Currently Reading & Quote: Transfer of Power

How they felt back at Langley would be a different matter, entirely. Rapp had known this before he stepped out of the stash room with Adams some seventy minutes ago, but that was just tough shit. There were too many people sticking their fingers in the pie. This thing needed to be streamlined, and someone needed to take action. Sitting around and playing cautious was not in Rapp’s nature, especially where Aziz was concerned. Rapp knew whom he was dealing with, he knew what Aziz was up to, and if nobody else could figure it out, to hell with them. This was not one of those moments in life where disagreement was acceptable. This wasn’t a policy decision where it was difficult to quantify the benefits of one course over the other. This was black and white. Rapp knew what had to be done, and everyone else could kiss his ass if they weren’t on board.
~Page 335

Now that is what I’m talking about! I am going to enjoy this character.

My last literary encounter with a Secret Service’y agent (I’m ignoring the Delta Force series for this post) was the Scott Harvath series by Brad Thor. I dnf’d the 4th book, Blowback, because Harvath was an insufferable, arrogant asshat. While Rapp has that potential, so far he’s not been a jerk even once. He’s been competent and qualified and not afraid to stand up to political idiots. He’s the kind of character that makes me want to stand up and go “Rah, rah, rah”.

Currently Reading & Quotes: Clouds of Witness

I have always been a sincere Christian myself, but I cannot feel that our religion demands that we should make ourselves conspicuous – er – in such very painful circumstances.’ ~page 43

Ughh. How cowardly and unmanly. This wasn’t Lord Peter Wimsey who said this, but someone else. Good thing this guy wasn’t a First Century Christian. He’d have denied Christ to avoid the arena in a heartbeat.

I think my mother’s talents deserve a little acknowledgment. I said so to her, as a matter of fact, and she replied in these memorable words: “My dear child, you can give it a long name if you like, but I’m an old-fashioned woman and I call it mother-wit, and it’s so rare for a man to have it that if he does you write a book about him and call him Sherlock Holmes.” ~page 139

Oh, this made me laugh my head off. Good stuff!

‘Damn it all, we want to get at the truth!’
‘Do you?’ said Sir Impey drily. ‘I don’t. I don’t care twopence about the truth. I want a case. It doesn’t matter to me who killed Cathcart, provided I can prove it wasn’t Denver. It’s really enough if I can throw reasonable doubt on its being Denver. Here’s a client comes to me with a story of a quarrel, a suspicious revolver, a refusal to produce evidence of his statements, and a totally inadequate and idiotic alibi. I arrange to obfuscate the jury with mysterious footprints, a discrepancy as to time, a young woman with a secret, and a general vague suggestion of something between a burglary and a crime passionel. And here you come explaining the footprints, exculpating the unknown man, abolishing the discrepancies, clearing up the motives of the young woman, and most carefully throwing back suspicion to where it rested in the first place. What do you expect?’
‘I’ve always said,’ growled Peter, ‘that the professional advocate was the most immoral fellow on the face of the earth, and now I know for certain.’ ~Page 202

Lawyers have always been slimey and they always will be.

So 3 quotes from the first 200 pages. That has got to be some kind of record for me. The cover though rather confuses me. While this takes place in the Flapper era, flapper’s aren’t involved and the only young women involved are blondes. I’m guessing it’s some sort of royalty free cover to go with a royalty free edition? Not really important, just one of those things I wonder quickly about and then forget. Hence it’s inclusion here and not being saved for a review 😀

I am loving this though. Looks like a High Rating Ahead!

Currently Reading & Quote: Only in Death

“Then let’s get to it,” said Rawne. The officers hesitated for a moment. Rawne stared at them and then sighed.

“Oh, and the Emperor protects and you’re all going to live forever and all that…” he said with a wave of his hand. “I don’t do rousing or uplifting. Just get on with it.”

~Colonel Rawne to his officers

If I was a soldier in the Warhammer 40K universe, this would probably sum up my attitude about the so-called “Emperor” as well. It would have been funnier if the author could have worked in giving everyone a pony too. Oh well, not everyone is as talented as me.

First Line Friday: A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Folks, that is ONE sentence AND the opening paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens needs to be classified as the 8th Wonder of the World as far as I’m concerned!

Currently Reading & Quote: God of Night

‘Don’t expect a lot of sense from those shitweasels. Why do you think we’re on your side? Fucking Charnelers are crazy. If your lot have any snipers, have at ’em. Otherwise, this is the good bit.’

‘Good?’ the young soldier echoed.

‘Better’n the killing,’ Lynx asserted. ‘Screams, blood, shit and terror. Don’t you worry though. We’ve got the high ground, siege weapons and a whole bloody mage sanctuary to resupply us. The bad bits are mostly reserved for them that’s outside the walls.’

The armies stared at each other in silence. It was some subtle strategy to unnerve the defenders, Lynx guessed. Unfortunately, the Cards were too hungover to spell disquieted, let alone feel it without a long run-up and coffee.

Ahhh, that’s the Lynx I’ve learned to love in this series! It feels good to be back reading this final volume.

Unfortunately, that cover isn’t living up to previous ones and I’m feeling cheated. If I was one of the mercenary Cards, I’d probably go kill someone over it. Good thing ol’ Tommy boy is 3000 miles away.

Currently Reading & “Quote”: Blackwing

I am currently reading Blackwing, the first book in the Raven’s Mark series by Ed McDonald. The following isn’t an exact quote, but I feel it gets my point across slightly better this way.

(2 characters randomly meet on a street)
Fuck you!
No, fuck you!
Well, fuck you for your fuck you.
I don’t give a fuck about your fuck you, so fuck off.
If you fucking think I give a fuck about your fucking fuck off, then fuck you.
Fuck you!

This book is getting the profanity tag for sure! I won’t be continuing the series after this book and I have this creeping feeling that this is going to turn into a DNF book.

Since these posts are a place for me to kind of talk about things not directly review related, this year has seemed like I’ve read a lot more books on other bloggers’ recommendation (not personally to me, but just in a review) that have turned out to be real stinkers. Most of them I had already avoided due to my gut but I let myself be convinced my gut was wrong. Only to find out my gut had been right all along. I certainly don’t hold the other bloggers responsible, not at all. They didn’t put a gun to my head and scream “Read this book or I’ll pull the trigger, I swear I will!” I chose to read the books.

What I am learning is that I need to listen to my gut more. I guess I’m the literary equivalent of the Rogue Lone Agent who does things his own way and gets results. * poses in sunglasses * It’s either that or I’m the evil villain convinced of the righteousness of his cause, no matter the cost. If I am the villain, then I’m going to buy myself a cosmic horror tentacle monster. ALL the cool villains have them you know.

Currently Reading & Quote: Riders of the Silences

Here’s a quote from the beginning of the book, Riders of the Silences, by Max Brand.

But nowhere in the vast spread of the mountain-desert country was there a greater legend than the story of Red Pierre and the phantom gunfighter, McGurk.

Of course, my mind went here:

I’m sure you can tell who is supposed to be Red Pierre and who is supposed to be McGurk. If you’re not familiar with who these Veggies really are, they are the main characters from a children’s show called VeggieTales and that is Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber.

They are the furthest thing you can get from Legendary Men of the West, hence why my mind went there. The dichotomy is simply too delicious to ignore.

Now I’m just imagining Bob and Larry on horses shooting at each other, hahahahaaa.

Currently Reading & Quote: Lord of Chaos

The Prologue encompassed about 6 different viewpoints and when I reached Chapter 1, I had forgotten I was still reading the prologue! Oy vey.

There was a quote though that felt too fitting, sadly:

“You bite at one another like rats in a sealed box.”
~One of the Forsaken to either Elayne or Nynaeve

Thankfully, the girls are somewhat separated so the bitchiness factor has been spread around. We’re getting both Rand, Matt and Perrin’s perspective, so this is going to be a full book. Calibre calculates this at 976 pages and I think Librarything has it close to 1100? Either way, this is a big fat book. Wouldn’t surprise me if it slows my reading for the month way down.

First Line Friday: Dombey and Son


Dombey sat in the corner of the darkened room in the great arm-chair by the bedside, and Son lay tucked up warm in a little basket bedstead, carefully disposed on a low settee immediately in front of the fire and close to it, as if his constitution were analogous to that of a muffin, and it was essential to toast him brown while he was very new.

Yes, that is the opening sentence/paragraph to Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens and it is ONE sentence. I’m loving this book already!

Gulag Archipelago, Vol II: Quote #1

And even while sitting peacefully among the fragrant hay mowings of Razliv* and listening to the buzzing bumblebees, Lenin could not help but ponder the future penal system. Even then he had worked things out and reassured us: “The suppression of the minority of exploiters by the majority of the hired slaves of yesterday is a matter so comparatively easy, simple and natural, that it is going to cost much less in blood … will be much cheaper for humanity” than the preceding suppression of the majority by the minority.^

According to the estimates of emigre Professor of Statistics Kurganov, this “comparatively easy” internal repression cost us, from the beginning of the October Revolution up to 1959, a total of… sixty-six million—66,000,000—lives. We, of course, cannot vouch for his figure, but we have none other that is official. And just as soon as the official figure is issued the specialists can make the necessary critical comparisons.

~Gulag Archipelago, Vol II, page 4

66 MILLION. For comparison, that is more than the combined populations of the States of California AND Texas. For those of a world-wide persuasion, choose between wiping out the UK or France.

Another way to look at it is like this:
WWI caused between 20-40 million deaths.
WWII caused 85 million deaths.
The Black Plague killed approximately 25 million.

But no matter how you compare it, look at it or intellectually think about it, one fact remains: Communism caused that massive number. In fact, there is a term for 1 million deaths, it is called Mega-Death.