2006 Reading Record Comments
  This was a very light year for me. This may be the first year Suzanne out read me, what with her Bookclub and free time. The theme this year seems to be Sci-Fi, Computer books, and Indians. The links below go to Amazon.com (click the title or the book image)
Page Count Grade 0-9 Date I finished Source (FPL: Fargo Public Library)
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Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act In The History Of Business
by: Simon,William L. and Young, Jeffery Interesting book. Dad started reading it before I got a chance to and finished it in a day. I took a little long. It's a fascinating story, but Steve Jobs comes across as an asshole. No two ways about it. He seems to be in the right place at the right time a lot. I wonder if you have to be an AH to really succeed in life. 334 pages 6.9 1/6/06 FPL
How To Use Dreamweaver MX & Fireworks MX How To Use Dreamweaver MX & Fireworks MX
Your Complete Step-by-step Solution
by: Coley, Lon I ordered Macromedia studio 2004 which contains both programs. I've used Dreamweaver 3, but I have not used Fireworks. After reading the book, I wasn't sure I wanted to, wasn't sure I made the right decision by buying the program, nor have I install the programs yet. I'm not sure I'm going to use Dreamweaver now that I'm coding by hand. And Fireworks seems a poor substitute for Photoshop. Part of the problem is the book. A step by step guide has never appealed to me. But it was the only new book the library had on the program. 385 pages 4.0 1/8/06 FPL
Firefox And Thunderbird Firefox And Thunderbird
Beyond Browsing And Email
by: Hipson, Peter D. It was a pretty good book, but I don't know if I learned anything. The programs are pretty straight forward, and I'm not really interested in customizing either program. I did make a page of notes about the book. I recomment the browser (Firefox) and the Email Client (Thunderbird) more than the book. 325 pages 4.5 1/16/06 FPL
My Life: As I Remember It My Life: As I Remember It
Lydia Meidinger Maas
by: Maas, Lydia and Maas, Gene I read Lydia's autobiography after supper. Although the writing style was rough it was an easy read with lots of fun family trivia. Gene's little section about the farm, was very interesting. It would be nice if you were to expand this with more day to day detail. For most of us who never grew up on a farm it woud be a valuable look at how our ancestors lived. All the little stories could have been expanded but we should be happy for what we get. 90 pages 5.0 1/21/06 Dad
Windows XP Home Networking Windows XP Home Networking
2nd Edition
by: Thurrott, Paul I thought the subject was complicated. The book was pretty clear, maybe it could have been clearer if it had laid out some basic background, but these might also have been more confusing. The sad news is I've had a wireless modem for a year and I put off setting up a network because I thought it would be difficult. I truth all I had to do was turn it on. I selected a folder, turned on sharing. XP asked if I wanted to turn on Networking- and that was about it. All that concern for nothing. The book covers more than just networking, as it details changes to Windows XP. Network wise it talks about everything giving advice and guiding you clear of dangers. 410 pages 6.4 2/4/06 FPL
How To Do Everything With PHP & MySQL How To Do Everything With PHP & MySQL
Build MySQL Database-driven Web Applications With PHP
by: Vaswani, Vikram I didn't read the book so much as skim through it. I was looking for any interesting ideas for using PHP that I might have overlooked. I didn't find any because the book has a rather simple scope and not much depth. As I read through it I kept thinking, "Maybe my music project would work better on a MySQL database rather than a Wiki." If not that then maybe the Listening Database. But to really need a database online the client should have some need or desire to subselect the data using math or logic. 362p 0 pages 6.9 2/22/06 FPL
E-Bomb, The E-Bomb, The
How America's New Directed Energy Weapons Will Hcang The Way Future Wars Will Be Fought
by: Beason, Doug Although the book is interesting, it's not about a bomb and it's not about "How.. future wars will be fought." It's about the development of directed energy weapons. Except for 'Active Denial, none of the laser or microwave systems he talks about seem anywhere near being weaponized. 216 pages 5.0 2/25/06 FPL
Sometimes A Great Notion Sometimes A Great Notion
by: Kesey, Ken This was a hard book to get through. But it wasn't the writing. I wasn't off-put by the sudden switches- often within a paragraph. It certainly wasn't over my head. Nor was it the story. The Stamper family were rich charactors. I identified with Hank although Leeland is suppose to be the sympathic charactor. One plot point stuck in my throat. The Stamper family are crossing an early strike line, so wouldn't the mill go out of their way to help the Stampers? Instead Kesey writes the book as the Stampers against the world, and most of the Stampers against Hank. In the end I liked the book but I had a hard time getting threw it. 628 pages 7.2 2/25/06 Suzanne
Cold War, The Cold War, The
A Military History
by: Cowley, Robert and Stephen Ambrose, Caleb Carr An intersting collection of esasys from "Military History Quarterly " about the cold war. Some were long, some were short but they were all pretty interesting. 461 pages 7.2 3/13/06 FPL
Company Company
by: Barry, Max A quick read, very funny in spots- I was laughing out loud. It's a black comedy about office management with a little bit of science fiction mixed in.. Just remember never to steal someone's donut. 338 pages 7.4 3/25/06 FPL
Nanofuture Nanofuture
What's Next For Nanotechnology
by: Hall, J. Storrs (PhD) A good overview of current Nanotechnology. He has chapters on politics and ethics. He talks about what isn't possible and what is. He also points out if we don't prepare for a nanotechnological future we won't be prepared when it arrives. ie if another country (or enemy) creates a technological weapon based on a technology which we've banded in this country we will have do defense against it. 288 pages 6.0 3/27/06 FPL
Old Man's War Old Man's War
by: Scalzi, John This was Entertainment Weekly's recommended SF books. It was pretty good. On earth when you get old you can sign up for the (space) military. But you can't come back. But they give you a new super body, but you have to fight aliens for 10 years, but you get to see the galaxy, but you probably won't live long and will die horribly. Some of the technology is interesting especially in light of the nanotechnology book I just read. The main charactor suceeds by being smart and a lot of luck. 316 pages 7.4 4/1/06 FPL
Rebels Of Ireland Rebels Of Ireland
The Dublin Saga
by: Rutherfurd, Edward A continuation of "the Princes of Ireland", a good read. I find these historical novels to be entertaining and Rutherfurd writes them well. I did find the name dropping a little distraction because it didn't have anything to do with the story. Swift, Joyce, etc - I suppose they are important literary writers in Ireland's history but they weren't used or explained like the political and military charactors. 863 pages 6.6 4/10/06 Suzanne
Kiss Me Like A Stranger Kiss Me Like A Stranger
My Search For Love And Art
by: Wilder, Gene Well written, I basically read it in one sitting. Very interesting how Gene got into all these relationships both professional and romantic; must of them were not successful. He doesn't write in detail about anything not even his marriage to Gilda Radner nor her death, but yet he writes enough so you feel you know what he was feeling- this is way I say it was well written. I was suprised when he said "Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex" was a hit but "Willy Wonka Wasn't" I can't believe this is true. You never hear anything about the Woody Allen movie but Wonka is a classic. It's also interesting to read "Young Frankenstein" is more a Wilder movie than a Mel Brooks movie. 251 pages 6.8 4/18/06 FPL
Creators Creators
From Chaucer and Durer to Picasso and Disney
by: Johnson, Paul Interesting as aways. Each chapter is about an artist. The Book is in chronological order. Many different art forms are represented. There doesn't seem to be a theme. Some biographies are more interesting than other. His "Art" book has a similar tone although the biographies are even shorter. As we reach the 20th Century, Johnson shares personal memories of some of the artists: those who were in England and ran in similar circles. 286 pages 5.0 4/28/06 Craig
Eugenics War, Star Trek The Eugenics War, Star Trek The
The Rise And Fall Of Khan Noonien Singh
by: Cox, Greg The story was goofy in places but it was a fun read, I plan to read the sequel. Greg features the Charactors: Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln from the orginal Star Trek series. Kirk, Bones, and Spock are a sideline in the story. 404 pages 4.7 5/3/06 FPL
Substance Of Style, The Substance Of Style, The
How The Rise Of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture & Consciousness
by: Postrel, Virginia The topic was interesting and generally I enjoy her writting but I found the first half of the book to be sort of dull, maybe because I read most of this background information on her web site already. I thought she was very thoughtful about the pros and cons of design. That we aren't all going to become hairdressors or designers. She was quite clear in her arguements on why aesthetics are important and will become more important in the future. Virginia points out there are many styles and in the future they will multiple making life more interesting and fun, not less so. 191 pages 5.0 5/4/06 FPL
Crazy Horse And Custer Crazy Horse And Custer
The Parallel Lives Of Two American Warriors
by: Ambrose, Stephen E. Everytime I read about Indian history I'm a little surprised by how stoic they are. They also seem to know what's happening- the big picture; certainly more than the white men who are fighting them. I think it comes from their own behavior with other Indians. They didn't see it as hypocracy but as human nature. How else can you explain the Sioux continuing the war with the Crow while ignoring the white men who are about to rub them out. Custer's case is interesting too especially role the Election of 1876 played in 'The Last Stand'- if Custer was thinking of the White House why was he in such a big hurry to attack. 483 pages 7.3 5/30/06 FPL
To America To America
Personal Reflections Of An Historian
by: Ambrose, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the reader about his history while he reviews some charactors in history that he has studied. He also show how he became a liberal and a liberal history teacher, but after studying certain Republicans and battles he bacame more moderate and gained respect for many Presidents and historical charactors which his liberal History professors had distained. 252 pages 7.2 6/10/06 FPL
General Of The Army General Of The Army
George C. Marshall- Soldier And Statesman
by: Cray, Ed Marshall was the idealized American- patriotic, pragmatic, smart and honest. He had a head for logistics which made him perfect for his role as Chief Of Staff during WWII. He also kept out of politics, which kept his reputation entact up until the McCarthey hearings and even that worked in his favor in the long run. The book is interesting in that is shows the fine line the US had to walk during WWII in order to win. It was easy to see that if outside forces, like Churchill, other generals, or other politicians were able to move Marshall the US would have lost focus and possibly lost the war or at the least made it longer and bloodier. 735 pages 7.0 6/29/06 FPL
Almost French Almost French
Love And A New Life In Paris
by: Turnbull, Sarah Sarah is an Austrialian lady who finds love in Paris and decides to move there. This book describes her journey from a beach girl who knows little French to a Parisian. I got the book from Suzanne when she describes episodes that put the French in a bad light. I think of myself as an Anglophile and enjoy French bashing. But when I read the book, I found Frederic simpathetic and I saw myself agreeing with the French in most cases- it was kind of disturbing. I did see a difference between the Parisians and the country-side French. 304 pages 6.8 7/9/06 Suzanne
Castle In The Air Castle In The Air
by: Westlake, Donald E. The story was funny and amusing in a "Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World" sort of way. As I was reading this Heist Story- I kept thinking this would make a good movie. But I was also thinking it's not written very well. 189 pages 4.6 7/15/06 FPL
Dreamer Of Dune Dreamer Of Dune
The Biography Of Frank Herbert
by: Herbert, Brian It's a book of relationships; namely between Brian and his father and between his father and his mother. It was also interesting how much Beverly Herbert made Dune possible. It's very touching in places, but it's also unsettling . The writing seems weak in the beginning- as Brian has less to work with. All authors are odd fellows, and Frank was certainly odd. I still get the feeling there was only one story in Frank, but it was a doosy. Brian is still milking it- but in a good way. 536 pages 6.2 7/27/06 Suzanne
Ordinary Heroes Ordinary Heroes
A Novel
by: Turow, Scott A bit of a Shaggy Dog story. It takes place in WWII. The story is well told even if its a little hard to believe. Turow uses the device of a son discovering his father's wartime secret. But it's hard to believe his father would write a 'book' about it if its a secret. The ending was very good, with the story growing in intensity near the end. 371 pages 6.9 8/5/06 Suzanne
Illustrated Atlas Of Native American History Illustrated Atlas Of Native American History
by: Crompton, Samuel Willard and Myers, Lorriaine B. Carlson, Richard Bowman, John S Victor had a couple new books on his coffee table. I was sort of looking for a history of the American Indian so I borrowed this from him. This was a good overview with lots of maps to follow the actions. I feel sorry for the individual Indians and the tribes, but it was going to happen no matter what. It seemed the Sioux for one, knew this more than whites who were doing it to them. The only way out was assimilation, which some Indians did but not enough to stop the killing. 265 pages 5.0 8/10/06 Victor
Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity
Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know is Wrong
by: Stossel, John I enjoy reading opinions which agree with me- who doesn't. I even learned a few things reading the "Perils of Parenting" chapter. I know the liberals hate him, and the conservatives don't much care for him either, but then they're both wrong. Libertarianism may not be perfect but it's vastly better than whatever is second. 284 pages 7.4 8/15/06 Suzanne
March, The March, The
A Novel
by: Doctorow, E.L. A very well written novel about Sherman's march through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina as see through the eyes of many charactors: north, south, black, white, mixed, honorable, less than honorable, high rank, low rank. But mostly attached to the medical corp. 363 pages 7.7 8/20/06 Suzanne
Boy Who Would Live Forever, The Boy Who Would Live Forever, The
A Novel Of The Hugo Winning Gateway Series
by: Pohl, Frederick It was a good story. Fun, interesting. The charactors Stan and Estrella leave a Earth to find fame and fortune throught the Heechee 'Gateway', but while they're gone someone figures out how the Gateway ships actually work. The find the Heechee hidden in a black hole. Time moves 40,000 times faster in the black hole. Our couple moves there, has adventures there and the universe winds down on the outside. 380 pages 7.0 9/26/06 FPL
Hunters Of Dune Hunters Of Dune
by: Herbert, Brian and Anderson, Kevin J This book picks up steam as it goes along. Thankfully I read Dune 4,5,6 about a year ago, but if you didn't it may not be too bad. I sort of wish I held off on this book #7 until next year when #8 finishes the 'original' series. The book builds to a mini climax were many of the mysteries are solved but all the action remains to be played out. 524 pages 6.6 10/24/06 Suzanne
Professor And The Madman, The Professor And The Madman, The
A Tale Of Murder, Insanity, And The Making Of The Oxford English Disctionary
by: Winchester, Simon I enjoyed reading the tale of Murray and Minor but I got the feeling it was padded out from an article. At one time I was very interested in the OED looking seriously at the getting the small print volume. But now that I see the reason it's so long isn't the word count so much as the quotations- it doesn't interest me. 242 pages 4.5 10/25/06 Suzanne
Illustrator 10 WOW! Book Illustrator 10 WOW! Book
Stepe By Step Trips, Tricks And Techniques
by: Stever, Sharon Adobe Illustrator has such a steep learning curve I'm afraid I didn't really learn much from this book. I almost have to work through some of the concepts in the book using the program. I thought it would be easier as I know Freehand pretty well and AI is a similar program. (Adobe just bought Macromedia hence Freehand, so I'm thinking Freehand won't be around much longer.) 379 pages 3.6 11/22/06 FPL
Camouflage Camouflage
by: Haldeman, Joe I love a good Science Fiction book and this fit the bill. A Navy contractor finds a ancient space ship buried deep in the ocean. The occupant, who has been on the Earth so long it's forgotten how it got here is drawn out of the ocean and slowly becomes human. Another shape shifting alien is drawn to it too. The entire story is told in three threads at differeing speeds. They all come together near the end. 296 pages 7.2 11/24/06 FPL
Camel Club, The Camel Club, The
by: Baldacci, David It was a fun story to read, a bit of a let down for Baldacci. The ending was perposterious but had potential. After kidnapping the President, the US would not start a Nuclear war just to get him back. I also doubt there are CIA supermen (my term) who are so smart and have amazing kung fu. This too comes near the end of the book and would be better if Baldacci just played the characters more realistic. 435 pages 5.8 11/30/06 FPL
How-Tos 100 Essential Techniques For Adobe Illustrator CS2 How-Tos 100 Essential Techniques For Adobe Illustrator CS2
by: Karlins, David and Hopkins, Bruce K. This was a good introduction to Illustrator, but it does seem to assume you know a little something about vector graphic design programs, which I do. Even though its a good overview it doesn't go into much detail and it doesn't cover everything. It is notibly missing 'Gradient Mesh', which is the most powerful feature of AI. It also doesn't tell you what to do or how achieve certain effects. Still it's not a bad first book, and AI is such a powerful program I will probably need more than two. 248 pages 3.5 12/10/06 FPL
In The Fall In The Fall
A Novel
by: Lent, Jeffery A three generation novel about a mixed race family. It starts right after the civil war and ends around 1930s. The writing is good but if an editor were to take out about 20-30 percent it would be better. I would start with all the internal dialog I found it slowed the flow of the story. 511 pages 7.0 12/17/06 Suzanne
Punk Punk
The Whole Story
by: Blake, Mark I enjoyed reading but I seem to have a lot of complaints about the book. First it's just a collection of articles so it doesn't really tell a coherent story. The selection of bands seems weighted too heavily to London and the Sex Pistols or NYC CBGBs and The Ramones. Most of the band selected were only semi successful- namely because they remained true to their punk roots, but there were a lot of bands that started as punk but then fleshed out their sound to become very successful: U2, The Police, The Jam, even the Jam and Blondie. While most of the articles dealt with the 1975-1979 time frame the book didn't do a good job of putting those years in perspective as to what came before or after. They would have been better off just ignoring it completely rather than the haphazard why they did touch on the pre/post punk bands. 281 pages 3.0 12/28/06 Craig
  36 Books / 12,864 Total Pages