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.

August 15, 2013

Hopscotch by Brian Garfield

Filed under: Adventure — Randolph @ 7:45 am

Hopscotch by Brian Garfield

Miles Kendig was a top field agent with the CIA. But when a spy reaches a certain age, he is moved to a desk job. Feeling he was being forced into retirement, he quit. And he took a lot of secrets with him.

Depressed from the beginning, a meeting with a Soviet agent inspired him to play a game. The meeting inspired him to play a game. He is writing a book full of secrets, chapter by chapter he is sending them to the CIA and publishers around the world. It is an open challenge to his former colleagues to stop him before he can finish.

The book is written well. It is in third person getting inside Miles’ head. We watch him set traps, not knowing how they will play out. Then we get to watch the action. Miles anticipates every action his colleagues do and works to not only stay ahead of them, but taunt them at each step.

The writing is good and reflects the mood on the page. During his early depression, Brian describes a meal as “he ate something in a cafĂ© and had two Remy Martins.” The tone changes dramatically after the meeting with the Soviet providing a harbinger of action to come.

The book is a fast read and fully enjoyable.

August 4, 2013

Beyond Forcing Moves by Takagi Shoichi

Filed under: Games and Puzzles — Randolph @ 9:38 am

Beyond Forcing Moves by Takagi Shoichi

This is an instructional book on go.

Takagi discusses making the right choice of forcing moves. He discusses the principles in 12 pages, making up chapter 1. The next two chapters constitute the bulk of the book, and goes into making use of these principles. These chapters throw in other concepts in sections, all making heavy use of examples from professional play.

I didn’t see much value in the distinction between chapters 2 and 3, but the book is very good and presents ideas clearly. The book is targeted at more advanced players.

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