Tag Archives: Audiobooks

Review: Present Over Perfect (Audio)

Present Over Perfect

Present Over Perfect (Audio)
By Shauna Niequist
Zondervan on Brilliance Audio, 9781531832056, August 2016

The Short of It:

Are you a perfectionist? Do you try to keep all the balls in the air at the same time? Do you have trouble saying no? This book focuses on being present over perfect. Perfection is highly overrated and if you are like me and fail at it miserably, you will find much to relate to in this audio book.

The Rest of It:

What’s funny is that if you ask the people around me, they will say that I’m not failing at all. Because, on the outside, I look like I have it all together. I know this because I’ve been told this. I’ve even been referred to as a Stepford Mom and if that person happens to be reading, PLEASE do not be upset over it. I secretly enjoyed the comment and it has stayed with me for years. I mean, it was kind of a compliment, at least to my perfection-striving self.

Those who know me will also say that for years I’ve been trying to simplify and that my calendar is always a work-in-progress. Lord, I try. I try to cook real food, learn things, spend time with my family but I spend a lot of time driving back and forth, or holed up in a parking lot waiting for something to end.

A good friend gifted me this book on Audible and it could have been written by me. I could relate to every, single story within it. Present Over Perfect is a book of observations. Each chapter is an observation of what Niequist dealt with as she was trying to focus on being present with those around her, and not so perfect. Listening to this book was like a soothing balm to my soul.

My word for the year is Gather and because I am a perfectionist by nature, the idea of inviting people into my home when things are less than perfect is very uncomfortable for me but Niequist addresses that and of course everything she says makes perfect sense. While waiting for perfection that will never come, my home remains closed off to the people I’ve been trying to invite in. Ironic, no?

If you enjoy self-reflection and struggle with perfection, you will find yourself nodding to much of what Niequist details here. She comes across as gentle, but genuine. I’m so glad my friend gifted it to me!

Source: Gifted to me by a friend!
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Shining (audio)

The Shining

The Shining (audio)
By Stephen King, Read by Campbell Scott
Random House Audio, 15 hours, 49 min (unabridged)

The Short of It:

A decent audio production but the pace was slow, the kid wasn’t as weird as in the movie and it seemed mild in comparison to King’s other books.

The Rest of It:

I don’t want to come off as being a King know-it-all because there are lots of other fans that eat and breath King, but I have read a fair number of his books and this is one case where the movie was much better. If you are not familiar with the story, here is a brief description.

Jack Torrance has a drinking problem and although he has given up the drink, he still struggles daily with being dry. He is married to Wendy and they have a six-year-old son, Danny. Danny is a special boy. He possesses the ability to see into the future but when his father accepts a position as a caretaker of an isolated Colorado hotel in the dead of winter, Danny’s visions become more sinister in nature and the idea of them living there all winter and all by themselves is almost too much for Danny and Wendy to imagine. However, Jack is working on a play, and the quiet isolation is what he needs to finish it, so they pack up and head out. What they don’t know, is that something terrible happened there years ago. Something that will come back to haunt them.

The Overlook - Danny Torrance

Scared yet?

The premise itself is scary as hell. Taking care of a gigantic hotel in the middle of winter without anyone around you is a bit intimidating. The audio version of the book doesn’t play up this aspect too well. The narration is good but the content itself is not all that dramatic and there are long periods of nothing in between the somethings. That’s hard enough in print but on audio, I found myself having to go back because I cruised through several chapters without really knowing what was going on. This was a bit frustrating. I listened to it as part of the #shineon read-along and it seemed as if I was always behind the others since I had to go back and forth so much.

ShineOn Read Along

For the audio book version to have worked for me, I would have needed the following:

  • A creepier Danny. 
  • A meaner, nastier Jack Torrance.
  • A Wendy with a bit more oomph. She reminded me of white bread. Boring.
  • More isolation. There were too many visits to the store and too many phone calls.
  • Less hedge action, which is different than the hedge action seen in the movie.
  • More of the freakin’ hotel! It lives and breathes in the movie.
  • More cold. More music to set the tone.

Look what Jill sent me when I signed up for the read-along. My own special #shineon glasses. The Otter Pup jumped in for the photo. She wants her own glasses.

My ShineOn Glasses

I thought at first that my love of the movie, tainted my opinion of the book but I don’t think so. Others that have not seen the movie have said the same thing. It’s a snoozefest. That said, I now appreciate the movie version even more and can’t wait to see it again.

Doctor Sleep, King’s sequel to The Shining comes out this September 20th. Will I read it? You bet.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.