know I'm not alone when I complain about how early night falls now that
we're off Daylight Savings Time. I hate that's too dark to walk outside
after work. I really need to get myself used to lunchtime exercise.
Fortunately, all is not sad around here because I'm getting ready for a long weekend in the Poconos with a group of great women. We make lace, we drink wine, we watch movies, we gab, we walk, we eat (a lot). It's one of my favorite weekends of the year, and this is the 12th November we've gotten together. So much fun!
Other news on the personal level is that I've joined the ListApp (as BethFishReads, of course). I've loved my first couple of weeks in that community -- it's a diverse group and I like the creativity, humor, honesty, support, and friendliness of the listers. (I think this is an iPhone only app.)
Audiobooks. I'm fairly caught up with audiobook reviews for my blog, but here are three audios I reviewed for AudioFile magazine (my full reviews are on their website) and one I DNF'd (did not finish).
- I was really looking forward to listening to Fear of Dying because I was interested in Erica Jong's perspective on the sandwich years. Narrator Suzanne Toren's performance was expressive and engaging, but I found the book itself to be only okay.
- I first heard about David Spade's memoir, Almost Interesting, at BEA this year, and I decided to take a chance because I don't really know much about his personal life. Unfortunately, I stopped listening after a couple hours. Mostly it had to do with Spade's delivery, which reminded me why I've never been a fan of his stand-up act.
- Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott is a character-driven story about a diverse group of tenants who rent rooms in a Brooklyn brownstone. Christa Lewis's excellent narration kept my attention throughout this story of friendship, love, and family.
- Sophie Hannah's Woman with a Secret is a multilayered mystery involving the murder of a local celebrity and the public/private life of a suburban housewife. The audiobook is read by David Thorpe and Julia Barrie, each of whom nicely build the tension and perfectly capture the personalities of the characters.
- I loved, loved, loved Susan Cheever's Drinking in America. My country has such a weird relationship with drink, and I can't wait to tell you all about it. Look for a review in a Weekend Cooking post before too long.
- I'm about a third of the way through Kate Morton's The Lake House and haven't yet figured out how it will end. Great characters, family and personal secrets, a mystery--it's all here.
- As you know, I love fairy tale retellings, and Sarah Prineas's Ash & Bramble is off to an interesting start. She offers a unique take on the classic godmother character and provides a behind-the-scenes perspective of the Cinderella story.
- I haven't started M. C. Beaton's Dishing the Dirt yet, but I'm taking it with me on my weekend getaway. The Agatha Raisin books are light and fun; perfect escape reading. Look for a giveaway next week.
- When I learned The Last Kingdom (based on a Bernard Cornwell book; see my review) was now a BBC television series, I knew I had to watch it. I've seen only the first two episodes, but I love the filming of this epic saga, and I'm looking forward to catching up with the series. In case you're wondering, The Last Kingdom is not quite as good as the History Channel's Vikings, but the two shows are telling slightly different stories.
- Every week I ask myself this: Why is it I watch this show? The acting is fantastic, but I loathe every single character on Showtime's The Affair. I'm also often confused by the time line, because the show jumps to both the future and the past. I get so mad at these people, who are all selfish or manipulative or creepy or something bad. Yet, for some reason I can't stop watching.
- Indian Summers takes place at the dawn of Indian independence. The mix of characters presents a variety of viewpoints and attitudes to politics, social class, entitlements, ambitions, and more as British control over the subcontinent begins to crumble. Lots of secrets and drama and scheming going on among the principal characters.
- A few weeks ago, I wrote about the book on which the PBS series Home Fires is based. I found the book to be fascinating and had high hopes for the television show. I have to admit the first couple of episodes were a little slow, but now that the war is having a direct effect on the woman of the village, my interest in the series is picking up. If you decide to watch, my advice is to stick with it until the characters have all been introduced (two or three episodes).