Saturday, December 30, 2017

501 Minutes to Christ--#70 finished

Like the one before, I picked these two books because I wanted to finish before the end of the year to get to 70 read.  What a difference, just good true writing, not just crap to sell to readers looking for mindless entertainment.  Real life and real emotions going on in the author's personal essays but there is also humor and fun here too.  I really enjoy this author and have a few of his other books that I need to read.  This was the 2nd time through on this book and I am glad I did because it reminded me of what I really like about the author.  I will need to try to lean this way more and stay away from that other crap.

This is one of my keepers so back on the shelf for it to stay.

The Beach House--#69 finished

This is a James Patterson book and older one from early 2000s.  A Hampton's murder mystery with the rich & how powered vs a poor Irish family and friends.  A quick read but really not very good.  Action & bad guys get whats coming in the end but all characters sort of suck.  Like I said it was a quick read & that is what I was looking for to get to 70 books read for the year.

Book in too bad of shape & too many copies on PBS so this is going in my give a way pile.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Hologram for the King--#68 finished

A good read, a mid fifties guy struggling with career, family and basically life in general.  He was a higher up in Schwin Bicycles and when that went away has been a consultant.  Life as consultant started good with all his contacts but has now dried up.  Owing money everywhere, crazy ex-wife and a daughter going to Ivy league school, well he is basically broke.  Does have a job going to Saudi Arabia to be part of a team selling IT software & hardware to cover a complete complex/city being built.  Meets interesting people there.  Probably best part of book is how he looks back on his life and the decisions he has made.  He is still not comfortable in everything but is trying to carve out a new sense of self and by end it seems like he has done so even though deal falls through.  Just a good read that makes you think & I am getting close to the age of the main character too.

I will post on PBS at some point, I think there are 9 WL for it.

Invasion of Privacy--#67 finished

FBI guy was killed and an obvious coverup is done.  Wife becomes upset & an obvious attempt to stifle her & any investigation happens.  A drunken reporter will little work finds out about coverup and he is fired and also is threatened to stop looking into this.  I am sorry, just too much here that it would have to come out.  Wife & reporter team up & the teenage daughter that is also a hacker works it from another angle.  In the end the evil corporate CEO dude is taken down.  After a slow start at least quick paced action brought the book to an end.  Didn't really like but overall wasn't terrible just story had too many "really, no one else sees this" moments.

I have already posted it on PBS, there were zero copies and it has been requested.  If post office isn't crazy busy today, it will go out.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Bro Code--#66 finished

I found this book at a resale shop & figured why not.  I liked the shop How I Met Your Mother but it probably lasted a couple seasons too long.  The Bro Code stuff was kind of funny & the book was 50 cents so grabbed it.  It has it's funny parts & is a super quick read, finished same day bought.  A few laughs.  With the whole sexual assault issue in the news this book might not be the most appropriate book anymore though.  Not a bad way to spend 50 cents though.

I checked PBS & there are 5 copies in system so no reason to add another one.  I will just give this book away.

The Statues That Walked--#65 finished

Good read about researchers and Easter Island.  I did a book report back in high school, maybe junior high about Easter Island.  I think it was mostly repeats from the Thor Hyerdall book Kon-Tiki if I remember right that talked about Easter Island.  I have always been interested in obviously the statues and the just plain old how remote this island is from everywhere else.  These researchers I think have hit on a couple things.  First, the statues walked, in other words were rocked back & forth while moving forward from the quarry to where they were setup.  These are some huge & heavy statues and it was always kind of a mystery how they were moved and it sounds like the authors have it figured out.

Then probably the main question for me was why did they stop making the statues?  The authors have figured it was because of the European visitors.  Suddenly the people of the island wanted the items, hats, trinkets, etc that received or stole from the sailors and there was also the likely diseases from these visits that killed off much of the population.  Because the visits were years and years apart and usually of short duration, only a couple days, European sailors were not likely to notice or determine this.  It is really a sad history for the island once the visitors came.

Not sure I will ever actually travel to the island, that is probably a long & expensive plane ticket--need to win a lottery first but still just interesting to think about.

I think there are 3 WL for the book in PBS, I will probably post & send off at some point but in no hurry right now, have plenty of credits & other books to move first.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Heat--#64 finished

The rest of the title is Adventures in the World's Fiery Places.  Overall a good read that starts talking about Death Valley & wildfires that happen out west in CA and travels to different areas dealing with heat.  The Netherlands for peat that was burned.  Alaska that talked about whaling and then later nuclear & hydrogen bombs where an inventor wanted to use a hydrogen bomb for commercial purposes, very scary but also mentions done lots of times in Russia.  Looked at volcanos in Hawaii too.  Only criticism I had is that he also brought into it fire walking, where he talks about this throughout and at end does it.  To me the other stuff was good and interesting, the fire walking just don't get it, oh well.  Still overall a good read.

I will post on PBS, probably pretty soon since only 1 WL for it.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Me Talk Pretty One Day--63 finished

A mostly funny read with short stories/memories, etc from the author's life.  Some seem just too far out there to qualify as completely true, I am guessing exaggerated for entertainment purposes but that is kind of what makes it enjoyable.  The stories toward the end are the more recent in life & seem to be little more reality but still author's thoughts & how sees things are funny too.  Good read.

Not sure at this point if will keep or maybe go to donate pile.  If I remember correctly there are enough copies already on PBS.  I finished this before Thanksgiving but just getting around to it now to logging in for the month.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Chinese Takeout--#62 finished

I really enjoyed this book.  A struggling artist in New York City so you get to read about the whole art scene in NYC as well as living out of his van and all the odd things that seem to go along with all this.  Also some of what inspires his art.  You realize that he really does have a gift and seems to realize that he needs to work at this as well.  The older artist that sublet his studio to him for a few months seems to have provided some of a wake up call to the younger artist--stop living out of your van and become a serious artist, also implied I think is to stop wasting your time selling books to make a few dollars.  The time wasted doing that should be put to his craft.  It seems like by the end he has come to realize this but you as the reader get to take it from there.

There are no copies in PBS so I will post the book and I would expect it to be requested at some point.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Second Life--#61 finished

I really just didn't like this book.  Didn't like the characters and really couldn't get into the whole who did it thing with the murder of her sister.  Julia, the main character, is married but couldn't have kids but adopted her crazy younger sister's son when he was a baby & has basically raised him as her own.  He is aware that Kate, the sister, is his mom, he is like 15 or 16--something like that.  Kate lives in Paris while Julia & family are in London.  Kate is murdered and Julia is stunned and then crazy sensitive to any kind of mention of this.  Also Julia gets online the same dating site that Kate was using.  Julia meets a guy & while investigating has an affair.  Affair goes bad in many was along with Julia's life, etc, etc.  Sorry, just don't like Julia at all so that means I don't like this book.

I will be posting it soon on PBS, I think there was like 44 WL for it.  I will be glad to mail it off & get it out of my house, really has been a while since I disliked a book this much.  I almost stopped reading it several times but just pushed through for some reason and now will be glad when it is gone.

The Hardest Working Man--#60 finished

The rest of the title is:  How James Brown Saved the Soul of America.  The book looks at the life of James Brown but it starts out with how after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, one day later James Brown did his scheduled concert in Boston and allowed them to televise it & play to the local audience too.  This was done in order that people could stay home & enjoy the concert & also for a healing affect after MLK's death.  There was rioting in other cities but in Boston it wasn't nearly as violent.  Boston was also one of MLK's towns, going to school there & meeting his wife there.  An interesting read about this concert and about James Brown the person.  I am not a big fan of his music but also had no idea of it either since was before my time and a style wasn't really into either.

There is 1 WL for it but there is a crack in the spine enough that probably shouldn't post on PBS.  This will go into my give away books.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Positively Fifth Street--#59 finished

The author goes to Las Vegas to cover women in poker during the 2000 World Series of Poker and takes his advance on the article and wins a satellite into the World Series of Poker main event.  Also while this is going on Ted Binion murder trial is happening in the court house there.  The Binion family that owns the Horseshoe Casino where the WSOP was happening.  This is his story of not only covering the events and people but also his participation in the WSOP.  The author makes the final table & comes in 5th place.  A good read with lots about poker and Las Vegas.

There are already like 5 or maybe 7 copies on system at PBS so probably not posting it there but this might be one that is handed off to others that I know like poker instead.  This book was finished in October but just now getting around to log in.  October was a busy month for my reading this year.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Tight Lie--#58 finished

A middle of the pack golf pro with an interesting history.  Father is ex-policeman and brother is an paralyzed FBI guy still going through rehab.  Huck the main character golf pro is also a lawyer that doesn't practice and also has his private investigators license.  A friend of his who also happens to be the best & richest baseball player is accused of murder of at least one & maybe two girls.  Kind of a mess of an investigation but it keeps moving & has some action.  Not a bad read.

I am not sure if I will post or not, is in a little rough shape but still postable so probably will get it on PBS, there are no copies in system.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pursuit: The Chase, Capture, Persecution and Surprising Release of Jefferson Davis--#57 finished

Well the title pretty much tells you what this is all about.  The Civil War was a tough but interesting time in our country and Jefferson Davis was certainly an interesting character.  Other than him being the President of the Confederacy I really didn't know much about him.  This book filled in some of the gaps and gives you a feel for not only what he was like but how he was perceived by the North especially after his capture.

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

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Free--#56 finished

I have read 2 books by this author, Willy Vlautin now & have really enjoyed both books.  Just really transports you the reader into the heartache & struggles of his characters.  Not a whole lot positive feelings going on in the book so that made it hard to get through at times.  Doesn't spell out endings either but generally leave this one with a feeling that things will get better for most but still a life it tough and nothing is promised to you thoughts still run in the background.

There is 1 WL for this book and I will probably post it & mail off if accepted but not sure yet.  I liked other book read, Northline & mailed it off and sort of regret it.  I have ordered another book of his in PBS so hopefully it comes in & I can continue working through his books.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

MARTians--#55 finished

A different sort of book.  The world has kind of gone to hell but not in a zombie or world wide disease kind of way.  The book never really lets you know what is happening to everyone, just a girl that is suddenly graduated out of school years early and the people that she joins up with.  Everyone graduates in order for the government to save money and further reduce taxes.  The girl, Zoe is a lucky one in that she is able to get a job--more of a very low paid internship at a Walmart type place.  She is very much in the have not situation but it sounds like there could be some haves too but they are never really talked about or discussed.  Just the bleak life & future of Zoe and friends.  The book ends with things going to more heck and her and the boy she likes driving off to their future somewhere.  Lots of funny and sometimes seeming too much real things going on in this short book.  A very good read.

There are 2 WL for it and while I really liked it, I don't see it as a keeper.  Will be better off being mailed off to someone else to enjoy.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

When Race Becomes Real: Black and White Writers Confront Their Personal Histories--#54 finished

This is a good read that makes you think.  It was put together in 2002 and it seems a lot has happened in the time since then.  We have had our first black President and lately have had protests about police actions against African Americans.  Reading this book and their insights I kept wondering what they would say today and I imagine a lot of the same things they were saying then.  Our new President and  the campaign brought racial issues back in front but instead of blacks as the focus it was hispanics.  Racial politics continues on.  It is the personal relationships where change needs to occur and it probably is in many areas.  A good read.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy but not sure if it will move or not.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Prisoner--#53 finished

This is the next in the author's John Wells series.  A former CIA guy that still does CIA stuff.  This time gets a tip that terrorists have something big coming up.  He gets put into jail with terrorists--being a former inside guy in AQ he can fit in with the ISIS types now.  Gets the info & finds ways to stop the worst of the bad stuff.  Good read and nice continuation of the series, other books were better I think but nice to see this series continue.

There are like 20 something WL for it so I will mail it off at some point.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Hollow Man--#52 finished

This book had been on my shelf for years, it is a mass market paperback with small writing so those usually do get picked to be read first unless there is something grabbing me about the book.  I think the only reason I had the book was because a hospital room in St Louis was mentioned on the back cover.  Well it is almost too bad because I really didn't like this book.  What started as an interesting idea, a professor can read, in his head, what other people are thinking.  His wife is the same & together can communicate with each other without talking.  She dies of cancer & he goes off the deep end.  Then for just really no reasons at all, he burns down the house, goes to nowhere Florida, meets up with a mafia guy disposing of a body, gets away, becomes homeless in Denver, beats someone up, goes west & does work on a ranch until the crazy lady owner with steel fake teeth and a desire to kill people & freeze them tries to catch him.  Then he stumbles into Vegas, wins a bunch of money & gets kidnapped by mafia guy.  What should have been a decent story was just destroyed by all that crap in the middle.  Then the end he gets sucked into the thoughts of a death, blind & dumb kid in St Louis where he can hang with his wife.  Just terrible.  Maybe I am a bad judge but this was not it for me, not even close.

I was thinking about posting on PBS but there are already 6 copies and just no reason to do so.  I will put this in my give-away pile.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Plain Sense of Things--#51 finished

What a great read, really enjoyed this book and will be on my keeper shelf.  She loosely follows a family through generations in the far Western part of Nebraska.  Talks about the tough life of the plains and you get a sense of the desolation that is around the people living there.  I really enjoyed how you as the reader get to really know & understand the characters but only to a degree, there is much left unsaid about the people as well.  Really good and very mature read, one of my favorites of the year.

This is a keeper for me.  I think there is one copy on PBS so no need to add this one to it.

The Mirrored World--#50 finished

A story of a not all that well to do family of nobility in St Petersburg.  An extended family where they have to try to marry off the girls & succeed with 2 of the 3, the 3rd marrying when much older and rest of family mostly out of picture.  Story talks about the struggles of their position as well as the every day struggles of life at that time.  Xenia the middle daughter had married with love to a well respected & liked singer but after struggling to have a baby & then losing the baby after a few months, Xenia slips into remorseful state.  Her husband then dies & well she goes off the deep end and thought dead only to be found living on the street in a poor part of town as a kind of holy fool.  The last daughter married an Italian singer eunuch and after he died is when she found Xenia but could not control or change Xenia.  A good story with interesting characters and an interesting insight into a possible life at that time.

There are 6 WL for this book so will probably post & mail at some point.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Degrees Kelvin--#49 finished

A book about William Thomson a physicist in the 1800s that was renown world wide for his work in electricity and much else.  A great mind and interesting character that was involved in science and new technologies during his time.  He later became Lord Kelvin appointed this by the Queen of England.  I am not a science guy so much of the technical in & outs of the book were not up my alley but really still can appreciate the work the scientists did at the time with the limited resources in comparison to today.

I have already posted it on PBS & should be mailing off later this week, there was 1 WL for it so figured I should move it quick.

The Visible Man--#48 finished

A man develops a kind of cloaking outfit where he can be in a room and basically not be seen.  The book is about him discussing this with a counselor and the counselor's notes & transcripts are becoming a book for the counselor.  Interesting idea and can see where there is probably some research going into this area.  As far as the characters and the book, well not so much.  I have liked other things I have read by the author but this one just wasn't for me.  I didn't like the characters, I didn't believe the actions of the characters so basically didn't by into or like the book.

There are I think 11 WL for it so I will gladly mail it off to someone else & maybe they will enjoy it.

Friday, September 8, 2017

U is for Undertow--#47 finished

This is the next in the Kinsey Millhone series.  I do enjoy this series & this was a good continuation of it.  A little bit of a journey back in time with some hippies and drug dealing in the '70s that led to a kidnapping for money and a dead little girl.  Kinsey does the leg work & figures it out.  Also she is learning new things about her relatives & them trying to connect with her when she was growing up.  Fun series and while I want to keep pushing ahead & read them, it will be a little sad once it is done too.

These are all on my keeper shelf at this point.  Might have to re-read them and/or I have been trying to get others to read them.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!--46 finished

This is a kind of autobiography by Bob Newhart, not too in depth but touches on the points of his life and his career in comedy.  I have always liked his TV shows and enjoy that he still making appearances on Big Bang Theory.  He touches on some of his stand routines from early '60s but reading them I am sure isn't the same as seeing or even hearing them.  I didn't know that his comedy routines sold that well on albums.  Good read.

I will post it on PBS, there are like 9 copies already in system so might take a while before it moves.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pig Candy--#45 finished

This is a memoir by Lise Funderburg about her father's life written and much of the focus about his last couple of years of life fighting cancer.  His dad born in 1926, grew up as a black child in small town Georgia.  His dad was a doctor there but this was still the time of Jim Crow laws & the KKK.  She includes stories of her grandfather & her dad growing up.  Her dad ended up in Philly where he met & married his mom, a white lady.  The marriage only lasted around a dozen years & they had 3 girls.  Her dad became a very successful businessman in real estate and she doesn't go much into their relationship from divorce on to recent.  Her dad is fighting a losing battle against prostate cancer and she goes into all the doctor appointments that also include heart issues and infections.  Her dad also has bought a plot of land back in Georgia in the town he grew up and wants to spend much of his time there and the people from there he knows.  Good read with lots of interesting perspectives on life.

I will post it on PBS, there are no copies in system so expect it to move at some point.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind--#44 finished

A very good & interesting read about a young teenage boy in Malawi that builds a windmill so he could have electricity for his house.  The book talks about life there in a small rural farming town and how a famine hits the whole country.  This famine causes his family to go from maintaining a reasonable life to struggling to survive.  His parents seem to be intelligent to find ways to make it through even though there is barely any food for the family.  They survive while many thousands others throughout the country starve to death.  Because of this famine and all their money going for food, they cannot pay to keep their son William in school.  William wanting an education starts going to a local library and checking out books and especially likes science books.  Reading about building a windmill, he goes in search of parts in a local dumping area for large items like trucks, tractors, etc that are just wore out as well as trading for needed items, he is able to construct his windmill.  It produces electricity and does so for awhile before it gains the attention of people like radio and newspapers.  From there he gets to go to a TED group in Africa and gains a mentor that also fundraises for him and helps him get into schools to continue his education.  I have not checked online yet to see what has become of him since, that is next.

I will post this on PBS at some point, I think there are 8 or maybe 11 WL for it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Death Comes For the Archbishop--#43 finished

This is a re-reading of a book that I have listed as one of my favorites.  I had to check back on my lists & found that I first read this in 2004 and hadn't read it since.  I can see why it is a favorite, Cather really puts you into New Mexico/Arizona land just being touched by Europeans/Americans.  You get a real sense of the natives and the Mexicans and especially the land.  The story weaves around the archbishop and his close companion priest, both grew up in Seminary together and traveled to new world and worked in OH before being reassigned to New Mexico.  Just a really good read and example of why Cather's writings have endured.

This is a keeper for me so won't be going away.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cathedral--#42 finished

A short story book by Raymond Carver.  The back of the book reviews sounded good so had it on my PBS WL and read it shortly after it arrived.  Published in the early '80s the stories seem from a time of the '70s.  Good stories some interesting characters but no real wow for me.

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Keeper--#41 finished

This was supposed to be a kind of scary book about a screwed up small town in Maine.  Screwed up town-yes, people living screwed up lives-yes, scary well not really.  I just couldn't buy into that a good looking young lady that was abused by her dad became an evil thing that brought alive the ghosts of this dying small town.  People have secrets, small towns have a history of secrets, okay but it basically ends there for me.  Not scary but more like why aren't the people there more helpful and nice and get this young lady help instead of abandoning her to become the town whore.

I had this mass market paperback for a while & needed a book to carry around places & it fit the bill. Wasn't all that entertaining but can now at least give it away.  There are only a few copies on PBS but it is not in that great of shape so it will just go to my give away pile.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

November 22, 1963--#40 finished

This is the date that President Robert Kennedy was shot.  The author Adam Braver mixes fact & his fiction or ideas into some of what happened that day from the perspective of Jackie Kennedy.  A really good read with interesting insights into some of the people surrounding the day--Abe Zapruder and his film, a hearse driver that shared a smoke with Jackie in the hospital, the mechanic that had to start cleanup & repairs on the limo afterwards, just interesting things.  I have not paid much attention to his assassination simply because it seems so many others have and the level of detail and opinions is just too much to really get a grasp on.  This was a good read with good info and also gets into what the feelings and emotions Jackie was going through.

There were 2 WL for it & I already posted it & will be mailing it off probably tomorrow.

Monday, July 31, 2017

All My Puny Sorrows--#39 finished

A really good read with humor and tragedy mixed in with a good story.  Two daughters raised in a Memonite family in Canada with their mom are the main characters in the novel.  The older & extremely talented pianist also is in the hospital for trying kill herself.  The struggle of the family trying to save her & also come to grips with this reality make this both a torture and a coming together for them.  Lots of good side characters and scenes in the book too.  Just a good read all around.

I will be posting it on PBS at some point, I think there are 30 or maybe 40 WL for it.  This makes 9 books read in July, a very good month for me.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Faith and Betrayal--#39 finished

The author researched a long ago relative that was very well to do in England in the 1850s that decided to leave England behind and join the Mormans in Utah.  The book talked about the missionaries that converted people in Europe and the trip they had to take to get to America and then to get to Council Bluffs, IA before starting off on the Morman trail.  Because Jean Rio was well to do she was able to avoid some hardships--like able to buy additional oxen or cattle when they died.  But the book does a very good job explaining those hardships all around.  Jean traveled with her children and extended family, her husband had died the year before the trip.  Once getting to Utah though things were not as she expected either.  The book discusses much of what was going on with Brigham Young, the plural marriages, that women only able to attain heaven by being attached to a husband, having to give most of her material items she brought with her to the Mormans and being only given a rough house.  Much of this book came from a diary Jean Rio wrote about the travels but once in Utah the diary ends, the author speculates that because of the Morman problems that Jean didn't want to put anything in writing.  Eventually two of her sons leave & move to California but a son & daughter stay.  Jean does leave to California once transcontinental train opens and by then there was more freedom of movement.  A very good read about the people and the time.

I have posted this on PBS, there were 2 WL for it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Room For Improvement--#37 finished

Writer John Casey put together this book with articles or notes about his lifelong sports.  Mostly rowing with some skiing & running in there too.  Also some stuff on survival camps and boating camps he attended.  Certainly sounds like an interesting life and a love of these sports that helped keep him in shape & going.  Was well into his 70s and going strong at the end of the book.  Nothing really exciting & since I hadn't read anything by him have no real attachment to the stories or book.

I will post on PBS, there are zero copies in system so could go I guess at some point.

The Eternity Cure--#36 finished

The 2nd in a 3 book series about a young lady that becomes a vampire.  The world is a big mess, vampires rule, some humans help the vampires and some are fringe sorts.  Also many humans have become zombie like things called Rabids which basically over run large areas.  In first book Allie was turned into vampire & taught some stuff by mentor and then she got separated & helped a group of humans reach a place called Eden where humans would be safe.  She kept her vampireness hidden from the most of the way & helped but they found out and book ended with her being separated from them.  Zeke was leader's son that she kind of liked but the whole vampire human thing was/is problem.  Well this book she is looking for mentor who was kidnapped by evil vampire guy that also turns another disease loose on humans hurting the blood supply/food for vampires.  She meets up with evil brother--same mentor turned them both, and they are eventually joined by Zeke who came to look for Allie.  They find a cure for new disease but Zeke is caught by crazy evil vampire, that is where 3rd book going.  Good series as far as these vampire world to hell books go.

My oldest read the first & will probably read this one too so holding it at least until then.  Still have first in series too.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

How the States Got Their Shapes--#35 finished

As the title reads that is what this book is all about.  Lots of good information and details.  A little boring stuff mostly with a few interesting stories.  I was hoping for more of the interesting stories but it is what the material is.  It became repetitive at times because each border was discussed for each state and with 4 borders mostly for each state, heard the same basic story each time.

I will be posting it on PBS, I think there are 4 WL for it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Basque History of the World--#34 finished

I have a friend that is part Basque so I knew a little about the Basques before reading the book but lots of interesting information in here.  It reads a little like a history book at times especially with leading up to the Spanish Civil War and then during the time under Franco.  Interesting people that is divided up into provinces in France & Spain.  The Spanish provinces have been very successful throughout history it seems.  They were leaders of shipping and fishing, iron production and trade.  It is sad that other than a very short time the Basque have not been their own country.  Maybe some day it will happen, who knows what will happen in Europe these next 20 years.

There are a couple WL for this book but not sure if I will mail it off, I may keep it.  I like this author a lot, his books are full of interesting facts & information about various topics.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Big Law--#33 finished

Good lawyer story about a "Big Law" firm where the head of firm is making some questionable decisions in order to improve bottom line for an IPO he was setting up.  This would allow him to then cash out on the stock & rake in bunches of money before these questionable cases flopped or maybe hit, either way he would be gone.  Story told from perspective of a lower level partner that was heading one of these questionable ones--that was probably the worst of the bunch.  It was a case that a competitor had set them up on.  Of course the partner also had shitty things going on in his personal life too.  He comes out in the end.  A good quick read.

There are around 4 WL for the book so I will be posting it at some point probably soon but have enough credits right now so not posting right away.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Whiteout--#32 finished

I hadn't read a Ken Follett book in a while and it was a good read.  A major drug company in Scotland is robbed of their version of the ebola virus that they are working on a vaccine.  Story revolves around the founder of company & his family and everyone getting together at Christmas.  The son who was fired from drug company before is now the inside guy for the robbers.  The tough security chief is also a hot middle age woman that ends up with the founder who is a widow.  Oh well, had good reviews but was just okay for me.

It was a mass market paperback that I took on vacation and mostly read there.  Already too many copies on PBS so I will put it on my donate away pile.

Monday, July 3, 2017

How I Became a Famous Novelist--#31 finished

A 20 something smart guy with good writing skills, is jolted when his ex-girlfriend becomes engaged.   She was a slacker like him in college, at least that is what he thought, but she dumped him and became something and got engaged.  He also loses his job at this time too.  He decides he wants to write a bestseller just so he can show up at the wedding as a success to lord over the ex.  He finds a formula that many bestsellers have & starts writing.  His friend Lucy from college is a really good character that works at a big publishing house & gets his book sold and she edits it for him.  Book starts slow but seems to find a niche and continues, press takes it on slowly.  Good stuff with traveling to a book expo and a small college to read for students.  He knows he sold out on his story & believes the other writers do too.  He gets it handed to him in a debate with a writer he thought was a fraud.  He then opens up & explains in TV interview that he just wrote what people wanted--didn't agonize over writing or put his heart into it.  More controversy sells more books.  Basically a funny story with I am sure a lot of truth to it as well.

There are 2 WL for this book and I will probably post this soon to get it moving along.

Friday, June 23, 2017

100 Vegetables and Where They Came From--#30 finished

A different kind of book for me.  Author sounds like an exceptional gardener and historian.  Does a 2-3 page write up on 100 different vegetables with info on where came from and how developed and then also gets into how to be prepare the vegetable, including how has been used in history.  I am not that much of a foodie but was still a fun read.

There are WL for the book but I might be handing it off first because lots of good information in it.

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced--#29 finished

True story of a 10 year old girl that was married off in Yemen.  She was raped and beaten by her much older husband and was able to find her way to the courthouse in a major city and find help.  There after a few weeks where husband and father were in jail for this crime, she obtained her divorce but the men were freed with basically no charges.  Book ends with promise of hope in that family has a newer apartment and Nujood there to protect her younger sister and they have arrangements to continue schooling.  At one point in the book it mentions female illiteracy at 80%.  I avoided checking wikipedia on her until now and sounds like dad has basically stolen her money force her out of the house and has married off the younger sister.  With the fighting in Yemen at least glad that she is alive but damn that is screwed up.

There are copies already in PBS so I will be handing it off or donating it away.

Back Blast--#28 finished

This is the next in the Gray Man series.  A kind of Bourne like series, an ex-assassin for US that was deep inside, had been put on the terminate list by the US.  Shot on sight orders and the last few books about how he has been staying alive and taking contracts to take out bad guys.  This is the one where he wants to find out why he was put on the terminate list.  He gets back into the US and is around DC and trouble start happening.  Interesting stuff and sort of enjoyable if you suspend enough reality to let it happen.  Certainly all things possible but the timing and abilities are just too far out there at times.  Still fun book & fun series.

I will post back on PBS at some point, there are 20 WL for book now so have some time on this.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The 14th Colony--finished #27

The next in Steve Berry's Cotton Malone series.  New president coming into office & the Magellan Billet is being scraped.  Cotton gets sent on one last mission to check into what an ex-KGB officer is up to at the request of the Russians.  Uncovers a leftover Cold War plot that the ex-KGB is starting back up with a suitcase nuc in the US.  Same as most of them, fast paced and interesting.  Couple twists and timing is just too perfect to believe but reading for entertainment so just have to go with it & enjoy.  New president keeps the Magellan Billet up and running after this so the series will continue.

I will be posting it on PBS probably pretty soon.  Still 17 WL for it but it is a mass media paperback so they move faster than other copies.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Cassandra Complex--#26 finished

A sci-fi book about the no to far away future--maybe 30-40 years away.  Book was written around 2000 and is a branch off the author's series I guess.  I haven't read the series, this is first book I read by author.  A good read with interesting takes on what the future may hold and certainly seems possible in ways.  A kidnapping and police work to track this all down, interesting read.  Glad I read this but didn't wow me and I know there is a lot of sci-fi out there that I should probably get on reading more.

This is an ex-library copy that shows its wear so can't post it on PBS.  It will start my new give away pile since I just took a box of books to a local nursing home.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Capital City--#25 finished

This is from NE author Mari Sandoz.  She wrote this back in the '30s with the depression going on and was basically an attach on Lincoln, NE where she was living and working at university at the time.  She does attack the moneyed and the movers and shakers as not helping out the poor or working class.  As far as reading though, was slow and a lot of similar names so confusion about which person and what was going on was a problem.  Because it was tough to get started, this book took probably took me almost 2 months to finish.  Glad I read it, I have really liked other books by Mari Sandoz but this one not so much.

Mari Sandoz books are keepers for me so I will be keeping it at least for now.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fur, Fortune and Empire--#24 finished

A good read about the fur trade in mostly American, only some about Canada from when first settled by Europeans till the late 1800s.  Lots about the beavers, the animal that was probably the reason for the whole trade starting off.  Interesting how the fur trappers just continued across the whole country and once beaver wasn't as important & almost gone then buffalo became the next big thing that was hunted or more like harvested to near extinction.  Interesting read with the sad parts about the killing of the animals and the pushing the Indians off the lands too.  Also interesting about how the mountain men helped grow our country from coast to coast.  Good read.

I will be posting it on PBS at some point, I think there are like 14 or maybe 10 WL for it so it will move once I decide to post it.

Monday, May 8, 2017

War Hawk--#23 finished

This is the next in a branch off of the Sigma series by James Rollins.  This is the Tucker Wayne branch where he is ex-military with an ex-military dog Kane.  He is sort of getting pulled toward Sigma and they assisted him some in this but still mostly his doing.  High powered media type wanting more and more, basically starts wars with drones and false media reports.  Researchers that did some of the work disappeared/killed off, one got away & she of course knew Tucker and pulls him into checking on others.  He gets involved and in the end stops a war before it gets too big.  Some of it is probably too close to reality but I just have a hard time believing that as many people are killed as book hints at without someone talking and giving all this away.  Not a bad read but I think I like the regular Sigma series better but will keep at this one too.

I have already posted it on PBS, there were like 9 WL only so wanted to make sure got posted & mailed off soon.  That is also part of the reason I choose this book to read a few weeks back.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry--#22 finished

A really good read with some tragedy and lots of hopefulness thrown together.  Life around a bookstore on a small summer tourist island in MA.  I really liked the characters in book and enjoyed how AJ grew into his life and embraced the town & the people there.  I liked the relationship of a bookstore and the publisher that was talked about--something I hadn't really thought about before.  I liked the relationship between AJ & the people around him including his wife Amy.  Just a good read.

For this paperback version there is 0 WL but there are several WL for hardback versions, I am pretty sure it will get requested once I post it which will probably be pretty soon.

Some Rain Must Fall--#21 finished

A short story book with good characters and interesting happenings.  The author is from Australia and  stories had British characters, nice change from reading about people from US all the time.  Enjoyed the stories, good short story book.  I finished it a couple days ago but just now getting it written up here.

There is 1 WL for the book so I will post it probably soon to ship it off.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

T is for Trespass--#20 finished

Another good story in the Kinsey Millhone series, this time the crotchety old neighbor takes a fall and breaks a bone.  He needs a nurse to help him out and an imposter and thief is hired on.  Several twists and turns along with an interesting car accident case happen along the way.  Good read and good continuation of the series.

This is part of my keepers this series.  There are already plenty of copies of these books in the PBS system so no reason to add another copy.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Patty Jane's House of Curl--#19 finished

A book about a couple sisters that overcame a tough childhood and then had their own unusual struggles in their lives as well.  Patty Jane's husband disappeared before their first child was born.  Harriet's fiance who was very wealthy, died in a plane crash.  Harriet kind of checks out of life & into a bottle and prostitution.  Eventually she is saved to only develop lung cancer & die.  Somewhere in all this Patty Jane's husband is discovered having a brain injury and living with a crazy woman--crazy woman commits suicide once found out though.  Just a bit too much and characters seem too far out there.  Mixed feelings on the book, not a bad read but just too much crazy not likely stuff going on too.  

I have posted it on PBS, it was the 50th copy of the paperback, I didn't check how many hardback copies but I am sure a bunch there too.  With an interesting title someone ordering something else may throw it in too.  If not might pick off in a couple months & donate away.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Turk & My Mother--#18 finished

Written as a kind of family history that starts before WWI with the family in Hungary.  One son leaves for America with wife left behind expecting.  After war wife & family move to America.  A son left behind had ended up in army and lost in WWI from family.  He eventually ends up on Siberia before returning to Hungary with a wife and family.  Really interesting characters and story.  It is a good read.

There is 1 WL for it on PBS so I will be posting it & hopefully mailing off soon.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Napoleon's Hemorrhoids--#17 finished

Book has a lot of quick what if type items.  Really short write-ups like sometimes only 1 or 2 paragraphs to maybe 2 pages at most.  Fun stuff that lets you think about history in a different way.  I have mentioned some of these to my wife & oldest and both should probably read it, it is quick and enjoyable.

There are 2 WL for it but for now it will stay as a keeper for me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Drone Threat--#16 finished

This is the 4th book in a series and just have feeling the series is done.  Rogue kind of guy that is now a super rich owner of the best drone/security company in the world that is dating a ex-president--female ex-president.  Well the new president that took over when girlfriend resigned, wants to establish some kind of drone position in government and asks him to run it.  Wow, the first few books had some reality fantasy issues, this one makes believing the characters as impossible.  The terrorists threatening the US with drone attacks and all that okay.  A twist at the end is just not believable either.  It was a nice series but I would be hard pressed to keep reading even if there is another one.  This series has just finished it's run for me.  Too many other books out there.

There is 1 WL for this book so I will probably post it soon to get it off my shelf.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hikikomori and the Rental Sister--#15 finished

Really good and interesting read.  Subject was really something different, not your typical story.  A young father's son is killed and he blames himself.  He shuts himself in a room for 3+ years, only sneaking out at night for food & magazines.  His wife is left to live in the rest of the apartment by herself shut off from her husband.  She hires a rental sister, a young Japanese woman that helps bring the husband out of the room.  The relationships are interesting and the stories around them are very good.  Really enjoyed this book.

This is an Advance Reader copy of the book so cannot post on PBS even though that is where I got it, person before me I guess didn't know this.  It will go in my donate away pile.  I think I have enough there to now take to the retirement home I have gone to in the past & see if they want these.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Genesis Secret--#14 finished

Supposed to be an action book, I guess along the Dan Brown DiVinci Code type but I just did see that.  Just never grabbed me and everything seemed forced.  Didn't really like the characters and didn't buy the whole, "if this gets out, all religions would be over" or something like that.  Archaeological dig going on in Turkey/Syria area in Kurdistan, where bad things happen.  Punk rich young men in Great Britain are killing/torturing people there and the stories come together.  I didn't buy that either but in the book sense they did.  Just glad to have finished this one, took too long.  I have had too many stinkers so far this year, may have to re-read a good one from the past to remind me what good books are like.

Can't post this one on PBS, it is an ex-library book with some minor water staining & just other stuff throughout.  It will get donated away.  There were already copies on PBS so I doubt it would have moved anyway.

What Was I Thinking--#13 finished

The rest of the title was 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories.  It was 58 very short write-ups about bad boyfriends or things they did that the woman knew the relationship was over.  A few good ones but mostly not much there. Also just about every writer was West coast or East coast, nothing from mid America except for one that did mention Chicago.  Oh well, read it because thought would be nice light reading filler kind of book for when only had a couple minutes to read here & there and it fit the bill nicely for that.  For actual entertainment, not so much.

I have posted it back on PBS, there is 1 copy ahead of it.  I hope it moves at some point and I would think it will but never know.  I had finished this book a few days ago but just now realized I hadn't logged it in yet.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly--#12 finished

Good read about a doctor in his first year of residency and getting the experience needed to become a real doctor.  Good insight into the stresses, hours and all the details that we expect our doctors to be experts at.  I really like this same author's earlier book about a year he spent in the baseball minor leagues.  While that was probably a funnier book, this was still a very good read because of the insight.

There are 7 WL for this book so I will get it posted & mailed off probably sometime soon.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wish You Well--#11 finished

I have had this book for a few years and at some point in January I needed a mass market type paperback that I could put in a coat pocket and this one was chosen.  A nice story of two young children in 1940 that are in a car accident where their dad dies and mom is left in a catatonic state.  Kids have to leave New York city and are moved to only relative they have, their dad's grandmother living on a mountain farm in Virginia.  The kids learn the rural, simple life that she has been living--no phone, electricity or machinery to run the farm.  A young adult black male, Eugene, also lives on farm after she basically adopted him when young--his dad moved for work & I think died while away, mom always out of picture.  It was a good story with some good characters but ended with a hokey court room scene, oh well.  I guess they wanted some kind of controversy stirred up in the book but just seemed forced.  Oh well still a nice story.

This book was published in 2000 and since mass market paperback there are a few hundred copies of this version alone on PBS system.  No since in adding to that, so this will go in my donate away pile of books.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel--#10 finished

A interesting person that was a few years before my time.  I was too young to remember his big events in the '70s but I do remember seeing him a couple times on TV.  Could have been repeats or maybe the original jumps, don't remember, but he was certainly a fascinating person for a kid.  I never put much thought to him since.  I never had one of his action figures and riding motorcycles wasn't really a thing that I wanted to do.  Reading this book I was introduced to a more realistic Evel Knievel and wow, what a dick.  Really pretty much an all around asshole.  Was a thief and burglar growing up, con-artist and even when he got money, seemed to never pay people that he owed but would blow money on stupid stuff.  Was married with 3 kids, much later a 4th, but bragged about sleeping around whenever he could which as a daredevil in the make love '70s was multiple times a day seemingly.  I had no idea of the person that Evel Knievel was and this makes you kind of realism this was a different time.  Today, it just would not be accepted and with the 24 hour news cycle he would be called out on everything.  He was certainly a person of the times for the '70s.  Good read by the author and really eye opening stuff, unfortunately really can't like the subject after reading this book.

There are 3 WL for the book on PBS so I will mail it off, probably sometime soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Wolves--#9 finished

This was the next in Alex Berenson's John Wells series.  A kind of rogue ex-CIA guy now working on his own and stopped a war between the US & Iran that a billionaire was trying to start so Iran would be weakened and help Israel.  That was the last 2 books.  This one was the wrap up of those, where Wells goes after the billionaire that holed up in Hong Kong.  Good action and good quick read.  I do like the series.  Also nice that the author is aging Wells in that while his abilities are amazing he is noticing he seems to be getting closer to where he has to hang it up.

There are 30 some WL for this so it will get mailed off at some point, probably soon.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour--#8 finished

This is a young adult book and well it shows, at least to me.  It was just too young for me to really enjoy.  Amy's father is killed in a car accident when she is driving and her & her mother & brother all handle it very poorly.  I would think at some point in there someone would have suggested therapy at least for Amy & mom, brother is drug addict and does get into rehab.  All that and mom basically hands off teenage daughter to former neighbor's son to drive vehicle across the country.  Mom becomes upset when they don't follow her driving plan.  Roger is neighbor son and he is college guy with girlfriend issues.  Throw in driving across states & eating a different food joints for a nice topic instead of teenage angst.  Nice story but just don't see the reality in most of it, oh well.  It was supposed to be a light entertainment book and I guess it qualifies, just not my cup of tea.

There are plenty of WL for it, in the 30s maybe 40s of them so I will post at some point & send it off.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Last Talk with Lola Faye--#7 finished

Found this book at sale at the library and it mentioned it happened in St Louis so figured I should pick it up.  St Louis was just background on this, could have picked any of hundreds of cities to fit the bill, no problem though.  An interesting read, basically one conversation with a now college professor that grew up in the South & fought to get away, to get an education and a lady from that small town that was intertwined with his father at the time.  Story was long but with enough twists that it made me want to keep on it to see how it would end.  A different style book than most others so enjoyed it for that, being different.

I have posted it on PBS, there are 5 WL for it but there are also paperback copies available so not sure if these are real WL or not.  With PBS going to a membership fee a couple years ago some of the WL are basically abandoned accounts and could be dealing with that here.  Oh well posted it will just have to see.

Long for this World--#6 finished

The complete title, The Strange Science of Immortality.  An interesting read about the science of living forever.  Some about the overall if possible and some about the steps that are being done to solve diseases and other things that get us as we get older.  Also looks back some in history about this & theories.  He just touched on the whole should this be done, one line about if immortality is achieved it would also be achieved for dictators, imagine Stalin, Hitler, etc now living forever.  Also of course it would be the rich & power that would get this first and the rest maybe at some point.  Makes for what would be a science fiction novel.  Actually kind of scary and surprised he didn't spend more than a sentence or two on this.  Overall an interesting read.

There are 3 WL for this book so I plan to post it soon & mail off, no reason to keep.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Stalin's Ghost--#5 finished

This is the next in the Martin Cruz Smith Arkady Renko series.  I really enjoy this series.  It is just a clever story/detective with interesting situations and characters all around him.  This one didn't disappoint, was a good read.  Kind of touched on the whole Russia trying to deal with democracy thing running in the background of his story.  The story runs along and there are other things happening in the background or different level, just make the book/series that much more enjoyable.  Need to keep on this series.

This book and series are keepers so won't be posting them on PBS.

World Made by Hand--#4 finished

This is another one of those world gone to hell books/series but unlike others where virus/vampires are released/made, etc, the underlying story about how it got there seems possible, maybe not likely but possible still.  Fuel becomes scarce and people have to learn to live without, then bombs are launched at major cities guessing all around world but at least in the US.  News, radio, TV disappear and a flu outbreak kills off lots of the population.  All this happened before the book starts.  Book is about a small town in upper New York state and how they are getting along.  Throw in a large group of new church types moving into town and some conflicts with neighbors to get things moving.  The main characters start to look around & see where they can make life better and so starts this series.  Really enjoyed the book and look forward to the next books in this series.

There are like 17 or maybe 30 some WL for this book so I will mail it off at some point.  Right now my credit situation is okay so not posting much at this point.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Male of the Species--#3 finished

A short story book with men as the main focus.  Stories of different areas, things going on and all types of men.  Good stuff, just reading this book is a reminder of why I enjoy short stories.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Bone Labyrinth--#2 finished

This is another in James Rollins Sigma Force series.  A kind of extra smart, extra able small force that is put into unusual situations and gets them done.  I enjoy the series even if at times just too much has to be suspended to believe.  Rollins does a nice job of trying to take things that could in some sense be real and weaving a story around them.  Some better than others, this one is kind of in the crazy zone but still entertaining enough.

There are 37 WL for this book so I will be posting it at some point & mailing it off.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hold Tight--#1

Bad things happening to several families all at once that are all connected in some way.  Just too much to buy into it though but at least after a slow start was a good page turner.  Just trying to think about trying to write a short what happened kind of hurts my head, just too much & just can't buy/believe it.  Oh well, this book has been on my shelf for a few years and needed to be read.  Also the author Harlan Coben has written several books so at least wanted to read this to get feel for him.  Not sure I will read anything else though.

Too many copies already on PBS, this will go to my donate pile.