Saturday, March 23, 2019

No Way, Monterey! Act 2

Act 2 of "No Way, Monterey!" Another adventure of The Infantry!

Spring Chickens

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No Way, Monterey! Act 1

Act 1 of "No Way, Monterey!" Another adventure of The Infantry!

Spring Chickens

UpVote on Reddit, Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Reading list 2018

I've been trying to prioritize tackling a couple classics each year - and I hit three this year, which is pretty good! You can't imagine how surprised I was at the ending of the Great Gatsby in 2017, after I had so many memories of studying that book when I was in high school! How can you reference a classic without knowing how it ends!? I'd been doing that for 20 years! lol.

Without further ado, here's what I managed to get through in 2018.

For more references, here are the lists from 20102011 , 2012 2013201420152016 and 2017.

Books I read

Mystery Mountain, by Florence Laughlin 

Fun children's book about exploring in the not-so-wild west. 

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott 

My soul was a little damaged from reading some not-so-wholesome stuff in 2016, which is why I started this. I can see why it's an American favourite - but I can't really recall anything that happened in it in much detail. It didn't resonate with me, but perhaps that's not much of a surprise.

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift
Two things I recommend avoiding are being on a first-name basis with Jessica Fletcher, and riding in a boat with Gulliver. He wound up on some horrifyingly unusual islands, and certainly many more than just the one where he is bigger than everyone. Sullivan enjoyed this, though it hardly was for a 6-year-old.

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, by David Norman
I've got hordes of dinosaur books from when I was a kid, but ... did anyone ever read them all the way through, or just flip through it and catch up on your favourites? Well, I read this one all the way through :) 

Connected Parenting, by Jennifer Kolari
Kolari was a guest-speaker at our kids' school, and ... she sold a bunch of books while she was there. We bought it, too - though I'm the only one who's read it so far ... ;) 

Dinotopia: The Lost City, by Scott Ciencin
Some kids discover a lost city, filled with raptors, and then they compete in their olympics-style games. I don't think this one will ever be confused for being a masterpiece. Apparently there's a sequel - though I can't imagine what unfinished business necessitated a second trip to ... The Lost City.

The Materese Circle, by Robert Ludlum
I'd been searching for this book for years (not too hard, but in passing) but then I came across it at the Manilla Library (a volunteer-run old library). I remember it so fondly from when I was in high school, it being my first spy novel. There was a particular moment that brought the entire story "full circle" that I really appreciated when I was younger, and so I was eager to read it again. Turns out ... the "full circle" scene I remember wasn't in this book - now I have no idea where to look for it, lol.
Cornered by Ron MacLean, with Kirstie McLellan Day
Lots of fun stories on the life and times of Ron MacLean. This was a ... birthday gift? I think. You're welcome to borrow it if you'd like. Let me know. 
Don Cherry’s Sports Heroes, by Don Cherry
Got this one, too - with an autograph in it, though not a personalized autograph. More fun stories of the life and times of Don Cherry. You can borrow this one, too, if you'd like.
Self-editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King
Used my Christmas money to get this one - a good book. If I were only writing a fiction at the moment, which I'm not. But I've got an extraordinary satire that is calling for the skills discussed in this book that I'd love to continue in the new year.

Winners Never Cheat, Even in Difficult Times, by Jon Huntsman
I was writing a story on Mr. Huntsman, and was offered this book. It arrived about three weeks after my deadline, and it cost me $50 in duty fees (just to accept it as a gift!) but ... I read it nonetheless. An interesting biography and call for more morals in business. 
Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway 
As an English student, I was required to get this book, but I have no memory of which class it was for, or what we were supposed to study from it - but it'd been on the shelf for years, and it was high time to read this "classic" to see what made it a classic. Knowing absolutely nothing about what this novel was about, it can honestly say, I didn't see the ending coming! And spoiler alert! Nobody says: "Farewell to arms" even once!

Bellevue Square, Michael Redhill
This is one crazy book! There's a madness it captures in a way like I've never read before, and it was so crazy that you almost cringed and squinted as you read it. There are few books where you stop and have to tell the person next to you what has been happening - and this fits that category. I liked it!
Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive, by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini
I bet I can't convince you to buy this book, even after reading it. I snagged this back when I worked at The Lance at the U of Windsor - I was expected to do a "book review" for the Arts section on it - but never wound up reading it. The Lance doesn't even print anymore, I think it's a website, or at least a blog now. 
The Hand of Dinotopia, by Alan Dean Foster
For all I've read about how to write a book, the recurring advice from those who give it, is that the story should have cohesion and causality - events should occur for a reason, and as a reaction to what your protagonist does in their pursuit of achieving their goal. This book, however, is more like a Star Wars prequel, where people go somewhere, and every giant animal and crazy thing that could happen, does just as they happen to be passing through. Seriously, they're caught in a deluge while crossing a desert...  imagine that. And the author wore out his thesaurus while he was at it - not an especially well-crafted story. But it had dinosaurs in it - so ... you know ... I read it. 

That's it! 2018!
Thanks for reading! Any recommendations, I'm happy to take 'em! I keep them recorded, and will aim to get to them eventually - I've got literally shelves of books in a list, which I somehow continue to add books to. Like some kind of fool I bought three novels for $5 at an Indigo last fall, which I've got to read now, too ...