Sunday, 2 March 2014

Books and tea on a (still) wintery morning...

We seem to have had quite a bit of snow last night, as the cold wintery conditions continue.  I like the winter and I must admit that even I am getting a bit tired of this.  Thank goodness for a hot cup of tea and a good book…

I finished reading Steinbeck’s The Winter of our Discontent a few days ago, and I think I enjoyed it even more that I had done in previous readings.  I felt I was able to savour every word and phrase the author used, appreciate every image he evoked and every emotion he stirred.  It really is an amazing book, even 50 years later, and I don’t feel that it has diminished in power or significance with age.  I highly recommend it (in case you hadn’t picked that up already!!)

I started reading my next book club selection, Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay, but I’m not far enough into it to comment.  More on that next week after my book club meeting.

I also finished listening to one of the worst audiobooks I’ve encountered in a while, Shut Your Eyes Tight:  David Gurney Book 2 by John Verdon.  If you recall, I listened to the first in this thriller series, Think of a Numb3r, a while ago, and I probably summed it up by saying it was OK, not great, but not a terrible listening experience, until the end, which was way over-the-top.  I’m sure I also said that much of the “over-the-top-ness” was due in large part to the narrator’s style, as he fed this with his expressive narrating style.  These are not positive comments, so why was I compelled to listen to the second book in the series?  Because I needed something NOW?  That must have been it.  It is narrated by someone else, but that did not help.  This audiobook was 14 parts (that is long!), and even more over-the-top than the first one.   Just to sum up, it also features retired detective Dave Gurney, who is recruited by the NYPD to help solve a case from 4 months before involving the murder by decapitation of a young bride on her wedding day.  But this was no ordinary bride – she was a former student at Maple Shade, a school whose students have all had unusual experiences in their past.  The school is run by Dr Scott Ashton, a clinical psychologist and outstanding member in his field, who is specially trained to deal with these experiences.  He is also the bereaved groom.  Gurney takes on the case, despite resistance from his wife, Madeline, and begins to uncover layer upon layer of family secrets and complex plans.  That’s all I’ll say about the plot, but I will say that it was way too long and I didn’t enjoy it. 

I am now listening to Flower Net by Lisa See, a detective novel and the first in the “Red Princess” series, set in China and the U.S.  It’s not bad, but unfortunately it is abridged, which I didn’t notice when I downloaded it.  I’m not sure if I will continue to listen to it, as I do not enjoy abridged audiobooks.  I’ve been having a real challenge finding a good audiobook recently.
  
That’s all for today.  Stay warm and keep reading!


Bye for now…
Julie

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