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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Do you like to keep a list of books you read? I started doing this some years back in order to make trips to the bookstore and library more productive. I wish I had started 20 years ago! I use a simple MSWord document with all entries alphabetical by author. Here are two sample entries:

Freedman, JF - 96House of Smoke-ok; 91Against the Wind; 98TheDisappearance-ok-unrealistic; 97KeyWitness+++; 00Above the Law+ 01Birds Eye View+

Friedman, Philip – Reasonable Doubt++; Grand Jury+; 92Inadmissable Evidence+;

At some point I started adding the publication date in front of the title so that I could tell the sequence of the stories, especially if the book was part of a series. My rating system was pretty simple:
+++ Fantastic book, A
++ Great book, A
+ Good book, B
ok All right book, C, probably wouldn't get another by this author
skip Poor book, F

If I read a book I really liked, I would sometimes look up the other titles in the series, and list them in bold. These would be books to borrow/buy.

Today I discovered that you can use one of several online resources to get even better mileage on your "list." You can get all the details in a blogpost by Timothy Broder. He describes and compares the pros and cons on three services:

My Library (Google)

Library Thing

All three are new and wonderful discoveries for me! Thanks Timothy!

Invisible Prey (Sandford) Was Fun

I read one of Sandford's "Prey" books about 4 years ago and immediately read most of the rest of them. Unfortunately I don't remember the particulars of the plots that well, only that I really enjoyed them. I remember that the series' hero, Lucas Davenport, begins as a detective on the city police force and works his way up to a special role on the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Along the way, he defends and marries a plastic surgeon. He is wealthy from a private software venture, fearless, macho.

I say "unfortunately" I don't remember because I have read some other folks' reviews of Invisible Prey in which they say that Sandford is not at his best in this book. The plot solution is obvious. And other downers. Thing is, I liked the book! Yes, by chapter 6 we know exactly who the bad guys are. We know more than the hero (this is not a first person narrative). But I enjoy seeing how Davenport uses the pieces of evidence to figure out what is going on. And it is a pretty good tribute to Sandford's writing that he can keep a reader breathless with only a few minor plot surprises.

Would I read another of Sandford's Prey books? Yes.

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