Friday, January 31, 2014


I am going to try and make a habit of including at least one little quote from each book I read this year. I stole the Idea from Lu. You won't tell, will you?
[Edited to add some missing links]

The List of Seven (audiobook) - Mark Frost  

"All the devil requires is acquiescence ... not struggle, not conflict. 

The first in a new series, this is a unique handling of the Holmes stories, which paints them as based upon experiences of Doyle, himself.

I might also add, quite well done.

The Invisible Man (audiobook) - H.G. Wells

“The Anglo-Saxon genius for parliamentary government asserted itself; there was a great deal of talk and no decisive action.”

This is a reread and I had forgotten the power of the story. The pain of being an outsider, alone and misunderstood, is palpable - as is the edge of sociopathy.

It Can't Happen Here (audiobook) - Sinclair Lewis

“He loved the people just as much as he feared and detested persons.”

This quote reminded me of the last election, or at least 47% of it.

This book has to be more terrifying than any horror story that ever troubled my sleep. Why?

Because sometimes it seems that it is actually close to happening.

Brain Bugs (audiobook) - Dean Buonomano  

"So, for the most part, we remain ignorantly blissful of the extent to which our lives are governed by the brain's bugs."

It's strangely comforting to know that my struggles with mathematics, and relative ease with language, is a direct result of the way the brain is wired. (You hear that, mom?)

This is basically a book about how important it is to pay attention to our thought processes - how and why we think the things we do. In college we called this metacognition.

Monkey Mind (audiobook) - Daniel B. Smith  

"Anxiety ... Everyone has it. Everyone must deal with it."

With humor, Mr. Smith tells us that this is not a memoir of recovery. But it did help me to realize that my issues are not nearly as bad as I thought.

That's recovery of a sort, no?

How to Read Literature Like a Professor (audiobook) - Thomas C. Foster

“So what did you think the devil would look like? If he were red with a tail, horns, and cloven hooves, any fool could say no.”

This is my favorite quote from the book, and the one least directly addressing the subject at hand.

This book brought me back to my university days and refreshed my memory. However, as an aging poetry lover, these these days I am much more apt to discuss the things a poem made me feel than how it did it. (Now you know why my reviews are so short!)

Son of Holmes (ebook) - John Lescroart  

"It was embarrassing, but with a war going on, embarrassment was a luxury I couldn't permit myself."

This is the first book in the Auguste Lupa series, mixing murder mystery with historical and political intrigue, and Mr. Lescroart provides yet another fresh take on the Holmes saga.

Or does he?

Is Auguste Lupa actually the son of Sherlock Holmes? Or is he really the young Nero Wolfe? Or is Nero Wolfe in actual fact the son of . . .

Reiki Meditations for Self-Healing (audiobook) - Bronwen Stiene

I must confess that I had a bit of difficulty with this audiobook.

I'm okay with meditation on my own, but guided meditation invariably puts me to sleep.

So . . . not good for meditation; excellent for getting rest.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (audiobook) - Oscar Wilde

"It is the spectator, not life, that art really mirrors."

I first read this novel when I was 12, and I can't believe how much I missed. I think I needed a bit more life experience than 12 years allows, to catch a lot of the subtext.

Maybe I need to reread everything I read when I was young.

As I recall, I shuddered at the ending the first time too. Sorry, is that a spoiler?

"W" is For Wasted - Sue Grafton     

 “Maybe it was time to at least pretend to be a nicer person than I knew I was.”

There is a sense of continuity and a sort of stability afforded by the slow passage of time in this series, that I like.  I don't know of any other series this long that has moved this slowly. Do you?

Have you ever noticed that private detectives meet an awful lot of irritating people.

Stories of Hope (audiobook) - Chronic Pain Anonymous    

{Review Link Here}

Syndrome E (audiobook) - Franck Thilliez    

"That really gave me the willies, seeing them playing with your head like that."
"Just routine. It's like sitting under the dryer at the hair dresser's for a perm."

Intricate and intriguing, with a plot that combines fears that come from the old cold war days as well as today's headlines. I'm looking forward to further translations of Mr. Thilliez's work.

One issue. Our lead character, Detective Franck Sharko, is said to have schizophrenia, but then it seems to have been the result of extreme trauma. Was it caused by or only exacerbated by the trauma? And did it go away or is it just resting? I'm just a bit confused on this point.

At any rate, he seems to cope and bring a unique perspective that aids him in his investigations.

29 Gifts (audiobook) - Cami Walker   

{Review Link Here}

The Healing Garden - Sue Minter  

{Review Link Here}

Accessible Gardening for People With Disabilities - Janeen R. Adil  

{Review Link Here}

Accessible Gardening - Joann Woy   

{Review Link Here}

Get Fit Through Gardening - Jeffrey P. Restuccio

{Review Link Here}

Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness - Bunny Guinness & Jacqueline Knox  

{Review Link Here}

New Selected Poems of Stevie Smith - Stevie Smith        

Think "Shel Silverstein for adults."

The Past

People who are always praising the past
And especially the times of faith as best
Ought to go and live in the middle ages
And be burnt at the stake as witches and sages.

The Englishwoman

The Englishwoman is so refined
She has no bosom and no behind.

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