Thursday, November 1, 2012

3 books, and some other schtuff too

On her birthday I took YaYa to the orthopedic doctor in hopes her full arm cast could be changed to a ‘shorty’ – no such luck. She’ll have to wait until the 1st for relief. Afterwards I took her to Barnes and Noble to spend $50 in gift cards she got at her party, and to Target where she used birthday gift cards to buy the new Taylor Swift and Christina Perri CD’s.

Speaking of music: I am proud to say that if an MJ song comes on the radio and, after only a few seconds I ask “Who is this?” all of my kids inevitably scream “Michael Jackson!”

I listened to part of Game 2 of the World Series on a Canadian radio station that mysteriously came in on the way to work. It was either from Toronto or Montreal; while it was English language, there were advertisements that mentioned both cities.

I’ve finished reading Edison and the Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death by Mark Essig, an account of the invention of the light bulb and the contentious invention of the electric chair in its wake. Edison, while an opponent of the death penalty, advocated the chair as a humane method of execution; but he also took care to make sure that rival technology was used for it, equating his rivals work with danger in the eyes of the public. I enjoyed the book and grade it an A-   Book # 82 of the year

On the 26th I completed reading The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War by [2nd Lieutenant] Frederick Downs. [It was one of three Vietnam history paperbacks I bought off of Ebay a few months back; the cost for all three, including shipping? $1.99.] The book covers a period in late ’67 when Downs was a fresh faced lieutenant in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It’s very readable, honest in its depictions of combat and the treatment of civilians, and I recommend it. I detested the constant use of the term ‘dinks’ to describe just about any Vietnamese, but I’m sure that’s just staying true to the language of that platoon at the time. Grade: B+  Book #83 of the year.

Early on the 28th I finished reading No Safety In Numbers by Dayna Lorentz. This is a new release, young-adult hardcover YaYa bought on her birthday. She read it and highly recommended it, so I gave it a shot. It’s a novel about a shopping mall that’s hit with a biological weapon, forcing the patrons to remain quarantined inside. Order and civility collapse as the number of dead and dying grow, and the characters – mainly teenagers – must do their best to survive the chaos. There were a few very short but suggestive scenes that I wasn’t happy YaYa read, and I think the mall patrons were far too willing to surrender their freedom at the onset, but aside from that I enjoyed it. Grade: B+ Book #84 of the year

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