My Second Best Month Of 2022: A Big Book Review!

December showed me just how valuable my husband’s Audible account is. During work weeks when my hours are all over the place and I’m too tired to keep my eyes on a page, I can listen to an audiobook. When my motion sickness threatens to prevent my commute reading time, I can listen to an audiobook. I still make sure I make time to read my physical books, but that Audible membership sure came in handy for a month that revolved around an unusual and exhausting work schedule. I have now completely taken over my husband’s account and have begun to fill it with horror stories.

This is why he probably shouldn’t lend me things.

Your Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson

When I learned that this autobiography was read by THE Cassandra Peterson herself, I immediately downloaded it (stealing one of Mark’s Audible credits in the process).

A spooky icon and bisexual icon, the actress behind the infamous Elvira is a huge inspiration to me. Even if she had led the most boring life before transforming into the Mistress of the Dark, I would have relished reading/listening to this book. But damn, I did not realize how eventful and interesting her life has been.

Every second I could spare, whether I was commuting or had some downtime, I put on my headphones and gave it a listen. I could not put this book down. This book made me love Cassandra Peterson that much more. I’ve already seen her once at Ottawa Comiccon, but I would love the chance to see her in person again.

Poe and Philips by Jamie Roman

I took a picture of this graphic novel in the recycling bin because that is where it belongs.

I would be a massive hypocrite if I shamed indie publications simply for existing, so the poorly printed pages can be excused. And I know that art is subjective, so the fact that the lackluster artwork does not match the beautiful cover can be overlooked. But what I cannot forgive is a poorly written story.

With such great characters at their disposal, I expected more than a clunky and non-sensical plot with severely underdeveloped characters. Reading this was a waste of an evening.

It’s Ok That You’re Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine

This is an audiobook that Mark had downloaded for himself, but I wanted to give this one a listen. Since my Grandpa passed away during the pandemic, and during the height of a lockdown, his death has not entirely felt real simply due to the fact that I was not able to see him in person during the final year of his life.

Although this book is great for analyzing grief, it was not for me. Had a listened to this book shortly after Grandpa’s death, I would have had a different opinion, however. From my point of view, this self-help book is for those who are freshly grieving, not necessarily for those who are struggling to come to terms with old grief.

The language in this book is poetic, but as an audiobook that leads to a slow listen. And since not all parts of the book resonated with me, I had a hard time staying engaged with this one. It was here that I learned you can increase the playback speed of audiobooks.

Carthago by Christophe Bec, Eric Henninot, and Milan Jovanovic

A friend recommended this graphic novel simply because of the shark on the cover. And sharks are exactly what I got! At first, that is.

The first few chapters came across as the comic book adaptation of The Meg (2018). And then things got weirder than even I was expecting. Apart from megalodons, this book is filled with cryptids, conspiracies, fish people, and the lost city of Atlantis. Everything but the kitchen sink.

I’m still reeling from reading this, trying to wrap my head around it all. I’m torn between whether I’m intrigued enough to read future chapters of the story, or if there’s too much jammed it to make it worth continuing.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

Mark is the Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl fan in our relationship. However, I am a supportive wife who encourages and appreciates his interests. I’ve watched all the YouTube videos he’s shown me (including the infamous “Fresh Pots”), I’ve listened to the songs he’s played in the house, and I attending a screening of Studio 666 (2022) with him. By the time I heard Mark listen to a few chapters of Grohl’s audiobook, I was intrigued enough to read the book myself.

Totally worth it.

My dad and I have never had an easy relationship, but one thing we always bonded over was music. Listening Grohl share his stories of life, music, and fatherhood hit home. Not only was the an entertaining autobiography, but it was interesting and made me feel closer to both my father and my husband (for different reasons, of course).

Although I’m not sure I can call myself a Foo Fighters fan – especially compared to Mark – after this book, I am undoubtedly a Dave Grohl fan.

The Narcissist in Your Life: Recognizing the Patterns and Learning to Break Free by Julie L. Hall

I’ve lost count of how many self-help books I’ve read about narcissists and NPD, so I wasn’t entirely sure if Hall’s book would offer up any new or useful information. But Mark had downloaded it already and it didn’t hurt to check it out.

If you have a narcissist in your life, I highly recommend checking this one out.

Many of the books I’ve read previously have focused on the victim. How to recover, how to move on, how to cope, etc, etc. This book looks at so much more. There are chapters on victims, those with NPD, family dynamics, and so much more. I honestly thought I had learned all I could about families affected by narcissism, but this book proved me wrong.

This book even helped me better understand the narcissist in my life, resulting in a level of forgiveness I did not think I would ever be able to achieve.

The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway: The History of the Captain Who Went Further Than Any Had Before by Una McCormack

This was a recommendation from a friend when Mark first started using Audible. While I was combing through his downloads, trying to figure out what books of his I wanted on my reading list, this one caught my eye because of the narrator. Autobiographies are way more interesting when they’re read by the person the book is about, so having Kate Mulgrew read the autobiography of Captain Janeway was a plus.

As a Trekkie, I adored this book. Although the chapters recounting the tales of Voyager were entertaining, they weren’t as interesting as the rest of the book as I had already seen all those adventures on tv. The real highlight of this book for me was Janeway’s past leading up to her memorable adventures in the delta quadrant.

What I need next is a biography on Captain Sisko but written as if it’s by Jake Sisko.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

When I officially took over Mark’s Audible subscription in December, I spent an afternoon scrolling through to see what spooky stories were included. Not only did it feel appropriate to listen to A Christmas Carol during the Christmas holidays, but when I saw who the narrator was, I couldn’t say no.

I’ve seen so many adaptations of this story on film and tv that I knew I would enjoy the book. And every time I read a book by Dickens I am reminded of how much I enjoy his writing style. He’s one of the classics for a reason.

What I’m fast learning with audiobooks is that the narrator is a significant factor to consider when picking a book to read. Hugh Grant gave me exactly the kind of audiobook experience I was hoping for with this classic holiday tale.

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