Thursday, October 20, 2011

Books, Books, Books, Books

Boy, do I have diversity for you today!

I have sang the praises of audio books before and continue to say they are a great way to ‘read’ while you’re busy doing other things. Today I have 4 very interesting audio books to share with you, including my first review of a YA novel.

Author Josi S. Kilpack was scheduled to post today on her blog tour, but was unable to so I thought I’d share some reviews. Sorry for the long post, but I’m trying to share as many reviews as I can in a few slots this month. Now for the reviews.

SHATNER RULES by William Shatner with Chris Regan
If you’re a fan of Captain James T. Kirk or savvy lawyer Denny Crane, you’ll love SHATNER RULES.

This is a collection of rules explaining why and how Shatner is Shatner and we know there can be only one. Witty and entertaining, Shatner talks about his four decades in show business and how saying ‘yes’ has lead him in so many different directions.

SHATNER RULES is a very candid look at some of Shatner’s accomplishments, the lessons he has learned in life, and even old feuds with former cast members. A mix of hilarious and tender moments, SHATNER RULES will have you laughing one minute and warming your heart the next. Shatner talks about such things as his trouble with Facebook and selling a kidney stone for charity. There’s a house in New Orleans that Bill’s kidney built.

There are Rules, Fun Factners, and William Flashbackners throughout the story. By the end you will realize there is a difference between Shatner and Bill. While Shatner may seem to have a bit of an attitude to have made it where he has, Bill still has a good heart with compassion for his fellow humans and the earth.

Still going strong at 80, there is no telling what Shatner will tackle next. SHATNER RULES will open your eyes to the world of Shatner where there is much more than just Kirk, Crane and the Priceline Negotiator.  I would recommend the audio version of this book as it is read by Shatner himself.

Author William Shatner’s website is

Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large by William Shatner with Chris Regan, Read by William Shatner, Penguin Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1611760231, Unabridged, 4 Discs, Listening Time: 5 Hours

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

I don’t think I’ve read a YA novel since I was a YA. Back then we didn’t refer to them as YAs, they were just books.

Reading THE APOTHECARY will give you the sense of youth and dreams while also fueling the adult need for a great story. This is a wonderful book to share with your children.

The protagonist is 14-year-old Janie Scot. Her family moves to London from Los Angeles in 1952. Janie finds herself in a strange town attending school with no friends. Then she meets Benjamin Burrows, a mysterious classmate who defies school authorities about bomb drills. He is also the son of the apothecary down the street from Janie’s home.

Soon Janie learns Benjamin dreams of being a spy as she helps him with a project one afternoon. Little do they know they are about to be involved in one of the greatest spy adventures ever. When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, it’s up to the teens to help find him as they uncover secrets from his sacred book, The Pharmacopoeia. In addition, they have to keep the book safe from Russian spies.

They discover transforming elixirs and various magical potions, meet some entertaining new friends along the way, all while helping stop impending nuclear disaster. While some of their methods may sound like a fairy tale, author Maile Meloy will have you believing in the impossible before you know it.

The wonderful accent of Narrator Cristin Milioti is a delight. She gives depth to the characters and brings the action to life.

I highly recommend this tale of friendship, loyalty and love for mankind. It includes a big dose of humor and magic for a well-rounded story.

Author Maile Meloy’s website is and there is also a site for the book at

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy, Read by Cristin Milioti, Penguin Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1611760095, Unabridged, 7 Discs, Listening Time: 7 Hours 30 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is back on the job after her last case in NEW YORK TO DALLAS. This time around the killer has her doing a double take.

In CHAOS IN DEATH, Dallas is investigating the murder of three people in an abandoned building. The trio, all recovering addicts, are friends and seem to have no enemies. 

When a witness comes forward to describe what she saw the night of the killings, Dallas isn’t sure what to make of it at first. The suspect has green skin, big red eyes, a dislocated jaw, and danced in the street twirling his cape.

The investigation leads Dallas and her team to a medical facility where testing is being done to help addicts. The more they learn, the more the suspect list grows.

Author J.D. Robb will keep you guessing who the murderer is and why right until the end. The usual cast of great supporting characters are included in this tale of a twisted killer.

CHAOS IN DEATH is shorter than most of the In Death installments, but lacks nothing in suspense and intrigue. This is a stand alone story but might make you a bit curious if you haven’t read NEW YORK TO DALLAS.

Narrator Susan Ericksen does a marvelous job bringing these characters to life. She gives each their own unique voice.

Author J.D. Robb’s website is

Chaos in Death by J.D. Robb, An In Death Novel, Read by Susan Ericksen, Brilliance Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1455818471, Unabridged, 3 Discs, Listening Time: 3 Hours 41 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Christmas brings to mind crowded malls filled with busy shoppers, noisy children, and colorful decorations. Add in a possible explosion and you have the action-packed novel, CHRISTMAS AT TIMBERWOODS.

It’s the busiest time of the year at Timberwoods Mall keeping security manager Heather Andrews on her toes. When the young woman who designed the mall’s holiday displays comes to see her, Heather’s not sure what to make of it. Angela Steinhart has premonitions and this time she’s seen an explosion at the mall during the height of the shopping season.

As Heather and her boss, Lex, check into the matter, the more convinced they become the vision may come true. Meanwhile, a mall employee has had more than he can take of his co-workers treatment and decides on a fatal course of action.

Author Fern Michaels weaves the lives of her characters into an intriguing plot of suspense, action, and bits of romance. New friendships are forged and lives change forever. The story will keep you on the edge of your seat as you count down the hours till the deadline with Heather, Lex and the rest of the security team.

Tanya Eby does a wonderful job in her narration giving voice to these interesting chracters.

Author Fern Michael’s website is

Christmas At Timberwoods by Fern Michaels, Read by Tanya Eby, Brilliance Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1455841448, Unabridged, 7 Discs, Listening Time: 8 Hours 28 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Hope you find something here to listen to or read as all of these novels are also available in print editions. Have you read any of these yet? Are any already on your TBR stack or on your wish list? Thanks so much for stopping by.


  1. Hi Mason .. there are plenty of people who'll be buying the Shatner book - interesting read/listen .. The Apothecary does sound fun .. light and interesting .. the Christmas at Timberwoods too ..

    Thanks interesting reviews .. cheers Hilary

  2. Mason - Thanks for these reviews! What a variety you've got here! That's actually one of the things I really enjoy about visiting your blog; you discuss such a wide range of books. Normally, I'm not one who reads a lot of YA, but The Apothecary sounds interesting! I just might look for that one...

  3. Mason, your passion for books is truly astounding. Just wanted to bop over and say hi - easing back into blogging after being away for 3 weeks.

  4. You've got some interesting offerings here, but I'll be looking for printed (or e-printed) versions. Audio books never work for me. If I'm not completely into the story, my mind wanders and I forget to listen. If I am completely into it, I forget whatever else I'm doing and just stare at whatever the sound is coming out of (or shut my eyes if I'm wearing headphones). This is especially problematic if I'm driving at the time. Guess I'm just an all or nothing kind of reader.

    Thanks for the reviews.

  5. I love listening to Books on CD, and have already listened to Chaos in Death. I agree Susan Ericksen does a fabulous job. I listen to most of her books.

  6. Hilary, SHATNER RULES was a bit of a surprise to me. There is a lot more to William Shatner than I imaged.

  7. Margot, thank you for your kind words. I was impressed with THE APOTHECARY. I'd enjoy a series in this form.

  8. Karen, welcome back. Hope your trip was relaxing and fun.

  9. LD, I understand your problem with audio books completely. I have the reverse effect sometimes. I'll be listening to a book and forget to make a stop or go right past my turn off. :)

  10. LilMissMolly, I agree Susan Ericksen does a wonderful job narrating. I can't image anyone else doing this series.

  11. The Apothecary's Tale sounds like one I'd like to read! And I love the cover. I also like your comment, "back then they were just books" LOL.

  12. Shatner Rules sounds like my kind of book!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.