Stamped DNF – The Likeness by Tana French

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in 2.5 stars, 2017, Book Review, DNF, Tana French | 4 comments

Stamped DNF
The Likeness by Tana French
The Likeness by Tana French

Genre: Mystery
Format: Ebook
Series: The Dublin Murder Squad #2
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: DNF at page 216 out of 497
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

Six months after a particularly nasty case, Detective Cassie Maddox has transferred out of Dublin’s Murder squad and has no plans to go back. That is, until an urgent telephone call summons her to a grisly crime scene.

It’s only when she sees the body that Cassie understands the hurry. The victim, a young woman, is Cassie’s double and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used on an undercover job. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl but, more importantly, who is this girl? And as reality and fantasy become desperately tangled, Cassie moves dangerously close to losing herself forever.

At what point did I break up with this book?
I put it aside at page 216 out of 497. When I realized it had been a month since I started the book and I was still less than halfway through I knew it was time.

What worked for me?
Despite the unlikely premise of Cassie being able to take the place of her doppelganger I thought it was an interesting way to approach the investigation.

What didn’t work for me?
I’m not sure exactly. I loved Tana French’s first book. I was familiar with her dense writing style and knew it would be slower paced. Unfortunately, it was just too easy for me to put this down and do something else. I wanted to love this book. I wanted to get wrapped up in it and spend hours at a time reading it but it just didn’t draw me in enough for that to happen.

It’s not you, it’s me . . . or maybe it really IS you.
I think it’s probably a little of both. I may pick it up again at some point in the future. I looked at the audiobook but saw that it was 22 hours long. I’m not sure I’m up for that. I did see that the narrator was getting a lot of praise in the reviews so who knows I might go that route someday.

Have you listened to or read this book? What did you think?

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Weekend Update – The Ten Things I Liked This Week February 2017

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

Ten Things I Liked This Week February 2017

Ten Things I Liked This Week February 2017

I started doing Ten Things I Liked This Week in June of 2015 and it’s definitely become my favorite monthly post. I love adding to my list throughout the week.

Here are ten things I liked this week:

1. This Fennec Fox Cub
The Taronga Zoo in Syndey Australia posted this video of their baby Fennec Fox. I’m in love.


2. Justin Trudeau
He came fully prepared to defend himself from Trump’s weird handshake jerk.



3. Tuesday’s Sunrise
It was spectacular and I got to the waterfront downtown just in time.

Sunrise on the Portland Waterfront


4. Our Valentine’s Day Tradition
We don’t do gifts or flowers but we have some champagne, good chocolates and watch our wedding video.
And we’re super classy and use the champagne flutes we got at a race.

Valentine's tradition

5. This Dog


6. My New T-Shirt

Nevertheless She Persisted


7. This
I need to post this both at home and at work.

The Negative Comittee


8. Nora the Polar Bear
She was sleeping when we were at the zoo last week but she did some diving practice this week. I love her Belly Flop style.


9. Top Chef
This has been a good season and after this week’s episode I’m happy. I’m pulling for Brooke to win it all but I’ll be fine with any of the remaining top three winning.

Top Chef


10. Rogue One
We finally went to see it yesterday. I liked it.

Rogue One


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, Audio Edition

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in 2017, 3.5 stars, Book Review | 1 comment

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald narrated by the authorH is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald narrated by the author

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2015
Length: 11 hours, 6 minutes
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

When Helen MacDonald’s father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer captivated by hawks since childhood, she’d never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators: the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk’s fierce and feral anger mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T. H. White’s chronicle The Goshawk to begin her journey into Mabel’s world. Projecting herself “in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her” tested the limits of MacDonald’s humanity.

By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement, a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, and the story of an eccentric falconer and legendary writer. Weaving together obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history, H Is for Hawk is a distinctive, surprising blend of nature writing and memoir from a very gifted writer.

My Thoughts:
This is so not a book that I would be inclined to pick up. A memoir about grief? No thanks I’ll pass. Even though many of my friends loved the book I just wasn’t that interested. Then I started hearing that the audiobook was worth a listen because the author’s narration was so good. There was gushing about her narration. So, I decided to give it a shot.

It’s partly about working through her grief after the sudden death of her father but there’s more. It’s also about an experienced falconer taking on the training of a traditionally hard to train goshawk. It’s also about T. H. White (author of The Once and Future King and The Sword in the Stone). He wrote a book called The Goshawk about his own less than successful training of a goshawk. Throughout the book his training serves as a counterpoint to MacDonald’s own work with her bird.

Go to Helen MacDonald’s Blog to see a stunning photo of her goshawk.

What I enjoyed most about this book was learning about falconry and MacDonald’s relationship with her goshawk. It was fascinating and fun to learn that her goshawk liked to play.

There were a couple of times when MacDonald talked about her grieving process that absolutely hit home to me. I lost my father when I was in my early twenties and my mother when I was in my mid-thirties.

What happens to the mind after bereavement makes no sense until later.

The archaeology of grief is not ordered. It is more like earth under a spade, turning up things you had forgotten. Surprising things come to light: not simply memories but sates of mind, emotions, older ways of seeing the world.

I’m not sure I would have liked this book in print. MacDonald’s narration is fabulous. I wish she would start a second career as a narrator. Authors as narrators can be hit or miss but opting to have MacDonald narrate her own bool was a brilliant choice.

I think that the way I tend to listen to audiobooks had a lot to do with the fact I liked this one. I typically only listen when I’m in the car by myself (commuting and errands). That means I experience audiobooks in small bits and pieces. This book worked well that way.

3.5 stars 3.5/5 for the book

5 stars 5/5 for the narration

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