Saturday, December 03, 2016

Hoky-smokes, that's a lot of movies


Army of One starring Nicolas Cage. Cage acts Cagey.

The Purge: election year starring [I don't know]. People kill people.

X-Men Apocalypse. Several years ago I stopped keeping track of these movies.

Free State of Jones starring [shirtless guy]. Slave rebellion during Civil War.

Hell or High Water starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster. This is supposed to be pretty good. That is a big accomplishment after they stuck Chris Pine in the movie.

Outlander: season two starring [actors]. Scots go to Paris to stop a rebellion and then a nother rebellion in Scotland. Or something. I'm not sure.

X-Files: the event series. Mulder and Scully return for si episodes. I can think of three pop songs that reference this show. Here is one of those.

Ash Vs. The Evil Dead: the complete first season starring Bill Campbell. Ash battles baddies over 10 episodes.

The Nice Guys starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. Crime and punishment comedy. I've wanted to see this for a while.

Absolutely Fabulous: the movie starring [those two famous actresses whose names I cannot remember]. Two drunk socialites get drunk and cause trouble.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates starring Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. Two guys advertise for dates and two crazy people respond. I bet Zac Efron takes his shirt off again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thicker Books


Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice. I have no idea what this is about. I presume the Lestat guy is still a vampire. Let me check... yep, part of the series. Rice lives in Palm Desert, California. I wonder what July is like there. Let me check that too... well, the average high is 108 Fahrenheit.

The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg. Something about a cemetery.

When All the Good Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz. The illustration on the endpapers is stormy water around a city skyline and lightning in the skies. The credits list the jacket designer but I am not certain if she also did the endpapers.

Mister Monkey by Francine Prose. When Boy #2 was a toddler his favorite toy was named Mr. Monkey Monk. Prose is a visiting writer at Bard College. I have no knowledge of Bard.  Let me look it up... well, Bard is 100 miles North of Manhattan and has 2,000 undergraduates.

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa. Young woman on the SS St. Louis's infamous voyage in 1939 and her descendants 70 years later.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. Yeah, that's a Kinks tune.

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.  Fantasy novel about a queen.


The Horse Encyclopedia by DK.  A big book about horses. The Danish Warmblood has "no fleshiness in the jowl."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thinner Books


And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman. A novella with a title and cover that makes it sound like a "feel good" novel. The author lives in Stockholm. I was in Stockholm once.

The Eastern Shore by Ward Just. Mid-Century newspaperman publishes a story that carries consequences through the rest of his career. I have no idea where Just lives. My trip to Stockholm was a one-nighter after taking the cruise ship from Finland.

Inherit the Bones by Emily Litteljohn. Did Litteljohn watch the Disney Robin Hood as a child and say, "Hey, that bear has our name!"

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell. More vikings in Britain.

To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel.  Woman opens a new brew pub in Pittsburgh with sabotage on her brewery and a dead guy  in a brew vat. The novel also includes a cat, because this is a cozy mystery and all cozies require cats.

Tangled Up in Brew by Joyce Tremel. Same characters as above but with a dead food critic at a beer festival.

Books and some photos.


Cross the Line by James Patterson. Some sort of novel.

Moonglow by Michael Chabon. Some sort of novel.

Sinner Man by Lawrence Block. Block's first ever crime novel. First published in 1960.

I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb. Some sort of novel.


Victoria the Queen by Julia Baird. Some sort of biography.

Thank You For Being Late: an optimist's guide to thriving in the age of accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman. Some sort of book.


We had our reception for the school art show.

Someone discovered the greatness of Bill Crider and ordered over more copies. I cannot rotate the image.

My dog took a nap.

The Library Annex (the house behind the library) is to be demolished in 2017. So we won't be fixing the rotted roof. I was going to replace the tarp and add a hunk of plywood but the wood is too rotted and the shingles too loose for me to step up there.

Our Sit'n'Sip program has been doing well. The event helps seniors learn how to use tablet computers.

My father came to read the Sunday Book Review.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Eight Books. Two Are NonFic.


Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie Mason. Some sort of Christmas novel. No wonder the cover has lots of red all over.

Someone to Love by Mary Balogh. Woman in a wispy green dress on the cover. Something about an orphan from Bath, IE.  Balogh lives in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is a neat word. I have never been there. My wife and I were talking about summer vacations a few weeks ago and I mentioned going to Canada. He standard Canada response is, "The you'd have to pay for passports!" Well, yeah, we have to pay for gas and food too. What's the point?


Pacific Homicide by Patricia Smiley. Thriller with a killer. The author thanks several people in her acknowledgments. One of these people is Lee Goldberg. I read his books.

Night School by Lee Child. Let me take a wild guess at the plot. Jack Reacher is traveling around. Jack Reacher gets dragged into an investigation of robbery, murder, etc. Jack Reacher deducts and fisticuffs. Jack Reacher has sex with a woman police officer. Jack Reacher kills a few people. Jack Reacher hits the bricks.

This Was A Man by Jeffrey Archer. Heck if I know. How much time did Archer do for lying in court?

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnett. Crime thriller set in 1869 at a remote Scottish village. The author lives in Scotland. Scotland? Is this a good time to mention how Anthony Neil Smith loves to reminisce about Scotland? No? Not a good time? Well, too late.


The Hour of Land: a personal topography of America's national parks by Terry Tempest Williams.  Something about the author traveling to parks to write about their history and herself. Page 283 says, "I didn't know where I was."

Geeky LEGO Crafts: 21 fun and quirky projects by David Scarfe. Make stuff. Page 94 says, "All the thrill of the hunt without any of the blood."

Large Print

Large Print

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Two Books and A Few Photos


Faithful by Alice Hoffman. Hoffman has written a lot of books.

The Award by Danielle Steel. Steel has written even more books.


Witches Night Out
The first Wednesday before Halloween the downtown businesses have Trick or Treat. The day was drizzly.

The library bought 31.5 pounds (14.3 Kgs) of candy.



Drizzly early evening.

Lake Mills Area School District Art Show
Fall 2016 art show was installed yesterday, November 1.

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Stack of Books That I Let Built Up


Three Christmas Wishes by Sheila Roberts. I'm betting this novel is Christmas themed.

It Must Be Christmas by Jennifer Crusie. It must be Christmas novel time.


The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright. "A novel based on a true story." Indian boy is kidnapped, sold to orphanage, adopted by Americans, he tells Americans the truth, the Americans cannot find his parents, he tries again as an adult.

Guineveres by Sarah Domet. The cover blurb says the novel is a "revelation". OK, I guess that reviewer really liked the book. The dust cover says Domet has a Ph.D and lives in Georgia. I've never been to Georgia.

Blind Sight by Carol O'Connell. Hey, Megan Abbott has a blurb on this one and says "it is a master class in suspense." I'll trust Abbott on this one, she knows what she is talking about.

Sex, Lies and Serious Money by Stuart Woods Literary Industries, Inc. 

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt. I kinda like the cover, and I kinda don't like the cover. Kimberly Glyder did the cover design. Glyder does A LOT of book covers. I like this one.

Mercury by Margot Livesey. I like this cover as well. Doesn't Livesey have an extensive back catalog? Let me check... well not a huge list. The inside lists eight other novels. Livesey's bio says she was born in Scotland.  She should avoid Anthony Neil Smith at writing conventions because he'll just want to talk about Scotland.

The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang. Guess who designed this cover. That's right, Kimberly Glyder.

The Mothers by Brit Bebbett. A novel about Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention? Nope. This is something about young adults, romance, and then growing older.

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James. Four Christmas themed stories James wrote for newspapers and magazine.

Night Watch by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen. Is Roy the son? Let me check...  Yes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Unmentionable Favre Foiled


Gunslinger: the remarkable, improbable, iconic life of Brett Favre by Jeff Pearlman. Page 209 says, "Team cohesion was put to the test in late November when the Packers went out on a limb to sign wide receiver Andre Rison off waivers."

Unmentionable: the Victorian lady's guide to sex, marriage, and manners by Therese Oneill.  Page 99 says, "In her later years she traveled the lecture circuit, advising ladies on how to make themselves worthy of being a king's bit of boom-boom on the side." 
Page 196 says, "This is a description of the nineteenth-century version of an unwashed ponytail, yoga pants, and faded WILLIE NELSON HONEYSUCKLE ROSE TOUR T-shirt."

Foiled!: easy, tasty, tin foil meals by Jesseca Hallows.  Page 32 says, "Cook the spaghetti noodles at home and store in a big plastic container or bag."


The Penny Jumper by James Grippando. An astrophysicist looking to integrate observatories into a massive telescope takes a quick job to write code for Wall Street. She gets framed for theft and trouble ensues.

The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle. People are locked into domes in Arizona to see if colonization would work on another planet.

A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury. Christmas novel.

The Whistler by John Grisham. I bet there is a lawyer. Let's check ... yep, a lawyer investigates a judge.

Fields Where They Lay by Timothy Hallinan. A Junior Bender novel. These are very good.

A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe.  Some kid wants a dog for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fictional Tales of Derring Do and Other Stuff

Fiction With Made Up Plots

Cakewalk by Rita Mae Brown. It's more than Musical Chairs. It's nothing like the Hokey-Pokey. It's Cakewalk and one false step will cost you more than frosting.

The Obsidian Chamber by Preston and Child. Built by the Old Ones in a time before the written word, the Obsidian Chamber has lain underground for a millenia. When Kera unearths the chamber during spring planting she begins an adventure that takes her far from the paddock and shire.

The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith. Slim, sleek and sexy Courtenay grew up on the canals and was educated in the crime ring of her father. Now, she's grown up and ready to take over her father's business.

Kill or Be Killed by James Patterson Amalgamated Writing Services. Berry Bunny loves carrots. See him frolic among the flowers and -- oh, no! Berry! Don't eat all those pretty daisies! Oh, you silly bunny.

Escape Clause by John Sandford. He was once the King of Christmas. The jolly old man who spread cheer around the world until his Head Elf, Knickerbocker's, coup d'etat put Clause in his own dungeon. But, now, Clause has found a way to escape and no one can stop his belly full of jelly from revenge.

Seduced by Randy Wayne White. Jake was an ordinary guy in an ordinary job. When Mary walked in his hardware store and sold him his first Briggs and Stratton powered chainsaw.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Norm! Bruce! Scott Phillips!

Audiobooks on CD

St. Louis Noir edited by Scott Phillips. 7.5 hours on 6 CDs. Stories by a bunch of people plus one by Phillips. Phillips does real good work.

I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows. 8 hours on 7CDs. The stress of 1934 dustbowl Oklahoma is pulling a family apart.

Fields Where They Lay by Timothy Hallinan. 10.5 hours on 9 CDs. Another Junio Bender novel featuring the burglar who is often forced by other crooks to be a private investigator.


Based on a True Story by Norm Macdonald. The famed comedian wrote a book. Here is a joke from his time on Saturday Night Live.  "Yippee!!!!! Jerry Rubin is dead. I'm sorry. That should read, "Yippie Jerry Rubin is dead."


This week in the O.J. Simpson trial, Johnnie Cochran, delivered a spellbinding final summation. In a brilliant move, Cochran put on the knit cap prosecutors say Simpson wore the night of the murders - although O.J. may have hurt his case when he suddenly blurted out, "Hey, hey, careful with that. That's my lucky stabbing hat."

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. Bruce's autobiography he took seven years to write. Page 225 says, "In L.A., the first sight I saw was a madly grinning Steve Van Zandt rushing around the pool like he was late on his Middleton, New Jersey paper route ."


French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain. Doctor gets a 33-year-old letter offering his band a recording contract.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Various and Sundry

Stack of New Books

Boots I Bought for Just $30 at CostCo

Latest Jigsaw Puzzle in the Library

Today's Drizzly Rain From Out the Front Door

Rear Derailleur That Broke During Boy #1's Mountain Bike Race a Couple Weeks Ago

A Book About the Inventor of the Super Soaker

Morning Ice From I'll-Sleep-Under-A-Tarp-This-Time! Camping Before This Past Sunday's Mountain Bike Race