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Joined 9 months ago

Left goodreads a while back, nice to get organized with my reading again, especially as part of the #fediverse. Links to my mastodon account(s) and other stuff is at

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Robert B. Parker: Night and day (2009, G. P. Putnam's Sons) 4 stars

Paradise, Massachusetts, Police Chief Jesse Stone must deal in his own laconic way with the …

A good page-turner, easy read but surprisingly melancholy

4 stars

This is my second Robert Parker novel, the first one a Spenser book, and it shares the same terse banter, but without (almost) all the racial remarks (takes place in an almost all-white community, I assume). Maybe there could be happy medium. Anyway, the Jesse Stone character is surprisingly deep and tormented in an accessible way (surprising because I only know the character from being played by Tom Selleck, an I liked Magnum but he wasn't really an everyman) and also suffering from every-woman-in-this-town-is-throwing-themselves-at-me, probably an incurable disease considering the number of books in this series. But I'm interested enough in the soap opera aspects to want to read more.

J. Craig Venter: A Life Decoded : My Genome: My Life (2007) 4 stars

The science part is fascinating, some of the memoir is compelling, the politicking is a bit tawdry, but hey that's science.

4 stars

The childhood part of this memoir had the usual I was a rebel tone of these type of memoirs but things get serious when the author recounts his experience in the Vietnam War and it really is inspiring that someone who went through that kind of turmoil and personal life crisis managed to become a high level researcher, much less a famous one. There's a lot of axe grinding as he recounts career and the effort to sequence the human genome (it was a big deal before these 23andMe days), and I can believe the academic, corporate, and politics politics, but I'd like to read some other accounts. Aside from that, the actual science and technology involved is fascinating.

Dennis Lehane: Since We Fell (2017, HarperCollins Publishers) 3 stars

Since We Fell is a psychological thriller novel by American author Dennis Lehane, published in …

Excellent writing, main character has a lot of depth, plenty of mystery and surprises

4 stars

As I was reading this I kept thinking I'm sure I read this book before, but somehow I only remembered certain plot points and not the writing, and it wasn't published that long ago. Maybe it's brain fog, but certainly not the writing, Dennis Lehane's prose reliably sweeps along and there are fascinating characters and twists and turns to this story.

Robert B. Parker: Cold Service (Spenser) (Berkley) 3 stars

"Cold Service is one hot mystery."—The Washington PostWhen his closest ally, Hawk, is beaten and …

entertaining, brings back memories of Bostonians always commenting on race

3 stars

This is my first Spenser novel, and I vaguely remember the TV series, so I think I would actually like to see that show again. The characters and their banter are fun and the plot moves, but the very Bostonian level of race consciousness, albeit on a more progressive note, is exhausting, although rings authentic (along with all the other Boston scenery) because I spent some years in the Boston area and people would just say stuff like "You guys don't like Koreans, right?" and random strangers would ask me if I could speak English or hand me an ESL pamphlet. Like I say, exhausting. But maybe I'll try another book. Hawk is pretty cool.