Tour’s Books Blog

May 29, 2012

Waiting Rooms and Emergency Exits

What is about the Month of May?  Isn’t it supposed to be ‘The Merry Month of May’?  The big May Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Beltane celebrations at the start and ending with the long Memorial Day weekend that signals the unofficial start of summer.  Last year I celebrated by falling and breaking my wrist, followed by implant surgery when the damn thing broke in the cast.  This year it’s the Festival of the Dentists.  Honestly, it’s not only getting old, it’s getting damn expensive.

A crown falls out.   No big deal, just get it re-cemented.  Nope.  Apparently, the cement was stronger than the tooth, took a chunk with it, and it’s root canal time!  Then probably a new crown.  What had been a nothing dental visit became $2500 in minutes.  But wait!  There’s more!  The tooth with the root canal has developed a problem!  Now it’s antibiotics and wait and see if they need to do the root canal AGAIN.  (Which, by the way, costs nothing.)  So drink lots of fluids and take clindamycin and see what happens.  But wait!  There’s more!  While continuing with the whole ‘soft food’ thing, something goes ‘CRUNCH” and a different crown falls out!  Now this one already had a root canal so no problem.  WRONG AGAIN.  Apparently bacteria got under the crown and the tooth rotted.  Now I see the oral surgeon, get the root extracted and start the process of an implant.  Figure another $5000.

BUT WAIT!  There’s even more!  My doctor tells me my blood work came back showing a problem.  So they do it again.  And again.  Now I have fun with specialists looming on the horizon too.  This week alone it’s will be 3 different dentists and 1 doctor.  I’ve been stabbed, drilled, stabbed, glued, stabbed and soon I’ll have stitches from tooth removal – after being stabbed with a few more needles.  Wow, the excitement is more than I can stand.  Oh, the antibiotic?  It’s one of those that has the delightful ‘risk of death’ that can occur MONTHS after finishing the drug.  No way to tell.  Another miracle of modern medicine.  Basically, The Merry Month of May SUCKS!

This leads me to ‘What to do While Being Bored in Waiting Room’.  Well, read is the obvious answer.  And not those aged magazines (unless you foolishly forgot a book!)  Staying focused can be tough when listening to the whine of dentists drills or the non-stop droning of some heath network on the doctor’s TV.  (Wow, that’s a way to make you feel positive.)  So, here are some quick reviews of some recent reads:

As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson is the latest Walt Longmire mystery, and another very good entry in a first rate series.  Set out in the remote areas of Montana and Wyoming, the books are evocative and wryly humorous, and filled with unique characters.  Walt and his best friend, Henry Standing Bear, are trying to the ‘wedding planning’ for the marriage of Walt’s daughter, Cady, and less qualified pair would be hard to find, especially since Walt has trouble decision making.  But the real problem is the fact on the rez where they reserved the spot for the wedding has been usurped by a tribal member who is running a in depth language program.  She won’t budge.  Henry and Walt end up hunting for another spot – and end up seeing a woman fall from a cliff clutching something – a baby who survives.

Walt isn’t in his county, he isn’t even in his state, so the investigation lands in the untrained hands of an Afghan war vet suffering PTSD, a big chip on her shoulder, and perpetual mad on.  Watching laid back, shrewd, Longmire try and teach patience and people skills is worth the price alone, especially when he is so damn inept with his own daughter.

As the Crow Flies get’s two thumbs up.  FYI – – A&E will be showing a multipart series based on Johnson’s books called simply Longmire.

The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker is book two in the Bruno Courregés series set in the wine making French countryside.  Walker captures the attitudes and perspectives of typical rural France and it’s reluctance to chance their traditional was of life.  It’s also about wine – and the emotional attachment artisans have vs. the business of the mass produced wines – and the fears surrounding anything to do with genetically modified crops in the sensitive vineyard area.  The mystery is not as well done Bruno, Chief of Police, but remains a cut above the usual, but not in the same league as Dr Siri series by Colin Cotterill.  I got my copy through a book swapping site, and I have to say that buying it would depend on price, but I’d suggest used or get it from the library.

Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jayne Wells is supposedly the last of the Sabina Kane novels and it did have a decent wind up.  Yes, things were left unsettled, but nothing major and let’s face it, life does not get neatly tied in a bow.  Sabina is after Caine – the Biblical Caine who is the original vampire.  Caine is after Lilith, who left his psychotic butt and fell in love with the demon king of Irkalla, Asmodeus.  (Talk about questionable taste in lovers!)  Of course the road to retribution isn’t easy and Sabine has all these ‘tests’ she must pass to become the Chosen so she can slay the one who cannot die, Caine.  It was a good read, and a good ending to a sometimes uneven series.  I’d give a B- (3.8*) and a definite buy for fans of the series.  My opinion, there are better series out there.

Captivated by Lauren Dane, the latest in her futuristic Phantom Corps series, was a disappointment.  This is one series I keep hoping will live up to her considerable storytelling skill, but one that keeps falling short.  Maybe it’s the lame heroines, or the angsty, predictable plots, but try as I might, I just don’t like the books.  While Captivated had a better ending than most (and I can only hope it’s the end of the series, but she left an escape hatch), overall, it was more than half tedious.  I can take just so much ‘wounded dove’ crap and I’m at my limit.  Unlike her female leads in the de la Vega Cats series, Witch’s Knot series, or her Cascadia Pack series, her female leads are rather blah.  Yeah, there was steamy sex and lots of m/m action, but after that, it was weak and the writing had trouble holding my attention.  I just couldn’t connect with the characters.

Obviously, I’m in the minority here in giving it a C+ (3.5*) rating.  The Amazon reviewers raved.  I yawned.

OK, that’s all I have time for now, but once all my tests are done and the dentists are finished – and I’m languishing in poverty – I’ll have more books for you.

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