|Let No Guilty Man Escape
Roger H. Tuller
||Hooray for Roger!
Let No Guilty Man Escape : A Judicial Biography of 'Hanging Judge'
Isaac C. Parker (Legal History of North America, V. 9)
|The Green Mile
||I used to read all Stephen
King's stuff back in the early 80s and then I got out of the
habit; too much formula, I thought. And this might indeed be
some of his formula, but I still loved the story. It has likable
heartfelt characters, mixed in around a fantasy tale with some
awful evil villans. I never saw the six-part release of this
story; I got to read it all in one paperback and it is quite
an easy read, conversational/narrative tone, never too dense.
The movie, noted for being 3 hours long, follow the book almost
verbatim. Most of the lines and scenes are literally straight
out of the book. Some details are lost of course, but they are
relatively minor details. (The only other time I saw this was
with Silence of the Lambs.)
||Such a rocket-ride this
book has had. From a sports guy no less. Oprah has that effect,
I guess. I got the book and taped the movie (after a very late
Patriots game) but I have not finished the book nor watched the
movie. I got out of the mood, I guess.
Evan I. Schwartz
||This is a fun book to
read if only for the "inside" scoop on some of the
most talked about Internet ventures to date. Mr. Schwartz gives
the reader plenty of entertainment, some surprises (would you
consider PeaPod a failure already, did you know that Merrill-Lynch
spent a lot of time and money bashing online trading and have
you seen how many ads they're running now for it?) and plenty
of opinions to launch your own ideas. Considering how far we
are from knowing just where the Internet will go next, he did
a good job of telling a complete story. Well, except that he
left his explanation of the title until the last couple of pages
of the book and while it made sense then, I don't think it was
consistent throughout the book. Doesn't matter much, it is still
fascinating reading about many of the web sites, technologies,
commercials, etc., that we have all seen, but few know the details
|Finding a Way To Win
||We have to hate the Tuna
because he brought our New England Patriots all the way to the
big game, but then he abandoned us. For New York, too boot. But
I've had this book for a while now and I figured it was time
to read it and I'm glad I did because it is extremely enjoyable.
The book sounds like Parcells talks, with that New Jersey kind
of thing going on, but he tells lots of stories, he has praised
and abused all sorts of players and coaches and he has a constant
stream of sound-bite quality bullets suitable for everyone. I
have not finished the book yet, so maybe I won't like it by the
|What Dreams May Come
The movie is different than the book;
big surprise. But the movie captured enough of the intentions
of the book to make it a reasonable parallel. And although the
endings are similar, they are arrived at in very different ways.
The real story has layer upon layer, depth upon depth of the
sadness and the drama and the heart-wrenching tragedy that the
movie shows you a glimpse of. Overall, I thought they were both
tremendously depressing, but fortunately, the book delivers a
complete enough picture of what the afterlife could be to make
it interesting. You cannot quite just dismiss it as wanton fiction,
although many things are difficult to digest. And if you do believe
or are curious, the author included a bibliography, which is
very extensive and contains many titles on the afterlife.
interesting thing about my reading of What Dreams May Come
is that I read it entirely on my Palm Pilot--I do not even
own a bound copy of this story. PeanutPress
is a new electronic publishing company in Sudbury, MA with a
very decent reader application. They are properly publishing
and securing the rights to many books now, not just public-domain
classics. And yes, the author (or at least the author's original
publishing company) still gets money for every book sold in this
fashion, too. As a matter of fact, some Peanut's newest books
cost just as much for the electronic version as they do on Amazon.
But there are some good deals on the web site, too, just like
|A Boy's Life
Robert R. McCammon
These last two stories were both about
young boy; their growing up and some adventures along the way.
Sincethis is fiction and Rocket Boys is a memoir, I was really
surprised to see some remarkable coincidences in the adventures.
Anyway, in Rocket Boys, the goal was to make a rocket
fly--a lofty and all-consuming goal, especially in 1964. In A
Boy's Life, the goal is far less important, the adventures
along the way make the story. Especially when the adventures
involve just a little bit of fantasy. But it is not really fantasy,
it is the magical imagination of an 11-year-old boy, woven into
this story in a way that I really enjoyed. I really do remember
some of the things that made this story magical. They are the
thoughts that only a young person could have--before adult logic
and understanding eliminate the joy and fear of the unknown or
Not everyone remembers why their best bike was their best
bike, or how you ever thought that house or that person in the
neighborhood might be haunted, but if you do, this can be a really
enjoyable story, especially since the magic is properly understated
and only makes the pure story better.
(aka October Sky)
Homer H. Hickam Jr.
||This is the
book based on the true coal-town childhood of Homer Hickam, ex-NASA
engineer and forever a real rocket-scientist. This story was
made into a movie that appears only to have grazed theatres early
in 1998. It seemed to have a lot of Stand By Me-type potential
(an excellent movie), but apparently this just
was not a money-making movie. But it was an extremely enjoyable
book. Very down-to-earth, but with enough details about rockets
and people and coal-minging to satisfy anyone's curiosity. Enough
real-life people and drama to keep it alive as an interesting
and believable tale. Really a timeless adventure. Personally,
I am too young to know the fear and excitement the Sputnik sattelite
caused in America--especially in kids--but now I have a much
better idea what it was like. I just really don't understand
how the movie could have flopped, I'll have to go rent it and
The Real Story of
Owen W. Linzmayer
From the author of the Mac Bathroom
Reader, this is definitely the most complete (and enjoyable)
tale of Apple's many ups and downs that I have read. (At least
a few on this book list.) It follows Steve Jobs a little through
NeXT and Pixar and back--information usually omitted from "Apple"
stories. And since Jobs has shown he really is Apple,
that is good stuff to read.
The funny part is that I mixed this up with another book that
sounded depressing and rude that I was going to fan on. I actually
told this to this author when I saw him signing books at MacWorld
NY99, but he explained I had mixed up his book with Infinite
Loop. So I bought his and really enjoyed it and I'm glad
I talked to him.
enjoyable classic-Grisham tale of excitement, mystery and surprise
with some exotic travel mixed in. Like the early stories, it
is not particularly deep or long or overly clever, but it is
a fun read and I'm sure it will make yet-another entertaining
movie. I think this is much better than The
|The White Bone
caught my eye, the jacket caught my curiosity: it is a story
from the perspective of elephants. I found that aspect very entertaining,
but also extremely irritating in two main ways: much of the way
the elephants speak is essentially "silly-talk" and
it gets really irritating. The other is that it is not a normal
and realistic story that just happens to be told by elephants,
but instead the elephants have huge superstitions, excessive
rules and outrageous supernatural powers that magically allow
for the big swings of success and failure throughout the story.
I almost quit with irritation half-way through, but I stuck with
it because the story focussed in on just a few elephants, but
I was still disappointed. (If anyone wants to try it, I'll gladly
give you the book.)
|Orbiting the Giant Hairball:
A Corporate Fool's Guide
for reading on and off when the mood strikes me. Fabulous silly
illustrations mixed in with some good and sensible lessons for
dealing with the corporate world. Again, I haven't exactly sat
down and read it and therefore have not finished it, but I like
what I have read so far.
|The CDNow Story
I am a very early shopper of CDNow
(I think my first purchase was back in late 1994 and I have some
archived email from Matt, one of the TWIBs) and so I certainly
enjoyed reading the story. It is peppered with interesting little
business lessons, retailer wishes, and Internet predictions.
And it reads quickly and easily.
The only bad thing is that they did not include a summary
of the URLs mentioned in the book. I guess I'll have to make
|Rules for Revolutionaries:
The Capitalist Manifesto for
Creating and Marketing New
Products and Services
reading this on and off for months now. I haven't sat down and
studied, I haven't quite finished it, but I haven't shelved it
either. It takes a mood, I guess.
|A Man In Full
With Bonfire of the Vanities,
Tom Wolfe is widely credited with writing the most surprising
and insightful tale of 1980s society. This book seems to be telling
a mixed-up tale of some unpopular, unsavory, and unlikable characters
using popular fads to make it appear very timely. If you have
seen a late-night infomercial in the past year (or if you watch
er on TV) then you have heard of Tae-Bo, yet Tom Wolfe spends
an inordinate amount of time describing how a lonely, middle-aged,
divorcee is suffering Tae-Bo. It is just depressing. But not
as depressing as the jail-stint the poor unlucky kid with the
gargantuan hands has to suffer. The 90s have not been depressing--a
book that is trying to characterize them does not need to be.
Oh, yeah, with the conditioning of the story and the development
of the characters, I simply do not believe the ending. And that
pretty much guarantees I will not like a book. Oh, well.
|A Civil Action
enjoyed this book. It was a very gripping story (this is the
tale about the contaminated East-Woburn drinking water causing
leukemia) even though I knew some of the eventual outcome I was
going to get to. It is a Grisham-like tale of massive legal excitement,
but this story was all based on truth. I think the author did
a great job of emotionally dragging the reader up and down throughout
the story. (You certainly cannot miss the author's slant to the
plaintiff and really start hating the lawyers for "the other
Update: I enjoyed the movie, too, but it lacked much of the detail
that explained the motivations that made the written story so
interesting. I caught Schlictmann on Tom Snyder's show and while
not saying anything exactly new, he made it clear that he feels
that he is owed all this recognition.
by John Grisham
was super-hyped before it was released--I even got the first
chapter emailed to me from www.jgrisham.com
before the book was released--but it was not worth the hype.
The concept and the story are great...but Mr. Grisham seemed
not to put much effort into developing the story. The print is
huge (more pages, more money, right?) and there is barely a detail
in the story: no descriptions of the scene, no warm-ups, no introductions,
no *depth*--and barely a description of any of the people--and
there were really only two people to worry about! Oh, well, maybe
they'll make enough money off of this book to spend some real
time on the next one?
|Startup: A Silicon
a great tale of starting and growing a company. (The company
was GO, which joined with ATT and split into EO later. The technology
is pen computing.) It is a terribly depressing tale of people
stealing ideas, people succeeding with other's ideas, and great
ideas fizzling out into not such great things. It is a shocking
tale of how you can spend five million dollars and five years
and not make any real money and not have a lot to show at the
end of it all. But it sure was a lot of fun to read!
|The Angel of Darkness
||I loved the
first book that I read by Caleb Carr (The Alienist,
see below) and I loved this one, too. I think the mystery of
this story is a little less grisly and more puzzling, the first-person
account of this character is much more interesting--more raw
and truthful, and the involvement in the problem solving of the
story is still a lot of fun. This is another story set in the
late 1800s and still conveys a truly involving "feel"
of the time.
|The Macintosh Way
written as a pseudo text-book and it there is not much to comment
on. The content was interesting, but the reading was irritating.
Maybe because there was no homework?
|Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's
Story of Life in the Mafia
||I do not
want to make Sammy the Bull mad, so I can't say anything too
critical here. Naw, this was a mediocre to poor mafia story.
I think Sammy probably bounces around when he speaks (classic
Hollywood mobster, right?) but for some reason Peter Maas decided
to just be note-taker and not use his writing skills to make
it any easier to read. The result is a haphazard, random, irritating
collection of stories from Sammy. Nothing really very new.
I missed the TV version of this story, but I suspect it was not
The Life and Times
of Macintosh, the Computer
That Changed Everything
a fun tale of the early days of Macintosh and Apple. I should
have written something when I first read it because now I forget
a lot of it...damn!
|The Horse Whisperer
||One one hand,
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. On the other hand,
my inexperience with love stories made me feel like the author
was leading us readers around on emotional reins: first the girl
is an angel and the mother is bad, then the mother is ultra-compassionate
and the girl is a shit, the guy is aloof then he is an old softie.
It should be pretty much the perfect role for Robert "Mr.
Sundance" Redford, though. (He'll be a natural.
stories came highly recommended and now I can see why: this was
a very amusing story. Clearly, the whole thing is designed to
be silly, but that makes for easy reading and burst-out-loud
chuckling! I would read more of his stuff, especially since the
rest of it is supposed to be much funnier.
|The Perfect Storm
(about a real ship that vanished) started off kind of slow and
laden with fishing anecdotes and stories about fisherman that
I don't know and don't really understand. But the second half
of the book was full of very exciting tales of high-seas danger
and some excellent speculation as to what must have happened
to the Andrea Gail.
|Midnight In The Garden
of Good and Evil:
A Savannah Story
sounds really cool. There was not so much mystery in this story,
but there was a murder and it is a true story and the first half
of the book is one of the most interesting 'character development'
tales I've ever seen. (Usually I find the formula of character
development, then the real story kind of boring.)
|Apple: The Inside Story
of Intrigue, Egomania,
and Business Blunders
||I am a die-hard
Apple fan and despite the sadness and tragedy of this story,
I really enjoyed it. I thought I knew a lot about Apple, but
this book has a bunch of never-before-published information.
of this was far too contrived with drug-induced forced amnesia
and personality manipulation of high powered French officials.
|AppleDesign: The Work of the
Apple Industrial Design Group
||This is not
a story--it is a beautiful book full of photos and stories of
prototypes and designs that chronicle the complete history of
Apple from day one. I found this at the San Francisco Museum
of Modern Art.
the first book (Absolute Power) better, but this was still a
Grisham-style exciting read and the story was not nearly as ridiculous
|Car: A Drama
of the American Workplace
an extremely interesting story, although occasionally overrun
with boring names and details. I like cars and I enjoyed learning
about the design and manufacturing process. The goal of the book
was achieved in showing how good intentions and smart people
can still get massively misdirected. (I heard of this book in
a Teradyne management seminar on Leading
|Into the Wild
||This is that
story about the kid who wandered off into the depths of Alaska
and never came back. (This is author of the currently popular
story of the recent tale of death from Mount Everest, Into
Thin Air, currently on my to-read list.) The author does
a good job of pitting man's call to nature against stupidity
in the technology age. It would be easy to finish this book and
not be certain whether he was a classic adventurer or just stupid.
story is set in the 1800s and the dialog and the apparent accuracy
of this period's history is conveyed really well. The tale is
a classic serial killer story, with a small number of interesting
characters. The story is long (~500 pages) and is filled with
psycological analyses that practically convince you that you
can understand the psyche of a serial killer. Caleb Carr's (even-longer)
of Darkness, was also excellent.
A Modern Business Parable
||This is a
great story of professional and business effectiveness, but written
in novel-form which makes it really easy, but still educational,
|Pride and Loyalty
||I got this
book in the autographed-books section of a huge Barnes and Noble
for something like $5. The story summary sounded interesting,
but it was another well-meaning but extremely contrived story
and therefore too irritating to enjoy.