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Archive for the ‘What I’ve Read’ Category

Book Review: To Squeeze a Prairie Dog

August 30, 2019 Leave a comment

I have to admit I was sold on the title alone. I’ve been “free range” so long that I had almost forgotten the drone life lived out in the honeycombs of bureaucratic cubicles.  Semegran brought back all the odd camaraderie of office workers and the capricious quirks in the business of pushing paper in a muted Carl Hiaasen style with a tale that leaves you smiling in the warm Texas Hill Country breeze. (4 of 5 Stars)

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Heart of Darkness

April 12, 2019 Leave a comment
Confession time: this was a self-inflicted homework assigment for my next book, which is set in Congo. My re-read felt like I was experiencing a kinetoscope version of Apocalypse Now, especially with Conrad’s nesting of a narrator within a narrator—which results in some pretty dense prose.  A good tale told much more vividly by Coppola. Unfortunately, it was not much help to me on my novel. So, take my rating with a grain of salt. (3 of 5 Stars)

Link to Heart of Darkness on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: The Aviators

March 29, 2019 Leave a comment

As a pilot and aviation aficionado, my familiarity with the lives and exploits of Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Doolittle gave me a case of literary empty field myopia, where at first I did not see and appreciate the story telling craftsmanship of Winston Groom (author of Forest Gump). Like a Bach fugue, The Aviators tells three biographical tales simultaneously, taking the reader from rag wings to aluminum overcast. The result being that these giants of aviation somehow came off as even more larger than life for me. (5 of 5 Stars)

Link to The Aviators on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Chaos Monkeys – Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

March 15, 2019 Leave a comment

This is a book of two tales.  The first one, the adventure of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur-buccaneer’s no-holds-barred battle to survive and cash out, was  fascinating.   The second, about life as a Facebook corporate drone…not so much.  The Zuckerberg brand of palace intrigue is, really, not so unique and special in the annals of American Corporate Manifest Destiny. I have to say, though, that the author’s Afterward—an update written after Antonio’s “departure” from Facebook and the original publication of Chaos Monkeys—is a great essay on current events involving the social media giant.  (4 of 5 stars for the first half; 3 of 5 stars for the second half; 5 of 5 stars for the update)

Link to A Man with One of Those Faces on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: A Man with One of Those Faces

March 8, 2019 Leave a comment

It was as if I opened a Carl Hiaasen novel and fell through a space-time continuum portal to the Emerald Isle where Skink & Company all suddenly have an Irish brogue. As an aficionado of wacky Florida misadventures since Tourist Season, this was a good thing—a very good thing. Parts 2, 3 & 4 of the Dublin Trilogy are definitely in my reading queue. (5 of 5 Stars)

Link to A Man with One of Those Faces on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Orphan X, A Novel

March 1, 2019 Leave a comment

Decent premise. Fast-paced story. All the necessary accouterments for a top-shelf high tech thriller. Orphan X is definitely not a bad book, but…I did not walk away craving more. Perhaps the plot was just a bit overcooked and the characters a tad on the raw and unseasoned side, for my taste. (3 of 5 Stars)

Link to Orphan X on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: An American Saga – Juan Trippe and His Pan Am Empire

February 15, 2019 Leave a comment

This biography was such a long read, it felt like passage on the Pan Am China Clipper. But the story of Juan Trippe was worth the ride. Here is a man whose career in aviation spanned the years between the World War I rag wing Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” to being instrumental in the development of the Boeing 747 as the launch customer. An American Saga is a fascinating read on the commercialization of airplanes, so often overshadowed by war stories. (4 of 5 Stars)
Categories: What I've Read
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