My mini reviews for February are a bit different from my typical set. This time, I’ve got ALL audiobooks to review, and half of them are nonfiction, so I’ve divided the post up by fiction or nonfiction. I hope you enjoy!
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This one was a book club assignment, expertly chosen by my best friend who didn’t know what to pick, so leaned over as asked her mom about a new book she’d bought on her Kindle. There’s been a lot of talk and hype about the book, so I learned it was a thriller, which was a good sign. However, this book pretty much bored me. I did not like any of the characters; the main character had no redeeming qualities and I felt unable to sympathize with her or care about what happened to her. The story moved slowly and was pretty predictable on several plot points. The narrators (there were three) were fine, at least.
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness
This book gets extra points for being so easy to get back into after I had to postpone my listening of it by a few months — right in the middle! What I’m saying is: the book, the characters, and the story stuck with me. It was an interesting combination of fascinating ideas and easy listening/reading, which is great for driving! At first I was a little bored by how typical it seemed, but the deeper I got into the story, the more the richness revealed itself. By the end, I wanted to move into the Bishop house with the rest of their ragtag crew of Creatures! Thoroughly enjoyed it, and moved directly on to book two!
The Power of a Positive No by William Ury
My husband got this one from the library and we listened to it together, which is a great thing to do with your partner, by the way. I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. 1) It gives you practical advice that will help you stay true to yourself, maintain boundaries, and negotiate situations in ways that are respectful of — and beneficial for — both parties. Listening to the audiobook was especially nice, because I believe it was narrated by the author himself. It felt less like he was reading a book, and more like he was just speaking directly from his heart. He’s got an impressive array of experiences and examples to draw from, when making his points, too!
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Another one of my husband’s finds… and it ended up being the book we gave as a gift and recommended to the most people in 2014. This book is a fascinating look at the way human brains work when making decisions. It helped me to understand not only myself better, but other people, and it provides a multitude of insights that can help you make better decisions! I loved that the author (a Nobel prize winner) would dig so deep into every aspect of his experiments, and was equally willing to accept that the results applied to him, too — even when they were not what he wanted to hear! Highly recommended, to basically everyone.