Audiobooks — Nightfall and The Japanese Lover

Oh my ears!

I love listening to audiobooks in my car on the way to work. I got two last month: NIGHTFALL by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski (which I paid for) and THE JAPANESE LOVER by Isabel Allende (which I used Audible credits for).

These were two very different books!


I first heard about NIGHTFALL at BEA last spring. It is a YA novel with a twist – about a group of preteens left behind on their community’s island when everyone else leaves as part of the tradition of moving when night comes, once every 14 years. Marin is left behind with her twin brother Kana and their friend Line. They need to survive the beasts that accompany the night and they each are changing as they understand the true meanings of the rituals and traditions that shape their community.

Wowza! This was a tough one to read while driving because I had zero interest in the traffic and full interest in the story. I can’t say too much without giving it away, but it is compelling and unique and well-written. It’s a very creative take on the old fear of being afraid of the dark and the power of friendship and the ties that bind. I’m so glad that I got it for myself since I wasn’t able to get it any other way!  Ably read by Nicholas Guy Smith, NIGHTFALL runs just over 10 hours.


On a totally different note is THE JAPANESE LOVER by Isabel Allende. If you know me, you know I love all her books! I’ve been a tad disappointed in the last few but this one marked a return for me to her best genre: historical fiction with a touch of magical realism. In this novel, young Alma Belasco is sent from Europe to live with relatives in the United States to escape the horrors of WWII. She falls in love with the son of the Japanese gardener and so begins a lifelong love affair between them.This story was beautiful yet heart-breaking. It moved through time a bit – which can be disorienting if you are in the car listening – but overall was easy to follow and written in the hallmark prose that marks Allende as a true genius of the craft. Joanna Gleason narrates this nine hour tale.

These days I’m working through CUTTING FOR STONE on my commute. This is an intriguing story, though I do get a little squeamish over the medical details! More to come on this one when I finish it!

Find these books online at Amazon, at your library, or at an indie near you!!

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