Big Cajun Man's Reading List

The kind of stuff I have been reading lately, mostly about Finances, but other fun stuff as well, after all, it's not all about money is it?

Good Sites for Readers:


Ottawa Public Library



My Sites

Canadian Financial Opinions
My Web Business Blog
C8j Playground
 

Books I am Reading

Books on CD

Rumpole For the Defense by John Mortimer

A fun set of stories from the Rumpole TV series, but read with great inflection and fun as well. I enjoy these stories, as the character of Horace Rumpole inspires me, and also reminds me of where I came from.

Printed Books

The Hamster Revolution

Review: Fun Quick Read

A fun little read for those who believe they are "e-mail warriors" and has some interesting statistics on how much time is wasted in e-mail and how it seems to run people's lives. Some good ideas on how to control the beast and how to work with it as a tool, and how to write effective e-mails, which is interesting too.

The Hamster Revolution Web Site

In Defense of Elitism by William A. Henry III

This one is a great read, since it resonates so well with my philosophy of life. It has to be controversial because it does not fit into the standard liberal mold that everyone should be able to get the same education and the table should be level for everyone, but that is just not how life works (in the author's opinion).

The Hardcore Diaries by Mick Foley (aka Hardcore Legend)

Review: Fun read for wrestling fans, fluffy but interesting

So I decided I needed a non-work fun book to read and this book fits the bill to a "T". I started reading it on Saturday morning and was done by Saturday evening (and for me that is saying something, I take weeks to read most books). The topic is near and dear to my heart, as I am an "old school" wrestling fan, so I was curious to see what Mick Foley might have to say.

The book is true to it's title and is mostly diary entries for Mr. Foley over a period of time where he has pitched a story line to Vince McMahon and the twists and turns that the story and Mr. Foley go through until the conclusion of the story line. A lot of interesting annecdotal information from Mick about WWE superstars and the writers behind the scenes, and a large "slice of life" from Mick as well.

I enjoyed the book because even though it's main topic was the WWE product (as it were) it was interesting to hear how the product is put together. Some touching moments about "Mick the Dad" and "Mick the guy" as well. I borrowed the book from the library and I enjoyed it (however, I would caution if you are not fond of the whole "Men in Tights" business this may not be the book for you). Excellent cottage in the hammock reading!

Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse
by Peter D. Schiff with John Downes

Feelings so far

A while back I got contacted to do a review of a book on the economy. I was impressed anyone gave a flying rat's ass about my opinion, but they said they'd send it to me for free, and I figured, I'll read most anything most days, so what the heck.

The book's premise is that the U.S. economy is on the verge of a meltdown, and the author(s) are espousing ways to make money or at least not get run over by the steamroller of a recession that will come afterwards. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it is quite interesting, I am not sure I agree with all the points, but it has made me think.

I will post my final review on Canadian Financial Rants soon, hopefully.

Books I Recommend

Coaching and Sports

Raising a Team Player by Harry Sheehy

Review: A must read book for anyone with kids who play sports

An excellent book for parents who just can't figure out why their kids aren't on the Varsity (fill in the sport) team at school. I continue to forget the lessons taught in this book, and find I need to read it once a year to remind myself what my goals are to have my kids in organized sports, and for them having fun. We have raised a generation of disrespectful mean spirited kids, and the blame lays squarely at their parents feet. When I get back into coaching I will ask all my parents to read this book, to at least understand the pressures they sometimes by mistake put onto their kids shoulders.

I recommend this book, if you have kids in sports, or even if you don't, a lot of the lessons can be used with any competitive situation

Other Topics

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers

Review spiritual and interesting but overly simplifies some isssues in the mind.

A very Christian view of mental health issues and a very biblical spin on how to resolve your issues with your inner voice (and it's criticality). I am listening to this using the Overdrive media player from the Library and it is quite interesting to listen to.

Is this a book for non-Christians? I think it is possible, if you listen to the message being told to you about the need to feel that there is hope in your life and that constantly thinking negatively is something that can just wear your inner peace away to nothing. I am enjoying it, as a Christian (although it is a little too Baptist for my liking :-).

The message is pretty clear that you (in the author's opinion) must live by the words of the bible, but it's always interesting to find out who's interpretation of those words you need to live by. I enjoyed the writing, and found it useful in uncluttering my thoughts, but again, a little overly simplified at times too (on the mental health side of things).

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

Review: A fun listen, good story spun, if you are a King fan this is a must listen

Interesting listen so far. It has 10 cassettes, and my listening has been a little disrupted, but still an interesting listen. Typical Stephen King fair, lots of interesting characters who's lives tend to spill out in front of you, much like the guts of the strange creatures you hear about in this book. How can a Buick Roadmaster be the central character of a book? Well, you didn't read Christine then did you. Don't be confused, this is not a Christine remake either, it's a good listen.

At the end of the story, it was a little contrived, and the conclusion was as I expected, but still well written in many ways. I enjoyed it as a good listen (but then again, I borrowed it from the library as well, so I didn't have to pay for it). I would recommend it for a good listen.

Stephen King's - The Mist

Review (Rating: Quite good listen, best using headsets)

Excellent fun, for a 1 cassette story. Done like the old radio dramas, and the story is classic Stephen King horror, which I just love. I wish it was longer, but really enjoyable for a short trip, especially if you have kids in the car, it will give them nightmares for sure. Project Arrowhead goes, very, very, very wrong, and a small town in New England pays for it!

Prey
by Michael Crichton

Review (Rating: Readable, but not buyable)

So far another interesting Chrichton technology gone awry type story. Not sure I completely buy into all of the interesting nano-technology tom-foolery (but then again, when he did the Andromeda Strain, it seemed far fetched, and now, maybe not as much). It reads kind of like AirFrame, but it seems to be moving along nicely

The story of Technology gone astray has been done (even by Crichton) maybe a few too many times, but still it's an intriguing story.

The "thriller" portion of the story was a little predictable but still a fun kind of read (or in my case listen). I wouldn't say go buy this book or CD set, but certainly take it out of the library, it's worth a look.

I borrowed this from the Ottawa Public Library.

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
by Tucker Max

Review (Rating: Rude but Readable)

This is the most sexist rude book I have ever read, and I laughed so hard that it hurt. As a father of daughters I hope they never meet any kind of character like this (even if he is a fictional letch). If half of the stories are true, this guy is lucky to be alive, let alone writing books and making money from them.

He has a web site, with a lot of the stories from his book on-line, so you can do a quick read to see if it's the kind of book you want to read. I laughed a lot out loud, but then again, I don't mind off colour humor either.

I borrowed this one from the library as well. http://tuckermax.com .

On Writing by Stephen King

Review (Rating: Good Listen)

A useful text on how Stephen King writes his novels and fiction. The nice part is that it is Mr. King reading as well, so it kind of enforces what you are hearing. Lots of good pointers for folks who want to write, and also a little bit of "back story" on Mr. King and his inner demons as well.

I enjoyed listening to this and would recommend it.

Movies I Recommend

Sports Movies

  1. The Naturalwith Robert Redford
  2. The Longest Yard with Burt Reynolds
  3. Hoosiers with Gene Hackman
  4. Field of Dreams (for Burt Lancaster and James Earl Jones, not Costner!)
  5. Bull Durham
  6. The Water Boy
  7. Major League
  8. The Karate Kid (part 1 only please)
  9. Remember the Titans
  10. Chariots of Fire
  11. Rocky (only 1)
  12. The Rookie
  13. Raging Bull
  14. Slap Shot
  15. Coach Carter

War Movies

  1. The Longest Day
  2. Tora, Tora, Tora!
  3. The Dam Busters
  4. The Great Escape
  5. Gettysburg
  6. Memphis Belle
  7. The Battle of Britain
  8. Patton
  9. Stalag 17
  10. Fat Man and Little Boy
  11. Von Ryan's Express
  12. Schindler's List
  13. Midway
  14. The Battle of the Bulge
  15. Judgement at Nuremburg (the original with Spencer Tracy)
  16. Zulu
  17. Apocalypse Now (not Redux)
  18. Cromwell
  19. Good Morning Viet Nam

Horror/Suspense

  1. Silence of the Lambs
  2. Alien
  3. Night of the Living Dead
  4. Carrie
  5. Pet Cemetary
  6. The Marathon Man (that Dentist thing alone makes it HORROR!)
  7. The Sixth Sense
  8. Unbreakable

Animated/Kids

  1. Chicken Run
  2. Monsters Inc.
  3. Toy Story
  4. The Jungle Book
  5. The Lion King
  6. Shrek 1 & 2
  7. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  8. Robin Hood
  9. Wallace and Gromit
  10. South Park Bigger Badder and Uncut!
  11. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Comedies

  1. Blazing Saddles
  2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  3. Carry on Abroad, etc.,
  4. A Night at the Opera/A Day at the Races
  5. Run for Your Money
  6. The Wedding Singer
  7. The Great Dictator
  8. Groundhog Day
  9. What about Bob?/Stripes/Caddy Shack
  10. Ghostbusters
  11. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  12. Real Genius
  13. No Sex Please We're British
  14. The Full Monty
  15. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  16. On the Nose
  17. National Lampoon's Animal House

Science Fiction/Fantasy

  1. All of the Lord of the Rings
  2. Roller Ball
  3. Alien
  4. Star Wars
  5. The Day the Earth Stood Still
  6. When Worlds Collide/The Time Machine/War of the Worlds (from the 50's)
  7. Buckaroo Banzai
  8. X-men
  9. Mad Max (Australian cut)/Road Warrior
  10. Jumanji
  11. Apollo XIII
  12. Star Trek First Contact
  13. Doctor Strangelove
  14. The Terminator (all of them)
  15. The Road Warrior
  16. Robocop

Biblical

  1. The Ten Commandments
  2. The Robe
  3. Ben Hur
  4. Jesus Christ Superstar
  5. Godspell
  6. The Life of Brian :-)
  7. Spartacus
  8. Gladiator
  9. Dimitrius and the Gladiators

Suspense/Action

  1. Die Hard
  2. Smokey and the Bandit
  3. Indiana Jones Trilogy
  4. Deliverance
  5. The Hunt For Red October
  6. Lethal Weapon (1&2)

Prison Movies

  1. The Shawshank Redemption
  2. The Green Mile
  3. The Rock
  4. O Brother Where Art Thou
  5. Midnight Express
  6. Papillon
  7. Cool Hand Luke
  8. Angels with Dirty Faces
  9. An Innocent Man
  10. Escape from Alcatraz

Good Movies

  1. Casablanca
  2. The Maltese Falcon
  3. Unforgiven
  4. Dirty Harry
  5. Every Which Way But Loose
  6. The Sting
  7. Mutiny on the Bounty (Charles Laughton)
  8. The Dead Poet's Society
  9. Tom Jones
  10. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Secret Sins

  1. Sixteen Candles
  2. The Breakfast Club
  3. Twilight's Last Gleeming
  4. The Last Starfighter
  5. Meet Joe Black (the remake)
  6. West Side Story
  7. Top Secret!
  8. Roadhouse
  9. Any Planet of the Apes movie (except the remake)
  10. Notting Hill
  11. Good Will Hunting (for the Bernie Carbo story)
  12. Pretty in Pink (mostly for the music)
  13. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
  14. The original Batman movie (from the TV series)

Comedy Performance

  1. Eddie Murphy Raw
  2. Robin Williams Live at the Carnegie Hall
  3. George Carlin you are all diseased
  4. Kings of Comedy I
  5. Blue Collar Comedy Tour 1 & 2
  6. Larry the Cable Guy
  7. Lenny Bruce

Musical/Music Performance

  1. Les Miserables the 10th Anniversary Show
  2. The Song Remains the Same (mostly because I was stoned the first time I saw it in a Cinema)
  3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  4. The Secret Policeman's Ball (the first couple, they get a little preachy after that)
  5. Oliver!
  6. Cats
  7. The Last Waltz

Television Series

  1. The Civil War by Ken Burns
  2. Monty Python the entire series
  3. M*A*S*H
  4. The Black Adder (all of them, including that Silly Millenium thing)
  5. The Simpsons
  6. House
  7. Bertie Wooster (with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Frye)

My top 20 Favorite Music Albums of the 80's

1. One Step Beyond By Madness

2. All of this and Nothing by the Psychedelic Furs

3. My Aim is True by Elvis Costello

4. Squeezing out Sparks by Graham Parker

5. Speak and Spell by Depeche Mode

6. New Gold Dream by Simple Minds

7. Unforgettable Fire by U2

8. Ghost in the Machine by the Police

9. Especially for You by the Smithereens

10. Telekon by Gary Numan

11. Seconds of Pleasure by Rockpile

12. Argybargy by Squeeze

13. Arc of a Diver by Stevie Winwood

14. The Hurting by Tears for Fears

15. Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo

16. Aural Sculpture by the Stranglers

17. Avalaon by Roxy Music

18. Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply by Slade

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20. Kings of the Wild Frontier by Adam Ant

My top 20 Favorite Music Albums 70's-ish

1. Good Bye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John

2. Hell Freezes Over by The Eagles

3. Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon

4. Grand Ilusion by Styx

5. Never Mind the Bollocks by the Sex Pistols

6. London Calling by the Clash

7. Kimono My House by Sparks

8. Kiss by Kiss

9. Boston by Boston

10. IV (aka ZOSO) by Led Zeppelin

11. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis

12. Diamond Dogs by David Bowie

13. Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie

14. A Night at The Opera by Queen

15. Billion Dollar Babies by Alice Cooper

16. Concert for Bangladesh by George Harrison and Friends

17. Smiler by Rod Stewart and the Faces

My top 10 Recent-ish

1. X&Y by Coldplay

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My top 10 Comedy

1. At the Drop of a Hat by Flanders and Swan

2. Class Clown by George Carlin

3. Beyond the Fringe by London Cast

4. To My Brother Russell by Bill Cosby

5. Big Bamboo by Cheech and Chong

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