Saturday, September 30, 2017

Silent City by, Alex Segura

Segura captures Miami and its different neighborhoods really well. Pete Fernandez is a compelling character who feels lived-in. You feel his pains and enjoy the beers he does. Some of the other characters aren't as well drawn and the story sometimes fell into cliche. I also found it a little annoying that every chapter had some reference to a little known band. Overall, the book was briskly paced and very readable. I'll be reading the next Fernandez book.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

Song of the Week: Wander This World

This week's song is from blues guitarist Jonny Lang. He hit it big in the late '90's when he was still in his teens with songs like "Lie to Me" and "Still Rainin'". This week's song is from his second big label album Wander This World which contains the aforementioned "Still Rainin'".  It's the title track "Wander This World" which I hadn't heard before it popped up on Bluesville the other week.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Savior's Game by, Sean Chercover

A disappointing end to Sean Chercover's Daniel Byrne trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, but each book has been a step down from there. Gone are the strong characters and moral complexities of The Trinity Game. Gone are the global conspiracies and globe-trotting adventures of The Devil's Game. Now, Daniel Byrne finds himself in a mystical land where everyone has super powers and thinks that life on Earth is just a dream. There is a lot of metaphysical double-speak and exposition to set up what people know and an do in the world, called "Source", but then Daniel barely does anything in that land.

Also returning is the repetition of the verse from James that "faith without works is dead". Chercover doesn't push the false doctrine of works righteousness like he does in the first book, but it's a prime example of the muddle that is character motivations in this book. Byrne easily rejected the priesthood in the first book and doesn't believe in God in this book, so why would he repeat this scripture verse over and over? He has no faith, nor is he searching for one, so it makes no sense. Also, there is a heel turn by one of the characters from earlier in the series that serves no purpose except to put obstacle in his way that Byrne easily overcomes and create a race-against-the clock climax.

Chercover is a talented writer who can create complex characters and strong plots, but The Savior's Game is a complete misfire.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Song of the Week: Work Song

Happy Labor Day. To celebrate the day, here is Cannonball Adderley with "Work Song".

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The American Spirit, by David McCullough

The American Spirit, a collection of speeches by historian David McCullough, is an inspirational walk through American history. McCullough talks about why history is not just a collection of facts and dates, but the story of the people who lived before us and why reading history is the antidote for hubris. It is not just a book about history, but about why our American experiment truly is exceptional in world history. There is no other country on earth that knows the exact date of her birth and the names of those responsible for it. We can never spend too much time learning about the Revolutionary era and what those who lived in it thought.

Since the book is a collection of speeches given over a 25 year period to different audiences, there is some repetition of anecdotes and some places where he dwells on the surface instead of digging deep into his topic. But overall, this is worth a read.