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Andrew Sean Greer
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker
Progress: 54/576 pages
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 202/502 pages
Norse Mythology
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 59/256 pages

Dexter is being hunted

Dexter in the Dark - Jeff Lindsay

Dexter is a clean neat serial killer who lived by the rule of Harry, his adopted father, to kill only bad guys. 


The bad guys who killed children is exceptionally high on Dexter's list.


Dexter is also a forensic lab tech working for the police along side his sister Deborah.   


So when Dexter feel he is being followed, he is trying to find out who and why.


In the meantime, the Dark Passenger is gone. Gone from his mind as if he is a separate entity instead of part of his psychosis. 

There is a new ritualistic killings with headless corpses displayed in public. 


The police is after a professor, and he was caught, the killing continued. 


The fingers pointed to another professor but there is no evidence. 


Debbie is not really a good detective as she rely too much on Dexter. 


Dexter is getting married and he noticed that Astor and Cody, the soon to be his step children might have the dard trend as well.


Fun read. 


Although it is pure imaginative theory based on fantasy. 


One, children with trauma in early life might not necessary develop dard trend. They might be frightened, and have anxiety, but that's usually it.


Two, homicidal tendency is  part of the person's mind and not a separate entity. 


Aside from that, it is fun read. 

Nap found the truth about his twin brother's death

Don't Let Go - Harlan Coben

Nap is a cop.


He had a twin brother Leo who was died 15 years ago.


His old high school girlfriend Maura run away soon after that. 


Now all this has come back when Maura's fingerprints found on a crime scene.


Angie was a retired cop. He was the father of Diana, the girlfriend of Nap's twin brother's girlfriend. 


The crime scene is for Rex, a traffic cop who was killed while stopping a DUI. 


The story goes with the mysterious circumstances of the death of Rex. Who killed him and why? 


And why is Maura's prints there? 


Nap is likable as he is a nice person who talked to his dead brother in his head.


Myron also did a cameo linked the timeline while Nap is trying to find his friend Hank, a mentally ill old friend. 


It is not as good and action pack as the other book, but it is still flavourful with different characters giving Nap clues and information.


There is a military site in the backdrop that seems to link to all these death. 


Enjoyable read. 


And Nap as a characters haven't got a chance to develop into fully character like Myron. Still pretty good read. 


Dexter helped to capture a serial killer

Dearly Devoted Dexter - Jeff Lindsay

Dexter is going after a priest who have raped and killed children as young as 5 year old. 


That's the best opening. Hundreds of Catholic priests who have raped children have gotten away with it. Who wouldn't want some cleaners to go after these Catholic priests in the neighborhood. 


Dexter is a clean monster. He digged up the corpses of these young victims and confronted the Catholic priest. Of course, the priest prayed and begged, but the end is there finally.


And this is only the opening of the book. 


The story goes on with Sergeant Doakes on his tail. 


So Dexter hsa to pretend to be normal.  So normal that he is becoming boring. He visited Rita and played with her two children. He like children.


Now there is a very strange killer. Technically, he is not a killer. He cut up his victim, one part at a time, and clean up the wounds. So the victim survive and continue in a poor stage below death finally come. Very clue way. 


So... Debbie wants Dexter to help find this cruel monster. 


And walked in with the FBI Kaly. 


And the story go with Dexter being reluctant partner with Doakes to find this UnSub. More victims and all linked to the past of Doakes and Kaly. 


The fun part is the language. It is humorous and Dexter being a self realizing monster make him so likable.  Being a responsible brother also forced Dexter to get involved in finding this monster. 


A good read.  

Robie the killer saved a teenager

The Innocent - David Baldacci

Will Robie was order to kill a woman and her child. 


He refused. This is new for him to not follow order.


Now he is on the run as someone wants to kill him.


He met a girl in a bus. The bus exploded. Someone is trying to kill the girl.


What's going on? 


The story was set up so that Robie the killer became Robie the protector.


Also allow him to meet the Blue Man.


Interesting development, on trying to find out who is the real target of the bomb on the bus. 


Are the people trying to kill Robie because his handler was a traitor and gave him a fake order? Or is the killer who killed the parents of this teenage girl trying to finish the job and kills her too?


The story is fun in some way. The plot twist is there and really unexpected.


Enjoyable read. 




Alex save the world, again?

Skeleton Key  - Anthony Horowitz

There is a dangerous man, a General, who bought a nuclear bomb from another bad guy "The Salesman". 


And this very bad person is now on his way to place the bomb.


Alex is supposed to be back to his teenage life. First he was tricked into working undercover as a Ballboy at Wimbledon and spoiled a plan to manipulate the competition result.


The good thing is, he met Sabrina, a girl who is also a friend. 


So Sabrina invited him to go on vacation with her family. 


Then found out someone tried to kill him.


So instead of keeping Alex at a MI6 safe house, they lent him out to the CIA.


Irresponsible adults made good teenage spy story.


He was going to Cuba as part of a cover with two CIA agents who dislike him on first sight. 


Could Alex safe the world again?


A good investment of reading time if one could take on face values that most of the adults in this books are not that smart, and being irresponsible for the life of a teenager.


Alex Rider as a character is being developed, with a lot of emotional baggage. First he lost his parents, then his uncle. He really don't have a lot of persons who care about him beside the caretaker Jack.


As a spy, he is pretty good at just getting curious about things and finding out stuff. That's what many persons are really, deep inside we want to know what's going on. 


With that, and quite a lot of self reflection of why he is doing what he is doing. He is kind hearted and curious in nature. And quite resourceful with the aid of spy like gadgets. 


Pretty good read. 4.5 stars. 

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline  Ready Player One - Ernest Cline  


A Conversation with Ready Player One Author Ernest Cline at SXSW 2018

Pop culture in book. Ready Player One is a really good book, very enjoyable.


If one has not played any video game, or play any board game, or feel important to escape the real life to a virtual world, the enjoyable part might be lost to them.


The cliche of how women view video game is wrong. Women being turned off by them because they are not supposed to like them, is making women missing out of hours of fun.

Reading progress update: I've read 192 out of 352 pages.

Skeleton Key  - Anthony Horowitz

Alex's action at Wimbledon has angered some triad and they were trying to kill him. So the MI6 think it is better that he go away for awhile. 


Instead of sending him off to a safe house, the MI6 loan him out to the CiA as part of the cover for two agents. 


He was supposed to be there as cover. Not active. 


But Alex couldn't really stay away from trouble. He found out that the Gameboy {not a Switch?) is a Geiger meter hidden in it. So they are looking for nuclear material.  The two CIA agents are mean to Alex and Alex is not enjoying this at all.


The story so far is fine. A boy get into spy game. And it is obvious that Alex would be the center of action.


It make me think of what stories meant for boy readers with boys as main characters are so strong and adventurous. Books that have girls as main characters should be like that. 

Reading progress update: I've read 84 out of 352 pages.

Skeleton Key  - Anthony Horowitz

The reluctant teenage spy Alex Rider is on holiday. 


First he was tricked and become a ballboy at Wimbledon. Of course, he suspected someone act suspiciously. 


The good thing is, he met Sabiana. She invited him to go on vacation and he did. 


Only to be running into an assassin. Someone is after him. 


Action packed story. 

Not a book related post - June 4th night

Last night is the 29th anniversary of June 4th memorial. 




It is a rally, a memorial, and a strange defiance against a regime that is so powerful that it could block out information on its slaughter of its own people 29 years ago. 


Last night turned out is average for this event. One hundred fifteen thousands persons show up in a rainy night. 115,000 is not a small number, but it is not the largest turn out compare to previous years. 


While in most everyday, people don't seems to care about politic or could make sense of what the Chinese government is doing, they knew that it is wrong to kill people with guns and tanks. 


One of the purpose is to be a historical witness. The massacre happened in China, and people in China is not even allow to mention this horrible event, there is no justice. So the people of Hong Kong, take up this kind of obligation to themselves to remember this until justice is done. 


 Image may contain: one or more people and crowd

Of course they demond justice. But look at the how the Chinese government deal with people who is so gentle that they only wrote declaration and asked people to sign. That's put Liu Xiaobo in jail, and he was prevented from seeking medical assistance and had died in jail. One of the demands from the people last night is to have his widow free from the government house arrest. 


These very strange group of people also raised fund for 29 years, one fund is to go to surviving members of those who were killed in Tiananmen Square 29 years ago. The organization that do this is called Tiananmen Mothers, as it is a group of mothers who have lost their children in this horrible event, and the survivors. Letters from these persons and recording got out from China and being played on stage reminding the young and old why they are doing this. 


Another part of the funding is going to fund this event so it would continue year after year until justice is done. 


I said this is a group of strange people. Because they are very pragmatic. They knew that they were being watched by the Chinese government who want them to shut up. they also knew justice would not be done until there is a better government. And a lifetime is too short to make any headway for change. So, in the statement, people come to an understanding that it has to be passed on from one generation to the next, until this is done. And to persist over 29 years is not an easy task. They trained and educated the young. 


Image may contain: one or more people, crowd and night


The Hong Kong government is of course siding with the authoritarian regime in China. The current step is to rewrite textbooks to whitewash history. Lies are deliberately written into textbooks regarding the events 29 years ago in May and June 1989. 


If it is successful in China, that the Mainland China people could think it is all makeup story, why wouldn't it happen in Hong Kong? 


Not sure why. But it is not happening yet. A very strange group of people. Being surrounded by one hundred fifteen thousands people, each carrying a lighted candle, is a very strange and empowering feeling. The collective memory and the sense of justice is being reinforced somehow, that we are more than money making machine, and know more about justice that what is on the television. 


 Image may contain: night  Image may contain: 1 person, night


News today: June 4 vigil turnout beats expectations as Hong Kong organisers call for mass showing at next year's 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown


New from 2 days ago: June 4 shows why Hong Kong is not just another city in China

The best books on June 4th, 1989

June 4 again. For the local, it is properly the last place for large scale memorial for those who are dead. 


The problem with the China government is the refusal to even admitted to the past, or open this for discussion. 


The China people, after being opened the door to access the world, have already closed their minds about everything and failed to learn of their own past. 

Sad but true. The responsibility then were taken up by a population of a city that witnessed the truth and refused to forget history. 


The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution - Jonathan D. Spence  The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution - Jonathan D. Spence   

The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited - Louisa Lim  The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited - Louisa Lim 


 New Ghosts, Old Dreams: Chinese Rebel Voices - Geremie Barme  New Ghosts, Old Dreams: Chinese Rebel Voices - Geremie Barme  


The Pro-democracy Protests in China: Reports from the Provinces (Contemporary China Papers/Australian National University) - Jonathan Unger  The Pro-democracy Protests in China: Reports from the Provinces (Contemporary China Papers/Australian National University) - Jonathan Unger  


 Neither Gods nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China - Craig J. Calhoun  Neither Gods nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China - Craig J. Calhoun  

Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 432 pages.

The Innocent - David Baldacci

Reading to Chapter 26. 


Will Robbie was ordered to kill a woman. 


He didn't.


He found that the woman has a little child sleeping next to her. And the child is so small and he Will Robbie even under order would not kill a woman in front of her child. 


So who ordered the kill? 


Robie first encounter with the Blue Man. Robie was read in and found out the order was given by a traitor. 


Robie is order to assist in the investigation. 



How Shaw uncovered the man behind fake news (that meant to start war)

The Whole Truth  - David Baldacci

Shaw is a reluctant special agent. 


Shaw is tall, big and skilled. He has a contract with a secret service agent because he has wounded a special agent by mistake. The agent Frank became his handler. 


He was on a 5 years contract and he wanted out. 


The reason is sweet. He was in love and wanted to retire from his very dangerous occupation so that he could be a happily married man.


The love of his life is a scholar Anna who is an expert on political science and research analyzing global events and its effects. 


Creel is a rich arm dealers who have hired a perception management PR firms to generate fake news to manipulate the publics and the government in order to start war. For preparation of wars is what he want in gaining new arm contracts. 


Katie is a good journalist and also an alcoholic. She is good when she is not drunk. Her perception is good, so good that she followed Shaw and Shaw saved her life. 


All the major key players are now on board. The plots unfolded and Shaw and Katie was now in danger. 


Anna is also in danger but for the research she is doing on fake news. 


The story move in good speed and it is complex. Like a good spy story. The world is at stake and there is a love story in between chapters. 


I grow to like Shaw. He is a sad and lovable character. Too bad there were only two books on Shaw. 


5 stars read. Highly recommended. 

Jilly Cooper is a stupid erotic writer who don't get why men could fall in love with men

I don't read romance novels as I found them sexist and with rigid gender roles that I dislike. 


I hate, yes hate, Fifty Shades of domestic abuse novels. 


This erotic writer is added to the list of writers who are also stupid and sexist. 

May Wrap-up

Total number of books read: 9

Crime/Mystery/Thriller: 3

YA: 3

Graphic novel: 3 


5 stars read: 


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The Fallen (Amos Decker series) - David Baldacci  The Fallen (Amos Decker series) - David Baldacci  


The Fallen is the latest Amos Decker story. David has followed Alex on vacation. He really have no place that he wants to be, so he followed Alex home to her sister.


It is a small town but soon to be overtaken by drugs and drugs dealers. 


Of course, Decker is out of his element. While sitting outside the backyard having a beer, he discovered there might be an electrical fire in the house opposite the street. So he run over and discovered two dead bodies.


The dead bodies, one was hanged with blood pool. 


It is later to be discovered as undercover agents from DEA. 

So DEA steps and while Amos is on vacation, he still need to solve this after reporting this to the FBI. 


So the FBI steps in. 


And who is killing persons here. And who is involved in this case. In everywhere they turn, they seems to run into people who are either desperate or greedy or both, and betrayed the interests of the town. 


A few more dead bodies later, there are more clues and Amos Decker is on the case. 


Interesting read with really good story telling. A part of why this is so good is for the story to have Amos Decker suffered another head injury, a concussion that affected his perfect memory. 


He was a professional footballer before the concussion. The concussion changed him to another person who is not good at social settings but have perfect memory. Now the concussion is affecting the perfect memory, but has him regain a bit of his social skills.


Good one. Highly recommended. 


X-Men Legacy - Volume 1: Prodigal (Marvel Now) - Simon Spurrier  Legion: X-Men Legacy Vol. 2 - Invasive Exotics - Tan Eng Huat,Simon Spurrier,Paul Davidson  Legion: Son of X Vol. 3 - Revenants - Tan Eng Huat,Simon Spurrier,Paul Davidson  

 X-Men Legacy - Volume 1: Prodigal (Marvel Now) - Simon Spurrier  Legion: X-Men Legacy Vol. 2 - Invasive Exotics - Tan Eng Huat,Simon Spurrier,Paul Davidson  Legion: Son of X Vol. 3 - Revenants - Tan Eng Huat,Simon Spurrier,Paul Davidson  


All really enjoyable read.


Legion is series on David Haller who is the son of Charles Xavier.  He is a mutant with mental illness. 


He is trying to control his power, and try not to destroy the world. 


Unlike the X-Men who prefer to fight the bad guys as a team. Legion prefer to use alternative method to resolve conflict rather than using force. 


Although he is very powerful, he couldn't really control fully of his own power and draw on different split personalities in his mind to act as the frontman to do the fighting for him. 


The illustration is pretty good as well. 


As  I was drawn to the television series Legion loosely based on this series, so doubly enjoy reading this series the show is based on. 


4. 5 stars read 


The Camel Club  - David Baldacci  The Camel Club - David Baldacci  


Really slow start with a homeless man named Oliver Stone who befriended a Secret Service agent and helped him to solved solved a case.


The plot is a bit complex on how the supposed terrorists planned to do something horrible. 


Oliver Stone is part of a group called the Camel Club. Consist of eccentric members who pride themselves in doing the right thing.


It starts with them witnessing a dead body being dropped off by two persons. Two armed persons. 


And of course, they run. But not before finding out there is a suicide note attached to the person. 


So who is this dead man? 


Later on they found out the identity of the man and the agency he worked for. And uncovered a lot more.

The later part of the books with clues slowly revealing themselves, plus a lot of bullets firing them.


And we got to know this Oliver Stone real identity. 


Pretty awesome story. Just the first part is a bit too slow. 


 The Finisher - David Baldacci  The Keeper (Vega Jane, Book 2) - David Baldacci  

The Finisher - David Baldacci  The Keeper (Vega Jane, Book 2) - David Baldacci  


Hard to believe the same writer who wrote all the secret agent, FBI, assassin stories is also pretty good writing books for young adults. 


Read this out of curiosity. This is more like a girl being fooled into living in the same small town ventured out of the safety zone. 


Vega Jane lived her whole life in this place and want to get out. She also discovers magic. 


The different part of it is her fighting out what is out there. And fighting monsters and persons who tried to stop her.


The Finisher is better as there is something the mechanism of how people are being fooled into working at jobs that is completely meaningless.


The seconder book The Keeper is when Vega Jane is when she is out of the safe zone and discovered what is outside. She also interact with persons who lied and try to harm her. And good intention persons who try to rob her of her freedom. 


Pretty nice stuff. 


The Falcon's Malteser - Anthony Horowitz  The Falcon's Malteser - Anthony Horowitz  


A Diamond Brothers detective book. Pretty nice with Nick the younger brother doing most of the detective work. 


Also, the writing is humorous and it is a fun short book around 200+ pages only. This is on a treasure hunt after a gangster head has died leaving some clues to his treasure.


The clue is being entrusted to the Diamond brothers detective agency by a dwarf. 


A bit of running around being harassed and chased. Enough excitement to keep it interesting. 


Then there is this awful book.  

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0.5 stars 



I, Michael Bennett - James Patterson  I, Michael Bennett - James Patterson  


It turned me off from James Patterson.


This is the second book from Patterson. The last one isn't that bad, not great, but not bad.


This one is just plain awful. 


The preachy tone of the character. Imagine a old sexist jerk who recently widowed being preachy on what women should do. 


The concept of sexuality is so outdated that this main character needed to be sent to gender equality lectures. 


The worst part is the ending. Near the end the children of the main characters were being threatened. 


Then nothing. The end. 


Not a clip hanger. Just ended. Like the writer is tired of thinking of more stuff or tidying lost ends and then just write "the end" as the ending. 


Awful. Not likely to read anymore Patterson book ever. 





Pretty nice reading 9 books this months.  

9 books read with only one bad one. Pretty good record. 


David Baldacci is becoming one of my favorite writers as he is so trustworthy of producing really good books. 


James Patterson is on the list of never-again. 


And looking forward to more reading. 


Reading progress update: I've read 131 out of 545 pages.

The Whole Truth  - David Baldacci

Shaw is a secret agent who do all the dirty work of black op under a handler named Frank. 


He was being trapped in a contract with this secret government agent for a self defense shot at Frank who didn't show he was a agent at the time.


So he continued to risk his life without much reward.


He falls in love with an academic intellectual Anne. He wants out and get married and settle down.


Frank didn't allow him to retire and probably try to get him kill.


This is getting interesting. 

On the other development, a rich arm dealer Creel decided to stage a fake news to create war.


This part is interesting as it reflect so much of real life. 

With Trump. Now journalist Arkady Babchenko fake his own killing. He might have a good reason and I'm glad he is alive. But that's not good for the credibility for journalism. 


Fake news deliberate made to change perception. That's the good writer who could write books that was years ago and still so relevant. Or is it coincidence? 



Reading progress update: I've read 59 out of 256 pages.

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

The book is a collection of stories on the myths around the gods of Asgard. 

Thor and Loki are key to the Avengers stories. So terms that were from the myths echo to the stories from the Norse myths. 


With that as a background, it is a fun read so far. 


Loki is as naughty as ever. 


Odin origin story is pretty brutal. 


Liking it.