With a newborn and a commute, I often don’t have time to read in a traditional manner. My favorite time to read is curled up in my husband’s favorite chair, which also happens to be my favorite chair, and have a nice cup of tea. That doesn’t happen anymore. Now it’s screaming and crying and weird electronic cow noises from toys that I can’t stand. Since I have a commute, I decided to try audiobooks. It is a really great way to get in some reading, without actually reading. Here are some of my favorites.
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
This book is hilarious! Isabel Spellman is the horrible daughter who cannot do anything right. It really doesn’t help that her parents own a P.I. firm and are constantly spying on her. Even her little sister is in on it. Granted, Izzy is in her 20s and doesn’t really have a job, and is constantly getting arrested for silly things while her perfect older brother is a fantastic lawyer and her sister is doing wonderful in middle school. Izzy is just trying to make her way in the world when her sister is kidnapped and Izzy is blamed. The narrator has a worldly voice that seems like she’s had her fair share of hard times. It provides a realistic edge to the character of Izzy. I love this book. If you enjoy Janet Evanovich, you will love these!
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Harry Dresden is a wizard. Yes, a real wizard. Sometimes, when the Chicago P.D. can’t solve a case, or it’s just too weird for them, they call on Harry to help out. This time, he might be in over his head. When the weather starts to get bad, people start to die from spells that have gone wrong. This audiobook is voiced by the actor James Marsters, who played Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and on Angel. I really thought Spike was British, so it was very interesting to have his voice in an American accent. The Dresden Files is a great fantasy mystery series and I really enjoy these books.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
I’m not much of a romance reader. I usually like mysteries or fantasy. This one was recommended to me by Kimberly Wells at the North Branch and I thought I would give it a try. She runs the Romance in the Stacks Book Club, so she wouldn’t steer me wrong. It was a great read. Fun, action, adventure, swashbuckling, and yes, some romance. It starts off with a woman who goes to finish her dissertation on the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, the person who helped people escape from France during the French Revolution. What she discovers instead is information on the Pink Carnation, another spy who was much more elusive. The book weaves back and forth through letters and writings and in between, you find out what is happening with the woman writing the paper. It was completely enjoyable and there was just enough romance.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
This might be one of my favorite books of all time. Kate Atkinson tells the story of one person, but it’s told over and over again. Each time the girl lives, she dies in a different way. The choices she makes in that reality determine when and how she dies. The book is set in England before World War II. She is born, she grows, sometimes she sees war, sometimes she gets married, sometimes she dies as a young girl. It is an incredible book. I’ve always enjoyed Kate Atkinson and I’ve read all of her Jackson Brodie books. This one is different. I couldn’t wait to get back into my car to see what would happen next.
Still Foolin’ Em by Billy Crystal
I’m a big Billy Crystal fan. I’m also a big fan of funny books written by smart people. This is one of them. Billy Crystal wrote this book because he is getting older and wanted to talk about his life and his career. He narrates the book himself, which makes it even better. It is a very interesting look at an engaging life. He is a brilliant and funny man. I had no idea that Muhammad Ali was one of his best friends and that Mickey Mantle was someone he hung out with. I also didn’t know that Joe Dimaggio punched him in the stomach. This is all secondary to his movie career, his comedy career, and his family. It is a very interesting look at getting older. I can’t wait until I’m 65. Maybe I’ll write a book, too.
WyLaina Polk is the manager of the Emily Fowler Central Library and enjoys a good story.