Friday, February 10, 2006


Who uses it: Gamblers and con artists
What it means: A gesture people make that shows they are lying or bluffing.
How you can use it: If you wonder why your significant other covers his or her mouth every time they talk to you.

It's another fine, cold morning in the Lechner household -- I wound up spending one more night here, and feel better this morning with the powerful help of Theraflu. Dizzy and I are going home this morning.

What I Read This Week

C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed. Anna brought me this book from the library, and I may send copies of it to my brothers and sisters. It is a very short series of essays Lewis wrote after his wife died. At one time I might have asked, "Why would anyone want to read that?", but it was tremendously comforting to recognize the thoughts and feelings that Lewis describes, and know that this is just one more part of life.

Lee Goldberg, Beyond the Beyond. An over-the-top satire of sci-fi fan culture, about the revival of a Star Trek-type series that draws deadly fire from the original show's most loyal fans. Lots of gratuitous sex and violence and some sharp skewering of Hollywood customs and a Mike Ovitz-style agent. Great fun, and a perfect read for a sick day.

Amber Frey, WITNESS for the Prosecution of Scott Peterson. I have no excuse for this. Harper Collins sent it to me in a box of paperbacks; how could I resist? It took me less than two hours to read this book -- including the time I spent gaping over the lingerie photos Ms. Frey chose to put in this book that she wrote to prove she was not just a dumb tramp. Sadly, the book shows that Ms. Frey is indeed the proverbial party girl with a heart of gold, and we hear a lot about how many people tell her how strong and brave and great she is -- even members of Laci Peterson's family. Ick, ick, ick, ick. Ick. And once again ick. Did I say "ick"? I need more Theraflu.

Joseph Finder, Killer Instinct. Full disclosure: Joe Finder is my client, and a lovely person. I read this book in manuscript form, and went through it again this week with a fine-toothed comb for a new feature we're putting up on his website, whose content I manage. Nevertheless, I say with all objectivity that this book is one kick-ass thriller. Jason Steadman is a nice-guy salesman who does okay, not great; he seems to lack that killer instinct that would drive him to the top. That all changes when he meets Kurt, an ex-Special Forces operative who takes the "business is war" metaphors a little too seriously. More in the vein of Paranoia than of Joe's latest book, Company Man, Killer Instinct is a smart satire of modern business life as well as a powerhouse thriller. It comes out in May; don't miss it.

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