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The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
Neil Gaiman, Malcolm Jones III, Karen Berger, Sam Kieth, Todd Klein, Mike Dringenberg
Bad Soldier
Chris Ryan
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Telegraph Avenue: A Novel
Michael Chabon
London Fields
Martin Amis
Hector and the Search for Happiness
Francois Lelord

Harry Hole is a drunk and a great detective

The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbø

Harry doesn't use violence. He hardly fight if he could avoid it. He has a wife and a son who were driven from him by his drinking.


And he is a good detective that connecting dots where no one else could see them.


Jo Nesbo is a good writer who wrote detective stories with villains that stayed hidden until Harry revealed them to the readers.


The information is there but it is too brief and to unimportant at the time that it is much harder to pick up clues when you don't expect them to be clue.


That's the story. It started slowly. The characters are likeable for reasons that they are not loud and demand attention. They are just there to move the story along. 


There is some real twists in the plots. Reading this one is like driving on a country road, there are a lot of turns and you could only see a bit of the road before yet another turn. 


Yet the driving is somewhat pleasant, as it kind of get your attention. And the rhythm is more like a alternative rock with the drum keeping a tempo at a moderately steady beat. 


Back to the story.


It is link to the killings of several women, and the killer left a signature, a red star shape diamond. 


And there is a handsome detective on the raise. Tom. The handsome yet arrogant asshole who is stepping on other people, especially Harry.


So Harry did all the work connecting the dots while Tom got the credit, in front of the camera.


Harry is also got fired because he didn't show up to work. 


Then the twist and turn begin once the story is setup.


I was wondering about how come there are 35% of the book left after the serial killer was named and caught.


Now I know why.


Good reading. Highly recommended it for someone who like detective story. 


The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbø Hector and the Search for Happiness - François Lelord
1st roll : ?8
1st roll : ?8
2nd roll - Main street 14
2nd roll - Main street 14

Started on 15 April already. So I am a few days late. 

See details here. 




Rolled dice 1st on 17 April and got 8 .  

So a mystery novel. Started with Jo Nesbo "The Devil's Stars" 


Collected $20 at Start. 


See how it goes. 


Update: 24 April.  Finished reading The Devil's Star. 522 pages. Collected $5.


New Total = $25


2nd roll dice of 7.


Get me to Main Street 14. Read a book that involves oversea travel or has a suitcase on the cover. 


 Hector and the Search for Happiness 192 pages. 



Open thread: what books do you find most attractive in a potential partner?

Pyramids: A Novel of Discworld - Terry Pratchett The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens


Harry Potter's series is a turn-off for men but turn-on for women? 


Bible is a turn-off? Sure.


There is a list of books that I would say a total turn-off. Twilight, 50 Shades, The Secret, Deepak Chopra, are all on the turn-off list for all gender. 


It is harder than I thought to name four favourite books. If I read have to, I would imagine myself stuck in an airport with a delay flight, and which 4 books would help me survive. 

How a young selfish bitch gets through life

Purity: A Novel - Jonathan Franzen

Oh crap. I dislike Purity and I just past the 50 pages mark

What a twat? 


Purity or Pip is a bitch. A young selfish stupid bitch. 


I bought this book to get out of the genre. This is as close to literature and I dislike the main character, a lot. 


Let see what she did in the first 50 pages.


Whined about her mother for being unworldly. So fucking what? Pip could do a lot of things herself by just googling it. Don't put the blame on the woman who fed her and helped her to survive all by herself. Give her some credit as her not being abusive or alcoholic or something. 


Then she pushed herself to her room-mate as he told her his wife cheated on him and left a few hours ago. She told him how she felt about him and he told her that because he was the older man, he thought of himself as a father-figure. It makes sense. And her reaction is to take off all her clothes and push herself to him. What a sociopath? This guy is suffering from being dumped by his wife, and her reaction is to get something from him. 


I don't think I could care if she run into a car accident and then got killed in the next few paragraphs. She act as the world owe her something when the matter is, she is a waste of Earth resources by being inconsiderate and selfish. 


I hope she got killed in the end. 


Someone who is into literature could try to explain to me how this kind of character is built and being tolerated in literature. What point is the writer getting at when the main character is such as unlikable person. 


100 pages in and she did just about the same thing with the coworker. They flirted, but he didn't want her. She got upset because he told her he is happily married.


Side story about Andrea, the online flirt with Purity. 


There is no plot in this story so far. There is no obvious purpose or direction. No crisis, nothing important has happened to any of the characters. 


This is boring me to tears. 


The story has diverse course into the life of Andrea. He was obsessed with masturbation and had a weird mother and disciplinary father. He turned out weird as well. He did kill someone in trying to protect the woman he like. The relationship is sudden and underdeveloped. 


I do not know why all these selfish, self-centred characters act the ways they do, as if there is no law, and there is no consequences to their action.


Story like this sucks. 


Yes. Storytelling is fine. But relation and motivation of characters is like gravity. It does not happen in the book world, for real, but the writer has the obligation to write in it so that it would make sense. 


The book does not make any sense.


250 pages in.


She is now working as an intern research assistance. The adults around her treated her as a child and said as much. 


It takes me awhile to realise that this is a book about relationships. It is the part of the characters that all act irrational that irritate me. Why adult women, self identified as feminist would be jealous of a young woman?


300 pages in.


Tom had a mistress who had a husband. Why are characters in this book so bloody selfish. 


I dislike dishonesty. And this book is full of it that it stinks. 


Persons are complex. Yes. But one could be complex and still act noble and honest. One do not need to mess up other person life and add drama to make life complex. There are dictators, there are terrorists, there are injustice in the world that make fight for what's right so complex.


These characters reflect persons who have nothing better to do than to cheat and lie and cheat and lie some more. 


What's wrong with this character? When Willow tried to be nice to her, she turned crazy and said she hate her because she is smarter, richer and better. Why hate someone who is better than oneself? I would be grateful if someone better than me wanted to be my friend. 


I really dislike this character Purity and I hope she met her end in the end. 


Finally finished it. There are a lot of things I don't like about this novel.


1. The sex scene is totally unnecessary.

2. Pip or Purity is a virgin is not necessary.

3. The friend of her father trying to have sex with her as a mean to get back to her father, is creepy.

4. Her father Tom is not acting like a grown man. He should have told Purity that he is her father. 

5. Purity's mother is a really a crazy woman. Why are people around her being so nice? 


Glad I finished it. There isn't much meaning for it as how the characters are created to mess up each other fictional lives. 





Chasing after the killer who took a child

The Slaughter Man - Tony Parsons

It is hard to believe that Tony Parsons who brought us Man And Boy could write such detective story.


I started with this one because it was on sale. But then detective Max Wolfe is a character that seems complex enough to be real. He has a daughter and now chasing after a killer who murdered a family and took a young boy.


The going to the "Black Museum" is a bit strange as homicide detective could not just clock out to visit the library. A plot device to link this murder to a old murder because of the unique murder weapon.


Like the story because it has tension. Not enough to be an action movie. More like a dark British style drama that has some kind of reveal in the end.


The build up is okay. 65% done and already got some confrontation that landed the detectives in the hospital.


The other dimension of the story is this very detective Wolfe has a young daughter and a dog. An ex-wife who had a new family, and has pushed the daughter towards him. So, in a sense, this is Man and Girl, with a detective and a daughter who made him promise to be there for her.


Good story telling.  I would probably read the first one after this. 



Also, I like the additional stuff that built around the series. 


Like having a map to the story. And the photos of the offices. 


I just googled Max Wolfe and this come up. 




Image result for Max Wolfe


Pretty cool. 

Credit: Mark Segal
Credit: Mark Segal
Credit: Mark Segal
Credit: Mark Segal

Chris Evan reading books and journal. Wouldn't that be the poster for encourage reading for Captain America and Fantastic Four Johnny fans. 


These are from interview with Esquire. The story is fine, but what I like is photos of beautiful people reading books.


I like books more than people. as I could literally read between the pages, and people are not like open books.  


Soviet's agent take the red pill

Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith

Leo's awakening.


In the beginning of the book, Leo is a strong, effective state agent. 


Then things happened that begin to shake his faith of the state, or the state methodology. He was an agent of the state that caught citizens who were accused of subversion. Yet, these people who are caught are not bad people, they are just normal people who would confess to anything if they were being tortured. 


Then he found out that he has been living in a lie. 


Not only he fantasied about his job, he has romanticised about courtship with his wife.


It is all a lie. And Leo begin to see the truth. The truth that put his life in danger.


It started with a denial of a child found killed near the railroad track. Leo delivered the state position that it was an accident.


Leo was also smart and he found out more information that it was no accident. That is against the state position, and all the excuse needed to get him into trouble.


He was also lied to by his wife.


A lot of lies.


Leo was happy when he didn't know the truth.


This is a Russia, Soviet era Matrix story. Would he rather take the red pill or the blue pill.


He take  the red pill and now the illusion is off and the harsher reality review itself. 


Almost to the end of the book. Good story telling. The movie didn't do it justice as a lot of subplot, the more internal revealing of the truth is not shown. 


Bosch has to investigate a murder with a possible terrorist twist

The Overlook - Michael Connelly

Or not.


Bosch got a new partner who is a bit afraid of his way of doing things. Going head to head with the FBI and whoever like to stand in his way of investigation.


So... this is a not a straight forward murder. A man was first blackmail and then killed by possible terrorists.


This is a large print version and it is shorter than most of his other books. 


The constant in a Bosch novel is lies. FBI lied to Bosch and Bosch lied to FBI. 


In the last 2 chapters when the killer is being discovered. It is going to be a surprise. 

Read Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic #1

Just finished reading. Pretty awesome. 


I have the problem locating and linking it to existing comics. Maybe I have to upload the data to the system before I could link it first. 


But this is what it looks like.




I like it. The graphic seems a bit too smooth, so it is probably computer assisted generated. But the story is okay and I like it. 


The story is about the team being sucked into another dimension with a strange creature that looks like a Pokemon monster. So they run around the place trying to escape.


Not a lot of fighting, a lot of running around with cool graphics. 

Peppa Pig books banned in China

Books Of Opposites (Peppa Pig) - Liz Catchpole Peppa Pig The Tooth Fairy - Neville Astley, Mark  Baker Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List - Candlewick Press, Neville Astley, Mark  Baker Peppa Pig: Let's Go On A Treasure Hunt - Neville Astley, Mark  Baker, Susie George Peppa Pig: Let's Make A Snowman! - Neville Astley, Mark  Baker, Sadie Chesterfield Peppa Pig and Her Best Friend - Neville Astley, Mark  Baker, Gail Herman Lost Glasses (Peppa Pig) - Neville Astley, Mark  Baker Peppa Pig School Bus Trip - Neville Astley, Mark  Baker

Why would grown men in the Chinese government feel threatened by Peppa Pig?


If anyone say the Chinese government is fine, don't believe this person. How could a government be fine while feeling threatened by children books about pink pigs. 



Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1: Cosmic Avengers (Marvel Now) - Brian Michael Bendis Guardians of the Galaxy (2015-) #2 - Brian Bendis, Valerio Schiti, Arthur Adams



Preparing myself for the new Guardian of the Galaxy movie, I would read a lot of graphic novels before May. 


Guardians of the Galaxy - Infinite Comic (2015) 2 Page 9


Read on. 

Jack Reacher series, 21 books and counting

Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel - Lee Child Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel - Lee Child Personal - Lee Child Never Go Back - Lee Child A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher, #17) - Lee Child The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16) - Lee Child Worth Dying For - Lee Child Gone Tomorrow - Lee Child Nothing to Lose - Lee Child Without Fail - Lee Child, Dick Hill

21 books in order. And I finished them all. 



Killing Floor #1
Die Trying - Lee Child #2
Tripwire - Lee Child#3
Running Blind - Lee Child = The Vistor #4
Echo Burning #5
Without Fail - Lee Child #6
Persuader - Lee Child #7
The Enemy - Lee Child #8
One Shot - Lee Child #9
The Hard Way #10
Bad Luck and Trouble #11
Nothing to Lose #12
Gone Tomorrow - Lee Child #13
61 Hours - Lee Child #14
Worth Dying For - Lee Child #15
The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16)
A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher, #17)
Never Go Back #18
Personal - Lee Child #19
Make Me #20
Night School #21


This is not my photo. But I do have them all in different sizes. 



Jack Reacher is the main characters. Lee Child wrote pretty okay stories. Sometimes good, sometimes not so much. But it is still good enough for me. I like a certain consistency in books, like the character could not jump for being mature and calm one minutes and a juvenile person in the next few chapters. Jack Reacher is a person with no future plan, with no real planning and as a drifter, he got the freedom, and the escape for someone who are tied down with schedule and some sort of plan.


It is an escape.


Fighting a good fight, and a kind of avoidance of messy relationship and emotion blackmail.


I do read women books and some are not bad. Many are not so good. I finally found in Reacher what I dislike in books. Lies, manipulation, and pettiness. That's I found in many of the chick-lit I read that turn me off. I would like women getting in hot water, not because she secretly fancy her best friend's boyfriend, but see someone in trouble and try to give a hand. The kind of trouble beyond make-up, hair-do, and style change.


I read Lee Child as an escape as it doesn't require a lot of thinking, and it would not irritate like chick-lit.


Not all escape novel read the same way.


I read some other escape man-lit and they didn't go down as smoothly as Reacher.  


The plots are mostly involved with some form of detective work. And Reacher role is to get the job done. Reacher has a strong sense of justice. And he would act out this internal compass. He is more like a Batman without the dark past and the gadgets. And of course, without the rich man resource.


And he is vanilla. I don't know why he is vanilla, but he is. He didn't talk dirty, and he didn't do dirty things. It is not a lot of grey area for Reacher. 


The hidden tone of being loyal to the cause is there. But not so much. 



The world is a mess and sometimes we need to escape into a world where order is being restored. 


And Lee Child offers just that. 


Carry on. 


Wee Granny's Magic Bag - Maria Bogade, Elizabeth McKay

The Wee Granny bag is like the magic bag of Doraemon.


Instead of futuristic gadget, she got a telephone box and a oven in her bag. 


James did a wonderful job telling the story. He could make a donkey sound too.


Watch it and read it. 



The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet - Dougie Poynter, Tom  Fletcher, Garry Parsons

OK. It is about boy and pooh. 


James is really good at reading children story. Even could make pooh sounds really funny. 

Little Red Riding Hood - Katie Cotton, Alison Jay

James McAvoy reads Little Red Riding Hood by Alison Jay.


He is pretty good at it. 

He played all the characters, including the big bad wolf. 



Jack Reacher found love and trouble

Tripwire - Lee Child

In the earlier day, Jack Reacher is what he is, hard and tough and want nothing to live one day at a time.


Trouble find him, or there wouldn't be a story.


And in the process, he found a woman he knew when she was still a teenager. 


Now she is no longer a teenager, they could be together. 


This is more than just the usual fling. This is more than that. 


She is in danger of some sort because someone is shooting at her. Jack is going to play body guard and lover.


There are some subplot that seems like a distraction but now going into the main story.


Jack is investigating a disappearance of a solider in Vietnam war. That's a long time ago so why is it still classified? In the meantime, he discovered the parents of the missing soldier were conned.


Further investigation found more details about this missing person.


Pretty good storytelling.