Bruce (goodnightnobody) - , - Reviews

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Against All Enemies (Max Moore, Bk 1)
Against All Enemies (Max Moore, Bk 1)
Author: Tom Clancy, Peter Telep
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 4/25/2012
Helpful Score: 1


I was really disappointed with this book. A strong idea, but just poorly written, and not engaging at all. This almost had the feel of a "contractually-obligated" book - just something he had to do, but didn't feel compelled or passionate about it. Pacing was slow, dialogue was uninteresting, and the payoff wasn't anything I haven't seen in a tv cop show. Don't expect much going in.


Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade, Bk 1)
Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade, Bk 1)
Author: Christopher Farnsworth
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 5/15/2011


A fun book, and certainly an easy read. Think of Simon Green's Darkside novels, except set in the US and you've got a good idea of what's in store. Characters were fun if a bit stilted, and slightly on the stereotypical side. Looking forward to the next book though - well worth the read!


Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio
Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio
Author: Brian Jennings
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.6/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/5/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Meh. An important topic handled poorly, with lots of anecdotal stories, name-dropping of the who's who of conservative talk radio personalities, and reference throughout to some magazine called "Talkers" as if it was THE font of wisdom on the subject (never heard of the mag myself.) Jennings has a tendency to repeat himself, stating a "fact" in a current chapter, even though he addressed the same "fact" four chapters earlier. Also, written at a sixth-grade level, with lots of conservative rhetoric and flag-waving. I wanted the book to be better, but this is not the scholarly work I was hoping for about what is a hugely important topic for anyone who values free speech, regardless of where your beliefs lie on the political spectrum. Instead, this is like listening to a couple hours of Sean Hannity - if that's what you're into, this book is for you.


Final Cut Studio On the Spot, 3rd Edition
Review Date: 2/25/2011


A phenomenal book. Not necessarily a how-to book, but more of a collection of tips, tricks and advice. I've been teaching myself FCP for a couple years now, and this really fills in the holes in a number of ways, including some very basic information that is incredibly useful, and some information about why things work the way they do. A perfect book that I wish I had bought long ago - I've already got the whole thing flagged with notes, stickies and more - as I've already had quite a few "smack-on-the-forehead-so-that's-how-you-do-that" moments.

Probably not as useful for the FCP user who's been academically trained - but perfect for the user who's just making their way through the process via trial and error.


Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O'Malley, Baseball's Most Controversial Owner, and theDodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles
Review Date: 11/2/2011


Excellent book about the history of the Dodgers and the big move. The author really dug deep, and comes up with some fascinating stories about the team and O'Malley, and debunks some of the myths that even I, as a longtime resident of Los Angeles, had simply accepted as fact.

Well worth the read.


The Games
The Games
Author: Ted Kosmatka
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 12/20/2013


Ok, so: Right on the cover there's a quote that says "Blends the best of Chricton and Koontz!"

Um, no. It's a good book, don't get me wrong, but as a fan of both Koontz and Chricton, it is up to par with neither of these authors.

In a nutshell: Its decades into the future, and part of the Olympics is now gladitorial-style combat ("The Games") between scientifically created combatants. The only restriction is that there can be no human DNA. America is looking to keep its edge in the games, so puts a technological savant in charge of a supercomputer to come up with the ultimate warrior. But what he creates is beyond what anyone could have predicted.

Some fun futuristic premises and ideas throughout, but its also a light read, with lots of pages of back-and-forth one-sentence dialogue. I was not thrilled with the ending, as the author seemed to lose his way a bit, but overall an enjoyable read - just don't expect a lot.

Not bad for a first book, and I'll definitely keep my eye out for Kosmatka's next.


Look Who's Back
Look Who's Back
Author: Timur Vermes
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/21/2015


So I had no idea what to think picking this book up, but this was really an enjoyable and fun read. Oh, don't be surprised when you chuckle while wincing at the same time at some of the jokes and comments! But none of it gets too far out of line, and is in fact a smartly written book.

Read deeper into it and you see Vermes criticisms of a media that chases and hypes the "new" in a mad dash for ratings, regardless of whether or not they truly understand exactly what they're hyping.

Even further is Vermes commentary and possibly frustration with a lack of politicians willing to stick to their beliefs. Now inject a man fanatically devoted to his cause up against flip-flopping political figures, and suddenly you start to see why people would listen.

And that is the fun part of the book - and a good wake-up call as well - in that you could actually see something like this happening - people hungry for leadership and conviction, but finding it in the original wolf in sheep's clothing!

Scary, funny, witty - a great read!


Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions
Review Date: 1/19/2012


You want to talk about the elite controlling the vast majority of wealth in America? This is where it happens. Former heads of military serving on boards with former CEOs and former heads of state - and none of them doing the job they're supposed to do.

Yes, we can lay the blame for the collapse of a company at the feet of a CEO - but the CEO is supposed to report to the Board.

Really well-written and fascinating, although ultimately frustrating in its level of "You've GOT to be kidding me!" moments throughout.


Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Author: Michael Lewis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 139
Review Date: 2/12/2011


Phenomenal. I can't believe it took me this long to get around to reading it. If you're a true baseball fan, you simply must read this book.


Nexus (Nexus, Bk 1)
Nexus (Nexus, Bk 1)
Author: Ramez Naam
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/24/2013


A fantastic first book by Ramez Naam. The story itself follows some standard plot twists and turns - nothing ground breaking there - but the fun is in the technology itself that Naam describes and a future world that is unique yet eerily realistic. Along with some great characters that are..."superhuman"? "posthuman"? Whatever you want to call them, made this a pleasure to read.

If this is your type of science fiction you will burn through this book in a matter of days if not hours. Easily accesible for someone who's both heavy into hard sci fi as well as the casual reader.

Hopefully there will be much more to come from Naam.


Power Down (Dewey Andreas, Bk 1)
Power Down (Dewey Andreas, Bk 1)
Author: Ben Coes
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 37
Review Date: 9/4/2011


Fans of the Tom Clancy genre should pay attention. Hard to believe this is a first book. Very polished, very fun, and a fast read.

The story follows a series of attacks on America's infrastructure, and the ensuing chaos that results. It's got your typical characters who are the hard-core, ex-seal, ex-delta, ex etc. who always tend to be a little over the top, but not to the point where it goes too far.

A nice mix of action on and off the battlefield - some taking place in gunfights in third world countries, some taking place on wall street.

A really good book, and I'm looking forward to his next.


Reign of Iron : The Story of the First Battling Ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimack
Review Date: 4/25/2012


A fantastic book, well-written in more of a cinematic style than I was expecting. Sometimes war history books can bog you down in details and language that can overwhelm if you're not used to it. This wasn't like that at all, with a strong narrative, a powerful visual style, and great historical details woven throughout. A very fun read.


Sh*t Rough Drafts
Sh*t Rough Drafts
Author: Paul Laudiero
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 0.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/5/2015


Half star, but should be no stars. What an awful book.

Ok, first of all, I had thought that it might actually be a collection of initial draft material collected from authors, about early ideas for their work. Might be interesting, right? Well, yes, that might have been, but that's not what this book is.

This is an author and "comedian" who is himself making jokes about what he thinks bad drafts could have been for other works.

Ok, fair enough, could still be amusing, right?

No. None of it is even remotely funny. For example:

An early title for the movie "The King's Speech" is "The King's S-s-s-s-s-s-p-p-peech" by David Seidler, with a pretend handwritten editor's note stating "This is offensive David."

And that is an entire page.

Another "hilarious" entry is for "The Hurt Locker" which also has pretend edits suggesting that the name is "boring" and maybe it should have been named "The Boo Boo Room" or "The Ouchie Place."

Seriously. I wish I was joking, but no, there really isn't anything that's funny surrounding this piece of "literature."

I put it back up on my bookshelf, but I couldn't in good conscience allow the copy I have to exist. I have since taken it down, and thrown it in the recycling bin.


Tales From Radiator Springs - 6 Early Readers ( Step Into Reading) (Disney Pixar Cars, Step 1 and Step 2)
Review Date: 1/24/2013


A nice collection of 6 different Cars kids books, including:

Step 1:
Race Team
Old, New, Red, Blue
A Cars Christmas

Step 2:
Roadwork
Driving Buddies
The Spooky Sound


Warbreaker (Warbreaker, Bk 1)
Warbreaker (Warbreaker, Bk 1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 12/3/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I've read Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy as well as The Way of Kings, and I really do like his writing style. His dialogue is extremely well written, and his books keep you interested, and keep the pages turning. But nothing much really happens in this book. Lots of conversations about: should two nations go to war, how does the magic system work, and who really are the gods - conversations about these topics, with little action accompanying. The magic system is interesting, but not nearly as much so as his other creations in Mistborn and Stormlight. His writing saves the book, as he really is fun to read, but 200 pages in, and it will dawn on you that, well, very little is happening.


The Wolf of Wall Street (Movie Tie-in Edition)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Author: Jordan Belfort
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 2/17/2014
Helpful Score: 1


Ok, so this is kind of a mixed review, because the book (I haven't seen the movie either) wasn't quite what I was expecting. I was thinking that it was going to be more like a story along the lines of the movie "Wall Street" - you know, behind the scenes corruption and chaos of stock trading and wall street. But really, the book is more "Scarface" than it is "Wall Street" - just instead of making a killing with guns and drugs in Miami, he's making a killing with stocks and drugs on Wall Street.

The book reads well, its fast moving, and pretty funny in some places. The sheer outlandishness and audacity of Belfort - this is supposed to be an autobiography - is pretty amazing. And here's my first problem - its almost...too amazing, too clever. My point is is that this guy is taking drugs like he's drinking water, yet he's writing a biography about conversations he had 25 years earlier when he was higher than the moon, and yet we're supposed to believe that that's exactly how it happened? Hmmm...

My other problem with the book, is that - just like Scarface - there is no redemption in it. Belfort does not see the light, does not mend his ways, does not turn over a new leaf. He just gets worse and worse. And along the way he talks about how smart he is, how funny, how good looking, how powerful he is, how many women he slept with, how much money he made, how many things he's owned, how many people he's gotten one over...and more and more and more. Its literally just one long giant ego stroke.

So, if you're going to read the book, just prepared that its very slim on details about Wall Street itself, and is more of a cross between Scarface, and I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, by Tucker Max. If you're in the mood for that, its a wild ride. If you're not, then try something else.


The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs: Recrowning Baseball's Greatest Slugger
Review Date: 6/3/2011


A fascinating book about an equally fascinating ballplayer. Not a biography about the Babe, but a scholarly examination about the Babe's career that will appeal to stat-heads and non-stat-heads alike. It includes a case-by-case look into the claims of whether it was easier or harder for Babe to play in the 20s and 30s vs players of today. Some of the things included were a look at equipment, rules, stadiums, level of competition, strength and conditioning and medical care. Lots of spray charts, and photos are included, and the author also spent time running down claims of 600 foot home runs. Did Babe hit one? Read and find out!

This is a meticulously researched book with a myriad of references that should put to rest any argument about whether or not Babe truly was the best - he was more than that, much more. An awesome read for any baseball fan.


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