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07:46 pm: Short, way-overdue book updates
Louise Bates Ames' Your Eight-Year-Old: Lively and Outgoing was not as helpful as some of her previous books (most notably Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy), but was still fairly interesting, despite the outdated notions of gender roles. I did find the section on sensitivity to criticism quite accurate. I was irked to see the old crap about meso/ecto/endomorphs recycled. I'm sure there's some kernel of truth to it, but I've mostly seen it used to make sweeping generalizations about kids, which I Do Not Like.

I missed Maya Banks' Hidden Away somehow (I've read the rest of her KGI series). Not bad. Reasonably interesting characters. Good sex. Cool locations in this one. I'll read it again.

Erick Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee's Race Against the Machine is a skinny little thing about "how the digital revolution is accelerating innovation, driving productivity, and irreversibly transforming employment and the economy." Interesting. Thought-provoking. Not necessarily helpful.

I read "Richard Castle's" Storm Front and Frozen Heat and enjoyed both as the low-brow pulp fiction they are. It's interesting to see them wrap in the references from the TV show. I do wish the books were a bit, well, better. As my Dad would say, they're enjoyable (Dad doesn't specify by whom, y'see).

I got Rachel Hawthorne's Suite Dreams from OSJL for cheap. It's a silly little romance, but it's sweet and short and a bit different (college students, for one thing, which is relatively rare in the genre). I'll look for the author again.

Jonathan Kellerman's Guilt, the latest Alex Delaware novel, is a fine addition to the oeuvre. Alex isn't mooning over Robin, the French bulldog is being cute, Milo isn't too disgusting, the mystery is reasonably mysterious. Good stuff.

Patrick Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is marvelous. It's told as a parable, which I love. The dysfunctions are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. Highly recommend.

Liz Maverick, Kimberly Dean, and Lynn LaFleur wrote the stories in If This Bed Could Talk, but none is very good. The jacket promises "deliciously wicked," but it lies. :sigh: Oh well. It was $1.50 at OSJL, so I can hardly complain.

Patricia Ryan Madson's Improv Wisdom is a new take on business books. I don't agree with the whole thing ("don't prepare"? nope, not gonna do it), but there is some real wisdom in there: say yes, just show up, start anywhere, be average, pay attention, face the facts, stay on course, make mistakes... It's an easy, entertaining, quick read. Highly recommend.

Carole Mortimer's The Billionaire's Marriage Bargain is one of the worst books I've ever read, even by Harlequin standards. Bad writing. Many! Exclamation! Points! Completely unsympathetic characters. Stupid plot. Hardly any sex, and what there is of it isn't interesting. Waste of paper and time. Dammit.

I re-read Lydia Netzer's Shine Shine Shine, having forgotten it the last time I went to write it up here. I don't know how I forgot, as it's terrific. It's about a bald woman, her space-traveling husband, and her autistic son. Events transpire. Funny and warm and interesting and (I would have thought) unforgettable. Great book.

John Sanford's Silken Prey, the latest Lucas Davenport, is good stuff. There isn't enough Weather to fully satisfy me, but the murder plot is fairly interesting and there's a nice little red herring too.

I've never been a big fan of Nicolas Sparks. His stories tend toward the schmaltzy and implausible, and they're often released in expensive trade paperbacks. I don't regret the $6 I paid for Safe Haven, I suppose, though I really ought to get his out of the library. This one's about a woman who moves away from her abusive husband. She finds True Love, of course, because that's what Sparks does. Meh. OK if you're in the right mood.

Velma Wallis' Two Old Women (an Alaskan legend of betrayal, courage, and survival) is a wonderful little story about, yes, two old women. They're left behind by their people because they're feeble and perceived as worthless, and the triumph in the end. I wonder if I would have appreciated it as much before I got my AARP card?

David Weber's A Rising Thunder is the latest in the Honor Harrington series and is, frankly, a bit of a yawn. Not enough relationships or treecats, too much politics and spaceships. When I read it again, I'll skip the boring bits.

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