Friday Morning Bookclub

November 22, 2014

Another Great Audio Book: The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg

The Hidden ChildHow is it possible that I have never heard of Camilla Lackberg? It was just by chance that I picked up The Hidden Child while browsing the shelves of playaways at my local library. The story sounded intriguing and I was not disappointed.

Erica Falck and Patrik Hedstom are a modern-day couple. Erica, a crime writer is working on a new book and her husband Patrik, a homicide detective is on paternity leave. It is his turn to take some time off from work to care for the couples one year old daughter Maja.

Playing Mr. Mom does not come naturally to Patrik and although he means well, he does not always make the best decisions when it comes to caring for Maja. Who could blame Erica for being slightly perturbed to find out that Patrik and Maja had taken a little detour during their afternoon walk to visit the scene of a murder?

As it turned out this was not just some random murder. Not only did Erica know the victim, she had recently met with him at the very place he had been murdered, seeking his advice. His name was Erik and he was a retired history teacher and an expert on WWII Nazi memorabilia. When Erica had found a Nazi medal wrapped in a blood stained baby outfit as well as an incomplete set of diaries in her mother’s attic she was left with many questions and it was Erik she had gone to for answers. Perhaps if she knew more about the medal and who it had belonged to she would have a better understanding as to her mothers past and why she had always been such a cold unloving person. Now days later Erik was dead, and Erica was no closer to learning the truth.

The story alternates back and forth between present day Sweden and 1940’s Sweden. Chapter by chapter, piece by piece we learn about all of the people who played a part in Erica’s mother’s past and about the secret that would ultimately come back to haunt each of them. A secret that would lead to murder.

The Hidden Child is the fifth book in Camilla Lackberg’s Fjallbacka detective series. It is an exciting, suspenseful story and an excellent audio book. I look forward to listening to the rest of the series and this time I am going to start with number 1:The Ice Princess!

A four omelet audio book!

The Hidden Child (Patrik Hedström, #5) – Goodreads

Have you listened to any good audio books lately? If so, I would love to hear about them!


October 24, 2012

Ransom River By Meg Gardiner….I Sure Didn’t See That Coming!

Filed under: Audio books,Ransom River — susanbright @ 12:40 pm
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Rory Mackenzie had good reason for leaving Ransom River, California. Unfortunately when the non profit organization she was working for lost its funding and she was out of money, she had no choice but to return to the town she grew up in, only to find a jury summons awaiting.

Rory was juror #7 and in a town where nothing ever happened, this was a high-profile case. A murder trial. Two officers were accused of shooting  and killing a 16-year-old intruder who just happened to be the son of Gregor Mirkovic, a powerful man with his own connections to the crime world.

As the jury watched a video of the shooting caught on tape by a neighbor’s security camera, the courtroom door swung open and in came two masked men, dressed in green fatigues and carrying guns. Everyone was ordered to the ground, all cell phones were collected and they bolted the door behind them. These men meant business and it was clear that people were going to get hurt. As Rory and several others were singled out and taken hostage, Rory’s thoughts went to Seth Colder, her ex boy friend who was an ex cop and the main reason she left Ransom River in the first place.

Fortunately Rory does make it out of this dangerous situation, however she quickly realizes that in the police’s mind she is not a victim. They actually believe that she is an accomplish. Video tapes from inside the court room show that she was not randomly selected as a hostage. Was she the target of a kidnapping gone bad? Why would anyone want her? Could this actually have something to do with something she and Seth had witnessed when they were only 9 years old?

Ransom River is a fast paced read with lots of twists and turns and yes, one major….I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING MOMENT. If you enjoy mysteries, this is a quick, entertaining read. I enjoyed listening to it in Playaway form as I went about my daily activities.

I don’t know what I did before my library started carrying Playaways! Any other Playaway lovers out there?

Meg Gardiner – Welcome to the official site of thriller novelist Meg

January 23, 2012

Three Books At One Time? No Problem!

Filed under: Audio books,Literary Tidbits — susanbright @ 9:59 am
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Whoever designed the first Playaway was a genius. These preloaded audio digital players make listening to a book effortless and there are so many of them available at the library. When I travel, I always make sure I have a good book, a Playaway and my fully loaded Kindle. That way I can read/listen to a book no matter where I am or what I am doing. Walking the dog? I can listen to my playaway. On an airplane? I can read my Kindle! Whoops, the pilot just announced that “anything with an on/off switch must be turned off”.  I open my good old fashion book. I have all bases covered!

Three books at one time? No problem! One heavy duty non-fiction, one  spellbinding mystery and one science fiction which rivals The Hunger Games. The perfect combo! I  bet you can guess what I will be reviewing next! Anyone else out there that likes to read more than one book at a time? Tell me I am not alone!

November 3, 2011

Sing You Home By Jodi Picoult: A Special Kind Of Audio Experience!

Filed under: Book Recomendations,Jodi Picoult,Sing You Home — susanbright @ 10:24 am
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 The one thing I can say about Jodi Picoult is that she knows how to pick a topic and write a thought-provoking book and Sing You Home is no exception.  The story grabbed me from the very beginning and to add to the listening experience Picoult has included original songs which correspond to each chapter.  The lyrics are written by Picoult herself and sang by Ellen Wilber. Not only are the songs beautiful to listen to, but the lyrics  do a wonderful job of reflecting the main character’s feelings, adding tremendously to the whole Sing You Home experience.  I looked forward to each new chapter and each new song.

Zoe and Max Baxter had been trying to have a baby for  10 years. They had tried everything, exhausting their funds with expensive medical procedures. Finally Zoe was pregnant! At seven month’s they were cautiously allowing themselves to get excited, when tragedy strikes and Zoe loses her baby… and her husband. Max decided that he cannot take it anymore and leaves.

The trouble with beginnings is that they have to end
Never thought I’d be the girl who said remember when
You leave your ring on the pillow……….

Zoe, a music therapist copes with her loss by throwing herself into her work helping sick patients through music. When Vanessa, a school guidance counselor asks Zoe to work with Lucy, a troubled teen, Zoe agrees and not only finds herself involved with helping  Lucy but also finds herself spending more and more time with Vanessa.  Before she realizes what is happening Zoe finds herself falling in love with Vanessa. Meanwhile, her ex, Max, a recovering alcoholic has found god and becomes involved in the Eternal Glory Church, which does not look kindly on Gay relationships.

We wouldn’t have a future
If I never had a past
You may not be my first love
But you’re gonna be my last.

Gay rights were something that Picoult had thought about writing for quite some time, but ironically it was while she was writing Sing You Home that her own 17-year-old son came out and told her that he was gay. Sing You Home was definitely thought- provoking  and once I started listening to it, I couldn’t stop.  The story was gripping and there is so much more I could say, however I do not want to give anything away! I listened to the Playaway Sing You Home, wherever I went! I would highly recommend the audio version and wonder if I would have enjoyed it as much had I read the book. I probably would not have even listened to the CD with the beautiful songs.  The narrators were wonderful and the music was the icing on the cake!

October 4, 2011

Ice Cold By Tess Gerritsen

Filed under: Audio books,Book Recomendations,Ice Cold — susanbright @ 11:51 am
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I have been in a mystery mood and have been listening to one after another. This time I picked up Ice Cold, a Rizzoli & Isles novel. Maura Isles is a Boston medical examiner and is in a  serious relationship with Daniel, who just happens to be a Catholic Priest. Although Maura is deeply in love with Daniel, she is tired of sneaking around and is constantly questioning whether their relationship has a future.

While attending a Medical Examiner’s conference in Wyoming, Maura is approached by Doug, an old college friend. Maura and Doug catch up over a casual dinner and when Doug invites her to join him, along with his 13-year-old daughter and another couple on a spur of the moment ski trip, Maura says yes. For once in her life she is going to be spontaneous and Maura leaves with the group without telling her  boy friend the Priest where she is going. After all, the last time she called him, he was too busy to talk to her as he was at a church meeting.

Equipped with a GPS and a map the group still managed to find themselves lost and stranded on a snow-covered road  with no cell phone service. Knowing that they had to find shelter or they will freeze they set out to find someplace to spend the night. How relieved they were to come upon Kingdom Come, a small village with twelve identical houses! The Village appeared to be abandoned and they were surprised to find the front door of the first house they approached unlocked.  Although there was no electricity, they were able to light a fire in the fireplace and there was ample food in the pantry.

While exploring the houses in the village, they begin to notice one strange thing after another. Why were all of the front doors unlocked and the windows open in the middle of winter? What would make a family leave their house so quickly that they would leave their dinners on the table and their pets alone to die? Who was the man in the framed picture which hung on a wall in every house and most of all, where did all the people go?

When Maura did not arrive home on her scheduled flight and Daniel realized that he had not talked to her in days, he was concerned and contacted her good friend Jane Rizzoli, a homicide detective. Something was terribly wrong. Together Daniel and Jane, along with Jane’s husband Gabriel Dean, a FBI agent  headed to Wyoming, determined to find out what had happened to their friend.

Ice Cold is the 8th book in the Rizzoli & Isles series. This action packed book was entertaining and full of twists and turns. Once I started listening to it, I was hooked! It was a great audio book and the Playaway made it so convenient that I was able to take it with me wherever I went   If you are looking for sheer entertainment check out Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles novels!

I had no idea that Rizzili and Isles was also a tv series! Has anyone seen it? Is it as good as the books?

October 1, 2011

Playaways Are The Best!

Filed under: Audio books,Literary Tidbits — susanbright @ 10:48 am
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I have been enjoying listening to audio books for a while now. In fact, I can’t bear to get in the car without one.  I never even turn on my car radio anymore. Now I am really in trouble! Someone introduced me to Playaways! These little contraptions, which are available at the public library are a great invention. Pop in a battery, plug in your own head phones and you are ready to go. They are so easy to use and do not go back to the beginning of the book every time you push stop (which is so frustrating!)  as so many of the portable CD players I have tried do.

 Now I can listen to my book all day long! I stick the Playaway which is smaller than my cell phone in my pocket and  I am hands free.  Yesterday, while preparing dinner, I listened to my book.  While making my bed and straightening up, I listened to my book. On the drive to the store, I listened to my book. I was tempted to take it in with me to the grocery store, but decided that perhaps that was going a little too far. It is bad enough when you see people walking around the grocery store, ear piece in place talking into their invisible phone. I can only imagine what people would think of me walking around the store wearing my little pink ear buds as I do my shopping.

I think I may be  out of control, but this story is just so exciting  that I don’t want to turn it off.   I sure wish that I had picked up a couple more Playaways!  There are so many good ones to choose from. You have got to give one a try!

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