Terse and to the point!

No zombies. No vampires. No angels. No self-help. No horror.



Shelving Audiobooks

I am adding new audiobooks to my shelf this morning. With the shelve it button only working with the UK site, it is more complicated to find a book and shelve it, especially when starting from AudibleUS, which defaults to AmazonUS. In the process, I am digging up housekeeping chores galore for the Librarians--missing cover art, editions to combine, etc.-- and learning new things.


I've learned that some of the titles I am looking for have different ASINs in US and UK. I'm now reporting the multiple ASINs, figuring that the Librarians will handle it anyway they see fit. It is very time consuming/inefficient to curate a multi-million entry database one entry at a time, especially when the curators are volunteers. So, many, many thanks to the LIbrarians! I am your biggest fan!


I'm also learning that even if the audiobook is actually already in the database, searching by ASIN on BL won't necessarily find it. (Oh dear, that's not good. Too many false negatives leads to duplicate entries for the same ASIN). Audiobooks are even harder to find because most of the time the narrator is listed as an author and the editions have not been combined with print or other digital edition. The only definitive way to find a specific edition is using the shelve it button from the website. If shelve it can't find it, it isn't there.


Please do not think I am complaining. Booklikes is a free service and I am grateful to the owners for its continued existence. We all would not be here, together otherwise. In the meantime, I'm sharing what I have learned about how things work and hoping that others will find the insights helpful.


Filched from Facebook

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut, Tony Roberts

I first read this one as a naive teenager and have not returned to it in the intervening 50 years. The only thing that I remember from 50 years ago was the ice-9 and its catastrophic results. This go-round, it was an entirely different read. The book is dated and yet it isn't; it seems shallow and silly until you realize just how deep it really goes. 


"We are gathered here, friends," he said, "to honor _lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya_, children dead, all dead, all murdered in war. It is customary on days like this to call such lost children men. I am unable to call them men for this simple reason: that in the same war in which _lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya_ died, my own son died. 

"My soul insists that I mourn not a man but a child. 

"I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame they _do_ die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays. 

"But they are murdered children all the same. 

"And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind. 


Today's Daily Deal
Paris in the Present Tense - Bronson Pinchot, Mark Helprin

I was on the fence about this one. I've read other books by Helprin and just wasn't sure. But the reviews on Amazon were lyrical and now there is another book in the TBR 'pile.'

2018 Books -- 48 and counting...
  1. Lady of Quality -- re-read
  2. In the wet -- re-read
  3. In the Frame -- re-read 
  4. Cider House Rules -- NEW32
  5. Matriarch -- NEW31 HISTORY6
  6. Misbehaving -- NEW30
  7. Cat's Cradle --re-read
  8. All Creatures Great and Small -- NEW29
  9. Pale Blue Dot -- NEW28
  10. Hot Money -- re-read  
  11. High Stakes -- re-read
  12. Friday's Child -- re-read
  13. Frederica -- re-read 
  14. The Wizard of Menlo Park -- NEW27 HISTORY5
  15. On Power -- NEW26
  16. In This Bright Future -- NEW25
  17. Thursday the Rabbi..  -- NEW24
  18. Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet -- NEW23
  19. Code Girls -- NEW22 HISTORY4
  20. The Foundling --re-read
  21. Faro's Daughter -- re-read
  22. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler --NEW21
  23. Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red -- NEW20
  24. The Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons -- NEW18
  25. The Secret of Chimneys -- NEW18
  26. A Nun in the Closet -- NEW17
  27. Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness -- NEW16
  28. Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Traveler -- NEW15
  29. Monday the Rabbi Took Off --NEW14
  30. The LIghthouse Keeper -- NEW13
  31. The Great Train Robbery --re-read
  32. The Great Courses: Food -- NEW12 HISTORY3
  33. Cosmos -- NEW11  SCIENCE2
  34. Amadeus -- NEW10
  35. The Far Country -- re-read
  36. False Colours -- re-read
  37. Even Money - re-read
  38. Enquiry -- re-read
  39. Driving Force -- re-read
  40. Dick Francis's Bloodlines -- re-read
  41. The Great Courses: Redefining Reality -- NEW9
  42. The Pun Also Rises -- NEW8
  43. M. Butterfly -- NEW7
  44. A Hologram for the King --NEW6  
  45. The Fountain of Paradise --NEW5
  46. Fire and Rain -- NEW4 -- HISTORY2
  47. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night --NEW3
  48. Consider the Fork -- NEW2   HISTORY1
  49. Consciousness and the Brain: -- NEW1  SCIENCE1 DNF
Spending My Hard Earned Credits
Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet: A Rabbi Small Mystery, Book 6 - Harry Kemelman, George Guidall In This Bright Future: DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 5 - Gildart Jackson, Peter Grainger

I have been a member of Audible for so long now that I have quite a library built up for re-reading, which is how I spend two-thirds of my reading hours, such that between the daily deals and two-fer sales, spending a whole credit on just one book is reserved for special occasions, like adding the titles of authors that I really, really enjoy reading and want to have more of. Kemelman and Grainger are two of those authors.



A couple of Audible Daily Deals
Matriarch: Queen Mary and the House of Windsor - Anne Edwards, Corrie James Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics - Richard H. Thaler, L.J. Ganser

While the deals are daily, it is rare that they offer anything that would tempt me to plunk down the ready, so it is nice to be able to find two in such a short period of time. My TBR --or should that be TBH -- pile is growing and I am looking for ward to days and days and days of listening pleasure. 

Audible 3 for 2 Sale
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut, Tony Roberts All Creatures Great and Small - James Herriot, Christopher Timothy The Cider House Rules (Audio) - John Irving, Grover Gardner

I've been shopping the sales again and managed to find three titles that might be enjoyable. I think I'll save James Herriott for last because the other two might be a bit depressing.

3 Stars
Mme Ramotswe Wannabe
Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness - Kristin Kalbli, David Casarett

It wasn't awful, just a pale imitation of an already successful premise. Alexander McCall Smith has already has this franchise nailed down tight--physician turned author, exotic locale, lady detective. 

1 Stars
Already This Story Is...
The Lighthouse Keeper - Cynthia Ellingsen, Kate Rudd

pissing me off. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Seventy-five years after a claim is paid, an insurance company cannot change its mind and tell the descendents that they have to repay the money. Statue of limitations and a whole bunch more. Plots like this drive me up a wall; I am just not willing to suspend disbelief here. However, since I paid for the damned book (at least it was on sale), I am going to ignore this bit of ignorance and keep reading, for a little bit longer, until the stupidity of it drives me away completely. 


Finished. Moving on. I wanted to find out whodunit so I kept with it but the rest of the story was just of no interest to me. 

4 Stars
Well Done, Dr. Crichton
The Great Train Robbery - Michael Crichton, Michael Kitchen

As a teenager, I read a number of Crichton's books but, so far, this is the only one I have wanted to go back and read again. If you want an action-packed story, you won't be happy with Crichton's style here. Along with a highly fictionalized version of the Great Train Robbery of 1855 (aka The Great Gold Robbery), there is a lot of background material woven into the telling of the tale. Michael Kitchen's gravelly voice was perfect for the narration. 

Most Enjoyable
Food: A Cultural Culinary History - Ken Albala

I am enjoying listening to this series of lectures so much that I don't want to stop to listen to the couple of chapters of Cosmos that I just promised myself I would intersperse with my other reading. I'm enjoying it so much that I can almost forgive this college professor his frequent mispronunciation of words like "arbiter." It is not "AR-bite-er. 


Food is essential to our being (without it we died) yet when we study history in the classroom, we rarely approach events in anything but political terms, so it is very interesting (and myth-busting) to approach our past from the point of view of what was being hunted, gathered, cultivated, traded and consumed. Please don't think that this is just a fluffy series of lectures; it is well grounded in events and contemporary original texts.


BTW, this may also be about food and eating but it is nothing like Consider the Fork, which I also read recently. They compliment one another.

4 Stars
Catching Up?
Cosmos - Carl Sagan, Seth MacFarlane, LeVar Burton, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan

I never watched the series when it was on PBS so when the audiobook was in an Audible sale pile, I snapped it up and now I am finally getting around to listening to it. And I am having trouble with it. LeVar Burton is narrating and his cadence is driving me nuts; it is kind of like a bad Carl Sagan imitation or as one review put it "Jordi LaForge channeling James Kirk." So far, I am committed to finishing it but it will be a few chapters interspersed with other books. Oh, well.


Finished it. I would mark it as interesting and informative but dated and preachy in places. Still, based solely on content and ignore the negative effect of the narrator, I'm giving this four stars for what was in it's day ground breaking content. 

2017 Books---- 194 and counting....
  1. Devil's Cub -- re-read
  2. Decider --re-read
  3. Dead Heat --re-read
  4. Dead Cert - re-read
  5. The Danger -- re-read
  6. Crossfire -- re-read
  7. Cottilion -- re-read
  8. The Corinthian -- re-read  [TIED LAST YEAR]
  9. The Convenient Marriage -- re-read
  10. Come to Grief -- re-read
  11. A Civil Contract -- re-read
  12. The Chequer Board --re-read 
  13. What the F -- re-read
  14. 1421 --re-read
  15. Write It When I'm Gone -- re-read
  16. The Thin Man -- re-read
  17. Sacred Treasure, the Cairo Genizah --re-read 
  18. The Masqueraders --re-read -- 
  19. Charity Girl -- re-read
  20. The Breaking Wave -- re-read
  21. Break In -- re-read
  22. Bolt -- re-read --
  23. Blood Sport -- re-read
  24. Black Sheep -- re-read 
  25. The Black Moth -- re-read
  26. Beyond the Black Stump  -- re-read
  27. Behold, Here's Poison -- re-read
  28. Bath Tangle -- re-read
  29. Banker -- re-read
  30. Arabella --re-read
  31. April Lady -- re-read
  32. A Man Called Ove -- re-read
  33. Murder on the Orient Express -- re-read 
  34. Tragedy of Z -- NEW69
  35. Sourdough -- NEW68
  36. The Year of the Hare -- NEW67
  37. Engines of Change -- re-read
  38. Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast News -- re-read
  39. They Do It with Mirrors --re-read
  40. Splendid Solution -- re-read
  41. The Secret Adversary -- re-read
  42. The Remains of the Day -- re-read
  43. Prisioners of Georgraphy -- NEW66  HISTORY15
  44. Hickory Dickory Dock -- re-read
  45. The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam -- re-read
  46. Magyk -- NEW65
  47. Safe Passage -- NEW64  HISTORY14
  48. Einstein -- re-read
  49. Drama -- re-read
  50. Packing for Mars -- NEW63 SCIENCE6
  51. Evans Above -- NEW62
  52. Death on the Nile -- re-read
  53. Alexander Hamilton --re-read
  54. And Then There Where None -- re-read
  55. The Sirens of Titan -- NEW61
  56. Secretariat -- NEW60 HISTORY13
  57. My Favorite Universe --NEW59  SCIENCE5
  58. American Ulysses -- NEW58  HISTORY12
  59. Gulp -- re-read [book club read]  SCIENCE4
  60. After the Funeral -- re-read
  61. Rocket Men -- re-read  HISTORY SCIENCE
  62. The Day of the Jackel --re-read
  63. 13 Things that Don't Make Sense -- NEW57 SCIENCE3
  64. The Stranger -- re-read 
  65. Murder Most Frothy -- NEW56
  66. 4:50 from Paddington --NEW55
  67. A Man of Some Repute -- NEW54
  68. Latte Trouble -- NEW53
  69. 10 Lb. Penalty --re-read
  70. Whip Hand -- re-read
  71. Venetia -- re-read
  72. The Unknown Ajax  -- re-read
  73. The Unfinished Clue -- re-read
  74. Twice Shy -- re-read
  75. Trustee From the Toolroom --re-read
  76. Trial Run -- re-read
  77. The Toll Gate --re-read
  78. To the Hilt -- re-read
  79. These Old Shades --re-read
  80. The Talisman Ring -- re-read
  81. Sylvester -- re-read
  82. Great Courses: The Mysterious Etruscans --NEW52 HISTORY11
  83. Great Courses: A Skeptic's Gide to American History --NEW51 HISTORY10
  84. Great Courses: Privacy, Property and Free Speech --NEW50
  85. Great Courses: History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration -- NEW49 HISTORY9
  86. Great Courses: An Economic History of the World Since 1400 --  NEW48 HISTORY8
  87. Persons of Interest -- NEW47
  88. The Portrait of Dorian Gray -- re-read
  89. Great Courses: Cycles of American Political Thought -- NEW46 HISTORY7
  90. The Invention of Nature --NEW45 SCIENCE 2
  91. Great Courses: Cultural Literacy for Religion NEW44
  92. Great Courses: Industrial Revolution NEW43 HISTORY6
  93. Sprig Muslin -- re-read
  94. So Disdained -- re-read
  95. Smokescreen --re-read
  96. Shattered --re-read
  97. Second Wind --re-read
  98. Ruined City -- re-read
  99. Round the Bend -- re-read
  100. Risk -- re-read -
  101. The Reluctant Widow -- re-read
  102. Regency Buck -- re-read
  103. Reflex -- re-read
  104. Rat Race -- re-read
  105. The Rainbow and the Rose -- re-read
  106. The Quiet Gentleman -- re-read
  107. Proof -- re-read
  108. Pastoral --re-read
  109. An Old Captivity -- re-read
  110. Odds Against - re-read
  111. The Nonesuch -- re-read
  112. No Highway --re-read
  113. Nerve -- re-read
  114. The Masqueraders -- re-read
  115. Longshot -- re-read
  116. The Lonely Road --re-read
  117. The Relic Master --42NEW
  118. Louder Than Words -- 41NEW
  119. Notorious RBG -- 40NEW HISTORY5
  120. Landfall -- re-read
  121. Lady of Quality -- re-read
  122. Starman Jones -- 39NEW
  123. The Secrets of Wishtide -- 38NEW
  124. Hidden Figures -- 37NEW HISTORY4
  125. Nothing to Fear -- 36NEW HISTORY3
  126. Bad News -- 35NEW
  127. Mrs. Fortescue Steps Out --34NEW
  128. Great Courses: American Ideals: Founding a 'Republic of Virtue' --33NEW HISTORY
  129. Anansi Boys -- 32NEW
  130. The Great Decision --31NEW HISTORY2
  131. What The F -- 30NEW
  132. The Crime at Black Dudley -- 29NEW
  133. Great Courses: The Illiad of Homer --28NEW
  134. Cairnaerie --27NEW
  135. In the Wet -- re-read
  136. In the Frame --re-read
  137. The Illiad & The Odyssey -- 26NEW  Bucket List
  138. Great Courses: The Odyssey of Homer  -- 25NEW
  139. Hot Money -- re-read
  140. High Stakes --re-read
  141. Spaceman --24NEW SCIENCE1 HISTORY
  142. Tess of the d'Urbervilles -- 23NEW
  143. Luck and Judgement -- 22NEW
  144. The Jungle Book --21NEW
  145. The Grand Sophy -- re-read
  146. Words on the Move -- 20NEW
  147. Frederica -- re-read
  148. Friday's Child --re-read
  149. Double Whammy -- re-read
  150. The Foundling -- re-read
  151. Flying Finish -- re-read
  152. The Spaceship Next Door --19NEW
  153. Great Courses: From Plato to Post-Modernism -- 18NEW
  154. Great Courses: English Grammar Boot Camp -- 17NEW
  155. Faro Daughter -- re-read
  156. The Far Country -- re-read
  157. False Colours -- re-read
  158. Even Money -- re-read
  159. Enquiry -- re-read
  160. Driving Force -- re-read
  161. Bloodline -- re-read
  162. Devil's Cub --re-read 
  163. The White Cottage Mystery -- 16NEW
  164. The Eyre Affair -- 15NEW
  165. On What Grounds -- 14NEW
  166. But for the Grace -- 13NEW
  167. Great Courses: The High Middle Ages 12NEW HISTORY
  168. Decider -- re-read
  169. Dead Heat --re-read
  170. Dead Cert --re-read
  171. The Danger --re-read
  172. Crossfire --re-read
  173. Cotillion --re-read
  174. The Corinthian -- re-read 
  175. The Readers of Broken-Wheel Recommend -- 11NEW
  176. Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home -- 10NEW
  177. An Accidental Death --9NEW
  178. A Convenient Marriage --re-read
  179. Come to Grief -- re-read
  180. A Civil Contract -- re-read
  181. The Chequer Board -- re-read
  182. Charity Girl -- re-read
  183. The Breaking Wave --re-read
  184. Bret Farrar -- 9NEW
  185. Great Courses: Find Your Roots -- 8NEW
  186. Break In --re-read
  187. Great Courses: The Great Debate -- 7NEW HISTORY1
  188. Great Courses: 36 Books That Changed the World -- 6NEW
  189. Speaking American --5NEW
  190. You're Saying It Wrong --4NEW
  191. We are Legion (We are Bob) --3NEW
  192. Great Courses: English in America --2NEW
  193. Midnight Riot (aka A River in London) --1NEW
  194. Bolt -- re-read (continued from 2016)
16 Tasks for the Festive Season --11




It is time for Hanukkah!

Square 8.

Eight Days

Eight photos 





The task is:  Light nine candles around the room (SAFELY) and post a picture. I know what the task says but unfortunately, it doesn't work that way around here. 


Now we're done:



Last but one:


Sixth night plus our annual latke party, so, tonight it is 2 pictures (and two tasks). Foods fried in oil are the tradition for this holiday--fried potato fritters for some and jelly-filled doughnuts for others:





Halfway done plus one:


Halfway done:


Third night:



 Second night:



First night:



Most households light just one hanukkiyah. We light one for each person in the family-- the two of us, our three children and, now this year, a 6th one for the new addition, our grandson. 

16 Tasks for the Festive Season --12

Never thought I would get this far.


Tasks for World Peace Day: Cook something involving olives or olive oil. Share the results and/or recipe with us.


Each year at Hanukkah, we fry potato latkes (aka, potato pancakes). I fry mine in a mixture of oils one of which is olive oil. 



The house was jumping this afternoon. My daughter, her husband and newborn were here to celebrate along with two of her BFFs and their children plus some of our friends--and it was anything but tranquil. Can't wait till next year.


My recipe is simple: potatoes, eggs and where other people use flour as a binder, I use a package of potato pancake mix. Don't ask me how many of each because I make it up as I go along; it is a very forgiving recipe. Shred the potatoes in a cuisinart, mix the ingredients in a large bowl and fry them by the spoonful in hot oil. Drain on paper towels before serving with:  applesauce, sour cream. cinnamon, or anything else that sounds appealing.