Friday, April 1, 2011

Books At Work (3)

Note: I did publish part 2 last Monday, but apparently the Blogger feed ate it up for lunch. I would never not post on a day without telling everyone ahead of time.

{1}, {2}

Before we get into the next five selections, I would like to clarify something that I wrote in the first post of this series. I originally said that the bulk of my purchases were from Borders Books & Music and only a few where from elsewhere. Well, that is turning out to not be the case, as the further I tap into my memory for these books, the more I realize that I picked these up at more places than I originally realized.

One more thing: I wrote the first draft of this series not by hand, but by using my Dragon software. So long as I don't try to write a regular story and simply stick to writing blog posts, I don't encounter the mental blocks that have plagued me for the past year while I was trying to use Dragon for writing.

Two more thing: Since everyone is ga-ga over Ebooks, I decided to make the book links reflect that ga-ga-ness as much as possible.

10} The Chrysalis, The Map Thief by Heather Terrell. I acquired the second novel listed in a most unusual way. Back in 2008 when I first started blogging, one of the first things I did was to search out writing related blogs to read and learn from. One of this blogs that I found and still read to this day, is called Fumbling With Fiction, written by YA writer Chandler Craig. Chandler Craig is one of those extreme type A people who we admire from a distance but are afraid to even try one tenth of the things that they do for fear of imploding.

Anyways, back in 2008, she was running a contest to give away one of those advance copies to a lucky commenter. The copy in question was a hardcover mystery called "The Map Thief", and it just so happens that I became the lucky commenter and scored a free copy. I enjoyed this book so much, as it was written with two distinct plot lines that were approximately 500 years apart and covered quite a bit about the art and antiquities world, that I decided to pick up the first volume in the series a couple of months later. I would only recommend picking up the first volume to use as a reference tool in order to make sense out of the second one. The first one actually lays the groundwork for the second one, and covers three different time periods: the Flemish art world of the sixteenth century, Vichy France and the modern era.

12} The Road to Somewhere by James Dodson. James Dodson was a well respected golf writer when he decided to take his son on a trip around the world during the summer of 2001. This book is about his partial journey around the world, as he decided to call it quits halfway through because some of the political turmoil that was bubbling beneath the surface was starting to make itself known. 'Course we all know what happened later that year, and in fact the book opens up with that particular tidbit as it applies to Mr. Dodson's wedding and reception. This was another book that I picked up at the discount rack at Ocean State.

13} The Restless Sleep: Inside New York City's Cold Case Squad by Stacy Horn. This was a book that I found in the three dollar bin that Border's had periodically during 2010 when they were trying to raise money to avoid bankruptcy. As the title states, this book covered NYC's cold case homicides, both old and recently new, and Ms. Horn did a very commendable job writing this book. Not only does she cover the history of this particular organization, but she also wrote about five cases that they were working on while she was there. In fact, by the time she'd finished the book, four of the cases were solved and a fifth was partially solved. If you're into true crime and the various offshoots like I am, then this would be a good book for you to pick up.

14} Blue Highway by William Least-Heat Moon. I originally listened to the audio cassette version of this book back in 1992. At the time, I was working the overnight at a gas station convenience store and I needed something on my days off to keep me occupied. One of the things that I used to do to keep myself occupied was to either read very long books or listen to audio cassettes of books, so this was one of the audio books that I'd listen to. Unabridged.

Fast forward about 19 years. If everyone remembers back in January of this year, I ran a post asking for suggestions on what I could buy for a book and a CD with my Borders gift card. This book was what I wound up buying with my gift card. Short review is that the book was a fantastic read and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes travel writing.

15} The Tarnished Star by Jack Martin. This was one of the few books that I bought with my credit card and in fact, remains the only book I bought online. I do plan on buying a couple more books online this year but before I can do that I have to get my finances in order. Anyways, you can read my full opinion of this book here as I decided to do a review of this book after I'd read it.


  1. I'm putting Blue Highway on my list of books to give my daughter who's a world traveller. It sounds like her sort of book.

    Thanks, G!

  2. I'm so glad you liked Blue Highways. It's something of a pipe dream of mine to take off driving like that and just see what turns up.

  3. Talon: You're more than welcome.

    William Least-Heat Moon wrote a number of travelogues in his career, each of which covered a particular portion the United States.

    It was an exceptional read the second time around.

    Lynn: I actually did something like this in my younger days.

    About 20 years ago, I wanted to drive US 6 from coast to coast. I thought driving from CT to California on a single route would be a fascinating drive.

    Unfortunately my ambition carried me as far as Sterling Colorado (on two separate trips), but it was a fascinating drive nonetheless.

  4. Awww this made my day! So glad you ended up enjoying The Map Thief! Keep it up, G!

  5. Chandler: So nice of you to drop by and say hi.

    I did enjoy the reading that particular book and I still enjoy reading your blog.

    Even though I write adult fiction (having just started querying) a great amount of stuff you blog about, in my opinion, applies to all kinds writing, not jusr YA.

    Good luck in landing a publisher for your novel.

  6. I wonder if you're going ga-ga over Ebooks too. I'm looking at the eReaders now, narrowing down which I'd prefer. The more I see of them, the more I like them.

  7. Joanne: In all honesty, an e-reader simply doesn't appeal to me.

    Part of the reason is that I spend so much time on a computer, be it at home or at work, that I simply don't want to deal with reading something on a third electronic device (blogs and certain e-zines notwithstanding).

    The other part of the reason has to do has to do with size of the average reader (which is about the size of the pop-up screen I have for comments) and the lack of manual dexterity/gripping ability that I currently possess.

    I know a lot of people are ga-ga over e-books and e-readers, and I certainly don't mean that in a bad way at all. I understand this type of technology is here to stay with us, but for me, while its something that is another weapon in the vast arsenal of publishing that a writer can use, it simply doesn't do anything for me on a personal level.

    I can give you a few other reasons as to why an e-book & e-reader doesn't appeal to me, but perhaps I should save that for a future blog post.

  8. I stopped by borders for one book today. came home with 16

  9. Charles: You're scaring me. You're starting to remind me of my late grandfather and the house full of books that took us kids a couple of weeks to box up and put into storage.

    Are you preparing for the day when you finally retire from work and discover that you need something else to do besides writing?

    I'm almost afraid to imagine what the inside of your house looks like, or at least your man cave.

  10. I hate it when blogger eats stuff. Mostly this happens to my comments (not entire posts - yet.)

    The cold case book sounds fascinating. I haven't heard of any of these, thanks for the suggestions.

  11. R: It was really weird about that post. Usually I factor in the fact that people are often busy on a Monday, so I'll get a spike in readers/comments the next day. But by Tuesday morning I had gotten nada for views or comments, I decided to make that test post on later that day.

    I really think it had a lot do with the fact that I had resync'd my feed to get back to normal again so somehow it got lost.

    Having said that, you are very welcome for the suggestions/ideas.

    BTW: the book you suggested to me back in January I saw at my public library's new fiction shelf a couple of weeks ago. I may check it out over the weekend.

  12. I totally hear you on your reasons, and understand. For me, part of my wanting one is that as a writer, it seems important to have one and be in the digital loop. And it just seems a good way to expand reading possibilities, kind of a best of both worlds (traditional and e-) sort of thing.

  13. Joanne: I can understand wanting to be in the loop.

    As a matter of fact, I got to thinking about my comment yesterday and Monday's post expands on that particular comment about E-books.

    I thank you for the inspiration and I will be giving you a shout out and link to your blog on Monday.

  14. Yep I did miss out on part 2 with a few blogger glitches lately-

    I'm impressed the Dragon software is working out with the blog posting. I like time spaced plot-lines too. I love winning good stuff!

    I haven't read any of these, but am more likely to with the reviews. Still in a Star Wars book currently... Childrten of the Jedi. There are tons

  15. Snaggle: I got really bummed out when Blogger ate up part 2 of this post, but it is what it is. Some glitches are just meant to be, I guess.

    It's a decent medium with the Dragon software. With this particular series, I was able to write it without a problem because I approached it like I was having a casual conversation with someone.

    Much different when you're writing a story.

    I do enjoy multi-timeline stories like that. I think the first one that I read which was written like that was Slaughter House 5.


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