Saturday, November 3, 2018

Four Short Reviews - 3 Fiction + 1 Nonfiction

The Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton
he Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton  - I've been a somewhat inconsistent fan of the Agatha Raisin series.  I always enjoy them but I've kind of jumped around in the series so I've missed some of Agatha's frequent drama, relationships, and breakups.  Regardless, I always love seeing what's going on with her and what kind of trouble she gets herself into.  However, while I always enjoy catching up with Agatha this wasn't my favorite in the series.  Agatha seemed a little more man mad than usual and she let her detecting fade to the background.  It felt like she just reacted to what was going on around her instead of really examining it and investigating.  This resulted in the mystery itself feeling a bit disjointed and at the end mostly anticlimactic.  As well, I was a bit disappointed in Agatha's behavior.  She's usually much smarter than she was in this book.  That said, it was still a fun light read if flawed and this is a series that I'll continue with.  If you're new to the series I don't recommend you start here - try one of the earlier books. Rating: It Was Okay

Meditation for a Fidgety Skeptic by Dan Harris -  The title pretty much describes the book.  This is Dan Harris' book on meditation for people who aren't really into meditation.  I picked this one up because I liked the title and I kept seeing Dan Harris' ad on YouTube where he gets startled by a squirrel or raccoon or something and it made me laugh.  I went with the audio route and I enjoyed both Dan Harris and Jeff Warren's voices as they discussed the road trip and the people they met (this was mostly Dan) as well as meditation tips and some guided meditation (this was Jeff).  To be honest meditation has never really appealed to me but I've been doing yoga lately and was surprised how much I enjoyed the guided meditations available and how useful it was for relaxing.  There wasn't any mind blowing revelations here but I did enjoy the relaxed no stress atmosphere towards meditation and I did find myself really liking the idea of a regular meditation practice which is pretty much the whole point!  I haven't read Harris' previous book but I will be on the lookout for it.  Rating: Liked It

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen - Sarah Addison Allen is my go to summer author.  I try and read at least one of her books every summer.  The first two books I read were - The Peach Keeper (and loved it!) and Garden Spells (loved it too!) so I had high hopes for this one.  This one fell a little flat for me.  While there is the usual touches of magical realism they felt like they were kind of stuck in the corners (in one case literally) and not woven throughout the stories.  As well I never felt I connected with any of the characters very much.  This wasn't a bad book.  Sarah Addison Allen's writing style is as always wonderfully readable but it didn't have the hook me in book magic that I've come to expect from her.  Rating: Liked It

Ring For Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse - I thoroughly enjoyed another Jeeves book a year or so ago and was excited when I saw that Audible happened to have this one on sale.  I didn't read the blurb quite close enough so I was surprised to discover that Bertie Wooster was off somewhere and Jeeves was working for another man - one even more in need of his guidance than good old Bertie.  This was a bit slow going and while the story itself was entertaining I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was a novella or short story.  This being a full length novel (though a fairly short one) meant that at times it felt like it was dragging a bit.  There were also so many character that Jeeves faded into the background a little which is a tragedy unto itself.  I will definitely be listening to more Jeeves (they're wonderful in audio) but I'll definitely be making sure Bertie Wooster will be making an appearance!  Rating:  It Was Okay


  1. Sorry to hear the Beaton one was a little disappointing. I've heard good things about Sarah Addison Allen's books, even if this one didn't quite the hook her others did for you.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Every time I see Sarah Addison Allen's name I think how I need to read her books. I am trying a little meditation with Mouse at bed time because she is having trouble sleeping at night. It seems to be working some. I hope you have a great weekend.

  3. Thank you for your very helpful set of reviews, Katherine - what an excellent solution to a teetering TBR pile:))

  4. I keep meaning to read a Sarah Addison Allen book, but I still haven't done it! One of these days ...

  5. I have to start reading the Jeeves books I have. 👍✨