Body of Lies by Iris Johansen

I liked the first in a series of 28 Eve Duncan novels – Face of Deception.

So tried #2 – Body of Lies. But didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. It dragged.

Eve Duncan … is a forensic sculptor driven by a need to liberate innocence from the shroud of death.

… at the weird behest of a shady senator, Eve rebuilds the visage of the politician’s late rival, a challenge that nearly results in her murder, strains her romance with a hard-bitten detective, and uncovers a fantastic global conspiracy over energy profits and much else. …



Having a bad memory, I’ve always relied on LISTS.

Often I’ve called them to-do lists.

In fact, they are most often “to-don’t lists“. Most never get done. 😕

Charles Duhigg points out the obvious: Most to-do lists are actually “memory lists“. Things you MIGHT want to come back to … later. Probably not.

PRODUCTIVITY means actually completing a high priority task.

My second last list system was an app called Wunderlist. It was purchased by Microsoft and my data was moved over to “Microsoft To Do“. That pissed me off, so I switched to “Apple Reminders“.

Based on Charles Duhigg’s advice, each morning I’ll make an ACTION ITEMS list. Only the 3 highest priority items. I’ll have my Reminders app REMIND me each morning at 9am.

If this works, I’ll expand to Duhigg’s S.M.A.R.T. system. … Hmm. That might be a waste of time, though. Better I simply get the 3 things done. Then move on to whims and low priority tasks as usual. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, movies, TV

Doors Open by Ian Rankin (2008)

I’ve read all 23 of Rankin‘s Rebus novels.

Doors Open is a stand-alone thriller. No Rebus or Fox.

The plot is good.

With a vast collection but limited wall space, the National Gallery (on the TV adaptation, a Scottish bank) has many more valuable works of art in storage than it could ever display.

The plan is to stage a heist at the Granton storage depot on “Doors Open Day” during which a selected group of paintings will be “stolen”.

The gang will then give the appearance of having panicked and fled without the works of art, but will have switched the real paintings with high quality forgeries good enough to convince anyone investigating the matter that no theft has been committed. …

Like many Rebus fans, I found the book lacking.

The screen version looks to be more entertaining.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


The Target by David Baldacci

Book 4 in the Will Robie series.

I’d hoped Robie partnering with another American black ops assassin, Jessica Reel, would make for the BEST book in the series, so far.

BUT this book is everything I don’t like about Baldacci.

Unbelievable. Predictable. Jingoistic. North Korea evil but redeemable by the USA, USA, USA.

The subplot with Reel’s father, Earl Fontaine, was the one section well done. I wish the rest of the book was that good.

Though there are two more books in the series, I’m OUT.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Unbreakable (2000) – M. Night Shyamalan

I’ve never become a Shyamalan fan, though — of course — The Sixth Sense (1999) is a brilliant film.

I finally watched the critically acclaimed Unbreakable.

For me Unbreakable was an inferior version of Sixth Sense. Another picture where Bruce Willis is quiet and subtle.

Samuel L. Jackson was excellent, however.

And the movie is skillfully done.

But too slow paced for me.

The plot reminded me of the more entertaining Fearless (1993). But Jeff Bridges as Max Klein in that film was better than Willis in this one.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


The River by Peter Heller

An excellent book. Wilderness survival.

Two best friends together on a long, remote canoe trip to Hudson’s Bay. Their friendship tested by forest fire, white water, and violence.

Heller knows the outdoors intimately. And writes skillfully.

He traveled the world as an expedition kayaker. Worked as a logger, offshore fisherman, river guide.

Highly recommended.



Only Murders in the Building 

A fan of by Steve MartinMartin Short, I was bound to enjoy Only Murders.

Selena Gomez? … Who? I’m not her demographic.

But having the old comedians team up with a young female singer was smart. She’s the right age to make fun of both.

As I’ve come to expect, Steve plays the straight man. Martin the comic.

And we can all make fun of true crime obsessives listening to podcasts. 😀

I’m already looking forward to the second season.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.