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August 2006: Book Reviews

This is an archive of my shorter book reviews and notes, which historically have been posted over at the 50 Book Challenge on LiveJournal, but which I’m starting to move over here. I’m posting them with altered date-stamps, but they might show up in my LiveJournal cross-post anyway. Bear with me, please.

Note: Many of these books also have full reviews available in the book review podcast (RSS).


A good handbook to financial independence and retirement planning. Some of the information is outdated, but the core techniques will serve in any economic state.


A history of the “King of Hearts” of open heart surgery, transplants, bypass, etc. Fascinating read.

I then went on a week-long vacation, during which time I quickly ran out of reading material. This is always the case: either I bring too many books to read, or I bring the wrong kinds of books (I did that this time, but at least it was a small volume) and don’t end up reading them. Or I bring 2-3 books and burn through them like tissue.


Third in the Tremeraire series, I really enjoyed this.


Heh. I was at San Francisco Airport last week and cruising around the airport shops. I opened this book because it’s the “confessions of a porn scriptwriter” and I thought “how amusing.” The page I opened to was…. unbelievably funny. I decided right then and there to buy it. It did not disappoint me at all. Here is an author article from Powell’s.


A good little summary of some of the oddities of American English usage and how it can lead to misunderstandings if not outright offense.


A barely-concealed time travel bodice ripper that my sister gave me during my vacation, probably because she knew I was running low on reading material. I chewed my way through it for about 4 days, so it was a good choice.


A thriller adventure book. My dad, also an avid reader, gave this to me Sunday morning (before taking me to the airport) when I explained that I had finished Outlander the night before.


Also an adventure thriller book, also from my dad. I wouldn’t call either of these great literature, but they are terrific airplane books, and while I finished The Midnight Club on the airplane, Persuader lasted me all the way until about 6 PM tonight.

40 books and it’s only August. Every year I hit 50 earlier and earlier and end up reading more and more books. That makes me very happy, indeed.


An entertaining travelogue of living on a tiny equatorial Pacific island for two years. Fun and a little silly and sarcastic. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but once I sat down and read more than a few pages, I was hooked.


An hour-long audiobook (fits on one CD) to teach you Spanish. Uses an in-flight skit to teach the lessons. My husband and I had been listening to this for a while to learn basic conversational Spanish. It probably took us about 4 hours to listen to it, given how much I would pause and go back to re-listen and repeat things. But it’s muy bueno!

#43: Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett I love Pratchett. This was an audiobook, and the reader really captured Pratchett’s cadence and style nicely. Very enjoyable.

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