Today’s Rant

Okay, since nobody reads this blog anyway, I decided to record my latest rant here.  Once again today, I was talking to someone when a third party walked up and began talking to the person I was talking to.  This was while I was speaking.  I waited and started to continue what I was saying, thinking surely the other person realized they had interrupted.  But no, they talked over me again.  To add insult to injury, the person I was originally talking to continued the conversation with the new person.  It was as if I suddenly became invisible. 

This has become a common occurrence for me among co-workers, friends and even family.  Is it just me?  Is it no longer considered rude to interrupt someone?  Is it now acceptable to ignore the person speaking and take over the conversation?  Or am I just that boring?

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An Event Group Thriller

I am in the process of withdrawing books from our recreational reading section. These are books the librarians decided not to add to the collection. Reading some of these book summaries, I begin to see why. (Titles are withheld in case someone might want to sue me.)
“Thousands of years after giant beasts crossed the land bridge into North America and mysteriously disappeared, a rare journal documenting the truth about the Romanovs’ execution emerges, triggering an international competition and leading the Event Group to make a baffling discovery.” What do dinosaurs have to do with the Romanovs?

“When journalist Liam Mulligan realizes that someone is systematically burning down his childhood neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island, he ignores his bosses and his budding relationship to figure out the firebug’s identity.” Firebugs before hos.

“When a job spins out of control and a man gets killed, smalltime criminal Shannon goes on the run, receives an enigmatic text message, is captured and taken to a laboratory where he’s given a new face, a new name, and a new life, courtesy of the mysterious “identity man,” and finds work as a carpenter. ” Bravo to this amazing run-on sentence.

One book has a disclaimer, “Includes an essay by the author about the novel.” Uh-oh, that can’t be good.

This is for the character name. “Soon after paleontologist Norman “Pick” Pickford happens on a discovery in Montana that could prove to be revolutionary, a menacing visitor is murdered and Mike Wire, retired L.A. homicide detective and ranch foreman, realizes that the fossils may be worth killing for.”
“Picking up Rex after a ten-year prison sentence for murder, Karen remembers the bohemian summer in 1990s London when their carefree romance and excesses became subject to a complicated family history and ended in violence.” What?

My sympathies go to the poor souls who had to read enough of these books to come up with these.

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It’s Been a While

This blog has been sitting idle too long.  I was writing book reviews in this place and that’s not a bad thing.  Not that I think the world really needs more reviews, or blogs for that matter.  But a space is a terrible thing to waste, so I’m going to try to fill it from time to time.  It will take away from my hidden object games, crosswords, and bad TV, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.  And there is also the knowledge that probably no one will read any of this that takes some of the pressure off. 

So if you are out there, watch this space for further developments.

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I Read It!

Last night at about 11:30 I finished all 644 pages of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  Probably one of the most talked about books since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  And probably one of the best first chapters ever.  I picked it up the first time because of that first chapter and put it back down because the next chapter was amazingly narrative heavy and plodding.

But then every time I opened a magazine, web page, there it was.  Then the movie was coming out and an American version was going to be made.  I resisted as long as I could, but I hate that left out feeling.  Then Barnes and Noble offered an extra 15% off anything I ordered online and I folded.  Thanks, Barnes and Noble.  I ended up really getting into the book.  The mystery of Harriet’s disappearance and then all the various Vangers and their foibles were addictive.  And, after a while, the plodding didn’t seem so, well, plodding.  And Blomkvist is a pretty cool male lead.

Unfortunately, the one character I never really warmed up to was Lisbeth Salander, the aforementioned tattooed girl.  And that’s probably the point.  She is not really an appealing person, even a little frightening.  I wouldn’t mind having her computer skills, though.  But why is she the title character?  She is peripheral until about 2/3 of the way into the book, and even after that she is no more prominent than Blomkvist.  I guess it would have been as big a seller if it had been title The Guy with No Snow Shoes.  We’ll never know.

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Have a little faith

Every time I read Mitch Albom, I go in knowing there is a hook, and each time I swallow it, hook, line and sinker.  There is something about Albom’s style that is immensely readable and engaging.  This book is no exception.  It begins with his rabbi from his old temple coming up to him after a speech and asking a favor.  “Will you do my eulogy?”  Having been away from his hometown and the temple (except for the high holy days once a year), Albom is amazed at the request.  Even more amazing is that he has drifted from his religion and married a gentile.  He thinks about it and decides that if he is going to do it he needs to get to know the rabbi, Albert Lewis, better.  Thus begins 8 years of visits, conversations, phone calls, and friendship.

At the same time, in Detroit, where Albom lives, an African-American minister, Henry Covington,  is making waves in an abandoned church.  He is preaching about his recovering from every kind of addiction and lawlessness, feeding and clothing the homeless, all with a huge hole in his roof and no heat.  As Albom becomes more involved with both men, he comes to understand why they do what they do.

This book is less about faith in God or religion, although there are lots of stories and talk about that, and more about faith in people.  Faith in the possibility for good that exists in the world and faith that with a little help the world really can change.  And it’s a true story.

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Hitchcock Lite

I just finished a book called Dial H For Hitchcock by Susan Kandel.  It’s part of my “Gosh that’s an intriguing title!” system of choosing books.  It worked well with Honestly Dearest, You’re Dead by Jack Fredrickson and pretty well with Crazy Fool Kills Five by Gwen Freeman.  Anyway, I am a huge Hitchcock fan, so I thought what’s to loose.  Not much.  This was a very light, very frothy little book about a woman writing a biography of Hitch and having her identity stolen.  She is confused with another person (North by Northwest), taunted by a cell phone (Dial M for Murder), stranded on a deserted highway (NBN again) and dies her hair to look more like another woman (Vertigo).  And the reason for all this is not at all what she or anyone else thinks.  Not great, but not bad, either.  And it’s a series!

What I found really fascinating were the bits of Hitchcock trivia thrown in.  The blue parties, Carole Lombard bringing cows and a cowpen on set after Hitch’s comment about all actors are cattle, and the famous Tallulah Bankhead comment.  (Censored) He hated Kim Novak because she wouldn’t fall for his stuff.  And he played horrendous practical jokes on his daughter Pat.

All in all, it was a good entry in the interesting title category.  I may stick with this plan.

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Seven Things

A friend tagged me with this meme.  So, I decided to play along.  I am supposed to disclose 7 things about myself that people might not know.  Here goes.

1.  I was born on a Monday while the Memorial Day parade was going by.

2. I have never ridden on a roller coaster (and never will, willingly that is).

3. When I was 7 years old I almost lost a kidney to a serious infection.  All better now.

4. My first free lance writing job, was to write the biography of a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in anticipation of his bid for the Governor’s office.  Larry Sabato was to write his political history.  Since the man had only won one election and was not much of a Delegate, it never really went anywhere.  However, Larry did.

5. In my job in public relations for a recycling company, I spent some time with some garbage tycoons in Garfield, New Jersey.  When the day was over, my boss informed me that all of them had major mafia connections, especially the guy who kept calling me sweetheart.  The one I glared at.

6. I have seen a ghost.  Actually seen one, in broad daylight in a grave yard.  I know it sounds like a cliche, but it’s true.

7. I have a serious phobia about statues.  Not all statues, just most of them, especially female statues.  I can’t even imagine going to Rome! The Statue of Liberty—OMG!

So there, some random pointless facts about me.  How embarrassing.

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