Monday, December 30, 2013

Candy Cadillac--#67 finished

This is probably my last book finished for the year.  It was the next in the series by a local St Louis author, Claire Applewhite.  Not a great series but not too bad either. The action moves quickly and it is entertaining enough.  Just the series is really violent in that lots of people getting killed, which isn't really St Louis.  While it is fun to hear about streets and you can figure out which places they are talking about even though the name is different, it just isn't real enough to really enjoy as a St Louis book or series.  It is okay though.

I had this copy from PBS and I have posted it on PBS now.  It is the only copy so I would think it will move at some point.  There is another book in the series and I think I have it on my WL but I might get it from the library instead.  Still reading the short story book and the 1413 words book and now have to decide what is next.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Mockingjay--#66 finished

This is the 3rd book in the Hunger Games series.  I really enjoyed the series as a whole & have liked both of the movies that have come out so far.  This book, had a lot to cover and was told from Katniss point of view which was seemingly always screwed up because of injuries & medication.  The ending of the book while it sort of makes sense to me, I don't think it was well enough explained.  Why did she kill the area 13 leader that was poised to takeover the whole territory after the revolt.  Was it just because this leader couldn't make a decision about ending the Hunger Games, was it because she was upset because this leader used Katniss like the prior leader had, or something else.  The book doesn't get into the politics much which is fine but then why does Katniss do such a major political assassination and not get really punished and never really explained in the end either.  The good thing is the movies have been very good and maybe they will help clear this up.

This is my oldest's book so I will not be posting it, it is a keeper.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly--#65 finished

I knew of Grace Kelly, but other than maybe seeing her photo a few times, I really knew nothing about her.  This was both informative and really interesting for me.  I, of course, knew she gave up acting to marry the Prince of Monaco and raise a family.  I didn't realize she was caught up on the old movie 7 year contract problem.  I didn't know anything about her family and the pressures they put on her.  I just seemed to remember that people seemed to adore her and from reading this book you can kind of see why.  It is too bad she died young but her life seems to have been a success with her children and the projects she was involved in.  Also her thoughts on Hollywood life seem to be pretty much spot on, where it is shallow and constant pressure to present oneself as young or beautiful at all times--I am glad she was strong enough to get away and stay away.

I am not sure yet if I will post on PBS or not, there are 3 WL for it.  It may become a donation book to a silent auction.  Haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Anonymous Sources--#64 finished

A very very good first book.  A newspaper reporter gets pulled into investigating a death at Harvard and from there follows this to a near terrorist attack on the White House.  A very good, fast paced read but with enough believability in it to keep it as an enjoyable read.  I am really surprised this is a first novel, it reads with a polished sense of purpose.  If I stop and think back there are probably some stretches of the imagination but overall the story flowed well.  It was a nice change to have the lead be a newspaper reporter too instead of a spy, mercenary, retired spy, military guy or something along those lines.  I am looking forward to the next book, not sure if it will continue as a series or not but either way should be interesting.

I will probably post it on PBS at some point, I think there are 14 WL for it, but in no real hurry at this point to do so.  Still reading the 1413 words book, just a tough book to read much of at any one sitting. It is an autobiography so it is also tough to read about the problems the author has had to get through.  Also still reading the short stories book and just started a book about Grace Kelly.  I will probably look to add another one into the mix as well.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Yugo--#63 finished

The full title is The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History.  It is a good account of this vehicle & the major players around it both before and after the Yugo.  I really learned quite a bit about the car industry as a whole especially the cars and makes outside of the major brands.  Really interesting read and entertaining as well.

I have posted it on PBS, I thought about keeping it but figured to post it & pass it along.  There were no copies on the system so it should move pretty quick I would think.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Big Bounce--#62 finished

This is an older Elmore Leonard book, written in 1969 but the copy I read was a republish of it for a movie that came out around 2002.  The movie had a very nice cast, Morgan Freeman, Owen Wilson, Charlie Sheen and Gary Sinse along with a hot girl.  The movie was a big bomb though and from reading this book I can understand why.  Just a boring kind of going nowhere book.  I can also see why someone wanted to make this movie though, the characters are kind of interesting, I see where actors would say something like I would like to play that person.  Too bad the interesting characters are filled with nothing.  I really don't like the book.  I liked the earlier Elmore Leonard books I have read, Swag and Glitz but this one didn't get it done for me.

I will not be posting it on PBS, it is a library copy where they took a paperback book and put a hardcover on it.  There are already enough copies on PBS and no reason to add this one with a TIN that won't match the cover or without a TIN where no one will see it.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Racketeer--#61 finished

This is the newest John Grisham book.  A good quick read but not as good as other Grisham books I have read.  A lawyer gets caught up in a mess & lands in jail.  While in jail meets some interesting characters & one has a get rich plan.  Lawyer uses this to his advantage along with another friend in jail & his sister.  Lawyer screws over the Feds that he feels wrongly put him in jail in the first place & he gets a kind of revenge & riches.  Like I said a good quick read with some twists and turns but overall just okay.

I have posted it on PBS & hope to be mailing it off this week.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winslow in Love--#60 finished

A good read about a poet that achieved some fame and now just sort of hanging on in mid-life.  His 2nd marriage is ending & he hasn't written anything publishable in years.  He is offered an opportunity to be a visiting professor at a same university in Montana with a graduate writing program.  His wife stays in Portland & he knows it is over.  A good story about his coming to grips with where he is at and his interaction with the students and other professors there.  His one student with some promise also becomes his special student, they drink together & argue and eventually take a trip together during spring break.

It is a good read in a micro sense, one man dealing with himself and just a few others.  Good conversations and thoughts and introspection on his part.

I have posted it back on PBS and there is one copy ahead of it.  I think it will move eventually, this is a good writer.  Of course one of his other books, Into the Great Wide Open, is still sitting on my bookshelf having not moved in a couple of years and basically being the only copy on the PBS system, so what do I know.

Monday, November 25, 2013

St. Louis Hustle--#59 finished

This is another book in a series by a local author, Claire Applewhite.  It is an alright series, kind of fun to read about a series going on in your local area.  Nothing too great though, almost seems to try too hard to work in places around town & it kind of messes with the flow.  Also characters, well I am having a hard time figuring out what to say about the characters--maybe I guess I just don't believe in them, no real development--just kind of splashed out there & there they are.  That probably doesn't make much sense though.  While pointing out these to me shortcomings, I did enjoy this book.  It was a quick read and the action kept moving throughout.  Also couldn't piece everything together till almost the end either so in parts kept you guessing.

The copy I read was a library copy, I had it on PBS WL but didn't seem like it was ever going to make it so found it at the library instead.  I have the 3rd in the series already so will probably read it at some point soon.  I am reading Winslow in Love and the 1413 words book--really a slow read so far.  Also that short story book and I have started another one Elmore Leonard book maybe, can't remember it right off hand either.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Queen of the Oil Club--#58 finished

I had not heard of Wanda Jablonski before I saw this book and after reading this book I am somewhat surprised that I hadn't.  Not that a report of oil business from the '40s into the '80s should be widely known but just the fact of how she became the reporter of oil news because of her contacts.  This was before, during and after OPEC founding, which she played more than a little role in.  Her ability to get to the insiders in the oil business and not just interview them but to almost become an advisor to both sides, the big oil companies and the leaders of the countries with oil.  Also this was the time when the Middle East countries were really starting to make money on their oil and she was able to talk to the leaders, a western female reporter gaining that access, really remarkable.

I liked the book and as the author noted she was really dependent upon interviews of people that knew Wanda since Wanda had no diary and few papers.  She rarely even took notes, committing to memory her interviews.  But she was also the kind of reporter that wanted to get the story correct so she would go over her story it seemed with the contact to make sure it was what they wanted out there.  She really wasn't a kind of gotcha reporter like we have today that is looking to trip up a person.

After reading this book, it makes me realize how important news reporters are and how lacking we are of them now.  I don't know if it is the 24 hour news cycle, the internet, the lack of trust in news people, the slow death of newspapers & printed media, etc but it just doesn't seem there is the quality to the news as there used to be.  Or maybe that is just my "get off my lawn" statement, in that the quality in news has always been hard to find.  Oh well, a good book and an interesting person.

I will post it on PBS at some point to pass along for someone else to enjoy, I think there are 3 WL for it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Out Backward--#57 finished

A very good book about a sort of detached young man in England.  A simple kind of guy, that sounds like didn't really fit anywhere and took wrong any signals he received.  He is the son of a sheep farmer, his father is the cold & distant type & hard to get a good read on the mother.  There was an incident in high school where him & a girl were trying to hookup in someway at school and were caught.  The story is from his perspective so not really sure if he was more the innocent victim--in that he catches all the blame and the girl claims he molested her, or if she was really molested & he was just really unaware of the severity of his actions.  He is kicked out of school and just stays on the farm helping out.

The book starts with the neighbor's place being sold to a townie family and there is a girl there of around 15 or 16, the boy is now 19.  The boy just seems awkward in about everything he does, he brings the family a bucket of mushrooms but forgets to mention to check for maggots, which of course some have maggots.  Then also showing a violent streak as well, killing a chicken of a neighbor that he hates, throwing rocks at hikers and punching a man that strikes his dog.  These make you think while he is confused, his perspective might not be correct when assessing himself.

Eventually the boy & girl start to hang out and have an adventure or two.  You can tell she is having issues with school & family.  Finally she shows up at the barn where he is working overnight and wants to run away & have him help her.  He thinks they are now an item and after a day or two of running away, she changes her mind & he won't let her.  He knows he will be in trouble so ties her up and forces her on with the running away.  He is eventually caught.  The story ends with him getting close to getting out of jail after 4 or so years.  Again though cannot tell, because from his perspective, if he has learned anything or not.  I would guess no but will hope for yes.

A good read.  Hard to read because the writer puts lots of English dialect in the story but that does seem to make it more realistic, at least to me.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy on the system so it should be moved at some point.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse--#56 finished

A fun book with a different take on the destruction of civilization.  Here it was just a whole series of events that changed the world and eventually lead to a nuclear war.  Mort, the main character, hides away in a mountain cabin in TN to avoid a divorce but has a radio and listens as the world unravels until the radio stations go off.  He stays in his hide-a-way for 9 years and then decides to venture out.  He smartly saved up a stock of whiskey which makes him rich at the only establishment, a strip club.  The strip club is more than that as he finds out eventually when meeting the owner and becomes entangled in a war between the strip club establishment and the red stripes--a band of warriors who leader wants control of everything left.  Throw in some interesting stops and overall pretty good dialogue and this story is a keeper.  It doesn't take itself that seriously but is much more likely than another vampire/zombie story.  A good read & a very very fast read--I zipped through it in 3 days--missing most of one day of the 3 too.

I will be passing it along on PBS at some point, there are 19 WL for it.  I am still on the Out Backward, I think is the name, the British screwed in the head 19 yr old.  Also still reading Wanda Jablowski or something close to that spelling wise, a groundbreaking female business reporter that reported on oil news after WWII & through OPEC founding, etc--interesting person & read so far.  Also a short story book.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Going Rogue--#55 finished

Sarah Palin is a interesting person in politics and I think a lot of what she meant to modern politics is not being examined.  She was probably put into the position of VP candidate too soon but when asked she said yes.  She was only governor for 2 & 1/2 years but her accomplishments in Alaska should not be overlooked.  She really was just a normal person who became a politician--first council person, mayor, serving on a state committee & then becoming governor.  She was not the Ivy League bred for politics type that is almost commonplace or the daughter of a politician, she was just someone that gravitated there.  That being said, I can understand why McCain choose her as a running mate.  In her short time as governor she attacked corruption in her own party and was able to pass bills that Democrats supported.  She is attractive and by being the only Republican women to be on the ticket ever was going to get plenty of media to help his campaign.

I am still surprised that all of the attacks she had during the campaign and even after the campaign, some of it was certainly self inflicted.  The Katie Couric interview and some where I think she just wasn't ready for national politics.  The McCain campaign or headquarters controlling her appearances and messages I think shows this, she was not comfortable it pushing them aside and doing things more to her way.  She kind of went along and did not respond or let her people respond to the attacks.  I don't know if there was anyway once she accepted the VP position on the ticket though she could have swayed or stopped the attacks.  That to me is probably the biggest thing that worries me today about her candidacy.  The Democrats and the mainstream media, as well as some Republicans, went to tear her down--she never really got a chance to get a message out or to define herself nationally.  In the book she mentioned Democrats started ethics investigations on her and other potential VP candidates before she was picked, just so some dirt would already be started on them.  To me that is a story the media needs to explore but just won't.  Dirty politics is a way of life and some should be expected but I really think the Obama team went too far.  Elections based on ideas or policies just isn't happening, winning at all costs is the game now & it should not be.  This is where the media must play a role but instead has just carried the water for both parties and has made our county divided because of it.  I really don't know what to think about elections anymore.

I also wanted to read Sarah Palin's book to get some insight into her because I think she could have a role in politics in the future.  I see her as possibly being a leader of a Tea Party type party if they would break from the Republicans.  I don't know if she could be a national candidate but I would think she could be a force in Alaska and maybe be a Tea Party Senator down the line.

Anyway, I liked the book for the most part.  I was going to post it on PBS but have decided to keep it because she is an interesting person for me at least and want to see what the future holds for her.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The King's Deception--#54 finished

This is the next Cotton Malone book by Steve Berry.  Malone is a retired spy for a deep secret organization inside the US government.  Because of contacts & doing favors he gets sucked back into situations.  That is what happens here.  The other thing with these books is that the author tries to take a rumor or idea or small time theory and use that as the main focus of the book.  This one is if Queen Elizabeth I was a fraud and could be proven.  Because of English Law, decisions she made--like in this book--like handing land to Protestants in Ireland, which became Northern Ireland would have to be thrown out.  This would throw the whole Ireland peace into turmoil.

Anyway with all of that going on, the book is a good action book.  Easy to read quick page turner type.    I think I enjoyed his other books a little more that I have read.  I am still meaning to find the beginning to this series & start from there but haven't gotten around to it.  By the way, this book was actually finished in October but I just never got around to logging it in then, oh well stuff happens.

I got this book from PBS but it is not postable, it is warped from water damage.  I will not be mailing it out.  I will probably donate it to the library.  I am still reading Sarah Palin's book Going Rogue.  I have also started Queen of the Oil Club a book about Wanda Jablonski and just started Out Backward.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The View from Mount Joy--#53 finished

For the most part I liked this book.  I liked the characters and following them through their lives.  At times seemed too clear cut in just knowing things would work out but still kind of nice to know that too.  Joe after high school struggles badly it seems but then almost lucks into a great life.  Kristi was the star in high school and while college seems okay, disappears for big periods after college--jumping back in for a trist with Joe here & there.  She eventually becomes a sellout to religion and becomes a kind of Laura Schlesinger(?) type with tough talk but more religion.  Joe who sees & has seen her other side and others like her brother & parents just think she is fake.  I thought they all got way too snarky after Kristi's mom's funeral.  It was those kind of moments along with the everything working out almost perfectly for the "good" people, made this book a little tough at times.  Still a good overall read, I enjoy this author and have a few more of her books that I will need to get too as well.

I have posted this book on PBS but there are 19 copies a head of it, so it is not going anywhere anytime soon.  I still reading Going Rogue and just started The King's Deception.  Not sure if a 3rd book will get started or not.

Bronx Noir--#52 finished

I actually finished this book on Monday but forgot to log it in.  Probably because I posted it & was able to mail it off within an hour.  Oops.  I did like the book, like the other short story Noirs that I have read.  Lots of good stuff here and good details about some of the tougher parts of the Bronx.  I liked the book & I was glad that I was able to pass it along to the next reader.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Nothing to Envy--#51 finished

This is a book about North Korea.  The writer interviewed defectors from there & also did fairly extensive research to give the reader an idea about what North Korea is like.  It is not a pretty picture & is actually downright scary to think this exists today.  How the various Kim's have endured as leaders of this country is just amazing in itself.  For the last 20 years I have thought that at some point a general or someone higher up in the government would have put a bullet in the head of the leader & basically let chaos reign.  I can't imagine it getting worse than it is and whoever does it would probably die but eventually be hailed as a hero I would think.  This is a very good book and it also goes outside of North Korea to also talk about the problems the defectors have in establishing lives in South Korea.  It is really both amazing & shocking that a North Korea can exist in today's world.  What an evil final end to Communism, what an example that hopefully will endure long enough so the experiment will not be tried again.

I am not sure if I will post this or not.  I would like to pass along but it does have a stain on side that probably makes it unpostable but it is very rare a copy gets posted too.  I also might save it to see if my oldest would read it--I think it would be a very good eye opener for her.

I am still reading Bronx Noir and Sarah Palin's Going Rogue.  I also started The View from Mt Joy, good so far.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I'm Not Really Here--#50 finished

This is Tim Allen's 2nd book he wrote.  The first one, Don't Stand Too Close to the Naked Guy or something like that was kind of good.  I remember it being funny and somewhat insightful about himself.  This one is not good.  He gets into the meaning of life in a quantum physics kind of way that he also tries to be funny about and none of it works.  I guess I don't want my science from a celebrity even if it seems he tried really hard to understand it.  Not entertaining, not insightful and overall just didn't like this book.  Oh well, I read enough that there will be some duds and this is one of them.

I won't be posting it on PBS even though I got it from there.  Early on in the book there is like a food stain, which is a no no for PBS books.  No big deal, there are probably enough copies that it wasn't going anywhere anyway.  I will probably donate it to the library or the local used bookstore nearly.

I am reading Bronx Noir and also a book on North Korea.  I have also just barely started Sarah Palin's first book, Going Rogue, I think or something like that.  Those 3 will probably do for now.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Twelve--#49 finished

This is the 2nd of the trilogy by Justin Cronin's vampire series.  I think I liked it better than the first book, The Passage.  That book seemed to get bogged down in laying the foundation & then jumping into the wholesale slaughter once the vampires got free.  This book gives hope for humanity, people are starting to rebuild.  The Twelve were killed off, or at least most of them--not sure about Carter & Amy and Zero is still around for the 3rd book.  Some interesting plot turns and some just kind of crazy stuff, but overall I would say good, if the like the end of the earth vampire/zombie thing.  Lots of characters to keep straight and kind of epic setting and story with some jumping around stuff so some confusion at times too.  I liked this book more than one so I will look to finish the series once the 3rd book is out.

I picked up this copy at a library sale, so I will post it on PBS at some point.  My credits have worked their way back up so I am in no hurry to post it.  There are plenty of WL for it, maybe 244 or something last I looked--or more, just not sure but plenty.  Still reading the Tim Allen book and Bronx Noir.  Not sure yet if I will start another tonight or not.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Judas Field--#48 finished

This is a very good book on the Civil War in a mico sense.  It is about a group of men, mostly focusing on 3, from a small town in Mississippi that were in the Civil War and then about their life 20 years later.  A daughter of an officer that died wants to go to the battlefield and bring home her dad & brother's bodies to be buried in her family plot.  She is dying of cancer and wants to reunite the family in a sense.    The book is written about Cass, Roger and Lucien and bounces between their present time and the Civil War and at several times it takes the reader a paragraph or two to determine which time it is.  It is like the individuals have a hard time separating the times as well, especially when they return to the battlefield, the memories and their present self seem to intermingle.  The author does a good job of really putting the reader into the situation of a person in the Civil War--the time leading up to a battle and then the battle itself and also how the individual finds a way to cope with what they just went through.  A really good read.

I will be posting it on PBS, there was 1 WL for it.  I am also reading still The Twelve and Tim Allen's 2nd book, I'm Not Really Here.  I have also just started a short story book, Bronx Noir.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Post Grad--#47 finished

This is a novel that was written off a screenplay for a movie by the same name.  Girl graduate's college & doesn't get the job she wanted & has to move back in with her crazy family in LA area.  Her best friend a guy, has been secretly in love with her but she is so self obsessed and has been using him to just prop her own self esteem up she doesn't realize it.  It is really pretty bad, bad characters, bad story and just a bad book that from what wiki said also a bad movie.  It was a quick read though, but part of that is that I just wanted to get it over.  Could zoom through the pages and nice to know it is in my rear view mirror now.

I have posted it on PBS but there are 4 copies ahead of this one.  I don't think it is going anywhere but at this point can just sit on my book shelf.  I will probably look to start another book later tonight.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Skeleton Crew--#46 finished

Well this one took a while to get here.  I started it back in May to take along to the Renaissance Fair that I went to with my oldest.  The copy I have is old & beaten up so I figured a good book to carry along in a backpack--no problem if it gets knocked around or even a little rained on, both happened.  This is a Stephen King short story book with some interesting stories that are certainly a wide variety as well.  I would read one of the stories and then this book would get set aside for weeks at a time.  It went along on vacation, it sat in my car and a few pages got read when I would have to pickup Rose after school and practice.  It was a good book just to throw along.  I liked the stories and they were easy enough to pick up on if not reading for a few days.

This is a not postable book for PBS.  I will keep it around for now, probably giving it away at some point.  I just started The Twelve, the 2nd book in his vampire trilogy.  I might start a 3rd book but probably not tonight.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Of Thee I Zing--#45 finished

This is Laura Ingraham's book about what in modern society is upsetting her or at least bugs her enough to put into a book.  Generally pretty funny, a nice kind of light read.  While reading this most of what she says I can agree with, some not so much or is not a bother to me and some hits me as being that person.  I am guessing that is probably the case for most.  I think if we had the talent and inspiration this is a book most people could put together, everyone has their peeves.  I have one of her earlier books but haven't read it yet but I may have to get to it now.  Her writing in this book was pretty easy to read.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy out there on PBS so I would expect it to get picked pretty soon.  I am getting very close to finishing the Skeleton Crew, should be any day now.  I am also just into The Judas Field, like 30 some pages only.  I will look at starting or at least picking out a book tonight yet.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running--#44 finished

This is a book by and about Haruki Murakami a Japanese author that is pretty interesting.  He has written several novels, I haven't read any though, but this is instead about himself, a kind of memoir.  He is also a runner, usually doing a marathon and a triathlon a year.  It was interesting to read him talk about himself as far as training and how the exercise has become more than a routine but is really just a part of who he is.  He has an easy writing style that has an easy flow to it, it makes me look forward to tracking down one of his novels and trying it out.  I liked this book and I think he had some really interesting perspectives with his running, since I am a sort of runner, it was nice to read.

I will post it on PBS at some point, there are plenty of WL for it.  I am still working on Skeleton Crew and getting it closer to finished, still a hundred some pages to go.  I am also reading Laura Ingraham's latest book, which is just short thoughts on things that bug her--something about muffin tops in the title. I also just started a Civil War novel, I think it is the Judas Field.  I will probably just continue with these 3 for now maybe adding something later this week.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"I" is for Innocent--#43 finished

The next in series of Kinsey Millhone.  Another good book, good investigation and also worked a little more on some of those other characters in her life.  She also seemed to head out into the suburbs a little more expanding beyond just her normal territory.  Good book & good read.

I will not be posting this one, this was actually a library book.  I don't check many books out from the library but buy lots from the library sales.  I didn't want to order this one from PBS since it is an older book and didn't want to wait for it to come in, instead just got it from the library.  I have the next several in this series already so will be able to continue on with it.  I plan to step up my reading of this series, I realized if only 2 a year, it would be 13 years to read the series--way to long.  Will try 4, 5 or more a year instead.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blood Line--#42 finished

This was the next in the James Rollins series of Sigma Force.  It was okay to good and at points very good.  Just too much out there stuff.  At the end of the book, he lists sources or where he comes up with some of the ideas for the story--I like this even if some just still seems a little out there.  It is a good action and page turner type book.  Characters seem a little forced and just hard to buy into them as well, but overall a good read.

I won't be posting it on PBS, this was an ex-library book that would be pushing the limits of posting on PBS.  Has some fingerprint type stains, tear on one page & some pages that don't appear water stained but are crooked or crinkly like they might have been.  All that means I will be donating it somewhere else instead of mailing off through PBS.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Expecting to Fly--#41 finished

Wow, a really powerful and emotional book about a teenaged girl in the '60s that started on drugs and into more destructive things in late high school & into college years.  Author really seems to get into the heart of the girl and while to me the girl was not sympathetic, it seemed very real and almost unstoppable.  Just the start of it through the many different drugs is really very scary story for a parent to read.  I really just makes me hope that we have done well to avoid our kids getting to this point or area of life.  Hopefully, we have taught them to make better decisions than the girl in this book.

I will probably post it on PBS at some point soon.  There are no copies on system and I would expect it would move pretty quick.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Swinging from My Heels--#40 finished

Good read about the LPGA by Christina Kim a player on the tour.  She had some interesting insights about the tour and the '09 season.  That was a tough season for her personally in growing up in many ways and also for the tour because of the crappy economy.  It is really too bad that the LPGA remains stuck in obscurity while the PGA flourishes.  I doubt they would ever be on the same level but the LPGA should not be buried either.  I turned on CBS for just a couples minutes today for golf and they highlighted the other tours, the PGA, the Seniors and the minor tour used to be Nike, now I don't know.  There was no mention of the LPGA--I don't know why, maybe there is no tourney this weekend and the mention it when there is but still really seems unfair.  I checked Christina Kim on wikipedia a few days ago and it seems like she hasn't turned her game up, seems to be more of a fringe player and plays more European tour now, which in her book she mentioned doesn't pay as well.  I don't know why Europe, could be boyfriend, likes the countries there, etc so maybe it is not a play thing but I do wish her well.  This was an interesting book and will help me follow the LPGA a little more.

I have posted it on PBS, there were no copies before this one so it should go at some point.  I am still reading Skeleton Crew and have started Expecting to Fly and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.  I will probably be grabbing another book as well.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"H" is for Homicide--#39 finished

This was the next in line of the Kinsey Millhone mysteries that I am slowly reading in order.  This is another good read in the series, maybe a little more action than some of the others and not as much stories about side characters as other books.  I don't think she even mentioned Rosie--I think that is the lady that runs the restaurant around the corner and there wasn't even a conversation with her landlord either.  There are many more books in this series where we can catch up on all that, this one was kind of nice in that the action & mystery didn't have to take back seats at all.  I am not sure if I have the "I" book or not, will have to check on that.  I do want to read at least 2 a year and getting to 3 or even 4 a year would probably be better.

I am still reading the never ending Skeleton Crew, I did go past 300 pages read but it is still rarely picked up so it will still be a while before it gets finished.  I have also started Swinging from My Heels by Christina Kim a pro on the LPGA tour, good so far.  I will probably look to add another one either tonight or tomorrow as well.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hamburgers & Fries--#38 finished

This was a short quick read about the history of hamburgers and then at the end some quick notes about fries.  Some kind of interesting stuff and ideas about hamburgers but I guess I am not that much of a hamburger foodie as the author.  Eating a bunch of hamburgers is not something that excites me even though I do like to eat, just not really obsessive about a food.  Also he was in Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee but didn't get into Nebraska or Missouri--my states seem kind of left out.  Oh well, that is the way it goes sometimes.

I have posted it on PBS and there were 2 WL for it so hope it goes soon.  I just started H is for Homicide the next Kinsey Milhone book and it has started good--I really do like this series and glad I am sticking with reading in order.  Also still have Skeleton Crew and will probably start a 3rd book later tonight.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

NYPD Red--#37 finished

This is a James Patterson New York detective book.  It is a good quick page turner type book.  I started it on Sunday I think and by Wednesday night it is done.  An elite police force in NY that is focused on the rich/elite faces off with a crazy guy serial killer during a week long Hollywood in NY time.  It is not great writing or story and probably has a few holes but it moves fast so you don't have time to really sit back & think on it.  I think this is kind of my reaction to the other Patterson book(maybe books, not sure if I have read 1 or 2) but all in all a fun read.

I will posting it on PBS at some point, probably in near future.  The WL for it was over 100 so it will move, just need to post it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Havana Bay--36 finished

This is the 4th in the Arkady Renko detective series.  I like the series and it has been interesting cases & places.  It is an older series, this one was written in 1999 but almost seems older than that.  Renko is an interesting character and he is put into fun and sometimes confusing places.  Every one of the books in the series seems to be easy to get into & moves along at a fast enough pace also.  This one is in Cuba and did mix some of what makes Cuba kind of mysterious into it.  Good stuff.

This copy is old & kind of beaten up, but I was keeping copy of this series anyway so this is a keeper book.  I will be looking to add another book tonight also.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fergie: My Life from the Cubs to Cooperstown--#35 finished

This is Ferguson Jenkins book.  I grew up liking the Texas Rangers, when you grow up in NE you can kind of pick any team you want.  The KC Royals were probably in the paper the most but I was a fan of the Lone Ranger so the Texas Rangers just kind of fit.  When I started following baseball & the Rangers they were not the terrible team of a couple years earlier.  Jenkins was their star pitcher and they had players like Toby Harrah, Mike Hargrove, Jim Sundberg, etc.  They never put it all together to win but it was fun following them especially with baseball cards.  Because Fergie's good years with the Cubs were prior to me knowing baseball, for me he is always associated with the TX Rangers.  I guess when I saw this book I was a little surprised his connection to the Cubs.  It was a good read and learned a lot about the player & person.

I will be posting it on PBS today, there is 1 WL for it.  I am still reading Havana Bay and am starting another short story in Skeleton Crew--I had set this aside for about a month so figure time to get back on it.  I will be adding another book to the mix as well.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Camel Rider--#34 finished

A good young adult story about an Aussie boy in a Middle Eastern country that is under attack.  The westerners convoy out of the area, but had left the boy's dog at the house/compound, which being a 12 year old, was all he could think of.  He slips away at a gas stop a few hours out and heads into the mountains in an attempt to get back to the house for the dog.  In the mountains, he meets a boy about his age that was put their by his masters because a camel he was in charge of broke a leg and had to be put down.  He is from Bangladesh but is basically a slave to these men.  The boys meet up and while they cannot talk find a way through some adventures to get back to the compound.  A nice read with a feel good ending.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy in the system so it should move at some point.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Maze Runner--#33 finished

This has been a slow month for my reading, just now finishing the third book for the month and very doubtful if another gets finished in the next couple of days.  The Maze Runner is an okay book, but expectations I had may have oversold it some.  I thought it would be like a Hunger Games type series and there are some similarities but it is not as entertaining as the Hunger Games at least in my opinion.  It took a while to get into the book and even at the end, it didn't really catch me.  I know there are 2 more books in the series and it just seems like the ending knew that too.  It wasn't much of a clean break--you have to read the next if or be left in the dark.  I already have the next so I will get to it at some point probably soon.  Like I said it is alright and probably worth continuing but I don't have any real connection to it either, oh well.

I have started Camel Rider and still have the Stephen King short story book Skeleton Crew going.  I am not even halfway through the Skeleton Crew book yet, but it is one that I have been pushing aside for weeks at a time, like now where I have finished a story and just not ready to start the next.  I will look to start another book, probably tonight.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Comeback America--#32 finished

An interesting and kind of depressing read about the financial condition of the US.  The book was written in 2009 and the author made it sound like immediate changes were needed.  Well it is 3 years since and no changes have been made.  Not even that though, there are not even discussions of fixing these long term issues.  I guess everyone in Congress knows they will not come to an agreement so basically nothing is getting done.  But the changes recommended in the book can't be done by one party either, the changes need to be significant and will be tough--it would be killer for a party to do that unless there is a crisis forcing it.  Like I said kind of depressing.

I am keeping this book at least for now.  There are copies on the system and this copy has some underlining which I would have to message anyone before sending it through PBS.  I will keep it for now though.  Still reading Maze Runner but haven't opened it for a week.  I have read a little in Skeleton Crew.  Just kind of starting a 3rd book, but not sure on it yet.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hot Ice--#31 finished

I have to say overall not that good.  The characters and story were really just not believable.  The more the writer tried to show the main character as in over her head, it just reminded me the reader that almost this whole book is just not believable.  Oh well, such as it is, not every read will be good.  Now not a complete waste, if willing to suspend most plot lines & character development, the story did move quickly.  A lawyer turned private investigator that takes over major investigation weeks after becoming PI and there is almost no oversight on what she is doing.  Again just can't believe the story, which is kinda funny because I will read some weird stories.

I have already posted it on PBS, it is the only copy on PBS so it will probably move soon.  With vacation coming up, I might start a vacation book early or might wait a couple days, haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Renegade for Peace & Justice--#30 finished

This is a autobiography/political book by Rep Barbara Lee, a Democrat that represents the Oakland area in CA.  She has certainly led an interesting life with many struggles and has endured and has been a successful politician.  While I don't agree with some of her politics and how she wants to fix problems, I have to admit that she works hard for her people and causes.  The book seems more than a little self serving and certainly anti-Bush.  It was written just before the Obama vs McCain election.  While she only mentioned McCain a couple times, it was very negative to him, but likewise she only mentioned Obama a couple times too.  This is not a kind of get out the vote book.  It really was about her and her career.  At times an interesting read especially when more on her personally rather than on the politics.  As I said she has led a very interesting life.

I have posted it on PBS since there was 1 WL and it is already accepted.  I will be getting it in the mail in the next couple of days.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Lady of the Rivers--#29 finished

This is the 3rd and last of her series on the Queens or at least important ladies of this period.  It started with The White Queen, then The Red Queen and finally the Lady of the Rivers.  A good series and I really enjoyed the writing and research that went into it.  It is fiction of course but she presents it in a way that is very believable.  I will have to check out other books by her as well.

The main lady of the book led an interesting life and was the mother of The White Queen so the book was time before The White Queen.  It was interesting to think back to what I remember from that book and see how it built up to that point.  It was a very interesting read.  I really enjoyed it and will be checking out other books by this author.

I will be posting it on PBS in the next few days, there are around 30 or 40 WL for it so it should move right away.  Not sure if I will post another one or two at same time, will have to see what I have around.  I am still reading the Barbara Lee book and The Maze Runner.  I also still have the Stephen King book that I started, did read a couple pages this week but it is certainly been shifted to the background for now.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ballistic--#28 finished

This is the 3rd in the Gray Man series, good stuff.  Assassin with a heart maybe.  Something like that.  A good series so far.  Some of the stuff is a lot over the top but that also makes it a little fun.  There is at least 1 more book coming in the series so will have to be getting it too.

I have both the 2nd & 3rd books in the series and would like to post them so I can mail them to one person.  Have enough credits right now so probably won't post them for a little bit.

Friday, June 14, 2013

We are all Fine Here--#27 finished

It started as a kind of quirky read about a middle aged woman that is really struggling in life and ends up getting pregnant.  Not sure if it was from a one time fling from ex-husband she still loves or from her husband that she is more just going through motions with.  The book starts as kind of funny but slowly shifts over to kind of depressing and finally hopeful toward the end.  She has a miscarriage after her husband comes around to the idea of having a baby.  Just about every couple in the book is breaking up or hooking up with someone else.  In the end though it seems as though the pregnancy brings her family closer together.  A good quick read.

I have already posted it on PBS, there are 3 copies a head of it.  Still reading Ballistic and The Lady of the Rivers.  I also just started Congresswoman Barbara Lee's book.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Never Give Up--#26 finished

The 2nd part of the title is Vignettes from Sub-Saharan Africa in the Age of AIDS.  The author spent several months in the poor part of South Africa out side of Cape Town, I believe.  There he helped people and organizations dealing with AIDS there.  It is a real epidemic there and these stories just touch on the surface of the suffering going on there both for the people with AIDS and there families and the community.  I think he was there in the late '90s and into the '00s so not sure what present day is like there.  Hopefully changes for the better but I doubt it though.

I have posted this on PBS and there is 1 copy ahead of it.  I think it will move at some point but might be a while.  I am still reading The Lady of the Rivers and Skeleton Crew.  I will be starting a 3rd book tonight and maybe even a 4th since Skeleton Crew was supposed to be more a rare occasion read.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

On Target--#25 finished

This is the 2nd Gray Man novel, a discredited CIA operative that has gone free lance.  First book was pretty good what I remember and this was a good 2nd book.  I have the 3rd and a 4th coming out later this year.  The book tries at times to make him human like but he is also very lucky and very amazingly efficient.  It is a spy book so suspend some of your reality and just sort of enjoy it and I did.  The book did take a couple of twists that were interesting and I am sure have setup the next books as well.

I will be posting it on PBS probably in the next few weeks, although I may read that 3rd book & see if I can't send them out together too.  I am still reading The Lady of the Rivers and the Viginettes of Sub-Saharan Africa and have also started a beaten up copy of Skeleton Crew, a short story Stephen King book from back in the 1980's.  I needed to take a book along outside where I wouldn't worry if it got a little beaten up or even rained on and since this copy is in rough shape already--it qualified.  I am kind of treating it as a kind of side book right now, so might be adding another into the mix, but haven't checked or decided yet.

By the way I am glad to get to 25 in the 5th month, would like to keep up that pace and have 60 for the year.  I don't know if I can do that, seem to be busy with other stuff but will try.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Miss Morissa--#24 finished

Mari Sandoz is a NE writer that I have several of her books but had only read one previously, her book on her father Old Jules, which is one of my favorites.  I finally read another book by her--this one, Miss Morissa about a lady doctor in the 1880s or around there that moved to the North Platte region of NE.  She grew up with a mom that struggled and basically in an orphanage, her father gone and was known as a bastard as a kid.  Her mom did remarry and she kind of escaped that life with her step-father.  After becoming a doctor was in Omaha and dating and engaged to an upper class man & family when they found out her questionable upbringing.  She fled this & moved to the then wild of western NE.

The story is about her and probably as much about the region and the growth it experienced in those years.  The Black Hills gold rush was going on, there were outlaw troubles, Indian issues and troubles, the rough weather, cowboy/cattleman vs homestead men problems as well as just plain old tough life.  The writing and characters are very good.  The changes that happen both in the characters and over time in the region all happen but are almost not noticed because it is just a gradual part of the story.  I really liked this book and it has added to my appreciation of this author.

I will not be posting this book, this stays as a keeper.  I am currently reading On Target and The Lady of the Rivers and just started Never Give Up, vignettes from Sub-Saharan Africa in the time of AIDS.  Not sure yet if I will be starting a 4th book or not right now.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

At the Stroke of Madness--#23 finished

This was the next in line of the Maggie O'Dell books, good reading in general.  Some plot twists and good characters overall a good read.  I think this is the 4th book and she is up to either 9 or 10 so far and still going I think.  Series books for me are usually tough because I don't like reading them back to back to back and since I collect them sporadically I need to find some to fill in blanks.  I got started on this Alex Kava series because she is from NE and her first book happened in Lincoln, NE.  Series has been good so far, not great but a good page turner.

I am still reading Miss Morissa the Mari Sandoz book and just started The Lady of the Rivers.  I will probably look to start a 3rd book later today too.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Mid-Life Crisis Book--#22 finished

I hesitate to even call this a book.  It is really just one or two line quips per page.  Mildly funny and not really creative.  It is a published book and all but I suspect it is a self published book.  Still better than anything I have done but again I kind of hesitate putting it into my books read list.  I did though because I did read through it and I also got it from PBS and back to PBS I have posted it.  I am not sure it will ever move and it if does I will probably feel a little guilty for whoever orders it.

I have posted it on PBS and it is the only copy in the system so it might just go.  It is at least autographed and is kind of funny--"To my favorite dental office! Jim Hellrood".  I guess it was a waiting room book that eventually got pulled.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Don't Stand too Close to a Naked Guy--#21 finished

This is a book by Tim Allen back from his Home Improvement days.  Talks about his life and thoughts and stuff.  It is okay but there were times when not sure if he was trying to be funny or not--his humor doesn't come through clearly here.  I didn't expect much & it really wasn't much of a book either.  Just a nice read during filler time.  Easy to grab and read for 2-5 minute stints which is what I have needed lately.

I have already posted it on PBS but there are like 280 other copies on the system so it is going no where.  Since I haven't been putting too many books on my PBS bookshelf lately, I will probably let it sit for a while.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Throw like a Girl--#20 finished

I am very impressed with these short stories, memorable characters of people in mostly tough life stuff.  A really good book, I will certainly be searching out other books by the author Jean Thompson.  The stories were gripping but it was beyond that simple paragraphs or sentences in the stories carried so much weight into character development--each story had those powerful moments when you realized this is just some damn good writing.  I am interested to find out how or if the author could translate her writing to a novel setting--I know she has written a couple so I will have to be looking them up.

Very good book and it has become one of my keepers now.  In fact, I had posted it on PBS but I will be unposting it right after this.  I might have to offer it up to a buddy at work that writes, he might enjoy it or not.

I am still reading Miss Morissa and At the Stroke of Madness and the Tim Allen book Don't Stand too close to the Naked Guy.  Not sure if I will add a 4th tonight or not.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Once a Runner--#19 finished

This is probably the most classic runner book out there.  Written in the 1970s, it is funny how it still holds up today in many ways.  It really gives someone a little insight into running, especially training at a high level--really good stuff.  I was never really good at track back in high school but I now kind of wish I could have read this book back then.  At the time I thought I was in good shape but looking back, I had no clue.  Oh well, there was only one family that was running year round and 5 or more nights a week, so even if I would have read the book it probably wouldn't have changed me.

Fun book and at this point I will keep it.  I can see myself grabbing it again down the road to read or loaning out.  I do have the sequel that author wrote years later so might try to read that in the coming months.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Life of Pi--#18 finished

I haven't seen the movie yet, will probably wait for the video since I think it has gone through the dollar movie theater here.  This was a book that came through PBS and I think it was part of a deal back a couple years ago before the movie was made.  Since the movie, the book has had a kind of renewed popularity and I figured it was time for me to read.

Overall I liked it, interesting story and the ending makes you think that that is just what it was a story.  I think the short quick story he told at the end about his mother & a cook is the real story but he cannot believe in that reality, especially as a child, so the story with the animals & especially the tiger became his reality.  I am interested to know how or if the movie even touches on this.  The book is very slow at the beginning laying groundwork that I am not really sure some of it adds to the story.  This book took me much longer than normal, now I did pickup others & read during it also, but it didn't keep my interest enough to drive through it.

Glad I read it but really other than now wanting to sort of see the movie, I doubt much sticks with me.  I have posted it on PBS and there are 5 WL for it so should be moving off shortly, I hope.  I am still reading Once a Runner and should be finishing it soon.  Also reading Miss Morissa by Mari Sandoz and just started a short story book Throw like a Girl.  I hope I can find another book to start tonight as well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Breath, Eyes, Memory--#17 finished

An emotional book about a family in Haiti and the troubles they are going through. It is from the point of view of the daughter, who was conceived through a rape in Haiti.  This daughter's face does not resemble the family and is one of the many things that has caused nightmares for the mom.  The mom moves away to New York while the daughter is a baby with the daughter being raised by an aunt in Haiti.  At 12 mom sends for the daughter and the mom's nightmares which have never stopped, returned with a vengeance.  Mom has also had to fight through breast cancer.  Mom still has in her mind the need to check her daughter's virginity and this causes a split between them and pushes daughter to a man who becomes her husband.  Lots going on in the book.

A good read and interesting story.  I have posted it on PBS but there are a couple hundred copies already on the system so probably not moving.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Enough--#16 finished

This is a book by Juan Williams that discusses problems in black America.  It was written after Bill Cosby became vocal about problems he was seeing with the poor black population in America and asked what happened in the time since the Brown decision.  The book talks about the reaction both positive and negative to this and basically comes down on Cosby's side of things.  I thought it was a very good read and pointed out many things that seem to be common sense.  This whole issue kind of came to a head with Katrina and has now fallen out of the news I guess.  I think President Obama's election also affected it in that black issues have mostly fallen out of the news--reparations, complaints on No Child Left Behind, the rap and movie violence(except when a tragedy happens) and the poor underclass.

The book mentions and even quotes the then Senator Obama but he is a minor character and doesn't really come off on either side.  I think this is kind of telling in that it shows how little involvement Obama had with the African American/black movement on a major scale.  He certainly was not part of the civil rights movement being too young for that.

Oh well, I think the book points out some very good things about how people, all peoples not just black, can avoid a life of poverty--it even steps them out.  1. Get a high school diploma, college degree even better, 2. no children until at least 21 and married and working a job to support your family and 3. be good parents.  Those really are simple ideas and they should be on billboards and commercials.  Book talks about how some may want to keep and underclass so there will be government handouts and leaders can talk about these topics rather than actually solving them.  I would hope not, but have to understand not everyone sees things the same way.

I have already posted the book on PBS, there is 1 copy ahead of it, but I would expect it to move at some point.  I might add a 4th book, not sure yet.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Extra Mile--#15 finished

This is a book by ultra runner Pam Reed, who won the Badwater Ultramarathon 2 years in a row, beating everyone, men runners as well.  She is a pretty amazing runner, a kind of freak of nature--in that she runs and runs putting just enormous miles in and not getting injured and able to bounce back almost immediately.  The book came out in '06 I believe so it is a little dated in that I am not sure what she has done since then.  At the time of the book she was around 45 so her time as an elite runner was probably shortening.

The other really interesting thing about her was that she has battled anorexia from high school into her late 30s.  She says it is still with her but she is controlling it.  Kind of makes you wonder and she mentions this in the book, that her experience with anorexia may have helped condition her body to perform with little food like what happens in ultras to a degree.  Obviously she says she would never wish anyone to have or go through anorexia.

I will be posting it on PBS at some point, there are only 3 WL for it at this time so probably won't wait too long before posting.  I am still reading Life of Pi, but it has been ignored for a few days again.  I have also started Enough by Juan Williams and still working slowly on Memory Eyes Breath.  Not sure if I will look for another one, might wait a day or so to get some more read on these first.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Enemy at the Gates--#14 finished

This is William Craig's history of the Battle for Stalingrad in WWII.  This book does a great job of letting you know the devastation but even reading it, it is really beyond comprehension.  The toll on  lives--both soldiers and people living in areas was immense.  The toll on the buildings and land and cities and bridges, etc is just amazing.  This book really gives you the sense of how fortunate we in the USA really have not had a war fought on our land other than our Civil War.

This book does a good job of finding the history of the decision makers on both sides, Hitler & Stalin but also drilling down to individuals on the ground and generals in the Kessel.  It really is an extensive work.  I also like the fact that at the end he updates some of the people talked about in the book, updating us with what happened to them.  The book was written in the early 1970s so there were still survivors.

This book is one of my keepers so I will not be passing it along.  I kind of have a thing about Russian and this book fits right in line with that.  I am still slowly reading The Life of Pi and Breath, Eyes, Memory and have started Pam Reed's book on her Ultra running--can't think of the title right now.  Might look to start a 4th tonight or within next couple of days too.

Running update

A quick post on my running.  I was going to do a half marathon on 3/24 but instead it was cancelled because of a major snow storm.  It hasn't been rescheduled yet and I haven't found another race that I want to do.  Anyway that was a Sunday, on the Wednesday after Forest Park had it's path clear so I decided to do 2 laps there for 12 miles.  I thought about continuing till I did a half, 13.1 but with no water and legs being very sore, decided 12 was enough.  It was a slow 12 with the 12th being very slow.  I would have gotten through a half but I really am not in shape for one right now.

I did a very slow 2.5 on this last Sunday, Easter--I had eaten too much for lunch and I can never run good on a full stomach.  Oh well was glad to get the run in at least.  So at this point nothing is scheduled but I do want to continue to get my running in.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Last Templar--#13 finished

The really to me just read as a Dan Brown knockoff book.  An action packed book about mysteries of the Templar Knights & the Catholic church.  Some evil type people and a couple obviously good people but conflicted.  Nothing deep here, nothing really interesting, just a read.  The action was alright but the story is just so unlikely in several spots that the action isn't even enjoyable.  Oh well, didn't have  great expectations or anything but even so mostly a disappointing book.

I won't be posting it on PBS, the lower part of the spine the paper is coming away and there are at least a few hundred copies already on the system I am guessing.  This book will be donated somewhere, maybe the library or to my sister's school for their book fair.  Still reading The Life of Pi, just got past 100 pages, really moving slow.  Also have started Breath, Eyes, Memory but only a few pages in.  Today I started Enemy at the Gates, the battle for Stalingrad and am already 75 or 80 pages in.  Really enjoying it so far.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Wild Thing--#12 finished

A kind of interesting quick read, not as good as his first book though, Beat the Reaper.  Characters were hard to believe and story line also hard to believe and that just made the book kind of disjointed.  Then end of book was a kind of liberal rant especially keyed in on the environment, really didn't seem to fit at least not in a smooth way with a book of fiction.  I think it is Rollins that also then ends the book with sourcing a lot of the ideas that he brings up and the author did that too.  I do find that interesting but overall not impressed with the book.  It was an easy read though which is what I needed so there is that.

I will be posting it on PBS to get it mailed off, I think there are around 31 WL for it.  Still reading The Last Templar and it has probably been a week since I have opened The Life of Pi.  I will be looking to start another one today or tomorrow.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Passion & Principle--#11 finished

This book is about John & Jessie Fremont a very interesting and very much involved in life in the 1800s.  John Fremont, the Pathfinder, explored the West and played a large role in getting California away from Mexico and part of the United States.  He by accident seemingly ends up with thousands of acres that becomes part of the Californian Gold Rush, makes his millions, becomes a Senator and eventually becomes the Republican Party's first presidential nominee in 1856.  Loses the election through dirty politics of the day.  After Lincoln's election and the civil war starts becomes a general in St Louis in charge of the West but again in the dirty politics of the day and his pushing emanicipation of the slaves before Lincoln was ready, Fremont is relieved of his duties.  Poor business decisions and he basically loses everything and family slips into near poverty.

All of this going on, Fremont's wife Jessie is daughter of powerful Democratic Senator from Missouri Thomas Hart Benton.  Jessie leads an interesting but devoted life to her husband.  Their marriage was much more partnership with both helping the other.  She helped him publish his exploration books, plays large role in is Presidential run, and is beside him during the civil war but unfortunately stays out of his business decisions.  She becomes a writer later in life and what she earns then supports them.

A truly interesting couple and a very good book.  I will probably post it on PBS but right now keeping it--not sure I want to let go of it.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lucky Strike--#10 finished

I kind of liked this book, it was a little different, something I hadn't read about or thought about.  The mining for uranium in the 1950s in the Utah desert.  You young widow with two children leave Ohio and head to Utah to become uranium millionaires and meet some interesting people.  Good story, good characters--nothing in book flys out at you or shocks you but overall good story.

Still reading the Fremont's book and The Life of Pi, both moving very slowly.  Also started The Last Templar.  Not sure if I will add a 4th yet or not.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Downtown Owl--#9 finished

I really enjoyed this book about small town North Dakota in the 1980s since I grew up in small town Nebraska in the 1980s.  Very similar in many ways from what I can tell, I moved away for college and only return to see people other than my parents very rarely.  I liked the characters and what was going on but didn't really like the tragic ending but I guess it had to end somehow.  I don't remember much about the other Chuck Klosterman book that I read, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs except that I really didn't like it.  I guess I could look up what I typed up about it but don't feel that inspired and would rather finish this up.  Good read and I will probably look into reading more of his books now.

I am still working on the Fremont book and the Life of Pi.  I also started Lucky Strike a book about the 1950s in Utah looking for uranium I guess--not far into it.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The 33-Year-Old Rookie--#8 finished

The rest of the title is How I Finally Made It to the Big Leagues After 11 Years in the Minors.  This is a book by & about Chris Coste.  A pretty good read about his baseball life starting in little league & high school and up to getting to the majors.  He ended up getting 4 or 5 years in the majors.  A really good story in preserving, he was basically not recruited out of high school--living in Fargo, ND, it is not really as baseball hotbed.  I year at Junior College with a crazy coach and then transferring to a small college in Fargo area.  He was a star at the small college but again really unnoticed.  Gets on with an Independent League team that folds midway through season and then catches onto another Independent League team that is bad & he plays bad.  One of his breaks happens when a new Independent League team forms in Fargo and he gets a position because he is a hometown kid and he turns that into a starting job.  Couple years later into the minors and eventually into majors with winter ball worked in as well.  If you are a baseball fan you will like this book.

I have already posted it on PBS, there were 2 copies a head of it but I think it would move at some point.  Still reading the John & Jessie Fremont book, that is really a hard book to read fast--I am only on page 108 I think.  I am also kicking slowly along with The Life of Pi.  I should be adding a 3rd into the mix later today.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Brownsville--#7 finished

This another short story book with all the stories happening in Brownsville, TX.  Good stuff, I really liked most of the stories even if some were a little different.  In just a few pages, the author was able to reel you in and keep you interested about the people.  Also all of the stories were good in their own way as well.  Some short story books seem to have a couple stories that just aren't very good or at least not my taste and those stories seem to be more filler than entertaining.  I did enjoy these stories and will look to see what else the author has written.

I have already posted it on PBS, there are 3 copies a head of it.  No idea how long it will take to move but some short story books do seem to move quickly.  I am still reading the John & Jessie Fremont book and also just started The Life of Pi.  I am also probably going to start a book on Chris Coste, I think the title is something like 33 Year of Rookie.


I haven't posted anything besides my books read stuff for a while so let me do a quick update on my running.  I am still trying to get in shape to do a half marathon at the end of March.  I was off work on Thursday and got 7 miles in then--around the neighborhood.  Today I got in 6 miles at Forest Park.  Both good runs I felt.

I am on my way.  I have been running 3 times a week.  I know I have some weekends coming up where I will struggle to get runs in but will just have to see then but so far so good.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Earrings--#6 finished

Kind of a slow and only sort of interesting book about earrings worn by Josephine during her coronation as Queen while married to Napoleon.  Lots of history about the time and people involved but as a story just sort of okay.  The author's family was involved around this time as a jeweler and I am not sure how much if any of this really happened or if it was all made up as a possible way his ancestor started his jewelry business.  Written as kind of a mystery, it was really confusing with names and titles of people going back 100 or so years.  I have been busy with other things lately so not giving the book my full attention at times probably didn't help either but part of that lies on the book just not being exciting enough to keep my attention. 

Oh well, I have posted it on PBS and I think it is the only copy in the system.  No idea how long it will take though before getting requested since seems to be a kind of obscure type book.  I just started reading Brownsville and have been really slowly reading Passion and Principle about John & Jessie Fremont.  Might think about a 3rd book in the next few days.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Recipes from the Dump--#5 finished

A quirky kind of read, a single mother that is struggling finding a relationship and shedding weight.  Also problems with job, neighbors, yard--living near dump, along with her emotional issues with the first Iraq war.  It was better than I expected, not great literature but also not mindless chic lit either.  I am surprised this is the only book listed on PBS by the author.  For a first book I think it is good enough for the author to deserve a 2nd book.  I will have to wiki her to see if any insight as to what has happened with her.

I have posted it on PBS and there are 14 copies a head of it so it won't be moving any time soon.  Oh well, it is a decent book so having it sit on my bookshelf is no big deal.  I am still reading Earrings and also just started Passion & Principle about John & Jessie Fremont.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Princes of the Tower--#4 finished

An interesting study of what happened and what evidence is out there about the tragic murdering of King Edward V and his younger brother Richard Duke of York.  At around their ages of 12 and 10, their father King Edward IV died and their uncle Richard was to provide them protection until they came of age.  Well instead Richard had his own designs for the crown and locked them away in London Tower and eventually had them killed.  Richard became Richard III but his reign was short and have problems from this and other things that he caused.

Henry Tudor had a claim to the throne and eventually gathered an army in France and crossed over to England where a great many of the aristocracy joined up with him after Richard III problems.  Henry became Henry VII and later the father of the more famous Henry VIII.  A very interesting time in England.  I read the books The White Queen and The Red Queen which is all about this as well.

Well I have posted this book on PBS and there are 3 copies a head of it but hopefully it will move.  I was the 6th transaction for this copy so I hope it can keep moving around the PBS world.  I am still reading Recipes from the Dump and started Earrings and might be starting a vampire sci-fi short story book as well.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Land of Painted Caves--#3 finished

This is the last book in Jean Auel's series that started with The Clan of the Cave Bear.  I really enjoyed the series and have to give some credit to this series as to starting me back up reading back in the mid-90s.  All that being said, I think this was the weakest of the books.  There just wasn't much more new stuff going on.  The author also repeated much of what happened in earlier books to remind the readers but the reminders seemed to just be too much and even repeated reminders way too many times.  I still liked the characters and the story lines but just seemed like to much stuff in here that could have been cut away.  It made me think she wrote each chapter independent of the others so this caused her to repeat past stories too much.  Oh well not terrible but not a great end to the series either.  I should probably state that there was quite a time period from the book before this one to this one--like 10 years give or take a couple so that is probably why she repeated or flashed back so much, figuring some readers might not have read all the earlier books.

I am keeping this one as a keeper right now.  There are some WL for it but I have the others in this series so figure I will keep this one as well.  I am still reading The Two Princes' in the Tower and Recipes from the Dump.  Might look to add a 3rd tomorrow--too tired tonight to think about it.


I am back running again.  It had been almost a month or maybe a little more than a month since I had run.  A couple things happened that kicked it back in gear for me.  1. At work we are doing a biggest loser contest.  Each person who wanted in paid $25 and the top 3 will get in the money.  I think there are 12 people in so some decent money if I get first.  My goal is to lose at least 20 pounds and I think that is doable.  Not sure if that will win it but should get me in the money but even if not I will be 20 pounds lighter.

2. I found a half marathon at the end of March here in St Louis for Down Syndrome awareness.  It is not a big event and is actually pretty close to my house so it fits for all reasons.

We weighed in on Wed 1/9 and I ran on Saturday morning--4 miles.  Then on a very cold Sunday night I ran 2 miles outside.  Then Monday & Tuesday I ran 3 miles each night at the community center.  Then Thursday I ran 4 miles outside.  No run tonight but I will get a run in on both Saturday & Sunday.  My mile times are not bad, all runs averaged below 13 minutes and the Thursday run the first two miles were below 12 minutes and overall I think it was 12:20 average.

I am also dropping some weight by sticking with some simple rules to start--no fast food, no soda, eat a salad as one meal a day and no late night snacking.  Those and exercise pretty simple start and am down 7 or 8 pounds.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ride of Your Life--#2 finished

This is a book by Lyn St. James the race car driver about her life.  I had heard of her as a driver back in the '90s, I guess, but that is really all I knew of her.  It is a pretty interesting story, where she was basically a secretary married to a guy that liked to race cars.  She wanted to try racing in the '60s or '70s and he let her have an older car of his when he moved up in class to a newer car.  She took off from there.  She didn't go into much of the relationship with her first husband or even the 2nd husband--I think it was only the two.  The book bounced back in forth between some of her experiences and her attempt to qualify for Indy in 2000, which she did but it was a very good story.  An interesting touch the surface kind of book about her, but there has to be a lot more that was left out.  I am not sure it will ever be written though since she is sort of out of the news now--that is too bad because racing could use some more diversity.  Good read and good stories about racing.

I have already posted it on PBS and there are a few copies a head of it, like 3 or 4.  I guess it will be sitting around for a while and that is okay.  I am still reading Land of Painted Caves, around 340 pages in but it has around 770 so long way to go yet.  I am also reading The Princes in the Tower about the 2 princes killed in the London Tower in 1483 and the mystery and attempts to figure it out.  I also just started tonight Recipes From the Dump.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Where the Road Bottoms Out--#1 finished

Day one of the new year and already a book is completed.  I can guarantee I will not keep up this pace. I did have around 75 to 80 pages to go last night so it wasn't like I was holding off finishing until today either.  This was an okay to not okay short story book.  I really didn't understand most of the stories and what I did it wasn't really enjoyable.  A couple stories were okay to good but most didn't connect with me.  Oh well that is short stories.

I have posted it on PBS & there is 1 WL for it so I hope it gets accepted and moved soon.  I am still reading The Ride of Your Life by Lyn St. James the '80s & '90s female race car driver.  I am also working on The Land of Painted Caves, not quite 300 pages in with a long way to go still.  Will be looking at my bookshelves for a 3rd book to put into the mix tonight.

2013--What to blog on

2013 is here and I am asking myself what to blog on.  I will continue to do my books read list but I will mix other things in as well.  Last year was just a books read list--wasn't feeling very writy last year.  I will try to get back to a couple years ago about maybe getting some goals down in writing and a little follow up throughout the year.  Okay I guess now on with the show.