Game of Mirrors by Andrea Camilleri

Game of Mirrors by Andrea Camilleri Game of Mirrors by Andrea Camilleri
Narrator: Grover Gardner
Series: Commissario Montalbano #18
Published by Blackstone Audio on March 31, 2015 (first published 2011)
Source: Library
Genres: Mystery
Length: 5 hrs 34 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Inspector Montalbano and his colleagues are stumped when two bombs explode outside empty warehouses - one of which is connected to a big-time drug dealer. Meanwhile the alluring Liliana Lombardo is trying to seduce the inspector over red wine and arancini. Between pesky reporters, amorous trysts, and cocaine kingpins, Montalbano feels as if he's being manipulated on all fronts. That is until the inspector himself becomes the prime suspect in an unspeakably brutal crime.

I’ve read/listened to several of the Montalbano mysteries over the years. It’s a series I know what to expect from. The main characters don’t change much over the years and the food always sounds delicious. For me, this is one of the series I turn to when I want something that I know I’ll enjoy.

This time around we’ve got a couple of bombings, but they both take place at empty warehouses, which is odd. Montalbano has a sexy new (married) neighbor who seems determined to seduce him. Her car’s been vandalized and her computer salesman husband is never around. To top it all off, anonymous letters and phone calls are being sent to citizens, the prosecutor and a television station, all pointing in different directions. We’ve also got a couple of drug gangs that may or may not be involved. Of course, Montalbano manages to tie all the seemingly random events together.

I often listen to the audios for this series, rather than read the print versions. I like hearing the names of people and places and foods. They sound so much more fluid than they would in my head. Also, the plots aren’t overly complicated, so they’re good to listen to as I’m doing chores or out at the gym.

As always, the writing is well done. Camilleri really gives a feeling of the place and especially the people of both Sicily in general and Montalbano’s circle. I don’t think this would be the best introduction to the series, but if you’re already a fan it’s definitely worth reading.

About Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri (born September 6, 1925 in Porto Empedocle) is an Italian writer. He is considered one of the greatest Italian writers of both 20th and 21st centuries. Camilleri lives in Rome where he works as a TV and theatre director. About 10 million copies of his novels have been sold to date, and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK and North America.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Love Does by Bob Goff

Love Does by Bob Goff Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff
Narrator: Bob Goff
Published by Thomas Nelson on May 7, 2012
Source: Library
Genres: Christian Life
Length: 5 hrs 35 mins
Format: Audiobook
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As a college student he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren't good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean's office for seven days until they finally let him enroll.

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world's best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world's most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it's not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob's love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don't want to miss.

Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob's life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.

I picked up Love Does on the recommendation of a friend. On the one hand, I can see why she liked it, on the other hand I expected more from it.

Love Does is about getting out there and doing things, not just talking about them or wishing them. It’s about going big. To illustrate this, Goff uses a story from his life – and man does he have some stories, and connecting it to a Biblical truth. Sometimes those connections are stretching a little and some of his stories are not necessarily as amusing or relatable as he seems to think. I am glad i listened to the audio, which is narrated by Goff. It’s like he’s telling you the stories himself. In print some of them may have come off as bragging, but from his voice he seems honest and like a truly good guy who takes advantage of any and all opportunities life gives him and makes his own. Mind you, he must have a lot of money. Apparently, being a construction defect attorney is fairly lucrative.

The parts I found annoying were the equating whimsy with love. They are not the same and I know he realizes that, but in the book it seems like whims are always guided by love and they just aren’t. A capricious thought can be doesn’t have to come from love, a “caper” like breaking into a movie set or having your friend charged $400 for room services has nothing to do with love, even if you can tie it into a Biblical theme. They’re good stories and amusing but I’m not sure they’re really examples of “love does.” Most of the stories fit into his theme well, just not all of them. He likes the words “whimsy” and “caper” a little too much.

I do think Love Does is inspiring. Even you don’t have money to take off to London at the last minute, there are other ways to do love, to be active in your caring for others and in the ways you want to see the world change.

About Bob Goff

Bob Goff is the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book Love Does. Bob also provides senior leadership at Goff & Dewalt, LLP as the founding partner. The U.S. Department of State recognizes Mr. Goff as a diplomat and he is known as an Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda due to his work with Restore International, a non-profit organization he founded.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley

Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Series: The Checquy Files #2
Published by Hachette Book Group on June 14, 2016
Source: Library
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 23 hrs 12 mins
Format: Audiobook
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In this spirited sequel, The Rook returns to clinch an alliance between deadly rivals and avert epic—and slimy—supernatural war.

When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers—and the bureaucratic finesse—to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries: The Checquy — the centuries-old covert British organization that protects society from supernatural threats, and… The Grafters — a centuries-old supernatural threat.

But as bizarre attacks sweep London, threatening to sabotage negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women, who absolutely hate each other, can seek out the culprits before they trigger a devastating otherworldly war.

STILETTO is a novel of preternatural diplomacy, paranoia, and snide remarks.

I loved The Rook last year, the first in this series and was looking forward to Stiletto, even though based on reviews I read I had my high expectations tampered a bit. Happily, because while Stiletto was enjoyable, it didn’t blow me away like The Rook.

Rook Myfanwy Thomas is in the midst of negotiating a way for the Grafters to join the Checquy. The two groups have been enemies for hundreds of years, each believing the other to be monsters, but having the two join forces is rather brilliant. The two groups definitely have different strengths and ways of looking at the world that could complement each other.

But Myfanwy is not the main character here. Yes, she gets some screen time, but the stars are Pawn Felicity Clements and Grafter Odette Leliefeld. Odette is a sad young woman, mourning the loss of her closest friends and unsure of her part in the Grafter Delegation. Felicity is assigned to be her bodyguard, since many in the Checquy truly hate the Grafters and especially Odette. Of course, watching Odette 24/7 also gives Felicity the opportunity to spy on her, see where her loyalties lie. I like the two women, although neither has as big a personality as Myfanwy. They do fit well into the overall Checquy/Grafter merge. Each is very good at what she does and is leery of the other woman’s capabilities. They do grow to like, and trust, each other. I liked that we got to hear each woman’s viewpoints and thoughts, both about their own organization and the other.

I listened to the audio and the narrator did a wonderful job with a large cast of characters. She made each person unique and while I can’t vouch for the accuracy of her accents, they felt fine to me. It is a long book and there are some parts that felt maybe unnecessary or too drawn out, and parts were rather slow. Each piece had its purpose, but I’m not sure that it couldn’t have been done a little better, the pacing could have been more consistent.

Stiletto is full of funny bits of dialogue, monster killing, extraordinary powers, and amazing science. It had me laughing out loud at times. I love its tongue-in-cheek style. It’s also about institutionalized hatred and how to (maybe) overcome it. It’s about the responsible use of power. It’s about building relationships and learning to appreciate differences. And it’s about defeating bad guys who can look like anyone and know most of your secrets.

About Daniel O’Malley

Dan O’Malley graduated from Michigan State University and earned a Master’s Degree in medieval history from Ohio State University. He then returned to his childhood home, Australia. He now works for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, writing press releases for government investigations of plane crashes and runaway boats.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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