Most of the concepts in the book are familiar to fans of pop psychology. The author also occasionally makes logically questionable claims. For example, he suggests that the explosion of choice is substantially responsible for the increasing rates of depression in America in recent decades, ignoring somewhat more likely culprits such as obesity, improved diagnostics and reduced stigma. He also gets pretty repetitive after a while; in some ways, I'd have preferred reading this one paperback so I could skip the boring parts (e.g., the opening 15 minute trip through the supermarket. We get it already! We saw it coming a mile off!). After listening to this book, I will look for more opportunities in my life to satisfice, rather than optimize, so it has been persuasive in that regard. Perhaps worth listening to once, to be convinced on that point, but I'm probably not going to re-listen to this one too many times.
The Guards miniseries is definitely one of my favorites in Discworld. While Guards, Guards might not be as strong as Men At Arms or Feet of Clay, it's still a solid beginning. I'd recommend it to anybody.
The characters here aren't that likable (apart from the nurse and the dog) and the ending's a bit too predictable. Very little of the humor I appreciate from Barbara Michaels. Overall, just meh.
I listened to the Divergent series about a year ago, and remembered the second one being not as good as the first, and third one being downright awful. Having recently seen the Divergent movie, I tried relistening to the second book. I had to stop halfway through. The narration is pretty hard to listen to (after mostly listening to Barbara Rosenblat and Steven Briggs). I think a lot of the appeal the first time through came from wanting to know what happens next; once you know, it's a lot harder to put up with. I'll definitely go see the movie, but I think I'd have to be pretty desperate to listen to the rest of the novel again.
After listening to The Seventh Sinner, I gave up on Jacqueline Kirby. That book was just bad, and I assumed that, like Terry Pratchett, it must have taken Elizabeth Peters a while to hit her stride. Recently, I realized I had bought this other Kirby novel before listening to the first, and on a whim started listening to it. I won't say I was blown away, but by the time I got to the big revelation scene at the end, I couldn't wait to hear how it had all happened. I liked it so much that I immediately relistened to it, just to see if paying more attention might have helped me figure out more in advance. I still don't like Jacqueline as much as Vicky Bliss or Amelia Peabody, but after Naked Once More, I really hope they get the 3rd book at least in the Barbara Rosenblatt version! I tried listening to the sample of the current version Audible has, and it's pretty painful.
I had high hopes for this, having run out of Elizabeth Peters novels and seeing it was a Barbara Rosenblat series. Despite all the glowing reviews I read, I just can't say I enjoyed it. At first, Mrs. Pollifax just seems so... dumb. Most of her successes appear, at best, to be dumb luck. I saw the denoument coming from about halfway through the book. It wasn't actually bad, so I'll give the second book a chance to see if the series gets better, but I can't see myself ever listening to this one again.
I'm not sure why people think these are so funny. I mostly find them stressful (although I guess that's what other people would call "suspenseful"). It's all "everything possible going wrong right up until the very end where everything goes right." Mrs. Pollifax is definitely a more admirable character in this installment compared to the first (the opening line about karate is the only time in either of the two books where I laughed), but I can't say I like her enough to continue. Kind of bummed, was really hoping this could be a favorite new series and it's just meh. It might be the later books get better (certainly the trend is upwards) but given I've no desire to relisten to the first two, I'm not desperate enough to continue. Love Barbara Rosenblat, but apparently not Dorothy Gilman.
This definitely isn't one of my favorites, but I can't not like Vimes. On the downside, it's pretty dark, Fred Colon is remarkably unlikable, and like Vimes, I don't especially enjoy the countryside. On the plus side, Vimes is kickass, Wilikins finally gets rounded out as a character, and young Sam is surprisingly entertaining. Wish we could see him grow up more.
I'm not a big fan of Pratchett's other series, and the demons of hell definitely call that style to mind more than anything else in the Discworld. I'm glad he never revisits the place. There's also not much of familiar characters to enjoy, apart from Rincewind. That said, the overall story's not bad, and the first two wishes are really quite fun set pieces.
I'd say this entry is better than average. Not as epic as the Emersons' first visit, but definitely better written, with better pacing and more memorable characters. I don't particularly care for Ramses' activities during this one, but I suppose you have to let a character make some mistakes.
Apart from being the King Tut episode, there's not much else that sticks out about this one. It definitely hits on all the major tropes of the series (young lovers, a delightful impersonation by Sethos, comical humiliation of Emerson's enemies). I guess I'm just bummed that the Emersons don't get to triumph in the end, though it would have been quite a departure from history.
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