December 25th, 2010

El Corazon

249. The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King...

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time
by Michael Craig

Started: December 20, 2010
Finished: December 25, 2010

I absolutely hate when I see poker on the sports channels on television, but I have a weak spot for a great poker book even though I've only read less than a handful in my life that fit that title. This is one of them. I absolutely ate up how well Craig captured what professional poker players in Las Vegas do when they're not playing in tournaments. This was a great work of journalism. Strong writing, great story, interesting characters--a pure gem. 276 pages. Grade: A
Total # of Books Read in 2010: 249
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 61,869
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

This morning, I finished reading what might be considered to be a resource rather than a novel. Written by Lindsey Davis, it's called Falco: The Official Companion, and it gives a lot of background to the mystery series, set in Imperial Rome that began with the novel The Silver Pigs. She details much of her background data, talks about each of the novels of the series, and a bit of information about herself as well. If you're a reader of the series, it's a good book to round things out; if not, don't bother with this book.
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Late today, I finished reading a book I've been lugging around with me for quite a while, called The Last Fish Tale: The Fate of the Atlantic and Survival in Gloucester, America's Oldest Fishing Port and Most Original Town by Mark Kurlansky. The author has a series of very good non-fiction to his credit, and this book expands on subjects suggested by others he's written (such as Salt, Cod, A Basque History of the World, and probably others that I'm not presently recalling). The book includes history, politics, sociology, and recipes. I felt it worth reading.
  • krinek

22 . The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank

Title: The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing
Author: Melissa Bank
Publisher: Viking
Year: 1999
# of pages: 274
Date read: 3/16/2010
Rating: 3*/5 = good


"Generous-hearted, smartly comic, and wickedly insightful, The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing maps the progress of Jane Rosenal as she sets out on a personal and spirited expedition through the perilous terrain of sex, love, relationships and the treacherous waters of the workplace. What is love, she wonders, as she scrutinizes the wiles and ways of older, possibly wiser women; casts a questioning eye toward various species of couples; and holds out her wrists for a spritz of perfume from her beautiful boss . . . How do you find it (and keep it) -- and above all, who makes the rules?

In the throes of a budding romance, Jane repairs to the self-help shelves to take a sojourn with authors Bouncy Bonnie and Blown-Dry Faith who whisper in her ear and tell her what the rules are -- in their terms. 'Wear you hair long. . .Don't say 'I love you' first. . .Don't accept a date less than four days in advance. . .' and above all. 'Don't be funny! . . . Men like femininity," Faith says, crossing her legs. "Humor isn't feminine. . .'

When she is swept off her feet by an older man and into a Fitzgeraldesque world of cocktail parties, country houses and rules-that-were-made-to-be-broken, Jane learns what it means when her lover says he wants "to everything" with her, and the stakes become far too high.

A floating house in St. Croix (after a soul-stripping game of strip poker) has its own lesson to teach, as do a couple of sexy, come-and-go boyfriends, a drama around a Greenwich Village kitchen table, and a never-ending bloop-yatty-bloop wedding reception. Finally, when Jane has gone in all the wrong directions (but for all the right reasons), she learns not only when to fish and when to cut bait, but who really makes the rules." -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

This was a somewhat quirky and interesting book about relationships. I liked how Jane learned how relying too much on other people's opinions isn't the right thing to do.
El Corazon

250. Gone, Baby, Gone

Gone, Baby, Gone
by Dennis Lehane

Started: December 23, 2010
Finished: December 25, 2010

I saw the movie version of this when it first came out. Though I didn't really remember any of the details, I had this vague memory of the what happens at the end so that kind of spoiled the book a tiny bit. But only a tiny bit because this was by far the best-written of the Patrick Kenzie novels. Strong story, great characters, logical conclusion that was still a bit of a surprise. 374 pages. Grade: A
Total # of Books Read in 2010: 250
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 62,243