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Friday, January 26, 2007

Janet Evanovich: Three To Get Deadly (Rating: 8)

I've finished Three To Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich (another Stephanie Plum novel, as well as another enjoyable read).

These books are great for a laugh, if nothing else (yes, among other things, this means Stephanie has lost yet another car!)

I highly recommend these books.

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A slight change of focus

Hi! Techsplorer here with a bit of news to pass along.

This blog will soon be the only blog I keep. This blog (formerly) was exclusively dedicated to books. Now I will be also using this blog to talk about the other things that interest me.

Whereas I have (previously) talked about these other topics in my other blogs, I've been having a bit of trouble remembering where I discussed what.

So now they'll all be here.

This includes any previous posts that I've made in any of my other blogs; in time I'll fold those posts into this blog (I'll keep the other blogs around though so any comments or links there won't be lost).

I just wish blogger had some mechanism that would allow me to move posts easily from one blog I own to some other blog I own (in this case, this blog right here).

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lemony Snicket: The Carnivorous Carnival (Rating: 7)

I finished reading The Carnivorous Carnival, Book 9 of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events".

This is, once again, a tale most entertaining.

I can particularly recommend this book, if only for Chapter 5. It is definitely worth reading for that alone!

So, of course, I'm off to pick up book 10!

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

A New Years resolution for 2007

I have resolved to make 2007 the year I finish reading three books:

Buy now from!

Buy now from!

Serious Creativity (no image available)

I not only resolve to finish reading these, but also to make each of them my own (in the sense imparted by How to Read a Book).

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Janet Evanovich: Two For The Dough (Rating: 8 out of 10)

I finished reading Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich and, once again, I had a real good time, definitely better than the time had by the protagonist. Poor Stephanie Plum! Evanovich really puts her through some rough times. Well, at least she almost had sex this time; she actually got so far as getting almost naked for it but — alas — it simply didn't happen! Maybe next time.

One thing I'll say for Evanovich, she does create interesting, colorful, and fully developed characters.

She's also funny as hell (which, honestly, is a dumb phrase when you think about it; make it funny as anything, instead!)

This book wasn't rated any higher for the same reason that the previous book wasn't.

Oh, yeah, and there is a new Stephanie Plum novel out — a "A Stephanie Plum Between-the-Numbers Novel", they're calling it — called Plum Lovin' that I'll have to get around to reading when I'm all caught up with the numbered books.

Here is what Amazon has to say about it:

Watch your back Look both ways Because love is in the air And that means big trouble! Mysterious men have a way of showing up in Stephanie Plum's apartment. When the shadowy Diesel appears, he has a task for Stephanie -- and he's not taking no for an answer. Annie Hart is a "relationship expert" who is wanted for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Stephanie needs to find her, fast. Diesel knows where she is. So they make a deal: He'll help her get Annie if Stephanie plays matchmaker to several of Annie's most difficult clients. But someone wants to find Annie even more than Diesel and Stephanie. Someone with a nasty temper. And someone with "unmentionable" skills. Does Diesel know more that he's saying about Annie Hart? Does Diesel have secrets he's keeping from Stephanie and the two men in her life -- Ranger and Morelli? With Stephanie Plum in over her head, things are sure to get a little dicey and a little explosive, Jersey style!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Intellectual Devotional, Part 2

Something I neglected to mention about The Intellectual Devotional in my previous post: the daily entries do not have specific dates.

Instead each entry is tied to a specific day of a specific week.

For example, Hammurabi's Code of Laws should be read on Monday of week 2 (as opposed to January 8th, 2007).

So if you feel like you missed the boat for 2007 — and aren't buying this wonderful book for yourself — deprive yourself no more!

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Kidder & Oppenheim: The Intellectual Devotional (Rating: 10 out of 10)

I used a gift card I got for Christmas to purchase The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class, by David Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim. This little book has one year's worth of daily readings taken from seven different fields of knowledge (history, music, visual arts, religion, literature, science, and philosophy).

 I love this book!

So far I've read about:

  • The Alphabet (history)
  • Ulysses (literature)
  • Lascaux Cave Paintings (visual arts)
  • Cloning (science)
  • The Basics (music)
  • Appearance and Reality (philosophy)
  • Torah (religion)
  • Hammurabi's Code of Laws (history)
  • Ernest Hemingway (literature)
  • Bust of Nefertiti (visual arts)
  • Eratosthenes (science)
  • Melody (music)

I've come to the conclusion—after reading yesterday's entry—that my nickname quite possibly ought to be Beta, or at least that is what might have been if I'd have lived in Greece at the time of Eratosthenes. Like Eratosthenes, I have so many interests, many would consider me to be a dabbler. Or, to use what was one my father's favorite phrases, I am a jack of all trades, master of none.

I see, after the final entry for the year, that we'll be seeing "The Intellectual Devotional, Volume II" (at the end of this year, I'd guess).

Translation: I've started working on next year's Christmas Wish List!

Oh, and there is a companion web site for the book, including a blog, a forum, and other fun stuff.

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Janet Evanovich: One For The Money (Rating: 8 out of 10)

I finished reading Janet Evanovich's first Stephanie Plum novel, One for the Money a couple of days ago and I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised (more on that in a bit). In short though, I had a great time with it.

So what did I like about it? For starters, I really love mysteries. And I love to laugh. Evanovich excels at writing mysteries that make you laugh. Let me give you some idea what I'm talking about. The opening lines of this book are:

There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me — not forever, but periodically.

As for being pleasantly surprised, well, I guess was somewhat skeptical about reading this book to begin with. I only read it because Julie, AKA "The Missus", has been gently pestering me to read them. I've had to live with her laying in bed beside me every time a new Stephanie Plum novel came out, laughing out loud at some of it.

This is a woman who rarely lets out so much as a chuckle when we're watching TV or even a really funny movie.

Plus, most of her talk with Kendra (her "Stephanie Plum Pal") is filled with talk about whether Stephanie needs to be with Ranger or Joe. Now I am not — admittedly — an overly macho guy, but this was a bit off-putting to me.

On the other hand, there were bits I was looking forward to reading about, such as Grandma Mazur, or the destruction of one or more cars.

For, it seems, poor Stephanie has an extremely hard time keeping a vehicle. One must figure that Evanovich must either love cars passionately, or (my guess) hate them to the core of her being. In this book the car Stephanie is driving at the beginning of the story doesn't last and she winds up driving another that has, to put it mildly, problems. Most notably, a massive oil leak. For example, when Stephanie (while following someone) thinks:

I prayed he wasn't going far. I only had a case and a half of oil in the backseat.
she means it!

What else did I like? Well, the characters are very colorful and interesting. The mystery itself was satisfying. And, oh yes, did I mention it was laugh out loud funny?

What didn't I like? (AKA, why didn't I rate this book higher than an eight?) Well, it isn't so much that I disliked anything so much as, as is the case with most mysteries, it really is only a good way to pass time.

There's nothing here that I'm going to muse over for days, questioning the meaning of my life, or actually perceive any personal growth.

To put it another way, this book is at the shallower end of the literary pool, fairly close to the kiddie end of things (but NOT in content or language; if your ten year old tries to read this book, take it away!)

That said, this is definitely worthy of a read.

And, so far, so is the next book, Two for the Dough.

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Thursday, January 4, 2007

The "New Look" is here

Too bad it takes up so much room at the top of the page. That's the next thing I gotta work on.

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