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{ Category Archives } Books I Read

Flash Boys – in case you thought maybe the market wasn’t rigged

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis; narrated by Dylan Baker Flash Boys is two books at once.  First, it’s a fascinating tale about a few different innovators working in the financial markets.  These men spotted an opportunity to create a better wall street, to fix a problem that the market would, hopefully, […]

A few thoughts on The Quantum Rose

The Quantum Rose, by Catherine Asaro, follows the blossoming love of Kamoj and Vryl, a woman and man from two vastly different cultures on vastly different planets.  They’re pulled apart by cultural forces, by diplomatic obligations, by jealousy.  They’re attracted to one another on a deep level, they resonate.  Also, Asaro reveals at the end […]

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane written and narrated by Neil Gaiman Gaiman’s novel, as with many of his ‘young adult’ fare, treads the line between amusing and creepy as hell.  When strange things begin happening around his neighborhood, the narrator (a ten-year-old boy), finds himself under the wing of Lettie Hempstock, an […]

Imortality, Immorality, and a Food Psychic (comics roundup)

I’ve had a good run of comics from the library lately: Lazarus, Vol 1. by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark Set in the not-too-distant future when water shortages and worldwide famine/disease has left society crumbled, a new feudalism has arisen with warlord families battling over stockpiles of genetically engineered farm stock.  Each family has genetically-engineered […]

In one end and out the other. Gulp by Mary Roach

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach; narrated by Emily Woo Zeller Mary Roach’s latest book explores the digestive process, from beginning to end, looking at what scientists think and have thought, what they study, and how they go about it.  It’s great, as usual, with lots of funny moments.  A few thoughts: […]

“With all respect, sir, we aren’t Ms. de Luce.”

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley Flavia de Luce returns in this sequel to the extraordinary The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  Once again, the precocious tween tracks a killer through the countryside of her English town.  When a famous BBC puppeteer comes to town, everyone is excited to […]

Sheep in books

In the last six months, I read three different mysteries (loosely defined) centered on sheep. Three Bags Full – a murder mystery in which a flock of sheep tries to find out who killed their shepherd.  The author does a great job channeling the sheepish worldview, imagining what it’s like to be a constrained, fenced […]

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June 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. June was a relatively calm month around the Riley manse.  A few highlights: The PCA conference year is nearly at an end.  Glad to be done with that — on to other work! Enjoying […]

May 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. The end of the semester arrives and summer begins.  A few highlights: With the end of the semester, I’ve been able to start playing board games with the gaming group again.  Looking forward to […]

April 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. April was a busy month: The PCA conference happened this month.  The conference itself went very well, but the politics of the governing board were very unpleasant. Courses continue well at Columbia.  Yay my […]

Zombie, Indiana

Zombie, Indiana by Scott Kenemore When zombies start crawling out of the ground across the Hoosier state, it’s all people can do to keep society from falling apart.  Kenemore tells the story from three perspectives, following: Hank Burleson, the corrupt and myopic Governor of Indiana; James Nolan, the former star athlete / police officer who […]

March 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. March in Chicago.  What fun! Nothing much to report from March, except that things continue apace.  Courses go well, PCA planning for the conference goes … along, anyhow. Books I read: The Windup Girl […]

February 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. A chilly winter in Chicago. Preparations continue apace for the PCA/ACA 2014 conference.  It’s going to be very big. Enjoying the new Spring semester courses at CCC. Swim meets, swim meets, swim meets. Books […]

January 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. A cold month, but another great time teaching Zombies in Popular Media.  YAY! Books I read: Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! by Otto Penzler A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin Code Monkey Save World […]

What really sunk the titanic? Zombies. (I review Deck Z)

Deck Z: The Titanic Deck Z: The Titanic by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon As you can tell from the cover and the title, Pauls and Solomon ask “What would happen if there had been zombies on the Titanic?” Then they answer that question.  The novel is a straight-forward, well-written adventure tale without much depth, […]

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