The Joy of Listening to a Book Read Aloud

Story Time Reviews, a monthly feature on this blog, remembers that special time when an adult reads to a child and recognizes that as a grown-up, we need to reward ourselves with a story time now and then. This series reviews audio versions of short stories. Do you enjoy listening to audio books? Do you enjoy reading aloud to a family member? Or vice versa? Often during my grandson’s weekly visits he will read aloud to me. I find this personally valuable, but it got me to wondering if there are additional benefits. Though the joy of listening to a book read aloud has plenty of value, there are many other benefits to listening to stories read aloud. Increases Listening Skills Listening to a story read out loud forces the person listening to focus on the sounds of the words. One develops a greater attention span. The reader adds value to the story with the inflections and stresses of the words and sentences they use. This engages the critical listening skills of the listener.  Critical listening is paying attention to all the parts of the story. You analyze and evaluate what you’re hearing. Uh-oh, that character’s in trouble now! When […]

First Lines Friday with Freedom Fighters

First Line Friday is a blog series posted on the first Friday of every month. The first line of a story, we’re told, must hook the reader. Implied is that the reader will not buy the book if the first line isn’t great. These entries are from Amazon, my personal library, or other online booksellers. Today’s choices honor the U.S. holiday, the Fourth of July with a freedom fighters theme. Do these first lines hook you? Do you want to read more? I don’t usually do content warnings. The book’s cover, blurb, and category should get the point across. However, a cover and first line alone doesn’t always convey that type of information.  Content Warning: Violence with graphic descriptions. It was a strikingly unlikely sight, even for a world grown accustomed to unlikely sights.  The Patriot’s Grill by Steven Day They met behind a warehouse, twice abandoned.  Rogue Cell (A Grower’s War Book 3) by DJ Molles Block, damn you! Dane did his best to raise his metal arms to catch the hammer-blow of steel, brass, and aluminum that was coming his way. Metal Warrior: Born of Steel (Mech Fighter Book 1) by James David Victor “I’m so sorry.” What […]

Will You Celebrate Pride Month with These First Lines?

First Line Friday is a series of blog articles posted on the first Friday of every month. The first line of a story, we’re told, must hook the reader. Implied is that the reader will not buy the book if the first line isn’t great. These entries are from Amazon, my personal library, or other online booksellers. Will you celebrate Pride Month with these first lines? First Lines As she woke up in the pod, she remembered three things. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers Book 1) Becky Chambers The stranger came out of the sea like a water ghost, barefoot and wearing the scars of his journey.  The Priory of the Orange Tree Samantha Shannon Busting up a casino has never been at the top of Oriol Sina’s bucket list, but here he is, standing in the middle of the Dorothy Queen dressed for trouble in a suit he’d much rather be admiring on another man. Double Edged (The Bulari Saga Book 1) Jessie Kwak Outbreaks of magic started all kinds of ways. The Fever King (Feverwake Book 1) Victoria Lee Behind the clouds of the new monsoon, the ancient mainframe Chang rolls too fast across […]