Audio Reviews | May 1, 2012

starred review starBaggott, Julianna. Pure. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9781611131369. $84.99; Playaway digital; digital download. SF

In a creepy dystopian future, the detonation of nanotechnology bombs causes people to fuse with whatever was near them during the explosion‚ animals, other people, or, sometimes, objects. Since the blast, the unaffected Pures live inside the Dome in isolation and under rigid control. In swirling ash and constant fear, the misshapen Wretches live outside, eking out meager existences, hiding from the local militia, and plotting to attack the Dome. Partridge the Pure wants to find his mother and the truth about his past. Pressia the Wretch seeks safety and salvation. When the two meet, they find something else entirely. Baggott’s imagery is matchless in this freakish and compelling tale of love and revolution. A full-cast narration (Khristine Hvam, Joshua Swanson, Kevin T. Collins, and Casey Holloway) transports the listener thoroughly into Baggott’s imaginative and substantial details. VERDICT A sure hit for fans of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games and Stephenie Meyer’s The Host. [The Grand Central pb will publish in December.‚ Ed.]‚ Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix P.L.

starred review starHannah, Kristin. Home Front. 12 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 15 hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781427215581. $39.99; 5 CDs. retail ed. abridged. 6¬Ω hrs.; digital download. F

In the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, listeners will find themselves immersed in a fictional but very real story of the war’s cost to National Guard families serving in this elongated conflict. Jolene Zarkades, a 41-year-old Black Hawk helicopter pilot and mother of two young girls, is sent to Iraq with Tammy, her next-door neighbor and best friend. The impact on the two soldiers, their loved ones, and their fellow crew members is captured in a whirlwind of emotions that never preaches but gives faces to the reality of the dangers in the war and afterward. VERDICT The novel’s second half, a moving exploration of the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on an already shaky family dynamic, is especially well read by Maggi-Meg Reed, who inhabits all the voices and characters with skill and heartfelt emotion. A timely book that is highly recommended for all audiences. [Hannah has written a remarkable tale of duty, love, strength, and hope…. Buy multiples for her many fans, read the similarly starred review of the St. Martin’s hc, LJ 1/12.‚ Ed.] ‚ Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo

starred review starFriend, Catherine. Hit by a Farm: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Barn. 6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Dog Ear Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781935061137. $36.95; digital download. MEMOIR

The average person usually acquires most of their knowledge about farms from singing Old McDonald or reading Charlotte’s Web. Friend’s experience was not that much different when she agreed to start a small farm with her partner Melissa. The former city dweller and self-proclaimed bookworm quickly discovered she was out of her element when having to deal with the hard, messy, backbreaking‚ and sometimes heartbreaking‚ work that accompanied her new way of life. The author narrates in her strong accent, adding some Minnesota flavor to her honest and touching story about trying to support her partner’s dream without sacrificing her own. VERDICT This behind-the-scenes look at the real work farmers do will have listeners simultaneously grossed out, hysterical, and fascinated. Friend’s story will appeal to city slickers and country folks alike. [Not quite so enthralled was the review of the Marlowe: Avalon pb, LJ 4/1/06: Although some books…can transform the woes of farming and rural life into entertaining, sparkling tales, this one lacks such charm. ‚ Theresa Horn, St. Joseph Cty. P.L., South Bend, IN

The following titles are reviewed in the May 1 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.


Baer, Neal & Jonathan Green. Kill Switch. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455126217. $57; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; 8 CDs. retail ed; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Barnes, Julian. The Sense of an Ending. 4 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 4¬Ω hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792784647. $49.95; 4 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F

starred review starFletcher, Susan. The Highland Witch. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12 hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455117161. $105; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Haymore, Jennifer. Confessions of an Improper Bride. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452636092. $83.99; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; 8 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Lescroart, John. The Hunter. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¬Ω hrs. Brillance Audio 2012. ISBN 9781611064070. $84.97;

10 CDs. retail ed.; 5 CDs. retail ed. abridged. 6 hrs.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. MYS

Poe, Edgar Allan & others. Short Stories: After Dark Classics. 5 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 6 hrs. CSA Word. 2012.

ISBN 9781906147884. $25.95. HORROR

Proust, Marcel. Swann’s Way. 17 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 21¬Ω hrs. Naxos Audiobooks. 2012. ISBN 9781843796060. $98.98;

digital download. CLASSIC

Sharp, Zöe. Fifth Victim. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12¬Ω hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781605982762. $47.99;

2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. THRILLER


starred review starMatthews, Chris. Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. 12 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13¬Ω hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781442350458. $39.99; digital download. BIOG

Maxwell, John. The Five Levels of Leadership.6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Hachette Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781607885177. $26.98; 6 CDs. library ed. Recorded Bks.; Playaway digital; digital download. BUS

starred review starWeiner, Tim. Enemies: A History of the FBI. 15 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 18¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307933959. $45; 15 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio;digital download. HIST

Religion in America

Barry, John M. Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty. 14 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 17¼ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781464004247. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. HIST/REL

Bowman, Matthew. The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780449010631; 9 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; digital download. HIST/REL

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Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.