Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Life According to Books: 2017

It's been a while since I did one of these. In 2017, I broke my personal record of books read with 47. Here are 10 questions answered by books I read in 2017.

1. Black Friday makes me: Blind to Sin (Dave White)

2. If you post ignorant comments on Facebook: Murder is My Business (Brett Halliday)

3. In my ID photo, I look like: John Quincy Adams (Paul Nagel)

4. If someone interrupts my reading, I: (dig a) Shallow Grave (Dave White & Alex Segura)

5. When I read/watch the news, I: (witness) The Vanishing American Adult (Ben Sasse)

6. The last time I visited the zoo, I: (saw a) Mexican Tree Duck (James Crumley)

7. If I were a Supreme Court justice, I would: (stand) Athwart History (William F. Buckley)

8. Absolutely nothing compares to: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Rob Thomas)

9. Best advice my mom gave me was: (be a) Master and Commander (Patrick O'Brian)

10. My hope for 2018 is: Honor Among Thieves (Jeffery Archer)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Honor Among Thieves by, Jeffrey Archer

Embarrassed and enraged after the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein hatches an ingenious plot to steal the Declaration of Independence and burn it on live TV on the Fourth of July. The CIA and Mossad join forces to steal the Declaration back before this can happen and anyone knows it's missing.

The plot is ridiculous and so is most of the book. I feel that's kind of the point. Our heroes are a constitutional law professor at Yale and a Mossad trainee who is a retired supermodel because, of course they had to be. One of the more ridiculous elements is their escape from Bagdad where they dismantle a pink Cadillac, carry it 20 miles across the desert, reassemble it, and drive away. It's a fun sort of book that you just turn your brain off and enjoy like people who watch the Fast and the Furious movies or National Treasure.

Archer gets dinged for style points, though. The book is tilted a lot toward summary and away from scene with tons of passive voice everywhere. Though all the summary may be a good thing because his dialogue is very stilted.

Honor Among Thieves was a fun little diversion, but I kept getting distracted from the story by the writing.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Song of the Week: Christmas Is A Comin'

Can it be Christmas without Bing Crosby? This week's song is a lesser known song by Bing, but it's a great and catchy one.

Friday, December 8, 2017

MST3k Friday: The Christmas That Almost Wasn't

Good news, everyone! If you missed the announcement on Thanksgiving, the return of MST3k was given a second season by Netflix. I couldn't be more happy. The new season is a great successor to the original series and I hope it introduces a new generation of fans to riffing.

One of the movies in the most recent season was another Christmas stinker like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Santa Claus. It's called The Christmas That Almost Wasn't. In this story, some rich guy who hates Christmas bought up all the land in the North Pole and is forcing Santa to pay rent. Santa can't pay the rent and is in danger of being evicted on Christmas Eve. He enlists the help of a hapless lawyer to talk some sense into the rich guy whose name is Thaddeus T. Prune. Yes, this movie is about Santa suing his landlord.

Here's a song (un-riffed) from the movie to show you how truly awful it is.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Song of the Week: We Are Santa's Elves

It's December here at Unsquare Blog and you know what that means:  time for the song of the week to be all Christmas music! Our first song comes from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer special from Rankin-Bass.