Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

February 1, 2024

Send In The Tort Lawyer$-A Legal Farce by T C Morrison

Filed under: Humor — Tags: , — Randolph @ 4:32 pm

This is the third book in a series, Pap and Pup Peters. Pap and Pup are brothers and tort lawyers looking for class action suits to line their pockets. The situational humor that drives the plot and the courtroom antics are amusing. However the author has to make one-line jokes about people’s names, companies and places that really get in the way of enjoyment. The one-liners were amusing at first, but by page two they just started to get annoying.
There is a good story in there, but they missed it by a bit.

January 20, 2024

Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak

Filed under: Science Fiction — Tags: , , — Randolph @ 1:13 pm

This story tells how Darth Vader looks into his past. It is a comic book telling his story from his perspective, he’s the good guy in this one.

It’s an amusing story worth a little time to read. It has good pacing for a comic with good art.

January 16, 2024

Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor

Filed under: Mystery — Tags: , — Randolph @ 2:23 pm

This is the first book in a series set in an Irish village, a small setting where everyone knows each other and gossip rules.

A young man is killed and his body found in a bistro belonging to the protagonist, Siobhán O’Sullivan. She is the eldest of six children, their parents had been killed in an auto accident the previous year. Siobhán’s brother James is accused of the murder, Siobán feels compelled to find the true killer.

Through her investigations we meet many of the villagers, each is well-developed and unique. The twists and turns of the mystery make the book. Siobhán is somewhat impulsive and doesn’t think through her actions, getting her caught a few times and reprimanded by the guarda.

The writing is decent, the book got off to a weak start. It seemed that the author needed to tell us what emotions the character is experiencing as the actions did not adequately convey them. However, this changed once the murder took place. The murder scene and the initial guarda investigation were well written.

Throw in some sexual tension between Siobhán and both the investigator, Macdara Flannery, and a mysterious American visitor, Chirs; rampant gossip; a few red herrings; and tie-ins to her parents’ deaths makes for an interesting read.

December 9, 2023

Les vacances du petit Nicolas by Jean-Jacques Sempé and René Goscinny

Filed under: Adventure,Humor — Tags: , , — Randolph @ 4:51 pm

Nicolas, a young child and first-person narrator, goes on a couple of vacations, one with his family and another to a summer camp. The book is funny and light with a great interplay between the different characters, I enjoy the interaction between his parents. On these vacations Nicolas meets new friends and annoys new adults with his inimitable style.

Each chapter stands on its own pretty well and build into the stories.

A fun and light read, the drawings are nice and a good addition.

November 8, 2023

Negative Return by Jessie Kwak

Filed under: Science Fiction — Tags: , — Randolph @ 4:27 pm

Manu Juric is a bounty hunter, or ostensibly a hit man. He is a bounty hunter of mediocre skills who gets hired to take smaller targets, usually by killing them. He has a talent for reading people and enjoys explosions. He gets a break, a hit on a major crime boss, Jaantzen.

He botched the attempt on Jaantzen’s life and through circumstances, he ends up working for Jaantzen on a heist. Manu’s work on this heist and a through a myriad of twists and plot turns is the focus of the book.

This book is part of a 3-book set by Jessie Kwak set in the Durga System. The books are different stories set in a unique socio-political environment.

The book is decent, but I found the setup unbelievable. For a bounty hunter/hit man, is seems almost incompetent and it is difficult to see why anyone would hire him for this job. Then when he as a kill shot on his target, he tries to show off which leads to his botched attempt, which seems very unprofessional. Then why Jaantzen spared his life and had him join is his team is also questionalbe, arguably he wanted Manu’s people-reading skills, but to know that he would have to have those skills himself and the problems would not have occurred.

Once you get past the problems, the book is ok. It’s a quick read, so far I’ve enjoyed the others more.

October 27, 2023

The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun

Filed under: Mystery — Tags: , — Randolph @ 1:33 pm

This is the seventh book in The Cat Who series, Jim Qwilleran and his cats are settling into their mansion in Pickax. Jim had turned his mansion into a part-time museum, he is living in quarters behind the mansion above the garage.

This time, the town newspaper, running with outdated equipment and processes is having trouble when the owner dies and the only source of news in the town is threatened. Qwill, being a newsman doesn’t want that to happen, he starts looking into things, including the death. Koko, as usual, knows more than Jim and starts knocking Shakespeare books of the shelf trying to communicate.

There isn’t much of a mystery beyond the investigation of the man’s death, the book ends with a fire in the mansion, I guess to be continued. This wasn’t one of the better in the series, but it is light and fast.

October 20, 2023

Dad Jokes by Slade Wentworth

Filed under: Humor — Tags: , — Randolph @ 1:28 pm

What’s to say? It’s a collection of dad jokes, some of them will actually make you laugh. It’s worth a quick read. Go to the library and read it while you’re in the checkout line.

October 14, 2023

Three Nights in August by by Buzz Bissinger

Filed under: Nonfiction,Sports — Tags: , , — Randolph @ 1:05 pm

This is a detailed analysis of the three-game baseball series in August 2003 between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. It is told through the eyes of Tony La Russa and delves into many details of baseball that are invisible to most fans. The author goes into Tony’s thoughts on the strategy for the game going beyond just the play-by-play thoughts. He describes the psychology of player selection, both the egos and goals of the players and the opposing lineup. He looks into the player rituals, revenge hit-by-pitcher strategies, if he can afford to hurt a player’s ego.

It does go into pitch-by-pitch commentary at times, discussing how the game and the psychology changes at each point, what options La Russa is considering and what counters he anticipates.

The writing is ok. But the author does repeatedly use bad metaphors to emphasize points at times, I’m not quite sure he knows what his target audience is, but it did kind of remind me of some baseball announcers I’ve heard.

Overall I enjoyed the book, it is a good read for the baseball enthusiast.

September 15, 2023

Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman

Filed under: Mystery — Tags: , — Randolph @ 12:33 pm

This is the seventh book in the Leaphorn/Chee mystery series, I’m filling in books I didn’t have originally and it does not disappoint.

Jim Chee is investigating some unsolved and seemingly unrelated homicides that have happened around the reservation, then there is an attempt on his life. There is no evidence of a correlation, leading Leaphorn to consider come illegal activity Chee may be involved in.

Leaphorn is dealing with his wife’s health, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, and needs surgery for a brain tumor.

Chee’s studies as a medicine man lead him to believe that a skinwalker, a mythical figure who can shape-shift into another man or animal, is involved. If a skinwalker can force a piece of bone into a person, the person will die unless he can kill the skinwalker first.

The correlation to the deaths comes back to a clinic and fraud. Stopping to avoid too many spoilers.

It is one of the more interesting books in the series.

September 1, 2023

Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem

Filed under: Humor,Mystery,Science Fiction — Tags: — Randolph @ 3:51 pm

This is a science fiction-mystery-noir-humor story with a hard-boiled detective, I think I missed a category.

The setting is poorly defined and that is part of the reader’s exploration. Conrad Metcalf is a detective, a private inquisitor in a world where (not-private) inquisitors spy on people doling out or removing credits. Drugs are commonplace and. tailored, people use them to create moods, to forget, to enhance experiences, it seems endless and very personalized.

Society has created intelligent animals, educated babies and a few gadgets. These are revealed slowly through the book.

At the beginning, the book felt like a detective noir story, it read like a Raymond Chandler story. Conrad is approached by a man panicked, being framed for a murder and no means of payment and low on credits. During the investigation, he encounters kangaroo muscle, holographic houses and a few others.

The extensive use of drugs made me feel like the whole book is a drug-induced illusion. The author reinforces this by making use of bizarre idioms and metaphors that get increasingly peculiar as the book goes on.

The title is a reference to a gun that plays music whenever it is drawn, something to do with advertising.

The book started off amusing and new but started to get old toward the end. It ended just in time.

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