Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bigger Deal--#26 finished

It took longer than I thought it would, probably because it was really only exciting in spurts, but I finished Bigger Deal.  It is a poker book by Anthony Holden who skirted around the WSOP before and spent a year doing smaller tournaments as well and wrote a popular book about it.  Well once the poker boom began he figured it was time to redo the poker lifestyle.  It was interesting to see the names of the poker pros and some of the side things going on with them, like where invested, where aligned as far as poker websites and classes they teach.

Overall though just an okay book.  Has some good information for the poker player, where if you are not really smart best to just enjoy poker in your own home--no reason to loose money to the pros.  From reading this, I now have less desire to play poker online or in a casino at least right now.  Maybe a few years from now it might change but now no real reason to.

I only have one other book now that I am reading, Careless in Red by Elizabeth George.  So far kind of good, but a lot of confusing character names that I will have to keep straight.  I will be picking out a 2nd book but not right now--it is too late and I am kind of tired.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bleachers--#25 finished

It only took about 4 maybe 5 days and Bleachers was finished.  This is the John Grisham book about a former high school football star returning to the small town he played at when his head coach was dying.  I nice quick read, nothing great but for the most part enjoyable.  I played high school football so there was a connection I could make with the players but the head coach was more than a little over the top hard core.

I was kind of nice to read something a little different than a lawyer story by Grisham but he did seem a little out of his element here.  I am sure it was done of purpose but obviously not all kids this guy coached ended up as success stories.  There is the former star in jail & will be for a long time, another close to jail running a chop shop that everyone knows about.  There are also the success stories with the openly gay guy in the small town and a deseg kid that is now a politically powerful minister.  Again it all seems just a little too convenient but I guess that is what people want from Grisham stories.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New running shoes and a run

Yesterday, Tuesday I picked up a new pair of running shoes, the same brand and model as before.  Actually it is the 4th pair in a row that I have bought that were Acis Cumulus.  They were around $85 so not too bad as far as running shoes go.  I also got a pair of $8 running socks.  I had my $100 gift credit card from AmFam that I had to use by the end of April so after taxes were included it was used up.

I then went to Tillis Park in Richmond Heights area to get a run in.  I used my old shoes since they still work that way I can double check the new ones at home before running in them.  I got 3 miles in, although it might have been a little longer but my GPS seemed like it wasn't working at a couple of times, I am guessing too many trees in a couple areas.  I was an okay run, first mile was around 12:40, 2nd 14:40 and 3rd back to 12:30 or something like that.  I think you can guess that it was the 2nd mile were I think the Garmin wasn't tracking right, oh well getting the exercise is what is most important at this point.

There is a biggest loser contest at work that I signed up for.  I lost around 2 pounds the first week so all is good so far.  This week though I have already eaten too much a couple of times though so I have to get a little extra running in if possible.  No running tonight but I did mow the front yard and trim some of the bushes, so I will chalk it up to a little exercise at least.  The plan is to run tomorrow at lunch at work so will have to see if that happens or not.  Then tomorrow night is workout time too.

The Afghan--#24 finished

Book #24 was knocked out a little quicker than I thought it would be.  I never really got excited about The Afghan, it just kind of moved along for me.  There are interesting things and good info in the book but it never really got under my skin and turned into a page turner.  It seemed like it was always the other book that I was reading. 

Now I have noticed since finishing War & Peace it is kind of running like that, maybe I am just not in the mood yet to get too excited about a book.  That sounds more like an excuse after I read it--I just don't think it was that great of a book.  That is okay though like I said a lot of good stuff in the book so that part was good.  I guess I just remember reading The Day of the Jackal years ago and how that book just wowed me, The Afghan had none of that excitement.  Of course it is also about 20 years into the future as well, that probably has as much to do about it as anything that was written in the book.  Of course my expectations for a Forsyth book is kind of high and that probably effected my feelings on it as well.  

Like I said, good info in the book about Afghanistan and Islam as well as on the US & British intelligence services.  He wove into the story many of the main terrorists that are heard about in the news so it gives the reader a chance to see some insight into what the role of these people really could be.  While my expectations were greater, it is a good book overall.  I have posted it on PBS, but there are 43 others already there so I am not expecting it to move very quickly.  It might be one that has to wait until I run a deal, which I might a the next few months after I read many more of those books in my to be read piles.

Monday, April 20, 2009

L is for Lawless--#23 finished

I think this is the first book that I received in the mail from PBS that I have read.  Bigger Deal is the first that I started reading but I haven't finished it yet.  Just kind of interesting.  It is a good quick kind of read, like the other Kinsey Millhone books that I have read.  It is a fun series of detective/mystery books to read.  Overall light reading.  I will have to look back on my Books Read lists and see what other ones I have read so far and maybe try to start this series at the beginning sometime.  Of course right now I have stacks of books that I really need to read so they or most or some of them will have to come first.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Run in Today

I was able to get a run in this morning of 5.2 miles.  It was again pretty slow, but since I am still getting over my cold I will take it.  The first mile was around 13:30, 2nd around 12:20, 3rd 12:07, 4th around 13:20 and 5th was 13:45 and last .2 was very slow--don't remember pace or time.  Like I said it was slow, but I will take it.  I worked up a very good sweat and spit and blew the whole time.

I was worried that I might being pushing myself too much but I actually was able to get a lot of other things done the rest of the day.  I did the grocery shopping for a couple hours and watched the kids, played outside with them so I was fine in that respect as well.  Not sure if I will get another run in on Sunday or not, will just have to see.

I am still working on my 3 books, all 3 going slowly too.  The Sue Grafton L is for Lawless is kind of fun so far, but every time I start reading it I almost feel guilty for ignoring the others, oh well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Cold

My wife caught a cold last week and I was lucky up to a point in not catching it.  That point came Monday.  I don't know if my defenses were down because we had a long busy day with Easter or if it was because I stayed up way too late--something like 2am or later.  Monday came & the cold became part of me.  Monday was the worst of it.  I was off work anyway on Monday so no problem there.  Tuesday was better but it was at work and Wed & Thursday have been improvements as well.  

It is frustrating though because I got my 6 miles in on Saturday, but haven't been able to really run since then.  Tuesday I did the walking track at the community center for 1 mile and tonight I worked out some and did 1 mile on the TM.  I am hoping Saturday to be able to get a decent run in, but will just have to see.

I received my books from a 4 for 1 order from PBS.  I ordered A Lost Lady by Willa Cather and also received An Untold Story--about the Roosevelts, Canterbury Tales and L is for Lawless.  I have started reading L is for Lawless, I like these books and it has been a while since I have read one.  I am no where near reading them in order though so I am probably missing some things as well, but still fun reads from what I remember.  I am still working on Bigger Deal, just passed 100 pages read and The Afghan, at 145 pages read.  Neither book was really holding my attention much so that is why I started the 3rd book.

I also mailed out 2 other books this week for PBS, the Chianti Guide book and a Shreve book I had bought not wanting to read, thinking it would be on WL.  It wasn't on WL but only took a month or so before it went.  I will be at 14 credits once all my books get delivered and I am also waiting on 2 other orders to come to me.  I have too many books right now, I really don't want to order any more, but will probably still check to see if any deals are out there.  I have an Ann Rice book coming along with another one and the other order is for The Davinci Code and the first 2 Harry Potter books.  With the weather getting nicer, I know finding time to read will be harder to come by as well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Half Life of Stars--#22 finished

I was greatly surprised about this book, I really enjoyed it.  It had quirky characters and a good general story line.  I should probably be looking for other books by this writer, it was a clever book.  It was also the case where the characters actually grew somewhat through the book, they were not defined and never changed.  I have to admit that I didn't have big expectations with this book, I was worried it was more Chic Lit instead of straight fiction.  It was certainly not Chic Lit, but instead an interesting read.

Part of the reason I choose to read this book was because it was only on 2 WL at PBS so I wanted to get it read so I could mail it off.  I have posted it & just waiting it to be accepted before I send it out.  I did order 5 books today with only using 2 credits.  First I order Cry to Heaven by Ann Rice and then a book called The Zero Game--Cry to Heaven sounded interesting & I guess The Zero Game did too, but don't know the author so will have to see.  Then I also ordered Nicholas & Alexandra and got 2 free books with it--Godfather Returns and The Notebook.  I really wanted N&A and struggled to pick 2 other books from that person's list.  

I am off work Monday & have a few things that I would like to get done but will have to see.  I will probably be picking out another book to read that is on WLs so I can mail again once it is finished.  I am still working on A Bigger Deal, a poker book & The Afghan, so a 3rd book is not really a priority yet.

Good Run on Saturday

I got a good run in on Saturday.  I went to a larger park in the area, Creve Coeur Lake Park which has several paths for bikes and runners/walkers.  I was able to do 6.1 miles with an overall average of around 12:45 per mile.  The first and last miles were around 13:10 and the 4 middle miles ranged from 12:50 to 12:12.  All in all very happy with the run, it felt good getting this run in.  I think it helped that I went to a park where the shortest route I would run was going to be 4 miles--no chance of talking myself out of going long.  It was a nice day, chilly but felt great during the run and no real wind.  I also got to see 3 deer as well.  I am off Monday so hope to get some kind of run in then also.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Memory Keeper's Daughter--#21 finished

First off, I enjoyed the book, while of course I had an attachment to read it with the daughter having Down Syndrome.  The story wasn't really about the daughter so much as the bad decision of the dad, David at the beginning and his inability to ever try to correct it.  I think the author did an very good job of showing how that one decision affected everyone's life and mostly for the bad.  I think she presented the characters as very believable though too, each with the faults as well as their positives.

It is not a book about Down Syndrome but rather a story with an important character with Down Syndrome.  Like I said though it is a good read overall.  We have the Lifetime movie DVRed and waiting to watch, but I wanted to finish this book first before seeing the movie.

There are around 1950 copies of this book already listed on PBS so I will not be listing my copy--no reason to let it sit there for years.  I think my mom might want it so I will probably pass it along to her and others I know that might want it instead.

Right now I am reading The Half Life of Stars by Louise Wener and Bigger Deal by Anthony Holden.  Both are WL books but only 1 or 2 people want them so I need to finish them up & get them listed.  I will probably get a 3rd book started in the next couple of days also.  Many books to read, just need to decide which ones.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Too Much Tuscan Sun--#20 finished

Earlier today I worked at finishing Hunk City so I could get it posted & hopefully mailed off.  I wasn't expecting to finish Too Much Tuscan Sun today also, but just seemed to happen, very late today.  This is a travel book by a Chianti tour guide.  It was surprisingly a good read.  At first I was wondering what I had gotten into but the book had a nice flow about it.  Dario Castagno is a professional tour guide that covers the whole Chianti region who decided after several years of doing this to write a book about it.  He is had several interesting clients throughout the years both good and bad.  He stuck mostly to Americans, I am guessing because that is where the book was looking to be sold.

All in all a good read.  It reminded me of Confessions of a Door Whore that I read earlier this year, in that it was short chapters dealing with a person or event and the next chapter just went to something else.  There was no real carryover between chapters.  I think this is part of the reason I kind of liked the book, there was no plot or characters to remember and constantly refer back to, it was all laid out for me/the reader.

Well, I have posted it on PBS of course.  There are already 2 copies posted so this book might not move for a while, but I guess we will see.  This could be one that gets picked up if I ever decide to run a deal too.

Hunk City--#19 finished

I would have to say disappointed is probably the first thing that comes to mind after finishing Hunk City.  The back of the book endorsements and the inside flap synopsis lead me to think I would be reading an interesting and funny book about the deep south--Louisiana.  Instead there wasn't really any character in the book that I cared about.  I understand character development demands showing characters with their frailties exposed so the reader can better understand each character.  I just didn't find anything redeeming about any of the characters.  

When I was nearly done reading the book, I was explaining this to my wife as, if the writer suddenly exploded a bomb in the city killing everyone, I would be okay at least I am done with this book.  I have some mixed feelings because I have another book or 2 from James Wilcox and right now not sure if I want to even put the time in to read them.  Again I go back to the endorsements that make it sound like he is a very talented writer, but I guess I just didn't see it in Hunk City.

Now I have posted it on PBS & it was still on one person's WL.  I am now waiting for that person I accept the book so I can get it out in the mail to them.  I checked & it looks like they have a small bookshelf & WL so I hope it is still an active account.  The site gives them 48 hours to accept so hopefully I will get a yes/accepted soon.  By the way Snow, Ashes was just requested last night, I think it has been posted for about a month.  It is nice to see some of my other books that have been posted getting picked up.  I am still waiting on The Yellow Sailor to disappear.

No idea yet what the next book will be.  I will be picking another book that is on WL so once I am done I can mail it off.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nothing much to say but I will type anyway

April is here and that means a new month & needing to get my 10 posts in this month.  I don't really have much to say right now but will run through a few things.

Gave blood yesterday for the American Red Cross.  One of those things I get a good feeling do, kind of doing my part in this world.

Worked out tonight and really struggled with running.  I chalked it up to giving blood yesterday.  I am off work tomorrow so will try again to get a run in.

Reading 3 books right now:  Too Much Tuscan Sun, The Memory Keeper's Daughter and Hunk City.  Really 3 very different books.  Not any one of them seems to be a favorite of mine.  I have an interest in reading the Memory Keeper because of the Down Syndrome child in the book.  The other 2 are just books.  Hunk City seems really strange, but I want to get it done and post it while it is still on someone's WL at PBS.

Bought 7 more books at the library, 5 of them are on WL.  Good haul for $2.75.  Also most of them are books that I might want to read as well.