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Old 06-25-2021, 10:50 AM   #3181
Tarana
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Just finished Nameless Season 2 by Dean Koontz and free for Prime members. Wow. Another great mini-series! Highly recommend to those who like suspense. Eduordo Ballerini is just such a good narrator. I could listen to him all day and I did. Finished all the stories in two listens.

Currently listening to Dead Wrong by Leighann Dobbs. Paranormal cozy. Narrated by Hollis McCarthy. She has an easy to understand mellow voice. This is a short book, so I'll probably be on to something else tomorrow.
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Old 06-25-2021, 01:01 PM   #3182
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Finally listening to the last Flavia de Luce story "Golden Tresses of the Dead" - series headed in a different, interesting direction. Hope there'll eventually be more adventures!
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Old 06-26-2021, 06:35 AM   #3183
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I tried to watch some of the video presentation of that course by Novella.

Early on, he presented Bev Doolittle's painting "Pintos" as an example of an "ambiguous stimuli" optical illusion, like the "young/old woman" illusion.

The Pinto paining is NOT an optical illusion, and there is nothing in it that is designed to be ambiguous. It is a straight-up painting of five pintos on a similar looking background. There is nothing that can be interpreted two ways, there is simply some natural camouflage that blends in well, meaning you may have to count horse heads or legs to be sure you didn't miss one.

I could not watch the rest of the material because I decided I could not trust him.

Was I too hasty?
If he's the same guy I'm thinking of in the Skeptic's guide podcast, I found myself disagreeing with some of his assertions in the podcast. Like most people, he has a world view and tends to be a lot more skeptical about things that disagree with his world view than agree with his world view.
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Old 06-26-2021, 10:04 PM   #3184
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
I tried to watch some of the video presentation of that course by Novella.

Early on, he presented Bev Doolittle's painting "Pintos" as an example of an "ambiguous stimuli" optical illusion, like the "young/old woman" illusion.

The Pinto paining is NOT an optical illusion, and there is nothing in it that is designed to be ambiguous. It is a straight-up painting of five pintos on a similar looking background. There is nothing that can be interpreted two ways, there is simply some natural camouflage that blends in well, meaning you may have to count horse heads or legs to be sure you didn't miss one.

I could not watch the rest of the material because I decided I could not trust him.

Was I too hasty?
I think so. Camouflage and hidden messages in paintings can fall within the realm of optical illusion, I believe. But then again, I've been familiar with Dr. Novella for years from his skeptical panel podcast, The Skeptic's Guide to the Galaxy, and over those years he has gained my trust.
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Old 06-27-2021, 11:53 PM   #3185
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Yesterday I finished Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut (audiobook read by Arthur Bishop), and loved it. Gave it five stars. It was perhaps the least science-fictiony science-fiction I've ever read. There was more than a little autobiography rounding out this story, and Vonnegut made it work seamlessly.
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Old 06-28-2021, 02:05 AM   #3186
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Finished Dead Wrong by Leighann Dobbs. Kindof meh for me.

Now listening to Sourdough by Robin Sloan and narrated by Therese Plummer. First, narrator is excellent. Enjoyable to listen to. The story is also pretty good so far. I really liked his previous book Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore narrated by Ari Fliakos.

Oh, and I also listened to the abridged audiobook One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. I wouldn't normally listen to an abridged book any longer but it was still free from Audible till the end of the month and narrated by the author. He is quite a good narrator so it's a shame he didn't do an unabridged version. My library has the unabridged version on CD so I ordered that.

Last edited by Tarana; 06-28-2021 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 07-01-2021, 07:11 PM   #3187
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Started Hong Kong by Jan Morris, read by Nadia May. Included with Audible Plus, making it an outstanding option!
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Old 07-05-2021, 09:01 PM   #3188
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I just finished Nancy Tucker's debut novel, The First Day of Spring, narrated by Kristin Atherton. Wow; this one's a knockout.

The first sentence--I killed a little boy today--is shocking, but becomes even more so when the narrator, Chrissie, is revealed to be an eight-year-old girl. The chapters alternate between the child Chrissie and her adult self twenty years later, when she has a five-year-old daughter.

Atherton does a terrific job with the narration, particularly when she is channeling Chrissie. Highly recommended.
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Old 07-14-2021, 11:30 AM   #3189
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Two new suspense novels involving plane hijackings, and with remarkably similar premises are
  • Clare Mackintosh's Hostage, narrated by Vinette Robinson
  • T.J. Newman's Falling, narrated by Steven Weber

In both, a member of the flight crew is forced to choose between family and passengers--family members are being threatened and held hostage on the ground, there's at least one unknown mole on the plane, and the crew member is being directed to jeopardize the planeload of innocent passengers (in Hostage a flight attendant is being directed to open the door to the flight deck so a hijacker can crash the plane; in Falling the pilot is being directed to crash the plane).

Mackintosh is one of my favorite suspense authors, and I give her the edge--she seemed to deal more with the anguish of the moral choice presented to her flight attendant protagonist. It was also easier to see how one could make the moral compromise to simply open a door to save her family and pretend that the action could be divorced from its consequences. Some of it was predictable--said flight attendant had once begun training to be a commercial pilot. Hmm, like that wasn't going to matter, right?

Newman's protagonist had a much starker choice--he was being told to kill himself, his passengers, and people on the ground, and from the start he said he would not do it. The story had a lot more action, both in the plane (flight crew machinations) and on the ground (attempts to rescue the family, evacuate the crash target, etc.). Some of it got pretty melodramatic and corny. I kept thinking of Airport and the disaster movies of that era.
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:15 PM   #3190
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Finished Long Time No See by Ed McBain (87th Precinct series) and read by Dick Hill. Excellent story and well read. Also finished a short paranormal cozy called Ghostly Paws by Leighann Dobbs and narrated by Elizabeth Rodgers. Much better than her previous book. I was much more engaged in the characters and love that the cats turn out to be 'special'.
Just starting Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold and read by Gardner Grover (who is GREAT!). This is supposed to be a major turning point book in the series so looking forward to it.
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Old 07-14-2021, 10:27 PM   #3191
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Just starting Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold and read by Gardner Grover (who is GREAT!). This is supposed to be a major turning point book in the series so looking forward to it.
Yup, Gardner is great, and I can't imaging Miles Vorkosigan with any other voice.
(But it's Grover Gardner, not Gardner Grover.)

I just finished "The Last Dance: The Near-Earth Mysteries, Book 1" by Martin L. Shoemaker, which I apparently bought on Amazon several years ago and totally forgot about.

It was an interesting story, and the audiobook device of having a different narrator for when each character tells their first-hand parts of the story actually worked well. The format involves the main investigator character getting first hand accounts from various people, and the device did make me feel immersed in the investigation.

My one complaint about the writing is that he seemed to have played fast and loose with the ranks of some of the characters, sometimes calling them "Chief" and other times calling them "Lieutenant" or "Ensign." In at least one part of the book, this seems to be because the character's rank changed between the present and the time they were recounting, but it was not clear at the time, and other times there was no such apparent in-world justification. I found it distracting in a story that was grounded in mostly realistic near-future SF.

I will seek out the other books in the series at some point.

I also recently finished the first Harry Hole novel, "The Bat" by Jo Nesbo.

I sought it out because I had just finished the last Harry Bosch novel, and some thread on Goodreads said Harry Hole was "just like Harry Bosch" except he's Norwegian.

Turns out, other than the fact that they are both homicide detectives named Harry, they have nothing in common. I am more like Harry Bosch than Harry Hole is.
I didn't actually dislike the book, but it's not my cup of tea at all, and I doubt I'll try any more in the series.

If anyone does know of something in the "if you like Harry Bosch, then you'll like..." vein, please let me know.

ApK

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Old 07-16-2021, 08:19 AM   #3192
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Currently reading along to Il Gattopardo read by Toni Servillo and Le Petit Prince read by Pierre Achiary. Both readers are great, but the latter book has BGM, in some places painful to my ears.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:08 AM   #3193
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The Strangler Vine by M. J. Carter - technically a mystery, I suppose, but closer to historical fiction to me. Early Victorian setting in India a plus, but it's Alex Wyndham's narration as the star of the show here!
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:28 AM   #3194
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I've been on a hiatus from audiobooks, especially since I rejoined the workforce this month, though I'd say the bigger factor has been a litRPG binge on Kindle Unlimited, which has mostly displaced other forms of entertainment for the time being. It took me quite a while to finish Embassytown, and I lost the thread of it for a bit. I had much the same experience as with The City and The City; Mieville's worldbuilding by implication and elision is intoxicating at first, but develops a cloying aftertaste, somewhat rescued by a more concrete finale. I kind of feel like Max Gladstone took what was good in Mieville and ran with it, to much better effect, though Mieville's themes seem to be more about escaping the grip of the magical and the idealized to plant one's feet in a more mundane reality. In hindsight, his whole body of work may be an allegory for substance abuse recovery (though I've only read the two books).

EDIT: And the narrator, Susan Duerden, 100% deserves an honorable mention. The book is riddled with neologisms as well as characters that speak in two voices simultaneously, and it all comes through with remarkable clarity.

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Old 07-30-2021, 08:54 PM   #3195
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I pulled something out of my Audible library for my commute home today, A Natural History of Dragons. So far, it's everything it says on the tin, really nailing that period "natural philosopher" voice (well conveyed by Kate Reading). Maybe I'll continue using the commute for audiobooks. I used to do bedtime audiobooks, but I was aware to some extent the whole time that it was probably not the healthiest habit. Now, I have a pretty brainless commute that just feels like a hole in my day.
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