Monday, August 17, 2009

Book 48 of 52 -- Stephen White's The Siege

I've long been a fan of White's, enjoying his books as better-than-average diversions...not my #1 favorite author, but at least one whose books generally keep me entertained from start to finish.

'The Siege', however... Wow.

He must have been taking mega-doses of creativity supplements, because this book is magnitudes better than anything he's ever done before, in my humble opinion.

The suspense starts immediately and doesn't let up.

The premise of the book is absolutely unique, unexpected and intelligently addressed.

The characters ring true in both words and actions; dynamic personal sub-plots abound but don't confuse the primary plot...and they're crafted without a lot of the boring old "can't work because we're just too sexually attracted to each other" syndrome that gets used when a mediocre author can't think of anything else to write.

Friday, August 14, 2009

District 9 Moviegoing Experience

The Final Destination


Sorority Row

Saw VI



One fun movie with good friends and good food before it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book 47 of 52 -- Christopher Moore's Coyote Blue

Christopher Moore has a knack for combining humor, horror and heart in varying but always synergistic proportions.

In this, what I consider one of his best books, the humor and heart tend to dominate.

You'll learn about modern Native American life, get a peek into the secrets of the insurance industry, and remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time.

Sam Hunter, an insurance salesman running away from a horrible but justified crime he committed in his youth, is chased down by Coyote, a common Native American folklore figure.

He seems to ruin Sam's life, but the plot twists and turns several times before the big finish.

Moore takes a few swipes at bikers, druggies, and Southern California in general before it's all over.

You'll laugh out loud, alright, but you may wipe a few tears away too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Book 46 of 52 -- Stuart Woods' Loitering With Intent

I have read every single Stuart Woods novel.

I must state that the general quality (story line, characters, etc.) has faded over the last 3-4 novels.

Perhaps give Stone & Dino a rest and resurrect Holly Barker, Ed Eagle or a virgin concept (example: Prince of Beverly Hills) to get Stuart's creative jucies flowing again.

I had always read S. Woods novels at first release, but now I accidentally discover that his books are released...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Book 45 of 52 -- Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires

If you can imagine what it may have been like at Harvard over the years during which facebook was created, then you don't need to read this book.

Why not? Because imagine--even wildly guess--is precisely what the author did. He admittedly had no access to Mark Zuckerberg, and seemingly no access to anyone or anything other than Eduardo Saverin and the Harvard Crimson newspaper, which led him to choose a "narrative" style of writing, whereby he filled in the gaping holes in the story with his own, overly-blown dramatic tales.

The book is rife with "you can imagine...", "he might have...", etc. Most of the time, the dramatic tales are patently obvious and unnecessary fabrications.

Is this a carefully researched, well-conceived story of the "founding of facebook" as advertised? No. At best, it's a business version of the trashy beach novel.

I would give the book 2 stars simply because the author is a good writer, even if the content is drivel.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Book 44 of 52 -- Linda Castillo's Sworn Into Silence

Kate Burkholder grew up Amish in small town Painter's Mill, Ohio.

She was banned by her community when she refused to join the church, so she moved to Columbus to live like "the English" and she eventually became a police officer.

Because of her past with the Amish community Kate was asked to become police chief of her hometown, a job she holds when the story opens.

In a short space of time, three women are killed by a serial killer who seems to be the same man who'd stalked the town, murdering young women sixteen years ago.

Kate knows it can't be the same man, but she can't tell anyone and this puts her in danger, because the killer has her in his sights.

This is a very good read, however I was just a little put off with the ending.

I thought Kate should have played a bigger role in getting herself out of trouble, but other than the fact that the author relied a bit to heavily on the hunky, moody state cop to help out our local sheriff, I really liked this book.