I finished The Last Colony by John Scalzi. This is the third and presumably final book in the Old Man's War series. I read the first one and found it enjoyable if not very deep. Ditto with Colony - perfectly readable, with nothing memorable really. I finished it, which says something these days, but I probably won't bother with other books in the set, like Zoe's Tale and Ghost Brigades. But if you enjoyed any of them, you would almost certainly enjoy The Last Colony.
The Last Colony tells the story of John Perry and his wife Jane Sagan (a quasi clone of his first wife) and their attempts to settle a new world with a colony ship. The problem? The Conclave, a loose union of worlds allied against their Colonial Union, has declared any further expansion grounds for destruction. So Perry and Sagan have to negotiate both internal and external forces to keep everyone alive.
One thing I thought odd while reading it was realizing just how well I "know" Scalzi. I don't have any published authors as close friends, but I have been reading his Whatever blog for years and it is one of the 20 or so that I keep up with every day. Sometimes acerbic, sometimes annoying, but always entertaining, he is pretty open on his blog and so you feel like you know him. And I found that fact vaguely disconcerting for some reason. Maybe I was trying too hard to apply what I "know" about him to the characters or the writing. Just odd.
The next book I read was Seasons in Hell: With Billy Martin, White Herzog and "The Worst Baseball Team in History" - the 1973-1975 Texas Rangers by reporter Mike Shropshire, who covered the team during those stirring years. This is one funny book, with plenty of inside anecdotes and wild stories of baseball players, owners and reporters. He is as hard and honest on himself as he is on any player, but some of the descriptions just crack me up:
"This team is two players away from being a contender - Sandy Koufax and Babe Ruth." - Whitey Herzog
"Defensively, these guys are really substandard, but with our pitching, it really doesn't matter." - Whitey Herzog
Typical was [Whitey's] recollection of a road trip with the Yankees when general manager George Weiss got on an elevator and encountered relief pitcher Ryne Duren, a lover of the grape, barely able to stand. According to Herzog, Weiss stiffened and said, "Drunk again." To which Duren grinned a crooked grin, slapped Weiss on the back and said, "Oh yeah? Me too."
Plenty of stories of drugs, drinking and women, although according to Shropshire, the players were mostly too busy doing the other two to have as much time for the third as generally thought. A really run read of another time, in another place.