Friday, January 18, 2008

A NonFiction Stack. Good Thing I Had My New Knife For These, Too.


House to House: an epic memoir of war by SSG David Bellavia. I had already put this as a maybe on my selection list when, by pure chance, I caught the author talking on C-SPAN (watch it here). Bellavia graduated as a theater major - which could explain his enthralling talk - joined the Army, was sent to Iraq, and had his Bradley riding infantry unit assigned to the Marines for the Battle of Fallujah. Bellavia purposefully wrote about all the nasty bits to show how war is.

War on Two Fronts: an infantry commander's war in Iraq and the Pentagon by Col. Christopher P. Hughes. Hughes invaded in Iraq in 2003, fought insurgents and did civilian administration, returned to the Pentagon to fight bureaucracy and help with "nation building".

Hogs in the Shadows: combat stories from Marine snipers in Iraq by Milo Afong. I bought this on since a couple other sniper books have checked out. Those are some neat rifles.


A Boy Named Shel by Lisa Rogak. "Life and times of Shel Silverstein." Silverstein's kid poetry was a big deal when I was in elementary school. Silverstein also wrote the lyrics to "A Boy Called Sue."

Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: love, laughter, and tears at the world's most famous cooking school by Kathleen Flinn. Flinn was on vacation when her boos fired her. She came back and immediately enrolled in Le Cordon Bleau in Paris. Sharp knife huh?

Murdered by Mumia: a life sentence of loss, pain, and injustice by Muareen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish. You've likely heard the celebrity advocates' version of Mumia Abu-Jamal's murder conviction. Here is the other side presented by Faulkner's widow.

Condoleeza Rice: an American life by Elisabeth Bumiller.

A Skating Life by Dorothy Hamill. This will check-out. Difficult and long training, depression, failed marriages, and massive successes.

Her Last Death by Susanna Sonnenberg. Sonnenberg gets a late night phone call that her mother is in a coma. Sonenberg's thought? It's about time. Her mother was a drunk, sex using, liar.

Other NonFiction

Depression: your questions answered by Melvyn Lurie, MD. A DK book.

Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life: get rich, stay rich (make your kids even richer) by James J. Cramer and Cliff Mason.

How Toyota became #1: leadership lessons from the world's greatest car company by David Magee.

Censoring Science: inside the political attack on Dr. James Hansen and the truth of global warming by Mark Bowen. Fighting political shenanigans attempting to censor scientific results.

Good Calories, Bad Calories: challenging the conventional wisdom on diet, weight control, and disease by Gary Taubes.

Power to Change the World: the truth about nuclear energy by Gwyneth Cravens. "Initially a skeptic about nuclear power" Cravens researched the topic from Uranium mining to waste disposal and changed her mind. Here is a refutation of the major arguments against nuclear power.

Books for Women

Self Magazine's 15 Minutes to Your Best Self by Lucy S. Danziger.

5 Minute Face: the quick and easy makeup guide for every woman by Carmindy. The one name author works for the What Not to Wear television program.

Modern Bride Survival Guide by Antonia van der Meer. A Vandermeer lives in town.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hoky Smokes! Piles of Fiction! Good Thing I Had a New Knife To Open Those Boxes


Serpent's Daughter by Suzanne Arruda. The third novel by Kansas resident Arruda featuring American photojournalist Jade del Cameron in 1920 Africa. Jade travels to Morocco to visit her mother. Her mother is kidnapped, a man is murdered, Jade is accused of murder and must find her mother. Through "the twisting alleys of Marrakech, across desert landscapes, crenallated Kasbahs and mountain strongholds." Arruda has an interesting website with details about 1920 Africa she learned during her research.

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth. Arthur Conan Doyle is urged by Oscar Wilde to visit Oscar's apartment after a gay gigolo, Billy Wood, is found dead inside. Upon arrival they find Wood's body missing. This received a starred review by Booklist for it's great characters and excellent setting.

Death Song by Michael McGarrity. Sheriff Kevin Kerney works the murder of a policeman's wife in Santa Fe while his son works the policeman's murder in another jurisdiction. A missing teen, drug trafficking and a double murder in Albuquerque are all set among the "stunning visual sense of place in the vast New Mexico landscape."

Three Sisters by James D. Doss. Colorado rancher Charlie Moon assists in what looks like a bear mauling. But when the deceased victim's sister, TV psychic Cassandra, raises a stink Charlie finds he may be after a human killer.

Midnight Rambler by James Swain. Jack Carpenter lost his police job when he caught serial killer Simon Skell. Skell is due for execution when forensic evidence from a recent murder shows he may be innocent. Further evidence points to Carpenter as the real killer. Carpenter finds that the original murders involved more than Skell alone as he sets to prove himself right.


Mommies Behaving Badly by Roz Bailey. Ruby Dixon's family leave their stolen cars and other urban disasters behind them and move from New York City to Portland, OR. Ruby has trouble adjusting to life in the suburbs.

Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon. Originally enititled, Jews With Swords. Two itinerate adventures travel through the Caucusus Mountains in 950 AD. Pressed into the service of a Persian prince they must help raise an army to fight against the prince's uncle.

Into Hot Air: Mounting Mount Everest by Chris Elliott. Chris "What an idiot" Elliott discovers evidence that his great-uncle was the first man to scale Mt. Everest. Chris travels to Nepal convinced he can resolve the mystery of his uncle's disappearance. Idiot.

Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky. The Schapens and Grelliers have been neighbors and enemies since 1850. The Schapens are upset when a Wiccan moves nearby and the feud goes gonzo.

Third Degree by Greg Iles. Lauren is pregnant but doesn't know who the father is. Lauren's husband Warren's business is getting an IRS audit. Armed men ring the house in preparation for an assault. Five hours in a bad day.

Almost Graceland by Steve Carlson. Vay Johnson was born January 8th, 1935 in Memphis, TN. Besides sharing a birthday with Elvis Presley Vay also bears a remarkable resemblance to Elvis. Is Vay Elvis' "dead" twin? In 1977 Vay receives a surprise invitation to Graceland and begins an odd friendship with The King.

Matala by Craig Holden. Darcy rapidly bores of the artifacts and museums in her expensive trip across Europe. When she meets handsome Will she takes up with him and his lover, Justine. Will and Justine are con artists and see Darcy as an fresh fruit. But Darcy is sharper than she seems and Darcy and Justine are engaged in a war of wits as they smuggle a package into Greece.

6 Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly. Some over the top fiction about six stones that will save the world by showing Jack West how to find and work the ancient "Machine". A reviewer wrote that it's a a globe trotting junior-high-level romp.

Farther Shore by Matthew Eck. This has all sorts of good reviews. A small group of Marines are left behind in Ethiopia and have to travel across the urban and rural wasteland back to their unit.

Fighter by Craig Davidson. Davidson's short story collection Rust and Bone was pretty good. So I bought this one. Wealthy Paul is viciously beaten and starts boxing to protect himself and build his manhood. Rob has been pushed and trained by his father and uncle to be a professional fighter and financial savior of the family. Both men meet at a bare knuckles fight venue.

A Killer's Kiss by Willaim Lashner. I don't know what this is about. Look it up yourself.

Antony and Cleopatra by Colleen McCullough. Antony and Octavian battle for control of the Roman Empire and Cleopatra and Livia attempt to drive and control their men into power.

Troy: Fall of Kings by David Gemmell. "The bloodthirsty armies of Agamemnon lay siege to the golden city of Troy and its staunch but outnumbered defenders." With Odysseus, Achilles, Helikaon, Hektor and the rest.

Run by Ann Patchett. Former Boston Mayor Bernard looks to protect all his kids, even the secret ones, after a tragic car accident.

Inspirational Fiction

Till Morning is Night by Leisha Kelly.

Zero-G by Anton Gansky. Tuck has to put his faith in God as he pilots a tourist spacecraft 70 miles up. His craft his been sabotaged and even hero pilot Tuck needs help to fight this enemy.

Short Stories

Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle. Doyle has some really funny novels. This is a bunch of stories. Not a novel.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

3:10 to Yuma, Bill Crider, and some NASCAR romance


3:10 to Yuma starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. Dan Evans offers to transport vicious crook Ben Wade to the train depot and send him along to trial. Trouble ensues.


Houston Homicide by Bill Crider and Clyde Wilson. Det. Ted Stephens investigates a multiple murder in 1960 Houston. Ted is already in trouble with his colleagues when he asks legendary P.I. Clive Watson for assistance.
Co-author Clyde Wilson is quite the character in Houston's history. Wilson took some of his stories and worked with Crider to develop this mystery novel.

Total Control by Pamela Britton. Indi Wilcox works with Miracles to grant terminally ill children their dreams. Indi is steaming mad when NASCAR driver Todd Peters misses a meeting with one of those kids. Todd tries to make things right and win Indi over.

Large Print

Beverly Hills Dead by Stuart Woods.