Books and other stuff I feel like discussing
By education and experience - Accountant with a specialty in taxation. Formerly a CPA (license has lapsed). Masters degree in law of taxation from University of Denver. Now retired. Part time work during baseball season as receptionist & switchboard operator for the Colorado Rockies. This gig feeds my soul in ways I have trouble articulating. One daughter, and four grandchildren. I share the house with two cats; a big goof of a cat called Grinch (named as a joke for his easy going "whatever" disposition); and Lady, a shelter adoptee with a regal bearing and sweet little soprano voice. I would be very bereft if it ever becomes necessary to keep house without a cat.
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2010-12-14 1:49 PM
Here's the scoop from my reading log since my last entry.
LEAD POISONING by J E Seymour
The author is a friend, and sent me a copy of her debut novel. As a first time novelist working with a small press, she's responsible for most of her own marketing. It's always a little nerve wracking in these circumstances, what if I can't find anything positive to say?
But not to worry, this is an enjoyable read. Seymour comes at her situation from an unusual angle - following the steps and missteps of a career criminal, who is hoping to reconcile with his estranged wife and sons. The main character is not entirely admirable, but as the action unfolds, the reader begins to hope things will work out for him and his family. Not surprisingly, there are quite a few obstacles in their way.
STORM PREY by John Sandford
I don't think I've ever picked up a book by Sandford that I did not enjoy. At several dozen titles published by now, he is really on a roll.
Working with an inside contact, a group of baddies rob a hospital pharmacy in the early morning hours. Things begin to go wrong almost from the beginning, and get steadily worse. Minnesota state investigator Lucas Davenport and his staff plod along in classic police procedural style to figure out what's going on, and find the criminals.
FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen
Very wry, very incisive look at present day America. Parts are very, very funny, but the overall mood is thoughtful. As with CORRECTIONS, Franzen has a group of main characters that I didn't really admire very much, yet began to care about. How he pulls that off is beyond me.
A DEATH IN VIENNA by Daniel Silva
Silva's Israeli spy Gabriel Allon is almost a superman, never a misstep. Silva writes with a strong sense of place. I'm fortunate to have visited many of the places he uses for his international action scenes, and things always seem familiar. In this adventure, a bombing at an Austrian agency working to identify and recover art treasures and other personal property looted by the Nazis becomes a project to uncover the truth behind the career of a well known philanthropist who sells contraband to Iran in his spare time.
HOLIDAYS ON ICE by David Sedaris
This is a December selection for one of my book discussion groups. I'd heard the author deliver most of them in audio on NPR's "This American Life." All the essays are amusing, but for these shorter pieces he writes, I think he's more enjoyable in audio.
ATLANTIC by Simon Winchester
The history of the ocean, from political, cultural, natural, and historical perspectives. As is my preference I listened to the book on CD - read by the author. His voice and delivery always amplify my enjoyment. To top it off, he was in Denver on his book tour, and I got to enjoy hearing him pitch his book in person.
PACKING FOR MARS by Mary Roach
How do you send human beings into the void of space? What can you do to anticipate what will be necessary to keep them alive and reasonably comfortable? What about the most basic of human physical functioning - like eating, sleeping, and elimination? Roach set out to write about all these things. The result is a very informative book, and surprisingly hilarious, as well. I laughed out loud on almost every page. It seems to me this is the best kind of non fiction. I learned a lot and was entertained at the same time.
THE LOCK ARTIST by Steve Hamilton
A young boy is traumatized by childhood abuse, and does not speak. He does, however, learn about locks. All kinds of locks. Eventually his skills lead him into a life on the fringes of criminal activity and later into the center of criminal activity. I enjoyed this change of pace from Hamilton's series about northern Michigan.
WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
The classic in the bunch, but I read it for a book discussion evening. A picturesque view of small town America in the late 19th and early 20th century.
That's it for this update! Happy Reading!
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