Terse and to the point!

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



Snakes and Ladders: Square 67 - Book 16

What's next!  Rolled a 7 and I'm on Square 67 Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people.


My book is set in 1745 London................


The Masqueraders audiobook cover artNot my favorite a long shot



Much prefer this and a couple others....




The Masqueraders (Historical Romances Book 4)



Snakes and Ladders: Square 60 - Book 15

Merrily we roll along, roll along....


60. Was published last year





©2018 Julie Berry (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

Snakes and Ladders: Square 52 - Book 14

Moving along now. Half way to home. Rolled an 11.


52. Has a tree or flower on the cover


I lucked out. Mrs. Pollifax has flowers on her hat.





Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station audiobook cover art


"There are no happy endings, only happy people."




Snakes and Ladders: Square 41 - Book 13


Rolled a 5 and moved to Square 41-- Characters involved in politics




10 Lb. Penalty audiobook cover art



"18-year-old amateur jockey Benedict Juliard reluctantly interrupts his exciting career to promote his father in an ambitious political campaign. But suddenly, campaigning becomes more thrilling, and deadly, than steeplechase racing."

Snakes and Ladders: Square 36 - Book 12

Double 5s gets me to Square 36 -- past the snake -- Set in Central or South America.  I don't feel like rereading Our Man in Havanna, so I'll choose the shortest title on my TBR.



Murphy's Law audiobook cover art


I loved Maisy Dobbs but so far Molly Murphy is just one cliche after another.


TBR Housekeeping

OUT: 4

IN: 6








Crashes and Crises: Lessons from a History of Financial Disasters audiobook cover artThe Rest Is Noise audiobook cover artA Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts audiobook cover art

Mala audiobook cover artGoing Postal audiobook cover artThe Innocence of Father Brown audiobook cover artThe Shadow of the Wind audiobook cover artAgatha Christie: An Autobiography audiobook cover artWishes and Wellingtons audiobook cover artMrs. Pollifax on the China Station audiobook cover artMayflower audiobook cover artMurphy's Law audiobook cover artFeet of Clay audiobook cover art







The Seventh Sinner audiobook cover artThe Case of the Missing Servant audiobook cover artMort audiobook cover art




Snakes and Ladders: Square 26 - Book 11

Rolled an 11!  Landed on Square 26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long. Choosing to read another in the Walt Longmire series, which I am buying as they come on sale and this am reading the series in random order.


Death Without Company audiobook cover art



Sweet! Another Audible 2-for-1


Good bunch of books this go round. In no time at all, I managed to pick off 4 titles. I wish I could have added to the Walt Longmire series but I did pick up a Pratchett.


Feet of Clay audiobook cover artMayflower audiobook cover artMurphy's Law audiobook cover artMrs. Pollifax on the China Station audiobook cover art

"Take Me to the Good Parts"

Audible has added this horrible new feature called "Take Me to the Good Parts of This Book." Now you can listen to all the juicy parts without even having to purchase the book--because when it comes to the Good Parts, who cares about the plot or the characters, right?  And of course I am rolling on the floor laughing because explicit is the last word one would ever use to describe the romantic encounters in her books; she leaves everything to the imagination in this regard. Thank goodness this seems to be a feature used only for Romances. I guess because they have a new membership deal for Romance readers. Most of all, I can't believe how labor intensive this feature is. Someone has to listen to each book that has this feature in order to find the bits to feature.







And as long as I am talking about dumb features on Audible, let me tell you about the "sizzle meter." Well that is what I call it. Looks like this is used for titles that are labeled "Chick Lit" which is for some reason the category into which "Georgette Heyer's Frederica was placed--while most of her other historical 'romances' are tagged as "Historical."


Snakes and Ladders: Square 15 - Book 10

WooHoo! Have reversed the curse! Rolled a 7 and landed on SQUARE 15. Read a romance. Well the closest I get to in this genre is Georgette Heyer and next on the annual re-reads list is The Grand Sophy.


The Grand Sophy audiobook cover art




Snakes and Ladders: Square 8 - Book 9

 Snaked back to Square 1. Finished book. Rolled dice. Rolled a 7 again. Back to Square 8 again. It is Groundhogs' Day on my game board.


8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.


This go-round, I'm re-reading an F author, hoping to break the curse.


High Stakes audiobook cover art

Audible Originals


It is time to start talking about Audibles new perk for members: free Audible Originals. Each month Audible gives us the chance to choose two titles from a selection of 6 titles. I have been at this for a few months now and it is time to start talking about the various selections I have read and will be reading in the future. I'm starting with my most recent choices and working my way back in time. New titles will be added at the top, so you don't have to keep scrolling down.


March, 2019


The choices:



Junk and The Demon Next Door are out; they come with warnings about explicit sexual violence. I don't even need to read the views. No interest in Philip Roth. The Mandvi performance got lousy reviews, most of them saying that they thought the material was dated--and trite. So, it looks like it the kids' title and the Marie Curie mini-bio will be this month's choices.


Oops, mini-bio isn't bio but historical fiction.


Audible says of its Audible Originals,"We are raising the bar on entertainment..." Sadly, I must disagree. I laugh every time I read the tagline. Most of these titles on offer are simply terrible and designed to appeal to the lowest  common denominator. Trite, dumbed-down, eviscerated, not challenging, lacking substance. 


February, 2019


The choices:


Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album audiobook cover artLucky Suit audiobook cover art

Dodge & Twist audiobook cover artSovereign audiobook cover artKiller by Nature audiobook cover art


This month I chose Folsom Untold and I'll report just as soon as I get to it. For varying reasons, none of the others appealed to me. One is romance. Once deals with a serial killer. One is a play about the end of life. Dodge Twist is "fully dramatized with an immersive soundscape." One is YA sci-fi, which I do read but his one just didn't appeal.


UPDATE: I changed my mind. I just also downloaded MALA and will save it for when I am in the mood to deal with the issues that are tackled in this play. I re-read the blurb.The play was developed and produce right here in Boston. I am familiar with both Arts Emerson (Emerson College) and Huntington Theater (a Tony Award winning regional professional theater company where Ms. Lopez is the Playwright in Residence) and I am familiar with the Norton Elliot Awards. IN my book, these are three reasons enough to give it a try.


UPDATE: I promised a report on Folsom Untold and it is so bad that it isn't even worth the effort to write a review.


January, 2019


The Spies That Bind is a prequel to the Gallagher Girls series. It is YA and it was enjoyable. I might even read more in the series if they are available as audio.


December, 2018



Not the best but far from the worst I have chosen so far. If you are an Arkin fan, you may enjoy it.


November, 2018



By far the best titles so far. This was also my introduction to Stephen Fry.


October, 2018



The Aretha Franklin biography was a big disappointment; it just seemed so thrown together at the last minute. The Newhart was a lot of fun.


September, 2018


Absolutely intolerable and DNF after 10 minutes. But, at least from this, I learned to carefully read the descriptions before buying.

Snakes and Ladders: Square 1 - Book 8

 Rolled a 2. Landed on a Snake and now I am back to Square 1. Being fresh out of women authors in my TBR, I've gone to the next title in my re-reads to get me through this square.


Friday's Child audiobook cover art



Cute story. TERRIBLE COVER. If these are supposed to be the protagonists of the story, they both look they are twice as old as the characters they are supposed to portray. Good thing I don't have to keep looking at the cover. ;-)

Snakes and Ladders: Square 34




I rolled a two and landed on a SNAKE.

I don't believe it!!!!! I am back on SQUARE1

(show spoiler)



Snakes and Ladders: Square 32 - Book 7

Rolled two dice. Got an 8, I'm now on Square 32 and have to read a thriller. Not many of those on my shelf. So I'm going with the shortest book on my TBR. Horrible cover, isn't it?




The Seventh Sinner audiobook cover art

Done. Unimpressed. The mystery was okay but did not like any of the characters. The preoccupation with people's looks was annoying. This book is first in a series but for me it will be the last.




Currently Reading...

(For titles not on the BL DB)



February 27: (Snakes and Ladders read)



The Seventh Sinner audiobook cover art


Another snowy Wednesday night.



February 24: (Snakes and Ladders read)


The Case of the Missing Servant audiobook cover art


February 23: (Snakes and Ladders read)


Million to one chances happen nine times out of ten.


Mort audiobook cover art










February 13:



Marvelous, mellifluous narrator. Fits the title perfectly.


The Song of Achilles audiobook cover art




February 11:


Busy Day. Home alone.  Finished Folsom Untold. Started and finished A Bridge to Terabithia. Started The Lathe of Heaven.


Bridge to Terabithia audiobook cover artThe Lathe of Heaven audiobook cover art





February 10:


Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album audiobook cover art


The narrator is such a turn off. Could no one convince the man that the story itself is so compelling that it does not need help from the narrator? Also, it would help if the narration was not written with a first grade vocabulary and every cliche know to modern man. All of this and I have only listened for five minutes--and I am not sure that I can go for much longer.





February 3:


The Woman Who Smashed Codes audiobook cover art


Add this to the list of "She did all the work but history gave him all the credit."






January 30:


Talk on the Wild Side audiobook cover art  


I heard this guy interviewed on Lexicon Valley with John McWhorter and decided to get the book in spite of the fact that it is read by the author.  Loving it.




January 16: Another edition not on the BL db:


Thirteen Days audiobook cover art



I was in 6th grade when these events took place. I've seen a couple of the TV movie treatments of this topic and now I am reading RFK's memoir of those days.









The House with a Clock in Its Walls audiobook cover art


Time to switch to fiction for a while. After back to back Great Courses, I need something that I can listen to without thinking.


Not that I was bored but because I didn't want to stop listening, I fell asleep listening to the book. When I awoke some time later, it wasn't George Guidall talking at me and I had no idea what was going on. I slept right through the end of the book. So I rewound and started listening again and once again I fell asleep before the exciting denouement. Tonight, I'm going to choose one of my re-reads, then it won't matter if I sleep through two or three hours of text. Maybe Frederica....


FINISHED!! Moving on.



UPDATE: Jan 14:



Sadly a couple of my recent acquisitions are not on AmazonUK and all my attempts to find them on the BL DB have failed. The House with a Clock in the Walls is one of them and my next read is another. Hence, my own little "currently reading."


  The Perfectionists audiobook cover art


I grabbed a book by Simon Winchester called The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World. The reason it isn't found on the AmazonUK is that Winchester published under a different title in the UK. The book is called Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World if you are shopping in the UK. Personally, I prefer the UK title. I wonder what else is different between the two.