29 July 2011

40. Scavenger Kill

Scavenger Kill - Ralph Hayes

An interesting book published in 1975 and the first in a series called "The Hunter". It is about a guy who leads safaris in Africa for spolied rich folks. He gets mad one day about a poacher taking tusks from rhinos and decides to go kill the guy. He finds out that the same guy owns a pharmaceutical company marketing a drug that is causing serious birth defects...and it just happens to affect the lives of his best friend and his wife.

Now he has two reasons to kill the guy. He is now hunting a man rather than big game. He justifies all this in some twisted way because his killing is far less "bad" than the other guys actions. Silly way to make a hero if you ask me.

Despite the moral dilema, which really wasn't a big deal since it is just a stupid book, it was pretty decent. Still, I don't feel a need to suggest anyone go looking for it. It was just OK.

28 July 2011

39. Pirate Latitudes

Pirate Latitudes - Michael Crichton

How many of Michael Crichton's book have a I read? I can't remember. I do know that they were intensely detailed and very high-tech.

Then I saw this one. Pirates? 1665? Port Royal, Jamaica? How in the world would Crichton pull off his story-telling style? If he was not describing the details of DNA manipulation and nano-bots he was writing some super technical medical stuff. This was totally different.

Crichton pulled it off. This is a great swashbuckler of a pirate novel. It was a bit cliche, but was still a ton of fun and very detailed with information about technology of the day.

The story was predictable. Most pirate stories are. Good guys are also bad guys. Depending which side you are on is whether you call it privateering or piracy.

There were many sea battles. There was much drinking of rum and debauchery of all kinds. There was the obligatory battles with cannibals that shoot poison darts, a giant squid they called Kraken, a hurricane to beat all hurricanes, overcoming insurmountable odds while facing an enemy who shows no mercy, etc etc.

It was a good fun story that I am surprised Crichton was able to pull off and still write in his own style. Enjoyable and fun.

16 July 2011

38. How Would A Patriot Act

How Would A Patriot Act: Defending American Values from a President Run Amok - Glenn Greenwald

Published in 2006 and written by a constitutional law attorney who didn't like what he was seeing after 9-11. It is a well written and excellent indictment of the abuses of law perpetrated by the Bush administration in the name of national security.

I have disliked the USA PATRIOT Act from the beginning. Not for the same reasons as some folks. I saw it as a huge door being opened that would greatly expand executive power and be abused by the people in power. That is exactly what this book shows.

Why read it now? Bush is gone. Those abuses don't mean jack any longer. But, that is not true. The law is still on the books and the ability to overreach is made easier.

I liked the book. I liked the plain language and straight-forward explanations of some very complicated issues.

I wish Congress would have let the extension of these powers expire this year. Maybe next time. Power is so hard to give up once they have it. Maybe we can get that changed, somehow, someday.

37. Dr. Faustus

Dr. Faustus - Christopher Marlowe

Never ever ever sell your soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power!

Marlowe is a tough read. Much like Shakespeare. Read a line and then think about what it means. Read another line. Repeat till end of book.

It was worth the effort.

36. Ender's Game

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

The best science fiction novel I have read in a long time. Weird enough to definitely be called science fiction. Normal enough to be semi-believable in the future.

I liked it from start to finish and had no idea that it would end the way it did. It was excellent.

15 July 2011

35. Boomsday

Boomsday - Christopher Buckley


I loved this. It cracked me up. Calling the young generation of today Generation W is funny. It means Generation Whatever. Ha!

This was an audio book I listened to driving to and from work. It was read by Janeane Garofalo. She sounded a lot like an ex-radio talk show host here in Charlotte named Tara Servatius. Every time I turned it on I thought Tara was baclk on the radio, and then I remembered it was a CD.

06 July 2011

34. The Journals of Eleanor Druse

The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident - Eleanor Druse

This book is a tie in with a TV show called Kingdom Hospital that was produced by Stephen King.

I found the book boring. It lacked spark. It had nothing but an endless wait to find out who was the bad guy and why was he doing bad stuff. I did not care by the time it got there.

I did not dislike the charachters. They were fine. It was the story that I found wanting.


01 July 2011

33. Dear American Airlines

Dear American Airlines - Jonathan Miles

I did not like it. It bored me and only had a few moments where I was mildly interested in the story. Oh well. Maybe I had too many other things going on. I don't know.