Dreamers of the Day

dreamersDreamers of the Day
by Mary Doria Russell
2008 / 288 pages
read by Ann Marie Lee – 11h 26m
rating:  5 / historical fiction

I was so prepared to enjoy this –  I’ve read all her other novels,  including the latest one,  Epigraph,  and I’ve enjoyed them all – until now.  Russell’s main claim to fame is her first novel,  The Sparrow of 1996 (link to Wiki article) and she’s not achieved those heights since although the writing is equally good – the originality of that marvelous book is missing.  (Maybe I would have liked this book better had I not had the expectations of another The Sparrow.)  I think all of her awards have been for that book.  >>>>MORE>>>>

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Everything I Never Told You

everythingEverything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng
2014 / 304 pages
read by Cassandra Campbell
rating 7 / contemporary fiction

I’m not sure what, specifically,  this book is really about – either that or I’ve been beat over the head with a “message.”   Lydia Lee, a teenage girl from a bi-racial family,  goes missing and is found dead in a boat in the pond.   Her brother suspects the neighbor boy who was “courting” Lydia had something to do with it.  Suicide is the main direction the narrative suggests as the reason for the death.  >>>>MORE>>>>

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My First Murder

UnknownMy First Murder
by Leena Lehtolainen (Finland – translated)
1993/ 2012 Eng. –  251 pages
read by Amy Ruminate 7h 23m
rating: B+ / crime –  police procedural/”who-done-it”
(both read and listened)

Although it was chosen by the 4-Mystery Addicts reading group I was interested in this book because I’m of Finnish ancestry and have cousins there,  have visited there, etc.   Also,  as is evident from this blog,  I really enjoy non-US lit.

Still,  it took me awhile to get into it,  mostly because of the breathy, almost little-girl voice of the 1st person narrator who is working,  if only temporarily, as a lead detective.  It’s like,  “huh?” –  That may be a part of the book, though – young pretty women are often not taken seriously in some jobs.  But what is this,  “soft-boiled”?   She doesn’t “sound like a cop!” lol
>>>>MORE>>>> 

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The Burning Room

burningThe Burning Room
by Michael Connelly
2015/ 400 pages
read by Titus Welliver 10h 11m
rating:  B+ / crime (police procedural)
#19 featuring Harry Bosch

I suspected I wasn’t going to be all that happy with the newest Harry Bosch novel – the reviews were mixed and  I don’t like the narrator’s’ deep, deep voice.  But I’ve kept up with and mostly enjoyed the tales of Michael Connelly for many years, so now is not the time to quit.

Anyway – this time we have a newly dead man who was the victim of a shooting occurring over 10 years ago – the poor guy just finally died of blood poisoning from the gunshot.  Fortunately,  there is surveillance footage of the crime scene – a Latino nightclub –  which Bosch and his new partner,  a rookie named Lucia Soto, check that out carefully.   Bosch is not too sure about Soto.  She seems to be hiding information and,  oddly enough, the shooting had something to do with a fire which affected Soto’s old neighborhood and friends. And there are anonymous phone calls tips.  >>>>MORE>>>>

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1177: The Year Civilization Collapsed

11771177:  The Year Civilization Collapsed
by Eric H. Cline
2014 / 253 pages
read by Andy Caploe / 8h 3m
Rating:  8.5  / ancient history-anthropology

I’ve read only a wee tad about Ancient Egypt and the Late Bronze Age,   certainly not enough to be able to really get right into and up to speed in this fascinating book. I’d never even heard of the “Sea Peoples.”  But this intriguing tale is  about  how Egypt’s civilization in the times of of Ramses III was overwhelmed by  the “Sea Peoples”  which added to other catastrophes of the times resulted in the end of the Bronze Age.  Reading the book was both challenging and enlightening and it took me awhile to get comfortable with the multitude of names and places.  >>>>MORE>>>> 

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Being Mortal:

beingmortalBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
by Atul Gawande
2014 / 282 pages
read by Robert Patoff  9h 3m
rating:  9 / nonfiction (health – medicine)
(read and listened)

Medicine is a mess with many many parts- one is death and dying which affects everyone from the highest echelon doctors to the lowliest patients.  Doctors are trained in how to keep patients alive and with all the new technology, they can can certainly do that for extended periods during which time more and more surgeries and procedures and medicines are used hoping to make a big difference – but they’ll really make only a 10% difference.  The sole purpose for hospitals is to keep patients alive – a given minimum. >>>>MORE>>>> 

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Those Who Wish Me Dead

thosewhowishThose Who Wish Me Dead
by Michael Koryta
2014/ 400 pages
read by Robert Petkoff – 10h 30m
rating:  C+ / thriller

Can’t really call this a crime novel because this all happens well after the crimes have been committed – it’s just all about what happens to the young man who happened to witness the murder.  –  Well – he has to go into the Witness Protection Program and he’s hidden in a survival camp in Montana.

The book is a page-turner and the characters are very nicely done.  There are some disbelief problems though –  I won’t go into them but … >>>>MORE>>>>

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