The third book

I’m actually a few books behind as I’ve finished the third, fourth, and fifth books. I am way behind where I should be to meet 50 books this year, but I’m pretty confident I’ll make it.

The third finished book was Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. I love King’s books. I really can’t think of a bad one. This one however was amazing.

Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining, but you don’t have to read the first to appreciate the second. However, Doctor Sleep is such a better book.

Perhaps it’s because I have grown as a writer or perhaps it’s because I’ve read a lot of King, but the artistic growth that he has had is amazing. Seriously, if you read The Shining and then Doctor Sleep, you’ll see what I’m talking about. The Shining was one of King’s first published novels. While it is an incredible book, the sequel far surpasses it.

Five stars. I highly recommend.

One book down (49 to go)

I just finished ‘Will in the World’ by Stephen Greenblatt, which examines the works of Shakespeare and attempts with the very sparse historical record of the Bard, to extrapolate a biography.

I have to say I learned some things. Of course many ideas in the book were suppositions. We just don’t know enough about the man from Stratford to fully even attribute the works of Shakespeare to him without controversy.

The book is fascinating though. I really enjoyed it. If you’re looking to know more about not just Shakespeare but the time and political climate he lived in, this is a must read. It was very well researched and the author was always careful to present his suppositions as separate from the facts. This book has also made me realize I know next to nothing about Marlow, being most American lit classes focus on Shakespeare. I’ll be looking for a good bio of Marlow soon. Maybe it’ll be one of the 50.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Stay safe.

Books and Bourbon

Everyone makes lists of things they want to accomplish in the New Year. I decided I wanted to read, write, and try more things. When I was undergoing my health issues last year, there were things I dreamed about doing and I promised myself I would start.

This year I have a book coming out and hopefully I’ll get another one completed. This year I also want to read more so I set a goal on Goodreads for 50 books. I want to share those on here. It gives me an excuse to update my blog more.

I’m also in the middle of a very slow whiskey tasting type journey. I can’t seem to find a place near me to have one so I’m trying things out on my own. I’ll post reviews of that on here too.

Anyway, stay safe, people. I’ll post more later.

Time Away

I have been away for a while. A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the major abdominal surgery. It was a long year and a long process to get where I am today which is back at work dealing with only minor side effects and cancer free.

However, that’s not really what this post is about. It’s mostly to get my feet back in the water and revive my online presence. And it gives me a place to talk about about things.

So hopefully you’ll see more posts in the future.

Thanks. Be safe.

The Tenth Book

The Dark Phoenix Saga. This story line has everything the X-Men ever were or could be: love, loss, tragedy, betrayal, romance, insane superpowers, and the introduction of Kitty Pryde. It had all my favorite X-men at the time, and my least favorite of all time (I hate Cyclops with a passion). It was Claremont and Byrne. It was great story telling and art that jumped off the page. It was and still is a classic.

It’s fitting that this ends my ten book series as it’s one that I’ve been wanting to reread lately.


Book Nine

My wife hates when I reread Mercedes Lackey because I have to read all the Mercedes Lackey, at least all the Valdemar ones I have. It all started with Magic’s Pawn which I picked up at Walden Books when I was 19. I read the third book in the series and cried all night for Vanyel.

The first several are not the best written ever, and actually Arrows of the Queen and Arrows Flight have several interesting typos, but there’s magic in those pages. These are fun, easy and quick reads, although Lackey does experiment with various dark themes in some of her series, most of them are pretty light, imho of course.


Book Eight

Listen. Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time…

Douglas Adams led me here. Actually a friend who knew I loved Adams introduced me to Vonnegut. I had read a few of his short stories before, but I had not read his novels. What happened was a love affair that’s spanned twenty years and will last until I die. The man nothing short of brilliant. As a writer, his works are awe inspiring and freeing. As a reader, they are equally amazing and entertaining. His asides and illustrations don’t detract from the story, they add to it.

Vonnegut is one of those authors I would short list on those if you could only read the works of five authors again, he would be on it without a doubt.


The Seventh Book

This is not my first or even third copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I have long since worn them out, lost them or loaned them and never received them back. This masterpiece of absurdist science fiction gives the answer to Life, the Universe, & Everything. That answer is 42. It also gives us two great pieces of advice: Don’t Panic and always bring a towel. It is a perennial favorite and reread. This book and the humor in it actually helped me find the eighth book in this list.

So, grab your towel and climb aboard, but don’t forget your Babel fish.


Book Six

This is probably one of the most controversial books I have on here. In The Killing Joke Joker shoots Barbara Gordon and then takes pictures of her nude, wounded form to drive her dad, Commissioner Jim Gordon, crazy. That’s the crux of the controversy, that wounding of a healthy young girl solely to further the plot. It’s a dark story, and it was never meant to be canon, but someone decided to do away with Babs and her role of Batgirl (Joker of course did not know she was Batgirl, the attack was because of her parentage). She was later reintroduced as one of the best characters ever, Oracle, though they took that away with another reboot.

I’ve read all the theories about the ending, about what Joker and his henchmen did to Barbara, about the women in refrigerators and all of it. I list this book because at the time it left a large impression on me, and one that has evolved over time. I still like this book, but now as an adult, I can appreciate the intended and unintended nuances to it.