Archive for August, 2014

Another Bad Pun

It’s that one vet’s office I drive by occasionally.

What do call a cat caught by the police?

The purrpetrator.

A Fifth of The Library Made Me Do It

Summer reading program is almost over though I am finished completely.  The party was Wednesday night so it’s all done.  Don’t worry I’ll have more books to write about. 

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Two Novellas along a few short stories all set in Africa.  All told from the point of view of a child. Nairobi, Kenya at Christmas told through the eyes of a ten year old boy whose oldest sister (12) is a part-time prostitute to support the family.  A brother and sister who are sold into slavery by their uncle though they don’t now that until the very end.  A Muslim teen who is escaping his fellow Muslims even though he submitted to Sharia law and had his hand cut off for theft. Two six year old girls whose parents are divided by religion and belief.  Rwanda through the eyes of a girl who sees her own father kill her own mother because of Hutu-Tutsi violence.  A very excellent read.

A definite recommend

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Mystery with international intrigue and the archeological hunt for objects from the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  Between the theft of archeological artifacts, the deliberate destruction under the Temple Mound, the journey through Time, the flooding of the Coliseum this book keeps you on your toes.  There are a few minor historical inaccuracies but they aren’t that relevant and don’t detract.

A definite recommend

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How did we go from tribes to the governments we have today? And what are some of the elements necessary for a state to exist?  That’s what this book covers from Ancient China which developed bureaucracy before Christ but not a rule of law which plays an important part in stabilizing governments up to the French Revolution.  He does get a but repetitive but only to reinforce a point.  And he does admit in the beginning that he is biased which helped me to accept conclusions I didn’t and don’t agree with.  I do disagree with several elements he brought into the book but overall it was a decent read.

A recommend

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Let’s twist Southern history on it’s head and try to repeat it.  Read my review at http://pacboxbooks.wordpress.com under Forty Acres: A Review.

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The second Inspector Lynley novel.  It’s interesting to read the books after having seen the BBC series first (which I now want to watch again). This one involves the murder of a playwright in Scotland and Lynley is called in because the director is a fellow peer. This book has lots of twists and turns and has you guessing who done it till the end.

A definite recommend

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The first in the Rizzoli and Isles books though Isles isn’t in this one.  Well developed plot.  No unnecessary information.  The medical stuff is spot on but then the writer used to be a doctor.

Someone is killing young women in Boston and removing their uterus.  But this isn’t the first time this happened though those cases took place in another city.  And there’s a survivor.  Again, you don’t know who the killer is until the end but it’s interesting to get there.

A definite recommend

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The Maori version of Inspector Rebus.  I kid you not.  Excellent read though it takes a few pages to get going because you’re given relevant info in the beginning that won’t make sense until the end of the book.  Contract killer? That’s the stuff of movies but in this case it’s the truth and why Tito Ihaka was sent to the boonies when he refused to close the case of a wife hit by a car.

A definite recommend

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Poetry.  I read this on a whom wanting to expand my reading genres.  Interesting.

A recommend

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Yes, I’ve started reading more Y.A.  This is good light reading for me.  The characters are entertaining and the author has taken a page from Terry Pratchett and made.fairies, goblins, trolls, and the like characters with attitude, if not a lot of sense.

A definite recommend

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The third Inspector Lynley novel.  Murder of a student at a boarding school.  This one really points out the differences in social status of the students (rich, historical families) and how that plays a role.  There is a whole lot of backstory to the victim which is fascinating to watch develop and to see how that info ends up changing the color of the motive.

A definite recommend

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The first in the People of North America stories (though don’t necessarily have to be read in order).  This one deals with the migration of people over the Bering Straight into what is today Alaska.  Power struggles, war, love, spiritual battles all play a role.

A recommend

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The third novel in the series (library didn’t have the second).  It is funny that a Chicago gangster plays a part.  Artemis has created a computer made from fairy tech and it’s fallen into the wrong hands.  Now he has to get it back but he needs the help of his fairy friends.  Did I mention Butler, Artemis’s protector, has been fatally wounded?  This is more light reading for me and I enjoyed the book.

A definitely recommend

A Run In With A Chick Tract

As a result of talking to my neighbor, I did indeed feel as if I had come across a Chick Tract.  I didn’t bother trying to correct him because I could tell he believed that kind of conspiracy stuff on some level, he was drinking beer, and he wasn’t a complete jerk about it.  It just sounded like he was spouting lines.  I just let it go.

I know there are people that think any slight against the Catholic Church, even done in ignorance, should be dealt with immediately and with prejudice.  Basically, correction at all costs.  Or a “need to prove I that I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality.  A verbal slap down, as it were.

Sure, you could do that but it’s a sure way to alienate your audience and get them to not listen to you. And it proved their misinformation and flawed views right.  I’m not saying don’t correct the misinformation but do it in a manner that respects the person and that you respect that this is what they believe but that they have been given misinformation that’s not beneficial to them.  Don’t place blame.

All of us get misinformed all the time.  And most of us look for the correct information once we figure out the info we have isn’t correct.  Most people who pass on misinformation or bad information aren’t doing it on purpose.  They trust the source they heard it from, which isn’t the problem.  It’s accidental, unintentional not malicious.  It’s the information that’s faulty, not the people.

But each situation is different.  Thus neighbor was drinking beer and mixing alcohol and politics, religion, or sex together isn’t a good idea.  Plus, you can tell when a person is responsive to you, willing to listen and take what you say seriously.  I didn’t see that in that situation.  So I just let him talk.  Like I said, he sounded like a Chick Tract. 

I know there is a lot of anti-Catholic garbage out there.  But I don’t have to act like a jerk to correct it.  And sometimes the better solution is to not correct at that time.  Some people are not going to responsive to it, some will see your defense as proving themselves right, some just don’t care.  Each situation is different.  But you are responsible for your own behavior. You catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Good Weather

I love cool, cloudy weather in summer.  Especially after yesterday when my apartment was just too warm even with three fans going.

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I particularly like this one even with the lamppost in the picture.  I just wish I had a better camera than the one on my phone.

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Not too shortly after taking this one the thunder started.  No lightening, just thunder.  Very awesome.  Especially the one crack that was right over my head as I was finishing up my walk this morning.  We did eventually get rain.  We also have the potential for my thunderstorms tomorrow and Thursday.  Now if the humidity would just go away…

Mmm…Blackberries

So I’ve been walking for at least thirty minutes every morning.  Tiring, exhausting, and sore but the views are nice.

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Would you believe I had to look up to get these?  Blackberries are a weed, a delicious weed, but still a weed that grows out of control if not aggressively pruned.  So they can get talk as they grow up along side trees.

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But still good in zucchini bread.

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The mountains in the distance, which really aren’t all that far, are the Coastal Mountains.  (The sidewalk I’m standing in is down lower since it doesn’t run right next to the street but instead runs down lower.  I live in a town that is basically all hills so nothing is really truly flat.  Makes for good exercise but can be a pain for things as well.)

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Sunlight on my shoulders makes me happy (Let’s all sing John Denver now)

I didn’t get a photo of the cyclists that were out.  There must have been a bicycle race this morning.  Every so often as I was walking along this main thoroughfare in town there would be groups of cyclists.  Most of them had grey hair, so not your typical riders.  Hey, if they wanted to ride around instead of stopping and smelling the roses, whatever.  (This time of year there are tons of races, meets, competitions, whatever you want to call them.  It’s not raining and the views are nice.  And not too got or cold.)

Fourth and Long: The Library Made Me Do It

Yes, another sequel.  Don’t worry.  At most there should only be one more, otherwise this post should,be the last with this title.  I should warm you that I now have an entire blog dedicated to books that I titled ” The Library Made Me Do It.” I’ll be posting this post there as well. Check it out http://pacboxbooks.wordpress.com

Now onto the post.

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Native American historical fiction.  If you ever wondered what life was like for the Mississippeans, also known as the Mound Builders or Cahokians, this book will let you have a fictitious look.  War, kidnapping, political uprisings, crazy dreamers, this book has it all.  It does seem a little repetitive in certain elements such as certain types of characters repeat such as the crazy dreamer, the berdache, the female warrior, the hatred leader which were also in People of the Fire but it doesn’t detract that badly. 

A definitely recommend

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Biography was one of the last few specific genres that was required reading for the Reading Program.  As a Catholic, I knew of Joan of Arc but had never really read anything definitive or specific.  This is a good history that comes from the records of the trial that first sentenced her to death and the nullification trial decades after her death plus remarks from people she knew and had interacted with.  This is definitely not a hagiography which made it so much easier to read.  You get a good understanding of the political events surrounding Joan and what was going on in France at the time that France was at war with England during the Hundred years War.

While it is history written by a historian, it does not come off as a history text.  Plus, instead of starting from birth, you are presented with Joan when she first comes to the attention of certain nobles.  Yes, you go over battles and interactions with nobles but that’s part of the whole picture. What was really pleasing to me was that in her first trial record, you can see that Joan has a sense of with and isn’t afraid to use it even with her life on the line.  She isn’t some two dimensional caricature of a virginal maid.  The author demonstrates that Joan is a real person with real feelings and problems.  Yes, she was pious but not extreme and over the top as if in hagiography.  While not a favorite saint, this book have me a better understanding of who she was and what she did.  She want perfect but she was faithful.

A definite recommend

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So I’ve been working on reading the Inspector Lynley books after having watched the BBC series years ago.  This book doesn’t deal with Lynley but with his friends Simon Allcourt-St. James and his wife Deborah.  An American friend of Deborah has been arrested for murder on the island of Guernsey.  And the murder victim was caught up in projects that may not go forward with his death.  But there’s more than meets the eye and the victim isn’t exactly a decent human being.  An okay read if a but lengthy at over 700 pages.

A recommend

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Remember that Anasazi mystery I posted about before?  This is the second book in the trilogy.  Oh, boy.  It’s several months later and the killer is still on the loose.  This time there’s a new archeological site involved.  I don’t want to spoil so read.

A definite recommend

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The last book in the Anasazi trilogy.  This one takes immediately after the last one.  And this time murder isn’t just happening among the Anasazi.  It’s happening among the archeologists as well.  Dusty Stewart, the lead archeologist, suffers a major loss but also ends up dealing with a mother who had abandoned him as a young child. 

I really loved this book for what Dusty had to go through and deal with.  I especially loved his burgeoning friendship with Dr. Maureen Cole, the physical anthropologist.

A definite recommend

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The graphic novel, one of the required reading genres.

This deals with Iran in the wake of the 2009 elections.  The brother of a missing protestor and his mother search for him after he doesn’t come home.  You see the corruption, the loss, the pain, the suffering that these people go through.

A definite recommend

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A combat historian’s report of a group of Marines who were involved in the November 2004 battle for Fallujah.  This isn’t your typical news report on CNN.  This guy got down and dirty.  He was in the battle with these Marines.

I actually recommend reading this book before reading The Hunger Games.  It will help you understand that one better.

A definite recommend

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The last of the required reading.  I had actually read this book way back in college for an honors course/lecture.  Other than the book dealt with time, I  didn’t remember what it was about.  And it still didn’t make much sense this time, either.  It deals with the different ideas about time and how they might play out.  In this case, they are played out as Einstein’s dreams.

It’s not a bad book but it does seem like it’s more short stories than a novel.

A recommend, with reservations


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