It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/14/21)

Ah summer time! The weather changes on a dime in Tennessee. Will it be hot and muggy, rainy, or will we have a break from the heat with an 85 degree day? This weekend was a little bit of all of those things. Thrown into the mix was a birthday dinner with a good friend but I still found time to read a little bit! Here are my recent reading choices.

JUST FINISHED

I am still making my way through this series listening to the audio books and enjoying every second of the journey. Kate Daniels is one of my favorite characters, Ilona Andrews my favorite writing team, and Renee Raudman the penultimate of narrators. The nuances in her voice really bring out the humor in Kate’s internal voice. Such a great series.

JUST STARTED

I’m back in the Hollows with Rachel Morgan, witch-demon. This is book 14 or 15 in this series and I have not gotten tired of it. Thank goodness the author hasn’t either!

I have also mixed in a little contemporary romance but it seems I am on a journey through the fantasy genre lately. Which books do you ultimately keep reading? Any great series with a good narrator? I’m loving my audio books lately. Let me know what you’re enjoying in the comments below.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (5/3/21)

I have been on a listening jag lately, finding it hard, again, to pick up a book and lose myself in a plot. I think in part this is because my husband has been traveling and I find listening to an audiobook to be soothing. I’ll admit to putting in my ear buds and falling asleep to some old favorites. It’s a comfort when I’m tired of hearing myself talk to the dog. Does anyone else do this? 🙂 The book I just finished is an oldie but goodie. However, I do have an ARC deadline this week so I have actually started reading the book so I can get a review out on time.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

For those of you who have only watched the TV series True Blood, you are truly missing out. I am one of those people who read the books back when they were originally released and couldn’t watch the tv program because it wasn’t anything like the books. This series is narrated by Johanna Parker who does an outstanding job imbuing Sookie with the humor that her narration warrants. That humor was totaling missing from the show which was all glorified sex and blood. I’m so glad I’ve rediscovered this series and I’m slowly using up my Audible credits one book at a time. It’s totally worth it.

JUST STARTED

I met this author many years ago at a book convention. I was just starting out as a book blogger and she gave me her first book to review. Now, years later, I still find myself lucky enough to receive an ARC of all of her releases. I just started this book last night and it comes out on Tuesday. As with her other novels I’m immediately drawn in by the interesting characters. I can’t wait to see where this story takes me!

I hope everyone has a great book on their nightstand that they are looking forward to reading in their downtime. I’d love to hear what book has caught your eye. Please share in the comments below.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Audio Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

What do you do when you’re on a road trip with your husband and have hours in the car in front of you? You try to pick a book that the two of you will enjoy together, in this case Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, and hit play. Narrated by the author himself, Norse Mythology tells of some of the myth’s surrounding Thor, Loki, and Odin. Characters we think are familiar to us because of the very popular Avenger’s franchise, but in actuality Gods who were flawed and maybe not quite so heroic.

A quick word about the narration. Read by Neil Gaiman’s accented voice, he brought the characters to life imbuing them with a humanity that those Gods would probably dislike. That humanity held a wealth of emotions; humor, anger, mischievousness, stupidity, and even evil. I forgot at times that this was the author himself speaking because the characterizations were read so well.

What I found most interesting about listening to these myth’s is how much the popularization of these characters in current movies has shifted from the truth, or at least the truth as it was passed down through stories. Marvel gave us handsome actors in Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and a stout grandpa like figure in Anthony Hopkins as Odin. When Mr. Gaiman’s voice spoke the first chapter it was those actors who filled my head, but by the third story I realized those faces didn’t fit the characters actions in this book and I soon came up with faces from my own imagination. Although, it was quite funny to picture Chris Hemsworth as a more stupid, beefy version of Thor. How did Marvel stray so far from these truths? Strike that question, we know why. Chris, Tom, and even a more elderly Anthony Hopkins sell tickets because of their pretty (cough) faces.

Despite a couple of dull stories, my husband and I were entertained for 6+ hours, laughing at Thor’s obtuseness, and Loki’s mischievous nature, but I’ll admit to being more surprised at Odin’s true character. In Norse Mythology, Odin, the father of all humans, was actually a rather evil guy. As Loki played tricks on other Gods, Odin played tricks on humans which seemed a lot worse. Gods given their all powerful nature should be able to take care of themselves but the scale seems imbalanced when you pit a god against a human.

Even though I’d had Norse Mythology on my TBR I probably would never have gotten around to reading it because mythology sounds interesting but the reading of it, even fictionalized, can be a little dry. I’m glad the opportunity arose to listen to the audiobook in a time when their tales seemed relevant. What I mean by that is that this year, in 2020, it feels like a book could be written about our current gods (imaginary or real) playing tricks, getting angry, or being completely obtuse about the goings on of their humans. It strikes me that in Norse Mythology there wasn’t a very benevolent god in the bunch which doesn’t bode well for this humans future. Gods help me.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this audiobook!* Norse Mythology

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Road Trips, Audiobooks, and Scenic Routes

My husband and I found ourselves with two weeks without jobs. He was laid off and I was put on a furlough for two weeks. For those of you that don’t know a furlough is where you are not paid for the time you’re out, can file for unemployment, and are guaranteed a re-entry into your old job. In my case two weeks. Instead of sitting on our butts at home and playing it safe, we decided to play it as safe as possible on the road. We are visiting a bunch of National Parks and site’s that we’ve always wanted to see, but never had the time. What does this have to do with books? Well, not a whole hell of a lot except we’ve listened to a couple audiobooks, visited a cool mural in Kansas City, and been inspired to write about the gorgeous scenery we are seeing in the great U.S. of A.

Honestly, we’ve seen so much in the past week that it’s hard to put it all down on paper, but I’ll give you some highlights, and of course show you some photo’s. Consider this our generations slideshow that when I was a kid we’d make visitors sit through when we returned from our vacation.

First night- Kansas City! Honestly this was just a stop on the road after driving for 8 hours from Nashville, but I knew I wanted to eat BBQ and take a picture in front of their library.

Our goal was to drive through South Dakota to get to Mt. Rushmore. A national monument I’d always wanted to see and a state I was supremely curious about. I fell in LOVE. What a beautiful state! Now, granted, we were seeing it in June and the weather was pleasant. This is an area that gets a TON of snow. I think we came at the right time of the year.

We passed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home as we listened to an audiobook about the History of Bourbon. Yes, I know it’s not my normal reading, but I knew it would be something my husband would be interested in hearing. It was a little dry, but a really interesting topic!

While listening to this book I looked at this scenery. Truly glorious, isn’t it?

Maybe I was silly, but the grass was blowing and it was just enchanting.

Can you imagine viewing this prairie and thinking about pioneer’s, wagon trains, and whether you yourself would have the fortitude to make that trip? In a car it took us 11 hours to make the drive from Kansas City to Rapid City, SD. That would equate to what, a couple of weeks, months? So no. Definitely not.

We did make a stop in the Badlands where we saw our fist buffalo, some amazing scenery and a prairie dog.

We did finally get to Mt. Rushmore, and it was splendid. In fact, after visiting that park we went to Custer National Park and on the drive there, you could see Mt. Rushmore from many different vista’s. Here’s my favorite, and yes, we wore masks the WHOLE time! I wish I could say the same for everyone else.

Because we were making things up as we went along, we stopped at a geological site and saw some Mammoth skeleton’s, went to Vail Colorado for lunch, and again enjoyed all of the different scenic vista’s of the country we were driving through. As we entered Utah and the desert, I popped in a new book that I thought my husband might enjoy. It was Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. There was actually quite a bit of humor in these tales and even though I imagined Chris Hemsworth as Thor, every time his stories were told I grew less enthralled with that character. He was really not a very bright god! In the end my imagination took me from Chris Hemsworth to a more fit (and more hair) Homer Simpson. I much prefer the movie version, but it passed the time and my husband enjoyed the stories.

We went through Arches National Park in Utah and drove down through Monument Valley on our way to the Grand Canyon, where I am right now. I haven’t seen it yet, but will let you know my thoughts! Here are a few photo’s of the previous places mentioned. I would totally recommend Arches National Park, and even the drive through Monument Valley, although I’d wait until post COVID. It was hard to find a pit stop because the Navajo and Indian nation’s have been hit pretty hard and most store’s/restaurants were closed.

Arches National Park
Monument Valley
The Arizona Highway

One last thing! We got to Tusayan tonight and as we were heading out to dinner say this visitor walking towards us on the street. Freaked me out! It’s an elk, by the way, not a moose, and yes that is my commentary. Like I said. I was freaked!

This was our first six days on the road. I did leave some photo’s out, but gave you quite a few to ruminate over! I hope you enjoyed my slideshow, 2020 style!

Have a great Sunday! I know I will. I’ll be in California Visiting my Dad for Father’s Day. 🙂

Deb