What I’m Reading (Nov 2016)

December 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Another selection of interesting books this month.

  • Dodgers by Bill Beverly- An award-winning crime novel. Well-worth the read.
  • The Prophet by Michael Koryta- Crime novel
  • Kiss the Devil Goodnight by Jonathan Woods- Page turning crime novel. Entertaining and looking forward to more from this author.
  • Gunslinger by Jeff Pearlman- An entertaining biography of Brett Favre
  • The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy
  • Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama by Kenneth L. Woodward
  • Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain
  • The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn- Biography of Jim Jones from childhood to the final days at Jonestown.
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What I’m Reading (Oct 2016)

November 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Life, biographies, software, true crime, and some novels.

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson – A superb book. Rather than not caring about anything or caring about it all, the premise to carefully select what you will care about. A book I will read again.
  • The Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance- A recognized book about growing up poor in far from ideal conditions.
  • Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen- His autobiography. Interesting for the early years and his scrabble to attain success. He somewhat glosses over the last two decades.
  • Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap by Ben Westhoff
  • Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein- An interesting view on how the development of the smartphone.
  • Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff- What a tale about the fall of Blackberry.
  • Who Killed These Girls? Cold Case: The Yogurt Shop Murders by Beverly Lowry- An unbelievable true-crime story. I recall when they murders occurred and how it traumatized the people of Austin.
  • The Heart of Hell (A Marko Della Torre Mystery) by Alen Mattich
  • The Ragged End of Nowhere by Roy Chaney
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What I’m Reading (Sept 2016)

October 15, 2016 Leave a comment

A random collection of books in no particular order for the month of September:

  • Seven Times Dead by Roy Chaney- a superb political thriller. This book comes out November 15 from 280 steps.
  • Kierkegaard: A Single Life by Stephen Backhouse- a non-academic biography of the philosopher and a good beginning point on the philosopher.
  • American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin- about the kidnapping of Patty Hearst
  • Seinfeldia by Jennifer Armstrong- a┬ábehind the scenes look at the show, Seinfeld.
  • Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted by Jennifer Armstrong- a book about the Mary Tyler Moore Show, how it came to be, almost didn’t get made, and the launching of many careers.
  • Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman- a series of essays on 80’s movies.
  • The Billion Dollar Spy by David Hoffman- a historical look at one Russian spy and how the CIA worked with him.
  • Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull- business lessons from Pixar
  • Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli- a biography of Steve Jobs
  • Running: 10 Years, 5 Marathons, and 1 Life-Changing Sport by Jen A. Miller
  • Zagreb Cowboy (Book 1) by Alen Mattich- political thriller in 90’s Yugoslavia
  • Killing Pilgrim (Book 2) by Alen Mattich- political thriller in 90’s Yugoslavia
  • A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston
  • Snake: The Legendary Life of Ken Stabler by Mike Freeman
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What I’m Reading (Aug 2016)

October 15, 2016 Leave a comment

Some interesting books in the month of August.

  • A Good Month For Murder by Del Quentin Wilber. If you’ve ever seen Homicide: Life on The Street or read the book by David Simon, this book is the inspiration. Follow around a bunch of homicide detectives and see what happens. Wilber’s book is good, but if you haven’t read Homicide, start there. It’s the best.
  • True Crime Addict by James Renner. The author dives headlong into the unsolved disappearance of a female away at college.
  • Truth is a Total Defense by Steven Bochco. A breezy memoir of the TV producer and writer’s life in TV.
  • My Hour by Bradley Wiggins. A short read about Wiggins pursuit to set the record for the most distance covered on a bike in a hour.
  • Chris Boardman: Triumphs and Turbulence by Chris Boardman. The first modern day great British cyclist.
  • How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg. A book by two of the executives from the company how they made key decisions about strategy, culture, and other things.
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith.
  • Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich. A good crime novel. I might quibble with the ending.
  • Good as Gone by Amy Gentry. A daughter is kidnapped and then reappears, but is she who she says she is?
  • I Am Duran by Roberto Duran. The autobiography of the famous boxer.
  • Furious George by George Karl. The autobiography of the former basketball player and coach, George Karl.
  • Bad News by Mike Carey. The biography of the talented, but greatly troubled basketball player Marvin Barnes.
  • Sex, Drums, Rock ‘N Roll by Kenny Aronoff. An autobiography of the famous session drummer, known to most as the drummer for John Mellencamp.
  • Searching for John Hughes by Jason Diamond.
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What I’m Reading (July 2016)

July 31, 2016 Leave a comment

There are books and then there are BOOKS. Tales so captivating, written so well, drawing you in so that you don’t want to put them down. And if you find one of those books as you make your way through the monthly pile of books, then it is a very good month.

The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock is such a book. Sent in 1917, the book follows three brothers as they move from farm laborers to wanted outlaws and all the characters they meet along the way. It is violent, gritty, and written so very well. Five stars and more for The Heavenly Table.

Other books of note:

  • In the Plex by Steven Levy- a history of how Google came to be and some of their guiding principles.
  • Behind the Clouds by Marc Benioff- lessons learned in the creation of SalesForce.
  • TED Talks by Chris Anderson- a guide to effective public speaking.
  • The End of the Road by Alasdair Fotheringham- a look back at the Festina Affair that nearly wrecked the Tour de France. Interesting as some of the main character are now willing to go on the record about what they were doing.
  • Two Hours by Ed Caesar- the chase to run a marathon under two hours.
  • Underground Airlines by Ben Winters- an alt-history novel where slavery was never outlawed.
  • I Saw the Light by Colin Escott- a biography of Hank Williams, Sr.
  • Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Brag- a biography of Jerry Lee Lewis.
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What I’m Reading (June 2016)

July 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Summer is here and it’s time to read. Lots of new releases for summer, some I’ve been waiting on for awhile.

  • The Far Empty by J. Todd Scott- a true Texas noir page-turner. The first book by J. Todd Scott and I look forward to his next one.
  • Before The Fall by Noah Hawley- another page turner with lots of positive reviews from the creator of the TV show, Fargo, also one of my favorites.
  • The Night The Rich Men Burned by Malcolm MacKay- MacKay might be one of my favorite writers.
  • The Great Bike Race by Geoffrey Nicholson- a book about the 1976 Tour De France. Reissued this year and noted as one of the first books about the race and a book that inspired many.
  • Petty: The Biography by Warren Zanes- a great companion book to the 4 hour documentary on Netflix.
  • Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol- a raunchy tale about his upbringing and success, then breezes over the last twenty years.
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What I’m Reading (May 2016)

June 3, 2016 Leave a comment

One would think with a number of flights this month, I would’ve read an increased number of books. At the very least, I would’ve read the same eight to ten number of books that I usually read. Instead, I read the fewest number of books in a month in a long time.

  • The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth- An account of a long-forgotten serial killer who tormented Austin in 1885. Interesting.
  • The Bradbury Chronicles by Sam Weller- A biography of sorts of Ray Bradbury, a prolific science fiction writer. One whom I can’t recall ever reading, so I might have to check out some of his work.
  • As They See ‘Em by Bruce Webber- The author follows a bunch of different umpires from minor leagues to the major leagues.

I started a couple of novels, but grew bored with each of them and stopped reading them. They’d both won awards and gotten some recent press, but I found them to be boring.

So what did I do on these flights? I watched Horace and Pete, the 10 episode series Louis C.K. posted on his website. It’s incredible. Dark, haunting, and very well done.

I also did a fair amount of writing. Usually I read to wind down or relax, but in May I’ve writing. Getting close to knocking out the first draft of another book. We’ll see if it’s anything worthwhile.

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