Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Member List December 30, 2016

Ang Vassos

Larry Robinow
Hospital Administrator

David Saperstein
Medical Doctor

Ken Bell
Medical Doctor

Joe Robbins

Ed Rosen
Design Enginer

Mike Sultan
Medical Doctor

Dixon Webb
Medical Sales

Gene Goldman

Murder in the Supreme Court

Not a selection - yet.
I am to review and report.
Borrowed copy from Ed.
Kept the copy. Will finish. Due at meeting June 26th.

The Genius Factory

By Plotz

Shockley story
For April 2017
Date changed to March 27th
Read it.  Not one of my favorites.  A reporters view of eugenics.
Gave book to Ed.

Dead Wake

For March 2017

A Man Called Ove


For Feb. Meeting

Was discussed at length. Excellent book. Geriatrics on steroids. Funny and realistic tale of an old guy who recently lost his wife to cancer and rebuilt his own with neighbors - all the while trying to figure
out how to hang himself from the ceiling in his living room - and failing big time.

Before The Fall

By Noah Hawley

For January 30, 2017 Meeting

The March

By E.L. Doctorow

Civil War

Sherman's March to the sea.

For Meeting Dec. 19, 2016

Unreasonable Force

By Brent Marks

Legal Thriller

For Meeting Nov. 28, 2016

Missed this one.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Plum Island - Nelson DeMill

The author manages several plots and does it well. A work injured cop goes to recuperate at the rural home of an absent relative. He meets a young couple who then get murdered. With the aide of the local chief of police, he gets assigned to find the culprits.

During his investigation he meets an assortment of characters and each helps him work the case. There is a little romancing but this quickly becomes a story about chemical-biological weapons.

Off the coast of rural Long Island, not too far from Block Island, is another lesser known place called Plum Island, It's owned and operated by the American government and considered a "Top Secret" area. The island is approachable only by boat, and the channel between it and the mainland can often be so rough as to be dangerous, hard to cross in bad weather.

Plum Island is the site of an official laboratory charged to explore and control all kinds of biological and chemical weapons. The work is done by scientists, chemists, and physicists. The two young scientists killed worked at Plum Island.

While on the island they discovered a pirate's treasure. To avoid taxation and notoriety they endeavored to move the treasure to the mainland and rebury it, only to slowly re-discover it later. Their intent was to publicize the find, say the treasure was really quite small, pay the taxes, and then keep the bulk of it for themselves.

The rural area on the nearby mainland was small. Everyone knew everyone else. The investigation was finally narrowed to someone in the local population. As it proceeded many dangerous situations faced the intrepid "injured cop' hero of the story. From the first page to the last, our hero was portrayed as tough, wise cracking, and attractive to a few ladies on the island. Each one of the ladies was in a position to help him with the investigation. Each was also a romantic element of the plot.

The case was inevitably solved. The villain was predictable. The overall story stretched the imagination but maintained a convoluted mystery.

The side story promoted interest in weapons potentially more dangerous than any other. It asked the reader to think about the political implications, terrorist control, and every  nations vulnerability.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Schedule as of August 1st

Aug. 29th       When Breath Becomes Air   by Mark Kal . . . . .

Sept. 26th       All The Light We Can Not See   by

Oct. 24th         Plum Island    by  Nelson Demille

Nov. 28th        Unreasonable Force     by  Brent Marks

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Rosie Project August 1, 2016

If I could write ((I can't) I wish I was clever enough to write one like this. With tongue firmly in cheek, this author Gives us a combination  of the Big Bang Theory and Auntie Mame. It's clever and devious and a delight to read.

I started it with a chip on my shoulder. I don't like romance novels as a rule and the title "Rosie" put me off. Within two pages I was hooked. It's much more than a romance novel.

The primary character is Don, a hard to believe over educated and  brilliant  mis-fit in society. Rosie turns out to be his sad sack Lucille Ball homeless type who works in a gay bar at odd hours and pursues he unidentified father during regular hours. To dd a twinkle, the author has given Rosie and unusually high IQ and a Masters Degree, and she is working on her phd as we speak.

Complicating the flow is Don's similar quest for the unknown. A nerd and a twerp since birth, he was subjected to ridicule from the start  in school so he became an expert in marital arts and handle any bully.

With an extremely high intelligence and ridiculous clothing,  he went through the world without truly seeing anyone else. They flew under his notice. Completely inept in any social situation leads to a disturbingly focused lifestyle. That is, before he met Rosie.

So we have a set of parallel stories that intertwine just a little and essentially make the book into a mystery rather than a romance. The Father Project (hers) and The Wife Project (his) are both hilarious.

There is a deeper side to the book involving Autism and other mental conditions.  I wouldn't say that the book answers questions about them. but it does present an engaging picture of personalities so afflicted.

A good book.


The Devils Chessboard - Jun 27 2016 ?

This is a fairly well written book about the C.I.A., Allen Dulles, and the assassination of President Kennedy.  Hidden throughout the pages is a sub-story about government corruption, the lack of oversight of the C.I.A., and the manipulation of our government by the unscrupulous power elite in Washington.  In the end it is heavy on opinion and light on facts. 

About midway in the book the author says: "Nixon took the leading Republican role as hatchet man so that Eisenhower could assume a more dignified posture." That, for example, was the author's opinion. He also added that "when a situation would not yield to diplomatic pressure, Allen Dulles' boys (C.I.A.) would take care of it." He characterized Nixon as "an aggrieved outsider in the Ivy League/Wall Street world of the power elite." This all occurred after a somewhat slow first part of the book, but from Eisenhower years forward it became obsessed as it dealt mostly with the disposition of Nazi officers and German political figures after World War II. 

Then, beginning with J.F.K.,  the book commented on the perils facing the new President,  and then began to address his assassination. The author builds a solid (but largely circumstantial) case that the much studied assassination and subsequent Warren Report were fixed from the start. And in the end, worthless. There are many alternate explanations and theories  advanced. The author suggests that the evil and secret world inhabited by Allen and Foster Dulles, the Central Intelligence Agency, the power elite in Washington, and involving politicians then in office, all contributed to the murder of President Kennedy.  

Nearer to the end of the book the author discusses (at length) similar theories about the Bobby Kennedy assassination. He claims that; Sirhan Sirhan (the assassin) just after the assassination, appeared to be in some sort of hypnotic or narcotic state - and this fits directly with Allen Dulles previous meetings with Dr. Stephan Crowe (brainwashing and mind control expert), Dr. Sidney Gottlieb (C.I.A. pharmaceutical expert and consultant to the C.I.A.'s MKULTRA project). Clearly asking for the reader to form his own conclusions.   

The Devils Chessboard gets a C-.


The Admiral and The Ambassador - Scott Martelle Jun 16 2016 ?

Mr. Smith Goes To Prison June 1, 2016

The author is a bit of a shady (but smart) character. The first part of the book establishes the reality of St. Louis politics and the underworld of black versus white. He uses the street language which seems accurate - but overdone. Street gangs, niggers, motherfuckers, drug dealing trash talkers, and etc., all mumbling unintelligible one word sentences like the black rappers.

The second part of the book the author tones down the rhetoric slightly, and he displays a genuine talent for describing a modern minimum security prison. The picture he presents is not good. He contends that the politicians that control the money to operate the prisons are defunct, and our prisons have been deteriorating for years. The author's experience takes him into great detail about the day to day requirements for an inmates survival. It's pretty grim.

He presents worrisome statistics that proving his point; that our prisons teach the inmates how to be better criminals instead of teaching them how to take steps toward rehabilitation. The number of inmates that serve their sentences and are released not prepared in any way to rejoin society huge. Frustrated and adrift they soon  commit another crime and are returned to prison. Our prisons have become a revolving door!

Years ago American prisons had become really bad,  dirty, and vastly overcrowded places. Then rising crime rates and overcrowding made them worse. So, we built new, more secure, and improved facilities. Actually, we overdid it . We created a greater division between white collar crimes and violent crimes. It became a white folks vs black folks conflict. 

If sentenced as a white collar criminal the inmate was sometimes housed in near luxury. 

If sentenced as a violent criminal the inmate was housed in considerably worse conditions.

For example: This resulted in the 1970's with the convicted savings and loan executives living in prison "country clubs" complete with TV in their cells, computers,  golf courses, swimming pools and other luxuries. It is said that this program no longer exists? Hmmm.

America's population is now increasing even faster.  The level (and viciousness) of of crime is rising so quickly that our prisons face disaster. The overcrowding (mostly with drug offenders), and more released prisoners -  are returning again as inmates. The  politicians say they have no more money for prison improvements. The judicial people say they must follow the  huge number of new laws.  The overall result is soon to be much greater threat to our society.  


The 100 Year Old Man Apr 25 2016

Being Mortal Mar 28 2016 ?

Call The Doctor Feb 29 2016 ?

Polk Feb 27 2016

Embers of War Jan 27 2015 ?

Dead Wake Jan 25 2016 ?