Random Notes

New Year Resolution: Avoid trying to predict the future.

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Book Reviews - Reviews that didn't get written in 2013
I'm rethinking the whole review writing process.  Just for the record, here are the books and audio books read / listened to that didn't have a review written in 2013 but were finished during that year.


Butcher, Storm Front (Dresden #1) - Very good.  I was a little disappointed I had such a long audiobook queue at the time I finished, meaning I couldn't (shouldn't anyway) jump ahead and listen to Dresden #2.

Gibson, Distrust that Flavor - A collection of William Gibson articles from other sources.  I hadn't read the originals, so it was all new to me.  Interesting how Gibson was not very into tech while writing books that would later become loved by technophiles everywhere.

Wilson, Amped - Engaging, an interesting novel addressing the futuristic concept of people who are 'amped', that is having implants that affect mental function, either compensating for a deficiency or just to overclock natural ability.  The age old issue of humans dealing with people who are different, but with an interesting plot twist- who's behind the protests and revolution?

Scott, The Alchemyst - Also a very good book, and another where I wanted to continue the series. Alas, the queue gets in the way again.  Book 1 of a six part series with a fantasy topic set in the ordinary world.  Alchemy and witchcraft provide the action for a plot that involves the quest for a book and keeping that book away from the bad guy(s).  Are the main characters just caught at the wrong place at the wrong time, or is there more to it?  Not too much of a spoiler: there is more to it.

Alda, Things I Overheard - Alan Alda reads speeches he has given and ruminates on them.  This is the follow up to his memoir (didn't know that at the time).  Pretty good stuff, but some of the passion of  the moment of a speech loses its effect and feels awkward when read / heard out of that original context.

Camilleri, Shape of Water - An Italian mystery that feels older than it is, maybe because it's been languishing on my queue.  I listened to a different book by this author long ago, picked this one up and it sat, until I started this 'work through the queue' approach.  The main character is a detective who is a bit cynical but comes off as engaging.  It's an interesting writing style, possibly partly because of the translation from Italian but more so because of the authors talent at delivering raw and sometimes grumpy characters and making them endearing.

Ferguson, American on Purpose - A good book that comes off very well as an audiobook, read by the author.  It's a bit like sitting down for a conversation with Craig Ferguson and having him tell you the stories of how he arrived where he is today.  It wasn't a straight line.


Slouka, Brewster - This was a Powell's Indiespensible (yes, it's spelled that way- their thing).  Starting in 1968 and a coming of age story in Brewster, New York.  You either like this kind of thing or you don't.  One nice thing about this one, there is no dramatic event that turns the main character in a new direction.  This is more 'life creeps up on you'.  This book should also go down as the definitive work on how write about Track (as in the sport of running), an ever present topic in the book.  Distance running doesn't sound like a topic that would make for good reading, but this is the textbook on how to do it.

Brown, Inferno - Dan Brown's latest novel featuring Robert Langdon, not his best.  The mystery and adventure with big reveals of 'Angels and Demons' and 'Da Vinci Code', the symbolism background of 'The Lost Symbol', all are absent from Inferno.  In this book Robert Langdon wakes up with a head injury and memory loss.  He spends the next chunk of the book trying to figure out what has happened, then the next chunk trying to do something about it.  Clearly written to be converted into a movie, this may be one where the movie turns out to be better than the book.


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Let me try this again...

1. Having not heard of "Amped" before, my interest in it has been ignited and I'm going to be on the look-out for it.

2. I wonder if this particular iteration of attempting to post a comment will work? Let's see...

Re: Let me try this again...

It did work!

Amped is interesting. The author (Daniel Wilson) is a genuine technologist (robotics engineer), his writing has a believability that I think gets shored up by his technical background.

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