Weekly Reads | 8.3.2014

How was your weekend? I only got about an hour of reading in this weekend. Most of that time was in a bubble bath.

So this week, I’m continuing to read

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf Mrs. Dalloway
By Virginia Woolf

If you’re interested in my thoughts as I read the book, check out my new Tumblr Totally Contains Spoilers.

In the car, I’m listening to

Our Lady of the Forest by David Guterson

Our Lady of the Forest (Audiobook)
By David Guterson
Read by Blair Brown

Recent Posts

Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From
What I’m Into | 7.2014
Major Book Buying Mode

What are you reading this week?

**Linked up with Book Journey**

Weekly Reads | 7.28.2014

With Claire visiting my parents last week, Nick and I got to work on some household projects. I didn’t have much reading time, but I took as much time as possible.

Beginning this week, I’ll be reading the second half of

Zenith City: Stories from Duluth by Michael FedoZenith City: Stories from Duluth
By Michael Fedo

On my commute I’ve been switching between the radio and

The Magician's Assistant by Ann PatchettThe Magician’s Assistant (Audiobook)
By Ann Patchett

I wasn’t sure I’d stick with this after the first few minutes, but, as usual, I’m glad I stuck with it.

If you’re interested in my thoughts as I read, check out my new Tumblr Totally Contains Spoilers.

Recent Posts

July Book Lists

Pick out your next read from these great lists.

A Review of Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty

Not comedy, but Martin’s distinctive voice shines through.

What are you reading this week?

**Linked up with Book Journey**

Touching & Thought Provoking: A Review of Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou

A Review of Letter to My Daughter Written & Read by Maya Angelou

Letter to My Daughter
Written & Read by Maya Angelou


Well, let’s get this out of the way. Angelou doesn’t have a daughter. Rather, this brief guide was written for all the daughters she saw around her every day. The entire piece is a series of numbered, brief essays that relate the struggles and triumphs of Angelou’s life and what she learned from each experiences. From racism to being a strong, resilient woman, Angelou covers it all.

Audiobook Review

Angelou, who has a very varied background, including dance, drama and writing, has learned how to moderate her voice. To use inflections when necessary, but mostly to cultivate a voice that when heard, the listener knows immediately that it’s THE Maya Angelou. Her voice is stilted, but the listener doesn’t really get a whiff of pomposity. Rather, it’s like her voice is imbued with intelligence and wisdom.


Writing  5 out of 5 stars

Storytelling 5 out of 5 stars

Cultural Impact 5 out of 5 stars

Reading Performance 5 out of 5 stars

Total:  5 out of 5 stars

 Have you read any of Angelou’s work? What did you think?

Deeply Affecting : A Review of Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying

Oh, this book. I don’t think I’ll see things the same way ever again.

Deeply Effecting: A Review of Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying | The 1000th Voice blog

Brother, I’m Dying
By Edwidge Danticat
Read By Robin Miles


Brother, I’m Dying, the story of the deaths of the two men who raised Edwidge–her father and her uncle, was profoundly and deeply affecting. Like many kids whose parents are emigrating to the U.S., Danticat and her brother remained behind in Haiti as first their father and then their mother emigrated.

Throughout the beginning of the book I was struck by how private Danticat was with sharing info with her family, but then, I realized why. For years, when she was able to speak to her parents, it was over the phone with her uncle telling her what to say, and when she wrote, her uncle always checked over her writing to make sure her English was good.

When I wrote in the title that this book was deeply affecting, I truly meant it. On multiple levels, Danticat’s story did deeply affect me. As an American citizen now, Danticat didn’t spend a lot of time bashing the U.S. policy in Haiti, but she was very clear in sharing how the U.S.’s influence was both positive and negative. Regardless of the U.S.’s influence, reading about young children living in a war- and conflict-torn country was incredibly saddening, and to know there are so many children living in similar situations today makes the first-hand account even more impactful.

Additionally, the reader learns toward the end what it was like (at least in the early to mid 2000s) for Haitians, who feared for their life in their home country, to try to emigrate to the U.S. In fact, Danticat even makes it clear that Cubans who illegally enter the country, washing up on Miami’s beaches, are treated better than Haitians who have clearance to enter (but not stay) in the U.S. It’s sad, scary and needs to be changed.

Audiobook Review

With years of experience, Robin Miles is an amazing voice talent. Her Haitian accent and Creole-laced sentences were lyrical and beautiful to hear. There wasn’t a single point when I felt the reading was a miss.


Writing 5 out of 5 stars

Storytelling 5 out of 5 stars

Cultural Impact 5 out of 5 stars

Reading Performance 5 out of 5 stars

Total: 5 out of 5 stars

Have you read or listened to any of Danticat’s work? What did you think?

What is the most deeply affecting book you’ve ever read?

Twitterature | 1.2014

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature is her fun way to share quick little
reviews of books read recently. I hope you enjoy these.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami | Twitterature | Brief Book Reviews at The 1000th Voice blog

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
By Haruki Murakami

Weird,  wonderful & magical. Beautiful prose & unusual characters move the story along.

Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat | Twitterature | Brief Book Reviews at The 1000th Voice blog

Brother, I’m Dying (audiobook)
By Edwidge Danticat
Read By Robin Miles

Oh, wow! Just finished listening to this.  My life will never be the same.

Groundswell by Charlene Li | Twitterature | Brief Book Reviews at The 1000th Voice blog

By Charlene Li

Informative. Set the foundation for an understanding of social media marketing.

Have you read any other these books? What were your thoughts?

Twitterature: October 2013 Edition

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature is her fun way to share quick, little reviews of books read recently.
I hope you enjoy these; I’ll follow up later with longer book review posts.

I’ve had so much fun participating in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature the last two months that I decided to do it again! I’ve only read two books since the last link up, so I’m sharing reviews of two books I reviewed earlier on the blog in Twitter’s signature brief form. Links to the full review are at the bottom. Also, I will be writing a complete review of Dracula tomorrow.

Beautiful Ruins
By Jess Walter

 Gorgeous words, scenes and characters. #MustRead #LitFic

By Bram Stoker

 Dark. Rich. Suspense. #MustRead #TheOV (Original Vamp!)

The Glass Castle (audiobook)
By Jeannette Walls

 You think your childhood was bad? Walls has ya’ll beat! #Memoir

The Casual Vacancy
By J.K. Rowling

 Character study of the inner workings of small village. #LitFic #MustRead

Ape House
By Sara Gruen

A wonderful statement about ethical treatment of animals. #GreatWriting

The Glass Castle | The Casual Vacancy | Ape House

**I’m linking this up with Modern Mrs. Darcy.**

Audiobook Review: Pharmakon

Audiobook Review: Pharmakon by Dirk Wittenborn | The 1000th Voice Blog

By Dirk Wittenborn

A couple years ago my brothers, sister in law, husband and I came across a going-out-of-business sale at the oddest book store. None of us, self-proclaimed book lovers, had ever heard of any of the books. Nick handed me this audiobook. It sounded weird, but at less than a buck, I took a chance. I’m very glad I did.

Told over the span of 50 years, this multigenerational story uses multiple points of view to tell a complicated sometimes absurd story.

The book starts briefly narrated by Zach. We don’t know much about him and we learn just a little about his father. This is just a teaser before moving into the third person limited narration mainly focused on patriach Will Friedrich.

One of the fascinating aspects of this book was how little Friedrich, a pioneering neuropharmacologist and trained psychiatrist, knew nothing about actual people especially his family. The story mainly centers around each member of the family and some friends eventually figuring out of acknowledging that fact.

Voice Talent

This audiobook was skillfully read by Mark Deakins and Lincoln Hoppe. They were both able to really embody the feel of the book during their particular parts.


Writing 4 out of 5 stars

The writing in this story was tight and intriguing.

Storytelling 4 out of 5 stars

The pacing and set up of the story kept me interested in finding out what happens next.

Total 4 out of 5 stars

Have you ever read or listened to Pharmakon? Have you ever found a diamond in the rough in an odd bookstore?

Audiobook Review: The Buddha in the Attic

Audiobook Review: The Buddha in the Attic | The 1000th Voice Blog

The Buddha in the Attic
By Julie Otsuka
Read By Samantha Quan and Carrington MacDuffie

Oddly enough with an hour-long round trip commute, I haven’t been listening to any audiobooks lately. I decided on a trip to the library a couple weeks ago that I should look at the selection of audiobooks. It’s a small library, so I didn’t have high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised at the decent selection of books. In fact, last night I picked up two great audiobooks, books that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time!


This was a really entertaining but brief listen. Unabridged the audiobook clocked in at about four hours. What this book lacks in length it makes up for in emotion. To say it packs a wallop is truly an understatement. The complexity of emotions, of many emotions to be more accurate, was stunning. It was, overall, a very heartbreaking story.
Audiobook Review: The Buddha in the Attic | The 1000th Voice Blog

Despite the deep emotions, the hallmark feature of this novel that will have a lasting impact on me is the narration. Told in third person plural, it relays the story of many Japanese picture brides who came to America in the early 20th century hoping to find a better life or, in some cases, just to escape from their current lives in Japan. Their experiences were in some ways different, but the challenges and events followed a similar pattern. They were very powerfully presented as shared experiences using third person plural.


Writing 4.5 out of 5 stars
Otsuka’s writing is strong, and she employs interesting literary devices to tell this story.

Storytelling 5 out of 5 stars
Otsuka tells a fascinating story about the shared experiences of Japanese picture brides in an interesting and emotional way.

Character Development 3 out of 5 stars
In the context of this book, character development is a little hard to rate. After all, we don’t know the typical things we would about characters, such as names, defining traits and motivations. But we do know about their backgrounds and their experiences in America. About the struggles they had in Japan and the struggles they experienced in America.

Plot Structure 4 out of 5 stars
Despite what some reviewers think, there is a plot, it’s character and historically driven.

Cultural Impact 2 out of 5 stars
The cultural impact of this book is more in the topic (Japanese picture brides and WWII internment) and also in the third person plural storytelling, but, still, the cultural impact isn’t very impressive.

Total 3.7 out of 5 stars

Have you read The Buddha in the Attic? Do you agree with my review? What do you think of the idea of telling the story of multiple people using third person plural?