Mr. Gaiman, though a professional writer, not a narrator, has the perfect voice to narrate his books. He differentiated the voices very well, had a good pace and, best of all, since he wrote the book, he knew how it should sound anyway.
A great story gets an even better performance. I listened to this with my kids and they loved it just as much as I did. It's the story of Odd and an adventure he goes on after meeting a fox, a bear and an eagle in the woods. I would elaborate, but that would take all the fun out of discovering a great story. Sometimes the best stories are not what you expect, so just trust me: This is a great story for anyone. Take a chance and let yourself be transported.
After a recommendation by a friend, I read all three Penderwicks' books with my daughter, who is 9. We loved them so much, we decided to try the audiobooks and were just as thrilled. The narrator was great, but sometimes it was tricky to hear which sister was which - I didn't have the same problem with the first two books, so I'm not sure what changed.
The Penderwicks are taking separate vacations for the first time ever. Mr. Penderwick, his new wife and son, are going to England for a conference/honeymoon. Rosalind, the oldest daughter, is going on a trip to New Jersey with her best friend. Skye, Jane and Batty are going to Maine with their Aunt Claire and dog, Hound - and their good friend, Jeffrey will meet them there.
How will Skye deal with being the OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick)? What adventures can be in store in Maine for the girls and Jeffrey? This book is funny, heartbreaking and just a good, innocent tale that is great for families. My daughter wants to be a Penderwick. :) Read and Enjoy!
I was intrigued by the cover of this book first and foremost. Once I started reading, I was sucked in overwhelmingly. This was like nothing I've ever read before: a girl who collects teeth and lives with monsters? Blue hair, hamsa tattoos? And all I want to do is eat and drink tea at Poison Kitchen.
The friendship between Karou, the main character, and Zuzana is wonderful - I want to be their friend. Their chemistry just leaps off the page. The imagery is so beautiful, I felt like I could step into the book and be in Prague in the next moment. The love story was good and not too conventional. But more than anything else, I was very affected by Karou's desire for family and belonging.
The narrator, Khristine Hvam, was in a word BRILLIANT. I had read the book myself first and, beginning the audiobook, I wondered how she would convey Brimstone. I was blown away by his depiction and all the other characters stood out wonderfully as well, especially Zuzana.
Read this book!!! Prepare yourself to disappear until it is over and just dive in to another world.
Journey of Discovery
I borrowed this book from my roommate while in college and haven't left out anything of Mr. Gaiman's since. Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew and his journey from a small village to London, where he has an average job and a girlfriend who believes she's too good for him. On the way to an important date with his now fiancee, Richard comes across a girl, bleeding on the sidewalk. The choice to help her changes his life forever.
Despite Richard being a "grownup", this is a coming-of-age tale, where Richard learns more about himself and who he wants to be. But it is combined with a mystery, which makes it all the more interesting. The girl Richard discovers on the sidewalk is running away from whoever murdered her family and she has no clue who it is trying to kill her, too. This is more than just a book, just like Mr. Gaiman is more than just an author. More than any other author I've read, I'm convinced that Mr. Gaiman is a storyteller above all else. Ever since reading it, I wonder about the people all around me and who they secretly are.
This first book is a good read for someone who hasn't read anything of Mr. Gaiman's before and overall, just a great, fun, illuminating tale.
I will say up front that this was not what I expected - but that made the surprise so much better. Instead of a "biography" about everything that ever happened to Ms. T. Fey, we got snippets and remembrances and lots and lots of laughing. I felt like I was on a really hilarious yet somehow still awkward first date with Tina, but then found out she was married and we decided to be the bestest friends ever. Except I know all about her and she doesn't even know I exist. Moving on...
The book was broken up into different periods in Tina's life - her family, a great chapter on her dad that I loved (That's Don Fey), high school/college and the beginning of her comedy career. The insights about Lorne Michaels as a producer and the glimpse of backstage life at SNL were really interesting. The stories about her daughter Alice were also really funny and made me feel better about being the mother that I am (isn't that what everyone wants? Reassurance that celebrities are messing up the same things? No?)
The bit that I think is my favorite is the chapter describing photo shoots and comments on Photoshop. Every time I hear this line, about getting ready for a photo shoot, I bust out laughing:
"The leg massage and the warm lights of the makeup mirror feel so cozy, that you can almost believe that THIS is your actual life. Instead of that endless, degrading looking-for-the-checkbook and boiling-macaroni shit you live with at home."
Despite more than a few statements about motherhood, women in comedy and other controversial for our time topics, I never felt like she was lecturing or advising anyone to think exactly the way she does. It was straight up "This is what I think and that's it." I loved her take on how she wants to become a producer in the entertainment business, so that she is in a place to give comedy opportunities to other funny women.
So, if you want a completely hilarious and still insightful good read, here is your answer. And don't get too close - she's MY friend.
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