Friday, December 27, 2013


12th of Never (audiobook) - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

As I worked my way through the first eleven novels in this series I never had to wait more than a couple of days to borrow the book from my library. When I tried to borrow this one I found myself reader 39 in the cue. Yikes! The next one has just been published and I expect it will be a looooong wait.

It just goes to show you though, firefighters are our heroes in so many ways!

The Brothers of Baker Street (audiobook) - Michael Robertson  

I have a notorious inability to stop reading a series once I begin, but today I made the decision to let this one go.

This is the second book in the series, and I read both, but I can not go any further. Let's just say that when a book keeps you continually irritated, it's time to let it go.

Both the premise and the plots have promise, but their execution falls short.

Just After Sunset - Stephen King   

"If you wanted to lie on some professional's couch in the summer of 2002, you had to take a number and wait in line." . . . or maybe you could do some writing . . .

Several of these stories carry echoes of the infamous autumn of 2001, even a few whose subject matter doesn't come close. I think that's not unexpected. Some things touch us so deeply they color everything we touch hereafter.

King has an interesting little a section in the back of this collection where he writes a small bit about each of the stories, and here he calls writing "an act of willed understanding."

The Body on the Beach (Feathering Mystery Series) (audiobook) - Simon Brett   

Book one in the Feathering Mystery Series started out a bit slow, but it has potential.

The solving of the crime allowed space for the characters to grow on me. They changed and grew a bit with the circumstances, showing potential.

I will definitely try another.

A Novena for Murder - Sister Carol Anne O'Marie    

A seventy year old nun solving Murders. Let me rephrase that; a bright, personable, funny, seventy year old nun solving murders. (and standing up for the voiceless)

Can you guess her favorite reading material? Murder mysteries!

This is the first of eleven novels in the series.

I think I have a new best friend.

Some Buried Caesar (audiobook) - Rex Stout  

I'm a sucker for noir, and Nero Wolfe is a long time favorite of mine.

Do you remember the television series staring Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin? I actually hear Hutton as Archie Goodwin narrating the story in my head as I read.

Oh, and you'll never think of BBQ season the same way again.

Over My Dead Body (audiobook) - Rex Stout

Political and international intrigue . . . (without ever leaving home)!

That man accomplishes more in one day, without actually moving, than I do in a month.

That is the value of a good assistant. Any one know where I can find one of those?

The Anatomist's Apprentice (audiobook) - Tessa Harris   

So, how does one get that smell out of one's hair?

I'm sure Dr. Silkstone is talented and all, but he is kind of boring and has scant little imagination. (kind of like an old boyfriend of mine)

I was way ahead of him, and it wasn't a fun trip.

The House of Silk (audiobook) - Anthony Horowitz

OMG! OMG! OMG! Narrated by Sir! Derek! Jacobi!

This was promoted as the first  new Sherlock Holmes story approved by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, however I've seen quite a few claims that it was far from the first. I am not invested in the argument enough to research it, but I thought I'd let you know.

Mr. Horowitz does capture Conan Doyle's voice quite well in his depiction of the era and the characters, however, early in the narrative it seemed a bit forced in places, like a short story that was padded to reach novel length. It picked up through the later part of the story and though it wasn't bad, there weren't any surprises for me, at all.

If I can stay several steps ahead of Sherlock Holmes . . .

That being said, it was far better than many I've read. I guess I was just expecting more from an "officially" sanctioned novel.

Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong (audiobook) - Pierre Bayard

Whatever I expected this book to be, it was not. It was billed as tongue in cheek, but it definitely did not come across that way.

Mr. Bayard seemed to have lost track of the fact that The Hound of the Baskervilles is a work of fiction and therefore all made up, and that the details were chosen to further the plot and provide the necessary mood, not because they were any kind of truth. 

Whatever the author's intent, it came across as an earnest treatment of a fictional detective and his investigations as if they were real, and the clues subject to objective examination.

The Bedlam Detective (audiobook) - Stephen Gallagher

An 'unspeakable' crime, an uncomfortable investigation, and a story within a story, make for an interesting novel.

I enjoyed this novel and will definitely be looking up more of this author's writing.

Bones of Contention - Jeanne Matthews

Murder down under, family politics and intrigue, and a lot of Aussie slang.

A rather intricate plot keeps twisting.

I like that.

Ten Days in a Mad-House - Nellie Bly

After reading this little book, my thinking became quite political and angry as I thought about what I had read.

I thought of how far we have come in the treatment of the mentally ill, the poor and dispossessed, those most vulnerable among us, but those thoughts were followed closely buy anger and frustration.  Right now there is a campaign to strip those self same people of what little they have in the way of lifelines and safety nets - while blaming them for their own plight. (cut aid, repeal healthcare, deny vote, etc.)

Gone also is a journalism that tried to uncover and report on facts, without censoring them and robing them in false equivalences.

Ms Bly is not a gifted wordsmith, (at least not in this case) but in this small book she communicates clearly the horror and depravity that destroyed the lives of so many who had been robbed of their own voices. And with her little adventure she brought about the beginnings of real change.

Learning from the Voices in My Head - Eleanor Longden

I finally learned how to bookmark on my Nook with this one. (I still haven't figured out how to refer back to them without paging through the whole book though. Small steps.)

"Sometimes, you know, it snows as late as May, but summer always comes eventually." - Pat Bracken.

I found this book very informative (and uplifting, in light of the last one). It shines a light of hope on an area I previously thought impenetrable. It also highlights the fact that the media, by focusing its concentration narrowly, is often highly misleading.

My favorite quote from the book, and possibly my favorite quote ever (which will surely find its way into a post):

"Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it." - George Bernard Shaw

Bipolar not ADHD - George Isaac  

Mr. isaac has some interesting ideas and brings up many good points. However, at the same time he accuses main stream psychiatry of over diagnosing ADHD when they are really seeing Bipolar disorder, he then turns around and makes his own blanket generalizations.

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