This Week in Literate Housewife News, 3/19/13 Edition

Since I last posted, I have read some great books.

Cover of A Grown Up Kind of PrettyA Grown Up Kind Of Pretty
 is an audiobook has been sitting on my shelves since Valentine’s Day 2012 collecting dust. Over the past month a group of us on Twitter planned a read-a-long, which was spearheaded by Julie from Girls Just Reading (@JulieJustReads). With her leading the charge, @poofbooks, @miss_Farin, and @teresasreading began the book on the 11th using the hashtag #grownuppretty. The book and the narration were so darn good! Authors like Joshilyn Jackson make it impossible to have a “no author narrator” policy. She was fantastic. I want to take a sound bite of Jackson’s Mosey saying, “Oh my God! I’m not having sex!” I don’t know what I’d use that for exactly, but just hearing her “Oh my God!” makes me happy. I flew through the audiobook, bring the CDs in from my car each night to listen and crochet. I also ran into a day where I was creating a new directory at work and, as it didn’t require reading or writing, I was able to listen to my heart’s content. I stayed up very late one night finishing the book because there came a point where I simply could not stop listening. I highly recommend this book in any format. You’ll love Joshilyn Jackson’s unique take on Southern life. There is no one else like her. So why the hell haven’t I read any of her books between gods in Alabama and A Grown Up Kind of Pretty? I’ve just not been thinking clearly. Read more Joshilyn Jackson people!

I’ve written my first recommendation for Bloggers Recommend. I received a copy of And Then I Found You in the mail just as Jen and Nicole kicked off the project and I knew it was an April release I wanted to consider as it touched on adoption. As an adoptive mother, I look for honest fiction about those relationships. And Then I Found You is the April SheReads selection and for some reason (as in I’m not as organized as I should be), I forgot that this was why it was sent to me. Anyway, I really enjoyed the book and recommend it. I would most definitely read Patti Callahan Henry again.

Cover of Country GirlCurrently I’m finishing up Country Girl, Edna O’Brien’s memoir. I haven’t been able to find the words to describe how much I’ve enjoyed reading this book. I studied her work as an undergraduate. As much as I enjoyed Night back then, I really must read it again, especially knowing what was happening in O’Brien’s life at the time. Her life and her relationship with Ireland are fascinating and her writing is so expressive. I plan on submitting this for Bloggers Recommend, too.

I started listening to The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, narrated by Colin Firth. This audiobook from Audible is nominated for an Audie Award in the Literary Fiction category, so I listened for Armchair Audies. I’ve previously listened to Michael Kitchen’s version of this book from AudioGo. Colin Firth has a nice reading voice. There’s no doubt about that, but the passion so necessary for this novel was missing for me. For this reason, the first portion of the audiobook was rather boring for me until Sarah’s diary. In the end, I am glad to have reread this book. There wasn’t enough star power behind Colin Firth to make up for the lack of hate, envy, love, and variety in speaking voices.

Speaking of the Armchair Audies, I created posts to house the nominees and participant reviews for the first 13 Audie Award categories over the weekend. It was my one bit of time on my laptop. I also created a page to provide a listing to all of those posts. My goal is to have all of those posts created by next Monday. If you follow that blog, be prepared for many a post. After that, I’ll simply be updating each post as reviews come in.

Cover of SchroderMy current audiobook is Schroder by Amity Gaige. It’s narrated by Will Collyer, who is a new narrator to me. I am so engrossed by this letter written by a father explaining why he abducted his daughter during a custody dispute. I think he’d like everyone to think that since he’s writing this letter that he’s coming clean, but the man has spent his life inventing and reinventing his life to meet his needs at the time. I may not trust him, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying every minute of it. The combination of Eric Kennedy’s voice and Collyer’s narration are perfect. I’m about a third of the way through and I have a sense that there is some deliciously bumpy road ahead.

This audiobook will make for a great companion as I head to the Virginia Festival of the Book on Friday. I am really excited about this mini-bookish road trip this week. Charlottesville is about a two hour drive, so after I drop my kids off to school, I’ll be heading to the home of UVA (Virginia Tech fans need to plan another book festival in Blacksburg). My plans are to attend the following sessions:

Falling Headphones over Heals – an audiobook discussion with Anne Flosnick, one of my favorite narrators. I can’t wait to see her again and enjoy some time dedicated solely to audiobooks.

Fiction: Parallel Stories – this fiction discussion features Dana Sachs, Tara Conklin, and – SQUEE! – Sarah McCoy. I love Sarah and was so happy to meet her on her tour for The Baker’s Daughter. I follow Dana Sachs on Twitter, so having the opportunity to hear her speak in person makes me happy. There’s been a lot of buzz about The House Girl, so this event should be marvelous.

Fiction: Journeys – this fiction discussion features two authors I’ve read before: Kathleen McCleary and Kimberly Brock. Kimberly is also the vivacious ringleader of the SheReads group and I’m so bleeping happy to have the opportunity to meet her in person. I am also delighted to finally meet Kathleen McCleary. She is such a warm person. Two new to me authors will also be speaking here: Sharon Short and Sheri Reynolds.

I would love to stay for the evening discussion between Dorothea Benton Frank and Rita Mae Brown (I devoured Rubyfruit Jungle in grad school), but I have a feeling my girls will have a hard time falling asleep Friday night because Saturday they are going to the Carrie Underwood concert. They are beyond excited and it wouldn’t be nice of me to leave my husband alone in the house with them. I’m hoping someone in attendance will be tweeting about it. I think I can content myself with that.


Here’s hoping your week has as much bookish goodness as mine.


  • At 2013.03.19 15:04, Beth @ Too Fond said:

    Oh, how I love Joshilyn Jackson’s books, especially on audio. She is one of my very favorites. If you liked Gods in Alabama, you should read/listen to Backseat Saints next, as if picks up on the character of Rose Mae Lolley from GiA. Enjoy (and I’m very jealous that you have so many left to read–while I have to wait for the next one with impatience!)

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    • At 2013.03.19 16:33, Ti said:

      I have Grown-Up Pretty thanks to Fizzy Jill but haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s so not my kind of book yet everyone raves about her writing. Makes me want to try it.

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      • At 2013.03.19 17:52, Anne Flosnik said:

        So look forward to your Armchair Audies posts Jennifer. You really give do so much to bring attention to the auidiobook industry, and everything you do, you do with gusto.
        Just delighted that you are able to come to The Virginia Festival Of The Book! It seems like a miracle. I can’t wait to see you again and catch up from where we left off last year at APAC. Although that was the first time I had met you, you felt like an old friend, and I felt I knew you through your writing.
        SCHROEDER by Amity Gage and narrated by Will Collyer sounds just the thing to keep you company on your trip. Haven’t decided on my listen yet.
        Safe, and happy travels, and looking forward to seeing you VERY soon! Your fan,

        • At 2013.03.19 18:18, Sandy said:

          Lord, so much to comment on in this post! Well, first and foremost…Joshilyn. Absolutely do not read anything of hers unless it is on audio. They are all flipping amazing, but I will say that I think the two you have read are her best. But still, you will love them all. I just finished the Patti Callahan Henry book yesterday and I enjoyed it as well. It is a She Reads pick plus she is going to be down her at the UCF Book Festival so I got a two-fer on that read! And I really did not like The End of the Affair. I didn’t listen to it, which may have helped, I don’t know. But I could not wait to finish it. Longest short book I’ve ever read.

          • At 2013.03.19 22:56, Ania said:

            I agree with Sandy, so much to comment on. I love Joshilyn Jackson, and I’ve listened to all her audios, and I think I could enjoy them again, it’s just like she’s sitting on my porch, telling me a story.
            Slightly jealous of the VA book festival, but have a blast. I love Sarah McCoy, and since I loved The House Girl I think meeting the author would be great too.
            Have a super weekend girl!!

            • At 2013.03.24 13:12, Shannon said:

              Glad to find another Virginia book blogger! I recently read Schroder and really enjoyed it – you have a good sense about the bumpy road. Hope you are enjoying the Virginia Festival of the Book, I really wish I was able to go this year. Looking forward to reading about your experience.

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              • At 2013.03.24 15:02, Sheila (Book Journey) said:

                I loved A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty on audio – just listened to it last month and gushed all over it 😉

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                • […] again for the first time since gods in Alabama was released earlier this year when I listened to A Grown Up Kind of Pretty. I loved it and didn’t hesitate to request her latest novel, Someone Else’s Love Story. As A […]

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