Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yet Another Taker

Hot on the heels of Mom's Thumb Reviews (see here) comes this one from Hong Konger Laura Besley (here).

Miss Besley, who also read my first novel, Toe the Line (here), says of this one:

On the Edge is almost two books for the price of one: present Joe and past Joe.


These two threads of the story are cleverly woven together and feed into the ever-building climax at the end. 

And finally, this . . . my favorite part:

Overall this is an enjoyable thriller and is recommended for people who enjoy murder mysteries.

I'll take that. Didn't get a five star review on Goodreads, but five star equals "It was amazing." Four star equates to "Really liked it." I'll take it and use that missing fifth star as motivation to finish Vapor Trail.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Savvy readers of this blog know that I compile a list of "last lines" (see here) as a counter-punch to my first lines (see here) compendium. Secondly, it helps me remember which books I've read and what I thought about them. That being said, today's latest addition is below.

I sighed and went into the bedroom to phone. I had two calls to make. The first to Al Georgio, telling that estimable man that no, I would not marry him. The second to Jack Smack, telling that flighty tap dancer that yes, I would move in with him. 

You can be logical about other people’s lives, but never about your own.

Sanders, Lawrence - The Eighth Commandment

It's a slight twist at the end. I expected the protagonist to choose Al. It's fun to see that she didn't.

As I said before (see here) I love Lawrence Sanders' McNally mysteries and I am loving reading his older material even more. There's more seriousness, more gravitas, and the stories are more fleshed out. This was the first I've read of his where he got into the mind of a femme and I have to say I think he did it quite well. I wish he had written more.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Next First Line

This is a new one for me. I thought I had read all of Dick Francis' work, . . . nope . . . looks like I missed one.

I intensely disliked my father's fifth wife, but not to the point of murder.

Dick Francis -  Hot Money

Based on the comments, it looks like this is out of print, so thank goodness for the ole Kindle.

Readers might also note that I've reading a lot of first person, genre mystries. I'm trying to get the mindset right for finishing up Vapor Trail, my third novel. I wouldn't call it "writer's block" so much as "writer's ennui." It works though. The more of the style I read the more I think, "Hey, I can do this. I can knock this out."

Still, glad to be reading something new at the same time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A First

Some books and authors just resonate with me immediately (see other first lines here). Lawrence Sanders is a reseonater apparently. I'm surprised I'm compelled tor read on, but I am.

MEN TREAT ME WITH amusement, women with sympathy. My name is Mary Lou Bateson, but the nickname “Dunk” followed me from Des Moines to New York City. I am almost six-two— in my bare feet. When I wear heels, I loom— or so a man once told me. 

“Don’t worry about it, Dunk,” Daddy advised. “People look up to you.”

That will give you an idea of his quirky sense of humor.

Sanders, Lawrence - The Eighth Commandment

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I'm Big Into Flowcharts . . . But . . .

I write a lot of flowcharts for work, and I understand their abilities and the need, but this one . . . not a huge fan of the style, but I love the outcomes (see here).

I'm sorry I can't properly reference where I got it, I found it on a reddit site and I can't refind it. I'll let the title speak for itself, but I was surprised by how many of the books I've actually read! A more pleasant surprise, there are still a lot more to be read.

My favorite, Vernor Vinge (see here) is on the far right side of the chart, right near my other favorite, Asimov (here for more).

Well worth a click see (here) if you're a sci-fi or fantasy reader.

Monday, March 10, 2014

King Rat no King

Having written my own first novel (here) . . . and seen how much better (even marginally) my second novel is compared to that first one . . . its good to see that other novelist's first also screamed "FIRST TIME NOVEL!"

By no means am I equating myself to James Clavell, but King Rat, although good, was nowhere near the mind blowing epic that Shogun was (you can see my review of Shogun here) then again Tai Pan wasn't as good as Shogun either. King Rat was not only not as good as Shogun, but it had all the hallmarks of being a first novel. Somewhat clunky, plot lines that got lost, the feeling of "wow . . . it would have been better had he done such and such rather than that."

That being said, it was still quite good. It reminded me of Catch-22 in many ways, but with far more heart. The ending was tragic to read, and the come-uppance by the main character interesting. I love the foil he used, it reminded me in that way of The Great Gatsby. But there was alot that Clavell left on the table. 

The last line? A tad trite. He describes what happens to the rat breeding program.

And Adam ruled, for he was the King. Until the day his will to be King deserted him. Then he died, food for a stronger. And the strongest was always the King, not by strength alone, but King by cunning and luck and strength together. Among the rats. 

Clavell, James - King Rat

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sometime the Title Grabs Ya

Many people love noun groups like Murder of Crows or Wisdom of Owls. I was perusing Goodreads when I ran across this one.

I don't know if I would have used the term "Rapture" for a group of Nerds. Or perhpas he means "rapture" in the biblical sense. If it is the first case I would have thought "a class of nerds" or "a study of nerds" would be more apropos.

Still, probably won't read it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Find it Interesting

You may not, but I find this interesting. Then again, based on the covers I prefer for my novels (see here), I'm partial to stick figure iconography.

I found this and am re-posting it from VA Viper (here). It shows stick figures representing the ways in which characters die in Shakespear's plays (see here). My favorite:

See all of them here.