10 Audiobooks in my Library


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is All About Audio, a freebie on anything audio-related, so of course I wanted to talk about audiobooks!

I’ve gone over my favourites before (shamelessly embedding the video in question right here for you to check out!) so I thought today I’d go for something a bit different and tell you about some of the audiobooks currently sitting in my Audible library:
an Audible book haul of sorts!


The MuseThe Muse by Jessie Burton [Goodreads]

London,1967. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, Odelle Bastien now works as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous & enigmatic Marjorie Quick. The plot thickens when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

Rural Spain, 1936. Artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles & his half-sister Teresa insinuate themselves into the life of Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, with explosive and devastating consequences…

I enjoyed Burton’s debut The Miniaturist – particularly the detailed & immersive portrayal of historical Amsterdam – so I’m eager to see what she makes of 70s London & the Spanish Civil War. I’ve also heard really good things from a librarian friend of mine – always a good sign!

Packing for MarsPacking for Mars by Mary Roach [Goodreads]

Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule, Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

A new Mary Roach book! About SCIENCE! And SPACE!! I’m so excited to read this after getting on the Mary Roach train with Stiff.

Zer0esZer0es by Chuck Wendig [Goodreads]

Five hackers are detained by the U.S. government at a secret complex known as the Lodge. Forced to work as an elite cyber-espionage team in the service of Uncle Sam to avoid federal prison, these misfits dub themselves ‘the Zeroes’.

Once the Zeroes begin to work, they uncover secrets that would make even the most dedicated conspiracy theorist’s head spin. And soon they’re not just trying to serve their time, they’re also trying to perform the ultimate hack: burrowing deep into the U.S. government from the inside, and hoping they’ll get out alive. Packed with electric wit and breakneck plot twists, Zer0es is an unforgettable thrill ride through the seedy underbelly of ‘progress’.

I’ve not actually read anything by Chuck Wendig before & I’ve been meaning to remedy that – then I saw this in an Audible sale & I just had to pick it up.

Six of CrowsSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo [Goodreads]

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price – and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge, a sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager, a runaway with a privileged past, a spy known as the Wraith, a Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums, a thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.

Here’s another book I picked up in an Audible sale, and it’s 100% booktube’s fault.

UpdraftUpdraft by Fran Wilde [Goodreads]

Kirit can’t wait to pass her wingtest, so she can start flying in service to her home tower, and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city’s secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. To try and save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever-if it isn’t destroyed outright.

I originally got this because it was being nominated for so many SFF awards, but then Andrea Philips mentioned it has a bit of a Dragonriders of Pern vibe & I got very VERY EXCITED. It’s now moved to the top of my TBR list!

AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [Goodreads]

As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu & Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion – for their homeland and for each other – they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.

I’ve had this in my Audible library for a little while & I was hoping to get to it during #Diverseathon, but it was a bit too long to cram into that week.

The Path of AngerThe Path of Anger by Antoine Rouaud [Goodreads]

Dun-Cadal has been drinking his life away for years. Betrayed by his friends – who turned their back on their ideals in favour of a new republic – and grief stricken at the loss of his apprentice, who saved his life on the battlefield and whom he trained as a knight in exchange, he’s done with politics, with adventure, and with people.

But people aren’t finished with him – not yet. Viola is a young historian looking for the last Emperor’s sword, and her search not only brings her to Dun-Cadal, it’s also going to embroil them both in a series of assassinations. Because Dun-Cadal’s turncoat friends are being murdered, one by one… by someone who kills in the unmistakable style of an Imperial assassin…

I picked this up some time ago to read for my series on translated fiction, but after a couple of disappointing translated reads, I took a short break from that project which turned into a much longer break – woops. I do really want to get back to it soon.

North and SouthNorth and South by Elizabeth Gaskell [Goodreads]

North and South depicts a young woman discovering herself in a nuanced portrayal of what divides people and what brings them together.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s compassionate, richly dramatic novel features one of the most original and fully-rounded female characters in Victorian fiction, Margaret Hale. It shows how, forced to move from the country to an industrial town, she develops a passionate sense of social justice, and a turbulent relationship with mill-owner John Thornton.

You can blame Richard Armitage’s face for this purchase, which may or may not have been made while I was swooning at his Mr Thornton watching the BBC mini-series. When I first heard about this classic romance set in Victoria Britain, with bonus industrial relations subplot & actual working class people, I couldn’t believe I’d gone so long without knowing about it! Now I’m just saving it for a dreary day when I’m in need of a pick-me-up.

City of StairsCity of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett [Goodreads]

Years ago, the city of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to conquer the world. But after its divine protectors were mysteriously killed, the city was conquered, its proud history erased & censored. Progress left Bulikov behind, just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power.

Into this musty, backward city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, she is just another lowly diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, Shara is one of her country’s most accomplished spymasters, dispatched to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly harmless historian. Soon Shara begins to suspect that the beings who once protected Bulikov may not be as dead as they seem…

This was an impulse buy I got on sale around the time the book came out (if I recall corectly, it was after hearing a particularly good recommendation on Shipping & Handling). I think the sequel is already out too, so I can go straight onto book two if I enjoy it.

Calculating GodCalculating God by Robert Sawyer [Goodreads]

An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges and says, in perfect English, “Take me to a paleontologist.”

In the distant past, Earth, the alien’s home planet, and the home planet of another alien species, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at the same time (one example: the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs). Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God: i.e., he’s obviously been playing with the evolution of life on each of these planets.

I’m not gonna lie, this one just sounded hilarious! I’ve read & enjoyed Robert Sawyer before, and came across this one in a sale. The blurb made me laugh & somehow the book found its way into my library. This is why I’m not allowed to click on that gorgeous little ‘Get 3 extra credits’ button any more.

Let me know in the comments what books you’ve acquired recently & if you’ve read anything from this list. If you do your own list, please link back to The Broke and the Bookish, who created and hosts Top Ten Tuesday.


Top Ten Books on my TBR for Summer 2015


I’m much more of mood reader than a seasonal reader, so this list of Summer Reads probably won’t be very summery (lots of space doom), but it’s always fun to take a snapshot of what I’m hoping to read in the near future!

After I saw the beautiful trailer for The Martian, I couldn’t stop thinking about the story and just had to listen to the audiobook again. I liked it just as much as the first time, despite knowing what would happen, and it still made me tear up in places. So now I’m in the mood for Sci-Fi, SCI-FI, and MORE SCI-FI.

Luckily I had three shiny Audible credits, so I treated myself to:

1. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
I saw this one featured on Audible’s main page and I picked it up because Elizabeth at Books and Pieces recently gushed about it. Good enough for me! I’ve just started listening to it today & the moon’s already exploded. :)

2. Century Rain, by Alastair Reynolds
I asked for recent SFF recommendations on Twitter and this is one of the books that was mentioned. The blurb says it’s about a space archaeologist who rediscovers Earth. Yes, please!

[one_half]Seveneves_Book_Cover[/one_half][one_half_last]century rain[/one_half_last]

3. Space Chronicles, by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Audible suggested this one to me and I hesitated approximately 0.415186 of a second. I love popular science books and I loved Neil Tyson when I heard him speak on various science podcasts. Also his twitter is pretty amazing.

Next, I want to read some of the books I’ve already got on my shelves as the unread books are piling up and guilt-tripping me into not buying new ones…

4. The Burning Dark, by Adam Christopher
This one is more space-horror than straight-up science-fiction, but it was recommended by my friend Nick Bryan, and I do have a copy at home. I just read & really enjoyed The Ghost Line, the new Elementary tie-in book that Adam Christopher wrote, so I feel good about trying one of his own titles. Also, check out the cover, I LOVE it!

[one_half]neil tyson[/one_half][one_half_last]burning dark[/one_half_last]

5. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
Nothing says summer like a post-apocalyptic novel about an acting troupe, right? I bought this one a few weeks ago after George R.R. Martin recommended it, and I can’t wait to give it a go. I suppose at least in this one the Earth won’t be doomed, like in my first two selections! The cover design is so gorgeous that I really hope I love Mandel’s writing, just so I can get her other titles & have a matching set.

6. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks, by Sam Maggs
I pre-ordered this one & got it on the day of release. I’ve already rifled through & what I’ve seen had definitely made me smile. I’m not sure I need a handbook for being a girl geek or a fangirl, but I know this is the book of my people. I’m not going to read it straight away, I have a feeling I’ll need to add a bit levity to my summer reading if it gets too doom-and-gloomy.


7. Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
I picked this up as an audiobook after watching quite a bit of Parks & Recreation recently. I love the show (and Leslie Knope of course!) so I was curious to read Poehler’s book. A lot of people on booktube really liked it so I’m looking forward to listening to this.

Finally here are three books I’ve been waiting to buy for a little while, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to contain myself when I go to Waterstones on Saturday to pick up another book I ordered for novel research…

8. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, by Julie Berry
A book about seven proper young ladies attempting to hide two murders and unmask a murderer? In a boarding school? In Victorian England? SIGN. ME. UP. Amazon & Goodreads both told me I should read this after I wish-listed & Want-to-read-ed Robin Stevens’ next Wongs & Wells book (which, incidentally, also comes out this summer) and it sounds about right. I’m very excited to dive into this, and it’s another one to cheer me up after all the space-death.


9. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
A brand new standalone based on Polish myth and folklore by the author of the Temeraire series!! I LOVE Naomi Novik’s writing and I’m not alone: Robin Hobb blurbed the book, Brandon Sanderson also said he loved it. I cannot wait. I’m dropping everything to read this the minute I get my grubby little hands on it. (So, Saturday.)

10. The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin, Elio M. Garcia Jr. & Linda Antonsson
I’ve been putting off getting this Game of Thrones companion book until Season Five finished so that I would have something to read in the long dark months with no book or TV episodes. On the bright, no character we love will be brutally killed in the next ten months!


Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these & if you have any recommendations for me based on this list. If you do your own list, please link back to The Broke and the Bookish, who created and hosts Top Ten Tuesday.


Paper vs. Pixels

When I first heard about Laure Eve’s Paper vs. Pixels Challenge I thought it was an easy choice. I’m obviously Team Paper. I love physical books, and I don’t own an e-reader. My e-book experience consists of the Kindle App on my phone and tablet: too bright, too small on the phone, with the tablet too cumbersome to hold and the battery draining about 5 times as fast on both. Very MEH.

But that’s not the point of Paper vs Pixels – after all, it wouldn’t be a challenge if it wasn’t challenging to do. Laure’s original post asks that people choose something that will be a break from their routine. And funnily enough, choosing Paper only would make a big difference to my reading experience.

I don’t read that many physical books any more. A quick look at the Venn diagram of my ‘Read in 2013’ and ‘Audiobook’ categories on goodreads would tell all there is to know about my addiction to recorded books.

I adore audiobooks, I think they’re possibly the best way of consuming stories that there is. I realise they don’t work for everybody, but listening to a book is a deeply satisfying experience to me. And on an even more personal level, audiobooks have taught me a ridiculous amount of my English. I also really like the idea that stories were told around camp fires for centuries, long before the printing press.

My Audible membership buys me a book a month, but from the sheer size of my audio library, it’s pretty clear I click the ‘Buy 3 Extra Credits!’ button too damn often. All in all, it’s getting a bit pricy and I still have a LOT of unread books on my shelves.

So, in the spirit of ‘I don’t have a problem, I can stop whenever I want!’, I’m going to take a little audiobook break. So, to come back to the Paper vs. Pixels Challenge, I do choose paper. I choose physical books over audiobooks, which for me is a much bigger challenge than choosing paper over pixels…


I’m currently two books behind on my Goodreads Challenge, aiming to read 60 books in 2014. So this month I really need to crank it up and read more than four books!

Currently Reading:
The Ghost train to New Orleans, by Mur Lafferty
Parasite, by Mira Grant

Next on my To Read List:
The Demon’s Lexicon, by Sarah Rees Brennan