ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What I've been reading...

Where I talk about Middlesex, The Romanian and Just a Geek...

I'd seen Middlesex for quite awhile. I was aware it had won the Pulitzer in 2002. I was also aware it was about androgeny, or intersex. And I also thought it took place in rural England. Although I play with words for a living, I thought the title had more to do with geography than a state of being. But during a recent book signing, while waiting for the hordes of fans to descend upon me, I happened upon a copy of this book and bought it. It was to be my first big summer reading book. And it wasn't at all a let down. In fact, it was terrific.

The writing reminded me of John Irving in both scope and style. Since I'm a huge John Irving fan, this was delightful. For two weeks, I read the history of the Greek family, their movement to America, their lives in Detroit, and the continuing saga of intersex.

This is a delightful novel. I see why it won the Pulitzer and am happy to have read it.

I picked up The Romanian at the bed and breakfast I stayed at in Valencia, Spain. It had a vivid cover, which initially drew me. On the heels of Middlesex, the subject matter was easily accessible. Basically, it's a (semi-autobiographical) docudrama about a male journalist who becomes emotionally and physically entangled with a Romanian street hustler. It's one of those odd books that I couldn't put down.

The author, Bruce Benderson, won the French literary Priz de Flore, as the only American to win this award designed to recognize youthful authors. It's a pretty frank book, but one that rings true. I highly recommend this one to those who enjoy reading about characters redefining themselves mid-life.

I've become a major Wil Wheaton fan since about mid-May. A nice and pleasant guy, he's the sort I'd hang with if I lived in the same town. I enjoy watching his episodes of Tabletop. I follow his doings occasionally on Twitter. I was even able to say hi to him a few times recently at Phoenix Comicon.

While I was there, I first tried to pick up a copy of this book from The Poisoned Pen, but by the time I got there they were sold out. Then I tried to get a copy from Wil, but I just couldn't make it, because of my own schedule. I was on nine panels...count 'em... NINE.

Anyway, I appreciated his frank (second use in this blog) and honest approach to this book. Some of the insights into TV and Movie land were terrific, as were the behind the scenes with Trekkies. I found myself laughing aloud on several occasions. Yeah. This was a terrific book.

So that's what I've been reading these past few weeks.

What have you been reading?

Have you read these yet? What are your thougts?


  1. Been re-reading a lot of Bradbury and the other dead guys I wish were not. M.R. James, Aickman, Machen, Collier and a host of other short story writers. Once I get going it's hard to stop, and the next novel I try to read will suffer because of it.

    I'm thinking it should probably NOT be Middlesex... I don't know, don't think it will follow well.

    That said, I'd like to read The Tigers's Wife, I heard about it on NPR and it sounds interesting and the first chapter had me hooked.


  2. I tend to read more anthos and collections when I'm working on a book, just because of time (or the lack thereof). As I'm between projects for a short bit, I've knocked out a few novels on my TBR pile.

    McCammon's The Five, So Cold the River by Michael Koryta, and I finished up Simmons' Song of Kali last night. This morning I started Falling Angel, which I hope isn't nearly as telegraphed as it seems on the surface.


  3. Song of Kali is heartwrenching, Jared. Really like that one.

    John, I think you should try Middlesex. It's not written in an obscure style, nor is it hard to embrace. Trust me when I say the author immediately makes you part of the story family so you care about all of them.

    1. Song Of Kali is awesome. And I now own MIDDLESEX... found it for way too cheap... so maybe I will get into it before long.

  4. I've been reading a little lately, but not as much as I'd like. I still have a monster list of "I have to read that some day". I haven't picked up Blood Ocean again. I know, I feel suitably ashamed for that. I have a good excuse! Lately I've had a hard time sitting in one place for very long before my joints and muscles seize into painful little balls. So short things like reading Facebook or a blog or some such is easy... I can read, get up and go do something, come back and read...
    I can't read your books like that.
    The longest time I sit still is in my car, so I've been listening to Kathy Reichs and Dan Brown novels I checked out from the library.