Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boomsday by Christopher Buckley

As an audio book, I wasn't a fan of Janeane Garofalo's style. A lot of her character voices were just speaking louder.

As a book, I loved this one! First Buckley book I've read and I really like his style of writing. Boomsday is political satire based on the baby boomers retirement and the inevitable depletion of Social Security.

Cassandra Devine, labeled as a morally superior PR chick, leads the way in renouncing baby boomers squandering of Social Security. It starts innocently enough with protests on golf courses and leads to Devine and Senator Jepperson trying to pass a bill of Voluntary Transitioning. VT is basically advocating suicide once a person reaches 70.

Devine and Jepperson have a sketchy past, throw in Devine's "prick" of a father, the current president who swears like a sailor with Tourette's Syndrome, a reverend who heads SPERM and desperately wants to have sex, and the Pope, then you have a wild ride of a novel that is pretty damn fun to read.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Thankfully this book is not a sequel to American Gods because I haven't read that yet. But it's apparently along the same lines. Mr. Nancy is an old man who loves to sing and names things; and those names stick. He has a son who he named Fat Charlie and humiliated on a fairly regular basis. Fat Charlie goes to London, gets engaged and is persuaded to invite his father to the wedding. Finding his father had passed, things start to get a little surreal. Even by British standards.

Mr. Nancy is really Anansi, a spider god. Fat Charlie is told he has a brother, Spider. They eventually meet up for a reunion of sorts and havoc is wreaked.

Identities are stolen, money is laundered, people are murdered and other gods long forgotten emerged to get revenge on the hated Anansi.

Incredibly interesting and entertaining book. First one of the year that has really held my interest.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Continual Condition by Charles Bukowski

For a man who died in 1994 at the age of 73, Bukowski is still a prolific writer. Released in 2009, The Continual Condition is the newest book containing never before published poems.

Not being a poet, my gauge of how well I like a poetry book is based on how many pages I dogear to go back to and re-read. While I did really like the majority of poems here, I didn't dogear to many. Although it might just be my mood because I seemingly just picked the darkest poems as my favorites.

This Kind of Fire was one of my favorites, along with Perfect Silence, Dear Editor and Moving Towards Age 73.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Food Rules by Michael Pollan

A quick little book that gives exactly what it says. Food rules.

The basic, overall rule that Pollan gives is: Eat food. But less. Mostly plants.

That right there is enough to give you a headstart on the majority of Americans. According to Pollan's research, the Western diet is one of the all time worst diets in the world. And one of the ones almost guaranteed to kill you. To try and help save people from themselves, Pollan lists out little chapters of rules to follow when deciding what food to eat. Lest you think this is a put-down type of book, he does conclude with "Everything in moderation. Including moderation." This isn't a lecture. This is a "Hey, did you know this? Now that you do, you might want to avoid it"

Some of the rules include: Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Would she know what Splenda was? How about Gogurt? Ravoli in a can?? Don't eat it. Avoid high fructose corn syrup, which is apparently in more food then we realize. Don't eat anything with ingredients a third grader can't pronounce. Don't eat anything with ingredients that you wouldn't stock in your pantry. Eat only foods that will rot.

Along with those, he advises to eat slowly. Don't eat until you are stuffed. And, for goodness sake, COOK. The last one, I'm happy to say, I do on a regular basis. I rarely, if ever, go out to dinner. I usually enjoy cooking a nice meal for myself. I know, for the most part, where everything comes from and how it was prepared. Cooking for family and friends and eating with them apparently is also another good thing I already do.

Good little book with some smart, common sense rules on how to eat healthy, even when it encourages you to splurge.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison

Third book in the Rachel Morgan series. This one turned out to be very exciting and character-driven, rather than driven by plot. More is gleaned about each of the characters and that helps fill them out a little bit.

Rachel is faced with 2 major problems: owing the demon, Al, a favor - namely becoming his familiar. There's also a new player in the city, Lee, who is trying to take over the business of "supply and demand". Rachel, as a character, is probably at her best. She deals with the human side of misery, being dumped by Nick, and falling for another, the vampire Kisten. Between that and nearly getting killed....however many times, she manages to pull it all together and save the day. As per usual.

The action sequences are pretty explosive and each character gets a chance to open up just a little bit more. Enough to make you give a darn about whether they live or die.