Archive for the ‘audiobooks’ Category

The Lake House is the first book of Kate Morton’s I have read. At 600 pages long, it was a good thing I had a long weekend ahead of me (and absolutely no desire to do anything like housework) when I downloaded it. I really liked the first 550 pages or so of it – my quibbles are mostly with the ending.

First, don’t confuse it with the Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves movie of 2006. The book was published in 2015 by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Morton is Australian, but the book is set in England. Below is the official synopsis from Amazon:

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories.

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. He is never found, and the family is torn apart, the house abandoned.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as a novelist. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old Edevane estate—now crumbling and covered with vines. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.

The story is a mystery with as many twists and turns as a mountain road. It spans decades of the Edevane family  history, from Alice’s parents falling in love, through her father’s service in World War I and his return, to Alice and her two sisters’ lives at their beloved lake home and the mysterious disappearance of their baby brother. Sadie is a cop on forced leave who becomes interested – or maybe I should say obsessed – with finding out what happened to little Theo. Sadie’s part of the story comes in 2003, so Theo at that point has been missing for decades. Will Alice, a successful mystery writer, help Sadie discover what happened to her baby brother? Or does she already know what happened?

As a mystery it’s very good. When you think Sadie has it all figured out, something will twist the story in another direction. The chapters flit back and forth between time periods, which is something you’ll either like or you don’t, but I liked it. My issue with the book was that the ending seemed rushed (after 600 pages!), and it all tied up too neatly and a bit twee for my liking. But if you like a long book and are looking for a new mystery author this may fit the bill. I liked it well enough to download another one of Morton’s, The Forgotten Garden. We’ll see how that one goes.

#TheLakeHouse #KateMorton

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Is everybody jolly out there?  Well, if not, I’m here to give you some ideas how to spend your time off from work.

  1. Go to a movie.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the big one out there that you may have trouble getting tickets to.  Order them online if necessary.  I haven’t had time to check this one out yet, but I probably will in the next few days.  Chris Pratt’s Passengers is also out, but with a big ol’ Rotten Tomatoes splat (31% – yikes!) I’m not sure if I’ll put out the coin for that one or just wait for it to show up for rent online.  If anybody’s seen it feel free to let me know how it is by posting a comment.
  2. Watch Sherlock series 4.  This will premiere on the BBC and PBS on January 1 with the next two episodes on subsequent Sundays.  The last episode, The Final Problem, will also be shown in certain theaters.  See my previous post for more info.
  3. Do some charitable work and/or donate to your favorite cause.
  4. Catch up on Lethal Weapon.  Episodes are available for free online.
  5. Play with the furkids.  You got the felines and canines and any other animals in your lives presents, right?  Mine are getting a some-assembly-required new cat tree.  Cross your fingers I get this one put together before I have to go back to work.  I have 10 days.
  6. Rewatch all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.  That’ll take you a while.  Be sure to get up and stretch once in a while.
  7. Write down your New Year’s Resolutions.  Then put them in an envelope, tear them in half, and throw them away.  Seriously, who needs the pressure?
  8. Watch all the old Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone.  There were 14 of them.  Personally I’d skip the ones where they’re chasing Nazis (outside of the first two they were all in what was then present day.  No, BBC’s Sherlock wasn’t the first to do that).
  9. Listen to all 26 episodes of BBC radio’s Cabin Pressure.  With Benedict Cumberbatch and a crew of very funny people (including Anthony Head in some later episodes), it’s my go-to comedy series when I need a laugh.  You can order the CD’s or an Audible version on Amazon.

Everyone have a very happy whatever-you’re-celebrating, and hug the furkids for me!

#Sherlock #CabinPressure #LethalWeapon #StarWars

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Yes, you read that right.  Benedict Cumberbatch, who can alternately be a Serious Actor (The Imitation Game, Hamlet), perfectly deliver some very funny lines (Cabin Pressure), play a superhero (Doctor Strange), or a consulting detective (Sherlock) — all with equal ease — will now be The Grinch.

According to Deadline, Benny will be voicing the character in a new animated version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Illumination Entertainment, house of The Minions.  The movie will be released on November 10th, 2017.  Of course, his little boy Christopher might just be old enough by then to enjoy it, although maybe a little confused about why his dad’s voice is attached to an ugly green creature in a Santa suit.

Benedict has done quite a bit of voice and radio work in the past.  If you haven’t checked out Cabin Pressure, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.  And of course, he was the voice of Agent Classified in The Penguins of Madagascar as well as the dragon Smaug and The Necromancer in The Hobbit films.  He’s done the audio tapes for Casanova, voiced young Rumpole for the Rumpole of the Bailey radio shows, and even read some recent Sherlock Holmes stories, among other things.  All of these are worth checking out, as well as his other early voiceover work.

#BenedictCumberbatch #TheGrinch

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The sixth and final season of Downton Abbey is over on PBS.  Barring any (rumored) film becoming a reality, it seems we have to leave the Crawley family behind.

So what’s a Downton fan to watch now?

Well, creator Julian Fellowes is working on a new period series, The Gilded Age, for NBC.  That series will start filming this year.  It’s set in New York in the 1880’s, according to Radio Times.

He also has a novel, Belgravia, that will be released online in 11 installments.  Sign up here.  The first episode will appear in April and will be available in both text and audio, with an option to download each episode to an app.

Here’s Fellowes doing an introduction to the project:

Fellowes also adapted Anthony Trollope‘s novel for Doctor Thorne, which just premiered last night on ITV.  No word on whether this will be coming the US, though.  (BTW, it was beaten in the ratings by Tom Hiddleston’s The Night Manager on BBC.)

On PBS’s Masterpiece Downton’s slot will be taken by a replay of Mercy Street, set in a hospital during the Civil War.

#DowntonAbbey #MercyStreet #JulianFellowes #BelgraviaNovel #DoctorThorne

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