Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

The sequel to The Shining. And yes, you need to read The Shining first to appreciate Danny’s past. Danny was the kid, and in this book, he’s grown up. But he has not forgotten the horrific events that led to the death of his father. In fact, he’s grown up to be a druggie, so he can blot out those memories. And his mental powers are pretty much forgotten.
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Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results, by Bill Jensen

Got this for one penny at Amazon. Of course, shipping was $3.99, but it’s still a great deal. The book doesn’t have a boiler plate of tools to use for hacking, but it does give a good sales pitch about the risks and benefits. By the way, the work hacking is not the malicious kind–it’s about going around rules when you can get the job done faster, while benefiting the company.

Nocturnal, by Scott Siglar

This was quite a roller coaster ride. Siglar has really grown as a writer, compared to his earlier stuff, like Infected and Contagious. We start with an unknown man seeking refuge in the middle of the night and being turned away from the door of a friend. Then, he turns up dead. But, not just dead, half eaten.

Then, we move to the story of 12 year old boy, bullied at home by his mother, and bullied after school by three evil classmates. Who has very strange dreams–he’s hunting the bullies.

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Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

Witches and magic–what could go wrong? I read this mostly out of curiosity–who can resist anything connected to the phenomenal story and movie, The Wizard of Oz. It’s the prequel, by an entirely different author, of course, but Maguire is a very good writer–and if you think you can skim through this book with the brain power of watching the movie, you’re going to miss a lot. I had to read some of the sentences twice or more to “get” the intent, but it was always worth it. Here’s a sample:

“People who claim that they’re evil are usually no worse than the rest of us… It’s people who claim that they’re good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.”

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Skeptical of Skeptic Magazine

Ever hear of Skeptic Magazine? I browse it once in a while, and most of the articles have good logic. But a couple of times I have found articles that made fun of global warming skeptics. I thought, how odd, that a mag that specializes in being skeptical of popular dogma would NOT be skeptical. Then I read this article and felt better. It also has a link to a famous one minute lecture by the physics god Richard Feynman.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/23/monckton-be-skeptical-be-very-skeptical-of-skeptic-magazines-skepticism-of-climate-skeptics/

Scenic Route, movie review

Wow, this one caught me by surprise. Two friends take a drive through the desert and their lives will never be the same again–literally. They get into an argument from hell, and just when you think you’ve got things figured out… Freebie on Netflix.

Inhale, movie review

Another Netflix surprise. There are no big names in this movie (Rosanna Arquette does appear), but the plot makes up for it. It’s about a father who is desperate to save his little girl, who needs a lung transplant. Knowing that she doesn’t have much time, he frantically chases down a lead that takes him to Mexico. Then to some bad guys. Then to the police. Then to the real source, and he gets a nasty surprise. Very well done.

The Perfect Host, movie review

This is a real sleeper that caught me totally by surprise. It starts off slow, with a guy who has just committed a robbery, and is looking for a place to hide out (he’s on foot). He searches a house’s mailbox and finds  a postcard from “Julia.” He uses that bit of information to fool the occupant of the house (David Hyde Pierce, from Frasier) into thinking he’s a friend of Julia. A touch of genius, he thinks.Especially since the victim is the prissy David Hyde Pierce.

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