Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ring of Fire, by Brad Taylor

Here's the sequence: I'm at the library, I see a novel that looks like fun (action / thriller), so I borrow it. As I start reading, I recognize the characters and the writing and realize that I don't like these books. But, in for a penny, in for a pound, I keep reading.

And now you understand why I read Mr. Taylor's latest book even though I'm not a fan of his main character, Pike Logan, nor of how close the plot gets to a deus ex machina problem solving approach.

Sigh. I skimmed through many pages of this book; it wasn't as fun as I'd hoped.

Shaken, by Tim Tebow

I like Mr. Tebow, because he seems authentic and decent. The NFL doesn't seem to mind hiring thugs, felons, and drug users, and I like that Mr. Tebow appears unlikely to ever be any of those things. Then again, he's also unlikely to ever again play in the NFL.

Still, a likable guy about whom I only ever see good reports: helping special needs kids, helping kids with serious illnesses. So when I saw his book, I thought, why not?

And it was an enjoyable read. I'd recommend it to some folks. But even as I was reading, I found myself wondering what the book is really about. At the end, there was no unifying theme or message. Or maybe there was, about Mr. Tebow's faith, that I just wasn't resonating with.

So all-in-all, for me it was a donut: tasty but not really filling. Your mileage may vary.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Beat the Crowd, by Ken Fisher

Mr. Fisher is a good writer. I enjoyed reading this short book until I finished it and asked myself what I had learned. At that point it was clear to me: this book is a donut: fun to eat, but not nutritious.

Trend Following, by Michael Covel

I got suckered into buying the 2017 5th edition of Mr. Covel's book, primarily because I listen to some of his podcasts and I thought I'd learn from it. Clearly, I should have done more diligent research first. Then I'd have known that much of this painfully long (688 page) text is articles from other authors. Since it wasn't marketed as an edited collection, I didn't expect that.

Perhaps the problem is that this was the extra advanced version of the class and I need the entry level overview course. It was okay in that I did learn a few things. But it was painful, tedious, and not an efficient use of my time.

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.