Sunday, April 9, 2017

Power Game, by Christine Feehan

Had I known before taking this novel off the library shelf that it was a paranormal romance, I'd not have read it. Which would have been unfortunate, since it wasn't bad. Could use about 75% less romance and 75% more action though. Turns out it is part of a series. No, I didn't enjoy it enough to want to read more.

The Obsidian Chamber, by Preston & Child

I really didn't know what I was getting into with this book, part of a series featuring a bizarre FBI agent and his associates. It seemed as though it would be a modern Sherlock Holmes style mystery. But no. There is the arcane and the occult, mysterious treatments to extend life. I didn't enjoy this one bit.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Rewinder, by Brett Battles

This was a terrific story. In a strange world where the British rule North America, a low caste teen named Denny is selected to join a select group of time travelers. The idea is that he observe and report on historic events as a validation of historical documents, but he finds there's more to it than that. I won't say more to avoid spoiling a really good read.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Game Changer, by Douglas Richards

This was a very interesting story. The concept is that a brain's neural net can be affected so as to introduce new information -- as in the movie, The Matrix. Hero Kevin Quinn experiences this, and (obviously beautiful, single, brilliant -- the genre requires it!) scientist Rachel Howard helps him save the world.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Lies of Spies, by Tim Tigner

I jumped into the second volume of this series because it was a free Kindle read. It was interesting but nothing special. Hero Kyle Achilles is the ex CIA lead character who is troubled by personal sadness, resolute, in love but not ready to acknowledge it, and devastatingly effective. Like many of the books in this genre.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Laws of Wealth, by Daniel Crosby

The full title is, "The Laws of Wealth: Psychology and the secret to investing success." Dr. Crosby is a behavioral psychologist, and this is his take on how investors can avoid being their own worst enemy. The material is not new nor groundbreaking. Rather, this is a compendium of materials on the topic. For example, advice to not try to forecast the markets, and to avoid getting emotionally excited about market events.

This is an interesting book for folks who have a particular interest in the topic. But for the typical individual investor, I'd recommend Peter Mallouk's, "The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid Them," and then Wes Gray and Jack Vogel's, "DIY Financial Advisor," instead.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss

The full title of this book is, "Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers." Mr. Ferriss hosts a very popular podcast and this is an edited and annotated collection of interview comments from his successful guests.

On the plus side, there are tons of interesting thoughts to be found.
On the negative, if someone reads this with the expectation of finding a formula to help them succeed, they're in for a tough time. Not because there aren't great ideas and solid advice, but because there's too much.

Probably better indexing would help the reader seeking an "answer."
The happy reader will either enjoy all the comments from Mr. Ferriss' very interesting guests, or if they are pursuing a self-improvement goal, will pick and choose a crisp clear path, and be willing to leave many great ideas on the side lest they be a distraction.

As for me, I don't want self-help advice. I don't seek out entrepreneurial ideas. But I really enjoy reading this stuff and looking for leads to new ideas or practices, and cool twitter feeds or web sites that I've not heard of. So for me, this was a very enjoyable read.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Any Minute Now, by Eric van Lustbader

This promised to be a spy novel, but had traces of voodoo or other un-named para-normal ideas running through it. It was also confusing, in that many of the characters seemed to show up inadequately defined. The plot was heavy on conspiracy and coincidence. Our hero, Whitman, was interesting enough though. The book was okay, although I understand why fans of the author's previous novels would be disappointed by it and its departure from his more normative narrative style and themes.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ghosts of War, by Brad Taylor

Another in Mr. Taylor's series featuring his unsympathetic, unlikable, annoying hero, Pike. I keep reading these books in spite of how much this character irks me.  Because I like the action, I guess.

Well, surprisingly, he was a touch less despicable in this novel. Yay. Small joys. Let's face it: I read these for the action, they are cowboy stories plain and simple, not fine literature. This one is better than the other of Mr. Taylor's novels, so I'm pleased as punch.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Stiletto, by Daniel O'Malley

Only when I looked up the title to link to its Amazon page did I learn that this terrific novel is a sequel; it was perfectly fine as a stand alone read. It is also a weird take on things.

There are supernaturally powered people working for the British government in their defense. Our hero, Odette, however is a normal human. And a surgeon of sorts. Bas as to the normal part: she's a member of a group of scientists (Wetenschappelijk) founded in the late 15th century. These folks are really into seemingly unnatural human augmentation. Which they foolishly shared with their King's governor-general in 1677 leading to the command that they invade the British Isles. Where upon the augmented folks were completely routed by the supernatural defenders. And nearly wiped out.

Which brings us to modern times, in which the scientists decide to join forces with the supernaturals. Odette is a part of the diplomatic mission.  Oh, and another, splinter group, wants to kill them all.

This is just a terrific story.