Texas Authors: Robert E Howard, Creator of Conan the Barbarian

All Robert E Howard books here

Bet you didn’t know that Conan the Barbarian was actually from Texas.The creator of Conan was Robert E. Howard, who spent most of his life in Cross Plains Texas, just outside of Abilene.

Also: Vincent D’Onofrio and Renée Zellweger were in a movie called the Whole Wide World which is about Robert E. Howard’s life in Cross Plains.

Staff Picks: Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley)

Patricia Highsmith is best known for her crime novels The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers On A Train – both made into classic films. But she also wrote a lot of other novels and short stories that feature such disparate subjects as animals taking revenge on cruel people, giant snails, and icy and claustrophobic tales of daily life.

In fact, it was the giant snails that got me as a kid. A professor goes in search of legendary giants snails on a Pacific Island and, well, he does find them.

There’s also the dinner party at which the host’s cat brings in a finger, a mysterious furry thing that lives in the birdhouse that may or may not have gotten into the narrator’s house and lots more stories guaranteed to put a chill in your heart.

All Highsmith books here..

Book Review: The Professional Fence

The Professional Fence by Carl Klockars.

This is one of the best books about negotiation and small business management I have ever read. And it’s about professional fences – you know, the people that traffic in stolen goods!

Check out the negotiation tactics the fence uses in dealing with the thief. One of my favorite strategies is how the fence will often state something as a fact that is not true. Or how fences conspire to fix prices in the underworld.

You will see these tactics – misstatements, misdirection, intentionally misleading math, apples to oranges comparisons – time and time again in your business dealings even in the law-abiding world.

What about a business model? Check out the book’s intro about famed London thief Jonathan Wild and how he organized the London underworld so that all goods would come to him.

Telling ya, check it out.