A grab bag of fill-in audiobooks

Hello to all the people who have joined us because of the Top 40 competition! One of the things we encourage people to do on bookcoasters is use our site as a sort of online reading diary, so that we can discover new authors by reading each other’s musings.

This month has been series fill-in month for me, where I go back and catch up on audiobooks I’ve missed when working my way through series I’ve liked enough to be willing to read out of order.

Fool moon by Jim Butcher: This is the second Dresden Files novel. These are modern, urban fantasy stories. Its plot seems a bit shakier than the first book, but the author’s craft is coming together in other ways. His description’s good, for example, and the underlying consistency of the way magic works in his world is coming together nicely. This is important in urban fantasy stories. Butcher foreshadows his characters’ powers before he needs them in stressful situations, which prevents his magical characters just making holes in the plot. The secondary characters aren’t fully fleshed out, but they are more than solid enough for the story that’s being told. The read by James Masters is, again, excellent. It’s enough to bring me back for the third one, although it hasn’t the charm of the new which helped the first one, in my opinion.

The full cupboard of life by Alexander McCall-Smith: I’ve missed reading this one on the way through the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which are cozy mysteries set in Botswana. I’m glad I’ve caught up with it, because it contains the main character’s wedding. It’s well written, but not markedly different from any other book in the series. Then again, that’s not much of an objection to a book. If someone gave you a lamington…a good lamington mind, you, not one of those terrible ones…would it be fair to say “Ah, but I had a lamington some time ago, and this one is just the same.” Not at all. The full cupboard of life isn’t all that distinct from the rest of the series, but it’s a treat regardless.

The mating season by P. G. Wodehouse: A Jeeves and Wooster novel I believe I’ve read before, so long ago that I couldn’t recall the details. It has a fantastic scene at the end, which is set at a village talent show. Perhaps you need to come from the country like me to appreciate it, but these scenes, in which villagers torture each other with their lack of talent, resonated deeply.