Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday Earplugs- the Weekly audios

Several people have asked how I manage to listen to so many here's the answer:   I listen constantly if I'm not sitting physically holding a book.  And ---here's my other confession:   Shhh,,,,I'm a video game addict and have a new game I've been trying to master, so I sit at the computer, play a game, and listen to a book.

It's also baseball playoff season, so I'm spending a lot of TV time these days with my eyes on the screen, and my ears on a book.  That hobby ended abruptly this past weekend as our Red Sox decided to take an early vacation.  So I've been substituting needlework for TV viewing.  My husband is a crime writer (no more on that for now as I don't want to jinx him) so he's constantly got the TV on some shoot-em-up or other, particularly in the evenings.  Since our TV is right next to the fireplace, if I want to stay warm, I should be in that room.  It's often hard for me to 'tune out' what's on the screen, and I do love him dearly and want to be with him, so we compromise, he works on his laptop and watches Sleuth TV, and I listen to a book with good sound deadening earphones, and play video games on my laptop, or do needlework.

Also, I do some kind of physical exercise every day....either I work out on an elliptical or walk for about 40 minutes, or I drive an hour R/T to the Y to work out in the pool.  So....lots of listening.

Finally, I save the big 'chunksters' for reading...they often require a level of concentration I don't give to audios.  I tend to reserve the 'ear-reading' for short, cozy mysteries or pop fiction--although this week's batch does contain the less than spectacular non-fiction by Gore Vidal.

Here's the latest batch:

Christmas Secret
Anne Perry
Narrated by:Terrence Hardiman

An endearing cozy set in Victorian England- Anne Perry's forte.  Unlike her William Monk or Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, this stand alone features an amateur sleuth, a country vicar and his wife, who think they are simply spending Christmas at a rural parish while the current vicar goes on vacation.  Instead they find themselves solving a mystery.   A lovely little story, easy to read, and easy to listen to as an audio.  I've done both.  And I just found out these are an annual event, so I have four more to track down and read/listen to.

Inventing a Nation
Gore Vidal
Narrated by: Paul Hecht & Gore Vidal
If you've read any biographies of the 1st three presidents, this book will actually be boring, unless you are a great fan of Gore Vidal's snarky 'insights.'  I didn't learn anything new, and found myself constantly asking "What's the point?"  It's a quick read for those who want only an overview of these three founders, and who don't mind editorial comments mixed in with their 'history.'  I'd almost say a waste of time unless the subject matter is completely unknown to you (and don't ask me the focus of the subject matter--I couldn't find the focus.)

Death in a Strange Country
Donna Leon
Narrated by : Anna Fields
Abandoned Book

I'm a big fan of Donna Leon and of this Commissario Guido Brunetti series.  However, I could not listen to this because the narrator has such a poor command of Italian.  Leon often has her characters speaking in either Italian or Venetian dialects, and other narrators in this series bring that glorious language to life.  Anna Fields slaughters it, and it was too painful to listen to.  I'll have to track this one down in print.


Devil's Claw
Narrated by: Stephanie Brush

Another episode in the continuing adventures of Joanna Brady, the first (and only) female sheriff in Arizona. Joanna is eagerly anticipating her wedding in a few weeks, although not eager about meeting her fiance's parents.  In the meantime, she's trying to solve a murder, locate a missing teenager who happens to be the daughter of the murder victim, deal with the unexpected death of her beloved next-door neighbor, keep her mother and future mom-in-law off her back, and keep her feet on the ground. In all of this she is supported by her future husband-Butch, her daughter, and her staff, who all become more like friends with each book in the series.

I was a bit confused about the ending at first, I really had to sit down and almost draw myself a diagram to see how the pieces fit so nicely together.  Jance's explanation may have wrapped it all up a bit too neatly, and left me saying 'Huh?'  When I finally understood what had happened and why, it made sense, but I think the resolution of the main crime (the murder) case could have been a bit more carefully explained as far as who all the players were and how they were involved.


  1. The Phillies are still in it!

    And I am sorry to say that I don't think I can love a book that I have to diagram.

  2. I love the Phinatic....from my short stay of living in South Philly...sure hope they make to beat the dreaded Yankees.

  3. LOL..."That hobby ended abruptly this past weekend as our Red Sox decided to take an early vacation".

    I love the Sox but am so glad it's over for them; they were pathetic, and making us miserable. My husband is also a Phillies fan so there is still hope.

  4. So many Phillies fans! I used to be a Cubs fan but since I moved to PA the Phillies have grown on me. Or it could be the Phanatic, love him. Go Phils!

    I'm amazed at your powers of concentration. How can you do so many things at once? My husband MUST have the TV on so I work crossword puzzles or knit. Can't read in the evening at all :-(



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