Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ghost, by Alan Lightman

  • Title:  Ghost
  • Author:  Alan Lightman
  • Borrowed from DC Public (Audiobook)
  • Started: 9/18/2015
  • Finished:  9/27/2015
I almost gave up on this one as soon as I started it.  The book just didn't grab me, nor did the narrator reading the audiobook.  But then the protagonist mentions that he was reading a novel by Japanese author about an out of work man who keeps getting harassing, sexual explicit phone calls from strange women.  I assume he meant the book I read earlier this year (and loved), The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.  I figured anyone who liked that book enough to mention it in theirs deserved a shot, so I finished it.

Didn't love it, but the story at times was interesting enough.  Not a good sign but I have to say I'm glad it is over.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cat Among the Pigeons, by Agatha Christie

  • Title:  Cat Among the Pigeons
  • Author:  Agatha Christie
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 9/11/2015
  • Finished: 9/18/2015
Not my favorite of the Poirot mysteries, but still an entertaining enough read.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Louis L'Amour Collection, by Louis L'Amour

  • Title:  Louis L'Amour Collection
  • Author:  Louis L'Amour
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 9/15/2015
  • Finished: 9/17/2015
I wasn't sure if I should include this one, but decided it fit well enough to be considered a book.  This audio production on Amazon is listed as being unabridged, but I'm pretty sure that isn't the case and that these stories are edited and re-written to work better in this superb audio production.  I hope I'm mistaken and that these are word-for-word reproductions of the original stories.

The stories included are as follow:
  • Riding for the Brand
  • The Black Rock Coffin Makers
  • Dutchman's Flat
  • The Nester and the Piute
  • Mistakes can Kill You
  • Trail to Pie Town
  • Big Medicine
All stories are narrated by Willie Nelson, who does a reasonable job.  His voice is distinctive enough to sound good with a western, even if his timing and tone are often off.  The real standout in this collection is "Riding for the Brand" which features an all start cast from the Highwaymen including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson (and Nelson as the main narrator).  That story was by far the best, such an entertaining hour of storytelling.

Definitely going to pick up some more of these kinds of Westerns, very entertaining with the phrases like "cleared leather" popping up all the time.  I was lost in another world for my 30 minute walks to and from the office and I had this playing through my headphones.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Appointment with Death, by Agatha Christie

  • Title:  Appointment with Death
  • Author:  Agatha Christie
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 9/14/2015
  • Finished: 9/15/2015
I liked this Hercule Poirot book, but not as much as some in the past.  It was a pretty short novel, set in the near east which is always a great location for Poirot book.  And I'll say this for it, I was positive I knew the outcome and Christie got the better of me.  I was totally fooled, but once Poirot explained the mystery I could see that all the clues were there.  I just was unable to correctly connect them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

  • Title:  Bird Box
  • Author:  Josh Malerman
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started:  9/10/2015
  • Finished: 9/14/2015
I tried to like this one, and sometimes I did enjoy it.  But ultimate I was never totally immersed in this dystopian world, never really cared much for the people in it.  Perhaps this is most telling -- I didn't even flinch when the dog died.

With that said, there were some well written scenes, some interesting ideas.  It wasn't painful to read, just not very satisfying.  Particularly the way (I felt) the rules for the unseen beasts kept changing.  Animals are also affected!  Except when they're not!  

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

  • Title:  The Nightingale
  • Author:  Kristin Hannah
  • Purchased from Amazon.com (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 9/1/2015
  • Finished: 9/10/2015
So I joined a book club.  Probably more accurate to say I harassed my neighbor enough to get invited into his club.  This was the book chosen for what will be my first meeting at the end of the month.

Since it is my first book for the club, I desperately wanted to give it a good review.  The book was entertaining enough, story was compelling, easy to read.  But overall I can't say I liked it.  There was something off about this book.

Something like 12,000 people on Amazon think I'm wrong, giving it 4 & 5 star reviews.  The writing was just so melodramatic, and I never once felt like any of these characters were real, or even remotely cared about what happened to them.

I'll see how the others felt at the book club, but expect to start seeing more books like this (that is, books I would not have normally chosen to read) as the book club continues.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Chill, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Chill
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 9/3/2015
  • Finished: 9/8/2015
This must be MacDonald's masterpiece, at least as far as the Lew Archer series goes.  Much as I love the Archer series, I'm surprised I've never tried to read them all in order.  I've read many of them, and the Drowning Pool was always my favorite -- until this one.  The Chill has it all, and right up to the end I was thinking "now Archer's not saying what I think he's saying, is he?"  He was.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Below, by Ryan Lockwood

Title: Below
Author: Ryan Lockwood
Borrowed from DC Public
Started: 8/27/2015
Finished: 8/30/2015

Still on the epic road trip, picked up my wife in Jackson Hole, WY and didn't listen to books for about a week as we chatted and sang to outlaw country radio on our drives north and east.

Once we entered canada and online radio options dried up, we put on this book which I thought would be a popcorn-type fun beach read. I think that's what the author was going for but didn't quite achieve. Book was pretty amateurish, read like a first novel. I wish this guy well, but would not recommend this one to anyone.