Audiobook Review Dump Volume 1

And so, here we are with these thoughts on five of these audiobooks! Let me know what you think of this format

You know how there is that trend on instagram of doing photo dumps? Where you put photos that you haven’t yet posted but don’t really have a logical place for them? So, you just dump them all in one spot. I thought I could utilize that concept with my audiobook reviews. I had quite a few reviews I needed to get through, no real place to put all the reviews and no pressing need to do a full long write up for each book. Also, I just don’t know that the internet wants to read full write ups anymore? And so, here we are with these thoughts on five of these audiobooks! Let me know what you think of this format — if you prefer a quick jotting of thoughts or a full out review!

A Taste For Love by Jennifer Yen

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I have no regrets whatsoever about reading A Taste For Love by Jennifer Yen. Personally, I can always use a cute YA contemporary book about a baking competition that is kind of a retelling of Pride & Prejudice but with diverse characters. Sign me up, count me in for exactly what this book is about. A Taste For Love follows Liza Yang, a high school senior who has a lot going for her. Only, her mom doesn’t really see this. Liza’s dream is to bake — similar to what her parents do. They want her to go to college and make a lot of money, however.

Anyways, Liza tries to earn her mom’s approval when she serves as a technical judge for a baking competition her parents sponsor every year. Only, this year it turns out that her mom set up the competition so that it’s just boys around Liza’s age competing. It almost is like the bachelor. Along the way, Liza finds herself attracted to James Wong and oh, she is FIGHTING it. Friends, I think that you can guess the direction this book goes in and it is just DELIGHTFUL.

I am glad I listened to the audiobook of A Taste For Love. Yen’s book is narrated by Josephine Huang. Huang is a new to me narrator but I LOVED her narration. She has a fun voice that just worked for this story. The audiobook is 8 hours and 46 minutes long and worth all your time.


Notes On Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Notes On Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a spectacular, brief, emotion filled read. It also is my first encounter with Adichie’s work. This sparse book is Adichie’s meditations on losing her father. Her father passed away during the pandemic, but due to kidney failure. We see that grief is isolating but it is also something that connects us all — especially in these times. This book is beautifully written and one that I can see myself returning to again when I am grieving. The audiobook is narrated by the author and a must listen. It is short — at 1 hour 27 minutes – but sticks with you.


Well Read Black Girl edited by Glory Edim

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Well-Read Black Girl edited by Glory Edim is a series of essays by famous Black women who are authors. Each essay details when the writer saw herself reflected in the books she read and the profound impact it had. This book is almost a love letter to Black women authors. I loved it. My favorite essay was the one by Gabourey Sidibe — it was touching and funny and just had such a strong voice. The audiobook is narrated by Glory Edim who I thought did wonderfully. It is 5 hours and 6 minutes long. My one regret is that the audiobook I listened to through the volumes app as an ALC did not come with a PDF of all the book recommendations. This book made me want to pick up the various books recommended within — especially Toni Morrison. I think this will be the year I finally read Toni Morrison thanks to this book.


Sex And Vanity by Kevin Kwan

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I randomly picked up a copy of Sex And Vanity by Kevin Kwan at a library book sale. Turns out I actually had a review copy of the audiobook via Volumes. I am thinking that maybe I should have read Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians series first just to get a feel for his style. I also should have read A Room With A View as well. You see, Sex And Vanity apparently is somewhat of a retelling of A Room With A View. It’s about Lucy Tang Churchill who is caught between two men. One is a man who she kind of hates – George Zao – but is drawn to and has a small history with. The other man is her fiance, Cecil, who is essentially an oil billionaire and white. Lucy also is coming to terms with her identity.

This was an okay listen for me. It very much revels in the fact that it is about rich people. There’s a lot of name brand dropping and jetsetting. Personally, I never found myself overly invested — but I also did not come in with the context of the inspiration. The narrator of the Sex And Vanity audiobook is Lydia Look. It is 9 hours and 36 minutes long. It was not ever a chore to listen to or anything, just not my favorite so far this year.


African Town by Charles Waters and Irene Latham

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African Town by Charles Waters and Irene Latham is an audiobook that I very eagerly listened to. After all, I love verse books. I love historical fiction. And I LOVE audiobooks. So, it stands to reason that I would like this book. And well, I did like this book very much. It follows what happens when the very last slave ship – the Clotilda – which was very real – comes to America with enslaved people after the trade has been made illegal. The book then goes into what happens after the enslaved people are set free. They have to decide whether to stay in America or go back to Africa.

Overall, I thought that African Town was a great book at first. Like, my initial reaction was to give it a five star review. Then I decided to sit with my thoughts a little bit longer. I don’t know how I feel about a white woman telling some of the perspectives in this story. The authors note says neither of the authors are descendents of those who came on the Clotilda. It talks about the authors taking on the burden of telling the story so it doesn’t have to fall to the descendents. I don’t know, that just made me feel a little weird while reading. I think there’s a good conversation here to have around Own Voices but I am not sure I am the person to have that conversation, you know?

Anyways, what drove me to my initial five stars was the narration. There are many narrators of African Town. Each is absolute perfection at the parts that they take. The narrators are: Cassandra Campbell, Ronald Peet, Andrew Eiden, Cary Hite, Sean Patrick Hopkins, Sandra Okuboyejo, Soneela Nankani, Nene Nwoko, Michael Obiora, Prentice Onayemi, Mark Sanderlin, Mirron Willis and Patrick Zeller. I was only familiar with two of the narrators ahead of time — Cassandra Campbell and Soneela Nankani. Turns out, these narrators are just phenomenal with their talent. If you do read this book, audiobook is absolutely the way to go.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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