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Author Topic: Reading anything?  (Read 139829 times)
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1335 on: August 18, 2013, 01:59:25 PM »

Ye-es!
Leif G. W. Persson's
Another Time, Another Life
2nd novel

Star Wars Omnibus: the Clone Wars
v.1. The Republic Goes to War

Jussi Adler-Olsen's
The Absent One
2nd in the Department Q series

Star Wars: the Crimson Empire Saga

Thank-you for kids. The problem I have with most of the Star War stories is their lack of characters that interest me. Such as in this one, the only characters I find interesting are the 3 Solo children.

Cynthia Harrad Eagles'
Blood Never Dies
5th in the Bill Slider series
16 more novels

Star Wars Omnibus: the Clone Wars
v.2. The Enemy on All Sides

Ellen Hart'sx
Rest for the Wicked
20th in the Jane Lawless series
At least 6 more novels

Star Wars Omnibus: Tales of the Jedi
v.1.

Louise Penny's
The Beautiful Mystery
7th in the Chief Inspector Gamade series

Star Wars Omnibus: the Clone Wars
v.3. The Republic Falls

The Clone Wars series features comics published between 2004 and 2006 and republished in 2012.

And I now know why so many fanboys and fangirls are high on the Clone Wars. For me, the Star War comics, except for the original series of comics, feature stories that are best readable and at worst unreadable. But, the Clone Wars series features stories that I actually quite enjoyed.

Next time: along the same vein, but with a little more detail and a little less Star Wars.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1336 on: August 23, 2013, 03:39:42 PM »

Ye-es!

I don't know why, but I have a harder time remembering novels written by Scandinavian authors, then I do American or British authors. This is the exception.

Camilla Lackberg's
The Stonecutter

4 generations and 90 years in the life of one Swedish family or
Will the sins of the father be visited upon the children, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren or
Who killed the little girl, then stuffed her mouth with ashes? Was it one of her relations with which she lived? The neighbor who has deep, dark secrets of his own? The neighbor's creepy son? Or someone else?

While pedophilia has become a common thread in mysteries, this is one of the few which attempts to understand why a pedophile does what he does.

Jeanette Keith's
Fever Season : the story of a terrifying Epidemic and the People Who Saved a City
5th non-fiction

Yellow fever had struck Memphis before, but this was the worst one to date, but everyone--blacks and whites, Northerners and Southerners, locals and outsiders, and Catholics, Jews, and Protestants-- put aside their differences to save the city of Memphis.

The problem was, that while there were a number of guesses as to what caused Yellow Fever, all the guesses were wrong. And it be almost a decade later, before the cause was discovered. Thus, if what was done was not harmful, it was mostly useless.

Next time: More of this along the same vein.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1337 on: August 28, 2013, 04:28:04 PM »

Ye-es!

Charles Todd's
An unmarked grave
by the mother and son writing team
4th in the Bess Crawford mystery series

When our heroine discovers the body of a man she knows, then the body disappears, she seeks to find the man's killer. Only to put herself in the sights of a ruthless murderer.

Someone better then the previous one, as the heroine is in danger through most of the book, the suspense factor is ramped up. Still, the way the story is laid out, makes it somewhat hard to follow.

Laura Joh Rowland's
The incense game
16th in the Chancellor Sano series

When a devastating earthquake strikes Tokyo, not all the casualities were caused by the quake. An incense teacher and two of her students are found dead--murdered. Now the students' father is vowing all-out warfare if his daughters' murderer is not caught and punished. But who did it? The teacher's associate? A rival teacher? One of her other students? Or, someone else? And which one of the three was the target?

And to make things more complicated, an old political rival of our hero is back, and the man wants our hero and his whole family destroyed.

Ruth Rendell's
The Vault
22nd in the Inspector Wexford Series
38 more works of fiction

Most books in a series are sequels, but this is a true sequel, as it follows one of the early books in the series, but was published much later.

There were 3 bodies in the abandoned coal chute. Now there are 4. Who are they? Where did they come from? How did they get there? When did they get there? And how were they killed?

Keigo Higashino's
Salvation of a saint
2nd in the Detective Galileo series

Who killed the modern day businessman in Japan? Was it is wife? His business associate? His ex-girlfriend? A business rival? A neighbor? Or was it someone else? And how did the murder occur, when everyone has an ironclad alibi for the time the murder occurred?

A murderer that scares the s**** out of me, as the murderer is so focused on committing the murder.

Peter May's
The Black House
A stand-alone novel, but the author has 2 on-going series

When a murder occurs on an island off the coast of Scotland, one bearing an eerie similiarity to a murder that our hero is investigating on the mainland, he returns to where he was born and raised, and somewhere he vowed he'd never return.

Both an author and a character 3x removed from this world. Scotland, because of its geographic location, and for other reasons, has never really been part of Europe. Then the islands off of Scotland, where even the mainland Scots consider to be isles of backwardness. And then a man who is forced to leave the islands. 3x removed.

Next time: continuing in the same vein in both fiction and non-fiction
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Pacman000
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« Reply #1338 on: August 28, 2013, 05:22:34 PM »

Sloooooooowly working my way through The Lord of the Rings.

I've made it through most of Return of the King.  Only a few more chapters!
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1339 on: September 07, 2013, 04:20:03 PM »

Ye-es!

Jeffrey Toobin's
The Oath :
the Obama White House and the Supreme Court
6th nonfiction book

He dislikes . . .
1. Originalism
2. The Supreme Court from 1835 to 1955, when Chief Justice Earl Warren dragged the Court into the 20th century.
3. Politicaliazation of the current Court.
4. Citizens United

Not his best work, but you'll like
1. His ability to make the most complicated legalese understandable.
2. His fairness to both sides in an issue.

Matthew Westfall's
The Devil's Causeway
An ex-pat. That would never happen in my day.

From the cover, you'd think its a book about WWII in the Philippines, but it's actually a book about an event that happened some 40 years earlier, when the Americans, Filipinos, and Spanish were fighting for control of the Phillippines. For when a Navy boat crew disobeys orders and is captured by Filipino insurgents, the Army is sent in to rescue them. For what would seem such a minor incident, we know alot about the people involved. For example: the Army consisted of 19 officers, 132 enlisted men, and 1 Filipino scout. Their ages ranged from 17 to 48 with an average age of 26. Men who could put their hands to anything, for while most of them were farmers or laborers, their former occupations ranged from attorney to undertaker or "Marry 'em and bury 'em." What is most surprising is the number of foreigners involved: 4 Germans, 3 Irishmen, 2 Swedes, an Austrian, a Canadian, an Englishman, a Hungarian, a Russian, a Scotsman, a Swiss, and a Welshman + 1 Filipino scout or 12% of the total force.

The Navy contingent was even more heavily foreign. Of the 1 officer and 14 enlisted me, whose ages ranged from 44 to 17, with an average age of 26, there was 1 Dutchman, an Englishman, a Frenchman, a German, an Irishman, and a Pole or 40% of the total force.

John Barylick's
Killer Show :
the Station Nightclub Fire, America's Deadliest Rock Concert

Already been a report on this one, which was better than the one I could do, so I won't say much, but do read the legalese behind all this. As the author tells us how we got here legally, and where we are today legally. Unfortunately, he doesn't tell us, where we need to go. Of course, that's not the purview of the book.

Next time: another continuation
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ER
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« Reply #1340 on: September 09, 2013, 06:31:46 PM »

Many, many Little Golden Books.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1341 on: September 14, 2013, 02:11:39 PM »

Ye-es!

Susan Hill's
A Question of Identity
7th in the Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler series
And one of those authoresses who'll turn their hands to anything
18 more fiction books. 2 more nonfiction books, and 3 juvenile books.

Quinrose's and Hoshiro's
Alice in the Country of Hearts

There's old man Gowland and his theme park, which looks alot like Tokyo Disneyland. The queen Veronica who lives with Peter White at the palace. Blood DuPree of the Hatter DuPrees, who lives with Edmund March and the twins Dee and Dum at DuPree Mansion. And then there is the watch repairer who lives alone. And they are all best friends till the moment they all start trying to kill each other. And then Alice drops by for a visit, and things really get weird.

"Off with their heads! Off with their heads!" Probably the best adaptation yet at showing how really bizarre and violent the original one was.

John Barylick's
Killer Show

There has already been a report, at this site, on this one, which is a better report then I could do, so I won't say much, except to read the legalese of the case, which the writer makes comprehensible, as it tells you where we are today, and how we got there. Unfortunately, the writer doesn't say, where we go from there, but then again, that is not the purview of the book.

Kurt Eichenwald's
500 Days :
Secrets and lies in the Terror Wars
4th nonfiction book

A well-seasoned look at how the 2nd Bush administration screwed up the War on Terror before September 11, then really screwed it up after September 11.

Peter Agluszka's
Thunder on the Mountain :
Death at Massey and the Dirty Secrets Behind Big Coal
1st nonfiction book

Why, besides "Matewan," we'll never see a film on what is called the Coal Wars. The whole story is just too complex for Hollywood, who like things simple. And the story is not simple. The writer, who has spent most of his life writing on this area, and lived there even longer, can barely get around the story.

Next time: 4 or 5 more fiction books. Mostly mysteries.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1342 on: September 20, 2013, 05:00:06 PM »

Ye-es!

Margaret Coel's
Buffalo Bill's Dead Now
16th in the Wind River mysteries

When several  Native American artifacts disappear, as they are being shipped from Germany to the U.S., it is up to an Irish-American priest and a Native American female lawyer to discover what happened to them.

I like this one a little bit better than the previous one. Which I have also read, as there are fewer "walking wounded" walking around.

Frances Brody's
Dying in the Wool
2nd in the Kate Shackleton series

Just before her BFF gets married our heroine is asked to discover what happened to her friend's father, who disappeared a number of years ago after escaping from a mental asylum. And what does that escape have to do with a munitions plant that blew up that same day.

Brill Crider's
Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen
19th in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series

Who murdered the owner of the beauty shop in the small town in east Texas? Was it one of her employees, one of her customers, one of the townspeople, one of the illegal Mexicans living across the street from the shop, or someone else.


Not really distinctive Texan, but distinctively small town tural.


Next time: a book with several surprises.
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indianasmith
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A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #1343 on: September 20, 2013, 10:49:48 PM »

I just finished Ian Kershaw's HITLER: 1936-45 - NEMESIS.
This is the second volume of his massive two-volume work on the dictator of Nazi Germany.  It's pretty  hefty at 700 or so pages, but very well-written and informative.  He tries to answer the question of how such an utterly uneducated, unskilled, hate-mongering race-baiter could have risen to the leadership of one of Europe's most civilized nations - and then locked his grip on power so firmly that even with his nation burning down around his ears, no one of any significance dared to move against him.
This two volume set drags a bit in places but is worth the time for anyone who is fascinated with the darkest chapter of the 20th century.
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"Carpe Ngo Diem!" - Seize the South Vietnamese Dictator!
BoyScoutKevin
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Karma: 148
Posts: 2945


« Reply #1344 on: September 25, 2013, 02:22:00 PM »

Ye-es!

Mike Mayo's
The horror show guide :
the ultimate fright fest of movies

Good
The writing. He takes 10 words to say what it took me 25 words to say, and he said it better than I did.
It's up to date, or as up to date as of last year or 2012.
Sequels and remakes, even if their titles are different, are grouped with the original film that spawned them. And as a matter of record, about 38% of the horror films made since 1910, have been a remake or a sequel.

Bad
The mistakes. I haven't seen one of these books that doesn't have mistakes in it. Though, most of the mistakes made in this one are mistakes of dates, so the mistakes may be due more to the editing than the writing.
He uses no rating system. You can tell which films he likes, and which films he dislikes, but a rating system of some sort (star, number, letter, etc.) would tell you to the degree which he likes or dislikes a film.

Unsurprising
His politics lean to the left like most horror writers and horror filmmakers.

Surprising
His reviews are leavened with a surprisingly effective sense of humor.
He has a surprising sympathy for children threatened in horror films. That is dramatic threats. With comedic threats, such as those in "Lair of the White Worm," all bets are off.
The film definition of involving = believability + logic + realism. You get too far from the last three, and the film definition changes to uninvolving. (Your mileage may vary.) Something I've always thought, but again, he says it better than I could.

Interesting
The most interesting film reviews (IMHO) are not those for the better known films, but for the lesser known films.
And we know what films most people like and/or dislike, but there again, the most interesting film reviews are for those with which he goes against the flow. Liking those films most people dislike, and disliking those films most people like.

Next time: a continuing continuation of a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.
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ER
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« Reply #1345 on: September 29, 2013, 12:06:49 PM »

Doctor Sleep. It breaks a streak of Stephen King's recent books being much better than his 1990-2007-ish output. Admittedly much of the appeal of Doctor Sleep came in the fact it was more or less a sequel to King's greatest novel, but I was not expecting it to be as terrible as it was. A dreary, mislabeled, BAD sort of book that I regret buying and wouldn't recommend to my worst enemy, although I might throw it at him.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 08:56:12 PM by ER » Logged

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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1346 on: September 30, 2013, 05:20:34 PM »

Ye-es!

Gina Keating's
Netflixed :
the Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs
1st non-fiction

How an idea beat back all the competition to become the largest distributor of dvds in the U.S. Or, how to do it, and more importantly, how not to do it.

Donna Leon's
The Jewels of Paradise
24th work of fiction

She has a series of mysteries set in Venice, but this is a stand-alone novel.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
(in graphic format)
DeFilippis and Weir, adapters

The case of a man who was born an old man, but then regressed in time till the time he died as an infant.

Though, probably, the most curious feature of this is the author, who is better known for his novels set in the Roaring '20's. And this was adapted into a feature film, which I have never seen.

Edward Ifkovic's
Make Believe
3rd in the Edna Ferber mystery series

Who killed the Hollywood agent, who was also Edna's friend, while Edna was in Hollywood overseeing the film adaptation of her book "Show Boat."
Was it the man's wife, a client, a rival agent, a studio executive, someone who didn't like the man's politics, or someone else?

Road Rage
(a graphic novel)
Consisting of Richard Matheson's "Duel" and Hill and King's adaptation "Throttle."

"Throttle" is a good adaptation, but "Duel" is further proof, that the best stories are often the simplest stories. And made into a TV movie, which I have seen.

Carola Dunn's
The Valley of the Shadow
3rd in the Cornish mystery series
20 more fiction books

When a naked man, more dead than alive, washes up on the Cornish coast, he is found to be part of a much larger group of illegal immigrants fleeing turmoil in Africa. Thus the search is one to find whoever brought them illegally into this country. But more importantly, to find the group of immigrants, before they starve to death.

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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #1347 on: September 30, 2013, 09:59:26 PM »

I'm about halfway thru "Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History" by Tony Mendez. 
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1348 on: October 14, 2013, 04:48:28 PM »

Ye-es!

Malla Nun's
A Beautiful Place to Die
1st in the Detective Emmanuel Cooper series

Who killed the South African police captain? Was it one of his white relatives? The Englishman, who is the richest man in the area? The Jewish doctor turned shopkeeper? The German nun? The Portuguese pornographer, who lives on the other side of the river? Or was it one of the other whites in the area? Certainly, it was none of the blacks or coloreds who live there. Though, the authorities would like to pin it on the black Communist, they are trying to catch. Then, to complicate matters, it is found that the man has been co-habiting with a colored woman, which was illegal in the '50s.
It is up to the man from the city to sort all this out.

Michael Grunwald's
The New New Deal :
the Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era
1st non-fiction book

Title and subtitle are self-explanatory, but . . .
If Obama is often the smartest man in the room, then Grunwald is the 2nd.
He understands Obama better than perhps Obama understands himself.
And, probably most importantly, he not only tells us how a bill is passed, which we should have learned in civics class, but why or why not a bill is passed.

Muller and Pronzini
The Bughouse Affair
1st in the Carpenter and Quincannon mystery series

Who killed the prominent lawyer in the locked study of his home? Was it his wife? A neighbor? A fellow lawyer? The burgular? The pickpocket? The man who claims he is sherlock Holmes returned from the dead? Or was it suicide made to look like a murder. And while he tries to solve this, she tries to solve the case of a female pickpocket, who has left a trail of bodies in her wake.

A husband and wife writing team. I recognized him from his Nameless Detective series, but I should have recognized her from her Sharon McComb series. They prove that writing is like peanut butter. A novice writer has a writing style like chunky--all bumps. But an old pro, like these two, their writing is as smooth as chocolate silk.

Andrew Hunt's
City of Saints
3rd non-fiction book

Barbara Cleverly
Not My Blood
5th in the Joe Sandilands' murder series
And 5 more fiction books besides

Ed Greenwood's
Dungeons and Dragons :
Forgotten Realms (graphic novel)

Why is this man still writing. I can think of almos a score of fantasy writers who are better and are not writing, but then I'd have to take off my shoes.

Next time: a half dozen more books read and recommended
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1349 on: October 24, 2013, 05:56:55 PM »

Ye-es!

A miscellanea of a half dozen fiction and non-fiction since last time.

Mary Jane Clark's
Footprints in the Sand
1st in the Piper Donovan series
14 more fiction and one more series

When the wife of the local dentist disappears, then an Amish youth, snowbirding from up north, hangs himself, our heroine has to decide whether the two are related or just a coincidence.

Sam Thomas
The Midwife's Tale
1st fiction book

Who murdered the merchant of York? Was it his wife? A servant? A neighbor? A business rival? A political rival? Or someone else? It is up to our heroine to find out, before the wife may be hanged for a crime she did not commit. And things are not helped as the city is besieged by enemies both within and without.

Two things came out of this which I had forgotten. Thanks to the Irish Catholics, we know about all the Catholics in Ireland, including women and children, killed by the Protestants in the religious wars there. Yet the Irish Catholics are mute about all the Protestants, including women and children, killed by the Catholics in the religious wars there. And while female servants were more vulnerable to sexual harrassment then the male servants, the male servants were not immune to a liitle sexual harrassment, especially the young and/or pretty ones. Anything from rape by the masters to seduction by the mistresses.

Neitzel and Welzer
Soldaten

Secretly recorded conversations during WWII by German P.O.W.s in the U.K. and the U.S.

Probably one of the most honest books to come out of that war, as the P.O.W.s are not telling one what they want to hear nor not telling what one does not want to hear, but just telling each other their opinions. And their opinions, to my surprise, don't differ that much. Yes, there is some difference, but not as much as I expected. And what differences do exist, exist among the different branches of the German armed forces: the air force, the army, the navy, the SS, etc.

And what cannot be decided is whether one comes out with a better opinion of the German armed forces in WWII or a worst opinion. What can be decided is if there is anyone that dislikes what the older generation of Germans did during WWII, it is the younger generation of Germans.

David Mark's
The Dark Winter Night
the 1st in the Aetor McAvoy series of mysteries

Laughter: the Best Medicine: Holiday edition

A collection of holiday jokes from "Readers' Digest" "Laughter: the Best Medicine"

Elly Griffith's
A Room Full of Bones
4th in the Ruth Galloway series of mysteries

When a coffin with a curse on it is opened, people start to die. Is the curse coming true or something more mundane? It is up to our heroine to decide.

I've read the one before this, and the one after this, which we'll review later.

Next time: a stand-alone book.
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