My thoughts and reviews on books, TV shows and whatever else may come up. I have a lot of hobbies and interests and they may come up from time to time, but this will mostly be book and TV reviews and discussions

Monday, September 21, 2009

Parks and Rec Season Two Episode 1

I got into Parks and Rec since it is by the people who did the Office, which is my favorite show. I thought the first season was decent and each episode seemed a little stronger than the previous. I wasn't sure if I would continue watching, but I decided to give season 2 a chance.

This episode was very good. They quickly wrapped up some dangling plot threads from season 1 and jumped in to this week's controversy. Leslie had a marriage ceremony for two penguins at the zoo. And she stated they mate for life. But it turns out these two penguins are both male.

She instantly becomes a celebrity in the gay community. But eventually the anti-gay people step up and want her to resign as well. And Leslie, well, she is liking the attention. The show is balanced out with some great character moments as well as we get to further know this crazy office.

There are several factors that make Parks and Rec a much different show than the Office. The Office has a bunch of minor characters or supporting characters like Kevin or Creed that provide some great comic relief, and Parks and Rec doesn't have that yet. Parks and Rec has a lot of funny moments, but hasn't hit the laugh out loud moments the Office has yet. And then Leslie is just as incompetent as Michael, but is lot more likable character in the long run. She actually means well and is not as mean as they have made Michael the last couple of seasons.

This will be the last review where I compare Parks to the Office. It deserves to stand on its own. Although not a must watch yet, it has definitely earned its place on my tivo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Office Season 6 Episode 1

So season 6 of my absolute favorite kicked off tonight. And the night was all about gossip. Michael told a rumor that was true and to cover it up he told fake rumors about everyone else. Probably the funniest part of this was Andy trying to figure out if he was gay or not. But many of the rumors were typical office crazy.

Usually there is a funny subplot running through an episode or a great Dwight moment, but this episode was a little lacking. The best parts were the cold open and the ending before the credits. There were three interns who were serving on their last day, and when they say what they learned, they all realize they learned nothing.

All in all this was a weaker Office episode. After a weaker season 5 (although the Michael Scott Paper episodes were priceless) I hope the best ideas aren't behind them. It just seems the whole Dwight/Jim dynamic is off and Dwight and Michael moved from dumb and funny to just plain mean.

It is still my favorite show and a bad episode of the Office is many times better than the best show on other series, but I hope the show picks up again. Because the one thing missing tonight were a lot of laughs, and that is the whole point.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

John Adams by David McCullough

I don't usually read history/biography type books anymore, but after this amazing book by David McCullough I might need to start again.

I am a little ashamed of that actually, because I have a history degree and used to read them a lot, but as I have gotten older I have gravitated towards the fiction. This book though is amazing. It sometimes reads like a novel, and other times like a great history of the US, not just a story about Adams.

I always knew Adams was the second president since grade school, but I had no idea how involved he was during the revolutionary war up through his presidency. He pushed hard for independence. He worked hard to get the French involved. He not only signed the declaration of indepence, but also the Paris peace treaty that ended the war. He twice went to Europe in a time where a trip across the Ocean could take up to 8 weeks depending on the winds.

It is also amazing some of the inner workings, and the relationships that developed. For instance, Adams didn't particularly like Ben Franklin and thought Washington was somewhat aloof.

And everything is magically outlined because Adams was a tremendous writer. He wrote diaries. He wrote letters to friends. He wrote letters to his wife during their many separations. At one time they were separated for 4 years! This book covers almost his entire life, though a little sparse on the years before 40 all the way to his death at near 90.

Enough can't be said about this excellent book, but I don't have to. It run the Pulitzer Prize. It is a tough read, as the 650 pages are so crammed with information that it seems like each page is double a normal page. If you like history books or biographies this is a must read.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Franny and Zooey

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger came in 115 on the combined lists of the 100 greatest 20th Century novels. This is a very interesting book for several reasons that only have a little to do with the actual book.

Salinger, sometime after this book was published decided not to publish any other books. He of course also authored the Catcher and the Rye and sometime shortly after this he got fed up with the process. And Franny and Zooey was meant as a set of stories following the Glass family. Salinger even mentions there are more coming in the book notes, but it was not to be. Sometimes occasionally the story or history of a book becomes more interesting than the book, and that is almost the case here.

So what about the book? It is actually two stories in one the first following Franny, the youngest Glass child (although you don't find that out until reading Zooey). Basically the entire thing takes place in a diner and only involves two characters, Franny and her boyfriend Lane. Franny just returned from college and they are grabbing a bite to eat before going to the big game.

Only Franny is acting funny and doesn't want to eat. And she gets worse. She goes to the bathroom. She starts to sweat. And she tries to explain to Lane the book she is reading and the Jesus Prayer.

And that is about it. This goes on for about 50 pages before the Zooey story starts. And it is the much stronger of the two. It follows Zooey Glass, the second youngest child. The 150 pages is broken up into two main parts after an initial few pages of introduction. The first is Zooey conversing with his mother while he takes a bath. Zooey is a real sarcastic fellow, and there is quite a bit of humor in this section. His mother who all the kids call Bessie, is concerned about Franny. This seems to be a day or two after the first story.

After this lengthy piece Zooey goes to the living room to talk to Franny. There isn't a lot here, but just their conversations and Zooey's lectures on his beliefs and religion. There is a little brother and sister banter, but it is mostly just Zooey talking on and on and Franny crying.

I loved the Catcher in the Rye, but this was a bit of disappointment. Salinger is still an excellent write, and much like Holden in the Catcher in the Rye, he really captures the voice of Zooey. But this story just doesn't go anywhere. And after 200 pages, something should have happened. Maybe something did and I just missed it. Strong writing and some funny dialogue save it though, but barely. 3 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monk Season 8 - Episode 3

So we are now 3 episodes in the final season of Monk. And this episode, along with last week's have been very solid. Monk must solve a case involving UFO's. He is stalked by true believers, some that think he is an alien. There are some great Monk moments and one liners.

Basically Natalie and Monk are returning from one of her friend' s weddings when they have car trouble. Monk insults the mechanic about every way possible and causes the repair bill to double and take longer.

That same night he spots a UFO, and later Natalie spots it too. Eventually a dead body is found near an alien landing site and Monk is brought in to help solve the case.

Although I have loved the last two episodes, I am kind of waiting for something grander to happen. It would be great if this final season had a little more connected feeling to each episode, but Monk has rarely done that before, so I doubt we will see it now. Also, although there was a big dose of Natalie, there was still no Julie, Doctor Bell, and since they were out of town very little of the Captain or Randy. The benefit of being out of town though, was a great guest spot by Daniel Stern. I hadn't seen him in awhile, and he fit in perfectly.

Hopefully Monk will continue with these strong episodes all the way through a memorable 8th and final season. I still can't believe there is only 13 episodes left.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself is Joe Abercrombie's first full length published novel and is part one of a three part trilogy. While it is a solid debut for a rookie, you can tell it is written by a newer writer.

First of all, I must state I love fantasy fiction. Any time I am reading for fun, and it isn't on a book list I am reading, I stray towards the fantasy fiction. I like a little Science Fiction as well, but my heart lies in the fantasy.

So I was needing a break from my list, and when I do, I usually try a new fantasy author. After good reviews on Amazon and at Borders, I decided to dive into a newer author. And at first, it really drew me in. Each character is pretty unique with various problems and issues. There is an inquisitor who tortures confessions, but was once tortured himself. There is the rugged north man who is a killer but who no longer wants to be. There is a full of himself soldier and nobleman. There is a magician when no one really believes in magic. There are also some solid supporting characters.

Each character is flawed and has issues. And that is a nice change of pace. But so far what has most disappointed me is that no character has really surprised me. So they are flawed. They never seem to step out of character and do something that surprises me. I think the most rounded character so far is the north man Logen. Another annoying thing is that several of the supporting characters seem more well rounded and realistic than the main ones.

The other annoyance is the speech patterns. Every time a character gets flustered or doesn't know what to say we get an "Er" or an "Erm". Now if one character had this speech pattern fine. Two maybe. But everyone makes it very repetive. Especially the Inquisitor Glotka. He is the tough guy, the man who has been tortured and has the sarcastic smart whit. Yet if you stump him it will be a page and a half of "Er's" and "Erm's".

Even so, this book remains a page turner. The last few chapters I stayed up late to finish, which is really what a great book does, reguardless of the flaws. There is great action, great character development and a great set up for some solid sequels. I have read some reviews of the next books and they have only gotten more positive, so hopefully Mr. Abercrombie has continued to grow and improve his writing.

This book was a solid three stars through most of the book, but the exciting action, the strong ending, and the great set up for the next book has easily boosted this to 4 out of 5. If you like fantasy with a little edge to it, check this out. I don't think you would be disappointed.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Monk Season 8 - Episode 2

So if you read my review of the first episode, I was not a big fan. I was a little worried that season 8 would be a rudderless mess, with only a handful of wrap up episodes at the end and leave us with a very mediocre season.

Well the second episode of the 8th and final season have ended most of those fears. Although still nothing special or magical or advancing any of the major plots, this was a great stand alone episode. Monk meets a poor, distraught African man who has lost his poor wife to a hit and run driver. Monk was tired of his music and incense, but when he realizes they share a common bond of a dead spouse he takes him in.

One of the funnier running gags is Monk telling his new friend his is the American way, when it is really Monk's way. One of the funnier scenes involves Monk showing him the American way to do laundry. Basically every color gets its own wash including three colors of whites. He is taking up the entire laundry mat. You would think those his nice rented house would have a washer and dryer, but maybe the laundry mat is a little quicker.

The case as always is almost a backdrop to Monk's quirky ways and humor. Oddly for the second week in a row it is light on the Natalie, Captain, and Randy, and there is no Julie or Dr. Bell.

This second episode was a step up in both humor, story, and well everything. I hope we are back to classic Monk run. This show has had so few stinkers, that when one pops up it is really jarring.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Monk Season 8 - Episode 1

So the final season of Monk is here. What an underrated show this has been for all these years, being more like a 1 hour comedy than a drama. The cases are just a nice backdrop for our favorite OCD detective.

I wasn't expecting fireworks with 15 more episodes to go, but this has to be one of my top five least favorite episodes. The plot revolved around a childhood celebrity who was in Monk's favorite television show growing up which was a straight rip off of the Brady Bunch. And it appears someone is trying to kill her.

Monk stumbles in to being her bodyguard, but even this can't bring up some of the amazing Monk charm. It just seems this was a Monk resting on 7 solid years of great shows and this was just a cobbled together, typical Monk.

And many of his best OCD Monk moments were not present. And near the end there is a scene that will make My Name is Earl fans cringe as they are forced back to those terrible sitcom episodes when he was in a coma.

Not even the supporting cast could help much with no Dr. Bell, no Julie, a little less Natalie, and a lot less Captain and Randy.

But it is still Monk so even one of the worst episodes ever still has several laugh out loud moments and memorable one liners. When the assistant asks Monk if he can be the body guard for 1,000 dollars a week, Monk responds that is fine, but he can't pay all at once. After the assistant responds no they would pay him 1,000 a week, Monk agrees that is even better.

I am really happy Monk is back and sad this is the last episode. I just hope we will have a few classic episodes by season's end to go with all the other wonderful episodes of the past 7 seasons.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein is another book from the book lists. The book comes in at #41 on the combined lists and was published originally in 1961.

This is a very unique book that ends up in some really bizarre areas by the end. Basically a team went to explore Mars and through events that are left relatively vague everyone is thought dead. It takes many years for Earth to return to Mars and when they do, they find there was actually one survivor.

Only Valentine Michael Smith was raised by Martians, and does not understand Earth culture in the least. It is a unique take on a stranger to a new culture. Instead of funny misunderstandings, although there are a few comic moments, there is a huge gap that lasts through a large portion of the book.

Once Valentine gets used to Earth he sort of becomes a cult or folk type hero, but in a mostly harmless way. He has strange mind powers that he gradually teaches his followers and it becomes more of a religion and a way of life for all of his followers. And his number of followers slowly grows and grows.

The book begins to to turn strange and is flat out bizarre by the end, but for the most part it is a fun ride. I thought some of the most interesting moments are the small details Heinlein gives out about what really happened on Mars. These sometimes seem more fascinating that what is actually happening in the stories. I have not done the research yet to see if the story of what actually happened on Mars is told in another story, but it would seem to be quite the read.

This book had a four to five star potential until about the last quarter of the book. For a book that really hadn't dragged, the ending does slow down quite a bit. Without giving too much away this book seems to veer away from the feel good ending it seemed to be heading to. This is one of those where I wish I had come up with a half star system for 3 1/2, but I think this deserves to round up to a solid 4. I think by the time I finish the entire list 41 will seem like a solid placement for this book.

Monday, August 3, 2009


1984 by George Orwell comes in at #2 on the combined lists of greatest 20th century fiction. The book was published in 1949 and is a look at 1984 in an Anti Utopian society. So does this book live up to being so high on the list?

The book follows Winston Smith. He has the glamorous job of going back and changing newspaper articles to make it look like his government is never wrong. Basically, 1984 centers around an Utopian society that has gone horribly wrong. All people are monitored at all times through television monitors. People who have an original thought vanish with no explanation. You aren't allowed to love or date who you want.

Basically every freedom is gone. The state is always at war with some other nation although it changes from time to time who the war is with. Many people just fall in line or don't know any different, but Winston tries to fight the system and even falls in love.

So does the book live up to the billing as the #2 book of the 20th century. It is solidly written with never a dull moment. Even though his vision of 1984 is long gone and has not come to pass, many of his concerns of privacy and freedom are still relevant today. The book does take an unusual turn towards the end, and almost becomes a different novel entirely. It is an important piece of the book, but is a little harder reading near the end, which is a shame because the rest of the book was just a treat to read. This book is definitely still important. I am not sure if it would rank as high as 2 on my list, but it definitely deserves a top 10 spot. 4 out of 5 stars. But remember, this could all just be from big brother!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Just started watching Bones and we are about 12 episodes into season 1. Each summer when the reruns start I try to find a show the wife and I have missed so we have something to watch over the summer. I am not sure if we never tried Bones because of our CSI aversion. Maybe it just was on at the same time of another show we watched before we had the Tivo. For whatever reason, I had never seen an episode of Bones until this season.

And it is excellent. One thing I like in my shows is a little character development. I just can't do all story like a Law and Order (which is an excellent show, just not my cup of tea.) But the chemistry between agent Booth and Bones (anthropologist Temprance Brennan) is mesmerizing. They argue and bicker and fight and somehow still solve the case. The setup is pretty typical where there is one case per week that is usually wrapped up, but the character developments stories and themes trickle over from week to week. It is still too early to tell but it appears there will be some longer character story arcs that will work themselves through the show.

It seems most shows are falling into this format or the serial format where every show basically begins directly after or reasonably after the previous episode. So with every show basically doing the same thing, it is all about executing the formula and the characters. And Bones nails it.

So far some of the supporting characters around the two main leads seem a little weaker, but they could have potential. It really doesn't matter though, because the leads steal the show. And the cases aren't half bad either.

If you like police procedural 'sor are a CSI or Law and Order junkie, you really should give this show a try if you haven't already. And if you are like me and are now five seasons behind, with the crap that is on during the summer, this may be a great way to get a TV fix until the new seasons begin.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Back into Music

If you usually read this blog for book or television reviews, you can pretty much skip this post. But if you are a musician you may like it.

I used to really be into music, and then other hobbies, life, and commitments took over. I have trying to get back into it slowly but surely. My wife has a piano in the living room that she never plays so I started teaching myself some tunes. I got the Office theme down pat. I bought a big book of Beatles songs and some Coldplay.

And I think that finally got me to pull out the old guitars, which are my true instruments. While I really like the piano, it will take me years to get where I am on the guitar. I took my acoustic and electric in this weekend for a tune up and string changing. I got new amp cords, a cheap little distortion pedal and some new picks. It felt great to play...

Until my fingers got soar. Oh how I have forgotten what it took to build up those callouses. I am trying to get myself to play a little bit each night, and so far so good. I need to find a new song to challenge me which really motivates me. It seems like old times, I just hope I can stay with it.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Dune by Frank Herbert came in 128 on the combined book reading list of the greatest 20th century novels. This is a tricky book for me to review because it falls into science fiction/fantasy. When I am not reading a book from the list, I am usually reading science fiction and fantasy.

Dune follows the story of Paul Atredies whose father Duke Leto was in charge of the planet Dune. An utterly desert and rocky planet, it is of extreme importance due to a spice trade. It is the only planet where this spice exists. Wars will be fought for this spice.

After a takeover that overthrows the Duke, Paul and his mother are left in the desert where they begin wandering with the fremen there. They are natives to the planet and have evolved so they can survive the intense desert heat. Paul eventually becomes a leader to these people. Only the stronger Paul and the fremen get, the less the Emperor and his people can ignore the threat.

This book begins very slowly, picks up to an exciting pace, and then slightly dies down at the end, although it is still a pretty exciting finish. I think part of the issue with the end is it is setting up the next book some and not finishing the current story. That is always the problems with books that have sequels. It is sometimes necessary to judge the series as a whole.

Overall this is an excellent book that seems about right with its ranking of 128 Strong writing and a strong message is delivered almost through the entire book. A slow beginning and a slight let down on the ending in no way spoil an otherwise solid read. 4 out 5 strong stars!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kane and Abel

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer comes in at 125 on the combined reading list. Kane and Abel was published in 1980 making it one of the newer books on the list. Kane and Abel follows the lives of two different men that happened to share a birthday. William Kane was born to a life luxury. His father was a rich and successful banker and William would become a rich and successful banker. Abel Robowski was a poor Polish immigrant who had nothing, but would come to America and try to make a life for himself.

The structure of the book is very simple but works very well. Each chapter alternates between Kane and Abel. In a book that eventually shows the struggles and battles these two men will put each other through, they very rarely cross paths. There is an occasional meeting or phone call, but for the most part these two men never cross paths.

For reasons that I can not say without spoiling some of the book Abel develops a huge hatred for William Kane due to some business with his bank. It becomes so personal and his hatred builds so much that Abel does whatever he can to hurt William's life at his bank. Eventually William does a few well placed business moves to try and fight back and make Abel go away.

Between these business battles we watched each boy grow into a man, fall in love, have kids, lose close friends to illness, lose parents, divorce, and live a pretty normal life. And it is these normal, everyday lives that we all deal with where the book shines. The battles between Kane and Abel are solid as well, but the way the two lives unfold and how their family life unfolds is the real shining achievement.

This book is solid all around. There were a couple of minor lulls, but for the most part this book kept me reading. This book is a very interesting character study wrapped around a tightly woven plot that should keep you engaged until the end. I feel this book is a little low at 125 on the list. 5 out of 5 stars!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Slaughterhouse 5

Slaughterhouse 5 is another entry on my combined reading list and came in at 11. Could the book live up to such a high ranking? It is definitely an interesting read. I don't know of too many anti-war world war II books with a science fiction twist.

The author, Kurt Vonnegut is a World War II vet that survived the bombing of Dresden in Germany, and that is the rough setting of this novel. The main character Billy Pilgrim is at Dresden as well. Only something has caused Billy Pilgram to jump around all over his life. One minute he is about to be captured by Germans, the next he is back home at Optometry school.

Another interesting part of the book is that Billy Pilgrim thinks he has been abducted by an alien race and put in a zoo on their planet. They eventually add a beautiful porn star to be his mate. He occasionally jumps to a time when he is with these aliens.

The book never quite explains if these adventures are in his head because of the horrors he saw at Dresden, or are really happening. There are some subtle clues each way. The narrative while sometimes jarring is pretty light and this book is an easy read. It has that kind of humor that makes you smile, but isn't laugh out loud funny. The characters come off somewhat shallow, but in a shorter book like this it is really the events around them that is the star of the book.

Although you will know everything there is to know about Billy since you will see almost every point in his life as he jumps around. Luckily very little in his life ever seemed to be dull.

This is a real classic and deserves its high perch on the list. This is such an easy read I could see myself going back to this for several more readings. This is an easy 5 out of 5.


Castle is a new show on ABC, well it played in spring of 2009 and had about a 10 episode run. It was on the bubble to come back in the fall, but luckily it got renewed. The wife and I watched the first five episodes on Hulu on a recent trip and this is one fun show.

The premise is pretty simple. Richard Castle(Nathan Fillion from Firefly, Serenity, etc) is a famous mystery writer (think James Patterson, John Grisham type) who kills his main character in his last book. Now writers block has set in. He is a local celebrity in New York so the mayor allows him to follow around a female detective.

What makes this show great is Castle. He can come off as a slime ball (he gets excited at a crime scene, hits on a lot of ladies) but through scenes with his 15 year old daughter and live in mother he comes off as a pretty good guy. The banter between him and is partner is great.

The cases aren't that spectacular with one crazy twist after another. The shows this most reminds me of are Bones and Monk. Bones has the best and more realistic cases but is weaker on the humor. Monk probably has the weakest cases with the most humor, and this kind of sets in between.

I have found I really don't like a lot of the procedural shows (CSI, NCIS, etc) but if you make it more about great characters with the episode structured around a particular case, they can be a lot of fun. The characters are what sell these. Castle hasn't become a must watch for me yet, but seems well on its way to being a fun and enjoyable show

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The World According to Garp

I am still working out how to do these reviews. Lets start with my ranking. It will be a cliche stars system but let me give it a little more description. 1 star means I thought this book was terrible. I am not even sure why I read it or finished it. If it is one of the books from my list of 20th century greatest novels, I have to question why it even made it. Two stars means I see the literary value in it, it might have had a strong beginning and a weak end or vice versa. It might have been overly long or difficult to finish. It has something in it that will make me never want to read it again. Three stars means it will probably remain in my collection. I might not get around to reading it again, but I would like to have it so others can read it. It might some of the issues of a two star book, but not as glaring. These are great books to check out from the library if you are not a collector. Four stars, well it is hard to be perfect but this is getting close to the mark. I read a lot of different books, so it may be awhile before I get to this again, but I will. Five stars is a must have or must read recommendation. In my opinion (which this all is anyway) this would be a great book that almost anyone would enjoy. This is a book that I will try to read again and again.

Hopefully I will only need to do that once and this system will work. The first book up is the World According to Garp by John Irving. This book came out in 1978. On the combined list of greatest 20th century novels this one ranked 34. So a quick recap on the ratings basically 3 lists of the 100 greatest 20th century novels were combined into a ranked list of 223 books.

This is a bizarre and interesting book and is one of the tougher ones to review. Any kind of description or detail takes away some of the magic of reading this book the first time through. The book though follows the life of T.S. Garp. He is a writer, but for much of the book he is suffering from writers block or there is something else in his life is keeping him from writing.

Mixed in to the book narrative are pieces of Garp's novels or short stories. Honestly, I thought these were the weaker sections of the book, but there are not too many. Basically this becomes a character study of the Garp family, and they are an interesting lot. Garp is a writer of course. his mother Jenny Fields is a former nurse who is now a feminist leader. He marries his old wrestling coach's daughter Helen and starts a life with her. Eventually children come and we follow the interesting ups and downs as this slightly dysfunctional family.

For a book like this one of the shocking pieces may be the sex and violence. There is plenty of both in both Garp's writings and the story itself. It sometimes becomes so over the top to take away from the rest of the story. This book was a page turner though, and I never became to bogged down in it except for a few of the chapters dealing with Garp's writing. That is saying something because this book comes in just over 600 pages.

Like I said at the beginning this is one hard book to review, but it is also hard to rate. I am not sure if I would want to slog through some of the sex, but especially the violence so I am going with 3 out 5 stars. This is very, very close to 4.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What I love about the Simpsons

This site is really going to be about the book reviews and summaries, but maybe in a 70 - 30 ratio. Who knows. I will also delve into reviewing all kinds of things and talking about other things I like.

And one thing I like, well love is the Simpsons. I love how an episode starts and you think it is going to be about one thing, and after about a 10 minute intro, the real episode starts.

For example, did you ever see the one with Michael Jackson? Pretty awesome. Do you remember how he met Michael Jackson? If you haven't seen it lately you probably don't. Bart left his red shorts in with Homer's white shirt when they were washed. Homer's shirt turned pink. He stood out like such a sore thumb when he came to work he his given a mental test. Which he fails. Which leads him to a mental institution. Where of course he meets Michael and the real episode plot kicks off.

Another example. Did you see the one where Homer bought a gun? Do you remember why? Well for protection of course. If you haven't seen it lately though you might not remember the riot that caused him to think he needed it. It was a soccer game. They rioted just like Europe. Only they were rioting to get out of the stadium because they were bored, not the results of the game. Another great throwaway line is when they do the background check, Homer is said to have been in a mental institution...Which he was with Michael. I hope all my posts come full circle like that...but they won't.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome to the Blog

A few years I stumbled across a list, the 100 best English language novels of the 20th Century. And I thought that was kind of interesting so I did some research on the list that was created. It turns out that 2 other entities created competing lists. So there were now 3 major lists each claiming to have the 100 greatest books from the 20th century. A brave soul then took all 3 lists, threw out a few choices (some were written before 1900, some were not originally written in English, etc.) and came up with the 213 unique books that were on the list. I was a little appalled about how few of them I had read. So I decided to try and read all 213.

That was almost 5 years ago. I have taken some small breaks and snuck in some modern fiction, non fiction, and my favorite genres of fantasy and Sci Fi, but for the most part I have been tackling this list. I am about 40 in now.

Then one day, I was looking at the list, and I realized several of the books I could hardly remember what they were about. So that gave me the idea of this blog, to review what I have read, and what I am reading.

The majority of the reviews will be catching up on what I have read so far. I will occasionally drop in some fantasy/sci fi reviews, non fiction books, and technical books. I have a wide array of hobbies and like to buy a lot of books on these. I also am a recovering comics reader, so you will probably see the occasional graphic novel/trade review. And of course I will also be reviewing/recommending some TV shows I like. So the main focus will be the book reviews and discussions, but with a hopefully nice mix of other reviews and topics.

And if I keep this going long enough and get a few readers, I may post some of my own short stories I have been toiling away on.

So if you like to read literature, but are not sure what to get or try, this might be a place to try from time to time. If you just like reading in general, there may be some books that you have missed that I can point out. Thanks for stopping by.