Tag Archives: Books

It’s Always the Little Things

….that make my day. Like discovering that a new John Irving novel has hit the shelves.

Irving is undoubtedly one of my favorite authors. I’ve read, I think, almost all of his works and can honestly say, that if you have not yet had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook version of “A Prayer for Owen Meany”, brilliantly narrated by Joe Barrett, you have MISSED OUT.

I purchased the audiobook version of “Avenue of Mysteries”, Mr. Irving’s latest work. It contains the usual Irvingesque elements of fatherless children with a prostitute mother, a slightly handicapped protagonists, sex, etc. Fine, I have no problem with that. The protagonist goes on forever about beta-blockers, viagra and the virgin mary. To what end? I don’t know yet.

I’m five hours into the twenty hours total and disappointed and bored. I think that if this manuscript had been submitted to the publisher by someone other than an accomplished author, it would never have been published.

Being the queen of self-doubt and once again doubting my own judgement, I went online looking for reviews on the novel this morning and was relieved to find that it’s not just me. In a book review published in the NYT, David Garner writes “More often this novel is so life-affirming you want to hurl yourself into bus traffic. “.

Yup. Well put.


My apologies go out to the people of Greece for the thumbscrews that were applied to them by our Minister of Finance, Mr. Schäuble and our Chancellor, A. Merkel, who for some reason, think they are Emperor and Empress of Europe. The result of the negotiations this weekend remind me of Tolkien’s  “One ring to rule them all” verse.

Continue reading Potpourri

To Read or Listen

While pondering the really existential questions of life such as “Where does all of this dust come from?” this morning, I must have twisted or turned the wrong way, as I seem to have wrenched up my back somehow. Which is a good excuse to park myself on the sofa.

For the most part, I stopped reading “paper” books and switched to audiobooks years ago. It’s easier on the eyes and it has the advantage that you can actually do things while listening to a book (knitting, painting, gardening, exercising, etc.). I became quite a voracious reader (listener), because I had more time to listen to books than to read them. A good story on the ear buds sure make the housework less boring, for example.

The other day, I purchased an audio book by Greg Iles called “The Quiet Game” and right away, the story and characters seemed oddly familiar to me. I kept listening anyhow.

Today, I checked my library of audiobooks trying to figure out why it was all so familiar. It turned out I listened to the german language version of the audiobook in 2013.

It was a good listen the second time around too, though.

European English Book Exchange

Ms. Mac has been kind enough to take care of the initial logistics and administrative work to make my idea of a book exchange amongst us bloggers a reality. And I wish to thank her for that, here, officially. Good Work, Ms. Mac! (Drop by and tell her I said so!)

Here is how it works. If you are interested in one of my books or those of another participant (the list will be posted to the right as soon as everyone is up and running), you send that person an email stating which book you would like and where it is to be sent to. In return, you will send the person a book of their choice from your list. You’re square and even then.

My list (humble at the moment, I know) may be found through this link for now.
I will elaborate a bit on all of the books later (description, etc.).