This book was okay. I did appreciate all the personal anecdotes Ben-Shahar included, but would have preferred more prescriptive or actionable recommendations. He spends a lot of time expounding on the theory behind perfectionism and how it plays out in real life, but doesn't cite much evidence (at least in audiobook format) to suggest whether this is a) real findings or b) his interpretation. The book made me feel bad about myself for being a perfectionist, but was either too vague or possibly too easy to tune out for me to walk away with any clear notion of what I should do to STOP being a perfectionist. "Yes, I should be an optimalist! ....how again?" It may be simply that this one works better on paper. I might listen to it again someday, but probably not any time soon.
Although I can't say Molly's character bears any resemblance to her former incarnation, this is still one of the more memorable installments. The post-climax conclusion feels very short (I don't think it's more than five minutes), but the ramp up to the climax is pretty fun. On the whole, solidly enjoyable.
In some ways, this is two novels; the first and third acts are one, and the second act is a wholly unrelated interlude. I like acts one and three much better than act two, which feels like a distraction more than anything else.
I had actually forgotten who the villain was in this one; it didn't leave as much of an impression as Miss Minton and her erstwhile beau. It would be hard to follow up He Shall Thunder in the Sky, but this is a decent effort.
I honestly don't remember much of what happens in the first 80% of this one; the last 20% is just too awesome. I relistened to it several times. I'm pretty sure the first 80% is good, too, it's just hard to pay attention when you're impatient to get to the last act. You can't read this one without first reading The Falcon at the Portal, but you can't read that one without immediately wanting this one. One of my favorites.
Talk about an emotional rollercoaster. I give this one the highest rating of any in the series, much as it maddened me the first time I listened to it. I would not recommend starting this one without having the next (He Shall Thunder in the Sky) on hand; these two collectively mark the high point of the series for me. Just when you think you're getting a payoff several books in the making, Elizabeth Peters turns the tables again.
This one starts fast and ends fast, but takes its time in between. I do feel tighter editing could have shaved off a few hours, but on the whole enjoy this one, particularly the Ramses portions.
This is the first installment in which we hear from Ramses and the other children, and I had forgotten how much that adds to the general enjoyment. While Ramses' narrations aren't as humorous as Amelia's, they provide an excellent counterbalance, quite a bit of action and even some much welcome romance. It's fun to see how everyone behaves when the elder Emersons aren't around! The plot of this particular episode is also one of the better ones. Definitely one of my favorites.
I have trouble keeping the "fable" installments straight in this series. This one I can recall mainly by the fact that this is where they get David, who's pretty much the last major character required to complete the Emerson set. It's enjoyable enough, just doesn't stick out in the mind.
Although I didn't care as much for the Outback venue, I can't deny there are some wonderful set pieces. The climax is a bit weird, but the faculty's adventure, the sheep-shearing contest, and the escape from prison sequence are all pretty fantastic. The argument over Australian figurative language is a personal favorite. Highly recommended.
The first time I listened to this, I found the central conceit fairly frustrating. Knowing the ending, it was easier to listen to a second time, and indeed somewhat more fun, knowing what the protagonist does not. On the whole, I found the beginning and end quite memorable, but couldn't recall much of what happened in the middle. That said, the letters from Ramses are among the best in the series.
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