Those of you who know about my skating probably thought this post was going to be different. In order to satisfy your blood-lust, I’ll tell you: the thumb still hurts.

There! Are you happy now?!?

No, the true purpose is to announce a friend’s new book, now available at Amazon. You already know from my hobbies that my judgement is gold, so go pick up a copy or three. AND, if you haven’t read his first book… well, do I even have to say it?

An act of betrayal

I can’t bring myself to read No Country For Old Men. I’ve tried picking it up three times now, but I can’t get through a handful of pages. It looks like a good book, and it comes highly recommended by a friend, but I just can’t do it. Maybe later, after a transitional book, but not now.

I bought a few books before my Tallahassee trip, and No Country was the last one left. The thing is, I just got done weeping through the last hundred pages or so of The Time Traveler’s Wife. A crime/western/thriller right now, when I can’t stop thinking about Henry and Clare… it just seems so wrong.


The Liar’s Diary


The Liar’s Diary is a book by Patry Francis, a New England author with cancer. In her case the disease has been particularly cruel; it threw her a curve at a time when most authors are out promoting their book – right now.

Since she can’t get out to promote the book on her own, one of her friends organized a group of bloggers to do it for her.

And so far it’s apparently worked.

Head over to amazon and take a look.

I plan to right after I finish this post.


I was blog browsing this fine Friday evening, when I saw a link to Al Gore’s recent book at Amazon. It sparked a memory. A few months ago I got an email from Al encouraging me to check it out, but I was disappointed to find it wasn’t available in my preferred format: ebook. Curious, I wandered over to this evening to see if my favorite tech savvy politician was now available.

The wait is over folks. Big Al’s book has been released in ebook format.

It may not seem like much to you, but it’s a load off my mind. It just seems wrong for a guy that sits on the board of directors at Apple to have a book out that ISN’T available as an ebook.

Maybe it’s just me.


I haven’t been particularly lazy this last month or so, and I’ve been doing just as much reading as ever, but one of the last books I tried reading was a terrible bore. I say this because a new book recently appeared in the recent reads portion of this site, and the length of time between updates has nothing to do with the book that was added (“Benighted,” by Kit Whitfield). None of you will particularly care, but I feel compelled to make sure my feelings about this book are not misrepresented. Actually, I went through this book in a weekend (less than half the time the average book takes me).

The book that was a terrible bore (which I tried reading before “Benighted”) was not added to this site because I never finished it. In fact, had I read even half of it I might have included it. But it was a terribly long book, I was about 150 pages in (less than a third of the way, after a month of giving it chance after chance), and I just couldn’t take it any more.

In closing, let me just say that “Benighted” was a great book, and leave it at that.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.

The worst teaser ever

You would never read the ending of a book first, because it spoils the rest of the book knowing what happens. Now imagine you just read the first book in a series and there was a teaser chapter at the end for the second book. This book had such a chapter, and it was o.k., so I went ahead and bought the second book. I got about a third of the way through the second book and there was no sign of the sample from the first book. In fact, it hadn’t even built up to the sample, and I was feeling really, really cheated. It was a real struggle to get even that far, considering it was all “back story,” and not particularly interesting “back story” at that. On a hunch I checked the end of the book. Sure enough, the sample chapter for the second book was THE LAST STINKING CHAPTER OF THE SECOND BOOK!

What knuckle head thought that one up? I might as well have saved my five bucks and skipped right to the third book in the series. After this fiasco I’m not sure I want to buy any more of this guy’s books.

And did I mention the book was bad? Parts of the book read like they were cribbed from L. Ron Hubbard. The series went from a decent sci-fi tale to a wacky, pseudo-religious manifesto in a couple hundred pages.

Yep, that’s about it. I’m done.

Off balance: a belated review

Presumption number one: you pay attention to the books I read.
Presumption number two: anyone is paying attention at all.

My first impression of Harry Turtledove follows his naming strategy… he’s awfully repetitive. Have you ever read a book where the author continuously reminds you what the character’s motivations are?

Chapter 1: “… Jack was uneasy, his acne proof of his poor hygiene.”
Chapter 2: “… of course, Jack didn’t go with them, his acne making him too self conscious to be seen in public.”
Chapter 2, paragraph 12: “His acne was beginning to put a crimp on his success with the ladies.”
Chapter 3: ” ‘Sorry, but I’ve got to stay home and wash my face tonight.’ ”

You get the idea? The character’s actual concerns were a little deeper than my example, but I still thought every chapter was written like the first chapter in a sequel… the author assuming that everyone had forgotten the nuances of the characters in the year that has past since the last book came out.

The book would have been great if I hadn’t wanted to scream, “Dude, it’s only been one chapter. I GET IT ALREADY.” Besides, no one around would have known what the heck I was talking about.