Dave Clark : The Knucklebook

Dave Clark’s The Knucklebook was listed in the bibliography of the Tim Wakefield bio Knuckler and I knew immediately that I had to read it. It’s a marvelous little book, providing a brief, but insightful look at baseball’s oddest pitch from a variety of perspectives: how to throw it, how to hit it, how toContinue reading “Dave Clark : The Knucklebook”

Gail Carriger : Soulless

Soulless is set in a fantasy alternate Victorian era, with vampires and werewolves alongside airships and mysterious brass apparati. It deftly mashes the modern urban fantasy/paranormal romance into the Regency-style historical romance, adds a hefty dollop of whodunnit, and seasons it with steampunk atmosphere and a tiny dash of xenophobic horror. I liked it aContinue reading “Gail Carriger : Soulless”

Greg Conti : Googling Security – How Much Does Google Know About You?

I can’t remember where I saw Googling Security reviewed*, but the review made a strong impression. It exposed at least a couple of the provocative tidbits in the book, like that even if you personally refuse to use Google’s Gmail service on privacy grounds, as soon as a friend sends you a message with Gmail,Continue reading “Greg Conti : Googling Security – How Much Does Google Know About You?”

Pat Benatar : Between a Heart and a Rock Place

Reading Between a Heart and a Rock Place was a lot of fun. It was definitely a read-a-lot-of-excerpts-to-my-wonderful-and-tolerant-wife book. Benatar’s career trajectory is kinda unusual in rock’n’roll, given that it doesn’t involve a trip to rehab (or its conspicuous lack). It’s sadly more typical in that one defining characteristic of that career is ongoing disputesContinue reading “Pat Benatar : Between a Heart and a Rock Place”

Mark Chadbourn : Age of Misrule – World’s End

World’s End felt throughout like a book I expected to like, and I wonder if I might’ve liked it better if I’d encountered it earlier. It’s a heroic fantasy of the magic-returns-to-the-modern-world variety. Chadbourn clearly knows a lot about the myths and legends of the British Isles, and this was what I enjoyed most inContinue reading “Mark Chadbourn : Age of Misrule – World’s End”

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

This was my first exposure to either Cohn or Levithan, aside from seeing the film version Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (without, I’m ashamed to say, even knowing it was based on a novel). But it’s their third collaboration, in which the authors write alternating chapters, “without planning anything out beforehand. That’s the way theyContinue reading “Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares”

Orson Scott Card (ed.): Future on Ice

Future on Ice is a collection of short stories selected circa 1998 by Orson Scott Card representing his take on the best short science fiction of the eighties (it follows the earlier, similarly themed Future on Fire). It was a strange exercise in cognitive dissonance for me. Many of Card’s selections are terrific — theContinue reading “Orson Scott Card (ed.): Future on Ice”

Tim Gunn (with Ada Calhoun): Gunn’s Golden Rules

I’m probably waaay over thinking my reaction to Gunn’s Golden Rules. I was entertained and amused, even a little bit edified. But it still strikes me as an odd, even inconsistent book. Presumably the draw for most fans of Project Runway‘s congenial but incisive mentor figure Tim Gunn (certainly for me) is the promise ofContinue reading “Tim Gunn (with Ada Calhoun): Gunn’s Golden Rules”

Kevin Canty: Winslow in Love

I swore I was absolutely not going to read any more books about white, middle-aged, male academics in romantic entanglements with much younger women, and (despite having read several that I liked a lot), I’m currently kind of down on books about white, middle-aged males going somewhat or completely off-the-rails with the assistance of largeContinue reading “Kevin Canty: Winslow in Love”

Cassandra Clare: City of Ashes

Mostly I thought City of Ashes was a vast improvement on City of Bones. It had a few nifty surprises. The plot continues to echo elements from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Harry Potter series, and Star Wars, among other sources, but generally doesn’t draw enough from any one of those wells to feel overlyContinue reading “Cassandra Clare: City of Ashes”