November, 2006

November 1st, 2006, 5:38 p.m. - I know, I know, I'm stating the obvious

Boys are weird.

November 3rd, 2006, 5:58 p.m. - Let the hate mail commence

"Child's Play"

November 4th, 2006, 3:05 p.m. - Put your hands up and step away from the ellipses

30. The Book of Fate (Brad Meltzer)
I've always thought of Meltzer as an okay writer who writes pretty good thrillers. This time around, he's a pretty good writer who wrote an okay thriller. I've read a couple of his books (The First Counsel and The Millionaires, the latter of which was better than his usual stuff), but I couldn't get through his first couple of books or, more recently, his 2004 thriller The Zero Game (even after two tries). The Book of Fate is written better than many of his other books, but it's still not the greatest book.

The main character is Wes, an aide to the President who gets wrapped up in a weird plot of faked death, Masons, and other junk. That's where it gets weird. Meltzer's biggest problem is that his stories are fine but the endings are too complicated. The whole Masonry thing should have either been elaborated or thrown out. If he was trying to do a DaVinci Code rip-off, it really didn't work. Still, the plot moves swiftly and there are a couple of good twists. It's more of a beach read, so it's too bad it didn't come out until the fall. Also, like I said, enough with the ellipses, Meltzer.

Up next: My Pet Virus (Shawn Decker)

November 5th, 2006, 4:12 p.m. - Yes, I read it in one day

31. My Pet Virus (Shawn Decker)
At the age of 11, Decker, a hemophiliac, was diagnosed with HIV, which he received from a blood transfusion. Ever since then, he has had to deal with being sick without feeling sick, as well as being sick in a world that doesn't accept his disease. Thanks in part to his family, his upbringing, and his own attitude, he doesn't ask for pity - he just asks for laughs. Decker's memoir about growing up with HIV and hemophilia, as well as learning to navigate a healthy world as a "sick" person, is short and sweet. My only complaint is that it's a little too stream-of-consciousness, and I wish he had focused more on specific parts of his life. Still, the parts he doesn't gloss over are well-written, entertaining, and educational. Ignorant people should be forced to either read this book or listen to one of his and his wife Gwenn's talks about living with HIV. Gay people, those who use drugs, and those who have promiscuous sex aren't the only people who contract it.

Up next: Class 11 (T.J. Waters)

11:34 p.m. - Not since Lena and the hay bales...

"This is the Task That Never Ends"

November 9th, 2006, 10:35 p.m. - Previously titled "Rules are Made to Be Broken"

"A Spoonful of Sugar"

November 12th, 2006, 7:14 p.m. - Like Alias, just not as good. So, like season 3 of Alias

32. Class 11 (T.J. Waters)
Waters joined the CIA after September 11th and became a member of the largest training class ever. He went through all of the training, learning to spy without being detected. You'd think that would be interesting. It is, a little. But it also gets boring, unbelievable, and difficult to decipher. All I can say is that Waters shouldn't quit his day job. He also needs to learn how to write a paragraph without switching tenses. And how to spell Rosslyn, because it's misspelled on the FIRST PAGE.

Up next: Garlic and Sapphires (Ruth Reichl)

November 13th, 2006, 8:51 a.m. - Boo!

"Why Anchal is Not a Top Model"

"Their Name is Mud"

November 16th, 2006, 5:37 p.m. - Is everyone picturing Christopher Walken dancing? Good. Mission accomplished

"Weapon of Choice"

November 18th, 2006, 4:51 p.m. - That's T.S. Eliot, fools

33. Garlic and Sapphires (Ruth Reichl)
Now that I'm recapping Top Chef, I'm getting into food books. I read Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential last year, and I was considering reading another of his books when I came across Garlic and Sapphires. I'd heard good things about it, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did. Reichl states in the book that being a food critic is about the food, not the writing, but Garlic and Sapphires is about both. It's about her adventures visiting restaurants in disguise (as everyone in New York knew that she was the New York Times' food critic) and struggling to tell the truth in her reviews and her experiences. She writes very well, describing food in such a way that she made me crave things I've never tasted before. I'm interested to read her other two books now.

Up next: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)

November 19th, 2006, 2:02 p.m. - You next, Melrose

"Why Jaeda is Not a Top Model"

November 20th, 2006, 8:48 a.m. - White girls rapping! It's funny!

"That's a Rap"

November 23rd, 2006, 12:05 p.m. - Happy, happy, happy

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Birthday, Aaron! Happy day off!

"We Gather Together" - and now for a different kind of turkey

10:40 p.m. - I subbed for Survivor and all I got was this lousy merge

"A New Identity"

November 26th, 2006, 11:25 p.m. - Seriously, don't e-mail me

"Why Michelle is Not a Top Model"

Amazing Race 11 semi-preview

November 27th, 2006, 8:48 a.m. - A little more racing, a little less drama

"Like Sands Through the Hourglass"

November 30th, 2006, 9:40 p.m. - Called it!

"Cold as Ice" - I subbed for America's Next Top Model

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