d e t a i l s

  WHAT I'M READING   READING NOW  
   
  i hope to read every day.

believing that 'hoping' for something is not enough to get it done, i, like all parts of my life that matter to me, regiment this behavior. i do this by drawing lines in the sand at the start of every week for every place i 'hope' to arrive at and working towards reaching each of those marks.

because i have a number of different reading goals, it takes multiple lines in the sand to guide this part of my life. since i have multiple interests and aspirations that i'm interested in reading, i approach this is by drawing four lines in the sand. one for each of the following types of books:
  1. professional
  2. life improvement
  3. recreational
  4. review
for each of these, i have a book of the week. i then set a goal for each, like 50 pages, and then chip away at each moving in and out of them from day to day, but with the goal of reading 50 pages in each by week's end.

the fourth category, the review, refers to a book that i have read in the past that i will pluck from the shelf and revisit, rereading flagged passages and perusing the notes i made in the margins. while this obviously lends itself to professional books i've read (which are predominately not listed on this page *) and self-help sorts of literature, it is sometimes enjoyable to review faulkner or lewis just to re-experience their jaw-dropping, neuron-popping use of language.

* for a few reasons, in 2014 i have done a lot of reading for work which accounts for the paucity of entries here.
 

The Clan of the Cave Bear
Jean M. Auel
 



READ BEFORE BOOKS FROM : 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


 



A Very Long Engagement
Sebastian Japrisot
12.2004

same old war, new kinda story. this book excels in two categories; realistic portrayal of a highly romanticized period of our history and delivering these images in a unique packaging. my wheels were spinning from the start wondering where this narrative was going to wind up. pleasantly, this brain folly continued throughout. kind of an all's quiet on the western front (of erich remarque) meets ten little indians (of agatha christie).

curiously, marty tried reading this after i did and she didn't make past page 50. when asking her about it she likened the narrative to the camera work on most reality tv shows, jerky and unpredictable. to me, lack of predictability is half the reason for reading this book. but, something you should know, marty has only recently decided it's ok to stop reading a book after she's started it. given this, i think she's overexcited at wielding this newfound ability.
link to this review





 
 



Foundation
Isaac Asimov
12.2004

i had a professor once say that an indicator of excpetional science fiction is when the fiction greatly outweighs the science, meaning the story is the key and the science merely adds nuance. asimov wrote with such subtlety if you removed ten percent of the content, the story would be contextually anachronistic. and, this was like the third or fourth novel the dude ever wrote. i think he scored an exceptional high school conselor because he's definitely doing what he should be doing.
link to this review





 
 



A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson
12.2004

h biggs summed it up best when he said this book gave him a persistent case of the shakes. you see, based on bryson's message, earth's blind date with an astral body (aka planet-killer) isn't a matter of IF but instead WHEN. and, if the debris in space doesn't end us, a homegrown microbe will. think for a moment if AIDS became an airborne virus. then think how many times the dolt you share a copier with at work got you sick this last winter. granted, he talks about a host of other science-related stuff, but like h biggs, i walk away with a pant load of paranoia.

remember, not IF but WHEN.
link to this review





 
 



Trial (manuscript)
Patrick Tully Dorsey
09.2004

just about anyone can wire an outlet, change the oil in their car or cook a good omelet. and those who can't can learn how. writing a book is different. sit down and try to write a twenty page story about something. hell, i'll even let you double space it. when you're done with that, give me 500 pages on that or another topic. and please see that it is interesting and that i give some kind of shit about the people in it and for god-sake, see that you don't confuse me with wild ramblings and asides, lucidity is important. no small assignment nor easily learned.

so imagine my admiration when i heard that this guy i know wrote a book. a whole, complete book. this guy is not a novelist. he is not some privileged fella sitting in a vermont cabin pecking away old-style on a metal typewriter. he is a guy who gets up in the morning, drinks a cup of joe, scratches himself in a few spots, grunts at people who talk to him before 10am and yells at traffic when driving home from work. he's just a dude like you or me (insert the female equivalent if you don't have a penis). he's like us except that while you and i were watching episodes of alias and sopranos, he was writing a book.

now about this book. i enjoyed it. i consumed it. i felt privileged to get this early glance at someone's passion before others get the proverbial looksey. now considering all of the above baggage i'm admittedly hoisting, how legitimate are my opinions? if it was written by someone i didn't know, what would i think? if it was written by someone i didn't like, what would i think? fact is, i'm not sure i can answer those questions. while he shops for a publisher, the only feedback i'm certain of is that i surely enjoyed this book written by a guy i know.
link to this review





 
 



Ender's Shadow
Orson Scott Card
07.2004

think of how many times you've come to the end of a good book or film and thirsted for more. even though it is not, it cannot be, as intriguing or compelling as its predecessor, ender's shadow is remarkably good. there can be no doubt that card delivers entertainment in this quasi-experimental technique, weaving in and out of the first novel at key points he accentuates the intial work in significant ways.
link to this review





 
 



Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card
06.2004

this is not the first time i've read this book and sadly and like some other things it will never be as good and sweet as it was the first time, but that said, it's still crazy good.

for reasons i won't discuss here (in the event you haven't read it), i view this to be a book of import and consequence especially for a young and hopefully impressionable mind. oddly though i struggled over giving this as a gift to a nephew of mine because some of the subject matter, if really poured over and considered, is intense. while i think this science fiction novella is a good exercise for a questioning adolescent, there is a part of me that wonders if it is my place to make that decision for someone else's child and for all the stupid stuff i say on a daily basis, i don't really want to be the guy who pisses off some young person's parents, especially on the matter of literature, because that has the ingredients of being pretty messy.

in the fifteen seconds i just sat here looking at the flashing cursor, i'm going to say i don't know. but i do hope my children read it.
link to this review





 
 



The Davinci Code
Dan Brown
05.2004

consider brown's great technique for telling a tale of mystery. next consider his well researched conspiracy angle. then consider that what i like most about this book is what it does to the more spiritually zealous among us and you may be nearing in on what a jerk i am. watching the tailspin these folks fall into at the mere mention of this novel is worth its hardbound expense, and allow me stress the word novel there.

and not that this book is any mystery to anyone at this point, it definitely falls into one of the better quick reads available. at least it was the most ravenouse my wife has been for a book since she stopped reading the laura ingles wilder series.
link to this review





 
 



The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon
04.2004

luby tells me that it's near prerequisite to know/like/understand comics to enjoy this book.

my breadth of knowledge on comics would not fill the back of a bazooka joe wrapper.
link to this review





 
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