December 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).


This was a great book. It was funny, but most of all, it was adventurous. In it, Dave Gorman follows a chain of “googlewhacks” (websites that come up with only one result when you enter two separate dictionary terms in Google), travelling around the world and meeting the people responsible for these websites. The coincidences that occur, and the way he seems to meet many of the same types of people, show a lot about our society. I’d recommend this as a good one to read with The Tipping Point, because in many ways they explore similar phenomena, just in two different ways.


I read this a while ago, but seem to have forgotten to log it (I only noticed now, when I’m entering it as “given away” in my inventory). It’s a Regency romance novel about a young woman who gets herself married to a duke, and how inconvenient that is for him!


Another one I read recently and forgot to log (I was sick for a month). An interesting mystery novel, but not really falling neatly into any of the subgenres I’m familiar with (it wasn’t cozy, nor was it really hardboiled, and I wouldn’t call it a thriller….) I liked that it was set in Washington, D.C., though.


A good introduction and textbook for training a cat using the clicker method. It’s a bit more specific than Cat Training in 10 Minutes, by Miriam Fields-Babineau, but I haven’t applied much of the lessons yet, so can’t report on their success. (We have started training the cat, using Cat Training in 10 Minutes as a guide, with excellent results so far).


Tricks Your Cat Can Do –, by Gilbert W. Langley –Another cat training book. This one amused me because it’s somewhat older, so the tricks seem kind of like the hokey things you think your dad would find funny. The writer has an amusing sense of humor…. for 1982.


It took me several days to finish this one, but I’m glad I did. Good preparation for Janowrimo.


(I got a replacement copy today). Second in the Stephanie Plum series, which are cute, fun, funny mystery novels set in Trenton, New Jersey. Very enjoyable. I had to replace my copy because I left mine on a bus in Costa Rica last month.


I really enjoy these “Searching for America” books. I sometimes get very “meta” and wonder about searching for the phenomenon of searching for America….


Another cute historical romance/espionage novel in the Pink Carnation series.


This is a very popular productivity/organizational system (GTD for short), one which I’m attempting to implement. It’s largely for executives and people who work with information or data as their primary function in their jobs. Vs., say, people who work in more “physical” roles, where the majority of one’s interactions are with things– you can apply the principles to “thing” jobs, too, but such jobs generally don’t have as much difficulty with productivity, because the results are measurable. If one of your New Years Resolutions this year is to “be more organized,” then I suggest you put buying and reading this book at the top of your To Do list for January 1.


A short, very readable, but slightly outdated book about how to make a living as a travel writer. The outdated parts generally pertain to pre-Internet days, not really covering the numerous web outlets, and the very outdated “home office” setup. Honestly, it’s not much different from any “how to make a living as a writer” type of book, though there were some good angles specific to getting the travel paid for (most of which were “get published first, then….” and very light on advice for how to actually get that first publication.