|Title||The Devil's Hatband|
|Tags||mystery, series, blacks, african americans, c.j floyd, colorado|
|First in the series about C. J. Floyd, a black bail bondsman and bounty hunter in Denver, Colorado. Floyd is hired to track a woman involved in an anti-ranching environmental terror group and find some important documents she holds. Floyd finds where she is, but when he arrives there it is to find the sheriff investigating her murder, and no documents in sight.I found it hard to get into the book, mainly because C. J. seemed more macho than is my taste, but I was soon won over, both to the characters and the pleasure of an interesting plot.|
|Publication||Mysterious Press (1996), Edition: 1st Edition/1st Printing, Hardcover|
Saturday, July 31, 2010
|Tags||thriller, pythagoras, conspiracy, canada gold|
|The Thousand resembles a cross between The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The DaVinci Code. The main character, Canada Gold, is a petite young woman with amazing mental skills. In her case, the skills come in part from a neurostimulator in her brain that was implanted to control ADD so severe she couldn't function. Her father, Solomon Gold, was a genius, but apparently murdered his lover and was in turn murdered the night Canada was had her operation to implant the deep brain stimulator.Now, several years later, the doctor who performed Canada's surgery is murdered with the same gun that killed Solomon. The police keep hearing that both of the murdered were part of a secret society of followers of Pythagoras, The Thousand, who have known the secrets of the universe since the time of the mathematician. Modern science has been discovering those secrets and the Thousand believe that when the last of those secrets is discovered the world will end.Your reaction to this book will depend a lot on whether you believe in 2000 year old conspiracies, and in secrets so amazing that one person can destroy the world. I don't, so the whole plot fails to move me. I do like the character of Canada, and even more that of Wayne Jennings, the casino security boss who is in love with her. The book is not to my taste but may be to yours.|
|Publication||Knopf (2010), Hardcover, 352 pages|
|ISBN||1400043093 / 9781400043095|
Friday, July 30, 2010
Celebrating Friday Kitteh Style: Hallelujah!!! It’s FRIDAY!!!!! - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?
...is in terrible shape. I've known most of what is in this excellent article for some time, but it is rarely spoken of in the news or in political discussions. The war on drugs is a failure, mandatory minimums are a disaster, and the costs are sinking many state budgets.
Good opinion piece from Nick Kristof on how expensive the war in Afghanistan is, and wondering if investing in schools wouldn't ultimately be more effective. He mentions Greg Mortenson, among other school builders, and if you haven't read it yet I highly recommend the book Three Cups of Tea about Mortenson's work.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Cyoot Kitteh of the Day: Schrodinger’s Cat Needs a Bigger Box - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
People seem to think everything is ok now as far as race goes. But look at way too many statistics and it just isn't so. I heard on NPR this morning that unemployment among blacks is 16%. This post (http://www.aclu.org/blog/drug-law-reform-racial-justice/california-s-proposit... looks at racial disparities in drug arrests.
Oh Crap Moment of the Day: Claws, Why Won’t You Work? - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?
Monday, July 26, 2010
|Title||The Appeal (John Grisham)|
|Tags||fiction, law, judges, corruption, corporations, pollution|
|This is a thorougly depressing book, well-told. Once again Grisham tells a tale of political and corporate corruption, this time of large polluting corporations buying judgeships in order to get the verdict they want. He makes each of the characters real, even the bad guys. Of course it is the victims that one most feels for.Grisham is way too believable, and thus the depression. I have no doubt that events similar to those in the book are going on even now. I'm glad that Grisham's out there, writing best sellers, and telling the public how the world works.|
Reader – Beck, Michael
|Publication||Random House Audio (2008), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD|
|ISBN||0739316532 / 9780739316535|
|Title||An Accomplished Woman|
|Tags||hisorical fiction, romance, women, england, regency romance, humor|
|This was a very well-done book. Lydia Templeton, at 30, is too old to be considered an eligible bride, but is happy with her life after turning down Lewis Durrant ten years ago. She enjoys books, a social life, her father's company. Her dear friend Lady Eastmond persuades her to take charge of Lady Eastmond's ward, Phoebe Rae, who has fallen in love with two men at once and needs advice.The book tells a good story, and has some of the funniest lines ever penned, such as " The removal of the first course interrupted, though it did not entirely stop, Mrs. Vawser's tireless waving of the flag of personality."The characters were also well done and seemed internally consistent, until near the end when everyone seems to have turned their personalities on their head. It was quite disconcerting, but maybe necessary to bring resolution to the story. Fun book.|
|Publication||St. Martin's Press (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 416 pages|
|ISBN||0312539665 / 9780312539665|
|Title||The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane|
|Tags||fiction, historical, salem, witchcraft, book of shadows, spellcasting|
|Story alternates between that of Connie Goodwin, doctoral student in history at Harvard in 1991, and that of Deliverance Dane in late 17th century Salem and her descendants. Connie needs to find a primary source for her dissertation, and while trying to clean up her grandmother's long-abandoned house, finds clues that Deliverance Dane might have had a spell book and be an unknown witch killed at Salem.I had seen this book highly recommended, and so my expectations were high. It lived up to them. Connie is a good character, and the past stories are told well with a strong sense of place and time.|
|Publication||BOOKDEPO (2010), Paperback, 480 pages|
|ISBN||0141047550 / 9780141047553|
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
He's pretty damning about the lack of journalistic professionalism and ethics involved in the Sherrod story. Seems pretty justified to me. I worry quite a lot about the state of journalism in this country. Reminds me of Jefferson's quote:
"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:57
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Greenwald is the most consistent voice speaking out about torture and other political crimes. Here he speaks about the lack of a sense of proportion in the political world. Best paragraph is:
"That's what happens when you create a society where elites can engage in the most wretched and destructive acts with total impunity: it engenders a blinding, empathy-free, effete sense of entitlement whereby they see themselves as the only ones who matter and their own plight as the only one worthy of consideration. If you build a political system grounded in the premise that there's an elite caste so special and elevated that they are entitled even to hover above the laws and rules to which everyone else is subjected, the beneficiaries of that caste system are always the first to believe in its virtue.
It should never be in question that an innocent person should be freed. I'm aware it isn't always easy to determine who is innocent and who is guilty, but the justice system should make it easier for the innocent to prove their case when new evidence comes to light.
Monday, July 19, 2010
I'm concerned about the number of people who say they aren't racist but whose words and actions clearly are. I would add, to the things Ed Brayton mentions, if you are terribly concerned because whites are going to be the minority of the population of the country within 40 years, you are rascist.
Mark Williams, who wrote that incredibly offensive post last week, and his organization were expelled from the Tea Party. I'm glad to hear it and it is a vote for sanity. By the way, Mr. Williams, calling something that is that offensive satire, or a joke, doesn't make it any less offensive.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Clever and hard to ignore.
Good news that the oil leak for now is stopped. Hopefully the containment will hold and the crisis if over except for the cleanup.
The lesson for me is to keep pressure on businesses and on politicians to punish those companies who act according to the idea that it is cheaper to clean up than to do what is necessary to be safe in the first place - even though lives and livelihoods may be lost in the resulting disasters. With the examples of BP and Massey Energy before us, we must insist on corporate governance that pays attention to these factors. On my Sustainability at the Georgia Tech Library (http://libguides.gatech.edu/sustain) research guide, under the "Green Shopping" category, I link to several sites that rank companies on their corporate governance.
I'm sure by now you've heard about the new Internet craze, the many, many, brief Old Space ads created and on the Internet featuring the "Old Spice Guy", actor Isaiah Mustafa. The ads were created in a couple of days, and many were direct responses to requests on Twitter and other internet social media. And, hooray, one of them was about libraries:
Thursday, July 15, 2010
To me, the comic illustrates the fundamental unfairness of DADT, even when the best conditions that the comic illustrates are met. How humiliating to be a young person, perhaps struggling with your sexual identity, and being informed that you are being investigated for homosexual conduct and may be discharged... all for something that is as innate to you as your eye color.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Normally I feel that children of politicians should not be public fodder, but Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston were certainly in the public eye when Bristol's mother Sarah was running for Vice President. After their breakup and the many interesting things Levi had to say about his once future-mother-in-law, the news that Bristol and Levi are engaged again is hilarious, as is the statement the Palins made to the press:
For their part, the Palins have released a statement to NBC News, though one that makes it hard to say how on board they really are. “Bristol at 19 is now a young adult,” the Palins said. “We obviously want what’s best for our children. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives.”
In other words, Levi really ticked us off, but we are such wonderful people we let Bristol decide who she wants to marry even if he's the spawn of the Devil.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I remember seeing the stories about this young man deciding to takehis boyfriend to his prom. I did not know he had been evicted from his home over it. What did he do in this frightening, desperate situation? Found a group to help others in this situation. This young man is a credit to any community he is a part of, and I wish him well.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Since Glenn Beck is giving so much air play to David Barton and his Christian Nation lies, it is appropriate that left-wing pundits like Keith Olbermann are giving air time to Chris Rodda, probably the single most informed voice on the Founding Fathers and the religious right's lies about them. By the way, Ms. Rodda has become a much better speaker in the last few years and I commend her for making the effort.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
|Title||A River in the Sky: A Novel (Amelia Peabody Mysteries)|
|Tags||mystery, series, amelia peabody, egyptology, archaeology, palestine, 1910, women|
|Nineteenth in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Peters is one of the two pseudonyms of Barbara Mertz, who has a doctorate in Egyptology. Her other pseudonym is Barbara Michaels. The Michaels books tend to be Gothics, while as Peters she writes series and stand alone novels that tend to be humorous and to have strong women characters.The Amelia Peabody series is by far her most popular. It is about a family of archaeologists who generally go to Egypt during the winter archaeological season and then return to England. The series spans from the late 1880s to the 1920s. The family consists of Amelia, her husband Emerson, an archaeologist; their son Ramses, a linguist; their adopted daughter Nefret, a doctor; and a variety of relations, servants, cats, and, of course, villains.River In The Sky departs from the series' usual chronology and tells a story set in 1910, in Palestine. Ramses has gone to work on a dig in Samaria. His parents plan to go to Egypt as usual, but a man named Morley asks them to join him in looking for the Ark of the Covenent. They think he is a shyster and refuse, but the British government asks them to go watch Morley as they think he is a German spy trying to cause trouble in a volatile region. They are to meet up with Ramses in Jerusalem, but he doesn't appear. His best friend David disappears to look for Ramses. Meanwhile the family worries, but start their own dig, watch Morley, and try to figure out who the German spies are and who the mysterious Sons of Abraham are.The family are all larger-than-life characters, yet Peters writes so well that they also seem very real. Not many authors can carry a series this long and still keep readers wanting more. If you're new to the series, you've got some catching up to do - and you'll enjoy every minute.|
|Publication||William Morrow (2010), Hardcover, 320 pages|
|ISBN||0061246263 / 9780061246265|