Books, Movies, and a Cruise in the Adriatic Sea

I wrote 50 pages of Democracy Inc. – An American Tragedy in the month of June. Total written so far is 330 pages, with a projected total of 354 pages when I’m all done. I should finish the first draft before the end of the month. I’ll tighten it up between now and September, which is when I send it off to my editor. More about her later! Barring a disaster, the book will be published in paperback and available for Kindle well before Christmas!

Books I Read in June

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (4 stars) – Second read through of the series. I wanted to refresh my memory about how Harry, Ron, and Hermione met and their interaction and dialogue as they became friends. I noticed that in the first book there’s noticeably more telling versus showing; Rowling sometimes describes what the characters talk about versus letting them actually talk, much more so in the first book compared to later books.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (5 stars) – The series really comes into its own by the second book. The Harry Potter series is my all time favorite. I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to get around to a second read through.

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi (4 stars) – Actually listened to this on audiobook. It’s read by Sylar / Spock / Zachary Quinto. He does an awesome job. The book weighs in at 2 hours and 19 minutes, so it’s a fairly quick read. The story is set in a world where people can only die of natural causes or from accidents. If they are murdered, they wake up in their beds alive and whole. The main character, Tony Valdez, is a dispatcher. His job is to kill people so they don’t die of natural causes or accidents. Cool idea for a story and tight writing.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (5 stars) – If you read books and you haven’t read Harry Potter, you’re missing out on an incredibly well-written series with engaging characters and tons of backstory.

Book Review Banzai by Jason B. Ladd (5 stars) – If you write books and want to sell copies, you need reviews. If you need reviews, you need to read this book.

Attack of the Copula Spiders by Douglas Glover (2 stars) – Copula spiders are this idea that Douglas Glover came up with where you circle all the forms of “to be” on the page and connect them with lines so it looks like a spider. His point is that you should minimize your use of “to be” and use more descriptive words. Most of the book is filled with essays on “great American works of literature” and why they’re so great. I felt like I should have been holding a cup of tea with my pinky stuck out while I wrinkled my nose and nodded along in agreement.

Movies & Television I Watched in June

Cabin in the Woods (5 stars) – This is like the third time I’ve seen it. Best horror movie ever. I love Joss Whedon.

Deadpool (5 stars) – Second time I’ve seen it. Still my favorite superhero movie…although Deadpool is less a superhero and more an anti-hero. Careful with this one. It’s rated R for a reason.

John Wick Chapter 2 (3 stars) – Interesting world they’re building here. I thought maybe this was based on a graphic novel or something, but no. It’s an original story.

Life (3 stars) – Alien meets Gravity. Nothing new here, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining.

Point Break (3 stars) – The original, of course. Been forever since I’ve seen it. Brought back memories. Keanu Reeves sounds like he’s still a little kid when he talks.

Orange is the New Black / Season 5 (5 Stars) – The series just keeps getting better. This season is focused entirely on the prison riot that began at the end of the last season. So much character development.

Hand of God / Season 2 (5 Stars) – Not a single redeeming character in the show. Everyone is corrupt. I take that back. Not everyone is corrupt, but if you’re not corrupt, you will die. So why is it still so damn good?

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 / Season 1 & 2 (5 Stars) – I never realized how hilarious James Van Der Beek is until we watched this. I love how he has zero qualms about parodying himself. The show is filled with off-color, random humor. Whoever decided to cancel it in the middle of the second season should be ashamed of themselves.

7-Day Cruise to Greece

My wife and I wrote a blog post with pictures and an hour long video about our 7-day cruise to Greece. Along the way, we stopped in Brindisi, Italy; Katakolon, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Piraeus, Greece; Corfu, Greece; and Kotor, Montenegro.

Check out the post here!

 
 
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