Don’t be a Wimp!

So you probably are NOT a Wimp, but I guess I still am sometimes.

If you have read any of my previous posts, then you know that I am addicted to audiobooks.  It is rare for a day to go by that I am not listening to a book at some point throughout the day.

As a single working parent I don’t have much in the way of ‘free time’, or for that matter ‘me time’.  I also don’t have much of a spending allowance for personal wants.  (Although for me, audiobooks could possibly be classified as a need, but certainly not with a large budget.)

And New audiobooks, are not cheap, and understandably so.

So, with the number of audiobooks that I can go through in a month, I have to be creative.  I subscribe to different services to be able to purchase a few new books per month.  

I will also borrow books from our local library, and sometimes buy old books from them when they are pulled out of circulation.

And I buy used audiobooks from yard sales and even online, sometimes in random batches.  Now random batches are a little like a treasure hunt, you never know what you will find.  And that brings me to my point.

The good part of randomly getting audiobooks is that I have listened to works I probably never would have found on my own, and yet they become some of my all time favorites.  

The bad part of random audiobook picks, is that sometimes I really feel like I have wasted my time.  And that’s where I want to implore you not to be a wimp like me.  Or like I have been.

While we should always be open to new ideas and experiences, we should also not lose track of the things that we enjoy.  

I am one of those people who will sit through a bad movie, because I hope at some point that it will get better.  And it’s the same with audiobooks, I like to finish what I start.  But I realized after trying 2 books in a row that for different reasons were not suited to me, that I really need to be more direct in my approach.  

I need to get in with the new crowd and understand that it’s ok to say ‘No’.  No, I’m not going to finish this book.  No, I’m not going to waste my time again.  And No, I’m not going to feel bad about that.

With the billions of books out there, it’s safe to assume that there will be many books that just won’t be a good fit for me.  And every moment that I waste on one that I don’t like, I’m missing something that I could potentially LOVE.  

Like some of the wonderful audiobooks that I have found and added to my list of FAVORITES such as Mordacious, The Quacker Cafe, Midnight Crossroad, and more.

I’m not going to list the books that I consider ‘fails for my purposes’.  One, because I don’t want to waste more of my time or any of yours.  And Two, because I do understand that what I don’t like, is in most cases a matter of preference.  

And that’s where I want to stress again, that we all look for audiobooks that excite, entertain, inform, or maybe just make us laugh.  Life is a rollercoaster ride, and you never know when it’s going to end.  

If you love Histories, then make sure that you have plenty of those on your reading lists.  If vampires get your blood pumping, then by all means, enjoy them.  

Yes, step out of your comfort zone from time to time, and open yourself up to something new and you may be pleasantly surprised.  Yet, if what you’re reading isn’t lifting you up but rather bringing you down….stop.  If it’s become a chore to listen…it’s ok to move on to something else.

Most subscription services will let you trade in books that don’t work for you, so make sure to use that service to find a good fit for you and make good use of that hard earned dollar.

If you Love it, keep it.  If you don’t….return it, sell it, or donate it to someone else who might.  

There is a market for everything, but that doesn’t mean that you have to have everything in your basket.  

So, I’m going to take my own advice and go find something that I can really enjoy.  Then I will be back here with a new review for you.  You don’t have to love the same things that I do, but I hope you can find something you love.

From my family to yours, remember to make time for some truly Happy Listening!

Terese Plummer – Narrator

Another outstanding narrator!  What can I say?  I love being able to bring talented people like Terese Plummer to you.

My first experience with audio book narrator Terese Plummer, was with Mordacious by Sarah Lyons Fleming.

If you haven’t experienced Sarah Lyons Fleming, or her ‘Until The End of the World (UTEOTW)‘ series yet, and if you like zombies…. you really need to give these books a try.

I am a ‘Walking Dead’ fan because of the characters and the whole ‘what if the world ended?’ search for answers.  And if you are too, then these books will be perfect for you.

Now, I read some of the book reviews for Mordacious, and one of the comments was that this book, the first in ‘The City Series’ books from Sarah took a little longer to get hooked into than the original UTEOTW series.

I haven’t read the actual book, so that may be true when reading the actual pages, but it wasn’t true for me when listening to the audio book version.

Surprisingly enough, it was Mordacious that got me into the whole UTEOTW series (as well as the novella So Long, Lollipops).

So the whole story is that I listened to So Long, Lollipops first and really liked it.  But it being a novella I didn’t realize that it was a sub part as it were, of an actual series.  I didn’t have much time for research at that time, so I just moved on.

Then, I got Mordacious! And after Mordacious, I just HAD to find out if there was more.  And that’s how I found the UTEOTW series, and went through all 3 books in about 1 week.  Keep in mind that I have a full time job and am a single parent household, so that’s pretty devoted listening!

Back to the subject of this post though, one of the reasons that I think this story was so compelling to me, was of course the outstanding narration.  Mordacious is co-narrated by Terese Plummer and Luke Daniels.  I think that this was a really great pairing of talented narrators.

Terese has over 300 audio books to her credit, and Luke has over 250.  Both have been nominated and/or won numerous awards including Earphones, and Audie awards.  They are young, extremely talented, and prolific narrators.

As many amazing narrators do, Terese has an acting background including guest spots on Law and Order SVU, and The Good Wife.  She has worked in regional theatre.  She is a commercial voice artist, and a comic voice artist in Ironman Extremis, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh.

She received Audiofile’s Best Voices of the Year 2015, for her work on Robyn Carr’s, A New Hope.

I mean, seriously, this is what Terese does for a living… and it shows.

Some other award nominated/winning projects are; Robyn Carr’s The Wanderer, Jodi Picoult’s Sing You Home, Jennifer Haigh’s Faith, Wally Lamb’s We Are Water, Carson McCuller’s The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Peter Cline’s The Junkie Quatrain.

If you haven’t heard Terese Plummer’s narration, and you are looking for someone great, give her a chance to impress you.  You can find more info from her website,

And as always, from my family to yours, Happy Listening!



Julia Whelan – Narrator


Julia Whelan, born 1984 in Oregon, has been acting since she was 5 years old.  She is best known as teenager Grace Manning in the family tv drama ‘Once and Again’.

However my introduction to Julia’s work was through her audio narration of the Sarah Lyons Fleming ‘Until the End of the World’ series.

If you like the show Walking Dead, then you will likely love this Zombie Apocalypse series too!

I have (and have listened to) all four books, including the novella ‘So Long Lollipops‘, that were narrated by Julia Whelan.

The series order goes; Until the End of the World, And After(book 2), All the Stars in the Sky(book 3).  The novella So Long, Lollipops should be read between books 1 and 2, for the best chronological order, but it’s not required.

Also from Sarah Lyons Fleming (but not narrated by Julia), is the side story Mordacious.  Much like the novella, the story of Mordacious occurs in the same timeline as the Until the End of the World series, but it follows the struggles of a different group of people, including some  characters originally introduced in book one.

Once again the best combination of outstanding writing, and amazing narration.  This is truly a great example of how AWESOME audio books can be.

Julia’s narration on the whole series is just stellar.  In my 1-4 narrator rating scale, she definitely comes in as a 4!  Her timing is so eloquent, the emotion so real.  For me, this set is an all-around KEEPER.

You know some books you listen to once, and they may be great, but once is enough.  This set though, I just don’t want to put away.  I keep playing them, and will no doubt re-visit them like some of my other favorites, every year.

You just can’t help but fall in love with these characters.  Cassie, Nelly, Penny, Anna, Peter, Bits, Adrian, John, Dan……the list just goes on and on.

So if this sounds interesting to you, give this series a try.  If not, there are many other types of books in which you can enjoy Julia Whelan’s narration.  Including the mystery novel by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl, that was turned into a movie in 2014.

To follow Julia on twitter click here.

Let us know what you think of Julia’s work, and as always, Happy Listening!


Luke Daniels – Narrator

My first foray into the work of Luke Daniels, was actually the novella So Long, Lollipops, by Sarah Lyons Fleming.  However, my favorite of Sarah’s book, including narration is Mordacious.  I just love this audio book!

Luke (and Terese Plummer), do such a great job of bringing life, emotions, and realism to this story.  They work extremely well together also.

The production and editing on this audio book, makes the listening experience effortless.  This is a great example of how great an audio book can be when all the components are there and aligned for perfection.

The writing is tremendous, the performances outstanding, and all the pieces put together to create the optimal listening pleasure.

It sounds funny to say that last, when I think about the story line itself, which is pretty much the ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ theme.  But when it’s ‘The End of the World’,  a somewhat OFF perception, and a sense of humor will be invaluable.  So forgive me if I’m just trying to get a head start:)

So back to Luke Daniels.  Luke comes from a family of actors.  He grew up with his both his mother and father performing and teaching in the Theatre.

Currently he has over 450 audio books to his name.  He has received numerous awards including 13 Audio File Earphones Awards, and Audible’s 2012 Narrator of the Year Award.

He has a deep love and passion for story telling, which can easily been seen by checking out his YouTube videos or viewing his Facebook or Twitter posts.

He is just such a fun loving sort of personality, that you can’t help but appreciate the fact that he has obviously found his passion.

His wide range of works ensures that there will be something for any type of audiobook listener.  So check out his available works, and give Luke a try.

Luke can be found through his main website, , on Facebook at , and on Twitter @luckylukeekul.

Happy listening!


Emily Durante – Narrator

Emily has been acting since her first performance at age 7.  She has been working in audio books for over 15 years with nearly 200 books to her credit, including fiction and non-fiction works.

She enjoys challenging herself with new characters, dialects, and languages which shows in her beautiful performances.

She is talented versatile and has many different types of books to choose from.  On my scale of 1-4, I would say that Emily is a 4.

One of my first experiences of Emily’s work came from her readings of one of my favorite authors, Anne McCaffrey.

If you love dragon’s, especially dragons of the intelligent, not violent species, then you can’t do much better than Anne McCaffrey’s Pern Series dragons.

These 2 books come later in the series and are written by Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd McCaffrey.  Published in 2011 and 2012, these are a continuation of the original series that I began reading in the 1980’s.

Books – Dragon’s Time, and Sky Dragons – by Anne McCaffrey.

The Pern series is a great example of books that audio narration raises to a whole new experience level.  Especially when you have an experienced fiction narrator such as Emily Durante.

Whether you enjoy fantasy/sci-fi fiction or not, Emily is one narrator that you should give a try.

Some other books narrated by Emily that might interest are;

The Midnight Twins trilogy by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Solomon’s Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson

Chicken Soup for the Soul; Like Mother, Like Daughter by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog

Last Exit in New Jersey by C.E. Grundler

Just to name a few.  With over 200 to choose from, that’s a trifling few, but doubtless there is something for everyone.

So give Emily a try and let us know what you think.  We are always interested in your comments and concerns.

Thank you for reading and as always, Happy Listening!



Wendy Dillon – Narrator Review

Wendy Dillon has worked as an actress in New York theatre.  She is a voice and acting teacher.  She has done narration work in commercials, and animation as well as audio books.

My first Wendy Dillon narrated experience was Jeanne DuPrau’s book, The City of Ember.  

I found this story in the young adult fiction.  I’ve found several excellent authors and narrators in this category.  One thing I really like about the young adult books is that they actually have stories.  Real stories!

I love this story. So much that it probably deserves its own review!  For now though, we will discuss Wendy’s narration.


As a teacher of audio technique, you can imagine that her skills are expansive.  And it shows in her work.

The City of Ember has a full cast of characters, and Wendy voices them all superbly.  In my 1-4 Narrator Rating Scale, she definitely qualifies for #4 status.  An extremely talented multi-character, narrator.

Some other Wendy Dillon narration books to try;

The People of Sparks – (book 2 of the City of Ember) by Jeanne DuPrau

A Dog’s Life – by Ann M Martin

It Had to be You: Grace and Favor Mysteries #5 – by Jill Churchill

Wendy Dillon is truly a top of her field Narrator, whose clarity and rhythm, and ability to successfully voice multiple characters is outstanding.

If you have run out of top talent narrators, or are just looking for someone new to try, put Wendy Dillon on your list.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments, and as always… Happy Listening!

For the next book in the City of Ember series, try The People of Sparks.  Once again, another great story!



Stephen Lang – Narrator Review


Stephen Lang is an actor, playwright, and audiobook narrator. He graduated from Swarthmore College with a degree in English Literature.  Married to Kristina Watson for over 35 years, they share four children.

As discussed in the above video, he recently played the blind man Norman Nordstrom in the 2016 released ‘Don’t Breathe’.

For me, his most memorable role was Commander Nathaniel Taylor in the 2011 TV show (regretably only one season), Terra Nova.  I know actors often like to play the ‘bad guy’, but I really like him in this straight forward, ‘guy trying to do the best he can for his people’ kind of role.

So imagine my surprise when I listened to Sandra Brown’s Chill Factor and recognized who the narrator was.  Not all, but a lot of the really good narrators will have some acting experience, so a narrator who is also currently acting is nothing new.  

Still, this is the first time that I can recall, that the actor was someone whose work I was very familiar with.  It’s sort of like running into a friend you haven’t seen in a long time.  Quite a pleasant surprise.

The story, Chill Factor, is a murder mystery.  Five women have gone missing over a 2 year period in a small North Carolina town.  The local police department, small and not particularly bright, has no leads or suspects until the FBI begins asking questions about a writer who has spent time off and on in town over the years.

Unexpectedly stranded with the same writer during a blizzard in the house Lily just sold, she begins to wonder herself if this man might be the murderer, and if she will make it out of the storm alive.

With a host of other local characters, the story goes back and forth between the 2 trapped in the house on the mountain, and the FBI and police working their way through the details of the cases.

While I enjoy mysteries, murder mysteries are not my favorites. They are however, big sellers and therefore, easy to find on sale at stores. By far the most common type that I find at yard sales as well which is where I bought this one.

So, taking that into account, overall I found it a good story.  There were some spots that I found the writing to be more drawn out than what was resonable to expect, as if the writer was trying to stretch out the story.  And the ending was perhaps a bit too convenient, but hey, at least you’re not left hanging.

Had I been reading the physical book myself, it might have made it a slower read.  However, with Stephen Lang’s narration,  it was less notable and a more enjoyable experience.

I would put Stephen’s narration on Chill Factor to be a solid 3 in my 1-4 scale.   Good consistent characters, both men and women.  Great technical skills (speed, pronunciations, etc.).

So if you enjoy murder mysteries, or would like to try a good sample of Stephen Lang’s narration, then give Chill Factor by Sandra Brown a chance.

Please leave any comments or suggestions, and from our family to yours, Happy Listening!


Carrie and Me, A Mother Daughter Love Story – Book Review

Carrie and Me - Audio book cover

Carrie and Me – A Mother Daughter Love Story

Written and read by Carol Burnett.

I’ve always loved watching Carol Burnett perform any kind of comedy act.

Growing up, there were few successful female role models around.  Of course, we didn’t have daily access to the World Wide Web then either.

So for me, mostly my role models came from T.V.  And there have always been a lot of actors, but the ones who last are rare, and Carol is definitely one.

I recently came across this audio book written and read by Carol Burnett about her relationship and struggles with her oldest daughter, Carrie.

Carrie went through many years struggling with drug addition.  She became addicted to drugs in her teens, attended several rehab programs, and finally was able to maintain a drug free life.

Unfortunately she developed cancer in her 30’s that was diagnosed late, and she passed away at too young of an age.

However, she lived her life the way she wanted, found success in her work, and created many wonderful relationships along the way.

The story starts out as a narrative, with Carol telling about her early life, having her 3 daughters, and going through Carrie’s addiction.  Then she narrates a section of communications (with added details) between herself and Carrie leading up to Carrie’s death.

And lastly Carol narrates a fiction story that Carrie was working on prior to her death. When Carrie realized that she would not conquer the cancer, she made a personal request to her mom asking that she finish the story for her if she was able.

I find the sequences interesting and quite unique coming all it one book.  Of course it’s a bit of a tear jerker at times, especially if you are a parent.

Mostly I think, as with anyone you might hold in high regard, it’s humanizing to see their personal struggles.  To be reminded that we are all human, flawed, and challenged at times in our lives.

Perhaps if we knew more about each persons individual struggles, maybe we might find ourselves struggling with each other less.  Criticizing less, and empathizing more.

I know so many of us are really into the fiction, but if you haven’t tried Autobiographies yet, I encourage you to look up someone well known that you admire.  See if they have an autobiography available, and give it a try.

It’s always a good idea to step out of your comfort zone from time to time, and you might just surprise yourself.

If you want to find out more about Carrie and Me, click on the link below.

From our family to yours, happy listening!


Worth Dying For – Book Review


Worth Dying For (A Jack Reacher Novel)

By Lee Child

Narrated by Dick Hill

I believe this is the second or third Jack Reacher novel that I have read/heard.  And as expected, a really great book.

Reacher is such a great character.  Such a complex person, yet in many ways a basic almost primitive man.

I find myself rooting for him, and wishing there was a Jack Reacher on my side for once!

This time Jack finds himself in Nebraska, hitching rides on his way to Virginia.  On his first night, he meets a drunk doctor and overhears the doctor avoiding a call from a woman complaining of a nose bleed that won’t stop.  Jack convinces the doctor to go on a house call.

Since the doctor is drunk, Jack volunteers to drive for the doctor.  What they find at the woman’s house angers Jack and as usual, he can’t help but get involved.

Yet what starts out as a suspected spousal abuse problem, quickly turns into an international incident, with multiple bad guys vying for who can catch or kill Reacher first.

Reacher with his usual flair, divides and conquers, and in the process solves a decades old mystery while saving many lives by taking a few.

Ultimately it’s a very sad story though.  Although Jack comes out the undeniable champion, we get introduced to a very seedy side of the human psyche.

One that I certainly will never understand, and hope never to experience in any way in real life.  There are souls who walk the earth filled with darkness, who commit truly unspeakable acts.

If only there were more Jack Reachers to put them all out of commission, humanity might just have a chance to reach a new and better level of existence.

For now, we will have to settle for one notch on the scoreboard for the good guys.

If you like action mysteries, give it a try and let us know what you think.

Happy Listening!


Stephen Briggs – Narrator

Stephen Briggs is an actor, narrator, playwright, artist, and more.

Winner of many awards including an Audie, Audible Download Book of the Year, Best Voice of the Year, and Earphones Awards to name a few.  

Member – Oxford’s Studio Theatre Club

Author of Children’s fiction


Stephen Briggs is an experienced and extremely accomplished Narrator.   He is also an actor, and accomplished playwright.  However, in respect to this site,, we will focus on his Narration skills.

As you can see from the impressive list of sample works listed below, there are many audio books to his credit.  But more than the number of books, is the complexity of the characters that are portrayed in these stories.

We are talking not only different accents, both female and male voices, but also vampires, trolls, zombies, talking dogs, and so much more.  Each distict, separate, and totally unique unto themselves.

Once you have listened to one book, I have no doubt that you will do just like I have, and you will come back for more.

In my personal narrator rating scale, Stephen is without a doubt a definite 4.  I almost want to say a 4+ even.  Currently Stephen is in my top ‘3’ favorite of ALL time narrators, so if you haven’t experienced one of his works, just check out any of the items listed on the below sample listing, and you will be coming back for more.

I started with Terry Pratchett’s ‘Thud’.  Of course I love Terry Pratchett’s writing, but combine that writing with Stephen’s narration….and I could, and have listened to that book over and over again.  Truly sensational!

So, go pick up something outstanding.  And from my house to yours, Happy Listening!

Sample work listing;

A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction Terry Pratchett

A Hat Full of Sky: Discworld Childrens, Book 3 Terry Pratchett

Children of the Different S.C. Flynn

Darwin’s Watch: The Science of Discworld III Terry Pratchett

Diggers: The Bromeliad Trilogy #2 Terry Pratchett

Dodger Terry Pratchett

Eric: Discworld #9 Terry Pratchett

Going Postal: Discworld #29 Terry Pratchett

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Propecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch Terry Pratchett

I Shall Wear Midnight: Discworld #38 Terry Pratchett

Judgement Day: Science of Discworld IV Terry Pratchett

Making Money: Discworld #36 Terry Pratchett

Monstrous Regiment: Discworld #31 Terry Pratchett

Nation Terry Pratchett

Night Watch: Discworld #27 Terry Pratchett

Raising Steam: Discworld #40 Terry Pratchett

Slave Soldiers William Butler

Snuff: Discworld #39 Terry Pratchett

Strata Terry Pratchett

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents: Discworld Childrens Book 1 Terry Pratchett

The Carpet People Terry Pratchett

The Fifth Elephant: Discworld #24 Terry Pratchett

The Globe: Science of Discworld II Terry Pratchett

The Last Hero – A Discworld Fable Terry Pratchett

The Science of Discworld Terry Pratchett

The Sheperd’s Crown: Discworld #41 Terry Pratchett

The Truth: Discworld #25 Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men: Discworld Childrens, Book 2 Terry Pratchett

Thief of Time: Discworld #26 Terry Pratchett

Thud: Discworld #34 Terry Pratchett

Truckers: The Bromeliad Trilogy #1 Terry Pratchett

Unseen Academicals: Discworld #32 Terry Pratchett

Wings: The Bromeliad Trilogy #3 Terry Pratchett

Wintersmith: Discworld Childrens, Book 4 Terry Pratchett