Xpress Reviews: Audiobooks | First Look at New Books, January 31, 2014

Week ending January 31, 2014

Bond, Stephanie. Stop the Wedding. 6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452614410. $34.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. F
Annabelle Coakley is shocked when her mother decides to marry aging movie star Marvin “Casanova” Castleberry. Clay Castleberry is not thrilled when his father announces that he’s taking the plunge again with a woman Clay figures must be a gold digger—why else would someone want to marry his father? Annabelle is taken aback when Clay offers her a bribe to disappear from Martin’s life, assuming that she is his father’s intended. This story of second chances is billed as a romantic comedy but, other than a for few moments, the story falls flat. Narrator Carla Mercer-Meyer does her best to bring life to the slow-moving novel.
Verdict Those seeking romantic comedies might be better served by looking to works by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Megan Mulry, or Jennifer Weiner.—Stephanie Charlefour, Wixom P.L., MO

Center, Katherine. The Lost Husband. 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 8½ hours. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452615202. $34.99; 1 MP3-CD/7 CDs. library ed.; digital download. F
losthusband013114Libby Moran is an incessant worrier who is sure she is a bad wife and mother. When she dreams about her husband having an affair, she argues with him about it; later that day, he dies in an auto accident. The aftermath leaves the family in dire financial straits. After selling their home and most of their belongings, Libby and the two kids move in with her hypercritical mother. Just when Libby is at the end of her rope, a letter arrives from her Aunt Jean offering a place to live and a small salary to help run her goat farm and cheese business. Taking a chance for the first time, Libby moves them to the farm and a new life. Narrator Amy Rubinate does a credible job, differentiating characters by variations in pitch and accents.
Verdict Recommend to patrons who enjoy the works of Jennifer Weiner and Luanne Rice.—Suanne B. Roush, Osceola H.S., Seminole, FL

Kaufman, Jennifer & Karen Mack. Freud’s Mistress. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470364182. $123.75; 1-MP3 CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Kaufman and Mack (coauthors, A Version of the Truth) attempt to shed light on whether Sigmund Freud had an affair with his beautiful and witty sister-in-law, Minna Bernays, and whether his wife, Martha, knew. Minna comes to their household after losing a position as a lady’s companion. She becomes captivated by her brother-in-law, Sigmund, who was not yet well known. He, in turn, is enthralled by lively Minna. The inevitable happens! Fin de siècle Vienna comes to life in this audiobook narrated by actress Suzanne Toren. Toren’s well-paced, clear reading brings Minna to life. Her quirky voicing is amusing, and her slightly husky timbre gives a sense of intimacy.
Verdict Recommended to fans of historical fiction.—David Faucheux, Louisiana Audio Information & Reading Svc., Lafayette

Mace, Nancy L. & Peter V. Rabins. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss. 5th ed. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13½ hrs. Johns Hopkins. 2013. ISBN 9781421407777. $39.95; digital download. HEALTH
Bursting with suggestions, options, caveats, and advice, this work, now in its fifth edition, remains the definitive guide to living with dementia. Originally published in 1981, this updated edition reflects the latest medical science and caregiver-devised solutions to dementia issues. Discussions include nursing home research, caregiver coping strategies, daily routines (meals, shopping, driving, finances, etc.), housing alternatives, pain management, toileting, behavior issues, and interpersonal concerns. Elizabeth Tracey introduces chapters and sections, and Rabins’s well-paced, friendly, and authoritative reading capably addresses uncomfortable or potentially embarrassing topics. Professionally produced with consistent volume, the audiobook has calming background music leading into each chapter without overwhelming either reader.
Verdict Of interest to patrons looking for information on living with dementia.—Laurie Selwyn, formerly with Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX

Ridgway, Bee. The River of No Return. 16 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 18½ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470361525. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Instead of dying in battle in 1815, Nicholas Falcott wakes up in a hospital bed in the 21st century, where he is rescued, educated, and eventually recruited by the Guild, guardians of history who control time travel. The Guild helps Nick adjust to modern life but then calls upon him to return to his own time to do battle with a renegade group of time travelers. Back in the 19th century, Nick reconnects with and falls in love with his erstwhile neighbor Julia Percy. Julia is a time manipulator as well, having learned its secrets from her grandfather. She and Nick soon embark on an adventure through time. Well read by Samuel Roukin, this story begs for a sequel.
Verdict Recommend to fans of Diana Gabaldon and other sf/romance authors. [“Despite signs of a novice writer…this debut novel by Ridgway is a highly entertaining romp; her historical details are accurate, and the characters are believable,” read the review of the Dutton hc, LJ 4/1/13.]—Cheryl Youse, Moultrie, GA