Saturday, January 16, 2010

Books I'm Reading in January

As you can see by my Shelfari bookshelf on the right, I've got a few books over there. What I thought I'd do is jot down here what I'm reading this month and what I've got 'on deck' for the future.
Right now I'm in a great baseball book called Game Six by Mark Frost, about the 1975 World Series game between the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds, which featured the dramatic home run by Boston catcher Carlton Fisk which Boston won and that tied that series at three games apiece. The Reds went on to win the Series [Yeah!] but to this day, I think that those games were the best Series games in my lifetime. As a kid, I grew up in central-west Ohio and was a huge fan of "The Big Red Machine". Going with my dad and older brother to Crosley Field for $2 or $3 bucks a head in those days was pure fun and to witness Bench, Morgan, Rose, Perez, and all the others in their prime was truly memorable.

TSAR by Ted Bell is the fiction book I'm reading so far this month. It's my second try with Bell as a writer. I didn't finish his first book Hawk, but may get back to it in the future. This one is about Russia's goal of 'returning to its glory days of the Soviet empire' and the steps they appear to be taking to achieve that goal. Including swallowing up its now former territories that broke off when the "wall" fell. Anyway, Hawk is Bell's recurring character and is in the thick of it, but what I didn't know about the book and like as a side story is that some of the action takes place in Bermuda. Now I've been to Bermuda twice and I must say it is a paradise and his description of the island is bringing back many wonderful memories of that island and even many of the places my wife and I stayed at toured while there. A bonus. I'm hoping the book will maintain my interest. So far so good.

On deck I've got two Daniel Silva books featuring his character Micheal Osbourne. I've read and recommend all of Silva's Gabriel Allon series of books, starting with The Kill Artist. Looking forward to getting to those before the end of the month.
One more I hope to at least start this month is, This Is Not A Game by Walter Jon Williams. A sci-fi book by an author I've never read before but was impressed by a review of the book enough to give it a shot. We'll see.....

This may be a monthly feature I write about to at least keep blogging, if only once a month. You never know.
However, look for me as host of the Objectivist RoundUp next month. I can't wait!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

"Retiring" Senator Chris Dodd

I don't know where to begin this post, frankly. I haven't read today's news but I've a very strong suspicion that we won't see the last of Dodd.
My hunch is that he was told by the Chicago mafia to step aside, as he was losing big to even a straggling field of Republican challengers.
No, he wasn't promised a puny Ambassadorship if he took one for the party, my friends. It's just my guess, but look for him to have unchecked and unconstitutional power as our new "Health Czar".
Dodd was bad, but his "Chicago hand-picked" successor in our AG Richard Blumenthal is worse. Far, far worse than Dodd. If you ever want to see a rapacious power-luster, look no further than this lout. He has used the Connecticut and federal Constitution as a doormat for more than fifteen years as our Attorney General. He will do the same in Washington, and believe me, Connecticut's parasite populace, who suckle at the teat of mother government, will elect him by a wide margin this November. Plus, in my view, Blumenthal has such a brazen lust for power, he has set his sights for the top spot.
You heard it here first.

[Update] Just caught a blurb on Dodd from the local news channel. Apparently he "pulled a Palin" [my words] and according to the state media mouthpiece, "He's far from done in Washington. He will now use his 'status' [my quote marks] to "appear as an honest broker in mediating between both sides of the aisle a Wall Street bill now in Congress." [Italics mine.]
Still, look for him to be annoited Health or Bank czar later this year.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Kindle for PC

Like others who are chiming in on the e-book phenomenon, I wanted to try one of these out for myself. Since Amazon is offering there Kindle "OS" for free to use on the PC, that was the perfect choice for me (grin).
Still, being as old as I am, I prefer having a quality paperback or hardbound book in my hands when truly enjoying a good/great book, or if I am seriously studying a subject, that, plus a good pen and notebook at hand.
However, for the sheer pleasure of reading books that I don't want to pay full price for, or that are classics and available for free, I think this format can't be beat. I've had the PC Kindle for a little over a month now and I am finding that I am quite pleased with how it's working for me. Now, I haven't gone under the hood and experimented with every nuance, but for finding a current book that's less than, or half, of the book price and just reading it, with a bookmark to note where I've stopped, I give this high marks.

[Disclaimer: I will not make a cent on the books I am about to mention, so don't come knocking at my door to arrest me for not paying taxes on a non-existent income]

I currently have three books I'm reading at various intervals. They are:

China's Megatrends by John and Doris Naisbitt
Architects of Ruin by Peter Schweizer
The Fabulous Clipjoint by Fredric Brown

Anyway, that's my two cents on the e-book market. Like others, I will wait till that market shakes out and a definite standard is reached before I buy.