April 10th, 2013
Patrick Rothfuss - A Wise Man's FearThey were the best sort of friends. The sort everyone hopes for but no one deserves, least of all me.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

April 8th, 2013

Jiro Dreams of SushiJiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world's greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro's sushi bar.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling Jiro's life as both an unparalleled success in the culinary world and as a loving yet complicated father.

This is a documentary about Jiro Ono, the world-renowned, master sushi chef. It should also be noted that this is a humanistic delight that touches on family, sacrifice, hard work, dedication, artistry, inspiration and leadership. Jiro has been making sushi for over 75 years. Sushi is his life's work, his passion. By all accounts he has perfected his craft and that earned him a 3-star Michelin rating. Jiro Dreams of Sushi tells the story of Jiro Ono, his sons, his apprentices, his accolades, his labor of love, his approach to life, his philosophies on success and his 10-seat sushi restaurant located in a subway station.

Watching this movie I learned that the world's best sushi chef is (seems to be?) the most humble man I have ever seen. I realized that I can do better. My inner fire was reignited; I was inspired to do better. This was not what I expected from this movie and I have never been more pleased by being wrong.

I work with small businesses and people looking to take control of their own professional destiny. While I don't think that this was the intended result of the movie, I think it just became a core tool I recommend to help people reach their goals.

Amazon

April 5th, 2013
DescendantsMark Mitchell: This is a unique and dramatic situation.

The King's Deception

April 4th, 2013

The King's Deception by Steve Berry

The King's Deception by Steve BerryCotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his old boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. After a gunpoint greeting in London in which both the fugitive and Gary disappear, Malone learns that he's stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown-an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets.

At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for 'humanitarian reasons.' An outraged American government wants that stopped, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene.

Except, perhaps, Operation King's Deception.

Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations.

CIA Operative Blake Antrim, in charge of King's Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire: the one thing that every Irish national has sought for centuries-a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire 45 year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another-and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to stop the shattering consequences of the King's Deception.

This book will be available on June 11, 2013.

Pre-order your copy.

April 3rd, 2013
Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan BradleyHe began again. "As was your mother, you have been given the fatal gift of genius. Because of it, your life will not be an easy one -- nor must you expect it to be. You must remember always that great gifts come at great cost. Are there any questions?"

The Sleeping Doll - Jeffery Deaver

April 2nd, 2013

The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery DeaverWhen Special Agent Kathryn Dance -- a brilliant interrogator and kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation -- is sent to question the convicted killer Daniel "Son of Manson" Pell as a suspect in a newly unearthed crime, she feels both trepidation and electrifying intrigue. Pell is serving a life sentence for the brutal murders of the wealthy Croyton family in Carmel years earlier -- a crime mirroring those perpetrated by Charles Manson in the 1960s. But Pell and his cult members were sloppy: Not only were they apprehended, they even left behind a survivor -- the youngest of the Croyton daughters, who, because she was in bed hidden by her toys that terrible night, was dubbed the Sleeping Doll.
But the girl never spoke about that night, nor did the crime's mastermind. Indeed, Pell has long been both reticent and unrepentant about the crime. And so with the murderer transported from the Capitola superprison to an interrogation room in the Monterey County Courthouse, Dance sees an opportunity to pry a confession from him for the recent murder -- and to learn more about the depraved mind of this career criminal who considers himself a master of control, a dark Svengali, forcing people to do what they otherwise would never conceive of doing. In an electrifying psychological jousting match, Dance calls up all her skills as an interrogator and kinesics -- body language -- expert to get to the truth behind Daniel Pell.

But when Dance's plan goes terribly wrong and Pell escapes, leaving behind a trail of dead and injured, she finds herself in charge of her first-ever manhunt. But far from simply fleeing, Pell turns on his pursuers -- and other innocents -- for reasons Dance and her colleagues can't discern. As the idyllic Monterey Peninsula is paralyzed by the elusive killer, Dance turns to the past to find the truth about what Daniel Pell is really up to. She tracks down the now teenage Sleeping Doll to learn what really happened that night, and she arranges a reunion of three women who were in his cult at the time of the killings. The lies of the past and the evasions of the present boil up under the relentless probing of Kathryn Dance, but will the truth about Daniel Pell emerge in time to stop him from killing again?

Kathryn Dance is good at reading people. She worked as a jury consultant then moved into public service earning her living from the California Bureau of Investigation. She is primarily an interrogator, but has to step in and step up as lead investigator in the search for a dangerous man named Daniel Pell, who has escaped from prison. Dance is the expert in kinesics, using her skill to discern the truth when people lie. Pell is the expert in manipulation, using his skill to coerce people to bend to his will. He is dangerous and she needs to put him back behind bars.

The Sleeping Doll is CLASSIC Jeffery Deaver. Some of his more recent works have surely disappointed (avoid The Bodies Left Behind), but he is back to true form with this one. This book is wonderfully reminiscent of Peter Kincaid in Deaver's The Devil's Teardrop where Kincaid's expert knowledge in forensic document examination is needed in the search for a man they call the Digger.

Jeffery Deaver teaches, fascinates and intrigues as he writes. The way he weaves the artful science of kinesics (reading body language) into this story is impressive. I have always touted the depth of Mr. Deaver's research as his biggest strength. "The devil is in the detail," as they say, and Deaver goes the extra mile for his readers.

What a great book.

Amazon

April 1st, 2013
Jeff Goins - You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)If you practice every day, you don’t get fatigued. All muscles are built this way, even creative ones.

Inferno

March 22nd, 2013

Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno by Dan BrownIn the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

This book will be available on May 14, 2013.

Pre-order your copy.

March 21st, 2013
Patrick Rothfuss - A Wise Man's FearThe innkeeper gave a humorless chuckle as he leaned against the bar. “so much for my legendary silver tongue.” Bast gave a derogatory snort. “The boy is an idiot, Rashi.” “Am I supposed to feel better because I wasn’t able to persuade an idiot, Bast? “

Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley

March 19th, 2013

Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan BradleyEleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case.

The lovely Flavia de Luce. I've heard so much about her over the past few years, it was past time to join the masses and read one of the books about Alan Bradley's young, science-loving, mystery-solving darling.

I believe I will fall under immediate scrutiny for starting with this, the fifth, book. I wanted to know if you could join this series at any point. I firmly believe that, in any series, you will gain depth and shading from knowing the full story from the beginning. But there may be a variety of reasons why a reader starts later than book one. I started with book five and I was certainly not lost; this book can stand alone. I could tell, as I read, that there was something bigger than just this one plot line at work, but I was at no disadvantage for not being caught up. It just means I am all the more excited to read the rest of the books.

I must admit that I found the story in Speaking from Among the Bones to be a little light. I felt that the entire thing needed some meat on its 'Bones.' Everything moved quickly as if I were led by the hand through a museum at a brisk jog. There were a few moments I would have liked to savor, but on we went. Yet I was still able to enjoy myself; it was still beautiful art that went by so quickly.

Flavia is a delightful serial protagonist. She is incredibly unique and I am glad that I have started reading these books. Now, if you will excuse me, I have more "Flavia" to read.

Amazon