David Baldacci

How to categorise people based on their favourite author

There’s a big list here of great stereotypes based on authors. Here are some of my favourite (stereotypes – not necessarily authors).

Richard Dawkins

People who have their significant other grab them under the table in order to shut them up whenever someone else at a dinner says something absolutely ridiculous and wrong.
Edgar Allan Poe

Men who live in their mother’s basements. Or goth seventh graders.

Michael Crichton

Doctors who went to third-tier medical schools.

John Grisham

Doctors who went to medical schools in the Dominican Republic.

Dan Brown

People who used to get lost in supermarkets when they were kids.

Virginia Woolf

Female high-school French teachers who have their master’s degree.

David Baldacci

No one. Even the police say Clancy before they’ll say Baldacci.

Stieg Larsson

Girls who are too frightened to go skydiving.

Sue Grafton

Women who have an @aol.com email address.

Douglas Adams

People who bought the first generation Amazon Kindle.

Lewis Carroll

People who move to Thailand after high school for the drug scene.

C.S. Lewis

Youth group leaders who picked their nose in the 4th grade.

Harper Lee

People who have read only one book in their life and it was To Kill A Mockingbird (and it was their assigned reading in the ninth grade).

Nick Hornby

Guys who wear skinny jeans and the girls that love them.

Ernest Hemingway

Men who own cottages.

Friedrich Nietzsche


Bret Easton Ellis

Foo Fighters’ fans.

Hunter S Thompson

That kid in your philosophy class with the stupid tattoo.

George Orwell

Conspiracy theorists (too easy).

Aldous Huxley

People who are bigger conspiracy theorists than Orwell fans.

Port Douglas

Our base in Port Douglas was the Mantra Links – one of Port Douglas’ many resorts on one of its many golf courses. We were there for three nights thanks to a Getaway special.

Two of the things that came up in our pre-marriage counseling was that Robyn and I have slightly different expectations from our holidays and different ways of using down time (or relaxing) – so one of my goals is to teach Robyn to relax. To discover her inner sloth. It goes both ways… my dream holiday is pretty much a beachside resort with a good cafe and an extensive library… and I’m happy to say we managed a holiday that was finely balanced between Robyn’s need to explore new things and my need to veg out on a beach with a book, or several books.

David Baldacci is my stock standard holiday fare – and I ploughed through three of his books in two days. They’re a continuation of the “Camel Club” series – and feature an aging special forces assassin who’s also a conspiracy theorist. So if you want to borrow The Collectors, Stone Cold, or Divine Justice ahead of your next holiday just let me know. I’ve also got the first couple of books in the series.

We had a couple of nice dinners at Zinc and Watergate – on Port Douglas’ main drag.

The icing on the cake, so to speak, was our final breakfast yesterday at Soul’n’pepper – where the portions were big – and the service interesting.

The staff all looked like pirates on shore leave, and the waiter paid a lot more attention to the two European backpackers at the next table than to us. The food was greasy and the big breakfast was big – and served in a frypan.

Ego-Surfing USA

A long long time ago I wrote about egosurfing – the act of googling oneself. Have you ever done that? I have. About once every three years  – whenever I want to blog about egosurfing. It’s depressing. My first unique appearance is for a Media Release I wrote about the Magnetic Island crocodile – it’s on the second page of the results.  Other Nathan Campbells seem so much more accomplished. There’s a triathlete (certainly not me), an artist, a second grade player at the Parramatta Eels, a scout,  and someone who has been sentenced for a crime on YouTube. I do slightly better on the pages from Australia – I’m on the first page.

The reason I write this is because US author David Baldacci, writer of fiction thrillers that are borderline “airport thrillers”, has a bad case of egosurfingitis.  I must confess that I enjoy his work. I have purchased many of his novels for many a flight. But this page is pure ego stroking/search engine optimisation. And I made it, for referring to “The Whole Truth” in my “I Spy” post. My review wasn’t even that flattering… here’s the quote they’ve used:

“I’ve also managed to plow through a David Baldacci thriller. I don’t know about you – but I like my holiday reading to be pretty mindless. So “The Whole Truth” appealed to me much more than it did to the reviewer quoted on the Amazon page”

The worst bit is that the process doesn’t appear to be automated – it’s posted by “staff writers”. Now the reason I know this isn’t down to egosurfing – WordPress automatically tracks linkbacks to the blog from around the web. I can only hope that David Baldacci will link to me again if I mention his book “The Whole Truth” a couple more times. And perhaps put a link in to the Amazon page for The Whole Truth – which I did actually enjoy.  That’s the whole truth. I probably enjoyed the Robert Ludlum (of Bourne series fame) The Icarus Agenda more. It was superior as far as political conspiracy theory thrillers go. The Whole Truth seemed like a Wag the Dog derivative only instigated from the corporate rather than political sector.

I spy

Spy vs Spy
Spy vs Spy

This cartoon reminded me of a scene from NCIS the other night. It’s one of those TV shows I’ve probably under appreciated- the other being Bones. This post is largely about the things that I’ve been occupying my time with so far these holidays. I really like xkcd. I find their blend of stick figures and humour quite appealing.

I’ve been on holidays for a week now – or just over a week. My holidays thus far have consisted of time spent with family celebrating Christmas and having idiosyncratic family “moments” and the inevitable resolutions that follow. I’ve been filling the time reading books, and watching some cricket, and some Prison Break (series 3).

The cricket has been largely frustrating. Honestly, how our bowling attack seemingly duel handedly rested on the shoulders (how’s that for mixed metaphors) of Warne and McGrath for so long without our esteemed selectors doing any succession planning is beyond me. How can we be so devoid of bowling talent in a nation that prides itself on the depth of our domestic competition. I blame twenty20 or however they write the name of that abomination that causes desolation… anyway, I digress.

I’ve also managed to plow through a David Baldacci thriller. I don’t know about you – but I like my holiday reading to be pretty mindless. So “The Whole Truth” appealed to me much more than it did to the reviewer quoted on the Amazon page:

“Usually a sophisticated plotter, bestseller Baldacci (Absolute Power) offers a story line and villain on a par with an average James Bond film in what’s billed as his first international thriller. Nicholas Creel, the head of the Ares Corporation, a huge defense contractor, hires a perception management firm to start a second cold war by planting fake news stories on the Internet about Russian atrocities.”

Really it’s Wag the Dog for the Web 2.0 generation. Where once movie studios were used to create conflict for political gains – the protagonist in this novel employs blogs and youtube. I enjoyed it.

Not quite so mindless was the next holiday read – Final Theory. It’s like science fiction – only fiction about science, rather than the traditional sci-fi.

I find injustice in books slightly frustrating. When the central character is under unwarranted scrutiny or being mistreated by the “good guys” – the authorities. Which is what happens at the start Final Theory.

I watched the Get Smart movie last night for the first time. It was funny, and it’s the common thread that links the title with these other ramblings – other than the fact that they’re what I’ve been “spying” in the last few days. I enjoyed Get Smart.

I am in a little trouble though – I’m now almost at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the books I have to read during the holidays (and we’ve got a bit of flying and driving ahead of us with our New Zealand jaunt just around the corner). I walked around Angus and Robertson yesterday and was pretty uninspired. Any suggestions would be welcome.

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