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August 19, 2010

More in the way of audio books

I'm still going with audio books to keep me company during my commute. Thought I'd weigh in on a couple more.

I'll hold with my previous B for Running With Scissors (Augusten Burroughs). I'm still not entirely sure I actually liked the story. It was interesting, at some times horrifying, humorous, sad. I guess that's life. While Mr. Burroughs was certainly not a professional voice performer, his story lent itself to that let me tell you a few anecdotes from my life style. His voices were the sort of voices any average Joe might produce telling a tale about childhood. So, B.

Break No Bones, Kathy Reichs. I'm a fan of the TV show "Bones" and this was my first experience with the series of books the show is based on. First of all, I was extremely surprised that so many of the facets of TV-Brennan's personality are just not there in book-Brennan. Things that are so central to her character that I thought surely defined her in book form, as well. I came to the conclusion that, aside from the same name and a similar career, the characters are completely different. Also, not a single supporting character from the show makes an appearance in this book, and I gathered, not in any of them. Strange. Throughout most of the book, I couldn't tell if it was the story itself or the reading of it that kept my mind wandering. I could not stay involved, and found myself thinking about work, things on my to-do list, etc. In the end, I think it was the reader who was mostly at fault; she had a very monotone, un-emotional voice, and there was almost no differentiation between characters. Men and women sounded almost identical. If I have a go at another Kathy Reichs book (which is likely; I want to see if this one was an anomaly), I will make sure it is performed by someone different. Overall, C-.

Swapping Lives, Jane Green. The woman who read this book, whose name I should definitely have made note of, was fabulous. The story took place half in London and half in Connecticut, and the reader, British herself, did an amazing American accent, Scottish, Irish, Jamaican, child, and man. She was an absolute pleasure to listen to. And the story was fun! I used to read a lot of chick-lit, and I'd gotten away from it. WHY?? Don't stop reading chick-lit, Kate! It's like dessert that doesn't add ten pounds! A good, solid A for this one. (I'm hesitant to give out an A+ this early in the game...)

Mary, Mary, James Patterson. This book was read by three people: one as The Storyteller, one as Mary, and one as Alex Cross, and for the most part each read separate sections of the book. Only at the end did their storylines intersect. I have to say that none of the readers did very varied voices for other characters involved in their sections, but they were all good for their own character's voice. The book itself was fast-paced and interesting, kept me guessing until the end. I'd read several Alex Cross books back a few years, and now I want to go back and read some of the ones in between where I'd left off and this one. A-.

Sundays at Tiffany's, James Patterson. The woman who reads this book is also very good, has several voices and good inflection and emotion. I really value a good reader! The story is completely opposite Mary, Mary, is the story of a woman who falls in love with her childhood imaginary friend. I haven't finished it; I'm on the last disc, but I'm really enjoying it. I have a feeling, like so many of Patterson's female-oriented love-story books, this one is going to end sad. The story is good, the reader is good. A-.

Next up: Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys

August 14, 2010

At the dog park

We took Chloe to the dog park yesterday, and there we met Cosmo. Cosmo is an eight-month-old Shepherd-Rhodesian mix, or so thinks his grandma (who was dog-sitting). He's timid, but happy. He's got a bark, but is afraid of almost everything and would bark cower in the corner if anything actually did come into his house. He's sweet and playful. He sounds exactly like Chloe!

And he looks exactly like Chloe.

Chloe and Cosmo

I don't know if there's a horny Rhodesian and a horny Shepherd running around somewhere in the Valley makin' babies, or if it's a just a typical personality and look that comes from that particular mix of breeds, but I think Chloe found her long-lost (and slightly chubbier) baby brother. *g*

August 11, 2010

Over to the Dark Side

I've always had a coffee pot, but I've never really used it. It came in handy when my mom visited and had to have her morning cup of joe, but I always had mine at work. Or at Starbucks. But now, my company no longer provides coffee for the employees (or the customers; we used to also put coffee out for customers).

That, combined with the fact that Steve's dad gave us two bags of really good coffee--in bean form--prompted me to go out and buy a coffee grinder, and to break out the good old coffee pot.

And now my mornings have been transformed! I grind enough beans for one pot the night before, and set everything to brew on my way out the door for Chloe's morning walk. The house smells wonderful when I come back in! I sip a cup of caffeine while I watch the morning news, and then grab another in my travel mug to have at work. Now, instead of yawning through my morning, I'm awake! (Can you tell by all the exclamation points?)