Posts Tagged With: ellis avery

LGBT Audiobooks 2016 Listen List

I’m just a tad late in posting all of the glorious audiobooks that I listened to in 2016 (though they did make it into my year-end-stravaganza posting). Compared with 2015, there was an aural explosion! I think this in part because I had more options as far as buying and borrowing audiobooks (Overdrive, OneClick Digital, Audible). I’ve also spent more time perusing audiobook reviews on sites such as AudioFile Magazine and participating in a fantastic Facebook group, Lesbian Audiobooks

Now when I find an interesting book, I ask myself “is there an audiobook version?” Publishers seem to produce more and more audiobook versions these days, as opposed to limiting the production to “big” names and blockbuster series. What a time to be a listener!

My taste in listening varies from one day to the next. Below you’ll find my moods and interests reflected in the covers below. I enjoy literary fiction, modern-day retellings of Shakespeare plays, memoirs, YA, fantasy adventure, contemporary romance, far-flung settings, and historical fiction.

However, if I don’t enjoy the narrator, no matter how good the storytelling, I stop listening. And that’s just me; other listeners might find the narrator is a great fit for their ears. Some new-to-me narrators that I really enjoyed in 2016 include Laural Merlington and Kate Rudd (The Language of Hoofbeats); Amielynn Abellera (As I Descended); Sarah Grace Wright (Fallen Elements); and Bahni Turpin (Here Comes the Sun). These narrators deliver immersive experiences with wonderful pacing, tone, and excellent characterization.

As for 2017? Well, I’ve already listened to a contemporary romance and a fantasy-adventure! My Audible wishlist is long and getting longer. What LGBT+ fiction and/or non-fiction audiobooks did you listen to last year?  

The book covers are linked to either a review I posted or to a related external site (like Overdrive, AudioFile, publishers, etc.).

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully LoadedSaving Montgomery SoleAs I DescendedHere Comes the Sun by Nicole Y. Dennis-BennYou Know Me Well by David LevithanThe Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson CooperHit by a Farm by Catherine FriendThe Warrior's Path (When Women Were Warriors, #1)Being Jazz Audiobook2497445115726317327959Image result for if i was your girl audiobook207637391582434313587076937547633163705232513262325817288219421892292974125893681

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Categories: audiobooks, family relationships, fantasy, fiction, friendship, historical fiction, lgbt, librarians, literary fiction, Memoirs & Autobiographies, mystery, nonfiction, paranormal, romance, suspense, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Teahouse Fire – Audiobook review

the teahouse fire

 

 In 1865, nine-year-old Aurelia Caillard sails across the ocean, leaving behind her dying mother and the familiar terrain of New York City for the unknown world of Japan, in the charge of her uncle Charles, a Catholic priest on assignment to Japan.  Not long after arriving, a series of events send Aurelia fleeing into the dark night of Kyoto and into service of a renowned tea master family.  Now an elderly woman, Aurelia revisits her youth, leading the reader/listener through a time in which Japan experienced tumultuous change.  A gifted student of languages, Aurelia quickly absorbs what she hears, though she is considered simple because she is not fluent in Japanese when she joins the tea master’s household.  Tensions between cultural expectations and the changing times mount as the story reaches its climax.  Despite Aurelia’s many years in Japan, she is never truly considered much more than a foreigner, even to Yukako, the woman she serves and adores.  Another jarring event will force Aurelia to make a difficult decision about her place in the world.

The Teahouse Fire is full of linguistic flavors and communication challenges, making it a perfect audio-tale.  It’s in great hands  with narrator Barbara Caruso.  She guides listeners on a wonderful journey, back in time to the changing landscape of late 19th/early 20th century Japan and New York.  She provides Aurelia’s mother with French-accented English that avoids sounding exaggerated.  When Barbara speaks as Aurelia, I’m reminded of Audrey Hepburn’s accent and diction.  Language-wise, a really fascinating part of Aurelia’s journey involves veering away from the language she was born with to the point she finds it a stranger in her middle age.  As Aurelia disembarks from the crowded cityscape of New York, Barbara skillfully alternates between clear characterizations of the men and women who people the periphery and inner sanctum of the tea world.  The range of tone, inflection, pitch, and pace are reflected in the voices of the people as they navigate complex social interactions.  The overall effect is engaging, making it difficult to press the pause button.

Aural enrichment of the novel: Traditional Japanese music plays during pivotal scenes. The instruments don’t barge into a moment, disrupting scenes and moods; rather, they mark key moments and guide listeners through transitions.  It’s a wonderful supplement to the listening experience.

I highly recommend this listening experience, especially for listeners who enjoy transport to other shores and other times; revel in historical fiction; possess a keen interest in exploring culture and language; and savor tales that unfold over decades.

The Teahouse Fire
Author: Ellis Avery Narrator: Barbara Caruso
Produced by HighBridge Company, a division of Recorded Books
Length: 17 hours, 36 minutes

Audiobook production date: 2007

Available as an audiobook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other vendors.  Be sure to check your local library for copies, too.  I listened to it as a library eAudiobook via OverDrive.

ISBN-13: 9781598870787

Categories: audiobooks, fiction, historical fiction, lgbt | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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