Bob was a dog. Bob used to be Red, the neighbor's dog. Bob became Bob, the writer's dog. Bob is dead. Let's write a three page paean to Bob and publish with one sentence per page so it makes a 200 page book. That sums it up in a nutshell.
Rate this one 4 stars, with 3 of those for the sentimental aspect.
The premise here is the absurd dumb laws that are actually on the books in some cities and states in the United States. You can access a listing here, which may not be the exact list the author used, but almost all of the laws he broke, or attempted to are listed.
The author and a friend head to California for a cross-country trip, all the while attempting to break some of the more ridiculous laws on the books in several states. At first he has only a smattering of successes, most of the time with rather boring results. It seems to me tide turns about midway through the book, when the unfortunate coincidence of their Cornish flag they are displaying (they are from Cornwall in the U.K.) has a resemblance to the flag that a local violent gang displays. They are briefly met with hostility by local police until the error is cleared up. It is at this point that the book started getting more interesting.
All in all, its not an entirely satisfying book as far as road trip books go that I've read. But if you are unfamiliar with the strange laws, or just like the idea of breaking laws just for a laugh, you probably can't go wrong with this one.
Rate it 6 stars.
The Grilled Cheese Madonna (and 99 Other of the Weirdest, Wackiest, Most Famous eBay Auctions Ever) by Christopher Cihlar
Some of the strangest things have turned up for sale on eBay. Sometimes the sale of these things garners a lot of media attention. This is the subject that the author covers in this book. From the attempted sale by a woman of her virginity, the guy who claimed "a piece of the shuttle Columbia broke my rake" and was trying to sell the broken rake, and the one young man who tried to sell his soul, all the most outrageous sales over the history of eBay are here.
They are divided into several sections, each covering a specific type of auctioned item. In many of the cases, eBay pulled the item from its website because it violated their policies. i.e. You can't sell body parts. as people become more ingenuitive, eBay's policies on what can be sold become more restrictive. The secondary aspect of the book is the author's half-hearted attempt to educate his readers on how to get a sensational type of item on the site (and probably in the process become fodder for the sequel).
Even if you know about every one of the notorious sales herein, you will still find the book enjoyable, even if only as a reminescence. And it is easily read in an hour or so.
Rate this one 7½ stars.
I haven't been here in so long, I almost forgot I even had a blog. I've been doing some reading over the past few months, but not near as much as I used to read. Over the next few days, I will try to dredge up memories of the books I read, and post them. After that, expect me to be more frequent. At least I'll try to be.