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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:26 am 
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Started good but got boring quickly.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:12 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Pretty much an all-inclusive on all things How To Appreciate Beer. How it is made, the styles, how to taste and appreciate it, beer history, etc.

I liked it, but it was not the essential beer book some say it is. I understand why it's seen that way, but things like "how to hold a beer tasting" were so damn boring to me, and also seemed to take themselves WAY too seriously. And I take beer seriously! I love loved LOVED reading about the obscure and historical beer styles, styles that are rarely (if ever) brewed anymore, but most of it was either "I know this" or was too seriously in depth on stuff that didn't need it.

That said, I've been drinking craft beers for a long, long time. For someone just getting into them in the last few years, this would probably be an eye-opening, educational, fun book to read.

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Saw recently that this series is wrapped up, and felt like maybe I'd go back and try to read it all. Last I read of DMZ was around 2008/2009, and I stalled at the fourth trade.

In re-reading it, all my criticism and "missed opportunity talk" still holds true. I reviewed the first trade years ago and still echo all this:

http://taftisreading.blogspot.com/2009/ ... vol-1.html

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Same held true here. Good ideas, poor execution. Still hold true to this review from almost four years ago:

http://taftisreading.blogspot.com/2009/ ... alist.html

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In THIS case, I was too generous with the earlier review:

http://taftisreading.blogspot.com/2009/ ... works.html

Naw, it's not quite as good as I said.

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On the other hand, this one was pretty good. I'll stand behind my modestly positive comments here:

http://taftisreading.blogspot.com/2009/ ... -fire.html

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This one was new to me. It's just a series of one-shots focused on single characters. It was fine. Nothing special.

I will need momentum to finish this series. GREAT concept, poor execution.

Also read:

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Pretty cool. Over the top, but it's Garth Ennis. That's to be expected. I plan to read this whole damn thing.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:29 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:38 pm 
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Impressive.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:10 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:26 am 
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Not bad.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:58 am 
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Excellent

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Yes.

Yes, it is.

And so is the rest of the series.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:20 pm 
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This book sucked!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:43 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:31 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:24 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:03 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Last few I read:

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Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer

More a biography of the Busch family than it is a book about their beer empire, it was compelling nonetheless, with sons conspiring against fathers, orgies, and the final, tragic and sad collapse of the empire when their drug-addict CEO, after having pushed his dad out of the way, let the company fall out of Busch hands for the first time in 150 years. I enjoyed this more than I expected.

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A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery

I expected to be reading a book about human trafficking, specifically prostitution, the sex industry, etc. Instead, I got a very sobering look at just how broad modern day slavery really is. You hear about Russian women being captives of prostitution. You hear less about being able to get off a plane in Haiti and within 10 minutes buying a child slave for $40; or entire villages enslaved in North India, sometimes including being chained together; and so on. Chapters on the details of politics and public figures are too fact-filled and boring, getting bogged down in minutia you don't care about, but the real stories of real slaves enslaved in a very real way keep you reading. And wincing. Recommended.

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The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America

The Nazis were not only not defeated, they switched their plans to secret plans and now rule the United States, and soon will rule the globe. That's the thesis behind this conspiracy theory book. It's stupid.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Thankee, Sai King, for the return to your Dark Tower universe.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:12 am 
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More like The Big Shit.

A thinly sourced political rant dressed up as an impartial look at the demographic shift in Canada since the 1960s. A few interesting ideas but the conclusions drawn from the sparse data are ridiculous. Ibbitson actually cites his own speeches to back up his points and Bricker, head of Canada's largest polling company, pulls statistics seemingly out of thin air. Or Fraser Institute reports, which is pretty much the same thing. Inexcusably lazy.

The authors also ignore demographic shifts and trends that disagree with their thesis (ie. Canada has irreversibly shifted to the right side of the political spectrum; that Canadians are mainly concerned about the economy and as longs as the Conservative party owns that issue, they will continue to be elected). For instance, Calgary (where I live) is widely held to be THE Conservative stronghold, so much so that federal Conservative candidates rarely even campaign in their own riding. They've never needed to; you could run a cooked ham as the Conservative candidate and the ham would get 60% of the vote. But Calgarians still elected a progressive, gay Muslim visible minority as our mayor, and he has the second highest approval rating of all Canadian mayors (something like 78%, last I checked). And in the last byelection in Calgary Centre (my old riding) the Liberal Candidate came within 2% of winning that seat. To put that in perspective, you'd have to back more than a decade to find a conservative candidate that took less than 50% of the vote and even further to find a right-wing candidate that lost the riding. Liberal is supposedly a four-letter word in Calgary, but left leaning candidates have made real inroads here in the last few elections. Oh, and Calgary Buffalo (the provincial equivalent of Calgary Centre) currently has a Liberal MLA sitting in the legislature. And the right-wing Wildrose Party got trounced last election not because of their economic policy, but because of their stance of social policy. And on, and on.

But hey, conservatives, enjoy this trip down the echo chamber. We see how well that worked out for Mitt Romney.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Just finished this. The whole series is just as good as Cru suggested. They all read as if they were films, which is both a good and a bad thing. Bad if you're looking for massive character development a la Stephen King but good if you're looking for plot, suspense and action. As Cru mentioned in The Howling thread, someone needs to pony up some money and reboot The Howling series using these three books as the plot for the first three films. Seriously.

If I had any money, fund raising ability or skill at making a movie happen, I'd tackle this and a modern day update of the Blind Dead series. Then, I'd buy a fucking island because those films would completely rule and I'd be mega-rich.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:04 am 
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It had been a long time since I last read this, I had forgotten a great deal of it.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:59 pm 
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A'ight.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:36 am 
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My least favorite of all the Pendergast books and probably my last.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:36 am 
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Currently reading....http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Fan ... index.html


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:11 pm 
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Fascinating look at the numerous scores that have been rejected, either in whole or in part, from the dawn of original film composition in the early 30's right up until roughly 2008. I was surprised just how many rejected scores there are...I had no idea another composer worked on Predator before Alan Silvestri came in to wrote his memorable score. This covers all of the most (in)famous examples (Alex North's 2001, Bernard Herrmann's Torn Curtain, Jerry Goldsmith's Legend), and breaks down all of the entries with descriptions of unused scores and whether or not thay have been released on CD. There are certainly replacement scores that turned out better than the original takes -- Danny Elfman's terrific Mission: Impossible is far better than Silvestri's partially-recorded version -- but far too often, it's a score that gets tossed for no reason other than the movie stinks and/or is getting heavilly recut, and throwing out the music is the quickest and cheapest way to "improve" the film, usually by pandering to current music trends.

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 4:41 am 
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Much like the movie, there are brilliant parts and sub-par parts but overall it adds up to a decent horror book. The writing is pretty bad in places though. I was just about ready to put it down when I hit the first "possession" scene (which is not in the film) and that completely turned me around.

There are quite a few pieces in the book that are not in the film and it does make for a much more cohesive narrative. The books ending is also better than the film (not that I didn't like the film's ending).

I've also decided to read all the Fleming Bond books in order. I've read Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever. Just started From Russia With Love. I'd recommend any of them although my favorite so far is Diamonds are Forever (which was one of my least favorite movies).

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:36 pm 
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Don't think I've read all of Fleming's Bond books, but I've read a lot. Certainly all you mention. Was working through them last summer, but I got sidetracked.

Fleming's Bond is very different from the movies. But you already know that.


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 6:26 pm 
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The 007 books published by John Gardner in the 80's and 90's are a worthwhile continuation of Fleming's novels.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Excellent read on how processed foods are created and loaded with these three things. Scary, actually. Highly recommended!

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Hilarious book on the human gastrointestinal tract. Great information, provided in a humorous way. Recommended!

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Fine James Bond novel, even if updating the character to a post-9/11 world is somewhat awkward (not to mention some sure to be dated within a decade pop-culture references).

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 4:24 pm 
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A pretty strong collection of post-apocalyptic stories. A few duds here and there (including the final one in the collection, which was unreadable), but generally good stuff.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Which story was King's?

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 8:31 pm 
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The End of the Whole Mess. Good stuff.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Yeah, that was a good one. Adapted into an episode of the Nightmares & Dreamscapes TNT series.

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 6:45 pm 
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Excellent thriller.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 4:13 pm 
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Utterly engrossing from start to finish. It's the funny, charming, sentimental, informative, and entertaining story of a middle-aged guy's quest to walk the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail. He mixes in loads of first person narrative with bits of history, social commentary on American culture, and educational stuff with a story that I genuinely wanted to see through to the end. The one dull spot on this book's shine is that Bryson is something of an elitist at times, having no problem making fun of poor people as if they're sub-humans. I found that off-putting, as I am in a second Bryson book I am now reading. But the fact that I went right to another book by him on a similar topic should show how much I liked it.

(I had previously read his "A Brief History of Everything," which is about the most entertaining science book about everything under the sun ever written.)

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