Categories
Audiobooks Biography Book Reviews Books Nonfiction

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Advertisements
Advertisements

The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.

John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Advertisements

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a book to savor.

I listened via audiobook, narrated by the author John Green, always easy to listen to, calm, well-enunciated, lyrical at times. Was also lovely to flip through my hardcover copy.

I’d recommend this one to anyone, would make a great gift, especially graduates, people working on English language acquisition, and anyone looking for a surprise me aspect of learning anything, as well as a book that you want to take your time with over a long period of time. Would also make a great book club pick.

The Story
It’s a compilation of several. Many I was already familiar with from the Anthropocene Reviewed podcast, which felt both special and nostalgic to me even as the very subject matter felt nostalgic to me. Random stories, others deeper subject matter, depicting life circumstances, human nature, and all responses to it. Some fun and intriguing, others perplexing and reflective.

I did notice some were rerecorded which brought additional relevance given the circumstances of this past year. Some with a more personal take or reflection as such which I quite appreciated.

Ranges a variety of personal experiences, pop culture, and random subject matter that would make you a star in pub trivia or general conversation/ice breaker.

The Writing
Well-paced, enjoyed the curation and the order of the stories, heavy topics mixed with more lighthearted ones, some descriptions with words defined as it went along, some with surrounding sentence structure that brought context, others I was eager to look up.

For fellow readers who are wondering, my copy was signed in a lovely shade of green Sharpie.

MY FAVORITE LINES:

“But knowing something abstractly is different than knowing it experientially.”

“How can this be happening? You do so much yoga.”

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Fantasy Fiction

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Advertisements
Advertisements

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Advertisements

Rating: 1 out of 5.
Advertisements

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Ugh. Loved the concept but I’m sad that it was so boring and slow for me. Really a snooze, having spent so much time on a book that ended with such little yield. I didn’t enjoy this one for many reasons.

Readers looking for a fantasy escape, with a dual timeline, willing to give something a try that covers a lot of concepts about growing up and unconventional relationships may enjoy this one more than I did. Those who enjoy a lot of description in their reads will likely find it more compelling as well.

I listened via audiobook, narrated by Julia Whelan who was good. I loved her French pronunciation. I was fond of her calling out voice, the higher pitches of her voice, felt those registers brought out the characters more. Or perhaps a much needed awakening back to the story.

So sadly, to my surprise, overall this book was just tedious over uninteresting matter. I thought I was going to love this book because the concept explored in the storyline was incredibly appealing; however, there was just not enough substance to make a complete and satisfying story. The characters and plot had so much potential but felt dull to me. The details didn’t add a lot to the characters or the plot, in fact they often overshadowed them.

Grab a snack and beverage, this is probably going to be a long one. I’m being reminded and impassioned as I write this. Mostly just my notes lined out.

The Story
The progression was painfully slow.

Not enough pull or interest to keep me excited for the main story or the side stories, no desire to root for the main character and her hopes, never mind the sexual escapades and successive mentioning of freckles which felt were overemphasized, overdone, and I was over it at the third mention.

Repetitive scenarios.

I never really figured out what the main character wanted in life, this freedom described was without any real definition.

I supposed what it came down to was that our protagonist was never called to do something, I felt I completely missed the call to action, even after having restarted it twice.

The plot danced around action. I was hoping for an evoking battle scene. But without much supporting emotion, I felt disconnected and less invested in what was to come when responses came around.

A lot of density packed into one book for such little in return. Way longer of a book than I felt it needed to be.

The ending, all that plowing through and this is how it ended, no twist to quench my imagination?

Tone
Came off as trying to be deep when sometimes things aren’t that deep.

Desperate to be counter culture, just comes across as difficult and antagonistic, less relatable to me.

Doesn’t dive deep into emotional complexities and humanistic qualities such as mixed emotions, but rather too black and white for my taste.

This book stole my energy.

The Writing
I enjoyed the dual timeline as an idea and many aspects derived from that in parts sounded promising, though that amount of cumulative life experience didn’t add anything amazing or unique to the story as a whole like I’d hoped.

Detailed, not precise language, my most disappointing factor.

Pacing
Too slow for my taste.

Descriptions
The imagery was lost because of so much detail. Much like this and like that, simile that would have stood strong without the noting comparison.

The imagery started strong but then it was followed by an explanation, making it lackluster, losing the effect originally intended, more clarification and detail which drowned out the simplicity of words. Example, mention of Venn diagram, then explaining the circles overlap. The impact would have been so much more without a supporting description in my opinion.

The Characters
Main character was dry and portrayed as what I felt was too idealistic. It was hard to know what she valued. More oppositional to being a wife and having children which would have made a less traditional path on life for the time/setting, but lacked any compelling notion because the definition of freedom and having a life her own was never defined and never truly developed aside from the vague statements.

I’m finding myself favoring more straightforward description and more subtleness in the message and delivery these days, I may look forward to checking out another story sometime in the future.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Advertisements
Heart Coffee | Erica Robbin
Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Featured Fiction Romance

The Shop on Blossom Street (Blossom Street #1) by Debbie Macomber

Advertisements

Rating: 1 out of 5.
Advertisements

The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I’m sad, I didn’t like this one. I really enjoy Debbie Macomber’s books, other fans may enjoyed it, but this one just didn’t work for me.

I listened via audiobook, narrated by Linda Edmond, a pleasant voice overall, however with lots of extra long pauses in between sentences, which was ok, probably great for most people, but for me, faster speeds were better, but then made the rest of the sentences unbalanced and too fast. Became a bit of reading monotony over time. I liked her voice better when she was more animated, made for less lower register and therefore less low-effort tone and less vocal fry.

The Story
I don’t know. Was more of a survival story than anything and an overly detailed one at that. Which was okay, except it was boring. Just droned on and on and I hate having to say that about a survival story, but all the tension was built around that from the get go without any common relatability factor or charm or connectivity that I wanted in order to bring myself into the plot, especially because I was so drawn to the cover. I wanted an atmosphere that was built upon the hype of a cute love story, wandering around a village, an adorable shoppe, community. I couldn’t keep my attention on it so I DNF’d at some point, losing interest pretty early on.

The Writing
Slow and overly detailed. Just lost interest early on and didn’t see how reading on would recapture my attention.

Oh well, learning my tastes, learning what I like and don’t like and this one just wasn’t for me.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Featured Historical Nonfiction Nonfiction

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson

Advertisements
Advertisements

Can a boy be trapped in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine reassign sex? Is our sex assigned to us in the first place? What is the most loving response to a person experiencing a conflicted sense of gender? What should our law say on matters of gender identity?

When Harry Became Sally provides thoughtful answers to questions arising from our transgender moment. Drawing on the best insights from biology, psychology, and philosophy, Ryan Anderson offers a nuanced view of human embodiment, a balanced approach to public policy on gender identity, and a sober assessment of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.

This book exposes the contrast between the media’s sunny depiction of gender fluidity and the often sad reality of living with gender dysphoria. Everyone has something at stake in the controversies over transgender ideology, and Anderson offers a strategy for pushing back with principle and prudence, compassion and grace.

Advertisements

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was really interesting. I had a lot of questions going into it. I find myself wanting to read banned books from time to time. Sales are currently banned on Amazon.

I listened to via audiobook narrated by Tom Parks who had rich, calm tone, which made for a pleasant reading experience.

I think those who have a lot of questions, wonderings, and need to get catch up to the current transgender climate and movement going forward will get a lot out of this one. Covers an array of past, current, and future social, philosophical, medical, cultural, and political implications.

I feel it takes a bit of a discerning reader to understand not only the context in which it was written but understanding will vary with application to the current social climate and daily experiences that people may have. It explored a lot of concepts I learned in university sociology, ethics, and philosophy courses, all of which would make for interesting ideas/topics for a writing essay. Would also make an interesting book club discussion for those interested in such subjects.

More U.S. centric which was fine, just something to note for audiences.

The Story
I suppose the best way to explain the story is that it goes into detail about a lot of topics surrounding transgenderism ranging from individual experience to activism and the differences between the two.

It explained a lot of concepts and goes into great detail, though some where more belabored, others less explored where I wanted more, but if you have such questions as I did, you may find this book to be more satisfactory to your interests. I’ll just leave it at that as the subject matter is controversial and deserves thoughtful exploration and in-person conversation with audiences willing to discuss.

The basics/definition from a physiological standpoint:
What is the measure of success and are there moving goal posts?
Innate versus social construct?
Nature versus nurture.
Embryology, biological function, sexual differentiation.
Disruption of development and the irreversibility.
Choice feminism.
Choice and equality.
What is the biological context and issues raised?
How is biology and fluidity viewed and reinforced?
Can a man know what it is to be a female? Female to be a male based on the classifications provided?
Concepts such as explaining how one feels to determine their reality.

Social implications:
Interests and needs.
What about women’s shelter concerns? Prisons? School camps, lockers, hotels?
Discrimination versus accommodation, how should invasion of privacy be defined and handled?
Shared public places, such as issues that may arise with gender identity bathroom access and changing rooms for sexual crime offenders.
What are viewpoints from around the world, UAE, Singapore?
Autogynophilia.
Sexual deviance.
Caution or skepticism.

The future, what does it look like moving forward:
Objective testing.
Gender structure.
The root of suffering versus happiness.
Does surgery alleviate the psychological struggle?
Surgical success as far as emotional, psychological well-being.
Self-rejection and betrayal.
No legal definition of gender identity.
Dignity of work dependent on pay.

The Writing
It was relatively complete according to the book description.

Organization was ok. At times I thought it made sense chronologically, others took on a more topic-based approach which sort of went back in forth in the timeline, but I could see how difficult it would be to explain concepts with a presupposition for another, especially if you want to convey a certain worldview/experience. Historical context, give or take 20-50 years up to current legislation, was reviewed at length which I very much appreciated.

Some opinion pieces made it more like a social commentary which was fine, sort of had to go into it knowing it’s not an academic resource but more of a rhetorical turned promotional approach with a defined endpoint/conclusion.

I think the subject matter would be intriguing to talk about as it relates to the writing/publication/reading world.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Biography Book Reviews Books Featured Historical Nonfiction Mystery Nonfiction

The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, a Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation by Rich Cohen

Advertisements
Advertisements

Albert Hicks was a feared, shadowy figure of the New York underworld in the mid-1800s. Handsome and charismatic, he was known to frequent the dive bars and gin joints of the Five Points, the most dangerous neighborhood in maritime Manhattan. For years, he operated out of the public eye, rambling from crime to crime, working on the water, in ships, sleeping in the nickel-a-night flops, drinking in barrooms where rat-baiting and bear-baiting were great entertainments.

Hicks’s criminal career reached its peak in 1860, when he was hired, under an alias, as an extra hand on an oyster sloop. His plan was to rob the ship, make his getaway, and disappear in the teaming streets of lower Manhattan, as he’d done numerous times before. But the plan went awry, and the voyage turned into a massacre. In the straits of Coney Island, on a foggy night, the ghost sloop, adrift and unmanned, was rammed by another vessel. When police boarded the ship to investigate, they found blood and gore everywhere, no bodies, only the grisly signs of struggle. A manhunt was launched for the mysterious merchant seaman on the manifest.

Long fascinated by gangster legends, Rich Cohen tells the story of this notorious underworld figure for the first time, from his humble origins to his incarnation as a demon who terrorized the Five Points and became the gangster most feared by other gangsters, at a time when pirates anchored off of 14th street.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Advertisements

The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, a Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation by Rich Cohen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was great. I’d recommend it to anyone. I listened via audiobook, narrated by Ari Flakos, one of my favorites. Easy to listen to, conciseness, clarity, and I liked his Spanish pronunciation. Anyone interested in true crime biographies of maritime and gangster legends in the urban setting of New York State will appreciate this one.

The Story
Covered everything about Albert Hicks, a pirate I knew nothing about. Also an era of PT Barnum, the entertainment of the day to phrenology, studying one’s physical characteristics that show what type of person they are personality-wise.

The Writing
I loved the description of the setting, Manhattan, over 160 years ago, from leafy elegance to urban nightmare.

I got a lot out of it and enjoyed the ease of listening to it.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Advertisements
The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, a Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation by Rich Cohen | Erica Robbin
Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Featured Fiction Mystery Romance

Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden (Agatha Raisin #9) by M.C. Beaton

Advertisements
Simon Schuster Logo | Erica Robbin

Refer your friends for our Book Club newsletter and earn free books!

There is nothing more depressing for a middle-aged lovelorn woman with bald patches on her head than to find herself in an English seaside resort out of season. Agatha Raisin, her hair falling out after a run-in with a hairdresser-cum-murderess from a previous investigation, travels to an old-fashioned hotel in order to repair the damage away from the neighbors in her all-too-cozy Cotswolds village.

Unhappy about the slow results and prompted by the elderly residents of the resort, she consults the local witch for help. Agatha purchases a hair tonic (and a love potion, just in case!) and is soon sprouting hairs and capturing the fancy of the village police inspector. But the quiet town is stunned by the murder of the witch. Which of the graying guests is capable of such a brutal crime? The brassy yet endearing Agatha won’t stop until she finds the culprit-and, of course, a little love too.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OH Agatha, you’ve gone and done it again! I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Penelope Keith, so spot-on animated and fun to listen to. Amazingly never gets dull, tuckered out, or old.

The Story
The predicaments just get so creative and even though there’s the same theme, the relationship chase, the meandering around that finds Agatha in trouble, the amateur detective entertained me once again.

The Writing
Simple and flowed effortlessly in this one and I liked the placing of the big reveal in this one.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Fantasy Featured Fiction Humor Science Fiction

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore

Advertisements
Simon Schuster Logo | Erica Robbin

Refer your friends for our Book Club newsletter and earn free books!

Maui Island | Erica Robbin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So entertaining, I laughed the entire time. I listened via audiobook, narrated by Bill Irwin who was great. Not always his most enthusiastic self, but when he gets into character, the storytelling becomes so dynamically amusing. He has a wonderful, commanding voice, an occasional fade that I had a hard time picking up on from time to time, still very enjoyable anyway. Loved the whale sounds, a nice touch. I’d recommend this one to anyone who is looking for something funny and lighthearted.

The Story
Moore, a comedic genius. Outlandish, but makes perfect sense at the same time.

The Writing
Again, Moore, a comedic genius. Not pretentious or try-hard, just telling it like it is which is my favorite style.

And I learned some things about the whales.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Blue Whales Breeching | Erica Robbin
Blue Whales Breeching, Maui, Hawaii | Erica Robbin
Advertisements
Maui Sailing | Erica Robbin
Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Featured Historical Nonfiction Nonfiction

The Year of Dangerous Days Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980 by Nicholas Griffin

Advertisements

In the tradition of The Wire, the harrowing story of the cinematic transformation of Miami, one of America’s most bustling cities—rife with a drug epidemic, a burgeoning refugee crisis, and police brutality—from journalist and award-winning author Nicholas Griffin

Miami, Florida, famed for its blue skies and sandy beaches, is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, with nearly twenty-three million tourists visiting annually. But few people have any idea how this unofficial capital of Latin America came to be.

The Year of Dangerous Days is a fascinating chronicle of a pivotal but forgotten year in American history. With a cast that includes iconic characters such as Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, and Janet Reno, this slice of history is brought to life through intertwining personal stories. At the core, there’s Edna Buchanan, a reporter for the Miami Herald who breaks the story on the wrongful murder of a black man and the shocking police cover-up; Captain Marshall Frank, the hardboiled homicide detective tasked with investigating the murder; and Mayor Maurice Ferré, the charismatic politician who watches the case, and the city, fall apart.

On a roller coaster of national politics and international diplomacy, these three figures cross paths as their city explodes in one of the worst race riots in American history as more than 120,000 Cuban refugees land south of Miami, and as drug cartels flood the city with cocaine and infiltrate all levels of law enforcement. In a battle of wills, Buchanan has to keep up with the 150 percent murder rate increase; Captain Frank has to scrub and rebuild his homicide bureau; and Mayor Ferré must find a way to reconstruct his smoldering city. Against all odds, they persevere, and a stronger, more vibrant Miami begins to emerge. But the foundation of this new Miami—partially built on corruption and drug money—will have severe ramifications for the rest of the country.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Miami 1980 by Nicholas Griffin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Interesting, insightful, I learned so much. I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Pete Simonelli who was pleasant to listen to. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone.

I came into it having visited Miami just a handful of times, wondering about how much Miami has changed over the years, the cultural exchange and influence, crime data analysis, and wondering what ever happened to that little boy named Elián who come into country floating on a raft, remembering the news reels, the wet feet, dry feet policy and the controversy over that, events leading up to how it all came to be.

The Story
I feel like it presented a fair assessment. Everything from culture of law enforcement, criminal conviction. Drug trade. Crisis and money exchange. Permissive and restrictive regulations. Drug enforcement tactic. Justice system. All coming down to questions about violent minorities representing immigrants, Cubans seeking asylum, language integration and language exclusion, cuisine variation, and how it all came to be, Miami, deemed as an unofficial capital of Latin America.

The Writing
It was easy to get into. I enjoyed the organization, the timeline both chronological, but also a re-examination of events with new information and context as they were seen and now.

A complex and fascinating history.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Featured Fiction Mystery Romance

Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham (Agatha Raisin #8) by M.C. Beaton

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So funny. You already know how invested I am in this series. I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Penelope Keith, wonderful as always.

Always love the recap of the previous story. Not belabored, not tedious, but fresh and concise.

The Story
Hilarious and clever. I’m willing to go wherever Agatha goes at this point. It’s always going to be a good time, her and her curious ways, even when situations get dumb, obnoxious, or stupid. I just like listening and meandering along with it. To me, they get even funnier, especially this one with the allure of getting your hair dressed and the way the whole story unfolds is so relatable. The relevancy stands strong, whether time of time or pop culture.

Escapist reads for me, no matter what they are about or how silly they become, I just keep divulging in the series. And it’s rare that I’m attracted much less desiring to finish a series. This might be the longest running series I will ever finish aside from childhood Nancy Drew, Box Car Children, or The Baby Sitter’s Club. I’m amazed at myself that I’ve followed so far.

The Writing
The right amount of one-liners, succinct descriptions, hits the sweet spot and overall balance at the same time.

The series is like candy for me.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Featured Fiction Mystery Romance

Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist (Agatha Raisin #6) by M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin’s marriage was put off when her ex-husband showed up, unfortunately alive. Fortunately, he was murdered and Agatha solved the crime.

Now she is off to Cyprus to track down her ex-fiance. Instead of enjoying their planned honeymoon, however, they witness the murder of an obnoxious tourist. Two sets of terrible tourists surround the unhappy couple, arousing Agatha’s suspicions. And, much to James’ chagrin, she won’t rest until she finds the killer.

Unfortunately, it seems the killer also won’t rest until Agatha is out of the picture. Agatha is forced to track down the murderer, try to rekindle her romance with James, and fend off a suave baronet, all while coping with the fact that it’s always bathing suit season in Cyprus.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love this series so much! They are such a joy to listen to. Brightens up my mood no matter what. The perfect in-between books and I don’t want them to end. 19 more to go. I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Penelope Keith, always so good. I’d recommend this series to anyone looking for a plot that unfolds like an adult version of Scooby-Doo. Amateur sleuthing that’s set in semi-reality, a little love intrigue, some character frustration, and always hilariously entertaining.

The Story
Loved the comments on the socio-economic climate. Certainly insightful and relative to today, even for having this book being written in 1997.

The murder reveal, like always, a little late in the book. I’m sort of getting used to it. Though at least this time there was a little tail end of them getting settled into their lives again.

Everything else read like intriguing gossip you’d overhear at the dog park and can’t help but tune your ears to.

The Characters
I didn’t remember Charles. The ones that we met were a little dry. I sort of hoped there would be a typical Mr. and Mrs. Howell type character during the encounter. There just wasn’t a whole lot of development to set them apart. Back stories were kind of just thrown in there. Which sort of makes sense when meeting other tourists. That initial meetup, that sometimes turns into a divulging of saturated personal story. But somehow I wanted a stereotypical and distinguishable personality that made me say “Aha, I’ve met that one before.”

The Setting
Loved that it took place in Cyprus. I was absorbed in the setting, everything from historical tidbits to the brochures Agatha read along the way as a tourist.

The Writing
M.C. Beaton even called her own characters out. Hilarious. Along with so many good reading the room observations and discourse.

Always looking forward to the next in series.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Clubs Book Reviews Books Featured Fiction Mystery Romance

Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage (Agatha Raisin #5) by M.C. Beaton

Advertisements

The morning of Agatha’s longed-for marriage to James Lacey dawns bright and clear. But her luck runs out in the church when Jimmy, the husband she had believed long dead, turns up large as life and twice as ugly. Agatha has a go at strangling him.

It’s all too much for James, who breaks off the engagement. So when Jimmy is found murdered the next day. Agatha and James are both suspects.

And they’ll have to work together in order to clear their names…

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh Agatha! You’ve gone and done it again! I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Penelope Keith, always amazing. I’d recommend this series to anyone looking for a light-hearted, good time, appreciate a bit of snickers as it reads like a bit of juicy gossip you’d overhear at a dog park.

The Story
I loved the commentary on the world situation. It was amazing how relevant to today and this book was written 25 years ago.

The Writing
One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve read along is how the author only really gets into physical descriptions when describing what people are wearing and they’re hilarious at that, really captured the whole essence of the person.

I love this series so much!

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Categories
Audiobooks Book Reviews Books Fantasy Featured Fiction Mystery

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Advertisements

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

Advertisements

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was exactly the book I’ve been craving. I enjoyed it as audiobook, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was amazing. His tone and voice inflection was where I anticipated it to be, even when the characters were self-reflective, asking questions, or talking amongst themselves. Never mundane or fizzling out. I’d recommend it to anyone, especially for readers who like meandering around, experimental literature, metafiction, and especially because it is rather short and inviting, visionary and puzzle-like.

The story
I liked the life reveals and philosophical questions. This riddle-like presentation, matching the cover of this half man, half beast, was intriguing. I loved Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, so this was long awaited publication from Susanna Clarke. This book is a bit different in content and style. I love C.S. Lewis so the ties to the story through certain characcatures were on an another level for me.

The writing
The descriptions, atmosphere, and innocent perspective was where it was at. These rooms, sometimes described so bluntly with obvious purpose, other times more lyrical with deeper meaning, evoked mystery, playing on emotion, making me think there was hidden mystery lurking around every corner, sometimes more complex than what I could understand at times.

Like if a brick was pushed, it would reveal a hidden staircase leading you into a completely different world.

It got me to thinking of Narnia of course and this movie called Labyrinth I watched as a child. Putting lipstick on a brick, marking it with an arrow, and after turning away, hidden creatures would reposition it, making the girl lose her way. Then it got me to thinking of the weird but awesome David Bowie concert at the end. David Bowie, George Lucas, Jim Henson, what a creative trio for a movie. I’d like to see this book as a movie.

Characters
Anyway, the strong visuals were there and I really enjoyed the trajectory of the characters, Piranesi especially. The timeline, the personal documentation with diary keeping, each piece titled out, The Year of the Albatross. Sometimes monotonous parts hovered around a little longer than I wanted for the moment. But the fantastical elements kept it intriguing and the unacquainted lessons with the world kept it in check with human experience and nature.

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements