Invisible City by Julia Dahl

I almost didn't get pass the first hour of this audiobook. Rebekah is young. The story is told in the first person and I had a tough time relating to her. I don't need to hear about her and her roommate's marijuana use, about her sex life, especially no details please. I understand that her mommy abandoned her, but she was like 6 months old at the time. Yes, I get that she has anxiety issues, but she dwells on everything - she's young, 22, only months out of journalism school and still relatively new to New York. I was going to tire of her quickly, but once the actual mystery kicked in it was a lot better. I will say the narrator had the perfect voice for Rebekah. It was like Rebekah was telling me the story. She did well with the other characters to, but she was best at Rebekah, which is how it should be in a first...
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Thursday’s Tale: The Flying Witch by Jane Yolen

The Flying Witch is not a traditional Baba Yaga story, but it's still entertaining. The witch is after a tasty, plump child to eat, but the girl she finds is brave and clever. She has "two good feet, a fine sense of direction, two strong arms, and a clever mind." She finds a way to escape from the witch with - get this- her father's help. Dad is pretty smart himself, puts two and two together, and finds his daughter. I love that we have a strong female lead in the little girl and a dad who is not the stereotypical disinterested/absent fairy tale father. He cares and risks his safety to go after her. Yolen's Baba Yaga follows tradition. She flies using a mortar and pestle, is wrinkled and ugly and has an iron nose. The book doesn't talk down to its young audience, it explains and shows what the mortar and pestle look like instead of just letting her...
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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

I wasn't going to read The Cuckoo's Calling, something about Rowling writing it under a secret pseudonym that just happens to leak out when the book doesn't sell well rubbed me wrong. But the library had the audio available when I needed a book to quickly add to my player, so I decided to give it a chance. I was pleasantly surprised. In a lot of ways it's the standard detective story. Our detective, Cormoran Strike, is a big, tough guy with a gruff exterior. He's definitely down on his luck, but his backstory is interesting. He's a war hero and the son of a rock star father who he doesn't have any contact with. I got a little tired of hearing about how uncomfortable his prosthesis was though. But at heart he's a good guy who wants to help those who need him. His assistant Robin is competent and caring, but a little disappointing somehow. Maybe she just doesn't get...
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Thursday’s Tale: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

In his introduction to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was first published in 1900, Baum wrote that the story "aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heart-aches and nightmares are left out.” It has been considered the first American fairy tale because of its references to clear American locations like Kansas and Omaha. While agreeing with authors like Carroll about fantasy literature and its importance for children along with numerous illustrations, Baum also wanted to create a story that had recognizable American elements in it like farming and industrialization. It's a mix of fantasy: witches and wizards, and the everyday: scarecrows, puppy dogs. I have watched three movie versions of the Wizard of Oz over the years - the classic from 1939, the Muppet version, and last year's Oz the Great and Powerful. Each has aspects of the original story, but none capture the whole adventure. We all know Dorothy is...
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