Peregrinations

Peregrinations

 

Terse and to the point!

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

 

 

2018 Books -- 57 and counting...
  1. The Masqueraders -- re-read 
  2. Longshot --re-read
  3. Lonely Road -- re-read
  4. Landfall -- re-read
  5. Zorba the Greek -- NEW38
  6. The Virginian -- NEW37
  7. Three Men in a Boat... --NEW36
  8. Roughing It -- NEW35
  9. The Railway Children -- NEW34
  10. Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk --NEW33
  11. Lady of Quality -- re-read
  12. In the wet -- re-read
  13. In the Frame -- re-read 
  14. Cider House Rules -- NEW32
  15. Matriarch -- NEW31 HISTORY6
  16. Misbehaving -- NEW30
  17. Cat's Cradle --re-read
  18. All Creatures Great and Small -- NEW29
  19. Pale Blue Dot -- NEW28
  20. Hot Money -- re-read  
  21. High Stakes -- re-read
  22. Friday's Child -- re-read
  23. Frederica -- re-read 
  24. The Wizard of Menlo Park -- NEW27 HISTORY5
  25. On Power -- NEW26
  26. In This Bright Future -- NEW25
  27. Thursday the Rabbi..  -- NEW24
  28. Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet -- NEW23
  29. Code Girls -- NEW22 HISTORY4
  30. The Foundling --re-read
  31. Faro's Daughter -- re-read
  32. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler --NEW21
  33. Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red -- NEW20
  34. The Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons -- NEW18
  35. The Secret of Chimneys -- NEW18
  36. A Nun in the Closet -- NEW17
  37. Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness -- NEW16
  38. Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Traveler -- NEW15
  39. Monday the Rabbi Took Off --NEW14
  40. The LIghthouse Keeper -- NEW13
  41. The Great Train Robbery --re-read
  42. The Great Courses: Food -- NEW12 HISTORY3
  43. Cosmos -- NEW11  SCIENCE2
  44. Amadeus -- NEW10
  45. The Far Country -- re-read
  46. False Colours -- re-read
  47. Even Money - re-read
  48. Enquiry -- re-read
  49. Driving Force -- re-read
  50. Dick Francis's Bloodlines -- re-read
  51. The Great Courses: Redefining Reality -- NEW9
  52. The Pun Also Rises -- NEW8
  53. M. Butterfly -- NEW7
  54. A Hologram for the King --NEW6  
  55. The Fountain of Paradise --NEW5
  56. Fire and Rain -- NEW4 -- HISTORY2
  57. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night --NEW3
  58. Consider the Fork -- NEW2   HISTORY1
  59. Consciousness and the Brain: -- NEW1  SCIENCE1 DNF
Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative - Danielle Krysa

Yes, I know. It says right in the tag line, "No self-help" and yet here it is. Even worse, I can't believe that not only did I listened to the whole thing but I even went as far as checking out the price of the print edition. There are some quotes and some lists that I would like to have in front of me for future reference. I will also say that just because I was checking out the price does mean I am telling you to go out and buy this book. I'm not. I still don't like self-help books--and that's why this isn't a review and I haven't given it any gold stars. 

 

So, why did I buy it, besides the very cheap price and because I liked the title? Because I started to paint four years ago and wanted see if the author had anything helpful to say about the creative process and making art. The answer is yes, she does. 

Audible Two-fer-1 Revisted
Collected Fictions - Andrew Hurley, Jorge Luis Borges, George Guidall Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) - Jerome K. Jerome, Steven Crossley Zorba the Greek - Nikos Kazantzakis, George Guidall The Railway Children - E. Nesbit, Virginia Leishman

I went back to the sale pile to see if I missed anything and found another 4 books. This is making up for all of those sales where I walk away with nothing.

 

Zorba is another one of those titles from my teen years while Railway is one of those childhood classics that I never read (that I can remember). Three Men in a Boat I chose because the name rang a bell (lol, it came through on BL feed).

 

The Borges I chose with mixed emotions. Reading it English is a sign of defeat, a sign that I have given up on trying to read it in Spanish. But, I want to read those stories, so time to stop procastinating and just get it done!

 

May I also please note that I am thrilled that George Guidall reads two of the 8 titles and Grover Gardner another. It always makes it so much easier to choose when one of my favorite narrators is at the microphone. At least I know that I won't be yelling at the book to pronounce things properly or complaining about the voicing of a particular character; these two always get it right.

Another Audible 2-for-1 Sale: Classic Works
The Virginian - Owen Wister, Jack Garrett Classic Novels: Meeting the Challenge of Great Literature - Arnold Weinstein, Professor Arnold Weinstein Ph.D. Harvard University Steppenwolf - Hermann Hesse, Peter Weller Roughing It - Mark Twain, Grover Gardner

I do enjoy the 2-for-1 sales. Audible never makes its entire inventory available in these sales but selects a couple of hundred titles to offer. Some sales I find nothing and some I walk away with hours worth of listening. 

 

Please don't read anything into my choosing both Roughing It and The Virginian. Slowly but surely, I seem to be consuming more and more Twain, and I especially like his travelogues. Meanwhile, The Virginian (and Steppenwolf, too) are returns to high school reads.

 

Then, to round out my choices, there is a "Great Courses" lecture series on Classic Novels, which will either be very enlightening or just simply pompous beyond bearing. 

 

 

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 Amazon.co.uk 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.'

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.

Review
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. 

Review
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. 

Review
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.

Review
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.