Fiction and other non-business related books
July 2007 - December 2007
April 2007 - June 2007
January 2007 - March 2007
October 2006 - December 2006
July 2006 - September 2006
April 2006 - June 2006
January 2006 - March 2006
October 2005 - December 2005
The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal ***** - Loehr - Life changing if you really listen and apply what they are talking about in this book. I've since created morning rituals, break times into my day and have a renewed focus on creating personal energy to achieve my goal in life.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask) - Metaxas - *** - A basic, fundamentalistic view of god and Christianity. Interesting perspective.
Angels & Demons - Mr. Brown - ***** - Wow, actually thought this was better than Da Vinci.. which was pretty good. Get it, read it - enjoy it! Love a book that has yet one more twist at the very end.
Chronicles of Narnia books 1-4 with Julia - ***** - Just as great as I remember them being.
July 2005 - September 2005
Old Twentieth - Haldeman - **** - I loved this book! Haldeman has a great style about him - in particular, the forward thinking/conceptual what if's in this book really were interesting. Not as good as Forever War, but a great read in any case.
Collapse - ***** - Unreal. Scary. Historical. A deep dive into why societies success and fail. In particular, the chapter on Easter Island was fascinating.
Coraline (again) - Gaiman - **** - Re-reading Coraline is fun, but is even better because I'm doing it with my 8 year old who loves it just as much as I do!
Kite Runner- ******** - Possibly the most moving, wonderfully written book I've ever read. This story, about an Afghani boy and his family is stunning.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince-**** - JK's done it again... some terrific twists and turns in this - and surprisingly sophisticated and dark considering the youthful marketing/positioning of the book.
1602 - Gaiman - *** - I honestly was hoping for a better flowing story, this seems to herk and jerk a bit. I loved the concept so much that I just had to try it out. The artwork is completely amazing.
The Stars My Destination (or, Tiger, Tiger) - **** - Wonderful read - even more spectcular given how old the book is - originally published in the 50's. I can see why this is possibly one of the greatest Sci-Fi books ever, and also why it will probably never be made into
Rain Fall - *** - A thrilling book with some great action sequences - sort of an "Asian" James Bond style book.
April 2005 - June 2005
Bourne Identity - Ludlum - *** - Loved the first 2/3 of the book... the rest was just OK. The movie isn't bad, it just isn't like the book.
Earthcore - **** - Siegler - the world's first novel podcast... terrific book!!! Read or Listen to it now!!!
January 2005 - March 2005
A Place so Foreign - Doctorow ***** - Wonderful collection of short stories - www.craphound.com
The Lovely Bones- ***** - Finally got aorund to reading this. It was a terrific book no doubt - but I can't say I "enjoyed" it. It made me think, and made me sad. In fact, while I was reading it, and for a few days later I think my entire being was affected. I can't explain it very well but I feel different somehow after reading the book. I can't say it was a depressed feeling, though that was part of it - and I can't say it was a positive feeling - though that was there as well. I guess I had an odd reaction to it. That said, the perspective of "in-between" Earth and Heaven and not being able to move on until you are ready was pretty wonderful.
Ringworld - Niven - *** - Almost a 4-star book. This is a top sci-fi book and it hold up well considering it was written a long time ago.
Dancing Barefoot - Wheaton - *** - I enjoyed it.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom - **** - Loved this book! Doctorow is really talented... this is terrific, wonderful stuff!
October 2004 - December 2004
Just a Geek - Wheaton- *** - I couldn't put the book down. I enjoyed it very much! I think that Wil's writing is constantly getting better and better and can't wait to see what he writes next.
Eastern Standard Tribe - ***** - Doctorow... Ok - I'm in the Dr. Club now and happy to be there! Loved this book!
Band of Brothers- ***** -Phenomenal! The movie was just as good. Worthy, worthy read.
The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green - Josh Braff ***** - Terrific, fast read. I laughed out loud throughout the book. I wonder if you are non-Jewish if you'd understand.
The Goat, A Memoir -**** - Terrific read. The style took a while to handle, as it is very much like being inside someone's head.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone -**** - I'm reading this with my 7 year old... reading books like this with a kid is pretty terrific and brings your appreciation to a new level. I remember reading the Narnia books as a kid with my dad - good memories ;)
Peter and the Starcatchers -**** - I read this with my 7 year old and we both loved it. Get it, read it... it's wonderful!
July 2004 - September 2004
Liars and the Lying lies -**** - Al Franken - Funny ass book. Scary too (if you are a liberal and don't like liars).
April 2004 - June 2004
How Hard Can it Be? -*** - Austin Murphy - The tale of a dad who becomes a mom. Pretty funny look at life as Mr. Mom. My wife wants me to admit all sorts of life lessons after reading this book but I have my head in the sand. I can't hear you - LA LA LA LA LA.
Shadowmancer -** - Not sure why this is a bestseller, it's not that good of a book.
Wee Free Men - **** - Pratchett - Took over 3 months to read this with my 6 year old but it was well worth it... fantastic book.
Prey - *** - Michael Crieghton - Almost a 4-star read, but not quite. Not as "scary" as reviewers would have you believe, but still, not a pleasant tale.
The Kingdom (follow up to Kingdom Come) - *** - Mark Waid. Worthy follow up IMHO to the amazing Kingdom Come graphic novel. Nothing like an insane dude going back in time and killing Superman over and over again.
I, Robot -**** - Asimov - Pretty good stuff- you can easily draw lines from this classic to today's sci-fi including the Matrix. I picked this up in anticipation of the movie, which I now understand will be nothing like the book. I'm not sure I'll read any more of the Robot series, at least for now.
The Dark Knight Returns - **** - Frank Miller - This graphic novel is touted as one of the best ever and it pretty much lives up to the hype. The Batman/Superman fight kicks ass - Bats is one crafty mo-fo if you know what I mean. My only complaint was that the dialoge was at times cryptic and a bit hard to follow
January 2004 - March 2004
Dude, Where's My Country - **** - Moore - on the heels of "Stupid White Me"n, I read this book (love the title) and was again blown away by how incredible ignorant I am of the things going on around me.
The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made - *** - Not a bad collection, I bought this on a whim (and because one of the stories was about Kevin Smith's involvement with Superman Lives. Bottom line, making movies out of books isn't for the faint of heart (or vision).
Smoke & Mirrors - ***** - Gaiman - Collection of short stories that totally blows the doors off most anything I've come across yet. "Chivarly" was particularly good, but each story is pretty fantastic and wonderful. This guy just absolutely rocks.
Stupid White Men - **** - Moore (audiobook) - in the end... you have to decide if you want to back the guy who you know is fucking you, or the one who you think might be fucking you. Either way, politicans suck (In an ironic twist, I write this while visiting Washington D.C.).
Da Vinci Code - **** - Dan (the man) Brown - I've been a Holy Grail fanatic since I was a kid - I played Dungeons & Dragons and always wanted there to be a King Arthur version, loved Monty Python's version and most especially, the movie Excalibur. At one point as a Junior in High School, I had most (or all) of the dialoge memorized to that movie). Here's the thing - not once was it ever brought to my attention that the Grail isn't actually a chalice. I won't ruin anything for you if haven't read that entertaining book yet, but my god! I feel like I've been lied to (I have). The best thing about this book for me is that it simultaneously celebrates our better half (females) while elegantly and intelligently explains abuse of power (i.e. the Church). Great stuff, fun read.
John Adams (audiobook) ***** - McCullogh - A while ago I was hooked on Marine/Army/Navy stuff after reading Clancy, now I'm hooked on American History and politics because of this amazing book. Granted, I audiobooked it, but here are a few amazing thoughts/tidbits. Jefferson (who I now affectionately call "TJ" and Adams both died on July 4th. Divine intervention? I think so! The other thing that was amazing about Adams was that he was a complete visionary - prescient in fact. The fact that he foresaw July 4th as a day for the ages, that Americans would celebrate it in the future and forever is an amazing thing. Admas was a man of action and courage - his actions bely his faith in God, belief in America in is now (perhaps until I read more about Benjamin Franklin), the most amazing American patriot who ever lived.
October 2003 - December 2003
Rumors of Another World - *** - Yancy (a Bzzagent book) - notes to follow (when I type them up), suffice to say, this book was a real trip and really made me examine my own faith and belief in God. Read my "book report"
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - **** - Albom - Phenomenal read (and quick too)... this is a book that can make you think and think and think.
Sandman - Endless Nights - ***** - Gaiman. Wow. Get it, now. Read it immediately.
Sandman - *** - Gaiman - Seasons of Mist
Wolves in the Walls - **** - and yet more Gaiman... wow, what a run. My two girls absolutely loved this book, we read it a bunch of times before returning to the library.
July 2003 - September 2003
The Day I Swapped My Dad For 2 Goldfish - ****** - Gaiman -more by the new master himself. This one really was a kids book, but it was terrific. Still a bit too much for my 6 year old, but later this year she'll be ready. UPDATE 10/27/2003 I figured what the hell and read this to my girls and boy did they love it! I can't believe that my 6 & 4 year old have read Neil Gaiman and it took me until I was 33.
Coraline - ****** - Gaiman -ok, this guy is GOOD! This is a wonderfully written, fast-read, scary as hell story that masquerades as a children's book. Too scary for my 6 year old, that's for sure!
The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Popular Culture and Philosophy, V. 3)y- *** - Irwin (editor) - Well, I liked the look of this, but I was entrenched in all my Gaiman stuff and didn't read the entire thing before it was due back at the library... very deep essays however, this isn't the easiest thing to read. Makes you feel like you should have majored in something other than Advertising.
Sandman, Dream Country- **** - It is officially Neil Gaiman month. Here, read his blog ;)
Sandman, Preludes and Noctures - ****** - It is officially Neil Gaiman month. Here, read his blog ;)
Swagbelly - *** - DJ Levian - same guy who wrote Rounders, this book will eventually be made into a movie. It was an OK book, the main character reminded me a lot of a someone I know.. not sure exactly who - maybe me> Nah.
Legends in Exile (Fables, Book 1) - ****** - Willingham - graphic novel - what a wonderful concept and execution. The story is is so terrific it's worth a look. The monthly comic keeps up the quality as well!
Dead zone - ***** - King - now I must watch the movie - this book was unreal, fantastic, King's best IMHO.
Harry Potter - Order of the Phoenix - ***** Yea baby.
Across the NIghtingale Floor - ***** - Lian Hearn - what a fantastic book, extra stars 'cause it's going to be a flick sometime in the future. Get it, read it. Bonus - it's a trilogy!
March 2003 - June 2003
What if 2 - *** - Cowley (editor) - audiobook, worth the time in the car, but this is for seriously buff historians!
Tony Robbins - ********* - Personal Power II - the bot lives!!!
The No Spin Zone - *** - Bill O'Reilly - He's not a conservative after all! Who knew. I did the audio book of this - and it was fantastic. Highly recommended, no matter your partisanship.
November 2002 - March 2003
What Should I Do With My Life, ***** Po Bronson
Aficionado - **** - David Brin - Short story set in the Uplift universe. Free on his web site - thanks Mr. Brin!
An Askew View - ***** - for anyone who loves Kevin Smith movies - read it! I blasted through this book in less than 24 hours - quick read. Loved it.
Altered Carbon - *** - good stuff, worthy sci-fi action, sort of similar to Kiln People by Brin.
Brightness Reef, *** - David Brin - the 1st in the 2nd trilogy wasn't bad, it took me FOREVER to get through this massive novel and was rewarded with a great ending that will mean I have to now tackle book 2.
July - October 2002
Shadow Puppets - ** - Orson Scott Card - not great, until the very, very end of the book which has a pretty cool, riveting ending. Not something you can easily pick up unless you've read most or all of the other books.
Chasing Dogma - ***** - Read it, it's damn funny.
The Ultimates - ***** - Unreal art, Captain America kicks major ass.
Holes- *** -Sachar. My friend Eileen told me about this book - and suffice to say, with a 5 star rating - it rocked. Read it in about 4 hours total.
The Power That Preserves - *** - The 3rd of the Thomas Covenant series - great stuff. Fantastic final novel of the 1st trilogy.
Enigma - *** - Made into a movie with Kate Winslet (which it turns out, sucked really badly), this was a fast, fun read while I was in London on vaca.
Forever Free - ***** - sequel to the Forever War by Haldeman - one word... "amazing." Read while in London on vacation. The ending is fantastic - how can you "break" the universe?
April - June 2002
Uplift War - **** - David Brin - terrific ending to the trilogy! Ray was right as usual, these books are amazing! It is incredible how chimps are transformed!
Lucky Man - ***** - Michael J. Fox - terrific memoirs by one of my favorite actors of all time. This book also served me to help remember some of the important stuff in life can't wait - I tend to forget that!
Startide Rising - **** - David Brin - the second in an amazing trilogy - I can't wait to read the 3rd book, Uplift War.
True Names - ***** - Vernor Vinge - As usual, Vinge rules... this book contains the complete True Names story, along with essays from some of the greatest thinkers of our time... well worth the read and the time. This book continued to expand the way I think about things like privacy, cyberspace and the Internet.
Kiln People - *** - David Brin - I'm a huge Brin fan and was exicted to read this book. The first 4/5th of the book is amazing - great story, thoughtful approach to technology and great sci-fi. The last part of the book however, tripped me out and I got totally lost. Time travel? Godliness? Read it and tell me that I missed something important.
January - March 2002
Skinny Legs and All - * - Tom Robbins - I couldn't get into this book and didn't even finish it despite many good reviews and recommendations.
Buffalo Soliders - *** Robert O'Conner - Demented and sick look inside the Army during peacetime. Lots of explicit drug use if you are interested. I sort of liked it but had a hard time identifying with any of the characters.
Zodiak - ** - Neal Stephenson - Stephenson is one of my favorite authors (Snow Crash being my favorite book of all time) but this novel sort of sucked. Halfway through I thought, is this going anywhere? Then, just as it starts rolling along, it takes the easy way out like a lousy USA made for TV action flick. Oh well... you can't hit a home run every time.
Bombardiers - ***** by Po Bronson - Besides Neal Stephenson, Po has to be my favorite author. He also lives in an amazing "grotto" in San Fran is a cool guy to boot. Check out his site at www.pobronson.com for articles, rants and other crap. Bombadiers is a wonderful book with funny characters in an unbelievable situation. Eggs rules.
Harry Potter - Goblet of Fire -*** The best of the series, hands down (for what that's worth).
October - December, 2001
Special Forces: A Guided Tour - ** - Wow, I must have been really into the Special Forces thing... this book was extremely detailed and pretty cool, but long winded.
No Ordinary Time - *** - Wonderfully written, but looong book about FDR. I got 3/4 of the way through the book and decided to rent a PBS DVD to complete the story for me. Well worth the time if you have it to read.
Black Hawk Down - ***** - One of the most AMAZING books I've ever written - this novel recounts the Battle of the Black Sea in Somalia in 1993 and should not be missed! I'm excited for the movie and hope it doesn't suck.
Net Force - * - I was on a Tom Clancy kick and tried to listen to the audiobook version of Net Force. Bad move - what a piece of crap! I'm not sure however if it was the writing, the story or the horrible narrator.
Rainbow Six - *** - Classic page turner which resulted in me buying both Rainbow Six games for my Dreamcast, of which I've completed ONE damn mission.
Before October 2001
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant -**** - recommended by my friend Mr. Frazier these books are incredible! It's hard to explain but trust me, it's worth it to read!
David Brin stuff - ***** - I got into Brin big time this summer and read Earth and Sundiver (and bought the rest off the Uplift War trilogy!). I also relented and watched The Postman on video (not bad!) and then promptly bought and shelved the book, haven't had time to read it.
Vernor Vinge - ***** - I read True Names, which has got to be a Top 10 book - amazing considering when it was originally written. I also have read Vinge's Deepness in the Sky and A Fire Upon the Deep which were both completely engrossing.
The Forever War - **** - wow! Military Sci-Fi - when done welll you can't beat it!