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Rocketboy
11-10-2010, 12:15 AM
7 Deadly Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin. This was a pretty good bio, however if you've read his autobio that came out earlier this year then this book didn't break much new ground. Still, if you're a Carlin fan its still a good read reguardless.I finished up Last Words a few weeks ago. It was pretty good, but I struggled through it at times.

JimJamBonds
11-10-2010, 08:23 AM
I finished up Last Words a few weeks ago. It was pretty good, but I struggled through it at times.

While I didn't read Last Words I didn't listen to the audio recording...which was done by his older brother Patrick who sounds just like his younger brother did (well he is a bit gruffer).

JimJamBonds
11-11-2010, 05:01 PM
Yet another book taken down by yours truly this one: Death Star. It was alright to read, at times it got a little too 'cute' with the characters in the book all meeting each other to some degree. That said it was a fast and decent read.

JimJamBonds
11-12-2010, 07:22 PM
Another book bites the dust, this one was called: My first 100 marathons : 2,620 miles with an obsessive runner. As the title suggests its about a guy who over 18 years ran 100 marathons.

TeeEye7
11-15-2010, 10:00 AM
Finished The Geology of Kern County, a new text written by Natalie Bursztyn, local college prof and friend. Cool characters such as the San Andreas fault, volcanic activity, the Sierra Nevadas, and special appearances by Meglodon...all part of my county's history.

nohagent
11-16-2010, 03:46 PM
Star wars year by year at Costco $25.00

Also there is a Star Wars art book called Visions with a nude painting of Aayla Secura Nude (blue with pink nipples) on pg 112.

Had to close the book before the kid saw it, must say I was caught off guard.

DarthQuack
11-16-2010, 08:58 PM
Picked up Stephen King's new book, Full Dark, No Stars.....and really enjoying it so far. :)

JimJamBonds
11-17-2010, 09:12 AM
Finished Ranting Again by Dennis Miller last night.

El Chuxter
11-17-2010, 10:02 AM
Also there is a Star Wars art book called Visions with a nude painting of Aayla Secura Nude (blue with pink nipples) on pg 112.

Had to close the book before the kid saw it, must say I was caught off guard.

That is quite the shock, given how family-friendly SW goes for.

Bel-Cam Jos
11-17-2010, 09:34 PM
I mentioned that previously in another thread here (post 310 of the "SW Year By Year" thread), but I called it "tasteful" because 1) I didn't want to post the word "nude" here, and 2) it reminded me of Mr. Heffner's publication style.

JimJamBonds
11-24-2010, 12:26 PM
I finished (yet) another one the other day. Like the Dennis Miller book this was also from my 'personal library' yet for whatever reason I never read.

Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of World History. The book explains how various legends, lies and cherished myths are wrong. All in all it was a quick and fun read.

OC47150
11-24-2010, 07:41 PM
CW Siege: Gambit. Not too bad.

Now I gotta figure out what to read next. :yes:

OC47150
12-09-2010, 08:50 PM
Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda. Not a bad book. I picked this one, and several other in the series, up at the flea market. I haven't read the series in order. This might be the last one written by Raymond Benson, who was the ghost writer. The newer ones are written by someone else.

TeeEye7
12-30-2010, 12:06 PM
Yesterday I finished A-26 Invader Units of World War 2 by Jim Roeder. I received this from Mrs. TI7 for Christmas. Nice overview of the little hot rod that replaced (for the most part) the Douglas A-20 Havoc in the ETO, MTO, and a little bit in the PTO (the A-20 was still preferred in the Pacific by the Army Air Corps).

Quick read, under 100 pages, tons of photos and cool color plates showing the plane's various configurations, unit markings, and nose art.

El Chuxter
12-30-2010, 12:15 PM
Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City. Excellent book, though I'm not sure how they got the equally good (or better) show out of it.

Rocketboy
01-01-2011, 10:33 PM
I finished my last book of 2010 last night, which brings my 2010 book tally to:
21 books read
6299 pages (300 pages per book average)

At a glance: More bios than I normally read (8), and a lot of stuff that has been turned into movies (10), not much sci-fi (2-3) and only one book I've already read (No One Here Gets Out Alive).

01 The Lovely Bones - A. Sebold
02 Up In The Air - W. Kirn
03 The Accidental Billionaires - B. Mezrich
04 The Box - R. Matheson
05 No One Here Gets Out Alive - D. Sugarman/J. Hopkins
06 Hiroshima - J. Hersey
07 Quarry In The Middle - M. Collins
08 A Simple Plan - S. Smith
09 Prozac Nation - E. Wurtzel
10 Dances With Wolves - M. Blake
11 Blockade Billy - S. King
12 The Chris Farley Show - T. Farley Jr.
13 Killing Castro - L. Block
14 Heat Wave - R. Castle
15 Last Words - G. Carlin
16 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - S. Larsson
17 American On Purpose - C. Ferguson
18 Star Wars: Death Troopers - J. Schreiber
19 The Best American Comics 2007 - C. Ware (Ed.)
20 King Kong - D.W. Lovelace
21 Faith Of My Fathers - J. McCain

I'd like to keep the same type of pace this year. I didn't get burned out in 2010 like I did in 2008 (I didn't read much in 2009 as a result).
First up, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Sheperd, otherwise known as the book that inspired A Christmas Story.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-02-2011, 09:53 AM
Good to know I'm not the only one who keeps track of not only titles and authors, but pages read, too.

My reading time is basically just in the summer; if I can finish the one I'm about 2/5 through now, I'll have read just two books over this winter break (back to the grind starting tomorrow), at about 600+ pages.

Rocketboy
01-02-2011, 12:10 PM
Good to know I'm not the only one who keeps track of not only titles and authors, but pages read, too.I started keeping track of which books and number of pages after I saw you doing it. I was curious as to how much I actually read. I was surprised at the number, but I'm not sure if 2010 was a good year or if I was just lucky enough to find that much to hold my interest. I've read many books where it took forever to get through because they were holding my interest.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-02-2011, 11:15 PM
I put in "Pittsburgh" in the search box of my local library, and it brought up a title of Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy Martin. I didn't even need to see if it would be decent; the title was enough. Turns out it was about a "sexy" (book jacket's words) Pittsburgh woman who is a single mom (caring for her possibly-pregnant daughter) who helps bothered and battered females while also dealing with a murder in town and her former flame. It was a decent read, but as I'm not the target audience, it will likely be my last of Ms. Martin's stories (further searches seem to point that her characters are just a tad anti-men).

DarkArtist
01-05-2011, 10:07 AM
currently reading the Force Unleashed II.. so far so good. finally playing the game (got it for Christmas) and I'm loving it.

JimJamBonds
01-05-2011, 06:40 PM
Good to know I'm not the only one who keeps track of not only titles and authors, but pages read, too.
I didn't keep track per say but maybe a month ago I went through this thread and wrote down what I read and found out the pages. One of these days I'll post my tale of the tape.

OC47150
01-20-2011, 07:42 PM
Finest Hour. About the Battle of Britain. Actually, it starts a few weeks before, during the blitzkrieg in the Low Countries and France. This book was more focused on the people than the politics. One pilot's story is told from journal entries; his fiancee at the time donated his journal to the Imperial War Musuem. Good read.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-21-2011, 07:15 PM
Even though it's fiction, I don't know if I will ever be able to see or read about Abraham Lincoln the same again after reading Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It is quite historical in style and tone, using (perhaps?) actual information and adjusting it to fit the concept of Abe being a hunter of the dead. The final chapter was somewhat unexpected, but I did expect how the Ford's Theatre event would take place.

JimJamBonds
01-21-2011, 10:50 PM
Even though it's fiction, I don't know if I will ever be able to see or read about Abraham Lincoln the same again after reading Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It is quite historical in style and tone, using (perhaps?) actual information and adjusting it to fit the concept of Abe being a hunter of the dead. The final chapter was somewhat unexpected, but I did expect how the Ford's Theatre event would take place.

I prefer Abe Lincoln as a wrestler as shown in a Mountain Dew commercial a couple of years back. :thumbsup:

Bel-Cam Jos
01-22-2011, 10:29 AM
I prefer Abe Lincoln as a wrestler as shown in a Mountain Dew commercial a couple of years back. :thumbsup:You know, there were a few times while reading that I thought of that very thing!

JimJamBonds
01-22-2011, 02:21 PM
I've seen at my local library zombie books on/about...
1)Tom Sawyer Huckelzombie Flinn. Ok, I'm making up the last part but there IS suck a book!
2) Some sort of zombie football game. Again I don't know what its all about, I've only seen the cover art for both of these "books."

El Chuxter
01-22-2011, 05:39 PM
So some guy stuck a zombie subplot into Pride & Prejudice and now it's a new genre?

I find that sad. Anyone who can come up with a decent story about zombies (or whatever) should be good enough to write an entire book. This was a cute gimmick once. Once.

OC47150
02-02-2011, 07:38 PM
Operation Dark Heart. An interesting account of intelligence and special operations missions in Afghanistan. I saw the author on one of the cable news shows. The Pentagon didn't want his book to be released. There was a lot of editing throughout: big black portions marked out.

masterväder
02-03-2011, 02:05 PM
My fav book is atlas shurgged by anne rand. it is about this guy named john galt and how the govt took the money and he had to made a place within to make city for no govt steeling so is called galts galch and is about for is 'men of mind' and is a place sounding for is much me lol

this is the longest iv written in english so sory for speling mistakse

OC47150
02-24-2011, 07:45 PM
Finished reading Red Harvest. Except for one or two spots that it slowed the pace down, it was a good fast read. Finished it in two days.

I have two Borders that are closing in my area. I was planning on stopping by, hoping to get a few bargins, but a friend told me the store I intended to go to was packed and everything was just 20 percent off. I skipped it. I used a 33 percent coupon and picked up Knight Errant at another Borders.

Bel-Cam Jos
02-27-2011, 04:13 PM
I read a book (I still hate to make that statement as if it should be considered a noteworthy accomplishment :( )... Knight Errant, by John Jackson Miller, a SW novel based on a DH comic series in the era before the "common" Republic time. It's about a Jedi in Sith space (apparently the only Jedi there), and actually held up well, with the potential for a continuing story. This reminded me of the Courscant Nights trilogy that I enjoyed; just enough connections to the SW universe to make it understandable, but also new characters and scenarios that make it fresh.

DarthQuack
03-21-2011, 09:16 PM
I really need to pick up my copy of Before The Storm....I've been slacking for too many months.

Bel-Cam Jos
03-23-2011, 10:02 AM
A week off is wonderful for catching up on reading! :thumbsup: I read Devil Bones by author/anthropologist Kathy Reichs, who has been the inspiration for the TV show Bones; it isn't really all that close to the show (set in North Carolina, she is about 40, divorced/separated with a daughter, has a cat, recovering alchoholic, cusses easily, works with a local slob of a cop), but still a good read (after the first half... much more exposition than most 300 page books, IMHO).

And now I have three other different books a-awaitin' me! :D

Bel-Cam Jos
03-28-2011, 10:38 AM
Finished another Paulo Coelho novel, The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession, even though I said I wouldn't read this one of his. It ended differently than it seemed to be leading up to, but that was a good thing. It reminded me of The Accident by Elie Wiesel, but with more positives. Weird how Coelho made himself a part of the book, with references to his novels (without their titles) as if they had been written in that book's world. Not his best work, but not bad either.

One more day left to my vacation, and I'm 1/3 through one, with a second un-read book waiting!

[edit] I finished a non-SW Timothy Zahn book, Odd Girl Out. It's a future Earth sci-fi story, apparently in a series about a sort-of Deckard Smith cop trying to stop a Body Snatchers-type being who controls Humans (they capitialize the word) and other animal Aliens. Pretty good story; Zahn tells a good tale.

JimJamBonds
03-31-2011, 09:59 PM
Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain. If you've seen his show No Reservations then you'll probably be hearing his voice while you read (I did). I love the show and I loved the book.

Bel-Cam Jos
04-04-2011, 07:34 PM
Got to my second "Bones" novel by Kathy Reichs, Cross Bones, where she goes to Israel to solve a Da Vinci Code-like mystery. This was better than the first Reichs one I read, IMO.

El Chuxter
04-05-2011, 01:24 AM
Been on a bit of a comic book tear lately, since I discovered one of the local libraries has a decent selection of graphic novels:

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil (highly recommended)
100 Bullets Vols. 1-2 (also highly recommended)
Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader (even more highly recommended than the previous two, if that's possible)
Kingdom Come (decent, but not nearly up to the expectations built by a decade of hype)
Kick-[Butt] (highly recommended if you're in the bathroom and out of toilet paper... I really hope the movie is better, and plan to eliminate all Millar from my reading diet)

JimJamBonds
04-05-2011, 06:00 PM
Got to my second "Bones" novel by Kathy Reichs, Cross Bones, where she goes to Israel to solve a Da Vinci Code-like mystery. This was better than the first Reichs one I read, IMO.Is it better then the Da Vinci code?

Bel-Cam Jos
04-05-2011, 06:25 PM
Is it better then the Da Vinci code?I really liked DVC, unlike other readers here and elsewhere, so I'd say "no" to being better. But it is different, because it's more from the Jewish or Muslim point of view than Christianity. Not anywhere near the break-neck pace of Brown's book (this one takes place over a few weeks, I think, where DVC was about a day or so, IIRC). Still a worthwhile read.

Slicker
04-05-2011, 06:47 PM
Recently started reading the Thrawn Trilogy again. I almost literally can't put it down. I read it for the first time a few years ago and just bought all of the hardbacks from Amazon. Definitely a great story and the fact that it's 20 years old makes it that much better.

RB, how are you doin' on it? Any opinions?

JimJamBonds
04-09-2011, 08:28 AM
Athletic Development: The Art and Science of Functional Sports Conditioning by Vern Gambetta. As the title suggests its a book about coaching.

JimJamBonds
04-14-2011, 10:13 PM
This is from a month or two ago but I read (yet another) WWII book this one called: Frontlines: World War II, Personal Accounts of Wisconsin Veterans, Volume II: The Pacific. The book was written by a local dj who interviewed a number of local veterans (NE Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) who served in the PTO during WWII. While all of the stories were good, some were truly truly amazing.

OC47150
04-15-2011, 08:48 PM
SW: Old Republic: Fatal Alliance. I've gotten more interested in the last few months in the Old Republic period, and this book was a good start. I've picked up the second one to read.

Funny thing: there's a Sith named Darth Howl. When I first read his name, the first imagine to pop into my mind was Thurston Howell III as a Sith.

JimJamBonds
04-16-2011, 01:26 PM
Inventing George Washington: America's Founder, in Myth & Memory by Edward G. Lengel. This was an interesting read, it explains how George Washington has been "crafted" to fit certain groups motives and wants. He's been portrayed as a semi god, then he was 'taken down' and built back up in the 200+ years since his death.

JimJamBonds
05-18-2011, 06:42 PM
I finished Operation Dark Heart a few days ago. It tells the story of an intelligence officer during the war in Afghanistan. Its pretty interesting, and if the things he said are true, then its some sad news for the US of A.

OC47150
05-18-2011, 07:10 PM
I finished Operation Dark Heart a few days ago. It tells the story of an intelligence officer during the war in Afghanistan. Its pretty interesting, and if the things he said are true, then its some sad news for the US of A.

So true. I think, as the years past, we might see more books like this one released.

JimJamBonds
05-19-2011, 05:25 PM
So true. I think, as the years past, we might see more books like this one released.Its the first thing I've read on that subject and it was pretty darn good. The guy is a light colonel in the Army reserves, and the interesting thing is right before it went to print the Dept of Defense redacted a large part of it (as was stated in the preface). I thought this would mean that it had to be rewritten but no, there are words and at times whole sentences blocked out. At first it was kind of confusing to read but I got used to it after a bit.

OC47150
05-19-2011, 07:14 PM
Its the first thing I've read on that subject and it was pretty darn good. The guy is a light colonel in the Army reserves, and the interesting thing is right before it went to print the Dept of Defense redacted a large part of it (as was stated in the preface). I thought this would mean that it had to be rewritten but no, there are words and at times whole sentences blocked out. At first it was kind of confusing to read but I got used to it after a bit.

The paragraphs of censored info was a little frustrating. It reminded me of other stories the gov't censored.

Check out Lone Survivor and Battle for Roberts' Ridge.

DarthQuack
05-20-2011, 01:45 PM
Started reading Before the Storm again. Hopefully I'll get through this trilogy quick!

JimJamBonds
05-20-2011, 02:56 PM
<p>

Check out Lone Survivor and Battle for Roberts&#39; Ridge.What is the time frame for those books?</p>

Bel-Cam Jos
05-22-2011, 09:52 AM
It was just over 100 pages, so finishing it wasn't difficult, time-wise. But content and plot? Ugh. It was a Star Trek "parody," or so the cover stated, of the original TV one and ST:TNG; Star Wreck: The Generation Gap by Leah Rewolinski. I know enough about both series to "get" the "jokes," but really all it seemed to be was a "funny" new way to write their names (Star Freak = Star Fleet, Capt. James T. Smirk = Capt. James T. Kirk, Capt. Jean-Lucy Ricardo = Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, Wort = Work, et al). I bought it from a library book sale, and I may return it and tell them to keep the $.25 I paid (maybe it'll keep getting sold and get all USA libraries out of the red :rolleyes: ).

Bel-Cam Jos
05-28-2011, 11:04 AM
My annual Try to Read Thirty Books by Summer's End crusade has commenced! Another book by Loren Estleman, Gas City, to start things off. It's quite "real" and gritty, but his descriptive style is consistently quite good. It's about a fictional Midwestern city of crime and day-to-day living. I didn't realize it was an actual mystery until about halfway through, so I started to look back for clues. Very interesting turn of events towards the middle and end; a little more graphic than I expected from the dust jacket preview, but I always like his books, and especially his characterizations, even if the content is not always my cup of tea.

TeeEye7
05-28-2011, 09:58 PM
My annual Try to Read Thirty Books by Summer's End crusade has commenced!

What is the theme/goal/genre/etc. for this year?

Bel-Cam Jos
05-29-2011, 10:00 AM
You know, I think I'll revive the Mess With the Patriot Act one again. Meaning, I'll mix in any and all genres (horror, romance, sci-fi [that one'll be pretty tough to find], bio, autobio, young adult, historical fiction, local books, non-fiction, western, self-help, mystery, humor, religious, medical, art, travel, classics, et al), so that when they run my library card record, they'll have no idea.

Other themes from the past?
- one author for each of the 26 alphabet letters
- "secret" in the title
- uh, something else, I think...? (well, they say that, um, uh..., what is it that's first to go?)

Bel-Cam Jos
06-02-2011, 10:45 AM
A very short parody by Jim Gerard, Who Moved My Secret?. It was based on the self-help Who Moved My Cheese? and The Secret, and more profane and crass than I thought it'd be, but it definitely captures the I-know-what-will-work-for-you nonsense of the two "original" books.

I picked up seven library books yesterday (the one above was the easiest to finish), and also realized I'd read a previous book before the summer began; The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter by David Cobert, where he attempts to give the historical basis of many of the names and places mentioned in the HP series. Most I already knew about, but I thought it'd be a good preview for the final film due out in a month or so.

[edit]Completed one more book today: a young adult (although it's quite serious and realistic in its tone) novel titled Time's Memory by Julius Lester. It's set in the times of the slave trade from Western Africa, but before the US Civil War, where the spirit of a god inhabits the bodies and spirits of people in America to stop the problem of spirits wandering aimlessly after they're killed. The simple style of a YA novel makes it easy to follow, but it handles a very serious topic well, even bringing it closer to the current age in the epilogue. Really liked this one.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-06-2011, 09:19 AM
As of yesterday, there are three more books I read through to the end, some more interesting than others.

An anthology of "funny" contemporary writings edited by Ian Frazier ironically titled Humor Me, because I'd say that half of the submissions weren't humorous at all (not even in a "certain point of view" funny way). Didn't like this much at all, despite the few writings that were funny.

The novel version of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind "written" by Steven Spielberg; I'm not sure if it's the same as how George Dean Foster Lucas "wrote" the film adaptation of Star Wars. It was a nice return to the time of the late 70s. Plot: the story of a man saying and doing crazy things about what he sees (or thinks is real) going on around him, where few believe him, but in the end, is taken away by space beings.

And I chose a totally different book after that one above: Broke by Glenn Beck. :eek: ;) Like Luke Skywalker in the Dark Empire comic, I thought I should learn about the Dark Side before trying to fight it or destroy it from within. Without getting this thread tossed into the Pit, here's what I'll say about this book: the amount of facts (about 40 pages of citations, some from actual legitimate sources, some statements never cited at all) is meant to give it legitimacy but when said to be factual and objective, the amount of negative and slanted adjectives and adverbs throughout take any of that away. Could've saved 300+ pages of trees by saying "I'll use name calling all over the place and say I don't like Progressives and their views, then say the government should stop its spending and reduce unnecessary programs." Imagine reading his show for hours and hours longer than it runs. Ugh.

Good things: I'm approaching 10 books and 2000 pages read so far this summer. :thumbsup:

OC47150
06-06-2011, 07:36 PM
<p> What is the time frame for those books?</p>

Roberts Ridge is '03. Roberts was a SEAL who fell out of a helicopter while on a mission. The book is about that incident and the resulting rescue mission.

Lone Survivor is in about the same time frame, '03 - '06.

The Cobra. Frederick Forsyth has an interesting take on how to handle the Colombian drug cartels.

The Secret of D-Day. I'm a sucker for any book on D-Day. This one, written in the 60s, dealt with the espionage aspect and focused on the last few months leading up to June 6.Some of the info was new, some of it wasn't, but still enjoyable. One chapter was a countdown to when the troops hit the beaches.

Coruscant Nights 3. I enjoyed this one more than the second in the series.

Rereading Republic Commando: Hard Contact. I read it too fast the first time, and am picking up on a lot of little things I missed the first time.

JimJamBonds
06-07-2011, 06:23 AM
The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron De Steuben and the Making of the American Army. Long title, good book. As the title suggests its about the life of General Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von Steuben and his role in the American Revolution. Some new stuff some not so new stuff. Overall it was a good read.

JimJamBonds
06-07-2011, 05:59 PM
Weird Fox Cities, this is a book about things that have taken place in a section of NE Wisconsin called the Fox Cities (the Fox is a good sized river that flows through the area). Some of the stories are more intersting then others, and some are fairly known. The word "weird" is a bit strong, perhaps the title: Stuff that happened in the Fox Cities" would be a better fit.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-07-2011, 07:35 PM
From the "classics" and "humor" genres (you figure out which is which)...

William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. Weird, very dense and tough to read (both for written dialect and the stream-of-consciousness and flashbacks/flashforwards throughout), and only became somewhat clear in the last "chapter." It's always tough for me to read long-chaptered novels (this had 4, in a 300+ page book). I can't say I disliked it, but if I were a high school student assigned it, I'd complain a lot.

i know i am, but what are you?, a collection of personal essays and reflections by Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee. Quite hilarious at some parts, surprisingly serious more than I expected. I will likely see her differently when she's on TV, but that's not negative.

TeeEye7
06-10-2011, 03:23 PM
I have three books I'm wanting to purchase, but my funds are locked up in two Visa debit gift cards I received a while back. These cards can't be used on line (which I don't understand....the bucks are there) and local book stores don't carry them at them (Boarders has vaporized and B&N doesn't have them...online is so much easier!). What to do? What to do!?

Bel-Cam Jos
06-10-2011, 04:43 PM
You could use the card number in an online auction site, I suppose, because I think they let you use multiple accounts/cards to purchase stuff.

[edit]And another book read: The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack, a history and full-hand account of the use, viewpoints, and development of punning. It was short on pages, but not short on enjoyment. I'm only averaging 240 pages per book so far this summer, as the books have been a little shorter than I've read previously.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-13-2011, 09:24 AM
Reached the 3K pages mark with these three newest reads:

The Active Side of Infinity by Carlos Castaneda. It's somewhat of an anthology of his reflections with his mentor, don Juan Matus. I got started reading CC once I learned George Lucas used some of his studies and writings in his development of the Force (the books do have a Yoda-esque feel to them). I'm not sure, but it seems that this was his last book published (1998) before he died.

Hardy Boys: The Jungle Pyramid by Franklin W. Dixon and Nancy Drew: The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene. I realized I'd never read any HB, even though I had several books to start the series (I think they were my uncle's books), and as a dude I couldn't read ND stories. They would have been really interesting to follow each series when they were published; now they just seem dated and nostalgic (informer characters give out actual addresses, phone books [what are those?] have seemingly EVERY person listed, villains "monologue" to the heroes and don't kill anyone [but there's a lot of tied up and gagged situations], their clothing is always in excellent condition and style, et al). In one, a character was named "Pedro Zemog," and it took until the last 3 or 4 chapters to transpose the letters to find his identity. Well, now I can say I have read one of each (#56 in the HB series, and #4 in ND). Hooray.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-16-2011, 10:34 AM
I may adjust my summer reading "theme" to Travel, based on our local library's adult summer program theme of Novel Destinations. These two were similar in titles and structures:

Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper. It's about a blind cat named Homer, and how she lived her life around his needs and exploits. It weaves parts of The Odyssey epic throughout, including the chapter openings quoted from it. Not as sappy and emotional as I thought it could become; well-written.

Turn Left at the Trojan Horse by Brad Herzog. A semi-midlife crisis travel tale, where he visits places (and ironically, some people) with names associated with the Greek myth. Humorous, very detailed, and excellent use and explanation of the mythology and etymology of the names, plus good descriptions of the people he meets along the way. Very good; it inspires me to get off my rear and plan my own book. Maybe. :rolleyes:

Bel-Cam Jos
06-18-2011, 07:05 PM
Ms all around for me...

Safe at Home by Alyssa Milano. I'm sure I picked this book because it's summertime, the time of baseball, and... uh... who am I kidding? She could've written a book on how to turn pages in books! Actually, aside from my inner-teenage self returning to form, :rolleyes: she has a great sense of the sport, quite knowledgeable about the stats and history, and nice memories with her family.

Fool by Christopher Moore. I bought this book from the discount shelves at B&N, but it turned out to be a very good read. It's the story of King Lear told from the Fool's (named Pocket) POV. It is VERY bawdy and crass to say the least, quite funny throughout, quoting and purposely misquoting various plays of the Bard's, but it became a good parody or alternate reality version of my favorite Shakespeare play (and the Fool is among my favorite literary characters of all time, too).

My reading stats as of now? 17 books read, about 4200 pages, roughly 247 pages per book. On my way to my 30-book goal! :thumbsup:

sith_killer_99
06-19-2011, 10:35 PM
Today I got "Culture of Corruption" (Completely Updated plus Three New Chapters) by Michelle Malkin for Father's Day.

I want to pick up "On China" by Dr. Henry Kissinger.

JimJamBonds
06-21-2011, 04:51 PM
Wow two posts back to back in this thread in summer not by BCJ! :shock: :wink:

ESPN: The Uncensored History, as you can guess by the title its a behind the scenes look at ESPN, its start etc. It was a pretty interesting read, the most shocking thing was all of the sexual harassment, the betting and the drug use that went on.

JimJamBonds
06-22-2011, 08:23 AM
Got another one down, Frank Miller's 300. It was surprisingly close to the movie, or should I say the movie is surprisingly close to the book.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-22-2011, 10:49 AM
Well, time to start another run of consecutives then! :D

A bad book, but I give it credit simply because it was an early one. The Coming race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Supposedly, it's one of the earliest science fiction novels (it's from the mid-19th century) that seems similar to Journey to the Centre of the Earth or Gulliver's Travels. It's about an American miner who falls into a mine shaft that leads him to an advanced society living below the surface of the earth. There are LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG passages of detail (language analysis, including verb conjugation and pronunciation; facial construction and biology; transportation and technology; social status; etc.), with some paragraphs taking 3 whole pages (he loves the semi-colon). He even includes citations from research books in the narrator's thoughts. There is little action, and when there seemed to be something leading to action, it is resolved within a single (short) paragraph, and the last paragraph (1 1/2 pages) should've been expaned into the epilogue. Sigh... but he was Knighted, so I have nothing I can really complain about.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-24-2011, 11:30 AM
Two more, which bring my summer total to 20 books (about 4900 pages, 245 pages per)...

The War of the Crowns by Christian Jacq. A semi-historical fiction set in ancient Egypt, it follows the widow of the recent pharaoh, as she tries to raise her son as the new pharaoh to overthrow the evil emperor who took over. It's translated from French, and it reads in a simple style. But the chapters are almost all exactly 5 pages long, and the various conflicts get resolved relatively quickly. It rewards the righteous, and punishes the wicked. Not a bad tale.

Paddington Here and Now by Michael Bond. Hard to believe, but the Paddington series is over 50 years old, and this is set in current days. I forgot how much fun (and subtlely funny) these kids' books have been. The bear has issues with immigration, travel, Halloween, parking, burglars. Just a nice read.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-27-2011, 03:29 PM
Two short ones, both with connections to acting, and the other book I'm reading became a film (two versions over the years, in fact).

Shopgirl by Steve Martin. I wanted a funny book (maybe in an LA Story way, not really The Jerk), but instead it was serious. Well-written, and with a nice ended to wrap up some plotlines, but it wasn't what I was seeking.

Mystic Knoll by Diana Gallagher. It was a YA original novel using the characters from the Charmed TV show. It was what it is.

JimJamBonds
06-27-2011, 10:02 PM
The Perfection Point. No its not a bio of Jim Jam Bonds, instead it examines what are the perfection points in certain sports namely: 100 meter dash, 50 meter freestyle, longest drive, the mile, the marathon etc. Pretty interesting, I don't exactly agree with all of it but interesting none the less.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-29-2011, 02:16 PM
True Grit by Charles Portis. I have not yet seen either film version, but I'm glad I read the novel first. I imagine the protagonist as an older Scout Finch. I loved how direct and simple the dialogue was, but the descriptions were detailed enough to create excellent imagery and suspense. An odd, but not unexpected, ending.

The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton. Known more for sci-fi type thrillers and action stories, this was based on the actual historical event, slightly changed. The protagonist is a criminal, but you root for him to succeed despite his illegal actions. I really liked this one; I forgot how much I like Crichton's style.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-01-2011, 06:33 PM
Two total opposites... you know how sometimes things just seem to match up, or find similarities where none appear possible?

Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson. I typed in "hockey" in fiction at the library, and the first to come up was a romance novel; remember that I do try to read multiple genres, including those I don't like (sometimes I find something good that I'd never have considered). This? Garbage; cliched; boring (even for "bodice rippers," as I once heard as a nickname for this type); and wrong (no way a hockey team would replace its captain [out for the season with an off-ice injury] with a FREE AGENT without moving up one of its alternate captains, the team was 54-28 WITHOUT any ties/overtime wins). Oh well.

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin. You want to talk about "nothing but trouble?" It's disheartening to read of urban social issues from the 1970s that still could be problems today. This was gritty and realistic, but if you don't get too down with all the terrible circumstances and look at how things go well, it actually has a positive theme. Glad I read this one right after the one above; it puts life into proper perspective.

Current summer stats:
- 26 books read
- about 6200 pages read (238 pages per; more short ones this summer I guess)

Bel-Cam Jos
07-08-2011, 06:58 PM
Greg Bear, Beyond Heaven's River. For my sci-fi book club, the summer theme is travel, and each meeting is a different continent; this week, it was Asia, and I didn't want to read manga as most did. I remembered Bear from his Star Wars novel, Rogue Planet, and this one fit the book club location. But I should've recalled that I didn't really like his SW book. The premise was interesting (WWII Japanese pilot taken by an alien race, doesn't age over 400+ years as human technology advances, how he fits into this "new" world), but was confusing (even multiple dialogue grammatical errors that made following conversations rough) and didn't live up to its potential.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road. I am following the library's travel theme more this summer, so the "ultimate" road novel should be great, right daddy-o? Nope. To quote the horse from Ren & Stimpy: "No, sir. I don't like it." Clearly, I was not the target audience, and time has passed since it was different; but now I read it as a selfish, freeloading, self-destructive, hedonistic way to avoid life and its responsibilities.

Paul Maher Jr., Jack Kerouac's American Journey. This was a study of HOW the above book was written, over the dozen years of producing it, and I found it much more interesting than the original. While OTR is listed as "fiction," all Kerouac seems to have done is change the names of what he and others did over a few years. The fact that it's been 17 years (:( ) since my own solo road trip journey, and my manuscript is nowhere near where it should be on paper/in a typed file, gives me some hope.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-11-2011, 05:34 PM
I hit the 30 book level! :thumbsup: I don't see as many opportunities to read so easily as I did during June, so I don't expect to have many more reads from now. Stats so far: 30 books, about 7300 pages (roughly 243 per).

Ian Fleming, Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories. Nine different stories, from about 10-40 pages each, which became scenes during the films of those titles (A View to a Kill, Living Daylights, Octomom, For Your :ninja: Only, etc.). I liked how the details turned into brief (or extended) parts of a 2-hour movie. Good inner dialogue and character descriptions.

OC47150
07-11-2011, 09:59 PM
Ian Fleming, Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories. Nine different stories, from about 10-40 pages each, which became scenes during the films of those titles (A View to a Kill, Living Daylights, Octomom, For Your :ninja: Only, etc.). I liked how the details turned into brief (or extended) parts of a 2-hour movie. Good inner dialogue and character descriptions.

I'll have to check that one out. Fleming is one of my favorites.

DarthQuack
07-15-2011, 10:26 AM
Sidetracked yet again from a Star Wars novel....

I started re-reading all the Harry Potter books with the new film coming out, so I'm up to The Order of the Phoenix so far. Love them all!

JediTricks
07-17-2011, 01:47 PM
Haven't had much free time since the move, but while I was sick for a few weeks, I took a little time to read. Among those, I read Playback, Raymond Chandler, the final completed Philip Marlowe novel. The book was weird, it had a lot of personality and felt fairly authentic, but there wasn't really a mystery to solve, there was a lot of going from one hotel to another and back, and not a lot happened. I dare say it's the weakest of the Marlowes, but as a fan, I appreciated it none the less.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-20-2011, 10:49 AM
Two more...

Plunkitt of Tammany Hall by William L. Riordon. This is a biography of a late 19th-century city boss member from New York (during the Boss Tweed era). People talk about transparancy in government? This shows how bad that could be, if the figure tells you what actually happens and justifies such actions. He was a "just let us do what we do because it works, and don't reform what doesn't need changing" believer, even if what was being done was illegal or self-serving .

On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. While it says it was the basis for the 4th PotC movie, it really is a different tale. It borrowed the coconut tree (using a flag pole instead) and lord's palace escape scenes (this one was from a party at a local bigwig [pun intended :18thcenturyfashions: ] in Jamaica) and the fact that Blackbeard could control dead sailors and he was seeking eternal life by using a female. I am glad I saw the film first, but this was very well written and descriptive.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-22-2011, 02:23 PM
The series is based on the book of the same name by Mark Stein. Maybe worth adding to your reading list (*drool*), BCJ.

http://www.amazon.com/How-States-Got.../dp/0061431389

It is a very good series as SK said. It was broadcast earlier on the History Channel but this current series appears to have been either upgraded or expanded. Great stuff for history buffs! And to paraphrase The Little Red Hen, "And so I did."

How the States Got Their Shapes Too by Mark Stein. The first book (without the "Too" word) by this author was still checked out from the library, so I read his second. Based on the individuals who were a part of such disagreements, it traces the development of why the boundaries and borders of the USA states are what they are... now. I suspect the maps won't always look the way they do right now. Some parts were a little funny, but it could even be a primer for US history from the pre-Revolution days to the present.

JimJamBonds
07-26-2011, 01:38 PM
Sportscasting. I thought this would be about how the media ie. ESPN influences what we watch and think about sports, instead it was about 'conventional wisdom' and pondered other sporting questions. For example: should a team go for it on 4th down or punt? Do strike zones shrink and expand? Do star players get prefered treatment? Does sitting a player after he gets his fifth foul make sense? At times the book got a bit bogged down in details but even though it wasn't quite what I was expecting it was still an interesting read.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-26-2011, 05:10 PM
The first time I'd read an Agatha Christie mystery, Death on the Nile. If only murder could be so easily solved. :rolleyes: I had heard of the famous detective Hercule Poirot before, and he is characterized as sometimes polite and genteel, but towards the end became more self-assured and blunt. Still, a good story with good who-can-it-be options. She totally ripped off the Clue movie, I'm sure. :p And I could learn some French phrases, if I wanted to translate them (I figured out a couple on my own).

Summer reading stats so far: 35 books (a new record, by one), about 8700 pages (around 248 per) read. I might have enough time for another book or so (but I'm sure that 40 books is out of the question).

Bel-Cam Jos
07-29-2011, 09:29 PM
The ESPN book, Those Guys Have All the Fun by James A. Miller and Tom Shales finally became available at my library. I read its 740+ pages in three fast days; not quite like Harry Potter, but I still wanted to keep reading. It was simply interviews of dozens, maybe even hundreds, of people associated with the sports network over the 30+ years of its existence, so their paragraph(s) went quickly. I really must be a square, because there was MUCH more profanity than I thought the editors would keep (I knew there'd be some). Some are still jerks and idiots (Jim Gray comes to mind, plus several executives), some changed my view of them (Chris Berman to the negative, Tony Kornheiser to the positive), and others were as I expected (most of the "lesser" anchors and experts). For having "fun" in the title, there wasn't much that was funny, exciting, or unusual to me, though.

I might even have a shot at reading 10K pages this summer now. :eek: :)

JimJamBonds
07-29-2011, 10:21 PM
Interesting BCJ, the one thing I heard about TGHATF is that its long in the tooth, earlier this summer I read an ESPN behind the scenes book as well (don't recall the name) I wonder how they compare? Also as a side note there is at least 1-3 more ESPN behind the scenes type books out there.

P.S. Not a Gray fan, REALLY not a Berman fan. I've liked Uncle Tony since he had a show on ESPN radio.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-30-2011, 10:02 AM
Didn't Dan and Keith co-write one?

Chris Berman was the only broadcaster I sent a card to have signed (ProSet in the early '90s did NFL contributors in addition to players)... never was returned in any form.

JimJamBonds
07-30-2011, 10:07 PM
Yes Dan and Keith did a book called 'The Big Show', my library has it but I've never bothered to check it out figuring its mostly fluff.

JimJamBonds
08-01-2011, 06:30 PM
To Be A Runner by Martin Dugard. Its less a book and more of a series of articles about running by the author. Its a decent read, nothing groundbreaking, some of the stuff was amusing, some was meh.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-07-2011, 05:58 PM
Well, as today's my last day of "summer" (meaning, from the day after school gets out, to the day I return to work), here are the last three books I finished, plus all the stats you've all been drooling over to read. :D

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. I needed an Australia/Antarctica sci-fi book for my book club, so... ta dah! It's about a group (apparently only 3) of Coca Cola representatives who go to Antarctica to look for pure water for the soft drink company, because apparently the world's water supply in this future (never named by year, but I figure it's really only about 2015 or so) is mostly undrinkable in nature. There are two storylines, one of the living Coke employee crossing the ice and storms trying to find her other companions who left a few weeks (days?) ago. The other is of the dead who are in a heaven/limbo place after death (it's like a small city; people hold jobs/can get injured but not die again/travel around/run a daily newspaper/serve and eat food/etc.). Very interesting, and like the new movie Contagion coming out soon, not the kind of thing I want nefarious people to learn about and give them ideas to destroy humanity and the world.

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. It's a fictional way that Renoir created his famous painting, by using the facts already known about him and the painting itself. Not very exciting, and hard to keep my attention (took over a week to read), even by the end once the painting gets finished.

Grime and Punishment by Jill Churchill. Always one for a good (bad?) pun, this book was a short one I had laying around, to add one more to the total. From the back of the book, it's about a "suburban detective" single mom. The last chapter has the mystery solved, sort of. It was okay; just a fast read.

Okay; here's the run-down...

Books read in summer 2011: 39 (previous career high for Bel-Cam: 34 in 2007)

Pages read: 10,300 (previous career high for Bel-Cam: 9,100 in '07)

Authors read by first letter of last name...
A= 1
B= 6 (most)
C= 5
D= 1
E= 1
F= 3
G= 3
H= 1
I= 0
J= 1
K= 2
L= 2
M= 5
N= 0
O= 0
P= 3
Q= 0
R= 1
S= 2
T= 0
U= 0
V= 1
W= 0
X= 0
Y= 0
Z= 1

Genres...
Star Wars/SciFi= 6
Young Adult= 5
Sports= 2
Western= 1
Romance= 1
Bio/Autobiography= 2
Humor= 3
Philosophy= 1
History= 3
Travel= 3
Mystery= 3
General Fiction= 9 (most)

JimJamBonds
08-07-2011, 09:52 PM
Women In The Second World War by Neil Storey & Molly Housego. When I checked out this book I thought it was about US women, it wasn't until I got home and started reading it that I realized it is about British women... no matter it was still an interesting (but quick) read.

sith_killer_99
08-09-2011, 03:58 AM
Tonight I read:

"Modeling Public Management: Empirical Analysis of the Management-Performance Nexus" by Kenneth J. Meier (Texas A&M University) and Laurence J. O'Toole Jr. (University of Georgia).

Then I followed it up with:

"The Managing of the Presidency: Applying Theory-Driven Empirical Models to the Study of White House Bureaucratic Performance" by Justin S. Vaughn (Texas A&M) and Jose D. Villalobos (Texas A&M).

The second is based on the MO model detailed in the first. It's actually pretty interesting stuff from a mangement/political theory aspect.

JimJamBonds
08-12-2011, 01:57 PM
SK, I presume these are for some sort of class?

As for myself: Anatomy & Physiology For Dummies. I'd like to be more knowledgeable about what is going on when we are running, both when I'm doing it or for the people that I coach. Since its been a long, long time since I've had a science class I thought this would be a good one to get back into the game (this after I gave up on Biochemistry Primer for Exercise Science because I was lost pretty much from the get go).

JediTricks
08-13-2011, 11:30 AM
I started a short book at Comic-Con while waiting in lines, and finally remembered it was waiting on my phone and finished it last night. A Double-Barrelled Detective Story, Mark Twain. Not very good. It's a mystery story that seemingly out of nowhere becomes a Sherlock Holmes parody (with Holmes himself appearing as a character 2/3rds into the story) which does a terrible job of showing up Holmes, and then wraps up the main storyline in the most goofy manner possible. Dialogue is really bad, and the interesting setup takes forever and doesn't really pay off so well.

The most interesting thing for me was that a character was actually named Ham Sandwich.

JimJamBonds
08-27-2011, 01:22 PM
The Big Switch by Harry Turtledove. This is the 3rd in a series of alt. history books that persue a timeline where Chamberlin etc. stood up to Hitler earlier. Thus WWII started earlier, the Big Switch was England and France settle with Germany and they all gang up on the USSR. Japan takes a big chunk out of Siberia and Japan attacks Hawaii and the Philapines about a year and a half 'early' compared to our timeline... that happens at the end of the book so I'm sure the next one (when it comes out next year) will have much too do with the US fighting.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-31-2011, 07:36 PM
It's very rare that I actually wish I hadn't read a book. I bought it at the Dollar Tree, so I can't complain about cost, but Benjamin Nugent's American Nerd: The Story of My People sounded funny from the title, and the book cover comments echoed that idea. There were a few, brief smile-worthy parts and some interesting historical studies, but mostly it was sad and depressing. I went to bed depressed, myself.

OC47150
09-01-2011, 11:09 AM
Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver. This is the new James Bond novel. It's not bad. Bond is now in his early 30s and a vet of the Afghan War. I just couldn't get use to the idea of Bond having an app on his phone.

sith_killer_99
09-02-2011, 04:28 PM
SK, I presume these are for some sort of class?

Nope, the first was for practical application, the second was for curiosity.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-03-2011, 11:18 AM
Wait, people can read when they DON'T HAVE TO read? :confused: :rolleyes:

Speaking of such, I saw a link to Time's Top 100 Non-Fiction Books (since 1923... odd year to choose), and because it was a list (LISTS... :drool: ) with Joseph Campbell's Hero w/ 1K Faces on it, I scanned it. Which others have I read from it?
- Caged Bird... (M.Angelou)
- Black Boy (R.Wright... I thought this was fiction)
- Maus (A. Spiegelman)
- On Writing (S.King)
- Brief History of Time (S.Hawking)
- Elements of Style (Strunk & White)

Check it out...
http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,2088856,00.html

Bel-Cam Jos
09-07-2011, 09:51 PM
Funniest book I've read in a long time: This Is a Book by Demetri Martin. I cry-laughed several times, but was most impressed by the 2 1/2-page palindrome poem (yes, the first line is the reverse of the last line, and so forth, for about 60-80 lines) in the "Palindromes for Specific Occasions" chapter. He is hilarious, and very good with grammar, literary "stuff," and observations (and his occasional profanity actually works most times). Drawings are funny, too.

JimJamBonds
09-07-2011, 10:01 PM
...I saw a link to Time's Top 100 Non-Fiction Books... The only one I've read is Guns, Germs and Steel and to be honest I don't even remember anything about it :sad: Well if nothing else its given me some stuff to 'work on.'

As for myself my latest read was quite interesting but no where near the Top 100... Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America. The title pretty much says it all, a quick and interesting read, I actually didn't want to set it down. Its not very technical, it simply tells Nintendo's story, and rather well I might add.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-12-2011, 07:07 PM
I had a coupon and found a couple short SW young adult books, and I was swayed purely by the titles. I finished the first in the series, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, last night. Funny odd and weird, it's set at McQuarrie Middle School, about a boy who makes a paper finger puppet of Yoda that gives out advice. The second book, Darth Paper Strikes Back is on my shelf.

JimJamBonds
09-17-2011, 09:38 PM
Last night I finished Shifty's War: The Authorized Biography of Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, The Legendary Sharpshooter from the BAND OF BROTHERS. If you've read any of the other BoB books this one is pretty much the same, mostly its stories from the war are the same as the other books, its just the before and after parts are different. Thats not to say there aren't good stories in the book. Probably my 'favorite' part was when Shifty described the day after V-E Day: "I went to morning formation wearing nothing other then underwear and I had a bottle of champange in my hand, I was probably in the best condition of any man in my squad."

Bel-Cam Jos
09-17-2011, 10:42 PM
I finished the latest in the "Chet & Bernie Mysteries" series, The Dog Who Knew Too Much. I love these books, narrated by Chet, a dog. This one is set mainly in "the hills" out of state, instead of the desert valley that the other three books were.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-22-2011, 06:43 PM
The second Origami Yoda book, Darth Paper Strikes Back, by Tom Angleberger, was an easy, fast read. More serious than the first, but still fun. According to the back page, not the end is this... for this series, that is.

JimJamBonds
09-25-2011, 07:08 PM
The Bride of The Far Side by Gary Larson. Ok, it's not much of a 'book'... but it was fun 'reading' none the less.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-17-2011, 06:58 PM
I read a legitimate book, in the month of October. Hooray! Meetings at the Metaphor cafe, by Bob Pacilio, after he spoke for the students at our school last week. One of my colleagues was quite excited to have him there and in person, and I saw why. Even got him to sign my copy. One of those how-teachers-make-a-difference books, but I don't mean to just pigeonhole it as a "type" of book; it's quite good at tugging at the heartstrings and even chuckle-worthy at times. :thumbsup:

JimJamBonds
10-28-2011, 09:56 PM
Running on empty : An ultramarathoner's story of love, loss, and a record-setting run across America by Marshall Ulrich. Well the title pretty much tells it all, guy becomes a runner, finds out he is great at ultra races...runs across America in 52 days.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-29-2011, 10:44 AM
Running on empty : An ultramarathoner's story of love, loss, and a record-setting run across America by Marshall Ulrich....runs across America in 52 days.Well, roughly 3000 miles across, about 60 miles a day, if he ran half the day and slept the other without taking a day off: averaging about 5 miles per hour. Impressive.

JimJamBonds
10-29-2011, 05:19 PM
He started off at 70 per day in an attempt to break the record couldn't keep that up so it was changed to 60 which was the 3rd fastest and broke the masters (over 40) and grand masters (over 50) records. He started running around 7-8 then after the first marathon (26.2), slept for a bit, break at 50 miles and then the day was over at 60 which would have been 12 - 2ish.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-30-2011, 10:02 AM
My knees and ankles and calves remember those days, and then they remember THESE days. I miss running, but not the ruining.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-31-2011, 05:18 PM
But while I can't keep up the running I once did in my younger and more vulnerable days, my reading keeping up is more, uh, good? :p After being recommended by a few colleagues before, I finally got around to Steinbeck's East of Eden. I put it in my top three (I'll pass on a full Top 10 LIST right now... blasphemy, I know) JS books I've ever read (Grapes of Wrath still #1, and Travels With Charley at #2). Probably the best characterization he's done, and among his best dialogue. It's long (just over 600 pgs.) but one of those books that reads quickly (it only took me 12 days, including schoolwork grading and a weekend trip as interruptions). I am closer to 900 total books in life read (I think this makes 889), but I don't see there being much reading time upcoming. :cry:

JimJamBonds
11-01-2011, 02:58 AM
... I am closer to 900 total books in life read (I think this makes 889)..What?!?! You don't have a list of all the books you've read?

Bel-Cam Jos
11-01-2011, 07:31 PM
Not in Word format; it's on my word processor. In alphabetical order by author's last name. With book titles also alphabetical. In four separate files (A-E, F-K, L-S, T-Z). With a subtotal of Star Wars books. And yes, E of E did make #889.

Why do you ask? :rolleyes:

sith_killer_99
11-02-2011, 01:03 AM
Currently reading "Economic Facts and Fallacies" by one of the most brilliant scholars of our time, Thomas Sowell.

Bel-Cam Jos
11-20-2011, 08:32 PM
The soon-to-be-released film Hugo was based in part on the YA book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. It is 550+ pages in length, but I'd say more than half the pages are drawings or copies of photos, so it's a very fast read. It's a really nice story, and I hope the film holds close to the plot of the book (because if so, it'll be great to follow AND make a ton o' cash). I also like the footnotes at the end, to get kids (and we older kids :rolleyes: ) to learn more about the non-fiction aspects of this fictionalization of famous early film pioneer Georges Melies.

sith_killer_99
11-20-2011, 08:48 PM
Currently reading "Back To Work: Why We Need Smart Government For A Strong Economy" by Bill (Slick Willie) Clinton. :smoker:

JimJamBonds
11-23-2011, 09:48 PM
After several failed attempts I finally knocked out another book this one was Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates from the SyFy show Destination Truth. I'm not familar with Josh or the show but it was a fun, quick read...

Bel-Cam Jos
12-06-2011, 07:39 PM
Two Steinbecks: Burning Bright and Winter of Our Discontent. I won't commit blasphemy and say they weren't good, but I will say they weren't as Steinbeck-y as I've read before. I usually want to read on; these, not always the case.

But I am creeping closer to 900 books read. Not this week. :rolleyes: All-time.

JimJamBonds
12-09-2011, 11:21 PM
Himmler's War by Robert Conroy. In this book of alternate history Hitler is killed in a freak bombing by an American B-17 in June of 1944 and Himmler takes over running Germany. It was an enjoyable read although imho if Hitler would have been killed I think everything would have gone to hell, I don't think Germany could have continued along as it did in the novel. Still, if you like alt. history its a decent read.

OC47150
12-10-2011, 01:05 PM
Himmler's War by Robert Conroy. In this book of alternate history Hitler is killed in a freak bombing by an American B-17 in June of 1944 and Himmler takes over running Germany. It was an enjoyable read although imho if Hitler would have been killed I think everything would have gone to hell, I don't think Germany could have continued along as it did in the novel. Still, if you like alt. history its a decent read.

I might have to check that one out.

Whether or not Hitler's death would shorten or lengthen the war is still a topic that's debated/discussed to this day.

TeeEye7
12-10-2011, 02:11 PM
But I am creeping closer to 900 books read. Not this week. :rolleyes: All-time.

Here's a suggestion for your next book: http://www.jktoole.com/

(You might find the documentary interesting as well).

Bel-Cam Jos
12-10-2011, 06:30 PM
Here's a suggestion for your next book: http://www.jktoole.com/

(You might find the documentary interesting as well).I have not read A Confederacy of Dunces before; might have to start there first. Thanks.

JimJamBonds
12-10-2011, 08:43 PM
Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss. Its pretty much as the title says, run less but train faster...if you're not a runner I doubt you care about any more of a report on this book. :anonymous:

Bel-Cam Jos
12-17-2011, 09:48 AM
The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. This was recommended to me by a colleague. It's about how a 6th-grade teacher gets her students excited about reading (the good part) and requires 40 books a school year (also great). But some of the other aspects are a bit preachy (despite caveats throughout that say it isn't so) and not how I think about teaching books at other times. It was so-so.

JimJamBonds
12-17-2011, 09:52 AM
But some of the other aspects are a bit preachy (despite caveats throughout that say it isn't so) ...
You mean the old move of "I don't mean to preach" and then proceed to do that? :peach:

Bel-Cam Jos
12-17-2011, 09:54 AM
You mean the old move of "I don't mean to preach" and then proceed to do that? :peach:Yes, also under the guise of "you might do it differently, but..."

JimJamBonds
12-17-2011, 09:56 AM
This IS the way it should be done?

Bel-Cam Jos
12-29-2011, 09:35 AM
Here's a suggestion for your next book: http://www.jktoole.com/

(You might find the documentary interesting as well).Well, I finished the book A Confederacy of Dunces. It has that schizo-aspect that hurts books: it is very well constructed, with interesting twists and occasional witty dialogue and imagery. But the overall concept is awful, and the main character is terrible, with no redeeming qualities. There were times I wanted to keep reading and even chuckled aloud; but more often there were instances where I wanted to just set it down (why it took me almost two weeks to get through it). If there was a shake-your-hand-horizontally-up-and-down emoticon, I'd give it that.

I have one more book, and three days left to the year. Company has left too, and I have no other big plans. We shall see if it ends up on the 2011 list. (LISTS... :drool: )

JimJamBonds
12-29-2011, 06:02 PM
The Voyage of Odysseus retold by James Reeves. No its not the 'real' version by Homer, rather its about a 200ish page book that starts off with the fall of Troy. It was good but man did it seem to drag on, when Odysseus finally gets home after 20 years and 150 pages its still 50 more before the book ends.

Bel-Cam Jos
12-31-2011, 10:34 PM
My final book of the year, River of Heaven by Lee Martin, was chosen because I realized I had read three other books with an author's last name of Martin. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer (for a different novel), teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University, and had submitted parts of this book to an online writers' site which I have done the same myself. The book was so-so, a sort of mystery tale of secrets. Maybe I should have better ways to determine a book's read-ability. :rolleyes:

So, more importantly, here are my reading stats for 2011:
- 69 total books
- 18,000 pgs.
- 261 pgs. per
Summer:
- 39 books
- 10,300 pgs.
- 264 pgs. per

JimJamBonds
01-01-2012, 03:14 PM
What the heck BCJ so I have to figure out the math on how many pages a day you read?!?!?!?:pig:

Bel-Cam Jos
01-01-2012, 05:15 PM
I didn't know there was such a desire for more specific reading statistics! (BTW, it would be 1500 per month, 346.15 per week, 49.31 per day, 2.05 per hour) :D

JimJamBonds
01-02-2012, 08:56 PM
Not really, just giving you a hard time!

Bel-Cam Jos
01-03-2012, 11:22 AM
Does this give new meaning to reading between the lines? ;)

Time to start a new list (LISTS... :drool: ) of books. :thumbsup:

JimJamBonds
01-03-2012, 04:20 PM
What list would that be books read in 2012? :listening_headphone

Bel-Cam Jos
01-11-2012, 07:08 PM
First book to add to that 2012 books read list (LISTS... :drool: ) is City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I was supposed to read a steampunk genre sci-fi book for my book club, and I noticed she was on some steampunk categories. But I apparently chose a book that didn't fit the genre. And it wasn't good, either (not a reliable suspension-of-belief aspect, weak and stereotype characters, predictable plot), even for a YA novel. Oh well.

sith_killer_99
01-12-2012, 12:03 AM
So, more importantly, here are my reading stats for 2011:
- 69 total books
- 18,000 pgs.
- 261 pgs. per
Summer:
- 39 books
- 10,300 pgs.
- 264 pgs. per

:sur:

Wow, I suddenly feel like a slacker. Not even my wife hit numbers that high in 2011. She joined a "50 books a year" club and fell just shy of the goal (44). The site did give her honorable mention for posting reviews for every book!

This year she has already gotten to 12, so she's well on her way.

I hit 12 last year...reading, add a few audiobooks to that, I'm around 16 total. :sad:

I wish I had more time to read books, I have a couple I bought a while back I still haven't gotten to...they are still on hold.

I ordered my first book of the year from B&N a few days ago "Generation Me". It should arrive soon. It comes highly recommended, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-12-2012, 07:00 PM
Wow, I suddenly feel like a slacker. Not even my wife hit numbers that high in 2011. She joined a "50 books a year" club and fell just shy of the goal (44). The site did give her honorable mention for posting reviews for every book!

I hit 12 last year...reading, add a few audiobooks to that, I'm around 16 total. :sad:

I wish I had more time to read books, I have a couple I bought a while back I still haven't gotten to...they are still on hold.I have several colleagues and friends who blew MY totals away.

The dearth of reading time once school resumes is sad for me; I chomp down on the time in summer! :thumbsup:

sith_killer_99
01-12-2012, 08:50 PM
Grrrr...wife just notified me she has reached 14 books and is finishing posting her reviews as I type this.

I'm gonna have to buy a nook simple touch.

JimJamBonds
01-13-2012, 09:06 PM
BCJ, I was at my local library and I saw this and thought of you...

http://www.amazon.com/Listomania-World-Fascinating-Graphic-Detail/dp/0062082833

Its a book of lists!!!

Bel-Cam Jos
01-13-2012, 10:03 PM
Imagine if it's a book on tape; I'd be able to COMPILE a list (LISTS... :drool: ) while reading/listening to it! :moebiuscircle:

This is somewhat a SW book: Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking, her autobiographical self tell-all. Some LOL parts, some sad ones, some empathic areas, as she opens up about her spotlight life and family.

JimJamBonds
01-14-2012, 09:16 AM
WD was pretty good, I listened to it on cd as read by the author.

OC47150
01-24-2012, 06:11 PM
I spent some Christmas money from my mother-in-law on Reven and Darth Plaegius. Now I need to find the time to sit down and read them.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-27-2012, 09:53 PM
Midnight Comes to the Metaphor Cafe by Bob Pacilio, the sequel to the first Metaphor Cafe book. It follows the senior years of the same four students, focusing more on them than their teacher, Mr. B. A fast read, emotional in the right parts and right ways. And it's always cool when you have met an author before, and he asks your opinion of the book! :thumbsup:

sith_killer_99
01-27-2012, 11:23 PM
Generation Me Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-28-2012, 04:33 PM
Ooh... I can't wait for the sequel to GMWTYAAMCAEAMMTEB! :p

sith_killer_99
01-28-2012, 07:07 PM
Ooh... I can't wait for the sequel to GMWTYAAMCAEAMMTEB! :p

Uh, yeah, it's most commonly called "Generation Me". :p

Bel-Cam Jos
01-28-2012, 07:18 PM
The novel I will write someday, already titled, is two words, plus eight more in the subtitle. :D

DarthQuack
02-10-2012, 12:09 AM
Just started Darth Plagueis today and really like it so far!

JediTricks
02-11-2012, 02:37 PM
Just finished Valley of Fear last night, great ending, albeit in some ways very similar to the first Sherlock Holmes story, Study in Scarlet.

I think with all the buzz about Darth Plagueis, I'll probably buy that on Kindle next week and make that my next book after I finish the last Holmes short story collection.

Bel-Cam Jos
02-12-2012, 10:02 AM
Not truly a "book" I read, but with a coupon AND a discount, I had to get some SW book: How to Speak Wookiee bu Wu Kee Smith and JAKe. You can press buttons to hear Chewbacca help you with Shyriiwook in the boardroom, at the mall, playing games, etc. Chuckle-worthy.

Bel-Cam Jos
02-15-2012, 07:49 PM
The local history series "Images of America" finally published one for the city in which I've lived since it incorporated; Rancho Cucamonga by Paula Emick. It's short, mainly extended captions of old B&W photos, with nice descriptions. Traces the development of this small city of the decades, and its industries (agriculture, wineries, education, etc.).

JediTricks
02-15-2012, 09:19 PM
I was reading a short story the other night, and realized I was dozing off, so I closed it knowing I'd come back the next day. Unfortunately, as I feared, when I got back to it, the story only had 5 pages left, so I had an unsatisfying reading experience. :p

TeeEye7
02-18-2012, 06:04 PM
Just learned of a book written by a retired colleague, so I've ordered it from Amazon. Looking forward to reading it!

http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Michael-Patrick/dp/1770676740

faker
02-20-2012, 07:50 PM
25952

Have you guys seen this pic? A French guy photoshopped SW stuff in real world situations. This is one of my fav's.

Bel-Cam Jos
02-24-2012, 07:01 PM
I a couple weeks, my Sci-Fi book club's theme is Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy. I'd read the first book (I forget its title... :p ); last year, and wasn't super-duper impressed (but it was still quite good). But in trying to have the whole series read and not get spoilerized during the discussions, I found the second book to be very good (probably better than the original), and I just started the third one.

OC47150
02-24-2012, 09:07 PM
I a couple weeks, my Sci-Fi book club's theme is Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy. I'd read the first book (I forget its title... :p ); last year, and wasn't super-duper impressed (but it was still quite good). But in trying to have the whole series read and not get spoilerized during the discussions, I found the second book to be very good (probably better than the original), and I just started the third one.

One of my friends in a high school teacher. One of her English teacher colleagues had her students read the Hunger Games about two years ago, long before it was going to be made into a movie, and recommended it. I've been aiming to pick it up but just haven't.

Bel-Cam Jos
02-25-2012, 09:09 AM
I'll wait to post SPOILER comments once I've finished the whole series (I'm only 70-some pages into Mockingjay, the final one), but here's what I posted here in this very thread after reading HG:


My sci-fi book club chose The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It was quite good, but I didn't love it as much as some of the members did. It's a YA version of The Running Man and "reality" TV shows, but pretty violent and gory at times.

TeeEye7
02-27-2012, 02:47 PM
Just learned of a book written by a retired colleague, so I've ordered it from Amazon. Looking forward to reading it!

http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Michael-Patrick/dp/1770676740

Finished it last night. I was privy to the facts, or had actually worked some of the cases about which were chronicled. I can ride Mike's coattails and use his work as a reference as to what it was like working in law enforcement. I just wish I were retired like Mike....

JediTricks
02-27-2012, 03:35 PM
Finished the very last Sherlock Holmes stories (the Conan Doyle ones), I kinda slowed down to savor the last 2, and I guess I hadn't read that last book before because I didn't remember the 2nd-to-last story being total bullcrap, and the very last story was eye-rollingly-obvious from the earliest explanation of the wounds.


Now I have to decide if I'm going to drop $14 on the Darth Plagueis Kindle edition right now, or read some of the free books I already have on my Kindle, or maybe put some time into Making of ESB which I haven't done yet (I don't like reading big heavy books).

JimJamBonds
02-27-2012, 10:19 PM
Sports Psychology For Dummies, I'd like to say that I bought this for the 'coach' in me when I deal with my kids, but its just as much (if not more) for myself the runner.

Sadly this is the first book I've finished this year. :bandit:

DarthQuack
02-28-2012, 04:40 PM
Since I recently got an Amazon Kindle Fire, I've been reading The Transformers G1 Marvel comic on a nice comic app on it. Really enjoying it. I'm sure Tycho will reply praising it as well. ;)

Bel-Cam Jos
02-28-2012, 09:57 PM
Finished Mockingjay, the last in the series. It was not how I expected it to end, but that's not a bad thing.


SEMI-SPOILERS BELOW...



I expected one of the "guys" to die, but I didn't expect the "president" to be killed that way, let alone by who did it. Some fast scenes, where you read about the action only after it's occurred. The epilogue was very Harry Potter book 7-esque.

JediTricks
03-05-2012, 03:41 PM
After learning of Ralph McQuarrie's passing yesterday, I decided to finally start reading The Making of Empire Strikes Back. Man is that a big book! It's bending under its own weight, this probably should have been 2 books in 1 slipcover instead, I had to take off the dust jacket to keep it from slipping out of my hands. Anyway, so far it's a good read, very dense, but I get a feeling that it's not quite as honest an eye as the ANH book before it was, there's been almost nothing from Kurtz for example.

Bel-Cam Jos
03-22-2012, 05:19 PM
Since I'm making the end of my Spring Break a Steinbeck-a-palooza (driving up CA to his hometown of Salinas where the Nat'l Steinbeck Center is, joining a Writing Project Steinbeck workshop the next day in San Jose), I figured I'd read some of his shorter writing that I hadn't yet read:

The Moon is Down, not set in CA (not even in North America). It was very short, about a small town in Norway that was conquered by an unnamed army (based on the time period, it would be Germany) and how the townspeople either give in, fight back, break down, or muse about life when the invading soldiers settle in.

The Pastures of Heaven, set back in good ol' central/northern CA. A series of chapters from different families' points of view but all in a valley near Salinas/Monterey. Each chapter takes something from the other chapters, but you do get a sense of closure by the last pages. It's really weird to find yourself as a character in a book, especially if he isn't really a "great" one in the story. I liked this one more than the former.

Livin' in the 909, the first Steinbeck book was my 909th in my all-time list of books read over the years. The next book will be the inauspicious number 911.

Bel-Cam Jos
03-27-2012, 07:22 PM
Rudolfo Anaya's Alburquerque, and no, it's not misspelled. Apparently, a painter of the train stop sign back in the 19th cent. didn't include the first 'R' in the name. It was a nice story of well-crafted characters, set in the early 1990s in the city of the same name. It was a little slow getting started, as many books are, but about 2/3 in, it got quite good. There's a mystery that partway in, the reader discovers the answer, but some of the characters don't, as we wonder if they ever will. The ending's a little cliche' but it works for the storyline.

Bel-Cam Jos
04-01-2012, 09:46 AM
I wanted to read a couple more in March, since April won't be as easy to find reading time (but I've been able to read at least one book each month this year), and I wanted some likely light-hearted, humorous topics.

Bill Cosby's I Am What I Ate… And I’m Frightened!!! In his typical style, it's mainly family memories. But not as funny when your subject is health and eating issues. It was okay.

Logan Murray's Teach Yourself Stand-Up Comedy. Not that I'm looking to change careers, or to start a weekend gig, just picked it up from the library (it was on the shelf next to the Cosby book). Actually, there are some good ideas I can adapt for writing topics for my students, as well as general suggestions on speaking confidently. It's by a British author, so some spellings and slang were different, or as they say in England, "lift." :p

Bel-Cam Jos
04-25-2012, 06:49 PM
Like a batter who gets a bloop single in the 9th inning to keep a hitting streak alive, I maintain my at-least-one-book-a-month streak with Jeff Dunham's autobio All By My Selves. I knew much of it from various bio shows I've seen over the years, but his rise as a vent (the jargon name for a ventriloquist artist) and comedian is still a nice story.

JimJamBonds
04-28-2012, 08:58 PM
Like a batter who gets a bloop single in the 9th inning to keep a hitting streak alive, I maintain my at-least-one-book-a-month streak with Jeff Dunham's autobio All By My Selves. I knew much of it from various bio shows I've seen over the years, but his rise as a vent (the jargon name for a ventriloquist artist) and comedian is still a nice story.
I liked it as well but it got a little 'heavy' at times talking about how great it is he found somebody post divorce blahh blahh blahh.

One Man's Wilderness by Dick Proenneke, its his journal of the first year and a half of his living in the bush in Alaska, a great read!!!

Bel-Cam Jos
05-28-2012, 09:31 AM
Let the joy of summer reading commence beginning!

Two totally different books. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende was a slug-fest to get through (taking over a month and a few renewals from the library). I enjoyed it by the end, but it was so tough to read it (multiple PAGE paragraphs, including one with a multiple page SENTENCE). Very detailed as it traces a family over close to 100 years of events. What was great was that I believe not one single plotline or comment went unresolved; most were alluded to and then actually concluded a some point later in the novel.

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman. It was what it sounds like. I thought there might be some Carlin-esque wit or commentary: not really. Just a "memoir" of her life with a few funny moments here and there. Mostly gross, crude, or "in your face" reactionary; but then, that's her style I guess.

OC47150
05-28-2012, 12:31 PM
I'm 3/4s of the way through Splinter of the Minds Eye. Since it was written before a lot of the SW canon was established, it's interesting. I remember starting and stopping this book several times, but don't think I'd ever finished it.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-31-2012, 09:11 AM
Another unusual mix.

Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. She came to speak at our library's Asian Pacific Islander Month kickoff event this month, and those who attended it got a free signed copy of the book. Last summer, on a drive back from Reno, I stopped at the Manzanar site, too. I'd read excerpts of FtM before, but never read the entire book. A simple style, easy to understand, of a time period where we probably don't understand how and why what happened did happen (even though the "why" has been explained for decades :( ).

Peter & the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson. Another in the Peter Pan YA series. Pretty good, with more world history in this one (Charlemagne, London and English geography, Edward the Confessor, et al). A fast read, even at a 2"+ thick book spine.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-01-2012, 02:47 PM
These next reads have a negative side to each.

Where Things Come back by John Corey Whaley. A colleague (who did a Skype interview with the author in her classes) recommended this book. It fits into the rare like/hate category: I really liked its construction (characters, allusions, plot weaving, dialogue, interesting concepts) but hated how I found myself in the book (I believe this was the most intensive connections to characters I've read in a long time; I was actually literally shaken up after reading it and needed some unwind time). Set in an Arkansas small town, it deals with various intersecting storylines mainly about a teenager's life, losses, and loves (hey; alliteration! :D ).

The Hoarder in You by Robin Zasio, one of the people with the Hoarders TV show. As a collector, I wondered if their definitions of "hoarder" would fit me. It just confirmed that I have some of my collecting under control; I'd be a 2 or 3 on their 5-point continuum (or called a "clutterer" I guess) of hoarding tendencies. I wasn't interested in a self-help book, but there were a few helpful aspects.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-06-2012, 05:59 PM
After all the hype, and time that passed, I finally got to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies by Seth Graham-Smith (and Jane Austen). It was really just silly, but the "zombie mayhem" made the slow, plodding British countryside narrative tolerable. I don't recall the word "pride" being used so often in the original novel, and the amount of vomit, inuendo, and "balls" jokes was more than necessary. Funny, dull, witty, boring; it had it all?

The Art of Ralph McQuarrie was a little awkward to read (it's in Japanese, so I used the companion translation booklet) but if you just studied the artwork, the words just added more detail.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-08-2012, 02:24 PM
I have now crossed the summer 10-books read plateau, about 2700 pages. So far. My summer goal is always 30 books. Or more. :D

Aleph by Paulo Coelho. I have liked almost all his books I've read, but this is easily my least favorite of those. It's listed as "fiction," and it is, but he makes himself the main character in his own life. Basically, it's his weeks-long journey on the Trans-Siberian railroad on a book signing tour, and the group that travels with him. The woman who forces him to let her join is annoying, selfish, and arrogant (even though she is supposed to be inspiring for her forcefulness and confidence); the translator is the best person (but his flaws are not fully rounded and make him flat); and the comments on life seemed trite and cliched to me. Sad to hear, but this was not as good as I'd have liked.

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. I'll have to go back and check out JediTricks' reviews of it. [edit: that was over 2 years ago here? wow; time flies...] A very well-constructed crime mystery classic, set in a northern CA crime-ridden city; the not-named detective who is hell-bent on cleaning up the corruption there spouts all the gangster jargon and slang, and more. The last chapter is the one that wraps up all the loose ends, just like detective novels used to do. Hey; this was written in the days when that happened. :rolleyes: A great read. Better than the SW EU book of the same title.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-10-2012, 04:51 PM
I'll give some others a chance to post in this thread after this. :rolleyes:

I Had a Hammer by Henry Aaron & Lonnie Wheeler. His autobio was in chronological order, with a strong memory; most of his MLB days I knew about (but not the extent of the hate mail he received, not only during the Ruth chase, but throughout his career), but I'd heard almost nothing of his Negro League and minor league days. I have to soapbox for a bit: people say I have good patience with others, but Aaron's was far beyond mine. Stupid, ignorant, racist, hateful, selfish people need to be put in their places; I have only to hope that karma really exists to turn around the awful things they wrote (some would put today's internet spelling and grammar at Shakespearean levels) and said to him. Those parts made me sick to share the earth with those idiotic humans, especially those who wrote that they weren't being racist or cruel but "truthful." :mad: The book was good, just like the man. Maybe that's what I should take from it, rather than the hatred.

TeeEye7
06-12-2012, 03:00 AM
Ever since the layoffs and other bloodshed, I haven't had time to do any recreational reading to any real degree. I'm at work more than home and that's getting really tiring...

OC47150
06-14-2012, 08:40 AM
SEAL Target Geronimo by Chuck Pfaffar. One of the first books released about the mission to take out Osama Bin Laden in Mau 2011. Pfarrar is a former SEAL himself and interviewed a lot of the parties involved (names changed to protect their identity, of course). Interesting read.

Darth Maul: Saboteur. Reread the short story at the end of the Maul: Shadow Hunter. Someone gave me the paperback version with the story included. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

JimJamBonds
06-23-2012, 05:52 AM
I Had a Hammer by Henry Aaron & Lonnie Wheeler.GREAT BOOK! Even if you're not a baseball fan I think most 'anybody' should like this one even if you're not a baseball fan.

Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running by Peter Larson and Bill Katovsky. The name pretty much gives away the subject matter. Its a pretty good book about running, not the best but not bad. I'm a big fan of Dr. Larson's blog runblogger.com so it was kinda natural for me to get his book.

OC47150
06-23-2012, 03:07 PM
I've been reading some of the short stories from the old SW Adventure Journals. Some are pretty decent, others are so-so. Too bad I don't have more of the journals; they're pretty cool.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-27-2012, 09:52 AM
Back from travels across the northwestern coast of N.America! Three more to add:

Brainiac by Ken Jennings. Surprisingly good, as I expected it to just retrace his life up to, and after, his streak on the Jeopardy! game show. But it was more about trivia and the accumulation and recall of knowledge and information (talking to trivia "experts" and fans around the country).

The Odyssey of an Armenian Revolutionary Couple by Vahak Sarkis. I met the author on the cruise, and he recommended I read his father's and mother's history (he then gave me his copy, signed :D ) while on the trip. Very detailed, based on memoirs the two either wrote or recorded that the author compiled. Gut-wrenching in its accounts of the Armenian genocide of the early 20th century, but it has a sense of hope for the future.

Tell me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon. Having heard of his prolific book totals, I figured I'd get to one some summer, and with this year's library theme of "Dream Big Read," this one made sense. Easy to follow, a very fast read (for over 300 pages) with some "a-ha" surprises. About a murder trial of a Multiple Personality Disorder woman, and if she really did it or not.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-01-2012, 08:39 PM
The Happy Bottom Riding Club by Lauren Kessler. It's a biography of Florence "Pancho" Barnes, one of the first female aviators. She acted more like a man, in some cases worse than a man might, and held some important flight records (for either men or women). Her bad habits led to her downfall and fall from grace, but her notoriety and generosity (as wasteful spending on other people) live on. The book tries to focus on her good points; it's still interesting.

My summer totals are: 15 books, about 4K pages. So far. ;)

JimJamBonds
07-04-2012, 07:35 PM
Freshwater Submarines: The Manitowoc Story, by Rear Admiral William T. Nelson, USN (Ret.) Manitowoc, Wi (my hometown) built 28 subs during WWII, Rear Admiral Nelson was the commander on the first built Manitowoc sub USS Peto (SS-265) and the USS Lamprey (SS-372). The book as the title says is about the 28 subs that were built by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company during the war, although for the most part the book tells the story of the Peto.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-05-2012, 09:14 AM
Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man. I cannot believe it took me this long to read this one. It's probably my favorite Bradbury. With those short stories all connected with the Illustrated Man concept, it tells the future of humanity. And if things don't get better, that's not a pretty future. he does have some hope and faith in people, but it's not the ones making the decisions. We miss you, Ray. :(

Ellery Queen's Ten Days' Wonder. I've read a couple EQ books, and they always make me feel weird: he is the protagonist, the characters know he's a famous detective who writes books about his cases, and he is the "author" of these very books (does anyone know much about the real human(s) who wrote the books, and why they decided not to put his/her/their name(s) somewhere?). Very long explanation of how the crime was solved, but that's the EQ style. Still shocked by the outcome.

Gilbert Pearlman's Young Frankenstein. You can see the film first, and then read this, but it's no substitute for the film. Sight gags don't work at all, but there are a few written parts that get a chuckle.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-08-2012, 10:53 PM
Every summer I set a goal of 30 books read (done only 2 or 3 times), but there's an unwritten baseline of 20 books (I've never read less than that, since I started keeping track about 7 or 8 years ago). I have now reached 20, with about 5500 pages total. Still about three weeks left to my "summer," which is day school ends (in May) to day school resumes (early August).

Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief. How the former mayor of LA found time to write the YA "Percy Jackson & the Olympians" series, I'll never know. :rolleyes: I heard it was good, and the library seldom had a copy available, so I'm late to the party. It was okay; if one has no knowledge of Greco/Roman mythology, then would be a wonderful primer and great suprise. As I know that stuff pretty well, parts were easy to predict or guess at. Kid is the typical I-hate-not-knowing-my-past and hate-my-crummy-family character; much too brash and arrogant for a 12 year old (or is that what's "in" now? :( ). Some funny parts. I doubt I'll continue the series, nor see the films.

Susan Elizabeth Phillip's Dream a Little Dream. As I've menitoned before, my local library's summer reading theme is "Dream Big: Read," so I just searched for "dream" in their database and got this one. It's listed as a romance novel, and I suppose it is, but it's not a "trashy" one at all. A little more dark and depressing than I'd have expected, standard bad dialogue, but a bit of a mystery aspect to it that made it different. I began hating it, and ended up being pretty decent (it even referenced my namesake, Joseph Campbell).

Bel-Cam Jos
07-11-2012, 03:07 PM
Crossed the 6K page level with these three books.

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein. I read the sequel book first, which I prefer. That one was more about the people and the stories behind how the borders were set over the years. This one was about the actual north/south/east/west borders themselves (read: treaties, wars, court cases, surveys, etc.). Still interesting, but not as funny or personal.

A book by JC Oates, the worst novel I have ever read in my life. I won't even put its title here. Awful, repulsive.

When You catch an Adjective, Kill It by Ben Yagoda. The author's name sounded Jedi-esque, and a grammar or part-of-speech book, read it, I must. Not as funny as Eats Shoots and Leaves was (Yagoda even digs at her book a couple times, but not spitefully), but still pop culture-y and well-referenced.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-13-2012, 09:36 PM
Two more.

Loren Estleman's The Branch & the Scaffold. I've read a few of his books, and I still like his style. This was a historical fictional account of real-life Isaac "The Hanging Judge" Parker, from the 19th century Arkansas and Oklahoma Territory. More about the other people related to those cases (the US marshalls, attorneys, family members, outlaws, etc.). Good details, as always.

David Feherty's A Nasty Bit of Rough. I'd heard of this book several years back, written by the golf analyist. It was crass, too much of the physical and crude humor, but still funny at times. If I were more of a golf fan, I'd probably have liked it more. It started out bad, but by the end of the crazy golf tournament, it improved. Interesting characters, but not always easy to keep track of them.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-16-2012, 06:31 PM
Two Tracy books.

Wayne of Gotham by Tracy Hickman. A novel about the DC Comics character, it seems to create a new Batman origin story, mainly affecting his parents Thomas and Martha. Many of the villains and other characters make appearances, or just get mentioned, throughout. It is hard to follow (on purpose, IMHO), with switches from "Present Day" to mostly 1958. Some shocks, especially the last few chapters; it was pretty good.

Jerry Seinfeld: The Entire Domain by Kathleen Tracy. Follows the career of the TV star and comedian, up until 1998 (when the show went off the air), which was when this book came out. I loved the 50+ pages of episode summaries and cast lists at the end. But there were far too many errors and misprints for a published book for me.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-22-2012, 09:51 AM
These three got me to that magical 30-books level for the summer. :pleased: About 8000 pages total.

Bookmarked by Ann Camacho. Given by my department, it's a collection of student essays on various "life" topics.

The Road to Mars by Eric Idle. Yes, that Eric Idle. I expected more zaniness and stupid humor satirically presented. Not really; it turned into a decent sci-fi story. Two travelling comedians in the solar system, with their robot companion, get involved with some strange stuff. And the robot is trying to understand comedy, and writes a study of the topic. Not quite Monty Python, not quite Hitchhiker's Guide.

Ben Cooper: US Marshal by Phillip Underwood. It was a western, it was short, it was by an author starting with 'U.' That's why I chose it. Think Unforgiven meets True Grit, with a little Dances With Wolves (sort of). A marshal tracks a family of criminals throughout Utah in the 1800s; it also makes commentaries on Indian traditions, family, and societal behaviors. Very odd and unexpected ending.

For the year, I only need authors N, V, and X to complete the alphabet.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-26-2012, 05:41 PM
In recognition of his recent passing, :( I picked up Donald Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers. I had forgotten how much I liked these books (I think I read 15 of them in one summer as a kid, IIRC), even though they're really simplistic. But what do you expect from a 5-7 page "mystery" case. I figured out only four of the ten cases properly, and got a couple more close to right. LOL'd at the part where the dad has a bus schedule in his pocket to let the boys go downtown, so his son (not EB) can return a chess pamphlet to another teen who threatened to "kill him" if it wasn't returned to him by 4pm.

H.G. Wells' The War in the Air. The start of this was very dull, but once the action began, it became a quick read. Written in serial form starting in 1907, it sets up a "world war" fought with airships. Unlike the later World Wars, this war is on just about every continent with almost every country: America, Canada, England, Germany (they "start" the war), France, Morocco, Armenia, South America (not particular countries were named, just the region), Switzerland (yes, them too), North India (?? :confused: ), Panama, Russia, China and Japan (the main "villain" countries, called the Asiatics), etc. It turns into a commentary on societal ills: greed, selfishness, nationalism, cruelty, carelessness.

OC47150
07-26-2012, 05:53 PM
In recognition of his recent passing, :( I picked up Donald Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers. I had forgotten how much I liked these books (I think I read 15 of them in one summer as a kid, IIRC), even though they're really simplistic. But what do you expect from a 5-7 page "mystery" case. I figured out only four of the ten cases properly, and got a couple more close to right. LOL'd at the part where the dad has a bus schedule in his pocket to let the boys go downtown, so his son (not EB) can return a chess pamphlet to another teen who threatened to "kill him" if it wasn't returned to him by 4pm.

The wife and I were talking Donald Sobol/Encylopedia Brown the other day, after hearing about his passing. The one story that stands out in my mind involves melting ice cubes in a glass inside a wall safe.

Bel-Cam Jos
07-26-2012, 07:52 PM
The wife and I were talking Donald Sobol/Encylopedia Brown the other day, after hearing about his passing. The one story that stands out in my mind involves melting ice cubes in a glass inside a wall safe.I believe I first learned about palindromes from EB books; the culprit who stole the item in that case wrote LEVEL, NOON, RACECAR, etc. on a paper to accuse Anna (IIRC) of the theft.

OC47150
07-26-2012, 09:11 PM
Somewhere in the house, packed away, I still have several EB books, including one five-book set I received as a Christmas present 30+ years ago.

I downloaded one of the Lost Jedi ebooks earlier tonight. Can't wait to read it.

JimJamBonds
08-01-2012, 05:48 PM
Took down three in the last two weeks: Training for Young Distance Runners, Sport Physiology for Coaches and Peak When It Counts. All are running related and all are on the suggested reading list for the USA track and field conference I"m attending this weekend.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-05-2012, 04:13 PM
As of tomorrow, my summer ends. :( :cry: But I did get to read one more book. :pleased: Thomas Steinbeck's The Silver Lotus. John's son wrote a novel set in turn-of-the-century central coastal California (no surprise) and China about a ship captain who marries the daughter of a wealthy Cantonese businessman, and how their lives progress over the years. A little too convenient, and much of the hints are easily predictable. Very wordy and detailed, and surprisingly little dialogue (just 3rd person narration); but still not bad.




So, here are the '12 summer statistics:

36 books read, about 9,500 pgs. (264 pgs. per)

Authors read by last letter of names:
One of each letter except: A = 3, B = 2, C = 2, F = 2, H = 3, P = 2, S [the most] = 6, W = 2
None of these letters: D, L, V, X (still haven't read a 'V' or 'X' at all in 2012)

Books read by genres:
Auto-/Biography (6), General Fiction (6), Sci-Fi (4), Young Adult (4), Star Wars (3), Mystery (3), Western (2), Movies/Comics (2), Education (2), Humor (1), History (1), Romance (1), Self Help (1)

9 year totals: 265 books, about 70,900 pgs. (267 pgs. per)

Sigh. No more time to read so easily. :( :cry:

JimJamBonds
08-06-2012, 10:14 PM
...nocked out a couple more over the weekend...

1) Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman. Scott who's orginally from Duluth, Mn is an ultramarathon running legend and a vegan. The book told his story and gave recipies for some stuff that looked pretty good. And

2) Take The Lead: A Revolutionary Approach To Coaching Cross Country by Scott Simmons and Will Freeman. I listened to Will lecture over the weekend at a USA track and field Level 1 clinic and he had his book for sale. It was pretty good, although much of what he said in the book was said in his talks.

OC47150
08-14-2012, 09:23 PM
Darth Bane: Rule of Two. Started reading this as my book when I went to the YMCA. Read 150+ pages at work last week. I enjoyed it. Boy, the Jedi are a little dense.

JimJamBonds
08-19-2012, 09:27 PM
14 Minutes: A Running Legends Life, Death and Life by Alberto Salazar. Alberto was the best distance runner in the world in the late 70's/early 80's. Today he is the coach of double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah and 10,000 meter silver medalist Galen Rupp. The "14 minutes" comes from when Alberto had a heart attack and his heart stopped beating for.... yup, 14 minutes.

JimJamBonds
09-02-2012, 09:19 PM
The Original Journals of The Lewis and Clark Expedition: Volume III, Parts 1 & 2, Edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites. Although I read the majority of this book this year its been an on and off again experience...I'm not even sure I started this book last year. This particular book starts from the Rocky mountains and continues to Fort Clatsop along the Oregon coast.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-03-2012, 02:37 PM
Alan Dean Foster wrote the movie novelization to Krull. I didn't think it was possible, but the book is somehow chessier than the movie. I forgot how awesome the photos (sometimes, they were in COLOR! :eek: ) in the middle were when we read movie novels; they teased the reader to go see the big screen version.

OC47150
09-06-2012, 11:10 AM
Tales from the New Republic. I picked up a copy of this to read at C6: on the plane, in the hotel room, etc... Thoroughly enjoying it. Read the Zahn/Stackpole story while enroute to Orlando. I like the different variety.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-09-2012, 10:06 AM
Fletch and the Man Who by Gregory Mcdonald (who seems to spell his name without the capitalized 'D'). There's a series of books about the character that Chevy Chase played, and I think I may have read all or part of the movie novelization (or even the one the movie was based upon) before, but I can't prove it. This was on my book shelf, not too long, and after reading it, fairly decent. "the "Man Who" title comes from the "the man who would be[come] President" idea, and I.M. Fletcher is hired on as his replacement press rep. I found the candidate's speech about needing a global communications network oddly predicted; could he have imagined Facebook posts and Instagram food pics, though? :p

JimJamBonds
09-18-2012, 02:13 PM
Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer, by Jerry Kramer with Dick Schapp. The book revolves around Krammer's diary (he played right guard for the Packers from 58-68) from the 1967 season. What happened then that was so interesting you ask? Three things: 1) Lombardi, 2) Ice Bowl, 3) Super Bowl II. Reading it today it really shows the differences between todays game and the game back then.

OC47150
09-19-2012, 04:07 PM
City of Gold by Len Deighton. A WWII thriller set around the time of El Alamein. Part of it was wrapped in truth, that there was a spy working for Rommel, feeding him info on the Brits. It was okay.

The issue I've had this summer when it comes to reading is, a book starts out okay but it's not as good as I expect, so I sit it down for a while and read something else.

JimJamBonds
09-21-2012, 08:41 AM
Confessions of A Prairie B*tch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim. This book was awesome, Alison was on a local radio station this summer to pimp her being at a local living histoy museum's "Little House days" and she told stories from the book and her life. It sounded like it'd be a good read and it certainly was. Alison tells her life story and it wasn't all good. I don't want to give away too much she went through some series problems growing up. Of course the Little House stuff took up the majority of the book so if you watched the show as a kid you'll like the book.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-24-2012, 08:27 PM
The fifth in the Chet and Bernie mysteries, A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn, was pretty decent, but not as strong as some of the first books in the series. I also read an ebook (first one I actually PAID MONEY for, :eek: not just a free download) called "A Cat Was Involv ed," which explains how Chet the dog and Bernie Little the detective first meet (I liked the ebook more). The Little Detective Agency is hired to watch an action star who's in town to film a western film. More serious in tone than the fun others, some downer moments, but to be honest, the characters are more well-rounded now and deeper. I wasn't sure how it would end, but not really any surprises.

OC47150
10-10-2012, 10:55 AM
A Cold Dish. The first of the Walt Longmire mysteries. My mother-in-law lent me her copy. This particular book was made into one of the eps that aired on A&E but there's more detail, more interesting characters we weren't shown or haven't seen yet.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-10-2012, 07:08 PM
What may be my only book read this month: Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Started out pretty good, but since it's a sort of end-of-the-world story, ends less well. Interesting concept and oddly designed; still a good quick read (under 200 pages, about 120 chapters).

JimJamBonds
10-15-2012, 09:15 PM
Supervolcano Explosion! by Harry Turtledove. The alt history writer dives into s story about the caldera under Yellowstone which wait for it...becomes a supervolcano. Not his best work but still pretty good.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-20-2012, 10:42 AM
Hey, I did read another book this month: The Last Testament: A Memoir by God and David Javerbaum. Blasphemous and absolutely hilarious throughout; it's written in King James' style wording and verse form, with slang and colloqialisms, from the POV of the Allmighty, the Lord of Lords, Jevohah himself. If I told you the author was a Daily Show head writer, that'd explain things. Great read.

JimJamBonds
10-26-2012, 10:52 PM
Uncovering the Truth About Meriwether Lewis by Thomas C. Danisi. This book isn't a typical book, rather each chapter covers some aspect about Lewis's life that new research by the author has uncovered. I found some of the chapters interesting but Mr Danisi puts himself a bit too into the book imho and he ignores information that is already out there. That said I'm all for another book about the late explorer.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-27-2012, 09:51 AM
I need to read me some L&C stuff. I've read some books before that includes them and their accomplishments, but never a focus on the two (or just one) explorers themselves.

Here I thought with play rehearsals I'd have had little chance to read this month, but it's amazing how waiting for a call makes you uninterested in student papers to grade. ;) A third :eek: read for October for me, America Again by Stephen Colbert, was so funny at times, I left the library quiet room out of respect for the other readers. I found it better than his first, I Am America.

JimJamBonds
10-27-2012, 10:19 PM
L&C is some good reading, I went through a 'phase' a few years ago where I read a ton about the expedition, while its not quite the same interest if I see something interesting I'll read it.

I knocked out another one: Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry. Jay is a pt and in short the book is more about fixing the issues that cause problems in runners, not getting the runner back to running (if that makes sense).

JediTricks
11-16-2012, 10:55 PM
For the 50th anniversary of James Bond films, I borrowed a Kindle book of Casino Royale. I didn't realize A) the book is pretty short; and B) it's not all that well-written. That said, it's pretty compelling, and Bond is quite a different sort of fellow here, it's a shame that Goldfinger started the movies onto such a drastically different path from the written material. I had been planning to see Skyfall before starting Casino Royale, but some real life stuff has kept me from making it so far.


The price on the Kindle edition of Darth Plagueis dropped from $13 to $8.

Bel-Cam Jos
11-17-2012, 10:54 AM
For the 50th anniversary of James Bond films, I borrowed a Kindle book of Casino Royale. I didn't realize A) the book is pretty short; and B) it's not all that well-written. That said, it's pretty compelling, and Bond is quite a different sort of fellow here, it's a shame that Goldfinger started the movies onto such a drastically different path from the written material. I had been planning to see Skyfall before starting Casino Royale, but some real life stuff has kept me from making it so far.


The price on the Kindle edition of Darth Plagueis dropped from $13 to $8.I liked the JB books; and yes, they are short and quick reads.

I wonder if, once paperback editions are released, that e-books' prices will drop to the cheaper cover price.

TeeEye7
12-03-2012, 04:17 PM
Stayed up waaaay to late last night to finish:

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit).

One of the best books I've ever read and at times the most difficult due to the subject matter. This is the biography of Louis Zamperini, long distance runner who competed in the 1936 Munich Olympics. With the advent of WWII, Zamparini becomes a navigator in a B-24 crew who crashes in the Pacific and ultimately is captured and interned by the Japanese. The book is very direct about Zamparini's captivity without being overly graphic. Zamparini was held for almost three years and endured unbelievable abuse (Japan did not recognize the Geneva Convention during the War). Reading of his constant abuse proved difficult for me at times and I would have to put the book down. Also, when Hillenbrand describes the Zamparini family's attempts to come to grips with the reports of Louis being declared missing, then ultimately killed in action was another difficult read, as my family, too, is a Gold Star family.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of distance running and a WWII buff. Hillenbrand has done a magnificent job of research in presenting Zamparini's running career from its earliest stages as well as documenting many, many aspects of the World War II experience.

JimJamBonds: a must read for you if you haven't already done so, sir!

OC47150
12-03-2012, 07:05 PM
Stayed up waaaay to late last night to finish:

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit).

One of the best books I've ever read and at times the most difficult due to the subject matter. This is the biography of Louis Zamperini, long distance runner who competed in the 1936 Munich Olympics. With the advent of WWII, Zamparini becomes a navigator in a B-24 crew who crashes in the Pacific and ultimately is captured and interned by the Japanese. The book is very direct about Zamparini's captivity without being overly graphic. Zamparini was held for almost three years and endured unbelievable abuse (Japan did not recognize the Geneva Convention during the War). Reading of his constant abuse proved difficult for me at times and I would have to put the book down. Also, when Hillenbrand describes the Zamparini family's attempts to come to grips with the reports of Louis being declared missing, then ultimately killed in action was another difficult read, as my family, too, is a Gold Star family.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of distance running and a WWII buff. Hillenbrand has done a magnificent job of research in presenting Zamparini's running career from its earliest stages as well as documenting many, many aspects of the World War II experience.

JimJamBonds: a must read for you if you haven't already done so, sir!

CBS Sunday morning did a feature on Zamparini a few months back. Very interesting. What's just as interesting is, the writer has a phobia where she doesn't like to come out in public. She's not a recluse or anything, but has a fear of the public. Zamparini helped her overcome part of that fear.

JimJamBonds
12-03-2012, 09:01 PM
JimJamBonds: a must read for you if you haven't already done so, sir!I'm familiar with Zamparini's story having heard him on a local radio station a few years ago, I also read a book about him, that said I've read several books about Dick Winters so I'll give this book a shot as well.

Thanks TeeEye7 for the suggestion!

TeeEye7
12-04-2012, 04:16 AM
She's not a recluse or anything, but has a fear of the public. Zamparini helped her overcome part of that fear.

What I read about Laura Hillenbrand was that she suffered from CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which hobbles her. She's just unable to get out and about.



Thanks TeeEye7 for the suggestion!

You are quite welcome, sir!

BTW: At 95 years young, Zamparini is still with us!

JimJamBonds
12-04-2012, 04:24 PM
BTW: At 95 years young, Zamparini is still with us!
AND full of p*** and vinegar!!! He was on Leno during the summer iirc.

JediTricks
12-04-2012, 04:57 PM
Finished Casino Royale and Live and Let Die, now halfway through Moonraker. Since you can only borrow 1 book per month from the Kindle Prime reading library, I ended up buying Live and Let Die and Moonraker, and have already borrowed Diamonds are Forever (I have it set in my calendar to borrow a book on the first of every month now :p).

Live and Let Die is in some ways similar to the film (it was the first Roger Moore 007 outing) and in other ways very different, and it's interesting that there's scenes in it that were used in different 007 films, License to Kill and For Your Eyes Only immediately spring to mind. The wrap-up on Live and Let Die comes surprisingly late and is quite spartan compared to the rest of the book, but the use of the gruesome death of a major character keeps it from feeling underwhelming. The way the ethnic dialogue is written phonetically borders on racist, but the various characterizations feel boldly ahead of their time, and not all of the racist Harlem dialogue comes from negative stereotypes. It's certainly less jarring than Bond thinking about "the sweet tang of rape" in Casino Royale, holy crap was that an offputting line.


I liked the JB books; and yes, they are short and quick reads.

I wonder if, once paperback editions are released, that e-books' prices will drop to the cheaper cover price.Moonraker is proving to be anything but a short read. It's compelling, but holy crap is it taking its time describing feelings and things. It's only a quarter longer than Casino Royale but it's already spent more time doing very little, and it's on purpose, there's a sense of the mundane portion of Bond's life at work here.

I don't think Kindle prices are directly tied to paperback prices, but Amazon in general is very active in making sure they are competitive in any market down to a minute-by-minute basis, so I'm sure it would have some effect.

Annoyingly, and as I feared, the Bond books went up in price on Kindle from $7 to $7.99 once the 50th anniversary month was over.

JimJamBonds
12-08-2012, 07:26 PM
Enter Night: A Biography of Metallica by Mick Wall. The title pretty much sums it up, although I'll say its not all good, they show plenty of bad as well. Seems pretty honest, if you're a tallica fan you'll like it.

JimJamBonds
12-11-2012, 09:38 PM
Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path To Your Fastest Marathon by Luke Humphrey with Keith and Kevin Hanson. The title pretty much tells it all, I used the Hanson method for what was at the time my marathon pr, I liked their method but its tough for me to do based on the coaching I do in the spring and fall.

JediTricks
12-12-2012, 03:17 PM
Moonraker was good overall, and Bond was a real person more than previous books, but the end result was somewhat simple, the excitement came from the thriller aspects.

Now I'm onto Diamonds are Forever, and holy crap is it slow so far. Bond vs the mob, and for the most part Bond hasn't actually done much, he's just been following along as things happen around him. There's a section of the book I just got through last night where Bond gets into some horseracing scheme and it just goes on and on and on despite being such a minor event in the story. But finally we get to Vegas and Bond stops just reflecting on the situation and surroundings to get down to making something happen with a few turns at the roulette wheel (as well as being a silent callback to his Casino Royale reflections on luck). All of a sudden, the internal voice and feelings of Bond come to fruition as he takes initiative and puts the house on its heels against orders.

OC47150
12-12-2012, 09:50 PM
Now I'm onto Diamonds are Forever, and holy crap is it slow so far. Bond vs the mob, and for the most part Bond hasn't actually done much, he's just been following along as things happen around him. There's a section of the book I just got through last night where Bond gets into some horseracing scheme and it just goes on and on and on despite being such a minor event in the story. But finally we get to Vegas and Bond stops just reflecting on the situation and surroundings to get down to making something happen with a few turns at the roulette wheel (as well as being a silent callback to his Casino Royale reflections on luck). All of a sudden, the internal voice and feelings of Bond come to fruition as he takes initiative and puts the house on its heels against orders.

I tried to read Diamonds several times but, you're absolutely right: it's slow.

From Russia With Love is one of my all-time favorites. I reread it every couple of years. Read Goldfinger about two years ago.

JimJamBonds
12-13-2012, 09:50 PM
Lore of Running by Timothy Nokes MD. Yup, yet another running book for this guy.

Bel-Cam Jos
12-31-2012, 06:22 PM
I may have just read my final book of 2012 (unless the other two I've been sneaking sections over the past few weeks get done), based on having another year with all 26 letters of the alphabet represented by authors' last names. One Man's Bible by Gao Xiangjian, a Nobel Prize winning Chinese writer. I cannot say I enjoyed it (it took about 3 weeks to get through it), but it certainly makes me more sensitive and thankful about living in a free, non-totalitarian society. He traces a life (fictionalizing his own, apparently) over the time period of the Mao revolution to when Hong Kong was freed of British control, both in China and abroad. Confusing (on purpose) point of view switches (from "he," to "you," with some "I" also), graphic descriptions.

I'll figure out my yearly reading stats later (next year! :p ).

sith_killer_99
12-31-2012, 08:19 PM
Price of Politics by Bob Woodward.

A scathing account of just how broken Washington D.C. is right now, how the fiscal cliff came about and the failure of leadership by everyone involved. Surprisingly the one who came out looking the best was Harry Reid. I gained a new respect for him reading this book. That's not to say I agree with him on much, but I really learned a thing or two about the guy.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-01-2013, 11:23 AM
Happy this year! :D

In '12, I read 67 total books (about 17,500 pgs., 261 pgs. per); and in the summer, 36 books (about 9500 pgs., 264 pgs. per). I read at least one author for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet (most in one letter: 8, for 'S' ).

Here's to more reading in '13!

El Chuxter
01-02-2013, 03:22 PM
A bit late getting to it because of the Christmas hecticness, but I'm mostly through an advance-readers' copy of Scoundrels.

Holy crap, this is an awesome book, even if it has to double-retcon why Lando is mad at Han in ESB. Zahn is so damned good at Star Wars, you totally don't mind that he apparently can't write a single SW book without tossing in one or more of his Thrawn Trilogy characters to a situation where they shouldn't make sense--but he makes it all make sense.

I would be happy only reading new SW books by Zahn and Luceno from this point onward. Truth be told, though, I'd be even happier if Watson and Stackpole were brought back into the fold and the four of them wrote all the SW books. (Okay, maybe an occasional "guest spot" by Salvatore.)

JediTricks
01-02-2013, 04:35 PM
I tried to read Diamonds several times but, you're absolutely right: it's slow.

From Russia With Love is one of my all-time favorites. I reread it every couple of years. Read Goldfinger about two years ago.Finished Diamonds, the ending really isn't a worthy payoff to the story but the emotional impact for Bond works out well enough.

I read From Russia with Love right afterwards, and it's very good but again the payoff really isn't enough for so much fantastic setup, the movie is actually much more satisfying in a lot of ways, the villains are more rounded and get more time to do stuff, especially at the end. Plus, == Bond doesn't get killed in the movie. ;) == Still, quite good.

I was going to put off Dr. No until Jan 1st so I could borrow it for free, at $8 a pop on Kindle (they were $7.00 each for the 50th anniversary of Bond in Cinema in November, went up to $7.99 in Dec) they were affordable but not cheap enough to go hog wild on, but the day after I finished From Russia with Love Amazon had a 1-day special with all the books on Kindle for $1.99 each, so I bought 7 out of the last 9 and since I can borrow 1 per month, I borrowed The Spy Who Loved Me and will borrow The Man with the Golden Gun in February (they are the worst-reviewed Fleming novels in the series).

Anyway, started on Dr. No but have been slow-playing it so far, it's good and is already better than the beginning of the film, but Bond's ability to read situations is still off which is an odd thing to see since it's natural for a person but weird to watch a writer intentionally hobble his character for 2 stories in a row.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-05-2013, 12:41 AM
While listed as a YA book (and author in general), Lemony Snicket's Who Can That Be at This Hour? was hilarious. I think this may be another series by the SoUE author, where he is the main character himself. Lots of literary references, which he doesn't specifically list, and plenty of definitions of vocabulary (vocabulary here being a word that means types of words known and used). Had to read several passages out loud to other people. :D

Bel-Cam Jos
01-10-2013, 12:13 AM
A bit late getting to it because of the Christmas hecticness, but I'm mostly through an advance-readers' copy of Scoundrels.

Holy crap, this is an awesome book, even if it has to double-retcon why Lando is mad at Han in ESB. Zahn is so damned good at Star Wars, you totally don't mind that he apparently can't write a single SW book without tossing in one or more of his Thrawn Trilogy characters to a situation where they shouldn't make sense--but he makes it all make sense.

I would be happy only reading new SW books by Zahn and Luceno from this point onward. Truth be told, though, I'd be even happier if Watson and Stackpole were brought back into the fold and the four of them wrote all the SW books. (Okay, maybe an occasional "guest spot" by Salvatore.)I will use that "zit on Miss America's nose" cliche with this book: after finishing it, I would consider Scoundrels to be Zahn's "worst" SW novel. :blasphemy: I did like it, but compared to his other awesome stories, this one was only pretty good. Lando's appearance and actions were the best parts, along with some of the "team" (but most of them were blah to me). I liked the Usual Suspects cover parody.

El Chuxter
01-10-2013, 11:21 PM
Really? I thought it was probably his best since the Vision of the Future duology, and that he did a good job creating backup characters who could hold their own alongside Han, Chewie, Lando, and Winter. Dozer was especially memorable.

And that last line. Wow. THAT is how you handle a twist. Did not see that coming at all.

BTW, want to make bets on how long until they put out the Zahn novel where Dayja collects his debt from Lando? :D

DarthQuack
01-11-2013, 07:18 PM
Just finished Zahn's Choices of One....really enjoyed it, so I went back and am reading Death Star right now and then will re-read Allegiance.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-11-2013, 07:42 PM
Really? I thought it was probably his best since the Vision of the Future duology, and that he did a good job creating backup characters who could hold their own alongside Han, Chewie, Lando, and Winter. Dozer was especially memorable.

And that last line. Wow. THAT is how you handle a twist. Did not see that coming at all.

BTW, want to make bets on how long until they put out the Zahn novel where Dayja collects his debt from Lando? :DI will give you that about the line.

I've been trying to come up with why I would rank (see upcoming list LISTS... :drool: below) it lower, and I think it's twofold: one, I don't see Han as a team planner/leader like that; two, being in the same place and planet lost the vastness of space that Zahn works so well into his stories. Don't get me wrong; it was good. Just not Zahn Reputation good. In fact, I won’t put it as #10 (I forgot that I didn’t like that duology much, myself).

TOP TEN, NOW THAT HE'S WRITTEN TEN, TIMOTHY ZAHN STAR WARS NOVELS:
10. Specter of the Past
9. Scoundrels
8. Vision of the Future
7. Survivor's Quest
6. Outbound Flight
5. The Last Command
4. Allegiance
3. Heir to the Empire
2. Choices of One
1. Darth Force Rising

JediTricks
01-11-2013, 10:22 PM
On the last few chapters of Dr. No, it went into really thrilling towards the middle and had a great face-off with the villain, but the pacing is feeling very similar to previous books, and then Bond fights a giant squid and it lost me - just lost me right out, I didn't even want to continue as I'd rather have a day to scrub my brain of that moment, anything in the movies now seems entirely reasonable compared to BOND FIGHTING A GIANT SQUID. Invisible car? BOND STABBED A GIANT SQUID IN THE EYE WITH A LENGTH OF WIRE!

JimJamBonds
01-12-2013, 05:32 PM
Dream Team by Jack MacCallum. Yup a book about the Dream Team, the group of US pro's that won their games by an average of 44? points in the 1992 Tournament of the America's and the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. It was a quick but interesting read, some interesting nuggets in the book.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-12-2013, 05:50 PM
But I didn't think there were any Denver players or coaches on the Dream Team...

JediTricks
01-12-2013, 07:58 PM
But I didn't think there were any Denver players or coaches on the Dream Team...Oh man, that was awful punmanship. :p

On the other hand, the reason it was called "The Dream Team" was partly that there were no Denver Nuggets players or coaches. :evil:


Finished Dr. No's last 2 chapters, pretty much exactly the same pace and style to the ending as From Russia With Love and Diamonds Are Forever, but at least someone got buried to death in bird dung. To be honest, I was left very unsatisfied by the last chapter not having some response from M., but Bond's telegraph to him did drop my jaw - Q can officially suck it, I guess.

OC47150
01-19-2013, 10:38 AM
Finished Tales from Jabba's Palace. I liked how the stories were intertwined with the events of Jedi. Some of these characters received just a few seconds of screen time in the movie, but their backstories were interesting.

I haven't read Tales from the Cantina. I have it somewhere on the shelves. Might have to read that in the future. I read most of the Tales from the New Republic at C6.

JediTricks
01-20-2013, 09:08 PM
Still working on Goldfinger. There were 2 chapters detailing a golf game, I thought I'd never saw through all of that, it was a real slog (I was going to say it was "rough" but that's a golf pun and I won't have any more damn golf talk). I'm now to the point where Bond has just gotten to Goldfinger's Swiss factory, and it's past the midway point of the novel whereas in the film it's about a third of the way through, so I really don't know what to expect yet.

JimJamBonds
01-20-2013, 09:34 PM
...(I was going to say it was "rough" but that's a golf pun and I won't have any more damn golf talk).
Umm besides that golf talk?

Bel-Cam Jos
01-21-2013, 09:40 AM
This is all sub-par humor. Which, in GOLF TALK, would be exceptional.

I am trying to read, too, but all I can seem to get to has mutliple short entries over 400+ pages.

JediTricks
01-21-2013, 01:46 PM
Umm besides that golf talk?Did you not see how that sentence ended? That's where the golf talk SHOULD have ended, but nooooo.


This is all sub-par humor. Which, in GOLF TALK, would be exceptional.Ugh, why.

JediTricks
01-24-2013, 08:51 PM
Finished Goldfinger last night, very mixed feelings. On the one hand, Bond really comes alive as a character in this story, and the villains are interesting and difficult to handle. On the other hand, the ending comes too quickly and too out of the blue yet again, and Bond is very passive for much of the ending(s).

I think I'm going to skip ahead to The Spy Who Loved Me, I hear it's bad so I didn't buy it but borrowed it from the Kindle lending library, want to get that out of there by February so I can borrow other books.

JimJamBonds
01-25-2013, 09:45 PM
Did you not see how that sentence ended? That's where the golf talk SHOULD have ended, but nooooo.

No I saw it, chose to ignore it.

JimJamBonds
01-26-2013, 09:18 PM
Ultra Marathon Training by Wolfgang Olbrich. The name pretty much tells you what the book is about. It wasn't all that helpful (I'm thinking of doing my first ultra in June), plus the author is German so the English doesn't always 'sound right' so to speak.

JediTricks
01-27-2013, 06:48 PM
No I saw it, chose to ignore it.Kthx. ;)

Over halfway through "The Spy Who Loved Me", the writing style is very Ian Flemming but the first 2 parts of the book are just too much of this girl's story and sex life, and then the villainous, rapacious thugs come out of nowhere and it's just an ugly segment. I stayed up late just to blast through all that awful abuse part so we could finally get to Bond's appearance, which of course stopped things just in the nick of time... will it have been on purpose and he had been watching them all along? I dunno yet, but the story really could use tightening.

OC47150
01-28-2013, 01:42 PM
Finished Goldfinger last night, very mixed feelings. On the one hand, Bond really comes alive as a character in this story, and the villains are interesting and difficult to handle. On the other hand, the ending comes too quickly and too out of the blue yet again, and Bond is very passive for much of the ending(s).

I think I'm going to skip ahead to The Spy Who Loved Me, I hear it's bad so I didn't buy it but borrowed it from the Kindle lending library, want to get that out of there by February so I can borrow other books.

From Russia with Love is one of my all-time favorites. The book follows the movie very closely.

Fleming disliked TSWLM novel so badly that he said, when it came time to make it a movie, use the title only.

Been reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books. The mother-in-law introduced me to her, and they're fast, easy reads. Read through two just at the Y in the last two weeks. Read about five or six of them now; Evanovich's is up to 20.