Audio Books
Racing the Devil
By Charles Todd
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 25th 2017.
Racing the Devil by Charles Todd  Inspector Ian Rutledge from Scotland Yard is called out to a small town in the South of England, the Sussex coast, when a cleric is killed in a car accident and it looks like foul play. He investigates but before he knows what happened, other people start dying.  It is soon after the Great War, and Rutledge is haunted by many terrible memories of his time in the army. One of the men who died back there, Hamish, is a constant companion in his head, giving him advice and engaging him in dialog. Racing the Devil is a rather standard historical detective mystery with a striking theme
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Against Empathy
The Case for Rational Compassion
By Paul Bloom
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 18th 2017.
Paul Bloom makes a strong case against the use of empathy as a way to conduct our moral lives, although as several reviewers such as Constantine Sandis, have already pointed out, there is some ambiguity about what he means by it, and arguably he has defined it so narrowly that his thesis is less interesting than it sounds. He focuses on emotional empathy, where one feels the emotions that other people feel. He also includes cognitive empathy, which is directly relating to their cognitive states such as beliefs and desires, although it's not clear exactly what that means. To cognitively empathi
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Against Empathy by Paul Bloom

The Wrong Side of Goodbye
By Michael Connelly
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 21st 2017.
The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael ConnellyThe Wrong Side of Goodbye is the 19th Harry Bosch thriller, and Harry is worried that he isn't as sharp as he used to be. He is working part time for the San Fernando police department, and he occasionally works as a private detective. He has just won a lawsuit against his former employer, the LAPD. A man of great integrity, he is still willing to bend the rules in order to get a result. We learn little about his personal life, maybe because he hardly has one. His main source of pleasure seems to be jazz, which he listens to in his car. He is devoted to his work. But he does see his
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Two Can Play
An Audrey Harte Novel, Book 2
By Kate Kessler
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 7th 2017.
Having read and disliked the first book in Kate Kessler's series of Audrey Harte novels, I promptly forgot it. Some way into the second book, Two Can Play, memories of the first book came leaking back into my memory. The main improvement Kessler has made in this one is dramatically shorten the length: the audiobook is 9 hours versus 25 hours for the first. Forensic psychologist Audrey Harte returns to her home state of Maine to interview a young man who has just graduated from high school and has admitted to raping and killing several blonde young women. He is, she decides, a classic psychopat
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Two Can Play by Kate Kessler

Under the Harrow
A Novel
By Flynn Berry
Review by Christian Perring on Mon, Feb 27th 2017.
Under the Harrow by Flynn BerryNora works in London but spends her weekends with her sister Rachel in rural Oxfordshire. They have a close but sometimes tempestuous relationship. Rachel is found brutally murdered, and her dog has been killed too. Rachel had been seriously attacked when she was a teenager so there is speculation that the same person came back to finish the job.   Nora narrates the story, spelling out her grief and suspicion of the men that Rachel knew. But as time goes on, Nora's own weaknesses and aggression become clearer to the police and the reader, and she falls under suspicion. In the unabrid
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Tony & Susan
(aka Nocturnal Animals)
By Austin Wright
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 21st 2017.
Originally published in 1993, and republished several times since then, Tony and Susan (also known as Nocturnal Animals) has most recently been released because of Tom Ford's recent movie Nocturnal Animals based on it. The device of the novel is novel: a middle aged woman Susan, reads a novel by her ex-husband, Edward. Both have remarried. It takes her three nights to read the manuscript, which he has sent to her asking for her feedback. As she reads, she reflects on their relationship and the man she left him for.  Before she starts, confident of her memory of Edward, she predicts the bo
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Tony & Susan by Austin Wright

The Nix
A Novel
By Nathan Hill
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 14th 2017.
The Nix by Nathan HillNathan Hill's sprawling novel The Nix (the unabridged audiobook is 22 hours long) is a satire of modern times but goes back to the 1960s too. The central characters are Samuel Andresen-Anderson and his mother. Samuel is a bored professor of literature at a small suburban university outside of Chicago. He once wrote a novel but his second novel is stalled. He spends most of his spare time playing a massive multiplayer online role-playing game featuring many elves in his university office because the connection is faster than the one at home. Teaching students who don't want to learn has worn hi
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Rebuttal
By Jyotsna Hariharan
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 24th 2017.
Jyotsna Hariharan's Reubuttal is an audio drama performed by 5 actors, Phoebe Strole, Michael Crouch, Nina Mehta, Peter Ganim, and Dan Bittner, with sound effects to make it more realistic. It's about two teens in their senior year who are fighting their parents' expectations of them.  Alex Dassan is a young Indian woman whose parents expect her to go into marine biology, but who wants to be a writer. Jeremy Beekman's parents expect him to go into medicine, but he wants to be an artist. They meet in a debate team, where they practice argumentative skills, and this gives them som
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Rebuttal by Jyotsna Hariharan

 
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