Moriarty, Laura. The Chaperone. 11 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13 hrs. Penguin Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611761283. $39.95; 11 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Moriarty’s engrossing work of historical fiction centers around Cora Carlisle, a woman selected to accompany aspiring entertainer Louise Brooks to New York City from Wichita, KS. Louise, who would become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1920s and 1930s, here is only 15 years old but already well aware of how to use her beauty to her advantage. For Cora, a traditional, married mother of two who is a stranger to Louise at the beginning of the journey, the trip represents an opportunity to learn more about her own ambiguous past. The book is narrated by actress Elizabeth McGovern, perhaps best known to audiences as Lady Cora from the British period drama Downton Abbey. McGovern deftly provides Moriarty’s characters with distinct speech patterns and accents, which will help listeners navigate this work’s long stretches of dialog. VERDICT Highly recommended for general and literary fiction collections. [“Moriarty is a wonderful storyteller; it’s hard to put this engaging novel down,” read the review of the New York Times best-selling Riverhead hc, LJ 3/15/12.—Ed.]—Nicole Williams, Englewood P.L., NJ
Maddow, Rachel. Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. 6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7½ hrs. Random Audio. 2012. ISBN 9780307970381. $35; 6 CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. POL SCI
Rhodes Scholar Maddow makes her debut with this work on U.S. politics, war, military, and all the players in between. From start to finish, Maddow provides facts and statistics ranging from the personal beliefs of our Founding Fathers to the $8 trillion spent on nuclear weapons that could destroy the world countless times over. Maddow’s scholarly approach reduces bias, but it may be too dense for many listeners. Print readers who could revisit passages may be better able to appreciate her complex message that the United States should be a “deliberately peaceable nation.” VERDICT Maddow’s narration helps capture her wit, emotion, and passion, but the work often has a textbook-like feel. Best for politics and history buffs. [“Maddow can be sassy, but she’s deadly serious...[and] she ends with a to-do list for finding our way back to a reasonable national security state. Highly recommended to all readers engaged in the world today and with how we got here,” read the review of the New York Times best-selling Crown hc, LJ 3/15/12.—Ed.]—Sean Kennedy, Cleveland Marshall Coll. Law Lib.
Grecian, Alex. The Yard. 12 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14½ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781470302672. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. MYS
In this mystery set in post–Jack the Ripper London, Scotland Yard must solve the murder of one of its own detectives, who is found dead with his eyes and mouth sewn shut. The largely male cast of characters is portrayed sympathetically—perhaps too much so to be entirely believable—but listeners will root for the modest Inspector Day, who earns promotion after marrying above his social class (among other things, the shame of having to eat mock instead of real turtle fuels his determination to succeed). Likewise, the haunted Dr. Kingsley will rouse interest, as the emerging art of forensic science is revealed through his investigations. Subplots proliferate, and gritty details abound, including in one harrowing murder scene told from the victim’s perspective. Narrator Toby Leonard Moore subtly voices the characters, matching accent and tone with social class and disposition but never overdoing the performance. VERDICT Recommended for most public libraries. [“An excellent murder mystery, with characters that deserve a series, or at least a sequel. Fans of Sherlock Holmes or Jack the Ripper tales should enjoy this mystery,” read the review of the New York Times best-selling Putnam hc, LJ 4/15/12.—Ed.]— Victoria Caplinger, NoveList, Durham, NC
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The following titles are reviewed in the January 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Allston, Aaron. Mercy Kill. 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12¾ hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780449011256. $40; digital download. SF
Bernier, Nichole. The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¼ hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792789239. $64.95; 1 MP3-CD; digital download. F
Brandreth, Gyles. Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11½ hrs. AudioGo. 2012. ISBN 9780792784456. $79.95; digital download. MYS
Kane, Andrea. The Line Between Here and Gone. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781456133344. $123.75; digital download. THRILLER
Steel, Danielle. Friends Forever. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 8¼ hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012 ISBN 9781423388739. $79.97; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology. ed. by Christopher Golden. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12¾ hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455160532. $75; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. HORROR
Abrashoff, Captain D. Michael. It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy.6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 6½ hrs. Hachette Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781619692435. $29.98; Playaway digital; digital download. BUS
Dawson, Peg & Richard Guare. Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential. 10 CDs. library/retail eds. unabridged. 12½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452608853. $39.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download.
Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. 7 CDs. library/retail eds. unabridged. 8 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452608143. $29.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. PSYCH
Hanegraaff, Hank. The Creation Answer Book. 3 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 3 hrs. Oasis Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781613751855. $17.99; digital download. REL