Monday, June 29, 2009

End of month stuff

I am finishing off June with an end of the month stuff post.

--Vacation to northern MN was great. We missed out on a very hot week here in St Louis & got to enjoy some great weather there. The fishing was okay, the northern pike were hitting, the perch and walleye a little and the sunfish not at all. The kids were good, the food was good, all in all a very good vacation. It is hard to describe how nice it was being able to ride around on the lake in great weather on a boat, being able to also fish was just gravy. Also could really see the stars late at night.

--Didn't run the whole week of vacation and several days leading up to it. I did run last night, got in 4 miles, slow. Hope to get another run or two in this week also. I think I have Friday off because of the 4th holiday so hopefully with a long weekend should get 2 more runs this week.

--I am reading now 4 books. I started The Death of Common Sense before vacation and read it during vacation & still have around 70 pages to go. It is non-fiction and the writer bounces around a lot, but is interesting but slow reading. When I finished The Wheat Field, I started reading Polar Star by Martin Cruz Smith who also wrote Gorky Park which I read many years ago, probably before I started keeping track of what I read. Tonight I started 2 others, The Au Pairs, a teenager chic type book, not really sure why I am reading it other than a change of pace and it has girls in bikinis on the cover. I will probably keep this one in the basement, don't want to have to explain why reading it. I just got it today with about 7 other books from the library for a whole $2.75. It is a hard copy and there are no hard copies listed on PBS but it is also not on any WL. I figure read it quick and post it, it should move quick or at least eventually. Finally, I started reading The Last Oracle, not really sure what it is about yet except something about an end of times book. It is a WL book but it has been steadily dropping in number of WL so it is time for me to read it so I can still get it mailed out eventually.

--I just ordered the 5th book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series or whatever that series is called. I have to give that series partial credit for getting me back to reading, they kind of hooked me in. So in a few weeks I will have another book stacked in my room that I don't have time to read, oh well. This was a book bazaar order so I have a 2nd book coming as well.

--Almost no movement on my WL books, oh well, I have enough books to read already. I was away from the computer during vacation and was hoping that one of my WL books would come in so I would at least have a book coming to me. All of my books have been delivered so I had no pending transactions until I just ordered the above book.

--More lawnmower problems tonight but I found the part I need so I will try to fix it tomorrow night. I might still have a problem with the fuel tank leaking, I doubt it is related to the broken spring but I can hope.

Well enough for now, time to go to sleep.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Wheat Field--#37 finished

I finished this one a few days ago while on vacation. We just got back late yesterday. The Wheat Field is an interesting book, mystery kind of book. It is being told from the prespective of a now retired deputy sheriff who investigated a double murder back in the 1960s. It has quite a few twists & turns and keeps you off balance as to what is really going on and what the deputy is thinking. It also mixes in some chapters about other things going on in the life of the deputy. It has more than a little sex stuff in it so cannot recommend it to all, but a good book still.

I am still getting back into the flow of things since getting back so this is it for the post now, maybe later I can update other stuff.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Adriane on the Edge--#36 finished

In the last book I finished I was kind of fed up with the whole idea of quirky characters, but in Adriane I found a quirky type character that was also sympathetic and engaging. It seemed like in parts of the book she was trying to cultivate within herself and new her but struggled mightily. Her unfortunate background with both parents committing suicide but only really loving her father, really put her behind the 8 ball and the author really brings this out in some of the chapters.

Some of the chapters were really very good and I almost wish he would have continued more on what happened there, like her piano playing or what her job was about or her poker playing group. Instead the later part of the book put her into very unusual situations that I don't think really fit with the rest of the book. The orgy chapter or the chapter where her dog bites her ear off or the final chapter where she travels to India to attempt a reincarnation of her dog, Barry. Very weird stuff that was still sort of entertaining and developing of the character just didn't seem to fit with some of those earlier chapters.

Overall a good read, liked it more than I thought I was going to, even with those weird chapters. I have posted it on PBS, I think there are 3 books ahead of it though, so it probably won't move very quickly, maybe by the fall. Now reading The Wheatfield about a couple of murders in Wisconsin back in the 1960s that the lead investigator is talking about in the 90s(I think) after he retired. Not too bad so far. Have a few that I am looking at for book 2 but nothing picked out yet.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Contest

Well it looks like I am close in the weight loss contest at work.  I lost 19 some pounds for a 10.4% but someone else has lost 22 some pounds for a 10.5%.  No payoff to 2nd or 3rd, it is winner take all.  I don't know if everyone weighed in yet though since no winner was announced.  Even without winning though it is probably a very good use of $10, losing 19 pounds is worth it.

I did get up and run 3 miles before work also today since it was weigh in day and all.  So a good amount of my weight loss is water weight but I know I have also very much improved my running endurance as well.  Enough that I am actually thinking about a fall run like a 1/2 marathon or something.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

5 miles done

I ran 5 miles tonight after a kind of long day.  It was Buddy Walk day at Forest Park, this is not the ball game day.  It was fun but of course also exhausting.  Thomas is much better than in the past about not running off, about waiting in line and things but he is still a handful.  There was a 1 mile walk, no big deal, except Thomas didn't want to walk any of it.  I put him down and forced him to walk 3 different times but they ended up being very short.  So for about 90% of the mile I carried Thomas in arms, back or finally at the end on my shoulders.  It was a good workout for me.

After mowing the back yard and cutting so long hanging branches from my neighbor's walnut tree and some other general yard work and after running a couple of errands with the kids, I went for a run.  It was a nice 5 mile run.  It started something around 12:03, then 11:15(no walk break), then 12:23, then 11:35(maybe?), and then a 14:03 but that last mile was off.  I think it was more likely a 12:45 but I think it ran long.  Oh well the time wasn't that important.  Tomorrow is the weigh-in a biggest loser contest at work.  I should be around 15 pounds down, if the scales are working correctly.  Not sure if that is enough to win, but still happy with it.  I hope to wake up early and do a quick 2 or 3 miles before work also.  I don't think there is anyone in the contest running away with their weight loss so if I can do 15+ pounds I could actually win this or at least be close.  We will have to see.

Apex Hides the Hurt--#35 finished

Apex is an interesting book about a marketing naming specialist who after a bad time in life takes a job to name a town.  The premise is interesting the characters are kind of interesting but somehow for me it just didn't seem to come together.  It is a short read of 212 pages which was good because that itself probably helped me stay at it longer.  I understand it was more of a satire about how marketing has almost replaced part of our consciousness which is a scary proposition as well.  To me I guess I just didn't quite get that from the book at least in any believable way.

Maybe this is one consequence of reading more than I had in the past.  In the past the sometimes quirky characters seemed more interesting, now after reading quite a bit these last few months, quirky characters just don't seem to bring it anymore.  Maybe not, but something I will consider going forward as well.  Apex is a WL book and I have already listed it and it has been accepted.  I will be mailing it out later this week, yeah.   Once it gets delivered and the one other book that I mailed last week gets delivered, I will be sitting on 20 credits.  Since I will be out of town the following week, I am not ordering anything right now, unless one of my WL books comes up which almost never happens--only once so far.

Now reading Adriane on the Edge, not too sure about it but will probably keep at it.  I was also planning on reading The Life of Pi but I think it will wait till later and I will grab something else.  There are a few I should probably be reading while they are still on WL but I will see, I am thinking an easy Grisham or something as most likely.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Spy with the Silver Lining--#34 finished

It was a quick read, as far as the good news.  It really wasn't very good though.  No surprises, one dimensional characters, cheesy overall plot, characters that were "the best" compared to everyone else in the world.  Just not a very good book.  It has some soft sex scenes but even those were pretty much no detail and a lot of alluding to stuff.  I really can't say much good about this book.

Now why did I read this book.  First I guess I should answer how I ended up with the book in the first place.  It came to me from one of the Book Bazaar deals I got through PBS--I think it was a 3 for 1.  There wasn't much else on the person's bookshelf that I wanted so I figured I would order it.  When I got it I saw there were only 8 other copies on the system so there is a chance this book could be ordered in the next few months or so, but I would have to get it on my bookshelf first.  Well, I figured I would read it quick and do so and that is how I did it.  Now I did put it on the bookshelf once I started reading it and that probably had something to do with finishing it instead of just chucking it midway through.  Like I said it was a quick read so that certainly helped things.

I am now just reading Apex Hides the Hurt and have just read the into into The Life of Pi.  Not sure if I will be picking out a 3rd book yet or not.  I want to finish Apex before vacation and hopefully get it mailed off, so I might just stick with the 2 books for now.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Avenger--#33 finished

Avenger is a good intelligent read by Forsyth.  It is kind of fun to read his books because there is a lot of good interesting info stuffed inside a spy kind of story.  In my last post I mentioned I am reading another suspense novel and really there is no comparison, the Forsyth novels are just much better.  Of course the other suspense novel is more of a romance suspense book and that is probably part of the reason it is just not very good to me.

The book starts in Vietnam then the US, moves to the break up of Yugoslavia and wanders through UAE and then South America with smaller stops in Central America and Europe.  Like I said fun stuff.  Forsyth also tied this story into the terrorists attacks on 9/11.  I don't know if I have another Forsyth novel sitting around to be read, but since I had just finished the Afghan, I will probably take a break from him.  Returning I guess if others just disappoint.  I will probably be looking for some of his other novels on PBS though.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Now Reading

I am still working on Avenger by Forsyth but only have 11o pages to go.  Maybe this weekend or early next week.  I started Apex Hides the Hurt a couple of days ago but have only gotten 10 pages in, it is my WL book I am reading.  

I also started a 3rd book, The Spy with the Silver Lining, this is more of a romantic suspense/spy novel.  It is an easy read, already 75 pages in and just started last night, but talk about just not very good.  It is kind of embarrassing to be reading it at the same time as a Forsyth novel, there is just no comparison at all.  Now I do admit that I am not the target audience of a romantic suspense novel, but still I figured it would be decent at least.  I will keep at it though.  There are only 8 other copies of this book on the PBS system so I wanted to get it read and hope someone requests it in the next month or so.  I just received this book yesterday as part of a 3 for 1 deal from PBS, oh well the other 2 books should be okay at least.

I am waiting to 2 people to accept books that I posted, I already have 1 other book accepted and then I will mail out all 3 books.  These 3 books will get me to 18 credits.  I am holding off on ordering any more book bazaar deals on PBS until I am back from vacation.  I don't want any books being mailed here while I am out.

I have been stopping in the libraries some these last few weeks and the selection is really down.  I am guessing with it being summer, they just aren't selling as many right now.  I am figuring on summer being the busy season at the library so keeping extra copies around then is probably the idea.  I hope the good sales come back because this is where I am getting most of my good books that are earning me credits at PBS.  I guess I could look elsewhere, but they will not be cheaper than I find at these libraries.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bow Grip--#32 finished

I really enjoyed this book.  Interesting & diverse characters working through some difficult periods in life.  Joe the main character has that every man kind of feel to him, except a low sperm count & wife leaving him for another woman have seem to thrown him off track.  He seems to finally realize he needs to deal with some things in his life that he has been putting off and travels to Calgary to do so.  In Calgary he meets several people/new friends that seem to have found ways into his life. 

At the end of the book, you, the reader, just kind of knows that things will work out for him.  I wished that there was more to the book, showing the next steps in his life, but like I said you have the feeling all will be good for Joe.  Good book & would recommend it.  It is on like 4 people's WL at PBS, so I will probably list it.  I was thinking about keeping it but figure it would be best to share this book with others that are waiting for it.  

Ivan E Coyote, the author, is one that I will be looking for other books by her.  The ease of reading this book very much reminded me of the Poe Ballantine books I have read.  Ivan has also written short stories as well and will probably have to check these out if I can find them.