Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin this is one of those books that I probably should have read when I was 10 but I didn't. It actually holds up pretty well although it's clearly a young adult novel. The wizard of the title learns various lessons about himself. I did find it rather hard to get used to Le Guin's matter of fact way of describing things even exciting events. I'll continue reading the series. Their nicely short.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tony George out?

Sweet sweet justice if this is true.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People's Enlightenment in Canada, 1890-1920 by Ian McKay

Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People's Enlightenment in Canada, 1890-1920 by Ian McKay covers the formation of the first generation of socialists within Canada. There is coverage here of a dizzying number of groups, publications and individuals. All of them it seems with slightly different goals and philosophies. Luckily there described in a way that is for the most part easy to follow. The narrative concludes with the Winnipeg general strike of 1919. I was frequently frustrated that McKay has objectivity problems. He comes out of the socialist tradition and frequently uses current views on topics to criticize. He's quick to complain about racism, sexism and homophobia, strangely calls for revolution are passed along without comment.

I only know the general outlines of this history. I found the book interesting. He does have another book talking about more modern Canadian history and the left I'll be looking for it.


:This book was provided through Librarything's early reviewer Program.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fox crew wants to go home

They've run out of things to talk about so now they're just whining. Brilliant just brilliant.

Say what?

I know this is the weekend when our southern neighbors revel in their patriotism but, arguing that racing is somehow a demonstration of American democracy is kinda funny. As if no unsavory characters have ever supported auto racing. Although come to think of it money wins both in racing and American democracy so maybe it makes sense after all.

By the way to the ABC crew. If a guy wins his 3rd victory at a track with the dominant team of this era it is not a "Hollywood ending". Even if he did just beat the rap.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Today is the three year anniversary of the blog. This is my 913th post. Traffic still increasing which is always nice. I should have another review up later tonight or tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fault Line by Barry Eisler

Fault Line by Barry Eisler the software designer of a new encryption software is murdered his lawyer, the lawyer's female assistant and the lawyer's brother a special forces assassin must tri to stay alive and figure out why there wanted dead. First the good the action sequences in this book are spectacular. They would be excellent examples for anyone who's interested in writing this sort of a book. Now the bad, I understand "the characters with conflicting motivations that have to work together toward a common goal dynamic", that's OK. However at least one of those characters has to be sympathetic. All three of our erstwhile heroes failed that standard. The lawyer is a spoiled brat. His brother is a jerk with no empathy. The female assistant is a maneater. There's also flashbacks to a family tragedy that destroyed the relationship between the two brothers. This could have easily taken up one or two chapters. We are beaten over the head with it for page after page.

My understanding is that Eisler has written a long running series involving an assassin for higher which if the Amazon reviews are any indication are considered to be very good. I will seek one out and give it a try.

Not recommended!

Note: this was provided by a PR outfit.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Otterburn 1388: Bloody Border Conflict by Peter Armstrong

Otterburn 1388: Bloody Border Conflict by Peter Armstrong typical Osprey book on this concluding campaign of one of the conflicts between England and Scotland. Unfortunately for Armstrong there isn't much clear from the primary sources about various parts of the battle. This is particularly the case with order of battle and geographic location. So he's had to throw in quite a bit of extraneous material to flush out the page count. Interesting but definitely something to pick up used.

Mildly recommended.

Back from vacation

Back from my vacation 14 bookstores in one week. Very nice. Reviews will start again momentarily.

Friday, May 08, 2009

On vacation

Leaving on vacation tomorrow. Won't have Internet access. I'll be back on the 17th.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Unusual order

Irish army finds Chad 'too hard'.

They Plotted Revenge Against America by Abe March

Today I was supposed to post a review for a book but, it didn't arrive. Instead here's some information on the book and author. It looked interesting to me. If by some chance the book does arrive I'll still do a review.

About the book:

An American attack on Baghdad leaves heartbroken and angry survivors. Two different families, one Muslim and one Christian, are wiped out in the 2003 raids and their young adult progeny are determined to avenge the loss of their loved ones. An Israeli Secret Service Agent with a grudge of his own, knows just how to tap into the vulnerabilities that grief leaves, and he organizes the training of select men and women whose desire for vengeance is strong enough to consider a deadly covert mission in America. Trainees will learn to blend in, disappear in the multicultural mix of the US and then infest the food and water supply with a deadly flu virus capable of mutating and infecting the human population. The antidote - if it works - will only be revealed under strict demands.

As part of their indoctrination, mission members must have a deep understanding of the causes of conflict in the Middle East. Peering through the darkness of their grief and hatred, some team members come to realize that they could ultimately be responsible for millions of innocent deaths. Their actions could break the stalemate between the Israelis and Palestinians - or bring on unparalleled tragedy.

About the Author:

Abe F. March is an international business consultant and author, living near Landau, Germany with his wife Gisela. An active retiree, he enjoys hiking and exploring the local vineyards and can also be heard singing with a regional men's choir. Mr. March's career has taken him around the world to work in many areas from his birthplace in the USA to Canada, Europe, and to the Middle East.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Southern Reading Challenge

Like last year I'll be participating in the Southern Reading Challenge. My three books will be:

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
World Enough and Time by Robert Penn Warren
A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor

Friday, May 01, 2009

I don't hate this

I do enjoy the idea of forcing them to choose between unlimited budget and no testing. F1 teams handed £40m budget cap.