Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sunday Post: The Birthday Week, Audiobooks & My March TBR List Poll Winner

The Sunday Post is hosted by the wonderful Kimba, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, and gives us all a chance to recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. 

We take birthdays very seriously in our house. At least my daughter and I do (my husband just goes along with us). This past week we celebrated Mouse's fifth birthday (how is this possible?!) almost all week long in one way or another. When I asked her on her actual birthday if she felt any older, she replied, "No, I don't feel older," and then proceeded to ask if I would measure her to see if she was any taller.

The celebration continued into this weekend. We could not pass up having ice cream at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour. If you've never been, you need to try to go. The wait staff really make the visit fun, singing and cracking jokes with guests.

What are you up to this weekend? I hope you are enjoying your Sunday!

Book Blogger Hop


Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.


Do you believe audiobooks are the future? Why or why not? (submitted by Vicki Lee
Audiobooks may become my future if I ever lose my eyesight. A possibility I haven't completely ruled out, although I hope it won't come to pass. I cannot imagine a life without books or stories. I think audiobooks play a valuable role in our society for many people, and I do not see them going away any time soon.

I know it is controversial to say, but reading and listening to a book are not exactly the same thing. You are using different senses, triggering different synapses in your brain. I have always been a more visual learner, remembering more of what I read than what I hear. That's why in school taking notes proved to be vital to my learning process. This isn't to say listening to audiobooks is any less of a worthwhile experience than reading a print or e-book. It differs for each person.

My own experience with audiobooks has been mixed. I really want to love listening to audiobooks, especially because I would like to improve my auditory learning. The fact that I am easily distracted, my mind frequently wandering, is an issue. On the other hand, I sometimes find audiobooks give me something to focus on and stop the negative chatter inside my head when it gets to be too much. Then there is the time factor. For some, fitting in listening time is a breeze. Not for all of us though. It takes me for what seems like forever to get through an audiobook. I can't listen on the job. And I won't listen while with my family. This greatly limits my listening opportunities. I fit it in when I am able, but even then sometimes I prefer listening to the news on the radio or to music. I love music.

That said, I do get enjoyment from listening to books, especially when it is an engaging story and there is a great narrator. Since I began listening to audiobooks six years ago, I have discovered which books work best in that format for me. Definitely no nonfiction (goes back to that retention and wandering mind problem). Conversational memoirs tend to work well as do fast paced mysteries (which hold my attention more easily) or perhaps books in which my full attention isn't required--like re-reads.

Reading the written word is often cathartic to me, whether it's the book I am reading itself or just the process of reading. I find it relaxing, and it gives me the opportunity to pause and reflect whenever I want without worry of losing my place or missing something. I can more easily visualize the world I am reading about, become part of the characters lives. I find it to be a very thoughtful and more personal process. When I am listening to an audiobook, I do not have quite the same experience. This isn't to say I haven't been swept off my feet by an audiobook--because I have. It's just rare. I get that not everyone feels the same way--or has the same obstacles when listening to an audiobook.

Audiobooks are definitely not my preferred method of reading at this point in my life, but I think they have a very solid place in our society. I imagine everyone has different experiences--some of you love listening to audiobooks and others of you don't. Several of you may even share my thoughts on the matter. However you take in a book, whatever works best for you, is the right way to do it. No matter the format.

What do you think? Are audiobooks the way of the future?


What I Am Reading: I finished reading Clea Simon's The Ninth Life this past week and am well into Kemper Donovan's The Decent Proposal. My husband actually selected my current read. I was trying to decide between two books, and gave him the choice of a romantic comedy or a disaster novel. He chose the romantic comedy. You wouldn't be surprised if you knew him. He is not a fan of disaster stories. The Decent Proposal is about two strangers who are offered half a million dollars each on the condition they meet once a week--just to talk--for a year. I am enjoying it so far.


What I Am Listening to: I was able to listen a bit more to Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America by John Waters this week, albeit not much. His humor is a bit crude at times, not quite my style, but I'm finding it interesting nonetheless. 


What I Am Watching:  I am about to go into Doctor Who withdrawals. I haven't had my Doctor Who fix in over a week now. Being as it's the little one's birthday, I have seen the Lalaloopsy Prep-School episode just about every night for a week. It's better than Masha and the Bear, I admit, but both are shows I would be happy to never see again. I have been able to keep up with The Walking Dead, at least, and I caught the new episode of Quantico. Does anyone else watch that show? 


Around the Blogosphere:

What's Going On Off the Blog: As I mentioned earlier, it was a week of birthday celebrations. I actually did make it to work for part of that time, enjoying some vacation time mixed in there as well. Our visit with our family went well. Living so far away from family has its disadvantages to be sure, but it also makes reunions especially sweet. Mouse was thrilled with the extra attention and love.

We got the promised rain (in fact, it is raining as I write this), but Mother Nature was kind enough to let the sun come out for a couple days. My daughter was able to have her outdoor party with her friends after all. The rainbow mane, blue unicorn piñata was a big hit.

I picked up Mouse's immunization records from the hospital yesterday in preparation for registering her for school. Initially when I arrived at the hospital, I drove around the parking lot of just over an hour looking for a parking spot to no avail. I ended up leaving, figuring I could come back after my visit to the hair salon, which was long overdo. Kindergarten registration still feels far off, but it's really only a few short weeks away.


Thank you for helping me choose my next read from my TBR collection:

My TBR List is a meme hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Sunday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month, and my review will follow. While I will attempt to post my review that same month, I make no promises--it may go up the following month. 



Thirty-six of you took the time to vote in my survey! The most since I began participating in this meme. I don't know if it was because you all felt so strongly about the choices or what. Whatever the reason, I am grateful for the help in choosing what I should read next.

By a majority, Robert Gailbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling came in first with 21 votes (58.3%); it was followed by Jane Casey's The Burning which received 10 votes (27.8 votes); and in last place was Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark with 5 votes (13.9%). From your comments, I had a feeling The Cuckoo's Calling would come in for the win. Even my husband admitted to voting for it.



Thank you again to all who voted! 

I hope you all have a great week! Happy Reading!

© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

62 comments:

  1. I recently 'read' (listened to) my first audio book but can imagine they'd be great if you do a lot of driving or have problems with your eyesight.

    I hope your daughter had a wonderful party and I'm glad the weather was fine enough to have it outdoors!

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    1. Deborah - I think if my commute were longer, audiobooks would become my constant companion. :-)

      She had a marvelous birthday week. We still need to pick up her free cupcake or cookie at Barnes and Nobles this coming weekend--so she'll be to extend her birthday out a little longer. :-)

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  2. Glad it was a great birthday week! That looks like a neat place- and the Blarney burger on their site doesn't look half bad. Lol. I agree with you on audiobooks- pretty much everything you said. I do find my mind wandering when I'm listening, so they're not my preferred way to experience a book- but they have their uses and I can see trying them again at some point.

    I've never seen Quantico but I am liking TWD this season. Are you enjoying it? Although I'm a little nervous about what's coming up apparently...

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    1. Greg - Thank you! I think she wouldn't mind if her birthday was year round. :-) Farrell's always goes big. It's a fun place. I remember going when I was a child--maybe once or twice. Some of their ice cream concoctions are ginormous.

      I am enjoying TWD this season. A coworker and I had a long discussion this morning about the shift in mindset of the characters. I haven't yet seen last night's episode, but hopefully soon.

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  3. I am going to get into audiobooks while driving my daughter to school and using the treadmill, but I doubt that it will ever replace my love for the written word.

    As a cat lover I'm interested in The Ninth Life, and curious about she pulls off this unusual story. Glad it didn't rain on the birthday gal's party, but isn't it nice to have some? Though my dogs are so spoiled by the constant lack of rain that they are getting grumpy about going out in it at all :)

    Sounds like a very busy week but the good kind of busy.
    Thanks for the mention.

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    1. Rita - I hope you find them enjoyable!

      I should be posting my review of The Ninth Life later this week. Usually when you encounter (at least in my experience) animal narrated mysteries, they are light hearted--this one is definitely dark. I didn't mind that as I like all kinds of mysteries.

      I love the rain, but, yes, I am relieved it was dry out for my daughter's sake. Just moving it from one day to another in the first place because of the expected rain was emotional for her.

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  4. Lovely post :) I am always in Doctor Who withdrawal! Aww, happy birthday (week) to your little Mouse!

    I liked audio books back when I was driving places (and actually owned a car) but I definitely prefer physical copies of books.

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    1. Annika - Thank you! Luckily, I have a ways to go before I'm caught up with Doctor Who. :-) Hopefully this week I will get to watch an episode or two.

      A preference for physical books seems to be the consensus.

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  5. Happy birthday MONTH to her! :D Ah, audiobooks ... I have to listen at a speed of 1.5x at least, or I can't pay attention to it. I'm easily distracted too.

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    1. Christy - Thank you! I'm sure it will turn into a month long celebration. ;-) I've only sped up the speed of one audiobook and ended up not finishing it. The narrator read soooo slowly--and unfortunately speeding it up didn't make the book any more interesting.

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  6. Happy Birthday to Miss Mouse! Can't believe that she is 5. Kindergarten will be a new and fun experience for all of you. And new place in life. I had decided that the Galbraith book would win, but did vote for the Jane Casey book. Both are good - you'll like them I suspect. Audio books - well, I think for visual learners (which I consider myself part of), they take a bit of practice. Your life doesn't lend itself so well to them now. That will change over time I imagine. I love them a lot now and actually almost 50% of my reading is in audio format. And I saw Clea Simon at LCC. She said that some dark things she's been working through in her own life contributed to THE NINTH LIFE being a bit darker than her previous books. She was very interesting to listen to. Thanks for the LCC shout-out. Hope you can attend one of these some time.

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    1. Kay - Thank you! She's feeling nervous about starting kindergarten, although she's excited about making new friends. She's much more social than I am. Haha

      I hope to win the Jane Casey book at some point in the near future even if it did not win. :-) I may have the next two in the series already as it is.

      I remember you mention Clea Simon being on one of the panels you heard talk. I hope to post my review of her book later this week.

      I loved reading your account of LCC. I really do hope I'll be able to attend someday.

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  7. YAY for a week of celebration for Mouse's b-day!!
    I love audiobooks, but I mostly use them for re-reading. Normally, I don't re-read my books, because I have so many new books to read, but when I listen to an audio of a book I loved, I always find something different to enjoy, and so I allow myself to 'cheat' this way :) I think audios really depend on the narrator, if the voice doesn't work for me, we're doomed from the start! And if a narrator has strange pronunciations, I won't be too happy (like if a character speaks French, but the narrator really doesn't...)
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Lexxie Lin - We hope to get her free cookie or cupcake at Barnes and Noble for her birthday this weekend. Trying to extend it out just a little longer. ;-) I am not a big re-reader either. There are only a handful of books I have actually re-read.

      Yes, narrators are so important when it comes to audiobooks. They really can make or break the book.

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  8. I listen to audiobooks while driving or exercising. For me the story needs to be fast moving too. No longer descriptive passages where my mind will wander. If I would skim over it in a book, it will be painful to listen to on audio. I also get new books in series I love on audio to slow down my enjoyment of them. If I know there won't be another book for a year, I use the audio so I don't read it all in one day.

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    1. Heather - Fast moving is a must for me too. I an see how that might work--extending a favorite series by listening the audio. Given how long it takes me to get through an audiobook, it would stretch out the experience for a good long while. :-)

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  9. Oh my goodness, I can't actually remembered what I voted for in your poll but my readers group March read is no other than The Cuckoo's Calling.

    Interesting to read your thoughts on audiobooks. Whilst I'll happily sit and read a book for hours, I find I get bored listening to one very quickly.

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    1. Tracy - I'll be curious to know what your group thinks of The Cuckoo's Calling. I just started it and am not that far in yet.

      My attention wonders so easily when I listen to an audiobook. I lose myself much better in a print book.

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  10. Wonderful way to celebrate the addition of Mouse to your family. I don't think you could go wrong with any of the books you mentioned--I've read all three and enjoyed each one!

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    1. Jenclair - I am looking forward to reading all three eventually. I'm excited to finally have started The Cuckoo's Calling. Hopefully I will like it.

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  11. OMG, I can't believe the thought of audio books for people with visual impairments! Like you said, LF, each format has it's place.

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    1. LuAnn - Audiobooks do have their positives. :-)

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  12. I don't think I've ever seen someone sum up the differences between audiobooks and other books so well before...I don't think I could even have pinned it down myself! Have a great week and happy reading!

    Laura @ http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-lives.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Laura - Thank you! That's very nice of you to say.

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  13. When I listen to audio books I have found the best way to do so is a noise cancelling wireless headset. It removes all distraction and fully engages the mind. This also allows me to do other things like, sew, design, cook and clean house.

    Sportochick’s Musings Answer

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    1. Teri - I can see how that would help. Unfortunately there wouldn't be many opportunities for me to use a noise cancelling headset. They aren't safe to use while driving, which is when I listen the most--and when cleaning, I don't like to block out all sounds least I end up not hearing my daughter.

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  14. I'm not sure which I voted for but I hope it's a good read for you

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  15. I don't love listening either, but I have listened to a few books.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Nice Sunday post.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

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    1. Elizabeth - It comes in handy sometimes, just not all the time.

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  16. Sounds like you had a fun week and I hope Mouse enjoyed all the birthday fun.

    I always learned best when reading books. I haven't tried audiobooks yet, but I can imagine I might get easier distracted than when reading a book. I do want to give them a try and I do believe that they will become even more popular and have a place in the future.

    I am glad The Cuckoo's Calling won, that's the one I voted for. I hope you'll enjoy it! Have a great week!

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    1. Lola - Mouse had a blast. She is big into birthdays. :-)

      I think it's worth giving audiobooks a try to see what you think.

      And I'm glad the book you voted for won. :-) I just started it and am excited to read it.

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  17. It is so nice to hear of how much your little one enjoyed her birthday. When you are in single digits birthdays are VERY important.

    I love your thoughts about audiobooks. I go through phases with them. I like music and quiet time so I don't listen to audiobooks as much as I could. I do listen at work depending on what I am doing that day. I have started listening while I do household chores as well - it makes laundry a little better for sure. I was always able to retain what I heard in school so maybe that is why they work so well for me.

    Enjoy The Cuckoo's Calling! I have never read anything by JK Rowling believe it or not.

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    1. Carole - I still love my birthday--I just try not to think about how old I am anymore. ;-)

      I wish I could listen to audiobooks at work. Too many distractions though. I never mind when my coworker has her radio on. I wish I was better at retaining what I hear when I listen to audiobooks.

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  18. I can't believe Mouse is 5 and time for kindergarten. so hard to believe.

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    1. Diane - I can't believe it either. I register her next month. Where did the time go?!

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  19. Happy birthday to sweet little Mouse!

    I hope all is well with your eyes. I have issues with mine so I know how scary it can be. I love audio books but agree that they won't become the future for everyone.

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    1. Kathy - Thank you! I have problems with my eyes now and then, but so far they are holding up okay. I was glad to hear your surgery went well, although I imagine the pain was unbearable at times. :-( I hope you have a smooth recovery.

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  20. I really loved The Cuckoo's Calling so I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it. Happy Birthday to Mouse! Have a great week!

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    1. Samantha - I'm glad to hear you loved it! Hopefully I will too. Mouse thanks you for the birthday wishes. :-)

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  21. A very happy birthday to Mouse! That ice cream parlor looks legit- I'll be surprised if they don't expand toward my neck of the woods.
    My mom has blind friends who rely on audiobooks and radio for their entertainment and education. Braille books are pricey, so audiobooks are a definite must if you have vision issues- I think libraries need to have more of them. As for me, I have to read along on a physical copy whenever I use audiobooks- visual learning is my style as well.
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. Litha Nelle - Thank you! That particular ice cream parlour--or the chain anyway--was quite big when I was growing up, but closed down most of their locations because of the economy. They've made a comeback in recent years. They do good business and are quite fun. That would be neat if you got one out your way. :-)

      I've heard that about Braille books. I have a couple of friends with vision problems and they also complain about the lack of available audiobooks to them at the library all the time. I have never tried reading while listening before. I might have to give that a try sometime.

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  22. I can't believe Mouse is five. It doesn't seem like it is even possible. I am glad she had a great birthday week. :)

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    1. Kelly - I can't believe it either. She's grown so much. I'm in awe of her much of the time. The things she says and does.

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  23. Happy 5th Birthday! Where does the time go? Kindergarten - how exciting.

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    1. Nise' - Mouse sends her thanks. :-) She's more nervous about kindergarten right now than excited, but hopefully she will like it. It'll be a big change for all of us.

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  24. Thank you for sticking with "The Ninth Life"! I hope Blackie's narration worked for you and I am very curious to hear your thoughts! Happy birthday to the Mouse! Wow!

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    1. Clea - Thank you for the birthday wishes. :-) I would love to pick up and hug Blackie, but I doubt he would appreciate it. I enjoyed the book and getting to know both Blackie and Care.

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  25. I like your week-long celebrating, very good idea, and happy birthday to Mouse! I think we need more audiobooks but not at the expense of print books. Both are important for the reasons you've discussed - concentration and eyesight. That said, more audiobooks would hopefully lead to better concentration over all which would be a benefit. Hope you enjoy the Galbraith :)

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    1. Charlie - We all had fun. :-) I agree. I think both are important. I'm excite about reading The Cuckoo's Calling.

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  26. What a well-written, well-thought out response! You make some excellent points, such as that reading and listening to a book are different sensory experiences. Indeed they are! And what you say about "the negative chatter in my head" is very true, as this happens to me, as well.

    Reading printed books is also my preferred mode of absorbing a book's content. When e-books first came out, I was adamantly against them, but I have since caved in, and do read them sometimes. But my preferred format is still, and will always be, the printed book.

    It's also true that different people have different experiences with audio books. Some people love them, some don't, and still others use them occasionally. I think that audio books are here to stay, but will never replace printed books, just as e-books won't. So we bookworms will just have the choice of the three formats.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOUSE!!! YAY!!! I know it's hard to believe that she's already 5. Time goes by so fast! How very nice that she was able to have her outdoor party after all, and that she was surrounded by the love and attention of all the family! That unicorn piñata sounds SO cute!!

    "Cuckoo's Calling" is a great choice for your next reading! I hope you enjoy it!!

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my BBH post!! :)

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    1. Maria - Thank you for your wonderful comment. I'm sorry you suffer the negative chatter too sometimes. I imagine we all do, but I wish we didn't have to anyway.

      I didn't think I would take to e-books either, but I've come to enjoy reading that way quite a bit. It's very convenient. I still enjoy reading paper books as well, of course, and wouldn't give them up for anything.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes. :-) Mouse says thank you. She was so happy to have the outdoor party.

      Have a great weekend!

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  27. I am not a HUGE fan of audiobooks but some days, that's all I 'read', so I am thankful for them too. Interestingly, I prefer to listen to nonfiction on audio - especially the narrative kind. I haven't had much success with fiction on audio.

    Yay for Cuckoo Calling!

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    1. Athira - I'm not as careful a listener as I am a reader when it comes to books, and so nonfiction doesn't work for me well. I do well with conversational memoirs like Jenny Lawson's and Tina Fey's books. Just not the more informative or factual nonfiction books.

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  28. Happy Birthday to your daughter!! From the pics I saw, she had a fabulous time! So, is she taller? LOL.

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    1. Ti - Just a little taller. Haha Thank you for the birthday wishes. :-)

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  29. Happy belated birthday to little Mouse! Five is such a great age. :)

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    1. Shaina - She's so happy to be older. :-) Thank you.

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  30. I'm glad to hear Mouse had had a wonderful birthday! I sure love her answer of being five. :-)

    Yay, so you'll be reading The Cuckoo's Calling! I voted for that one! Can't wait to hear what you'll think of it.

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    1. Melody - Thank you! She's a smart girl. ;-)

      I'm enjoying The Cuckoo's Calling so far, although I am not too far into it so far. :-)

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  31. Regarding audiobooks, I do love having them as an option. I use them a lot during my commute but it does take a month to get thru a 15 disc book. And then I miss listening to NPR. It is harder to stay focused with audiobooks because, let's face it, we're usually doing something else while we listen. Sometimes the narrator can really make a book so much better and I'm glad I listened (or, in the case of Ready Player One, wish I had because everyone who listened loved it but I was meh about it from just reading it). Sometimes, though, the narrator can really make the book less enjoyable. Such a toss up but I don't think audiobooks will ever replace written work.

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    1. Lisa - You are so right. I can't just sit there and listen without doing anything else. I'm either cleaning or driving or something . . . Even when I have the television on, I have trouble just sitting there and watching without doing something.

      I don't know if I would have liked the written form of Ready Player One. I did really enjoy the audio version. Narrators really can make a difference, I think.

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