Thursday, December 29, 2011

Descent into Danger--#75 finished

This is an alright book that borders on cheesy. Everything about the book just seems way to unlikely to occur, if you can suspend your belief in reality though it is not too bad. Some weird twists and some just kind of plain strange stuff that the author just seems to send along as completely normal. Oh well, not a bad read and it is a pretty quick read all in all.

It is book read number 75 for the year and is probably the last one I will finish for 2011. In 2008 it was 30 books, in 2009 it was 81 books and last year in 2010 it was 87. This is a very very good 3 year stretch for my reading I must say. Don't know what 2012 will bring but probably more of the same, I have a ton of books to be read in my book room.

I am still reading Last Night in Twisted River and the General Lemay books. I will look to add a 3rd either tonight or tomorrow night as well.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity--#74 finished

This is a book by John Stossel of 20/20 and now Fox News. He takes ideas and presents them as what might be common thought or knowledge and then explains why that isn't the case. It is a good and interesting book. Easy to read with very short blips about the myths. This one is probably go to be one of my keeper books since the info it has is so simply laid out.

I have already posted it on PBS but as I said above, I think it is going to be a keeper book. There are around 40 copies on PBS already so it wasn't going to be moving anytime soon anyway.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Methland--#73 finished

A very good book about the struggles of dealing with the meth problem in small town America. Living in St Louis, you have to be aware of the meth problem in the nearby counties, some of which are the worst in the nation for mom & pop meth producing. The author follows a smallish town, 6k, in Iowa for a period of 3 to 4 years and brings in info on some nearby towns as well. A very good book and I hope that it has changed the way politicians have been dealing with this issue.

I will be mailing this book off on PBS at some point but will probably wait till after the holidays are over first. There are still something like 50 to 60 WL for it so do not have to be in any hurry. Still reading the John Stossel book, very close to finishing though. Also started Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving and another book Decent into somewhere or something--can't remember the title off hand. Probably won't start another till I finish the Stossel book.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Platte River--#72 finished

This is a short story book. It has 3 stories by the same author Rick Bass. I don't know if I don't get short stories or something but these 3 stories just seemed to not answer much. Decent stories and generally good characters but you don't get to really know them and the "action" in the stories is mostly confusing. Maybe the stories are more like a picture that you look at and while not understanding it brings up feelings within you, these are more like that. I like my art like that but my reading not so much. Oh well, I have another short story book by same author and at some point will read it and see if it is the same.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy on the system so I expect it will move at some point, but short story books don't move much from what I have seen so not expecting anything soon. Still reading John Stossel book and Methland and will be adding a 3rd book later today.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Nubian Prince--#71 finished

A weird kind of book. A young man that was drifting--in Spain, becomes a recruiter for an international exclusive sex club. The recruiters are sent to the worst spots on the planet, looking for beautiful people to "save". Immigrants the wash up on shore in Europe, countries or areas thrown into poverty, disasters, etc--the recruiters go there in search of beautiful pieces that they then hand off to the club which trains the people for the sex trade in these exclusive clubs. The back cover of the book talks about it being funny and hilarious but I did get that. It was very sad on many levels and while I can see where a recruiter may believe they are saving the people, I think even the main character in the end realizes he just screws up these peoples lives in new ways. Oh well a kind of interesting book for a different perspective.

I have already posted it on PBS, there is 1 copy ahead of it so I think it should move eventually. I am still reading the John Stossel book and The Platte River short story book and just started Methland.

Friday, December 9, 2011

One Fat Summer--#70 finished

Well, I have made it to 70 books read so far this year with the year quickly winding down. I obviously won't be getting to the 87 books read last year but the 70 something is a good number. Okay now onto this book. I really liked The Contender written by the same author, this book is not as good. Both of them are for teens though so I am not surprised it wasn't really for me. It also was written and happened in the 70's so somethings are a little off--a dollar an hour to fifty cents an hour for work, no kid today can even think of so little. Oh well, not a bad book and it was a quick read.

I have posted it on PBS but there are 50 copies of this version ahead of it and there are several versions/editions of it. This book is going nowhere. I probably need to pick off a dozen books or so from the PBS bookshelf and donate them off somewhere. Still reading the John Stossel book and The Nubian Prince and will be looking to start another book tonight as well.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Gate at the Stairs--#69 finished

An interesting story of a college aged girl that goes through some very tough and unusual times. She gets a job as a nanny for a couple trying to adopt a child and has to go on the interviews helping them with the adoption. They adopt a little girl of mixed race which is kind of scandalous in small town Iowa. She starts dating a college classmate boy that she thought was Brazilian but was instead Arab of some sort and he leaves college as seemingly a terrorist. The couple with the adopted child go through many happenings, etc but in the end a bizarre past catches up with them & they lose the child back to the adoption agency. The college girl was holding a poison/homemade cleaner for the lady and girl's roommate eats some and nearly dies and has stomach pumped. Returns home to find out younger brother joined army and left day after she gets back. She helps dad on the farm and her mom slips more and more out of reality. Brother goes straight from basic training to Afghanistan and is killed days after getting there.

There is more but those are the highlights. An interesting story but other than the college girl, I don't see much of a connection or an answer to what is the point the author was trying to get at. A lot of random weird and tragic stuff happened, but it just seems like a story, reality just skitters along outside of it. Oh well, I wanted to like it and parts I did, just altogether doesn't make much sense to me.

I will be posting it on PBS, there are still 35 to 40 WL for it I think so it will move once I post it. I have shipped a bunch of books off recently so I might wait a week before posting this one or until something else gets requested. I am reading the John Stossel book about Myths and Truths--don't have exact title in front of me. I am also reading The Nubian Prince about a recruiter in Europe for the sex trade. Also just started Robert Lipsyte One Fat Summer. Probably won't add another for a couple days yet so I can make a little more progress in these three already started.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Last Undercover--#68 finished

This is a true story written by a former FBI agent Bob Hamer. The book talks about several of his cases but the focus of the book is about his infiltrating NAMBLA. An amazing story and a real hero. The NAMBLA case was probably the one where he had the least worries as far as danger during the case--drug deals, arms deals, terrorists are much more dangerous for the undercover agent. The NAMBLA case though really entered him into the sickness of pedophiles. I started reading this book right before the Sandusky news from Penn State started coming out & now there is the Fine from Syracuse stories coming out. There is a real sickness in this country and am glad some were caught early on. Unfortunately it seems most of those in the book were not very smart or not overly cautious--joining NAMBLA itself is evidence of this. Those that stay hidden seem hard to find--how Sandusky and Fine operated for years without getting caught is just amazing & devastating.

I will be posting the book on PBS to pass it along. I think there are around 17 WL for it. I really wasn't expecting to finish this book tonight but just got on it. Nice start to Dec. Would like to get to 72 read for the year.