Audiobook Review: My Father’s Son by John Davis

My Father's Son AudiobookTitle: My Father’s Son by John Davis
Narrated by Stephen J. Cohen
Genre: Nonfiction – Memoir
Length: 3 hours and 6 minutes
Format: Audiobook via Audible
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: October 13, 2016
Rating – 5 stars

John Davis grew up in the 1970s and ’80s on the rough streets of Brooklyn, a place where no one thought twice when parents smacked around their kids – or each other. At the center of the tumultuous neighborhood, and John’s world, was his larger-than-life father, Roberto. The Argentinean butcher and kingpin drug dealer was a sadistic bully whose mercurial temper left a trail of tears and chaos across his family. John, in particular, seemed to bear the brunt of Roberto’s wildly swinging moods. Any wrong word could cause an explosion. Every knock on the door might be one of Roberto’s enemies, or the police.

In his publishing debut, Davis recounts how he spent his childhood in constant terror and his teen years learning to fight back. But it was much later, as an adult, that he learned the most shocking thing of all about his father, his past, and himself. Told with raw honesty and deep emotion, My Father’s Son is a memoir of fear, abuse, survival, and identity.

When I saw that My Father’s Son by John Davis had been released as an audiobook, I immediately couldn’t wait to listen to it. I received a copy from the author in exchange for my  honest review since I had previously reviewed the ebook.

My Father’s Son is a memoir, so it is the story of the author’s childhood growing up in Brooklyn, the son of an abusive father. It chronicles his father’s actions, their effects, family secrets and ultimately strength of spirit and the ability to overcome.

I thought that the experience of listening to this was a positive one, I really enjoyed listening to this as an audiobook and felt like it was being told to me in a conversation with a friend. I loved this narrator too. I tend to err on the picky side when listening to audiobooks because I find with some narrators it’s hard for me to get into a book, but I thought that this narrator was fantastic. The story of John’s childhood is gut wrenching sometimes and I think that this narrator was perfect for the topics presented in this memoir because his voice was very soothing and he read at a perfect pace for this book.

This memoir is gripping, at times gritty and just very real. Both when I read and listened to this on audiobook, I just wanted to hug little John and save him, hold his hand and tell him it’d be okay and that he wasn’t alone. This book, and others like it, I think are important ones. This was so different from my childhood, and I think when we don’t see stories like these we naively see the world through blinders and stories like this help me to remember that everyone has a different story and is going through different things and to always be compassionate towards everyone.

While this book does deal with the heavy topics of child abuse and drugs…it does also feature very heart warming things as well like family and self discovery. This was wonderful as an audiobook and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. My listening experience of My Father’s Son was a wholly different experience than reading it, although I think either way you experience this book is worthy of five stars. I thank the author for sharing the story of his childhood with the world, something that must have been difficult to begin with but reading it has definitely helped me to reflect and taught me a few things as well. If you would like to read my review of the ebook for My Father’s Son you can read it here: My Father’s Son by John Davis

Audiobook Review: I am Princess X by Cherie Priest

23399273Title: I am Princess X by Cherie Priest (narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal)
Genre: YA contemporary
Length: 6 hours and 59 minutes
Format: Audiobook via Audible
Publication Date: June 12, 2015
Rating – 5 stars

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.

Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.

Princess X?

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There’s an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby’s story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon – her best friend, Libby, who lives.

I don’t know, I went on sort of an Audible binge in the past month and decided to listen to a bunch of audiobooks. I listened to I am Princess X, a book I knew next to nothing about when I decided to add it to cart and listen to it.

I am Princess X is about two childhood best friends Libby and May. They do everything together and most notably create a fictional character named Princess X. One day Libby disappears and later is supposedly found dead but throughout the years May has these recurring dreams that make her believe that there is more to the story. After some time passes and May is now a teenager, she randomly spots a sticker of Princess X while she is out and about in the city. With some digging she soon finds out that Princess X is somewhat of a phenomenon now, which seems impossible due to her friend, and only other person who knew anything about the character, is dead. This launches May to research the series which ultimately opens of a world of questions and leads her on a dangerous quest to find the author behind the Princess X series.

I was SUPER surprised by this book. I abso-freaking-lutely loved this book. I had no idea I would, I just decided to purchase it on a whim. I didn’t look at any reviews or read the synopsis or anything. I’m really glad that I didn’t do any of that because I ended up being so surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. It was really fun to listen to and I would bet that it is also really fun to read. I think that the physical copy is illustrated, it certainly looks like a gorgeous book and one that I must purchase in physical format really really soon for my shelves because it was awesome. I haven’t read a book quite like this one ever. It was a really great story of love and loyalty between friends. It has a lot of things going for it: tragedy, friendship, and danger. I love the scavenger hunt aspect to the story and just the idea behind it was really unique and interesting. Five stars! Loved this book, highly recommend it to anyone who is even remotely a fangirl or into graphic novels or anime. This was a really fun book and I can’t wait to buy a physical copy! I read that the author has written more books so I am going to look into those!

Audiobook Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

9418327Title: Bossypants by Tina Fey
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Length: 5 hours and 35 minutes
Format: Audiobook via Audible
Publication Date: Aprill 5, 2011
Rating – 3.5 stars

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

I listened to Bossypants by Tina Fey via Audible as well. I had been wanting to read this book for a really long time, especially after I listened to Amy Poehler’s audiobook of her memoir. There is just something that I love about listening to memoirs when the author’s narrate them, it just makes them hit home that much more. I guess it’s more personal that way and the author’s unique voices really shine through.

I love Tina Fey. I love her wittiness, her sauciness and just how kick ass she is as a comedian in a historically male dominated business. It’s wonderful to see women like her now dominating comedy so I really wanted to get to know her better in listening to this.

I enjoyed a lot about this book but I especially loved hearing about her stories from SNL and 30 Rock, shows that I love. It was also interesting to just hear about her experiences as a female comedian, how she got to where she is today and tidbits of her history and family life. I loved the subtle feminism in this book and even the funny self deprecating remarks she makes which she manages to pull off. Sometimes I enjoy that, sometimes I don’t. You can tell she’s just poking fun at herself, which is something I do often. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves somewhat right? She did make me chuckle a few times. Even though I was hoping for just a little bit more, I enjoyed listening to this. Four stars. I am hoping for a follow up memoir to this one.

Audiobook Reviews!

Today I am bringing you not one but many audiobook reviews in one post! That rarely happens but I’ve been on a big audiobook kick lately. I love that I can listen to them while I’m doing things like cleaning the house, going for a walk, before bed et cetera et cetera. Remember that post I wrote many moons ago about how I hated audiobooks and I could never get into them…yeah that sentiment has been thrown so far out the window that it’s like it almost never existed in the first place. I now, love audiobooks. One could say that I may even be a little bit addicted. I signed up for an Audible account AND there have been super amazing sales going on soooo yeah…this is the result of that.

10909804Title: Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield, Narrated by Gildart Jackson
Genre: Nonfiction – History
Length: 7 hours and 45 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: September 26, 2011
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Rating – 4/5

A hugely entertaining and revealing guide to the history of type that asks, What does your favorite font say about you? Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy. But where do fonts come from, and why do we need so many? Who is responsible for the staid practicality of Times New Roman, the cool anonymity of Arial, or the irritating levity of Comic Sans (and the movement to ban it)?

Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barely knew their names until about twenty years ago when the pull-down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type. Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Simon Garfield explores the rich history and subtle powers of type. He goes on to investigate a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seeming ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and exactly why the all-type cover of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was so effective. It also examines why the “T” in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters and how Gotham helped Barack Obama into the White House. A must-have book for the design conscious, Just My Type‘s cheeky irreverence will also charm everyone who loved Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Schott’s Original Miscellany.

The first audiobook I am reviewing is Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield. It tells the history of every font that you can think of, some familiar and some not so familiar. I basically now know more about fonts than I ever thought I would want to but the topic was actually very interesting to me. The book talks about the story behind specific fonts like Helvetica, what inspired it and who created it. I really loved that it was very detailed about the creators although, some things I will never forget and they will probably make me never ever use the particular font ever again. It was super interesting to me because it never really occurred to me that there might be stories and lives behind the fonts that we use every day.

After listening to the audiobook I definitely feel very differently about typeface in general and like I won’t take them for granted ever again. I am giving this book a four star rating, I thought it was entertaining and interesting, filled with lots of detail. I thought the narrator was pleasant and performed well for the type of material in this book. I was pretty impressed with it and do pretty highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject or who has ever been fascinated by fonts, those interested in graphic design will also find something to like in this read.

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14532912Title: Zombie Town by R.L. Stine, Narrated by George Kareman & Tara Carrozza
Genre: Fiction – Middle Grade Horror
Length: 44 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: April 13, 2012
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Rating – 5/5

When my friend Karen took me to a movie called Zombie Town, I expected to be scared. But I never expected this — flesh-eating zombies coming off the screen and chasing us through the theater! And it’s not our popcorn they want to gobble! It’s our brains!

We’ve got to get out of this theater and hurry home. The zombies won’t follow us — WILL THEY?

The second audiobook I listened to was a really fast read, although super enjoyable. I listened to Zombie Town by R.L. Stine. I literally have not read an R.L. Stine book since my early teens but I recently decided that I need to so when I saw an audiobook of his, I had to purchase it.

It was a super short listen but it made up for it with entertainment value. This book is obviously a horror story about two friends who go to see the new and highly popular zombie flick at their local theatre, Zombie Town. But while they are there, things start to go not quite as expected and they find themselves regretting ever wanted to see the movie in the first place.

I had a lot of fun listening to this audiobook, not only was the story really fun and creepy but the narrators were fantastic. R.L. Stone is definitely one of the kings of horror so I didn’t find it as much of a surprise that the story was a little scary. There were a few twists and the narrators make you get really into the story, seriously I wish these two could narrate all the audiobooks I listen to. Definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for a fast light horror read or for a child or teen. This audiobook gets 5 stars from me, it was such a fun time.

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10534Title:  The Art of War by Sun Tzu, narrated by Aidan Gillen
Genre: Nonfiction – Military History
Length: 1 hour and 7 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Audible Studios
Rating – 4/5

Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is already present within us. Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world, as eagerly studied in Asia by modern politicians and executives as it has been by military leaders since ancient times. As a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict, The Art of War applies to competition and conflict in general, on every level from the interpersonal to the international. Its aim is invincibility, victory without battle, and unassailable strength through understanding the physics, politics, and psychology of conflict.

(Original publish date was circa 500 BCE.)

I have had this book on my to read list since 2012 at least. I’m pretty certain that I have also included this book every time I am asked what my top most intimidating books are.

While I don’t know alot about strategies of war or military history in general, I really liked this book. As an avid reader and gamer of epic fantasy books and games that often revolve around wars, I feel like this book gave me a new appreciation for war scenes in those mediums. I feel like any writer who writes any type of war scene should read this book as research in their writing. I plan to buy a physical copy so that I can use it in writing fantasy.

For some reason I always thought this book would be boring to read but I thought it was pretty interesting and easy to understand.

I really loved the narrator of this book, I wish he could narrate every audiobook I listen to. Overall, I enjoyed this and ended up giving it four stars and I can definitely see myself referring back to this book many times in the future.

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17894477Title: If This Isn’t Nice What Is? Advice For The Young by Kurt Vonnegut, narrated by Kevin T. Collins & Scott Brick
Genre: Nonfiction
Length: 2 hours and 23 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Audible Studios
Rating – 3/5

Master storyteller and satirist Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most in-demand commencement speakers of his time. For each occasion, Vonnegut’s words were unfailingly unique, insightful, and witty, and they stayed with audience members long after graduation.

As edited by Dan Wakefield, this book reads like a narrative in the unique voice that made Vonnegut a hero to readers of all ages. At times hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and deeply serious, these reflections are ideal for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their “long-delayed puberty ceremony” — marking the passage from student to full-time adult.

This audiobook makes the perfect gift for high school or college graduates — or for parents and grandparents who remember Vonnegut fondly and want to connect with him in a new context.

Surprisingly  I have never actually read a Kurt Vonnegut book, so this is actually my first. I hope to rectify that in the future as I have heard so many great things about his writing before, which is why I was really excited to listen to this audiobook that is full of his advice for high school graduates.

This book is basically a bind up of the speeches he gave at various graduation ceremonies on the transition from the young adult world to the adult world of responsibility.

I ended up giving this book three stars. I ended up liking it but I didn’t love it.  It was surprisingly funny in some spots but I did actually become bored a few times. I am actually really sad that this was my first Vonnegut book so I have plans to read more of his work in 2016. While I definitely did think that this book was full of insights and really good advice for young adults, I guess it just didn’t resonate with me much because I have passed that stage in life. Maybe it would have resonated with me as I was readying to embark on my journey to adulthood so I think it might be a good read for young adults within that period of their lives.

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15843241Title: The Princess Affair by Nell Stark, narrated by Victoria Aston
Genre: Fiction – Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours and 4 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
Rating – 4/5

Rhodes Scholar Kerry Donovan has never had anything handed to her on a silver platter. As she arrives at Oxford to begin her course of study, she is determined to make the most out of this latest opportunity. But when she meets Her Royal Highness Princess Sasha, second in line to the British throne, Kerry’s priorities are eclipsed by an attraction neither of them can ignore. “Sassy Sasha” is a tabloid favorite who appears to delight in scandalizing her people, but beneath her vexed public image, Sasha longs to be truly seen.

Will the tenuous connection she forms with Kerry be broken by the weight of the crown? Or will they find true love despite the forces endeavoring to keep them apart?

When I read the description for this book, it sounded like something I would enjoy. The story line reminded me of the type of rom coms I usually like so I was excited to listen to it.

The story was really good. It’s told in third person so we get insights into the perspectives of both of our main characters, which for this story I really really liked. It was a contemporary romance read about how a princess and a college student meet and fall in love. There is alot more to it than that though as royal politics, media and passion play parts in the story as well.

I really liked the story itself, I thought it was entertaining, fun and overall, romantic. I could definitely see this being turned into a movie – and one that I would love to see. I haven’t read many LGBTQ books and I would really like to start reading more (if you have any recs, leave them in the comments). This particular book deals with a princess whose family has yet to come to terms with the fact that she is Lesbian and she is still very much in the closet though it’s sort of like an unspoken truth. It’s like her family knows they are just in denial and when everything comes to head there’s a media frenzy and a family fall out that ultimately ends on a really sweet and really good note with the princess taking control of her life and owning who she really is. I really liked it, enjoyed it and I do recommend listening to or reading it! I wasn’t too big a fan of the narrator but I think she did a pretty good job although, I don’t know if this is the case for everyone who listens to this book but it seemed to backtrack quite a bit, repeating sentences every now and then. That bothered me a little bit but didn’t detract from the story.

I hope you enjoyed my reviews of these audiobooks. Happy reading everyone!