Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Kite Runner

Finished this audio book today. What can I say? Read it - better yet - listen to it since it is read by the author himself (an Afghan, now living in the U.S). Not only is it a great story, but you learn some history of Afghanistan, the Taliban - this book is up there with Life of Pi, Secret Life of Bees,etc. You can the read basic plot summary if you look below in the posting I made earlier about this book. #3 on the NY Times Paperback Fiction list and listed now for 41 weeks.

Incidentally, I noticed that Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer, which I recently finished, was listed as one of the 10 best books for 2004 by the Times. Also on the list was Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton. That's my next listen. That's a long one - 37 hours.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Remember that little Google stock that went public around $85/share not that long ago? Today it sits at $304.10/share. Are you putting a gun to your head that you didn't get in? I am.

Firefox Extension
For a killer Firefox extension, check out Scrapbook . How I missed this one, I don't know. If you do research on anything (health issues comes to mind. :), then this is a great tool.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Audio books

Thought I might mention that Audible has a summer sale of their audio books for $9.95 each. That's a steal, so you might want to check a few titles out. When you consider that John Adams is available on 37 CD's for $100 from Barnes and Noble, it's nice to know you can get it for $10 and download it to your Ipod, mp3 player, Palm Pilot or Pocket PC thus alleviating the need to schlep 37 CD's around

I recently finished Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fisher, read by the incomparable Nelson Runger . Great history book of the beginning revolutionary war battles, in particular the Battle of Trenton and the following battle of Princeton. One has to marvel at what these soldiers endured on that bitter cold, sleet driving winter night in 1776 while crossing the Delaware. How they made it across that river and then drug those cannon along icy roads for another 10 miles and then fought a battle humbles this couch potato of today. The book further illustrates how the tide could have easily have changed in favor of the British, were it not for Washington's strong leadership and a different mindset amongst American civilians of the day. It's hard to imagine how a hastily thrown together bunch of ragtag farmers, clerks and the like could defeat professionally trained armies, many with 30+ years of doing battle. Originality saved the day, that and a fierce determination to be free. Give it a try - impecabbly researched and the description of the crossing is worth the read alone.

I'm now halfway through The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossein . Given a 4.7/5 rating by some 413 readers on Audible, the following descr iption sums it up nicely - Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable and beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan grow up in different worlds: Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara - a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.

The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship and betrayal, and about the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of fathers over sons - their love, their sacrifices, and their lies. Written against a backdrop of history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But through the devastation, Khaled Hosseini offers hope for redemption.
This is turning out to be a very interesting story, one that is hard to put down.

Maybe it's time you gave an audio book a try? Did you know that truck drivers are becoming some of the best read individuals in America? More and more and descending upon libraries and checking out audio books for their cross country trips. If you're a commuter, you're nuts to miss this opportunity to fill up those wasted hours sitting in your car - I know, I used to sit in that 5 pm. Atlanta traffic - back then I always kept a book in the car, but audio would have been fabulous .