Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-28-2014: Hegemony [OregonMuse]


Belgianlibr_full_600.jpg
The interior of the Leuven University Library in Leuven, Belgium.


Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that


Found: Another Progressive Anti-Text

OK, so I was reading this article here wherein a number of horror enthusiasts were asked what was the scariest book they ever read. I didn't find anything noteworthy to comment on, except for one exception, a book I had never heard of before, Wisconsin Death Trip by historian Michael Lesy:

In the late 1960s, another desperate time, historian Michael Lesy...examin[ed] a collection of several thousand glass plate negatives and historical documents from Jackson County, Wisconsin, he concocted a sprawling treatise on a past that had been willfully forgotten, a brooding rejoinder to Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology. First published in 1973, Lesy's Wisconsin Death Trip...became a key text of the counterculture...alongside Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Custer Died for Your Sins--and it sometimes reads like a hip product of its time.

"A hip product of its time." Ugh, that can't be good. So, how did this book come about?

Lesy stumbled across a cache of 30,000 glass plate images made by a local town photographer named Charley Van Schaick and spools of microfilm from the local newspaper - and combined the most compelling of these images and newspaper excerpts to create a vivid examination of Victorian prairie life.

Emphasis mine. So my question is, out of the 30,000 photos he had available, how did Lesy decide which ones were "most compelling"? Let me guess: he picked the absolute worst ones he could find, the ugliest, the most disturbing, the most shocking. And any that conveyed any hint at all of joy or beauty or happiness were not used. I don't know this for a fact, but considering all I've been able to read about this book, I think it's highly probable.

Pre-progressive America, as settled by the descendants of Europeans, must always be presented in the worst possible light. Dee Brown beat this particular horse to death in Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (as did Howard Zinn in the execrable People's History of the United States), and I think Lesy is doing yeoman's work here.

The Amazon blurb contrasts Wisconsin Death Trip with Spoon River Anthology, another book which I had never heard of, so I had look it up, too. The WDT Amazon review suggests Spoon River is a "everything was great in the good old days" type book, but that turns out not to be true. It's a collection of free-verse poems that, taken all together, describes life in the fictitious small town of Spoon River, the people, their hopes, their dreams, their disappointments and anguish. Many of the poems read like epitaphs. Here's an example:

Ollie McGee

Have you seen walking through the village
A Man with downcast eyes and haggard face?
That is my husband who, by secret cruelty
Never to be told, robbed me of my youth and my beauty;
Till at last, wrinkled and with yellow teeth,
And with broken pride and shameful humility,
I sank into the grave.
But what think you gnaws at my husband's heart?
The face of what I was, the face of what he made me!
These are driving him to the place where I lie.
In death, therefore, I am avenged.

I don't see anything even remotely pollyannaish about this. And other poems in the anthology are similar, speaking frequently of heartbreak, heartache, and death. Anyway, I bought the 99-cent Kindle edition, and I think it's going to turn out to be a more worthwhile read than WDT. No that I don't think the turn-of-the-century photos from Wisconsin wouldn't be interesting, I think they would, but I am also interesting in looking at some of the other 30,000 photos that didn't get picked. Just sayin'.


What Won't Be Assigned

There are some interesting selections on this list, 5 Satires Your Professor Won't Assign You. I'll mention 2:

Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World by Walker Percy

depicts "bad Catholic" psychiatrist and philanderer Dr. Tom More trying to save his neck and his soul as civilization shatters into tiny, sharp-edged pieces. Ex-priests turned sex therapists experiment on human souls, while gun-toting fundamentalists shoot it out with black separatist guerrillas in the bayous.

Like another southern writer, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. He doesn't pull any punches. Mrs. Muse read the sequel to LitR, The Thanatos Syndrome, and she almost didn't finish it, it was so emotionally wrenching and disturbing.

And then there's The Camp of the Saints by French author Jean Raspail, who asked the question, "what would happen if millions of third-word immigrants took seriously all the western rhetoric about tolerance and compassion and the evils of exploitation of the third-world peoples, and all moved to France?" This is quite a remarkable premise for a novel, but that it was written in 1973 is even more remarkable. In this parable Raspail argues that the West "has no soul left" and "it is always the soul that wins the decisive battles." In other words, if western civilization has grown too morally flabby to defend itself, it will be replaced by something else.

Naturally, the cries of "Racism!" directed at this book are many. Conveniently ignored is one of Raspail's other novels, Who Will Remember the People, which is about the extinction of a small tribe of indigenous people who made their home on the extreme southern end of Argentina (Tierra del Fuego) at the hands of European explorers, soldiers, missionaries, and even Charles Darwin. It's a fictionalized account of a real event. It is not shy about showing the depredations inflicted by Europeans on an aboriginal population, which should keep the progressives bubbling with happiness.


Non-Literary Writers

I thought this piece about famous authors who started out or spent significant time in other fields was kind of interesting. I had heard, for example, that Arthur Conan Doyle had studied medicine, but not that Kurt Vonnegut had started out as a chem major, or that his brother was the one who discovered that you could seed clouds with silver iodide to make it rain.


Listen Up You Slackers, There's Big Money To Be Had In Writing

Here are the authors who made the most money in 2014. These are the heavyweights who earn as much as pro athletes or movie stars. The careers of some of these authors is amazing. Danielle Steele, for example has published 128 titles that that have sold more than 600 million(!) copies. Her 2014 earnings? $22 million, and she's not even at the top of the list.

So, all you authors and wannabe authors out there, what are you waiting for? Get off your duffs and get to work! And truckloads of money will soon be rolling in to your house.


Are You Ready For Some Football?

Now that football season is here, take a break from the interminable beer and financial planning commercials on Saturday afternoons and read one of the five influential football books, at least according to the guy who compiled the list. My favorite has to be Strange But True Football Stories, which I'm thinking I may have read when I was a kid. Imagine getting beat 222-0.

And this list is by an author who wrote his own football book, Season of Saturdays: A History of College Football in 14 Games.


Moron Recommendation - With A Caveat

Moronette Anna Puma e-mailed this list with a book she thinks might be interesting,
Bridge To The Sun: A Memoir of Love and War by Gwen Terasaki:

Gwen Harold Terasaki, author of Bridge to the Sun, was born in Johnson City, Tennessee. The memoir chronicles her life and marriage to Hidenari Terasaki, a Japanese diplomat who was serving as head of intelligence in the Western Hemisphere for the Empire of Japan when Pearl Harbor was bombed. She accompanied her husband back to Japan, where she lived during the war years and the early occupation period.

An American living in Japan during WWII would certainly have a interesting, and I daresay unique, perspective on that period of history. That alone makes the book worth reading.

But:

Anna suggests that those interested not purchase the 2009 edition because a new forward, written by the the author's daughter (Gwen Teraski died in 1990), is filled with America-hating crap such as:

But the militarists had the upper hand, and that most dangerous amalgam of delusions, uncritical patriotism and nationalist fervor, swept the land. I would live to see many outbreaks of this plague during my lifetime, including the potentially terminal one plaguing my mother's country for the last decade.

Yes, because we were all required to worship George W. Bush as the divine Emperor, just like Hirohito. And it gets worse. But instead of subsidizing this claptrap, Anna recommends you instead purchase a used paperback of the 1961 edition. The link I included for 'Bridge To The Sun' is to the Amazon used listings.

___________

So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, 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 I keep saying, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 09:43 AM




Comments

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1 LOL, just had mentioned 'bout time for the book thread.


I am still working on the Wardstone Trilogy. ON the second book now. It is slowing down now.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 09:40 AM (T2V/1)

2 Where are all the readers?

Posted by: garrett at September 28, 2014 09:41 AM (RiNf6)

3 The scariest book I ever read was the original Brahm Stoker Dracula. But I was in the 7th grade when I read it.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 09:41 AM (T2V/1)

4 Micro Film another oldy but goldy. I wonder if any of the young horde have ever had to search through film for a story or reference?


It is time consuming, but you stumble on stuff that you have to read, so you get side tracked and your research slows down.



Hell, I've even used a REAL library and books!



I know, bragging.

Posted by: Nip Sip at September 28, 2014 09:43 AM (0FSuD)

5 That list of the top money making writers?




RACIST! Not one Black in the group. Heads will roll!

Posted by: Rev Al at September 28, 2014 09:47 AM (0FSuD)

6 Years ago,I once stumbled across a reprint of some of the glass plate negatives that some photographer took in his travels through the "old" mid-West (I have no idea of where I saw these). I still remember one that showed a farmer and his wife standing in front of their home which looked to be about 12' x12' and open prairie behind them for miles. They were obviously happy and proud of their place.

I concluded they didn't realize how evil they really were or they would have looked ashamed of themselves for their obvious white privilege.

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 09:48 AM (o3MSL)

7 I concluded they didn't realize how evil they really
were or they would have looked ashamed of themselves for their obvious
white privilege.

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 09:48 AM (o3MSL)


That and destroying the earth and the wild grass.

Posted by: MSM Reporter at September 28, 2014 09:49 AM (0FSuD)

8 The scariest book I've ever read was Mein Kampf.

I usually don't read horror fiction (the exceptions being Dracula and Frankenstein), just because it usually does nothing for me.

Posted by: Ranba Ral at September 28, 2014 09:49 AM (3x55d)

9 Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 09:41 AM (T2V/1)

Better yet, it vas all true!

Posted by: R. M. Renfield at September 28, 2014 09:50 AM (o3MSL)

10 4 I know, bragging.


Posted by: Nip Sip at September 28, 2014 09:43 AM (0FSuD)

I have spent many an hour in front of a micro-film reader searching old files for work related stuff. They gave me a headache.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 09:51 AM (T2V/1)

11 Original Dracula, like many 19th cent. novels when the genre was being created, was in the "epistolary" format: the willing suspension of disbelief that goes with being inside a character's head was dealt with by the narrative being presented as a series of letters.

Well, "nobody" writes letters any more. Other than that dreadful play Love Letters (ripped off from an Ayn Rand movie BTW), what modern classic is presented in this way? Yes, I'm expecting a lot of answers.

"Spoon River" was taught as a great classic when I was in high school (with Vic, apparently). Too many moderns conflate it with Our Town, which is pretty sappy.

I think there are still road signs across the state routes in southern Illinois identifying it as "Spoon River Country."

Posted by: Stringer Davis at September 28, 2014 09:51 AM (xq1UY)

12 Ah, I remember both Wisconsin Death Trip and Spoon River Anthology from my yoot. I have a copy of Spoon River which has to be 40 years old. It's a midwestern thing.

What always fascinated me in a horrible and sorrowful way, is how spiritual people became after great wars. And I don't mean spiritual in a good way. After the Civil War and the Great War mediums were in fashion.

Posted by: The Progs at September 28, 2014 09:51 AM (iQIUe)

13 The photo of the Leuven University Library is of the library that replaced the one burned by the Germans in 1914. Considered to be one of the great cultural atrocities of the war, the sack of Leuven (sometimes spelled Louvain in English) and the burning of the Library destroyed 300,000 books, some dating to the Middle Ages. It was one of the greatest sources of British propaganda that eventually culminated in the US entering the war in 1917.

Posted by: Bobby at September 28, 2014 09:51 AM (4HYng)

14 Out of that list of money making authors there are only two that I like and not many that I have read at all.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 09:52 AM (T2V/1)

15 Two comments:

First, recently found and read an old copy of Bridge to the Sun. I would guess some people might have been put off by the publisher pushing it as a "love story," which in part it was. Terasaki was a perceptive woman with, apparently, an excellent memory, and the book is not only well-written, but shows both honesty and a total lack of PC bullshit on every page. Don't know what the daughter might have said later, but the hell with that. I recommend it.

As for the "17 richest authors": Is it a mark of illiteracy that, among the ones I've actually heard of, I have been unable to complete a single one of their works? Lots of formulaic swill and some rather uneven writing skills in their output, enough to drive me away even when the subjects didn't leave me cold from the get-go.


Posted by: MrScribbler at September 28, 2014 09:53 AM (A17aa)

16 Never heard of The Spoon River Anthology - Heck, I discovered it in the library when I was about twelve or thirteen and loved it - because of the stories. Each one was a perfect miniature biographical novel about a different person, sad or happy, successful or not! And poetry, what a concept, eh?

But then - as my mother observed, I was kind of a weird child. Wisconsin Death Trip was one of those nastily revisionist historical things - one of my college history professors eviscerated it on about the same grounds; picked the most grotesque images and made all kinds of heavy-breathing unsupported suppositions about them.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at September 28, 2014 09:53 AM (Asjr7)

17 "It" was the scariest book I've read. The ending was pretty stupid but playing on childhood fears scared me as a grown man reading it.

Yeah I know King=douche. shutup

Posted by: weirdflunkyonatablet at September 28, 2014 09:55 AM (qernJ)

18 I read the Amityville Horror when I was about 12. Had nightmares for weeks.

Posted by: blaster at September 28, 2014 09:55 AM (OYEUO)

19 So there's no longer even a pretense of wearing pants on this stately thread? I, for one, applaud this new development.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 09:55 AM (QBm1P)

20 That library shall be mine, oh, yes, it shall. *plots*

Anyone who thinks that Spoon River Anthology is all happy happy joy joy has never read it. It's about humanity, which means that sometimes it's happy and sometimes it's sad and sometimes people are good and sometimes they aren't. You know, like life.

I'm surprised Nicholas Sparks isn't on that list. His stuff might not be my cuppa but he sells the hell out of what he writes.


Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. We should be so lucky. at September 28, 2014 09:55 AM (IrByp)

21 I read The Man Who Ruined Football a few years back (it's on Amazon). Sorta sci-fi meets sports.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit at September 28, 2014 09:59 AM (0HooB)

22 Good morning Literate 'Rons and 'Ronettes!

I've been on a weird reading project lately. I'm simultaneously reading Tolkien's trilogy (currently in the middle of book one), Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time epic (currently in the middle of book one) and Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy (halfway through the third book). I'm just trying to see the different influences that the oldest (Tolkien) had on the middle (Jordan) and how that shaped the writing of the youngest (Sanderson). Biggest observation so far: It is painfully obvious that Jordan's editor was his wife and that he was totally kissing her ass with the way he handled the relations between the male and female characters in the Wheel of Time. I know Tolkien was notoriously bad at writing female characters, but damn, at least it didn't make you roll your eyes every ten pages or so. Poor Jordan must have been one pussy-whipped SOB, I almost feel sorry for him...


Posted by: Pave Low John at September 28, 2014 10:00 AM (b5yHT)

23 20 I'm surprised Nicholas Sparks isn't on that list.
His stuff might not be my cuppa but he sells the hell out of what he
writes.







Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. We should be so lucky. at September 28, 2014 09:55 AM (IrByp)


My wife likes his stuff and has met him personally.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 10:00 AM (T2V/1)

24 22 Posted by: Pave Low John at September 28, 2014 10:00 AM (b5yHT)


You have a lot of reading to do for all that.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 10:02 AM (T2V/1)

25 The Exorcist was a pretty scary book, too.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit at September 28, 2014 10:03 AM (0HooB)

26 Other than lefty books, I recently read Ideas Have Consequences since it is considered one of the most influential conservative books.

It is short, which is good, but I found it very good and fascinating. I'm not sure I could have plowed through it when I was younger despite its length. But it resonated with me now.

I do wish I could have recommended it to my younger self with the clear instructions - make sure you get through it. Then read it again.

Posted by: SH at September 28, 2014 10:04 AM (z+Ocb)

27 My favorite Stephen King book is Salems Lot.

Posted by: steevy at September 28, 2014 10:05 AM (v5UtH)

28 Thanks for returning to library photos. I love those things. As for what I'm reading, I would heartily recommend "The January Dancer". I got this on the strength of a rec from a previous book thread and its was truly excellent, best thing I've read in a long time.

The series is definitely for adults, in the best sense of the term. The characters are deep, the plots intricate and the messaging profound. It is a provocative mixture of cold war style espionage set in a far flung future dark age where the past is myth and technology is used, but no longer understood.

I love the polyglot hodgepodge of language and culture. Characters with names like Graceful Binstaif, the Fudir, Matilda Of The Night add a sense of complexity and fun.

It is rough going at first, because the setting is so different then other books and you are definitely thrown into the deep end and left to swim on your own. But your own struggles work to involve you deeper in the book series. I have not been this impressed since I read "Use of Weapons".

Posted by: countrydoc at September 28, 2014 10:06 AM (Yj/Vy)

29 The Exorcist was the scariest book I've read.

Your mother sews socks that smell !!!!

Posted by: Bob Belcher at September 28, 2014 10:07 AM (KkxTF)

30 There is only one SK book that I liked and that was The Stand.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 10:07 AM (T2V/1)

31 "...And Ladies Of The Club" is another cultural artifact. I have no idea how it made the bestseller lists, but when I read it, the sounds and mannerisms of my grandmothers and great-aunts was awesome. Echoed in my head of the long-gone social structures and manners. Of course, when I recommended it to my mother and lent it, it disappeared into her personal lending library.

I think it was much better than Spoon River.

Posted by: Mustbequantum at September 28, 2014 10:08 AM (MIKMs)

32 the one burned by the Germans in 1914.

-
Eh. Germans, what you gonna do? Burnt just over 100 years ago on August 19, 1914.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 10:09 AM (8MlTP)

33 The best Stephen King book is the one you don't finish.

That guy can't write an ending to save his life.

Posted by: garrett at September 28, 2014 10:09 AM (oE4Tl)

34 My football book was Instant Replay- Jerry Kramer. My father got a free paperback copy with razors he bought. It was the story of the 66 or 67 season, I forget.

Posted by: Bob Belcher at September 28, 2014 10:10 AM (KkxTF)

35 The Man Who Ruined Football

-
They've ready got a Ray Rice book out?

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 10:11 AM (8MlTP)

36 I'm surprised Dean Koontz isn't on that list.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 10:12 AM (8MlTP)

37 Hope I don't have to turn in my man-card for this, but I have been reading some Sara Paretsky (V I Warshawski series) that were given to me by my SIL. I thought they were pretty well written.

Finished "The Great Liars" by Jerry Jay Carroll. Very engrossing book, but the ending was very anti-climactic. It appealed to my tinfoil hat side even more since my Dad was in the Pac during WW II.

Finished Book 1 of Correia's Grimnoir Chronicles, based on a recommendation from the illustrious AoS book thread, since I posted here that I didn't particularly like the Monster Hunter series. I have now ordered Grimnoir book 2 so thanks to whoever posted that note.

Finished Cesar Millan's "Cesar's Way", and am trying to apply his comments to training my youngest pup. Some of his techniques make a lot of sense, but they are not always easy to implement. I have some research to do on dog training that is for sure.

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 10:12 AM (o3MSL)

38 As far as "5 Satires Your Professor Won't Assign You", I see that Brave New World is on it. I don't know about professors (when you get to the college level, you're being assigned Chaucer and Swift) but Brave New World gets assigned by highschool teachers. (That one and 1984 which is even more anti-Left.) It's canon.

The pro-order, anti-savagery satire I *want* to see on the list is Lord of the Flies but then, teachers love to assign that one too...

How about Clockwork Orange?

Posted by: David ben Jesse at September 28, 2014 10:13 AM (3kZUM)

39 I read the unabridged version of The Stand.

IIRC, it was over 1000 pages and not too bad. King is OK, I guess, never really read too much of his stuff.

B'Gal got two Richard Castle books just for fun. I'll dive into those soon. One funny thing is the reference in the TV series to a sex scene in one of the books being on page 105. In the book, it really is on page 105.

That attention to detail is fun for me.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit at September 28, 2014 10:13 AM (0HooB)

40 Posted by: garrett at September 28, 2014 10:09 AM (oE4Tl)

Never read Stephen King but that mini series with the scary clown was awesome until the end when a stupid giant spider made it ridiculous instead of scary. Apologies to AtC.

Posted by: Bob Belcher at September 28, 2014 10:13 AM (KkxTF)

41 - actually, maybe 1984 and LotF aren't on the list because they're not satires, they just make use of many satirical elements.

Posted by: David ben Jesse at September 28, 2014 10:14 AM (3kZUM)

42 oh, and sock.

Posted by: boulder t'hobo at September 28, 2014 10:15 AM (3kZUM)

43 Yeah, 'It' really fell apart.

Posted by: garrett at September 28, 2014 10:15 AM (oE4Tl)

44 Yes, because we were all required to worship George W. Bush as he divine Emperor, just like Hirohito.

What? We're not?

*hides G. W. Bush shrine in the closet*

Posted by: rickl at September 28, 2014 10:16 AM (sdi6R)

45 I've been reading short stories lately because I can't seem to find the interest to read entire books. Last night it was Hard Candy by Tennessee Williams. One fun thing I've been doing is taking turns with my girlfriend reading the stories out loud in the evenings. It is a great way to wind down the day. It keeps me from withdrawing into bourbon and my own bleak thoughts. Hard Candy is a fun read and Brick Pollitt(best known from cat on a hot tin roof) long ago embraced the moron lifestyle and I find him easy to identify with.

Posted by: DrC at September 28, 2014 10:16 AM (JrAop)

46 I still think Frank Herbert takes the award for the worst ending ever for how he wrapped up the "Dune" series. I loved the first three books, then fourth and fifth went downhill and the last one was almost readable...until the laughably horrible ending. It was full on "WTF?" Probably not the way you want to end a ground-breaking series. I fully expect George F'ing Martin to pull a similar stunt (I did read the first three books of Game of Thrones back when they were first published, but I've avoided that pit of gloom and anti-hero bitchiness for years now...)

Posted by: Pave Low John at September 28, 2014 10:18 AM (b5yHT)

47 >>I do wish I could have recommended it to my younger self with the clear instructions - make sure you get through it. Then read it again.

Along those lines, I thought it was time I reread The Road To Serfdom since the last time I read it was in college. The edition I picked up has a really fascinating forward by the editor which does a good job of putting the book into the context of the times and helps explain how western civilization got to where we are.

It was also pretty interesting to hear economists and political thinkers of the time from the left talking about the "science" of socialism and using revolutionary times to implement revolutionary change, not dissimilar from today's lefties trying to use AGW and other "science" to force their agenda and never wasting a good crisis.

Things don't really change all that much.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 28, 2014 10:18 AM (g1DWB)

48 Posted by: garrett at September 28, 2014 10:09 AM (oE4Tl)

I just never could get into Steven King or Dean Koontz.

Mrs H & I listened to an SK book for a while when we were on the road, but after a couple of hours we both looked at each other and both reached for the Eject button simultaneously.

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 10:18 AM (o3MSL)

49 39 Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit at September 28, 2014 10:13 AM (0HooB)


I have read both versions and I don't think the extra material improved the book.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 10:18 AM (T2V/1)

50 Your mother sews socks that smell !!!!

Heh. Nicely played.

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 10:19 AM (yRdR4)

51 BTW I also have the movie which is technically shorter than both books. I liked it too.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 10:19 AM (T2V/1)

52 I've read three of the five books you will never be assigned to read, The Camp of the Saints, Confederacy of Dunces, and Brave New World.

In other words, if western civilization has grown too morally flabby to defend itself, it will be replaced by something else.

Best single sentence description of contemporary America.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 10:19 AM (8MlTP)

53 My next home will have shelves lining the walls of every room -- yes, EVERY room -- and a rolling ladder on a track so I can whip around the whole house, cackling madly, as I look for that obscure translation of Catullus transcribed on hobo skin vellum.

So, I'm rereading John Ringo's magnum opus "The Last Centurion", about the world going to hell in a handbasket about ten years hence under the perfect confluence of pandemic plus mini ice age plus incompetent leadership. I'ts Ringo at his most ranty but that is a very good thing in this case.

When it came out in 2008 he had some nice real-world market tie-ins with the bird flu outbreak in China and speculation that we were entering a solar minimum. One thing he didn't predict was the election of Obama, as his CiC was clearly modeled on Hillary. It's fun, in a railroad spike to the head painful kinda way, to read it now with Hil being touted as the frontrunner.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 10:20 AM (QBm1P)

54 Morning horde.

Here's a question for you. I am on the local library board and discussion is about the future of libraries. Digital downloads are bigger than ever. Less young folks use libraries except for school sponsored trips and they all have incredible libraries at their schools. Now I live in a comfortable suburban growing area in the Midwest. People have assets to buy books, movies, music, etc. Kids don't have to use the library. Mine never want to go. They have a laptop, Kindle, I pod, X Box, Netflix; what does the library offer them?

Are libraries that we had for the last 100+ years what we will see in the next 100 years. I don't think so and I think the library staff know it.
They now have Lego club, yoga in the classroom, and meeting rooms for other clubs. Are libraries morphing into community centers with books as accessories?

I will be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

Posted by: bossy barbara at September 28, 2014 10:21 AM (79RKq)

55 >>The best Stephen King book is the one you don't finish.

>>That guy can't write an ending to save his life.

Amazing, isn't it? He spends hundreds of pages building an intricate, sometimes apocalyptic story and then just seems to say, eh screw it.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 28, 2014 10:22 AM (g1DWB)

56 the "science" of socialism

-
That's where Neil Declasse Tysone lies to prove a larger point.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 10:22 AM (8MlTP)

57 Pave Low John, you know that Sanderson was tapped to finish Wheel Of Time when Jordan died, right? I really like Sanderson's work, both the fantasy stuff and his YA stuff. It's impressive how prolific he is in multiple genres.


My wife likes his stuff and has met him personally.
Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 10:00 AM (T2V/1)


I've never met him but I know several people who know him and they all say he is a very nice and humble guy. I know he gives a ton, as in multi millions, to charity. So his stuff isn't my cuppa, who cares? He brings happiness to millions of people and that is impressive.

Going back to that authors who made all the money list, it's interesting how it's nearly all mystery (particularly cop procedural), thriller and romance with a smattering of YA stuff. Even JKR a working in the mystery genre now. I can't remember who said it but there was a comment that the reason people like mysteries so much is because you know that the problem will be solved. It's comforting to read about something awful and know that justice of some sort is highly likely to be meted out. Obvious contrast to reality is obvious.






Posted by: alexthechick - SMOD. We should be so lucky. at September 28, 2014 10:23 AM (IrByp)

58 I read Wisconsin Death Trip, mine has a much nicer cover. I had no idea it was "supposed to be something" and thought it was a collection of oddities, both pictures and narratives. Semi-historical, of course. I liked it!

Posted by: 5Cats at September 28, 2014 10:23 AM (EbYrW)

59 I used to be a big fan of horror a couple of decades ago, but I got better.

The scariest opening of any book I have ever read was Mine by Robert McCammon. I threw it across the room after the first few pages. Took about an hour before I went and picked it back up. The rest of the book is not as frightening, but holy cats, it starts out like nothing else I have ever read.

Posted by: huerfano at September 28, 2014 10:24 AM (bAGA/)

60 I still think Frank Herbert takes the award for the worst ending ever for how he wrapped up the "Dune" series. I loved the first three books, then fourth and fifth went downhill and the last one was almost readable...until the laughably horrible ending

Honestly, the only book in the series which everyone must read is the first one. Beyond that, I don't know what point he's trying to make, other than "history doesn't end, ever".

Posted by: boulder t'hobo at September 28, 2014 10:24 AM (3kZUM)

61 Posted by: rickl at September 28, 2014 10:16 AM (sdi6R)

They'll have to pry my G W Bush Idol from my cold dead hands!

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 10:24 AM (o3MSL)

62 OK bookworms, I gotta go get ready for my gigs today. Pray the weather cooperates for the first one, it's outside and it's already raining here at Casa Backwardio.

Y'all have fun and try no to trash the place, 'k?

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit at September 28, 2014 10:25 AM (0HooB)

63 I think this was discussed in last week's book thread, but Kurt Vonnegut quoted his brother, Dr. Bernard Vonnegut, as saying, "Any scientist who can't explain his work in terms an eight-year-old can understand is a charlatan."

Or something like that. I don't have the exact quote handy.

Anyway, he has his own Wiki page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Vonnegut

Posted by: rickl at September 28, 2014 10:26 AM (sdi6R)

64
Are there any volcanos in this thread? Just checking...

Posted by: The Progs at September 28, 2014 10:26 AM (iQIUe)

65 Never read the anthology book, but liked Steve Goodman's performance of Mike Smith's Spoon River.

http://youtu.be/wcKcECMKYas

Posted by: mindful webworker - nostalgically at September 28, 2014 10:26 AM (5JAbY)

66 Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 10:20 AM (QBm1P)

The Last Centurion is in my short queue along with the latest Lee Childs' Jack Reacher book.

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 10:28 AM (o3MSL)

67 Just finishing The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bolgakov, translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky. Written in the '30s, but unpublished (and unpublishable under Stalin, of course) until 1966, when it caused a sensation. Bolgakov had prudently died in about 1940. The idea is that the Devil and his entourage arrive in 1930s Moscow and, to put it mildly, whackiness ensues. It is by turns hilarious and frightening and creepy and brilliant. Recommended.

And that list of books you'll never be assigned isn't very good. They get assigned.

Posted by: Buck Rampage at September 28, 2014 10:28 AM (QQ9JY)

68 54 Are libraries that we had for the last 100+ years
what we will see in the next 100 years. I don't think so and I think the
library staff know it.
They now have Lego club, yoga in the
classroom, and meeting rooms for other clubs. Are libraries morphing
into community centers with books as accessories?

I will be very interested in hearing your thoughts.


Posted by: bossy barbara at September 28, 2014 10:21 AM (79RKq)

I used to make a lot of use of the local library here before I got into e-books. I still make "moderate" use of it. Most of the people I see in the library here are post middle age or elderly. I rarely see young people in the library. And I honestly do not believe they read like I used to when I was young.


I would walk the two or three blocks to the library at home pulling a wagon in the Summer and load it up. Of course then we only got two TV channels and during the Summer nothing was on that kids liked until the evening and weekends. So while school was out you either went outside and got into mischief or you read. And you really can't get into mischief all the time.

So to answer your question, if libraries remain around they will be primarily for research and "free internet" time.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 10:29 AM (T2V/1)

69 Been reading books on drawing better manga. Listened to a couple Howard Pyle short stories TTS and am working my way through that book on Women in Monasticism on TTS.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette, assault Hobbit at September 28, 2014 10:30 AM (GDulk)

70 The best Stephen King book is the one you don't finish. That guy can't write an ending to save his life.

Major exception time! "Pet Sematary". That overly-long book is worth pushing through exactly because of its ending.

I'd also say "Cujo", you know, the one King doesn't even remember writing because he went full HQ-Lifestyle that week. Also certain novellas, like "Shawshank Redemption"; and non-horror, like "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon".

Posted by: boulder t'hobo at September 28, 2014 10:31 AM (3kZUM)

71 I like reading horror/ghost stories at night during the Fall and Winter.

So, I'm easing into it with some -

Robert Aickman Stories

He was a Brit and called his stories "weird stories" rather than horror or ghost or whatever.

"Weird stories" pretty much defines what he wrote.

The stories tend to be somewhat long and detailed, but written in a way that makes you more and more uneasy. By the time the story ends, you know that something happened but it won't be detailed explicitly but if what happened is what you think happened-

then it was very horrible indeed.

In a way, he reminds me of HP Lovecraft. Not that like Lovecraft, Aickman will finish a story with something like-

"Man, Scooba-Doobaqkix was horrible. So, horrible I went mad. But,I can't describe him to you, but believe me. He. was. horrible. Like he was all made out of tentacles and toothbrushes. That kind of horrible."

Rather Aickman will lead you over the edge but let your imagination inform you what really happened.

This can give his stories great resonance that will stick with you for a few days and in his best stories is rather magical in it's effect.

"The Stains" is one such story.

In it, a man, whose wife has just died of cancer, is grief stricken. But more than that, he is unmoored because his life was completely structured around life with his wife.

He goes to see his brother out in the country, but finds no solace there.

Until, one day while walking the moors, he meets a girl....


Two of his most anthologized stories, which you can easy find are:

"Ringing the Changes" - about a couple who get caught up in a Festival of the Dead in a remote village

"The Cicerones" - about a man on vacation who visits an old church just as it's about to close.

"The Cicerones" is short and good gauge as to whether Aickman would be your cup of tea or not.


Anyway, check him out.

Posted by: naturalfake at September 28, 2014 10:32 AM (KBvAm)

72 I mentioned towards the end of the morning thread that today is Brigitte Bardot's 80th birthday.

https://tinyurl.com/pv2estp

That photo was used for a book cover, so it's totes appropriate for the book thread.

You're welcome.

Posted by: rickl at September 28, 2014 10:32 AM (sdi6R)

73 >>And you really can't get into mischief all the time.

Oh, yes you can. I'm not saying its easy, like any other great undertaking it takes hard work and dedication. But it can be done.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 28, 2014 10:32 AM (g1DWB)

74 The Last Centurion is in my short queue along with the latest Lee Childs' Jack Reacher book.
Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 10:28 AM (o3MSL)
------------
It's funny as well as educational. It's infotainment!

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 10:33 AM (QBm1P)

75 Vic: Of course then we only got two TV channels and during the Summer nothing was on that kids liked until the evening and weekends.

I'm really glad you're a good sport about the jokes that get dropped in here because, oh my, you opened your flank with this one... LOL

Posted by: boulder t'hobo at September 28, 2014 10:34 AM (3kZUM)

76 I have been reading Neal Stephenson's REAMDE for what feels like forever and I'm only at 20% on my kindle. Anyone know if it's worth finishing? It's an interesting story, but some of the detail is just exhausting.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 10:36 AM (D/504)

77 One thing our library has done is make use of the Overdrive system, which basically sets them up to check out ebooks. I've checked out more ebooks this year than I have dead tree versions by far.

Posted by: Emile Antoon Khadaji at September 28, 2014 10:36 AM (KvKOu)

78 Random Thoughts:

- Is it an eerie coincidence that Bridge to the Sun starring Carroll Baker was on TCM yesterday (and I had never heard of it until yesterday. and now this...?)
- I am done with comic book movies. The next time they re-do a movie from my childhood, I want to see "Born Free II: Elsa's Revenge."
- Any freebie/cheap book offers out there....? Beuller....?

Posted by: goatexchange at September 28, 2014 10:37 AM (sYUHT)

79 75 I'm really glad you're a good sport about the jokes
that get dropped in here because, oh my, you opened your flank with this
one... LOL

Posted by: boulder t'hobo at September 28, 2014 10:34 AM (3kZUM)


I don't mind all the jokes about getting to be an old fart. My answer is I "know" I'll live this long, do you? As for the old TV runs from the 50s and early 60s that was the golden age of TV. But I don't want to hijack the book thread.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 10:38 AM (T2V/1)

80 Ooohhh horror novels
Love. Them.

Yes to Shirley Jackson, her other novels are Twh Creepy too
We Have Always Lived In the Castle for instance

No Shining??? That's definitely Kings scariest IMO the sequel Dr Sleep or something..errr NOT.

House of Leaves was weird, freaky and off putting but not 'scary'
There were times when you gad to get out own and paper to decode several letters in the book and there were-disturbing- moments throughout but again not 'spooky scary' more like WTF scary (but what do you expect from a semiotics an amirite??)

I read Richard Mathesons Hell House (saw movie first) looking for a good haunted house story and it was good but if you've seen roddy McDowell in the film you know it all already

I go back to old Victorian ghost stories now bc I can't find any really good current ones

If anyone has any good haunted house novels please list

We had a storm here last night and lost power for 10 hours so we told ghost stories

PS Whoooo stole my Gooooolden Arm?
You did!
*pounce*

Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 10:39 AM (KXMqm)

81 Currently reading Krauthammer's Things That Matter. I find myself agreeing with him less than I used to, but he played a big part in turning me rightward years ago.

Next up: Thomas Sowell's The Vision of the Anointed.

Posted by: wisenheimer at September 28, 2014 10:41 AM (qnhj2)

82 >>I still think Frank Herbert takes the award for the worst ending ever for how he wrapped up the "Dune" series.

I haven't read the Dune series, but the ending to John Scalzi's Old Man's War trilogy is just...mystifying. I didn't know it going into the series that he was a hard core Lefty but it's pretty obvious w/the last book.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 10:42 AM (D/504)

83 Yeah, anyone who tries to tell you something about Midwestern Babbitry and so forth and cites Spoon River Anthology in that way is just trumpeting their willingness to talk about books they haven't read. I came across it in college (or maybe a few years afterward - I had a long post-college period of many books but little productivity, and read a lot on the midnight shift) and it was a grim but clever little collections of epitaphs. I was on an Americana poetry kick at the time, reading The People, Yes, all of Benet's poetry, Spoon River Anthology, that sort of thing. No Robert Frost, though. Never warmed to his schtick. And never finished Dos Passos's trilogy, despite someone recommending it to me.

(Yeah, I'm still in the midst of reading a lot of trashy superhero novels. In between reading MacMillan's Paris 1919 when I get bored with the pop trash.)

Posted by: Mitch H. at September 28, 2014 10:42 AM (J3bOt)

84 Goat xchange

Ha! That's the bader meinhoff effect of something right? When you learn it and then see it everywhere all of a sudden

My son told us Lord of the Flies for his horror story last night

What if *we're* the beast

Indeed.

Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 10:42 AM (KXMqm)

85
In other words, if western civilization has grown too morally flabby to defend itself, it will be replaced by something else.


It's enemies have been promoting that flab for over a century.

Posted by: --- at September 28, 2014 10:44 AM (MMC8r)

86 ...and for the record, NO ONE covers Spoon River like Andy Williams, for my money.

Posted by: goatexchange at September 28, 2014 10:44 AM (sYUHT)

87 Anyone know if it's worth finishing? It's an interesting story, but some of the detail is just exhausting.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 10:36 AM (D/504)

I liked it, but he does got obsessive with detail. I've slogged through every book he has ever written, and reread several (rare for me). Have you ever read Cryptonomicon?

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 10:44 AM (o3MSL)

88 I will be very interested in hearing your thoughts.


Posted by: bossy barbara at September 28, 2014 10:21 AM (79RKq)
------------
My local library, recently revamped after being moved into a new building Albert Speer might have designed (The Triumph of the Book!) has all that Community Meetingplace nonsense but it's also packed to the rafters with books and the people who love them. Lots and lots of parents with kids balancing ziggurats of books to the checkout counter. Lots of teens pretending to hold study groups. Nice reading nooks and big picture windows overlooking the greenery.

If free downloads eventually trump free books to check out of a physical location, libraries may disappear as book repositories, but folks still like to cuddle up with their kids and read stories, right? So there's still hope.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 10:45 AM (QBm1P)

89 >>Have you ever read Cryptonomicon?

No, this is the first book by him I've read - got it for $1.99 daily special on Amazon,.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 10:46 AM (D/504)

90 I go back to old Victorian ghost stories now bc I can't find any really good current ones

If anyone has any good haunted house novels please list


The best modern collection of ghost stories I've read is:

"Antique Dust: Ghost Stories" by Robert Westall


Westall reminds me a lot of MR James.

And Antique Dust is available used for $0.01 on Amazon.

Posted by: naturalfake at September 28, 2014 10:47 AM (KBvAm)

91 I don't mind all the jokes about getting to be an old fart.

-
Kinda similar. My daughter and grandchildren live 700 miles away so we don't see them too often. The two year old is beginning to talk more now. The other day they were in a pizzeria when grandson pointed to a fellow of ample proportion and said, "Grandpa."

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 10:47 AM (8MlTP)

92
Think I will write Moron River Anthology. It will be a book, later a stage play, and eventually a musical.

Can any of you morons tap dance?

Posted by: The Progs at September 28, 2014 10:49 AM (iQIUe)

93 Can any of you morons tap dance?
Posted by: The Progs at September 28, 2014 10:49 AM (iQIUe)
--------------
There will be a trampoline sequence, right?

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 10:50 AM (QBm1P)

94 @76 - Keep plugging, REAMDE is worth the effort.

I am early into Terry Hayes thriller "I Am Pilgrim" and am loving it. Goodreads gives a 4.2/5 review. People either **really** love it or give it a one-star review. So far, it is a five-star for me.

Posted by: doug at September 28, 2014 10:50 AM (emHxd)

95 Oh I love Dean Koontz
My Dad God Bless him gave me The Watchers when I was 12 and of I've read him ever since

Hs golden Trixie passed away I can't read the book he wrote right afterward too too sad

His dad IRL tried to kill him
He has real life inspiration for the relentless psychos in his fiction

But that to me is suspense/thriller not horror

Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 10:50 AM (KXMqm)

96 I've got to do some chores I'm putting off, but here's my contribution:

http://is.gd/aKBslP

For your perusal - HPLs handwritten Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Squirrelly!

Posted by: Bigby's Backfist at September 28, 2014 10:55 AM (Cq0oW)

97 I still think Frank Herbert takes the award for the worst ending ever for how he wrapped up the "Dune" series.

I haven't read the Dune series, but the ending to John Scalzi's Old Man's War trilogy is just...mystifying. I didn't know it going into the series that he was a hard core Lefty but it's pretty obvious w/the last book.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 10:42 AM (D/504)


Yeah, Scalzi really wigged out and not in a good way in that book. I completely lost interest in him after that.

If I had to guess, he got into a hard left writing group that convinced him politics were most important in his writing, not telling a good story.


With Frank Herbert, I lost interest in Dune with-

"God Emperor of Dune"

Good Lord, what an awful book.

Unless, of course, you like endless dialogues hashing out mystical theories on the nature of man-

then, baby, have I got a book for you!

Posted by: naturalfake at September 28, 2014 10:55 AM (KBvAm)

98 Natural fake
Ty!!!! Nabbed it.

Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 10:55 AM (KXMqm)

99 Hs golden Trixie passed away I can't read the book he wrote right afterward too too sad

-
I loved that book so much I bought copies for my mother and two sisters. My older sister told me an anecdote in return. She visits a chiropractor who has a dog. When she goes in and lies on the table she's kind of nervous and uncomfortable so the dog goes over and holds her hand the whole time.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 10:56 AM (8MlTP)

100 One of my husband's clients is on the list of top authors. Insane amounts of money to be managed.

Posted by: NCKate at September 28, 2014 10:56 AM (rsQ+N)

101 The one I'm reading now is Kecia Ali, "The Lives of Muhammad".

This book argues that the way people read - AND WRITE - Muhammad's sira depends on pro-Islam and anti-Islam opinion. On the Muslim side it started out as a grab-bag of traditions (including, interestingly, ex-Madinese Jewish traditions which hated Muhammad), it was purged of "heresy", it attracted miracle stories, and in the last couple decades it's been mostly re-written to answer anti-Muslim objections from the Christian side. Non-Muslims have kept their own accounts of Muhammad's life, and in the Middle Ages they embarked to translate the Koran and some other texts (like Abu'l-Fida Ibn Kathir) into Latin.

Ali is Muslim and posts at Huff's Poo. Now, here's the good news: she's (mostly) honest. When she writes on a topic, and runs across scholarship which doesn't support the islamic narrative, she footnotes the daylights out of it. So the book is worthwhile just for the footnotes.

She doesn't like Robert Spencer whom she calls a "polemicist" (which is true) and "hateful" (cry me a river). However she is also frustrated at John Esposito, who just lies and drops out stuff he doesn't like - she all but tells him to f-off and quit helping.

Why "(mostly) honest"? Looking here, I see she's noted Stephen Shoemaker (whose 2003 article, "Christmas in the Koran", discovered that sura 19 is a forgery) as "a historian of early Christianity". That insinuates that he's outside his field. He's not: his curriculum-vitae points to Late Antique Christianity. That's the best possible standpoint for understanding the milieu of the seventh-century Syriac-speaking Fertile Crescent. And many would argue that's the real crucible of Islam.

So my main objection is that she poisons the well. As long as she does that, she's a polemicist too, and not one exactly full of love for us.

Posted by: boulder t'hobo at September 28, 2014 10:57 AM (3kZUM)

102 For what I suspect is a very different experience of living in Japan during the war years, I strongly recommend Fosco Mairani's "Meeting with Japan" (Viking Press, 1960). Maraini was interned by the Japanese after Italy declared war on the Axis powers in 1943. His reflections on life in Japan and the effects of Japanese culture on various Westerners makes this book an engaging read. I don't recall anything about tentacle porn, but it's been a while since I last read the book.

Posted by: mrp at September 28, 2014 10:58 AM (JBggj)

103 For those of you who have not read Dune my recommendation is do read the first book. Don't bother with the rest of them,

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 11:00 AM (T2V/1)

104 Spoon River is a forgotten American masterpiece. It is bleak, but it doesn't pretend that a bunch of academics and bureaucrats can change the human condition.

Posted by: JeffM at September 28, 2014 11:01 AM (r7i2H)

105 goatexchange: "and for the record, NO ONE covers Spoon River like Andy Williams, for my money."

*blinkoo* *blinkoo*

The first three notes of "Moon River" and the theme from Goldfinger are the same. True Fact.

Posted by: mindful webworker - unbookishly at September 28, 2014 11:01 AM (5JAbY)

106 Re: House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski, his sister Anne Danielewski, better known as the singer Poe, made a companion album to the novel, "Haunted". He recited some of his novel in her video "Hey Pretty":

http://tinyurl.com/bhgn4t

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 11:02 AM (QBm1P)

107 GreatWhiteSnark

You've inspired me to try The Darkest Night of the Year

My furry wonder passed 3 yrs ago yesterday and I just couldn't face it before now

TY

Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 11:04 AM (KXMqm)

108 Camp of the Saints was a satire? Who knew? Someone better tell INS, they are using it as the basis for their Mexican border policy.

Posted by: Ben Ghazi at September 28, 2014 11:06 AM (8Ij04)

109 8 The scariest book I've ever read was Mein Kampf.

Prarie Fire, wait ....

Posted by: Jean at September 28, 2014 11:07 AM (TETYm)

110 I had already heard of Wisconsin Death Trip due to Static-X using the title as the name of their first album. Curiosity took me to Wikipedia for the details.

Posted by: Aruges at September 28, 2014 11:07 AM (jmP9Y)

111 For those of you who have not read Dune my recommendation is do read the first book. Don't bother with the rest of them,

I know, kind of like the Matrix movies.

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 11:09 AM (yRdR4)

112 You've inspired me to try The Darkest Night of the Year

My furry wonder passed 3 yrs ago yesterday and I just couldn't face it before now

-
Actually I was referring to A Big Little Life. DNOTY is OK but nothing more.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 11:09 AM (8MlTP)

113 Like many others have said, The Stand is the only SK I've ever been able to read.

Read all 5. Brave New World is fun, but Confederacy of Dunces is srsly one of the funniest books ever !

Master and Margarita is another funny one (when it's not being all Russian-serious). Though the serious parts are good too.

Saw the Richard Castle books at the library, got a good chuckle, finally took 'em out. Not bad. Not great. An ok read.
The original mixture of potboilerism and product placement is amusing, and the recursiveness is an added zing.

Clouds of Glory, Michael Korda, another library book; bio of Robert E. Lee. Meh. Got all the way through because an interesting subject, but I didn't care for the overall tone of the book.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at September 28, 2014 11:10 AM (go6ud)

114 111 I know, kind of like the Matrix movies.


Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 11:09 AM (yRdR4)


Double yes.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 11:10 AM (T2V/1)

115 >>I know, kind of like the Matrix movies.

Yes - there only is one Matrix movie, at least in my world.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 11:10 AM (D/504)

116 Ringo's Centurion is indeed hella funny, sometimes in a if-you-don't-laugh-you'll-cry way. I especially enjoyed reading the bits about the Hillary clone's downfall. And who among us hasn't wanted to take a reporter by the scruff of the neck and submerge them in an irrigation canal until the bubbles stop?

Libraries: love 'em. And until the Big 5 grow up and learn basic economics I still will get books there, because I ain't paying no $12 for an ebook. And I will always remember with fondness the tiny brick library in Maine, smaller than a trailer, that some rich local woman had bequeathed her collection to many years ago. They had, no joke, a first edition Mark Twain you could check out. And leather-bound sets with hand-colored engravings (no, not THAT kind of engraving, sheesh, morons...) and the ends not trimmed so I had to take a kitchen knife to slit the pages open to read them. Nobody had read them since they were printed in the late 1800's...

And if you are curious about the sordid nature of the current publishing industry and want to see Lee Child being himself all over the place, check out the following (mostly for writers or wannabee writers) http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-conversation-with-lee-child.html I don't think Mr. Child is a bad person, just very, er, *sheltered* in his own way. We need more books of every kind, and the best way to do that is to make sure authors get the lion's share of the profit instead of grumpy New York publishers that only want to see guaranteed best-sellers on their desks (and can't recognize them when they DO show up.)

I've been reading Martha Wells' The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy. Sort of WWII with magic and mysterious evil airships and portals between worlds. Good stuff!

Now, back to writing....

Posted by: Sabrina Chase at September 28, 2014 11:10 AM (2buaQ)

117 Cryptonomicon is a good book and perhaps especially worthy of a read these days. But it was long. I think Stephenson started there on the longwindedness and it got worse. I saw how long his later works were and couldn't even start. Loved Snowcrash, liked The Diamond Age up until it went off the rails in the end.

Posted by: blaster at September 28, 2014 11:11 AM (OYEUO)

118 Goldfinger, wider than a mile.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 11:11 AM (8MlTP)

119 If you like Masters' once-famous book, throw in a copy of Sherwood Andersen's equally-celebrated "Winesburg, Ohio." It supports your point. For example, "Hands," the one about a child molester who doesn't understand what he is, was once a standard anthology piece after WW II. Exposing the anatomy of a small town peaked in midcentury with John Ohara's "A Rage to Live," Ross Lockridge, Jr.'s "Raintree County," and Grace Metalious's "Peyton Place."

Posted by: herbork at September 28, 2014 11:13 AM (JF94C)

120 "I have been reading Neal Stephenson's REAMDE for what feels like forever and I'm only at 20% on my kindle. Anyone know if it's worth finishing? It's an interesting story, but some of the detail is just exhausting."

Most everything by Stepheneson is going to take some work. Reamde is well worth the effort. Here is the way I have found to read Stephenson.... take a break and read another book for a while and return to Stephenson. I have read everything he has written, but it has taken well over a year. I am 65% through Ananthem and it is really a task.



Posted by: anchovy at September 28, 2014 11:13 AM (PtVFw)

121 If anyone likes Victorian ghost stories, I once posted a bunch for Halloween on my defunct blog

They're all in the public domain so I posted them in full

Please morons ignore the rest of the content (Although its a case study of how a naive Dem becomes enlightened and moves to GOP and then becomes cynical and says Fxck it all! and so nothing after 12 election HA!)

But really to read the stories
Bing
Moderate in the middle The Monkeys Paw

Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 11:14 AM (KXMqm)

122 My 2012 Nanowrimo project was a football novel. It retold the Book of Daniel in the context of a high school football season. My protagonist was a gifted placekicker who was also high-functioning autistic.

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at September 28, 2014 11:14 AM (ETrjW)

123 And who among us hasn't wanted to take a reporter by the scruff of the neck and submerge them in an irrigation canal until the bubbles stop?


Somebody got in trouble here recently for expressing similar sentiments.

Wasn't me, though. I'm all innocent 'n' sh*t.

Posted by: rickl at September 28, 2014 11:15 AM (sdi6R)

124 Heh, , that's exactly what I've been doing - REAMDE is sitting on my kindle, and when I'm in between trashy novels (because: escapism!) I'll re-visit REAMDE. My problem is that when I find an interesting book I want to stay up and read it to the end. Not an option w/Stephenson.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 11:17 AM (D/504)

125 Haven't had the chance to do much reading this week. Been on the road and forgot my copy of On The Road.

I have been re-reading Lovecraft lately, as well as some Lovecraft pastiches by other writers. The difference is profound, and I think I've figured out why.

The Lovecraft-imitators are basically writing fan fiction. They want to use the monsters and place-names and made-up mystical books from Lovecraft because they loved his work so much. But I think they're missing the underlying idea. Lovecraft didn't write stories about "people encountering Deep Ones" or "people encountering Shoggoths" or whatever. Those are roleplaying game adventure scenarios.

HPL wasn't doing that. He was writing about "a man discovering a village which has literally abandoned its humanity" and the Deep Ones are the way he depicts that. He was writing about "explorers who learn the horrible truth about the origin of humanity" and used Shoggoths to show it.

In other words, he was writing STORIES and came up with monsters and settings to create the effect he wanted. He wasn't paging through the Monster Manual to find something to throw at his players on Friday night.

Which is why Colin Wilson is the only Lovecraft imitator who actually does a good job: he doesn't simply rearrange the furniture of old Lovecraft stories. He makes up his own original stuff in the service of creating a creepy story, the same way HPL did.

Posted by: Trimegistus at September 28, 2014 11:17 AM (ZzQga)

126 So you know, I too had the floor to ceiling book fantasy and when Borders went out if business I picked up a BUNCH of their bookcases on the cheap

Don't ask me about dusting

I said Don't ask!!!!!

Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 11:18 AM (KXMqm)

127 If you want to follow in Danielle Steele's footsteps, you have to marry about six times and two have to be robbers, rapists, and drug addicts. She's a real nutter. I wonder how she rationalizes her attraction to assholes.

Posted by: The Progs at September 28, 2014 11:19 AM (iQIUe)

128 I also like William Gibson. Have read everything he wrote, even liked Spook Country that I did not find as antiBush as lefties wanted to make it out to be.

Seems like he has a new one coming out this month. I think I'll buy it.

Posted by: blaster at September 28, 2014 11:19 AM (OYEUO)

129 Scariest book I've ever read was Pet Sematary. Scariest/creepiest author I've ever had to meet was Garrison Keillor.

Posted by: NCKate at September 28, 2014 11:20 AM (rsQ+N)

130 Reamde is the first Stephenson that I really disliked. TLR. By the end, I didn't like or care about any of the characters anymore.
Cryptonomicon is not bad, though it has subplots that are not understandable unless you've read the whole Baroque Trilogy.
My vote for best recent Stephenson is Anathem.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at September 28, 2014 11:21 AM (go6ud)

131 Well Morons, those windows with clear blue sky in them have tortured me enough. I have put down my book, finished lunch, and going to mow a bit and hit the porch. So have a good read.

Posted by: Vic at September 28, 2014 11:21 AM (T2V/1)

132 Bobby (#13):
Belgium is ethnically split, so the university and city are called Leuven by the Flemings (more or less Dutch) and Louvain by the Walloons (more or less French). And yes, when reading about the source manuscripts of classical authors, I often find that there were (e.g.) 100 known manuscripts of this author in 1900, but one or two were destroyed at Leuven in WW1, more at Warsaw and Strasbourg in WW2. The last was by Allied bombing, but was unintentional - they tried very hard not to hit libraries and other monuments, but sometimes missed the legitimate targets and hit the cultural treasures. The destruction of Leuven and its library by the Germans was conscious and intended.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at September 28, 2014 11:23 AM (jT2tX)

133 Ahhh Big Little Life! Got it

Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 11:24 AM (KXMqm)

134 Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at September 28, 2014 11:14 AM (ETrjW)

What's the ETA on the most recent Worlds Apart book? I need to know what day to plan on accomplishing nothing but reading that book .

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at September 28, 2014 11:24 AM (GDulk)

135 Exactly HOW MANY husbands do you HAVE, Kate.....?

Posted by: goatexchange at September 28, 2014 11:24 AM (sYUHT)

136 Love In The Ruins wasn't my favorite either, but I thought The Moviegoer was a great read and so was Lancelot.

Posted by: MTF at September 28, 2014 11:26 AM (6um35)

137 It's been mentioned by others, but a good, scary read is (non-fiction) Hot Zone, about Ebola. I worked in Reston, VA a few years after the incident described in the book and ho-lee shiiiite did that freak me out - for all I know I passed that place all the time.

Otherwise, the scariest books for me are ghost/demon stories, so Stephen King's short stories (like Sometimes They Come Back) and The Shining are the worst. Haven't read that kind of book in ages, though.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 11:27 AM (D/504)

138 Ross Lockridge, Jr.'s "Raintree County,"
=======
Spent some time on the phone talking to his son, Larry Lockridge, who wrote a biography of his father, "Shade of the Raintree".

Raintree County is a wild, wonderful book. A work of genius.

Posted by: mrp at September 28, 2014 11:27 AM (JBggj)

139 Soon, Polliwog. The final edit is a bytch because haf the dialog is in mock Shakespearean.

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at September 28, 2014 11:29 AM (ETrjW)

140 While waiting for the movie theatre to get around to finally showing the movie last night, up popped a trailer for the new Coen Brothers film version of "Unbroken". Crazily enough, its directed by Angelina Jolie. Having just finished the book a couple of weeks ago I'm very eager to see how she treats the story.

Posted by: MTF at September 28, 2014 11:31 AM (6um35)

141 MTF - the "Unbroken" trailer implies that Louis 'found God' during his WWII tribulations.....which is far from the truth. We'll see how it pans out. Great story though. Hope they do it well.

Posted by: goatexchange at September 28, 2014 11:33 AM (sYUHT)

142 @137 Lizzie you know where the McDonalds is right off of Wiehle?

About there.

Posted by: blaster at September 28, 2014 11:34 AM (OYEUO)

143 126 So you know, I too had the floor to ceiling book fantasy and when Borders went out if business I picked up a BUNCH of their bookcases on the cheap

Don't ask me about dusting

I said Don't ask!!!!!
Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 11:18 AM (KXMqm)
----------------
I am so jealous.

And dusting is for the little people.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 11:35 AM (QBm1P)

144 Scariest/creepiest author I've ever had to meet was Garrison Keillor.

I would hear more of this...

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 11:35 AM (yRdR4)

145 I read, and loved, strange but true football stories.

I read a lot of football nonfiction, fiction, and even some choose your own adventure football books.

Posted by: Truman North, Moron Emeritus at September 28, 2014 11:36 AM (7Oo+W)

146 dusting is for the little people.

... the little people with the dusters at the end of a long pole, more exactly

Posted by: boulder 5'8 hobo at September 28, 2014 11:36 AM (3kZUM)

147 Salem's Lot.

The kid floating outside the second story window, scratching the glass to be let in. <involuntary shudder> King is a liberal douche but the guy could sure tell one hell of a scary story.

Posted by: Agnes at September 28, 2014 11:37 AM (4HYng)

148 The scariest book I've ever read was Catcher in the Rye, which I was forced to read in high school. It was terrifying to think I was somehow expected to identify with Holden Caulfield.
Actually I found Dracula to be genuinely creepy. I also got some scares out of the Cthulthu mythos.

Posted by: Northernlurker ( AKA TGinTV) at September 28, 2014 11:39 AM (AkoL+)

149 "And the Ladies of the Club" is a wonderful book, even if it's a bit long. And when I run across someone else that has read it, they remember it vividly.

I used to see that Wisconsin Death Trip at the library. I think I checked it out once but it wasn't interesting. I have better old pictures than that (including a photo book of a late 1800s trip to Japan. The only way you can date it is by the Western woman's clothes).

Posted by: Notsothoreau at September 28, 2014 11:40 AM (Lqy/e)

150 78 Random Thoughts:

- Is it an eerie coincidence that Bridge to the Sun starring Carroll Baker was on TCM yesterday (and I had never heard of it until yesterday. and now this...?)


Was thinking the same thing. Watched it. It was ...okay, but yeah, never heard of it before. Co-Starred a young James Shigata (sp?) Mr. Takagi from Die Hard.

It had P-38's in it so, cool.

....and her daughter can suck an Australian Land Train load of dicks.

Posted by: 98ZJUSMC Suntanning in Bizzaro World at September 28, 2014 11:41 AM (iUUs8)

151 Aaaack, blaster, I was working on Sunrise Valley Dr. near the intersection w/Wiehle!

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 11:42 AM (D/504)

152 On Imperial Japan:

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by Ruth Benedict.
Benedict was an anthropologist that studied Japan, and was one of the experts the US had in understanding the Japanese during the war.
Among other things it is a great discussion of the difference between Guilt cultures and Shame cultures.

At some point the goal of anthropology has become the explanation, support and rationalization of marxism, but Dr. Benedict was prior to that and was interested in the world and the people in it.

Posted by: Kindltot at September 28, 2014 11:42 AM (t//F+)

153 Once made the mistake of reading Stephen King's "The Mist" at a lake cottage in Maine during a long stormy night with the power flickering .

Yeesh. Got a good cardio workout just lying on the couch.

King said that in writing The Mist he was striving for Lovercraftian. He nailed it.

Posted by: Joe D. at September 28, 2014 11:43 AM (4HYng)

154 I started reading "Drood" by Dan Simmons. He makes it easy to visualize London in Dickens' time and it's creepy in a good way so far.

Posted by: fastfreefall at September 28, 2014 11:43 AM (hIV5w)

155 Time to plug the HPL Historical Society's flicks "Call of the Cthulhu" and The Whisperer in Darkness". The first is done in a sort of silent movie German Expressionist style, and the latter a la a 30's classic horror film. Both very good adaptations IMHO.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 11:45 AM (QBm1P)

156 35 The Man Who Ruined Football
-
They've ready got a Ray Rice Roger Goodell book out?


Fixed.

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 11:46 AM (yRdR4)

157 Creepiest book that I've read, and it was a high school reading assignment, was Kosinski's "The Painted Bird".

Posted by: mrp at September 28, 2014 11:46 AM (JBggj)

158 Our new library has a large section of computers, for free internet access, and a game room for teenagers. It also has a classroom and they give classes on computers and such. I really don't care for it. My favorite library of all time was out in the middle of nowhere. They hadn't bought any new books since 1981.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at September 28, 2014 11:48 AM (Lqy/e)

159 Ah, yes, "Wisconsin Death Trip" was huge among Wisconsin hippies back in the '70's. I read it in college and I remember it was very slapdash - the author not only chose the ugliest photos but the the worst newspaper clippings from the time that he could find - north woods trapper goes insane and takes an axe to wife and kids, that sort of story.

As far as the photos, remember that when people had their pictures taken in the 19th century, they had to stand very still for quite a while, which is one reason they are so rigid and unsmiling. I think a lot of people with probably very normal faces ended up looking much grimmer in those pictures then they actually were.

It's is a poorly written book with a bunch of pictures in it, so of course stoned hippies loved it. Someone said in the ND Tyson thread that Tyson and Jon Stewart are two personalities that dumb people think are brilliant. "Wisconsin Death Trip" made dumb people feel smart about history.

"Spoon River Analogy" is one of my very favorite books of poetry.

Posted by: Donna and V. at September 28, 2014 11:49 AM (+XMAD)

160 OT: One cop shot in Ferguson, another ambushed but the three thugs missed, and Obola says too many white law enforcement officers is borrowing America. See WZ.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 11:49 AM (8MlTP)

161 And totally OT, but have you ever buckled down to REALLY tidy up your home SERIOUSLY THIS TIME! and only made it worse? Hard to pass by a stack of books or papers and not fall down the rabbit hole.

Think I need to use a timer.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 11:50 AM (QBm1P)

162 I had to read The Painted Bird in college **shivers remembering the bottle incident** So very different from Being There.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 11:51 AM (D/504)

163 Posted by: Trimegistus at September 28, 2014 11:17 AM (ZzQga)

^^^Yes, yes, and yes.


Robert Aickman(see above) has a lot of imitators these days writing "new horror" where nothing much happens in a boring fashion.

Most of the time these imitators don't really understand Aickman's horror-

in his stories something is definitely happening and definitely happens-

only the protagonist is usually caught up in his own concerns and doesn't see it coming and doesn't always understand what is happening-

it takes a lot of skill both in plotting and flat-out writing ability to pull this kind of story off.

The originals are original for a reason

Posted by: naturalfake at September 28, 2014 11:51 AM (KBvAm)

164
I used to love all those Strange but True books. I must have read dozens when I was a kid.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at September 28, 2014 11:53 AM (mgE2f)

165 At some point the goal of anthropology psychology has become the explanation, support and rationalization of marxism

Fixed.

At some point the goal of anthropology women's studies has
become the explanation, support and rationalization of marxism


Fixed.

At some point the goal of anthropology black studies has
become the explanation, support and rationalization of marxism


Fixed.

At some point the goal of anthropology journalism has
become the explanation, support and rationalization of marxism


Fixed.

At some point the goal of anthropology biology has
become the explanation, support and rationalization of marxism


Fixed.

At some point the goal of anthropology English lit has
become the explanation, support and rationalization of marxism


Fixed.

At some point the goal of anthropology history has
become the explanation, support and rationalization of marxism


Fixed.

etc.

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 11:53 AM (yRdR4)

166 I just finished Martin Gilbert's bio of Churchill. It's a very solid, if long, piece of work. Amazingly, this is the condensed version, from what was originally 5 or 6 volumes. If you're interested in Churchill, it's a good review of his astonishing life. I also read the first two volumes of William Manchester's Churchill bio (he developed Alzheimer's and died before finishing the third). I'd say Manchester is the better writer, but Gilbert is more thorough on the things that matter historically. One interesting factoid: when Churchill first dealt with Eisenhower as president, he apparently found him stupid and lazy. As a big Eisenhower fan, I was surprised at that. Churchill's opinion evidently changed over time, though.

Churchill has to deal with the transition, within his lifetime, of Britain going from the world's undisputed superpower to a little brother of the US. Churchill certainly didn't like it, but to his credit, he understood that that was the new reality, and that Britain had to adapt to it.

I've started on Joel Kotkin's "The New Class Conflict". It's been pushed heavily by Glenn Reynolds. I hope to report on that next week.


Posted by: pep at September 28, 2014 11:54 AM (4nR9/)

167 The creepiest non-fiction book I've read is-

"Parasite Rex"

a great overview of different types of parasites in nature written for the layman.

It came out 10-13 years ago so some of the content has found its way to the web.

Still a great read-

Mother Nature is one effed up bitch.

Posted by: naturalfake at September 28, 2014 11:55 AM (KBvAm)

168 Listened to War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, where Martians are invading Earth! In the classic movie they are invading the U.S., in the book they are invading England. In the movie even atomic bombs don't faze them, in the book artillery can destroy them (though they have no defense against their heat rays). In both, they have no defense against microbes which slowly destroy them.

Fun story, would preclude our need for SMOD to visit.

Posted by: waelse1 at September 28, 2014 11:56 AM (x+P8L)

169 Wow, I didn't know anyone still read Walker Percy. Glad for the promo, O'Muse. I read Love in the Ruins and Thanatos Syndrome as a much younger man, and they were both terrific ... and difficult. The comparison between Percy and Flannery O'Connor is an apt one; both were Catholic, both were terrific writers, and both were ... a little out there. O'Connor's out-there-ish-ness seems to be at least partially intentional; her famous quote* about the strange characters in her novels includes the idea that one needs to shout at an audience that is hard of hearing. Percy seems to shout in his own way as well. Think I'll go get Kindle versions of Percy's books and re-read them.


* The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may well be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal ways of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock -- to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.

Posted by: crisis du jour at September 28, 2014 11:56 AM (MuC6e)

170 Talking to one of my daughters recently I was reminded of a book from a few years back that others may also like reading. It's a history of Spain under the Muslim conquest, and describes a stable, tolerant, and civilized island in the tumult of Middle Ages Europe. Highly recommended.

http://amzn.to/1xsC3Ug

Posted by: MTF at September 28, 2014 11:56 AM (6um35)

171 162 I had to read The Painted Bird in college **shivers remembering the bottle incident** So very different from Being There.

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 11:51 AM (D/504)
---
For me it was the manure trench scene (one in a long string of horrific encounters and escapes).

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 11:59 AM (QBm1P)

172 I'm not a fast reader and I polished off REAMDE in four days and four nights. Literally. I got little sleep, but it was well worth it. Some of the gaming and bitcoin jargon and details were lost on me, but it was no hindrance to my enjoyment of the book, which was immense. Keep at it....

Posted by: JoeF. at September 28, 2014 11:59 AM (F6R9M)

173 #169 I love that F. O'C quote, thank you for posting it.

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 12:02 PM (yRdR4)

174 when Churchill first dealt with Eisenhower as president, he apparently
found him stupid and lazy. As a big Eisenhower fan, I was surprised at
that. Churchill's opinion evidently changed over time, though.


This surprises me a bit, too, since Churchill dealt with Eisenhower during the war.

I have the book but haven't started it. Now I will.

Posted by: Retread at September 28, 2014 12:03 PM (l7hog)

175 We had to read Spoon River Anthology in high school. I liked it because it was very emotional and in high school, emotion is everything. I have used microfilm from early in my genealogy searching. It is compelling because I get so sidetracked by reading other stories of the day. The Wisconsin Death Trip isn't really creepy, in a horror sort of way. In those days, families would pose their dead for pictures. I have pictures like that in my own family. Kind of creepy by today's thinking, but it's what they did. I thought the idea of posing children in their high chair or with their toys was really creepy, though.

Posted by: abbygirl at September 28, 2014 12:05 PM (iR4Dg)

176 165
Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 11:53 AM (yRdR4)


You forgot environmentalism.

Posted by: rickl at September 28, 2014 12:05 PM (sdi6R)

177 Ooh, now I have to get Parasite Rex for my son! He hates reading fiction but he needs to read *something* for school every night - and last year we read a book about all of the deadliest things, such as man-made weapons, viruses, predators, etc. That looks right up his alley!

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 12:07 PM (D/504)

178 Also good on Imperial Japan is Japan at War by the Cooks. It is an oral history. Ordinary Japanese talk of their experiences. It pulls no punches on Japanese atrocities but also describes Japanese suffering. The section on Japanese school girls working on balloon bombs was particularly moving. One caveat: Even assuming the honesty of the narrators, I'm not sure it is all accurate. One war criminal was brainwashed for years by the Chicoms so his recollections may not be entirely accurate. Also a civilian hiding in caves on Saipan claims to have been subjected to poison gas. That certainly was not official army policy although never underestimate the ingenuity of frontline combat soldiers. I suspect, however, that what was described as poison gas was white phosphorus.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 28, 2014 12:08 PM (8MlTP)

179 I thought Stephen King's Salem's Lot was his best work, and a great read.

Posted by: Hadoop at September 28, 2014 12:10 PM (Ph479)

180 Remember that Saturday Night Live sketch where Reagan pretended to be a bumbling old man but was actually a supergenius mastermind when not in public? I get the impression that was Eisenhower's actual governing style as President.

(I suspect the SNL people were also closer to the real Reagan than they knew or were capable of imagining.)

Posted by: Trimegistus at September 28, 2014 12:10 PM (ZzQga)

181 Ok that book Wisconsin death trip? I looked at some of the photos and this historian is a dick. At the time there would usually only be one guy in town with a camera. And death photos were not uncommon. He was doing a service to the grieving families. In some cases, a death photo might be the only picture a family had of a loved one. What a dick

Posted by: ThunderB at September 28, 2014 12:12 PM (zOTsN)

182 Remember that Saturday Night Live sketch where Reagan pretended to be a bumbling old man but was actually a supergenius mastermind when not in public? I get the impression that was Eisenhower's actual governing style as President...
Posted by: Trimegistus at September 28, 2014 12:10 PM
--------
At the Command and Staff College in Leavenworth KS, it's mentioned that then MAJ Eisenhower played poker often and thought it an important part of one's education.

Posted by: fastfreefall at September 28, 2014 12:13 PM (hIV5w)

183 (I suspect the SNL people were also closer to the real Reagan than they knew or were capable of imagining.)

I agree, even though that sketch was yet another of their attacks on Reagan

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 12:13 PM (yRdR4)

184 Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 12:02 PM (yRdR4)

"A Good Man Is Hard To Find" is a glorious short story. If you haven't read it.....

http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~surette/goodman.html

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at September 28, 2014 12:13 PM (Zu3d9)

185 Remember that Saturday Night Live sketch where Reagan pretended to be a
bumbling old man but was actually a supergenius mastermind when not in
public? I get the impression that was Eisenhower's actual governing
style as President.


I read somewhere that that was true, and very much deliberate. He didn't need the acclaim, he was already a huge war hero. He also understood that it was better for others lower in the food chain to take the heat for unpopular decisions; a heat shield if you will. The difference between Ike and Obama is that Ike actually made the decisions, and followed through on them.

Posted by: pep at September 28, 2014 12:14 PM (4nR9/)

186 166. "I'd say Manchester is the better writer..."

Manchester's introduction to Winston Churchill: The Last Lion, the first volume in his Churchill series, reads better than most novels. His description of Dunkirk quickens the heart and stirs the soul: "...English fathers, sailing to rescue England's exhausted, bleeding sons..."

Posted by: Joe D. at September 28, 2014 12:14 PM (4HYng)

187 I don't know enough Japanese history to even be able to know how to start researching this, but:

Were any of Japan's domestic propaganda directors prosecuted as war criminals? You know, the ones who convinced civilians on Saipan to kill themselves en masse and were trying to work the Japanese in the Home Islands up to it in case of invasion? Those guys deserved the noose.

Posted by: Trimegistus at September 28, 2014 12:14 PM (ZzQga)

188 @alexthechick,

I saw that Sanderson was the author picked to finish Jordan's work, which was another reason why I wanted to read Jordan and Sanderson at the same time. Just by looking at the body of work produced in the 15 years, I have to say that Brandon Sanderson is a true professional, that man has a very respectable output of solid craftsmanship. Like every author, he'll run out of steam sometime in the future, but for now, he's on a roll and I'm looking forward to reading his other works as soon as I can.

Switching topics, I think that Dan Simmons has some very creepy books. The Hollow Man was great, and I really liked Carrion Comfort as well. Haven't read Song of Kali yet, but I hear good things about it. Simmons is also a big critic of the JEF, so you can imagine what the horror and sci-fi crowd think of him these days.

Posted by: Pave Low John at September 28, 2014 12:15 PM (b5yHT)

189 I get the impression that was Eisenhower's actual governing style as President.


Nixon once called Eisenhower 'one of the most devious men I ever knew'. And I think Nixon would be an expert at that sort of thing.

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 12:15 PM (yRdR4)

190 I leapt on the thread to defend Wisconsin Death Trip, but then saw this:

"It's is a poorly written book with a bunch of pictures in it, so of course stoned hippies loved it."

It's a fair cop.

Posted by: Knemon at September 28, 2014 12:15 PM (JlNQG)

191 My son discovered Victorian travel writer George Borrow. Great fun. Currently reading his account of a summer walking in Wales, titled Wild Wales.

Posted by: Emily at September 28, 2014 12:17 PM (7Rn+/)

192 I think I might read Prairie Fire, the book of the Weather Underground. Since they rule us nowadays and shit.

Posted by: Mr. Dave at September 28, 2014 12:18 PM (ybMGh)

193 "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" is a glorious short story. If you haven't read it.....

Oh, I've read it. It's one of my favorites. It's also one of her most accessible, so I've recommended it a bunch of times to people who've never read anything by F. O'C before.

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 12:18 PM (yRdR4)

194 162 I had to read The Painted Bird in college **shivers remembering the bottle incident**

Posted by: Lizzy at September 28, 2014 11:51 AM (D/504)

"The Painted Bird" was a terrifying read. (Note to feminists: the Soviet army rolling through Eastern Europe into Germany - now there was a rape culture.) Jerzy Kosinsky (sp?) said the book was based on his own wartime experiences in Poland. After his death, it was revealed or reported that he had made that up, but quite honestly, anybody in Poland at that time had to witness some horrifying things, since the Nazis were pretty open about their brutality in East Europe. In Western Europe, they tended to be a bit more discreet - everyone knew they were murderous shits but they didn't hang people from the lampposts in Amsterdam like they did in Poland.

Kosinsky was a good friend of Roman Polanski's - let's hope solely on the basis of both being Polish emigres and artists, not because of er, any shared sexual tastes.

Posted by: Donna and V. at September 28, 2014 12:20 PM (+XMAD)

195 181
In some cases, a death photo might be the only picture a family had of a loved one.
\
Posted by: ThunderB at September 28, 2014 12:12 PM (zOTsN)



That's exactly what I was about to say. Back then, formal photographs were expensive luxuries, and often parents never got around to having their children photographed until they died. Then they wanted a keepsake. It's very sad.

Posted by: rickl at September 28, 2014 12:22 PM (sdi6R)

196 "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" is a glorious short story. If you haven't read it.....
=========
The "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" book of short stories was another high school reading assignment. It -almost- made up for having to read The Painted Bird.

Posted by: mrp at September 28, 2014 12:22 PM (JBggj)

197 I've been in the mood for effective, and elegant, use of the written word. I'm continuing with C. S. Lewis' Perelandra series and some of his essays. The Screwtape Letters is at the top of the to-be-read pile. Also been dipping into a book of essays by E. B. White. (I seem to have an initials thing going.) For both elegance and rich humor there's P. G. Wodehouse (initials again) and his Jeeves stories and golf pieces. All three of these authors produce writing that sparkles, entertains, and enhances my world. And they distract me from the endless barrage of political sludge that threatens to kill both hope and spirit. I refuse to live at a constant boil. I try to stay informed (mostly through AOSHQ and similar sites) but don't want to wallow in the shit. Beautiful writing and lots of reloading is a better use of my time.

Posted by: JTB at September 28, 2014 12:23 PM (FvdPb)

198 Fiction: Mark Berent, Rolling Thunder

Nonfiction: Tom Yarborough, Da Nang Diary: A Forward Air Controller's Gunsight View Of Flying With Sog

These books give tremendous insight into the FAC´s who flew in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia and the absolute political horseshit ROE´s. Depressing when you realize it's the same mindset directing the war on workplace violence in Syria and Iraq today. Plus ça change...

Posted by: whatmeworry? at September 28, 2014 12:24 PM (dZGNV)

199 In Western Europe, they tended to be a bit more discreet - everyone knew
they were murderous shits but they didn't hang people from the
lampposts in Amsterdam like they did in Poland.
=====
Nah. They just machine-gunned women and children in the local church, or burned them alive in their homes.

See: Oradour-sur-Glane

Posted by: mrp at September 28, 2014 12:26 PM (JBggj)

200 Re: Highest-grossing authors

I'm surprised Nick Sparks wasn't on that list.

Here's a link to an EWTN interview with James Patterson: http://bit.ly/1ookgp3

Posted by: sinalco at September 28, 2014 12:28 PM (V42Jv)

201 One of the elements of the "shame" culture is that failure is something that can only be wiped out with the death of the individual that incurred the shame. The Imperial Japanese society was steeped in this idea, to the level that the great patriotic movies prior to the war were of soldiers dying in pursuit of a goal. The idea was already there, the propagandists were mostly cheerleaders.
Remember, if in the Philippines there had been American propagandists telling the civilian population to throw themselves into the sea because the Japanese army was on the way and there was no defeating them, a mob would have taken time out to hunt them down and beat them to death.

Posted by: Kindltot at September 28, 2014 12:28 PM (t//F+)

202 195 181
In some cases, a death photo might be the only picture a family had of a loved one.
\
Posted by: ThunderB at September 28, 2014 12:12 PM (zOTsN)

And Victorian conventions about death were different than our own. They were faced with the death of young people (particularly women who died in childbirth) and children much more frequently than we are and had coping mechanisms to deal with that which can strike us as morbid.

Oscar Wilde's friends had a death mask made of his face as soon as he died and took a picture of him in his coffin and they were in Paris, pretty far from the Wisconsin hinterlands. Nowadays, anybody rushing to slap plaster on the face of the newly deceased would be considered nuts, although I just remembered there's a morbidly funny description of a botched attempt to make a death mask in a Robertson Davies novel - and the death in the novel took place in the 1960's.

Posted by: Donna and V. at September 28, 2014 12:29 PM (+XMAD)

203 If we're talking Simmons, "Flashback" should be top of the moron reading-list.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at September 28, 2014 12:30 PM (3kZUM)

204 Reading abridged version of "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" because I tried to read it many years ago and really didn't get the full sense of it. I hope I can bring a deeper understanding this time around. It really is fascinating how the Roman Empire is the source of our civilization in form and substance.

Posted by: Daybrother at September 28, 2014 12:31 PM (Yj8Xv)

205 For a fast and fun read, "Tom Mix and Pancho Villa" by Clifford Irving. Damn it was funny.

Posted by: fastfreefall at September 28, 2014 12:32 PM (hIV5w)

206 Those 30,000 photos need to be ultra high rez scanned, and put on the internet.

Old glass plate photos contain a stunning amount of information, and can be enlarged almost down to the molecular level to show more detail.

The Parthenon is being rebuilt using a large collection of glass plate photos an American took, some decades before it was accidentally blown up during a war.

Posted by: Kristophr at September 28, 2014 12:32 PM (0zVEV)

207 Posted by: mrp at September 28, 2014 12:26 PM (JBggj)

Yes, I'm aware of that - but they were far more unrestrained in Eastern Europe because they considered the entire population to be subhuman.

It's a matter of degree. They were filthy brutal shits everywhere. They were worse in the East.

Posted by: Donna and V. at September 28, 2014 12:34 PM (+XMAD)

208 204
I need to dip my toe in that as well, if only to cleanse myself of the crap that is HBO's Rome.

Posted by: whatmeworry? at September 28, 2014 12:35 PM (dZGNV)

209 MTF : Oh no, you did not just drop 'Ornament of the World' in here did you?

http://docstalk.blogspot.com/2010/09/cordoba-house-and-myth-of-cordoban.html

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at September 28, 2014 12:35 PM (3kZUM)

210 whatmeworry?, I thought HBO's Rome was ... good. At least while they had Young Augustus.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at September 28, 2014 12:36 PM (3kZUM)

211 Morning/afternoon horde.

I would say more but, reading ain't my strong point.

Posted by: RWC at September 28, 2014 12:38 PM (w2yL0)

212 Watching Carbonaro Effect. If you like magic and hidden camera it's funny as hell.

Posted by: RWC at September 28, 2014 12:40 PM (w2yL0)

213 I love Flannery O'Connor, but I recall being thoroughly creeped out by the story where the traveling salesman takes the one-legged girl into the barn loft and steals her wooden leg. Can't recall the name of the story.

Favorite O'Connor quote: When she was at a dinner party and people were talking about how the Eucharist was only a symbol and not the actual body and body of Christ.

O'Connor said, "If it's only a symbol, then I'd say to hell with it."

Posted by: Donna and V. at September 28, 2014 12:40 PM (+XMAD)

214 I need to dip my toe in that as well, if only to cleanse myself of the crap that is HBO's Rome.

Posted by: whatmeworry? at September 28, 2014 12:35 PM (dZGNV)


You could always watch the BBC adaptation of "I, Claudius." Best mini-series ever.

whatmeworry?, I thought HBO's Rome was ... good. At least while they had Young Augustus.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at September 28, 2014 12:36 PM (3kZUM)


I liked it, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea...

Posted by: ROMANES EVNT DOMVS at September 28, 2014 12:43 PM (lN8KC)

215 I've been reading Poul Anderson's collection by Baen, David Falkayn, Star Trader. Andersen is a pretty good author, but some of his early stuff is more fun.

I do keep stopping and thinking, wow, that must be where Larry Niven got that idea!

Posted by: Kindltot at September 28, 2014 12:44 PM (t//F+)

216 Anathem was one of the slowest Stephenson novels I ever read, but I finished it.

A faster paced and interesting early Stephenson is "Zodiac" (which seems sort of autobiographical) and Snow Crash is also a good read.

I think HPL's "The Rats in the Walls" is the scariest story I read in my yoot.

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 12:45 PM (o3MSL)

217 When reading Gibbon, it's worth keeping in the front of your mind that Edward has an axe to grind. He did not approve of the Church and wants to make sure you don't either.

Posted by: Trimegistus at September 28, 2014 12:46 PM (ZzQga)

218 For a fast and fun read, "Tom Mix and Pancho Villa" by Clifford Irving. Damn it was funny.

Posted by: fastfreefall at September 28, 2014 12:32 PM (hIV5w)

Read that years ago ,and you are right it was a great story!

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 12:47 PM (o3MSL)

219 You could always watch the BBC adaptation of "I, Claudius." Best mini-series ever.

Posted by: ROMANES EVNT DOMVS at September 28, 2014 12:43 PM (lN8KC)


The original novels, "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God" were enjoyable novels. The first person perspective of Claudius and a more casual narration really brings you into the world of early Imperial Rome.

I recommend them.

Posted by: ROMANI ITE DOMVM at September 28, 2014 12:47 PM (lN8KC)

220 Posted by: Kristophr at September 28, 2014 12:32 PM (0zVEV)

Maybe if they pitched the scanning of those glass plate photos as containing proof of global warming, er cooling, er, climate change there'd be oodles of federal money to get it done!

Posted by: Hrothgar at September 28, 2014 12:50 PM (o3MSL)

221 I was required to read Don Quixote for a class years ago, and read it out of duty.
I am now finding people quoting things out of it that I missed, and I am thinking of going back to read it again.
It is just, there are only so many hours in a day.

Posted by: Kindltot at September 28, 2014 12:51 PM (t//F+)

222 Parthenon blown up: 1687
First photographs: 1833

Posted by: Trimegistus at September 28, 2014 12:52 PM (ZzQga)

223 >>>The kid floating outside the second story window, scratching the glass to be let in.


And I immediately recognized that from a long-ago YA novel, circa late-60s. Ripped off, but he left out the bat wings on the boy's head.

Posted by: Bigby's Backfist at September 28, 2014 12:56 PM (Cq0oW)

224 Just finished reading "The Man from Berlin" and "The Pale House" by Luke McCallin. They are historical fiction novels set in 1943-1945 Saravejo, Bosnia. The main protagonist is German Captain Gregor Reinhardt, a former Berlin Kripo detective now serving in the Wehrmacht, and tasked with investing some suspicious killings.

The obvious criticism of the novels is that they are derivative of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunter novels-- but that having been said they are extremely well written, well researched novels. If you like historical fiction and mystery, they are worth a try.

Posted by: nc at September 28, 2014 01:00 PM (mX/a1)

225 78
- Is it an eerie coincidence that Bridge to the Sun starring Carroll
Baker was on TCM yesterday (and I had never heard of it until
yesterday. and now this...?)


At the Anachronda compound, we refer to this sort of thing as "plate of shrimp".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4QKiYar9pI

Posted by: Anachronda at September 28, 2014 01:02 PM (o78gS)

226 Reminder: Don't forget Roald Dahl. Funny and weird short stories.

Posted by: Mr. Dave at September 28, 2014 01:03 PM (ybMGh)

227 My two scariest books - "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons" by Glasstone and "On Thermonuclear War" by Herman Kahn. (I'm a realist.)

Preparing for a consulting gig in Seoul so doing my research. "Living Abroad in South Korea" published by Moon is a practical book written for people like me - subway fares, taxes, doctor costs, etc - very useful.

A more tourist oriented book is "South Korea" published by Insight Guides. On glossy paper with many fine color photos, it is lively and has some great lines, like in describing a local low-ball alcohol, soju, "With a quality somewhere between gin and kerosene..."

The latter book is marred by PC and prog revisionism, especially in the recent history, like saying Korea was "occupied by the Russians and the Americans." That grates seeing how my uncle spent two years fighting to save their asses from the Commies. Granted, having 50,000 young bucks hanging out in your town with nothing to do but polishing their M-16s can be a bit irritating, but so would starving under the Kims.

Deep into "The Koreans" by Breen. A deeper discourse on the Korean soul that will be useful in my personal interactions with Koreans.

Posted by: Whitehall at September 28, 2014 01:05 PM (k876Y)

228 The name of the O'Connor story about the traveling Bible salesman/con man who steals the daughter fake leg is called "Good Country People" and yes, it is creepy and very good.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at September 28, 2014 01:11 PM (glk59)

229 This is a nice quote from Flannery O'Connor:

Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.


Posted by: FenelonSpoke at September 28, 2014 01:14 PM (glk59)

230 like in describing a local low-ball alcohol, soju, "With a quality somewhere between gin and kerosene..."
-----

Take it back! It has that invigorating whiff of formaldehyde, not kerosene!

Posted by: All Hail Eris at September 28, 2014 01:18 PM (QBm1P)

231 This week I read Boneshaker, 200 some odd page novel of steam punk zombie but only got halfway through Ace's epic Obamas UN speech post. I'm not sure if I'll get to finish that this week or move on to this great book "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg.

Posted by: .87c at September 28, 2014 01:20 PM (lfYoF)

232 :::de lurking:::

Listening to audiobook version of World War Z, downloaded from the LA Public Library. Pretty scary so far.

:::re lurking:::

Posted by: baldilocks at September 28, 2014 01:22 PM (36Rjy)

233 I'm reading Gulliver's Travels, which for some reason I hadn't read before, and enjoying its satirical bite. As a former academic, I especially like Swift's Laputians, a highly intellectual but hopelessly impractical people who have servants hitting them on the side of the head with a bladder (balloon) so that they do not become too lost in thought.

Wikipedia has a good precis of this section:

"Laputa's population consists mainly of educated people, who are fond of mathematics, astronomy, music and technology, but fail to make practical use of their knowledge. They are unable to construct well-designed clothing or buildings, because they take measurements with instruments such as quadrants and a compass rather than with tape measures.

The clothes of Laputans, which do not fit, are decorated with
astrological symbols and musical figures. They spend their time
listening to the music of the spheres. They believe in astrology and
worry constantly that the sun will go out. The Laputan houses, he
notices, are badly built, without accurate right angles."




Posted by: Jay Guevara at September 28, 2014 01:24 PM (SLea8)

234 A couple of my favorite horror novels are:

Conjure Wife, by Fritz Leiber
Darker Than You Think, by Jack Williamson

Both were written in the 1940's, and neither author is primarily noted as a horror writer. Leiber is mostly noted for Sci-Fi and Fantasy, while Williamson is primarily noted for Sci-Fi.

Conjure Wife starts from a seemingly pleasant premise: There is a secret all women know, but no man knows. One man is inadvertently let in on the secret, which unleashes a horrifying sequence of events.

Darker Than You Think is about a reporter who discovers that millenia ago there existed a race of lycanthropes and some people have some of the genes for this. Someone is trying to revive this nasty strain of humanity.

Posted by: jbarntt at September 28, 2014 01:25 PM (mhY6J)

235 They "read like epitaphs" because they are. Spoon River Anthology is a collection of small-town epitaphs.

Posted by: LexisTexas at September 28, 2014 01:30 PM (oNz7q)

236 169
Good thought -- re read Percy on Kindle. I went on a whole Southern writers read binge years ago. I like Walker Percy well enough to re read. Flannery O'Connor -- never could grab hold.

Posted by: gracepmc at September 28, 2014 01:38 PM (rznx3)

237 Songs of Kali.

Posted by: Knemon at September 28, 2014 01:41 PM (O52JQ)

238 I just finished Martin Gilbert's bio of Churchill. It's a very solid, if long, piece of work. Amazingly, this is the condensed version, from what was originally 5 or 6 volumes.

Posted by: pep at September 28, 2014 11:54 AM (4nR9/)


The original is in 8 volumes. The first two were written by Randolph Churchill; Gilbert did some editing to get volume 2 published when Randolph died, and then wrote the remaining six volumes.

Posted by: CQD at September 28, 2014 01:41 PM (eCKON)

239 Laputa's population...
Jay Guevara at September 28, 2014 01:24 PM
-------
is made up of floozy broads?

Posted by: fastfreefall at September 28, 2014 01:47 PM (hIV5w)

240 As to the future of libraries: I fear they will move toward community centers that have ebooks available to loan out. I HOPE they remain a depository for physical books; sort of a "Fahrenheit 451" approach. I have no confidence in electronic storage of writing or photos.

Having said that, our county libraries are certainly busy and I find that encouraging.

Posted by: JTB at September 28, 2014 01:58 PM (FvdPb)

241 I need to dip my toe in that as well, if only to cleanse myself of the crap that is HBO's Rome.

Posted by: whatmeworry? at September 28, 2014 12:35 PM (dZGNV)


What didn't you like about it? In broad strokes it was historically accurate (definitely not in all of the details), and it also qualifies as the world's longest buddy movie.

Almost anyone watching it will, at the end, know more about the second Roman Civil War than they did at the beginning. Not only is that a good thing, but it's amazing that they could make a popular two-season series out of it.

Posted by: CQD at September 28, 2014 01:59 PM (eCKON)

242 Thanks for the library feedback.

JBT- I hope there will always be physical books as I love the feel of a book in my hand. Our children and grandchildren may not have that love.

Emile Antoon Khadaji- overdrive is great and more people are using it for downloads

All Hail Eris -I wish I could say my community had people lined up with stacks of books but I see less and less of the library use and more of the meeting hall use.

With small local libraries costing a million dollars a year to run, some folks in the community are questioning the cost especially when most of it goes to high wage municipal employees to run in effect a community center looking to find ways to maintain relevancy.


Posted by: bossy barbara at September 28, 2014 02:12 PM (79RKq)

243 *waves*-Hi Baldilocks! Glad to know you are still perusing the book thread.

I enjoyed Anathem very much. I didn't make it through REAMDE. I think I'll try some of his other works such as Snowcrash for my next attempt.

Does anyone have opinions on Tana French? My friend gave me French's "The Secret Place". I'm curious what other people have to say.

Thanks again OregonMuse for this gift of the book thread. I've read so many books that have been recommended here. This has truly changed my life for the better.

Posted by: Snowybits at September 28, 2014 02:16 PM (SGqju)

244 Oh, and I can't forget to mention thanking Monty for starting it all way back when. Thanks OM for keeping it going!

Posted by: Snowybits at September 28, 2014 02:19 PM (SGqju)

245 huerfano at September 28, 2014 10:24 AM (bAGA/)

Thank you, just added "Mine" to my list

Posted by: sunny at September 28, 2014 02:29 PM (Bsxks)

246 I also read 'The Amityville Horror' when it came out. I think I got the last copy of it in Los Angeles.


Supposedly a true story, I was absolutely engrossed in it. 'Twas reading it, had the windows open, and suddenly a gust of wind hit and slammed one of my bedroom doors shut. BAM!


I, ummm, may have jumped a bit...


So in a way, scariest book, at least while reading it


Posted by: HH at September 28, 2014 02:40 PM (Ce4DF)

247 Don't get me started on Zinn. The kids today are TAUGHT this in the public schools. Zinn has done more damage to this country. Our country is basically done, so put a fork in it. If you don't believe me, go ask some smart recent high school graduates if the US is a bad, evil country, and they will most likely tell you that it is. Sure, you might find some young people today that have had some parents that were active in teaching them some values and some historical perspective (because to the lib, the US is a bad country because it hasn't "lived up" to it's ideals. Never mind that the US is and has always been way closer to those perfect ideals than pretty much any other country in history or on the planet). But these kids, the kids that see the US in context historically and otherwise, are few and far between. There aren't enough of them. When We the People stopped being actively involved in academics, education, and the arts, we basically turned the whole realm of the humanities over to the leftists, the fabian socialists, and the communist sympathizers. We let these leftists determine the beliefs and values of whole generations. We are a nation with a significant percentage of young people that hate this country, hate white people (even if they are white), and feel the world would be a better place without America. We're done people. We abdicated our responsibility of educating our children and instilling the love of country in their hearts. Meanwhile, the Howard Zinn books are standard fare in US classrooms, and no one, and I mean no one, has ever once questioned this move. Put in a fork in it, people!

Posted by: Brondo at September 28, 2014 02:43 PM (2/oBD)

248 Hi, baldi!

Posted by: rickl at September 28, 2014 03:00 PM (sdi6R)

249 The only AoSHQ thread that

uses complete sentences?


Posted by: Anon Y. Mous at September 28, 2014 03:03 PM (IN7k+)

250 I recommend William Manchester's books on Churchill. They capture the essence of the man, both good and bad.

Posted by: Brandon Michael the Hobbit at September 28, 2014 04:30 PM (oWhIO)

251 243
Glad I'm not the only person I know that actually finished and enjoyed "Anathem".

Posted by: Tuna at September 28, 2014 04:57 PM (hpWy+)

252 Rather than having an interesting book to share, I was wondering if some moron(nette) might happen to recall the title of a book I found, but promptly lost the info on.

It's a book on economics, written for the layperson, with the original edition published in 1993. It's been recently updated, last year I think in honor of its 20th anniversary. The author also, notably, has a forward openly disclosing strong bias in favor of the free market.

Posted by: KP at September 28, 2014 05:17 PM (jrWg5)

253 uses complete sentences?

misses the meme.

(which I'm kind of late with, anyway, it was more of a 'last Tuesday' thing)

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 05:22 PM (yRdR4)

254 "It's a book on economics, written for the layperson, with the original
edition published in 1993. It's been recently updated, last year I think
in honor of its 20th anniversary. "

Are you thinking of "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt? Originally published in 1946, revised 1979, reissued with a foreword by Steve Forbes in 1993.

Posted by: Annalucia at September 28, 2014 06:59 PM (a5bF3)

255 254: No, definitely not that book -- as good as a book as I hear it is. This was written by a more contemporary author in the modern era. I know, because I saw his website.

Posted by: KP at September 28, 2014 07:17 PM (jrWg5)

256 The spouse is a retired librarian. He got out when he did, b/c of a) reaching the Golden Number and b) media influx.
Our two suburban branches are usually busy, with a good selection. We go, as we can't get into e-books.

Our besetting sin, though, is using Half-Price Books as an expensive lending library.

Wisconsin Death Trip? Nasty critical theory revisionist history. IIRC from the intro, it was why Sinclair Lewis was
the way he was, from growing up there.

Scariest adult book? Red Dragon. Didn't sleep for two nights.
Scariest short story? "Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You".
Scariest kid story? The chapter in a Mary Poppins in which Jane is almost trapped in the porcelain plate on the mantle.
Don't enjoy horror, so don't read much of it.

Posted by: Sal at September 28, 2014 07:31 PM (p9C/A)

257 "Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You" by MR James is just awesome.

When I reached the climax chills ran up my spine and I got goose flesh.

That is rare for me - a physical reaction to a story.

Great stuff.

Posted by: naturalfake at September 28, 2014 09:19 PM (KBvAm)

258 Not a good one to read when alone in a guest room with twin beds...
Spouse had to put up with my hot-flash insomnia for a few nights after that.

Posted by: Sal at September 28, 2014 09:26 PM (p9C/A)

259 The scariest book ever written will be the one that recounts all the bad shit that happened because of the Progressive Era. You all realize it started with T R Roosevelt. And it doesn't end with The Kenyan.

Posted by: torabora at September 28, 2014 09:57 PM (dgHAU)

260
Just a small correction: The poem in "Spoon River" aren't *like* epitaphs: they *are* epitaphs. The frame device is that the people interred in the Spoon River cemetery speak their own epitaphs. Many of the epitaphs interlock, as the lives of the speakers did; some are funny, some tragic, some delightful. All very human. Normally, I'm not a fan of free verse, but Masters uses it to capture the cadences of Midwestern speech, and he does so very well.

By the way, Edgar Lee Masters was one of your non-writer authors. He was a lawyer by profession; in fact, he was Clarence Darrow's law partner.

Scariest book I've ever read? "A Handful of Dust" by Evelyn Waugh. Waugh is usually associated with satire, but this story is based on his travels in British Guiana (aka Guyana), and the people he met there. If the ending doesn't scare the pants off you, I don't know what will.

Posted by: Brown Line at September 28, 2014 10:39 PM (a5bF3)

261 Dropping in late and hoping I don't get ban-hammered for contributing too late to a thread, but ...

78: - Any freebie/cheap book offers out there....? Beuller....?
Posted by: goatexchange at September 28, 2014 10:37 AM (sYUHT)
I usually check mobileread dot com, which has a "Deals" forum, and bookbub (as seen in earlier book threads).

80: Posted by: ginaswo at September 28, 2014 10:39 AM (KXMqm)

Looooove Shirley Jackson, and her humorous stories about her family are as awesome as her scary stuff. I presume you've read "The Haunting," since you mentioned SJ and haunted houses in the same comment. ... Recommendation: Russell Kirk. Not only writes great ghosty, shivery stories, but he was apparently quite a major conservative thinker. Only one of his fiction books is on Kindle, "Old House of Fear," but several non-fiction works are there. And "Old House of Fear" is described thusly: "As in all of Kirk's stories, a deeper meaning emerges -- in this case, a satirization of Marxism and liberalism."

234: Posted by: jbarntt at September 28, 2014 01:25 PM (mhY6J)

"Darker Than You Think" remains one of my favorites.

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

So, when do we get the Halloween book thread (hint, hint)?

And Walker Percy was terrific. Trivia: When I lived in New Orleans, my daughter went to the same (private) elementary school as his granddaughter. Said daughter once came home from school and announced, "White people are bad!", then burst into tears. Told me a lot about that school. She changed schools the next year, of course. But I do wonder what Percy would've thought about that. I never saw him there, as far as I know.


Posted by: RovingCopyEditor at September 28, 2014 10:43 PM (cbmm3)

262 KP: Maybe you're thinking of 'Whatever Happened To Penny Candy'?

Posted by: OregonMuse at September 28, 2014 11:37 PM (yRdR4)

263 Neal Stephenson wrote 2 books with his uncle under the pen name Steven Bury : The Cobweb and Interface. They are rather well-done political thrillers.

Posted by: Linda Roberts at September 29, 2014 06:37 PM (tKcuX)

264 262 No, although that's also (IIRC) a good book. Thanks for the suggestions! It's possible I've messed up some of the dates -- maybe it was the 10th anniversary rather than 20th.

The only other identifying feature I can recall is that the authors word on his website mention "Freakonomics" in contrast to his own works.

Posted by: KP at September 29, 2014 08:58 PM (jrWg5)

265 Dee Brown cherry picked the information for Bury My Heart.

Posted by: DonS at September 30, 2014 12:32 AM (Hj7X8)

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When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
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