Books a plenty


WOW, I think I need an intervention or something.  Four trips to Borders since Friday of last week and a total of 9 books.  They only need to see my Rewards card for the number and any discounts or coupons they’ve got out there, they automatically apply.  The coffee shop even knows what I want when I go up (including what my son wants).

BUT, the best part is, I used 3 33% off coupons a 50% off coupon and $20.00 in borders books.  I think I spent a total of maybe $45.00 actual cash on books.

Well, without further ado, here’s the list:

Books I have read and recommend:

How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack – Chuck Sambuchino

This is a hilarious book with some great illustrations and ideas.  A great read and practical too, we all know how sneaky those garden gnomes are.  ;)

There’s a new threat in town—and it’s only twelve inches tall. How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack is the only comprehensive survival guide that will help you prevent, prepare for, and ward off an imminent home invasion by the common garden gnome. Once thought of as harmless yard decorations, evidence is mounting that these smiling lawn statues are poised and ready to wreck havoc. The danger is real. And it’s here.

Class 1 gnome-slayer and gnome defense expert Chuck Sambuchino has developed a proven system—Assess, Protect, Defend, Apply—for safeguarding property, possessions, and loved ones. Strategies include step-by-step instructions for gnome-proofing the average dwelling, recognizing and interpreting the signs of a gathering hoard, and—in the event that a secured perimeter is breached—confronting and combating the attackers at close range.

The Adventurer’s Handbook – Mick Conefrey

Very well written and an excellent overall book with great practical advice pulled from actual adventurers.

What makes a good explorer? Adaptability, ambition, stamina, self-confidence, curiosity, optimism, authority—and fund-raising ability. Though few of us will ever have to face a charging elephant, or survive solely on penguin stew, when it comes to project management, crisis aversion, or any number of everyday problems, there is much we can learn from the larger-than-life tales of the world’s most famous adventurers. Here, award-winning documentarian Mick Conefrey pulls practical advice from their original diaries and logs, like how to survive an anaconda attack (wait until it has swallowed your legs, then reach down and cut its head off), and how to keep morale up (according to Ernest Shackleton, “A good laugh doesn’t require any additional weight”). In addition to the wonderful characters and stories, this book offers many lessons on how to set sail without a clear path home.

Answers to some important questions, courtesy of The Adventurer’s Handbook:

  • How many corpses are believed to be on Mt. Everest?
    • Answer: 120
  • How is polar bear meat best prepared?
    • Answer: Raw and frozen.
  • What do you do if attacked by a charging lion?
    • Answer: Stand very still and stare it down.
  • What should you wear when crossing a desert?
    • Answer: Lots of layers—fabric absorbs sweat and prolongs its cooling action.

Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems with Selected Essays

This beautiful volume showcases the full range of Poe’s genius–from “The Raven” and terrifying tales like “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Masque of the Red Death,”

It also includes humorous sketches, the very first detective stories, early works of science fiction, and literary criticism.

Books I have yet to read:

Twelve – Jasper Kent

This is the American edition of Kent’s 2009 debut novel, a superb treatment of Napoléon’s invasion of Russia, and it stands out among vampire tales. Shortly after their flight from Smolensk, four officers of the irregular forces meet in a tavern in Moscow. One of them reveals that he has sent for the Oprichniki, warriors from the south who can turn Napoléon back. When the Oprichniki arrive, Captain Alexei Danilov is uneasy, but his friend Dmitry insists that these—beings—can help save Russia. By the time Alexei realizes exactly what they are, winter has arrived, and the vampires are feeding on fleeing French soldiers and Russian civilians alike. Kent has blended fantasy and history to produce an awesome picture of the battles from Smolensk to Berezina. The characters fit the action, although with so many (in that respect it is a Russian novel), their quality varies. Twelve is definitely high-quality reading. It is also the first of a planned quintet. –Frieda Murray

Everything is Going to Kill Everybody – Robert Brockway

Just when you thought you’d accepted your own mortality . . . Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody is bringing panic back. Twenty illustrated, hilariously fear-inducing

essays reveal the chilling and very real experiments, dangerous emerging technologies, and terrifying natural disasters that soon could—or very nearly already did—bring about the end of humanity. In short, everything in here will kill you and everyone you love. At any moment. And nobody’s told you about it—until now:

  • Experiments in green energy like the HiPER, which uses massive lasers to create a tiny “contained” sun; it’s an idea that could save the world if it doesn’t consume us all in a fiery fusion reaction first.
  • Global disasters like the hypercane—a hurricane so large it could cover all of North America and shoot trailer parks into space!
  • Terrifying new developments in robotics like the EATR, which powers itself on meat—an invention in the running for “Worst Decision Made by Anybody.”

The official C.I.A. Manual of Trickery and Deception – H. Keith Melton & Robert Wallace

Intelligence historian Melton and retired CIA officer Wallace (coauthors of Spycraft) reunite for this unremarkable reproduction of a long-lost cold war–era relic. In 1953, the fledgling CIA hired professional magician John Mulholland to adapt his techniques of stealth and misdirection to the craft of espionage. Mulholland produced two illustrated manuals featuring a range of tricks from placing pills into drinks to stealing documents and avoiding detection. The classified manuals were believed to have been destroyed in 1973, but the authors discovered a copy in 2007 among recently declassified CIA archives. The manuals are reproduced along with enhanced illustrations and an extended introduction by Melton and Wallace. Despite the authors’ best efforts to promote their discovery of Mulholland’s work as a rare piece of historical evidence of the CIA’s legacy of black arts, the manuals, with their earnest, how-to descriptions of surreptitiously spiking drinks, palming documents and signaling colleagues with a feather in a hat band seem more quaintly anachronistic than revealing or sinister. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Bad Science – Ben Goldacre

Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren’t medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what’s, well, just more bullshit?

Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window. But he’s not here just to tell you what’s wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You’re about to feel a whole lot better.

Exodus Hellgate Book One – Mel Odom

The once-great city lies in ruins. A massive gash in the fabric of our reality roils against the horizon as it blends into a permanently darkened sky. The world as we know it has come to an end. Demons, the visions of our nightmares, walk the Earth. Mankind, driven in retreat to the sanctuary of the Underground, struggles to survive the Hellish apocalypse.

Among the survivors are those who foresaw the coming of the darkness, those who see it as an opportunity to improve the standing of man, and those who seek revenge for what was lost. All are now banding together in the shadows, arming themselves with futuristic weapons and arcane spells designed for one purpose — to battle the demonic hordes and take back their world.

Goetia Hellgate Book 2 – Mel Odom

2024: Four years after the Demons opened the planar rift known as the Hellgate, mankind’s desperate struggle to survive continues. Simon Cross, expatriate of the secret Templar order, works to find and transport survivors out of the ruined city. Hiding within London’s Underground system, Simon is raising an army to fight against the encroaching Darkness. Now, he battles the monsters that roam the city and fends off a jealous Knight who plans to take Simon down…all while striving to reunite the divided Templar forces.

Warren Schimmer, a Cabalist who is magically linked to a powerful demon, searches for Goetia. Also known as the Lesser Key of Solomon, this ancient artifact could provide the forces of good or evil with an edge in the ongoing war. Standing in his path is Simon Cross. Warren has made a bargain with his Demon lord for survival and the promise of vengeance against the persuasive Templar…but a Demon’s promise is made to be broken.

Well, faithful readers, that’s it, that’s the long and short of it.

Enjoy and happy reading.

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~ by Norman White on November 24, 2010.

 
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