Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Great Passage, by Shion Miura (author), Juliet Winters Carpenter (translator), Brian Nishii (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, June 2017 (original publication January 2011)

Kohei Araki falls in love with words and dictionaries as a boy. When a university education makes it clear to him that he's a good but not academic-level lexicographer, he goes to work for Gembu Books, and makes dictionaries.

More than thirty years later, he's nearing retirement. His greatest work, The Great Passage, a top-level dictionary of the Japanese language, is well under way, but not yet complete, and he needs to recruit a successor.

He finds Mitsuya Majimi, a disheveled, seemingly unpromising, young man, who nevertheless proves to share his love of words and their power.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

One Sunny Night (The Adventures of Sonny Knight #1), by Charon Dunn

Leaping Lagomorph, January 2016

Leroy Knight is fifteen, is nice enough looking, and has no particular talents. This is a real problem in his nation of Braganza in 3147, because talent is what his culture is all about. His family loves him, and worries for him.

Then a silly accident gives him a little notoriety, an accidental resemblance to an international clashball sports hero, Rufus Marshall. In an especially silly publicity stunt, Rufe's team, the Vanram Rams, invites Leroy and his family to the championship game.

What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Still Waters (Sandhamn #1), by Viveca Sten (author), Marlaine Delargy (translator), Angela Dawe (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, October 2015 (original publication 2008)

A body washes up on the beach of the island of Sandhamn, in Sweden, and at first it looks like an accident. It takes a while to identify him, but Krister Berggren seemingly just had an accidental fall off a boat, and wasn't noticed in time. Police Detective Thomas Andreasson identifies him, and talks to Krister's only close relative, his cousin Kicki Berggren, in Stockholm, and is about to close the case when Kicki turns up dead, apparently badly beaten, in a bed-and-breakfast on Sandhamn.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Addictive Brain (The Great Courses: Better Living), by Thad A. Polk (author, narrator)

The Great Courses, March 2015

Addiction is a word that is often tossed around casually, but real addiction is a serious and complex problem. This is a look at what we know about the biological aspects of addiction, the role that human physiology and genetics play in making addiction, and in treating addiction.

Polk starts off by defining what he means by addiction in this book, the stricter definition of actual physical addiction, with continued use of the addictive substance despite serious negative consequences, and often despite a real desire and effort on the part of the addict to quit. Then he explains what's going on in the body, in creating and maintaining addiction. This includes the research in twin studies and in animal models--mostly mice, who are surprisingly genetically similar to us.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Their Lost Daughters (DI Jackman & DS Evans #2), by Joy Ellis (author), Richard Arimitage (narrator)

Audible Studios, June 2018

DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans are working a missing persons case seeking the daughter of one of their own coworkers. Finding a body is heartbreaking, but at least an answer.

Unfortunately, there are still questions. The girl's body has signs of drugs she wouldn't have taken willingly. They have another case dropped on them from a neighboring jurisdiction, which claims it's got a work overload.

And an old case, of a disappeared little girl who was never found, is also handed to them, as a high priority, because the mother, who has never given up, is making another media push to get her found.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Last Year, by Robert Charles Wilson (author), Scott Brick (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, December 2016

Jesse Cullum is one of the local employees of the city of Futurity, a man of the 1870s hired first to help build and then to be a security guard for the city.

Futurity is a city built by people from the 21st century, who have technology that allows them to travel into, not their own past, but into an alternate past, a past that appears to be theirs, but in which changes won't affect their own time. The technology is said to be a product of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and licensed to a wealthy industrialist named Kemp when it proved to have no military value. He's using it to run tours of the 1870s for the well-heeled of the 21st century, while offering the natives of the 1870s a carefully selective view of the 21st century. The gateway, the "mirror," will only remain open for five years, allegedly to avoid having too much impact on this alternate world, and it's now the start of Futurity's last year.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Murder of a Silent Man (DCI Isaac Cook #8), by Phillip Strang

Phillip Strang, June 2018

Gilbert Lawrence was a real estate magnate of great wealth, and also an eccentric and a complete recluse. He has not left his home in thirty years, barring weekly visits to the local liquor store, and one visit, twenty years ago, to a dentist.

Now he's dead, murdered in his own front yard, discovered by the postman.

He has also left a will leaving his lawyer in control of his wealth, with relatively small amounts doled out to his daughter, his son, his grandchildren, and his sister, under very tight conditions.

DCI Cook and his team have to untangle the family relationships, the intentions of the lawyers, the other entanglements of family members. Lawrence's son and daughter had every reason to believe they would inherit many millions of pounds on their father's death. No one else seems to have any obvious motive. And yet....

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Secret, Book, & Scone Society (Miracle Springs, North Carolina #1), by Ellery Adams (author), Cris Dukehart (narrator)

Dreamscape Media, November 2017

Nora Pennington moved to Miracle Springs after a terrible personal tragedy, and opened a bookstore, Miracle Books. She sells books, and coffee, and for those customers who need it, over a "comfort scone" from the neighboring Gingerbread House bakery, she'll listen to their troubles, and recommend well-chosen books to start them on the path to healing.

It's a peaceful, quiet life, until one day, the customer in need of healing is Neil Parrish. He makes an appointment to see her the next day, but is killed by a train before he can keep that appointment. It's not long before the clumsy official investigation into the death connects Nora with three other women who moved to Miracle Springs for their own healing. They form the Secret, Book, & Scone Society. They share their secrets, and launch their own investigation of Neil Parrish's death.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Digging In, by Loretta Nyhan (author), Mary Robinette Kowal (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, April 2018

Paige Moresco met her true love in eighth grade.

They married right out of college, and had a son, Trey.

When  Trey was in his early teens, though, Jesse died in a car crash.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Brody: The Betting Billionaire (Billionaire Cowboys of Clearwater County #3), by Bonnie R. Paulson

Captiva Publishing, June 2018

Kate Mattese is n a tough situation, financially. She had to leave vet tech school when her father lost is job in the economic crash, her mother had to stop working as a nurse due to an injury, and as a result of the confluence of rough blows, they lost their house. Kate and her mom are living in a trailer, and her father is working in the oil fields of North Dakota. He sends money, but less and less, at longer and longer intervals.

Kate is working any jobs she can get to just pay the rent at the trailer park and keep food on the table. With nothing else in sight, she's grateful to see an opening for a dealer at the casino, and goes there to apply.

It has already been filled, and there won't be new openings until the end of the month. She doesn't have enough to wait that long.