My Apple Watch 5 Review

I went decades without a watch ‘cuz TIME ain’t the boss of me.

When I finally got around to trying Apple Watch 3, I was instantly hooked. It’s an essential part of my life now. I can’t live without a smart watch. 

LOVE IT. 

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Having broken two Apple Watch 3 faces already, when I decided to upgrade the 5 I paid the extra for Apple Care. It covers everything for 2 years.

The normal warranty is 1 year and does not cover cracked glass, the most common way to break it.

In addition, for even more protection, I added an OtterBox Exo Edge Rugged Apple Watch Case.

Watch a video on that product.

Initially I thought the much cheaper Apple Watch 3 would do everything I need.

… Until Rene Ritchie convinced me to upgrade to the 5. Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

How much does it cost?

If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

Get a Casio. 😀

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This book has sold well over 4.5 million copies. And it’s legit.

Excellent.

The audio version superbly well read.

Pretty much anyone would enjoy the life story of the marsh girl, who attended only 1 day of school surviving alone from about the age of 10.

It’s at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.

Reese Witherspoon will produce the film.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a 2018 novel by Delia Owens.

It has topped the The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2019 for 27 non-consecutive weeks.

The story follows two timelines that slowly intertwine. The first timeline describes the life and adventures of a young girl named Kya as she grows up isolated in the marsh of North Carolina from 1952–1969.

The second timeline follows a murder investigation of Chase Andrews, a local celebrity of Barkley Cove, a fictional coastal town of North Carolina. …

Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch by Stephen King

Stephen King is an excellent writer — but I’m often scared off from his horror books.

I generally don’t like horror.

But he called Mr. Mercedes (2014) his first hard-boiled detective book. It’s non-supernatural, but still scary.

Many jobless people are standing in line for a job fair, but then a Mercedes plows into the crowd killing 8 people and severely injuring many.

Bill Hodges, a recently retired detective from the local police department living the life of a retiree, receives a letter from an individual claiming to be the person responsible for the job fair incident, referring to himself as “Mr. Mercedes.”

Hodges is divorced, lonely and fed up with his life, occasionally considering suicide. …

Bill Hodges is age-62 in the book.

Brendan Gleeson, about the same age, played him on the 2017 TV series. Perfect casting. (Gleeson played Alastor Moody in Harry Potter. He’s going to be playing Trump in an upcoming miniseries.)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It’s a trilogy. I’ll keep reading.

End of Watch was a terrific conclusion to the Bill Hodges story

Stephen King is as good a story teller as anyone working today.

I particularly like the character of his sidekick Holy Hodges.

 

Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth

 Phantom of Manhattan, a 1999 novel by Frederick Forsyth, is a sequel to the 1909 novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. …

The 2010 stage sequel to the musical The Phantom of the OperaLove Never Dies, is based partly on The Phantom of Manhattan.[1]

Erik MuhlheimThe Phantom” escapes France to Coney Island, New York, where he makes his fortune — eventually opening an all-new opera house to rival the Metropolitan Opera.

I found the book’s plot interesting. Well written. … But I was never a Phantom of the Opera fan.

The book is OK for me.

One reviewer REALLY disliked both book and the 2010 musical.

The Fox by Frederick Forsyth

Frederick Forsyth (now 81) is a legendary novelist.

He’s sold more than 70 million books since The Day of the Jackal (1971).

The Fox (2018) is a story of a young British hacker.

Weston, an ex-Parachute Regiment soldier-turned-MI6 officer, devised a plan to take advantage of Jennings’ skills in the cyberspace domain, in order to cripple using in programs Iran’s nuclear program, Russia’s intensification programs, and North Korea’s nuclear program.

It got great reviews.

For some reason I couldn’t get into it.

Seemed to me the author was more concerned with making political commentary about Putin, Trump, Kim and others than telling the best possible tale.

The Guardians by John Grisham (2019)

Went directly to #1 on The New York Times Bestseller List.

I recommend it.

“The Guardians” is Grisham’s 40th novel; he’s now 64 …

Such creative longevity is not that unusual in the suspense genre, but what is rare is Grisham’s feat of keeping up the pace of producing, on average, a novel a year (in 2017 he published two) without a notable diminishment of ingenuity or literary quality. Dame Agatha Christie, who barely paused between books to sharpen pencils during her near-50-year marathon mystery career, is another such marvel. …

Grisham’s main character here is a so-called “innocence lawyer,” a workaholic attorney-and-Episcopal-priest named Cullen Post. Post has trimmed his life down to the barest of essentials, living in spartan quarters above the nonprofit Guardian Ministries, his workplace in Savannah, Ga. The book focuses on Post’s investigation into the wrongful conviction of a black man named Quincy Miller who was set up to take the fall for the murder of a white lawyer in a small Florida town some 22 years before …

WaPo review 

Grisham is a member of the board of directors of the Innocence Project, which campaigns to free and exonerate unjustly convicted people. This book is laser focused on that topic.

This novel was inspired by Jim McCloskey and Centurion Ministries. That organization has freed dozens of wrongfully accused.

When Truth Is All You Have: A Memoir of Faith, Justice, and Freedom for the Wrongly Convicted

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom is the first historical novel in The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell, published in 2004.

It’s set 866 – 876.

The story is fiction — but historical characters are included.

It’s very violent.

Vikings are raiding England. In fact they want to keep control of as much land as possible by installing vassal leaders in each Kingdom.

This story introduces Uhtred Ragnarson, born a Saxon then kidnapped by raiding Danes who raise him from age 11, teaching him how to be a warrior. …

Uhtred is captured by the Danish Earl, Ragnar the Fearless. Ragnar, intrigued and amused by the boy’s attempted attack on him during the battle, retains him in his household as a thrall. …

 

I might continue to book 2 in the long series. The character of Uhtred Ragnarson is entertaining.

For me the Ken Follett books starting with The Pillars of the Earth are better British historical fiction. I read all of those.

BBC announced that production would begin in autumn 2014 on a television adaptation, to be titled The Last Kingdom.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I watched the start of season 1.

But I’d say the TV series Vikings is better.