More Weird Things Customers Say in BookshopsMore Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m half playing hooky from a few other books that are requiring more than a few cognitive timeshare slices – two are review copies and I have a review partially written for one I just finished – and humor helps. I’d read the first Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops and thanks to my Goodreads memory, I realized it was six years ago! Ms. Campbell left me a comment on April 17 (2013) that her sequel was coming out the next day, but one book led to another and 600+ books later…I’m finally getting to it! I also need to make amends for my two word “review” (it was “Too funny”) back in 2013 … Continue reading


Haydn Seek

I am not obsessive compulsive but I can be a wee obsessive about certain things. I searched for years for Twilight Zone episodes missing from my collection – lots of taping marathons looking for one here and one there – so that I could watch all 156 in original broadcast order, which I did over a two and a half year period starting in 2009 (geek obsession…that was the 50th anniversary year of its premiere). Now and then, I like to listen to the entire Rush, Pink Floyd and Beatles discographies in release order. As I like classical music, among many other collections, I’ve listened to all of Mozart’s symphonies in 2010 – in numerical order, of course. When a set of the Deutsche Grammophon Complete Beethoven Edition made its way to me, well, that took a while to get through, in disc order, also of course! So yes…obsessive. I was learning about Haydn in a lecture series (more on that) and wanted to hear more, so I went seeking. Continue reading

The Rocket’s Shadow by John Blaine

The Rocket's Shadow (A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story, #1)The Rocket’s Shadow by John Blaine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading Harold Goodwin’s The Real Book About Space Travel, I tracked down some of his Rick Brandt Science-Adventure books. Written under the pseudonym John Blaine, I can imagine this would have thrilled a post-WWII 1947 boy – yes, they were gender-binary in their targeting back then; girls had Nancy Drew and boys had the Hardy brothers. Ten years before Sputnik, the rocket to the moon in this tends more toward Swift’s or Verne’s imagination. Still, there are the elements of science that do make this a “Science-Adventure”. One serendipitous to only me cross-over, Blaine/Goodwin had the teen character Rick fiddling with a Model-T ignition coil and some batteries to deliver an electric shock and Thomas Willeford’s Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker’s Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts used one in one of his steampunk creations. Not to shock, but for it’s geek value, of course!

Fun stuff I never read as a kid. I’ll keep the series in mind for a diversion or three this year.

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird BoxBird Box by Josh Malerman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I finally watched the movie the other night. It being 2019, a random non-prime year, I’m trying to be less of a curmudgeon (not a resolution, but it does takes resolve…) so I’ll just say…I watched the movie. Given some of the logical inconsistencies within the oh-so-required suspension-of-thought (when I did observe something out loud, my wife asked, “Can’t you just be in the moment?” We’ve been married almost 33 years. She knows I can’t – brain sees problems, brain asks questions. The task is to only ask them internally.) I wondered the adaptation failed or the source matter did. So I read the book. Continue reading