Framing the Dialogue

Archive for February, 2018

Carte Blanche

“You seem to be a rather rare combination of the best of both…About a new version of the Special Operations Executive.  The answer is yes.  In fact, it already exists.  Would you be interested in joining?’  ‘I would.’ Bond said without hesitation.  ‘Though I should like to ask:  What exactly does it do?’  The Admiral thought for a moment, as if polishing burrs off his reply.  ‘Our mission,’ he said, ‘is simple.  we protect the Realm…by any means necessary.”

How to Make Sh*t Happen

A colleague lent me a copy of this book, though I hesitate to give it that distinction.  Author Sean Whalen gives us around a hundred pages in bold, large font to help us “make more money.  Get in better shape.  Create epic relationships.  Control your life.” 

Oh and “Do it now” so in his words…How to Make Sh*t Happen. His method is “CORE 4” and has four prongs; Power, Passion, Purpose, and Production. 

Overall, his message to strive for a work-life balance is a good one.  Early in the book when he describes a typical day starting with working out with his trainer, sending a nude selfie to his wife, reading two books (I assume chapters), and tons of work. 

As soon as someone who can afford a trainer every day tells me how to run my life, I am skeptical.  He does describe how he was down and out and used this system to get where he is today.  Oh and he drops a lot of F-bombs throughout to emphasize his points. 

I guess that makes it real.

That is how his book reads…bold and big.  This may be inspirational to some…not for me though.

Coyote Blue

The life of Samuel Hunter seems to be falling apart when the very successful insurance salesman encounters a strange Indian (American).  His past comes crashing back while he meets an astounding young woman, becomes an assault suspect, and becomes the target of his fellow condo members.  While he is down, his “friends” do the usual friend thing and try to take advantage of his bad luck…or is it bad luck.


“Now, maybe he told himself, they could move out into the country the way Betty wanted to. Maybe he could spend his evenings tramping land that belonged to him. A place with a stream. Definitely it had to have a stream he could stock with trout. He made a mental note to go up into the attic and check his fly equipment.”

Clifford Simak’s novel, City, traces humankind over the course of thousands of years from abandonment of the “City” for rural life to exploration of the solar system to the rise of robots.  This is not an “AI” novel where robots take over, but more of possible path where man no longer is the dominant species on Earth.  Again, this is not a Planet Of The Apes scenarios either.


In the sequel to Wired by author Douglas E. Richards, we find Kira Miller and David Desh the focus of a vicious manhunt by powerful forces bent on their destruction.  They have been set up as working with terrorists to destroy the civilized world.  In AMPED everything seems to be coming apart and again nothing seems to be as it seems.  There are a number of plot twists as the reader tries to unravel the events in relation to the abilities of the characters’ enhanced state.  Enemies reappear and friends seem to be enemies and enemies become allies.

The 12 Slays of Christmas

This series is a boxed set of twelve Christmas-themed mysteries.  Interestingly enough, I cannot find the books in Amazon any more (the book photo is from the companion recipe book).  There were many times when I considered dumping the book as the first few “novels” were not to my liking.  Part way through, that changed for me…or maybe I changed?  Whatever.  The stories became more interesting to read for me.  I guess that I’d characterize these as the Hallmark Movie version of a mystery novel.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The Language of Letting Go

When you have someone close to you who is suffering from and addiction or disorder you soo want to help them that you’d do anything…often becoming an enabler or a co-dependent. The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie features daily readings to help both people with disorders and those close to them.  I spent the last year (2017) reading from this book and being inspired (mostly by the readings. This book also brings in the twelve steps of AA.  I hadn’t really known much about them, though we’ve all heard about the steps.  It was very interesting to see them in practice.

No Left Turns

“The reader may find in this account a tendency to emphasize the bizarre and absurd.  For better or worse many characteristics of Bureau life – which some people took very seriously – fell into these categories.”

Stuff White People Like

I didn’t judge this book by its cover or title.  Actually I did and I expected a funny look at my culture.  What I got in Stuff White People Like is a trite book from an apologetic white guy who pokes fun and stereotypes white people in a sad way that he could NEVER do about another race.  He (author Christian Lander) should try.  The book was only moderately humorous and only in a few of the 150 things that whites like.  The book should have been titled “Stuff White-Apologist Left Coast Elitists Leftists Think White Folks Like”.  This is a sad book by someone who is ashamed of his culture and probably full of white-guilt.  That’s too bad.

Practical Demonkeeping

“If there was no order in the universe, then why should it be out of order to be sitting on the beach talking to an Arab dwarf who claimed to be king of the Djinn, whatever the hell that was? Strangely enough, Brine took comfort in the fact that this experience was invalidating every assumption he had ever made about the nature of the world. He had tapped into the Zen of ignorance, the enlightenment of absurdity.”