All-American Murder the Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez

All American Murder… by James Patterson is the tale of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots’ tight end, who was convicted of murder and who killed himself in jail. He seemed to have everything in the world before he was arrested. I have the book on audio download.

It is an interesting story but Ann Rule might have told it better. Ann Rule is one of the best true crime writers. Or maybe this case was so well covered when it happened a few years ago that there aren’t any fresh insights in the book. Maybe someone less familiar with the case would get more out of the book.

It is not a bad book but I have might have expected too much.  This review in USA Today is interesting.


Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series

Harlan Coben might be best known for his series of novels featuring sports agent and amateur detective Myron Bolitar. Or Coben might be better known for his other thrillers such as Hold Tight or Tell No One. Tell No One was made into a French movie.

I’ve always liked the Bolitar series.

The series started with Deal Breaker in 1995. Several more novels followed but after Darkest Fear, Coben started to write more stand alone thrillers. Six years later Coben wrote another book in the series Promise Me. Since then there have been three more novels in the series including 2016’s Home.

I like the series. Myron is a likable hero and he narrates the books so you get to know him and understand his worldview. The supporting characters are good. Win is Myron’s best friend and muscle. Myron has an assistant (later partner) named Esperanza Diaz (a former pro wrestler) and a receptionist named Big Cyndi.

The plots are interesting and several of the novels revolve around sports. Later Myron changes his agency and starts to represent actors, authors, and other non-sports clients and the later novels revolve less around sports.

Home is really good. Most of the books in the series are good. I cannot think of a bad novel in the series. The Bolitar books are available as audiobooks.

Catalyst a Rogue One story

I liked Rogue One but didn’t love it. I am currently listening to the audio book of Catalyst a Rogue One story.  It is by James Luceno and performed by Jonathan Davis.  Both are veterans of previous Star Wars audio books.

It It is set towards the end of the clone wars and involves the building of the Death Star. So far it has the parents of the female hero from Rogue One trying to stay out of the war. One of the villains from Rogue One is making his way up the ranks. That is kind of interesting.

I am enjoying it. Davis is giving a good voice performance and the story so far is pretty interesting.  I think I’ve listen a few audiobooks by Luceno over the years. He is pretty good.

I am glad I bought it. I don’t think you need to read this book or listen to the audio book to enjoy the movie but it might enhance your enjoyment of the movie.

The Daily Show the Audiobook

This is pretty good. However if you liked Craig Kilborn’s version of the show, you might be disappointed with this book. His time is covered pretty quickly. Of course Jon Stewart’s name is in the title.

It is an interesting book. I didn’t know about some people who worked on the show before Stewart’s tenure. Also I didn’t know about some resentment that happens when Stewart started to reshape the show. One of the creators left the show a few years in Jon’s tenure.

The most surprising thing in the book is that comedian/corespondent Wyatt Cenac knew about Amos and Andy (he compared a skit about Herman Caine to the show). I think the TV show had not been seen in about 50 years and I don’t think anyone plays the old radio show. (Amos and Andy was a radio show and later a TV show about two black men but the radio show was created and written by white men and they voiced the characters. Black actors played the parts on the TV show.)

It is an interesting book.

Book Thoughts August 2016

Max Allan Collins new book Better Dead is good. It is his latest Nathan Heller novel and it is set in the 1950s. Private investigator Nate Heller is investigating the Joel and Ethel Rosenberg case. Then in the second novella Heller works for Betty Page, the famous pin up model. As always the cases are interesting and Heller remains a likeable and flawed hero.

The Star Wars Aftermath series has been fun so far. This is the series that tells what happened after Revenge of the Jedi. The books are entertaining, maybe not as good as Timonthy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. Marc Thompson reads the audio version and he is good as always.

John Sandford has a new Virgil Flowers novel coming out in October. This is a good series. John Connolly has a new Harry Bosch novel coming out this fall. I prefer his Lincoln Lawyer series but the Bosch series is good too. So there are some good books coming out in the fall.

Modern Horrors

I am reading film critic Scott Weinberg’s book Modern Horrors. He has been reviewing movies since 1999 and I follow him on Twitter. He reviews non-horror movies for Nerdist.

I like his reviews. He likes horror movies but can still be critical of them. I like that. He likes slasher movies and well made found footage movies. He concedes that a lot of found footage movies aren’t well made.

Favorite reviews so far

  • the Final Girls
  • Fright Night
  • I, Frankenstein
  • Odd Thomas
  • Sinister

The reviews don’t have star ratings. That is a bit odd but the reviews are still enjoyable.

Book Thoughts May 2016

Boys Among Men by Jonathan Abrams is about the years between 1995 and 2005 when high school basketball players skipped college and went to the NBA. Players covered include Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnet but the book also covers some less successful players. It is interesting.

Brady vs Manning is interesting but not as good as I hoped. I thought it would be more interesting than it turned out to be but I am not sure why. Gary Myers is a good writer but his best book might be the Catch from a few years back. Brady vs. Manning is still worth reading though.

Extreme Prey is good. It is the latest Lucas Davenport novel from John Sandford. Lucas is unemployed but recruited to do a favor for the governor but danger lurks nearby. (I missed the last novel in the series, so I don’t know why Lucas quit.) Richard Ferrone reads it on audio.