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Book Blog

September 27, 2015

Learned Optimism (Review)

mentioned in Dog Ear how I wasn’t going to review this. I then decided, what the hey, a book’s a book, right? This kinda came to light in a recent rough patch in the relationship (like YOU don’t have them). I mentioned that I have problems with a depression (and how to tell if your’s are extreme – they certainly feel extreme, don’t they?). So the book was pushed on me. I swallowed it like I would caster oil. Ugh. Just dry medical studies, cases proving the good doctor’s point, and little inter-psychology battles he faced. At first I didn’t […]
September 20, 2015

Hiero’s Journey (Review)

his one takes me back to my days in college. Back then, the world was certain to end in massive atomic warfare. And the world would grow from it, different and mutated. And the mutations would be quick, varied, and exotic. Yeah, that was our thought, anyway, before we had The Road to show us what it would really be like. Still, it was like opening the box for Gamma World again and rolling up an RPG character who was a two inch tiger with psyonic powers, this sense of a crazy post-holocaust world. Hiero is a priest in what […]
September 13, 2015

End of the Beginning (Review)

‘ve read this before. It’s Bookish Vu. A huge carrier force blasts it’s opponents on the approach to the Hawaiian islands. Pearl Harbor get’s flattened. A landing is made on the north side of the main island. The defenders do what they can to stop it but are largely swept away, in part because of their enemies’ air superiority. Then the last of the desperate fighting, the blood, the tears, all that. Where was that? Oh yeah – Days of Infamy, the first book to this two-parter. Then, it was the Japanese turn. So our cast of characters from the […]
September 6, 2015

Great Pirate Stories (Review)

kay, less a review, more of a social rant. Pirates. Co’mon. What is this suburban fascination with pirates? How many Baldwin Park Freds do you see driving around with pirate decals (usually skulls and over-ornate crap) pasted over their Tahoe rear windows? Really? Like, so, you live in suburbia and have a green lawn and a good job and house payments, but it if wasn’t for all that, you’d be cannonading a Spanish Port? Really? So clearly you desire the blood of innocence running down your elbows, and your pockets stuffed full of church gold? That you’d rape children and […]
August 23, 2015

Casino Royale (Review)

think I read Ian Fleming back when I was a teen, Dr. No I’d guess. So it’s not that I don’t like him – I’m just not a spy thriller guy (as my review list HERE will illustrate – few spy books). Still, they can be fun and a nice diversion to the ruts all readers fall into. Casino Royale is early Bond, before all the super-agent crap and gizmos and stuff. He’s just a guy, see, and while brave, he is quite human (a plus to the story). Bond has been sent to the gambling halls of this picturesque […]
August 16, 2015

Bad Monkey (Review)

‘ve read a lot of Hiaasen. My shelves are loaded with him. And I’ve been wanting a crack at Bad Monkey, just not a hardback crack. Well, I never got the book but noticed the audio disk in the library right before we went on a vacation trip. Perfect. It would be great for the run home. For those unfamiliar with Hiaasen, he writes whimsical (if you can call foul-languaged, gristly-event crimes whimsical) stories. I love them. He centers them all in Florida, his champions rough but honest heroes and our state’s imperiled beauty against developers, politicians, lawyers, tourists and […]
August 9, 2015

I Am Legend (Review)

eah, you’ve seen that stupid Will Smith movie. It isn’t that. I am Legend is the title story of a collection of Richard Matheson works. He was doing cutting-edge stuff a few years before I was born, and he really deserves better credit than a plate of CGIed audience-rated bullshit that we got out of this. In the true version, the main character is one of the last humans left after a plague sweeps the Earth, turning everyone else into things resembling, well, vampires. We follow the hero’s mental craziness at this situation, his drinking, his ravings, all that. And […]
August 2, 2015

Days of Infamy (Review)

eah, you read that right. Days. Plural. This one’s a Harry Turtledove epic, an alternate history tale of the attack on Pearl Harbor. And like everyone who’s ever played the old Avalon Hill game Victory in the Pacific, now we get a chance to see what happens when the Japanese go for a third attack run on Pearl. And, oh, they happen to have an invasion force this time. As one would expect from Turtledove, we have a number of different characters (becuase one character can’t carry the POV for an epic this size). We have an American artileryman (who […]
July 26, 2015

The Tenth Planet (Review)

nother book from the dusty stacks, this a gem from 1973 from the wonderful wooden shelves of Maya’s Books & Music. This is an old scifi yard that has a taste of the late-hippy, anti-Vietnam-war, ecology and brash-Earthman-bad-kickback era. And it’s got about the most desperate opening chapters you’re likely to find. The last ship lifts off a doomed Earth, always a depressing topic. Global warming has taken place, with flooding and rains, rains and more rains (sounds a little like my current vacation). With all this going on, Captain Idris Hamilton has a lot on his mind, namely getting […]
July 19, 2015

Down these strange streets (Review)

or a recent long vacation drive, I picked up a couple of books on disk for our run through the pineys of Georgia and the Carolinas. Down these strange streets is a collection of urban nightmare tales, interesting takes of old penny dreadfuls twisted in such a way that you aren’t sure what sort of story you are in until the last word. If there is a crime scene sprayed with blood, was it a frantic vampire, a methodical werewolf, a deranged psychopath, or something far stranger? And that’s the great thing that made this collection enjoyable – you never […]