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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Three NonFiction

Adult NonFiction

A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston. Well knonw actor writes a book about becoming a well known actor.

Get What's Your for Medicare by Philip Moeller. Page 232 says, "They were invaluable... questions... although I will deny... superior... conversations."

Atlas Obscura: an explorer's guide to the world's hidden wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton. List of unusual things and events around the world.  Hey, Dunedin, New Zealand has seven main entries and six short entries. Bladwin Street in Dunedin is listed.

Here Are a Stack of Audiobooks.

Audiobooks on CD

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. 10 hours on 8CDs. Crouch used to attend the Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (now Milwaukee) events.  I never chatted to him. I had nothing of note to say.

In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett. 8 hours on 7CDs. The Muskego event was always neat. The whole thing moved into Milwaukee because on of the main sponsors, Friends of the Muskego Library, decided to not participate anymore. Which is fine, it's their money. But, the library was a nice setting and their new, large building had plenty of space.

Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. 9.5 hours on 8CDs.  I don't know if the newer Milwaukee version includes lunch like Muskego did. They'd have a couple large-ish meeting rooms set aside for lunch, authors would pick a table to eat, and everyone could come over and bask in their glow.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. 7.5 hours on 6CDs. Ok, I doubt anyone was actually basking but it was interesting to hear F. Paul Wilson chat.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. 13 hours on 11CDs.  This year's Milwaukee conference on November 5 has some major authors and personal favorites coming over. Let's take a look... Joe R. Lansdale. Oh, hey, Blake Crouch will be back. Timothy Hallinan. Johnny Shaw. Lisa Lutz. Sara Freaking Paretsky and Heather Freaking Graham!

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. 11 hours on 9CDs. I, of course, will spend almost all of November 5 at the Cub Scout Pancake breakfast from about 5AM to 1PM. I may try and attend the Noir at the Bar event on Thursday, or drive over for Saturday's second half.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Many Items


Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks. I have never read a Sparks novel or seen a Sparks movie. "In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or a wife, caring for his young daughter London while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality."

Missing: a Private novel by James Patterson Literary Services, Amalgamated and Kathryn Fox. Patterson donates a ton of money to schools and libraries.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. Semple lives in Seattle. My wife and I had planned a trip to Seattle but the plane was scheduled to leave on September 13, 2001.

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber. Your annual Christmas novel from Macomber.

The Trespasser by Tana French. I still have not read a novel by her. I keep intending to but I have a habit of just grabbing books when I see them and letting them pile up.

Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand.  One of those "people on the beach" photos. Except the beach is covered in snow and the people locking lips are sharing a blanket. I cannot tell if the beach part and snow part were photo-shopped together.  The dust jacket says this is Hilderbrand's 18th book.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Nice cover. 71-year-old man is hired to take an orphan from Wichita Falls, TX to San Antonio, TX after the Civil War.

Nine Island by Jane Alison. This cover reminds me of Lemony Snicket. I do not know why. Page 190 says, "They have failed again, the two of them."

Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon. The cover looks like a YA novel. Let me check to see if this was cataloged correctly... Yeah, it was. But the YA sticker is missing on the spine.


Garfield Fat Cat 3-Pack, Volume 18 by Jim Davis. Because kids Looooove! Garfield.

Audiobooks on CD

Eligible by Curtis Littenfeld.  13.5 hours on 11 CDs. Curtis is a woman. I don't think I've met any women named Curtis before. I know a guy named Curtis. He is ten-years-old.

Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber. 9.5 hours on 8 CDs. Surely I've met someone named Debbie before. I don't recall walking her to her car though.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Enough Writing, Here Are Pictures.

New Books

Staff Room Cupcakes

Infant During Storytime Craft

My Dog in the Van

I Went to a Meeting By Almond, WI and There Were A Ton of These Today Show Mugs

Half Abandoned Ski Jumps Near Iola, WI at a Mountain Bike Race

NonFiction Mysteries


The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe. Wolfe looks are human language and how important it is to evolution. Page 21 says, " By the end of the last century, it had started appearing in scientific journals with a serious face on it."

Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook From Scratch by Stacie Billis. Page 178 says, "[pretty picture of food]".

Great Lakes Island Escapes: ferries and bridges to adventure by Maureen Dunphy. This is a wild guess of a book selection. The topic may prove popular or it may collect dust. Includes both Canada and the U.S. and the Niagara River. Page 361 says, "This dry stone wall in on Back Beach Road on Amherst Island."

Menopause Confidential: a doctor reveals the secrets to thriving through midlife by Tara Allmen, MD. How confidential is it when you publish the information? Page 11 says, "Menopause is physiologically very different from perimenopause."

Hero of the Empire: the Boer War, a daring escape and the making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard. I've been fascinated by the Boer War ever since watching Breaker Morant and reading stories about Robert Baden-Powell. Page 131 says, "For the next hour, as he ran the length of the train, trying to help free it, or stood in the open, instructing the terrified driver, Churchill was constantly in the line of fire."


Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton. Agatha Raisin does more things with murder. Beaton "divides her time between the English Cotswolds and Paris." I see quite a few author bios listing two or three places. Do these people own several homes? Or, is are they listing there favorite vacation location? Or, maybe an author visits relatives in Montana each year and says "he splits his time" between the two?

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter. Karin with an "I" not an "E". Slaughter still uses the same author photo. The photo is very nice, so why not keep it? Her acknowledgments say thanks to someone named Vickye Prattes. That's Vickye "YE" not "EY".

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton. Bolton has won or been nominated for several big name mystery novel awards. A convicted serial killer claims innocence and asks a true-crime writer to tell his story. Suspense ensues.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

HIghly Effective Black Panther


Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke. The Christmas novels have begun.

Black Panther by Ta-Behisi Coates. Comic book novel featuring a new story about the superhero plus a reprint from Black Panther's first appearance.
I have no idea how to pronounce this writer's name. I also cannot recall what else he has written, let's check... Well, heck, no wonder I recognize the guy's name, he has a National Book Award and a MacArthur Grant. Looks like he does more reporting than novel writing though. I wonder if he does a lot of comics.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. I purchased a new copy because our last copy was beat up and falling apart.

Best. State. Ever. : a Florida man defends his homeland by Dave Barry. Page 161 says, "It's like the Department of Motor Vehicles, but with alligators."

Hiking Wisconsin: a guide to the state's greatest hikes by Eric Hansen and Kevin Revolinski.  This is a great time of year to go hiking but I'm spending the weekends scraping the paint off my garage. I'm hoping to get mostly finished this Saturday and Sunday. I have some more to scrape and sand and then need to replace some rotted wood.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. Comic writes a book. Let's get back to paint scraping. Some of the paint still sticks great on the wood and is a bear to clean off. Other painted sections are so peeling they need little effort. At the top of the second story it's particularly difficult to scrape the underside of the overhang.

Indelible Ink: the trials of John Peter Zenger and the birth of America's free press by Richard Kluger.  The free press in the U.S. started in teh 1735 trial against a New York publisher who insulted the British governor of New York colony.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Slow Revolver Dog


Mad Dog Barked by Rick Ollerman. PI novel set in Florida with a 1st edition of Murderin the Rue Morgue at stake. From Stark House Press which publishes a neat mix of new novels, like this one, and reprints of old crime novels.

Revolver by Duane Swierczynski. A 1965 double murder leaves an orphan. The orphan turns policeman and in 1995 hunts the '65 killer. The orphan's daughter turns forensic scientist in 2015 and finds he father may have been mistaken.
According to the internet Swizzleterisnksiti moved to Los Angeles and is visiting all sorts of L.A. landmarks.

Audiobooks on CD

Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn by Ace Atkins. 6.5 hours on 5 CDs. Narrated by the great Joe Mantegna. Is Atkins the one played college football? Let me check... Yep.

Calculus, Physics, Chemistry and Sinatra

NonFiction Power PACK!

CliffsQuickReview Chemistry by Harold D. Nathan and Charles Henrickson. Page 95 says, "The double arrows indicate that the reaction proceeds either way."

College Physics Crash Course by Frederick J. Bueche and Eugene Hecht. Page 166 says, "Describe the path followed by the proton."

Calculus Crash Course by Frank Ayres and Elliot Mendelson. Page 124 says, "The curve is symmetric with respect to the coordinate axes."

Wolf Boys: two American teenagers and Mexico's most dangerous drug cartel by Dan Slater. Teenager from Laredo, TX crosses the border to work for Los Zetas. That was a bad idea but, then, his friends come over to join him. All of them become teen assassins.

Texas Ranger: the epic life of Frank Hamer, the man who killed Bonnie and Clyde by John Boessenecker. I started flipping through this and reading and - boom! - there went 15 minutes and I had to get back to work.

Sinatra: the Chairman by James Kaplan. Sequel to Kaplan's first volume about Sinatra, Frank: the Voice. Beginning the day after Sinatra won his Academy Award.

The Cook Up: a crack rock memoir by D. Watkins.  Right after getting several university admission letter a teen takes over the family crack business when his brother was shot.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pursuit, Planing, and Property

Audiobook on CD

The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. 7.5 hours on 6CDs. More romantic adventure.


2015 Land Atlas and Plat Book, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, 2015. Page 32 says, "Mindemann Trust 153."

Master Plants Cookbook by Margarita Restrepo and Michele Lastella. Page 157 says, "Pinch of paprika."

Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest by Michael VanderBrug. Page 112 says, "You can further organize your seeds by grouping families together."

Supercraft: easy projects for every weekend by Sophie Pester and Catharina Bruns.  Page 135 says, "Put the porcelain paint into a little bowl."

Learn to Timber Frame by Will Beemer. Page 60, "When to Plane."

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Thursday, September 15, 2016



Tom Clancy Duty and Honor by Grant Blackwood. 9 hours on 8 CDs. Jack Ryan, Jr. escapes an assassination attempt and starts investigating.

Dishonorable Intentions by Stuart Woods. 8 hours on 7CDs. Stone Barrington does more lawyering and sleuthing.

The Emperor's Revenge by Clive Cussler with Boyd Morrison. 11.5 hours on 10 CDs. Something to do with race cars.

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. 12 hours on 10 CDs. Sisters who are estranged meet together for something or other.


Empire: the complete second season starring [same cast]. Music and drama.

Green Room starring Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart. Struggling punk rock band takes a small job that turns out to be a white supremacist party. Someone gets killed.


Shelter in Place by Alexander Maksik. Mental health and family relationships in the Pacific Northwest.


The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 by [a bunch of people]. Page 239 says, "This fast-loading ride is usually a good bet during the busier time of the day."

What to Expect When You're Expecting, 5th edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. The famous pregnancy guide is updated.

Here Are Some Books. Made With Paper.


Nutshell by Ian McEwan. I have not read a McEwan book since 1995 or so. I saw a review in Times Literary Supplement when I was in grad school and checked out a couple of his books. I enjoyed the books but just never got around to reading another novel.

An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson. A hit-and-run turns into a novel. Because that's what happens in novels. Something happens and the author creates a story around it.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I don't like the cover. Patchett has a dog named Sparky. Sparky is a good name for a dog.

Pirate by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell. Action. Adventure. Water.

Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini. Popular author from Wisconsin writes another historical hovel. This one is about John Wilkes Booth.

Blue Madonna by James R. Benn. Another WWII mystery. Benn writes neat novels.

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