Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Unreviewed Audiobooks

Throughout the year I've enjoyed many great (and not so great) audiobooks. The goal of Adolescent Audio Adventures is to continually post reviews on the books read through the year, but life speeds by and the review is not posted. Here's a wrap up post for the unreviewed audiobooks  in the year of 2014.

In a Glass Grimmly by

The Secret of the Key by Marianne Malone, read by Cassandra Campbell


The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Read by Kristen Bel
Book 01: Veronica Mars
Produced by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Number of Discs: MP3 download (7 parts)
Total Time: 8 hours, 42 minutes
ISBN: 9780804193528

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck, read by James McCourt

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Greatest Gift

The Greatest Gift: A Christmas TaleThe Greatest Gift: A Christmas Tale by Philip Van Doren Stern

Have you heard of The Greatest Gift? Are you familiar with the Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life? The Greatest Gift was the inspiration for that classic film! The first time I heard about it was after my high school theatre production of It's a Wonderful Life. My parents gifted me a hard copy of The Greatest Gift. I was not familiar with this little book and mum explained that this book was the inspiration for the play I recently participated in at school. Thanks, Mum for the introduction!

I was so thrilled to see the audiobook available from Simon & Schuster Audio. This tiny tale was meant to be shared and reach out to everyone. The Greatest Gift is a about discovering life and worth. If you've watched George Bailey's life in the movie, the story will be different and very brief in comparison. Frank Capra fleshed out the story and gave it more background, but the original message is still present. The greatest gift is life. Everyone is important and plays a roll in the world around them. It'a a beautiful story to share.

Edward Herrmann narrates Van Doren Stern's story. He has a good voice and shares the story with subtle flair throughout. It's not a radio play or a movie script, but a story. He isn't overly dramatic which is good. I believe the story should be heard, reflected upon, and savored.

Simon & Schuster Audio did add an afterward to their new audiobook publication. Philip Van Doren Stern's daughter Marguerite Stern Robinson wrote a brief memoir about the experience of The Greatest Gift and how it turned into It's a Wonderful Life. Robinson's afterward is read by Madeline Maby. This special tidbit is not advertised on the CD, the case, or the sleeve. I found that interesting and strange. Simon & Schuster Audio does share information about the afterward on their online product description.

Another enjoyable audio tidbit is the use of music. The music throughout is the song AuldLang Syne. The movie (and stage production) end with that song. It's a lovely piece to add to this audiobook edition.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Simon & Schuster Audio!

Audio Book Details...

Madeline Maby

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Christmas Quiet Book

The Christmas Quiet BookThe Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood

When the original Quiet Book and Loud Book appeared at the library, I was a bit skeptical. It seemed like a rather odd topic for little ones to read and enjoy, but I was amazed at how Underwood pinpointed moments of life. When The Christmas Quiet Book appeared a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to read that book right away.

I have savored The Christmas Quiet Book and shared it with others. I've also noticed the popularity of Underwood's stories. It is now available as an audiobook and on DVD by Dreamscape Media. I listened to the three minute audiobook, then listened to it again while paging through the picture book.

I found it best to listen with the book rather than listen to the recording alone. The audiobook features Susie Berneis as the reader and she does a fine job expressing the lines. She has a lovely voice.

Some of the lines had sound effects while some of them did not - it was a ratio of about 1 in 3. I wasn't a big fan of most of the sound effects. I think the story can stand on it's own. Some of the effects were heard at the same time as the narration and that can be difficult to separate the layers of sound. It might be best if the sounds were before or after each narrated line.

I enjoyed the opening and closing music on the CD. I wonder what it would have sounded like with the light music during the entire story.

I still believe this is a strong book and I would share it with anyone - young children, elementary students, grown-ups, grandparents. The recording can also be shared with anyone. It's a gentle, thought provoking book. The narration lends itself to use for non-readers or early readers that want to enjoy the book but cannot read or are learning to read.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Dreamscape Media, LLC!

Dreamscape Media, LLC
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