April found me in a bit of a literary funk. Little writing or reading
was done while I went into the man-cave to recharge my batteries. I'm
feeling better now, and have made myself a promise that should help to
fend off future episodes.

I'm not reading any more shitty books.

I always prided myself on reading a book all the through to the end,
whether I was asked to review it or not. Bad books can teach, if only to
show what not to do, or how not to do it. I was like the little kid
with the pile of horseshit under the Christmas tree, looking for the

No more.

Life's too short for that. I blew off two books in April alone. One was a "innocent man caught up in an
international conspiracy" thriller, where the innocent man did so many
stupid things in the first fifty pages, each blatantly calculated to
make the situation worse, I was rooting for the bad guys to kill him and
get it over with; I was willing to suffer a little world domination
just to get rid of this guy.

The other was by a writer whose books I've enjoyed in the past. (No one likely to ever see this blog, so
rest easy, friends.) A hundred pages in and I was still waiting for
something interesting to happen when my review editor said someone else
had reviewed it and I didn't have to. Possibly the highlight of my

So, April has two recommended reads; only one is literary.

The Fourth Protocol, Frederick Forsythe - An oldie but goody. I hadn't read any Forsythe in years and
wanted to see if he still held up in my eyes. Aside from the whole Cold
War thing, a few things are a little dated, but in general everything
holds up. The characters are believable, the plot holds together, and
the twists are understandable only in retrospect; he consistently
surprises, never cheats. A master.

Baseball Prospectus 2010 - By seamheads for seamheads, but a lot of fun to read if you qualify. It's long, and we all have
lives, but if you're geeked up on baseball (like I am), this is a good
read to keep around the viewing chair for commercials and rain delays,
as it can be read in bite-sized chunks.

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Comment by I. J. Parker on May 2, 2010 at 8:10am
I like Forsythe. How nice that you'll share your reviews here. And there are a lot of very good older books that deserve some comment long before the new stuff.

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