During tax season I didn't read much, but I did listen to several audio books.
Before I went back to work I read a couple mystery novels by Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn and When Will There Be Good News? They are in the Jackson Brodies series and set in Scotland. The weird thing is that as I read that last one, I knew I had seen it on PBSMasterpiece Mystery. And I had, just didn't remember that the main character was Brodie. Atkinson is an excellent writer; the first book of hers that I read was Case Histories and was recommended on someone's blog. (Whoever you are -- Kym? CarrieK? -- thanks!)
First, I finished listening to all five books (so far) of A Song of Ice and Fire. Started that endeavor in September, finished in February. What a trip!
First came The Amulet of Samarkand, the first book in the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. Fun book, dry humor, magic and demons abounding. I didn't realize until after I finished, but it is a YA book; I think that speaks to the fact that it is an intelligent YA book ;-) I have the second book of the trilogy, The Golem's Eye, from the library but I'm having trouble ripping it to my iTunes -- disc 13 of 14 keeps locking up my computer. DRM? Perhaps...
(Which reminds me, I need to delete Amulet from iTunes. I don't *steal* audiobook contents, I *time-shift* it to when I want to listen.)
Next was Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian. I probably won't continue with the series. It was a good story but I know I missed a good three-quarters of it because at least that much was in 1800-ish nautical terminology. Learned a couple new words: there were specific sails called "royals" and "lateens". I have since used that second word in Boggle. Someone who is more conversant with maritime jargon than I would love this series.
I started The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett (#2 in his Discworld series) but somehow didn't get hooked into the story, so I put it aside and listened instead to Good Omens by him and Neil Gaiman. That one was a lot of fun.
I listened to Pavane by Keith Roberts, an alternate history set in late 20th-century Britain where the Roman Catholic church rules the world and has done so since Queen Elizabeth I was assassinated in 1588. There is no electricity, only steam power, and long distance communication is accomplished through a network of human-powered signal towers. Interesting concept, well-written.
Real history came back in Eric Roberts's In the Garden of the Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, an account of the Dodd family, whose father was appointed ambassador to Berlin in 1933, only a few months after Hitler came to power. The intimate and detailed descriptions of Goehring and Goebbels are fascinating, as was the entire audiobook.
After tax season was over I continued to listen to audiobooks. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was... awesome, the best book I have read/listened to in a long time. If you haven't read it, do so. My book group is going to read it in September, and I will read the analog version then.
Right now I am listening to A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century by Barbara Tuchman. I have wanted to read it since I saw her interviewed on the Dick Cavett show when the book came out in 1978, but I also knew that I probably would get bogged down and lose interest. Audiobook is the way to go in such a situation! I must confess I do not listen to every word, just drift along with the reader. I don't care about the specifics of which count married his daughter to which king's nephew, but I love getting a mental picture of what life was like then, both for the nobles and for the commoners.
Last week I downloaded the Kindle edition of Ann Shayne's book, Bowling Avenue to my iPad. When I started reading I thought it might be a little too much chick-lit style for my taste, but then I got hooked. Next thing I knew it was 2am and I was halfway through the book, loving the characters and the story and the setting. I can recommend that one unreservedly.