Xpress Reviews: Audiobooks | First Look at New Books, October 18, 2013

Week ending October 18, 2013

Andrews, Mary Kay. Ladies’ Night. 14 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 17½ hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781427230812. $39.99; Playaway digital; digital download. F
When Grace catches her husband cheating with her assistant, she drives his fancy sports car into their pool. She files for divorce, and the judge orders her to attend a divorce recovery therapy group. She starts a relationship with the one man in the group, Wyatt, but since they are both on the rebound, it’s not always smooth sailing. There is also something amiss with their therapist and the judge who ordered them to attend. Listeners who enjoy books about cheating husbands and getting revenge on them may like this light read, but Grace is too naïve, and some of the scenarios are unrealistic. It may have been more enjoyable in print; Kathleen McInerney’s narration makes everyone in this book sound like a whiny teenager.
Verdict Not recommended. Suggest Andrews’s other titles, such as Savannah Breeze, instead. [“Set on Florida’s Gulf Coast, featuring sunsets and walks by the water, Andrews’s latest beach read (after Spring Fever) will have great appeal for readers who enjoy stories of women rebuilding their lives, with the support of other women. Add in a dog, a sweet little boy, hilarious stories of women getting revenge, and romance, and it’s a vacation escape,” read the much more positive review of the New York Times best-selling St. Martin’s hc, LJ 5/15/13.—Ed.]—Susie Sharp, Eddy-New Rockford Lib., ND

Ayres, Ed. The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 8 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792792833. $64.95; digital download. SPORTS
Accomplished ultramarathoner Ayres (God’s Last Offer: Negotiating for a Sustainable Future) chronicles his experience of competing in Maryland’s famed JFK 50-mile run while musing on global stewardship. Ayres contemplates his subjects (e.g., “endurance” as conceptually applied to individuals, the world, and humanity) and arrives at interesting conclusions (e.g., “Over the years, I’d noticed curious parallels between the ecology of human societies under duress and that of an individual human under great stress”). Unfortunately, Ayres’s attempt to relate his opinions through the lens of running is self-serving and limits the audience to either runners or readers interested in climate change, overpopulation, biodiversity, etc.; neither crowd gets enough satisfying material. Though Richard Waterhouse’s careful, enunciated narration is effective, it can’t solve Ayres’s frequent ramblings.
Verdict Large audio collections will get some turnover, but even at a bargain price this has limited appeal.—Douglas C. Lord, Middletown, CT

Briggs, Patricia. Frost Burned. (Mercy Thompson, Bk. 7). 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Dreamscape Media. 2013. ISBN 9781624062704. $59.99; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Mercy dives into the fire when her alpha werewolf husband, Adam, and his entire pack are kidnapped. Mercy lacks both clues and allies, but that doesn’t stop her from pursuing the few leads she has. As she gets closer to finding both Adam and the attackers, she uncovers a series of fun house mirrors where nothing is what it appears. Narrator Lorelei King presents a Mercy who transcends the factions trying to destroy the fragile truces between humans and nonhumans. King matches the pace and tension without taming it and also does well with the vampires who play a sudden but starring role. These characters are known quantities, and King brings them alive (or perhaps dead), recognizing their origins and using them to create memorable figures.
Verdict Public libraries want this. Briggs is a hot commodity in urban fantasy, and this book will satisfy fans for another year.—Jodi L. Israel, Birmingham, AL

The Indigenous Peoples’ Message to the World. 2 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 1 hr. Brilliance Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781480512979. $19.97. HIST
In 1992, the First World Conference of Indigenous Peoples was held in Brazil and attended by representatives from groups of indigenous people from all over the world. This two-disc set features selections of events recorded live at that conference, including statements from various attendees about their beliefs, their hopes for the future, the problems they encounter, especially in dealing with “white” culture and industrialized society. Musical pieces are interspersed throughout. Unfortunately, there is no introduction or explanation on the recording to provide context. None of the speakers is identified by name or by affiliation. Music is not attributed to its singers/players. The quality of the recording is not outstanding. The “message to the world” also seems to be a message to the indigenous people themselves, to reaffirm their right to live and worship in harmony with nature as caretakers of Planet Earth. Because the event took place so long ago, one wonders if the message remains the same.
Verdict This recording will be useful to anyone with an interest in indigenous people.—Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence

Mayle, Peter. The Marseille Caper. (Sam Levitt, Bk. 2). 5 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 6 hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780449013403. $30; digital download. F
Mayle takes listeners on a merry romp through Marseille in this sequel to The Vintage Caper. Sam Levitt is still recovering from that heist but is enticed from Los Angeles by Francis Reboul, a very wealthy man who understands talent and has his own caper in mind. Since it involves wine, food, and Elena Morales, Sam is happy to contemplate the job. How hard can it be to outwit real estate developers? Narrator Robin Sachs, who died early this year, had the dry wit and ability to elevate even the most mundane text, which take this light mystery into new territory. While the mystery itself isn’t particularly scintillating, the food descriptions certainly are.
Verdict Not Mayle’s best, but now that Sachs has died, this is a worthy acquisition for the delightful reading experience.—Jodi L. Israel, Birmingham, AL

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"