Showing posts from January, 2010

One Month Gone With Lots of Books To Read

I'm 12 books in to my quest for 144 in 2010. While that may seem like I'm on track, I'm actually a little behind. I need to read one book every 2 1/2 days which means I should have 12.4 done by now. I'm hoping to get caught up and even ahead a little bit this coming weekend.

Book Review - Fade Away

Fade Away by Harlan Coben

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm really enjoying this series. In this book, Myron gets a chance to play in the NBA but that's just his cover to investigate the disappearance of one of the team's stars. Lots of plot twists and further character development of the main players. I'm off to reserve some more of these.

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Book Review - Drop Shot

Drop Shot by Harlan Coben

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another solid read filled with real menace and some surprising plot twists. The action this time revolves around the U.S. Open where Myron's client is working his way through the men's bracket. Looking forward to the next book.

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Book Review - And Another Thing...

And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very good effort to continue in the tradition of Adams. I love Colfer and was excited to see that he was chosen to write a new Hitchhiker's bood. He didn't disappoint. There was the same goofiness that was Adams' style and a little bit of Colfer's as well.

Well done, Eoin.

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Book Review - Deadly Decisions

Deadly Décisions by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book in the series finds Tempe involved in solving murders related to biker gang wars. It also finds her perhaps boyfriend and cop buddy arrested/disgraced and fully introduces her nephew to the story.

I'm liking these a little more now that I've gotten further in to the series so I will continue to read them. Although I find some of the situations Tempe gets herself into really stupid for someone of her great intelligence and experience, I do like the science and story.

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The Season's REALLY Over Now

The NFL season was mostly over for me when the Packers lost to the Cards. Then, I thought it was fully over when the Cards lost to the Saints. I had no one left to root for - my homeland team and my current home team were both out. What I hadn't counted on was how much I would still root against one particular team...

I had no plans to watch any football today. A simple "What are you doing?" text message that I got while at the library around 5 PM led me to some friends' house for dinner. Of course, they were watching the game.

I couldn't help myself. I got totally involved. Not only did my hatred for He Who Is Dead To Me lead me to root against him, it spilled over to his entire team. If I believed in an Anti-Christ, he would be wearing Purple.

It's crazy. I have more anger for a cry-baby football player than I do for the guy who recently professed his love for me for months then broke up with me with no warning. I'm sure Freud, if he were still a…

Book Review - Set This House in Order

Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls by Matt Ruff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was suggested by one of my serious book reading friends and I have to agree it was a good choice. Not my usual type of book but quite interesting. It took me a bit to get into it but I finished the last 3/4 in one sitting.The main character is Andrew Gage. Andrew is one of many multiple personalities that live in The Body.

The multiple personalities were created over the years by recurring sexual abuse by the Step-Father. Andrew and the other souls (as he calls them) are managing to make a productive life for themselves when another Multiple is introduced to them.

What emerges is chaotic and cathartic for all involved.

I can't do it justice in a quick review but it was really quite good.

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Book Review - Not Everyone Gets A Trophy

Not Everyone Gets A Trophy: How to Manage Generation Y by Bruce Tulgan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some very interesting points/advice on the Gen Y. As a borderline Baby Boomer, I find it challenging to relate to the Gen Y folks. This book gave some specific tips (among them):

Tell them the rules.
Give them a scorecard.
Be flexible.
Realize it's a transactional based relationship - you pay them, they have to do specific tasks.
Don't ignore them when they're doing great.

The latter is tough for me because I'm one of those "If you don't hear from me, everything's fine" managers.

There are some amazing anecdotes in the book. Mind boggling, actually. From parents calling bosses to tell them that they're aren't giving their kids the right work to Gen Yers sending emails to the CEO with ideas in their first few months of work. Yikes.

The reality is that this generation is in the workforce in full and a good leader needs to learn how to adapt to their style. A…

Strange Dreams

I often wake up with some fragment of a dream still in my mind. Usually, it's forgotten by the time I finish getting up and dressed. Today's has lingered, though. Probably because it was strange, even for me.

Here's the story (as much as I can remember)...

I was in Vegas or some other place that I vacation with some friends. I left the bar where they were to go back to a different bar for some reason. That's where I ran into Seth Green. (Explanatory note, I adore Seth Green. I think he's funny and adorable and I would probably make a fool of myself drooling on him if I met him.) Seth and I started talking and he started making moves on me. (Seriously!) He kept moving in closer and saying stuff that I don't remember now but was total "let's get together, baby".

Here's the strange part. Seth Green hitting on me creeped me out and I ran away. In a real life encounter, I'm pretty sure that he would be the one running. Running fast a…

The Great Outdoors May Not Be So Great

George is becoming more and more determined to make it out the front door. I was taking out the recycle stuff the other night and the screen door didn't shut all the way. By the time I walked back, she actually had all four paws out the door. That's the furthest she's ever gotten.

I told her, "Babies don't go outside." She reluctantly backed up in to the house. Fortunately, she hasn't figured out that she's a lot faster than I am so, if she bolted, I couldn't stop her.

Here's the thing...I don't think she would actually like it out there. As it stands now, she sits on the inside of the screen and pines for freedom. However, as soon as another cat or a dog or a person walks by, she's running for cover under the bed.

There are no beds to hide under outside.

And, if it's a kid that walks by? She can't get under that bed fast enough and she stays under there for a long time. Somehow, I've passed on my "children shoul…

Book Review - Death du Jour

Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I got a little more in to this series with this book but I still am not in love with it. This book revolves around discovering the identity of a possible saint's bones, multiple murder victims found at an arson site and a cult. We found a little more out about Tempe's family as well. I'm going to read the next book but, if that doesn't completely grab me, I'll probably move on from this series.

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Book Review - Deal Breaker

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book in this series and I loved it. Bolitar is a cool character but not perfect. His partner, Win, is a funny, psychopath. I'm adding the next few books to my library request list ASAP.

Bolitar is a former star athlete, FBI agent and lawyer now working as a sports agent. A sports agent who actually cares about his clients for more than their money. This book finds him investigating the disappearance of his latest big client's girlfriend who's presumed dead. Adding to the complications, the missing girl is the sister of Bolitar's former love.

Good book, some twists and I didn't see the end coming.

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Book Review - Daddy Needs A Drink

Daddy Needs a Drink: An Irreverent Look at Parenting from a Dad Who Truly Loves His Kids--Even When They're Driving Him Nuts by Robert Wilder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not quite as edgy as the title led me to believe but still a great collection of essays on family life. I love Wilder's use of hyperbole and descriptive language.

If you're looking for some laugh out loud material, this is the book for you.

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Like They Needed More Encouragement

If you're on Facebook, you've no doubt noticed women making their statuses a color.

Here's a bit on the why.

Here's the text I got via a FB Email:

Some of my girlfriends are doing this, so I'm passing it on to more people. -- Some fun is going on.... just write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY girls no men .... It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men will wonder why all the girls have a color in their status...

At the time, I was in my jammies and not wearing one so I didn't update my status nor did I forward the message.

The next morning when I logged into FB, I saw lots of "White", "Blue", "Beige", "Black" statuses from friends all over my social network. Many of them completely unrelated except for the common denominator of knowing me.

This viral process is absolutely amazing!


Book Review - Deja Dead

Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Temperance Brennan has little in common with the Bones on TV. She's a middle aged, divorced, recovering alcoholic mother to a college age daughter who works in Montreal and hails from the South. Once I got past that, I thought the book was good, especially for a first novel.

Lots of science, personal angst and professional antagonism occur while Brennan tries to convince the police that a serial killer is on the loose. I put the final dots together before Brennan did but not too far from the end to make in uninteresting.

I have the next two books ready to read so I'll delve further into the world of the book Bones.

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How To Annoy Your Cat in 6 Steps

Get up early.Leave the house early for work.Come home late from work.Talk to someone on the phone for 90 minutes and start doing so as you're walking in the door.Upon disconnecting from the phone, immediately get on the computer.Stay on the computer while sitting on the dining room table for an hour.
Result: your cat will try to eat the computer by chewing on its corners, swat at your legs from a nearby chair at the table, pull your laptop screen down and eventually move to his/her kitty condo and sulk.

Way Cool!

My friend Dawnie sent me some links about the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Orange Bowl. Go, Hawks!

This is the coolest thing since sliced bread. I want to know how they made this so I can try it out, too.

Check it out!

What An Effort!

I heard about this on KNIX this morning when Ben and Matt called Wayne. HomeBase is an organization that my company has been supporting for a while. It's a great resource for homeless, young adults.

From Jimmy Wayne's website.

Country music recording artist Jimmy Wayne will launch his “Meet Me Halfway” campaign on January 1, 2010 when he begins his solo walk halfway across America in Nashville, TN. Wayne’s intention is not only to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless, especially at risk children, teens and young adults, but also raise funds for organizations that benefit homeless youth, including HomeBase Youth Services, a Phoenix, AZ -- based organization that provides essentials for homeless young adults. Wayne will begin the walk at 10:00 a.m. CT on January 1st at Monroe Harding in Nashville, another organization that services at risk children and young adults. He plans to walk to Phoenix, AZ.

“I realize beginning a mission like this in the dead of winter and walki…

Book Review - The Charlemagne Pursuit

The Charlemagne Pursuit: A Novel by Steve Berry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great read in the Cotton Malone series. This one finds him on a quest to find what happened to his Father who was lost at sea in a submarine accident when Cotton was 10 years old. That search gets him involved with a way crazy German family and the story of an original civilization that existed thousands of years ago.

In the meantime, Stephanie is off on a related mission of her own with one of the President's Deputies to track down the remaining officers who have knowledge of the submarine and the ancient civilization.

Throw in some crooked politicians, military cover-ups and a paid assassin with some DaVinci code like mythology and you have a very interesting tale.

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Book Review - Real Vampires Have Curves

Real Vampires Have Curves by Gerry Bartlett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting take on the modern vampire tale - Glory was turned in the age of Shakespeare by her hot Scottish lover. The two are on and off over the centuries and now she wants to live on her own.

That's the backstory which is explained in bits and pieces while the main story of the group of Austin vamps fighting a Vampire Hunter who is treating them like big game.

There were a lot of characters but they were clearly developed so I had no problem keeping them apart. I did find it a bit too overdone with the story being told by Glory but all of the other Vampires then comment on her thoughts because they all read her mind.

I will continue to read the series.

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