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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in 50books' LiveJournal:

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Sunday, January 24th, 2010
9:13 pm
"Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34" by Bryan Burrough

A non-fiction book about Dillinger, The Barkers, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly and the start of the FBI. I quite liked this book, and thought it was a great read, to the author's credit.

"Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling" by Bret Hart

I was surprised by how great a read his autobiography was. It was fascinating and honest, and I could barely put it down. The most engrossing book I've read in some time. This was a birthday gift from Keith.

"Patriot Acts" by Greg Rucka

The latest Atticus Kodiak novel was so far removed from the start of the series, that it was hard to get back into the swing of things. I liked it, though, for a fun spy novel. This was a gift from my mom, over Christmas.

3 in January ain't so bad...
Thursday, November 12th, 2009
7:39 pm
#15 "Bear vs Shark" by Chris Bachelder
This book was like a carnival side show. All hype, all buildup. And then when the ending came? It was just a guy sitting at a table eating a plate of chicken.

It was a real shame, too, because some parts of this book were dead on. The last 40 pages were just dead, though.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
10:51 pm
8 9 10
8. Caves of Steel, Issac Asimov
9. Foundation, Isaac Asimov
10. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card

...all of these are re-reads. I simply haven't the time to concentrate on anything new at the moment, but hopefully that should change soon as bubs is starting to sleep through the night again!
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
12:21 am
#12 and 13
"Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett.
This was a long as hell, but not entirely un-enjoyable book. I liked it well enough, but towards the end, I just wanted it to end, as it was hard to just keep reading about failure after failure.

"Pole Dance" by Tom Avery.
I really like this book, even if I picked it up and put it down all year. I've read about a lot of polar expeditions, and it was very interesting to read a modern one. I found it still had the heroism and drama of the ones that are a century old.
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
4:04 pm
#7 "Thunderball" - Ian Flemming
Sat on my shelf for a couple of years, but I wanted some light summer reading. I liked this one, it was fun, not terribly dated.

Usually, when reading Bond novels, I can separate them from the actors, but this one read very much like it was Sean Connery.

Also, I thought it could be updated rather well for a movie in this day and age.
Friday, May 29th, 2009
2:24 pm
#6 "The Graveyard Book" - Neil Gaiman
I really loved this book. Since I saw Gaiman on "The Colbert Report", I've wanted to read it, and now that it's over, I'm saddened that there's no more.

I could read books and books about Nobody Owens, and I want more.

This book was masterful. It really was, and I think it ranks above most of his work. Even Stardust, even Good Omens, even Neverwhere and American Gods. It's that good.
Thursday, May 28th, 2009
1:37 pm
#5 "The Mazovia Legacy" by Michael E. Rose
A spy thriller, but that's pretty common place. This one starts off being set in my home town, in an area I know pretty well, though, and that sort of sets it apart. A home on Chesterfield in Westmount in the winter. I can easily picture it. It a little strange to be able to picture the setting without having to really read any further, so I don't really have a way of appreciating the writer's descriptive ability (or lack there of). He sait it was there, and I could picture it easily.

The rest of the book was mostly interesting, even if it did end on a decidedly depressing note. There was some interesting use of expository news articles in the epilogue that would have been more appropriate had the writer used this tool in the narrative as well.

I thought it was novel (ow.) to read a book set in my city, but the story was a bit of a let down.
Thursday, April 30th, 2009
1:45 pm
#3 "Confess, Fletch" by Gregory McDonald
Slow year for reading.

This was a fun mystery, though it's nigh impossible to not picture Chevy Chase as the main character. I liked the fact that I wasn't able to solve the murder, but when it was revealed to me, it made sense. Fun stuff.

I have a big road trip coming up, so I should get some serious reading done. Catch up a little. I don't think I'll ever his 50, though...
Thursday, February 12th, 2009
11:36 am
#2 "Gun Monkeys" by Victor Gischler
Amazon Listing

Is it art?

No, no it's not, but Gischler is fun, gritty, and this book is like watching Die Hard. You know it's not getting any Oscars, but it's a good time. I read it before a few years ago, and it was still fun now.
Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
9:26 pm
Book 1 and all that...

I was just reminded by [info]cowboyx's post that I should put up my own list...

#1 Famous Last Words by Timothy Findley

A good read. It would probably have been better if I hadn't been really quite lazy about reading this one since last Summer.
It's a WW II novel. Very political, somewhat convoluted but superbly written. The opening pages were intense. (I seldom cry when reading books but this opener was like a punch in the gut.) 
A warning: Findley is an educated author with a love of literary techniques and meta-narration type stuff. I loved it and would heartily recommend the book but Gab found it "overwritten." If you are only going to read one Findley, I would recommend The Wars. But this was certainly an awesome spy intrigue and conspiracy story. 

#2 Apostrophes and Apocalypses by John Barnes

Ok...I still have 12 pages left to read but I don't want to forget this one. Essays and short stories by Barnes. Lots of writerly food for thought and some really good stories too! The editing had a few glitches but I doubt that most people would notice them at all...I'm just a stickler.

I love John Barnes and am probably due for a re-reading of One For the Morning Glory... or Kaleidoscope Century...or Mother of Storms...or...you get the point.

Next in the plans: A bunch of Reiki books, Coraline and a borrowed book ("Le Quatrieme Roi Mage")

As the white rabbit would say: I'm late! I'm late!

We'll see how near I get to the goal this year. Looking for work makes me feel guilty about reading during the day. :(

Current Mood: guilty
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
10:34 am
#1 - South by Sir Ernest Shackleton
I love reading about Antarctica.

Shackleton is a more gifted writer than Scott, and this book was more uplifting and heroic. Living on a drifting ice floe for months after their ship sank, sailing the antarctic ocean in lifeboats, and not a single member of the crew died. Amazing.

It's already February, and I just finished off book #1. I'll never hit 50, and already I'll be hard pressed for 25.
Friday, December 12th, 2008
5:17 pm
So I'm pretty sure that I've read other things since "La Guerre, yes Sir!" but frankly many of them have been comics and online stories in serial format so I have a hard time counting them...

#28 Noblesse Déchirée: Parfum de Courtisane by Jennifer Ahern

Yep! If you`ve been to Le Domaine du Créateur...that's Frank's lovely girlfriend. :)

In any case. It was a very fun read. Not only because I know the author but mostly because the story was well wrought and well written. Lovely courtly intrigue and some very nice historical details too along with a fair amount of political intricacy.

The second volume comes out in January and you can be certain that I will be reading it. Maybe it'll be book #1 for 2009.
4:47 pm
#17 "Fleet Action" by William R Forstchen
I love me my wing commander books.

Trashy sci-fi, but I love it none the less.
Thursday, December 4th, 2008
7:08 pm
I get books with a little help from my friends!
I won't be hitting 50 this year. I forsee 31. Posibly 32 if my insomnia keeps up. 35 if people hand me kid's books again. Sorry my writeups are short. I'm tired.

25. Lamb – Christopher Moore
Joanna passed this one to me. SO funny. Finally, now I understand Easter Bunnies and Chinese Food on Xmas!!

26. Outcast – Jose Latour
Another Joanna read. Heavy. Cuba, much?

27. Crooked Little Vein – Warren Ellis
Thanks to McScott. Heh. My dream job... underground urban anthropology.

28. Un Lun Dun – China Mieville
Chris book. I love China, his awesome communistic heavyhandedness in a children's book is charming. I'm not being sarcastic.

29. Jingo -- Terry Pratchett
Off of Kynan's kitchen table :P. I like Discworld, but not as much as I used to. Is it 'cause the newer books aren't as good, or maybe it's just me?
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
1:10 pm
#15 The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr - #16 Anansi Boys be Neil Gaiman
The Italian Secretary was a new Sherlock Holmes mystery. A fun little read, but nothing terribly inspiring there. Really just something to kill some time with.

Anansi Boys is kind of a spin off of American Gods, which I really loved. Anansi boys was not as magical, and seemed as if it was written with future television/movie adaptation in mind, but Gaiman is such a strong storyteller, that it was still above par despite this. The characters were quite easy to picture in my head, which is funny because there is not a lot of actual description in the book. I ripped through this book, and I'd recommend it to friends.

16 down and it's now December. I was hoping for 20-25 this year, but I'll be hard pressed to get there now. Still, I'm doing better than last year.
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
11:23 am
#14 - On the Road - Jack Kerouac
Lauren's family has a book club, but most of the stuff on their reading list doesn't interest me in the least. "On the Road" was due up, however, and I figured that I've always wanted to read it, so why not.

It was interesting to read it now, and having to think about how it was so revolutionary at the time. Sex and drugs and craziness seems pale in comparison to what's on television every night. They smoke dope, have sex, and party all night, and at the time, that was supposed to be shocking.

I actually found some of the things that would have seemed routine then to be bizarre to my modern self. Hitch-hiking is so casually excepted as a mode of transport. The willingness to talk to strangers whilst traveling. It was strange.

All in all, it was an easy read. I liked it, and it sparked wanderlust in me and made me feel old and static.
Monday, October 27th, 2008
11:55 pm
The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Oh the pressure I had received to read this book. Well over a year of being told how I never read any of her recommendations, before finally digging up the facts that I had read the last book she insisted I read withing the same month that she did for me.

That being said, while there were a few things I didn't like, overall, I did like this book.

I liked the way that Kay was able to make clever characters seem clever to me, the reader. Often, a character is presented as clever, but doesn't actually act cleverly, but in this book, I was surprised with the thought that was put into making me think "Oh, that's smart."

On the down side, there were time where I thought the author was trying to be clever in manipulating me into thinking one thing before showing me what actually happened, and this just annoyed me. It made me think, I'm reading this, and trying to picture it based only on your words, so if you keep trying to pull the carpet out from under me in regards to the details, then I never get fully into it. It bugged me, and I just imagined how good these scenes would be on TV where I could cut through all his misdirection and get back to the drama of the plot.

Ah. 13 down so far. I'm going to be hard pressed to hit 20 this year. Le sigh.
Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
10:14 am
Well... I won't be making 50 this year...
But, if I hurry up and finish the 5 other books that I am in the middle of, I might just make it to the 20 mark...

And yes, most of my books are going to be child related ;).

#10: Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer.

This is one book that I wish that I had read before our wee one was born. However, better (slightly) late than never. It really was an eye opener for me -- my family has a long standing tradition of natural infant hygiene/elimination communication (used all the way back to at least my great grandmother down to us. We were all out of diapers before 1 year old), but it wasn't really until I read this book that I realized just how to put it into place in our lives.

If you want to reduce or eliminate your dependency on diapers, this is a book that you need to read as soon as possible. It has been over a month since I have had to change a poopy diaper, and pee soaked diapers are on their way out as well.

But the advantages of not having to deal with diapers aside, this is a great book about enhancing and encouraging bonding and communication between the parents/caregivers and the infant/baby. How doesn't want to do that?

#11: The no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley.

This book is the polar opposite of the barbarism that is Furber. It provides tools to help assess your childes sleep patterns, as well as different techniques and options that can, hopefully, help encourage good sleep habits. It isn't a short process, and it requires a certain amount of energy that we just don't always have after months of little sleep.

On average our nights are not that bad... but they are not as good as I would like to see them. So, I am working my way through this book, and in the next few weeks I will begin implementing the methods provided. Here is hoping.

If nothing else, this is an encouraging read, and one that I also wish that I had read before the baby was born, so that I could have begun implementing the techniques as soon as possible -- before we became chronically sleep deprived! Still, better late than never.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11 / 25
Friday, October 3rd, 2008
12:57 am
10 War of the Rats by David L Robbins. War fiction set in the siege of Stalingrad. I liked it. Snipers are cool.

11 Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane. I ripped through it, and it's a very good book, but the movie was better at telling the story and used Boston as a character much better.

12 The Sweep of the Second Hand by Dean Monti. This one fell apart at the end and the character just turned me right off by acting like a spaz. Unsatisfying read.
Friday, September 5th, 2008
5:48 pm
23.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time -- Mark Haddon

Story as told through the eyes of an autistic 15 year old. Quick read and interesting. The narration is brilliant and I laughed out loud a few times. Recommended fo sho.

24. Pillars of the Earth -- Ken Follett

This should count for 3 books, at least! AT LEAST! 1000 pages, close typed and long.
Anyways, very engaging read, story of a monk and the blood that went into building a cathedral. Fun fiction.
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