Sunday Morning Book Thread 05-17-2015 [OregonMuse]


Kansas-City-Public-Library 02.jpg
Kansas City Public Library

Update: Thanks to Muldoon in the comments, here is the list of all the books painted on the KC Library facade.

Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Kilts are OK, too. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.


Book Quote

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.
-G. K. Chesterton


From The Belly of the Beast

I've been having an e-mail conversation with a moron author, a veteran who served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, who wrote a novel closely based on his wartime experiences. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds like it's probably more of an autobiography than a novel, but whatever the case, it's the book he wanted to write.

Of course, writing it is one thing. Getting it published is another:

A few weeks ago, I received a message from a literary agent I'd approached who is a 'Nam vet who really liked my book and was interested in representing it. However, there were some things he thought needed to be changed to help get it over with a publishing house. Some of it was formatting-related, however, the rest pertained to key parts of the plot toward the end and I told him that I couldn't alter them because that was the way that things had happened.

As we talked, I told him about Ace's interview with Larry Correia concerning the Sad Puppies controversy in that by pursuing this strategy the publishing houses are ignoring huge markets of people willing to buy books and are cutting their own throats. He broke in saying, "I know, I know...But look...you gotta stop thinking. Just stop thinking! Thinking about all this will drive you crazy! Don't go to bookstores, if they even still have any where you live. Don't look at other books. You'll just wonder how in the world this thing even got published," and then told me some more anecdotes about how the sausage is made...

It was sad. He's a good guy, and was just as frustrated about it all as I am, but he's stuck fighting a bunch of Goliaths who only look for certain types of books (that support the current narrative and are framed by the postmodern cultural marxist analysis of race, gender, class) and is left trying to sneak in what stories he can, however he can.

Of course, none of this is new. I think it was Michael Medved's book Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture And The War on Tradition that pointed out that G and PG movies earn significantly more at the box office than the ones rated R, but the film industry ignores this and continues to crank out the R movies.

This author goes on to say he is encouraged by the book thread because he can see morons interested in books that aren't in lockstep with the industry-constricted race-gender-class paradigm, i.e. the "Ministry of Culture".

So now here is his book: Breakfast with the Dirt Cult, which

chronicles the days of love and war in the life of Tom Walton. Torn between a beautiful, bibliophilic, Canadian ex-stripper and the hunt for Al-Qaeda in the mountains of Afghanistan, Walton finds himself forced to grapple with being a young man in the days of modernity.

The Kindle version is $2.99.


This Summer

I looked through this list of 10 Books To Read This Summer to see if there was anything interesting. There isn't. Wait, I take that back. I almost overlooked Seveneves, the latest from science fiction grandmaster Neal Stephenson:

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain...

Five thousand years later, their progeny - seven distinct races now three billion strong - embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown...to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

It's nearly 900 pages long, so you'll be reading this one for awhile.

AoSHQ Commenting Pro Tip

Maybe most of you know this, but in case you don't, you might find this useful.

Ever try to post a comment, only to have a page full of python or javascript thrown at you topped with a "Server Error 500" error message in big black letters? Happened to me a few days ago, and I think I figured out why. We've all seen the black diamonds, right? They're caused by certain renditions of the apostrophe, hyphen, single-quote and double-quote characters. There's more than one way to make these characters. The first way is to type them in using your keyboard. The second way is to use certain html codes to generate them. These look slightly different than the keyboard version, and by different, I mean more aesthetically pleasing to the eye" than the keyboard versions, which is why more and more sites are using them.

But they're not glaringly obvious, they're very easy to miss.

And I get bit by this every week. I do a lot of cutting and pasting from book sites, and pixy's posting software does not let me view what the book thread is going to look like until I actually publish it. And then inevitably I see it peppered with black diamonds and I have to go through the post AGAIN and stomp on them like cockroaches.

So if you cut and paste from a page from another site as a comment, chances are you'll be pulling in some of these characters. And if you try to post a comment with one or more of them embedded in the text, pixy's software will barf.

Which is at least better than the other thing that can happen, which is you can cut and paste what you think is text, but what pixy sees (and posts) is all the previously-hidden text formatting code and you get a monstrously huge comment -- and an all-expenses-paid trip to the barrel.


Sheesh

Sometimes I wonder why the United Stares still exists, we've got so many feckless half-wits in places of power. Consider Harold James Nicholson, a CIA operative convicted of spying for the Russians in 1997. He went to jail for it.

But that's not the end of it:

[T]he turncoat spy wasn't done giving information to the Russians. His next step was to use his son Nathan Nicholson as a go-between to give them insight into the mole on the Russian side who gave him up via that tip. Amazingly, the father managed to do just that, using a variety of stunningly low-tech ways to sneak information in and out of prison.

Isn't that great? So this traitorous bastard, and his son, managed to make the CIA and FBI look like the Keystone Kops for the better part of a decade.

All of this bumbling incompetence is detailed in the new book The Spy's Son: The True Story of the Highest-Ranking CIA Officer Ever Convicted of Espionage and the Son He Trained to Spy for Russia by Oregon journalist Bryan Denson.

Yes, our country is in the very best of hands.


Moron Recommendations

Thanks to Laura F. who notified me earlier this week that author Zeppy Cheng, after corresponding with several morons, decided to put one of his books up on Amazon. The book is Dungeons and Diamonds: Press Start and it sounds like fun:

Mei Sky, the orphaned daughter of a famous dungeoneer, takes on a little too much debt with the elvish mafia. She did it in order to get her sister into a singing audition. Now her sister is in danger of being sold into slavery. Mei does the only thing she can in her situation - she brings up her father's name while bargaining with the elven debt collector. The thug is intrigued. He waves her debt, for the moment, for the promise of a grand prize: the Blue Diamond. The entry price is steep. But Mei is determined.

Right now (Sat. morning), this is book is available on Kindle for FREE, but I don't know long this will last.

___________

George Milonas, author of The Warrior of God, also emailed me earlier this week to recommend the novel Flashback by Dan Simmons.

The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn't care: they're addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom's wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he's lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result.

Nick may be a lost soul but he's still a good cop, so he is hired to investigate the murder of a top governmental adviser's son. This flashback-addict becomes the one man who may be able to change the course of an entire nation turning away from the future to live in the past.

George says: "It got a lot of low reviews because it is a conservative book [but] I thought it was great." And he's right. Glancing through the 1-star reviews, and even some of the better ones, the big complaint was the explicitly conservative politics. Which may not be a problem for us.

Dan Simmons has authored many books, and is best known, I think, for his Hyperion science-fiction novels. But he's also written books in the horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction genres. All that, and I never knew he was conservative.

___________

Guy down at work recommended Blood Trails: The Combat Diary of a Foot Soldier in Vietnam by Christopher Ronnau. This is a Vietnam War memoir and it came up in conversation as we were discussing the intricate network of tunnels dug by the Viet Cong and our infantrymen who volunteered to go down in them to hunt down the enemy.

Patrols, ambushes, plunging down VC tunnels, search and destroy missions - there were many ways to drive the enemy from his own backyard, as Ronnau quickly discovered. Based on the journal Ronnau kept in Vietnam, Blood Trails captures the hellish jungle war in all its stark life-and-death immediacy. This wrenching chronicle is also stirring testimony to the quiet courage of those unsung American heroes, many not yet twenty-one, who had a job to do and did it without complaint - fighting, sacrificing, and dying for their country.

Includes sixteen pages of rare and never-before-seen combat photos.

Me, personally, I'm prone to claustrophobia, so the very thought of going into a small, dark tunnel gives me the heebie-jeebies.


Books By Morons

Lurking moron Gunnar Grey writes:

Just wanted to let you know that Dingbat Publishing will be putting several books on sale this weekend, including my psychological mystery, Trophies, which was a finalist for the 2013 Clue Award. Trophies is part murder mystery, part psychological assessment for the main character, and part family squabble. Normally it's priced at $2.99, but this weekend, from May 14 to May 18, it will be $0.99.

And that's not all:

Another book that will be on sale from $2.99 to $0.99 is a kid's book called Love the Cat. It's the story of a sort of psychotic feline and it's great for youngsters just learning to read.

Link to Trophies.

Link to Love The Cat.


___________

So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 09:00 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 I found an interesting book about what happened in Charleston harbor during the Civil War.

http://tinyurl.com/le8qlc8

Living in Charleston I found it interesting, but I'm sure it'll be of interest to anyone with a remote fascination in the Civil War in general.

Posted by: David at May 17, 2015 09:05 AM (GkcHG)

2 My wife is reading aloud "Jayber Crow" by Wendell Berry. It's beautiful writing, written at the pace of a lazy brown river sliding by.

Posted by: Brave Sir Robin at May 17, 2015 09:05 AM (5buP8)

3 Well the Reyna story is over 600 words. Have established Reyna as a Viking maiden who has been transported to an alien world full of what she thinks Beowulf would call dragons. She has been there for a time. And then she hears a human scream. And she is running to investigate armed with spears and a knife while praying to Sif.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 09:10 AM (enkX0)

4 Silent Spring is one of the most deadly books ever written.Racked up quite a body count.

Posted by: steevy at May 17, 2015 09:10 AM (mGBKM)

5 I tried to read Flashback a year or so back, just couldn't get into it. May have to try again because the premise does sound interesting.

Of course there are also four or five dozen other books in my Kindle library that I want to either read or reread.

Posted by: Kenway at May 17, 2015 09:10 AM (bp9Y3)

6 The Kansas city library looks cool!

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 09:11 AM (V7QeA)

7 Yossarian would like to argue but he has an odd pain.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 09:13 AM (enkX0)

8 Bought and read The Reaper, loved it and wish it was longer

Posted by: Skip at May 17, 2015 09:13 AM (2RxG3)

9 Re the commenting tips, I *always* paste any copied text here:
http://tinyurl.com/25h7ueh

Click the "convert" button, then drop to lower window, and copy that for pasting into Ace space. Only takes a second, and saves trips to the barrel as well as '500 errors'

Posted by: mike hammer, etc., etc. at May 17, 2015 09:14 AM (QyBQv)

10 Pretty much sounds like what is happening now only instead of being on some exotic drug the population is hooked on celebrity gossip,selfies and staring at their "smart" devices.

Posted by: steevy at May 17, 2015 09:14 AM (mGBKM)

11 Philip K. Dick has been mentioned here numerous times, but until this week I had not read any of his works. This week I read his Man in the High Castle. In an alternate history world, Japan and Germany have won WWII and have carved up the world into two spheres. For the U. S., this means Japan controls the Pacific states, the Rocky Mountain states are semi-autonomous, and the rest of the country is controlled by Germany.

In this world, a man in the RMS writes and alternative history novel in which the U. S., Britain and France win WWII. This book is interesting, unique, and I'm still pondering the ending. I'm looking forward to reading Dick's Eye In The Sky.

Posted by: Zoltan at May 17, 2015 09:14 AM (PI8uT)

12 I'm going to have to get that Neal Stephenson book. Love his books, but when I get into a story I like to power through to the end---which you can't really do w/a 900+ page book.

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 09:14 AM (V7QeA)

13 Seveneves was just awful, I got a review copy and it was a trial to get through. The first 2/3s annoyed me enough that I read them relatively quickly, but the last 200 pages, set 5000 years in the future were among the worst things I have read in years. The scenario made no sense and it was just awful, but worst of all it seemed like someone had misremembered a bunch of TED talks.

And the whole poorly thought out exercise could easily be viewed as a giant suck up to Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

I previously read Kim Stanley Robinson's "Aurora", which was basically a generation ship take where they turn around and go home and declare humans shouldn't leave earth and we are all doomed, and though I hated it, it was at least sound ideological hate, and not just a really stupid book.

Posted by: RoyL at May 17, 2015 09:17 AM (wdHQo)

14 It's entirely unreasonable to say a work of fiction can't be changed because "that's the way it happened." In that case, it's not fiction.

Posted by: Mrs. X at May 17, 2015 09:18 AM (v1yzO)

15 Oh - so it's not worth it, RoyL? Better to know now than 400 pages in...

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 09:19 AM (V7QeA)

16 Amazon instant video - Man in the High Castle
http://tinyurl.com/mdumlu4

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 09:19 AM (enkX0)

17 I want to add to my Seveneves comments that I have read most of his books, and this was just a complete collapse of standards. It felt like he had abandoned it, and said publish it anyway, the suckers will buy it.

Posted by: RoyL at May 17, 2015 09:19 AM (wdHQo)

18 I am reading a book called "Peer Through Time" by David T. Pennington.

It is interesting, but I'm not yet sure if it is good or how it is good.

Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 09:19 AM (MQEz6)

19 ...He waves her debt...


*****

I know I'm far from perfect, but reading a story blurb with misspelled words or klunky grammar makes me less inclined to buy and read the book.

Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at May 17, 2015 09:22 AM (NeFrd)

20 Lizzy,

About Seveneves, read the negative reviews on Amazon, but the essential start point is that the moon just spontaneously blows up, and this event doesn't even get a page of hand waving. Then it turns into that Deep Impact movie with a lot of political author editorial. The science and engineering are really terrible too.

Posted by: RoyL at May 17, 2015 09:23 AM (wdHQo)

21 Come now Muldoon, master of the pun-ishment, whats a few typos among Morons?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 09:24 AM (enkX0)

22 Seveneves?

Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 09:24 AM (MQEz6)

23 Thanks for the tip about "Flashback." Sounds interesting.

Finished Daniel Silva's "The Heist." I'm a fanboy, but he seems to just get better and better.

Reading Michael Connelly's "The Burning Room." Halfway done and I like it a lot.

Reading Eric Greiten's "Resilience." Best taken in small chunks because I want to think about something I read or even re-read a section. Library book, but will buy on Kindle. (Hope the price goes down.) Book description makes it sound like reading it would be like eating your spinach, but Greitens is an excellent story teller and I have to agree that it really does deserve a five-star Amazon review from 127 reviewers. Not really a self-help book; more likely to cause you to re-think your philosophy of living a good life. A book you are likely to come back to -- over and over.

Posted by: doug at May 17, 2015 09:25 AM (qYWZ5)

24 That Kansas City library façade is just so neat.

Last week Mike Hammer suggested Anthony Trollope, among others, as 19th century authors to be treasured. I have the damndest holes in my reading and had never tried Trollope's works. What a mistake! The writing, and humor, is subtle but very readable. The pace is comfortable but doesn't put you to sleep. I'm half way through the first book and am impressed as hell.

How Dickens became the academic standard for Victorian literature compared to Trollope is beyond me. Maybe Dickens' socialist attitude appealed to the academics. Don't know but wouldn't be surprised.

Judging by Trollope's incredible output, I have years of great reading ahead.

Thanks, Mike.

Posted by: JTB at May 17, 2015 09:26 AM (FvdPb)

25 Yeah, Dan Simmons is not a Lefty, for sure.

His book, Illium, is a favorite of mine.

Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 09:26 AM (MQEz6)

26 I recently finished an older book, The Descent by Jeff Long. The first 100 pages was great and then it turned into a cliche riddled hot mess.

Posted by: Kenway at May 17, 2015 09:27 AM (bp9Y3)

27 >>... Then it turns into that Deep Impact movie with a lot of political author editorial.

Oh. Now if you had said "Armageddon" it might have worked , but it does sound bad.

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 09:29 AM (V7QeA)

28 whats a few typos among Morons?

****


Well, I'm not talking about Morons, I'm talking about writers who want someone to read their book. The blurb is the baited hook with which you hope to catch the wily reader. Typos are inevitable, but if you're serious as a writer making the blurb appealing should be a top priority. I read a lot of blurbs that make me think, "If that's how this writer writes I'm not going to buy that book."

...and I write this from the viewpoint of someone who considers himself a not-very-good fisherman so I know a thing or two about not catching fish.

Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at May 17, 2015 09:29 AM (NeFrd)

29 regarding the comments loading with non html entities; pixy needs to add:



to the head of the generated page.

Posted by: Retard Strength Trumps Smart Power at May 17, 2015 09:31 AM (n/vq+)

30 Right now Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International Book 1 is free on Kindle.

http://tinyurl.com/l3ej8zr

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 09:31 AM (enkX0)

31 figures.

that would be:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

Posted by: Retard Strength Trumps Smart Power at May 17, 2015 09:32 AM (n/vq+)

32 Speaking of Larry Correia, here is a rundown of his first creative writing class that he posted online. And silly me it totally slipped my mind he was doing this.

http://tinyurl.com/kwhlmxu

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 09:34 AM (enkX0)

33 Flashback was a short story written at the height of the late 1980s hate-Japan phase. It was a good short story, but having read it, I thought the novel took too long to get to the point.

Posted by: Meh at May 17, 2015 09:34 AM (M9dlv)

34 another suggestion would be to stop using MovableType, but I guess that's a bridge too far.

Posted by: Retard Strength Trumps Smart Power at May 17, 2015 09:34 AM (n/vq+)

35 I finished a second book this week, Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. Previously mentioned here, this is the first book in the four-book Expanse space opera series (Caliban's War, Abaddon's Gate and Cibola Burn)

Leviathan has everything one wants in a space opera: a threat to the existence of humankind, good guys, bad guys, nuclear bombs on hair-triggers, etc. I very much enjoyed it and can't wait to continue the series.

One downer. Pick them up at your library. The Kindle editions are $9.99 and $11.99.

Posted by: Zoltan at May 17, 2015 09:36 AM (PI8uT)

36 Flashback does ramble on, but it's worth it. The formula is Rising Sun + Infinite Jest + The Stand, and it gets the job done. (And the "conservative politics" thing is, if anything, an understatement--there are chunks of the novel that read like a rant by, well, Ace.)

Posted by: Knemon at May 17, 2015 09:37 AM (dbEhd)

37 Simmons' first novel, Songs of Kali, is also a good read. I don't scare easily, but it was enough.

Posted by: Knemon at May 17, 2015 09:37 AM (dbEhd)

38 "The Man In The High Castle"

Posted by: Zoltan at May 17, 2015 09:14 AM (PI8uT)

I despised that book. The writing seemed awkward and stilted, unlike the other PKD stuff I have read. And the characters? Ugh.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at May 17, 2015 09:39 AM (Zu3d9)

39 Philip K. Dick?
ahead of his time

Posted by: Martin at May 17, 2015 09:17 AM (wyQBQ)


All joking aside, wasn't Phillip K. Dick mentally ill? I seem to recall reading that he was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. That was the reason that so many of his stories deal with the difference of reality vs. the perception of reality.

I'm currently reading Fletcher Pratt's The Navy's War. Published in 1944, it is a contemporary study of the first year of the naval war in the Pacific. He admits that he is hampered by no access to the Japanese point of view and American censorship. However, he had realized that the Americans had broken the Japanese code leading up to the Battle of Midway and informs his readers of that fact by way of the "some people say..." ploy. Pratt was well-regarded as an authority on contemporary naval matters and had lots of contacts in the U.S. Navy.

Concerning the current state of science-fiction, I used to read a lot of it years ago but eventually got tired of it back in the mid-1990s. The authors that I liked had died-off and the new crop didn't satisfy. The interjection of Leftist politics angered me; SF used to be a way to play with ideas rather than being a platform for group-think. I'm glad to see that the new electronic media forms are giving some of the counter-culture another avenue to get out there.

Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop is now an engineer at May 17, 2015 09:40 AM (8+0sF)

40 Posted by: Retard Strength Trumps Smart Power at May 17, 2015 09:34 AM (n/vq+)

What? It's cutting edge 1995 software!

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at May 17, 2015 09:41 AM (Zu3d9)

41 oops. forgot to close the italics

Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop is now an engineer at May 17, 2015 09:41 AM (8+0sF)

42 Here's the entire list of titles on the book spines on the facade of the KC library:


http://tinyurl.com/6ft2at

Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at May 17, 2015 09:41 AM (NeFrd)

43 Just finished an essay titled "How to Explore like a Victorian Adventurer." Enjoyable, and has references to several period books.

Still reading "Bowerman. . ." Hadn't realized that the track coach had been with the 10th Mountain Division.

Finished reading "Tactics of Mistakes" by Dickson. I am gradually working my way back through the entire Childe cycle.

Wrote a review, picked up by Track and Field News, of John L. Parker's "Racing the Rain." For morons with boys, it's a great book, much less running related than his others. The boys actually get to be boys. I'll put the link down-thread when I'm not on my Kindle.

Posted by: Long Running Fool at May 17, 2015 09:42 AM (/A5gb)

44 Posted by: doug at May 17, 2015 09:25 AM (qYWZ5)
---
Seconded on Greiten's "Resilience". I've been reading selections from Epictetus and this is a great reinforcement for the modern reader. I like to take it a chapter at a time and just mull over it at leisure.

On the lighter side, I'm enjoying Alan Bradley's latest Flavia de Luce mystery "As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust". Flavia is a self-taught teenage home chemist with an unhealthy fixation on its more macabre applications. This is usually manifested in pranks at her older sisters' expense (nothing deadly, just boils or discoloration), but she sometimes assists the police (unbidden) at murder investigations. The whole series is hilarious. Start with "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie".

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 09:43 AM (jR7Wy)

45 i think the Afghan vet can get published if he rewrites it as a choose your own war on terror book.

page 1

join the army go to 84
join the marines go to 97
join the air force go to 127
become a journalist go to 40
other go to 100

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 17, 2015 09:44 AM (VAXnE)

46 All joking aside, wasn't Phillip K. Dick mentally ill?

PKD was many, many things, and yes, mental illness was very much part of his life.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 09:44 AM (zTVI7)

47 "I know I'm far from perfect, but reading a story blurb with misspelled words or klunky grammar makes me less inclined to buy and read the book."

Likewise.

Another pet peeve of mine regarding small-time authors: elementary errors of fact which two minutes of cursory checking would have eliminated.

For people who either by nature or by training pay attention to small details, this is the equivalent of having perfect pitch and listening to a musician who regularly drops in a discordant off note which ruins the listening experience. Unpleasant at best.

Posted by: torquewrench at May 17, 2015 09:45 AM (noWW6)

48 See that there's a Milan Kundera book on the '10 to read this summer' list - was just thinking it may be time to re-read Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Can't remember what triggered it (good trigger, not 'need safe space!!' trigger) - maybe it was how wacky/upside-down things have gotten in the past few years, how we're disregarding history and known truths for stuff like "gender fluidity."
*sigh*

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 09:45 AM (V7QeA)

49 looked at a list of 78 books "all white guys own"

read a few but own none

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 17, 2015 09:45 AM (Wx6Mm)

50 Great post Oregonmuse. Thank you.

I started reading "Epilogue" by Will Boast. Will's dad dies and has no immediate family in US left. So far, a touching read.

Posted by: fastfreefall at May 17, 2015 09:45 AM (T/cTP)

51 Ammo alert for any people waiting for the gun thread.

Natchez has 22LR boxes of 325 in stock, limit 3.

Posted by: Pilot141 at May 17, 2015 09:46 AM (9XHSw)

52 Just finished reading The Unarmed Truth by Charles Dodson, the ATF agent who went public on Fast and Furious. Very interesting book. Dodson gives us a ground eye view of what was going on in the operation.

One gets the impression that he sees the operation as a local screw up created by local authority. This is a reasonable view point for a field agent to take; lots of local detail which blinds him to the overall picture:

1. Gun Walking was occurring in Houston as well as in Phoenix which would require multiple local offices to screw up in the same bizarre way at the same time. (Extremely unlikely).

2. Gun Walking was occurring internally in the US with Chicago Street gangs (Gangwalker).

3. As he points out in the book the guns being bought and shipped to Mexico were being paid for by the Federal Government - not the Cartels. He is so heavily invested in believing the underlying narrative that straw purchased guns are fueling the violence from the Cartels - that he fails to examine things from the perspective of the Cartels who know they aren't paying for the guns they are getting from the US and that it can only be Federal law enforcement who are providing them. There is thus zero possibility of trapping Cartel people who clearly know it is a law enforcement sting operation going on.

4. He fails to mention that it is proven that DOJ up to the level of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer knew about the internals of Fast and Furious and gun walking, and that Attorney General Holder himself was provably sent memos on the operation.

5. He fails to consider that fully auto true AK-47s from Communist China are available in Mexico for far less than the cost of a semi auto AK variant at a US gun store, so that there are ZERO reasons for the Cartels to even want US guns - other than the fact that the US government is providing them for free.


Posted by: An Observation at May 17, 2015 09:47 AM (L3yi9)

53 I just finished my third book, self-published on Amazon. It's about Christian worship from a Reformed perspective. If you're interested it's called Meditations on Reformed Worship, by Matthew Powell.

Posted by: Matt from CO at May 17, 2015 09:48 AM (+ermh)

54 I love that our book thread has ammo alerts. Won't see that at New York Review of Books, will you?

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 09:48 AM (jR7Wy)

55 All Hail Eris, get the feeling there will be soon an Earth shattering ka-boom and Flavia will be at the epicenter looking chagrined.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 09:48 AM (enkX0)

56 morons use bullets for bookmarks

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 17, 2015 09:50 AM (W+64z)

57 Bullets for bookmarks?

Hardly, they break bindings and spines.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 09:51 AM (enkX0)

58 Talk about crazy, look at L. Ron Hubbard.
Billions involved, but he's pining for the fjords eh?

Posted by: le poof at May 17, 2015 09:51 AM (2kXav)

59 they break spines when well aimed yes

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 17, 2015 09:52 AM (W+64z)

60
Just filled my tank at 3.89gal. What happened to the 2.99 and 3.19 gallons a few months ago? I hate fkn obama!

Posted by: Bruce J. at May 17, 2015 09:52 AM (iQIUe)

61 Another pet peeve of mine regarding small-time authors: elementary errors of fact which two minutes of cursory checking would have eliminated.


Posted by: torquewrench at May 17, 2015 09:45 AM (noWW6)


That aggravates me, too. Years ago I was reading a decent Sherlock Holmes pastiche when a one of the characters finds an old photograph where the person in the photo is wearing a uniform with the rank insignia of a Confederate officer. This was the BIG CLUE; unfortunately, the insignia described was actually for a Union officer. It would have taken very little effort on the part of the author to figure out the correct insignia. I finished the book but have not bought another book by this author.

Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop is now an engineer at May 17, 2015 09:53 AM (8+0sF)

62 "Flavia is a self-taught teenage home chemist with an unhealthy fixation on its more macabre applications."

Ah, so you know it's fiction. The paired societal madnesses of the War On Certain Drugs and the War On Certain Sources Of Terror means that being an amateur chemical experimenter has become ridiculously difficult in many ways and places.

A friend down in TX points out that even possession of basic lab glassware there, unless you have a demonstrable professional reason for being in possession of it, can really ruin your day if it comes to the attention of the authorities. The automatic assumption is that you simply must be cooking meth or making bombs. Why else would any sane individual own such equipment?

"Scientific curiosity"? Why, why, [indignant splutters] that's UN-AMERICAN. You need to sit back down in front of the teevee right now. If you're curious about things, official explanations will be provided. No need to go off on your own now.

Posted by: torquewrench at May 17, 2015 09:53 AM (noWW6)

63 "Silent Spring?"

Give me a break.


Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at May 17, 2015 09:53 AM (V70Uh)

64 little boy is begging to go out on this fine spring day

later

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at May 17, 2015 09:54 AM (W+64z)

65 The publishing industry is going the same way the music industry went and many of the publishers are trying desperately to hold on to their phoney-baloney jobs.
I've published one book through the traditional model with a publishing house / distributor etc, and one coloring book through a DIY print on demand place (Lulu.com). I think Lulu still offers a route to getting an ISBN number too, which makes you book 'official' in the respect that it can be sold through online outlets.
I've made probably a little more money just doing it myself. A freaking coloring book.
In my neighborhood, a couple of parents have their kid start a kickstarter to get the kid's book published. Still don't understand that. If the book is good, a publisher will pay you to publish it, plus you can always do the DIY print on demand route. Vanity publishers are happy to take your money though.

Posted by: Retard Strength Trumps Smart Power at May 17, 2015 09:55 AM (n/vq+)

66 morons use bullets for bookmarks

"Bullets for bookmarks" sounds like some war-time government program.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 09:56 AM (zTVI7)

67 I despised that book. The writing seemed awkward and stilted, unlike the other PKD stuff I have read. And the characters? Ugh. Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at May 17, 2015 09:39 AM

I really liked the first half of the book. On first read, I was expecting one hell of a windup, and was disappointed when it fell abysmally flat at the end.

My impression was that PKD had this Great Plot Idea -- and the Japanese/German victory in WWII made for some interesting conjecture -- and then realized that readers would wind up thinking "that's not the way it happened!" Too much reality in that unreality.

I'm not sure anyone could have weaseled out of that problem. PKD didn't. How could you end it? By using some kind of "Red Dawn" scenario? By having aliens come in and take over? By having Doug MacArthur and Georgie Patton directing resistance from Cuba?

Posted by: MrScribbler at May 17, 2015 09:56 AM (P8YHq)

68 PKD was a druggie, IIRC.



Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at May 17, 2015 09:57 AM (V70Uh)

69 How about a history book thread.

Roger Crowley's "Empires of the Sea" is more exciting than any fiction I have ever read.

Posted by: Libra at May 17, 2015 09:58 AM (GblmV)

70 The only paper books I buy are large science books, you know, the ones with big illustrations and such.

Otherwise, paper is obsolete.

Charming and worthy, for sure, but about to be replaced.

Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 10:00 AM (MQEz6)

71 I just started "Anna Karenina," by Tolstoy. I read that Faulkner, and Kundera, and some other authors of note say this is The Greatestest Novel Ever, so I need to find out what the hubbub is about. The first line is brilliant, and justifiably famous: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Posted by: Smallish Bees at May 17, 2015 10:02 AM (YPgXi)

72 Here's the link for the review of Parker's book.

goo.gl/fb/rYgFVd

Thanks, Anna Puma (+SmuD), for the link to Corriea's class. I'll go take a look.

Posted by: Long Running Fool at May 17, 2015 10:02 AM (/A5gb)

73 "In my neighborhood, a couple of parents have their kid start a kickstarter to get the kid's book published. Still don't understand that. If the book is good, a publisher will pay you to publish it, plus you can always do the DIY print on demand route. Vanity publishers are happy to take your money though."

Around here, "books" by young authors from affluent families are often professionally ghostwritten with the parents paying the ghost's fee, and the intended purpose of the book is not to be good, readable, culturally meritorious, or intellectually substantive. It's meant to catch the eye of an admissions officer at an elite college.

Absolutely enormous effort is expended to get youngsters into the school which the parents deem "right" for their precious progeny.

A teacher in an elite private prep school which serves Silicon Valley executive families says that she sees hundreds of thousands of dollars be expended _in the admissions chase alone_, never mind how much it costs by way of tuition after getting in.

Sheer ridiculousness.

Posted by: torquewrench at May 17, 2015 10:02 AM (noWW6)

74 PKD was a druggie, IIRC. Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at May 17, 2015 09:57 AM

Generally, I don't give a happy damn about authors' lives. They can be druggies, Teh Ghey or require leashes when out in public IF I like what they write. (If I don't dig their act, their personal stories make even less difference.)

I thought PKD was remarkably inconsistent. Don't have any of his stuff in my library now, and probably never will again.

In contrast, I'd give John Brunner -- who was, I'd guess, a major-league wacko -- a 99% thumbs-up rating. Loved his stuff. Dude was clearly a madman.

Posted by: MrScribbler at May 17, 2015 10:03 AM (P8YHq)

75 Torque, the stories are set in post-war Britain, I'm guessing the 50's.

And don't get me started on home chemistry sets! MAKE magazine had a great piece on vintage sets. They were a tad more "chill" about things like uranium and cyanide:

http://makezine.com/2008/11/25/great-balls-of-fire/

Luckily, some free range scientists are trying to bring back experimentation, not just observation, to the kiddies:

http://makezine.com/magazine/remaking-the-chemistry-set-for-a-new-generation/

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 10:06 AM (jR7Wy)

76 Five thousand years later, their progeny - seven distinct races now three billion strong - embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown...to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

Well, that plot sounds kinds familiar.

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at May 17, 2015 10:07 AM (c/Ipt)

77 Posted by: MrScribbler at May 17, 2015 10:03 AM (P8YHq)

I loved Hemingway when I was younger, but then began to read more about his life. I found that his writing was less pleasing when seen through the prism of his actual experience and behavior, as opposed to his characters', who were, it was claimed, just thinly disguised Hemingway.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at May 17, 2015 10:07 AM (Zu3d9)

78 Boyfriends and dogs, they each last about 15 years, you should wise up and stagger them -- endless bliss
COSMO

Posted by: le poof at May 17, 2015 10:08 AM (2kXav)

79 is there a book about a takeover of the US by a coup from the military? All these conspiracy theories about Jade Helm got me thinking about how it would happen and if the military would even follow the orders.

Posted by: Curious at May 17, 2015 10:08 AM (zZIKl)

80 "Oh Flavia dear, will you nip on down to the chemist and get this filled? Oh thank you."

England and the US, truly two countries separated by a 'common' language.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 10:09 AM (enkX0)

81 Just this morning finished Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne, a biography of Stonewall Jackson. Firstly, thank God for Ollie's Bargain Outlet, a great place to find discount books. When I'm not buying my local library's books for a quarter each, I get my history fix at Ollie's.

Secondly, this Yankee is truly humbled and yet proud to know such a man as Jackson was born and raised on these shores. How can a man remain a devout Christian in the midst of -- and while directing -- a mass slaughter? Jackson did. Gwynne avoids being a Monday morning quarterback, but you have to wonder if the war would have had a different outcome had Jackson lived beyond Chancellorsville. He was a talismanic warrior who seemed invincible, only to be felled by friendly fire. What if he'd lived a few months more, able to participate at Gettysburg?

Posted by: KGB at May 17, 2015 10:09 AM (O1IOl)

82 Go watch the movie Seven Days in May if you are truly curious.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 10:10 AM (enkX0)

83 bothered that "Silent Spring" was on the front of that bookstore, but then realized that the books shown on the facade were fiction, so it fits right in!

Posted by: geezer der mensch at May 17, 2015 10:10 AM (DE31Y)

84 The 'confessions of a lioness' recommendation sounded kind of interesting actually from the wsj list...

The rest don't really sound like beach reads to me. Although I tend to prefer nonfiction in summer for some reason.

Posted by: Lea at May 17, 2015 10:10 AM (vmMMi)

85 Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at May 17, 2015 10:07 AM(c/Ipt)

Lol, that was my first thought as well.

Speaking of which, your shorter commute means you can get the next book out all the quicker right.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 17, 2015 10:11 AM (GDulk)

86 39. I understand - Sabrina Chase has some good SF and the science part feels solid. She writes other genres too but I think the 4 SF are great. I like Sara Hoyt too, definitely not lefty themes there, the science feels less solid but its really fun reading.

I've been still working on "when Christ and the Saints slept" Yesterday afternoon I got into it and read for hours, I like reading about the turbulent history of England/Europe.

Posted by: PaleRider at May 17, 2015 10:12 AM (iA/+T)

87 I've been reading Jim Harrison's "Brown Dog". The main character, BD, appears to be a moron's moron.

Posted by: scrood at May 17, 2015 10:12 AM (3b9U4)

88 Many new authors go the independent publishing route these days. Their books might still get picked up by a publishing house later but Amazon makes it pretty easy. I self-punished a medical history non-fiction book in 2004 which is still selling a few copies a month ten years later.

Yale U Press turned it down because I was not a PhD historian but the U adopted it as a text a few years later.

Posted by: Mike K at May 17, 2015 10:12 AM (5namt)

89 Well, that plot sounds kinds familiar.

But does it have sex robots?

Posted by: wooga at May 17, 2015 10:13 AM (XK0dn)

90 80 "Oh Flavia dear, will you nip on down to the chemist and get this filled? Oh thank you."

England and the US, truly two countries separated by a 'common' language.
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 10:09 AM (enkX0)


A somewhat embarrassed department store clerk in London once discreetly referred my female friend to the chemist when she asked for a "fanny pack."

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at May 17, 2015 10:14 AM (yxw0r)

91 >>Posted by: torquewrench at May 17, 2015 10:02 AM

Wow - had no idea kiddos were "publishing" as part of their admissions quest. Ugh.

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 10:15 AM (V7QeA)

92 I found that his writing was less pleasing when seen
through the prism of his actual experience and behavior, as opposed to
his characters', who were, it was claimed, just thinly disguised
Hemingway. Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at May 17, 2015 10:07 AM


I never really got into Hemingway's writing, but was curious enough to grab a copy of Hotchner's book to see what all the fuss was a bout.

Could only conclude that a) he didn't live up to his own hype, b) thought he did and c) put a fair amount of effort into Being Ernest Hemingway. I certainly got the impression that he was both an emotional wreck and a world-class horse's ass.

So now I can say I don't like his writing and don't like him....

Posted by: MrScribbler at May 17, 2015 10:15 AM (P8YHq)

93 Sex robots?

"Oh great the Wirgers and Bootes folk are going to be a bit miffed. Next will be a strike. And when I shower, it will be cold water. Again" Harumpfed Ambassador Kagu before swinging away in zero-G with help from his tail.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 10:16 AM (enkX0)

94 Wait, that lioness book isn't out till mid July? I will have forgotten about by then, wsj!

I am currently making my way through the first discworld novel. It's ok but not really drawing me in (meaning I'm taking forever to read it).

Posted by: Lea at May 17, 2015 10:17 AM (vmMMi)

95 Just started reading/listening to "Ark Royal" a 70 yr space carrier that is full of misfits of the Royal Navy, aliens invade a Colony and all the new Carriers are blow to bits. So the Ark Royal is thrown into battle as a stalling action. I finished the book no lefty Politics but it is a British perspective.

Posted by: Patrick From Ohio at May 17, 2015 10:18 AM (CxEX+)

96
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPToGSlrnUA

it's all the same,

how could you put this across in a book context?

Posted by: le poof at May 17, 2015 10:18 AM (2kXav)

97 mike hammer: http://tinyurl.com/25h7ueh

also known as

http://bit.ly/pixyize - Convert text with beyond-ASCII characters into acceptable form for this blog's archaic retro interface.

________________

"...However, there were some things he thought needed to be changed to help get it over with a publishing house...."

In the 1980s, independent comics publishers briefly challenged DC & Marvel with truly innovative stuff, largely thanks to comic book store networks. But, printing is costly and the big two won out and comic book shops basically vanished. However, nowadays, anyone can independently publish a comic book, or strip, online, for basically nothing (production-distribution costs). The "make a profit" part is difficult, but not impossible. I just went to DC online comics for the first time yesterday, and they want an entire dollar to download a comic. Humbug! Were they 10¢, I'd seriously consider it.

Indy musicians, niche-topic writers, all the arts markets dovetail to digital, with the same liberty to self-publish and the consequent difficulties which publishers usually handle.

One may be a good cartoonist, songsmith, or writer, but a poor self-editor or self-publisher. (Ahem, MW online for 19 yrs, not one dime.) Since not everyone is necessarily going to be competent in self-publication, editor-publisher services are still useful, but shouldn't there be something like a multitude of publishers, so the artist is not restricted to the narrow tastes of a few?

Blurting stream-of-unconsciousness style, speaking of poor self-editing. Wonder if I made any sense.

Pondering online comics marketing back in 1996
http://mindfulwebworks.com/art-of/mind-fuel

Posted by: mindful webworker - early bird gets the bookworm at May 17, 2015 10:19 AM (0PD0H)

98 WAIVES her debt. Not waves. Waives.

Please alert Zeppy Cheng that if she want's people to read her book she needs to know the difference between waves and waives.

Posted by: Jason M at May 17, 2015 10:21 AM (Eb4tB)

99
I believe Hemingway hid his mental illness for years. It must have been frightening for him since there wasnt much available as far as cures go. Why he had the key to the gun cabinet after being released from the hospital beats me.

Posted by: Bruce J. at May 17, 2015 10:22 AM (iQIUe)

100 76. Well, that plot sounds kinds familiar.

(Thirty years later John Steed voice)
There are those who believe that life here began ... Out there

Posted by: Fox2! at May 17, 2015 10:22 AM (Wd0WT)

101
Hemingway was an ass. He volunteered his services to the KGB who never used him. He screwed over his friend, John Dos Passos, big time.

Posted by: Bruce J. at May 17, 2015 10:23 AM (iQIUe)

102 if you like historical books written in an incredibly readable style, try an author named Les Standiford. He has a new book out titled "Water To The Angels" that profiles William Mulholland and tells the story of the construction of the LA aqueduct. The timeliness of the story should add interest. He has also profiled Henry Flagler and chronicled the formation of the US steel industry.

Posted by: mc at May 17, 2015 10:24 AM (xuXpE)

103 Book
Something Rich and Strange
Author
Ron Rash

Warning, Warning, Warning.

This book must not be read by Snow Flakes!!!
Or the Pajama sets who live in Safe Trigger Free Zones..Like their FEMA Camps in Hilly World.
Not a shadow of hope in any of this collection of short stories..

Posted by: Stones Throw at May 17, 2015 10:24 AM (/WmRg)

104 Speaking of espionage catastrophes, I'm enjoying "A Spy among Friends: Kim Philiby and the Great Betrayal" by Ben Macintyre. It's a bit loose in its delivery of narrative nonfiction, e.g. some names come up long before they're introduced to the reader, but a fascinating follow up to the miniseries adaption of Le Carre's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," which was inspired by Philby and other Cambridge spies.

Posted by: derit at May 17, 2015 10:24 AM (jT+gh)

105 Marial Hemingway is on this book tour but I bet no one asks her about the fracking video. She's a jerk, too.

Posted by: Bruce J. at May 17, 2015 10:25 AM (iQIUe)

106 "self-punished" author. Hahaha!

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 10:28 AM (jR7Wy)

107 "Just this morning finished Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne, a biography of Stonewall Jackson."

Ah. Thought that name rang a bell. Same author who wrote _Empire Of The Summer Moon_.

Posted by: torquewrench at May 17, 2015 10:28 AM (noWW6)

108 http://bit.ly/pixyize - Convert text with beyond-ASCII characters into acceptable form for this blog's archaic retro interface.

And another thing -- you never see black diamonds on the front page, you only see them when you open a post to read the comment. That means that the html-level construction of http://ace.mu.nu is different than http://acecomments.mu.nu. Why they should be different is beyond me. Why pixy hasn't fixed this is also beyond me.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 10:29 AM (zTVI7)

109 Posted by: derit at May 17, 2015 10:24 AM (jT+gh)

=========================

Another asshole and alcoholic. I found interesting that his wife suffered from Munchenhausen disease.

Posted by: Bruce J. at May 17, 2015 10:30 AM (iQIUe)

110 100 76. Well, that plot sounds kinds familiar.

Or the Splinter Cultures from the Dorsai stories.

Posted by: Fox2! at May 17, 2015 10:31 AM (Wd0WT)

111 Th#233;re #192;re s#244;me sp#235;cial char#226;cters #239;n th#236;s t#234;xt

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 10:32 AM (zTVI7)

112 I know, I know, but since Book 12 is pretty much in a place where I have to put it down, I can put time into getting that last edit of Book 11 in.

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at May 17, 2015 10:32 AM (c/Ipt)

113 Oregon Muse has a long mustache and the chair is against the door?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 10:33 AM (enkX0)

114 Ah, Neal Stephenson. Also known as "the author I can't read on the bus because I miss my stop." It sounds like Seveneves is an aggravated case of Anathem, which I *barely* managed to drag myself across the finish line of and I want a little celebratory sticker to put on my car like the obnoxious marathoners have. All good stuff, but MAN did I struggle to pair up all the philosophical equivalents in our world! I love his writing, but he needs a cross-stitch sampler with "brevity is the soul of wit" hung on the wall over his computer.

And on the topic of writing....
-"If a book is any good a publisher will buy it". Nope. Hasn't been true for many years and especially not true now. Publishers buy and push absolute flops, and turn down mega-hits all the time. Plus, indie publishing is eating their lunch right now. Hence all the whining from that quarter. The big publishing houses never knew what people like to read--they knew what they could get bookstores to buy. And you may have noticed big bookstores are vanishing....

-Kickstarter for a book: In heaven's name, why? If there isn't a book already how do you know it will be any good? Why does the author need money? Want, yes, but not need. At first it might be a chicken-and-egg problem, but editing can be done by trade of services with other authors, and decent covers can be found for $100 or less. What new authors really need is feedback, not cash. Write, get it out, get feedback, repeat.

-Free Baen Books!: Not just Monster Hunter International. Baen cheerfully follows the drug pusher's business plan. Free tastes to get you hooked! Lots of new free books recently, so check it out. https://www.baenebooks.com/c-1-free-library.aspx

Posted by: Sabrina Chase at May 17, 2015 10:33 AM (GQdlU)

115
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCzgdF_WjOg

does this count as art?

Posted by: le trappist at May 17, 2015 10:33 AM (2kXav)

116 Hey, mindful webworker, that 'pixyize' link you provided produced the gibberish in #111. So how are you getting it to work?

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 10:33 AM (zTVI7)

117 @104 - Ben Macintyre

I enjoyed his "Double Cross: the True Story of the D-Day Spies" and "Operation Mincemeat."

Posted by: doug at May 17, 2015 10:35 AM (qYWZ5)

118 "self-punished"

Well All Hail Eris see how you feel after writing and struggling to format to e-publish.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 10:36 AM (enkX0)

119
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwG5c9IsgbA

we KNOW this is art, eh?

Posted by: le trappist at May 17, 2015 10:36 AM (2kXav)

120 I read and reviewed Breakfast With the Dirt Cult at Chicagoboyz about two years ago.
http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/40601.html
His experience pretty well tracks with mine, when it comes to dealing with the trad publishing establishment. They are very, very narrowly focused, and stuff which doesn't match up exactly will not be picked up - and the odds of getting a traditional deal are about the same as winning the state lottery. I was advised by a book-blogger (Grumpy Old Bookman in the UK) who had miles of experience in English traditional publishing to give it a go for a year, and then go indy. Did it with my first book, To Truckee's Trail, and connected with an agent who loved it, but confessed regretfully that it wasn't "marketable". Which I was pretty certain wasn't the case outside of New York publishing circles, as I had already posted sample chapters at the original mil-blog.
The trad publishers are rather like the producers of Hollywood blockbuster movies in another sense - there is so much spent on a movie that it absolutely HAS to be a blockbuster and make it all back - therefore having to be a safe and sure thing. It is, I think, the same with traditionally published books - they absolutely have to be a safe and sure thing.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at May 17, 2015 10:38 AM (95iDF)

121 91 >>Posted by: torquewrench at May 17, 2015 10:02 AM

Wow - had no idea kiddos were "publishing" as part of their admissions quest. Ugh.
Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 10:15 AM (V7QeA)

Pretty sure the same thing is going on with all these charity's run by children now... They seem to be everywhere.

Posted by: Lea at May 17, 2015 10:39 AM (vmMMi)

122 OregonMuse: Why they should be different is beyond me. Why pixy hasn't fixed this is also beyond me.

As you know, #twoweeks.

OM: "...that 'pixyize' link you provided produced the gibberish in #111. So how are you getting it to work?"

Oh, yeah: if you can't do the leading ampersand, you can't do those codes. Here: &&&&&&&&&

Posted by: mindful webworker - early bird gets the bookworm at May 17, 2015 10:40 AM (0PD0H)

123 For OregonMuse and others who enjoyed Frank Chadwick's, " How Dark the World Becomes". The sequel, "Come the Revolution" is being published in December. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Posted by: Tuna at May 17, 2015 10:40 AM (JSovD)

124 Could only conclude that a) he didn't live up to his own hype, b) thought he did and c) put a fair amount of effort into Being Ernest Hemingway. I certainly got the impression that he was both an emotional wreck and a world-class horse's ass.
***

Never liked the books of his I had to read in school but his house in key west is really cool. And has cats!

Posted by: Lea at May 17, 2015 10:41 AM (vmMMi)

125 we KNOW this is art, eh?

Great googly moogly, I haven't listened to FST since my college days.

"Long in the leaf and short in the can"

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 10:42 AM (zTVI7)

126 I've blown through most of my reading list again. Finishin up Residue based on Correia's recommendation and just killing time till the Hugo packet comes out. Decisions decisions.

Surprised the Muse never noticed us talking about Simmons'a book Flashback on here. I know many have mentioned it before. I enjoyed it, though it does take a bit to get into the actual story.

Posted by: NJRob at May 17, 2015 10:43 AM (MD0lp)

127 Oh and what Sabrina Chase said at 114.

"The big publishing houses never knew what people like to read--they knew what they could get bookstores to buy. And you may have noticed big bookstores are vanishing...."

And, putting on my indy-publishing hat - your book, especially in print version absolutely has to look professional, from cover art to interior formatting. Either learn to do this yourself to a professional level, or pay someone to do it for you. Set up an account as a mini-publisher with LSI, and opt for distribution in the Ingram catalog. Set your pricing of the book competitively, and be prepared to work as hard at marketing it as you did writing it.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at May 17, 2015 10:43 AM (95iDF)

128
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmM1_BiuqXs

Carpe Diem! Sleep in!

Posted by: le trappist at May 17, 2015 10:43 AM (2kXav)

129
95 Just started reading/listening to "Ark Royal" a 70 yr space carrier that is full of misfits of the Royal Navy, aliens invade a Colony and all the new Carriers are blow to bits. So the Ark Royal is thrown into battle as a stalling action. I finished the book no lefty Politics but it is a British perspective.
Posted by: Patrick From Ohio at May 17, 2015 10:18 AM (Cx

Read it. Not bad.

Try Terms of Enlistment or Dust World or The Stars Came Back.

Three different authors, three cool books that each begin a series.

Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 10:44 AM (MQEz6)

130 Don't know his exact political deal (and don't particularly care), but yeah, Dan Simmons is no lefty.

He runs a couple of forums on his website where he's fairly involved (if I'm remembering correctly one is general interest which includes lots of politics, and the other is on 'Writing Well' which may be of interest to some morons). And every month or three or four he publishes a 'Message from Dan' which I believe is usually based on books he's reading at the time or has read (going by memory here).

Anyway, my attention was brought to him from his April 2006 Message which was basically a short piece of speculative fiction based upon Muslim aggression inspired by various books on the subject.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/wultw

This of course made him Bushitlercheneyburton to the lunatic left so his next Message was a fairly amusing 'Airing of Grievances' in which he detailed all the ways people had disappointed him.

I ordered his Hyperion series that day.

Posted by: Lurking Canuck at May 17, 2015 10:44 AM (G4aHK)

131 Hemingway's Cats could be a book on the over-reach of the federal government. Except it really happened. Some sanctimonious out of state do-gooder filed a complaint against his Key West house and how they were handling the feline population. After a lengthy court battle it was ruled that yes the Fed can regulate how the cats are treated because of out of state tourism equals interstate commerce.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 10:44 AM (enkX0)

132 Yep, the admissions game extends to well-off families setting up Astroturf "foundations" and suchlike. At which their progeny can labor, or at least be depicted as laboring, in the greater service of society.

Typically devoted to politically correct causes, and lavishly if briefly underwritten. (Once the admissions letters arrive, the undertaking has served its real purpose and is left to wither on the vine.)

Posted by: torquewrench at May 17, 2015 10:44 AM (noWW6)

133 "Come the Revolution" is being published in December. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Oh cool, thank you for this, a little Christmas present I can give to myself.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 10:45 AM (zTVI7)

134 80
"I've been still working on "when Christ and the Saints slept" Yesterday afternoon I got into it and read for hours, I like reading about the turbulent history of England/Europe."

I read that my many years ago. Remains one my top recommendations in the historical fiction genre.

Posted by: Tuna at May 17, 2015 10:47 AM (JSovD)

135 The malfunctioning AI in Book 12 is named 'Pixy.' It's an homage.

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at May 17, 2015 10:51 AM (c/Ipt)

136 Put the free sample of McCullough's "The Wright Brothers" on my Kindle, to see how well my grandson, a second-grader, could read it. He did fine, so I bought him a copy.

Posted by: the littl shyning man at May 17, 2015 10:52 AM (U6f54)

137 Thanks Tuna, I could use follow-on suggestions.

Posted by: PaleRider at May 17, 2015 10:52 AM (iA/+T)

138
Oh, yeah: if you can't do the leading ampersand, you can't do those codes. Here:


So after I run the text through the pixyizer, I have to add my own ampersands before I post it?

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 10:53 AM (zTVI7)

139 A couple thoughts.
1) Catch-22 is one of the most overrated books of all time.
2) Don't go through a traditional publisher. Self-publish, because you'll have to do all of your PR anyway and you get more of the profit.
3) How does Moses make coffee? Hebrews it.
4) This of course made him Bushitlercheneyburton to the lunatic left so his next Message was a fairly amusing 'Airing of Grievances' in which he detailed all the ways people had disappointed him.

Same thing happened to Frank Miller. The left lurved him until he wrote a story about Batman kicking al'Qaeda ass and they went nuts about how he's a fascist.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 17, 2015 10:53 AM (39g3+)

140 Hemingway was an ass.

He's also overrated. He's not a hack but he's not the great artist and writer people pretend. Everything he tried to do, Dashiell Hammett did better, without trying to prove he was a big rough man over and over.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 17, 2015 10:55 AM (39g3+)

141 Good morning rons. I am currently reading Pendulum of Justice by DK Halling. Also I just finished a complete re-edit of my first book Amy Lynn and sent it to the publisher.

I have two chapters left to finish the third Amy Lynn, the lady of Castle Dunn. And I'm helf way through a short story called Six Days With Poppy. This is a non-fiction about an 12 year old coon dog we fostered from Carolina Loving Hound rescue. When I publish that all proceeds will go to the rescue.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet. at May 17, 2015 10:55 AM (KbNXw)

142 Testing
Th#233;re#192;re s#244;me sp#235;cial char#226;cters #239;n th#236;s t#234;xt

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 10:55 AM (zTVI7)

143 Ha! No, it just strips off the ampersands and posts gibberish

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 10:56 AM (zTVI7)

144 Re the practice of giving bad reviews based on politics, I did my part this week. A highly rated political thriller had a thinly veiled character based on Michele Bachmann, who prayed a lot, but prayed for self-aggrandizement.

The other head shaker in it was the Republican president pushing through net neutrality over the strong objection of the democrat party.

Posted by: RushBabe at May 17, 2015 10:56 AM (aj/zI)

145 Comic book shops vanished? There are easily a dozen in the portions of LA county I regularly travel. I suspect at least half are indulgences for trust funders and only need to not lose more than a certain amount annually. But they seem to be doing much better than book stores of all sorts.

Posted by: Epobirs at May 17, 2015 10:56 AM (IdCqF)

146 I reviewed Flashback some years ago here. I thought it was excellent.

As for ramblin' on - well, that's just Dan Simmons. Hyperion + Fall Of Hyperion is really one book, not two; it is a massive epic. Before Simmons' politics were generally known his works were marketed as the higher-brow Stephen King, including by Stephen King himself.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 17, 2015 10:58 AM (AVEe1)

147 I read The Girl On the Train this week and quite liked. There are three different narrators each of whom has enough "issues" for a Jerry Springer special and none of whom is a reliable witness. It starts a little slow and the characters are hard to like but it does pick up and you develop sympathy for the characters. Caution: Make sure all
knives, razor blades, and other sharp edges are secured prior to reading because otherwise the bleak depictions here may cause you to slit your wrists. I'd describe this book as a psychological thriller, heavy on the psychos.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at May 17, 2015 10:59 AM (LImiJ)

148 #139

Frank Miller is the embodiment of the liberal who has been mugged. Up until 9/11 his work would give the reader every reason to believe he leaned very hard left.

Posted by: Epobirs at May 17, 2015 10:59 AM (IdCqF)

149 Testing:

Thére Àre sôme spëcial charâcters ïn thìs têxt

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 11:00 AM (zTVI7)

150 testing &&&&&&

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 11:00 AM (zTVI7)

151 Ha! Looks like the ampersand removal is a Firefox thing. IE posts 'em just fine.

And, the special characters come out as black diamonds, thus conforming to pixy's design specs.

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 11:02 AM (zTVI7)

152 Eris et al., Would you consider the Flavia de Luce series appropriate for a mature 11 year old? Sounds like they're right up my daughter's alley, but you can never be sure these days.

Posted by: smaulz at May 17, 2015 11:03 AM (AbcTu)

153 114
Nice to know there is another person who finished "Anathem". It was worth the effort but OMG did I have push myself through the first third of the book. I read the dead tree version so the constant flipping back and forth between the text and the appendix really wore me down. I love the idea of a " I Finished Anathem" bumper sticker. We deserve the recognition.

Posted by: Tuna at May 17, 2015 11:03 AM (JSovD)

154
I certainly wasn't drunk at the time.

Posted by: le trappist at May 17, 2015 11:08 AM (2kXav)

155 Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.

Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.


Groucho Marx

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this sh1t at May 17, 2015 11:09 AM (0HooB)

156 Is this the bookie thread?

Aren't you glad the word "bookie" was taken? (think of foodies)

Anyway, Gunnar, I scraped and pinched pennies and dropped .99 on yr book.

Posted by: JohnnyBoy at May 17, 2015 11:10 AM (KG0mU)

157 So after I run the text through the pixyizer, I have to add my own ampersands before I post it?

You must disable javascript for .mu.nu to post &&'.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at May 17, 2015 11:11 AM (rwI+c)

158 &&&&&&&

Cry havoc and let loose the ampersands of war.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this sh1t at May 17, 2015 11:12 AM (0HooB)

159 Me
and You
God only knows
it's not what we would choose
to do

Posted by: le trappist at May 17, 2015 11:14 AM (2kXav)

160 >>Aren't you glad the word "bookie" was taken? (think of foodies)


Heh. There's an excellent (and huge) independent children's book store in Denver called "Bookies."

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 11:15 AM (V7QeA)

161 Philip K. Dick was only an adequate writer but he did have one spark of genius, the ability to create a perfect illustration of a philosophical idea.

I saw a fascinating documentary about him some years ago. Definitely a strange guy.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at May 17, 2015 11:15 AM (LImiJ)

162 152 Eris et al., Would you consider the Flavia de Luce series appropriate for a mature 11 year old? Sounds like they're right up my daughter's alley, but you can never be sure these days.
Posted by: smaulz at May 17, 2015 11:03 AM (AbcTu)
---
Oh, absolutely! There's nothing objectionable and the language is rich in vocabulary and humor.

Flavia is the youngest of three sisters living in a shambling elegant wreck of a manor with their father, who is still grieving over the loss of his beloved aviatrix wife. He is loving but distant. Flavia is therefore left to her own devices and when she discovers a fully chemistry lab left in a sealed off room of the estate, used long ago by her ancester Tarquin, she puts his voluminous notes to good use. Well, "good" as in entertaining and informative to a curious mind unfettered by notions of propriety.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 11:15 AM (jR7Wy)

163 I'm off to meet The Heiress. 16 hours on the road each way. But it's worth it, I think.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at May 17, 2015 11:15 AM (rwI+c)

164 and if Mrs928 would get her ass in gear we could be outa here.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at May 17, 2015 11:15 AM (rwI+c)

165 Urgh, "fully STOCKED chemistry lab".

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 11:16 AM (jR7Wy)

166 Smallish Bees at May 17, 2015 10:02 AM (YPgXi): By the time I was done with "Anna Karenina" I was thinking (spoiler alert) "Oh boy, here comes the train. What on earth took it so long?" I believe I hated absolutely everyone in the entire book.

Posted by: Tonestaple at May 17, 2015 11:17 AM (bFIVB)

167 I just finished "Streets of Laredo", the last of the Lonesome Dove series. I think I'll make another run at Shelby Foote's Civil War series. I started it a couple years ago, but got busy with work and couldn't stick with it. OM's summary of Seveneves makes it sound like a good read, but I'll heed the advice above and check the amazon reviews before buying.

Posted by: PabloD at May 17, 2015 11:18 AM (roESk)

168 Reading David McCullough's "The Path Between The Seas,"
the history of the Panama Canal. Looking forward to the part when the Americans start digging.

Posted by: Mike at May 17, 2015 11:19 AM (c056A)

169 up

and down

and in the end it's only round and round

and round

Posted by: le trappist at May 17, 2015 11:20 AM (2kXav)

170
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0C3DHp36zc

Let's go digging in the dirt!

Posted by: le trappist at May 17, 2015 11:22 AM (2kXav)

171 @162 That's good enough for me, thank you. I purchased all seven in the series, as I'm sure she'll devour them in no time. The kid goes through books like the rest of us go through underwear.

Posted by: smaulz at May 17, 2015 11:24 AM (AbcTu)

172 I read 'Anathem' and found myself wondering what was the point of that? It seems as if Stephenson had a bunch of fragments he wanted to get into books and couldn't come up with enough standalone stories to tell, so instead threw it all in a blender and dared his publisher to put it out.

The general premise didn't make much sense, the narrative veered off into lengthy side trips for no apparent reason, and the whole was more of a slog than it should have been.


Posted by: Epobirs at May 17, 2015 11:25 AM (IdCqF)

173 The kid goes through books like the rest of us go through underwear.
Posted by: smaulz at May 17, 2015 11:24 AM (AbcTu)
---
Dunno. A good percentage of our readership is pantsless at any given moment.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 11:26 AM (jR7Wy)

174 166
"Oh boy, here comes the train. What on earth took it so long."
Hahahaha. I know what you mean. Even the movie version starring Greta Garbo doesn't improve on the story. Garbo's costumes were lovely though. Especially the one in the scene where she keeps her appointment with said train.

Posted by: Tuna at May 17, 2015 11:28 AM (JSovD)

175 A good percentage of our readership is pantsless at any given moment.

I hope not on the book thread. I'm trying to run a classy joint here, y'know...

Posted by: OregonMuse at May 17, 2015 11:31 AM (zTVI7)

176 Keep fighting the good fight, OregonMuse.

::pats hand::

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 11:32 AM (jR7Wy)

177 @173 Point taken. Poor choice of analogy.

Posted by: smaulz at May 17, 2015 11:32 AM (AbcTu)

178 131 Hemingway's Cats could be a book on the over-reach of the federal government. Except it really happened. Some sanctimonious out of state do-gooder filed a complaint against his Key West house and how they were handling the feline population. After a lengthy court battle it was ruled that yes the Fed can regulate how the cats are treated because of out of state tourism equals interstate commerce.
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at May 17, 2015 10:44 AM (enkX0)

Crazy! They are cats. They lazy around doing cat shit. Can't imagine what the Feds could even mandate.

Posted by: Lea at May 17, 2015 11:32 AM (vmMMi)

179 I read Anna karenina as a teenager. I didn't hate it but I didn't read it again... I've not made it through war and peace yet, got about a hundred pages in I think...

Posted by: Lea at May 17, 2015 11:34 AM (vmMMi)

180 172
But you finished it. Therefore you deserve the bumper sticker.

Posted by: Tuna at May 17, 2015 11:34 AM (JSovD)

181 Crazy! They are cats. They lazy around doing cat shit. Can't imagine what the Feds could even mandate.

That sounds like the political equivalent of the phrase, "trying to herd cats." And nearly as productive.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this sh1t at May 17, 2015 11:34 AM (0HooB)

182 Speaking of pants, this is pretty funny.

http://tinyurl.com/m4wvwz3

Posted by: The Great White Snark at May 17, 2015 11:38 AM (LImiJ)

183 61
That aggravates me, too. Years ago I was reading a decent Sherlock
Holmes pastiche when a one of the characters finds an old photograph
where the person in the photo is wearing a uniform with the rank
insignia of a Confederate officer.


Yeah, annoys me, too. A while back, I read a book called, IIRC, "Casino Royale", by someone with the unlikely name of Ian Fleming and I come across this:

"...I'm pretty certain they are the Russian letter for SH. It's rather like an inverted M with a tail...."

Nope. An inverted M with a tail is SHCH; the Russian letter for SH has no tail. And there is no clue why SMERSH would be branding spies with SHCH instead of SH.

Not certain whether I should bother reading any more books by that author. Perhaps I should just wait for the movies.

Posted by: TRIGGER WARNING: Anachronda at May 17, 2015 11:38 AM (o78gS)

184 The only reason I even heard of Breakfast with the Dirt Cult was because it was mentioned on Roosh. I read it in less than a week; even went so far as to read it during my lunch hour at the place I teach. It was such an honest and profound take on people (particularly men) that I knew why no one would publish it. To say it goes against the current feminist driven paradigm is an understatement; the author is basically dry shaving against the grain. But his end result is nothing short of astounding.

I thought the same must be true with best seller novel The Yellow Birds, also by a veteran of OIF. (BWTDC is written by a OEF vet). Of course, this was not the case. The novel became a tale of a soldier shedding his uniform Bowe Bergdal style, getting castrated and mutilated at a mosque, and two of his fellow soldiers covering up the tragedy by killing an Iraqi. No surprise the media loved this one and turned it into a best seller.

Morons, if you promise me you'll read this book I will mail you my copy free of charge. It's that good

Posted by: Danny Donkey at May 17, 2015 11:39 AM (U/MG/)

185 Last book I finished is Ian Fleming's Commandos by Nicholas Rankin. Its a historical piece partly on the work by Ian Fleming in British intelligence during WW2 but mostly about the 30 AU commando team that was an intelligence gathering unit. They'd go ahead of and with the very front lines to get papers, capture important people, and pick up tech for the guys back home to pick through and work on. Its a great historical bit that rambles and wanders a bit, but is always informative and interesting.

Tons of info about what was going on behind the scenes and other than the battles during WW2. Between this and A Man Called Intrepid you get an amazing backstory that is jawdropping and incredibly informative.

My only real beef is that the Ian Fleming angle seems more just a way of generating interest in the 30 AU tales, and the author just throws in pieces about Fleming and James Bond once in a while like he edited an existing manuscript to sex it up and fit in the references. It works okay, just a bit misleading.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 17, 2015 11:42 AM (39g3+)

186
http://tinyurl.com/m7elgak

speechless and not terribly, terribly, surprised

Posted by: le trappist at May 17, 2015 11:44 AM (2kXav)

187
I find the "moron author's" comments interesting.

I've been an avid reader my whole life. However, lately I can't seem to find any new fiction that I want to read. It all looks like crap written by people I wouldn't want to talk to for five minutes. Its either 'Oprah-fied', overly-emotional liberal nonsense, or its soft-porn.

So, I keep going back to the classics - of history and of my youth. But I would really like some new, worthy books to read.

Posted by: Lily at May 17, 2015 11:45 AM (eBvf6)

188 So, I keep going back to the classics - of history and of my youth. But I would really like some new, worthy books to read.
Posted by: Lily at May 17, 2015 11:45 AM (eBvf6)


My first Novel Amy Lynn is very different, fiction I even got an honorable mention for Book of the year from the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance. You can give in a shot.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet. at May 17, 2015 11:47 AM (KbNXw)

189 @ 188 Try Doc Savage
That was my misspent yute

Posted by: Stones Throw at May 17, 2015 11:51 AM (/WmRg)

190 Sabaa Tahir, "An Ember in the Ashes"

This is a Young Adult story about an evil empire and a few plucky kids who fight against it. It is (slightly) more original than that sounds.

This empire is called the "Martial Empire", and its imperium hangs over ethnic groups with names like "Scholar" and "Tribal". This has already annoyed other reviewers, who (rightly) see these names as placeholders and wished for something less generic. Personally I was waiting to see if anybody would actually mention if the empire demanded worship of Mars the war god, but - no. It's just "Martial" because it's military and classical-themed.

The world in general seems like it developed while the author was writing the plot. We learn in the second half of the book that the Tribals do, in fact, own their own language(s). They're han- languages, reminiscent of "Northern Arabian" (para-Arabic) like Thamudic; the language we meet here is called Sadhese. A better author would introduce that stuff earlier in the book. ARISTOTLE MOTHER@$#%, DO YOU SPEAK IT?!

Speeeeaking of the classics, Tahir has read just enough of these to be dangerous. The Martial Empire is pretty much Sparta without the buggery (yo, Peter Brett!). The warrior caste, called "Masks", are trained in an almost-all-male academy, except for a few years where they're turned loose on the countryside to raid farms and forage.

One difference is that the augur caste, called "Augurs" (sigh), does stick a girl into the mix from time to time. This girl is an outlier on the right hand of the XX bellcurve - think, Brienne the Beauty - so, at least here, it's not annoying. It also causes the social problems you'd expect.

It was generally weird how little religion was noted here. The people swear by the "skies". Here we're dealing with another authorial placeholder.

The two POV characters are Laia, a newly-orphaned Scholar; and Elias, the bastard son of the Commandant who leads the Masks. Laia joins a Resistance and tries to spy on the Commandant. Elias needs to pass the final tests to become a Mask, but secretly dislikes the Martial system. There are also various love-quadrangles since Laia and Elias meet and hit it off, but also have interests in their own circles. (Did I mention it's Young Adult?)

Another pause for rant here: "Elias"'s name is wrong for this world, and wrong in the wrong way. It is Semitic and so foreign to the classical culture of the Martials; and this much is acknowledged in the book. The problem here is that it's supposed to be Sadhese - from "Ilyaas". No, Tahir; NnnNO. It comes from "Elyaw" / "Elyahu" and it's Hebrew, and refers to the Biblical God. Your "Ilyaas" isn't any form of Arabian; it's Qur'anic, Arabic only by way of Syriac by way of the Septuagint. This looks like a deliberate nod to Islam (she seems to allude to this faith in the acknowledgements) in a structurally non-Islamic book. Yeah, the book doesn't need it.

Beyond that faceplant, the characters are handled well. The females act like females, twisted by their environment. The males act mostly like males, which is a pleasant surprise in YA fiction. Because YA, there's no sex here, although several characters come right to the edge of it. (The book likes to tease.)

It might be just as well there's no sex, because the characters otherwise seem to interact with violence. Actually, although I'm not much for trigger-warnings... uh. The Commandant is about the most brutal woman in any book I've ever read. If you don't like floggings, brandings, beatings, scarrings this book is not for you. If you don't like bones snapping, ditto. The book even gets some attempted raeps in. As they way, This Is Sparta.

Long review. Huh.

Anyway, the book is a mixed experience. I loved parts of it. But the worldbuilding generally sucked. It needed an editor like the characters here need to get laid. Which is a lot. Maybe the author listens to criticism (because I'm not saying much that other critics haven't said) in which case, she should spend some time developing a "Silmarillion" for this world before doing the sequel - and there will have to be one.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 17, 2015 11:52 AM (AVEe1)

191 You could be reading thinly veiled lesbian works..
Nancy Drew...
Just Sayin

Posted by: Stones Throw at May 17, 2015 11:53 AM (/WmRg)

192 Atlas Shrugged is very good if you savour every word

Posted by: Sprout at May 17, 2015 11:53 AM (2kXav)

193 Well, I liked Anathem, & have actually re-read it.
Saunt Bucker's Basket ! Adrakhonic Theorem ! Fun !

That said, I usually read the library's copy of Stephenson's work first. Saves a lot of $.
Reamde was a bust. Seveneves , we'll see.

Read the new Joe Abercrombie last week, Half the World, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at May 17, 2015 11:58 AM (S0bOl)

194 Completely off topic but this conversation with a commie chick about Djoker's death sentence is good for a chuckle.

http://tinyurl.com/n5enfak

Posted by: The Great White Snark at May 17, 2015 11:59 AM (LImiJ)

195 I liked "Terms of Enlistment", and gave it a 4/5 on Amazon. But when its author Kloos called Vox Day a "shitbag" and peed all over the Sad Puppy fanbase, and publicly announced that he didn't want to be associated with the Sad Puppies -

- I decided that the fairest thing to do would be to disassociate myself from him. So I deleted my review.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 17, 2015 12:00 PM (AVEe1)

196 I thought Joe Biden's new book, Fart Make Joey Laff, was a tour de force.

Posted by: Pappy O'Daniel at May 17, 2015 12:00 PM (UUheN)

197 Re-re-re-re-reading 'Salem's Lot. King was great when he was hungry and intoxicated. Sobriety and billionaire-communism have taken a toll, however.

Posted by: Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains at May 17, 2015 12:00 PM (yxw0r)

198 ... which was more a Rabid Puppy thing to do on my part, now I think of it. Meh. It's not like "Terms of Enlistment" was that important of a literary event.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 17, 2015 12:01 PM (AVEe1)

199 Read Stephen King's The Gunslinger (Dark Tower #1) where the Gunslinger pursues the Man In Black across the desert. Overall pretty good, may look into book 2 at some point.

Read Sabrina Chase's Jinxers where a
young boy, scavenging for survival on a freezing cold world opens a
portal to a hot desert planet. Fun story, liked the characters.

Read Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground. Awful beyond description. Pretend reading it will give you cancer and stay away.

Posted by: waelse1 at May 17, 2015 12:03 PM (x+P8L)

200
Read Sabrina Chase's Jinxers where a
young boy, scavenging for survival on a freezing cold world opens a
portal to a hot desert planet. Fun story, liked the characters.
Posted by: waelse1 at May 17, 2015 12:03 PM (x+P8L)

Jinxers is good. My eleven year old loved it. She got to beta while Sabrina was writing it.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet. at May 17, 2015 12:08 PM (KbNXw)

201 Not that Jinxers is a Children's book.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet. at May 17, 2015 12:11 PM (KbNXw)

202 Awful, simply awful. tsk tsk eye rolling, blowing scotch out of my nose, You're a bad one, Pappy. Bad. Really Bad. Seriously.

196 I thought Joe Biden's new book, Fart Make Joey Laff, was a tour de force.
Posted by: Pappy O'Daniel at May 17, 2015 12:00 PM (UUheN)

Posted by: Sprout at May 17, 2015 12:11 PM (2kXav)

203 It's from the "Pull My Finger" trilogy

Posted by: ThunderB, Overly Provocative at May 17, 2015 12:14 PM (zOTsN)

204 #194

I especially liked her bizarre misuse of the word ethnic. As if only non-whites have an ethnicity.

Posted by: Epobirs at May 17, 2015 12:15 PM (IdCqF)

205 Back to writing, Later rons.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet. at May 17, 2015 12:17 PM (KbNXw)

206 I thought Dick's Ubik was excellent, Man In The High Castle a great premise that turned out OK. The Amazon series pilot is very good (think it was directed by Ridley Scott).

I thoroughly enjoyed Anna Karenina, Anna's not likeable but her story is interesting, and I did like the other characters. Long book though.

Posted by: waelse1 at May 17, 2015 12:19 PM (x+P8L)

207 Re: the Louis C.K. sidebar item. I am not offended as a pedophile. I'm offended as a comedian.

Posted by: Harry Reid at May 17, 2015 12:19 PM (nFdGS)

208 Louis C. K. nailed it. Mmm, Mounds...

Posted by: Hairy Reid, The Searchlight Strangler at May 17, 2015 12:21 PM (FcR7P)

209 Nice to know there is another person who finished "Anathem". It was worth the effort but OMG did I have push myself through the first third of the book. I read the dead tree version so the constant flipping back and forth between the text and the appendix really wore me down. I love the idea of a " I Finished Anathem" bumper sticker. We deserve the recognition.
Posted by: Tuna at May 17, 2015 11:03 AM (JSovD)

---------------
You think that's rough, try reading it on a Kindle. Took almost a month to finish as I could only read 30-40 pages a night before my brain would misfire due to his "own" language.

Once he arrived at the story portion of the book, I was able to speed up and finish in a timely fashion. Doesn't help that I prefer to read multiple books at the same time so I don't get bored.

I still don't get why that book is so highly rated or why the ending happens as it did.

Posted by: NJRob at May 17, 2015 12:22 PM (Ua2QZ)

210 So the Louie CK thing. Not sure what I think. The whole pedophiles must be so compelled thing. It's sort of like saying they can't help it. Which I think is a cop out. Like the pedophile is helpless to stop molesting.

Posted by: ThunderB, Overly Provocative at May 17, 2015 12:23 PM (zOTsN)

211 Good day to sit in the house and read. Cuz it's snowing...again.

Posted by: fairweatherbill at May 17, 2015 12:37 PM (xrURQ)

212 I saw the Luis CK thing. I think he is as despicable as they come. But most of us already know that. That's why you can change the channel. The 1st amendment says nothing about taste.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet. at May 17, 2015 12:39 PM (KbNXw)

213 Snowing?! Where are you, the ironically named fairweatherbill?

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 12:41 PM (jR7Wy)

214 On the posting issue with the strange characters that show up after copy/paste, you can paste into notebook and the formatting will be stripped. You can then copy/paste it without strange issues.

Posted by: wodun at May 17, 2015 12:42 PM (DD0s8)

215 Louis C K just gave the SJW a huge wedgie.

Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 12:57 PM (MQEz6)

216 Currently reading a loaner from a friend. It's an old book..., well, not new at any rate. 'Invasion 1944', By Hans Speidel, who was Rommel's Chief of Staff.

The topic is the Normandy Invasion, from the German's perspective.

Posted by: mike hammer, etc., etc. at May 17, 2015 12:58 PM (QyBQv)

217 I'm in the ironically named Glacier county of Montana.
No lawn work today.

Posted by: fairweatherbill at May 17, 2015 01:06 PM (o/3Hk)

218 214 The advantage of using the converter (9), is that special characters will be converted.

Here is the Swedish word 'fälla', which has an umlaut over the first 'a', pasted (with umlaut) into Notebook, then copied ant pasted here: fälla

Now, pasted, and converted: fälla

Posted by: mike hammer, etc., etc. at May 17, 2015 01:07 PM (QyBQv)

219 '.... copied and...

Posted by: mike hammer, etc., etc. at May 17, 2015 01:08 PM (QyBQv)

220 Republicans helping Obama pass his trade bill further destroying the middle class.

Keep voting for them ass clowns!

Tell me how we MUST VOTE for Rubio or walker the frauds, tell me!

Posted by: Dan at May 17, 2015 01:10 PM (COpZ4)

221 Muldoon, Zeppy says thank you for catching the typo. He is fixing it pronto.

Posted by: Laura F. at May 17, 2015 01:12 PM (bIMGT)

222 I read an SF novel by PKD. The hero travels to Mars, by dropping a pill.

I started "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (Blade Runner), but got bored about 3/4ths of the way and put it down.

Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at May 17, 2015 01:13 PM (V70Uh)

223 g'early afternoon, 'rons

Posted by: AltonJackson at May 17, 2015 01:19 PM (KCxzN)

224 Minor note: That's actually the Parking Garage for the KC Library's façade. They re-purposed a beautiful old bank building for the library and built the garage across the street. There was a contest to nominate the books for the façade.

Posted by: KCSteve at May 17, 2015 01:19 PM (ZgdKo)

225 None of the books on the library facade would hold any special appeal to a conservative or a libertarian, aside from general interest. More to the point, none would especially annoy a "progressive," aside from general cussedness.

Posted by: Chas C-Q at May 17, 2015 01:22 PM (Y0Piu)

226 I read an SF novel by PKD. The hero travels to Mars, by dropping a pill.

-
Drop acid not bombs.

- Some Dirty Hippy

Posted by: The Great White Snark at May 17, 2015 01:23 PM (LImiJ)

227 187 ... Lily, I've been making the same complaint. Less and less modern fiction is appealing and I'm going back to my younger days and, especially, to the nineteenth century. I mentioned above that Mike Hammer suggested Anthony Trollope and he was correct: Trollope is wonderful. I'm finding more new-to-me classic writers or rediscovering old favorites like H. Rider Haggard.

I don't know your tastes but some 'modern' books I've ben enjoying the last 20 years:

Vineyard mysteries by Philip Craig
The first ten Dirk Pitt books by Clive Cussler
The Isaac Bell books by Clive Cussler
The Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews (a LOT of humor)
The Liturgical mysteries by Mark Schweizer (even more humor)

Just a few thoughts.

Posted by: JTB at May 17, 2015 01:23 PM (FvdPb)

228 façade

Posted by: Mike Hammer, taking horses to water at May 17, 2015 01:24 PM (QyBQv)

229 If you haven't clicked on the Louis CK links in the sidebar, you're missing good stuff. I don't laugh at SNL stuff anymore, mostly cuz it ain't funny, but I laughed.
And guffawed.
And Chortled.
Really, it's good comedy.

Posted by: OneEyedJack at May 17, 2015 01:25 PM (XmOA9)

230 Where are the Louis CK links? What is this sidebar of which you speak?

Posted by: Thor's feather duster at May 17, 2015 01:32 PM (JgC5a)

231 Now having commented before reading, 9a time honored moron tradition) I see CK's been roundly trashed already.
No accounting for taste I guess. As you were.

Posted by: OneEyedJack at May 17, 2015 01:33 PM (XmOA9)

232 Thor, you're on the comments page. On the home page there is a sidebar on the right with stories that may be of interest to morons.

Posted by: OneEyedJack at May 17, 2015 01:34 PM (XmOA9)

233 Hmmmm. Thirty shot so far this weekend in Chicago.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at May 17, 2015 01:34 PM (LImiJ)

234 So if a Hordeling were to put a book facade onto a library, what book spines would there be? Just for fun:

- War As I Knew It by George Patton
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Whippingham Papers
- Lady Bumtickler's Revels
- Panzer Battles by von Mellenthin
- Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

What else?


Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 01:36 PM (jR7Wy)

235 Thirty shot so far this weekend in Chicago

That only covers Saturdays shootings. Must be a great place to raise a family.

Posted by: Ronster at May 17, 2015 01:37 PM (r124R)

236 199 Read Stephen King's The Gunslinger (Dark Tower #1) where the Gunslinger pursues the Man In Black across the desert. Overall pretty good, may look into book 2 at some point.

Book 2, The Drawing Of The Three is maybe my favorite Stephen King book. The 7 book series does go off the rails at some point. People differ about what that point is, but I've seen few defenders of the whole saga.

For me, I'm with him all the way for the first 4 books; I like the fifth book, with a few reservations, things start to get wacky in the 6th, and, despite some interesting things in the first half, the seventh is kind of a mess, and more so as you go along. King is not good at endings, usually (exceptions: The Stand, Salem's Lot), and I think it's because he doesn't plan them and trusts that they will pop out of his brain.

Posted by: Splunge at May 17, 2015 01:37 PM (qyomX)

237 199 Read Stephen King's The Gunslinger (Dark Tower #1) where the Gunslinger pursues the Man In Black across the desert. Overall pretty good, may look into book 2 at some point.
-----------

One does not simply read the gunslinger and stop. Do yourself a favour and read all of the dark tower books. King may be a liberal asshat, but those books are amazing.

Posted by: Community organizer at May 17, 2015 01:39 PM (JP25I)

238 King may be a liberal asshat, but those books are amazing.

Oh, I concur! Wait 'til you see how it ENDS!! :^)

Posted by: President Gary Hart at May 17, 2015 01:42 PM (AVEe1)

239 @195, I think Kloos peed all over Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies. He said he was friendly with Correia and didn't mind the Sad Puppy backing (according to monsterhunternation.com).

Posted by: waelse1 at May 17, 2015 01:42 PM (x+P8L)

240 236 199 Read Stephen King's The Gunslinger (Dark Tower #1) where the Gunslinger pursues the Man In Black across the desert. Overall pretty good, may look into book 2 at some point.

Book 2, The Drawing Of The Three is maybe my favorite Stephen King book. The 7 book series does go off the rails at some point. People differ about what that point is, but I've seen few defenders of the whole saga.

For me, I'm with him all the way for the first 4 books; I like the fifth book, with a few reservations, things start to get wacky in the 6th, and, despite some interesting things in the first half, the seventh is kind of a mess, and more so as you go along. King is not good at endings, usually (exceptions: The Stand, Salem's Lot), and I think it's because he doesn't plan them and trusts that they will pop out of his brain.

-----------

Count me as a defender then. Yeah, some books are stronger than others, but I thought the ending was perfect. Of course I won't say why as to not spoil anything...

Posted by: Community organizer at May 17, 2015 01:42 PM (JP25I)

241 Right now, starting to read

"The Steel Bonnets"

The story of the Anglo-Scottish border reivers. It was given to me to read by my 'functional' boss who is descended from ''borderers", the people who lived on the Scottish-English border.

Something I know nothing about, but it is pretty interesting so far, and wryly written. The author is George MacDonald Fraser, also author of the "Flashman" series of books, and other things.
Weird little things pop up in the book, as I realize that many of the descendants of the "borderers" have settled in Appalachia, especially southern and southeast Ohio. Town and county names pop up, and I realize now where they come from.

Posted by: Bossy Conservative....lost in America at May 17, 2015 01:43 PM (+1T7c)

242 I've promoted "Flashback" a few times in the comments here and am glad Oregon Muse gave it a boost today. The truly stunning thing about the novel is that Simmons comes right out and says America became a hellhole because Obama was elected. (Simmons was prescient, too, by saying Obama served two terms -- which wasn't a sure thing when the novel came out in 2011.)

Just finished C.C. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters." Marvelous, if a bit dated.

Posted by: Anselmo Pederasti at May 17, 2015 01:45 PM (mF5gt)

243 So no other threads today I guess?

Posted by: buzzion at May 17, 2015 01:53 PM (zt+N6)

244 waelse1, you're right. I just looked over what Kloos said (it had been awhile). Explicitly he had no problem with Sad Puppies and took himself out because the Rabids had accepted him too. Kloos did apologise to Vox but not to the Rabid Puppies, as far as I know.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 17, 2015 01:54 PM (AVEe1)

245 <i>That said, I usually read the library's copy of Stephenson's work first. Saves a lot of $.
Reamde was a bust. Seveneves , we'll see.</i>

I'm about 2/3 of the way through Reamde now. Even though so far it's not really one of Stephenson's grand disquisitions on the history of science and economics, it's a tremendously entertaining yarn.

And in this day and age it says something that some of the unironic no-kidding heroes of the book are gun-toting conservative Christian wingnuts, who are written in a sympathetic and positive light. Really that Stephenson is allowed to publish at all in the mainstream literary world is pretty incredible - some heroes in his other books have been Victorians, Puritans, monks, and a whole panoply of groups who're not exactly in sync with the cultural powers that be.

Posted by: Matt at May 17, 2015 01:54 PM (twa7M)

246 Thanks for the potential warning on Seveneves; I'll check it out from the library rather than buy it. But read it I will.

I have read most things Simmons has written and even spent some time at his website. He hasn't always been conservative though, as he has described how pumped he was for Bobby Kennedy's preezy campaign; enough so that he volunteered to help the campaign. Then again, JFK would probably be a Republican in today's political market.

I read Flashback and liked it.

And if you are interested in a long form essay from an immigrant's son titled Born American, but in the Wrong Place, here's a link:

http://ashbrook.org/publications/onprin-special-schramm/

Posted by: GnuBreed at May 17, 2015 01:59 PM (IeHJQ)

247 I'd agree the end of The Dark Tower series was great (the real end in the afterword) but I'd also have to say for me getting through the last two books to the end was a chore.

I think my personal favorite was #4.

Posted by: Kenway at May 17, 2015 01:59 PM (bp9Y3)

248
I loved Hemingway when I was younger, but then began to read more about his life. I found that his writing was less pleasing when seen through the prism of his actual experience and behavior, as opposed to his characters', who were, it was claimed, just thinly disguised Hemingway.
Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at May 17, 2015 10:07 AM (Zu3d9)


I made the mistake in an upper division comp lit class of opining that all of Hemingway's novels seemed to be about Hemingway, and that he spent an awful ot of time feeling sorry for himself.

Probably should have waited to say that until the second class meeting.

Posted by: jwpaine at May 17, 2015 02:00 PM (0bXhD)

249 Hemmingway; Barf

Posted by: typo dynamofo at May 17, 2015 02:14 PM (i7JE3)

250 Reading the latest English translation of Mikhail Shishkin, this time a short story collection called "Calligraphy Lesson." If you'd like a fat, dense book to read this summer, I highly recommend his novel "Maidenhair."

If Shishkin sounds familiar, he's the Russian author that never tires of bashing Putin. Hopefully he won't end up poisoned like other Putin critics.

Posted by: keninnorcal at May 17, 2015 02:15 PM (On0/h)

251
Two days after entering the race for the U.S. Senate, Rep. Loretta Sanchez met with an Indian American group on Saturday and mimicked a racial stereotype of American Indians.

In a video shown to The Sacramento Bee and posted online shortly after, Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, describes a pending meeting she had with an East Indian.

" I am going to his office, thinking that I am going to meet with a," she said, holding her hand in front of her mouth and making an echo sound. Right? ... because he said Indian American.

Posted by: Islamic Rage Boy at May 17, 2015 02:16 PM (GLtAj)

252 I tried Mike Hammer's html stripping site awhile back and it didn't get all of it. The best I found is the html stripping in Gmail.

Posted by: River Guide at May 17, 2015 02:16 PM (RJMhd)

253 It does my heart good that so many folks are interested in books and reading for pleasure, edification or whatever. I read about three/four books per week, mostly fiction. But I digress----
----Why does this site have such a clunky comments section? Why can't I read an interesting or infuriating comment and add MY comment in the appropriate place rather than at the bottom of the pile of (at this point 237 other) comments, barbs, insights or kudos. After scrolling through these other worthy entries I have lost the thread, so to speak and forget what I was interested in earlier. Just wondering. Disqus anyone? Ace?

Posted by: Semilitterate at May 17, 2015 02:19 PM (cMXrm)

254 Every normal moron must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black diamonds, and begin reading books.

Posted by: Things H.L. Mencken prolly didn't say at May 17, 2015 02:19 PM (Dwehj)

255 Read it. Not bad.

Try Terms of Enlistment or Dust World or The Stars Came Back.

Three different authors, three cool books that each begin a series.
Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 10:44 AM (MQEz6)

Thank you
I will give them a try

Posted by: Patrick From Ohio at May 17, 2015 02:19 PM (CxEX+)

256 Posted by: Semilitterate at May 17, 2015 02:19 PM (cMXrm)

It's a long story.

Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 02:24 PM (MQEz6)

257 Posted by: Semilitterate at May 17, 2015 02:19 PM (cMXrm)

Just be patient.

Posted by: Two Weeks at May 17, 2015 02:24 PM (HstNY)

258 Just wondering. Disqus anyone? Ace?


Posted by: Semilitterate at May 17, 2015 02:19 PM (cMXrm)


Fuck Disqus with the barbed cock of Satan.

I get sick and tired of all the whiners whinging about the comments system here, and I'm just another reader. If you can't learn to work with the system, and several people here will help you if you ask, just shut up.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at May 17, 2015 02:30 PM (QkWlQ)

259 And if you are interested in a long form essay from an immigrant's son titled Born American, but in the Wrong Place, here's a link:

http://ashbrook.org/publications/onprin-special-schramm/
Posted by: GnuBreed at May 17, 2015 01:59 PM (IeHJQ)
---
This was a great read, thanks!

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 02:33 PM (jR7Wy)

260 Whining about the comment system gets you a night in the Barrel.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 17, 2015 02:35 PM (AVEe1)

261 I was looking at Amazon and stumbled across this: Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa by Ilana Mercer.

https://tinyurl.com/mtnspfw

I haven't read the book, and I don't know if I want to because blood pressure. The reviews themselves are pretty frightening:

"Ms. Mercer's book also draws parallels among elements that caused the collapse of South Africa and what is occurring in the United States. In stark, shocking terms, she exposes how the United States is on the same path to Hell, thanks to mindless political correctness and blind devotion to the failed socialist tenet of income redistribution--stealing from producers and giving the spoils to nonproducers in the name of 'fairness.' The facts are indisputable, and her predictions inescapable."

Only 8 out of 110 reviews are below four stars. This tells me that the SJWs haven't discovered it yet. From the title alone, I'd expect half of the reviews to be one star.

Posted by: rickl at May 17, 2015 02:35 PM (sdi6R)

262 Disqus no thanks.

I love the linear structure of the comments section here.

Posted by: River Guide at May 17, 2015 02:37 PM (RJMhd)

263 Disquis would mean no more socks (?) - which is one of the many reasons the comments here are so funny.

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 02:39 PM (V7QeA)

264 Read the first Mitch Rapp novel last week and the second one this week. Liked Kill Shot a lot better (the second one) versus the first one (American Assassin). American Assassin has the feel of the first part of a DD game to me. Mooched the next four on the list from Bookmooch (anyone else do this?). I had read the last two in the series, but decided I needed to start from the beginning. Glad I have so far.

Began reading the first volume of Manchester's Winston Churchill biography. That is going to take a while...

Posted by: Charlotte at May 17, 2015 02:40 PM (VRwlD)

265 Absolutely no to Disqus. I don't comment at sites that use it.

Like River Guide, I prefer linear comment threads. I get confused by nested ones. If there are a bunch of replies to one comment, I have to keep scrolling back up to see who they're replying to.

Posted by: rickl at May 17, 2015 02:41 PM (sdi6R)

266 And Disquis means all that voting crap - uptwinkle/downtwinkles. Ugh - either laugh or don't.

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 02:42 PM (V7QeA)

267 AOP, your comments are COB Worthy (bow and abase myself in your presence).

Posted by: OG Celtic-American at May 17, 2015 02:43 PM (SFpiC)

268 I enjoyed the " Gunslinger" series.

I'm rereading "Outlander" by Diane Gabaldon. Yeah, I know, but it's still a good book. Well written and well researched.

Posted by: lindafell is cruzin' at May 17, 2015 02:43 PM (xVgrA)

269 Rickl. That's some scary stuff judging by the reviews.

Posted by: Golfman at May 17, 2015 02:43 PM (48QDY)

270 263 Disquis would mean no more socks (?) - which is one of the many reasons the comments here are so funny.

Posted by: Lizzy at May 17, 2015 02:39 PM (V7QeA)



That's very true. Often the sock is the point of the joke. You just don't see that elsewhere.

I've tried Disqus, and it refuses to even let me use "rickl". Either someone else is already using it, or else I registered sometime in the distant past and forgot the password.

Posted by: rickl at May 17, 2015 02:44 PM (sdi6R)

271 Passing by the library and overhearing... Did Alberta Oil Peon just unload both barrels through the door at a girl scout cookie seller at the door?

Not that I don't share AOP's basic attitude esp re Disqus.

Just that, relative newbie (?) Semilitterate might not understand how precious clunky old Pixyware is to us all *cough* nor take comfort, as regulars do, that every thing will be fixed and improved in #twoweeks.

Posted by: mindful webworker - early bird gets the bookworm at May 17, 2015 02:44 PM (0PD0H)

272 Watching "The Men Who Built America". I'm pleased that industrialists are getting their due -- surprised, really, that they're even receiving a sympathetic accounting -- but I could do without the asinine commentary of Deutsch, Cuban, and that short-fingered vulgarian Trump.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at May 17, 2015 02:45 PM (jR7Wy)

273 CAC has a Decision Desk post up, if you think it's getting stuffy in here.

Posted by: Barb the Evil Genius at May 17, 2015 02:47 PM (9Y7bY)

274 There is no Decision Desk, there is only Hillary!

Posted by: Pre-Programmed Voting Machine at May 17, 2015 02:53 PM (SFpiC)

275 Why does this site have such a clunky comments section?

Weeds out pompous whiny asshats with short attention spans.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at May 17, 2015 02:55 PM (EWZr9)

276 This site is what it is and should never change.

Posted by: eman at May 17, 2015 02:59 PM (MQEz6)

277 Carol quit the DD!!! Must not be worth a damn anymore!!! s/

Posted by: P-Nut at May 17, 2015 03:08 PM (1YJWa)

278 Mojo and the pickle jar. Available on Amazon used. Excellent summer reading. Hard to describe. Chase,crime,adventure,fantasy,horror,religious,love story. Yeah it's all that.

Posted by: simplemind at May 17, 2015 03:28 PM (Odzbr)

279 AoSHQ Commenting Pro Tip:

It isn't only this site that hiccups on copy-pasted text. I have learned to first paste it into Windows Notepad, then copy-paste that into the comment. 'Washing' it through Notepad seems to strip all the hidden, extraneous stuff out of the text.

Posted by: LCMS Rulz! at May 17, 2015 03:33 PM (TqyFL)

280 WOW I just noticed that kindle has an option for extra 2$ you can get the audio version too. Sometimes it can be more but much much cheaper than just buying the audio book.

Posted by: Patrick From Ohio at May 17, 2015 03:37 PM (CxEX+)

281 I thoroughly enjoyed Readme--I never read 1,000 pages faster than I did the sleepless weekend I spent reading that--and would love to tackle Cryptonomicon one of these days. But I'm going to skip Seveneves. I don't like novels that take place far into the future.
I'm finally off my WW1 kick that began last year, and I just finished Adrian Goldsworthy's Caeser. I just started MacIntyre's Double Cross this morning. I was hooked from the first page....

Posted by: JoeF. at May 17, 2015 05:09 PM (8HGb7)

282 What the hell is going on? Bad mouthing Neil Stephenson, particularly Reamde, which is one of his best, and praising Steven King?


Am I stuck in some nightmare?

Posted by: Obnoxious A-Hole at May 17, 2015 06:53 PM (KDbAT)

283 OK, I'll drop my campaign for Discus. I hadno idea it was such a sore subject. I'm not in any manner a "newbie", but the "clunky" comments section has held me back

Trying to utilize my somewhat limited attention span, I say that readme was quite enjoyable, but hie thee to a copy of Cryptonomicon. Thoroughly enjoyable and it will keep yo up for another night.

Posted by: semilitterate at May 17, 2015 07:02 PM (cMXrm)

284 I'm coming in late, but on a hopeful note, I wanted to point out that self-publishing is taking a lot of the power away from the NY publishing houses, and putting it in the hands of the readers. Case in point: Deb Holland's Wild Montana Sky. No one wanted to publish this western romance, because there were no sex scenes. She self-published, and (so far) has sold over 100,000 copies.
So take heart!

Posted by: artemis at May 17, 2015 07:09 PM (AwPyG)

285 Matt, (and others) I'd grant most of your points about reamde, I started out enjoying it immensely, but somewhere between China and the final showdown in the mountains, I lost .... what ? Suspension of disbelief?
Identification with the characters? Not sure, but I lost something.
Maybe I'll give it another shot someday.

Cryptonomicon was fun, but it's worth noting that it kinda forms a continuum with the Baroque Trilogy - many of the C'nomicon characters are descendants of characters in the trilogy; the Waterhouses and Shaftoes, just to name two families.
Both, incidentally, appear briefly in Samuel Pepy's diaries.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at May 17, 2015 07:37 PM (S0bOl)

286 artemis : the success of YA alone should have clued the mainstream publishers that romance doesn't have to mean pr0n.

At least with chick lit it's consensual. For my part, being male and all, I'm getting a little bit tired of raep in my fantasy-fiction. I already mentioned Brett. All the forced boning in the "gritty" "adult" fantasy is pretty much what's driven me to YA in the first place, knowing full well I'm too old for it.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at May 17, 2015 08:15 PM (AVEe1)

287 If it's a good book with a military theme that the publishers want to gut, try running it by Castalia house. They publish good stories, even if they are politically incorrect. Heck, they even just published a book on extreme composting. They are an anti-pigeon-hole publisher. Can't hurt to try.

Posted by: Rolf at May 17, 2015 08:22 PM (Boqht)

288 Posted by: semilitterate at May 17, 2015 07:02 PM (cMXrm)

You've passed the test with flying colors... do please stick around.

You get used to the, er, no-frills comment section after awhile, and I predict you'll be defending it to upstarts in no time.

Posted by: Tammy al-Thor at May 17, 2015 09:38 PM (EWZr9)

289 Yes, semilitterate, stick around.

Many of us will help if you ask.

It's not too bad once you get the hang of it. It builds character, as I like to say.

Posted by: rickl at May 17, 2015 10:06 PM (sdi6R)

290 I are a character, tyvm

Posted by: semilitterate at May 17, 2015 10:36 PM (cMXrm)

291 Louis CK, not funny and like most, if not all, modern comics SJW pussies to the bone. Because being transgressive is all about offending sensibilities of everyone except the progressive left.

Posted by: baldur5 at May 18, 2015 01:48 PM (DdQSQ)

292 Here's an idea for those looking for a publisher. I have no connection but read about it on Prof. Mondo's site. https://duotrope.com/listing/16582

It saddens me to read that Seveneves is lame - I have been looking forward to it for a long time.

Posted by: Linda Roberts at May 18, 2015 04:20 PM (tKcuX)

293 Wow, that's what I was looking for, what a information! presen here at
this website, thaqnks admin of this web site.

Posted by: letting agents in Hadley Wood at May 22, 2015 07:13 AM (neHdb)

294 Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
Very useful info speciallly the last part I cre for such info a lot.
I was seeking this particular information for a long time.

Thank you and best of luck.

Posted by: letting agents in Barnet at June 14, 2015 05:53 AM (xna+5)

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What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat