Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Clash of Kings

Someday fall may actually arrive, or at least below 100 degree weather, and I'll be able to leave the house. In the meantime, as always, I've been reading. I took a trip to Barnes and Noble to pick up "A Clash of Kings" (761 pages). It's the follow up to George R. R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones." From Goodreads:

"A Clash of Kings is the follow-up to A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin's fabulous introduction to a multilayered epic fantasy adventure that marked one of the most auspicious kickoffs in years. For those who enjoy their fantasy big, thick, and complex -- Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is for you. Fans of Jordan, Brooks, Goodkind, Feist, and high fantasy escapism in general are recommended -- no, commanded -- to flock to this breathtaking series. You'll be doing yourself an immense favor."

I don't know who Jordan, Brooks, Goodkind, and Feist are since I don't really read anything in the fantasy genre but I'm now hooked on Martin's series in spite of the complexity and mammoth lengths of each book.

There's really not a lot I can say since this book is a sequel in a series. The writing is engaging with many characters and plots all working together. I'm definitely going to snag "A Storm of Swords" the next time I hit the book store.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sizzling Sixteen

I can't believe Janet Evanovich has written 16 books about Stephanie Plum. I can't believe I've read them all, including the latest entry yesterday, "Sizzling Sixteen" (326 pages). From the back of the book:

"Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a 'lucky' bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn’t specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck....

Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced. Nobody else will pay to get Vinnie back, leaving it up to Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula to raise the money if they want to save their jobs.

Being in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, Lula, and Connie have an advantage in finding Vinnie. If they can rescue him, it will buy them some time to raise the cash.

Finding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Vinnie’s messing up local stoner Walter 'Moon Man' Dunphy's vibe, running up pay-per-view porn charges in security expert Ranger’s apartment, and making Stephanie question genetics.

Between a bonds office yard sale that has the entire Burg turning out, Mooner’s Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip’s mysterious bottle, they just might raise enough money to save Vinnie and the business from ruin.

Saving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep being a bounty hunter. In Trenton, this involves hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a Turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles.

The job of bounty hunter comes with perks in the guise of Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky---the only question is . . . with whom?

Sizzling Sixteen . . . so hot, the pages might spontaneously combust!"

One word review of the latest books in the Stephanie Plum series: meh. "Sizzling Sixteen" was better than "Finger Lickin' Fifteen" but that isn't saying much. I really enjoy the characters of this series and the overall premise of the books but unfortunately after sixteen installments there has been zero growth. Stephanie gets a new case or two and bumbles her way around while flirting with Joe or Ranger. Exchange plot lines every novel and that's pretty much all you have. The first few novels in the series were really fantastic but unfortunately the formula has grown stale over the course of many, many books.

I'll continue to read each new entry yearly, at least they're always good for a chuckle. Recommended for fans of Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Orange Power!!

10. More. Days.

I know the video is a little cheesey but I'm so pumped about the 2011 college football season. I just found out I have tickets to the first game of the season! Commence foaming at the mouth...

Go Pokes!!

Monday, August 22, 2011


With the conclusion of "Thunderstruck" (463 pages) I have read everything Erik Larson has written, so far. From the book's cover:

"A true story of love, murder, and the end of the world’s 'great hush.'

In Thunderstruck, Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories of two men — Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication — whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time.

Set in Edwardian London and on the stormy coasts of Cornwall, Cape Cod, and Nova Scotia, Thunderstruck evokes the dynamism of those years when great shipping companies competed to build the biggest, fastest ocean liners, scientific advances dazzled the public with visions of a world transformed, and the rich outdid one another with ostentatious displays of wealth. Against this background, Marconi races against incredible odds and relentless skepticism to perfect his invention: the wireless, a prime catalyst for the emergence of the world we know today. Meanwhile, Crippen, 'the kindest of men,' nearly commits the perfect crime.

With his superb narrative skills, Erik Larson guides these parallel narratives toward a relentlessly suspenseful meeting on the waters of the North Atlantic. Along the way, he tells of a sad and tragic love affair that was described on the front pages of newspapers around the world, a chief inspector who found himself strangely sympathetic to the killer and his lover, and a driven and compelling inventor who transformed the way we communicate. Thunderstruck presents a vibrant portrait of an era of séances, science, and fog, inhabited by inventors, magicians, and Scotland Yard detectives, all presided over by the amiable and fun-loving Edward VII as the world slid inevitably toward the first great war of the twentieth century. Gripping from the first page, and rich with fascinating detail about the time, the people, and the new inventions that connect and divide us, Thunderstruck is splendid narrative history from a master of the form."

Another great read by Larson, though my least favorite of in a collection of great stories. Like "The Devil in the White City" Larson takes two seemingly different stories and shows how they intersect in history. Brilliant and a pleasure to read as always. I don't think there's another author in the world that could coax me in to reading anything about Guglielmo Marconi, despite the visionary he might have been.

The work of non-fiction is fast paced and full of Larson's wonderful ability to retell historic events as though it was a work of fiction. Highly recommended as with all his other books. Not to be missed.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Heaven Eleven Meme

It's been a while since I participated in Sunday Stealing so I thought I would get an early start and post my answers today. I know my blog is slowly dieing but I'm just not feeling it lately. It seems that Facespace has been a better venue lately to be snarly. That and I'm still shell shocked to be back in the south...

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. If you could live in any other time period, which would you pick?
Between the two great wars, the 1920's, either in America or Europe. I'm fascinated by this time in history.

2. What is your favorite topic to write on your blog other than a meme?
Nothing really, I just write about what interests me at any particular time. If I had a theme it would be more empty than it already is around here.

3. What are some traits that you admire in a lover?
I like eyes and smiles and also someone who is clean.

4. Could you adjust to life in another country?
Absolutely, especially in Europe. I'd totally settle in Berlin if I had the money to move there.

5. If you could study anything, what would it be?
Quantum physics.

6. What is your favorite possession that cost less than $15?
I'm quite fond of my Oklahoma State iPhone protector that has Pistol Pete on it.

7. Which color do you wear most often?
Off the top of my head I would have to say blue.

8. What has been your “theme song”, or favorite song this summer?
"Hello," "Just Can't Get Enough," or "Take Over Control." All these songs remind me of time in Chicago or Louisiana this summer.

9. What's the most romantic thing that's ever been said to you?
Nothing. A close second would be "who is this?"

10. What would be your dream birthday cake?
I'm not a big fan of cake especially from bakeries, usually they're shitty. My mom makes a pretty decent strawberry cake though.

11. What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
That's a tough question. Traveling is the coolest thing I can think of off the top of my head. I was an exchange student in German when I was 17, that probably counts as travel.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Game of Thrones

I finally had to see what all the hype was involving George R. R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones" (694 pages). From the cover of the book:

"Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones."

I really wanted to like this novel more than what was given me. I plugged through a bunch of different chapters centered around a multitude of characters. So many characters in fact it was hard to keep everyone straight initially. Finally after about 500 pages into this tome everything started to click and the action began to pick up speed. By the end of the first part of this series I was thirsty for the story to continue and naturally it ended on a cliff hanger. Now that I'm somewhat sucked in I guess I'll need to buy the next novel.

A friend of mine described "A Game of Thrones" as "Lord of the Rings" with tits. I'm not sure I would go that far. There is some gratuitous sex sprinkled throughout the novel but nothing too extreme. I enjoyed Martin's writing style for the most part and give him credit for creating an engrossing world with a ton of characters and cultures. As a book to set up a series I think "A Game of Thrones" mostly succeeds but damn if it doesn't take its time getting on with it! Recommended especially for fans of fantasy which admittedly I'm not.

After reading the "A Game of Thrones" I watched the first season of the HBO series of the same name online. It's a great treatment to the novel, following it very closely. Violence, sex, and nudity abounds. All good stuff...

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Fancy a Ride to Coober Pedy?

Well I'm back in in Oklahoma, boo. I guess I should post some of my adventures in New York City. I was lucky enough to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Musical on Saturday night. It was fantastic, probably my favorite now just edging out Wicked.

For those of you unaware, the musical is based on the movie of the same name starring Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, and Terence Stamp. The plot chronicles the three drag queens on their journey through the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs in their bus named Priscilla. It's a fun and often touching movie that should not be missed.

The musical followed the plot of the movie very well incorporating 80's songs into the mix. The performances were all very strong and the set design very well done especially the bus which moved all over the stage and even opened up for an interior view. On a slightly disappointing note the role of Felicia normally portrayed by Nick Adams was replaced by his understudy Bryan West. West was still outstanding in the show and my favorite member, not to mention cute with an unbelievable butt!

If you're in New York City in the near future see this musical!

"I hereby christen this budget Barbie camper van, Priscilla Queen of the desert!"

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Laundry done and bags packed. Check.

Book and iPod for the plane. Check.

Bath house membership in my wallet. Check.

I'm ready to go to New York City!!

I'm totally kidding, I'm not taking a book on the plane...

I have no clue what to expect from the Big Apple as I've never been to New York City before. The only firm plans I have are to see my friend Lindsey, to see "Wicked" and "Priscilla Queen of the Desert," and to eat at "Craft." Other than that the sky's the limit!

Everyone have a wonderful week, see you on the flip side...