Friday, September 28, 2012

Comment Policy, State Of Health and Audiobooks

A bit of a catch-all post, since I sort of feel like the blog has been a Dead Zone this week and I've got a few little things to talk about.


First things first, as much as I hate to do it because since the Blogger upgrade the whole thing sucks harder than my vacuum, I've turned on word verification for comments.  I know, I know.  Really folks, I wish I could leave it off - but the level of spam I'm getting is starting to annoy me.  They were just targeting older posts, which wasn't quite as annoying because for any post older than 90 days I make y'all go through comment moderation.  But the asshole spammers seemed to have figured that out, so now they're targeting more recent posts.

So yeah, the crappy Blogger captcha is on. 


I'm still not totally "right" (no comment from the peanut gallery), but I'm mostly back to normal after my recent bout of sickness.  If nothing else it served as a reminder that really, I need to take better care of myself.  Oh, like maybe I need to get better about exercising more consistently.  I'm the bandwagon poster girl when it comes to exercise.  I go great guns for a while, and then something happens to make me fall off.  This last go around it was taking a tumble down the concrete stairs at work while hauling a box of moldy, disgusting books that some "generous" soul donated to us to the dumpster.

Really folks, you can throw books away.  No really, you can.  Especially if it looks like they were living life as a petri dish for the last 20 years.  Libraries are broke, we're not desperate.


I've been listening to some audiobooks recently, mostly as a way to keep my reading mojo going and amuse myself while commuting.

What I tend to like about Robert K. Massie's books is that he makes Russian history accessible to your average lay-person.  Catherine The Great: Portrait of a Woman was a really interesting listen for about the first half.  The stuff about her childhood, and her eventual "courtship" and marriage to Grand Duke Peter.  After she becomes Empress though it kind of fell apart for me pacing-wise.  It just....wasn't quite as stimulating.  It ended on a strong note for me though since by that point those wacky French are having their revolution, and it was interesting to read about Catherine's opinion on that minor bloody matter.  All in all, it was something I'm glad I listened to, and really glad I didn't read.  I think it would have been a slog if I had tried to read it.

After that it was Catch Me by Lisa Gardner, who I'm quickly realizing writes good suspense threads that I enjoy listening too, but her main characters tend to irritate me.  I'm not sure if I hated Boston homicide detective D.D. Warren, or I just hated the way the reader read her.  I also felt the author had a tendency to info dump a little too much via her characters pontificating on suspect profiling etc.  Also, is it just my dumb luck that the two Gardener books I've listened to (this one and Say Goodbye) dealt with pedophile story lines?  I kept going with it because I loved the suspense thread, and was riveted by one of the secondary characters.  Again, a good listen, but I'm in no rush to keep reading about D.D. Warren and unless a back cover blurb intrigues I'm probably done with her as a character.

Right now I'm in the middle of In The Woods by Tana French, a book recommended to me by online buds (Keishon most notably) and coworkers.  The reader is....not the greatest.  It feels like all the characters are yelling their dialogue.  Everything comes out like there is an exclamation point at the end of every sentence.

Also, the storyline, while interesting is kind of bugging me.  The basic idea is that Rob Ryan went missing with his two BFFs when he was around 12.  He was found, covered in blood, while his two BFFs have been missing ever since.  He, naturally, remembers nothing.  He grows up, becomes a homicide detective, and is now working a case that is eerily similar to his own.

Here's what I don't get: his past is a huge secret.  His bosses have NO clue.  He used to go by Adam Ryan, and as an adult he started using his middle name, Rob.  What, they don't have something like social security numbers in Ireland?  Employers, especially law enforcement, don't run background checks on their employees?


Maybe we're just more paranoid here in the States.  Hell, even I had to be fingerprinted when I applied for my current job and I'm a librarian (although I am around children all day, so I really do understand the logic behind it).

But I'm keeping with it, mostly because now I'm sucked into the crime.  We'll see how I feel about the ending before determining if I'm going to carry on with the series.


So that's what's going on around here.  Anybody reading anything good?  Have an audiobook recommendation for me?


A Library Girl said...

Glad you're almost back to normal!

As far as audiobooks go, I have a few readers I glom onto (like Stephen Briggs), and I'm a fan of full casts. I don't think I've listened to a full cast audiobook yet I haven't enjoyed - some I listened to not too long ago are The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman and Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls. The Sweeney Todd one is an audio drama, rather than audiobook, and it's short, but it's such good morbid fun that I listened to it several times in a row.

Keishon said...

I think In the Woods is just gonna make you madder Wendy, lol. Wait till you hit the ending. That is all. - Keishon

Samanthadelayed said...

I love audiobooks! I have listened to a few good ones lately. Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge ( I still maintain that Patterson's stories are much better as audiobooks) The Help, wonderful voice actors, a book I probably wouldn't have read but decided to download as an AB one day from the library when I was bored. I am glad I did.
Martin Misunderstood by Karin Slaughter, a Quirky short story read by Wayne Knight.
I love Lisa Gardner, try listening to Love You More, I think it was one of her better ones.

Wendy said...

Library Girl: You know, I have never listened to full cast audiobook! The closest I've come is Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner, which had two narrators. It really was very effective and a good listen.

Wendy said...

Keishon: It was kind of rough going for me through the first couple of CDs - but now I HAVE to finish it. I'll be sure to let you know when I do :)

Wendy said...

Samantha: I'll look for that Lisa Gardner title. I really have enjoyed her suspense threads, and I think she does a very good job with them. I'm just not always totally over-the-moon about her main characters....

Rosario said...

I've just listened to the Philip Pullman one and it's really good. Pullman himself narrates the non-dialogue bits, as well!

nath said...

Well, look at the positive side of Blogger captcha. Your blog is popular enough that they're targeting it :) What bothers me lately is people leaving spam comments, but when I go to take a look, it's not there anymore ^_^; Wonder if it's Blogger... or if they're hidden, even from me!

At least, you're listening to books. That's good. And ugh, pedophile and human trafficking storylines are hard :(

Wendy said...

Nath: Your spam is probably getting sucked up in Blogger's spam filter. Go to the comments section of your dashboard, and on the left you'll see a "spam" link. You can delete them there.

Blogger catches most of the spam, and I was content with that - but the problem is if someone comments on a post, and clicks "subscribe by e-mail" for follow-up comments? Even though Blogger doesn't post the spam on your blog, it still gets e-mailed to people who have clicked on that subscribe option.

So yeah, turning on the crappy Blogger captcha.

Lynn/Elsandra said...

I agree with Keishon, you'll be mad at the end, I was a bit though I did enjoy the book. If you think some of the story is implausabile you should read French's second book, The Likeness. My favorite of her's so far is Faithful Place, the third book. I have her fourth in my TBR pile.

Carrie said...

I love audiobooks! I have several to recommend. For a fantastic mystery with romance listen to Sandra Brown's Envy. It's an incredibly well plotted story and the narrator, Viktor Slazak, is perfect! Another great suspense book with a sexy-voiced male narrator (Tom Stecheshulte) is Nora Robert's Carnal Innocence.

For historical romance I can recommend The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne. Great story, wonderful narrator. If a light, happy historical is what you're in the mood for, almost anything by Georgette Heyer will be a winner.

For contemporary it's hard to beat the amazing combination of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and narrator Anna Fields.

Also recommended: audiobooks by Jennifer Crusie and Linda Howard.

And while I'm here I'll put in a plug for a new romance audiobook review site, I am an occasional guest reviewer there and they ahve tons of information for anyone interested in romance audiobooks. Enjoy!

Tom Jemmy said...

I always there on the internet to find audio books for different sections