Saturday, June 26, 2010

61 Hours, by Lee Child

All of Mr Child's "Reacher" novels follow the same pattern. This was better than average, except for an unfortunate part towards the end when the hero turns uncharacteristically depressed. Still, a fun, fast read.

A bit of an open switch at the end: we leave with questions unanswered. Can't say more to avoid being a plot spoiler...

Caught, by Harlan Coben

This book was uncomfortable to read; it was interesting, and I wanted to get to the ending to find out how the plot unraveled, but it wasn't fun.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shibumi, by Trevarian

The book, written in 1979, is less dated than I'd expected -- in that the cultural insensitivity (mostly picking on the French and Americans, of all things!) and the adolescent attitudes seem more a reflection of the author than of the times.

There's deep character development, at least for the hero, Mr Hel. But it stretches too far.

Out of curiosity, I checked the Amazon rankings: 75% of the 168 comments were 5-stars. In my view, that just means that 126 people were wrong.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Step-by-Step Outdoor Stonework, by Mike Lawrence

I've exhausted my interest in this topic. Lawrence's book covers some complex situations, like arched stone columns. But overall, not all that informative on the details of the work as "Build and Repair with Concrete," and not as many fabulous photos as "Getting Started with Mortared Stonework."

Patio & Stone: A Sunset Design Guide, by Tom Wilhite

This was light on helpful hints, but did have some useful photos.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Flashfire, by David Sherman and Dan Cragg

At the public library, I thought, "wouldn't it be fun to read something from a genre outside my comfort zone?" So I ended up with this science fiction war novel.

And it wasn't bad. It just reminded me to stay inside my comfort zone.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

13 Bankers, by Simon Johnson & James Kwak

Well wasn't this a depressing read. The sub-title is, "The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown."

The bottom line is, too big to fail is a bad notion. Financial institutions should be limited in size so that any one of them might be allowed to fail.

I resonate with this in the sense that my friends who are small business owners don't have any safety net - why should a massive bank? So, if they're too big to fail, they're too big.

Why depressing? It described how we got here, and there's really no expectation for any meaningful change.

Getting Started with Mortared Stonework, by Cody Macfie

This is a terrific book, with excellent illustrations. It gave me lots of ambitious ideas -- far more advanced, more expensive, and more intricate than what I really need.

Quality Food Plots, by the QDMA

(I should explain: the sub-title is, "Your guide to better deer and better deer hunting." The QDMA is the Quality Deer Management Association.)

This excellent text provides all sorts of information about how to plant plots to support the growth and health of a deer population. It covers plant types, equipment - just about everything. Very impressive.

Dirty Jokes and Beer, by Drew Carey

I thought this might be funny, since I like the TV comedy show (Whose Line is it Anyway?) that Carey hosted featuring ad hoc skits. But it wasn't funny; it was a little sad.

Build and Repair with Concrete, by Quikrete

This is a fabulous little reference book covering all sorts of concrete projects. I quickly found a clear answer to my question (building a stucco -finished wall for landscaping). Highly recommended.