Archive for the ‘Books’


A Much Needed Respite

One of my 2013 goals was to spend more time with my family and spend way less time on the website:

3. Better prioritize my time and how I spend it.

Less time spent on work, school, and Lazy Lightning and more time on The Wife, The Rooster, and The Koala. This has been a long-running argument between The Wife and I, especially after 2010. I thought I had done a much better job managing my time but she disagrees. In 2013 I promise to strike a better balance and make my family (i.e. The Wife) happy.

I have a real problem letting go of things (go figure) and after writing on this website every single day for the last five years, I decided I had to make a clean break. Instead of spending weeks putting 20+ posts into the queue for our annual vacation to South Carolina, I decided to simply take time off and write if I felt like it instead. Well, vacation was more hectic than expected, especially with 3800 miles of driving and two kids under the age of 4 and I just didn’t have the energy during or after to get much done on the site.

Over the last few months we’ve bought a cabin and spent 4 days a week there, went on a 3800 mile road trip passing through 16 different states and I have done a lot of reading, watching movies, and traveling to Southern California for work which included a tour of Stone Brewery, taking photos of sunset from the beach at Santa Monica, and eating lots of great food.

Some more granular details include:

  • Reading Phil Rustad’s two novels based largely in Minnesota.
  • Seeing the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial/Museum, something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.
  • Smoked lots of meat including wings, ribs, and porketta.
  • Drank lots of local beers including: Lucid, Indeed, Third Street, Summit, Surly, and Big Wood to name a few.
  • Enjoyed many sunrises and sunsets over lakes and oceans.
  • Played lots of Golden Tee 2013 and have been loving it.

I am back at it again and while I can’t promise that I’ll be posting 5+ days a week from here out, I do plan to spend some time doing what I used to love to do: scouring public meeting agendas/minutes/videos and writing about them as well as exploring local food both in and out of my kitchen.

What did you do this summer? What books did you read that you enjoyed? Where did you travel to? What foods did you eat either at home or at restaurants that you found noteworthy? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lazy Lightning Book Club: 2013Q1 Selection Voting

This post was written by Tearitup with help from Mikeh!

It’s that time again, LL Book Club! I’m sending a few book options your way. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Book Club 2013Q1 Voting

  • The Breach – Patrick Lee (33.0%, 2 Votes)
  • The Fifth Witness (Lincoln Lawyer) – Michael Connelly (33.0%, 2 Votes)
  • Running from the Devil – Jamie Freveletti (17.0%, 1 Votes)
  • Cold Dish – Craig Johnson (17.0%, 1 Votes)
  • Hostage Zero – John Gilstrap (0.0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Hi everyone. I’m hoping we can take a little time out from the holiday rush to vote for our Lazy Lightning Book Club selection for 1Q 2013. The choices will include some of the selections that didn’t make the cut this year and a couple of new offerings.

One of my goals for 2013 is to make this more of a discussion. About one month after we make our selection I’m hoping to open the post for discussion of the book. I think some to the fun of a book club is talking about the books with others that have read it.

So, assuming the Mayans are wrong, and 2013 rolls in after all, we’re going to need a new book to read. Take a few minutes to vote on your favorite. Once a winner is chosen we’ll meet back here at the beginning of February to talk about what we’ve read.

And please, if there is a book you love, and would like to see considered in a future vote, let us know about. I think it’s safe to say that the readers here are always on the lookout for a good book or a new author. Post about any books you’d like to see considered and we’ll add them to a future vote.

Without further blather, below are the five (5) books to consider for first quarter of 2013:

Pick your favorite and get your votes in.

Hostage Zero – John Gilstrap

From Amazon –
Hostage rescue expert Jonathan Grave goes where the government can’t. An innocent man has been shot and two young people are missing. But tracking them down is just the beginning. To keep them and his covert team alive, Jonathan plunges into the heart of an ugly secret whose insidious path reaches from one of the world’s most remote places into the highest corridors of power–and he must defeat enemies who are willing to kill to keep the truth from being revealed. . .

Running from the Devil – Jamie Freveletti

From Amazon –
Emma Caldridge, a chemist for a cosmetics company, is en route from Miami to Bogotá when her plane is hijacked and spins out of control into the mountains near the Venezuelan border. Thrown unhurt from the wreckage, she can do nothing but watch as guerrillas take the other passengers hostage.
An endurance marathon runner, Emma silently trails the guerrillas and their captives, using her athletic prowess and scientific knowledge to stay alive. Those skills become essential when she discovers an injured passenger, secret government agent Cameron Sumner, separated from the group. Together they follow the hostages, staying one step ahead by staying one step behind. Meanwhile, as news of the hijacking breaks in Washington, the Department of Defense turns to Edward Banner, former military officer and current CEO of a security consulting firm, for help. Banner quickly sends a special task force to the crash site, intent on locating the survivors before it’s too late.
But finding Emma and Sumner is only the beginning, as Banner starts to realize that Emma was on a personal mission when the plane went down. There is more to the beautiful, talented biochemist than anyone ever imagined, for in her possession is a volatile biological weapon in an ingenious disguise, one that her enemies have set for auction to the highest bidder.

The Breach – Patrick Lee

From Amazon –
Thirty years ago, in a facility buried beneath a vast Wyoming emptiness, an experiment gone awry accidentally opened a door. It is the world’s best-kept secret—and its most terrifying. Trying to regain his life in the Alaskan wilds, ex-con/ex-cop Travis Chase stumbles upon an impossible scene: a crashed 747 passenger jet filled with the murdered dead, including the wife of the President of the United States. Though a nightmare of monumental proportions, it pales before the terror to come, as Chase is dragged into a battle for the future that revolves around an amazing artifact. Allied with a beautiful covert operative whose life he saved, Chase must now play the role he’s been destined for—a pawn of incomprehensible forces or humankind’s final hope—as the race toward Apocalypse begins in earnest.
Because something is loose in the world. And doomsday is not only possible . . . it is inevitable.

The Fifth Witness (Lincoln Lawyer) – Michael Connelly

From Amazon –
Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home.

Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too–and he’s certain he’s on the right trail.

Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

Cold Dish – Craig Johnson

From Amazon –
Walt Longmire’s hopes of finishing out his tenure in peace are dashed when Cody Pritchard is found dead near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Two years earlier, Cody had been one of four high school boys given suspended sentences for raping a local Cheyenne girl. Somebody, it would seem, is seeking vengeance, and Longmire might be the only thing standing between the three remaining boys and a Sharps .45-70 rifle.

With lifelong friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and a cast of characters both tragic and humorous enough to fill in the vast emptiness of the high plains, Walt Longmire attempts to see that revenge, a dish best served cold, is never served at all.

So go ahead and place your vote and discuss which book you think should win. Feel free to throw out books for future book club selections, discuss your favorite books read as part of the club so far, and whether you plan to participate in this one or any future ones!

Book Club: 2012Q4 Selection Voting

This post was written by Tearitup with help from Mikeh!

Hello fellow book lovers, readers and LL Book Club members. It’s time to make our book club selection for Q4 2012. (It’s actually a little past time but we’ll all just overlook that.)

Below are four books to look over, three new choices and the runner up from last quarter to round things out.
All of these are older books so they should be widely available and in many formats. The next book in The Passage series is due out next week. If that one gets chosen the next one is right around the corner. The Breach and No Mercy or both the first book of a series. The Fifth Witness is another in the Mickey Haller series.

Pick your favorite and get your votes in.

2012Q4 Book Club Voting

  • No Mercy - John Gilstrap (33.0%, 3 Votes)
  • The Passage - Justin Cronin (22.0%, 2 Votes)
  • The Breach - Patrick Lee (22.0%, 2 Votes)
  • The Fifth Witness (Lincoln Lawyer) (22.0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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The Passage: A Novel by Justin Cronin

From Amazon –

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

No Mercy – John Gilstrap

From Amazon –

No names. No Feds. No trace evidence. That’s how Jonathan Grave operates. As a freelance specialist in covert rescues, he has to work outside the law to get things done – especially in highly sensitive hostage situations. But when an Indiana college student is abducted, and Jonathan’s meticulous plan explodes into a deadly shooting spree, the local authorities are out for blood – and they’re not alone. Someone wants to control a devastating secret…Someone rich and powerful…Someone willing to capture, torture, an kill anyone to get it. Even the people Jonathan loves most…

The Breach – Patrick Lee

From Amazon –

No names. No Feds. No trace evidence. That’s how Jonathan Grave operates. As a freelance specialist in covert rescues, he has to work outside the law to get things done – especially in highly sensitive hostage situations. But when an Indiana college student is abducted, and Jonathan’s meticulous plan explodes into a deadly shooting spree, the local authorities are out for blood – and they’re not alone. Someone wants to control a devastating secret…Someone rich and powerful…Someone willing to capture, torture, an kill anyone to get it. Even the people Jonathan loves most…

The Fifth Witness (Lincoln Lawyer) – Michael Connelly

From Amazon –

Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home.

Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too–and he’s certain he’s on the right trail.

Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

So go head and vote on the book you like the best for this quarter. The vote will run through Sunday night at 11:59:59 PM. What do you think about the selections this quarter? What suggestions do you have for future book club selections? Whatever you have to say comment on below!

Lazy Lightning Book Club: 2012Q3 Selection Voting

This post was written by Tearitup with help from Mikeh!

It’s that time again, LL Book Club! I’m sending a few book options your way. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Lazy Lightning Book Club: 2012Q3

  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) (38.0%, 5 Votes)
  • 11/22/63: A Novel (31.0%, 4 Votes)
  • The Fifth Witness (Lincoln Lawyer) (23.0%, 3 Votes)
  • The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder Mysteries) (8.0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

11/22/63: A Novel

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.

The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder Mysteries)

The hooker was young, pretty…and dead, butchered in a Greenwich Village apartment. The prime suspect, a minister’s son, was also dead, the victim of a jailhouse suicide. The case is closed, as far as the NYPD is concerned. Now the murdered prostitute’s father wants it opened again–that’s where Matthew Scudder comes in. But this assignment carries the unmistakable stench of sleaze and perversion, luring Scudder into a sordid world of phony religion and murderous lust where children must die for their parents’ most unspeakable sins.

The Fifth Witness (Lincoln Lawyer)

Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home.

Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too–and he’s certain he’s on the right trail.

Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

So go ahead and place your vote and discuss which book you think should win. Feel free to throw out books for future book club selections, discuss your favorite books read as part of the club so far, and whether you plan to participate in this one or any future ones!