Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Book Review: Chasing Fireflies, by Charles Martin

I really liked this book. My "new scale" rating [Link] 95!

I love books about contemporary American people going through real experiences. I am not into books about perfect people, cops, crooks, athletes, or rich people.

I like books about people who are flawed, people who have quirks, people who live contradictions, people who try to be good but sometimes fail, honest people doing the best they can with what life dishes out, people who sometimes can't resist temptations and people who maybe don't understand themselves fully. Those are books I can relate to. I like books by people like Larry McMurtry, Kent Harrup, Janet Fitch and Charles Martin. I really liked Chasing Fireflies.

This book is about a mute orphan boy and a reporter. The reporter tries to discover the story of the boy and in the process of finding out about the boy he discovers himself and the truth behind his past. It is elegantly written and I throughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to all my friends! I intend to read more books by this author

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wine Review: Zinfandel: Castoro 2004 Whale Rock

Castoro, Zinfandel Whale Rock 2004, Paso Robles
A big but not overpowering Paso Zin. A real pleasure to drink. A bit tannic with a long finish. This is one of those wines that reminds one why Paso is Zin country and why Castoro is one of the best producers there.

My Rating; 90

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Altered Carbon: Book Review

Read November 2008
This is a good book. It is interesting, but drags at times. My "new scale" rating [Link] 75.

According to Wikipedia: Altered Carbon (2002) is a hardboiled science fiction novel by Richard K. Morgan. Set some five hundred years in the future in a universe in which the United Nations Protectorate oversees a number of extrasolar planets settled by human beings, it features protagonist Takeshi Kovacs. Kovacs is a former United Nations Envoy and a native of Harlan's World, a planet settled by a Japanese keiretsu with Eastern European labour.

I found this book at Powell's in Portland. There was a sign on the shelf that said, "If you like (the book) Snow Crash, you will like Altered Carbon." Sorry, IMHO Altered Carbon is no Snow Crash. Yes, I immediately got into the book. Initially it seemed well written and innovative.

But, as I read it I noticed, in spots, the quality seemed to go downhill. It was like the author was forcing the content, trying to force more action into it than the story needed or he was rushing to meet a deadline. There was this long side thread regarding the character Kovacs's battle with the character Kadmin that seemed to have no point except to make the book thicker or to up the violence level in the book.

Morgan has other books in this series. I did finish Altered Carbon. I mostly enjoyed it. But, I am not going to be in a hurry to read another of Morgan's books.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wine Review: Pinot Noir: Fiddelhead 2004, Fiddlestix Vineyard, 728

Pinot Noir: Fiddelhead 2004, Fiddlestix Vineyard, 728, Santa Rita Hills
A very nice and mellow Pinot. We enjoyed this one. Black cherries, bold on first taste and a silky texture with a gentle finish that lingers on the palette. This wine begs to be savored. It is a treat from a year where a late heat spike caused Pinots to be bold, this wine was nice to drink; not overpowering.

My Rating; 91

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wine Review: Taz Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, Fiddlestix Vineyard 2004

Tax 2004 Fiddelstix, Another Taz Favorite
This wonderful wine has a silky deep flavor of blackberries and dark cherries with floral aromas. The palate is strongly focused with good acidity and ripe underlying fruit. 2004 had a late season heat wave and was a year of big Pinots. So, this is a big Pinot, 15.1 % alcohol, that is concentrated and intense with a bold finish. It is not alcoholic tasting or jammy, this is not a Syrah Pinot, at least we do not think so. We both like it a lot! A real treat.

My Rating; 91

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