Monday, December 29, 2014

death of a gossip

death of a gossip
hamish macbeth #1
m.c. beaton
warner bros.
published 1985

Scottish highland village cop Hamish Macbeth must find which target was provoked enough to strangle and drown nasty fat widowed tabloid reported Jane Winters, who revealed many others' guilty secrets.  Much is from the viewpoint of a naive secretary seduced by a blue-blood playboy.  Icy blond aristocratic Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, lends a hand.

This book was incredibly short!  And what is it about book written in the 80's that make it feel like they were written in the Stone Age?

Nonetheless, it was a quick read (I want to say it was around 150-180 pages long) so right when you get into all the characters someone dies and that gets wrapped up pretty quickly.  Most of the characters are horrible, save for a couple.  The most annoying, unfortunately was the naive secretary whose input to the story was completely unnecessary.  Was she supposed to provide the romance aspect of the story?  Or the idiot part?  She definitely covered that.

But it was quick enough and well written enough that I can see myself reading a few more.  I got one of the books for free from Amazon or Book Bub or something, but of course it wasn't the first book so I had to search the library for this one!  We'll see if I make it to my free book.

fear nothing

fear nothing
dd warren #7
lisa gardner
dutton adult
published 2014

The last thing Boston Detective D. D. Warren remembers is walking the crime scene after dark.  Then, a creaking floorboard, a low voice crooning in her ear....She is later told her managed to discharge her weapon three times.  All she knows is that she is seriously injured, unable to move her left arm, unable to return to work.

Six weeks later, a second woman is discovered murdered in her own bed, her room containing the same calling cards from the first: a bottle of champagne and a single red rose.  The only person who may have seen the killer: Detective D. D. Warren, who still can't lift her child, load her gun, or recall a single detail from the night that may have cost her everything.

I'm still slightly bummed at the way this book ended!

I really enjoyed the characters, good and bad, and found the backstory of Adeline and her illness incredibly fascinating.  There was quite a bit of injustice all around here so it was a tough pill to swallow at times, but it made for some good reading and finding sympathetic characters where I wasn't expecting them.

There were times when D. D. got to be a bit annoying, but I feel like she is in every book.  She has a harder time getting over herself here and that's got a lot to do with her feelings of helplessness after her injury.  I found the parts with Adeline and Shana to be the most interesting to read.  I probably could have skipped over D. D.'s parts!

food: a love story

food: a love story
jim gaffigan
crown archetype
published 2014

Bacon. McDonalds. Cinnabon. Hot Pockets. Kale. Stand-up comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has made his career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet and decrying the worst offenders.  Fans flocked to his New York Times bestselling book Dad is Fat to hear him riff on fatherhood but now, in his second book, he will give them what they really crave - hundreds of pages of this thoughts on all things culinary(ish).  Insights such as: why he believes coconut water was invented to get people to stop drinking coconut water, why pretzel bread is #3 on his most important inventions of humankind (behind the wheel and the computer), and the answer to the age-old question "which animal is more delicious: the pig, the cow, or the bacon cheeseburger.

Though very funny, this is mostly just a rehash of his stand up performances so if you've seen them and are very familiar with them this might be a bit boring for you.  There are some laugh out loud moments nonetheless and stuff I hadn't heard before so I was still, thoroughly entertained.  Beware, this book will make you hungry for everything you should not be eating.


virgil flowers #8
john sandford
putnam adult
published 2014

In Southeast Minnesota, down on the Mississippi, a school board meeting is coming to an end.  The board chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed, due to personnel issues.  "Issues" is correct.  The proposal up for a vote before them is whether to authorize the killing of a local reporter.  The vote is four to one in favor.  Meanwhile, not far away, Virgil Flowers is helping out a friend by looking into a dognapping, which seems to be turning into something much bigger and uglier - a team of dognappers supplying medical labs - when he gets a call from Lucas Davenport.  A murdered body has been found - and the victim is a local reporter.

Now I'm not saying that Deadline is going to keep you at the edge of your seat.  Or that you'll be stunned by the ingenious ways of the bad guys.  There is just something about Virgil that keeps me highly entertained.  He's funny for one, but most of all, the stories seem so real.  The characters are not caricatures of people, they are almost real life people.  Flawed, sometimes ditzy, sometimes cunning, simple, complex, nice, greedy, and real.  The conversations Virgil has with people is almost mundane, but somehow it's fascinating.

And really, let's be honest, Jenkins and Shrake should really have their own series by now.

gone girl

gone girl
gillian flynn
broadway books
published 2012

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary.  Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River,  Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.  Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior.  Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love.  With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence.  Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife?  And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Yeah, that book was fucked up.

That was utterly, fantastically fucked up.  It's a weird sort of panic when you get to a point in a book where you realize you have no idea who to root for.  Beware: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!  Everyone had already told me that they hated both characters so I went in this with expectations.  But halfway through I kept thinking, Amazing Amy doesn't seem so terrible.  What's the big deal?  I understand disliking the apathetic, philandering jerk of a husband, but what's wrong with the long suffering wife?  She's basically forced to move from New York City to this terrible suburb to deal with her in-laws and her absentee husband.  What did she do to garner so much dislike from readers everywhere.

And then.


But it was also brilliant.  And during the time she was gone I was still kind of rooting for her.  I mean, her dedication and planning was truly genius.  And Nick just kept doing dumb stuff so I still just didn't think he deserved to win.  But when they are reunited she's just too crazy.  And not crazy in the 'wow, that chick is batshit crazy' kind of admiring crazy, but the 'wow, that is one psycho bitch'.  She becomes gross, creepy and I was completely disgusted by her.  I couldn't see how Nick could not win at this point.  Amy can't possibly account for everything, but in the end it wasn't so much about making her pay, but Nick's addiction to her.  He cannot live without her.  He wants to beat her at her game, but not as much as he wants to play her game and in the end that is his undoing.

During the 'real Amy's' narrative things were very predictable.  I knew what was going to happen to her with her two friends at the Ozark motel, knew who she would call when she needed help and what would happen didn't seem to matter that it was predictable, because it was so interesting to see crazy in action.

Of course I didn't like that ending.  But how else could it have ended?  At first I was thinking there wasn't a happy ending, but I think for Amy and Nick that was a happy ending.

bury your dead

bury your dead
armand gamache #6
louise penny
minotaur books
published 2010

It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful.  Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong.  But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society - where an obsessive historian's quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder.  Could a secret be buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?

There are nearly three different stories moving along here in Bury Your Dead.  First we have the investigation that Armand is haunted by and then the murder of the historian and at the same time, Jean Guy is quietly investigating the murder from the previous novel, The Brutal Telling.

I knew next to nothing about Canadian history, much less about Quebec's so there was an interesting history lesson happening during Armand's reluctant investigation at the Lit & His, but truth be told, after the initial lesson I was bored.  Interspersed between the present going ons, both Armand and Jean Guy recall the events that led them to the places they are.  The horribly botched case that takes place between The Brutal Telling and Bury Your Dead.  Jean Guy's investigation in Three Pines kept me reading because I too thought there was no way that Olivier had committed the crime of that he was convicted.

Had this book been only about what happened in Quebec I would have been quite disappointed, but it wasn't so I hung on.  It was a nice change of pace for Jean Guy to interact with the villagers in Three Pines, especially Ruth and the gripping recounting of the previous case kept me biting my nail until the very end.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

batgirl: wanted

batgirl: wanted 
collects issues #19-25 +Ventriloquist #1
gail simone & marguerite bennett, daniel sampere & fernando pasarin, jonathan glapion & marc deering
batgirl: deadline
collects issues #26-32
gail simone, fernando pasarin & jonathan glapion
dc comics
published 2013-2014

Batgirl struggles to continue fighting crime after being emotionally drained by the death of her brother, James, Jr.  With her relationships with Batman and her father strained, Batgirl faces one of Batman's most ruthless villains, The Ventriloquist, alone.

I am basically reviewing issues 19-34, plus Batgirl Annual #2 and Batgirl; Future's End #1.  Since I subscribe I read by issue, I don't want until the trade comes out, although that seemed to work out here for Volume 4!

I was really starting to get into this storyline.  All the stuff that was going on in Barbara's family life and dating life were moving along nicely.  I feel like Simone finally hit her stride.  While the Ventriloquist was creepy, like other villains she didn't get her chance in the spotlight and I think that's because of the crossovers that aren't listed here (so not really Simone's fault).  This is why the other day I mentioned the comic book black hole.  You find that the series you're reading crossing into another series so you think you'll just buy that issue in that other series, but then what if that series is really good will you feel like you're missing something if you just jump in?  Of course you will!  So you start buying comics left and right and it's a neverending black hole.

But the Knightfall storyline has been going on almost since the beginning, just before Death of the Family and it gets wrapped up rather nicely here before we switch over to the Veronica Mars edition of Batgirl.  (but more on that at another time)

I feel like there was still a lot more story to be told by Simone, but unfortunately, DC didn't see it that way.  At least we got an ending.

The #2 Annual was also great (I love Poison Ivy) but again, I knew I needed to pick up the New 52 Birds of Prey so that really set me back a bit.

Future's End was ..... interesting.

In the end I really did grow to love Simone's Batgirl and I wish she got to spend some more time delving into that character.  I'm continuing on with Fletcher and Stewart's Batgirl so we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

batgirl: knightfall descends

batgirl: knightfall descends
gail simone & ed benes
collects issues #7-12
dc comics
published 2012

Batgirl Barbara Gordon faces foe after foe now that she's back in the role of Batgirl.  A deadly new gentleman killer, Grotesque, stalks the streets of Gotham City; The Court of Owls sets its sight on her father Commissioner Gordon; and an innocent woman sentenced to Arkham emerges more dangerous than the inmates she was locked up with!

One of the problems with trying to follow a comic book series is that you find yourself missing small details because they happened in another series.  Had you not read the Owl issues in the Batman series I think you would definitely feel like you were missing a bit of the puzzle.  But other things happen here or there and I'm constantly feeling like I need to be reading ALL THE DC.  Guess that means they're doing their jobs then, right?

Grotesque is another villain that got absolutely no page time other than a couple of panels where he waxes poetic on his desire to possess everything that would be considered 'the best'.  But why?  And who was he?  (To be honest, I'm a bit further ahead in the series, I'm just late reviewing these so I do know there could be a bit more on the horizon, but still as I'm reading it I feel like I don't really care what Grotesque is up to.)

It's like Batgirl is cycling through villains at record speed.  No one sticks around to play for any length of time and her story arcs are just little blips.  I've got to say, I don't think Gail Simone is really using Batgirl to the full of her potential here.  She skips around to every part of Barbara's life without ever really digging down deep and giving us anything below the surface.  Her relationship with her there one?  Is she ever there at home with her roommate?  Her relationship with her father?  One of the biggest in her life and nothing.  I just feel like there are so many missed opportunities here for some really great storytelling.

Monday, November 10, 2014

batgirl: the darkest reflection

batgirl: the darkest reflection
gail simone, ardian syaf & vincente cifuentes
collects issues #1-6
dc comics
published 2011

Barbara Gordon is finally back as Batgirl!  The nightmare-inducing brute known as Mirror is destroying the lives of Gotham City citizens seemingly at random.  Will Barbara be able to survive her explosive confrontation with this new villain, as well as facing dark secrets of her past?

I'm FINALLY getting around to reviewing these books.  I'm so behind on all this!

I'm taking into consideration that Barbara Gordon's return to the suit after everything that happened is a giant thing that must be addressed, but had I not already had a love for Barbara Gordon as Batgirl I might not have kept reading after this one.

There is very little character development on the villain side.  We're told a quick blurb about how they got from normal to nutso, but that's it!  The one issue of Gretel seemed out of place.  Barbara spends much of the issues mulling over her being out of shape and the psychological pitfalls to having been shot and left for dead.

Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that because of course this is a big deal, I just wish that there was a little more time spent on the villains.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

snow white must die

snow white must die
nele neuhaus
minotaur books
published 2010

On a rainy November day police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodensetin are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: A woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath.  According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed.  The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer.  On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace.  In a trial based only on circumstantial evidence, twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius, Rita Cramer's son, was sentenced to ten years in prison.  Bodenstein and Kirchhoff discover that Tobias, after serving his sentence, has now returned to his hometown.  Did the attack on his mother have something to do with his return?  In the village, Pia and Oliver encounter a wall of silence.  When another young woman disappears, the events of the past seem to be repeating themselves in a disastrous manner.  The investigation turns into a race against time, because of the villagers it is soon clear who the perpetrator is - and this time they are determined to take matters into their own hands.

There was a LOT going on in this book.  Which is strange because everything basically circles around to one crime, but there were so many players that at times it was confusing to keep everyone straight.  You basically figure out the mystery, but then everything changes and you're left doubting.  There were a couple of things I felt were lost in translation and I found it interesting that they never say 'I went to jail' or 'I was in prison'.  It was always 'the joint' and 'the slammer'.

I also had a hard time with the fact that it was a bad thing for a 17 year-old to have a relationship with a 27 year-old, but then later on no one bats an eye 10 years later that a 17 year-old ends up with a 30 year-old.  Maybe there isn't really a romantic relationship there, but to me it was clearly implied,

Anyhow, there were some things I didn't think needed to be delved into so deeply, especially Oliver's personal life, but then I discovered this is actually the 4th book in a series, but only this and two others have been translated to English!

I did like the book.  It was a quick read once I sat down and actually started reading.  While it was, at times, confusing with so many players, it was fun to read and kept me on my toes.

fool moon

fool moon
dresden files #2
jim butcher
read by james marsters
published 2008

Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago's first (and only) Wizard P.I.  Turns out the 'everyday' world is full of strange and magical things - and most of them don't play well with humans.  That's where Harry comes in.  Business has been slow lately for Harry Dresden.  Okay, business has been dead.  Not undead - just dead.  You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book.  But lately, Harry hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work - magical or mundane.  But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.  A brutally mutilated corpse.  Strange-looking paw prints.  A full moon.  Take three guesses.  And the first two don't count.  Magic - it can get a guy killed.

When I found out that James Marsters read for the audiobook versions of the Dresden Files I decided to give fiction audiobooks another try.

Marsters has a great voice, no doubt about it and I can fully believe him as the Harry Dresden character.  I was able to get through the whole book, although it took me weeks listening here and there.  I would drift off a time or two and have to rewind a bit, but it wasn't as bad as my previous attempts at fiction audiobooks.

The story itself was okay.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.  It reminds me a lot of early Anita Blake.  I do like that Dresden isn't a tough guy.  Except for his magical abilities he's a pretty average guy.  His courage comes from his goodness.  But the pace and the subject matter is very similar to Anita Blake.  I think I would have enjoyed this more had a read it instead of listened to it so I will continue on with the series, but do the reading myself!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

the good girl

the good girl
mary kubica
harlequin mira
published 2014

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher.  One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend.  But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger.  With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand.  But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

A story told by several different point of views, The Good Girl is an intriguing mystery.  We get bits and pieces of the story told in the Before (the kidnapping) and the After (the kidnapping) from Mia's mother Eve, the investigator Gabe and the kidnapper Colin.  We don't hear anything from Mia's point of view until the end and I have some issues with that.

There are key points in the book that give away too much, which I don't think Kubica was trying to do, or at least I don't.  It felt like the ending was supposed to be a surprise, a twist, but I wasn't surprised.  In fact, I was slightly disappointed although it made for some good discussion fodder if you were to read this book with your book group.

Concerning the twist I have several issues, what doesn't make sense to me.  Looking back on those bits of the story being told there are things that don't make sense now having all the answers.  But it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the book.  Not that there is a happily ever after ending.  In fact, the ending left me feeling sad and a little lost.

I'd definitely recommend this to someone.  So that I can discuss it with them afterward!

whiskey beach

whiskey beach
nora roberts
putnam adult
published 2013

For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore - and its secrets.  But to Eli Landon, it's home.  A Boston, lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigations after being accused of - but never arrested for - the murder of his soon-to-be-ex wife.

He finds sanctuary at Bluff House, even though his beloved grandmother is in Boston recuperating from a nasty fall.  Abra Walsh is always there, though.  Whiskey Beach's resident housekeeper, yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist, Abra is a woman of many talents - including helping Eli take control of his life and clear his name.  But as they become entangled in each other, they find themselves caught in a net that stretches back for centuries - one that has ensnared a man intent on reaping the rewards of destroying Eli Landon once and for all.

I enjoy Nora Roberts female characters.  They know when to be tough and know when they can't do something on their own.  For Whiskey Beach I liked how this was Eli's story more than Abra's.  He was the main character.

What to say that hasn't been said about Nora Roberts's books?  This had a little less mystery than others, the male was the main character, the setting, while important, wasn't as vast as others.....Usually you get a better sense of the town the story takes place in, but this story mainly takes place inside Bluff House.  I wasn't surprised by the killer and I didn't get too much of a sense of characters other than Abra and Eli.

I was hooked and once I got started a tore through the book, but I wouldn't say this was on par with other Nora Roberts books.

weird audiobook addiction

is everyone hanging out without me (and other concerns)
mindy kaling
read by mindy kaling

tina fey
read by tina fey

official book club selection
kathy griffin
read by kathy griffin

dad is fat
jim gaffigan
read by jim gaffigan

a little bit wicked
kristin chenoweth
read by kristin chenoweth

dirty daddy
bob saget
read by bob saget

bedwetter: stories of courage, redemption and pee
sarah silverman
read by sarah silverman

I have tried audiobooks a few times.  I couldn't get into them very much.  The reading was painfully slow to me.  I kept thinking 'I could read this much faster than this guy'.  I would find myself tuning it out and then realizing I missed an entire chapter.  Not good when reading a book with a plot.  A friend recently mentioned to me that Jim Butcher's series is read by James Marsters and he does a fantastic job.  Since I'm only on the second book in the series I thought I'd try it out and while I do like James Marsters's voice the same complaints I have about audiobooks remained.

But while I was searching the library for the audiobook of Fool Moon I saw Bossypants by Tina Fey and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling.  Both books, by the way, that I own but have yet to read.  So I checked those out as well and thought I'd try it out.

What I discovered, which should have been obvious is that I can listen to an autobiography much better than a fiction novel.  I say it should come as no surprise because when I was a kid my mom would play Bill Cosby's stand up on tape for us and I took that everywhere with me.  When I had my lasik I stocked up on Dane Cook and other comedians' albums to listen to for the time I had to keep my eyes closed after the surgery.  I've listened to thousands of hours of Kevin Smith and Co. wax poetic about Hitler and gay sex.  So really, an autobiographical audiobook should have been a no brainer.

I started with Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey's books.  Eerily similar, they both discussed how awesome Amy Poehler is, working on SNL, photo shoots and how they make them uncomfortable and awkward dating moments.  Tina Fey goes into being a working mother and if I didn't already like her I would have after her discussion on breastfeeding.  Thank you, Tina Fey.

Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey both read in a chatty, easy way although I found myself more engaged in Fey's storytelling than Kaling's. Tina Fey seemed like she was telling you a story while Mindy Kaling sounded as if she was reading you one.  Either way, they were both good and I did laugh out loud a couple of times.

I dragged through Bob Saget and Sarah Silverman.  I'll admit, I'm not really a fan of either.  I just thought, hey maybe they'll be super funny and I'll become a big fan.  Everyone seems to love Sarah Silverman so maybe after listening to this, I'll love her too.

Not the case.

I just found her story to be kind of boring and pointless.  She seems like kind of a sweet person.  After offending an Asian guy, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears she wrote them emails apologizing.  But really there was nothing interesting in any of her stories.  She portrays herself as this cute chick with big boobs who is just one of the guys but also hopelessly naive that you should think she's even cuter.  Blech.  Mostly, she really wants people to know she likes fart jokes.  And ohmygod her voice.  She has - hands down - the worst audiobook voice on the face of the planet.  And when she imitates her father, get those earbuds out of your ears because you will cry.  It's horrible.

I'd read an article after Bob Saget's book came out mentioning how he dishes on the wildly crazy and inappropriate things he, John Stamos and Dave Coulier did while filming Full House and how incredibly funny the book was.

Also, not the case.

His book was incredibly sad.  Having lost most of his family so early in their lives was so, so sad.  His visiting Larry Fine as a teenager and listening to stories of how terrible everything was for Mr. Fine and his wife's nearly dying while giving birth to their first child.  When he finally got to his Full House days his wild and crazy antics were getting not high on Redi Whip.  He says 'to this day' a lot.  Maybe four or five times a chapter.  And every celebrity he talks about he prefaces their introduction with the title, 'my friend'.  He does joke about that though.  When it came down to it, he never really talks about anything, reveals anything about himself except for his fondness of his balls and poop jokes.  He and Sarah Silverman would make a really good team.

Now Kristin Chenoweth is not a comedian, but being a big fan of hers, Wicked and Pushing Daisies it was a no-brainer that I check this one out.  There was much more religious talk than I am used to, but it wasn't like she was trying to convert you, she just wanted to express how important Christianity is to her.  Listening to her book made me nostalgic for Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip and Pushing Daisies, two brilliant shows that were cancelled well before their time.  Despite what you think, her voice was pleasant to listen to and while it was obvious she was reading it still came across very natural.

I love Kathy Griffin.  And I loved her book.  I laughed at her self-deprecating humor, her honesty and brashness and I cried when she spoke of David Strickland and Phil Hartman (full disclosure, I cry whenever someone talks about Phil Hartman).  She talks about her time with The Groundlings and Suddenly Susan.  Bad comedic choices she made and her successes as well.  Her parents feature largely and she even speaks of her brother that she suspected was a pedophile.  And not in a funny way.  She is both at times brutally honest and serious and then brutally honest and hilarious.  She reads the book as if she's chatting along with you and I have a hard time believing that the book was written before the audiobook.  It felt like they took this recording and transcribed it into a book.

But I laughed the most listening to Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat.  Oh man, did I laugh.  Instead of being an autobiography, Dad Is Fat is simply his observations and experiences being a father of 5 kids under 8.  He is spot on about everything and I swear there were times I had to stop whatever I was doing because I was laughing so hard.  Highly recommend.

All in all I can definitely listen to long as they're funny.

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