Friday, September 30, 2011

50. The Cuckoo's Egg

Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage

By:  Clifford Stoll
Rated 5 Stars
From:  Library

This was a real page turner for me and unbelievably kept me up until midnight to finish it.   Even though all the technology was probably out dated I am computer illiterate enough for the technology bits to go flying over my head.  It was the chase that I found so fascinating.

A poster on Bookflurries said that she had seen the author at a book reading and that he was the most entertaining author she had ever seen.  She said that he was so hyper-energetic that she jokingly compared it to someone mainlining caffeine.  I googled and found a 2007 interview on youtube and I concur with the poster completely.  But it is easy to see how someone with that kind of personality would hang on so tenaciously  in order to catch the person who was invading "his" computer system so brazenly and, getting away with it.  By the end of the book I felt like I too had a personal stake in finding the hacker.

Publisher's Description:

A 75-cent discrepancy in billing for computer time led Stoll, an astrophysicist working as a systems manager at a California laboratory, on a quest that reads with the tension and excitement of a fictional thriller. Painstakingly he tracked down a hacker who was attempting to access American computer networks, in particular those involved with national security, and actually reached into an estimated 30 of the 450 systems he attacked. Initially Stroll waged a lone battle, his employers begrudging him the time spent on his search and several government agencies refused to cooperate. 

49. To Say Nothing of the Dog

Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

By Connie Willis
Rated:  Pending
Audio Book

I am still listening along to this book.  It's a long audio book.  20 hours and 58 minutes.  Audible had it on sale for $4.95 and it was too good a bargain to pass up.  Other books keep getting in my way but sooner or later I will finish it.  I kind of have to be in the mood for Connie Willis.

Publisher's Summary

Connie Willis' Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book uses time travel for a serious look at how people connect with each other. In this Hugo-winning companion to that novel, she offers a completely different kind of time travel adventure: a delightful romantic comedy that pays hilarious homage to Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat.
When too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

44.. Pirate King

By: Laurie King
Rated: DNF!
From: Audible
Audio Book

I did not finish this book!  I can't believe this happened to me.  I tried.  I tried three or four times but I just couldn't get into it.  Finally I just started hopping through the story clicking here and there hoping to find something going on that would grab me.  In desperation I finally  clicked about ten minutes from the end and listened to the ending.

It seemed to me that Laurie King had gotten The Pirates of Penzance stuck in her head and couldn't let go of it.  The story was all fluff and no edge.  Holmes only put in a token appearance in this book and I for one don't blame him.  The whole thing was very un-Holmes like.  Not his kind of thing at all.

I sincerely hope that this was not a harbinger of where King is planning to go with this series.  If so she has just lost a faithful reader in me and I would truly hate for that to happen.  Oh well . . . . .

Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King’s books have received high praise from critics and have earned the Edgar, Creasey, Wolfe, Lambda, and Macavity awards. As Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes embark on their 11th adventure together, they find themselves immersed in the world of silent filmmaking. Here, the pirates are real—and unlike the shooting done with a camera, this sort can be deadly.
In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. Nevertheless, at the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell is dispatched to investigate rumors of criminal activities that swirl around Fflytte’s popular movie studio. So Russell is traveling undercover to Portugal, along with the film crew that is gearing up to shoot a cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, the project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation - or sink a boatload of careers.
Nothing seems amiss until the enormous company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, where the 13 blond-haired, blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is bemusedly chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell feels a building storm of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with secrets, ominous currents between the pirates, decks awash with budding romance—and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their dangerous outlaw leader. Plus, there’s a spy on board. Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout.