After many years of asking my wife to repeat what she said and telling my kid to stop mumbling when he talks to me, I went in for an eval for hearing aids. Unsurprisingly, I was diagnosed with moderate loss in both ears. TJ and Micah weren’t the only ones who have been pushing me to get my ears checked, many co-workers and friends teased me and told me to get some damn hearing aids. It was a big joke. Until it wasn’t anymore.

Like a lot of people, it took me a long time to get to the point where I had to get over myself and bite the bullet. I recently read that it takes the average person something like seven to ten years to finally suck it up and get hearing aids. It may have taken me a bit longer but after TJ got ticked at me one day a few weeks ago, I knew I couldn’t put it off anymore.

More than anything, I didn’t want to be seen as being old and frail. I already have bad eyes and prematurely gray hair. Well, it was premature 20 years ago… Now that I have them, though, I can see that I didn’t have anything to worry about. Of course, timing is a big player in my feelings. Last April there was a big technological advance and I was able to get some cutting edge devices. And they connect directly to my iOS devices so no more earbuds for me; everything plays through the speakers in my ears. And they’re nearly invisible.

I’ve had them for just under 24 hours and I’ve spend a chunk of that time walking around the house muting them for a few seconds to compare what I hear with my naked ears with what I can hear with the devices. I had no idea I was missing so much. I can hear most things but I didn’t realize how big the difference was with higher tones. As I was walking around the house last night putting the blinds and shades down, I was surprised by how loud the crickets were. I took the aids out of my head and I couldn’t hear them at all. This has been a big eye opening experience.

I’m still getting used to the feel of them but I think it was a good move. I’m also pretty sure my family will appreciate not having to have to repeat themselves so often.



Oh so very, very good


No Good Reason - Cari Hunter

This book has been on my TBR list since before it was published. Full disclosure – I’m a friend of the author. I’ve known her for several years and love her sharp wit and dry, dark humor. I also love her writing voice and style and I knew that I’d enjoy this book. So why did I wait so long to read it? Easy: I have very little time to read anything with my eyeballs and I didn’t want to use a text-to-speech reader for this book. Sanne and Meg sound like Cari and when I’m reading with my eyes, I hear their voices. Normally, I’m fine with text-to-speech for British English books, I even have a special voice downloaded for them but it just didn’t cut it with this one. I needed to let my imagination give them voices. So it took me a very, very long time to finish the book.

It was well worth the wait and I’ve already gotten the second in the series opened up and ready to go.

But before I go to it, I just want to share a few words about why I find Hunter’s writing – and No Good Reason in particular – so engaging and good. I’ve seen other folks mention how real her characters are, and I agree completely. It’s so important to be able to connect with the characters in a book you’re reading. You have to care about them and believe that they’re real to truly become engrossed in the story. But that’s not it for me. I absolutely love the way Cari writes a scene. She brings it completely to life: the smells, the sounds, the colors, everything. But not in a way that the reader feels bogged down in it. Just enough to drop us there, next to Sanne or Meg and force us to experience what they’re living. Not many authors whom I’ve read over the past many years can do this as well as Cari Hunter.

Yeah, she’s my friend but a friend who wouldn’t want me to say anything flattering just to help her sell a book or to make her feel better. She’s got an insane amount of integrity – particularly when it comes to her writing. So if I didn’t believe what I’m writing here, I wouldn’t bother taking my time to do it.

But don’t take my word for it. If you like gritty, dark crime stories with very human characters, download a sample. You’ll know right away if it’s going to be for you.

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Very good read


Ashley Bell - Dean Koontz, Suzy Jackson, Recorded Books

After a slow start, I ended up enjoying the book. Lots of interesting twists and turns and an ending that made me rewind and listen again.

I definitely recommend it. It’s the third Koontz book I’ve read (one was when I was a teen, but still) and this one is my favorite.

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley but ended up getting the audio book later. The narrator did a great job.

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Winner for Williamson


Blurred Lines (Cops and Docs) (Volume 1) - Kd Williamson

I was hesitant to read this book for several reasons… I saw all the great ratings and reviews and was immediately skeptical. I also read the author’s first published book many years ago and didn’t care for it much at all – again for several reasons. And lastly, I’m still not sure how I feel about published fan fic when it’s so very obviously fan fic. I regularly debate this last one with myself and friends. It certainly makes me much more critical of the published version, at the very least.

With all that right out there, I enjoyed this book a lot. I have a soft spot for well done Rizzles fics (Rizzoli and Isles) and I thought the author did a great job of capturing the spirit of those characters. I’m also pretty sure that if I had no idea who the characters in this book were based off of, I’d still have had a very enjoyable experience – maybe even moreso. I don’t think I would have really gotten why Nora was so out of touch with popular culture – unless I missed that in the book, which is possible I suppose.

I thought the protagonists had a good deal of depth – which doesn’t seem to happen as often as it should in published fan fic – and the secondary characters weren’t flat either. The dialogue was good and flowed well and the story arcs were interesting. I liked pretty much the whole damn thing. I wish it had been different enough from the show that I would have been able to not see Jane and Maura and everyone else in the characters but it was a good, fun read. I enjoyed the author’s voice which seemed so much different from her first book.

I’m glad I finally caved to peer pressure and read Blurred Lines and I honestly look forward to reading the next in the series.

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Back in the mood for GoT.


A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: Being the Adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall, and His Squire, Egg - George R.R. Martin

I really enjoyed meeting characters I’ve read about in the Song of Ice and Fire series. It was sort of a slow read with plenty of blood and gore and political intrigue but nothing on the level of the other books.

I’m happy I read it and any fan of the series would enjoy it, too, I think.

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