Monday, August 24, 2015

Emma: A Modern Retelling, by Alexander McCall Smith

Borrowed Kindle version from my local library.

Alexander McCall Smith's style is well suited to this modern retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. I find his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books soothing, even when there are dangerous situations, and I felt the same level of comfort with "Emma." A tweak here, a tweak there, but never straying too far from the core of the original.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Trigger Warning, by Neil Gaiman

Borrowed Kindle version from my local library.

These are great stories: I love Neil Gaiman's voice, even when he's not reading to me (although I will be adding his audio version to my wishlist). From his lengthy introduction to his explanations of each story's origins to the stories themselves, this is Neil Gaiman in top form. Even though the stories were written over a long period of time and for many different reasons, they fit together nicely. And, as a bonus, I get to mark off the top right corner of my BINGO card. Thanks, Neil Gaiman.

The Outsider, by Jimmy Connors

Borrowed audio version from my local library. Read by Rich Orlow.

I love tennis. Watching it, not playing it. I grew up with the Connors-McEnroe rivalry in the early 1980s, or so I thought. Turns out that McEnroe was on his way up while Connors was at the top of his game and it was more a Connors-Borg rivalry in the 1970s. I loved hearing about the "early" days of competitive tennis and Jimmy Connors' role in bring tennis to the masses by exploding out of the stuffy confines of the country club sets. He loved being the bad boy of tennis and he admits to all his "assholery" (his word) with few regrets.

For the most part, Rich Orlow did a really great job reading this memoir. I have only two complaints: 1) he almost always pronounces "Wimbledon" as "Wimbleton," and 2) he pronounces "Vitas Gerulaitis" as "Vitas Jerulaitis." (Either he is wrong on that, or all the sportscasters and newscasters from his era are.) Other than that, his energy, tone, and inflections were spot on.