Framing the Dialogue

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is a wonderful story about a crotchety old widower who owns a book store on a small touristy island.  A series of events happens to Mr. Fikry and suddenly he’s not all that old and perhaps not so crotchety. 

“He wants to laugh out loud or punch a wall. He feels drunk or at least carbonated. Insane. At first, he thinks this is happiness, but then he determines it’s love. Fucking love, he thinks. What a bother. It’s completely gotten in the way of his plan to drink himself to death, to drive his business to ruin. The most annoying thing about it is that once a person gives a shit about one thing, he finds he has to start giving a shit about everything.”

Invitation To Murder

In Invitation to Murder a party is being held for current and former employees of a small television station.  As many of you may know when you spend a lot of time together, like eight hours or more a day – five days a week, you know a lot about each other and as the saying goes “familiarity breeds contempt.”  The celebration was planned by a co-worker who not many liked and her theme was murder mystery where the teams had to solve a murder.  I think that you see where this is going.

The Dead Man

Jack Davis suffers from tics.  Not any regular variety tic.  Jack gets body racking, bent over, shaking tics.  That’s a negative for a FBI agent.  Not surprising, Jack is a former FBI agent.  He is still a top-notch investigator and his skills are still valued by some.  In The Dead Man a series of seemingly connected deaths touch Jack Davis and he is hired to find out about the deaths.  When one of them has a link to Jack’s deceased daughter, the FBI roars in to try to pin the death on him.  The FBI doesn’t really like Mr. Davis and is looking to get back at him for the crimes that went down is the first book of this series.

The Big Book of Kombucha

A few months ago I’d never heard of kombucha. Now it’s a regular part of my diet.  Kombucha is a fermented tea that, by all accounts, is a very healthy beverage.  I just find it really refreshing and since I gave up sodas and artificial sweeteners, kombucha helps fill that void that water cannot accomplish.  My son got me started with a “daughter” of his SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and a bit of his starter liquid shipped via the UPSP in multiple bags.  I started brewing in a one gallon jug and soon found that I was always running out so I now have two alternately going.  I brew mine for about 10 days, bottle/flavor and have secondary ferment for 4-5 days.  I love experimenting with flavors so enter…

Promise Me

“Six years.  That was how long it had been since Myron had played superhero.  In six years he hadn’t thrown a punch.  He hadn’t held, much less fired, a gun.  He hadn’t threatened or been threatened.  He hadn’t cracked wise with steroid-inflated pituitary glands.  He hadn’t called Win, still the scariest man he knew, to back him up or get him out of trouble.  In the past six years, none of his clients had been murdered – a real positive in his business.  None had been shot or wounded – well, except for that prostitution beef out in Las Vegas, but Myron still claimed that was entrapment.  None of his clients or friends or loved ones had gone missing…”

Everything, Everything

So my wife buys this book, Everything, Everything and seems to enjoy it.  When she finished, I asked whether she thought I would like it.  We do NOT really have the same taste in books, or movies…we both like Shark Tank and HGTV (shout out to Chip and Joanna).  Against my better judgement, I started reading.  Alas is was much as I suspected; it was a sappy, sad story.  The novel was rather short so I decided to persist (I hate not finishing a book…it has to be really bad for me to do that).

Ready Player One

“The more I’d learned about Halliday’s life, the more I’d grown to idolize him. He was a god among geeks, a nerd über-deity on the level of Gygax, Garriott, and Gates. He’d left home after high school with nothing but his wits and his imagination, and he’d used them to attain worldwide fame and amass a vast fortune. He’d created an entirely new reality that now provided an escape for most of humanity. And to top it all off, he’d turned his last will and testament into the greatest videogame contest of all time.”

Separated At Birth – Grinch/Comey

The Grinch:  The Grinch lives in seclusion overlooking the happy town of Whoville.  He scorns those beneath him and wants to steal away their spirit and plots a way to take their Christmas Spirit.  Aided by his pet dog, Max, he pretends to be Santa Claus and breaks into the Whoville homes to steal their decorations and gifts.  Astonished by their resilient spirit the Grinch has a change of heart and returns the gifts and joins the celebration.

The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

In author Alex Ayers’ The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain a reasonable attempt is made to categorize many of Twain’s quotes.  Many of the quotes are put into context which is not usually seen in “quote” (like how I did that?) books.  I liked that part and that the most familiar quotes are often misquoted or have something before or after the famous part.  Ayers’ work provides a fuller picture of the quote and tells a fair amount about the man.  I never knew how he got his pen name or what it signified.