Thursday, August 27, 2015

Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training, by Karen Pryor

This book isn't really about dog training.  I don't own a dog and don't plan to. The only reason I read this book was that it was recommended by Tim Ferriss (in a podcast, blog post or tweet - I can't recall which). So if you don't have a dog or other pet please don't let that get in the way of reading this really interesting and entertaining book.

What it is about is behavioral training. She uses her experiences training all sorts of creatures (from fish and aquatic mammals to horses, fish and humans) using only positive reinforcement. She covers the gamut of methods to stop unwanted habits (but only recommends a few of them).

By the end of the book her messages all come together in a better understanding of the use of a clicker in animal training and insights into the positive only training techniques that she endorses.

This book seems a good read for anyone, pet owner or not. Highly recommended.

(By the way, there's a newer edition of the book than the one I borrowed from my local public library.)

Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training

Escape, by David Baldacci

Another in Mr. Baldacci's "John Puller" series.  I enjoyed it greatly; stayed up way to late at night to finish it.

Hero John Puller is a Warrant Officer in the Army's criminal investigation division. Prior books in the series have made reference to Puller's brother, in military prison for espionage. In this novel, the brother escapes, and Puller is surprisingly assigned to find him.

This was very entertaining even if you might guess there'd be a hero's ending.  My big complaint is in that regard: the epilogue was too abrupt and too extreme to just sit without further explanation.

The Escape (John Puller Series)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Darkness Brutal, by Rachel Marks

Once again I find myself trying to figure out how it is that I read this book. Once again I fell prey to the temptation of one of BookBub's free Kindle book offers. You'd think I'd know better.

This one is probably categorized as "young adult." The hero is a teen named Aidan who saw a demon kill his mother when he was a baby. He cares for his 11 year old sister Ava who was marked by the demon in some important but unclear way. Aidan connects with a group of other kids sheltered by an adult in a group called LA Paranormal.

Demons and ghosts and cute girls and the fate of humanity in his hands... Oy. This is book one in a series that I do not intend to pursue.

Darkness Brutal (The Dark Cycle Book 1)

Primal Reckoning, by Jack Silkstone

In the first volume of Mr. Silkstone's series, a wealthy young businessman in the Emirates decides to fund a group of former military special forces ops to build his own vigilante organization.  My blog entry for it says, "Sketchy plots, impossible saves, and a general disregard for the law."
In this volume the good guys face corruption and a drug cartel in Mexico.  Oh, and evil forces within the CIA.

So once again I can say, sketchy plots, impossible saves, and a general disregard for the law.

PRIMAL Reckoning (Book 1 in the Redemption Trilogy, The PRIMAL Series Book 5)

(R)evolution, by PJ Manney

The concept of this book is the power of nanotechnology. The hero, Peter, invented nanorobots to cure disease. Someone stole his work, tens of thousands die and his work is blamed, and he becomes a pariah. Peter doses himself with nanobots to enhance his personal capabilities.

Then the book turns from science fiction towards political thriller. He joins the Phoenix Club, a powerful and potentially malevolent cabal.

Not bad, but for me, a C+.

(R)evolution (Phoenix Horizon Book 1)

Final Battle, by Michael Hicks

This is the final volume of Mr. Hick's trilogy featuring Reza as a human soldier trained by the alien enemy Kreelan forces.  More political than pure action, Reza tries to save both the human and Kreelan societies.  Mr. Hicks managed to keep my interest throughout all three books.

Final Battle (Redemption Trilogy, Book 3)

Confederation, by Michael Hicks

This is the second book in Mr. Hicks' series and it was as entertaining as the first.  Our hero, Reza, has grown up -- albeit as a Kreelan warrior more so than as a human soldier. He becomes a Marine for the Human Confederation.  I don't want to say more in order to avoid spoilers. About to read the third volume next!

Confederation (Redemption Trilogy, Book 2)

Empire, by Michael Hicks

This is a fabulous story.  In a far future time, the Human Confederation battles the Kreelan Empire. The Kreelan are all female and although they have technology far beyond that of the humans, they prefer personal battle (swords and the like).

Our hero, Reza, is captured by the Kreelan. This book covers his development in their culture.

Great reading and I look forward to the second volume.

Empire (Redemption Trilogy, Book 1)

Darker Things, by Rob Cornell

The hero is Craig but he uses a different name now, to hide his identity. He used to work for a government agency chasing scary creatures like vampires, obviously a secret organization. He doesn't any longer, but is brought back into dealing with the paranormal when his 15 year old daughter, Jessie, finds him.  He had abandoned before her birth in order to protect her from nefarious forces (sounds fishy to me too). She's the real hero of the book.

This is the first in the series and I suppose I'll read the sequel.

Darker Things (The Lockman Chronicles Book 1)

Love Bites, by Adrienne Barbeau

This novel proves that I have to stop reading free Kindle books via BookBub and start paying for good books instead.

The hero is Ovsanna, a 450 year old vampire who is an actress and film producer. Her friend Peter is a police officer. Together they solve a crime involve weird creatures.


Love Bites: A Handsome Cop, A Glamorous Star, and Murder (Vampyres of Hollywood #2)