Killing The SS by Bill O’Reilly

Killing The SS

Killing The SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History

I read a couple of these ‘Killing’ books by O’Reilly and Dugard. This was the best one so far. Most books about World War II end with The Bomb. But the war was not over just yet. This book details what was done since 1945 track down and bring to justice these criminal Nazi monsters. The book alternates with the Nazi-hunters who were driven to ‘never forget, never forgive’ even when the victims often wished to let the dead rest in peace.

A-
292 pages

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Life To The Limit by Jenson Button

Life To The Limit

Jenson comes across as very likeable in Life To The Limit. The story he tells about his father is very touching. As a kid seeing his parents go through a divorce, and bonding with his dad: first through racing motorbikes, then karts, and finally racing cars. I enjoy following Formula One racing, so to see it through his eyes was very interesting: As he develops from a rookie to a champion.

B
304 pages

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Florence Of Arabia by Christopher Buckley

Florence Of Arabia

Florence Of Arabia is a satire that isn’t played for laughs so much as written as a spy thriller. Not Buckley’s best novel but still worth reading. I could see it being made into a movie.

B-
274 pages

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The Soundtrack Of My Life by Clive Davis

The Soundtrack Of My Life

I loved reading The Soundtrack Of My Life; co-written by Anthony DeCurtis, because I love reading books about Rock and Pop Music. I found the book self-serving and DeCurtis isn’t the best writer.

As a lawyer Davis served Columbia and Arista well. As a Manager and CEO he also served his bosses and shareholders well. He even served his artists and their fans well. But I can’t help but hold him responsible for the death of real music. No wonder everything sounds robotic now. Davis pushed his artists into a factory mode of creating music. As the book progressed, I found the music his artist made to be less and less interesting. The word Bland comes to mind.
Davis had an M.O.

  1. Sign an artist.
  2. Force them to record someone else’s songs.
  3. Use money and connections to promote the resulting crap.
  4. Once the artist pushes back, drop the artist and repeat.

Sure the artist will have hits, but they are no longer artists, they are entertainers. And the hits will dry up once Davis gets bored and moves on to the next artist. Meanwhile you don’t have time to develop your natural audience, and your old audience moves on as well. We are seeing the end result of those trends now, with nothing like real music on the pop charts.

B+
608 pages

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Little Green Men by Christopher Buckley

Little Green Men

Little Green Men is a funny story about some funny people – Washington elites – and what happens when one of them is abducted by aliens in a UFO. It was so easy to believe everything in this story, which made it even funnier.

B
324 pages

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Sir Gawain And The Green Knight translated by Simon Armitage

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

I was listening to a BBC podcast with Simon Armitage describing Sir Gawain And The Green Knight: A New Verse Translation. Recently, my sister has been reading some classics novels from the 19th Century. I thought it would be funny to beat her by going back another 500 years. Sir Gawain And The Green Knight is a late 14th-century poem written by an unknown British (Welsh) poet. This poem is written in Middle English, which is why it needs to be translated into modern English. Armitage felt previous translations lost the lyrical feel of the poem.
What little I know about poetry is they should either rhyme or have a meter. This poem introduced me to poetry using Alliteration. Armitage’s translation was fun to read. I repeated many lines out-loud. I also found myself rhyming the lines by adding or substituting words, which gave the poem a Dr. Suess-like feel.

The poem deals with a pilgrimage King Arthur’s knight: Sir Gawain takes from Camelot to uphold a bargain he made with the Green Knight. An odd bargain involving cutting off the knight’s green head?!
On his quest, Sir Gawain finds comfort in another king’s court, far from Camelot. He finds comfort in the arm’s of that king’s wife, and deals with temptation, chivalry and honor.

B
208 pages

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Solar by Ian McEwan

Solar

Solar

I enjoyed McEwan’s writing. The main character is Michael Beard a Nobel winning physicist slightly past his prime, with a number of personal issues and failings. I think this makes him more realistic. Is he sympathetic, no, not really, but he is interesting. The Pathos of Beard reminds me of many Nabokov characters. Someone who has a hole in their personality but they can’t see it. The book reads like a Black Comedy.
I found the science to be all but meaningless, but more gristle for McEwan’s mill.

C+
354 pages

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