Category Archives: Audiobooks

Elizabeth Gaskell 200th Anniversary Blog Tour: Sylvia’s Lovers to the 7th stop on the Elizabeth Gaskell 200th Anniversary Blog Tour! Please join me and other Elizabeth Gaskell enthusiasts in honoring her on her birthday today with a blog tour featuring  a biography of her life and times, reviews of her books, novella’s and movies, reading resources, and a photo tour of her homes. I cannot say how honored Stiletto Storytime is to be a part of this tour. While my blog may not a period blog, this time in literature holds my heart.  Elizabeth Gaskell is one of my personal favorite authors. She is almost like a friend I curl up with when in need of comfort, North & South is not only one of my top five book books but also one of my top five film adaptations as well. To sum it up…I adore her work.

Here on Stiletto Storytime I was to review Gaskell’s work Sylvia’s Lovers which I am enjoying on my Nook but if I could be enjoying a real copy, above is the one I would choose. It has character and was my favorite of the many covers I viewed. I crave old books and this one is one I long to own. 

“Set in the isolated whaling port of Monkshaven, Sylvia’s Lovers (1863) exposes the tyrannical press-gangs, one of which carries off Sylvia’s lover, the harpooner Charley Kinraid. Sylvia, left penniless and believing Charley dead, marries her cousin; when her first love returns a hero from the Napoleonic wars, treachery is revealed and Sylvia must make a fateful choice in this strange and powerful dramatization of human destruction.”

I say I was to review…because I have a confession…I have not finished. You see this is the last of Gaskell’s works for me. I have read it all. It’s hard when you realize that there will be no more from one of your favorite authors. That her words are limited. And so I have savored every moment of Sylvia’s Lovers, with its rough and yet lyrical dialect, its humorous depictions of characters I can see vividly in my head such as Sylvia’s father:

“He had a strong notion of being a kind of  domestic Jupiter.”

“That’s all t’ women know about it. Wi’ them it’s “coompany, coompany, coompany,” an’ they think a man’s no better than theirsels. A’s have yo’ to know a’ve a vast o’ thoughts in myself’, as I’m noane willing to lay out for t’ benefit o’ every man. A’ve niver gotten time for meditation sin’ a were married; leastways, sin’s left t’ sea. Aboard ship, wi niver a woman wi’n leagues o’ hail, and upo’ t’ masthead, in special, a could.”

As I said I am reading it slowly…and enjoying each of its over 400 pages…at times re-reading passages aloud. To me this better pays tribute to Ms. Gaskell. Better to do it this way than to have rushed through this last treasure for me to get my review up in time. I will not. I will savor every page and sigh when I finish for another great writer will have gone silent. What better review or recommendation can one give than that? For with Gaskell no matter which book you choose, you have chosen well.

In Sylvia’s Lovers I have read as Gaskell does what she does best:  spin a story as if a web, a little love, social commentary of humorous intent, memorable characters and the shining of light upon injustice. In Sylivia’s Lovers, we are to learn about the “press gangs”, emissaries of the King’s Navy sent to take men into their ranks by force. Yet another social injustice of a time before that I was unaware of. Perhaps in my confession there is folly but well….

Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom.”

Elizabeth Gaskell

Wives and Daughters

“Follow this link to the next blog on the Elizabeth Gaskell bicentenary blog tour at November’s Autumn.





  • 14.) Your Gaskell Library – Links to MP3′s, ebooks, audio books, other downloads and reading resources available online: Janite Deb – Jane Austen in Vermont
  • 15) Plymouth Grove – A Visit to Elizabeth Gaskell’s home in Manchester: Tony Grant – London Calling


Filed under Audiobooks, Author Interviews & Posts, Classic Literature, Events

Manic Monday Well after a little over a week from having my sinus/deviated septum surgery I am finally feeling well enough to get back into the groove. It’s a good thing too since I have lots of odds and ends and news to spread!

First things first It’s Audiobook Week at Devourer of Books. She’s got some great events, prizes and audiobook posts coming up so don’t miss out! I think audiobooks often get lost in space when books are talked about, we kind of see them only as an extenuation of the actual print book when they are in reality much more. For this reason I’m glad that a light is put upon them in their own right this week and month. I myself have a relatively good but somewhat neglected standing with audiobooks.

First Audiobook Experience: My first ever memory and one I cherish to this day is around fifth grade when our class would go to the school library. We had a free period where we could do whatever we wanted and me already a “classics” fan always chose to listen to the Edgar Allen Poe stories on tape. There was something about that sinister voice reading those tales through those gigantic headphones in my small carrel that made them new to me and I liked it! I remember that as one of my favorite things about all of elementary school. It was my first real experience of having the perfect voice teamed up to the words in a book.

Favorite Audiobooks: Some of my favorite audiobooks are those of books by Jodi Picoult. I really enjoyed Nineteen Minutes and The Tenth Circle. I have always adored the Harry Potter audiobooks and have listened to them multiple times. Other favorites include Rules by Cynthia Lord and The Witches by Roald Dahl. I also really enjoyed the audiobooks for Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series as well. As you can see my taste in audiobooks is varied much like my reading habits. To me it is all about the magic of a great story being matched with the perfect voice.  I personally think  the narrator can make or break an audiobook and I also prefer only one narrator if possible.

When, Where and Why Not As Much?: I used to listen to audiobooks in the car for almost any long car trip (much to my husband’s dismay) and for commuting back and forth to work when I was a librarian. I loved how it allowed me to get some reading done while driving and to also up my reading quota. However since becoming a SAHM…I don’t commute and really don’t spend too much time in the car. So my audiobook intake has dropped quite a bit.  I am not one of those who can just sit and listen…I would rather read if I can.  I also cannot work out and listen…just not the right pace for me. The car seems to be my ideal spot and I hope to get back to listening once again!

Another great initiative I want to share is The Book Bloggers for Nashville Schools Program. As we all know Nashville was devastated by flooding and many schools and libraries are desperately in need of books. I myself am a born Tennessean so this hits very close to home, I am originally from Clarksville which as we say in the South “is just down the road a piece”.  To learn more about the program please go to Reader with a Capital “R”. The initiative is called A Dry Read: New Books for Nashville and I hope you will all see if you can help in any way! We as Book Bloggers are in special position to be able to spread the word and make things happen! Let’s do it! Here is some additional information on the devastation and what efforts are being made to get things done! I hope we can all contribute in some small way and make a big impact. Please help spread the word if you can. Thanks to Rebeccca at Reader with a Capital “R” and Janicu’s Book Blog for all the information to pass along.

*In addition I have a giveaway announcement. Teresa of Teresa’s Reading Corner is the winner of the giveaway for the book “The Starlet” by Mary McNamara! Happy Beach Reading with that one Teresa! Congrats again! That’s all I have for today’s Manic Monday. Look for further posts in the next few weeks with some new features inspired by my trip to Book Blogger Convention 2010 and possibly soon Stiletto Storytime’s first ever sponsored Reading Challenge. I promise it’s different than most out there and I am very excited about it. Stay tuned!


Filed under Audiobooks, Book Blogs, Events