Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rising Tide--#19 finished

This is a book about the 1927 Mississippi flood that really devastated parts of Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The upper Mississippi and it tributaries were also flooding but the major damage and the focus of the book was on the South. It is a really good book, lots of good information and very interesting things going on throughout. It is not a book that is a quick read though, I was some where over a month in reading it. I really liked the beginning where he talked about James Eads and the Army Corp Engineers and their fight on river control. I really only knew the Eads name from his bridge in St Louis, I didn't know how interesting his life was, I will have to find a good book on his life, should be a good read.

The two main areas of focus of the book were the Delta region in Mississippi and New Orleans and talked about how the river affected them book leading up to the 1927 flood. Obviously the river was the main focus of the book but another major topic was the black sharecroppers and field hands and their treatment during the flood. The way they were mistreated, forced many to slip north--slipped because the landowners needed them to work fields and tried to keep them through many different means--mostly plain old force though. The book also talked about Hoover who was in charge of the relief efforts during the flood. It really put Hoover in a bad light with his dealings with the role of government and especially the treatment of the displaced blacks. Hoover really paid lip service to the conservative black leaders to keep some of the mistreatment out of the news and also to secure their support for his presidential aspirations. It was a disgusting time in the US and while Hoover wasn't a southern Democrat pushing segregation, his unfilled promises and outright using of the black leadership was terrible.

This is one of those books that really makes you think and reevaluate some of what you thought you knew. I am looking forward to another book that I have by this author about the 1919 influenza outbreak. This book has 3 WL for it so I will probably be posting it in the next day or two. I just mailed 4 books off today and am waiting for one more WL book to be accepted--Bright Shiny Morning.

Right now I am reading Rules of Vengeance and The Yacoubian Building. I have just started both, so only around 50 pages or under on both. I will probably look to add a 3rd tonight as well.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Cost of Doing Business--#18 finished

An interesting & good book. It is the second book by John Tarlton and I really liked it. It was a short book of only 174 pages but I thought the characters were interesting and the action flowed nicely. I am interested in knowing more about the characters as well. There is no other book by the author showing up at paperback swap, but the author info mentions an earlier novel and some short stories. The book was published in 2002 so I am guessing there is no 2nd book coming with these characters, oh well.

There is 1 copy of this book already on paperback swap so I have posted this book but really no guess as to when it will be moved. I would think it will go at some point though since it really is a pretty good book.

I am still working on Rising Tide, somewhere around 50 pages left. Also just started The Yacoubian Building, only around 20 pages in. Will look over my books and maybe start a 3rd tonight also.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Head Games--#17 finished

An interesting book about a former police officer/detective that has a brain tumor. Unsure if he will get surgery or not since his life has basically fallen apart--2 ex-wives and a teenage daughter that doesn't really like him, make him wonder if continuing is worth it. Another ex-officer is a lead security guy at a boy band talent agency and needing someone to locate a missing major talent. Story goes from there. Not a bad story, a few twists and turns and the whole time Mike is also dealing with complications from his tumor. In the end it basically works out as best as it can. He finds the singer who agrees to do one last tour, his daughter thrown into the mess comes out okay and loving her dad and the ex's even seem to like him. Kind of unlikely but a nice ending is not always a bad thing either. Looks like the author has also decided to continue this as a series so there is that also. By the way Mike even decides to have surgery and hope it works out so his life will continue--since there is a second book it must for a while anyway.

This book is on 2 WL so I will be posting it and hopefully mailing it off in the next few days also. I will probably also post Bright Shiny Morning with it and maybe another as well. Hopefully all get accepted quick so I can just do one trip to the post office.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Forest Park Run on Saturday

I was able to get a run around Forest Park in on Saturday. It was a good 6 mile run. The pace was around 11:45, so about 1 hour 10 minutes overall. Pretty happy with it, it had been a while since I went that distance.

With the weather turning nicer, I really want to get 3 to 4 runs in a week. It would be nice to get into decent shape to do a good 5k--good as in a decent time like closer to 30 minutes or even below.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ultra Marathon Man--#16 finished

This an autobiography by Dean Karnazes, an amazing Ultra Marathoner. It is a good read about some of his more memorable runs and accomplishments. It also gave his history and some of what inspires him. A good read and introduction into ultramarathoning, but he doesn't really mention any of the others out there doing this. Ultramarathoning is more than Dean Karnazes but the reader doesn't really get that from this book. To me it is not that big of a deal because he was not writing about ultras but rather about himself. I had heard this criticism of his book years ago when it came out. While a history of ultras would be nice and probably a very good read for many, Dean is the main name in ultras and the fact he was/is popular enough to get a book published is a big deal.

Like I said a good read with some memorable parts throughout about what he was feeling or experiencing during these endurance events. Events that most people cannot even begin to imagine. Right now I think this is a keeper book for me. I will probably put it with my Bowerman book in my small running collection.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lunchtime Run

Last Spring & Summer a group of us at work did lunchtime runs. It was a run of around 2.3 miles and the take a shorter lunch break to eat. The last one we did was in July I think. Well I moved to a different office, same job, same company, different office. So the group of runners is still at the old office, but since it was nice & I had kind of scouted out a route I figured today was as good as any to get the run in. It ended up being 2.6 miles and it took me around 29 minutes, so not too bad overall. I may try to join up with the old group and do the runs together either at the old office or them coming to the new office. Will just have to see. I need to get a 3rd and probably a 4th run in each week and this seems like a way to get one of those additional runs done.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Run Sunday

I finally got a decent run in on Sunday of 5 miles. It has been a while since I went that far. The first 3 miles were pretty good time I think, I don't have the breakdown in front of me, the last 2 were pretty slow though. Overall I think it was 1 hr 1 minutes and some seconds to get the 5 miles in so happy with that.

Tonight we are going to the community center as a family. One will work out while other will watch/play with kids. Not sure how much workout/running I will get done but at least it will be something I guess.

I would like to get to running 3 days a week--this would include a long run on the weekend so I guess that Sunday run of 5 is the start.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bright Shiny Morning--#15 finished

An interesting book about Los Angeles. I took some getting used to the author's writing style. He really jumps around and introduces several people in the book, many that he never returns to. There ends up being basically 4 story lines though that he follows. Like I said it was interesting, not anything great but not bad. At the beginning I was interested in some of the other possible story lines he introduced but like I said he never came back to them. Not sure why but kind of wish he would have.

The more I think of it, I am not really sure what I think at this point about the book. I think it did a pretty good sales job on Los Angeles, I am seeing it in a different light than before, a more positive light. Really interesting history that I wasn't aware of and really only scratched the surface in this book. Interesting thoughts toward the end of the book during a piece with a French art critic and an artist in Los Angeles about how the old world, Europe and even New York are dying and even older art forms like ballet and symphonies are dying and the new stuff happening in Los Angeles in particular was the future. The TV, movies, the younger and riskier art stuff, etc all happening in LA. Some of these sideline pieces were more interesting and thought provoking than the 4 storylines, although the storylines were interesting also. Like I said right now not really sure what to think about it, probably more just an okay type book though.

I know there are still several people on PBS that have it on the WL so I will probably post it later this week. I have one book to mail tomorrow or Tuesday already. Still working on Rising Tide and also started Marathon Man.


Went to the MVC women's tournament championship game today to see Creighton play Northern Iowa. It was $9 a ticket so not terrible but would have liked cheaper & couldn't find a Pepsi can with a promotion. Creighton played good and even got to an 8 point lead in the 2nd half but somewhere right around that point could not score. I don't think they scored the last 5 minutes at least. Northern Iowa got the lead with 2 free throws with 7 seconds left and Creighton went distance and put up a shot and missed badly or was fouled. Tough one to lose. Took Rose & Thomas along, I think they had fun. Rose said we were on the big screen once when Thomas was dancing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Post

I haven't typed much in a while so I figured I should do a quick one.

I haven't finished a book for almost 2 weeks now so no blogging. I hope to finish A Bright Shiny Morning this weekend though.

Last weekend was the MVC basketball tournament. My parents came in & we went to 7 games, a lot of fun even with Creighton getting bounced out on their first game. Northern Iowa won and showed they were the best team in The Valley.

Need to make a double recipe of Jambalaya for a soup & salad dinner tonight at church.

I ran Monday 2 miles at the community center and then ran on Wednesday after work, 3 miles. Not sure if I will get a run in today yet. Depends on how long the jambalaya takes I guess.

I am sure other stuff but right now that should do it.

Thanks for everyone who has put in comments the last few months. I have visited your blogs but unfortunately I cannot read them, I am guessing Chinese. Still kind of nice to know that someone has found my blog even if not much interesting stuff here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Split Second--#14 finished

This is the 2nd in the Maggie O'Dell series by Alex Kava. Alex Kava is a Nebraskan, a small town girl that has since become a writer. I really enjoyed the first book, A Perfect Evil, this was was good but not as good though. I like the tough attractive FBI profiler character Maggie O'Dell, it is easy to cheer for her throughout the book. It just seemed like this story was forced out there. I will have to read the 3rd in the series and hopefully it will be better. The evil serial killer Stucky loomed in the background of the first book and in the 2nd he was the bad guy. The story did keep you a little off guard though because there were unanswered questions about Stucky's former business partner too. Like I said it seemed the book just wanted to tie up some loose ends with Stucky which it did. That is why I am kind of interested to see where a 3rd book goes. I don't have the 3rd book yet, I think I have either 4 or 5 though. No hurry to get it ordered though since I have many many books to be read right now also.

I haven't decided yet if I will be posting this book or not. I probably will but might give my mom first shot at it also.

Right now still working on Rising Tide, not quite at 200 pages yet. Also just started Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey. Might be adding a 3rd book tonight, will probably look at a few and see if one looks ready for me.