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June 22, 2017 / Leslie

June is Audiobook Month — Celebrate and Win!

Anyone who has visited here before knows I love audiobooks.

However, I wasn’t always the world’s greatest audio fan. Listening rather than reading was a gradual process for me. I first tried audio many years ago—and failed miserably with the format and avoided audiobooks for many years. Yes, me!

What happened?

Well, my first attempt at listening to a book was a Sue Grafton mystery, one of the alphabet murders, on cassette tape while driving to a business seminar from Chicago to Indianapolis. I was concentrating so hard on listening that I missed an exit ramp and ended up on the wrong expressway. I had to figure out where I was and how to turn around, all in the days before GPS. I thought, ugh, no more books in the car, this is dangerous. And that was that.

What changed?

I got an iPod, and I would listen to music while gardening. If I could do that, then why not a book? I could read a few more books a year that way. It was a start, but a little more complicated than that!

Audiobooks are an acquired skill.

The solution for me was to start with a few non-fiction books and some short stories. With a full length book my mind would wander and I’d lose the plot. Non-fiction is much easier to listen to at first. Memoirs are also great to listen to when new to the format. If I can “learn to listen,” anyone can!

And now …

Years later, not only do I listen to books on CD in the car (yeah, I’m OK with that now), I also download and stream audio from my smartphone using bluetooth headphones . . . and listen to about 60 books a year.

Here are a few favorite listens from last year, but there are many, many more that I enjoyed.

Win Audiobooks

In celetration of audiobook month, the Audio Publishers Association and Audiobooks.com are sponsoring a giveaway. The winner will receive three free audio downloads and a set of earbuds. There is an assortment of books to choose from and there is something for everyone, from seasoned listener to newbie and everyone in between.

For a chance to win . . .

Fill out the form below on or before midnight, June 28th. I will draw one random winner (US only) and they will be notified by email. That’s it. Easy!

For more chances to win, here is a list of other participants in the tour.

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June 19, 2017 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ June 19th

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
Summer is always a busy time for me so I’ve been listening to a lot of audio as I do projects around the house and garden. I’m still monitoring wild birds for the forest preserve and volunteering at the parrot rescue by helping arrange adoptions and managing the shelter one day a week.

A few new books arrived last week. Now all I need is some time to sit down and read them.

New Arrivals

Crown of Stars (Nightsong Trilogy #2) by Sophie Jaff from LibraryThing.
In Sophie Jaff’s spellbinding sequel to Love is Red, two women living centuries apart are bound together by an ancient prophecy, which ignites a dark story of obsession, betrayal, and revenge.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old by Hendrik Groen from Grand Central.
In the vein of bestsellers like A Man Called Ove or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes a funny, tender-hearted tale about friendship, love, and an old man who is young at heart.

Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia by Gerda Saunders from Hachette Books.
Memory’s Last Breath is an unsparing, beautifully written memoir–a true-life Still Alice that captures Saunders’ experience as a fiercely intellectual person living with the knowledge that her brain is betraying her.

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June 14, 2017 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: New Birdbath

Almost wordless: After 15 years it was time to retire the old, leaky birdbath. Most of the birds are being cautious around the new bath and aren’t too sure about it yet.

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June 12, 2017 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ June 12th

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
There was nothing in my physical mailbox again last week, but I have plenty of books waiting to be read, so this is not a bad thing. I did receive a few more audio books.

As I mentioned last week, June is Audiobook Month, an event originated by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) to celebrate the format. Be sure to check out their month-long blog tour and giveaways where you could win free audiobooks. A good way to try out the format!

Audio Downloads


From Random House Audio:

White Fur by Jardine Libaire
A vivid, hypnotic story of a star-crossed couple, set among the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City.

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck
A gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.

The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman
Tension arises in the love affair of a young artist for whom nothing is permanent and his girlfriend, a teacher who believes that things are meant to last.

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June 8, 2017 / Leslie

Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White

A Rapid Review

Passionate Birders Share the Joys of watching Birds

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | March 2017
Format: Paperback 288 pages | Rating: 4 stars

Avid North American birders share wit, wisdom, advice, and what fuels their passion for birds. A portion of the proceeds goes to the American Birding Association, North America’s largest membership organization for active birders.

What’s it about . . .
If you are a birder, aka bird watcher, you will likely enjoy this short book of 37 essays, many of which were written by people well-known in the birding world. They share their experiences and talk about the joys of birding. The essays encompass a variety of topics but all convey a passion about birding.

While the target audience for this book is birders, it’s written in a very accessible style and can be enjoyed by anyone who likes birds.

The essays are about personal experiences, but also contain helpful information for new birders, and even those with experience might learn something new. The end of each essay includes a few tips and a paragraph about the author. Each essay is accompanied by a cute, cartoonish drawing which adds a bit of light humor and whimsy.

What did I think . . .
Some of these experiences I could instantly relate to, like being unable to remember the songs and calls of some of the less frequently seen birds. I need all the tips I can get. Not as enjoyable was reading about a birder who felt it was ok to kill a house sparrow because he killed a bluebird. I agree it’s sad, even frustrating, when that happens, however all bird’s lives have value and there are other ways to handle it, including taking down the nestbox altogether.

Overall, an enjoyable little book that could be read in snippets or all in one sitting.

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
© 2017 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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June 7, 2017 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Tuft of Grass


Almost wordless: This determined tuft of grass was growing in the center of a paved path.

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More Wordless Wednesday. © 2017 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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June 5, 2017 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ June 5th

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
There was nothing in my physical mailbox last week, but I did receive a few new audio books and I will be downloading more this week.

This is perfect timing to add more audio to my TBR list because June is Audiobook Month. The event was originated by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) to celebrate the format and this year they are hosting a blog tour and giveaways. I will be participating in the tour and writing more about audio throughout the month.

Audio Downloads

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger from Simon Schuster.
What is the difference between justice and revenge? In this buzzworthy new thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, two wronged women on very different paths find themselves in the same dark place.

Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda from Simon Schuster
In the masterful follow-up to the runaway hit All the Missing Girls, a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all.

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne from Penguin Audio.
Riveting, haunting, and set against a stunning landscape, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a transcendent novel of psychological suspense, the story of a woman who must risk everything she has and use every skill she possesses to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and now threatens to steal her future: her father.

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© 2017 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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