Books I’ve Read

Read 26 Indy Reading Challenge for 2014

Early in January of 2014, Indy Star Reporter Michael Anthony Adams issued a challenge to Indiana residents for the new year: New Year’s resolutions are rarely acted on. I’m guilty of it, and you’re guilty of it. The trick is to have support, which is exactly what #Read26Indy is. But instead of having a few

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Nancy Drew “Girl Detective” T-shirt

I’ve loved Nancy Drew since I was a kid, and I had a cool shirt with Pamela Sue Martin’s face on in when I was in elementary school. I always wished I had one with the silhouette on it, so I made one for myself. And you, if you want to buy one. They’re for

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State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

December’s book club book was State of Wonder and I managed to get it read this time. (It’s been hit-or-miss the last several book club meetings because I’ve been doing my own writing or reading other books or *ahem* reading tons of fan fiction.) The synopsis — which I usually tend to steal from somewhere

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A Song of Ice and Fire

The HBO series A Game of Thrones starts tonight, and author George R. R. Martin responds on his blog to the off-base New York Times article by Ginia Bellafante claiming that the fantasy genre of literature is “boy fiction” and that his series attracts women by spicing up his novels with graphic sex. As he

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Some Thoughts on “Gang Leader for a Day”

Again cleaning out some old notes and writing, I came across some thoughts I had about the book “Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets” and the subsequent discussion we had about it in book club. I started to write this, but felt I needed to do some additional research

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Me and my shallow brain

Howdy? How have you all been. It’s been so long since we talked. I’ve been cheating on you with Facebook, I admit it. But Facebook is giving me tennis elbow, (damned Farmville!) so I need to lay off the junk for awhile. Also, according to Nicholas Carr in his rather alarming book The Shallows: What

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Reading in Cambridgeshire

Sometime last year I managed to lose track of my reading list. I started to keep better track in January of this year, but I never managed to keep the list updated. So after 14 years of tracking every book I’ve read – I managed to lose track hopelessly. Ah well. I’m happier this way.

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Diane Arbus

I picked up Diane Arbus: A Biography at the library without really having an idea who she was. It happened to be on a kiosk of other photography books that the Nora branch was featuring, and I thought – “hey a woman photographer. I should check her out.” I’m not sure why I have that

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Books I’ve Read Recently – July 2009 updated

I’ve finished two of my Project Fill-in-the-gaps books – The Book Thief and Motherless Brooklyn, and filled in with some paperback mysteries and fun stuff. Right now I’m slogging through some titles for work, and enjoying the guilty pleasure of Ana Marie Cox’s thinly-veiled political fiction. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak Motherless Brooklyn –

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Books I’ve Read – April, 2009

Larry Burrows: Vietnam by Larry Burrows A classic, iconographic photography book. Burrows was a Life Magazine photographer covering the Vietnam war, and his images shot over 9 years helped shape the American public’s understanding and opinions about it. He was killed over Cambodia when his helicopter was shot down. 100 Photographs that Changed the World

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Books I’ve Read – First quarter 2009

Wow, I’ve done horribly at documenting my reading for this year. Maybe I need to just give up trying to do posts for every book and just aggregate them into 1 post each quarter. Here’s what I’ve read in the first quarter of 2009: D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths by Ingri D’Aulaire I loved D’Aulaires’

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Addendum to Books I Read in 2008

I had the time to get some extra reading in over the holidays, and I managed to add a couple of books to my list at the end of the year. And good ones, too. The Big Book Of Lesbian Horse Stories by Alisa Surkis and Monica Nolan No, the horses aren’t lesbians. The lesbians

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Books I Read in 2008

It’s my 12th Annual end of the year reading recap. Grand total: 30 books. I don’t think that’s my lowest total, but it’s no 98 titles like in 1997. And boy, oh boy did I hit the genre fiction this year. It did help to have lots of fun light reading while all the wedding

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Books I’ve Read – November and December 2008

A Grave Talent (Kate Martinelli Mysteries) by Laurie R. King To Play The Fool (Kate Martinelli Mysteries) by Laurie R. King With Child (Kate Martinelli Mysteries) by Laurie R. King Earlier this year, I read the fourth and fifth books in the Kate Martinelli Series. This time I circled back around and read the first

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Words that end in “-ist” for a thousand, Alex

In creating my current “recently read” list today, I noticed an oddity in my reading choices… The Archivist: A Novel by Martha Cooley The Egyptologist: A Novel by Arthur Phillips Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon The Fencing Master by Arturo Perez-Reverte Previously, my reading list included The

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Book Meme: What I’ve Read

(via Publishing Careers) The National Endowment for the Arts has an initiative you may have heard of called the Big Read. According to the website, its purpose is to “restore reading to the center of American culture.” They estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. Here’s

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What I’ve Read Recently

The problem I had with being unfocused and skipping from book to book seems to have passed, post-wedding. At one point, I believe I had 9 books partially read. I haven’t gone back to finish any of them, but started fresh with some lighter summer reading in order to carry paperbacks on the plane with

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Book Review Catch-Up – Spring 2008

Boy, am I behind on recording what I’ve read. I’ve had this post in progress forever trying to summarize some of these books, and I kept tacking new titles onto the end. I finally stole enough free time to get it finished. The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman A literary history suspense novel, along the

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Laser Eye Surgery: Getting my eyeballs replaced

As someone at work put it. I’m getting laser surgery (specifically PKR) done on my eyes tomorrow by Dr. Waltz of TLC of Indianapolis. I’m doing my traditional “Stress relief by just not thinking about it” form of denial, so I don’t freak out. It couldn’t possibly be worse than the surgeries I’ve already had.

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Weekend Update: 2008-01-06

Dunno what my last journal entry covered, so let me start at the top – we rang in 2008 at the traditional party at Dan and Doug’s, which is always fun and pretty low-key, and thankfully a few blocks away so we don’t have to risk life and limb. I got really toasted, but managed

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What I Read in 2007 (38 Titles)

Definitely not a banner year for reading for me. I’m hoping with my New Year’s Resolution to concentrate more on my own library, that I’ll get through a few more books next year. This is the 11th year I’ve recorded everything I’ve read; I began in 1997, a year in which I read 92 books.

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End of Year Reading 2007

I’ve read a lot more the last two months of the year, thanks to the writer’s strike. (Go, writers!) Collage Discovery Workshop: Make Your Own Collage Creations Using Vintage Photos, Found Objects and Ephemera by Claudine Hellmuth One of the best collage craft books I’ve found, I’m going to buy this one for some future

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Spychips by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre

Recent reading: Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Purchase and Watch Your Every Move by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Radio-frequency identification (RFID) “tags” are small wireless devices that emit unique identifiers when interrogated by RFID readers or sensors. Today, both government and the private

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Twilight

After complaining that I’m frustrated by my start and stop reading lately, I sat down with our next book club selection, Twilight, and finished it in less that 24 hours. Abiding by the first rule of book club, I won’t discuss the book, but obviously I blazed through it. (it’s about vampires, and I liked

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Recent Reading

It was about this time last year that I got behind in reviewing what I had read recently and gave up and simply posted a list of recent reads. Must be the time of year. I’ve definitely been having trouble getting through any book; I have tons of things half read, and I’m very frustrated

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kerouac

Louis Menand in the New Yorker, on kerouac… Kerouac credited the inspiration for the scroll to Cassady–specifically, to a long letter, supposedly around thirteen thousand words, that Cassady wrote over several days (he was on speed) in December, 1950. This is known as the “Joan letter,” because its ostensible subject is a girlfriend of Cassady’s

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Everything is Miscellaneous

I mentioned the book Everything is Miscellaneous a few posts back on my list of recent reads, but I wanted to pull it out and write more about it, because it was very thought provoking, and a book I intend to buy (I borrowed it from the library) because I want to read it again.

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Book Review Catch-Up

I’m way behind on writing little synopses of the books I’ve finished this year, so I’m consolidating this latest list. Looking back, this happened about this time of year last year, too. Must be a trend. Anyways, here’s what I read since whenever. Sword of the Guardian: A Legend of Ithyria (Legends of Ithyria) by

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Books I’m In the Middle Of…

Every once it a while I can’t decide what to read, so I pick up more than one book and I have several of them halfway done; this is one of those times. Sword of the Guardian: A Legend of Ithyria (Legends of Ithyria) by Merry Shannon Actually, I finished this cheesy lesbian fantasy fiction

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Heir to the Glimmering World

I also can’t find enough time to write a synopsis of Heir to the Glimmering World – a book I picked up in Chicago last July and just finished reading, so again I’m going to cheat and give you the synopsis/review From Publishers Weekly instead: Ozick’s previous novel, The Puttermesser Papers, revolved around one quirky

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The Thirteenth Tale

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to write a synopsis of The Thirteenth Tale – (I’ve been meaning to since I finished this fun, enjoyable book three weeks ago!) so I’ll have to cheat and give you Amazon’s instead: Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield’s debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale.

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The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

A strange Victorian Steampunk novel that I enjoyed, despite it’s length and rather confusing cast of villains. Celeste Temple is a young English woman raised in the West Indies and residing in London awaiting a future wedding to her fiancé, Roger Bascombe. When he sends her a curt note breaking their engagement, she decides to

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The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime

A new series by the author of the bestselling “Tuesday Next” novels. A thoroughly enjoyable read; I polished it off in a weekend. Fforde’s novels are funny and full of literary cleverness. Jack Spratt is an likeable and entertaining protagonist and I look forward to reading the entire series. The Big Over Easy: A Nursery

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Book Review – The Lost Art of Steam Heat

I checked The Lost Art of Steam Heat out from the library because our house has a steam-heat system and it’s working, but not exactly correctly. We’ve had a repair guy out numerous times, but he hasn’t quite fixed the rather complex system, and I wanted to understand a bit more so I could communicate

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Book Review – The Boy Detective Fails

Yeah, this book comes with a decoder ring on the back flap. You don’t discover this until a chapter or two into the book when you have to decode a secret message, but I’m telling you right up front because, well, that’s so frackin’ cool. Joe Meno’s The Boy Detective Fails is a loving homage

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Book Review – Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

I keep putting off writing a review of Fun Home because I feel a sense of obligation to the book — one so well written deserves a well-written review, and I haven’t had it in me lately to try to write one. Here is my poor attempt to do justice to this fantastic book. Alison

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Water for Elephants

21-year-old Jacob Jankowski is studying veterinary medicine in 1931, in the depths of the Great Depression, when his parents are killed in an auto accident. Jacob discovers they had mortgaged their lives to fund his schooling, and he is now penniless. Reeling from grief, he walks away from his final exams and drops out of

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What I Read in 2006 (49 Titles)

2006 was the 10th year I’ve kept track of what I’ve read, and eventually a decade retrospective is in order, but not tonight.
This year’s tally of books is roughly what it was last year – 49 titles. With a several of them being silly easy things, of course, because we were quite busy and I haven’t had the time to read that I used to. This year I managed to write a bit about most books and my impressions, which is cool, because I’ve looked at my past lists sometimes drawn a complete blank at the title and wondered what the heck it was about.

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Book Review – Rough Magicke

Author John Houghton sets his novel Rough Magicke in northwest Indiana, in the fictional county of Annandale originally created by classic Hoosier author Meredith Nicholson in the novel The House of a Thousand Candles – the locale corresponds pretty closely to the city of Culver, Indiana, a town nestled in around Lake Maxinkuckee, south of

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Book Review: Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl This is my favorite of the year, and will probably make the list of of my favorite books ever. I’m not sure I can do it justice in reviewing it, but I hope I can do a bit better than Publishers Weekly, whom I’m going to quote

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Books I’ve Read Recently

Company: A Novel by Max Barry Amazon Description: “With broad strokes, Barry once again satirizes corporate America in his third caustic novel (after Jennifer Government). This time, he takes aim at the perennial corporate crime of turning people into cogs in a machine. Recent b-school grad Stephen Jones, a fresh-faced new hire at a Seattle-based

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Books I’ve read Recently

Garden Accents: Simple-To-Build Projects to Enhance Your Yard or Garden (How-to Gardening) Quite a few interesting building projects for hardscaping your garden. I read this over while drawing up plans for our flowerbeds. Pit of Vipers (Nancy Drew (All New) Girl Detective) #18 by Carolyn Keene There are 21 books out now in this all

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Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things: How to Turn a Penny into a Radio, Make a Flood Alarm with an Aspirin, Change by Cy Tymony ISBN: 0740738593 NON-FICTION – A small guide to how to MacGyvver yourself out of situations using objects you may have with you. I checked the book out from the library, so

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Short Book Reviews

How Nancy Jackson Married Kate Wilson and Other Tales of Rebellious Girls and Daring Young Women by Mark Twain and John R. Cooley Library Journal: “A dozen minor Twain pieces to show how Twain used some of his slight fictions to idealize his daughters Clara and Suzy Clemens as romantic, rebellious, and daring adolescents in

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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald I first read this book when I was still a kid — either in junior high or high school, and I don’t remember caring too much for it, and feeling impatient to ge to the end. We read it again for our book club, and I’m very glad

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Progress Report

So far this year, I’ve read 30 books, and many of them have been pretty light reading. I guess I’m quite a bit behind Bush. At this point, I’ve pretty much abandoned my New Years Reading List and gone off on wild tangents, which seems to be a commentary on my life in general somehow.

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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe Description from Amazon.com: Not since Moby-Dick… No, not since Treasure Island… Actually, not since Jonah and the Whale has there been a sea saga to rival The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, featuring the greatest sea-faring hero of all time, the immortal Pirate Captain,

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On Bullshit

On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt A small, funny book I picked up at the library after the author was interviewed on the Daily Show – it’s a scholarly inquiry on the definition of “bullshit.” From the Amazon.com description: “More pertinent is Frankfurt’s focus on intentions–the practice of bullshit, rather than its end result. Bullshitting,

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Sundown Towns

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen I threw in the towel and bailed on reading this book in depth, which I’ve resolved not to feel bad about. I did skim a lot of it though. I’m a HUGE fan of sociologist Loewen’s books, and this one is good, but

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Don’t I know you?

Don’t I know you? by Karen Shepard FICTION – A mystery/thriller set in 1976 Manhattan about a woman, Gina Engel, who is murdered in her own apartment and discovered by her 12-year-old son Stephen. He narrates the first part of the story as he deals with his grief and tries to piece together anything he

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No Place to Hide

No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society By Robert O’Harrow, Jr. NON-FICTION – Washington Post reporter Robert O’Harrow, Jr. delves into the world of data-collection and surveillance, and puts together a frightening and disheartening portrait of who is gathering personal information about you and why. I started to compile a

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“Cloud Atlas” and “The Whole World Over”

I haven’t much time to write a coherent review of each of these books, so I’m going to crib from Amazon to describe the plots. Sorry for that…. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell “… Mitchell’s third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives…. this latest foray relies

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Mini Book Reviews

I, Robot Isaac Asimov The classic sci-fi set of short stories by Asimov about Robots and their relationship to man. Asmimov sets out the famous “Three Laws of Robotics” that have influenced much science fiction writing since the stories were originally published in the 1940’s in sci-fi magazines, and then collected in this book published

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A year of reading Proust

Next year, I’m going to read Proust. I’m going to tackle In Search of Lost Time (AKA Remembrance of Things Past, or more precisely “À la recherche du temps perdu”), from beginning to end. I say next year because I’m still working my way though this year’s reading plans. I’m made some progress, especially when

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Mini Book Reviews

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak A great exploration of the history of the popular girl detective novels and the women who wrote them. I learned a couple of surprising things — that Nancy Drew was far and away the most popular of the Stratmeyer Syndicate’s kid book

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Books I’ve Read Recently

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus I enjoyed this light, comic novel as a easy summer reading book. I have to admit being frustrated by the level to which “Nanny” — the young female protagonist — put up with the crap of the Manhattan family that hired her to take care of

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Mini Book Reviews

I’m currently making my way through a couple of bigger books — The Watchmen (Absolute Edition) by Alan Moore, and A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster. But in between I’ve read a couple of shorter, fun books. The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island by Weta Workshop An

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Stakeout on Millennium Drive

I hate throwing in the towel on books. I feel guilty if I can’t get through one, and I will struggle to the end of even the most difficult stuff. And I wanted to like Stakeout on Millennium Drive; I really did. It is, after all, a book set in Indianapolis, by a native writer,

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Scaling Down

I borrowed the book “Scaling Down” (by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker) from my girlfriend Stephanie, because we’re both attempting to sort through the things we own and uh, scale down. We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to merge households, and for two people who both own two-story, multi-bedroom homes packed with stuff,

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Stranger In a Strange Land

This is a book club, book, so of course I have to abide by the first and second rules of book club and not talk about it before we meet. But I have to write about it soon, or I’m going to forget details of what I wanted to say about it. So, book club

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Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 (Best Lesbian Erotica Series)

Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 (Best Lesbian Erotica Series) by Tristan Taormino, Eileen Myles This was better than most lesbian erotica books I’ve read, I have to say. I’m normally not a huge fan of the genre because it’s often so badly written that I can’t suspend my disbelief long enough to go for the ride.

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A Feast For Crows: worth the wait

I finished up reading George R. R. Martin’s long-awaited fourth fantasy novel A Feast for Crows today. I’m dying to find out what happens next. The fifth book (A Dance of Dragons) in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series is due out sometime this year, and if it does drop (Martin is notorious for

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Books I plan to read in 2006

Thirty-eight books that I already own and need to read. I’m setting these aside to pick up and read in 2006. I hope I’ll get through more than just these, but this would make a big dent in my “to read” stacks.

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A Feast for Crows: starting the book

I started reading one of the books I bought with my Barnes and Noble gift cards, A Feast for Crows this week. It’s the fourth book in the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. I really enjoy this series because it turns many of the tired fantasy cliches

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What I Read in 2005 (51 Titles)

I’m going to change around a bit how I record the books I’ve read. This coming year, I’ll log titles by doing a short blog entry about them, instead of doing a running list as I have in years past.

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Secret Societies

I’m in the middle of reading: Secret Societies Handbook by Michael Bradley A History of Secret Societies by Arkon Daraul And I’m fascinated, especially by the Handbook, because it lists the Bilderberg Group, the Club of Rome and the Council on Foreign Relations; all are real groups that seem to have major influence on world

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Mini review: The Radioactive Boy Scout

The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor by Ken Silverstein In 1997, teenage Boy Scout David Hahn, who had been engaging in home-brewed science experiments for years in his parent’s backyard in Detroit, Michigan, built himself a functioning model nuclear reactor in his mother’s garden

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Mini Reviews

I’ve been meaning to write reviews for all these things for a while, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time. So here are my mini reviews, because I can’t seem to keep up with everything. All the President’s Men I watched this movie for the first time this past weekend, and it was

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I finished reading the new Harry Potter book last night. Throughout the book I had a notion in my head of the answers to two of the mysteries; who the half-blood prince is, and who dies in the book (don’t yell at me about spoilers; the death is commonly known!).

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Stuff I’ve Read Lately

The Broom of the System David Foster Wallace I read this for my book group, so I’m not going say much about it before we meet to talk about it, because the first rule of book group is “don’t talk about the book before book group.” But as far as David Foster Wallace goes, I

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Reading, TV….

I finished The Eyre Affair on Sunday, and last night wrapped up The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which I’m reading for one of my book clubs. Both are highly recommended.

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Weekend Update 2004-01-26

I finished sanding the edges of the floor in the living room, and did the full-scale cleanup of sawdust required. I hoped that I’d have enough time to start staining the floors, but that was overly ambitious. The edger sander was really hard to control — I was exhausted when I finished Saturday, and today

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Weekend Update 2004-01-06

Over the long New Years weekend, my friend Cate, who was in from Germany, came over and we went to Dan and Doug’s New Years party (photos soon!) along with Kathy and had a good time. Cate and I went to the Catholic supply store downtown and got religious medals (I know, I know, I

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new house

Picked up the keys to my new house today. Went in, figured out how the security alarm works (No, I ain’t gonna tell *you*) and generally wandered around looking in the fridge, oven and closets. Then I decided to look in the cellar and see what was down there. So I hoisted up the door

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