The Rise of brodiew

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2020

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

The Rise of brodiew

Editat: feb. 8, 2021, 7:18 pm

Hello. My name is Brodie. I am married almost 20 years and have 3 kids, 13, 11, and 10. Two boys and a girl. This will be my 4th year with the 75ers and my production has gone down each year, unfortunately. However this is the start of a New Year so I am hopeful that I will be reading more, listening more, and seeing more movies.

I am a longtime fan of Star Wars and Star Trek. Science fiction in general. The topper above was a shot I fell in love with long before I saw the movie Rise of Skywalker. It is a beautiful panoramic shot including all three principals of the sequel trilogy as well as the waves in center and the fragment of the Death Star in the background.

The bottom line is I love a good story-fiction, non fiction, book film, Television, audio book, or live theater. I hope you'll stop by every now and again see what I'm up to. I'll be doing that out there among the 75 ers as well.

Top 3 Books of 2019 ( Production was depressingly low)

Why We Don't Suck

Bird Box

Presidents of War

Quite a trio, but hilarious, suspenseful, and educational respectively.

I'll be throwing in a few other interests of mine along the way, but I will not start out as I have in the past with multiple postings of music and television. Let's just get this show on the road.

Happy new year!

gen. 3, 2020, 3:23 am

Happy New Year and happy reading! I love that shot you posted above, the framing is so beautiful.

gen. 3, 2020, 6:07 am

Happy New Year, Brodie!

Editat: gen. 15, 2020, 9:20 pm

Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

gen. 3, 2020, 12:39 pm

Welcome back!

gen. 3, 2020, 3:55 pm

Ha, found it! Happy new (reading) year! I'll be lurking around here from now on. ;)

gen. 3, 2020, 5:35 pm

Happy reading in 2020, Brodie!

Editat: gen. 4, 2020, 1:43 am

>2 BerlinBibliophile: Hello Berlinbibliophile and welcome! Great shot isn't it? I enjoyed the film quite a bit. I've seen it twice now.

>3 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. Back at you.

>4 PaulCranswick: excellent resolutions for all of us, Paul
Thank you for stopping in.

>5 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! It's good to be back.

>6 OscarWilde87: Good to see you, OscarWilde87! I know you're working through King. I think its finally time for Salem's Lot. I think I'll try it on audio.

>7 FAMeulstee: Thank you, FAMeulstee! I appreciate the well wishes.

The first book completed in 2020 is The Phantom Tollbooth. I read it my son and had a great time with it. Why I never read it as a kid escapes me. But as an adult who loves puns and wordplay, it is a masterpiece!

gen. 4, 2020, 12:49 am

Dropping my star, Brodie. I hope you are happier with your reading in 2020.

gen. 4, 2020, 1:43 am

Thanks for dropping a star, familyhistorian! I hope to see you around this year.

gen. 4, 2020, 3:54 am

Happy new year, Brodie

gen. 4, 2020, 5:01 am

>8 brodiew2: I'll be interested in your thoughts on Salem's Lot.

gen. 5, 2020, 6:08 pm

Touchdown, Beastmode!!! Even if the Hawks can't pull out the win, that was cool to see.

gen. 5, 2020, 8:46 pm

Happy 2020 reading!

gen. 6, 2020, 1:55 am

>11 ChelleBearss: thanks for stopping in, chellebearss! I hope things are to a good start for you.

>12 OscarWilde87: I'll keep you posted, Oscar. Might make it sooner than later.

>13 EBT1002: Yes! Good see you, Ellen. Go Seahawks! On to Green Bay.

> Thank you, thornton37814! Same to you. Thanks for dropping in.

Editat: gen. 21, 2020, 11:03 am

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!

I liked Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for many reasons, the greatest of which is the redemption of Ben Solo. I can tell you that for 2.89 films, I was over Kylo Ren's adolescent antics and hoping he would die at Rey's hands or, at the very least, not be redeemed. I can tell you that JJ Abrams and Adam Driver changed my mind. The few minutes we get of Ben Solo at the end of the film are fantastic. I loved it. I was sorry that he had to die so soon after coming back to the light, but, like his grandfather, he had too much blood on his hands. Regardless, I wanted him to live.

That said, the rest of the film is a fun ride, seeing all three principals, Rey, Finn, and Poe, on an adventure TOGETHER. It was a major misstep in TLJ to have separated all three leads. This time they got it right. I was grinning throughout at Finn's exuberance and his desperate need for Rey to be safe. But, even more enjoyable was the Finn-Poe banter which was so well showcased at the beginning of TFA. It is clear that these three characters care about each other that is testament to JJ Abrams, Daisey Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega.

Rey's journey to her identity and her final showdown with Kylo Ren is passable. Disney made a convenient dodge by having Rey be Palpatine's granddaughter, explaining her strength in the Force, but removing her from the Skywalker lineage. Okay. I'll buy that for a dollar.

As for the return of the Emperor, it was fun to have Ian McDermid chewing the scenery again and recycling some of this RoTJ dialogue. The Emperor is one best in the Snidley Whiplash tradition.

Please feel free to comment either way.

gen. 6, 2020, 3:23 pm

Glad to have you back Brodie. I'm glad you enjoyed Phantom Tollbooth. I have no idea why I never read it as a kid, nor did I read it to my kids. Just slipped through the cracks I guess. I'm going to try and squeeze a couple kids books into my reading this year as I usually do.

gen. 6, 2020, 4:45 pm

>17 RBeffa: Thanks, Ron! I hope you get to it this years. I'll be watching. It is a treat for word lovers and and generally fun for its fantasy world and honorable quest to restore Rhyme and Reason!

gen. 7, 2020, 1:47 pm

>16 brodiew2: I fully agree with your thoughts on Kylo Ren. For so long I just wanted him to die and then, just when he came around, he really died and I was unhappy with that. But then again it was all for the greater good. A very enjoyable movie indeed!

gen. 7, 2020, 2:31 pm

>19 OscarWilde87: I'm glad you the film and had the same positive feeling about Ben Solo. A fun movie, indeed.

gen. 7, 2020, 4:25 pm

Dropping a star, Brodie. I did not read your Star Wars spoiler post because I have not yet seen the movie.

gen. 8, 2020, 1:46 am

Hi Brodie - I also skipped the Star Wars comments in case I go see the film. Not sure yet but I've seen all the others at the cinema.

I did read The Phantom Tollbooth as a child and enjoyed it then. I've never read it again though have a copy.

gen. 8, 2020, 2:36 pm

>21 Crazymamie: Mamie! Thanks for dropping a star. I completely understand not reading my review if you haven't seen the film. I'm just glad you left a note. :-)

>22 avatiakh: No worries, Kerry. It's nice to see you here. As for Milo and friends. I think an adult read would make it that much more enjoyable.

Editat: gen. 9, 2020, 3:54 pm

Happy New Thread, Brodie. I finally tracked you down. Good to see you posting around again. I hope that continues. I am sorry to hear about the job situation, but I hope that turns around for you soon.

I have not seen the new Star Wars film. I hope to get to it soon.

gen. 9, 2020, 4:05 pm

>24 msf59: Hello, Mark! Thanks for stopping in. I forgot to put the darn 'in 2020' in my thread title and I feel a little silly for do so. Glad you found me.

The job situation should turn around soon. I hope. Thank God for severance.

I enjoyed the new Star War. I hope you do too.

Editat: gen. 10, 2020, 12:47 pm

Thursday Flash Fiction! This one is for Joe, jnwelch; Cafe proprietor, all around good guy, and a library patron who would never receive a call from Colleen, the Collector.

Colleen Dwyer had been working for the Apple Valley Municipal library for two years. As the relative newcomer, she was tasked with the undesirable job of following up on library fines and making sure that there was, at the very least, a 55% drop in the overall total owed by the end of the year.

After the first few months of making collection calls to entitled patrons and being called every despicable name in the book, Colleen decided she had had enough. If they wanted to call her Hateful Cow, Book Bimbo, and Library Nazi, she would give them what they wanted. One more call aught get the show on the road.

On her days off, Colleen did not lead the quiet, chaste, life that many might associate with a librarian. She smoked, drank, and hung out with rebels, drag racers, and occasional criminals. She did not do this locally because it would surely cost her her job, but she would go into the city, already knowing who to ask to find a race, a card game, underground fighting, or even a pole to dance from. She liked to take risks. Risks were thrilling, whether the payoff came through or not.

Her new endeavor would be risky. It would be local. It would be dangerous. It would be the strong arm of Colleen's law. The call she had made was to her sometime lover Caleb Rellack. He was tall, ruggedly handsome, and made of brick and mortar. She had seen him fight and his hands were were like cinder blocks to the faces and bodies of his opponents. She hoped the threat of a beating would be all that was necessary. If she was to make her personal goal of 95-100% return on fines, perhaps even the threat of death would be the only way to keep her identity a secret. She was too smoking hot to hide her face. Her body was statuesque enough to make men sweat on sight. If she could seduce the fees out these pea-brained patrons, she might not have to beat it out them.

The first customer was William Abdouch, $5.45 for a late return of 10 weeks on Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. It might be the last words Billy ever hears if he doesn't cough up the cash. He was 36 years old and lived on a quiet residential street. Colleen did not know if he was married and she didn't care. That was her five and half dollars and if Mrs. Abdouch had to watch, well, it might not end well for her either.

Caleb dropped her off at the curb and had instructions to park the car and come and sit on the stoop. She would call him if needed. She also promised him that it would be worth his while if he had to rough anyone up.

Colleen put on her best librarian smile and sashayed up the steps to the door, just in case Billy was watching from the window. She knocked hard on the on the door three times. It opened shortly after.

"May I help you?" asked William Abdouch, uncertainly. "Before you start, I'm afraid I don't have any extra money for donations."

"Do I look like a Girl Scout, to you, Billy Boy?" Colleen said, coldly. It was going to go the hard way. She could already see it.

"I don't appreciate your tone, Young lady, or the manner in which you are addressing me."

He was a good looking man, Colleen thought; about 5'11, 160, light brown hair and hazel eyes. Eyes that were soft. Easy mark. The hard way.

"The manner in which you're addressing me," she mimicked in a nasal tone. "You have some nerve lecturing me about manners, Billy. You have a fine of $5.45 cents at the library and I'm her to collect. 'Farewell, My Lovely', remember."

Abdouch's face flushed, but not in anger. It was embarrassment. Shame. FEAR. "I c-can pay. I promise. I just can't right now. My mortgage is due on Friday and I need that money to keep my house."

Colleen could see and smell the sweat forming on his brow. Her excitement level was rising as well. "I don't care about your house, Billy. I care about my money. Money you owe me and money I will get from you tonight one way or another. Is your wife home, Billy? Huh?"

"N-Not m-married," he stammered.

"Good," she replied, in a sing-song voice. "That will make this easier." She pushed him back into the house and pressed him up against the foyer wall. She pressed her breasts into him as she pressed her lips to his in a violent kiss.

When she broke the kiss, she noticed that Abdouch was confused.

"W-What are you doing?" he said, breathlessly.

"That was for show," she spat. "Now get my money. $5.45!"

"Or what?" he countered, sudden bravery enabling him to push her away from him. "You gonna call the cops, Miss Librarian?"

She kicked him between the legs with all the force of her rage. She heard him squeak like a mouse. A tiny little mouse, before dropping to the floor like a sack o' taters. The thump of him hitting the floor got Caleb's attention and he entered the house briskly.

"Check his bedroom dresser," she ordered the brute. "I'll check the kitchen counter. His wallet is here somewhere."

Five minutes later, Colleen the Collector stood over Abdouch, who was still lying in a fetal position in the middle of the entry way. Caleb stood next to her $6 visible in his hand. She crouched down over the delinquent patron's prone body.

"Let this be a lesson to you, Billy Boy," she cooed. "If you borrow from the library, it like borrowing from a loan shark. You don't get the material back on time and the shark comes looking for you. Do you know who the shark is, Billy Boy?

His head nodded ever so slightly.

"I'm The Shark, Billy. ME. Do you want me to come back here?"

"N-no..." he mewed, shaking his head.

"Good. Now, don't tell anyone about this, Billy. That would be a bad choice. Bad things, worse things, might happen if you do. Do you hear me, Billy Boy?

Another nod.

"That's right. Farewell, My Lovely."

Colleen and Caleb left the house quietly, got in the car, and headed to the next address. Lydia Atkins, $3.75 for 6 weeks late on Rebecca by Daphne DeMaurier. She hoped Lydia could pay. She didn't want to have to burn down her house.

Such began to the infamous rise of Colleen, The Collector.

gen. 11, 2020, 12:16 pm

Ha! Colleen's a library fine collector I wouldn't want to mess with, Brodie. Part of the fun is the small amounts she's willing to go to such great lengths to garner. Nice job of noir-ing a librarian. :-) The woman on the book cover would approve, I'm sure.

gen. 11, 2020, 2:55 pm

>26 brodiew2: Enjoyed that, Brodie.

gen. 11, 2020, 4:33 pm

gen. 11, 2020, 10:15 pm

Stopping in to wish you some good reading in 2020, Brodie. I too enjoyed the Skywalker film. I'm holding out hope for another sequel and perhaps a miraculous revival of Kylo Ren.

gen. 12, 2020, 1:55 am

>27 jnwelch: I appreciate you coming over to take a look, Joe. I hope I wasn't too pushy about it. HA! I thought the low amounts was part of the gimmick. I'm glad it hit home. I'm considering doing another one, but I would want it to be fresh. Not another Colleen scene. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

>28 PaulCranswick:>29 Much appreciate, Paul and Ron! I'm glad you both got a kick out it.

>30 Donna828: Hello Donna! I am off to a good start with Foundation and hope to have it competed by this time next week if not soon. I have another couple of shorties on tap with The Mourner and News of the World. I think these three will make for a diverse and positive start to the new year.

Editat: gen. 13, 2020, 1:15 am

I watched the film Denial interspersed between recording and watching the Seahawks game. The game did not end well for the Hawks and the film was better, but not by much. I've been wanting to watch the film for a year or two, but always balked because of the subject matter, and my mood having to be right to watch it. I should not have waited so long as the film is not the highly charged drama I had made it out to be.

"Denial' chronicles the Irving v Penguin Books Ltd case, in which Deborah Lipstadt, a Holocaust scholar, was sued by Holocaust denier David Irving for libel. It is also based on Lipstadt's book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.

The films performances by stars Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkenson, Timothy Spall, we adequate but lacked luster. There seemed to be a monotone about the pacing and performances that never brought any tension to the outcome, except by Lipstadt's solicitor, Anthony Julius played expertly by Andrew Scott. Spall's David Irving was never quite as villainous as I wanted him to be. He came off just a bit addled which robbed me some satisfaction in the final verdict of the trial.

Overall, the film was worth watching, but not inspired.

gen. 13, 2020, 4:46 am

We watched Denial last year as my son was writing on Holocaust denial for a History paper. I thought the film would be more powerful than it was. Have you seen Labyrinth of Lies?

gen. 13, 2020, 6:16 am

Hi Brodie, I totally agree with your Kylo Ren sentiments. My least favourite character through the whole saga, yet I was saddened by the outcome. Mind you I am sad that the saga has concluded, Star Wars has always been a huge part of my life. I love your choice of pics.

Editat: gen. 13, 2020, 2:15 pm

>33 avatiakh: Hi Kerry. I have not seen Labyrinth of Lies, but i will check it out on your say so. I wanted Denial to be more than it was and if 'Labyrinth' can do that, I'll be pleased.

>34 fairywings: Hello Fairywings and welcome! It is good to know there are some other Ben Solo fans out there. It really was a wonderful few minutes. I am with you in the sense that SW has been a big part of my life as well. I've been around since the beginning. Thank you for stopping and leaving a comment.

Enjoying a snow day here in greater Seattle, not that I'm working. This is second year that we've had significant snow after a few years of dustings and flurries.

gen. 15, 2020, 7:04 pm

Hi bit late to the party! Have a star!

Editat: gen. 17, 2020, 1:16 am

>36 BBGirl55: Thanks for the star, BBGilr55! It's nice to see you again!

No spoiler review of 1917...

I have just returned from seeing the film '1917'. My stomach is still tied in knots, my knees are a little weak, and my whole body is trembling with nervous energy. It is hard to put into words what a monumental experience it was. I had heard some good things about the film before I went, but I was not prepared for the masterpiece of a film experience that I received. Visually, I have not experienced anything like it that I can recall. They way this movie is shot gives new meaning to movie magic. Just incredible. Sam Mendes deserves my vote for Best Director hands down. The music is a much a character in the film as any of the actors, ebbing and flowing and building tension in away that affected my emotions in a way that has not been done in a long time, much less in an action oriented war film. The acting in this film is also phenomenal. Dean-Charles Chapman and, especially George MacKay, were as real as it gets. Supporting appearances by Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, and Benedict Cumberbatch shined in their grit and war weariness. It must not be that hard to put into words, because I just did. I think you should see this movie, whether you planned to or not. I think you should see it in the theater and not wait for Blue Ray. This film MUST be seen in the theater first. Trust me. I hope that all made sense. I have not seen a film this A+ good in years.

gen. 17, 2020, 2:00 am


Have you considered joining this 2020 group? According to your profile, you aren't a member.

gen. 17, 2020, 2:36 am

>38 quondame: thanks for the heads up, quondame. I joined. :-)

gen. 17, 2020, 6:20 am

There are so many movies either out now or coming out soon that I want to see it is hard to choose what gets the theatre treatment and what can wait, but your wonderfully enthusiastic, spoiler free review makes it hard to reject this one on the big screen Brodie. 1917 is definitely one I've been considering.

gen. 17, 2020, 11:40 am

>37 brodiew2: That's a persuasive review, Brodie. Maybe I won't wait til it hits Netflix ...

gen. 17, 2020, 12:08 pm

It appears that I've not posted here yet, so this is it.



gen. 17, 2020, 1:04 pm

>40 fairywings: Thank you for stopping in fairywings. It really is a special film for so many reasons. I haven't been as emotionally touched in some time. It's not about getting choked up thought that happened, it was more about it being an immersive experience. The way the film is shot put you right on the shoulder of the leads (not always) and the music low and ominous at times, building a tension gets inside the viewer.

>41 swynn: swynn! Good to see you. That's what I like to hear. Persuasion. I cannot imagine you being disappointed. let me know if you get out to see it.

>42 weird_O: Look at that. The morning P O S T on my doorstep. I appreciate you stopping, O!

gen. 17, 2020, 6:33 pm

>37 brodiew2: Excellent review, Brodie! Have a good weekend!

gen. 17, 2020, 9:09 pm

Happy Friday, Brodie. I am glad you enjoyed the film, "1917". it is a film I want to see. It reminds me a bit of "Dunkirk". Did you see that one?

gen. 17, 2020, 9:16 pm

>45 msf59: Hello Mark. Yes, I saw 'Dunkirk' and enjoyed it. But, in my estimation, this film outshines that one by a stretch. There is a similar ominous tone in each film, but the story in this one captivated me more.

Editat: gen. 31, 2020, 3:20 pm

The Popcorn Police Procedural (PPP) NYPD Red 4 is the first audiobook out of the gate this year. I was desperate for something brainless and this one hit the spot. NYPD Red is an elite division of detectives who tackle high profile cases. The story involves the an accidental murder of a movie star when thugs attempt to steal an $8 Million necklace from her. The secondary case is a political landmine for the new Mayor when multiple hospitals are being robbed of expensive medical equipment. Detectives Zack Jordan and Kylie McDonald are on the case(s) while each attempt to hurdle personal relationship concerns.

I enjoyed this book for what it was: a fun place holder. Sometimes you need to cleanse your palette and this did so perfectly. The tension is well maintained with a twist or two in the mix. The narrators Edoardo Ballerini and Jay Snyder did a great job. I will be looking for other of their work and will likely return to this series for filler down the line.

I am but 100 pages from the end of Foundation and will finish before the end of the month, if not before. This third reading has not been as compelling in the past, but good nonetheless.

Editat: gen. 31, 2020, 1:01 am

Just a couple of things off the top:

I enjoyed the Star Trek: Picard premier on CBS All Access. As advertised, it a slower paced show and Patrick Stewart's aging is evident in his performance and in the formulation of the story. It is good to see Picard and some of the past Star Trek TNG and beyond characters again. I felt the premier was intriguing, but it also left me feeling like I didn't get enough. Fair enough. I look forward to next week.

My third reading of Foundation by Isaac Asimov did not satisfy as much as it has in the past. It is still a great booked and the concept of Psychohistory continues to fascinate. I enjoyed the Seldon character and Hardin was excellent in part 2, but part 3 and 4 fell a little flat for me. I think I will leave Asimov for now and concentrate on the my short stack of shorties (250 pages or less).

On the agenda for print reading are:

The Mourner

News of the World

My Sister, the Serial Killer

Not so shorties on the docket are:

The Dog Stars

Bluebird, Bluebird

Lincoln in Bardo

The Salt Line

Subject to change, of course!

I have started Killers of the Flower Moon on audio and it is off to an okay start. I'm not thrilled with the opening narrator, but there are two others including Will Patton.

gen. 26, 2020, 9:37 am

Interesting thoughts about Picard. I haven’t seen it yet, but plan to pretty soon. I think I like the idea of an older Picard seeing the universe from a more thoughtful place.

gen. 26, 2020, 2:39 pm

>48 brodiew2: The Inner Light episode from ST:TNG will forever be my favorite Picard. Now it seems to be too many years later for Picard to be that good but I will see this new one, one day. My daughter was excited about it.

I hope you like The Dog Stars as much as I did.

gen. 26, 2020, 4:08 pm

>49 drneutron: Hello Jim. It is definitely a different kind of show, but I'm looking forward to it. Since the premise was not fully given in the first episode, I am hoping the second will flesh it. Let me know when you see it. I would love to hear your thoughts.

>50 RBeffa: Thanks for stopping in, Ron. I am not the biggest fan of 'The Inner Light'. Shocking, I know. But this show is worth taking a look at when you get the chance.

gen. 26, 2020, 8:28 pm

Happy Sunday, Brodie! I hope you had a good weekend. If you are not enjoying the audio of Flower Moon, pick up the print version. It is a great and haunting read.

gen. 28, 2020, 5:20 pm

>52 msf59: I stuck it out, Mark, and Will Patton has stepped in to relate the FBI investigation portion of the story. He is fantastic. I have always enjoyed stories that give a perspective on the history of the FBI. You are correct about the story being haunting. I can't wait to see how it is resolved.

gen. 28, 2020, 6:23 pm

>48 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! I read Foundation and, I think, the next two in the series many years ago, but I don't think I've ever revisited them. These days, I'd be much more likely to read (or reread) Asimov's Black Widowers mystery stories.

gen. 31, 2020, 1:31 am

Killers of the Flower Moon is quite a story; tragic, fascinating, and shocking by turns. It the true story of the Osage Murders, also known as the 'Reign of Terror on the Osage Indian Reservation in the early 1920s. Over the course of 4 years, 24 Osage were killed under suspicious circumstance. The methods varied, but feeling of a sinister conspiracy was what drove the heart of this investigation as it went from local, state, and federal hands before all was said and done.

The Osage Indians were the richest people per capita in the Unites States dues to the discovery of oil on their land in the rarely years of the 20th Century. This wealth ultimately made the them targets for unscrupulous 'Guardians' appointed by the government to manage their affairs because it was believed that the Osage were incapable of doing it themselves. Though guardians and other swindlers did their damage to the tribe, none of it was as horrifying as the murders that haunted the Osage.

The book is told in three parts/perspectives: The Osage (as it occurred), The FBI investigation (Tom White -Special Agent in Charge), and, finally, from the author (his more recent conclusion on unresolved aspects of the case.

This crime was shocking in its comprehensive audacity and its showcasing of man's inhumanity to man in the form of hate and greed. You will be horrified by the level of corruption, prejudice, greed, betrayal, and evil that is revealed over the course of the case, which took over five years, all told to get even the first level of justice.

That justice was furnished by J Edgar Hoover, newly minted head of the FBI, in the form of Tom White, a former Texas Ranger. Hoover sent White to Oklahoma to put a final resolution on the Osage murders and made it clear that failure would not be acceptable.

Grann has done an excellent job of setting the scene, personalizing the crimes, and making the sickening evil of resonate in my heart. I was also impressed by Grann's dogged research and his desire to bring closure to elements of the larger case (unsolved murders) that today, nearly 100 years after the events, still dwell in the hearts of the Osage Nation.

Admittedly, I struggle with slow narration style of the first of three narrators for the book, but once Will Patton came in to tell Tom White's story, I was all in.

I hear there is a movie in the works from Martin Scorcese and Leonardo DiCaprio. I can see it be fascinating as well.

4.5 of 5 stars

gen. 31, 2020, 1:32 am

>54 harrygbutler: Thanks for stopping in Harry! My mother loved the Black Widowers mysteries. I may have to look into them as I think I could be done with his sf for a while.

gen. 31, 2020, 8:56 am

>55 brodiew2: A movie! That'll be one to watch for. Grann's book was a really great telling of this story. Glad you liked it!

>56 brodiew2: I really enjoyed the Black Widower mysteries too. I think you'll like them

feb. 1, 2020, 8:20 pm

>57 drneutron: Hello Jim! Thanks for stopping in. Yes, a movie! I hear that DeNiro will be William Hale. If Dicaprio stars, I imagine he will be FBI agent Tom White. I'll be taking another look at the Black Widowers.

What a coincidence! When I watched Denial earlier this month I was not aware of the impending Holocaust Remembrance day approaching on 1/27/20. I happened to watch Kerry's (avatiach) recommendation Labyrinth of Lies on the day after the observation. 'Labyrinth' was a fascinating true account account of the legal team who brought midlevel and lower level Nazi's to trial in the early 1960s. The trial focused on Auschwitz and referenced Eichmann and Mengle, but focused on Richard Baer, the Auschwitz commandant for the last year if the war.

The films also depicted the first resistance the legal team faced as well as their persistence and perseverance in taking statements from hundreds, if not thousands of camp survivors. The legal team was not willing to allow the atrocities of even average citizens who fell under the Nazi spell or allowed war to feed sadist tendencies. I highly recommend checking out.

I was at the library today and picked up a film, on impulse, called Remember 2015. It is an independent thriller starring Christopher Plummer about an aging man suffering from memory loss who travel across country seeking revenge on the Nazi who killed his family. I'll keep you posted.

feb. 6, 2020, 7:08 pm

Hi, Brodie! Great review of Flower Moon. I hope the film version does it justice. It is an amazing book.

I finally did see 1917. I liked it, but not nearly as much as you did. It will most likely win Best Picture but I would prefer something else. Yep, I am a book snob, a beer snob and a movie snob. Hey, at least I am consistent.

Editat: feb. 6, 2020, 9:02 pm

>59 msf59: Hello Mark! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments on the review.

As you saw, I was quite impressed with 1917. However, I can see that it might not be for everybody especially when there may be another film vying for the top award.

Not to worry, Mark. We are all snobs of some sort in our areas of interest. 😁

I recently watched 'The Bodyguard' on Netflix. Enjoyed it quite a bit in the tradition of 24 and other political thrillers. The lead character is quite complex, suffering from PTSD but willfully ignoring it while beibg the top bodyguard for a British homeland security minister. There are only 6 episodes but the tension rises quickly and leads to a satisfying conclusion.

On the print reading front I have just received The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe based on his podcast of the same name. I am already 35 pages in and am enjoying it immensely. Each chapter is a short, true story that is then followed by Rowe's personal reflections.

feb. 6, 2020, 8:43 pm

>60 brodiew2: A note from the touchstone monitor to check The Way I Heard It!

feb. 6, 2020, 9:03 pm

>61 quondame: Updated! Thanks, quondame!

feb. 11, 2020, 2:45 pm

Hi, Brodie.

I really liked "The Bodyguard", too. What great acting by the whole cast, and especially the lead, who I'd never seen before.

Good review of Killers of the Flower Moon. I'm not sure I'll find time to read it, but I sure like the idea of a Scorcese/DiCaprio movie.

feb. 12, 2020, 7:47 pm

>63 jnwelch: Hello Joe! Thanks for taking the time to stop in and comment. I agree that the acting on 'The Bodyguard' was good. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well.

I'm sorry you won't be getting to Killers of the Flower Moon but I imagine that if and when the movie comes, it will be in good hands.

About halway through both The Institute (audio) and The Way I Heard It (print). I am greatly enjoying both.

Editat: feb. 18, 2020, 11:03 am

Big shout out to Amber (scaifea) for putting Pumpkinheads at the top of her present thread. I had not heard of this graphic novel, but when I read the description saw the cover, I knew it would be wonderful; a perfectly lovely story in a setting that I know VERY well.

This GN features Deja and Josiah, two teens who have been seasonal friends for years as they have worked together at a pumpkin patch. It is there final night of their final year of employment as they head off to college. Their friendship has never grown outside of the farm; but are thrilled to come back to each other in each successive season.

On their final night night, they break ranks and decided to enjoy the farm's attractions as customers rather than long time employees. Deja's plan is to get Josiah to talk to the 'girl of his dreams' whom he has fawned over for years, but never talked to. Josiah's plan is likewise even though he fears that his fourth employee the year award would be forfeit if they are caught.

What struck me most about this story was the genuine friendship that exists between the two leads. AS the night wears on, they draw closer and closer to a truth that, at least one of them never considered. Josiah is somewhat shy and Deja is a social butterfly. However, they connect deeply during the 4-6 weekend season each year.

I love the dialogue and art and feel they the graphic presentation of the story is perfect. There is a perfect amount of humor sprinkled into the light drama. You will find the story irresistible.

5 of 5

P.S. The reason I found this story so intriguing to start is because I have worked at a similar pumpkin farm/corn maze for the better part of 15 years. My wife is on the management team and we have gotten so much joy out of being a part of it.

feb. 16, 2020, 8:54 pm

Are you a Witcher fan Brodie? After 4 hours I'm ready to call it quits. Friends of my daughter said it was a must see, but we are rather under impressed. We like the Witcher - everything else, not really.

Meanwhile I am reading the latest Preston and Child book, Crooked River and enjoying it.

>47 brodiew2: I'm glad you had some Patterson popcorn too!

feb. 17, 2020, 10:18 am

>65 brodiew2: I'll have to add this to my WL. I don't usually love GN but Amber got me reading Lumberjanes and I really enjoy them

feb. 17, 2020, 12:48 pm

>66 RBeffa: Hi Ron! Good to see you. I have heard mixed reviews of The Witcher, most in line with what you said. I have not watched it and at this point probably will not.

I enjoyed the Pendergast novels at the beginning and up through the ones that dealt with his brother. But I lost interest soon after. Are you enjoying Crooked River?

I enjoy a Patterson every now and then. I have enjoyed police procedural television series over time and so with a good narrator at this hits a sweet spot.

>67 ChelleBearss: Hello ChelleBearss! Thank you for stopping in and leaving a comment. I have not read Lumberjanes, but really enjoyed this one on a personal level.

feb. 17, 2020, 2:07 pm

>68 brodiew2: It has probably been ten years or more since I last read a Pendergast book. My wife has read every one and also had her ups and downs with the series but stuck with it. The new one came out this month and she read it in 2 days so I had a go. I hope to finish it today or more likely tomorrow. At this point (2/3+ of the way) I like it a lot. 4 stars probably.

Editat: feb. 17, 2020, 2:40 pm

>69 RBeffa: I'm glad you're enjoying it, Ron. My favorite is Brimstone, but I want to go back to the beginning and check out Cabinet of Curiosities. I cant remember if I did the audio or not.

I'll be looking for another print read after finishing up The Way I Heard It.

Editat: feb. 20, 2020, 3:40 pm

I rather enjoyed The Institute by Stephen King. It is not a horror story in the sense of some of his best known novels, but more of a thriller. It tells the story of Luke Ellis, a twelve year old wunderkind who is headed to MIT when one night his parents are murdered and he is abducted to a secret installation called the Institute. He wakes up in a room that looks just like his room at home, but with differences on closer inspection. What he soon learns is that the inhabitants of the Institute are other kids like himself. Not the high IQ, but latent telekinetic and telepathic abilities. The place is run brutally and efficiently by a staff that is tasked with elevating the children's abilities, by any means necessary, for a specific, larger purpose. Luke and his new friends will have to use all of their mental abilities to find a way out.

King did an excellent job fleshing out his characters and making a familiar story fresh and engaging. Fans of Stranger Things, The Goonies, and Super 8 will enjoy this story of resistance, resilience, and friendship.

Santino Fontana does an top notch job with his narration giving each all of the characters their own voices. I was so impressed, I will be looking into other books he has done.

Make no mistake that the treatment of children, ranging in age from 8-16, is not kind. The people who run The Institute see them more like lambs to slaughter than human beings. They are a means to an end. However, that make they climax of the book all the more satisfying.

4 of 5 stars

Editat: feb. 20, 2020, 4:33 pm

Thursday Flash Fiction -

Tutor Shooter

Helen Cummings liked things quiet; which is why she was persistent with the library manager in getting a job as a page after school and on weekend mornings. She was also in favor of the programs the library offered including childrens story time, job search assistance, and tutors available for students that need that extra bit of help.

Being at the library and experiencing the peace of the place also helped Helen manage an anger issue for which her parents and her past boyfriends had no answer. She had never been physically violent with her parents, but plenty broken dishes and other household items told the tale. She had slapped a boyfriend or two which led to slaps in return before they exited stage left. She regretted her outbursts but had not been willing to see a therapist. It would be far too embarrassing if work got out that she needed her head shrunk.

The library was helping. It was a sea of tranquility in the turbulent waters that was her school and home life. Her present boyfriend, Tom, had introduced her to reefer, which chilled her out. The weed also turned her on, which she was sure of why Tom had given it to her.

That afternoon, Helen had had a pretty big row with her parents over her slipping grades and, according them, the reason being the smell of marijuana on her clothes. She had stormed out of the house in a rage. A murderous rage. A rage so powerful that she lost herself in it. She knew that Tom kept a gun and she had the whole soiled mind to steal it from him and show her parents what's what.

By the time she had procured the weapon from Tom's car, she was due at work and work, a small part of her brain told her, was what she needed. The red she was seeing would change to green as soon as she entered the library. She stowed the gun her purse and got to work.

Soon, the tingling relaxation of silence and order soothed Helen's troubled soul. She had been assigned to the customer service desk which was situated near the front. The two small study rooms were at the rear and their doors remained closed for the benefit of students, their tutors, and the rest of the library patrons.

Her calm was suddenly and unabashedly interrupted by loud voices coming from one of the rear study rooms. He anger spiked immediately causing her to shove the stack of books she was returning to the floor in front of her desk. She was seeing red. This was not the first time her peace had been destroyed by inconsiderate students, regardless of the program provided by the library.

Grabbing the gun from her purse behind the counter, Helen palmed it as not to draw anymore attention to herself. She marched to the small rooms in the rear and before she got there another outburst assaulted her senses.

“How many times do I have to tell you,” a male voice barked. “I DON'T UNDERSTAND!”

Helen kicked the door all the way open and grimaced as two shocked teen faces turned toward her.

“Here is something you might understand!” Helen growled, as she fired wildly into the small space. When the bullets stopped flying, the dry clicks of her pulling the trigger could still be heard. Gun smoke filled the small space as both boys searched their bodies for wounds. Miraculously, neither had been shot.

Eagle Scout Ben Wilkes rose from his chair and knocked the gun from Iris' hand in one fluid motion. He took her to the ground held her there while yelling for someone to call the police.

The would be librarian was now headed to jail or 'juvie'; a fitting place for one who went for her piece when she lost her peace.

Editat: feb. 20, 2020, 5:42 pm

Sweet Thursday, Brodie! I am glad you had a good time with Pumpkinheads. It is a fun read. I have The Institute saved on audio. It looks good. Not familiar with that narrator though. No, will Patton?

Editat: feb. 20, 2020, 6:49 pm

>73 msf59: Hi Mark. No. No Will Patton this time. I don't think his voice would have worked as well with the number of kids. However, Fontana does an excellent job.

feb. 20, 2020, 9:30 pm

>55 brodiew2: I want to read that one soon, Brodie. I will go and have a look for it today in the stores or order it.

feb. 21, 2020, 7:37 am

>71 brodiew2: The Institute went right on my list. Thanks for your great review.

Editat: feb. 21, 2020, 12:19 pm

>71 brodiew2: >76 OscarWilde87: I agree. It sounds like he's revisiting the idea of "The Shop" that had the father and daughter on the run in Firestarter. Also, he doesn't really have a good track record for treating kids well.... IT, Cujo, The Long Walk. That being said, I still want to read it.

Editat: feb. 21, 2020, 12:21 pm

>75 PaulCranswick: It's worth at Paul. I look forward to your thoughts on it.

>76 OscarWilde87: Nice to see you, OscarWilde87 It was a fun ride and I think you will enjoy it.

I have started Clive Cussler's The Titanic Secret while I wait for Gregg Hurwitz's Into the Fire.

feb. 21, 2020, 1:22 pm

Nice review of The Institute!

Editat: feb. 21, 2020, 4:22 pm

>79 drneutron: Thanks Jim! I think I'll be looking at a few other King books in my future. I still have End of Watch to get to. I've been toying with skipping Finders Keepers because it just doesn't sound like me me.

feb. 22, 2020, 6:22 am

>80 brodiew2: Oh, read both. I think they are very good. It's a somewhat different King, but I found that to be refreshing.

Editat: feb. 25, 2020, 11:42 am

>81 OscarWilde87: Thanks OscarW87! I might as well be completest when it comes to the Bill Hodges novels.

In other news, I enjoyed the heck out of 'Zombieland 2', which is a sequel that is as good or better than the original.

I also started an indie novel from kindle called Border Son. It is a story inspired by the prodigal son parable from The Bible. The chapters are short and the story is quite readable. I am enjoying it so far.

Editat: març 3, 2020, 6:28 pm

Tuesday Flash Fiction...

Good Guys Wear White Hats by John Falter

Vantage Point

Caleb Spencer leaned against a post outside of the Sheriff's office; his office and chewed a piece of tall grass he had pulled from the edge of Old Man Miller's place at the edge of town. He was waiting for trouble to arrive. The trouble had been promised and Caleb was never one shy away from it.

Just yesterday, Arlon Damon had been caught cheating at cards in the Silver Lining saloon. Caleb had been present and had intervened as soon as accusations started to fly. Caleb didn't want dead men littering the floor of his town's saloon so he decided to settle the argument for the offended player. Arlon, not won to be accused, much less admit to his dishonesty, accepted the Sheriff's offer of a duel.

Caleb saw the plume of rising dust grow as Arlon rode headlong to his doom. In no time, the black-hearted, black hatted, offender trotted up main street and stopped in front of Caleb.

“Are we going to have this out, Sheriff?” The card shark, growled. “Or should I just end you as you lean lazily on that there post?”

“Only if you're in a hurry to meet the Great Dealer in the Sky?” Caleb answered, calmly.

Arlon dismounted and tethered his horse to the bar in front of the Sheriff's office. “Do you like dancing, Sheriff?”

“When the time is right,” Caleb answered, discarding the grass and stepping down onto the dirt road. “This is not the time.”

“I beg to differ!” spat Arlon drawing his revolver and shooting the dirt at Caleb's foot.

Justin's eyes popped at the TV as he jumped to his feet, disrupting the Beagle in the chair next to him. He closed one eyed and fired at Arlon's foot. Ducking for cover behind the chair, he watched as the black hatted gambler clutched his belly and staggered backward before falling to ground in a heap.

Justin had not fired at the bandit's gut, but he knew from experience that Caleb Spencer never missed.

Editat: març 6, 2020, 3:15 pm

Orphan X a.k.a The Nowhere Man a.k.a Evan Smoak is back in Into the Fire, the fifth and for the moment, final book of the series. As with the previous four, I listened to it on audio and thorough enjoyed Scott Brick's performance. This time, Evan is not being chased by government assassins, but focuses solely on his Nowhere Man mission to save Max Mayweather, the prodigal son of a wealthy family whom is given an incriminating thumb drive by his cousin days before his untimely death. Evan vows that this will be his last mission and he will attempt to integrate into a 'normal life' when it is done. As Evan proceeds with his plan to free Max from the would be killers on his trail, he is injured and the injury plagues him throughout the mission; a mission which does not seems to want to go softly into that goodnight.

This was excellent X! I enjoyed Hurwitz's ability to blend menace a triviality together, not only in his plots but in his characters. Evan continues to grow in his humanity (however slowly), which is aided by having people to care for: His ward/adoptive daughter Joey, Mia, an L.A. district attorney who lives in his building, and Tommy, his weapons supplier.

I enjoyed seeing X on the ropes a little this time out, though his success was never in question. I also enjoyed the bits of humor that Hurwitz injected which Brick nailed perfectly with his timing. Will Evan finally be able to hang up his Ares 911s? Does he want to? Does he yet know how to be anything else? Good questions. I think there is at least one more to go, if not more.

I hope to see more Orphan X in the future!

5 of 5 stars

I have been reading the books of Kwame Alexanders aloud to my son and it has been an wonderful experience for both of us. As you may know I read aloud to my 12 year old son because of headaches he gets when reading for prolonged periods. All three of the above books; The Crossover, Booked, and Rebound are written in free verse. There are rhyming sections, but they are not the norm. At first, I was surprised by this format, but after reading a few pages, I was hooked. Alexander has carved a unique niche for himself by telling powerful stories, evoking strong emotions, and building compelling characters in fewer words than the standard novel. A couple of the books may have characters that carry over, but each is special in its own right.

The Newberry winning The Crossover tells the story of twin brothers, Josh and Jordan, basketball stars on their middle school team. Their twin bond is disrupted when Jordan gets a girlfriend and Josh has to learn to deal with the new development.

Rebound tells the story of young Charlie Bell who is struggling with death of his father. His mother sends him to spend the summer with his grandparents. He hates the idea, at first, before the positives begin to outweigh his initial perception.

Finally, Booked is about Nick Hall, a select soccer player, struggles with his parents relationship and a burgeoning one of his own. He has a best friend who might be a better player, on another team. His father is an Academic who has Nick reading a dictionary that he wrote.

I love how Alexander uses themes of family, friendship, and pain in these coming of age tales. All are highly recommended.

5 of 5 stars

març 6, 2020, 9:03 pm

Hi Brodie!

First time visiting this year, so a very belated happy new year and happy new thread.

>8 brodiew2: I have The Phantom Tollbooth on my shelves, had it in time to read it to my daughter when she was young, and we just never got around to it. Now she’s 26 so I may have lost that window of opportunity, but I might read it this year.

>26 brodiew2: What a hoot.

>70 brodiew2: Brimstone was my first, out of order, Pendergast, and I loved it. I’ve since read 1 and 2, have 3.

>84 brodiew2: Gonna skip this, since I’ve got The Nowhere Man queued up and I like to read series in order.

I'm sorry for your son's headaches, but what a wonderful way to spend time with him.

Editat: març 6, 2020, 9:55 pm

Happy Friday, Brodie. I really enjoyed The Institute. King has been on such a killer roll. Did you watch HBO' s The Outsider? We watched the first couple episodes and it thought it was very good.

març 6, 2020, 10:32 pm

Hi Brodie. I really must get my paws on a copy of Pumpkinheads. So many around here have loved it.

And the Kwame Alexander books sound delightful. I didn't know about reading to your son. What a wonderful way to connect. And he gets the joy of reading without the headaches (and you know that, decades from now, these will be such special memories for him).

I think you're one of the local fans of Orphan X. I checked and my local library has it so I plan to go snag the copy off the shelves tomorrow.

Keep washing your hands, my friend.

Editat: març 9, 2020, 12:28 am

>85 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Thank you for taking the time to stop in a comments.

I have a feeling you will enjoy The Phantom Tollbooth as an adult. I am a big fan of wordplay, puns, and such. I had a great time with it.

Thank you regarding the flash fiction. I had fun with it, but the subsequent two are not up to par.

Yes! Brimstone! Scott Brick narrated the audio and I am a big fan of his. He does a great job with the early ones.

Totally understandable regarding the Orphan X series. I hope you continue to enjoy Evan and his adventure.

As for reading aloud to my son, it has been a wonderful opportunity to spend time with him.

>86 msf59: Hello Mark! I'm glad to hear The Institute was a winner for you. I have not seen or read The Outsider, but I have heard good things about both. I enjoy Ben Mendelson as an actor and look forward to watching it on blue ray.

>87 EBT1002: Hello Ellen! Nice to see you here. Pumkinheads is great. You will have fun with it.

The Kwame Alexander books are a real treat. There is noting else quite like them out there. I've been looking. And, yes, I really hope that he treasures the reading time together as much as I do.

Orphan X is really cool. I see that you picked it up from the library, but have a couple of things to finish up first. I will be checking your thread to see when you get it started. A couple of years ago, I had a thread banner dedicated to the books. I really hope you enjoy it.

The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe is a lot of fun. The author, best know for Dirty Jobs and narrating Deadliest Catch for The Discovery Channel, puts together a collection of short vignettes, stories of celebrities and historical figures, alike. His gimmick, if it could be called that, is the not reveal the subject's name until the end of the story, giving the reader an opportunity to guess. Each of the stories are followed by his personal reflections, which could be loosely or closely related the story.

The Title of the book comes from Rowe's podcast of of the same name. I took the opportunity to listen to a couple and had as good a time as reading the books. Rowe's reflections are humorous and heartfelt and give the reader a peak into his family life as a young man as well as the ups and downs of his career. It can be put down and picked as often as you like given the format, but some of the Rowe's reflect are connected from story to story.

I highly recommend this as comfortable diversionary read.

4 or 5 stars

març 11, 2020, 9:05 pm

I just downloaded and read The Undefeated. Short but strong.

març 14, 2020, 10:05 pm

>89 quondame: Hi quondame! It is a wonderful book with a lovely poem and beautiful artwork.

març 18, 2020, 12:59 pm

Nice reviews of Into the Fire and Rebound in particular, Brodie. Wasn't that a great Orphan X story? I read Crossover by Kwame Alexander and liked it a lot. I'll have to look for this one and the other one. It's great that you're reading these to your son; I wish they'd been around when my basketball loving son was that age. I'll remember to mention them to him as his son gets older.

març 18, 2020, 6:18 pm

Hello Joe! Thank you for stopping by. it is nice to see you here. As you know I love the series. Orphan X and Hellbent are my favorites currently.

Has been during satisfying for me and my son as we have read many different kinds of books including these. We just started one called lost in outer space, which is an age appropriate history of the Apollo 13.

Please stay safe and healthy.

març 21, 2020, 9:13 pm

Hope you are keeping well in this difficult time, Brodie.

Do drop by and update often, buddy.

març 22, 2020, 5:33 pm

Finished Into the Fire today. Wow, what a ride!

Editat: març 27, 2020, 8:43 pm

>94 drneutron: Sorry for the late response Jim. It was quite a good ride. Jim Caviezel Would have been a good acts a few years back. But I'm glad we got 5 seasons of Person of Interest.

I am finding it hard to get any reading done 'staying home'. Sounds crazy I know but with two kids in elementary school and one junior high schooler, by the time the day is over, reading is not what my mind wanders to.

I am still about half way through border son and had been listening to the guardians by John Grisham here and there in the car.

març 27, 2020, 7:55 pm

Oh, Border Son was a good one!

març 27, 2020, 7:58 pm

>96 drneutron: You read it?! That's awesome! I'll keep you posted

març 27, 2020, 8:06 pm

I picked up a copy at last summer’s ALA conference.

Editat: abr. 1, 2020, 7:46 pm

>98 drneutron: very cool. I am stalled at the moment and I'm not getting much really got it all. Manage and kids home from schoolAnd the stay-at-home order in general, Makes me tired.

I have also tried to start Picard last best hope, Which is a prequel to the Star Trek: Picard series. Just slow going in all directions except maybe television or movies. That is all my brain has been able to handle at the end of the day these days.

abr. 1, 2020, 8:54 pm

>99 brodiew2: Hope you get your reading mojo back soon, Brodie.

abr. 2, 2020, 12:43 am

>84 brodiew2: I also very much enjoyed the latest Orphan X. Today I was trying to convince my 91 yr old mother that she should try them.

I loved Kwame Alexander's Crossover and suggest you also seek out Sarah Crossan who also writes in free verse. Her Moonrise is excellent though you might want to read it first to check if age appropriate as it has been a while since I read it.

Sorry to see that you are not able to read at present, I know that feeling well. You possibly need another good action series to tackle.

abr. 2, 2020, 7:54 am

>99 brodiew2: We moved my 91 year old mother-in-law in with us for the duration of the stay-at-home order, and between taking care of her, interacting with mrsdrneutron, and working from home, my reading has really slowed down over the last few weeks. *sigh*

Editat: abr. 3, 2020, 9:21 am

Have a lovely, peaceful, safe and healthy weekend, Brodie.

abr. 5, 2020, 2:08 pm

>100 PaulCranswick: >103 PaulCranswick: Hello Paul! Thank you for checking in on me. I am still unemployed, and playing Mr. Mom, besides. My wife is working. It is a challenge for sure. I have three fairly willful kids.

>101 avatiakh: Nice to see you, Kerry! Orphan X is the best. Let me know if your mother bites.

I have head of Sarah Crossman, but have not read her. I'll take another look.

>102 drneutron: I hope you all stay healthy, Jim. I know what you're talking about. Would you be willing to give me the slightest encouragement to keep reading Border Son? I'm about half way through.

abr. 5, 2020, 6:43 pm

While it wasn’t my fave last year, i thought it ended well. I remember thinking the middle was a bit boggy, though.

abr. 5, 2020, 7:26 pm

>104 brodiew2: I can't grasp the notion of an unwillful child. The critters seem born ruthless.

abr. 12, 2020, 3:53 am

I wanted my message this year to be fairly universal in a time we all should be pulling together, whatever our beliefs. Happy Celebration, Happy Sunday. Brodie.

abr. 12, 2020, 5:25 pm

Happy Easter!

abr. 12, 2020, 7:03 pm

Happy Easter to you and yours, Brodie!

abr. 18, 2020, 7:13 am

Hi Brodie!

I am one of three, so remember the dynamic. Hang in there.

maig 23, 2020, 11:17 pm

Hope all is well, Brodie.

jul. 4, 2020, 11:33 pm

In this difficult year with an unprecedented pandemic and where the ills of the past intrude sadly upon the present there must still be room for positivity. Be rightly proud of your country. To all my American friends, enjoy your 4th of July weekend.

jul. 30, 2020, 1:57 am

Thanks for reaching out, Paul. All is as well as can be expected. I hope all is well with you, too.

ag. 31, 2020, 10:17 am

Hi Brodie - I dropped by to let you know that I started the first Charlie Chan book, House Without a Key and I am really liking it. I had found a copy of it not long after your recommendation in Dec 2018 but it slid behind some other books in the bookcase and I only stumbled upon it last night when I was looking for my next read. Well, instead of going to bed I read it for an hour and had to force myself to put it down.

I hope you and your family are staying well. These are hard times.

Editat: set. 28, 2020, 2:55 am

>114 RBeffa: Hello Ron. All is well as can be expected. I'm glad you are enjoying The House Without a Key. I tried to follow up with another one, but it didn't take at the time. I think it was The Chinese Parrot.

Just a little catch up.

I finally completed Border Son. It was okay, but did not live up to my expectation as a modern Prodigal Son allegory. I'm glad I finished it though.

I also completed the audiobook on The Kremlin Conspiracy and enjoyed it greatly. Looking forward the the second book in the trilogy.

Also on Audio, I completed The Guardians by John Grisham. Standard fair, but entertaining none the less.

I read two books with my son: Lost in Outer Space, N.E.R.D.S. , The Toothpaste Millionaire, and NERDS: Book 2: M is for Mama's Boy

I have just completed Fortitude by Dan Crenshaw. It is an amazing book about mental toughness in the age of outrage culture. He speaks from his personal experience, both as a SEAL and a congressman. He expertly blends the his SEAL training, time in action, and the loss of his let eye in combat with a treatise on fighting the way our culture has become so easily offended and the subsequent potential consequences of continuing down that road. Great book.

set. 28, 2020, 12:20 pm

>115Fortitude sounds like a book I could appreciate in these turbulent times. Our library has it on order.

oct. 2, 2020, 11:55 am

I think you might like it. It is direct and purposeful as you might expect. He is concerned about the heart of the nation and we as individuals. He give a few avenue on how thicken ones skin, so to speak, in order have civil discourse and also shore up personal strenghth.

Not sure about my next book, but I just got I'm Your Huckleberry by Val Kilmer. Sadly, he does not narrate it himself, but I am very curious so I will likely press on.

oct. 29, 2020, 10:08 pm

Just dropping by to wish you well, Brodie.

nov. 26, 2020, 9:44 pm

This Brit wishes to express his thanks for the warmth and friendship that has helped sustain him in this group, Brodie.

gen. 1, 2021, 1:31 pm

Happy New Year Brodie, and I do hope 2021 is a happy new year once the pandemic settles down.

gen. 1, 2021, 11:29 pm