Big Clive on Fallibility

People make mistakes. It’s just ours tend to be louder and involve smoke and flames.

“Big” Clive Mitchell

Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2)

Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2)
author: Ian Fleming
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.62
book published: 1954
rating: 4
read at: 2018/06/13
date added: 2018/06/13
shelves:
review:

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Read more at Goodreads

Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)

Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)
author: Ian Fleming
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.74
book published: 1953
rating: 0
read at: 2018/06/11
date added: 2018/06/11
shelves:
review:

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Read more at Goodreads

Tales from Margaritaville

Tales from Margaritaville
author: Jimmy Buffett
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.90
book published: 1989
rating: 4
read at: 2018/06/10
date added: 2018/06/10
shelves:
review:

Rum-soaked romance on the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, Buffett’s Tales from Margaritaville reads like the lyrics of any one of Buffett’s albums. It’s a must for any parrothead, so pull up a hammock, crack open a bottle of your favorite, and dream away!

Pick up a copy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Prey

Prey
author: Michael Crichton
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.74
book published: 2002
rating: 3
read at: 2018/06/07
date added: 2018/06/07
shelves:
review:

One of the many technological anxieties of the late 1990s comes to life with Michael Crichton’s Prey, a lackluster science fiction romp through the speculative world of nanotechnology disguised as a middle-aged engineer’s retrospective account of his involvement in the nightmarish logical extreme of technology gone awry. One might call the plot  “Jurassic Park with nanotechnology” except that would be doing a disservice to Jurassic Park.

Prey is the literary equivalent of a 90s popcorn flick: bold imagery, an action-packed plot, and a cautious warning message about the dangers of emerging technology loosely slapped on top. It’s not terrible, but it is vastly improved if you pretend it was written by Chuck Palahniuk about a man’s schizophrenic delusions justifying the murder of those around him.

Pick up a copy at Amazon (affiliate link)

Kiss of the Bees (Walker Family, #2)

Kiss of the Bees (Walker Family, #2)
author: J.A. Jance
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.72
book published: 2000
rating: 0
read at: 2018/06/03
date added: 2018/06/03
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review:
I picked this volume up as an advanced reader copy over a decade ago as the title seemed interesting. I’d never heard of Jance or the Walker Family series. I’m not even a particular fan of the genre, preferring the science fiction, fantasy, and adventure genres to the sprawling murder mystery. After finally reading the book, I was pleasantly surprised. The characters are well-developed and the action is tense–especially toward the climax of the story. Unfortunately, this volume in particular suffers through “extended universe syndrome” wherein every character has a complex back-story that could stand alone as its own novel and these back stories are often dropped into the middle of a scene, breaking up the action and making the casual reading wonder where the hell he was when the scene picks back up. I understand the need for believable characters with plausible motivations, but Jance takes it all a bridge too far. If you’re patient and have the time, go for it, but if you’re not emotionally involved with a well-to-do and politically-connected family in Tucson, AZ, you might ought to skip it.

Pick up a copy at Amazon (affiliate link)

The Ben Heck Show: Matthew Eargle’s Super Zen Garden!

Matthew Eargle pays a visit to Ben in Madison so that they can work together on a Zen robot garden using CNC parts. The build will use a handheld controller, a stepper motor, and a 3D printed Zen garden rake that will draw designs.

See the rest of the fun on The Ben Heck Show YouTube channel

Think Like a Freak

Think Like a Freak
author: Steven D. Levitt
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.81
book published: 2014
rating: 5
read at: 2018/05/29
date added: 2018/05/29
shelves:

The gentlemen behind the bestseller Freakonomics series are at it again–this time with a collection of stories and studies to subvert “conventional wisdom” and encourage the reader to think “like a freak”. The titular freak, in this case, is one who looks at the world from the lens of an outsider. The freak is a data-driven student of human weakness that can understand that our most common sense understandings are inherently flawed and the best course might actually be the obvious one! The freak isn’t necessarily successful (in a monetary sense), but the freak is usually happier and more satisfied with life–unencumbered by the stigma of social pressures.

The freak doesn’t necessarily lead a better life, but certainly a more interesting one!

Pick up a copy at Amazon (affiliate link)

Somebody’s Gotta Say It

Somebody's Gotta Say It
author: Neal Boortz
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.92
book published: 2007
rating: 4
read at: 2018/05/24
date added: 2018/05/24
shelves:
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Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz is here to stir up one last batch of puddin’ before retiring. Boortz’s conversational style and descents into political incorrectness entertain as well as infuriate within the span of a few sentences and is reminiscent of that one uncle that we all have–the one that so often gets mocked or mentioned with derision when having to confront at holiday gatherings. Personally, I enjoy the challenges that Boortz brings in his characteristic tone–there is a reason he is hated by conservative and liberal alike–and he ends his illustrious career on a high note. In this tome–equal parts political punditry and memoir–Boortz pulls no punches, explains the subtleties of his often complex political positions, and explains how he managed to get away with throwing cats out of airplanes.

No matter which side of the political spectrum you sit on, Boortz is always a fun listen or read. There’s always a surprise waiting somewhere in the middle of a Boortz rant, and you’re guaranteed to be insulted!

Somebody’s Gotta Say It is available on Amazon (affiliate link)

Star Trek: Best Destiny

Best Destiny (Star Trek)
author: Diane Carey
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.86
book published: 1992
rating: 2
read at: 2018/05/21
date added: 2018/05/21
shelves:
review:
As a coming-of-age tale of a legendary starship captain, Carey’s Best Destiny is as much a product of its era as it is a generic sci-fi romp through an established universe. The novel itself is full of tired Gen-X tropes such as the rebellious teen, the lingering absent father issues, and the “this could be you” antagonist, but despite this, Best Destiny still a fun adventure tale worthy of an episode of Star Trek (if Wesley Crusher were written as a maladjusted adolescent rather than a spit-and-polish nerd in TNG, he could have easily stood in the Jimmy Kirk role on a Very Special Episode).

The action is tight and the “Treknobabble” is everything the early 90s would have you expect it to be, so pick it up if you want to kill a rainy afternoon.

Star Trek: Best Destiny is available at Amazon (affiliate link)

Adventitious Geekery and other distractions created or curated by Matthew "Atari" Eargle