Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Finished Tu 4/29/14

Esperanza- Mexican American, good person with gigantic thighs that prevents her from self-acceptance. Works for evil Mrs. Campbell. Her son, Douglas, falls for Esperanza. Love conquers all.

Amberton and Casey Parker. Husband and wife superstars of stage and screen. He's gay and she's lesbian, but they have three kids and are super-rich, influential, and successful. Amberton sexually forces himself on black, ex-football star, Kevin who is a Hollywood lawyer. He gets evidence and sues Amberton for millions, but can't disclose the nature of their prior relationship. Life goes on, untouched for the Parkers.

Dylan and Maddie. Nice, nineteen year old kids who run away to California from Ohio. Drunken parents with no future. He gets a job repairing motorcycles for a biker who is in a gang. One day meth dealers rip off Dylan's boss, torture him. When Dylan frees the man, he notices a big stash of cash and takes $20,000. Splits with Maddie and hides, gets new apartment, and becomes a well-liked golf caddie. He and Maddie marry and then he's killed when the bikers catch up with Dylan. Maddie moves in with Dylan's black boss who is named, Shaka, after an African king.

Old Man Joe- is only 39 years old but looks 70. Decrepit and white hair. Only drinks Chablais and hangs on the boardwalk at Malibu and Venice Beach. Finds Beatrice a young runaway who is badly beaten. She gets taken by a gang and Old Man Joe tries to rescue her. She wants no part of it (is really the daughter of a rich attorney, and is only hanging with the riffraff as a lark) and when Old Man Joe and his friends tries to get her back, the gang shoots and kills OMJ's best friend. He's deeply hurt, but learns to adjust.

Lots of fun facts about the city of LA, but probably not all entirely true.

Not much punctuation in the book, but easy to follow.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Finished Su 4/28/14

Absolutely the definitive historical account of the early Dead years.

Coffee table sized paperback

Also tidbits on the managerial staff and the tech people that support the band

THE BEAST The huge drum kits for the drummers

Friday, April 25, 2014


Finished Th 4/25/14

Carol Brightman was a political activist and her sister, Candace, was the Dead's lighting designer for over a quarter century. The book is a blend of 60's political activism and an insider's peek into the band.

She promotes the notion that the audience is encouraged to become the 'seventh member of the band'. And, that the 'Dead Community' or 'Deadheads' and their social structure became more important than the music.

Link to Amazon-


Thursday, April 24, 2014


Re-read and finished Mo 4/21/14. I bought this book at University City in St. Louis before the film, CACHE, at the Tivoli Theater on Th 2/16/06, and I finished it the first time on We 2/22/06.

The controversy about the book was that he 'lied' about certain 'facts', so it wasn't a memoir, but a book of fiction. Who cares? It's one of the best works about beating addiction that has ever been written. He maintains that he was just writing a book, and Oprah and her rabid fans had a point, but overreacted. But I think that the real problem is that he refused to acknowledge the supremacy of the AA philosophy. He got sober without god or 'a higher power', and he didn't believe in any of the 'Twelve Steps'.

He sold over 4 million books, but his publisher was made to offer a 'money back guarantee', but only 1,200 people asked for their money back when they learned about the 'lies' in the book.

When I finished the book this time, I watched several interviews on Youtube, and I got his novel which he wrote after 'Pieces', BRIGHT SHINY DAY which I'll be starting later today. He said in an interview that this is 'historical fiction' and features the city of LA.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

THE RETURNED by Jason Mott

Finished Th 4/17/14

Ann recommended this novel at the last meeting of the Contemporary Book Club. I loved this novel!  Watched the French TV series, Season I, 'Les Revenants', and streamed the French film, 'They Came Back'.

All of these works of fiction examine the problem of  resurrection or 'coming back from the dead' without the ghoulish nonsense of the Zombie Genre.

I skimmed through DEATH WITH INTERRUPTIONS by Jose Saramago (Portuguese novelist) which is probably the most deft at delving into this problem. Will re-read this one at a later date.


Finished Th 4/17/14

April 2014 selection Contemporary Book Club. At this meeting, Judith was there via Skype from Santa Fe, NM.

Link from Wikipedia


The title quote is from John Bradford. English reformer burned at the stake at Tower of London, 1555. BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO JOHN BRADFORD, is the actual quote.
Book divided into the four words of the title
BUT- Anna's connection to Miles and her first meeting with Brook
THERE- Mark's introduction. Sets the location of The Observatory and Park in Greenwich, England. Suburb of London. Mark's mother was an artist who committed suicide when he was a boy, and she speaks to him in crazed poetry. He met Miles during a production of Shakespeare's, A WINTER'S TALE. Cell phone goes off, yet Miles thought it was a perfect touch to the play. This chapter develops what happened at the dinner party of Gen and Eric's. Dismal people who ask Blacks and Gays as 'alternative types' to round out the party.
One of the guests is ecstatic over his work with 'microdrones'
FOR- The 80 plus grandmother who is suffering from dementia, May Young. She is in and out of reality, and is trying not to be put in an old age home. She had been there before and one of the patients tried to get her to pay up. This woman was nuts and didn't have any connection to the management. It's barely revealed that May Young had a young daughter who died many years before and Miles would visit May on the anniversary of her death. This is very subtle.
Jennifer was the child's name, and she seemed bright and inquisitive. She would question May about what would happen if she spontaneously combusted.
Talks of someone's grandfather who failed his driver's test, but got a young guy to take it for him. He angrily goes back to the relatives and demands back his keys. The don't find out until the grandfather dies that he cheated to get back the license.
Philip, May's husband, gives her a camera, and the card reads, 'U-No-Hoo'

Check out Queen Boudicca. She burned town the city of Londinium about 60 AD. I had never heard of this.

Ali Smith was asked what she wanted on her tombstone, and she said, "She never actually wanted a tombstone".

1984 by George Orwell

Finished We 4/16/14

April 2014 selection Classic Book Club

Wikipedia link is quite good!


Thursday, April 10, 2014


Finished Th 4/10/14

This is the second time on this one. Worth the re-read. Picked it up because I heard Ann raving about it at the last meeting of Contemporary Books. I think she might have heard about it from me.

Not that well written, but a compelling story. Fast paced and full of blood and explosions.

Elroy Coffin is a mercenary for hire. He hasn't killed, but he is a wizard with martial arts, weaponry of all kinds and nothing he doesn't know about breaking computer codes.

David Hartman is his arch nemesis and he did two years on a much longer sentence when he is contacted by Jayne Jenison. She wants Elroy to help with his computer skills on a secret black ops job, and she can help him get his wife, Toni, back from Hartman.

Jenison and her people are running a Doomsday operation. Hundreds of people, mostly women, are being kept in underground bunkers in suspended animation. They will be resurrected and the New Human Race will begin after the neutron bombs fall.

The reveal is that Toni is actually Jayne Jenison's daughter and has playing Elroy since she met him when they were both teenagers.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

THE HUNGER by Whitley Strieber

Finished Sa 4/5/14

John Blaylock- Miriam's newest partner. He's dying and she puts him in a box in the attic. All of her ex-lovers are there. Human blood no longer works, yet they cannot die, so she keeps (protects) them.
John was 'made' by Miriam during the Regency Period in England.
Alice-young teenager who plays music with John and Miriam. John kills her for her blood even though he knows that the process no longer works for him.

Miriam Blaylock- Humanoid since pre-history. Doesn't really say how she was born.

Sarah Roberts- Scientific researcher trying to find a link between sleep and longevity.
Tom Haver- Also a researcher, but more of a manager. He is in love with Sarah, but more in love with his career.

The vampires are not magical creatures, but are always treated as a 'sister' species to humankind. Miriam has a very rough tongue (snakelike?), but her partners use a scalpel to make the cut.

Sarah is in the process of experiencing the change, and Miriam gives her Tom to use his blood. This infuriates Sarah and she fights her attraction to Miriam. She tries to kill her with the scalpel, but decides that she will slash her wrists instead. She ends up one of Miriam's 'undead' and in a box in the attic.

Book ends with Miriam in San Francisco, and she vows never to pick a partner as enticing as Sarah.

BLACK FRIDAYS by Michael Sears

Finished We 4/2/14

Jason Stafford, two years in prison for a Wall Street fraud. Before prison, divorced wife and put most of his money in her account so that the feds couldn't get it. She reneged and kept the cash. She still has connection with her mother,  and Jason can steal deal with the older woman. He lives in a small apartment in Manhattan.
Five year old son, 'the Kid', with autism, and autism is the subtext of the novel

 Angie, Jason's ex-wife, alcoholic ex-underwear model. Lives in Louisiana

Jason is approached by Mr. Stockman to find out the details of one of their young traders, Sanders, who supposedly committed suicide. This guy was actually working for the feds to find out info about an insider operation.

The crime hinges on not recording loses on time. Jason did it once by mistakenly entering the wrong date. computer put it in the following year. This way he could hopefully make it up before declaring a loss.
The Big Crime was that a group of big investors were doing this on a large basis with a bunch of young traders.

Jason gets ten million from the Big Guy, Neil Wilkinson, 5 in trust for his son and five for himself. Wilkinson splits for Venezuela where is wife is from. No extradition with US.