Life of Pi by Yann Martel (read by Jeff Woodman) HighBridge Company (audiobook) With Ang Lee's adaptation of Life of Pi in cinemas, what better time to download Jeff Woodman's sensitive reading of Yann Martel's bestselling Man Booker winner? The story can be summarised in many ways. A modern fairytale about coming of age. A globalised adventure story with its roots in The Arabian Nights. A fantasy about the power, and limits, of fantasy itself. A young boy (Piscine Molitor Patel, but Pi for short) who has grown up in a zoo finds himself orphaned and literally all at sea, alone save for a 200kg Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. The two survive thanks to Pi's endless creativity. Only this same invention lands him in trouble when Japanese authorities refuse to believe his shaggy tiger story. So Pi tries a different tack, telling a more believable version of events featuring more humans. Woodman reads with staccato realism to catch Pi's detailed, almost autistic observations. This deadpan voice challenges our belief, which I suspect is just how Martel wants it. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich Random House (e-book) Fans of Janet Evanovich will not need telling that her fun, frothy novels starring Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, began with One for the Money , and proceeded numerically until this, her 19th adventure. Blessed by Evanovich's blend of humour, romance and a diverting plot, the book starts with Plum short of money, but as usual high on life. Reduced to catching smalltime drug dealers, she is relieved to be thrown a big case. The owner of the local retirement home has vanished, along with millions of dollars of the company's money. Plum smells a much-needed payday, but only if she can find Geoffrey Cubin. The problem? Is he a fugitive or a corpse? Plum's money worries give the plot urgency, but what adds charm are the jokes and sub-plots. Plum is also hired to look after her enigmatic mentor, Ranger, and survive her gang of misfits: lively Lula, Connie and her cousin Vinnie. Notorious Nineteen is light, but satisfying: "I think he's saying if I don't open the door, he'll kill me." "Maybe this is a good time to get lunch," Lula said. The Fortune of War by Patrick O'Brian (read by Ric Jerrom) AudioGO (audiobook) Until this new-to-download edition of The Fortune of War , I had never read Patrick O'Brian's adventure novels starring Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, a ship's surgeon, who sail the high seas during the Napoleonic wars. Set in 1812, this sixth episode could have been disconcerting were it not for O'Brian's storytelling expertise. The backstory is swiftly summarised: our heroes bond over a shared love of music, philosophy, naval tactics and patriotism. The Fortune of War (first published in 1979) finds Maturin licking his wounds after a mission to Australia on board HMS Leopard destroyed crew and boat. Set largely in Boston as hostilities break out between Britain and America, this is very much a Maturin vehicle - Aubrey spends much of the plot wounded. Maturin, we learn, is in love with Diana Villiers. His secret life as a spy heats up when Diana's current lover is revealed as Harry Johnson, America's head of espionage. Ric Jerrom's reading is capable while leaving a little to be desired in the swashbuckling department. Still, great fun.