Top Ten Tuesday: All About Audio

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I’m back this week after my summer hiatus from blogging! Yesterday I posted a review to one of my new favorite series, and today I’m talking about my favorite audiobooks and podcasts for Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday: All About My Favorite Audiobooks & Podcasts

Audiobooks You Can Listen to For Free!
*because who doesn’t like free entertainment?

  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – Michael Crichton’s books are already hard to put down, but when you stumble upon a perfectly narrated audiobook version, you will spend the next 13 hours with your headphones on, visualizing mad scientists, man-eating dinosaurs, and genetic experiments gone wrong. This was me last summer. My favorite part about this audiobook: William Roberts’s voice is exactly like the one you would hear narrating an actual Jurassic Park ride.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – I had a Shakespeare professor in college who said that plays are meant to be read aloud, and I wholeheartedly agree with that, especially after listening to this table read of Oscar Wilde’s hilarious play. It’s short (under 2 hours) and I guarantee you will laugh out loud at least once.
  • War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells – The fact that Orson Wells turned this famous science fiction book into a panic-inducing radio broadcast speaks volumes about it’s value as an audiobook. This Librivox version is read by an older British gentleman, and I love the juxtaposition between his calm and proper voice and the chaotic alien invasion he’s narrating.

Favorite Narrators

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – I know I will probably shock and disappoint a lot of people when I say this was only an OK read for me. As much as I laughed at the nerdy banter and satiric writing, there was something that kept me from loving this book. BUT, I will have to say that I really appreciated hearing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy narrated by the author himself, Douglas Adams. I’m having a hard time finding a link to that particular version, but I checked it out from the library so I know it exists!
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot – I know there are a lot of people who hate Anne Hathaway (which is crazy to me because my husband and I love her), but I really enjoyed her narration of The Princess Diaries audiobooks. She played Mia in the film versions, and listening to the audiobooks convinced me even more than she was perfect for the role of the awkward teenage princess. I’ve only listened to the first few books in this series, but my local library has the rest so I plan on finishing it sometime!
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These next two are recommendations from my husband (Matt), who listens to more audiobooks than I do!

  • 11.22.63 by Stephen King – Matt and I watched part of the Hulu 11.22.63 miniseries, but I was getting too creeped out by some of the characters, so we stopped and Matt downloaded the audiobook to listen to instead. It wasn’t his favorite book, but he did love the narration by Craig Wasson. He said hearing all the different accents really helped him visualize everything.
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  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – Matt actually listened to this audiobook in French (because it’s the epitome of French literature and when I asked him if he was listening to the English version he pretended to gag), but the narration must have been well done since he talked about this book for weeks after he finished it. Most of that praise probably goes to Victor Hugo himself, but I also know that an audiobook narrator has the power to make or break (or kill) a book.

Podcasts

  • Astonishing Legends – my favorite! I love to put in my headphones and listen to these podcasts when I’m cleaning or commuting to and from work. If you’re into mysterious and unexplainable happenings, this is a great podcast to binge listen to. Some of my favorite topics have been the Oak Island Money Pit, the Dyatlov Pass tragedy, The Knights of the Golden Circle conspiracy, and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
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  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – The name of this podcast pretty much says it all. Holly and Tracy talk about all sorts of interesting, mysterious, creepy, and legendary historical events and people, and each episode is relatively short (around 30 minutes) so it’s easy to listen to an episode while you’re cooking dinner or walking the dog. Some of my favorite episodes have been about early Danish monarchies and the Jelling Stones, The Great Vowel Shift, The Queen Victoria/Lady Hasting’s scandal, the disappearance of the Sodder children, and some other “history’s mysteries” episodes.
    Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • Rebel Force Radio – This is actually a podcast my husband listens to, but I’ve listened along to a few of them and I can totally see why he loves it so much. The few episodes I listened to were the Star Wars Oxygen podcasts where David Collins and Jimmy Mac analyzed John William’s soundtracks to all 7 of the Star Wars films. I was so impressed by how thoroughly they broke down and analyzed each track. I learned some really amazing facts about how the Star Wars scores add an incredible depth to the films.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Additions to My To-Be-Read List

toptentuesdayIt’s been awhile since I’ve been able to make a Top Ten Tuesday list! This week’s topic is fun since my list is pretty varied; there are some Young Adult novels, historical fiction, murder mystery, science fiction, and fantasy :) Several of these books are on my immediate TBR list, too!

Top Ten Recent Additions to My TBR List

 

 

Never, Always, Sometimes is actually sitting on my coffee table right now–that’s where I put all my library check-outs so I don’t forget to read them! It’s due back soon so I’ll be reading that within the next week hopefully. I can’t wait since I loved Adi Alsaid’s last novel, Let’s Get Lost.

What are some recent additions to your To Be Read list??

November Highlights!

I cannot believe it’s already December. Back when I was pregnant I felt like the year was dragging on but now I’m feeling like I just wrote my post about October and now the year is a few short weeks from being over. Thinking back to where I was a year ago, I can’t believe so much has happened in just twelve months!

November was my first full month as a new mom. It’s been hard. Babies are a lot of work, in case no one has ever told you. Even if you have been told before, you won’t believe it until you actually have your own infant attached to you for what feels like every hour of the day. But that’s ok, babies still bring you so much joy even while they’re sucking out all your energy (the sleep deprivation has made me a  little sarcastic lately…).

Anyway: highlights!

I read 5 books (and DNF 1)

Trouble With Destiny openroadsummer Me Before You The Truth About Forever LifeIntended

Most Popular Post:

October Highlights
Ever After’s Château de Hautefort (I can’t wait to go back one day!)

What I Watched:

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Yeah, we binged watch this whole show between the last week of October and the end of November. After all the stress from having a baby and Thanksgiving and family visiting, this was the perfect way to relax and have a few (actually, a lot of) laughs.

Favorite character? Probably Terry, although Boyle is hilarious and I really love Jake, too.

What I Listened To:

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I started listening to a James Morrison station on iTunes Radio last month and it’s pretty much all I listen to nowadays. Probably because his songs are relaxing and they actually went really well with the books I was reading last month.

Highlights:

  • Killian’s 1 Monthiversary! – I can’t believe my little sweet cheeks is already a month old (technically he’s 6 weeks now).
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  • Thanksgiving – We had an interesting Thanksgiving week. Killian was sick and we ended up having to postpone our actual Thanksgiving meal until Saturday. But my parents and both of my siblings were here with us so it was fun having family time :)
  • Reading some quality books – I read some books that made me cry from laughing and others that made me cry so hard it was more like sobbing (I’m looking at you, Me Before You). But I only read one book that I didn’t like, and I didn’t finish it because I just don’t have time for books I’m not into!
  • Decorating for Christmas! – We have to take down our tree before we go to France for 2 weeks (fire hazard), so we were anxious to get it up as soon as we could after Thanksgiving. We finally got to break out the Christmas ornaments we used for our wedding decorations 4 years ago, but most of our ornaments ended up being Hallmark ones that my mom and sister gift us in bulk every year. We love them :)
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Looking Forward in December:

  • The Broke and Bookish’s Annual Secret Santa Event!! – I’ve purchased just about everything for my Secret Santa, I just need to run to Target and buy some chocolately goodies. I’m really excited to find out who my own Secret Santa is!
  • GOING TO FRANCE FOR CHRISTMAS! – It’s been about 16 months since we left France, and 3 years since we’ve had Christmas in France! Yeah, it’ll be hard flying with a newborn, but the fondue and raclette and family time will be totally worth it. Plus, my sister-in-law just had a baby this week so I have a new niece to meet!
  • Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 3 years ago we find out that the newest Star Wars movie is being released on our 4th wedding anniversary, so Matt decided a long time ago what we would be doing to celebrate. I’m nervous about having someone watch Killian for those few hours, though. It’s too soon to leave him!

Who else is excited about Star Wars?? I’ve already decided I like Kylo Ren, even though he’s on the Dark Side and we don’t know anything about him. The mystery makes him cooler :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Movies I’m Looking Forward to in 2015

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This week’s meme, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about the top ten books we’re looking forward to reading in 2015. I feel like I’ve already talked about most of the books I’m wanting to read next year, so I decided to put a little twist on this week’s topic and make it:

Top Ten Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2015

IMG_0254Cinderella (March 17, 2015)

Ok, this movie looks incredibly cheesy. And frankly, Richard Madden looks kinda creepy in his stills. But Claire Danes as Lady Tremaine?? Yes, please!

IMG_0258Insurgent (March 20, 2015)

I enjoyed the Divergent series, but I liked the first movie even better, and that never happens. I’m hoping it continues to be that way with the movies. This movie comes out on my husband’s birthday; I hope he won’t mind dinner & a movie that night ;)

IMG_0255The Age of Adaline (April 28, 2015)

I haven’t heard much about this movie, honestly, but I love stories that involve aging (or in this case, the lack thereof). To me, it’s up there with time travel on the list of interesting sci-fi topics.

IMG_0257Avengers: The Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)

The only thing I am not looking forward to about this movie is the lack of Loki (*cries*). Hopefully there will be plenty of Tony Stark-Thor banter to make up for Loki’s absence.

IMG_0252Jurassic World (June 12, 2015)

Do I even need to elaborate on this one? NO, but I’m going to anyway. How do I explain my love of Jurassic Park? If you know me in real life, you know I love all things dino, including dino DNA. I am upset that Sam Neill isn’t in this one (I love Dr. Grant), but Chris Pratt is leading so I think Jurassic World will be different, but just as entertaining as its predecessors.

IMG_0256Inside Out (June 19, 2015)

Pixar rarely disappoints, and I don’t think that’ll happen with Inside Out either. The premise sounds amazing and it features the voice talents of Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, and Lewis Black.

IMG_0260The Fantastic Four (August 7, 2015)

I know the first Fantastic Four series bombed, but I secretly liked it, probably just because I love super heroes and that was back in the early days of Marvel cinema. This new cast looks promising, so hopefully the movie is good!

IMG_0262The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (September 18, 2015)

I STILL have not read this series! But I did see James Dashner at YALL fest last month and I completely admired how funny and down to earth he is. I’ve been following his movie set photos on Twitter and I can’t wait to read the books and see the sequel next summer.

IMG_0261The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (November 20, 2015)

I haven’t even seen Mockingjay Part 1 yet (I knowww), but the final installment in the Hunger Games series is of course on my list of most anticipated 2015 movies. I’m prepared for the tears & the ending! I think so at least…

IMG_0259Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (December 18, 2015)

You know when this movie comes out? The same day as my 3rd wedding anniversary. My husband has had our date night planned since they announced the release date nearly 2 years ago.

I know tons of fans are skeptical about JJ Abrams, but I am not. I loved his new Star Trek movies, even though they looked more like Star Wars, but that only helps his case.

BONUS

IMG_0253Goosebumps (August 7, 2015)

I obsessed over the Goosebumps books when I was in elementary school! Some of those stories still creep me out (Stay Out of the Basement? The Haunted Mask?). Hopefully this movie is just as scary! Or at least I hope it does the books justice.

 

What are some films and books you’re most looking forward to next year?