If your loved one is an audiobook loving person, this could be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. I confess, I gave it to myself last year, and I’ve enjoyed it so much, I’m doing the same thing this year.
I am not married or in a relationship. I have no other significant other, except Jesus Christ… praise the Lord, He is enough, loves me so much, and takes care of everything I need. Nobody else was going to give me a Valentine’s Day card, bouquet of flowers, or box of candies (lucky me – I do not need a box of candies… it would feed my food addiction and I don’t need that) . . . but last year I gave myself an amazingly wonderful gift on Valentine’s Day and I’ll do the same this year. I’m talking about a one-year subscription to Audible.Com… my source for audiobooks. On this page I’ll tell you about the books I downloaded from Audible during the last year.
A few years back when I first started listening to Audible audiobooks there were two levels of membership. You could subscribe for either one credit (ie: book) per month, or two credits. I started at one, and quickly went on to get the two-credit subscription. Last year I saw there’s an even better option: 24 credits all at one time. Of course, choosing this option means the books will cost considerably less per book… so I went for it. I’m so glad I did. At $229.50 for 24 credits, my audiobooks cost only $9.56 each. Compared with the two other plans, that’s a significant savings.
I immediately celebrated by choosing and downloading an audiobook last year on February 14…
This is about a family that immigrates and lives in an extremely remote Alaskan village… mother, father, and teenage daughter. In some respects it reminded me of my own very remote town in a forest, but the weather in Alaska has got to be more severe than here. The tension in the book was so great at times it was difficult for me to listen. You knew that something terrible had happened or would happen, and don’t really want to know the details, but then you’re compelled to finish reading, or listening. This is the second novel I’ve read by Kristen Hannah, and both of them were like that.
This is the second book I downloaded, on February 23, 2019. I still haven’t read/listened to it. My bad. In fact, I forgot I had it until right now, while looking at my Audible library, for this post. I started reading the Kindle version a few years ago but never made it all the way through Crime and Punishment, which is why I resorted to getting an audio version, I’m sure. Yes, I still want to read it.
I downloaded this audiobook on February 28 last year, planning to read it along with a group of other participants in the PopSugar Reading Challenge. The prompt was to read a book with a plant in the title or on the cover. I wasn’t so happy with the title of this novel, because of the word, witch… thinking it could be about sorcery. About that time I decided to go with another novel for that prompt. A few weeks ago I had time to read another novel and noticed this one was in my library, unread, and I listened, and guess what – I really liked this book! It is a murder mystery, written in a sophisticated way. I’ve heard long-time Tana French fans say this is not her best, but I thought it was excellent. Now I want to read more of her novels!
I bought this one, also on February 28, 2019 … it is a short book by a Christian, Bruce Wilkinson, about how we should follow our dreams. This is partly fictionalized in a way that is reminiscent of Pilgrim’s Progress. I listened to this one day when I was out exploring along the southern short of Lake Coeur d’Alene in North Idaho. A great companion for a journey.
I read/listened to this classic novel by James Agee for a PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt – a book published posthumously. I wasn’t expecting much, but it turned out to be a great novel and I’m so glad I listened in.
I got this novel last year on March 1, 2019, and didn’t listen to it until a few weeks ago in February 2020. As I recall, it was a premium offer of a free Audible title, as people who choose the option of 24 books in a year all at once get this perk. Or it could have been very low cost as an add-on… I don’t know. As such, it was not high priority for me to read. However!!! I liked this novel! It turned out to be a cute light-hearted novel about a widow finding her way, with friends. I’m glad I finally listened.
I read this novel for the PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: A book with a title that contains “salty,” “sweet,” “bitter,” or “spicy” . . . and of course, this fits the bill. I downloaded it from Audible on March 11. It is about two children growing up as friends in Seattle, Washington… a Chinese boy, and a Japanese girl. Then along came World War II and . . . well, you can imagine. Cute novel, but also heart-rending in places. This novel has been criticized for not being 100% accurate, but as a writer of historical fiction I know how hard it is to get things perfectly perfect. I liked it anyway.
I bought this novel, probably at a reduced cost, on April 1, 2019. Joke’s on me. Well, I’ve heard it is an excellent novel, and I want to read it – but I haven’t yet because it is another World War II story and I’m so burnt out on reading World War II stories right now. So, it sits unread… on my mind, but I’m just not ready for another novel like that yet.
On April 28 I bought this novel for a PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt, a book that takes place in a single day. There aren’t very many, so I went out of my comfort zone and got this crime thriller. It really was a edge-of-your-seat kind of novel. If you like those types of books, try this. I’ve heard people rave about it as if it were the best thing ever. I wouldn’t go that far with my praise, but it was attention grabbing. Here’s my Goodreads review of No Exit.
I bought this from Audible on April 29, 2019, and still haven’t listened to it. I heard it is one of the best audiobooks as people were praising it to high heaven and back, and it is a Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, and I’ve seen the awesome movie, and I want to read it – but I just haven’t yet. I started listening to it at one time last summer, and burned out during chapter one. I will give it another try next month as a Goodreads group I belong to chose it as a group read, and I need to read a western for this year’s PopSugar Reading Challenge.
I don’t remember downloading this on April 29. It must have been a freebie, or close to it. I haven’t listened to it… but I should. It won a lot of awards and seems to be YA.
Another book I don’t remember buying, on May 1, 2019… but I read this book earlier this month, or listened, you could say, and it was okay, good for a few days’ entertainment. Lots of dream sequences. The woman was dreaming of another woman, dreaming she was that woman, and then that woman’s body washed up on the beach near her father’s home.
This one . . . rave, rave . . . we do have our favorites, don’t we? This is set in an area just east of Antioch, California… an area I used to visit often with my children when we lived in the area. Back then, during the time of the novel, it was a coal mining area. These days all the towns in that area are obliterated, and it is called Black Diamond Mines Regional Park. I love that area! I liked this novel, which used many historical details that were familiar to me. I purchased this on June 5, 2019 to use for a PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: a book that makes you nostalgic.
This was purchased on June 7, 2019 for another PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt last year – a novel based on a true story. It is about a young woman caught up in a murder scenario with her co-worker. She was sentenced to life, and this is about her remembrances and life in custody. Great book, by Margaret Atwood, so what would you expect?
I had intended to read this in 2018 for the PopSugar Reading Challenge. I didn’t. So I bought it on June 12, 2019, thinking I’d get to it eventually. Still haven’t. This is another book with talking rabbits, similar to Watership Down or Rabbit Hill. Maybe someday I’ll be in the mood. If so, I’ve got it handily stored in my Audible library.
Slog city. I didn’t love it, but I did finish it for the 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: a book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent. I won’t recommend it to anyone unless early Catholic history is a vital interest of yours.
This was not quite the slog that The Name of the Rose was, but still, not a favorite of mine. It recounts the possible history of Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with his oldest daughter… if she had in fact known about his affair with one of his slaves. That part is a question in history… but overall, this book would have been fine in the hands of a teenager intent on learning some of the early history of the United States. I learned a bit too, but it wasn’t exciting. That’s for certain. I read/listened to it for a PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: a book by two female authors.
I bought this one on a whim on July 18 while on my first vandwelling vacation to Happy Camp. I bought it because I’d read two of Steven Pressfield’s similar earlier books, and thought I might benefit from this one too. It was short and fast to read… no delays there. Of all his books, this is not my favorite. I like Do the Work best.
I bought this on September 16, 2019 with another Audible credit. It had been on my PopSugar Reading Challenge list for two years! While reading it a close friend asked me why I would read such a horrible book, and I had to agree, it was horrible. The main character was a self-centered philanderer. The “lightness of being” had to do with having a difficult life as opposed to an easy one. Interesting book, but you’d have to be willing to read about this man’s ridiculous life of womanizing. For me, the challenge was to get through it and strike that off my list of books to read. My motivation to read is in large part to just know what’s inside the covers of a well-known book, or even just a little-known book that intrigues me. So, mission accomplished. I’ll never have to read this trash again.
I downloaded this novel from Audible on October 23, 2019. It was chosen as a group read by the local River Readers book club. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2014. This novel is quite a bit longer than the length of books I really prefer to read, but it was fascinating so I’m glad I read it. It was about a young boy who survived a disaster that took the lives of many others, and a certain valuable painting of a goldfinch.
The leaders of the local Bible study group decided to have us study the workbook and videos that go with this book by Laura Story, a Christian recording artist. I wanted to go a step further and read the actual book the workbook and videos were based on. It didn’t take long to get through this and find out the details of Laura Story’s story. I downloaded it on October 30, 2019.
This is another River Readers group book and also, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2019. It is long, well-written, and about the love of trees, and the preservation of them. I downloaded it on November 6, 2019, and didn’t finish until January 1, 2020. It was a bit of a well-written slog for me. Some parts were better than others, but the main problem was that it was long.
My friend was reading The Pray For America Bible, a one-year Bible reading experience, for 2020, so I climbed on board that and bought a copy. The foreword is by Barry C. Black and I wanted to know more about him so I read his book. Or listened to it, at least. There are videos of him on YouTube. This is a short read and I should listen again.
I suggested this to the River Readers book club and we all liked it a lot except those who didn’t manage to get a copy of the book due to slow library service. It is a page-turner suspense-thriller about a psychiatrist and his silent patient. Recommended. I got it on January 13, 2020.
I had more time (waiting for the other River Readers) after I quickly read The Silent Patient, so I downloaded this book on January 20 of this year and read it / listened to it in a couple of days. It really is phenomenal. An extremely popular book.
Because nobody else at River Readers had a TBR list handy, I got to choose another book. I nearly regretted picking this one for the group when the first few chapters focused on a group of teenagers! I was concerned about choosing YA for mature readers! But about midway, the book started focusing more on the adults and some adult issues, so it turned out alright in the end. I downloaded this one on January 21, 2020.
A friend in the River Readers group recommended this novel for me. It is written by a well-known pastor/author who lives and preaches in San Antonio. This is the first time I’ve read a novel he wrote. It was very cute, and the light read I needed after just having read another WWII novel, Beneath a Scarlet Sky. Downloaded January 27.
Another friend at River Readers wanted someone to discuss this book with so I read it and … it was well-written however, a little low on plot. What it did do was give amazing descriptions of growing up in a poor section of Naples, Italy. I’ve never been to Naples and I like books that introduce us to a culture that way. Also, I very much identified with the narrating character in her relationship to her best friend. Glad I read it. I downloaded that one on February 2, 2020, just a few days ago!
Now we’re getting to the final seven novels. I realized that my credits would disappear at the end of the year and that I should spend them quickly… all seven of them. If I’d left them there past the 14th of this month they would have gone away only to be replaced by the new 24 credits I’m about to get. I consulted my plans for the PopSugar Reading Challenge in 2020 and found some of the books available at Audible, and here they are.
With apologies to the author, I had to sell this back to Audible. I listened to the first chapter and it was too heavy on the black angst and politics for me. This is only the second time I’ve sold a book back to them. They are very good about providing a way to instantly, easily do that. I wanted it for a PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: a book by a WOC (woman of color) … and I replaced it with one I’ve been wanting to read…
I read another book by this author last year: Kindred… and it was awesome. Octavia Butler is known as the first black female sci-fi author, a term she didn’t fully appreciate. Kindred is a time travel novel. This is the first of two books in a duology… the other is Parable of the Talents.
There’s a prompt for the PopSugar Reading Challenge this year, to read a book with a made-up language, and this book is all about that. I’m reading it now. It is futuristic.. in a future USA in which women are suppressed, languages and the acquisition of them is of major importance, mainly for trading with aliens. This novel was published in 1984. It is a little dated, but still fascinating.
I got this novel for a prompt to read a book that won an award in 2019. It won the Hugo Award. Looks like another sci-fi. Hope I like it.
I’ve had this on my reading list before, but didn’t get to it. This year I put it back on my list for a prompt – a book that has a book on the cover. So beautiful…
The prompt is: a book about or by a woman in STEM. This book is both by and about… it is a memoir.
I downloaded this right before learning about the mother-of-all-controversies, about Latin American authors not getting big book contracts, and this woman-author, who is only part Puerto Rican, getting a big advance for writing a book about Latin American immigrants. So according to this way of thinking, we can never write anything again unless it is an “own voices” book. I can write only about the Irish immigrants to America, I guess. But what if my plot idea was for some other group? Ridiculous! I’m very sorry Latin American authors aren’t getting the advances (money) they want but then, neither am I, and I’m white. We all don’t get what we want. I’m going to ignore the controversy and read this novel anyway… for the prompt: a book that’s published in 2020.
The last book on this list is a classic that’s been on my reading list for years… I got this for the prompt: a book with the same title as an unrelated TV show. That’s right, apparently there was a short-lived TV show with the same title. Any excuse to read a great book, right?
So, that’s what I bought with my 24 credits from Audible. My Valentines Day gift to myself kept giving and giving all year long. I got that warm feeling of love that goes through the heart of every bookworm when books are chosen, purchased (with credits) and devoured. Better than candy, and not as fattening, so long as I keep up with my exercises, right?
Hope your Valentines Day is/was as sweet.