I'm not sure how much more money I would have to make before a $15-20 bottle of wine became financially feasible as an "everyday" wine. If I ever make it there, I would like this to be my wine. That is fun to say. My wine. I do not produce this wine, obviously, but my thanks go out to the good people at the Starry Night Winery for all of the work they do to produce a wine that I love. I have had Starry Night's 2005 Tom Feeney Ranch Zinfandel and that was good, but a little rough around the edges. The Lodi Zin from Starry Night is thick and juicy, the big alcohol that Zin grapes bring was very well balanced.
Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston
After Crichton's death in November 2008, Preston (The Hot Zone) was drafted to complete the work Crichton had begun on this novel.
Three men are found dead in the locked second-floor office of a Honolulu building, with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye.
In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.
But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.
This book will be available on November 22, 2011.
Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness -- featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
A woman is chosen, seemingly at random, to write the biography for England's most cherished and most mysterious author. Margaret comes to live with the secretive Vida Winter to chronicle the series of unlikely and hard-to-believe situations that shaped her into the woman and the prolific storyteller that she became. She hears tales of twins, ghosts, love affairs, missing parents and more. The journey on which Ms. Winter takes Margaret is heart-breaking and wondrous. They are secrets that the world is waiting with bated breath to hear, but secrets that might need to be kept.
This is a bizarre little book, but one I really enjoyed. I found the plot to be very creative and unlike anything I've read before. I am always glad to read something so different. Some of the events described were surprisingly aggressive, which I'm not used to, but I was able to adapt. The one thing that I cannot deny was the power in Diane Setterfield's writing; it was awesome. She wrote poetically and emotionally and that is how I adapted to the stories told; good writing can transform just about anything into something worth reading about.
Admittedly, it took me a very long time to get around to reading this book. I tell myself that I do that to distance myself from the recommendations I receive so my expectations aren't too high, but sometimes the plot just sounds so droll. I do not want to raise your expectations to a level where they cannot be met by this book, but I enjoyed it and I hope you do too.
Sylvester Stallone stars as Barney Ross, leader of The Expendables, a tight-knit team of skilled combat vets turned mercenaries. Hired by a powerful covert operator, the team jets off to a small South American country to overthrow a ruthless dictator. Once there, they find themselves caught in a deadly web of deceit and betrayal. Using every weapon at their disposal, they set out to save the innocent and punish the guilty in this blistering action-packed thriller.
Sylvester Stallone is Barney Ross, who leads a group of (aging) mercenaries and accepts a contract that leads the team to some remote island nation to kill its military head. While on location, Stallone's character falls for some unlikely lady in an attempt to sneak some plot into this movie that is really just an all-star cast for fighting sequences and big explosions. I love fighting sequences. I love big explosions. I love movies with Jason Statham and movies with Jet Li and movies with...each of the guys in this movie (Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews and Mickey Rourke). So one movie with all of them together is intriguing, right? There is one AMAZING action sequence that is worth seeing, but the rest of the movie fails to entertain. Consider The Expendables to be the action-equivalent to what Wild Hogs was for comedy; a last hurrah of sorts for a cast that has been around the block a few too many times.
Somehow The Expendables earned itself a sequel and hopefully they'll get this one right and stick to fighting and explosions.
Agent Sands: El, you really must try this because it's puerco pibil. It's a slow-roasted pork, nothing fancy. It just happens to be my favorite, and I order it with a tequila and lime in every dive I go to in this country. And honestly, that is the best it's ever been anywhere. In fact, it's too good. It's so good that when I'm finished, I'll pay my check, walk straight into the kitchen and shoot the cook. Because that's what I do. I restore the balance to this country. And that is what I would like from you right now. Help keep the balance by pulling the trigger.
The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel by Brandon Sanderson
Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.
Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.
One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.
This book will be available on November 8, 2011.
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