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2008 Book Awards

This past year wasn’t a great one for books.  Too much ordinary and uninspired material.  However, there were a few exceptions.  The best of the year’s finds are below with links to my full review for each.  To see previous year’s lists, try here.

2008 Book Awards

The Serpent’s Tale – Ariana Franklin. Mystery featuring a medieval female forensic scientist.

Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand – Fred Vargas. Another tale about this contemporary Columbo-esque Parisian detective.

The Black Hand – Will Thomas. Barker and Llewelyn take on the mafia in 1880s London.

I wish I’d been there, book 2. Twenty historians present their views on the major events in European history.

The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch. Life lessons from the famous Carnegie Mellon professor.

Around the world in 80 Rounds – David Wood. Traveling the world with just a laptop and a set of clubs.

Get out or die – Jane Finnis. Another mystery set in Roman-occupied Britain with a female innkeeper lead.

The Sandbox. American soldiers and their familys’ real-life tales from Iraq, Afghanistan and the homefront.


New header photo

Instead of posting another review, my gift to readers today is a new header photo.  This is Ivy after playing in the snow.  I tried resizing and cropping the photo, but this was the best I could do.  Had to get rid of the blog header text, but it’s only temporary.  Enjoy.

December news

The new month will bring some changes to this blog.  First of all, there’s a new header photo featuring my sister’s house under the first snow of the season.  I’ll see it first hand next week when I go visit.

Because I’ll be away visiting, and because of my previous concern that I wasn’t giving enough care and attention to the books I’m reading, I will be cutting back on the number of posts I’ll be making this month.  I had been trying to post each weekday, but I think I’ll cut back to two or three a week until the new year.  I still have several sites I want to review and plenty of books to read.

I’ll also be in Madison, WI this weekend for another badminton tournament and will be blogging again from the site on Saturday.  If you have suggestions on how to improve our coverage from last time, please let me know.

Updated “About me” page

WordPress provides certain statistics about each blog to its authors as part of their service.  Statistics like views, referring sites, top posts read and search terms used to find the blog.  Therefore, I know that yesterday several people were searching for information on Chuck Lorre’s “United We Stand” vanity card and that they found my blog as part of their search and then clicked through to read the MSNBC article as well.

In the approximate two months that this blog has existed, I’ve noticed that the most read post is actually the “About me” page.  I guess that makes sense.  Most viewers are new to the blog, not returning viewers, and so they want to know who’s behind the reviews and other posts here and what are his/her credentials.  Therefore, I’ve rewritten that page to give more information about myself.

I promise we’ll go back to regular posting topics tomorrow.

October custom header

My sister just moved into a new house and in honor of her move, I’ve temporarily changed the header photo to show the view from one of her new windows.  You can’t really see the entire view since the header has to be cropped horizontally, but if the finicky cat in the picture likes this view, believe me, it’s OK.

Contact me

ascot6361 at

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