Gladly,  Ashley finds an adoptive family in the end and comes out of the whole thing fighting for her rights and the rights of the other children she knew and loved.     This is a memorable and important book which all of my friends should read.  It’s also a good audiobook to listen to.

It has been a very long time since I’ve given V. I. Warshawski a try in one of my favorite genre.    Last time I read a Sara Paretsky novel about V. I., it left me wanting more.    Not this time!     I loved this book.   The narrator was great, which made the book wonderful as a great escape novel.   Covering everything from a homeless mother and children, to women who serve such homeless victims, to abused children of the wealthy and powerful, to international scams and intrigue….this was a much better written novel than I experienced in the past.    Now, I have to read a few of the newer V. I.’s to catch up!!!

   The Bookish Dame does not tolerate bad narrators; however, I have to say.  I wanted to love this “Three Cups of Tea,” but found the narrator grinding on my last nerve….so had to forego it before it completely turned me off reading the book!   I have it in paperback and will have to go there for the good read.  Many friends have recommended it, so I know it must be better than the narrator was letting on….with his very stuffy rendering.  Ahhhummmm.

I’ve downloaded some new audiobooks for this coming week as I work on my jewelry:

“Room,”  by Emma Donogough

“Adam and Eve,”  by Sener Jeta Naslund

“Breaking Dawn,” by Stephanie Meyers.     :]

And, that’s a good start for the week since I have a stackful of books to finish reading before my online library deadline, as well.

Happy reading and listening, dear friends and readers.  Please leave me a comment with your own blog addresses so I can visit you, as well.   I’m looking for good blogs about books and I know you have them!!

Yours,     The Bookish Dame


New Deanna Raybourn Book!

Review: Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn

Posted: 02 Oct 2010 10:00 AM PDT by Jenna A.

Deanna Raybourn submerses us in a world of ball gowns, Rajahs, mystery and death in the 1889 setting of Dark Road to Darjeeling. Set in India, the story begins with a series of small introductions to the Marchs, a predominant family stretched across continents and time. At a time when gowns were seen commonplace, private investigators flourished and mystery in the world still abounded, the story finds us at the honeymoon of our most notorious and elusive characters, Brisbane and Lady Julia.

On their world travels, the newly married Brisbane and Lady Julia are suprised to find in their dining parlor Plum and Portia, Lady Julia’s siblings, beckoning them to India.

Upon arrival, Portia tells a story about her once lover, Jane, who had ran away to India to marry Portia’s distant cousin; the cousin died shortly after under mysterious circumstances. Begging Brisbane and Julia to accompany her to India, they embark unknowingly on a trip of disaster, and deeply hidden secrets. Slowly and reluctantly, Portia reveals to her sister that she indeed fears the worst: that Mr. Cavendish, Jane’s husband, was murdered and Jane may be next. Quietly and without arousing suspicions, Lady Julia must find the truth in a family tree where secrets rule lives.

Thoughtful and whimsical, Dark Road to Darjeeling has the air of a classic 19th century exotic mystery. With an airy yet solid plot and strong subtext, the story allows the readers to think outside the box, and explore their thoughts, feelings, and suspicions in the fantastical world of The Marchs and Cavendishs.

The story was entertaining, however, what it gained and achieved in plot and flow, it lacked slightly in climactic tones and suspense, leaving readers in a monotone pattern of satisfaction. Written with a feminine undertone, Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia is definitely appealing to the more romance taken, unfortunately leaving the book less as a craving for the male and dark mystery infatuated readers.

Raybourn has created another successful addition for fans of the series who were left wanting more after Lady Julia and Brisbane’s last appearance. I would not recommend this novel to those who find interest in darker or more thriller-type mysteries; however, I would highly recommend this story to those female readers who crave just a little bit more romance and intrigue in their everyday lives.

Please visit Deanna Raybourn’s website to learn more about her books.

Jenna lives in a small town in Ohio with her fiance and cat Osiris. Along with her passion for reading and the literary world, she is also a painter, poet, fiction writer, and amateur photographer.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Mira Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.