19 February 2018

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: 2 Good Books, 1 Good TV Show

2 good audiobooksI don't know what's wrong with me this year, but I haven't been watching as much Olympics as I usually do. I don't know if it's because of the nature of the coverage or because there always seems to be so much national news to absorb. Whatever the reason, the Olympics has mostly been in the background.

Thanks to my busy season, reading for pleasure is becoming a luxury. In case you didn't know or remember, I'm a freelance book editor, so after a 10-hour day of deskwork, my body wants to move and my eyes don't want to see any more printed (electronic) words.

Yay for audiobooks! I was able to listen to two very different books last week. I also started a new guilty pleasure television series.

Listening / Reading

Review: Chainbreaker by Tara SimChainbreaker by Tara Sim (Forever Young Audiobooks; 10 hr, 29 min) is the second entry in the steampunk, time-bending Timekeepers series. In an alternate England, Danny Hart is a clock mechanic, which is a highly skilled and important job because if the town clock towers aren't working correctly, then time itself doesn't flow as expected. Danny's talents entail more than just maintaining and fixing the cogs and gears; he can also manipulate the very strands of time and communicate with clock spirits, who inhabit the towers. In this outing, Danny and a fellow timekeeper, Daphane, are tapped to go to India, where someone or something is destroying clocks. Their job is to solve the mystery and learn more about the nature of time. Sim addresses a number of issues in this series. Danny is gay and is still dealing with feeling comfortable about coming out. Daphane must prove herself as a woman professional and struggles as the sole caretaker of her troubled mother. In India, we see the effects of colonization and a variety of prejudices. Finally, time, technology, religion, and mythology are tangled together and are at the heart of Sim's alternate world. The characters are well drawn so it's easy to get caught up in their lives. I like the developing friendships and the complexity of Danny's relationship with his boyfriend. The mystery of what is happening with the clock towers in India is nicely set up, and there's a good balance between action and description. If I have any complaint, it's that this book ends on a cliffhanger. Argh! Now I have to wait a year to find out what happens. The audiobook of Chainbreaker is read by Gary Furlong, and as I mention in my review of Timekeeper, the first book in the series, it took me a little time to warm up to him. But after the first twenty or thirty minutes, I became caught up in Furlong's performance. His consistent characterizations kept me on track, and his sense of pacing amped up the action scenes. I'll have more to say in my AudioFile magazine review. (Review copy for freelance assignment)

Review: I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamaraYou'll want to listen to or read I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (Harper Audio; 9 hr, 45 min) with the lights on. In fact, you may have trouble sleeping--like ever again! This true crime story follows the trail of the Golden State Killer, who raped at least 50 women and murdered at least a dozen people in California from the late 1970s to late 1980s. He's never been indentified. McNamara was fascinated by this young man, who terrorized women in their homes in the middle of the night. He was a stalker, voyeur, rapist, and murderer. Truly chilling, especially because he's still on the loose. McNamara died young and unexpectedly before finishing this book, which was was completed by other true crime writers / investigators who knew her and knew her work. The finished book flows smoothly, and editor's notes alert you to the sections that were compiled from McNamara's notes or taped interviews. McNamara's writing style is engaging and finds a balance between informative and poetic. She doesn't leave out the gruesome details, but neither is she prurient. What's particularly interesting is the developing technology, especially for the DNA evidence. Warning: this story is damn creepy and scary. I can't imagine what it was like to live in California during that time. The audiobook is brilliantly read by Gaba Zackman, who approaches the material matter-of-factly but with good expression. She blurs the line between narrator and author, which allowed me to lose myself in the story. I had a copy of an eGalley, and so read a little when listening wasn't convenient. If you decide to listen to the book, don't forget to download the supplemental materials, which include a few maps that you'll want to refer to. Author Gillian Flynn reads her own introduction to the book, and McNamara's husband, the comedian / actor Patton Oswalt reads his own conclusion. The very end of the book consists of a letter McNamara wrote to the killer; you'll want to read or listen to that more than once. If you're into true crime or nonfiction, you won't want to miss this book, which comes out next week. (Review copy from the publisher)


Okay, so apparently I live a very sheltered life. Until Saturday I hadn't even heard of the television show Parenthood. I'm now a little bit addicted. It stars Peter Krause (Six Feet Under) and Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) as well as other recognizable actors and explores parenthood in its many stages and guises. Great escape viewing. Here's the official trailer, which was a little out of focus on my screen, but may look better on yours. The show is on DVD and available for streaming on Netflix and Hulu.


rhapsodyinbooks 2/19/18, 6:32 AM  

I haven't been watching as much of the Olympics either. Maybe it's the fact that the ratio of commercials to content is about 20 to 1! Even though we record it so we can skip the commercials, one can get carpal tunnel syndrome with all the fast forwarding one has to do!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 2/19/18, 7:16 AM  

We don’t know much about the Winter Olympic sports here in south Texas, so we usually miss most of the Olympics.

I read aloud all week in my job, but everything I read aloud is children’s books; I happily read other things at home. I’m glad you have audiobooks to fall back on when you arrive home.


Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 2/19/18, 7:27 AM  

No kidding about I'll Be Gone in the Dark!! I literally had to read a fluffy book (Bachelor Nation) at night and only read this one during the day.

Even so, I still had trouble sleeping. Yet, I still really liked the book....I agree about her writing. Didn't make all the little details seem dry (which can sometimes happen in true crime for me) and I was fascinated with all the tech evolution too!

Mae Travels 2/19/18, 7:57 AM  

Your review of Chainbreaker makes me want to read it, except for the cliffhanger part. The varied cultural settings combined with fantasy are appealing. Unfortunately my list is long.

Cliffhangers were a bad feature of the books starting with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I found the sequel disappointing -- and which as you say required a substantial wait. The second book also ended in a cliff hanger, and I never bothered with the third. I wonder if the publishers think this annoyance will result in a good payoff for them.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Susie | Novel Visits 2/19/18, 9:24 AM  

I've really been looking forward to I'll Be Gone in the Dark, but after listening to you and Sarah, I'm not sure if I should read it of not. I live alone and though don't normally get scared, I'm worried this one might do it.

Kailana 2/19/18, 9:28 AM  

Timekeeper is going to be my next audio. I grabbed a copy with a recent credit. :)

bermudaonion 2/19/18, 10:20 AM  

I can understand why audio books are your so wonderful for you! I have I'll Be Gone in the Dark in print and hope to get to it soon.

I live a sheltered life too. A customer was amazed the other day when she found out I'd never heard of This is Us. Parenthood is new to me as well.

Kathy Martin 2/19/18, 10:57 AM  

I'll Be Gone in the Dark does sound amazing. I have been watching some of the Olympics but somehow missed the pairs figure skating which is one of my favorite events. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Laurel-Rain Snow 2/19/18, 11:00 AM  

I am definitely eager to read I'll Be Gone in the Dark. It sounds wonderful! And scary...

I watched Parenthood when it was a network series...and I've also watched it on and off on Netflix. I do love the setting, some of the characters (can't stand others!), but having an emotional reaction to characters often keeps me watching a show.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Daryl 2/19/18, 1:31 PM  

i watched Parenthood on Netflix ... it was mostly very good ... didnt love the finale, apparently they got cancelled and tried to wrap it up in one episode

we're watching Tin Star (Amazon {Prime) with Tim Roth a limited 10 episode which i believe will have just the one season and we finished Hunted which was also 10 episodes .. i am enjoying Altered Carbon (toonman decided he didnt care about it after 2 episodes)

Nan 2/19/18, 3:06 PM  

My take on Parenthood is that it is a perfect show if you quit at the end of season 3. After that I didn't like it and quit. I think they ended season 3 just perfectly, all the ends nicely tied up.

pussreboots 2/19/18, 3:52 PM  

I'm not watching the Olympics. I haven't watched Parenthood but I might check it out. My post this week.

Sue Jackson 2/19/18, 4:05 PM  

The Timekeepers series sounds really intriguing - I might give that a try! And your other book sounds absolutely chilling, especially on audio.

I can;t believe you'd never heard of Parenthood before! I think of it as similar to This Is Us in some ways. Parenthood was one of my all-time favorites, and I was so sorry when it went off the air. Every episode both made me laugh out loud and cry! Enjoy binging!


Book By Book

Vicki 2/19/18, 4:49 PM  

I rarely watch the Olympics. Never heard of Parenthood? What? It was one of my all time favorite shows and I was so sad/depressed when it got cancelled. Seems all the good shows last a short time and the ones I could care less about go on forever.

(Diane) bookchickdi 2/19/18, 5:06 PM  

I loved, loved, loved Parenthood and never missed an episode. It was the precursor to This Is Us. I have an egalley of the Michele McNamara book, I must read this one soon. Her death was so tragic.

Yvonne 2/19/18, 6:46 PM  

I've heard great things about Parenthood, but I never watched it. I should add it to my binge watching list. Hope you have a great week!

Greg 2/19/18, 8:01 PM  

I've been watching a bit less Olympics too, and for me it's the nature of the coverage to a large extent. I'd like to be able to tune in to certain events, watch them without a ton of commentary or feel- good stories, and then move on. :) Preferably online, but you have to have a cable subscription or the like. So I just get what's on NBC basically. I'm definitely going to do something different for the summer games next time, like subscribe through Hulu or Sling or whatever to get better access online.

Chainbreaker/ Timekeeper sound pretty good. I'd like to try more steampunk stories.

Nise' 2/19/18, 8:02 PM  

Loved Parenthood. Glad you discovered it. The Olympics are a nice break from the horrific national news.

Aj @ Read All The Things! 2/19/18, 8:52 PM  

I’ve been watching the Olympics, but there are a lot of commercials and too much curling. Other than that, I’ve loved them. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark looks amazing.

Aj @ Read All The Things!

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) 2/25/18, 9:55 AM  

Ha! I'd never heard of it either! It's amazing how many shows are out there.

I can understand not wanting to see any more words. I'm an author assistant and when there's a rush of book releases and SOOOOO many hours in front of a screen organizing and reading over things I just wanna be done. Audiobooks are pretty awesome :)

Hope you have a good week!

Thanks for stopping by. I read all comments and may respond here, via e-mail, or on your blog. I visit everyone who comments, but not necessarily right away.

I cannot turn off word verification, but if you are logged into Blogger you can ignore the captcha. I have set posts older than 14 days to be on moderation. I can no longer accept anonymous comments. I'm so sorry if this means you have to register or if you have trouble commenting.


All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2020. All rights reserved.



To The Blogger Guide, Blogger Buster, Tips Blogger, Our Blogger Templates, BlogU, and Exploding Boy for the code for customizing my blog. To Old Book Illustrations for my ID photo. To SEO for meta-tag analysis. To Blogger Widgets for the avatars in my comments and sidebar gadgets. To Review of the Web for more gadgets. To SuziQ from Whimpulsive for help with my comments section. To Cool Tricks N Tips for my Google +1 button.

Quick Linker



  © Blogger template Coozie by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP