Tag Archives: Christina Baker Kline

Top Ten Tuesday! — Audiobooks

28 Jun

It’s Freebie Day at Top Ten Tuesday! Thanks to the gals at The Broke And The Bookish who host every week. To find out what other bloggers are sharing today, click HERE.

toptentuesday

 

I love audiobooks! I started listening about 6 years ago when I traveled 4+ hours to my daughter’s college soccer games. They filled the tedious hours of driving alone. I got my husband hooked on audiobooks when we would go on road trips for football games. With Summer in full swing now, I thought it would be good to share my favorites. Audiobooks are perfect for car or plane trips or when you just want to relax and have someone read to you. 🙂 I also listen while exercising and doing chores, basically anytime when it is too cumbersome to hold a book! I went a bit over the top with my list — 20+ books! But I really liked them and just had to share.

 

TOP 10 20+ FAVORITE AUDIOBOOKS

While it is important to have a good story, a good reader/narrator is also important for a quality audiobook — timing and voices/accents are key. My husband and I got hooked on Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries. But just any old narrator will not do; we have to have Hugh Fraser! Lucky for us, a ton of Poirot audiobooks featuring Fraser are available. He does an excellent job in making Poirot come to life. Here are a few of our favorites.

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The Christie audiobooks run about 6+ hours, making them a perfect choice for listening with others.

Along with the Christie mysteries, I have listened to some other excellent books. They vary in length, but have a two things in common: excellent stories and excellent narrators. The following have something for everyone — suspense, mystery, history. There is even a classic! Check them out!

The Advocate by Randy Singer, narrated by David Cochran Heath

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, narrated by Zach Appleman

Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill, narrated by Lisa Larsen

A Cry from The Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks, narrated by Teri Clark Linden

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The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey, narrated by Gabe Wicks

Cuts Like A Knife by M.K. Gilroy, narrated by Coleen Marlo

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer, narrated by Joey Collins

Dubiosity by Christy Barritt, narrated by Joyce Bean

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Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes, narrated by Paul Michael

Longbourn by Jo Baker, narrated by Emma Fielding

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, narrated by Jessica Almasy/Suzanne Toren

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

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The Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta, narrated by Amanda McKnight

The Racketeer by John Grisham, narrated by J.D. Jackson

Sycamore Row by John Grisham, narrated by Michael Beck

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin, narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan

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To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, narrated by Sissy Spacek

The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki, narrated by Madeleine Maby

Vanished by Irene Hannon, narrated by Celeste Ciulla

Water from My Heart by Charles Martin, narrated by Kevin Stilwell

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What about you?

Do you listen to audiobooks?

 

August Book Club Selections

3 Aug

Here are the books my two book clubs will be reading this month. Have you read them? What did you think?

 

51ycWviNHOL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_Pearl in The Sand by Tessa Afshar. Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes.

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab’s untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well–walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness.

A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith…of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.

 

51dfH32zyfL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

Book Review: Orphan Train

4 Dec

timthumb.phpPenobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

 

1Christina Baker Kline is a novelist, nonfiction writer and editor. In addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Orphan Train, her novels include Bird in Hand, The Way Life Should Be, Desire Lines and Sweet Water. She served as Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University from 2007 to 2011 and was an on-staff editor and writing coach at the social networking site SheWrites.com.

Kline is coeditor, with Anne Burt, of a collection of personal essays called About Face: Women Write About What They See When They Look in the Mirror. She also commissioned and edited two widely praised collections of original essays on the first year of parenthood and raising young children, Child of Mine and Room to Grow. She is co-author, with her mother, Christina Looper Baker, of a book on feminist mothers and daughters, The Conversation Begins. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in San Francisco Chronicle, the Literarian, Coastal Living, More, Psychology Today, and others. Kline is currently at work on a literature anthology for Facing History & Ourselves and a novel based on the iconic painting Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth.

Kline was born in Cambridge, England, and raised there as well as in the American South and Maine. She is a graduate of Yale, Cambridge, and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing. In addition to Fordham, she has taught fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, English literature, literary theory, and women’s studies at Yale, New York University, and Drew University. She is a recent recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowship, a Writer-in-Residence Fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a Fordham Faculty Research Grant. She donates her time and editing skills to a number of organizations in New Jersey and Maine, including Volunteer Lawyers for Justice

Kline has worked as a caterer, cook, and personal chef on the Maine coast, Martha’s Vineyard, and in Charlottesville, Virginia. She lives in an old house in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, David Kline, and three boys, Hayden, Will, and Eli. She spends summers with extended family in an even older house on Mount Desert Island in Maine.

 

My Impressions:

I chose the audiobook version of Orphan Train because I had read so many favorable reviews from a number of bloggers I follow. It was certainly a great choice for my morning walks. It kept me engaged, and the miles flew by. A wonderful account of a little known, but important part of early 20th century American history, Orphan Train touched my heart as it entertained and educated.

Molly is a foster child about to age out of the system. She has been in so many homes and endured so many things, that she keeps others at arm’s length. It is painful to lose people and places so quickly. After stealing a beat up copy of Jane Eyre from the local library, she comes to work for Vivian, a 90-something woman with a past full of loss. What begins as a way to fulfill community service, connects Molly to something outside herself and Vivian with a future that transcends her past.

Christina Baker Kline has a true gift. Her writing style flows. Orphan Train is full of story telling magic that suits an audiobook well. (The reader did a great job with timing and the characters’ voices.)  Kline also does a great job of connecting two very dissimilar characters — a 17 year old foster kid with just a few personal items to call her own and a 90 year old woman who lives in a mansion with an attic stuffed with memories and keepsakes. Molly is a likable character, but it is Vivian that gives life to this novel. Her journey from the slums of New York in 1929 to the small towns of Minnesota to her mansion by the sea is incredible. Full of loss, love and abuse, Orphan Train had me laughing, crying and hoping for a better future for Molly and Vivian.

Orphan Train is not a Christian novel. It contains some adult situations and a fair amount of profanity, mostly from Molly. But it is such a powerful story, that I can highly recommend it with the stated qualifications. It is also a perfect choice for a book club.

Highly Recommended (with the qualifier of profanity).

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.