Terse and to the point!

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



Today's daily deal on Audible...
Starman Jones - Robert A. Heinlein, Paul Michael Garcia




It might be YA but Heinlein is a classic no matter who he is writing for.

I've been book shopping again...
Bad News - Donald E Westlake, Michael Kramer Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America - Adam Cohen, Norman Dietz

Having just finished the stack of books I got on the 50% off sale, it was time to spend a couple of my credits and get some more new title to keep me busy. I figured that since "the first hundred days" was a current topic on the news today that perhaps there was some insight to be gained by reading about FDR's hundred days. Then, after all the heaving reading, I decided I needed a bit of escapism and chose a Dortmunder story. This should keep me busy over the weekend.

Reblogged Image
May Day
May Day

Happy May Day!

Reblogged from Lora's Rants and Reviews
A bit scientific but a book for lovers of words, all words
What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves - Benjamin K. Bergen

A couple of books published recently have tackled the heretofore taboo yet titillating topic of taboo/profane words. This is the one that I just happened to buy but I guess that it could have been anyone of them. The title was read by the author and I usually avoid self-read titles because just because you can write beautifully doesn't mean that you are pleasant to listen to for multiple hours. Bergen is an exception to the rule; he reads as well as he writes. The book is nicely organized. It has a basis in scientific research and is filled with anecdotal evidence to support the points he is trying to make. He writes for a broad audience not academia.


Warning, if you hearing/reading taboo/obscene/profane language in any context offends, this book might not be for you. Bergen's over-all intent is not to offend but to explore the topic and discuss its social ramifications. Four-letter words are here to stay; we might as well learn a little bit more about them.


If nothing else, this book made me think and it made me want to set my thoughts to paper. I don't have a problem with declaring some words to be taboo--particularly slurs. In fact, I am actually in favor of it. Except for slurs, I also don't have a problem with judiciously using taboo words in my own speech. However, I think that one should not use them with impunity (that is the way I was brought up); there is a time and a place and an appropriate audience. I still don't drop f-bombs in front of my parents, who I don't think I have ever heard use the word, and I don't regularly sprinkle my speech them (to the effect that when I use them, they are powerful!). I don't full agree with Bergen's take on our attempts to censor speech.  I'm in favor of censorship on the airwaves and of ratings of TV, movies and videogames that protect my right not to have to hear any of these words or to have my children hear these words. It should be up to me when I want to hear taboo speech and under what circumstances. I'm not against free speech; I'm just against those who think that just because they say it that others want to hear it or even have to react positively to their utterances. If you insist on peppering each sentence you utter with f-bombs this that and the other, you will soon find that we aren't having very many conversations. Daddy always said that smart people don't need to use taboo language to express themselves and that has always formed the way I try to speak. But yeah, I'm no goody-two-shoes; I do have my moments.





Bucket List Reading
The Iliad of Homer - Elizabeth Vandiver The Odyssey of Homer - Elizabeth Vandiver, The Great Courses, The Great Courses The Iliad & The Odyssey - Homer, John Lescault

I finally checked off another item on my literary bucket list: The Iliad and the Odyssey. I've had the audio version in my TBR for a couple of years now but very recently picked up these two Great Course lectures to read along with the The I & The O so that maybe I would get more out of the story. It was a good move on my part.


However, I bought and listened to the two lectures in the wrong order, thinking that they were two free standing lectures lecture series. Actually, they should be read in the same order as the two epics. Not that they weren't helpful but that there was general info in The Iliad lectures that would have been helpful to have heard before listening to the two epics--not after.



Just not as good as I was hoping for
The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham, David Thorpe

The narrator killed this book for me--and not in a good way. I listened to the whole thing but it was a battle, with a lousy narrator who made very poor choices for the voicing of the various characters (none of them sounded realistic, especially Albert Campion)) and a plot that was full of holes and full of inconsistencies.Other words that come to mind to describe this book are melodrama, caricature and misogynistic (or perhaps just dated the attitudes toward women). It might do better as a film--a period piece in black and white.


Fortunately, a couple of the other titles in the series use a different narrator and I may try them to see if this author improves with age and a different narrator.


Overall, two stars-- three for the story reduced by one for the narration.

My Audible Money Saving Strategies

I've been an Audible member since 2002 and 99% of my reading these days (about 150 reads a year) is audiobooks. Over the years, I've learned to play the system and maximize my subscription.


Audible is for titles that I want to read over and over again (I'm an avid re-reader) or for titles that I cannot get from the public library digital collection. I've learned over the years how to maximize my investment.


  1. --Don't buy just to buy, you can't sell these titles second hand. Buy books that you really want to read and maybe even read again and again. Even in the sales, don't buy just to buy.
  2. --Have a well stocked wish list (especially with those titles that are close in price to the cost of a credit so that you will know where to find them at sale time).
  3. --Watch the Daily Deals. Every now and then there is a title that grabs my attention and the price is always $5.95 or under.
  4. --ALWAYS buy with cash when the cost of the book is less than the cost of a credit. 
  5. --ALWAYS use credits when the cost is higher than what you paid for the credit; if you can't wait for your new credits to arrive,  buy more credits if you can rather than to plunk down cash for a title that costs more than the cost of a credit. 
  6. --Watch for the 2 for 1 and 3 for 2 sales that happen during the year, especially the 2 for 1 because they are a much better deal. These sales are limited to selected titles and sadly I find them more miss than hit--but I always check them out very carefully.
  7. --On the seasonal 50% sales, some of the books that you would have used a credit to buy are now less than the cost of a credit, so check your wish list for titles that have now dropped into "buy with cash" territory.


About buying more credits. I know I can do it but I don't know how it works and I don't know if there is a limit to the number of credits you can purchase in a year or if just anyone can buy more credits.

Half Price Sale for Audible US Members
The Iliad of Homer - Elizabeth Vandiver The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham, David Thorpe The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court - Cliff Sloan, David McKean, Peter Jay Fernandez American Ideals: Founding a 'Republic of Virtue' - Daniel N. Robinson

I love these half price sales. It works really great for grabbing up titles that will cost less than the cost of a credit--why waste a credit if I can get it for less. So these titles have been sitting in my wish list, some of them for a few years now, waiting for the celestial confluence of half price sale and my decision that I'm ready to add that particular title to my library. Sale ends April 24, so there may be even more edition additions.


This is next up on my TBR
Cairnaerie - M.K.B. Graham

I bought this a few weeks ago but knew that I would have to put off starting it for a few weeks. Well, those weeks have passed and it is now the next thing I will read...just as soon as I finish listening to The Odyssey!

Child of Morning, Rosy Fingered Dawn
The Iliad & The Odyssey - Homer, John Lescault The Odyssey of Homer - Elizabeth Vandiver, The Great Courses, The Great Courses

At last! I've finished The Illiad portion of the story and have begun The Odyssey. What a difference!  I'm trying to decide if it is the subject matter of one versus the other that makes the one so much better, so much more readable than the other, so much easier to tell or if it is that the writing of the Odyssey is actually that much better than that of the  Illiad. Or then again, maybe I will just leave it to the critics.

Today's daily deal on Audible...
Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman, Lenny Henry
Slow going
The Iliad & The Odyssey - Homer, John Lescault

I'm about 20 books in and it is slow going. Lots of blood and gore and dead warriors. Lots of names I can't get my head around. Very repetitive--no wonder we read a very abbreviated version in high school. I can't wait for the men at war section to be over so i can down to the adventure story.


BUT a wonderful, easy to understand translation (I just have to keep reminding myself that "host" means "army" and not the "Master of the House"). AND, a marvelous narrator who uses just enough moderation of his voice that we can tell when he speaker changes. AND marvelous poetry, full of all those devices that do poetry make -- you know, all that stuff you learned in school and can't put a name to now but you sure recognize now when you hear it.

Today's daily deal on Audible...
What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves - Benjamin K. Bergen

I'm on a winning streak. This is he second "Daily Deal" this month. And oddly enough, both of them have been titles that are being read by the author, something I tend to avoid because good authors aren't necessarily good narrators. But I listened to the sample before deciding to buy and surprisingly, both authors weren't half bad.

Found on Facebook



Incidental Comics

Words and pictures by Grant Snider





I want MORE
Luck and Judgement - Peter Grainger, Gildart Jackson

I absolutely love this series but only the first three are on audio!!!


Please,please Audible, get the rest recorded so that I can get them. Gildart Jackson's narrating is so perfect that I don't want to just read them, I want to listen to them.



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