Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Running After Antelope--#26 finished

This is a book of short stories by Scott Carrier. Scott is in each of the stories, it is kind of about parts of his life as a writer/reporter/radio program producer. Some interesting stuff and some not so, overall I would say okay. He talked about some of his travels to Mexico and Cambodia. I think the story about his hitchhiking from Utah to New York city was pretty interesting. I was reminded of Poe Ballantine's book Things I Like About America several times while reading this. The 2nd to last chapter, Scott was in Mexico talking to a volunteer/political observer and in their conversations it comes up that she basically hates America and Scott basically agrees. Now he doesn't really explain this so I am not sure if he really meant it or not but it did leave a sour taste in my mouth.

Overall though some decent stuff in the book. It is short, only 128 pages so it is a quick read too. There was enough interesting stuff to keep it moving. I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy on the system so I would think it will move before long. I received it as part of a 4 for 1 Book Bazaar deal so if it moves I will have already gotten my credit back.

Just a quick note to the people that have been leaving comments, thank you for the comments but unfortunately I cannot read them. I am guessing it is Chinese. If you could leave comments in English that would be helpful so I could respond if needed but if not okay. Still sort of nice to know someone out there found this blog.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Girl with a Pearl Earring--#25 finished

I knocked off two books in one day. I hadn't thought I would finish this one even this weekend since I was about 150 pages away from finishing it but I started reading it and it just kind of took off today. I actually read some in my other books as well since it was a good day for reading--rainy.

I liked the book, it was about the Dutch painter Vermeer and a maid that he painted. The maid was the main character of the book and I thought it brought up a lot of interesting insights about the time and the people. A good book. It is late so I don't want to go to much into it.

I will not be able to post it on PBS because the book has a water stain on the last 30 or so pages. It was a book that I got in a Book Bazaar deal, that should not have been sent out because of that stain. I might add it to my unpostable list or maybe look to donate to the library or elsewhere instead.

Afterwards--#24 finished

An English book or I guess a book about British people. A good story, not a lot of action and lots left unsaid but really interesting still. Sometimes I was caught up with the thought of why don't they just open up and talk about their past, but then there would not have been a book. I am sure though that there are people like this. Alice is single & 38, was raised by her mother, her dad completely out of the picture except for some recent letters. Alice's grandparents did much in raising her also. Well her grandmother is recently deceased so Alice is now spending time with just her grandfather who is much less open and forthcoming about most everything, so this relationship is strained without grandmother there.

Well, Alice starts dating Joseph and everything seems fine but slowly Alice realizes there are large parts of Joseph's life she know nothing about. Joseph served in the Army and at one point during a checkpoint, he had to shoot and kill a man. Even though this man was found to have a gun and could have killed the other solider, Joseph cannot let it go that he had to kill a man. He goes months or years without it really bothering him but then all at once it kind of sets off and he disappears. Well through in Alice's grandfather's military service as a bomber in Kenya and Joseph helping out at the house and it sets it off.

Well, obviously there is more to it than this but this is kind of a gist of it. A good read and does make you think with the 2 wars going on, all of the scarred people coming back from that.

I will be posting this book sometime soon, there are 2 WL for it so want to get it moved while I still can. I am still holding Rules of Vengeance, so I might post it as well, get to the post office just once then.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I am reading 3 books right now, been slow going with all of them. I have been reading The Shelters of Stone the longest and am 400 pages into it but it has 891 pages, so not even half way yet. Also reading Afterwards, an English or British book, not too bad, this one I will hopefully finish over the weekend, I am right around 100 pages left in it. Finally I started reading Girl with a Pearl Earring too but haven't been putting much time to it so far, only around 50 pages in.

There are many books that I want to get started on also but want to get Afterwards done before starting another. Might go to 4 books then though, The Shelters of Stone is good but it has taken up a lot of my time so far and I haven't gotten that far through it yet either. I know I want to focus on reading longer books but the short quicker ones are fun too especially when I get bogged down by the longer. Oh well, I figured I should throw a quick update out there on my reading.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Yacoubian Building--#23 finished

A very interesting & good read about a building in Cairo, Egypt and some of the residents of the building. It talked about when the building was built and how Cairo then was a European city to now where it is struggling for identity with a dictator, fundamental Islamists, along with corruption, poor and sexual identity problems. For being a shorter book, just under 250 pages, it sure hits on a lot of timely subjects and shows the difficulty going on in Egypt today.

While I guess some might say there is hope, I am not sure there really is. It sounds like it is more and more a timebomb in Egypt as well as in most parts of the Arab world. There really are not good answers and there will probably be uprisings and civil wars going on for much of the foreseeable future.

I very much liked this book. It was both informative and interesting to read. It was certainly not a book that I could just rush through either. I have already posted it and hope to pass along to someone else to enjoy later this week since there was 1 WL for it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ride the Lightning--#22 finished

A good quick read mystery set in the 1980s in St Louis. Kind of a fun read about the town just a few years before I moved here. Reading about neighborhoods and streets and stuff. The book itself was okay but part of that was it is dated now. It is an Alo Nudger book so I am guessing it is a series of some kind, might look for others in it but won't be a priority or anything. The storyline itself wasn't anything great, a guy was caught after a blown robbery at a liquor store where two people are shot dead and he is a week away from the electric chair. A previously unknown girlfriend hires the private eye Alo Nudger to try to prove the boyfriend's innocence. Well cutting to the chase, the girlfriend was wearing a wig and fake mustache and looked like the boyfriend and she was actually the one who committed the crime this time while he drove the getaway car. He never gave her up and Nudger didn't figure it out until after the execution happened, in the end girlfriend commits suicide. Not a great story but will give some points to creativity at least.

This is a book that I got in one of those 3 or 4 for 1 deals in the book bazaar. There had been consistently 3 copies or so on the PBS system since I got this book. Well about a month ago it had shrunk to 1 copy left and then down to zero left so I figured I would read it and post it. Once I got 100 pages read, of the 196, I posted it and a day later someone was requesting the book. I have no idea why this book has become popular, but doesn't really matter. I had to hurry up and finish it so I can mail it off early next week. I really wasn't expecting this book to move given that it is over 25 years old but goes to show you never know.

Still reading The Shelters of Stone and The Yacoubian Building, will look to add a 3rd book also.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Well, I haven't updated my running for a while now so here is a quick update. Last week I think I got 6 miles in. This week so far I have 9 miles. On Easter Sunday I struggled through 2 miles in the evening after eating too much junk earlier in the day. On Monday then I went to McDonnell Park, where there are some tough hills and did a slow 4 miles. I figured it was kind of punishment after the struggle on Sunday. Then Thursday I did 3 miles at Stacey Park at just over 12 minute mile pace, still slow and need too many walk breaks but at least got it in. Probably won't have a chance to run tomorrow but maybe Sunday.

Sunday is the St Louis Marathon, I haven't done anything there now for 3 years I think. I had done something for 5 straight years, first a relay, then 2 halfs and then 2 fulls, then nothing. Every Fall I think about a Spring marathon and maybe start kind of training in Dec but just kind of slip off of it the last few years. Oh well, hopefully I will get some good 5ks in this year and see what comes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Life on the Road--#21 finished

I remember watching Charles Kuralt's show on Sunday mornings on CBS and really liked his segments where he showed normal people doing interesting things. I really enjoyed this book also, brought back some good memories of his show. I really don't remember any certain segments but just remember that I liked watching it. This book isn't really an autobiography but he does cover large parts of his life and what went on as well as mixing in what he was doing for CBS. A really interesting career and an interesting person. He certainly could have competed for the Walter Croncikes(however his named is spelled), and Tom Brokaws of the world but instead figured out that traveling the country and meeting everyday people was more enjoyable. I am really glad that I read this book.

There are already 35 copies of the book on PBS so I don't expect it to be going anywhere but will leave it on my bookshelf for a while I guess.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rules of Vengeance--#20 finished

This was the next novel after Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich. Both books were good, I probably liked the first book a little better though at least from what I remember. This I do like the two main characters Emma & Jonathan Ransom. Emma being the spy and Jonathan the doctor that thought he had a good marriage going only to realize his wife's life is a complete lie. This book goes more off course with Emma now being a double agent for Russia, when in last book she was a US agent. Of course the end of the book now makes it seem like she is back to the US side while putting one over on the Russians. Kind of confusing. Also realism really got stretched on this book with Jonathan being able to stay a step ahead of everyone while tracking down his wife. Still a pretty good page turner so overall a good book. A 3rd in this series is coming out sometime this year & I have it on my WL.

This book is wanted by around 45 people so I will probably be mailing it out in the next couple of weeks. I mailed 7 books last week and order a bunch also so I am in no real hurry to do a lot with my account right now. Will just kind of let everything make its way around before posting more to mail. Of course I could get a request for a book and I might post this one just so I can take two to the post office also.

I am reading The Yacoubian Building still, going slow only 64 pages in so far. Reading The Shelters of Stone the next in line of the Clan of the Cave Bear series, only 110 pages in & so far good stuff. Finally also reading Charles Kuralt, A Life on the Road. I remember watching him on Sunday mornings & really liking his stories each week. So far the book has been interesting, even with it being dated, published in 1990. I am 204 pages into with, so about 130 pages to go. I might grab another book right away also, will just have to see.