Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Reviews. Sort Of.

I finally got around to getting a library card for my Nook. It wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be. I set up my account on line, downloaded the audio/eBook app, then set about downloading books to my Nook. Or so I thought.

Next came phone calls and more online fun. It seems that for hard copy books all the libraries in our system share like the good friends they are. But once you go electronic, they get a little possessive. Each library in the system has its own account and you must have a card with every library from which you want to download electronic books.

What does this mean for my anxiously waiting Nook? Well, what it all boils down to is that while I only need one card to cover all the libraries in the system, my Nook needs a card for each one.

It's still free, but . . .

1st to Die (audiobook) - James Patterson   

The first library audio book listened to on my Nook. Pro: Now I can read while I do other things! Con: Since it is my Nook, I am tethered by headphones and can't really do that much more than I did before.

But what about the book? I'm glad you asked. This was my first James Patterson book and I had high expectations. After all, Richard Castle wouldn't play poker with hacks. Would he?

It did have a number of twists and turns, but like a senior citizen with his turn signal on for fifteen miles, each twist was obvious loooooong before it actually happened.

So as to give Mr. Patterson a fair chance, I do plan to read at least the next book in the series.

The Sherlockian (audiobook) - Graham Moore   

Interesting. Two stories interwoven: past & present.

Although this novel is much better than many stories that aim to continue or explicate the Holmes saga, the ending leaves me unsatisfied and I'm not quite sure why.

It's a very meta book, as at the end the author explains his choices, even touching some of on my concerns.

But still, I maintain a yearning unfulfilled.

The Red Signal (audiobook) - Agatha Christie   

You may think you know how things will play out for you, but you would be mistaken.

A bit of light watering and a mystery! What a great way to start a day.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames (audiobook) - David Sedaris

Can I sue David Sedaris? Wait. Wait. Wait. Hear me out.

My experiment with audiobooks has enabled me to 'read' while I accomplish something. (Or should I say, actually accomplish something while I read?)

Anyway, I strap my headphones on, slip my Nook into a little pouch slung over my shoulder, and set to work. That, my friend, is where it turns ugly.

The strange looks I get when I erupt into spasms of laughter while wandering through my garden . . . watering, weeding, harvesting,  . . . It doesn't matter that I'm being a productive and responsible neighbor. He's damaging my reputation in my community!

Yes, my neighbors already think I'm a bit odd, but that is way beside the point.

I needed to temper my dad’s enthusiasm a bit, and so I announced that I would be majoring in patricide. The Princeton program was very strong back then, the best in the country, but it wasn’t the sort of thing your father could get too worked up about. Or, at least, most fathers wouldn’t. Mine was over the moon. “Killed by a Princeton graduate!” he said. “And my own son, no less.”

My mom was actually jealous. “So what’s wrong with matricide?” she asked. “What, I’m not good enough to murder?”

They started bickering, so in order to make peace I promised to consider a double major.
What do you think? Do I have a case?

The Stonehenge Legacy (audiobook) - Sam Christer   
Just as the greatest magicians fool us by distraction, so do the gods.
I've made an interesting discovery about audiobooks.

I can read much faster than I can listen.  . . . So a book which would have taken me just a couple of hours to read, takes several days to listen to.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Witness for the Prosecution (audiobook) - Agatha Christie  

People like to say that if you are innocent, you have nothing to fear.

Not. True.

But . . .

Does the medium make a difference? 
Do those of you who go back and forth between audio and print see a difference
 in how you understand and/or relate to a story?

The Best Mysteries of Isaac Asimov (library) - Guess Who 

Mr. Asimov had an interesting philosophy of mystery writing. The stories are intellectual puzzles: no violence at all and if a murder absolutely must happen it must be offstage.

. . . and intellectually challenging.

I like that.

Puzzles of the Black Widowers (library) - Issac Asimov  

More puzzles.

My brain hurts.

I have always prided myself on my ability to puzzle out mysteries, but some of these are extremely challenging.

. . . and not a car chase, love scene, or blood bath in the lot.


  1. Oh my goodness, so much fun in this one post!

    That sounds so utterly ridiculous about your Nook needing multiple library cards. I must admit I've sort of given up with downloading books from my library. Well, the ebooks I can handle, but the audio books...sigh. I spent hours and shed a few tears of frustration one day trying to figure out how to download audio books onto my iPod. I admit it, I am most definitely technologically challenged, but still. And after determinedly sticking with it until I'd got all the kinks worked out, I found that they had very few audio books that could be downloaded to the iPod anyway--in fact, not a single one that I even remotely wanted to read.

    I used to really love James Patterson's books, though I preferred his Alex Cross series to the Women's Murder Club one. But you're absolutely right--they are not intellectually challenging. I hope that doesn't sound judgmental--I do not mean to be condescending to his fans. In fact, I still sort of see them as comfort reads and will read the newest one in the series when I just want something fun.

    I burst out laughing at your reaction to the Sedaris book. :D I cannot believe that I still have not read one of his collections, though I've bought several of them for my husband.

    And don't I feel ignorant--I had no idea Asimov even wrote mysteries! But they sound incredibly fun--in fact, I'm off to see my library system has these.

    1. I have the second Women's Murder Club book under my belt now, and you're right. They're good for relaxing my brain or listening to while I'm busy. The key was letting go of preconceived notions.