Archive for September, 2008

September 29th 2008

For A Few Demons More

Ho boy.  Rachel is in all kinds of trouble in this book.  A demon with Alzheimer’s shows up.  She’s got another demon owing her a favor, which is definitely not as good as it sounds (and it doesn’t sound good).  And good ol’ Al shows up again.

There’s more than the usual angst between her and Ivy.  Jenks is his usual pixie self (but I’m worried about Matalina).  Ceri gets scary.  (Ha ha!)

Oh… and the Focus?  Yeah.  Interlanders have figured out it wasn’t destroyed and Weres are being murdered (covered up to look like suicide).  Wanna know who’s killing them?  (Nah, I’m not telling.)

Trent is going to get married to that nasty Ellsabeth woman.  What a creep.

Piscary is out of jail.  Not good.  But it works out in the end.

And Harrison killed off one of my favorite characters!  Yo, there’d better be a damn good reason for that and I’ll be waiting on the next book to discover that reason (because the one you garner from this book is a little on the lame side… in my opinion).

Yes, one last thing… don’t go down that same road Laurell K. Hamilton is going down.  Sex is not a necessary part of the book, ok?  It’s distracting and breaks the flow of the book.  Thank you.

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September 26th 2008

Any Given Doomsday

This book showed up in my mailbox last week.  I don’t know why.  It’s an advance reading copy, and I have no idea how I managed to get lucky enough to get one of these.  Naturally, the book when right to the top of my To Be Read pile.

After a slightly rocky and confusing start, I was zipping right along with the action by the end of the first chapter.

There’s all kinds of supernatural and psychic fun going on… vampires, demons, scary Navajo spirits walking the earth.  It turns out our heroine, one Liz Phoenix, is the leader of a band of demon killers and seers who fight the good fight to fend off Armageddon.

This is a series in the same vein as the Anita Blake and Rachel Morgan series.  Since I really love those characters and stories, it’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed Any Given Doomsday.  I’ll be watching for her second one next year!

Oh, and if anyone has any idea how I managed to score an ARC, do let me know.

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September 23rd 2008

It’s Time for a Meme

Not just any meme, but my favorite book-related meme… The 5-Book Meme! Take five books and grab a sentence from each (from specific spots in the book) and create a new paragraph. The books I used:

  1. Meditation in a New York Minute by Mark Thornton
  2. Fingerpainting on the Moon by Peter Levitt
  3. The Beginnings of Buddhism by Kogen Mizuno
  4. Beginning SQL Server 2005 Programming by Robert Vieira
  5. For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

And the paragraph you’ve all been waiting for…

Our lives are lived at warp speed. And yet, there was a surprising if ungainly fluidity of rhythm and grace to this man’s movements that mysteriously added a sense of spaciousness to the air. Perhaps out of concern over issues of this kind, Shakyamuni never advocated the life of the Order for all people. How does it do it? “They’re really good for breakfast,” I said, and with his arm over my shoulder, we both hobbled back to my car.

Weird, huh? But I like it. And will do this meme again… you can count on it.

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September 20th 2008

The Edge Effect

Dr. Braverman explains in great detail how the imbalance of four neurotransmitters in your brain (dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA and serotonin) cause pretty much everything that ails you.  He’s got tests you can take to determine your dominant neurotransmitter and what deficiencies you might have.  While he does lay out a plan for righting what’s wrong, it involves two aspects that I find difficult to live with.  The first is getting your doctor on board in case you need a prescription drug of some sort.  The second is a diet plan.

I’m not knocking his research and program; this stuff might work for some people.  But if I have to eat stuff that grosses me out, I’m not going there.  According to his quizzes, I have a GABA deficiency and ought to be eating things like oatmeal, yogurt, liver, dark-meat fowl (and what is THAT??), mushrooms and fish.

As much as I’d like to be the picture of health, if I can’t do it avoiding foods that make me gag, it just isn’t going to happen.

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September 17th 2008

Skin and Bone

Although one of the cover blurbs proclaims, “Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs — move over,” I didn’t find this book as intriguing as either of the other two authors.  Perhaps with a few more books under her belt, Fox will be able to create a more dynamic character in Detective Sargent Kate Farrer.  I certainly see the potential… absolutely.  That said, if you like Cornwell and Reichs, you’ll probably like Fox, too.

It took me a while to figure out the story was set in Sydney, Austrailia, because it was only an off-hand reference once or twice.  Silly me… at first I thought it was somewhere in the UK.

And now, let’s talk about the people who write the synopsis without ever having read the book.  Cut that out.  Sometimes it’s just little things that are off, but it’s still highly annoying.  Kate Farrer did not take a “four-month leave from the force when the stress of the job threatened to crush her,” she took a three-month leave to recover from the psychological terror of being kidnapped and tortured.  A very slight difference, I’m sure.  But one that gives you a very different first impression of a character.

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September 14th 2008

God’s Debris

I have yet to read anything by Scott Adams that I didn’t love.  God’s Debris is his first non-Dilbert book, and it’s a doozy.  Is it fiction?  Is it non-fiction?  The jacket blurb is almost as good as the book, so I want to share that with you.

Adams describes God’s Debris as a thought experiment wrapped in a story.  It’s designed to make your brain spin around inside your skull.

Imagine that you meet a very old man who — you eventually realize — knows literally everything.  Imagine that he explains for you the great mysteries of life: quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity, light, psychic phenomenon, and probability — in a way so simple, so novel, and so compelling that it all fits together and makes perfect sense.  What does it feel like to suddenly understand everything?

You may not find the final answer to the Big question inside, but God’s Debris might provide the most compelling vision of reality you will ever read.  The thought experiment is this: try to figure out what’s wrong with the old man’s explanation of reality.  Share the book with your smart friends.  Then discuss it later while enjoying a beverage.

I’m going to pass this book along to some of my smart friends (and then eventually release it through Bookcrossing).  I’ve got a tasty beverage ready and waiting.

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September 11th 2008

Your Erroneous Zones

Written in 1976, the same year I graduated from high school, this book contains gems of wisdom that have stood the test of time.  Now granted, had I read this book when I was 18 years old, my reaction to it would have been similar to my daughter’s reaction to many things I say to her now…  “Yeah.  WHATever.”

I’m also going to come out of the closet here as a graduate of Landmark Education… mostly because a whole lot of what Dyer is saying in this book is echoed in virtually every seminar and course I take through Landmark.  It all seems like common sense to this 50 year old woman, but I think it should be an essential read for anyone who has any kind of negative feelings about themselves.

Because really…  we’re all beautiful people and completely worthy of a fabulous life.  (Crap.  Do I sound like an aging hippie??)

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September 8th 2008

Why You Should Give a Damn About Gay Marriage

It seems like a no-brainer to me.  This is America, and we should all have the same rights, responsibilities and obligations.  Why should I have access to 1,049 different Federal benefits just because I happened to have married a man?

And that bit about how gay marriage is going to destroy the institution of marriage?  Oh, puh-lease.  Like all the divorced heterosexuals in this country haven’t trashed it all to hell and back.  I honestly cannot see how any of my gay friend’s marriages affect my relationship with my husband.  Nope, just can’t see it.

Oh wait!  Maybe he’ll decide to divorce me and take up with that hunky guy down the street.

ROFLMAOPIMP!!

Whew.  Ok.  Now that I have my breath back and my ribs have stopped hurting from all that laughing, let me suggest you go read this book if you don’t think gay marriage is a big deal.  Cuz, you know, it is a big deal.

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September 5th 2008

Strangers in Death

Eve doesn’t have much patience for snooty rich women, that’s for sure.  And when one such woman’s husband winds up murdered, she takes an almost instant dislike to said snooty rich woman.

It’s very clever how Robb tied Eve’s case ever so neatly to one of Baxter and Trueheart’s long-outstanding cases.  (And Trueheart… isn’t he just adorable?)  That one, of course, gets solved, too.

There’s not much new happening in the lives of our main characters…  well, Feeney comes down with the mother of all colds and Mavis gets mental with baby coo talk to Bella, but other than that…

Oh wait!  Charles has decided to retire from the rank of licensed companions and asked Louise to marry him.  I guess it’s about time.  I started expecting this to happen a couple of books back.

While not the strongest of Robb’s In Death series, it was still entertaining and has kept me on the lookout for more.

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September 2nd 2008

Three in Death

Oh, yeah… more Eve Dallas!  This one is a collection of three novellas.

Interlude in Death has Eve attending a police conference off-planet.  Naturally, it’s someplace Roarke owns.  It’s a sad tale of what happens when a good cop goes more than a little nuts and starts using the system for his own purposes.  Justice… and Dallas… prevails in the end.

Midnight in Death is all about another encounter with a psycho serial killer.  There sure are a lot of those in New York, aren’t there?  No way I’m going to be living anywhere near there in 2059.  This psycho serial killer escaped from an off-world prison facility.  You’d think that wouldn’t be possible.  Still, Eve gets the bad guy, saving Dr. Mira in the process.

Haunted in Death is about a haunted building that (show some shocked surprise here) Roarke does not own.  Once again, we have a killer who is mentally unstable… and out to get justice for a crime committed 85 years in the past.  Eve steadfastly maintains that there’s no such thing as ghosts.  Hmmm… maybe not.

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