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Reading Roundup January and February

So far I'm a little behind on my goal to read 60 books this year. I figure I can always cheat by reading lots of children's and young adult titles.

I discovered today on Amazon that it there are now "Choose Your Own" adventure-type books for the Kindle. They are low-cost and I'm sure I will enjoy the nostalgia.

1. How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming by Mike Brown: I got this book at a book signing. So I read an actual book with binding and paper and stuff. It's a great book. I highly recommend it.

2. Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans by Wendell Porter: A great look at the inner workings of the for-profit health insurance industry. Porter worked in public relations for several insurance companies and had to leave the industry because his job conflicted with his personal ethics.

3. Half Empty by David Rakoff: I thought this book would be much better than it was. I guess I expected it to be Sedaris-esque. I'm not sure why though. I think my pre-conceived expectations for this book clouded my judgement.

4. The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie: That's right. Dr. House wrote a novel. It was pretty darn entertaining though I wouldn't call it fine literature or anything. It's a tongue in cheek spy novel (sort of).

5. The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World's Most Endangered Languages by K. David Harrison: I love books about linguistics but I found this one pissing me off. It was highly subjective. I found the descriptions of the languages, customs and lifestyles of various cultures fascinating. However, Harrison kept making claims that were either completely untestable or just out-right wrong. For instance, he claimed that if the Tuvans give up speaking their own language and start using Russsian exclusively, they would lose their ability to use specialized terminology about livestock. I think that's quite a tenuous assertion. If the Russian speaking Tuvans need that specialized language they will either import the Tuvan terminology or invent new Russian words.

6. Shimmeree (Serendipity Books) by Stephen Cosgrove: I love re-reading old children's literature. Although this is a quick read intended for new readers, it is beautifully written and illustrated. My sister purchased this book used, she remembered reading it as a child. It is likely that these Serendipity Books had quite an influence on her art. It is a real shame that these are out of print.

7. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer: I re-read this children's book as well. I read the first three several years ago and I thought I'd like re-read the early titles before moving on. These are great books that are very imaginative. I hope children will be enjoying these stories for many years to come. Why is there no film? It would make a great film. It should contain cameos from various James Bond villans.

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Annual Lyric Guide for Tonight

Auld Lang Syne
Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine;
we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne

We two hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne

And here's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Tweets for today

  • 16:33 I'm at CCAC Downtown Center (625 Stanwix St, 11th Floor, Pittsburgh). 4sq.com/8V2ELX #
  • 20:56 I'm at Eat'n Park (516 Lincoln Highway, Warren Dr, North Versailles). 4sq.com/cL3qPM #
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Tweets for today

  • 12:27 I'm at Byers Hall CCAC (808 Ridge Ave, Pittsburgh). 4sq.com/bhrHcB #
  • 15:39 I'm at CCAC Downtown Center (625 Stanwix St, 11th Floor, Pittsburgh). 4sq.com/8V2ELX #
  • 15:44 Going to see Airbender tonight. It better be as bad as "Manos The Hands of Fate." #
  • 18:48 Airbender (@ AMC Loews Theatre w/ 2 others) 4sq.com/7JIQjN #
  • 20:39 Airbender: Not bad. WTF? #
  • 21:13 I'm at Uno Chicago Grill (205 E Waterfront Dr, Homestead). 4sq.com/7jCwuP #
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Tweets for today

  • 14:04 I just had a text-message conversation in Russian. I didn't know I could do that. #
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Tweets for today

  • 11:38 I thought the original date was today. Maybe they moved it. #
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Tweets for today

  • 10:54 I'm at The UPS Store (1151 Freeport Road, Blawnox). 4sq.com/blUScH #
  • 10:54 I'm at goodwill. 4sq.com/abjwBf #
  • 11:08 I'm at Target (8931 Lincoln Highway, North Huntingdon). 4sq.com/50CxqV #
  • 11:08 I'm at Starbucks at Target (8931 Lincoln Highway, Rt. 30, Irwin). 4sq.com/9pIZrH #
  • 11:41 I'm at Jo-Ann Fabrics. 4sq.com/adgV1W #
  • 17:57 I'm at Station Square (100 West S
    tation Square Drive, Pittsburgh). 4sq.com/7QAUW6 #
  • 19:39 Devo concert cancelled due to weather. Ho Hum. Now what? #
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Tweets for today

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Tweets for today

  • 16:52 I'm excited to go see "Weird Al" tonight! @alyankovic #
  • 18:18 Weird Al (@ Palace Theatre w/ @benwhoski) 4sq.com/cifqpf #
  • 21:20 I'm at Denny's. 4sq.com/cpm54J #
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Tweets for today

  • 12:57 I'm at The UPS Store (8701 LINCOLN HWY, NORTH HUNTINGDON). 4sq.com/cKg7Xu #
  • 13:08 I'm at Pasqualino's Italian Eatery (8701 Lincoln Highway, North Huntingdon). 4sq.com/ab8xxn #
  • 13:20 RT @ebertchicago: Mullets decreed illegal in Iran. At last, something we agree on. #
  • 15:46 I just ousted @jcraigiii as the mayor of CCAC Downtown Center on @foursquare! 4sq.com/8V2ELX #
  • 15:46 I'm at CCAC Downtown Center (625 Stanwix St, 11th Floor, Pittsburgh). 4sq.com/8V2ELX #
  • 18:20 I just unlocked the "Photogenic" badge on @foursquare! 4sq.com/9t6HaL #
  • 18:20 I'm at Dave & Buster's (180 Waterfront Dr, Homestead). 4sq.com/6W96yF #
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