The Ultimate Book Geek Challenge, Part Three

Category 10, Vintage mystery: The Bookman's Promise by John Dunning 🎧

I admit that this isn't really vintage mystery, but I'm justifying it because 1) there were too many mystery-type categories in this challenge (next year's categories are an improvement), 2) the protagonist/detective guy was kind of old himself ("vintage," you could say), and 3) there is a lengthy flashback to 1860 or thereabouts because the mystery involves a lost or unknown manuscript by explorer Richard Burton. I liked that the detective is a retired detective who is now a bookseller. I didn't like as much that he is yet another older man who has romantic flings with younger women. But that's everywhere, I guess.

Category 11, Historical: Our Town by Thornton Wilder

I'm sure I read this long ago, but I didn't remember much of it. It's a lovely and sweet play, though pretty heartrending at the end. The passing of time isn't my favorite thing to think about these days, though. Life is going by pretty quick and it just seems to go by faster as I get older.

Category 12, Out of my comfort zone: Rapunzel auf Deutsch (Rapunzel in German) 🎧

This is not terribly far out of my comfort zone, but it's certainly not something that I choose to read or listen to very often. Listening to something in German was more fun than I was expecting it to be. I think I said that in the last post.

Category 13, Something on my shelf I haven't read: The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket 🎧

I listened to this, narrated by Tim Curry, who does the best Mr. Poe, with all of his coughing. It took me years to appreciate the humor of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Or actually, it just took me a long time to appreciate that kind of humor with kids as the audience. But the series has grown on me quite a bit and my kids love it.

Category 14, Non-fiction with flair: Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

I'll put the dumb subtitle here: "The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life." It's sort of a sensationalist subtitle, but the book is really good. Maybe a little flippantly written at times, but just a bit, and the information is important and universally applicable and should probably be read by all women and anyone who wants to understand women. It's really more about having a healthy and productive attitude toward your own unique and normal sexuality than it is about your "sex life." I thought it was really good.

Category 15, Book to movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling 🎧

Jim Dale reading the Harry Potter books is what made me start listening to books regularly. He is a fantastic narrator. The Harry Potter audiobooks are also what demonstrated that I drive more than I realized, because it didn't take me very long to get through all of those long books on CD. I read them years ago, and listening to them was my second time through. Book 7 is of course the saddest book.

Here's the order in which I listened to the Harry Potter books: Picked up #6 at random for a road trip and enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. Started #7 and found it too sad and mildly distressing after a few hours, so I stopped. Then #1, #2, #3, #4, #5. Then took a longish break. Then started #7 from the beginning. Strangely, my initial reading of the books was also weird: read #1 and thought it was just okay. Saw movies 1, 2, 3, and 4 with my kids. Then while standing in line at midnight for the 7th book so that my oldest son (and only my oldest son; nobody else had read all the books yet!) could read it, realized that I should read them, too. Read #5, #6, and #7, enjoyed them immensely, then read #2, #3, and #4.

Category 16, Out-do yourself: Schneewittchen auf Deutsch (Snow White in German)

I know I kinda let myself off the hook with my "Out-do yourself" and "Out of your comfort zone" categories, but I really was worried that I wouldn't make it and thought I'd better go easy on myself at the beginning. Here's a way the German one is different from the Disney one: after the scary beautiful queen discovers that the huntsman didn't kill Snow White, she tries to kill her by lacing her too tightly into a beautiful lace collar, by combing her hair with a poisoned comb, and finally with the poisoned apple, which she tricks Snow White into biting into by only poisoning half the apple and biting into the non-poisonous side herself.


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