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Old 10-19-2018, 12:52 PM   #2356
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I listened to Jodi Picoult's latest novel, A Spark of Light, narrated by Bahni Turpin, about a mass shooting/hostage situation in an abortion clinic in Mississippi.

I was hesitant about this one, but I'm glad I read it. The novel examined various viewpoints about abortion in the stories of the different characters caught up in the shooting. The story is told backwards, with each chapter focusing on a different hour-- five o'clock, four o'clock, three o'clock, etc. (the epilogue returns to the six o'clock hour, resolving the story). That structure worked for me. There are lot of POV characters, and the narrator does an excellent job differentiating them.

The little surprises throughout weren't especially surprising, but I don't think they were necessarily intended to be. The story was really about the characters and how they came to be in the horrific situation.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:01 PM   #2357
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Listening to Elves of Cintra by Terry Brooks which is book 2 of Genesis of Shannara. I read it when it first came out, but now have the audiobooks of the series. I have a cold and Pandora's Star by Peter Hamilton is too hard to follow with cold medicine.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:27 PM   #2358
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Latest books: The Bad Seed and Baby Teeth, both of which feature ineffective mothers and nasty little girls with murderous tendencies.

The Bad Seed by William March has been adapted for movies/TV at least three times, including the recent rather awful version with Rob Lowe--all of which I've seen, though I never read the novel before. The novel is quite close to the original Patty McCormack film; though the narrator (Elizabeth Wiley) was good, her delivery didn't come close to the performances of Eileen Heckart and Henry Jones in their key scenes in the film. She also used a naive, girlish voice for the mother, which fit the character but was grating to listen to. But the book was creepy fun, and listening to it helped me blot out the Rob Lowe travesty.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage, narrated by Gabra Zackman, was sometimes excellent and sometimes just dumb. Here, a seven-year-old who won't talk basically wages war against her mother, wanting her father all to herself. The story is told in alternating chapters from the mother's and the daughter's POV.
Spoiler:
I kept waiting for some big revelation or twist, but it doesn't come--the daughter's actions just keep escalating. There are hints of the mother being perhaps as warped as the daughter, but they don't develop as I was expecting.


The Bad Seed's Rhoda Penmark is a clear winner over Baby Teeth's Hanna Jensen.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:55 PM   #2359
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I just finished reading Sally Field's memoir In Pieces, read by Sally Field. While it was a tough listen/read in some places, I ultimately enjoyed it immensely. Even as I was yet again horrified by what we've now come to know as #MeToo. I've long been impressed with Ms. Field as an actor who somehow managed to transcend her early "Gidget/Flying Nun" persona to become Sybil, and Norma Ray, and Mary Todd Lincoln. This was a fascinating look at the forces driving her to become a gifted and compelling actor. Highly recommended.
And now, finished #8 in the wonderful Ava Lee series from Ian Hamilton - The Princeling of Nanjing. I'd read the book when it first came out, but Anansi Press just released new Audible versions of #8-10. In reverse order, so I read them in reverse order. Weird, but given they were all re-reads anyway, it was fine. And the new reader, Canadian actress Grace Lynn Kung, is pretty good. She's a shade formal for the descriptive English portions, but her grasp of Chinese names and place names is superb and fluid. Overall, a good choice of reader, and they're wonderful books.
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Old 10-26-2018, 07:25 AM   #2360
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I’ve begun Behold, Here’s Poison by Georgette Heyer and narrated by Ulli Birvé. It’s the second in the Detective Hannasyde series but the first one I’m reading. It concerns a well-off family in the ‘30s whose patriarch (who is not married and has no children) dies suddenly. Many extended family members live with and depend on him even though no one likes him. The attending doctor, whom he didn’t like and whom his niece is engaged to marry, is ready to declare the death of natural causes until one of the deceased’s sisters insists on an autopsy, where it’s discovered he’s been poisoned.

This cast is full of characters and suspects and the family is full of colourful and mostly less than likeable characters who all squabble with and have grievances with each other, but nephew Randall is the least liked for various reasons and takes the cake in delivering withering witticisms aimed at family members’ various weaknesses.
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:04 AM   #2361
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Really looking forward to starting Il commisario Bordelli soon, listening along with the ebook. After that, another audiobook-ebook duet with la forma dell'acqua
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Old 10-26-2018, 01:22 PM   #2362
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I’ve begun Behold, Here’s Poison by Georgette Heyer and narrated by Ulli Birvé.
A book I had to abandon and pick up later as an eBook. I simply couldn't stand the narration of Ulli Birvé. A single, slow, uninflected monotone that even at 125% speed was intolerable.

Last edited by CRussel; 10-26-2018 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:59 PM   #2363
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Just finished Monster Hunter Siege but Larry Correa. I thought it was better as an audiobook that as a regular book. A really good narrator can do that. Next up, an indie- Starship's Mage by Glynn Stewart. I got hooked on the writer a few weeks ago. When I bought the book, I got the audiobook fairly cheaply, so I decided to give it a try. No idea how good the narrator is, but hey, that's why I like having a playlist. If it turns out that I can't get into the narrator, I can always move on to the next book.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:35 PM   #2364
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Now I’m onto Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis and narrated by George Guidall. The narrator is a bookish and philosophical man who hires the older, earthy, boisterous, life-loving Zorba to travel with and work for him in Crete and thus their adventures, and the narrator’s life lessons, begin.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:56 PM   #2365
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Now I’m onto Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis and narrated by George Guidall. The narrator is a bookish and philosophical man who hires the older, earthy, boisterous, life-loving Zorba to travel with and work for him in Crete and thus their adventures, and the narrator’s life lessons, begin.
Ah, a blast from my youth! I went through a Kazantzakis phase at one point, reading several of his books, and remember them fondly, if vaguely. Guidall is a good narrator, though I'm not sure how he'll do with these characters. I'll be interested to hear what you think when you're done.

Meanwhile, I'm reading Sloop of War by Alexander Kent (Douglas Reeman). Narrated by Michael Jayston. Going well so far -- I've read several of these Bolitho novels, but this is my first Audible version.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:15 AM   #2366
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I just finished Crazy Rich Asians. Excellent narration. Completely vapid story. Wish I had just watched the movie instead. Even though it's meant to be over the top, it could have been better with editing to make it shorter. Should I continue with the series? Not sure...

I just started The Other Woman by Sandie Jones. So far so good. The protagonist thinks Snowballs are the perfect Christmas-decorating cocktail. What's not to like? [One of my English friends taught me how to make the cocktail. It's yummy and now a tradition in our house! Although I have to go hunting on the bottom shelf of a specialty store to find Advokat in the US.]

From Goodreads:
Quote:
The most twisty, addictive and gripping debut thriller you'll read this year.

HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.

BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

AND SHE'LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

THE OTHER WOMAN will have you questioning her on every page, in Sandie Jones' chilling psychological thriller about a man, his new girlfriend, and the mother who will not let him go.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:37 AM   #2367
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[semi-off-topic]
A *totally different* Snowball cocktail
https://mixthatdrink.com/snowball/

based on Kahlua and Tequila Crème liqueur
[/carry on]
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:46 AM   #2368
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I just finished Crazy Rich Asians. Excellent narration. Completely vapid story. Wish I had just watched the movie instead.
I read the ebook version before seeing the movie and completely agree with your assessment. IMO, it's one of the rare cases were the movie was much better than the book.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:37 AM   #2369
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I just started The Other Woman by Sandie Jones. So far so good. The protagonist thinks Snowballs are the perfect Christmas-decorating cocktail. What's not to like? [One of my English friends taught me how to make the cocktail. It's yummy and now a tradition in our house! Although I have to go hunting on the bottom shelf of a specialty store to find Advokat in the US.]
I listened to this one--totally don't remember Snowballs, though.

Slightly spoiler-y comment--not giving the whole thing away.
Spoiler:
I enjoyed the book to a point. I expected the surprise, except the details didn't quite fit, and one especially gaping hole wasn't addressed. Plus the heroine was a little too dumb and the actions of the characters required MAJOR suspension of disbelief. I would probably give this author one more chance.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:59 AM   #2370
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I'm listening to Mr. Mulliner Speaking by P. G. Wodehouse, read by Jonathan Cecil, as part of my long-term quest to read all of Wodehouse more-or-less in order. I listen when possible; Wodehouse is a delight in audio, depending in part on the narrator. Cecil is one of the better Wodehouse narrators and I'm in a stretch of his readings to the point where I don't expect to hear Frederick Davidson any more. However, his women leave something to be desired.
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