Wednesday, January 22, 2014

100 Malicious Little Mysteries--#5 finished

This is a short story book about crime, murder, etc.  The stories are all much older than I thought they would be--from the '50s to the '70s.  While some are decent most are just not that interesting or even good.  Many don't hold up to the test of time well, how old the stories sound really was my take away on this.  I took forever to read this book, starting in Nov and barely moving with it and just finishing it now.  I only finished now because for the last couple weeks made a more concerted effort to just get it done.  I see now that it was originally put together in 1981 and released in 1992.  Oh well, at least most were short enough that I only spent about 3 minutes a day on it until the end, that is why it took so long to get through it.

I have already posted it on PBS, there are 5 copies a head of it so it won't be going anywhere for a while if ever.  I will need to add another book in to the mix, I have just barely started another but since not far at all better not claim it started just yet.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Poker Nation--#4 finished

This was a really quick read.  A few short stories or personal observations about the author's life in poker.  Not a bad read, nothing earth shattering but just kind of your normal poker stuff.  It was kind of interesting to hear him or others in the book about being small time poker professionals.  Look for the right games & try to earn so much per hour.  I think many people that want to be poker professionals should see and read this--you can say you are a professional but still not make all that much money.  Also in poker you are a bad streak away from being flat broke too.  Book doesn't glamorize poker but was also mostly about the life of poker before Moneymaker gave poker the huge boom.  Not a bad read though all in all.

I cannot post it on PBS, there are a couple stains on a couple early pages that make this copy unpostable.  I have a few books now that will need to go to a used bookstore for credit--hopefully credit at least.  That is alright because there are copies of this book in the PBS system and I have a bunch of books already posted that aren't really moving so no need to add another into the mix.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Shadow Patrol--#3 finished

Good action book again in the John Wells series.  The writer Alex Berenson does a nice job with the character and places him in interesting situations.  The only problem is there are so many similar writers doing series that it is hard to keep them straight--Brad Thor Horvath series, the Gray Man Series--can't remember author, Rollins Cotton Malone series to just touch on a few that I have read the last few years.  I like this writing but I really can't read that much of it, it would really wear me down.  This was a good read though and from what I think I remember probably better than the couple earlier ones I had read.

I will be posting it on PBS, there are a few copies a head of it but I think it will move at some point, it is a new enough book.  I am still reading those ongoing long term books and also just started Poker Nation.  I will probably find another one to start in the next couple days as well.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mr. Adams's Last Crusade--#2 finished

It is a slow start to 2014 for my reading but at least I have to say this was a very good book.  I knew that John Quincy Adams served in the House after being President and was an abolitionist but had no idea really of the person and the journey he had in life.  A very interesting person and a very interesting read.  This book was more focused on his time after being President but did go through his earlier career as well.  A good principled man who should have been a good President but as the book described the role of politics was changing then and Adams wasn't changing with it.

This book makes me more interested in life back in slave times, it touched on the slave owners in Congress and how they fought to keep slavery and even to keep it from being brought up for discussion.  That is an interesting time and I will have to look for other books of the period as well as into the Civil War too.

I will be posting this book on PBS at some point, there are 3 WL for it but I don't think it has moved much if any for the last 6 months or so.  I am still reading the 1413 words book and have finally broken through the beginning portion and am now around page 100 where I hope it opens up and can be read a little more easily.  I am also still picking away at the short story book but progress there is slow too.  I also have the Bernsen, Wells, Soldier book but not far long in it at all.  Not sure if I will start another right away or not.  I really need to concentrate on what I have started & get some done in those books but there are many many books that I also want to read too.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"J" is for Judgement--# 1 finished

I had to check my past Books Read sheets and found out I read this book before, which I thought I had, it was also the first book read of the year back in 2002.  Kind of funny both being first books read for a year.  I just have my Books Read sheets from then, there was no blogging at the time so I don't have any thoughts of the book from then.  I would guess then like now I enjoyed it.  Every book in the series I have enjoyed.  They are good investigation books with a kind of dogged or keep at it type investigations.  She doesn't seem to have any miracle conclusions or from left field type wrap ups, instead it is from working at it and piecing things together she gets the job done.  Her personal life is interesting but also limited so there are not a ton of characters to really remember from novel to novel, just a nice handful.  Good series and I will have to keep at it reading more this year.  I previously read "K" back in 1998 so a re-read will be good on that one.  "L" was 2009 but before I decided to start the whole series over with "A" later in that same year.

I will not be posting this one on PBS, this series is a keeper for me.  I am still reading 100 Malicious Little Mysteries getting to around 160 pages only so far.  Also still struggling through the 1413 words book--I am only at page 77.  Both of these books were starting in November I think so they are really taking too long but I plan to stick with both.  I also started reading Mr. Adams's Last Crusade just a few days ago and am around 50 pages in.  I will probably start a 4th book tonight as well.

2013 wrap up

I don't know why I haven't done a quick wrap up in the past.  This blog is basically now just a log of the books I finish reading during the year.  I am not sure that it will be anything more than that in the coming year, although a few extra posts of other stuff would probably be good.

I was looking back at the numbers of books I have read the last few years.  My log starts in 1997 with 6 books, 1998-15 books, 1999-18 books, 2000-15 books, 2001-18 books, 2002-8 books, 2003-10 books,  2004-9 books, 2005-6 books, 2006-12 books, 2007-16 books, 2008-30 books, 2009-81 books, 2010-87 books, 2011-75 books, 2012-70 books and 2013-67 books.  Just from looking at that, it was sometime in 2008 when I started reading multiple books at a time.  Before that I was strictly a one book at a time reader, if that book was slow or boring I just had to tough it out.  Kind of funny seeing it put down like that.

2013 was a different kind of year for my reading, I didn't really go back and re-read any of my favorite Russian novels.  I read both Tim Allen books, not sure why though but one was good & one was very much not good from what I remember.  I finally read Enemy at the Gates about Stalingrad and even after reading it and remembering the movie it is hard to grasp the reality of that battle or front of war.

My non-fiction read of the year probably has to go to Queen of the Oil Club, a really good read about a fascinating person that I had never heard of before reading the book.  The runner-up would have to be Passion & Principle about John & Jesse Fremont, I had heard of John Fremont but didn't really know much about him before reading the book and had no idea about his equal & wife Jesse.

My fiction read of the year, in a tough decision, is Miss Morissa by Mari Sandoz.  This is only the 2nd book I have read by Mari Sandoz & her Old Jules is one of my all time favorites.  Miss Morissa while not rating that high is a very good book.  I read two books in Mark Greaney's Gray Man series and really enjoyed them from an action entertainment point of view.  I also really liked Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly with a seemingly fresh type of action book--a female news reporter instead of the ex-spy, army guy type that many books have.  But as far as runner up in fiction this year I think it has to go to Winslow in Love by Kevin Canty.  I liked the book because it got into the frailties and insecurities of a writer who had seen his best days & was just plain old struggling with life.  Not an exciting read but one that does stay with you.

When I first glanced through my books read list, yes I keep a paper copy list not just here on the blog, I didn't see much I liked.  The more I looked though the list seemingly got better and better.  A couple disappointments though need to be pointed out.  The Land of Painted Caves, the last in Jean Auel's series was a real disappointment--I really liked all of the earlier books but this one just seemed too repetitive and just not inspired.  The Twelve, the 2nd in a trilogy by Justin Cronin wasn't bad but struggled to live up to the first and makes me wary of the 3rd.  The Big Bounce an Elmore Leonard book from the '60s wasn't very good and also makes me wary although I have read others by him that were much better so I am sure I will try another of his.  Finally, The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik wasn't up to my expectations.  I really liked Your Oasis on Flame Lake and enjoyed Welcome to the Great Mysterious and Mount Joy just didn't reach that.  I have other books by her & will read more.

Overall a good year of reading.  As far as 2014, my reading will continue as it has with several books being read at a time and not really having much rhyme or reason going into which books are getting read.  I do try to have at least one non-fiction going and one fiction going beyond that not much planning.