Book Talk: World War Z by Max Brooks

Book Talk: World War Z by Max BrooksWorld War Z by Max Brooks
Narrator: Max Brooks, Steve Park, Frank Kamai, Paul Sorvino, Ade M'Cormack, Carl Reiner, Waleed Zuaiter, Jay O. Sanders, Dennis Boutsikaris, Martin Scorsese, Simon Pegg, Denise Crosby, Bruce Boxleitner, Akay Naidu, Nicki Clyne, Jeri Ryan, Henry Rollins, Maz Jobrani, Mark Hamill, Eamonn Walker, Jürgen Prochnow, David Ogden Stiers, Michelle Kholos, Kal Penn, Alan Alda, Rob Reiner, Dean Edwards, Frank Darabont, Becky Ann Baker, Parminder Nagra, Brian Tee, Masi Oka, John Turturro, Ric Young, Alfred Molina, John McElroy, Common, F. Murray Abraham, René Auberjonois
Length: 12 hrs, 8 mins
Published by Random House Audio on May 14, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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World War Z: The Complete Edition is a new version of Max Brooks' episodic zombie novel. The abridged versions of the original stories are now joined with new, unabridged recordings of the episodes that were not included in the original (abridged) version of the audiobook. These additional episodes feature a star-studded cast of narrators to coincide with the upcoming release of the film.

New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead's Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more! Max Brooks will be reprising his role as The Interviewer.

The original abridged edition, released in 2006, won an Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance. Original cast members include Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, Carl & Rob Reiner, and John Turturro.

In this new classic of apocalyptic fiction that feels all too real, the Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. The documentary-style oral history records the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time.

So I knew I got to this book really late, but apparently I was a sophomore in college when this book came out. I’m a decade late on the hype train for this book, which, actually, totally works for me. I also don’t know that I would have appreciated this book back then, because it’s so much not at all what I would have expected it to be. Also, I cannot imagine how they made a movie out of this, though it could have been a really cool TV show. Oh. Wait.

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Book Talk: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Book Talk: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahanLove and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
Published by Dial BFYR on May 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Can anyone be truly herself--or truly in love--in a language that's not her own?

Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue -- the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word -- at least not in a language Josie understands.

I don’t know about you guys but, much as I tried and tried and read and read, getting to every single review copy or book on your tbr tends to be an impossible albeit beautiful goal. Love and Other Foreign Words has been sitting on my shelves unread for probably just under four years at this point. Like, it’s been so long that I don’t remember if this came unsolicited in the mail or from a conference or if someone gifted it to me. No idea. Either way, they intended reviews roughly around publication, but there’s something to be said for trying to drum up interest now that this is a backlist title, right?

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Book Slumps and Audiobooks

Last year, I read over 400 books. This year, I’ve read 28, and many of those have been in the last couple of weeks. In the month of February, I read a grand total of 4 books. FOUR. In March, 5. And, in that time, all but one of those 9 books was an audiobook. Of the 28 books I’ve read, 14 have been audiobooks.

I went through easily the longest and most intense book slump since I started book blogging. I’ve talked a bit in the past about that and about the reasons for it, and I’m not planning to get into that again today. Though I am happy to say that the slump seems to be over finally. I’m reading again and finding balance.

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Book Talk: Rising Strong by Brené Brown

Book Talk: Rising Strong by Brené BrownRising Strong by Brené Brown
Narrator: Brené Brown
Length: 8 hrs, 51 mins
Published by Random House Audio on August 25, 2015
Genres: Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. The author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection tells us what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending. Struggle, Brené Brown writes, can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom, and hope.

Even a couple of years ago, there’s no way I would have picked up a book by Brené Brown. I avoided anything with the self-help label like the plague. It’s not that I didn’t know I needed help or to improve myself, but I feel on the whole about self-help books the way I feel about fad diets. The concepts are either obvious or actually unhealthy. However, I stumbled across Brené Brown when a Facebook friend shared one of her Ted Talks at just the right moment, and it re-affirmed the changes I’ve been working on myself and in therapy. I proceeded to binge through all of her long talks on YouTube, and they’ve had a huge impact on me, even my past self would judge the hell out of me for it. 😉

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Book Talk: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

Book Talk: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill MansellMeet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
Narrator: Gemma Dawson
Length: 11 hrs, 47 mins
Published by Tantor Media on May 1, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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Internationally bestselling author Jill Mansell weaves a heartwarming tale of love, family, and friendship in her latest novel 1. A brief encounter that could have become so much more . . . if only everything were different. 2. Step-sisters, bitter rivals in every area except one-by unbreakable pact neither will ever steal a man from the other. 3. A love triangle that starts out as a mess of secrets and mix-ups, and only gets worse from there. Plus-friendship, family ties, crossed wires and self-discovery, second chances and first impressions. Welcome to Jill Mansell's blustery seaside world. Once you step inside, you'll never want to leave!

Jill Mansell hadn’t really crossed my radar particularly. I’ve been getting back into romance novels over the last couple of years, but I’ve been primarily focused on historical romance. This book happened to be available from OverDrive from my library and British narration + romance = Christina hitting download. My expectations weren’t that high, mostly because I was entirely unfamiliar with Mansell, and I guess I generally don’t expect great things from random finds which says more about me than the random finds tbh.

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