I spent the July 4th weekend reading the new Bob Bullock biography. Having spent a little time in the Legislature, I was curious how a book could capture such a mercurial figure.
It's been awhile since I even finished a book. I have found myself losing interest after a couple of chapters. Sometimes the story doesn't interest me. Sometimes I don't like the writer. Fiction. Nonfiction. Didn't seem to matter.
But, this book on Bullock I read straight through. No stopping. I hadn't done that with a book since reading The World According to Garp one summer.
Anyway, the Bullock biography is a helluva read. Texas is not likely to see another leader like that anytime soon. Political correctness would be the early death of anyone that repeated much of what he did.
And yet, there is something about his leadership that we all yearn for.
Anyway, what are you reading nowadays?
Gee, John, are you really looking to us for advice on what to read? My two most recent reads were Lincoln and The Court by Brian McGinty and American Creation by Joseph Ellis. I happen to love most anything about Lincoln and found his battles with Taney and Chase facinating. It was good that we had a great lawyer in the White House during the war.
My wife is finishing up a masters program in library science, preparing to be a librarian. One of her classes this last semester was in graphic novels (comic books for those of us who lived in the dark ages). I haven't read one yet but am considering diving in. Any suggestions from our younger prosecutors?
Well, the Dark Knight by Frank Miller sort of reinvigorated that genre back in the late '80s. It is a story that begins with a post-middle-aged, retired, and cynical Batman.
I think this was the catalyst behind the good (and mostly bad) Batman movies of the 80's-00's, but all of them are too happy and trite in Hollywood fashion.
I haven't read any others, although I liked the movie Road to Perdition which was based on a graphic novel and shot in a style meant to evoke the same feeling.
The Lizard Man is innocent!
This isn't a new book, but ... I just finished Michael Crichton's State of Fear, a thinly-veiled fictional thriller that doubles as a retort to global warming extremists. It might be one of the first fictional works I've read that was footnoted, but for good reason. The suspense was a little predictable for me, but the message was one I appreciated -- esp. the truths contained in the meaning behind the title.
(Tip o' the cap to Erik Nielsen for loaning it to me -- for some reason, he thought I'd enjoy it, and he was right!)
I travel A LOT! As a litigating attorney for CPS (or "THE GOVERNMENT" as an attorney put it every 30 seconds last week in a jury trial), I cover almost 1/2 of the geographical area of Texas. In the last 10 days, I have driven about 3000 miles. So, obviously, I "read" audiobooks. Finished 5 on my trip to deep West Texas, to court each day (100 mile round trip--no hotels anywhere else) and back last week. Next? A couple of books while going to the panhandle region and back.
My favorite in the last year or so? "A Death in Belmont" by Sebastian Junger (who also wrote "The Perfect Storm"). A non-fiction (which I rarely listen to) based on his family's minor role in the Boston Strangler case. Included a really great interview with him at the end.
I like the sound of that one. I shall put my librarian/wife onto the search. Thanks.
I second the nod for the Flashman Chronicles. They are top-notch historical fiction. If I recall, the first book deals with the British invasion of Afghanistan, which is still a timely lesson for today's geopolitics (suffice it to say, said campaign does not go well for anyone except Flashman).
I also listen to audiobooks because I have a 45 minute commute (each way) to the office. I get them through the Round Rock library and also from Recorded Books which has a great flat fee rental program and a 10,000+ title catalog. Currently I am listening to a biography of Elizabeth I, read by Nelson Unger. He is so good he can make a shopping list sound interesting. I also recommend Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough. It is a biography of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and Sr. It ends when T.R. marries his second wife, Edith Carrow. A fascinating book.
I have just started Lee Iacocca's "Where Have All The Leaders Gone?".
I just finished A Thousand Spendid Suns by Khaled Hoseini. I read his The Kite Runner in one sitting earlier this year. A wonderful story teller.
I am currently re-reading Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels. I'm in No. 5, Desolation Island.
The Lizard Man is innocent!
Four down, 17 (or is it 18?) to go, eh? Well you better get to it, "time and tide wait for no man"!
Rob Kepple and I would both attest that it is well worth the effort, even a second time around. Even though I enjoyed the Master and Commander movie starring Russell Crowe, it doesn't hold a candle to the series, which some have called the pre-eminent historical fiction series of all time.
(And as you might be able to tell from the strange phrases and inside jokes contained in my post, historical fiction can be as gloriously geeky as fantasy and sci-fi.)
Certainly, there is "not a moment to lose," and thus re-reading as opposed to risking my time on something new but unworthy is the "lesser of two weevils."
The Lizard Man is innocent!
My book club is reading "Leisureville: Adventures in America's New Retriement Communities" by Andrew Blechman.
It's actually pretty horrifying how a huge block of society chooses to segregate themselves and then chooses to vote as a block.
After finishing that book this weekend I started reading the fourth book of the Odd Thomas series. They're pretty entertaing and a fast read.
For audiobooks I look for who the reader is before checking any out of the library. If you haven't heard Will Patton read, you really should. He does a lot of James Lee Burke novels.
Another good reader is Len Cariou. He reads a lot of the Harry Bosch books. He sounds like what a homicide detective should sound like.
No one reads the Penal Code anymore?
Phantom Prey by John Sandford.
Semi 30-Minute Perfect Pleas by
Sandra Ray Bradley
Riveting - The San Jose Tattletale
A heart-busting thrill ride - The Walker Countian
Three thumbs up - Boliver Shagnasty
Phew! Thanks A.P. for making me feel better about myself. Now those sound like some good reads!
I was starting to feel terribly lowbrow due to my affinity for David Sedaris and the Harry Potter series (Dumbledore Lives!) on audiobooks.
Does it count to read the comics every morning?
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