Friday, January 31, 2014


Carol Williams says it. Everybody agrees. If you want to learn to write,  then read.

If you haven’t got time to do everything they, tell you, an audiobook is a nice way to do two things at once. The day-to-day go to work, drive about town is a great time to catch up on some stories. Listening is kind of like reading.

And in pursuit of an audiobook, our modern day has an answer for that: borrowing audiobooks from city and county libraries. OverDrive is a great app that does just that. You enter your library card number when you sign up then it allows downloads of e-books or audio from the public libraries. They don’t have electronic versions of all titles, but  they’ve got plenty of kid lit to choose from, some of it fantastic.

For example, The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot is delightful. Caroline Carlson gives us feisty Hilary, who wants nothing more that to be a pirate. The VNHLP’s rules strictly forbid girls to become pirates, so they and her father, Admiral Westfield, instead set her up to go to Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. Along the way she meets Jasper, a real pirate, who recruits Hilary to join him on the high seas to find a buried treasure.

Carlson’s story has it all. She has a resolute MC surrounded by marvelous characters including an enchantress, a friendly gargoyle, and Hilary’s governess who accompanies her on the voyage. Carlson’s story is humorous and smart and full of plot twists. The story is set in the country of Augusta and on the high seas and the whole thing feels very prim and high-society proper. One reviewer calls it a “whimsical, swashbuckling romp into a deeply imaginative world” and says the novel is a spunky as Hilary, herself.

The audio version brings the story more so to life. Katherine Kellgren’s reading is lively and compelling.

If you write, you should read. If you don’t have time to read, multi-task with an audiobook. If you want an example of classic story-telling, give The VNHLP a try.

(This article also posted at

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