Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Intro: Dollbaby

1964
Chapter One
There are times you wish you could change things, take things back, pretend they never existed. This was one of those times, Ibby Bell was thinking as she stared bug-eyed out the car window. Amid the  double-galleried homes and brightly painted cottages on Prytania Street, there was one house that didn't belong. 
"Ibby?" Her mother turned down the radio and began drumming her fingers on the steering wheel. 
Ibby ignored her, letting her mother's words mingle with the buzz of the air conditioning and the drone of the idling car engine as she craned her neck, trying to get a better look at the house that was stubbornly obscured by the sprawling branches of a giant oak tree and the glare of the midmorning sun. She cupped her hands over her eyes and glanced up to find a weathervane shaped like a racehorse jutting high above the tallest branches of the tree. It was flapping to and fro in the tepid air, unable to quite make a total spin around the rusted stake, giving the poor horse the appearance of being tethered against its will. 
I know that feeling, Ibby thought.
Dollbaby: A Novel
by Laura Lane McNeal

Dollbaby  is my current audiobook and, just past the halfway point, I'm nearly ready to proclaim it as a favorite of the year. The New Orleans setting, a compelling story, and first-rate narration combine for a near perfect listening experience.

Here's a portion of the goodreads summary:
A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans - a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets. 
When Ibby Bell's father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father's urn for good measure. Fannie's New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been - and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum - is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie's black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.
Would you keep reading... or listening?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.


44 comments:

  1. Yes, I would keep reading. This one sounds great.

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  2. This sounds fascinating - I'd keep on reading.

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  3. Oh....I've been wanting to read this one! Hope you like it!
    Today I'm featuring Lost and Found by Brooke Davis.

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  4. I really liked this one! There were a few problems, but overall a really strong debut. I loved her portrayal of New Orleans and the characters were fantastic...an eccentric, a tell it like it is housekeeper, etc...Hope you enjoy it!

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    1. Sarah - Excellent narration really adds to the experience.

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  5. I've been curious about this one because I love a New Orleans setting. I love the beginning of this one and that you're loving it. Looking forward to your review!

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    1. Katherine - A New Orleans setting draws me in, too.

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  6. I actually started this and gave it up, so I would have to say no!

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    1. Jill - I'm not sure I'd be enjoying it as much in print.

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  7. I'd listen and/or read! Like the setting, the writing, and the plot summary.

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    1. Harvee - It's certainly holding my interest!

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  8. I would...and I did! Loved this one. The settings, the times, all of the imagery that brought me right back into those moments. Hope you love it, too. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I'm pretty sure this will be ,y favorite audio of the year,.

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  9. I read this one and I agree. One of my best of the year.

    My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2014/10/first-chapter-first-paragraph-79-and.html

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    1. Catherine - Can't wait to see what she'll write next!

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  10. It does sound good . . . .And who doesn't love to read books set in New Orleans? Listen on!

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    1. Leila - For some reason, New Orleans is practically irresistible to me... and I've never even been there!

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  11. I love the opening of this book--I can picture the scene perfectly in my mind. From the description of the novel, it sounds like it will be a good one. I am glad you are enjoying the audio version so much!

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    1. Literary Feline - There is a to to love with this book!

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  12. I really want to read this book--and I will eventually. The opening definitely sets the mood and paints a picture of the setting. Love New Orleans!
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog today: THE LITTLEST COWBOY.

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    1. Sandra - I love her descriptions of New Orleans, too.

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  13. This looks really great and like a book I'd enjoy. Will look forward to your review!

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    1. Monica - I love the way the narration enhances the story... a great audio experience!

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  14. I have been seeing this one around the blogosphere, but haven't picked it up. Maybe I'll try the audio, if my library has it that is! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Grammajudyb - I think audio is the way to go with this one!

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  15. I love Southern fiction and reading about family relationships, so this sounds like a winner! I'm also picky when it comes to narrators, so it's good to know that you like this one.

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    1. Vicki - I'm very picky about narrators, too, and January Lavoy does a great job. Can't believe I've never listened to her before...

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  16. I do like stories set in the South so I would probably keep reading.

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    1. Cat - I usually read at least one or two books set in the south each year. Glad I chose this one!

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  17. You have me intrigued. I don't think I've heard of this book so I am going to check it out!

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    1. Athira - This is a debut novel that I've been seeing on blogs the last couple of months... so glad I decided to give it a try!

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  18. I love her name, Ibby Bell, and I like the beginning, I really like the style of writing, it's so appealing. I'd keep reading. Have a good week! kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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    1. Kelley - Ibby is short for Liberty... she was born on the 4th of July!

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  19. Love that opening and actually have this one on my TBR list - hope it's a winner JoAnn.

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  20. This sounds wonderful! I would definitely keep reading.

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    1. Yvonne - I'm really enjoying this one!

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  21. One of your favorites? That's high praise. I'll have to check it out.

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    1. Margot - This is a great audiobook!

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  22. I would keep on reading. Sounds intriguing!

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    1. Sunday - The audio hooked me right away, and has continued to hold my interest.

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  23. As you know, I loved this one too. January Levoy's performance on the audiobook is super.

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    1. Beth F - I'm surprised I haven't come across this narrator before... she is excellent.

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