Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book Count: July

Number of books read: 11
Pages read: 3122
Average number of days to read a book: 3
Average number of pages read in a day: 101
Number of more books to read to reach goal: 39

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Note to Self: Photographing Your Baby

Book Count: 61

Photographing Your Baby: Tips for Taking Great Pictures By: Derek Doeffinger et al.
Non-fiction: photography, art 139 pages 1984

This is a book of tips on taking photos of babies. As it is so old some of the advice is less then useful as most people don’t use film anymore, but a lot of it was on the design of pics. and making sure things like lighting is right. It also has advise on getting babies to cooperate, my favorite advise being “Practice with cats; they are independent, not always cooperative, and very photogenic.” as they are almost as hard to photograph as kids.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Book in Review – A Tale of Two Sons

Book Count: 60

A Tale of Two Sons By: John MacArthur
Non-Fiction: Religion, bible study 210 pages 2008

This book is an explanation of the message of the Bible parable most often referred to as “the Parable of the Prodigal Son.” (Which can be found in Luke 15:11-32.) It goes into detail for each part of the story: what it would have meant in the time and place it was told, along with analyzing the meanings of the words used in the Greek that the first copies of it we have was written in.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Book in Review – Scattered Poems

Book Count: 59

Scattered Poems By; Jack Kerouac
Non-Fiction: Poetry 74 pages

This book reads exactly like how you would expect it to read, like it was written by some one who was stoned. Some of it is all deep and intellectual and some is just odd.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Book in Review – My Cousin the Saint

Book Count: 58

My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family and Miracles By: Justin Catanoso
Non-Fiction: religion, biography, memoir 332 pages 2008

First, the author’s cousin is not a saint. His grandfather’s cousin is, making him his third cousin; however, when he said he was a saint he meant an official canonized saint. And as it was his grandfather who moved to America’s cousin he knew nothing about his saintly cousin until after he died and was in the process of becoming officially declared a saint. Because of this the book has a lot of good information on how one gets to be officially a saint. (Other religious information is not so good. See next sentence.) It is also the story of a man with no real faith or knowledge of where his family came from dealing with finding out that he has a saint for a relative along with a large number of very loving and friendly living Italians. It includes lots of information on the life and miracles (official and non) of St. Padre Gaetano Catanoso. It is also the story of the authors wrestling with the idea of faith as he goes threw highs and lows in his life. (Note for people looking for a touching conversion story: this book is not it. By the end of the book he isn’t necessary even Christian, he is still looking for his answers to his question on faith.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Book in Review – The True Crime Files of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Book Count: 57

The True Crime Files of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Non-Fiction: crime 288 pages 2001

This is the story of the two real life crimes that the creator of Sherlock Holmes investigated. In both cases he was working to free a man he felt was innocent of the crime after having already been found guilty in court. The majority of the book was about the case of George Ernest Thompson Edalji, a lawyer that was charged with attacking animals and writing letters about his attacking of animals and threats of more crimes to follow. Although a lawyer, he didn’t bother to do as much defense in the case as possible as the defense thought it wouldn’t be necessary as he couldn’t have reasonable commented the crime. Because, first he had an alibi for the attack and at least one of the letters, he had no motive, he was not a violent person, and lastly he had vision so bad that he would be considered legally blind today without corrective glasses which he didn’t own at the time. (His vision was between -8 and -10 with astiginatism in one eye. Legally blind is now defined as having 20/200 vision [with any possible corrections i.e. glasses, eye surgery etc.] in most 1st world countries. This is about -2 to -2.5.) The second case is of Oscar Slater who was convicted of the murder of someone that he had no reason the know and or want to kill largely on eye witnesses that clamed to see him there. However, the means of getting the identification would not be allowed today, as they knew he was the defendant before being asked to identify him as some one that they only saw for a few seconds. Also in both cases he deals with the police involved’s prejudice of men seen as foreigners.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Book in Review – A Tramp Abroad

Book Count: 56

A Tramp Abroad by: Mark Twain
Non-fiction: classic, travel 357 pages

I am glad that I never had to read this book for school! For starters this book just seams so long. It had tons of stories from others inserted in it, as if he was getting paid by the word and couldn’t think up enough on his own. It is part travel log, part humor book but most of the humor isn’t that good. Also at the end its like he got tired of writing because after spending pages on each city he saw it was and then we went here, here and here with nothing on whole countries that he visited.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Book in Review – Getting Over Jack Wagner

Book Count: 55

Getting Over Jack Wagner By: Elise Juska
Fiction: romance, 332 pages 2003

This book is the story of a woman who only dates rock stars. Actually, they aren’t really stars and some are into other types of music but they all are musicians. It all started with her obsession over Jack Wagner in her youth and continued on until she is in her mid-twenties still looking for her perfect guy long after friend and family members have grown up and found love. It was a fun read with lots of 80’s pop culture references.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Book in Review – The Chapel of Bones

Book Count: 54

The Chapel of Bones By: Michael Jecks
Fiction: Mystery, historic 421 pages 2004

This story takes place in the 1300’s in England and is based off, in part, of an actual murder that took place 40 years before this story. Like all medieval mystery books (or at least any that I’ve read) the story is a million pages long, but it keeps you into the story and guessing what will happen until the end. Also in this one you learn the formula for medieval swearing. Which appears to be 1. name referring to Jesus, i.e. Jesus, Christ, God. 2. body part with the general offensiveness of the body part or words used for it. i.e. ass is more offensive then butt, relating to the force of your feelings. As this is a book in which people have lots of strong feelings on things there are a number of things said that most people would never even dream of saying in public today for fear of angry mobs. At least, not together.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Book in Review – Because Your Vampire Said So

Book Count: 53

Because Your Vampire Said So, By: Michele Bardsley
Fiction: paranormal, romance 302 pages 2008

This is part of a series of books (that can be read alone) on the town of Broken Heart. (To read reviews of the 1st two books in the series click here.) In this town everyone is not normal. Most people are vampires, some are werewolves and a few are kids who have vampire parents. This book is the story of Patsy, a single mom and hairdresser who was reasontly turned into a vampire. She’s dealing with how that is changing her life as well as a troubled teenage son. Also there is a demon after her and a prophesy that might be about her that is causing a division among the ancients (the 1st seven vampires, who are the most powerful.) She also is attracted to a werewolf; however, there are only 2 problems with that, one vampires and werewolves are not allowed to date and once a vampire has sex with someone they are bonded together for one hundred years and she is a divorcĂ©e who is afraid of commitment after her 1st marriage.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Famous Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Born: 1892
Died: 1973
Famous for: books, inventing fantasy and the 1st trilogy with more that 3 books

- If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
- The Hobbits are just rustic English people, made small in size because it reflects the generally small reach of their imagination.
- All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.
- Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.
- Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible, and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works...

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Note to Self: The Outlaws of Sherwood

Book Count: 52

The Outlaws of Sherwood By: Robin McKinley
Non-fiction (according to the library) novel: folktales 282 pages 1988

This is a retelling of the Robin Hood story. It included the main points in the most popular versions of the tale, but adds many story elements that make it a very interesting read.

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Book in Review – A Splendid Exchange

Book Count: 51

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by: William J. Bernstein
Non-fiction: History, economics 385 pages 2008

This book is about the entire history of trade in the world, starting with the first towns and ending with thoughts on the current issues in trade. It does this by dealing with major issues and places of importance at a time and then showing how that affected the world. It also deals with different theories of trade and how nations should deal with it including statistics that should how were different theories work. It was informative, but very slow reading.