Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Books July 2010

Here’s the recap on what I read this past month:

Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski

From Booklist

Mickey Wade, an unemployed journalist, moves into his grandfather’s apartment in the family’s old Philadelphia neighborhood and, after gobbling a few aspirin to fight a hangover, finds himself beamed back to the day of his birth in 1972. Turns out those weren’t your garden-variety aspirin but, rather, the pills a crackpot scientist had created as part of a government-funded plan to investigate out-of-body travel. Only, in Mickey’s case, he can only go back to the early 1970s. But there’s plenty to do there: if he can somehow divert the young boy who will eventually murder Mickey’s father, he can change his family’s history

A lot of things really hit home for me from this book. I was born in ‘72, and lost my father at the age of ten, and have often felt like my life isn’t what it should have been because of the loss of my father. I was reading this in the weeks right after my mother funeral and dealing with that loss and change in my life also colored my experience reading the book. Overall it was another home run for Swierczynski and I look forward to what he is going to do next.

AK-47 : the weapon that changed the face of war by Kahaner, Larry.
Combining the history of the Development of the AK 47 with it’s cultural history this book as an insightful look into how the AK and it’s perforation have effected out world. Form it’s origin as a weapon to protect the USSR from another aggressor like Nazi Germany, to it’s iconic use by revolutionaries, terrorists and criminals, this book both educates the reader and brings home the reality that the AK had been the true weapon of mass destruction in the last 60 years.

Next by Hynes, James.
I love Ann Arbor Michigan and I hate Ann Arbor Michigan. It’s a world unto it’s self and there are certain cultural realities, attitudes and practices that thrive in A2 that you just don’t see out there in the rest of the world. This book is really all about that culture and how it’s has effected (and in the case of this book stunted) those who live here.

Dutch Uncle by Peter Pavia
You can check out my review HERE (I liked the book BTW)

Deadly Welcome by John D MacDonald
I started out reading a different MacDonald book this month, Write for Details, and was quickly disenchanted with it--- I think it’s a relic of it’s time. Deadly Welcome has a bit of that dated feel, but there is something that’s always true-- people will forever think you are who and what they recall you as being. The story is pretty basic, Alex Doyle is a State Department employee who is sent back to his hometown to look into the death of the wife of a US Government asset who has been out of the loop for a while. The brass want the asset back in play, and Doyle looks like the man for the job--- only he’s remembered locally for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. I think that you can see where that was all going, only along the way MacDonald deals with the very real issues of personal history, growth and the way in which many places want you to stay the same. It’s a fast pulpy read that rises above the litter.

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