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.

June 11, 2024

The Ninja by Eric Van Lustbader

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randolph @ 2:53 pm

This book looks promising, and the story would be good if written by another author. This author doesn’t understand the basics of writing.

He frequently describes events and character feelings rather than showing the reader. His characters are poorly developed and overreact to situations and statements. They also talk to the reader instead of each other.
He further goes to reinforce stereotypes and uses gratuitous sex in scenes that are more of a hindrance to the plot – if you can find it.

August 15, 2023

Deviant Flux by Jessie L. Kwak

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Randolph @ 3:32 pm

This is a sci-fi action story with a bit of intrigue. This is part of a series, I don’t know any recommended order but the author suggested they can be read in any order.

After the destruction of her world and the loss of everyone she knew, Starla goes to Maribi, an asteroid station run by a strong-handed cartel, seeking any of her family. After finding her cousin, Mona, she is rapidly pulled into a political conflict.
Despite being a science fiction story set in the distant future, the technology is seamlessly worked into the story and takes a back stage. It works well.

July 6, 2023

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Randolph @ 11:03 am

This is the first book in the Longmire mystery series and serves as an introduction to the main characters. The mystery revolves around a man who was murdered and left in the wilderness. Clues relate to the rape of a mentally slow girl and indian artifacts.

I found this mystery only moderately interesting and the writing adequate, if this had been the first of the series I had read I would not have placed a lot of value on reading others. The books seems to focus on introducing characters and the setting.

March 4, 2023

The Cat Who Played Brahms by Lilian Jackson Braun

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Randolph @ 5:42 pm

This is the fifth book in The Cat Who… series. In this story, James Qwilleran has to move again, Maus Haus is being sold and the paper may be giving him a new beat.

Jim decides to take a vacation, to go to visit Aunt Fannie, a friend of his mother, in Moose County, ostensibly to work on his book. Being a cityfolk, he’s a bit lost in the rustic cabin Fannie is letting him use, there are noises and things go missing.

The people who live in Moose County all have their quirks, but are cordial. His calls to police turn to be animal encounters. Until he goes fishing and catches a body, things start to get interesting.

Koko, Yum Yum and Qwill’s mustache take center stage as dead bodies and odd behaviors take center stage. Qwill is out of his depth, but Koko helps make things clear.

This book isn’t as good as the previous ones. I felt is was more of an interlude between different story styles or settings – I haven’t read beyond this one yet. The story was somewhat interesting, but did pick up at the end.

February 18, 2023

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Randolph @ 11:35 am

This is a fully-text Batman story. Set in his pre-Batman years, Bruce Wayne is a rich spoiled kid coming of age. He is about to graduate from high school when he gets involved in a police matter, putting himself in the middle of the action as Nightwalkers are preying on the rich of Gotham City. Bruce Wayne is to be one of their targets. he interferes with a police chase, or solved the problem depending on your perspective.

He ends up in court for his interference and is sentenced to public service, cleaning at Gothom’s insane assylum. This was the first of many irrational decisions made by key people that were necessary to further the story. And this is what ruined the story for me.

There were a number of bad decisions made, from a judge assigning a teenager to public service in a dangerous environment, police confiding in the teenager to get information, the asylum staff not keeping an eye on the teen and allowing him access to areas he should be in. It all felt rather convenient.

Then the pacing was too fast, in the style of a comic rather than prose. Much of the dialog was more suited to a visual medium and descriptions seemed weak.

Overall, the story didn’t quite work for me, but it wasn’t all bad. It was interesting to see someone’s perspective on his early life between the death of his parents and his emergence as the Batman.

February 3, 2023

Too Many Clients by Rex Stout

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Randolph @ 8:04 pm

Starting slowly, Nero Wolfe needs clients to support his lifestyle. Archie is to find some. The mystery begins when Archie meets Thomas Yeager, the president of Continental Plastic Products. Thomas is concerned and wants to be able to make a clandestine meeting in a less-than-desirable part of town without being followed.

Archie arranges to watch him in controlled conditions so that he can make his meeting safely, but he doesn’t show. The next day Thomas Yeager turns up dead outside of the meeting location, but it isn’t the man that Archie met.

This is a good mystery, but Archie still doesn’t have a client. He proceeds with an investigation, staying both just ahead of the police and keeping out of jail for interfering.

At the address that Thomas gave, Archie finds an apartment set up as a private love nest done out in style. He manages to get several clients, the owners of the love nest, the directors of the Continental Plastics Company, and the wife of Thomas Yeager, each of whom is looking for a different outcome. He and Nero Wolfe have to keep the clients separate, feed them the information they are entitled to and feed the police what is necessary and not raise too much suspicion.

It’s a fun read and a good mystery.

January 9, 2023

Leviathan Falls by James S. A. Corey

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Randolph @ 7:35 pm

December 26, 2019

ABC’s of Leatherwork by Tandy Leather Company

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Randolph @ 12:28 pm

This is a minimal primer for leatherworking. It introduces the reader to a few basic tools and techniques, that’s about it. It doesn’t mention maintenance or care of the tools, nor safety. It may be decent for a user who needs a quick introduction and has access to a teacher or someone who can help through any difficulties. It is cheap and a quick read. The company has several better books. Better is Leather Crafting: https://books.randolphking.com/?p=1647.

November 22, 2018

Impressionist Painting for the Landscape by Cindy Salaski , George Gallo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Randolph @ 3:52 pm


Impressionist Painting for the Landscape  by Cindy Salaski , George Gallo

April 11, 2017

Impressionist Painting for the Landscape: Secrets for Successful Oil Painting by Cindy Salaski

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Randolph @ 12:07 pm

Impressionist Painting for the Landscape: Secrets for Successful Oil Painting by Cindy Salaski

The book got off to a weak start for me. When describing materials, he describes what he has and insists it is the BEST available. He doesn’t give adequate information as to why it is the best and what you can do if his choice isn’t available or is too expensive for the reader. This doesn’t address why the best wouldn’t change over time. Everything he has is the best.

The book got a lot better when he got down to painting techniques and composition. However, the authors didn’t really address impressionism very much. The book includes some step-by-step painting examples, again, there is a discussion of techniques, but not as to why they would support an impressionistic feel.

There are a lot of references at the bottom of alternate pages to a website for additional material. This is just a blatant attempt to get you to a website to view ads. the extra materials consist of two pages, one of very basic suggestions already covered in the book, the second page is a nice painting with a few words about its composition. This could have been included on one page in the book. Instead there are three pages about the two authors and two pages that are selling a video.

The book does have value, don’t expect to come through it with any understanding of impressionism and you can enjoy it.

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