Saturday, December 31, 2016

Repeat Until Rich--#62 finished

Finished my last book of the year, others reading are too far away to finish today.  I didn't think I would get this one in but a quiet day with time to read yesterday, I was able to finish it.  Writer was a professional blackjack player on a team that was setup for counting cards and relaying info to a big time better.  He wasn't part of the MIT teams but a more aggressive branch off them, good stories and info about how they went about doing it.  This team knew they would get thrown out of casinos so always seemed to push the envelope on this till they did.  He was very successful along with team and made lots of money.  Seems like either the travel or changes that casinos were doing to lessen their odds or maybe just some burnout--or likely all and others--kind of pushed him into quitting the blackjack play.  He sold this book idea but couldn't get down to writing it and with money & free time and at same time the Texas Holdem poker boom took off, that is where he went.  Basically lost all his money over a couple years while still struggling to write but eventually was able to quit poker. He mentions trying to quit several times and finally Gamblers Anonymous but not sure where he gives the credit on quitting.  Good story about his unusual trip through professional blackjack and online poker.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy in system so I expect it will get requested at some point.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Opposite of Loneliness--#61 finished

The author, Marina Keegan, was a college student at Yale and 5 days after graduation she died in a car accident.  This book was compiled afterwards by friends, professors and family of her writing both stories & essays.   The first part is her fiction stories and then the second part is her non-fiction.  You can tell she was a talented writer, some very good stuff in here.  In reading this book and the enjoyment of the writing is almost tempered though with the underlying fact that she died far too soon.  We have missed the chance to read more and seen this writer develop, it is truly a loss and just sadness just kind of continues while reading.

The WL on this is around 99 I think so I will be mailing it off at some point.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Missed Her--#60 finished

A short story book by Ivan E Coyote a self described butch lesbian.  Good writing and interesting topics, no fiction, or at least didn't sound like any to me.  Mostly about her experiences and the people around her.  Good stuff that certainly makes you think, a perspective that I just don't really think much on.

There are around 15 WL for it on PBS but for now it is a keeper.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Great Perhaps--#59 finished

A really kind of strange book.  A couple reviews on back said funny, well darkly funny and humor and formal playfulness.  I just didn't see it.  It was a screwed up family and any humor that might have been was replaced for me by how much torture and awful feelings the characters had to be experiencing.  It was an interesting read in that it is not your normal or typical book but wow what struggles the family was going through, just painful and there was no communication so they were all suffering through it by their self.  Just a tough book but glad read it.

There are no copies on PBS but since holidays are here, I don't want to mail anything out right now so will wait to post until January or so.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban--#58 finished

As much as I like to read, I have not read through the Harry Potter series so I am slowly working my way through it now.  I have seen some of the movies and parts of others so really no surprises though.  I enjoyed this one, Harry is growing up.  The first couple just seemed almost too little kidish but my oldest daughter said they would get better and it has.  I am sure there is nothing more I can say that others haven't said a thousand times before about the book so again just I enjoyed it.

I will not post on PBS, this is my oldest copy so gets returned to her.  I need to pick up a copy of the 4th book somewhere or get from library to keep the series going.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Farm--#57 finished

An interesting read told from standpoint of an only son whose parent's moved from London England to a farm in the countryside of Sweden.  Son hasn't really stayed in touch with parents, he is hiding his gay life and partner from them.  Out of nowhere he finds out from dad that his mom was put in an asylum and was freed and is on her way to him.  She comes to him and relates a story and he realizes the life he has had was full of questions that he never asked.  He eventually has to travel to Sweden to investigate what his mom told him and he learns some harsh truths.  Book kind of ends where he is going into room to let his mom know.  Kind of weird book and really didn't like any of the characters much at all and for that reason hard to say I liked it.

I will put it back to PBS at some point, I think there are 40 WL for it so no hurry right now since have enough credits.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hotwire--#56 finished

This was the next in Alex Kava's Maggie O'Dell series and was a good quick read.  Maggie is out in middle NE at the largest man made forest, at least in the US where some teenagers get killed and a few more die after the fact.  While she is sorting this stuff out, her guy friend Platt is trying to figure out food poisoning of school kids and working the government agencies that don't like to play nicely with each other.  I have one more book in this series to go, I mistakenly read the last in series a few months ago out of order.  Then I think Maggie breaks off into the Creed series.

I have been keeping this series but I think I will start posting them.  A good series although a little gory and stuff but not really a keeper.  Author is from NE so that is why I was keeping them but figure time to post them away.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Anything Goes--#55 finished

Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties by Lucy Moore.  Good read where she looks at what was going on in the 1920s in the US with a kind of focus on the people in different areas of life. People like writers, boxers, politicians, jazz musicians, Lindbergh, KKK, etc.  Lots of interesting people and events going on.  A sort of different time since was right after WWI and during Prohibition but before the stock market crash & depression of the '30s and WWII.  An interesting time and a very good look at it in this book.

The book isn't in the best shape and since I liked it, it will just stay as a keeper for me.  Not really postable on PBS and liked enough to not give away.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Box 21--#54 finished

Two teenagers from Lithuania are tricked & kidnapped & taken to Sweden and forced into prostitution.  After 3 years one is beaten very badly, causing noise which police responded to and breaking up the apartment.  The beaten girl taken to hospital and has plans for revenge against person that put her in this situation.  At same time a mafia enforcer just out of prison is sent to break some bones of a druggie and instead kills him, the druggie's sister is doctor at hospital where happened & witnessed enforcer with her brother just before it happens.  Both of these stories are worked from the main perspective of the police investigating these.  Some twists and turns in here.  Good story even if subject matter is tough to read at points.  Good read overall though.

I have already posted it on PBS, it is the only copy in system right now so I would expect it will move at some point.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Simeon Chamber--#53 finished

This is an older beaten up paperback that I had.  I started it when I needed a book to read when I was doing some outdoor thing, I like using these types of books since fit in pockets better & don't mind if get creased up some.  So this wasn't a priority book, just kind of picked it up here and there until it got closer to the end.  I think if I enjoyed it more, I probably would have found time to read it but this one just didn't grab me at all.  I was disappointed about people being murdered and generally just a little too hard to follow or maybe I just wasn't interested enough to follow.  Not a great read, oh well.

This is one I won't post on PBS, I don't think it is in good enough shape to post there.  Instead I will go in my donation pile to give away at some point.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Yucks--#52 finished

The whole title is The Yucks: Two Years in Tampa with the Losingest Team in NFL History.  They were an expansion franchise when I first started following football.  The whole idea of expansion was something I really didn't understand but same happened in baseball with the Mariners and Blue Jays and my baseball & football cards showed these teams coming from nowhere.  This is a fun read about the team and how it was built/put together.  Good info & stories in the book.  Really enjoyed this one.

There are 2 or 3 WL for it but it is set aside for now, might be a keeper, not sure yet.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Code of Conduct--#51 finished

This is one of the newer ones in the Scot Harvath series, an ex-Navy Seal that is now a hired security/just get things done guy, usually with a gun.  A super elite/rich guy and buddies tries to kill off 2/3 of the planet so things would be better for them and the remaining.  Kind of interesting plot and a page turner as well.  A good read that makes me think I should look into other books in this series.  

I have already posted it, there was 1 WL and since going to post office today I hope they accept soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Same Kind of Different as Me--#50 finished

A true story about a homeless man in Fort Worth, TX that became friends with a well to do couple in volunteered at a local mission/shelter.  Story is about how this relationship changed both of their lives.  Goes back and looks at how Denver Moore the homeless man grew up as a sharecropper in Louisiana with no future and decided to jump on a train to leave behind that life.  Lives a tough life with time in jail but basically always homeless.  Well to do art dealer, Ron Hall and his wife Debbie while looking to do more in their life start volunteering at the shelter handing out meals.  It takes time and trust between all individuals but eventually become close friends.  Good story and told from a perspective that they weren't just giving help to the homeless but actually becoming friends with the person.

I have already posted it on PBS, it is the only hardcopy in system, there are a few paperback copies.  I would expect it will move at some point.

Monday, October 17, 2016

NYPD Red 4--#49 finished

The next in the series by James Patterson and Marshall Karp.  I good quick read series that is mostly entertaining.  The 2 detectives are juggling 2 major cases and problems in their personal lives, it certainly keeps the pages moving.  With short chapters it just seems easy to breeze through these books.  

I have already posted it on PBS, there were like 79 WL for it but I could use a few more credits & figured might as well get this one moving off.

Djibouti--#48 finished

A documentary filmmaker decides to visit Djibouti and Somali during the height of the pirates taking boats hostage & demanding ransoms.  Her and her assistant rent a boat and get in amongst the pirates and also an American & his girl with their own agendas.  Overall a little confusing and sometimes just not that interesting.  I made my way through the book but enjoyment was probably on the lower end.  This is my 2nd Elmore Leonard book and what I remember is about the same as how I felt after the other one--I had to look it up, The Big Bounce, I read back in 2013.

I will post it on PBS, there are 2 copies ahead of it in hardback and who knows how many paperbacks but I guess has a chance to move at some point.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Another Song About the King--#47 finished

Story told from the perspective of the daughter, Silvie about the struggles she had growing up with her mom.  Her mom wanted to be bigger and more important than she was and seemed to compete with her daughter for attention.  An interesting story of how things parents do can affect their children.  I guess I didn't see as much conflict as the writer intended.  Still good story with interesting characters even if I didn't buy into as much of the relationship issues.

I have posted it on PBS, there was 1 copy already on system so it will be waiting.  An older book, published in 2000, so probably not moving anytime soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Eastern Stars--#46 finished

This is about the city San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic and how that town and area has sent so many players into major league baseball.  Some good baseball stuff but lots about the sugar cane fields and poverty in the area too.  Fun to hear about the experiences and how so many of the kids became major leaguers.  Good history lesson of area too.  I like this author for getting into the subjects he writes about.  Good read that makes you think how lucky we are to have been born where we are and how unfortunate and how much struggles there are in 3rd world places.

I have posted it on PBS & it was the only copy & it has already been requested.  I have another book that I was going to mail but it has cycled onto the 3rd person already and looks like it will go to a 4th in a couple days.  I would like to mail them at same time but probably not going to happen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Damaged--#45 finished

Playing a little catchup with Alex Kava's Maggie O'Dell series.  I accidentally read a book out of order--Stranded and skipped 3 books.  This one, Damaged was the next in series that I should have read.  I have the next 2 as well so will try to get to them in the next couple months.  This was a little different than some of hers, it happened in Pensacola, FL with a hurricane on the way.  The killer she caught was more of a greedy body harvesting bastard than a kill for the sick fun of it types she usually chases.  Good story, good quick read.

So far the Alex Kava books have stayed on my keeper shelf since she is a NE author but might just move them yet.  No real desire to re-read them or to pass them along either.  Will probably wait till get series done & then think about it.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The King's Curse--#44 finished

This is another of Philippa Gregory's books on the English Kings & Queens.  This one is basically about the reign of King Henry VIII from the perspective of Margaret Pole.  She was both an insider and also part of a rival family to the Tudors.  Book really puts you inside what is happening and leaves you with as many questions as it seems as the historians still have today.  Interesting time and interesting characters.  This is a good read.

There are like 40 some WL for the book so it will be mailed off at some point but no hurry to do so right now.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Stranded--#43 finished

I try to read series books in order as I guess most people do.  For some reason, I grabbed this book & read it without checking the order.  It is 3 ahead of where I was.  Funny thing is I had just ordered 2 of those 3 from PBS and had gotten them in within the last month.  Of course I misplaced them, just finding them now after a couple of weeks.  I will backtrack and start reading the next in order now to get caught up.  I think this is the last in the just Maggie O'Dell series, the author introduced another character, Creed, in this book and looks like she has started a new series with him & Maggie together.  This was another similar story to the earlier books in series, Maggie and partner are FBI profilers and investigators that take on serial killers and get caught up in one that was coming after them.  Good read, good page turner.

I have been keeping this series so will probably continue to do so at this point.  This being a newer book, I don't think there are any copies on system so if I post, it would probably move.  Might just wait & see after I finish the other 3 & then decide if want to keep series or not.  This is a NE author, the reason I have been keeping them.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Rogue Lawyer--#42 finished

Another good John Grisham book.  A lawyer that defends the worst of the worst and is basically hated by police, media, locals and victims.  Some of the people are innocent but the bad police tried to stick it too them.  Good story, not sure much of it is likely or expected but a fast paced action book, good page turner.

I will post it on PBS at some point, I think there was 40+ on the WL for it but Grisham books move fast.

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Saudi Connection--#41 finished

An older disgraced news reporter is given a tip on hot story but then people involved start dying.  He teams up with hot Al-Jazeera reporter on the story and it takes them into Mid-East.  It is a linking of Saudi money and a right wing terrorist group in US with an assassination attempt of a nominated presidential candidate.  Story keeps moving and has some twists but overall just a good story.

I have already posted it on PBS, only 1 other hard copy but 13 paperbacks.  I don't expect it to move but few enough in PBS to leave for a while & see.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Unplanned--#40 finished

Abby Johnson writes about how she started as a volunteer at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas and eventually moves up and into the director position at the clinic.  A lot of info on her feelings about abortion and even going through it herself but basically had stayed on the business side of things.  When at one point asked to assist with an abortion by holding the ultrasound equipment she is horrified at what she sees and reconsiders her whole opinion of abortion.  She soon after leaves and basically joins up with the pro-life group that has been praying on the other side of the fence at the clinic.

I will be posting it on PBS at some point, I think there were around 29 WL for it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Sausage Maker's Daughters--#39 finished

Good read about a family in Wisconsin in the early 1970s.  The youngest daughter and the daughter that didn't fit in, returns home for the oldest sister's funeral.  This youngest daughter is in early 20s and was an activist at U of Wisconsin Madison during her college years, protesting the war and about everything else that came along.  She also dated a hippie Poli Sci professor.  Senior year after summer in Europe professor/boyfriend had disappeared.  She was heartbroken and threw more energy into protesting.  After graduation moves to CA and works at empowering women.  Oldest sister was a nun and she developed cancer and died.  Youngest comes home for this & her ex is now married to the 2nd oldest that became the ruler of the house after their mom died when youngest was 3.  2nd was basically a tyrant to youngest and bully to 3rd.  Ex is found dead in youngest bedroom in middle of night after funeral.  Good story but does bog a little with lawyers and investigating things.  A couple things kind of pulled out of the air for trial.  Twist at end that I didn't see--knew there would be a twist but didn't see this one and not sure I liked it either.  Overall good book.

There is 1 WL for it & I went ahead and posted it.  Should move this weekend.  Only sitting at 4 credits so time to get an extra credit or so but my own WL not moving so no big hurry.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blood Infernal--#38 finished

This is the 3rd book in the series and maybe the last.  A pretty good series with the basis of vampires and the Catholic church.  How vampires have always existed and the consecrated blood of Christ is able to have some change from blood suckers to priests instead.  Since undead, they don't die unless some of the normal vampire things happen.  I think the way they wove this around the history of the church was great idea.  The story of action and happening today stuff not always so good.  But overall the series was probably worth reading.  This 3rd book is in line like the others, sometimes just a little too out there but overall kept story going.

I will be posting it on PBS at some point, I think there were still around 29 WL for it when I last checked so not in a big hurry to post yet.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Generation X--#37 finished

A book about some 20 somethings in late '80s or early '90s that have kind of checked out from life.  Not happy with getting the corporate jobs or being target markets or much of anything, they have simple bartender type jobs and just enjoy life.  I can understand the story but not sure why the title says Generation because I don't think it is a generation thing.  Every group of people will have some that do this but overall I would think this is not the case.  For years there has been the joke that college graduates or even post graduates are working at Starbucks, which seems to be the same kind of thing.  Oh well, didn't find this all that interesting.

I have posted it on PBS and since no other copies showing in system figure it might move at some point.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

S is for Silence--#36 finished

The next in Sue Grafton's series and like the others is a good read.  Not much about Kinsey's personal life or the town she lives in.  This book happens almost completely in nearby towns with her investigating the disappearance of a lady in the 1950s.  Lots of luck and the normal piecing of things together get the body found and then eventually the killer too.  Good stuff and good series.  I have the next few books too so will keep at reading them till get caught up or series is finished.

This is a keeper series for me so it will be staying on my shelf.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Blue Warrior--#35 finished

This is the 2nd book in a series by a newer author Mike Maden.  It is a good continuation of the series.  The books kind of revolve around drone technology and a former CIA field operative who left government work for private & became very rich.  He of course gets pulled back into hot situations with this one being in Africa and a former lover is there too.  Good story overall though.  Like that areas and situations are a little different than what some of the other action books I have been reading have done.

I will probably be posting it on PBS soon, there is 1 WL for it last time I looked so would be nice to get it moving instead of sitting on my shelf.  I have been keeping my PBS credits a little low so might post even tonight so could maybe mail this weekend.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Blessing Way--#34 finished

This was a older paperback started on vacation.  A 1960s Indian mysticism and murder mystery story set on reservation in New Mexico.  A pretty good read with Indian detective kind of working it out.  Indian witchcraft and plain old greed at work.  Like I said was a pretty good read for what it was.

The book has a small stain on the cover so I won't even bother with it on PBS, I think I got it from a deal as an unpostable from someone on PBS anyway.  I will put this in my donate to the retirement home pile.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Second Marriage--#33 finished

A book from the 1980s, where the wife of a married couple wants a separation and the interesting people around them.  The husband's first wife comes back into the picture and she is having troubles with her latest marriage, she meets the 2nd & current wife & moves in for a while.  Wife & 1st wife click in a way & current wife asks husband to move out.  Book kind of dances around issue of what is going on but sure seems like a lesbian relationship bloomed.  Book from point of view of husband and he has his dates too.  This is prior to Aids so relationships a lot different it seems, mostly hinted at casual sex and lots of it going on.  Eventually husband wife seem to get together again at end, first wife moves on to a different previous boyfriend or husband.

An okay read, kind of interesting because it hints at just how different a time it was.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy so I would expect it to move at some point.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Red--#32 finished

This is another book finished in June during vacation with no access to internet so only getting updated now.  This is the first book in a trilogy and is a very good start.  Main character is in military and just the updated military equipment with skullcaps that help control emotions, get instant feedback, can give orders to troops and get info from helpers that are off site.  Also with outfits that are able to increase abilities and strengths.  All of this would seem to be on design tables somewhere out there.  In this a defense contractor is the bad person, at least this unit believes and this DC exploded nuclear devices in several US cities.  The unit has to go rogue to arrest this DC and take them to an African nation for justice.  They just get this done and book 2 will continue from there.  Also the main character has lost both legs just above knees and is outfitted with super kind of quasi-robot legs.  I am sure there were be more twists and turns in series and I am looking forward to the rest of it.

I will probably be posting it on PBS, there are 2 WL for it now so will probably get it mailed off soon for that reason.

Youth and the Bright Medusa--#31 finished

This is one that I finished in June while on vacation but didn't have access to internet to update this blog.  This is a short story book by Willa Cather, a NE writer.  Generally good stories but I think the last 2 were the best and the ones that stuck with me.  The man who became a sculptor, a world famous sculptor, and who died young and was returned to small town KS and the description of what the town folk said of him was really interesting.  He knew the towns people would run him down because his interests were not his.  I found the quote he told his friend that came back with his body, "The townspeople will come in for a look at me; and after they have had their say, I shan't have much to fear from the judgement of God!"  Really good stuff.

I will keep this book, like all my Cather books.  Just nice to kind of have a collection of my NE authors.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Land of Opportunity--#30 finished

A very good book about a family from dirt poor Arkansas that several brothers & relatives move to Detroit in the '70s & '80s and become big time drug dealers.  Well researched and well written book with a lot of the history of drug dealing.  Easy to take what was happening in Detroit & see that it was happening in all the big cities back then too.  Just terrible to think about the hundreds of people just working for cash for these couple big dealers and how they just can see how their work is destroying neighborhoods and families, and then eventually cities.

I had to google the one brother Billy Joe Chambers and it looks like he got out of prison after serving only 22 years.  Maybe he was reformed & no longer doing criminal works but still seems kind of short for some of the bad things he did.

Very good read, I think for now this is going to be a keeper for me.  No reason to ship it off, at least at this time.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Attack--#29 finished

An interesting book about a Palestinian man that is an Israeli citizen and a decorated surgeon in Israel.  His whole world is set upside down when he learns his wife that he adores was a suicide bomber that killed dozens including children.  Author does a good job of putting the man into a hole that he cannot get out of, he just cannot understand how or what drove his wife to do this.  The book doesn't really have any answers but does show a side that doesn't seem to be often heard.  Not that suicide bombings are ever right but shows a kind of desperation some have but nothing really about the people that train or maybe brainwash these individuals.  A book that has to make you think and just wish there was a way to a solution but it just doesn't seem like there is one that is close.

There are 0 copies on PBS so I will probably post it and see if it moves, I would expect that it will.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Bullet--#28 finished

Good story of a French Literature professor that finds out she has a bullet left in her neck area from when she was 3, when her parents were killed.  She was adopted but didn't know that either.  She is now 37 and what she believed was her life is thrown off kilter.  She starts investigating her parent's murder and her life keeps changing.  She does have surgery to remove the bullet too.  I read this in one day, mostly in the night & early evening.  Good read & good page turner.

I liked author's first book too.  Success on her first 2 books.  I will probably post at some point but in no hurry to do so at this point, I think around 20 WL on this book.

A Vast and Fiendish Plot--#27 finished

An interesting book about Confederate spies that came down from Canada and tried to start uprising or at least problems in the North.  The focus of the book is about an attempt to burn New York City and it goes on to show how really close they were to doing so.  I hadn't heard of any of this before so it is interesting to read about this side of the war.  Also author went into a lot of the background of how they got to Canada and other missions they were trying to run too.  At end of book, I think author spent a little too much time doing a "what if", almost like it was his way of justifying this as a book.  Still a good & interesting read.

There is 1 WL for this book so I will probably post soon & mail off if accepted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History--#26 finished

This was the first book like this by the author, I read his 2nd book earlier this year.  This was written in the late '80s so no more modern stuff but still sort of interesting.  Like the other book, just seems a little too simple in some things.  Dismissing stuff in a paragraph or 2 that just seems like it deserves more.  Some of it is how the myth was phrased, maybe someone didn't invent something but the improved upon what someone else had done--okay.  Interesting to a point but nothing really special either.

I will post this on PBS, there is 1 copy on system now so maybe it moves or maybe it doesn't, no biggie either way.

A Wedding in December--#25 finished

I finished this book about a week ago and set it aside for a while to give some thought to it and just never got back to logging it in.  A group of high school boarding school east coast types get back together for basically the first time since high school about 30 years later.  Some have stayed in contact but most just went their own ways.  A group of guys & gals and some are reliving the high school feelings too.  The two getting married were HS sweethearts that broke up after HS and both married.  She married and then divorced and he married but didn't divorce until the sweethearts met up again and the relationship started back up.  Throw in a kind of mystery death of a should have been successful classmate and some prior unannounced happenings from that night and some things getting revealed, should have made this seem more exciting.  Really it just wasn't very exciting.  Didn't really care for the characters, just seemed too bland and there was an undercurrent about how a night of sex could fix things or maybe straighten your life out--something there, not really sure about it.  My favorite part of the book was probably the book one of them was writing--the book inside of a book.  It was just okay for me.  I have another book or two by author so I will probably try another one, just to see.

I will not bother posting it, there are already hundreds of copies on PBS.  This will go in my donate away pile, probably to the retirement home that I have given to in the past.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

White Palace--#24 finished

An interesting book about written in St Louis in the late 1980s when I first moved here for college.  It is a very much St Louis book, characters have a peculiar St Louis flavor to them--the West County well to do ad executive was married to an old money girl with parents in Ladue(I think) area.  He was Jewish and went to school at University High School with his buddies--also all Jewish(I think again). His young wife dies in a car accident and about a year later after not dating at all, meets up with an older hoosier type woman.  Hoosier was one of those not flattering words I heard a lot when I came here--not the hoosier of Indiana but a white trash type that was mostly found on the southside in St Louis or further south.  This lady is every bit of it--dropped out of high school, kinda fat, dirty--both upkeep & language, drinks & can hold her liquor, smokes & trashy sexy kind of way too.  The relationship is a train wreck for him except it breaks him out of his shell he was in since his wife died.  He is around 28 & new girlfriend is like 42.  Story and relationship is just a little too goofy or maybe just too unlikely--he keeps saying he loves her but the reader doesn't really get why.  The closest thing to it was she is similar to his mom, who still lives in the old and now changing neighborhood in U City.  Mom is also kind of a slob, which was probably why he was a neat freak.  Dad left when he was really young and he started taking care of mom as soon as he was old enough.  Now after wife died it is almost like he was looking for someone to take care of & found Nora, the older lady.

This book was made into a movie back then--late '80s or early '90s--filmed here in St Louis, I remember seeing the cars driving around Grand Ave doing filming back when I was in college.  Movie was ok, Susan Sarandon as Nora and James Spader as Max.

Oh well, not great read but certainly a keeper since St Louis based.  I will not be posting it on PBS, to the keeper shelf it goes.  Also this book is autographed, to a Pam, but I will still take it.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Crunchy Cons--#23 finished

Author identifies as a conservative but out of what appears to be the mainstream conservative/Republican.  Lots of good stuff in here that applies as much today as it did 10 years ago when it came out.  Basically railing against our consumer society, our society that doesn't understand sacrifice or understanding limits.  Book gets a little too preachy at times, especially about homeschooling but 10 years ago that probably seemed a little unusual while today more accepted.  I see a lot of stuff/ideas in here that are me in many ways.  This being such an unusual election year already, I will look to see if Trump embodies any of this but I really doubt it.  It is depressing election year for me at least.  I will be looking through at which 3rd party candidate I want to support.  Oh well, good book that makes you think.

I will be keeping this book, not sure if will re-read but it is in unpostable shape & is good enough to keep rather than give away.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

NYPD Red 3--#22 finished

This is another book finished in April but just logging in now.  Another fast paced action book, but as you can figure from the title, the 3rd in the series.  Also just an okay story.  There is relationship issues for people in the story but just seem way to forced to be believed.  Good for a quick read but that is about it.  I seem to remember liking book 1 & 2 much better so still hope but it has slipped to just okay land, as far as the series goes for me.

There is like 100 WL for the book so I will post at some point & mail off but sitting okay with credits right now so no big hurry to mail off yet.


This book was finished back in April but computer problems kept me from getting it logged in till now.  This is a first book of a series for a new author, also his first book.  It is an interesting, fast paced read.  Some interesting concepts about drone usage.  Overall though story and characters were just okay.  Had to take too many leaps of faith to believe the story.  I did get the 2nd book in series so will try it out before deciding how long I want to stick with it.

I have posted it on PBS, only hardback copy so I expect it to move at some point.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Position--#20 finished

A 1970's middle age couple with 4 children write a sex book with artist drawings of them in the various positions.  The children find book and go through it together, ranging in age from around 14 or 15 to like 5.  Book doesn't really cut to the chase on much right away.  It bounces to what some of the kids are doing now like 20+ years later.  More shocking or surprising stuff comes later, spoiler I guess but since book from 2005, I guess long enough so too bad, the marriage ended soon after book published.  The artist fell in love with the mom and she with him and the 20 years later they are still together.  Dad is still stunned or bitter about it.  All the kids have a kind of screwed up life, from the book or from broken marriage who knows, you get to figure that out.  Of course the 3rd youngest is probably most normal & secure with himself and he is fighting cancer but his partner is there supporting him.  The book points out in more than handful of places his bazaar life is that he is a gay Republican.  Okay story and characters, I just couldn't really get into it very much.  Had a hard time caring about any of them.  Oh well.

There is 1 WL for it so I will probably post it at some point & ship if off if the WL is real.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Punch--#19 finished

Good read about a famous NBA fight from the 1970's.  Maybe fight isn't the best word, I guess the book title is probably best as The Punch.  Kermit Washington of the Lakers came back the help out the superstar, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a little scuffle with an opponent--Kevin Kunnert.  Differing accounts about if Kunnert through elbow or punch or anything and Kermit I think threw punch at Kunnert.  Then Rudy Tomjanovich of Rocket & Kunnert's teammate came running in to help out his teammate.  At that point Kermit knew somebody was running toward him so he turned around & threw a devastating punch that drops Rudy T.  It destroyed his face & caused spinal fluid to leak--he was lucky they got him to a hospital and an excellent surgeon was there or could have been worse for him.  Took months to recover and did shorten his career as a player.  Kermit by all accounts is good guy that just reacted badly.  Good book that went to see both sides of this.  Really shows how NBA was different back then with enforcers and fights.

I will probably just donate this book away.  It has a small stain on it and could try to clean up but since already 6 or so copies on PBS, not worth it.  Nursing home close by can use the books so will pull a few out & donate there.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Old Man's War--#18 finished

A very good read about older humans that sign up to become soldiers in outer space.  They sign up before turning 75 and at age 75 then go into the program.  They have to put 10 years in and then can become young again but cannot return to earth, become colonials in distance planets.  Interesting concept and good story.  Really enjoyed this book.  I know I have the 2nd book too, not sure if series goes beyond that or not.  Good fun sci-fi that makes you think & even where you can see this kind of happening or something like it down the road.

Inside the first page, it has separated from the cover.  I might try to glue it back together & see if it will hold.  Right now not postable on PBS though.  Might be a keeper & try to encourage kids to read.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Confessions from Left Field--#17 finished

I thought this would be more of a baseball book but instead it was more of a story of the author's screwed up life.  Time period late '70s and into early '80s, with the baseball strike right in the middle.  It was a time that I was really following baseball and thought it would be great to get another perspective on what was going on.  He touched on some baseball and some of what was still happening back then was interesting but mostly he was a kind of nomad.  I will have to wikipedia this author just to see what happened to him.  His writing was interesting at times and he certainly had a different view on things but overall a pretty forgettable book.

I have posted it on PBS, there is already 1 copy in system ahead of it.  I don't expect this to move but stranger things have happened.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode or Not--#16 finished

Author Richard Shenkman looks at myths and legends of American history and goes about debunking some of them.  It is an older book but since looking back, no problem but kind of surprised if these are really the case that I haven't heard more about them.  Interesting read and with our oldest in high school and seeing how quickly they zip through a topic in history, easy to see how some of this is continued and not corrected.

I have already posted it on PBS, it is the 4th copy so I don't expect it to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Patriot Threat--#15 finished

This is the next in Steve Berry's Cotton Malone series.  Good series but seems like earlier ones I read were better.  This one just seemed a little to much DiVinci Code like for my taste.  Just seemed a little too forced altogether and the whole North Korean angle just didn't make much sense.  Still a good read, good page turner type book.

I will be posting on PBS probably pretty soon.  There are 27 WL for it but it is a mass media paperback so those move a lot quicker than other books.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Visits From the Drowned Girl--#14 finished

I finished this book and set it aside for a day to try to figure out what I thought of it and I am still not really sure.  Overall, I would have to say I did not like it.  A just kind of bizarre story of a guy that climbs towers to paint, change lights, repairs and while up a desolate tower witnesses a girl setup a camera, strip down and walk into a raging river & be carried away.  He was too far up & too far away to stop it but coming down goes to the spot & collects the girls belongings--clothes, backpack and camera.  The backpack was full of earlier tapes the girl made.  He thinks about going to police & handing it all over but instead keeps it and slowly watches the tapes & gets involved in the girl's family.  Her sister is a dwarf that seems to be just a nice girl.  Benny, the guy, is basically trash and has trashy friends.  He kind of puts on an act for the sister but his trashiness comes through at times.  At the end he puts back the camera & things and leaves them for someone else to find, I guess.  I was really hoping he would jump in the river too--I really didn't like him.  There were times you could tell he was conflicted about what he was doing but other times just pushed ahead with the crap of his life--just a really unlikeable character.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy so will probably move at some point I am guessing.

Monday, March 7, 2016

R is for Ricochet--#13 finished

The next in Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone series.  Another good book in series and some changes seem to be underway.  Her landlord Henry had a woman that he was kind of interested in but didn't work out but seems to have laid groundwork for future dating.  Kinsey gets what could be a steady type boyfriend, a police detective that she always seemed to have a thing for and he is newly divorced after a very short marriage.  They are getting along very well.  Case was a little different but had the twists and turns and details that kept it all moving along.  No mention of her recently found family this time though.  Still liking the series and where things are moving.

This is a keeper series for me so onto the shelf it goes.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Little Madhouse on the Prairie--#12 finished

This book first got put on my WL because I thought it had something to do with the Little House TV show--my wife is still a big fan.  Sometime later before I got the book I realized it wasn't about the TV show but about growing up in N Dakota and figured okay since I grew up in NE figured I would still give it a try.  Once I received the book I realized it was about growing up in an abusive family & how this lady over came this.  Tough parts to read and have to credit author for finding a way through.  Not sure I completely buy all the therapy and techniques used but per this book it seems to have helped the author then okay.  Not really a book I probably would have read if I realized what it was about but still a good read to realize/remind oneself that there are people going through these kinds of things.

I will mail off probably soon on PBS, I think there are 2 WL for it.  There is no reason for me to hold onto this & want to get it out to someone it could help.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The 6th Extinction--#11 finished

This is the next in the James Rollins Sigma series.  Good series but this one I don't think was quite at the level of the previous books.  He tries to write of a sort of possible scenario based on enough true things or at least possible true things.  I just had a hard time buying this one--a whole kind of lost world or land that time forgot thing with a whole different sort of life developed in underneath the ice and rock of Antarctica.  Scientists knowing about this & doing crazy experiments and the world as we know it almost ending.  Sorry just too far out there this time.  Oh well, I will stick around for next in series, not giving up because this one didn't do it for me.

There are 13 WL for the book but with this series that is not that many.  I have a couple to mail out this weekend and this one might be joining them too or the mailing after this.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Visit Sunny Chernobyl--#10 finished

A fun sort of travel book about the author visiting some of the world's most polluted places--Chernobyl, a river in India that gets Dehli's raw sewage, Fort McMurray, Canada and the oil sands, Port Author, LA the US's refinery town, the plastic floating mess in the Pacific and so on.  Good interesting reads about all of them.  He just kind of visits and examines them, doesn't get too preachy or too far out there environmentally but just his visiting these places & writing this book makes you think.  Living in St Louis area and our nuclear waste with a landfill fire not too far off, makes me hope we don't land in volume 2 of this--if there is one.

I will post this on PBS at some point, don't remember how many WL but still plenty so no big hurry at this point.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

This is Not a Game--#9 finished

This is a kind of sci-fi near future story where computer hackers in college grow up form company and develop an investment program that eventually makes one rich, one killed, one telling story--the girl--lives and one doing killing after getting exiled ends up dying too.  Never really got into this.  The computer company that was legitimate did role playing games that merged reality and computer lives, this is what the girl did.  The investment program took down a few different countries economies along the way.  Story was interesting but again not really something that caught me.

I will post on PBS, there is 1 WL for it so will move at some point once it gets posted.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Uzbekistan--#8 finished

This is a short book but I have been reading it off and on for about 2 months.  It is probably more of a text book than an actual just read & enjoy book.  The rest of the title is: Transition to Authoritarianism on the Silk Road.  While only a 123 pages, it goes into detail of Uzbekistan in several areas.  It is more of a starting point book for someone wanting to learn about the country.  Interesting the book was published in 2000 so before 9/11 happens.  Afghanistan is mentioned as a bordering country in a civil war where the Taliban have taken over most of the country by then and is a cause of unrest in other Central Asian countries because they are all generally Muslim people in these countries.  I will have to do some wikipedia research to see what has become of Uzbekistan since 2000, I kept myself from looking this up on purpose until I had finished just for the excitement of it all.

I will post this book on PBS, it will be the only copy in the system.  I ordered it when it was the only copy too a few years back.  I don't expect much of a rush to order on it but you never know especially as the only copy.

Black Friday--#7 finished

This is the next in Alex Kava's Maggie O'Dell series, FBI profiler that finds a way to get really involved in cases.  This is a domestic terrorism case where big business & certain politicians it seems has hired a super secret terrorist to plan a couple incidents to help force the government to invest more in security helping the big business types.  A conspiracy theory kind of terrorist.  Maggie's stepbrother is thrown right into the mix as well as her still uncomfortable around guy Nick that she is forced to work next too.  Mall of America gets bombed on Black Friday, terrorist blows up kids with backpacks they thought would just screw with the computers.  Then on that Sunday a bomb blows up in an airport, one of the busiest travel days of year.  Lots of questions and details about the after affects left unanswered.  Just too much amazing circumstances with stepbrother & Nick to make it real.  Just seems like most of this book is forced.  Oh well, still quick read and sort of interesting.  Maggie is good character.  Just need to suspend reality like it seems too many books make you do in order to enjoy.  I know there are more books in series & I have some so will continue just seems like series is losing it's steam.

I will keep this book, this series is on my keeper shelf since NE author.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Savage Nation--#6 finished

Wow, I really really disliked this book.  Some of his ideas and thoughts made sense but they were just presented in a terrible way.  I had heard a few of his radio shows in the past so I knew he was basically the conservative radio insult comic type but I didn't think he would write a book in that same manner.  This is an older book, wrote in 2002 or around there, just after 9/11 so kind of fun to see some of the same things still being talked about today.  Again some of the ideas and points make sense but I cannot believe how awful just reading this book makes me feel.  I did get through it just because I hate to quit books and it is short and easy to read.

I will not be posting it on PBS, I will not even donate it to the nursing home that I give books too.  It is just too insulting to give away like that.  I might donate it to the library or I might just give away to the local used bookstore.  It might also just end up in the trash, that is looking like the most likely ending.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This is a Bust--#5 finished

Good story about a Chinese American guy in the '70s that served in Vietnam and is now back in New York working as a police officer there.  He says he is the only Chinese American on the force and of course they put him in Chinatown.  They keep him on the street and make sure his face is in the papers and at banquets as their token officer.  He wants to move up to detective but feels he is pigeonholed where he is at.  Except of course he is a drunk with a temper at times.  Still dealing with the whole back from the war issues too.  Not a great read but good story, makes you kind of step back in time & see how it was from a perspective that I didn't really think much about before.  Liked it a lot for that.  Also by end seems like he has his life going good, can see some personal growth in him and also looks like for his career too.

There are 5 WL for this so like before I will be putting into PBS at some point but don't really need the credits now so no hurry to do so.

Twelve Days--#4 finished

This is the next in Alex Berenson's John Wells series, good series and good book.  Wells is an ex-CIA operative that still basically operates as a CIA operative.  Ex-CIA longtime leader and a lifer inside CIA continue to use him for investigation & way beyond other stuff when needed.  I forget the name of the book before this but basically the two books ran back to back--same cast of characters & same bad guys, just split into two books.  Super rich guy that is also Jewish & pro-Israel hires a lady to run operations to slow down Iran's nuclear operation.  When realize actions taken haven't really slowed it down, run a false flag(I think that is right) operation where Iran is blamed in trying to get nuclear uranium to the US.  This causes US President to set deadline for Iran to open up their facilities or face war with the US, of course Iran refuses.  Right before deadline, Wells able to uncover plot & get evidence to US President to stop the war.  Fun quick type read.  While all that happens is possible I guess, the luck for it to happen that way in every circumstance is pretty far out there but suspend some reality & hope back story isn't really happening & just kind of enjoy the what if of the book.

There are 47 WL for it so at some point I will put it back out on PBS.  My credits are okay so no big rush to do so now.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Glass Castle--#3 finished

What a crazy life the author lived.  Her parents were the non-traditional type.  Never really settling down & never really with steady jobs or incomes.  The would stay in some small run down place & when bills or life caught up they were sneak out at night & leave to their next destination.  The author was the 2nd oldest child and recounts this life.  Their mom's mom passed away & left them a home in Phoenix that they stayed at for a while but again no jobs and no money eventually fell into disrepair & they up & moved to West Virginia where his mom was at with some extended family.  To a small town coal community.  Lots of poor here but their family sunk to the even lower end.  Dad a drunk & just got worse in WV.  As high school ended for oldest she moved to New York city & then after junior year in high school author & younger brother moved too.  Eventually youngest child moved & went to high school in NY too.  Parents came but kept their nomadic lifestyle, eventually putting them on the street where they wanted to stay.  Kids kept growing up, author went to college & writing at magazines, oldest an artist and brother a police officer.  Parents & youngest still basically checked out on life--youngest real issues & moves completely away from family to CA.  Parents were squatters in abandon building.  Just craziness all through for their parents but still amazing that 3 out of 4 children became normal adults.

Good book, I have posted it on PBS.  I think there are 11 copies ahead of it so probably not moving soon though.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Strange Pilgrims--#2 finished

This is a short story book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Good stories about Latin Americans in Europe. Stories are very good, characters don't seem as sharp as some other short story books I have read.  But the stories themselves are just good stories, they don't rely of the built up angst and raw emotions that some of the other short story authors depended upon.  Good stuff, really enjoyed.

I will be posting it on PBS, I think there are 2 or 3 WL for it so should move once I decide to post.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Q is for Quarry--#1 finished

The next in Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series.  I think I say about the same thing for each of these--another good book in this series.  Good story and just fun detective work.  This time it is based off a true story of an unidentified girl's body, that is true and some details but most of the story is author's story.  She used this as a way to further publicize this crime in hopes of at least identifying the body and  then solving the case.  I will have to wikipedia it to see what ever happened with this.  As far as the story, Kinsey works with one mostly retired detective that is going back over cold case files and with another detective with health issues and I can't remember but don't think full-time--either part-time or maybe on medical leave.  I enjoyed it & will have to keep pushing this series to get caught up with it.

I am keeping my books in this series and this book is a used library with stains & pages were stuck together so not postable on PBS anyway.

First book finished of the year, yeah.