Friday, June 28, 2013

From Russia With Love, by Ian Fleming

  • Title:  From Russia With Love
  • Author:  Ian Fleming
  • Borrowed from via Kindle Owner's Library
  • Started: 6/20/2013
  • Finished:  6/27/2013
A cliffhanger!  The damn book ends with a cliffhanger.  Is Bond dead?  What kind of poison was in the sharp point hidden in the shoe?
As expected, From Russian With Love did not disappoint.  This was the first Bond book that truely felt like the movies.  There are gadgets (although most of them belong to the Russians), secret rooms and passageways, exotic locals, Bond bangs the beautiful spy, corny humor ("a king is always a king, but once a knight is enough"), and Bond's not as dark or tough as earlier novels.  He lets his guard down, a lot, and doesn't put queen & country before the girl.
This was a fun, exciting book.  I can't imagine reading this when it first came out and having to wait for the next book to see what happens.  Lucklily I only have to wait a few days for July 1st, when I can again borrow a book from the Kindle Owner's Library to pick up the next book, Dr. No.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Witches, by Roald Dahl

  • Title:  The Witches
  • Author:  Roald Dahl
  • Borrowed from Take-One/Leave-One Library found in Northside Park, Ocean City, MD
  • Started:  6/22/2013
  • Finished:  6/24/2013
Prepare to feel a little quesy.  My wife and I are in love.  We've been in love for a long time, we continue to be in love, and we tend to make people sick with our lovey-ness and displays of cuteness and affection.  We've been together for a little over 11 years, and this past weeked is the first time we've ever read a novel to each other out loud.  It was cute, wonderful, and if you are not my wife or I, probably a bit sickening.
I have never read a Dahl novel before.  I've wanted to read Charlie & the Chocolate Factory but never seem to come across it.  I had never heard of this book (The Witches), but my wife had read it as a kid and thought it might be fun.
We found the novel in a cute, take-one/leave-one library in Ocean City, MD's Northside Park.  In the park there is a memorial garden to a young boy (Sam) who drowned years back at the park.  This year someone added this book library to the front of the memorial garden (Sam's Place), it is the size of a really large bird feeder, on a post (like a mailbox).  Probably holds 20 normal sized books.
The Witches was in this box, so we took it this past Saturday and later that day while laying on the couch as the beach my wife (much to my surprise) started reading the book to me.  We took turns with the chapters and got about a quarter of the way through the short book.
On the long drive back to DC from Ocean City the next day, my wife continued where we had left off in the book and made it most of the way through the novel.  We finished up the last chapters Monday night. 
This was a funny, charming, somewhat dark in places book.  I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience associated with this book.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Diamonds are Forever, by Iam Fleming

The fourth of the Bond novels, this is one I had read before and liked, although less so this time.  Still a fun, easy read, but the novelty of it was somewhat lessened as I read them in order.  In the middle of From Russia with Love, which I've never read, and it so far is proving to be most-enjoyable.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Death of a Doxy, by Rex Stout

Another Nero Wolfe book, this one was published in the 60s I think.  The mystery is pretty weak, actually solved just over half way through the book.  But as usual, it's really not about the mystery but about Wolfe's sidekick Archie Goodwin, and his interaction with the various characters. 
I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, these books are perfect for my morning routine.  A couple of hours of excercise and morning stretching, the company of characters whom I enjoy, but don't have to devote all of my attention towards. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Zone One, by Colson Whitehead

  • Title:  Zone One
  • Author:  Colson Whitehead
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Book)
  • Started: 5/28/2013
  • Finished:  6/10/2013
This book was advertised as a "literary" zombie book, I was looking for something to read on a trip.  Started out pretty strong, but I generally lost interest and had zoned out (no pun intended) by the time the book came to an end. 

Treason's Harbour, by Patrick O'Brian

Treason's Harbour may be my favorite so far of these Aubrey/Maturin (aka Master & Commander) books.  Although much of the action takes place on land, and I usually prefer when they're at sea, there was just something about this book that kept we wanting to listen (audio book, not print book) to it as much as possible.
Usually I only listen to books while I workout in the morning, giving me a total of about 1.5 hours when you include stretching.  But with Treason's Harbour, I would put the book on over dinner, while relaxing, etc.  This was a great book, and I'm really looking forward to the next one (far side of the world) b/c I've heard it is a fan favorite.