Terse and to the point!

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




Another SNIP from Facebook...

Shopping the Two-for-1 credit sale.


I managed to find two titles in the very limited selection of books. Would have bought more if they weren't already on my shelf. ;-)


The Murmur of Bees audiobook cover art   Playing with Fire audiobook cover art




UPDATE: One last pass through the sale pile, just to see if anything else jumps out....



The Spy Who Came in from the Cold audiobook cover artLittle House on the Prairie audiobook cover art



2020 Reading List -- February


YTD: Count 16 and  Hours 173:42
Goal for the year: 100 books and 1500 hours



February, 2020
  1. Great Expectations --NEW8
  2. Great Courses: The Vikings --NEW9  HISTORY1
  3. Hell Is Empty -- NEW10
  4. How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England -- NEW11  HISTORY2
  5. Junkyard Dog -- NEW12
  6. Quichotte -- NEW13
  7. Raven Black -- NEW14
  8. Songbird -- Re-read




Songbird audiobook cover artQuichotte audiobook cover artHow to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England audiobook cover art




MTD: Count 8 and Hours  91


Updating Mount TBR

I have been a busy little beaver since the middle of January and have managed to make my way through a goodly chunk of Mt. TBR.


I read 12 out of 22 titles (Chaucer is missing from the screen snip below) and have only added three not yet revealed titles. There is a post-Christmas dearth of price reductions and sales on Audible and the Daily Deals have been uninteresting.

4 Stars
How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England
How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England: A Guide for Knaves, Fools, Harlots, Cuckolds, Drunkards, Liars, Thieves, and Braggarts - Ruth Goodman, Jennifer M. Dixon

Loved it. What a delightful romp. This book has it all: unacceptable language obscene, basphemous and slanderous, telling gestures, social climbing, bad table manners, how to walk in period dress, cross-dressing, body parts and noises, STDs. Scholarly with cites from contemporary sources yet comfortably informal in the telling. A must for readers/writers of historical novels of the period.

Snipping Again from Facebook

Thanks, Mike



Interview With The Robot - Lee Bacon


Thank you, Mike Finn. I am going to give it a try. I don't usually read the AO titles with multiple narrators. I learned early on that the embellishment of music and multiple actors tends to drive me crazy. I am not the Sesame generation and I like things slow and simple, no sensory overload. Still, Mike has not steered me wrong yet, so I just added this one to my library.


Update:  I stayed up past my bedtime last night. I could not turn it off. Not only was the story engaging but the multiple narrators was well-done and there was no superfluous music marking the chapters or guiding my emotions. I loved the Tom Hanks and Wil Wheaton sound alike narrators.


Thank you again, Mike Finn.

2020 Reading List -- Eight and Counting
Some changes for 2020. This is still the official reading tally because not all of my titles are on the BL-DB. However, a yearly list is just too unwieldy and inelegant.  So, I've decided to go monthly (LOL. I see you all jumping up and down for joy). 
YTD: Count 8 and Hours 60
Goal for the year: 100 books and 1500 hours
January, 2020
  1. The Early Cases of Hercule Poirot -- NEW7
  2. Dead Lions -- NEW6
  3. Interview With The Robot --NEW5
  4. In the Wet -- re-read
  5. The Canterbury Tales -- NEW1
  6. The Sittaford Mystery -- NEW2
  7. Any Other Name -- NEW3
  8. The Second-Worst Restaurant in France -- NEW4



Interview with the Robot audiobook cover artThe Canterbury Tales [Blackstone] audiobook cover artThe Sittaford Mystery audiobook cover art

Twenty Four Festive Tasks: Door 24, The Last



Yes, I know that 24 Tasks ended two weeks ago but I have a story share, something that has occurred since the end of the game.


One of the on-going themes of the season is "miracles" and while I think they are mostly about chance, I most recently experienced a 'miracle' and want to share the story.


On January 7, the day after Epiphany, we were in the city of Santiago de Compostela, the supposed burial place of St. James and a huge pilgrimage destination for Christians, who have walk the "Camino de Santiago" a well-trodden path from the French Pyrennes to the Cathedral of St. James (Santiago) in the northwest of Spain for many centuries. We had come by cruise ship and a shore excursion offered by the ship and even though we had a very short time in the city, I have always wanted to visit this city. We had a lovely tour.


We were within a half hour of heading back to the buses when I realized, that I didn't know where my hearing aid was, that I had lost track of it and had not been as careful with it when I removed it to put in the earphone to listen to the guide as I should have been. It was not in my jacket pocket and I could not locate it in my bag. It was going to be an expensive bit of carelessness to set to rights.


At this point, tea and cakes were being served before we got back on the buses. I was obviously very upset and ranting in two languages. I sent DH to get us cups of tea while I proceeded to empty everything from my bag, looking for the damned thing, talking with DH in English and the guides in Spanish (mostly in coherent mutterings and cursing myself for my stupidity).  My hearing aid was GONE and the damned little thing was expensive. Rosana, our wonderful guide, and the rest of the guides knew what was going but there was really little anyone could do about it. We had covered a lot of territory and the device itself was the same color as the paving stones we were walking on. I looked for it the entire walk back to the bus. At this point, I was pretty sure where I had lost it--when I had gone into my bag to get my gloves, which I did while we were walking along.


I walked the entire way back to the ship looking for it, hoping I might see it on the ground waiting for me and thinking about the paperwork that I would need to fill out if I were going to file a claim against the travel insurance to maybe, possibly recover some of the replacement cost of the damned gadget.


We are almost back to the parking lot, when Rosana approached me waving my hearing aid in her hand. A gentleman saw it on the ground, recognized what it was and gave it to the guide for his bus, who in turn gave it to Rosana. I gave her a huge hug but I never did learn who it was exactly I have to thank for its return. Yes, even I will say that it was miracle that it was found.









At last, I have come to the last door, my final post. Between the game and all of the other not quite as festive tasks of the season, the last two months of 2019 have flown by. It has been a good year. 
Many, many, many thanks to the Magistri Ludi, The Masters of the Games-- Moonlight Reader, MurderByDeath, Themis-AthenaTea-Stitch-Read (aka Mrs. Claus' Tea House) and this year's Racing Steward Darth Pedant -- who have out done themselves. Looking forward to more fun and games in 2020. 
Task 1: Prepare your favorite spicy dish or drink; share a picture and enjoy. (Sharing the recipe is optional.)
Meh. I am done cooking for the year!
 Task 2: Have you ever had an “epiphany” of your own, in the sense of a sudden revelation or insight? If so, share that “ah-HAH” moment with us.
Not really. I'm as thick as a two planks and slow on the uptake to boot.
 Task 3:  George and Martha Washington were married on Twelfth Night in 1759. She wore purple silk slippers ( ). In honor of the first FLOTUS, wear purple socks or slippers and share a picture of them with us.
I have a couple of purple shirts but no socks or slippers that fit the bill. :-(
Task 4:  In Ireland, Epiphany is also sometimes called “Nollaig na mBean” or Women's Christmas. Traditionally the women get the day off and men do the housework and cooking! It is becoming more popular and many Irish women now get together on the Sunday nearest Epiphany and have tea and cakes. ( ) Take a picture of your book for this square (Epiphany) or of the book you are currently reading with a mug of tea and snack or enjoy a cream tea.
Book: Read a book featuring three main characters, about traveling on a journey to a faraway place, a book that’s part of a trilogy, with a star on the cover, with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title, or concerning kings or spices.
Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
Twelve Angry Men audiobook cover art
Tally: 0+Book= 1 
(Final total: 81)


Mt. TBR for 2020

I have been stockpiling (sandbagging) new purchases since September and this is what I have to look forward to in the New Year.


I plan to start the year --just as soon as I get back vacation -- with an unabridged edition of something I have never read cover to cover:


The Canterbury Tales [Blackstone] audiobook cover art



From there, I plan to go, in some yet to be decided (il?)logical order, devouring these titles that have been patiently awaiting my attention:




The Sittaford Mystery audiobook cover art

The Second-Worst Restaurant in France audiobook cover artThe Early Cases of Hercule Poirot audiobook cover art

The Tangled Tree audiobook cover artSongbird audiobook cover artThe Case of the Man Who Died Laughing audiobook cover art

Dead Lions audiobook cover artQuichotte audiobook cover artRaven Black audiobook cover artAny Other Name audiobook cover art

Hell Is Empty audiobook cover artJunkyard Dogs audiobook cover artUnderstanding Complexity audiobook cover artTen Drugs audiobook cover art

Great Expectations audiobook cover artDon Quixote audiobook cover artSurely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! audiobook cover artHow to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England audiobook cover art

A Passage to India audiobook cover artUnderstanding Japan audiobook cover artThe Vikings audiobook cover art



Audible Originals July, 2019- ...


December, 2019



This is my last update of this post and my last post about Audible Originals and the giveaway program. I have made my point about these titles and don't need to torture myself or anyone else following this post with the unrelenting stream of negative comments about the titles that Audible is giving away free so that they can tout the titles as best-sellers (sorry, but that is cheating and titles that have been give away or sold as daily-deals should not be entitled to "best seller" status).
After 20 months of choosing and listening to titles, I have come to the conclusion that the idea of Audible Originals is good but the execution leaves way, way too much to be desired -- and that is putting it nicely. 



November, 2019


I think I have picked two but I'm waiting to see the reviews...




This month we have three memoirs, kiddie lit (which I like to see in the mix even if I might not choose it), a family drama and true crime.



October, 2019


This month's wheelbarrowful...





Horror, violence, other people's troubles.No thanks. Not even the R.L. Stine.


September, 2019


A slight improvement, very slight.




The Sisters is out. It comes with a warning: Please note: This audio contains strong language, distressing situations, and descriptions of violence that some listeners may find upsetting. Discretion is advised.



Mystwick School... " musical interludes, and original compositions included in this audio (all performed by the NJSO Youth Orchestras)." Audible has commissioned the music-- a company whose opinions rarely gibe with mine. Well, this is either going to be really good or really bad but at least it won't be strewn with graphic violence -- and there is only one narrator.


Martin Sheen is already in My LIbrary but I haven't listened to it yet.


Press Pause.Self-help for children. No thanks.


True-crime? Not that either.


Finally, a play with cover art that is everything the story is not. Too sad a story for me.


So, just one title this month.



August, 2019


Another load of twaddle!



Let's see what this month's selection holds: "An Audible Original from Audible Theater, Wally Roux, Quantum Mechanic is an Emerging Playwrights Commission, written for and available exclusively on Audible." No thanks. Two self-promotional titles one of which is labeled, "It Burns is intended for a mature audience and contains graphic descriptions of violence."  Double no thanks to  self-help, to free advertising and to violence so bad that it needs a warning. A kids' book. No thanks. "Our team in London has modernized and re-imagined Stevenson’s classic coming-of-age adventure story for the entire family." Last time I read one of these from the Audible Studios I lasted 5 minutes; I'm not giving them a second change. So, another no thanks.Finally, the only book that seems it might be even be good is a book of horror and ghost stories--and I don't like reading scary books. So, no thanks.


Since all of these freebie downloads count towards the "Best Selling" statistics of the title and since this titles cannot be returned, I am at the point of being super-critical and won't download anything unless I think it is right up my alley. I have been burned too many times. So, this month my Audible Originals haul is a big fat zero




July, 2019


UPDATE: Started the Correia. D!N!F! Bad, bad, bad (and not in the good way) adolescent body-parts-and-fart noise humor, with the emphasis on BAD and not the rest of the adjectives. I don't mind bawdy but it has to be funny. This was not. Definitely not written for sexagenarians. At least it was a freebie.


I'm not yet sure what to make of this bunch--other than it is better than last month's batch. We have dinosaurs and Babe Ruth, neither of which I am interested in. Proof of Love is a one-man show and it is about family dynamics--and I can only take so many plays about family dynamics. With so many other titles in the running, I will pass on this one. This leaves me having to choose from among the last three. The moon math is a definite because 50 years ago this month, we put a man on the moon. So that leaves me with Rivals and Larry Correia to decide between. The winner is the Correia because 1) it is about an insurance salesman 2) it has 8400+ reviews while the other titles are counting in the low hundred or even just double digits and 3) since he is wildly popular and wildly prolific, I should at least read something by the man.


A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs audiobook cover artScrewball audiobook cover artThe Man Who Knew the Way to the Moon audiobook cover art

Proof of Love audiobook cover artRivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World audiobook cover artThe Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent audiobook cover art


 My big beef about all of them is that they are just too short. I could be negative and say that they were chosen to appeal to those with short attention spans; or, I could be positive and call them a palate cleanser, something short to read between longer reads. I'll let the reader decide.



Twenty Four Festive Tasks: Door 23




Task 1: Glingleglingleglingle – if you could wish any kind of god(dess) or fairy into existence, what would they be in charge of?
Without a doubt, a housekeeping god (not goddess) to do ALL cleaning and organizing.
Task 2: Who is your favorite Discworld character and why?
I can't choose. I have enjoyed everyone one I have met so far.
Task 3:  If you could spend time in the world of one of the Discworld sub-series (or one of the standalone Discworld novels), which one would you pick – and why?
 Again, I just am not familiar enough with the individual series; I haven't read enough of them.
Task 4:  In Terry Pratchett’s and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, who do you root more for: Aziraphale or Crowley? Or another character? (And in each case: why?)
Oh, dear! It has been so long since I read the book that I don't remember anything about it or who I preferred when I did read it.
Book: Any- and everything Terry Pratchett.
For the members of the Discworld group: This of course includes the Discworld December read, Guards! Guards!, as well as some group members' favorite seasonal reread, 
Hogfather audiobook cover art
This is quickly become an annual tradition, not just re-reading it but making it the last book read for 24 Festive Tasks.
Tally: 1+ Book= 2 (Running total: 80)
Twenty Four Festive Tasks: Door 22


Task 1: Tell us: What are your reading goals for the coming year?
My reading goal really does not change from year to year: 200 books (yes, it is a reach and this year may well be a one-off), 1500 hours, at least 50 new titles, at least 4 history titles, at least one science title and at least one more non-fiction title, maybe a new author and hopefully something  that is off my beaten path. 
Task 2: The reading year in review: How did you fare – what was good, what wasn’t?
 Oh, my goodness! What a year! For the first time, I actually read more than 200 books in a year. There are a couple of titles that I read twice but I still count them as separate reads. Snakes and Ladders, BL-opoly and 24 tasks really helped my numbers. I do a lot of re-reading in any year--my comfort reads, my dependable friends. I read some real bombs this year but fortunately they were mostly freebies from the Audible Originals monthly giveaways. I have been working my way through the Walt Longmire series and reached the end of the DC Smith series. I'm slowly adding Terry Prachett to my bookshelves and Mike Finn introduced me to The Slough House series.  I have been sandbagging new purchases for a few months now, saving them for 2020. So far,I have 17 titles on the TBR. Audible's final sale of the year just began and I see at least two titles on the list that I'm going to add to my library.
Task 3: Bibliomancy: Ask a question related to your reading plans or experience in the coming year, open one of your weightiest tomes on page 485, and find the answer to your question in line 7.
Apple is no longer making the iPod Nano. What am I going to do when mine dies??  Besides cry. I don't want to walk around with my cell phone in my pocket all the time and I have been using a Nano for at least 15 years now.
/stage directions: reach to book shelf, pick up the first book that looks like it might meet the page requirement, open book/ Yes, well the closest shelf to my desk chair is the shelf with all the travel books and the first tome I saw large enough is 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Can you tell where this is going?
Here is what it says on page 485, line 7...
Temple, built by royalty who held court in
If anyone has even half an idea as to what this means apropos my second best friend, my constant companion (since #1 still goes to work each morning), please, please share your thoughts. 
Task 4: Tell us: Which famous person, dead or alive and no matter from which walk of life, would you like to invite to your New Year’s Eve party, and what contribution (food, games / entertainment, etc.) would you tell them to bring?
Book: Read a book about an ending or a new start, where things go BOOM, with fireworks on the cover, set in medieval times, about the papacy, or where miracles of any sort are performed.
 Hot Money by Dick Francis
(also  Dead Heat (the grandstand) and Decider (the grandstand) but I will save them for another another time when things go boom)
Tally: 3+ Book= 1 (Running total: 78)
Twenty Four Festive Tasks: Door 21



Task 1: Share a shelfie or the picture of a stack of books or of an “object” (star, Christmas tree, etc.) created from books with red, black and green covers.
Task 2: Music is an important part of a Kwanzaa celebration. Which is / are your favorite book(s) where music plays an important role in the plot?
Task 3: Corn, in the context of Kwanzaa, symbolizes of our children and our future which they represent. Make / eat a corn dish. Recipes:
Task 4: Cup of Unity is another Kwanzaa symbol. Either buy a friend a coffee / tea / etc. or start a small tab ($10 or less) at a local coffee shop and buy a coffee / tea for strangers behind you in line.
Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author, with a green, red, or black cover, or with crops of the earth or a native African animal on the cover (lion, giraffe, cheetah, etc.).
The Color of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith
The Colors of All the Cattle audiobook cover art
Tally: 0+ Book= 1 (Running total: 74)
Twenty Four Festive Tasks: Door 20



Task 1: Share a picture of your holiday decorations.
It doesn't get very holiday around here until the hanukkiyot come out and we try to start the house on fire. We are halfway through the celebration now, fire extinguisher at the ready. Other families have their traditions and we have ours: we light one hanukkiyah for each of us -- DH, our three children, our grandson and me -- so it real does look like a bonfire by the time we get to the 8th night.
Some years I will add other decorations to the mix, depending on what I see in the stores (usually the gummy things that stick to the windows). But since it is basically just DH, DD and me this year, I didn't decorate.
Eight night, all ablaze.
Task 2: Watch a favorite Christmas movie.
 LOL, too busy reading books and baking cookies
Task 3:  Did your Christmas celebrations include books? Share your book haul pictures with us.
Just one book this year, from my son-in-law, perfect for the language loving Granny...
   Saving it for January.
Task 4: What was the best Christmas / holiday present you ever received – the one that meant the most to you or gave you the greatest joy? (This can be anything; objects / material gifts as well as something someone did for you, or anything else – whatever made that particular holiday especially memorable.)
Book: Read a Christmas book.
 The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
The Twelve Clues of Christmas audiobook cover art
 (I must say that I do love the cover art on this series.)
Tally: 2+ Book= 3 (Running total: 73)
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