The Sheltering Sky

TShelteringSkyhe Sheltering Sky
by Paul Bowles
1949 / 352 pages
read by Jennifer Connelly 10h 30m
rating:  6 / classic

At first this seemed like a really dumb story wrapped in wonderful silky language. A married American couple and their good friend  travel around North Africa  in the post-WWII days.  They have no comprehension of local language, customs, geography.  They are unaware of how dangerous what they are doing is what with unscrupulous natives, disease and animals.

It might take place in the Sahara but we don’t really learn much about that area of the world until later in the novel. It’s unexpectedly different (to the couple), wild and brutal to women.  It’s really about rich, selfish, ignorant, self-centered, hypocritical Americans going through some kind of timely existential angst  – a dated stereotype at this point (or is it?).    >>>>MORE>>>>

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Einstein: His Life and Universe

einsteinEinstein: His Life and Universe
by Walter Isaacson
2007 / 704 pages
read by Edward Herrmann 21h 30m
rating:  8.75

Nice biography,  but I’ve come to expect that from Isaacson having read his books on Steve Jobs,  Benjamin Franklin and The Innovators prior to this one – and I can’t pick which one is best.

Einstein has been a household name for several generations now but few people really know much about him other than he was a weird math genius.  Isaacson shows the deeply human side of Einstein,  his ideas,  his loves, his friends, hopes, ideals and fears.  >>>>MORE>>>>

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Involuntary Witness

involuntaryInvoluntary Witness
by Gianrico Carofiglio  (Italian)
translated by Patrick Creagh
2002 /290 pages
read by Sean Barrett 7h 30m
rating:  B+ / crime –  legal thriller

This is the first book in the Guido Guerrieri series – it takes place in Italy so the court system is somewhat different, but the plot is based on the same sort of thing as murder mysteries everywhere.  Evidence is evidence,  judges are judges and witnesses are witnesses.

This is NOT a page-turner,  Guido is a very introspective man, we could call him brooding,  and naturally has to have a personal life.   (Bo-ring)  A recently divorced attorney our hero drinks too much and is  interested in the new woman next door (ho-hum).  >>>>MORE>>>>

Posted in Audio, Italy, legal thriller, self-select, translated | 2 Comments

Crime Novels – a rant -

51YykCU-AzL._SL150_Crime Novels – a rant – 2/10/14

I’m getting a bit more selective about the crime novels I enjoy and give high ratings to.  I’ve read some really, really good ones and I don’t want to waste my time with books which are really more about some kind of relationship issue than a crime and its solution.  Unfortunately,  that’s not usually the way these days.  My favorites are police procedurals,  legal thrillers, and  traditional mysteries.  I also enjoy good tales of psychological suspense. Not too crazy about chase scene  thrillers where we know “who done it” and only wait around for the cops to get it on with the chase scene.  >>>>MORE>>>>


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Faithful Place

faithfulFaithful Place
by Tara French
2010/ 449 pages
read by Tim Gerard / 16h 17m
rating – C-

Whew!  I’m glad that’s done.  I have one more “Dublin Murder Squad” story and I’m caught up.  There have been 5 – this was #3 and I’m still missing #4, The Likeness.  This books in this series don’t need to be read in sequential order because they’re about various detectives on the Murder Squad – they work quite well as stand-alones.    I’ve enjoyed the others in this series quite a lot,  but this one?  No.

Frank Mackey is a divorced detective with a >>>>MORE>>>>

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Baltimore Blues

baltimoreBaltimore Blues
by Laura Lippman
1997  / 384 pages
read by Deborah Hazlett 9h 55m
rating:  C-

I kept listened for about half of the book then got into another book and came back to this one.  I had to re-start from the beginning and I have to say that  it does start well.

Rock Paxton is engaged with a woman he doesn’t quite trust.  He hires his friend Tess Monahan, an unemployed journalist,  to investigate.  She finds that not only is there evidence that Ava is cheating with her boss,  Michael Abramowitz, but Tess observes Ava shoplifting. >>>>MORE>>>>

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moneyballMoneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
by Michael Lewis
2003 / 288 pages
read by Scott Brick 10h 26m
rating:  8.75 / nonfiction – baseball-tech

What in the world is a nice girl like me doing reading a book about baseball, statistics and draft choices?    Well – um – Lewis is a great writer – usually about the financial sector and I enjoy reading about statistics and tech stuff.  And oh yes, I rather enjoy the game – (Yankees or Twins – go figure).   Lewis’ book is about the Oakland Athletics in the early 2000s and a bit prior.

No,  it’s not a “new” book – it was published in 2003 – but it seems to be holding up nicely.  Michael Lewis is that good.  >>>>MORE>>>>

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