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michaelcrane

Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.

 

Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

Currently reading

Hitch-22: A Memoir
Christopher Hitchens
Progress: 90/1054 minutes
Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories
Craig Johnson
Progress: 105/184 pages

Reading progress update: I've listened to 90 out of 1054 minutes.

Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens

Decided to dive right into this after enjoying god Is Not Great. Fascinating so far.

 

In fact, I think his reading of this is far better than the previous book. Since this is a more personal piece, he takes his time. He doesn't read nearly as quick, avoiding that "rushed" tone. I really wished god Is Not Great was read in the same manner since I'm sure that I missed a bunch of stuff.

 

Anyway, I'm enjoying Hitch-22 right now. I think that was my point. Did I have a point? What are points? Who are you and why are you eyeing my wine collection?!?!

Engaging. Thought provoking.

God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything - Christopher Hitchens

I'll be honest, there's not a whole lot I can add to this. And I'm afraid if I go into too much of a lengthy review on this, it might upset people. That is not at all my intent.

 

Full disclosure: I'm not very religious. Wasn't brought up with religious beliefs. I am not anti-religious by any stretch of the imagination. My feeling has always been this: If it works for you and you're not trying to force-feed your beliefs on others or using your beliefs as an excuse to cause harm to others, whether physically or mentally, groovy.

 

That being said, I really enjoyed god Is Not Great by Hitchens. I can imagine how this book would upset people. The title alone should be a pretty good indicator as if this should be something to add to your TBR pile, or dismiss it outright.

 

All I can tell you is that I enjoyed the book. And I also enjoyed listening to Hitchens read it. He reads very fast, and at times this can prove frustrating as you might end up missing a few things. A few times I found myself drifting, but for the most part I looked forward to it and regret that I finished it so quickly.

 

I cannot tell you if this is something you should read. That's always been my stance. Whether I'm reviewing fiction or not, something that's controversial or not. All I can tell you is my honest experience with the book. I really enjoyed it.

 

4 stars

Random Babble 2/21/17

The dogs are barking outside.

They've come for my wine, I know it.

NOT GOING TO FUCKING HAPPEN!!!

 

(this update might've been fueled by wine...)

Let's just say I can't post that I'm reading this on my personal FB page... :P

God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything - Christopher Hitchens

I've been wanting to say that I started the audiobook for this a few days ago, but alas. I have a lot of friends and family who'd give my status the "angry face" emotion if I were to post this on Facebook. However, for whatever reason I feel okay to post this here!

 

I am really enjoying this audiobook. The man could ramble when he wanted to, and I admit there are times where I feel myself drift a little, but for the most part I am loving this.

 

I understand, this is controversial. That's why I'm keeping this update very brief.

 

But I wanted to say I was reading/listening to it. I needed to tell somebody.

 

There. I feel loads better now. :D

 

A huge weight has been lifted...

Random Babble 2/17/17

Funny thing. I HATE getting political. I rarely do on my Facebook page. Every now and then, I have to speak up. But for the most part, I keep it light.

 

My Twitter feed, however? Holy HELL! The difference is night and day. I'm re-tweeting like a mad man.

 

Why is that?

 

Perhaps because I follow a lot of people I love and admire who can explain WTF is going on better than I ever could.

 

Also, I have very few followers on Twitter. Most people who follow me are other authors who are hoping for a follow-back (and when I don't, they usually unfollow me).

 

Maybe that's why. :)

 

Anyways, not getting political here. I swear! Just a funny observation.

 

Happy Friday!

Reading progress update: I've read 105 out of 184 pages.

Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories - Craig Johnson

This is my first time reading Craig Johnson, and this is my introduction to his Longmire series. I have to say this is a great start! A great intro.

 

Of course, I picked it up first because it's a short story collection. And we all remember how much I LOOOOOOOVE short story collections! :D

 

I've enjoyed every single story in it so far. Some are funny. Some have action. Others are slower, but still great.

 

A quick read, too. I'm getting through this pretty fast. Not that I'm complaining!

 

I'm definitely going to check out the other books in the series.

Feels great to be back! I need to escape in fiction again...

I'm so glad that this place seems like it's working like it did in the old days. I was so worried that things were only going to continue to go downhill. Extremely happy that this wasn't the case.

 

As I said in my earlier entry, it was hard for me to get on here. It was hard for me to get on here to begin with because at work this site is blocked (along with Facebook, Twitter, etc.). I used to do most of my updates and whatnot during my lunch breaks. So when that happened, I could only do it once I got home.

 

And then there was a point where it seemed like the site's future was uncertain. The last few times I tried to log in last year, I couldn't get it to work. Got to a point where I threw up my hands and gave up. (I wasn't doing much reading anyway)

 

But now it feels good to be back. And boy, do I ever need this place. More than ever.

 

I can't stay on Facebook for long periods of time these days. Or Twitter. I won't go into it, but I'm sure you can probably figure out why that is...

 

Feels great to have a place where I can babble about books, writing, etc. I really want to get back into the habit of checking in here.

 

Was there a point to this entry? I don't know. I'll be honest... I needed to beef up my word count for the day!!

No, no... (well, that kind of was the reason) But seriously, it feels great to be back. It feels great to know this place still exists.

 

Now more than ever, I need this place. I need the escape.

BUSTER!!!

I was told I should give you guys a Buster update. Seems only fair. Least I can do.

 

Buster is Buster.

 

 

Doing what he does best. Which is being Buster.

 

 

Yep. Buster, Buster, Buster.

 

 

I don't know why he always looks emo in pictures I take of him. I swear he smiles! I swear he does! :D

But he's doing great!

 

 

Um... Hello! (I think I have some 'splainin' to do...)

I'm afraid to even look to see when's the last time I've been here. Months? Could it be months? Probably.

 

I apologize. I don't like being quiet like that! I've been extremely busy with writing, which is awesome! I finally wrote a novel and published it. And I'm working on a second one right now, although I'm not sure if it's something I'll ever publish. I hope I do. We'll see. This is like... my third complete re-write of it. So we'll see.

 

I've missed you guys! There was a period of time when I was unable to log on. The site seemed extremely slow. Took forever to log in, and then there would be days where the site would just not load at all and give me the middle finger (okay, the middle finger part isn't true, but it felt like that). I wasn't sure if this place would still be here by the time I'd get around to checking in again.

 

Happy to see that it's still here! And I was able to log in. :)

 

I was also quiet because the good news is I've been writing a lot. The bad news is... I haven't been reading a whole lot. I'm trying to find a happy balance in that. It's usually one or the other, sadly. If I'm not writing, then I'm reading a lot. If I'm not reading, then I'm writing a lot.

 

Anyway, I'm here! I didn't put much thought into this post, I admit. I'm sorry. I just wanted to say howdy. And I'm still here.

 

Hope to be a little more active.

 

Happy reading, everybody! Hope to get back to chatting about books soon.

 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

I love this scene from Stranger Things so friggen' much...

 

I'm not crying, I swear.

Reading progress update: I've read 15%.

Invasive: A Novel - Chuck Wendig

So. Fucking. Good.

 

This is my first novel of his that I'm reading. I knew him from Terrible Minds and his hilarious Twitter account first, along with reading The Kick-Ass Reader

 

I love it. Love it, love it, love it.

 

Writing in present tense is tricky. And can be jarring when it isn't done right. But Wendig nails it.

 

Also, he retweeted a Tweet of mine yesterday. Which totally made my day.

 

Here's a silly picture of Buster

 

Caught him in mid-yawn. :)

 

Well...it only took me less than a minute and a half to log on to my dashboard. I guess that's an improvement!

Busy, Busy!

I've been quiet again. For a few reasons.

 

1) This place takes FOREVER to load now. No joke, it took me three minutes before I could get to my dashboard. Color me unimpressed. And it breaks my heart, because I used to absolutely love this place. If this is how it's going to be from here on out, then I may be here less and less.

 

2) I've been writing like crazy. I even wrapped up a rewrite of a short novel I've been working on since 2004. I sent it in for editing and I'm a nervous wreck! I normally write short stuff. This will be my first *gasp* novel. o.O (or at least the first one I'm admitting)

 

I miss my Booklikes family. I wished I could be here more. I haven't forgotten you, so please don't think that. I hope things settle down here and it'll be back to the good old days, but I have my worries and doubts just like anybody else.

 

I don't really have a permanent home. This was sort of it. So I'll have to figure out a Plan B. I am on Tumblr, but very little--although that'll change if I can't post here anymore.

 

And I'm also on Twitter.

 

That's all for now. I miss you all!

You guys...

Skeleton Crew - Stephen King

...you seriously need to pick up the audio book edition of this. It just came out and has all sorts of good names.

 

Will Patton's excellent and chilling reading of "The Mist" is worth the price of admission.

 

SUPERNATURAL: My latest obession

So, I finally started to watch Supernatural about a week ago or so. I've seen it referenced on so many of the Doctor Who pages I like on Facebook, so I figured why not? I need something to keep me busy until Doctor Who returns.

 

Holy crap, is it awesome.

 

I'm still only on Season 1, but I'm loving it. A lot darker than I expected.

 

I bought these yesterday.

 

Yes. I may have a problem. I don't care.

 

A thrilling, exciting, and bittersweet conclusion to an excellent trilogy

End of Watch - Stephen King

My hat's off to Mr. King. He still has it. I never thought he lost it. Sure, a few of his newer works may not always hit the mark, but one thing is certain: the man loves to write. He could've called it quits long ago. You can tell it's not about the money. He loves to tell stories, and he loves to find new and inventive ways to tell them.

 

End of Watch concludes the "Mr. Mercedes" trilogy. I remember being shocked after reading the first one and saw King announced that it would be a trilogy. I enjoyed the first book so much, I was excited to see where else he'd go with the characters. And as soon as I got to End of Watch, both excitement and dread followed me.

 

I was listening to the audio book. I started it maybe a week or two ago. And as soon as it got down to the last two hours, I had to take a break. Not because it was bad. Not at all. It was so friggen' good.

 

I just didn't want to see it end. And I feared for the characters I came to know and love. King isn't afraid to do away with characters you grow fondness for, and I knew nobody was safe in this last installment.

 

Unfortunately, I can't really go into the story all that much. Because doing so would give major spoilers away from the first novel (of course, if you're reading this you've probably already read the other two). But that's okay. Me mumbling and stumbling about trying to explain the story would do no good. Just know that this is excellent. It's everything the third book in the trilogy should be, and then some.

 

King didn't disappoint. Not for one single second.

 

The only disappointment I felt was when it was over, because I knew that was it. But you know what? It was a damn good ending to a fine series. I loved every single one of these books. Finders Keepers, the second in the series, is still my favorite because it especially appealed to the writer/book lover in me.

 

I loved listening to the audio book. Will Patton, once again, gives a flawless reading. I'm so happy he was able to do all three.

 

If you haven't read End of Watch, do it now. NOW!

 

I hated seeing this wonderful trilogy end, but I loved the way King ended it.

 

5 stars