Tag Archives: Book

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Started: 1/23/2012 Finished: 2/4/2012 Stephen King, how dare you! Every time I read one of your books, I’m inexorably sucked in. But the movie adaptations are always horrible! Or at least I’m still bitter about Dreamcatcher. Anyways, it was really exciting to learn so much more about the Kennedy assassination than ever before….I mean Lee Harvey Oswald is always portrayed so wimpishly in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins that sometimes you forget what he was really like. *shudder* But the whole thing was incredible as our hero stalks Oswald and prepares to change history. But more than that, our main character was a really likable guy! For whatever reason I deeply connected with him and wished him nothing but personal happiness by the end (and was mostly mollified). New favorite word: obdurate. Definition: Adjective: Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure The ‘good parts’ version Abridged by William Goldman Author of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Started: some time after Jenny’s birthday party (Aug 2011) Finished: shortly afterwards I’m fairly certain that I liked the book a great deal more than the movie (at least my many fractured viewings of the movie), but I do have to give them credit for doing some incredibly interesting things and creating a great cult film.

The Pixar Touch: The Making Of A Company by David A. Price

Available on Amazon. Many thanks to my good friend Jeff Allen for recommending this book. It is an absolutely riveting read. For me it kind of capped off/continued the Disney company history that I so enjoyed discovering in Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler (covering Walt’s lifetime) and Disney Wars by James Stewart (covering the period from Walt’s death to the successful ousting of Eisner) by telling a completely different story: the story of Pixar. How Ed Catmull, a Mormon computer scientist who knew he couldn’t draw good enough to be an animator decided that he would make a movie with a computer instead (in the 60s). How he gathered a brain trust of computer scientists, electrical engineers, artists and writers around him and shepherded them through 40 years of business transactions and negotiations from the New York Institute of Technology to Lucasfilm to Emeryville, all … Continue reading →

The Price Of Freedom by A. C. Crispin

Amazing!!!! It answers almost every single question that has arisen about Jack Sparrow since discovering his delightful character in the first film. It’s practically a complete back story, but does so with a gripping narrative and a story that is as lush and vibrant as any locale we’ve seen Jack visit in his four films. Also makes me want to pick up the junior novels that delve into Jack’s childhood to see what other gems are out there to glean about Jack Sparrow. I also want to pick up A. C. Crispin’s other novels (she does Han Solo’s backstory!!!).

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex (Book 7) by Eoin Colfer

I adore Eoin Colfer’s writing. There really isn’t much more to say about it. In this, his 7th venture into the universe of teenaged, criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl, Colfer outdoes himself while paying tribute to the depth of work he has already completed. While I felt a little lost in the beginning, reading Wikipedia helped me remember the characters being referenced, and it was purely a tertiary feeling as the characters and dialogue that were most important were immediately embraced and enjoyed – like old friends out for another night on the town.

Carter Beats The Devil – Glen David Gold

This book was an amazingly and engrossingly phenomenal read. Picked up at random from the Westminster Public Library in a pile of books claiming to be related to U.S. Presidents, the decadently detailed book jacket and description demanded that I take the book home and enjoy it thoroughly, which I promptly did. Charles Carter is a prominent magician at the height of Warren Harding’s presidency in the late 1920s. When President Harding is found dead in his hotel room mere hours after participating in Carter’s breathtaking final act, the Secret Service immediately try to track the magician down for questioning – which is much easier said than done. After thoroughly gripping us with this overture, author Glen David Gold* launches us down the serpentine path that led a young Charles Carter to where he is today while weaving a mysterious plot of intrigue and assassination rich with characters both fictional … Continue reading →

Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency And The Power Of Words by Douglas L. Wilson

An absolutely fascinating analysis of Abraham Lincoln as a writer, which was undoubtedly his greatest strength. Thusly the title recalls the epic phrase – “the pen is mightier than the sword”, which was coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 (thanks Wikipedia!). Some of my favorite quotes and ideas from the book follow – enjoy! “‘He was a very deliberate writer, anything but rapid. … I never saw him dictate to anyone, and it certainly was not his practice to do so. He seemed to think nothing of the labor of writing personally and was accustomed to make many scraps of notes and memoranda. In writing a careful letter, he first wrote it himself, then corrected it, and then rewrote the corrected version himself.’ … Even though a slow and ‘very deliberate’ writer, Lincoln was not in the least put off by what most people consider the onerous labor … Continue reading →

Brsinger – Christopher Paolini

Delightful! Although I find rather disturbing the amount of parallels I continue to spy between the Inheritance cycle and the original Star Wars trilogy (at least plot wise)…especially during the recap of the first two books at the beginning. Part the First: Farm boy’s boring life explosively interrupted by exciting worldly politics; Story about an ancient race of peacekeepers with magical powers that died out due to betrayal leading to the current oppressive regime; Farm boy’s surrogate parent(s) killed and farm boy runs from danger with the town’s storyteller; Storyteller reveals he is one of the surviving peacekeepers and begins to train farm boy in their ancient ways; Storyteller is killed by primary henchman of the evil leader; Cocksure stranger aids the farm boy in his quest to join the rebellion, but wants nothing to do with the rebellion himself; Farm boy and stranger rescue princess from primary henchman’s headquarters; … Continue reading →

A Weekend In The Country

[Bonus points if you understand the title reference] So here it is…Labor Day Weekend 2007. I spent the weekend at the King Frederick Best Western in Solvang. The whole purpose of the trip was to see PCPA’s Urinetown, but I also ended up finishing Pearl Harbor by Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen. The theatre ended up being less than a 1/10 of a mile from our hotel, and it felt really fun to walk to the theatre, see the show and then walk back to the hotel. I’ll have to make this Solvang trip more of a regular thing to see more theatre and walk back to my room. 😉 Urinetown…Not the Place, The Musical The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA) presents Urinetown in Santa Maria and at Solvang’s TheatreFest. At first Officer Lockstock seemed a bit too over the top with his gay act, but after a … Continue reading →

1776 by David McCullough

This book was an enjoyable read…even if it took me 6 months to finish. It’s not because I was reading other books, but because his writing style was rather strange to me. It takes a little while for me to really get into the book when I crack it open and I kept cracking it open for short moments and getting lost on the same page. But I finally finished it! It was most interesting to read this book after finishing the George Washington biography, His Excellency as the book follows the Continental Army from July 1775 to January 1777. The one thing I would have appreciated was battlefield maps. McCullough did an incredible amount of research (a third of the book’s length is sources and bibliography) and includes nearly all of it, especially personal letters from many of the participants regarding the actions of the war. “But those of … Continue reading →