Through the Looking Glass and Phantasmagoria


Title: Through the Looking Glass and Phantasmagoria

Author: Lewis Carroll

Narrator: Alison Larkin

Genre: Classic Children Fiction

My Review:  4.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this audiobook free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

I can honestly say I’ve never read this classic. I wasn’t really very interested in reading the books of Lewis Carroll. Considering I grew up watching Disney’s Alice in Wonderland as a child and I will admit I wasn’t a fan. I never could bring myself to read the books. Alison Larkin makes this book a great tale and an easy listen. I will say this I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and timing. Having worked in child care before this audio book would have made a great addition to story time. Alison Larkin’s voice is very soothing and can capture and keep your attention. Which is a great plus when it’s being promoted for children.

The story was also interesting and entertaining story. The story starts with Alice knitting and talking to her cats. Then she’s suddenly going through the mirror to enter the world on the other side of the looking glass. Now if you are looking for a story like Alice in Wonderland this book is not it. In fact from time to the time it can be a little confusing. And at other times it can seem to drag from one point to another. Especially the part where Alice is talking to the Red Queen. The ending is a bit abrupt with Alice just suddenly is back in the room she started with her cats. It is then when you find out that Alice’s journey into the looking glass world was all a dream.

I would recommend this book to anyone with small children. I think this would make for a nice addition for children on a long trip. For such places as airplanes and car rides. I personally listened to this in my car on my ride to work and it made the ride more enjoyable.


New York Exposed The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Era


Title: New York Exposed The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Era

Author: Daniel Czitrom

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Genre: Nonfiction / History

My Review:  4.0 Stars 

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

I took my time reading this book mostly because of work commitments. At first I was wondering why I decided to ask for this book to review. After I started reading I no longer wondered and started enjoying it. IT gave me a lot of information that I really didn’t expect. Daniel Czitrom made this subject interesting and entertaining. I usually find history stories dry and uninteresting. Not so much for this one. It was worth the time I took in reading it. It gave me some insight in to New York’s History. I recommend this book to anyone who likes history or a backstory on Police corruption in New York.

The Dressmaker’s War



Title: The Dressmaker’s War

Author: Mary Chamberlain

Narrator: Susan Duerden

Publisher: HighBridge

Genre: Historical Fiction

Audio: Unabridged

Time: 10.5 hrs / 9 CDs

My Review:     4.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this audiobook free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

It took me a few weeks to listen to this book mostly because of personal time constraints. The book was very interesting. I really wanted to just sit down and listen to the whole book in one sitting. Mostly because the narrator, Susan Duerden, is great at grabbing the listener’s attention. She can also keep it all the way through the book. Susan Duerden helped make this book a great listening experience. This story makes a great audiobook. It allows the listener’s imagination to roam and for me that is always a real plus.

This book is told mostly from the first person point of view. The Dressmaker’s War is based on a girl named Ada Vaughan and her experiences during World War II. Unlike most historical fiction based on or during the World Wars this main character is not Jewish. Ada is a dirt poor girl working in a dressmaker’s shop in London. When she meets a guy that changes her life forever and not in a good way. Ada gets conned by this guy who acts like a Hungarian Count. Because she’s in love Ada is blinded to all his faults. So Ada and the guy decide to take a trip to Paris right before the Second World War is about to begin. OF course the war starts but the guy Ada is with doesn’t want to go back to London. He talks Ada into going to a different country. After Ada gets them into the country because he supposedly lost his passport. They start trying to make a fresh start. Ada finds a job with a tailor and helps him. Until again she’s stupidly lead astray by the guy she left London with. He leads her into a more dangerous location to leave Ada high and dry when the bombs start falling. Ada turns to the only people she can think of nuns. Her aunt is a nun so she asks them for help. They put their lives in danger to help her. As time progresses she finds herself prisoner and now a pregnant. Fortunately she joined the order of nuns that help the elderly so this is what she continues to do for the Germans. Until one of the elderly gentlemen tells his nephew about Ada’s dressmaking skills from her life before she was a nun. Ada is then moved to the Commandant’s house where she is locked up and forced to make dresses for the Commandant’s wife and others. The commandants comes and goes but Ada’s job remains the same. Only one person that Ada makes a dress for is nice to her. The Germans lose the war. American Soldiers find Ada at the commandant’s house and help her get home to London. After Ada get home she finds no one really uses dressmakers anymore because of rationing. Ada finds herself a little apartment and a job. When she meet another conman who leads to her final downfall and again to the first guy who had previously abandoned her. After crossing paths with the first gentleman again and being insulted Ada kills him and stands trial. At the trial Ada is painted as a sympathizer for the Germans. All because the one German woman who was nice to Ada turned out to be Adolf Hitler’s mistress and wife and the time of his death. Because Ada couldn’t deny that the dress the lady was wearing was made by her. Ada was sentenced to hang.

The Bride OF Lammermoor


Title: The Bride OF Lammermoor

Author: Sir Walter Scott

Narrator: Antony Ferguson

Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Genre: Classic/Fiction

Audio: Unabridged

Time: 13.2 hrs / 11 CD

Release Date: 03/08/16

My Review:   4.0 Stars (for the story) 2.5 Stars (for narration) 3.0 Stars(overall)

Disclaimer: I received this audiobook free of charge for a honest and unbiased review. 

It’s been more than 20 years since I last read this book. When I first read a book by Sir Walter Scott. I was 14 with a fascination and passion for classics. I had already read all of Shakespeare’s works and had even made my way through Poe, Dickens, and Austen when my English teacher introduced me to Sir Walter Scott. Over the years my fascination for classics has diminished but not my passion for reading. So when I stumbled across the opportunity to review the audio version of Sir Walter Scott’s classic The Bride Of Lammermoor. I requested that I be given the opportunity. My request was granted.

I listen to this book three times from start to finish. The main reason being the narrator. I was trying to find something nice to say about the narrator but, I honestly can’t figure out if Antony Ferguson just hates this book or if he’s doesn’t have the right voice for audiobooks in general. The first time I listened to this book it was all I could do to not bang my head against the wall and scream. Antony Ferguson has a very monotone voice and doesn’t make it easy for the listener to tell the difference from one character to another. IF the listener can get pass this problem then the book is a great story.

The story is situated around Lucy Ashton and Edgar Ravenswood. Keep in mind this is set around when Scotland and England was in flux around 1707. So, the story does talk about the political conflict sometimes more than the two lovers. This is a romantic tale that  has madness, murder and death. Which all seem to be a prerequisite for classics and you won’t find them lacking in this story.

Now I guess the real question is “Do I think it makes a good audiobook?” Honestly, no. Again it’s a wonderful story but unless it’s acted out and made into a full cast audiobook from there I don’t think it makes a very good audiobook.

Sadly it’s one of the less thought of stories written by Sir Walter Scott. But I was asked for an honest and unbiased review and this is it. I love the story and give it 4 stars. The narration is only getting a 2.5 stars from me and that’s being generous because I know it takes a long time to make audiobooks. So overall I will give this audiobook a solid 3 Stars.

Eat or Be Eaten

eat or be eaten.jpg


Successful restaurateur Yaginuma decides it will be best to get outside help from management consultant Maski Ashizawa in order to find a new chef for his French-concept restaurant. After a few recommendations, Ashizawa pays a visit to Shuichiro Tsubaki, who is currently executive chef at a French restaurant. Ashizawa loves the flavor of the chef’s food, but the chef shoots down the offer made to him. In order to pry away the chef from his current work, Ashizawa decides to begin working for Tsubaki. Will Ashizawa successfully exercise his powers of persuasion? 

Paperback, 219 pages
Published May 19th 2009 by Digital Manga Publishing


Title: Eat or Be Eaten

Author: Jinko Fuyuno

Illustrator: Yamimaru Enjin

Translator: Karen McGillicuddy

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing

Genre: Yaoi

What to say about this book. First this is a yaoi or boys love book. Considering I’m a huge fan expect that you’ll see these types of reviews from me occasionally.  I’ll be honest this book has been on my to-read pile for a while. I only picked it up yesterday because I finally got the urge to read it. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I really enjoyed it. Nice and easy to follow plot line not over ran with porno type sex scenes. Made a nice quick read that was fun. I love the struggle between the two main characters. More details could have been added to make the characters more pronounced. It could have also even gone on a little longer in my opinion because in parts of the book it felt a little rushed. Yet, again not so rushed that you couldn’t follow the plot. It was like reading a small quick and short romance. Which is exactly what this book can be considered. I read this whole book in less than 24 hours. Which doesn’t say much because I’m a quick reader but considering the book is only about 190 something pages with out the adverts. This is a nice book for some one who doesn’t have a lot of time but wants a cute romance to read with out a love of sex scenes.

The Girls She Left Behind


Title: The Girls She Left Behind 

Author: Sarah Graves

Narrator: Kirsten Potter

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Genre: Fiction

Audio: Unabridged    

Time: 7 Disc / 8 Hours: 46 Minutes

Published: 2016


My Review:                         4.0 stars

Disclaimer: I received this audiobook free of charge for an unbiased review.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get to the book. I did listen to this book all the way through. The Girls She Left Behind is the second book in a series based on a police detective named Lizzie Snow. Having never read the first book in the series I came into the Lizzie Snow series blind. This did not hinder my understanding of The Girls She Left Behind. This book is about Lizzie Snow trying to find a missing girl named Tara Wylie in the midst of a fire disaster around the town. Add in an escaped mentally unstable rapist, the mother of Tara Wylie who always seems to be hiding something important from Lizzie and Lizzie’s ex-boyfriend that just seems to always be around reminding her of the past. Then you have an interesting read. From time to time Lizzie gets distracted by worrying about her missing niece. The pace of the book is a little slow at first and then seems a bit rushed at the end. Well, at first it was a little confusing but eventually it all started to make sense. The book does tend to hop from one person to another then from past to present at a sometimes confusing rate. I was happy to find that everything that was mentioned really did seem to have a purpose. Except the issues involved around Lizzie’s distraction when Trey, the hopeful new boyfriend, and Dylan, the ex-boyfriend are around. Hopefully the missing niece will get more detailed in future books. All in all a good book. The audio book narration was well performed by Kirsten Potter and it seemed to flow easily and with out any problems. I will say that one track on the 1st disc did confuse me for a little bit until I looked at the book and saw what was going on. The back and forth of a dictation from an interview isn’t very easy to just listen to and understand the first time around it does need a second listen to grasp it completely or it was a lot easier to understand when looking at it in person. So barring that one complication all in all a good book, a good performance and an interesting plot. Would I recommend this book? Sure, no problem! In audio book format it made a great addition to my commute to and from work. I look forward to more books from this author and narrator in the future.