The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future by Peter Moore

bookshelves: published-2015, nonfiction, radio-4, history, spring-2015

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from May 07 to 16, 2015

Description: Peter Moore’s lively account tells the story of the adventurous quest to understand the atmosphere. Today we are never far from a weather forecast, but as meteorology evolved as a science in the nineteenth century it was often controversial; reputations were made and destroyed, and bold men driven by their obsession with the laws of nature took death defying risks.

1/5: STORMY WEATHER: In this first episode, the charismatic naval officer, Robert FitzRoy, confronts storms on the high seas. The reader is Tim McMullan.

2/5: THE WEATHER REPORT: Captain FitzRoy’s star is in the ascent, and there is innovation at the observatory in Greenwich.

3/5: SHIPWRECKS AND STORM WARNINGS: Peril on the high seas leads Robert FitzRoy to devise an innovative storm warning system.

4/5: A BALLOON ASCENT: Lives are imperilled when scientific enquiry into the upper atmosphere leads to an ascent in a balloon called Mammoth.

5/5: PROGNOSTICATIONS AND FORECASTS: The first forecasts prove controversial among the scientific community, and Robert FitzRoy’s reputation is threatened.

The Green Road by Anne Enright

bookshelves: published-2015, radio-4, spring-2015, britain-ireland, lit-richer, aga-saga, families

Read from April 29 to May 16, 2015

Description: A story of family, selfishness and compassion on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, from the Man Booker Prize-winner, Anne Enright.

The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined, in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age, their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she has decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for one final Christmas together in the family home, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

Anne Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. She has published two collections of stories (grouped together as Yesterday’s Weather), one book of non-fiction (Making Babies) and five novels, including The Gathering (which was the Irish Novel of the Year and won the Irish Fiction Award along with the 2007 Man Booker Prize) and The Forgotten Waltz (which was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction).
Read by Brid Brennan
Producer: Joanna Green
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

1/10: Rosaleen, on discovering son Dan is to join the priesthood, takes to her bed in a fit of pique.

2/10: Dan, having deserted the priesthood in Ireland, Is living a double life in New York.

3/10: County Limerick 1997, Constance is alone at the hospital with a cancer scare.

4/10: Mali 2002. Rosaleen’s son Emmet is doing aid work in Segou with girlfriend Alice.

5/10: Rosaleen ask her children to come home for one final Christmas all together.

6/10: Dan heads home to Canada and back in Ireland, Hanna is in a real mess.

7/10: Christmas Eve and all are gathered.

8/10: Christmas Day and Rosaleen delivers the surprise.

9/10: Rosaleen takes herself off into the hills but it is dark now and the family are worried.

10/10: Family members, neighbours and police are out in search.

The Forgotten Waltz left me cold with the age old adultery storyline so it was with trepidation that I approached this Book At Bedtime offering. The Green Road bounced me enough* to make me wish to read The Gathering.

* hattip Brazilliant on finding this article.

1* The Forgotten Waltz
3* The Green Road

The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa

Description: T. Lobsang Rampa was preordained to be a Tibetan priest, a sign from the stars that could not be ignored. When he left his wealthy home to enter the monastery, his heart was filled with trepidation, with only a slight knowledge of the rigorous spiritual training and physical ordeal that awaited him . . . .
This is his story, a hauntingly beautiful and deeply inspiring journey of awakening within Chakpori Lamasery, the temple of Tibetan medicine. It is a moving tale of passage through the mystic arts of astral projection, crystal gazing, aura deciphering, meditation, and more, a spiritual guide of enlightenment and discovery through the opening of the all-powerful, the all-knowing . . .

Introduced to this hoax here.

Opening: EARLY DAYS AT HOME: “OÉ. Oé. Four years old and can’t stay on a horse! You’ll never make a man! What would your noble father say?” With this, Old Tzu gave the pony – and luckless rider – a hearty thwack across the hindquarters, and spat in the dust.

Chakpori Lamasery

From wiki: Lobsang Rampa is the pen name of an author who wrote books with paranormal and occult themes. His best known work is The Third Eye, published in Britain in 1956.

Following the publication of the book, newspapers reported that Rampa was Cyril Henry Hoskin (8 April 1910 – 25 January 1981), a plumber from Plympton in Devon who claimed that his body hosted the spirit of a Tibetan lama going by the name of Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, who is purported to have authored the books.

The Vision by Dean Koontz

bookshelves: spring-2015, paper-read, published-1977, tbr-busting-2015, boo-scary

Read from January 01, 2009 to May 14, 2015
Description: Mary Bergen is a clairvoyant, able to forsee murders that will happen in the near future, but unable to prevent them from taking place. And now she is up against a power that is stronger than her own, a power that is taking her over, a power that is trying to kill her before she can identify it…

The woman raised her hands and stared at them, stared through them.
Her voice was soft but tense. ‘Blood on his hands.’ Her own hands were clean and pale.
Her husband leaned forward from the back seat of the patrol car. ‘Mary?’
She did not respond.
‘Mary, can you hear me?’
‘Whose blood do you see?’
‘I’m not sure.’
‘The victim’s blood?’
‘No. In fact…it’s his own.’
‘The killer’s?’

There is a scene just like this circa page 133, yet there is not a hattip accorded to D du M.

A fab little clairvoyant versus poltergeist story with added telekinesis, and as it was no longer than it should be.

3* Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1)
3* Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, #2)
TR Brother Odd (Odd Thomas, #3)

2* Intensity
2* Phantoms
3* Strangers
1* The Taking
4* The Good Guy
3* Whispers
3* Tick Tock
2* The Darkest Evening of the Year
2* By the Light of the Moon
3* Mr. Murder
1* Dragon Tears
2* The Face
TR Darkfall
3* Winter Moon
3* The Vision
3* Black River

3* 77 Shadow Street (Pendleton, #1)

2* Fear Nothing (Moonlight Bay, #1)
1* Seize the Night (Moonlight Bay, #2)

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama

bookshelves: autumn-2014, nonfiction, fraudio, france, bloat, arch, published-1989, history, spring-2015, tbr-busting-2015

Read from September 02, 2014 to May 14, 2015
Elephant of the Bastille

Arrogant and bloated style and in such detail that after a while one just wants to scream. 948 pages of it! Skimming through the really snoozy parts but after twenty hours of listening I have still over half to go.

Seven months later: Loaded what was left of this into the mp3 so I could garden and walk and that worked better for me. Saying that though, I am glad to see the back of it!

A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk #2) by Anne Perry

Description: From the beloved creator of Inspector Pitt and his wife, the second in the Victorian mystery series started by The Face of a Stranger. No breath of scandal had ever touched the aristocratic Moidore family–until Sir Basil’s daughter was stabbed to death. “A richly textured, masterfully plotted, thoroughly enjoyable story”.


This is the mediocre murder mystery of Ms Moirdore (Mordor) – in her very own boudoir, at that! Enjoyable enough as I tramped through newly sprouted spring green birches. Perry writes in a slow style that couches repetitious information which seems baggy in today’s crime fiction world.

3* The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1)
3* A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2)
2* A Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk, #4)
TR Silence in Hanover Close (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #9)
3* The Shifting Tide (William Monk, #14)
4* Dark Assassin (William Monk, #15)
4* Execution Dock (William Monk, #16)

3* Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #3)
TR Resurrection Row (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #4)
3* Death in the Devil’s Acre (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #7)
TR Bethlehem Road (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #10)
TR Highgate Rise (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #11)

3* A Christmas Guest (Christmas Stories, #3)
3* A Christmas Beginning (Christmas Stories, #5)

2* The Sheen on the Silk

Bottle Shock by Frederic P. Miller

Description: Bottle Shock is a 2008 film that tells the story of the events that led up to the Judgment of Paris on 24 May 1976, when California wine beat French wine in a blind taste test. It stars Alan Rickman, Chris Pine and Bill Pullman and is directed by Randall Miller, who wrote the screenplay along with Jody Savin and Ross Schwartz. It premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Wonderful opening shots of Napa Valley, sigh!