The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)I had read this book quite a while ago so when I saw the audio version in the library, I picked it up and so glad I did.

Stats: First published in 1926, 299 pages. Audio is 6 CD’s, 7′ 3″, narrated by Robin Bailey

Blurb: (Goodreads) Roger Ackroyd was a man who knew too much.
He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband. He knew someone was blackmailing her ― and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.
Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he’d finished reading it ― stabbed through the neck where he sat in his study…

What I liked: I really enjoyed the voice work of Robin Bailey. He did a wonderful job with the different voices, treating each voice as a distinct person with distinct vocal characteristics, even the women. I also enjoyed the story, of course. I have yet to read a Christe story I haven’t like, though I haven’t read them all, so who knows. Agatha does an exceptional job of making it hard to know who the true murder is. Even though I had read this in the past, I didn’t remember and was surprised once more🙂 Old age does have some advantages. I also enjoyed her intro for Hercule Poirot (or HP as my daughter and lovingly call him) into the story: he is throwing “vegetable marrows” as I think she refers to them, over his neighbor’s fence and onto his neighbor. One example of Christie’s subtle wit.

What I didn’t like: Um…I’d have to think a bit on that one. I won’t give details so as not the spoil the story for any reader, but Christie lets the murder off (sort of) and in a interesting way. As a writer, it’s a cleaver ending, something different than the usual. As a reader, I’m not so sure I liked it.

Now you have to read it! Better yet, get the audio with Robin Bailey as the narrator. Worth the listen!

Rating: 4+/5

Published in: on August 30, 2016 at 11:26am08  Leave a Comment  
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Old Tune Tuesday – Staple Singers

Happy Tuesday!

I dare you not to move to this.

I like the young man with the purple shirt and red pants, and how about those fuzzy pigtails!

Published in: on August 23, 2016 at 11:26pm08  Leave a Comment  
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Goldilocks Author’s Birthday

Today is the birthday of The Story of the Three Bears author, Robert Southey, born August 12th, 1774  in Bristol, England, died in 1843.

He was poet laureate for 30 years. He was also a scholar, historian and biographer. It is said that he corresponded with Charlotte Bronte and told her at one point: “Literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life.” Good thing she ignored him!

Interesting that such a learned man is best known for a children’s story (at least in this country).

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.

                                             Robert Southey






Old Tune Tuesday – Boggie Wonderland

Need a little Boogie in your life today? Courtesy of Earth, Wind and Fire!

Got to love those outfits!

Published in: on August 9, 2016 at 11:26pm08  Comments (2)  
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What does a new work and Italian boy have in common?

When I get the chance, I listen to NPR while I do work at my desk that doesn’t require my undivided attention. This morning I heard this piece about an Italian schoolboy who invented a word on some homework he handed in recently. His teacher marked it as incorrect, as teachers are apt to do, but she wrote him a little message telling him she liked his new word. She also wrote the powers that be in her country and is trying to get his new word put in the dictionary.

Kudos to the teacher!

This is a great illustration of how our language is always changing – etymologist at it’s finest. Besides words that are created for things that didn’t exist 5, 10, 15 years ago such as emoticon or ipad, it shows us that language is anything but stagnant, which can be a challenge to someone like me who edits for a living.

If you want to know the boys new word, check out this piece on NPR:

(Imagine from

my imageCKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Published in: on August 5, 2016 at 11:26pm08  Comments (9)  
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Photo Phriday – Greenwich Colonnades, London.

I love the color and symmetry of this.

lemanshots - Fine Pictures and Digital Art


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Published in: on August 5, 2016 at 11:26pm08  Leave a Comment  
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Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

Sea of Poppies (Ibis Trilogy, #1) I’m not sure why I picked this one up from the library, but I just couldn’t finish it.

Stats: Audio book (which is what I picked up) is 15 discs, or 18 hours. Narrated by Phil Gigante. The print book is 513 pages, published in 2008

Blurb: (Goodreads)At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Her destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean shortly before the outbreak of the Opium Wars in China. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners on board, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited French orphan. As their old family ties are washed away, they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers. The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the exotic backstreets of Canton.

What I liked: I liked learning about the lives of the people who lived and worked in the poppy fields in the Ganges and how that intersected with the Westerners and Brits trying to exploit them. From the detail, it seems that Ghosh has done his homework. Lovely cover.

What I didn’t like: I had to stop listening at disc 7. I really tried to finish but the terms, the ship names, the native language was so confusing, it made the story – what there was of it, hard to understand and thus not enjoyable to listen to. I know if I was reading, I would be skipping lots of things on the page that didn’t make any sense and was not interpretable by the context. Phil Gigante was the narrator and he did a wonderful job with the languages and voices. He earned his salary and then some with all of the nautical terms and boats types he had to say beside the different languages. The Boston Globe review on the audio cover states: “Such is the power of Ghosh’s precise, understanding prose that one occasionally wishes to turn the pages three at a time, eager to find out where Ghosh’s tale is headed.”  I’m not sure we were reading the same book, or the reviewer was skipping pages because he was frustrated trying to figure out what Ghosh was trying to say. This makes me never want to believe a book review again! Who writes those things, anyway.

Rating: 2/5

Published in: on July 28, 2016 at 11:26pm07  Comments (4)  
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Review: Intrigue in Istanbul (An Agnes Kelly Mystery, Book 1)

Nice post from lockedinmylibrary. Thanks, Molly!

locked in my library

  • Title: Intrigue in Istanbul, An Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure
  • Age Range: 8+
  • Grade Level: Middle School
  • Series: Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publication Date: December 25, 2015

Back Cover Blurb:  

    Everyone at the table is as surprised by Grandma’s little maneuver as I am, but I’m not looking at my relatives or even at Peggy, I’ve got my eyes glued on Grandma Agee. She’s reading Uncle Bob the riot act over at the dessert table…I’m concentrating hard on Grandma’s face, specifically her lips. But she’s turned ever so slightly away from me so I can only make out a bit of what she’s saying: “I told ya…” and “…button your lip.” among the finger wagging and eye scowling she’s giving poor Uncle Bob. 

With Grandma’s odd reaction and my dad being gone, unable to explain himself to me ever again, I feel an urgent…

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Published in: on July 18, 2016 at 11:26pm07  Comments (3)  

Make Me – Lee Child

Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20)I had heard of the Jack Reacher character and Lee Child, so when I was browsing the library for my next audio book, this one caught my eye. Even after reading it, I’m still not sure the reason for the title.

Stats: Audio book 12 discs – 14 hours, read by Dick Hill. Print is 432 pages, published in 2015.

Blurb: (Goodreads) “Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.

Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang . . . so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way—right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.

Walking away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.

What I liked: Like many, I do like Child’s Reacher character. That is what he goes by and that seems appropriate. This story is haunting, though it was mostly the ending that haunts you and the fact that you could see this happening somewhere in some far flung, forgotten small town connect to some mysterious depths of the internet. Child’s makes the story interestingly enough as it goes along to keep you reading – a small town with an odd name, with odd people where a PI mysteriously disappears. Yes, all very odd. Since I haven’t read any of Child’s other Reacher stories, I don’t know the character’s history, but it is appealing on some level, to just stop what you were doing or not doing and spend a couple weeks flying around the country helping someone out, just because you can. Dick Hill does a good job with this story, with his slow, calculated depiction of Jack. Michele Chang’s voice is a bit different, but it’s easy to overlook.

What I didn’t like: The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was a few times as an audio “reader” I was confused about what was going on, and a few parts that were drawn out a bit too long for my taste – how a particular gun works, for example. I’m sure Childs did this to build suspense, since Reacher was killing someone at the time, but a little shorter would have gotten the same point across and goal achieved.

Rating: 4/5

Published in: on July 11, 2016 at 11:26pm07  Comments (12)  
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Photo Phriday – In a sleeping bag in Kumbh Mela

Interesting to see the old and the new together. Another nice image from Joshi.

Joshi Daniel Photography

Black and white portrait of a man in a sleeping bag during Kumbh mela, Haridwar Man inside a sleeping bag | Kumbh Mela | Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India

Read more: Kumbh Mela

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Published in: on July 8, 2016 at 11:26pm07  Leave a Comment  
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