The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

Find in catalogI listened to the audio version of The Cookbook Collector. Somehow it seems like cheating to listen to a book instead of reading it. But when you are making a 7-hour, one-way, solo drive, listening to a diverting story makes the hours much more pleasant.
The story is about two sisters whose lifestyles are quite different. The older sister is a tech start-up entrepeneur, and the younger, a tree hugger. Regardless of their differing ideas about money, fashion and approach to life, it is wonderful to see how they support each other thoughout the story.
Other well-drawn characters enrich this story that encompases the period of the dot com boom and bust. The narrative lasts 15hr 44 minutes, perfect for that long road trip!
Happy trails.


The Empty Family (audio book) by Colm Toibin

Find in catalogThis author was new to me. I got a sense of his writing from these half-dozen short stories, read by different narrators. Toibin himself was one of the narrators, and his voice or style was uncomfortable to me. The two stories named in the catalog are the best, “Two Women” and “The Street.” The author seems to be gay, and there are some sexually explicit sections. “The Street” is about two Pakistani men now working in the USA, one young and the other in his forties. They are slowly drawn to each other, despite the social challenges of their work and living environments. It’s told from the young man’s point of view, in poignant detail. This story, even with one awful scene, was the most hopeful.

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey

Find in catalogThis makes it the fourth time I’ve read (or listened) to this book! It has yet to fail to make me laugh uncontrollably! She is just so smart, funny, and talented. If you have yet to read this or watch the unbelievable genius that is 30 Rock then I recommend you quickly add it to the top of your lists. Highly recommended for road trips this summer.

Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Find in catalogNeil DeGrasse Tyson’s hosting of the remake of The Cosmos TV show was brilliant and beautiful, his clarity and enthusiasm for astrophysics makes it applicable to non-astrophysicists. And I enjoyed his dramatic title of Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries that was written in a similar manner to the Cosmos. It would have been awesome if he had been able to narrate the audiobook. The book was very understandable and informational and I learned more about modern astrophysics than I could have thought I would know. The book did have a negative habit of running away from the subject of science to become a space for the author to talk about his views on religion and how, for him, religion and science are not agreeable. I’m not particularly concerned about his views on God, I’d rather just learn more about astrophysics and thought those parts could have been left out.

Mile 81 by Stephen King

Find in catalogReally fun short story written by Stephan King! It’s got all the great elements of a story and it’s short to boot! The story centers around the abandoned car turned monster devouring any curious or Good Samaritan that investigates. Great for car trips this summer because it’s catchy and will fit will into most travel times and attentions for the car ride.

The Langoliers by Stephen King

Find in catalogThe Langoliers by Stephen King provides many of the elements of a classic Stephen King novel, including an odd event that takes ahold of even odder characters but lacks much having much more than that, especially in comparison to his other novels. A flight (now) half full of passengers wakes up to find that most of the people on the plane and the whole world have just disappeared. And a blind girl says that she can hear a terrible sound coming closer in from a great distance. It’s an entertaining enough of a read but nothing particularly memorable or special. The narrator of the audiobook made the characters and story even more off-putting with annoying voices and distracting sound effects.

In the Tall Grass, by Stephen King and Joe Hill

In the Tall Grass is a short story that quickly captures, mystifies, and terrifies its audience as a brother and sister enter a tall grass field to answer a cry for help. A simply task and desire to help others soon imprisons and forever changes the lives of those who answers its call. It was amazing and terrifying all at the same time. I wasn’t able to stop listening, and why would you when it’s less than two hours long?

The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer:Vol.2 The Little Death by Mickey Spillane

Find in catalogThis is a fun audio recording that features Stacy Keach as Mike Hammer. Other actors round out the cast, and sound effects are added just like in classic radio programs. This is classic Hammer with roof top chases, a damsel in distress, and appearances by his faithful friend “Betsy.”