Framing the Dialogue

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“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.”

The Sans Pareil Mystery

The Sans Pareil Mystery takes place in London during the Napoleonic War where any stranger or foreigner is already suspicious.  Detective Lavender and his constable, Woods, try to solve the mysterious murder of a young actress.  Her body was found in the remnants of a dilapidated old building, but many things were not what they seemed and what could have been an open and shut case was suddenly not.

“You really are the best detective we have when it comes to solving bizarre mysteries. The story will be round Covent Garden by now and won’t do your reputation – or ours.”

An Ace and A Pair

“We parked in the lot, and fifteen minutes later we were sitting in a secure room, waiting for Chen Zhu to be shown in. There was a loud buzz and a clang. The door opened and two guards led in a man who, even chained hand and foot, was terrifying to behold. It wasn’t just his size, though he was tall, muscular, and agile. It was his face, the complete absence of expression and the deadness of his eyes. They communicated just one thing: he could watch an unlimited amount of suffering.”

Attempting Normal

What attracted me to Attempting Normal was the book tease that noted that it was a book of “addictively funny stories” from the life of a “comedian”, Marc Maron.  I’d never heard of Marc Maron, but I was in the need of a different kind of book.  Murder mysteries and world-ending thrillers are sometime more than I can take.