CategoryAudiobook Reviews

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

Some years ago I wrote about three of Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series. This fall I’ve listened to three or four more of them, and though I enjoyed them, I wasn’t inclined to write about them. Then, having run through most of the library’s Elly Griffith books, I listened to this one. It begins with part of a Gothic short story, “The Stranger,” ostensibly...

After by Bruce Greyson

Bruce Greyson, a professor emeritus for psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at UVa,  has been studying near death experiences for much of his career. He begins this book by recounting an experience in the ER with a student who had attempted to commit suicide. She was unconscious when he examined her; the next day, she told him about their meeting, including a detail about a spaghetti stain on...

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach

I’ve appreciated this diverting book about unfortunate interactions between wildlife of all sorts and humans. The phenomenon is increasingly problematic as human habitation grows and overwhelms wildlife habitation. Bears in the mountains of Colorado have more interactions with the humans who also love places such as Aspen. Those tasked with keeping them apart and safe have quite a challenge...

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

In a radio interview Colson Whitehead said he was happy to work on this book after two that were such wearing and painful topics. I did love The Underground Railroad, despite of the grimness, but I just couldn’t read The Nickel Boys. You can tell he was having fun writing this tale that begins in 1959 Harlem and starts with these words:  “Carney was only slightly bent when it came to...

The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

This is my second book this year that featured the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary; the first was a wonderful work of fiction, The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. Now I’ve listened to the irresistible Simon Winchester’s book, mentioned with enthusiasm by Dorothy. The “professor” was the editor of the OED, James Murray, whose own story is quite dramatic...

How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith

Clint Smith tells how the story of slavery is conveyed to the general public by describing his visits to seven historical sites. I was especially interested in the book because I knew the author had visited Monticello and described the changes that have occurred to the narrative about Thomas Jefferson to broaden the story from “author of the Declaration of Independence, Founding Father...

The Color of Water by James McBride

Having loved James McBride’s recent book Deacon King Kong, I was eager to be in his world again and this book truly does take you there. His mother grew up in Suffolk, Virginia in an Orthodox Jewish family. Her father was a rabbi who, always fired by his congregation, finally became a successful merchant in a Black community. He was nasty and unpleasant to his customers and in general was...

The Mission House by Carys Davies

It was Tony’s description of it as “life-affirming” and “reticent and quiet and almost gentle” that took me to this book. All those things were true, but it was set in India, and in my experience of books set in India involve some pain. The story centers on Hilary Byrd, an Englishman who has been fired from his job in a library and always needed his sister to help...

The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston

This is my fifth Jennifer Johnston book and, as usual, I was glad to have given it my attention. She is an amazing Irish author, almost unknown in this country. This one is set a few years after the end of World War I and focuses on Nancy Gulliver, who has just turned 18. Having been orphaned, she lives with her Aunt Mary and her grandfather who is moving into dementia. Bridey cooks and cleans...

The Dry by Jane Harper

Jane Harper’s first novel is a police procedural set in rural Australia a few hundred miles west of Melbourne in an area that had been beset by a drought of several years duration. The main character is Aaron Falk, returned to the town after 20 years absence for the funerals of his high school friend Luke, his wife, and son. Aaron and his father had moved to Melbourne when he was a teenager...

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Blogs I Like