Sunday Morning Book Thread 01-12-2014: Polar Vortex Edition [OregonMuse]


Polar-Vortex.jpg
Global Warming Is Getting Really Bad These Days

Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to the award-winning AoSHQ's prestigious Sunday Morning Book Thread.


Baby, It's Cold Outside

OK, so with the polar vortex smacking down hard on the East Coast, it's probably the appropriate time for you to read a real cold weather story. I'm talking about To Build A Fire, commonly recognized as Jack London's best short story.

So throw another log on the fire, grab a cup of coffee, tea, or other hot beverage, and settle down in a comfy chair to read about what can happen when you go out by yourself in real cold weather.

To Build A Fire is in the public domain, you can read it here or, if you prefer, you can download a pdf here. I expect most of you morons have read this story, but perhaps there are a few that haven't, yet.


Reading Exercises Your Brain? The Devil You Say.

In order to justify their phoney-baloney jobs and keep that sweet, sweet grant money flowing in, a bunch of Emory researchers did a study that proved that reading actively engages the brain.

Next, these guys will put together a study that will show conclusively that lobbyists who provide free booze and hookers to politicians significantly improve their chances of passing favorable legislation.

By the way, the book they had the volunteers read to do this study was Pompeii, by Robert Harris, which, from the Amazon blurb, actually looks like it might be a fun read:

All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman empire’s richest citizens are relaxing...in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum, and Pompeii.The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct...[is worried]...His predecessor has disappeared. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta’s sixty-mile main line—somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius...His plan is to travel to Pompeii, then head out to the place where he believes the fault lies. But Pompeii proves to be a corrupt and violent town, and Attilius soon discovers that there are powerful forces at work—both natural and man-made—threatening to destroy him.

So there you go.


elle-polar-vortex-h-lgn.jpg
Makes You Shiver Just Looking At Her, Doesn't It?


Die Hard Was A Book?

Yes, it was. I seem to recall seeing that in the movie credits, then promptly forgot it amidst all the slam-bang action that hits you like a wall.

Anyway, according to this article in The Daily Beast, Die Hard was based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, who wrote other novels that were turned into movies, including The Detective, starring Frank Sinatra and Lee Remick.

So, is the book different than the movie version? Of course it is:

Director John McTiernan and his screenwriters, Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza, did make several deliberate changes in Thorp’s story. They made the bad guys thieves masquerading as terrorists, while in Thorp’s version, the terrorists are terrorists. They made sure no one we care much about gets killed. Thorp is more ruthless. They made John McClane a wise-ass. In short, they lightened the story up. You never feel bad about anyone who’s killed in the movie. You never have to think about what the terrorists’ agenda might be, or if there’s any validity to it. Die Hard is an extraordinarily adroit story, but at heart it’s a thrill ride masquerading as a movie.

He goes on to say that the book is able to do something that the movie really can't, that is, go deeper into the mind of the main character and give the reader a better sense of how alone and isolated he really is, not only in this horrific situation he finds himself caught up in, but in the rest of his life as well.

Thorp's book sounds like it might be worth checking out. But if you don't want to do that, at least click over to the Daily Beast article, which is worth reading.


From The Belly of the Beast

In the prison thread of a couple of days ago, longtime moron 'Seamus Muldoon' recommended the book Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton Samenow, who, Seamus says, "is not a big fan of rehabilitation", and argues that is very difficult to get a criminal to change the basic way of thinking that makes them who they are:

The evolution of the criminal mind starts with learning patterns of manipulation early in life that enable him to negotiate the real world without consequences. The thought process becomes twisted into a sense of entitlement and distorted "self logic" and a belief that the rules others live by don't apply to him. At some point, the budding criminal makes a conscious decision to behave the way he does, as opposed to being shaped by outside forces

This lines up pretty much with the observations of ex-prison chaplain Peter Grant, in his book Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls I mentioned on a book thread of two or three months ago. Grant says that true, long-lasting rehabilitations are few and far between: possible, but not very likely. In his book, he talks about his one successful case, and it took months and months of therapy and prayer to get the guy to understand some real basic truths, namely, that 1. what he did was wrong and 2. it's nobody's fault but his. Normal people learn this sort of thing early on, in childhood, but with some, the crucial lessons never seem to sink in.

So take a whole carload of these near-sociopaths (and actual sociopaths), all of whom are extraordinarily self-fixated, amoral experts at manipulation, put them in close quarters for an extended period of time, and the results are horrific. This is why prisons are dangerous, scary places, and why the recidivism rates are sky high.


Sales of Phil Robertson's Book Soars, GLAAD, Grievance Industry Hardest Hit

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander is Phil Roberton's autobiography. The Christian Science Monitor reports that in the wake of the brouhaha where he said stuff that the left didn't want to hear,

Between the week ending on Dec. 15 and the week ending on Dec. 22, sales for "Happy" increased by 86 percent, according to Publishers Weekly.

86% increase. Wow. And currently, "Happy" is ranked #357 on Amazon.


The Bookless Library

In San Antonio, Texas:

Texas has seen the future of the public library, and it looks a lot like an Apple Store: Rows of glossy iMacs beckon. iPads mounted on a tangerine-colored bar invite readers. And hundreds of other tablets stand ready for checkout to anyone with a borrowing card.

Even the librarians imitate Apple’s dress code, wearing matching shirts and that standard-bearer of geek-chic, the hoodie. But this $2.3 million library might be most notable for what it does not have — any actual books.

I'm thinking that the #1 attraction of the bookless library is the cost. $2.3 mil for an entire library sounds pretty inexpensive, and I wouldn't be surprised if other cities might be looking seriously at this.

Thanks to Gabe for first posting this on the morning news thread earlier this week.


Books By Morons

Elisabeth Wolfe, author of Loyal Valley: Assassination wants to let the Horde know that she will be serializing the first book of her second series on her blog starting on Monday and then releasing the full version in ebook and paperback on March 2nd The title will be Look Behind You and she e-mailed this summary:

Before his disappearance from Camelot, Merlin prophesied that the Round Table would have a successor, an order that would keep Arthur’s ideals alive. His exact words were lost, and through the centuries, many groups tried to claim that mantle for themselves. Some are decent. Some are kooks. Some, like Himmler’s SS, are evil.

They are all of them deceived.

Now, with the SS wielding dark magic and the courts of Fäerie loath to intervene in mortal wars, the Round Table’s true heirs must act to defend Europe’s freedom in ways the Allied forces can’t.

For the Order of the Silver Star is coming to make Hitler’s worst nightmare come true.

___________

I notice in the sidebar this week that longtime commenter Arhooey has a book out, Elsinore Canyon, a mystery novel that the Amazon blurb describes as "a modern take on Shakespeare's Hamlet, suitable for adult and sophisticated teen readers." The Kindle edition is only $2.99.

___________

This is not a book by a moron, but a recommendation. In last week's book thread, moronette 'Lizzy' brought my attention to The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón, which she describes as "pretty cool". I must admit my interest is piqued and I may want to buy a copy for myself.

Now, here's a thought: wouldn't it be interesting if they did a graphic adaptation of the Warren Commission Report?

___________


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 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 11:00 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 God Lord look at that babe. And it not a football thread!


But the polar vortex in my rocking chair made me miss last weeks thread. So here is thre make up


I missed last Sunday because "the Old Rocking Chair Got Me" but I'll catch up. Finally finished that last Wheel of Time book. This was my second read except this time I read it on the Kindle app on my Android. It is far too long and needs some serious editing. I moved on to Dune on the Kindle. It is still a classic that everyone should read at least once.


After Dune moved on to last year's David Weber Safehold book "Trial and Tribulation". Since the new one is about to be released they finally brought the Kindle edition down in price. Frankly it was boring. I love David Weber but this series has bogged down as bad as the WOT did. I don't think I will get the new one unless Amazon puts it on a daily deal for $1.99.


I though maybe I would try redoing the Vince Flynn Mitch Rapp books on the Kindle and am working on Transfer of Power now. At least they have reduced the price on that to a reasonable level of $5.50.


Posted by: Vic at January 12, 2014 11:03 AM (T2V/1)

2 I'm currently reading:

Chernobyl by F. Pohl a work of Historrical Fiction based on his interviews in the immediate aftermath of the crisis.

http://tinyurl.com/pk9rt33

Amazon Page for it

It's interesting because the author takes the time in it's 365 pages to explain the Soviet Managerial mindset and the pressures from on high that were exerted on the Soviet Nuclear Industry.

I'm about 70 pages in.

Posted by: Sven 10077 at January 12, 2014 11:07 AM (TE35l)

3 Haven't had the time to read this week, work's been busy, so I'm still about half way through World War Z.

I'm planning on reading a book my sister bought me for my birthday, Flight from Monticello (http://tinyurl.com/jvtzaw9). It's about Thomas Jefferson's flight from Richmond during the American Revolution as Benedict Arnold marched on the city.

It's a serious black mark on his history that even his best and most deferential biographer (Dumas Malone, who's six volume opus is a fantastically detailed and involving read) can't give him a pass for.

I'm looking forward to reading it.

Posted by: David at January 12, 2014 11:08 AM (UtRhK)

4 The Bookless Library

I believe it was Penn State that started throwing all their books away in the late 1990s and turned the campus library into a coffee bar hangout.

Probably OK for most undergrads since most of them never need to crack a non-textbook, but seems like a big loss for some kinds of research (I know we all spit on the humanities, but I still like history and there were some amazing things in the stacks of the Iowa State library last time I was there).

Posted by: HR at January 12, 2014 11:10 AM (hO8IJ)

5 1 God Lord look at that babe. And it not a football thread!

But she's covering her elbows...

If you get the word out that there are pointy elbows on the book thread, Katie bar the door!!!

Posted by: lindafell at January 12, 2014 11:11 AM (PGO8C)

6 2 It's interesting because the author takes the time
in it's 365 pages to explain the Soviet Managerial mindset and the
pressures from on high that were exerted on the Soviet Nuclear Industry.

I'm about 70 pages in.


Posted by: Sven 10077 at January 12, 2014 11:07 AM (TE35l)

I have personally talked to some of the operators from Chernobyl. Very interesting stories, but the avoided talking about management and politics.

Posted by: Vic at January 12, 2014 11:12 AM (T2V/1)

7 Well folks, I'll check in from time to time. That polar vortex is still in that rocking chair.

Posted by: Vic at January 12, 2014 11:16 AM (T2V/1)

8 I have also found time to actually write again. I started writing a book (set in the same universe as my previous book, A Quest through Winter Sleep [http://tinyurl.com/nr6lpht]) that I had begun a couple of years ago and then put down because of school/wedding/job search/move reasons.

The goal is to finish it by the end of April, which means finishing the first draft by the end of February. Seven chapters in seven weeks....I think I can, I think I can...

Posted by: David at January 12, 2014 11:16 AM (UtRhK)

9 Good morning morons.

I picked up the Die Hard book, looking forward to reading it.

Current reads:
Paperback: Storm of Swords by GRR Martin (Book 3 of Game of Thrones)
Kindle: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach which is really fascinating.

Posted by: DangerGirl at January 12, 2014 11:16 AM (GrtrJ)

10 6 Vic at January 12, 2014 11:12 AM (T2V/1)

It's why the author waited until now, and fictionalized the names and mussed up the events some.

I picked it up because the question most non Radiophobes ask is "how did they decide the experiment was a good idea without tacit authorization?"

Well in one party state command economic systems there is tacit authorization and there is TACIT authorization.

I suspect we're on our way to that being the case here. In the United States the media is actually more lockstep than the Soviet media was in 1986 and it still bears the perception of being a news gathering service as opposed to a state propaganda one. That means that when the Feds or a Crony connected agency fucks up it will not be "news" to be investigated with quite the same zeal comrades.

Anyway I know you've jawed with some of their Nuc guys, must have been interesting since they sincerely believed the reactor design in play was safer than US "addiction to submarine engineering." There are arguments to be made that the graphite system *could* be safer, but nothing overcomes the power of human idiocy. God bless the liquidators.

Posted by: Sven 10077 at January 12, 2014 11:18 AM (TE35l)

11 Today I'm working on Longfellow and polishing up my Balzac.

Posted by: --- at January 12, 2014 11:20 AM (MMC8r)

12 "Thorp's book sounds like it might be worth checking out."

Good luck, it was only printed in a limited run and is pretty much non-existent. You could try your library. I read it back in the early eighties, I might have borrowed it but I'm pretty sure I bought it and gave it away or just threw it out when I was done. Whoda thunk.

Posted by: lowandslow at January 12, 2014 11:21 AM (IV4od)

13 10 Posted by: Sven 10077 at January 12, 2014 11:18 AM (TE35l)


There is an INPO Case Study out on Chernobyl and the two primary causes were

1. Bad design (charcoal moderator led to unstable control if the rods were inserted too far


2. Violation of the plant's own safety procedures on the order of management despite protests by the on-shift operators.

But we are sorta getting O/T here.

Posted by: Vic at January 12, 2014 11:21 AM (T2V/1)

14 Speaking of crime and books. A winner of a crime novel prize has some authentic street creds. He is serving time for setting a fire and killing a woman. Get this, the murder and fire was intended to be a diversion while the scum and his brother robbed a jewelry store.

http://tinyurl.com/p3plc4q

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 12, 2014 11:22 AM (B8vRO)

15 I spent most of the week reading my book group's choice of Alice Munro's "The Beggar Maid" a series of interconnected short stories from the late 70s with one central character and on somewhat more minor one. I talked about this some last week but I found the collection to be pretty good in a seventies kind of way. The main character is pictured in making a lot of really dumbass scatter brained decisions and then bitching about how her life has pretty much turned to shit.


Finished a chapter in Red Fortress which describes how Ivan III imported a lot of dago construction guys to fortify the Kremlin, in effect making an island by digging a moat which connected the Moscow and some other river. Plus the walls were such a labyrinth and kept off limits to most of the city that in effect nobody knew how to get around in there. Having had it invaded and burnt to the fucking ground in the past created such an attitude.

Posted by: Captain Hate at January 12, 2014 11:23 AM (Q8HZw)

16 Good luck, it was only printed in a limited run and
is pretty much non-existent. You could try your library. I read it back
in the early eighties, I might have borrowed it but I'm pretty sure I
bought it and gave it away or just threw it out when I was done. Whoda
thunk.


Posted by: lowandslow at January 12, 2014 11:21 AM (IV4od)


Amazon has it available both as paperback and on Kindle.

Posted by: DangerGirl at January 12, 2014 11:25 AM (GrtrJ)

17 What I found interesting on the Die Hard front was that they changed them to thieves masquerading as terrorists for the movie, but the Germans in the group were still part of a terrorist group. I can't remember their organization's name in-movie, but it was based on the West German "Red Army Faction" (usually better known as the Baader-Meinhoff Gang). So their cover to mess with the police was simultaneously a front designed to make it look like they were targeting the business interests to make a political point, while simultaneously what their organization believed.

Posted by: Ranba Ral at January 12, 2014 11:25 AM (G99e4)

18 13 : Vic at January 12, 2014 11:21 AM (T2V/1)

Quite...again thus far the book is well done.

Now if only wife had not cracked the big nook comrade.

Posted by: Sven 10077 at January 12, 2014 11:25 AM (TE35l)

19 Well, really am going now - bbl

Posted by: Vic at January 12, 2014 11:30 AM (T2V/1)

20 "Amazon has it available both as paperback and on Kindle."

Yeah I saw that after I posted, maybe did they did publish some more.

Posted by: lowandslow at January 12, 2014 11:32 AM (IV4od)

21 As one more book note, my mother recommended a book for me called The Woman Who was Poor by Leon Bloy.

Has anyone heard of it? The only copies I can find are from places like Abebooks, and they don't go for less than $80.

Posted by: David at January 12, 2014 11:32 AM (UtRhK)

22 I read Thorp's book (Nothing Lasts Forever). It was excellent. Definitely worth picking up. The Daily Beast article is correct- however, don't be expecting the plot of Die Hard when you read it.

Oh, it's definitely (almost) the same story- but darker. More thoughtful... and John McClane (and his family) is not immune to what the terrorists throw at him.

Also- if I remember correctly, it's apparently the second in a series with McClane. I don't think that significantly did anything to the story, though.

Posted by: Book at January 12, 2014 11:33 AM (qWES6)

23 I read "Pompeii" a few years ago. It's a good story. This week I read "Eon: Dragoneye Reborn." It's a fantasy about a sixteen year old girl who pretends to be a boy in order to get the chance to bond with a dragon. It's a mash-up of Chinese and Japanese culture. I also read "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson. I've never seen any of the movies based on the book, so the material was new for me. It was great. I'm going to check out some more of his work.

Posted by: no good deed at January 12, 2014 11:33 AM (HsJeN)

24 Polar weather and prisons you say? Soviet literature fits the bill. Read a great book called Faithful Ruslan during our little chill up north, can't complain about it being a little nipply outside when you read what those poor saps went through.

Posted by: The Governor at January 12, 2014 11:34 AM (Tlix5)

25 On another note, currently reading John Ringo's 2nd book in his Troy Rising series. His work often pisses off the literati in the publishing world. Mostly because it's 1- entertaining and 2- doesn't conform to the accepted group-think that the elites are trying to push out.

So far, this book seems to be in keeping with those two points, so yea, I'm liking it.

Posted by: Book at January 12, 2014 11:35 AM (qWES6)

26 That sounds interesting, sven. I think I'll check it out.

Posted by: no good deed at January 12, 2014 11:37 AM (HsJeN)

27 Governor, if you liked Faithful Ruslan then try Coming out of the Ice: An Unexpected Live by Victor Herman.

http://www.amazon.com/Coming-out-ice-unexpected-life/dp/0151432880/ref=pd_cp_b_0

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 12, 2014 11:44 AM (B8vRO)

28 Get that woman a cheeseburger.

Posted by: Bertram Cabot Jr. at January 12, 2014 11:47 AM (rLJaJ)

29 Another Die Hard-esque thriller-in-a-skyscraper is 'Vertical Run' by Joseph R. Garber. Came out in 1996 and should have been a movie by now. With some rewrites (protagonist is a Vietnam Vet, we've had another war since then) it could be a pretty good vehicle for a mid-40s action star.

Posted by: Darren at January 12, 2014 11:47 AM (cKoDv)

30 Santa left me Cat Sense and Dog Sense by John Bradshaw. Both are interesting, insightful, and hold a few surprises for those of us you think we really know our furry friends. I just started re-reading Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Anything by NS is fun to re-read a couple of years after the first read.

We are experiencing global warming in NE Iowa. Its 38 and the &*%$#@* snow is starting to melt. Have a great Sunday horde.

Posted by: Angel with a sword at January 12, 2014 11:49 AM (hpgw1)

31 take a whole carload of these near-sociopaths (and actual sociopaths), all of whom are extraordinarily self-fixated, amoral experts at manipulation, put them in close quarters for an extended period of time, and the results are horrific.

I'll say. They haven't passed a budget in six years.

Posted by: t-bird at January 12, 2014 11:51 AM (FcR7P)

32 Latest serious read is The Law of Self-Defense, since up until now my knowledge of defense laws consisted 'if someone's attacking you, fight back with whatever you can lay yourhands on'. Now I'm a little better informed.
On the reading for fun front, The last thing I finished was Pat McManus's 'The Good Samaritan Strikes Again'. Its a hilarious collection of outdoorsy short stories, and I recommend it -and his other works- to anyone who wants something quick and funny.

Posted by: right wing whippersnapper at January 12, 2014 11:52 AM (OfHTd)

33 I read the Muirwood trilogy during the cold snap. Vic has recommended them and they were good. Jeff Wheeler is interesting in that he has 3 worlds he has written about. I read the Muirwood ones and earlier I had read the Landmoor/Silverkin duo. Its neat having a good author who doesn't fixate on one idea/world and write it into the ground. Wheeler and Sabrina Chase are both good in this regard as well as entertaining reads.

Posted by: PaleRider at January 12, 2014 11:56 AM (FYUWS)

34
I believe Feburary is "Black History" month. If black actually knew American history, they would know who was the Party of Slavery. They would know who stud against the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

Posted by: burt at January 12, 2014 11:57 AM (1+kJ5)

35 Thanks Oregon Muse- I was going to mention that book in the comments today but you beat me to it. Missus Muldoon and I were talking about "Inside the Criminal Mind" again this morning. She pointed out that the problem is not a lack of self-esteem, but rather an excess of self-esteem. Wouldn't it be better to instill in kids is a touch of humility?


You might say the self-esteem train has run off the tracks and is hurtling downhill at a great rate of speed.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at January 12, 2014 11:59 AM (g4TxM)

36 I'll say. They haven't passed a budget in six years.

Posted by: t-bird at January 12, 2014 11:51 AM (FcR7P)


*****


Nice!!

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at January 12, 2014 12:00 PM (g4TxM)

37 "I'm thinking that the #1 attraction of the bookless library is the cost.
$2.3 mil for an entire library sounds pretty inexpensive, and I
wouldn't be surprised if other cities might be looking seriously at
this."

"Finding an open iMac among the four dozen at BiblioTech is often difficult after the nearby high school lets out"



You'd be wrong. 2.3 million for what amounts to an internet cafe is one crap ton of wasted money. You could build a real branch library for that cost. About the last thing this room full of computers is being used for is reading. The vast majority of the use on these computers is people doing stuff they don't want to be caught doing at home and email, online games video. The whole point of this is PR and seeming to be ahead of the curve. It's "cool", nothing more.

Posted by: Rocks at January 12, 2014 12:02 PM (vR0sZ)

38 Rereading Hyperion which I haven't read in about 15 years. Still holds up relatively well

Posted by: The Dude at January 12, 2014 12:05 PM (vJdyz)

39 I hate "To build a fire." It's not that it's not a masterpiece, for it most certainly is; it's just so damned sad...

Posted by: RobM1981 at January 12, 2014 12:08 PM (zurJC)

40 Just finished reading the Annals by Tacitus. It's practically miracle that any honorable non-insane Romans in a position of power survived the Julio-Claudians.

Posted by: The Political Hat at January 12, 2014 12:09 PM (AymDN)

41 As mentioned yesterday, I plan on reading Lone Survivor before seeing the movie. Bought it via Kindle a while back.

Posted by: baldilocks--Team SMOD at January 12, 2014 12:10 PM (36Rjy)

42 Oh good I didn't miss the book thread. Slept in this morning. Anyway I want to recommend the Gervase Fen mysteries by Edmund Crispin. They were written back in the 1940s. Gervase Fen is an Oxford Don who would rather solve mysteries. Some of the language is clunky but the stories are humorous.

Posted by: Paranoidgirlinseattle at January 12, 2014 12:11 PM (RZ8pf)

43 Was reading a post on IBM's WATSON and another on computers writing books.

http://tinyurl.com/qaq7wwf - WATSON

http://tinyurl.com/cu34327 - Books

How long before a WATSON-type computer can spit out fiction books that are as good or better than humans?

Posted by: jj at January 12, 2014 12:11 PM (gWO5X)

44 Oh and I'm also reading the new Quarry book, The Wrong Quarry by Max Allan Collins. Not that far into it but it's always nice to see a new book. Hope the Cinemax series gets a green light

Posted by: The Dude at January 12, 2014 12:13 PM (vJdyz)

45

I do not remember who told me about these books, perhaps my sister, but, they look like a good read.

Any morons/ettes read this series by Rick Riordan?

It is a children's series, but, I love some of the kids books, so... (seems to be target age of 10 year olds or so)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Hardcover Boxed Set

http://tinyurl.com/qzz72lo

5 solid stars from 546 reviews on amazon
insane score and reviews

I'm definitely loading them down to my Kindle when they are available in that format. I cannot believe they are not, yet. It might be because they are mostly for younger children.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 12, 2014 12:15 PM (IXrOn)

46 Reading Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpritation of the Issues in the Lincoln Douglas Debate by Harry V Jaffa. The book is not only fascinating for historical clarifications and Interpritations but Jaffa has a knack for making wisdom and humility virtues once again that I find refreshing.

Posted by: Wonkish Rogue at January 12, 2014 12:18 PM (JRU+g)

47 Stephen Webb, "Mormon Christianity". Explains the philosophical and theological underpinnings of the LDS Church.

Joseph Smith and Orson Pratt, he says, have rejected Plato. They do not accept that anything exists outside this universe. This has led the LDS back to the Messalian Heresy, among other doctrines that orthodox Christianity generally rejects: like that God, Jesus and the angels all have physical bodies (somewhere).

Webb is an evangelical Protestant who converted to Catholicism, and treats the LDS with respect. (Mostly. He thinks Pratt, especially, was just wrong.) He also thinks the LDS philosophy - as materialist - is well equipped to rebut, for instance, atheist materialism; which orthodox Christianity has been having trouble with. There are three appendices which should be of great interest to theologians.

The arguments get a little complex, so I recommend coffee rather than port as a supplemental beverage when reading it.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at January 12, 2014 12:21 PM (vCyy6)

48 Any morons/ettes read this series by Rick Riordan?

I haven't read them, but I gave that series to my nephew when he was 13 with the hope it would spark an interest in reading. It worked.

Posted by: no good deed at January 12, 2014 12:21 PM (HsJeN)

49 Yes my son and I went through the Percy Jackson books. Well I stopped after the 2nd one but he read the series. They were a good hook for that age group(3rd-5th) of boys who weren't into reading. The story was good. The movie was awful if you'd read the books. While I like that series, as did my son, we couldn't get into his Egyptian one. I think the first of that series is "The Red Pyramid" maybe.

Posted by: Paranoidgirlinseattle at January 12, 2014 12:22 PM (RZ8pf)

50 So still writing horror story outline. Usually just three or so sentences to describe that point in the story. Early this morning did a word count on it and it gave me 666. Luckily past that magic number.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at January 12, 2014 12:22 PM (B8vRO)

51 Sinatra would have been awesome in Die Hard, in a "Schwarzenegger is Hamlet" kinda send-up.

I read Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio this week. Surprisingly funny, but loved that the little scamp's actions always had repercussions. Definitely going into the future children's library I plan on assembling.

Posted by: Blackford Oakes at January 12, 2014 12:23 PM (KVnkf)

52 "To build a fire." It's not that it's not a masterpiece, for it most certainly is; it's just so damned sad...

I wonder how London would have done on the psychopath test. His stories all (well, the ones I've read) seem so "remote" to me, like he'd been beaten and abandoned by his own mother or something.

Posted by: t-bird at January 12, 2014 12:23 PM (FcR7P)

53 For more in theology, I've also reviewed 'Dionysius bar Salibi. A Response to the Arabs':
http://www.amazon.com/Dionysius-Response-Scriptorum-Christianorum-Orientalium/ product-reviews/9042915684/

[remove space to de-pixify]

Short version: I wish it wasn't sixty bucks. It is a classic work of Christian apologetic against Islam, and this is the translation from the Syriac (the only one we got, for now). If you're at all interested in this subject do track it down in a library.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at January 12, 2014 12:24 PM (vCyy6)

54 Reading 'A Canticle Of Leibowitz', a post-apocalyptic story, pretty good so far. Made a spreadsheet of about 60 books I hope to read this year, since I only read about 30 last year it's probably wildly optimistic.

Posted by: waelse1 at January 12, 2014 12:28 PM (b71mA)

55 @52 They wrote the psychopath tests for Jack London. He would have pushed Nietzsche down the steps. Check out "The Sea Wolf." Interesting, and telling, proclivities with the fairer sex, too. You wouldn't want to live on his block.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at January 12, 2014 12:28 PM (xq1UY)

56 It's practically miracle that any honorable non-insane Romans in a position of power survived the Julio-Claudians.

Hint: 'twasn't really about the J-C's. 'Twas about Domitian. Tacitus was one very angry and bitter guy.

Generally the honourable men of "Rome" were army men. This went on until, what, Aetius? Heraclius? Basil II? At home Rome's politicians sucked dick. And any dynasty in power long enough simply ceased to be worth a damn.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at January 12, 2014 12:29 PM (vCyy6)

57 DangerGirl, have you read Mary Roach's book about sex? "Bonk?" it is good too. I am reading "Gulp" now but I am finding it more difficult to get into than her other books.

Posted by: Paranoidgirlinseattle at January 12, 2014 12:29 PM (RZ8pf)

58 56 boulder toilet hobo at January 12, 2014 12:29 PM (vCyy6)

Hariss' Cicero Trilogy that thus far is a two of three does a good job of illustrating the schism in the values of the military vs the professional political class.

Pompeii was a bit of a fairy takl, but a nicely done one.

Posted by: Sven 10077 at January 12, 2014 12:31 PM (TE35l)

59 Let me add a third recommend for Robert Harris' Pompeii. It is a very good read, with lots of nuts and bolts information on Roman engineering, and how the aqueduct system worked. (I did a grad-student level college class on Roman art and architecture just for the fun of it, back when it wasn't an easy course, and it was a blast!)

I'm still working on Bill Bryson's "At Home - A History of Private Life" - which is a fun read, and skitters all over lots of tangentially arranged subjects to do with houses, home life, etc.

I'm posting the chapters of my next book on my book blog, also - Lone Star Sons is a kind of YA historical fiction reboot of the Lone Ranger, but with all the identifiable stuff carefully sanded off. When I have about 95,000 words worth of adventures, I'll do a print and e-book version for sale - but I invite the 'rons and 'ronettes to take a look, and offer suggestions and feedback.

http://tinyurl.com/m7m7len

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at January 12, 2014 12:35 PM (Asjr7)

60 Yesterday I received my copy of Rand Simburg's new book, "Safe is Not an Option". It's about the government's obsession with safety in spaceflight above all else, and how it's inhibiting our actually doing anything in space.

http://tinyurl.com/leypyvn

I haven't actually had time to read it yet, but here is an interview with the author by Glenn Reynolds:

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

And here is the Reason article referenced in the video:

http://reason.com/archives/2013/11/05/how-safe-should-a-new-frontier-be

Finally, here is a comment by torquewrench on one of the threads here yesterday. I doubt he has read the book, but it is a picture perfect description of the book's theme and content. It could almost be an Amazon review:

http://minx.cc/?blog=86&post=346383#c21638863

Posted by: rickl at January 12, 2014 12:37 PM (sdi6R)

61 This week I read "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919", by Stephen Puleo. Interesting. When I was a kid my father once mentioned the molasses flood, which I thought was hilarious. Turns out it wasn't - 21 people killed, more injured, the entire harbor area destroyed.

Posted by: biancaneve at January 12, 2014 12:37 PM (2sR50)

62 Posted by: no good deed at January 12, 2014 12:21 PM (HsJeN)

Posted by: Paranoidgirlinseattle at January 12, 2014 12:22 PM (RZ8pf)

Thanks.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at January 12, 2014 12:38 PM (IXrOn)

63 Was recommended some old C.S. Forester books, The Ship, and The Good Shepherd. Each exemplifies the courage of ordinary men who are called upon to do extraordinary things. Marvelous stories.

Also, bedside book is The Great Debate, by Yuval Levin. Good stuff & I'm learning a lot that I didn't know about the thinking of Burke & Paine, but it works to put me to sleep every time....

Read the Thorp book in the 'way back. 'Twas a terrorism thriller before they became popular reading fodder.

Posted by: ColoComment at January 12, 2014 12:38 PM (wtjSz)

64 But, right through the Julio-Claudian period at least, there was a blurred line between the military and the political class. If you were planning a public career, you punched your ticket in the army. I used to see that a lot.

Cicero was "retired" because he was a glory-seeker too, and had effed up royally as a general. Generalling was just another civic post to the Romans -- actually moreso under their so-called republic. And he owed Julius Caesar big-time for not coming to a bad end (so he thought) over his military performance. He wasn't the only one in those buskins either. Difficult to make the comparison to us and ours, straight across. The past? Whole 'nother country.

Posted by: Stringer Davis at January 12, 2014 12:39 PM (xq1UY)

65 125 pages into De Tocqueville's seminal "Democracy in America". Not a hard read, interesting, but too abstract in that he's writing in 1835 France about America and Europe at the time. He assumes (not improperly since I don't think he was considering he'd have an audience in 2014) that the reader is familiar with various political and social concepts at the time. I'd like to read a book that puts some context into his thoughts.

Posted by: SFGoth at January 12, 2014 12:39 PM (VGDJR)

66 The NYT's Book World today reviews a whole bunch of books on Global Warming (no-denialists books though).

As usual, they have impeccable timing.

Posted by: Kasper in Arlington at January 12, 2014 12:39 PM (OVmhO)

67 I didn't find To Build a Fire to be sad. Just realistic in the sense that this is the world we live in. Everything you do has consequences. Definitely still a very good lesson for many, many people nowadays.

Posted by: KG at January 12, 2014 12:42 PM (IPz9m)

68 Read the latest walking dead comic with the kid. Almost done with gone girl and starting on the divergent trilogy.

Posted by: NCKate at January 12, 2014 12:47 PM (6SdCf)

69 The sad part of London's story; To Build a Fire, was that this indeed a pitfall without a government program to act as a safety net to save us when we decide to go out into nature improperly prepared. Where is our tax money going if we can't have a Coast Guard chopper at the ready to drop down with a book of dry matches when we have need?

Posted by: Don L at January 12, 2014 12:50 PM (YcHjl)

70 Jack London's book The Road was made into a feature film starring lee Marvin as king of the hoboes in The Emperor of the North Pole. Yes, it's 190% manmovie.

The Fatal Shore is a book about the founding of Australia and it's beginnings as a penal colony. The author provides a lot of detail regarding differing attitudes of administrators charged with the imprisonment and the subsequent rehabilitation of criminals. Flogging with cat-o-nine-tails, starvation and hard labor are standard fare, and pretty much the extent of the rehab. Yeah, it doesn't really work out very well for prisoners or early Australian society.

Beating and torturing criminals only hardens their resolve, handling them with kid gloves doesn't work. either.

Posted by: 13times at January 12, 2014 12:52 PM (fGPLK)

71 125 pages into De Tocqueville's seminal "Democracy in America". Not a hard read, interesting, but too abstract in that he's writing in 1835 France about America and Europe at the time. He assumes (not improperly since I don't think he was considering he'd have an audience in 2014) that the reader is familiar with various political and social concepts at the time. I'd like to read a book that puts some context into his thoughts.

Posted by: SFGoth at January 12, 2014 12:39 PM (VGDJR)


The more relevant Tocqueville book now-a-days is "Reflections on the Revolution in France"

Tocqueville comes to the conclusion that it was the French monarchy trying to reform the centralized and broken system that cause the French Revolution, and that the revolution simply consolidated the centralization.

Fair warning to those who want to reform the Progressive and centralized bent of our modern Federal government…

Posted by: The Political Hat at January 12, 2014 12:52 PM (AymDN)

72
So take a[n] ... actual sociopath ... [an] extraordinarily self-fixated, amoral expert at manipulation ... in close quarters for an extended period of time, and the results are horrific.


My former marriage in a single sentence.

Posted by: crisis du jour at January 12, 2014 12:53 PM (QHUpb)

73 I love Emperor of the North. Ernest Borgnine's character was a sadistic bastard.

Posted by: no good deed at January 12, 2014 12:56 PM (HsJeN)

74 I read "Pompeii" when it was first published. It was, indeed, fun and extremely enlightening about the complexities of Roman engineering about which I had a very basic knowledge.

Currently reading. The next chapter in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales, "The Pagan Lord". A pleasure to read. Although older, Uhtred is still his same old short tempered and always looking for a good shield wall to fight in self. Speaking of Roman engineering, Cornwall spends some time talking about the awe which the remains of Roman civilization inspired in the Saxons when you read this series. You feel the loss of all that knowledge when they gaze at the ruins yet have no understanding of how it worked or how to make it work again.

Posted by: Tuna at January 12, 2014 12:56 PM (M/TDA)

75 This is probably a little late but I just saw it in the Yahoo group:


AllenG has created a AOS Writers group on Google for all you writers. You can apply for membership here:

http://tinyurl.com/nlv8e9a

Posted by: Tami at January 12, 2014 01:00 PM (bCEmE)

76 I've recommended this series before but Steven Saylor's "Roma Sub Rosa" series featuring "private eye" Gordianus, is a very well researched look at the last days of the republic. All the major and minor characters make an appearance. Highly entertaining.

Posted by: Tuna at January 12, 2014 01:01 PM (M/TDA)

77 Today Sunny, with a high near 74. North wind around 5 mph. Tonight Clear, with a low around 51. North northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Monday Sunny, with a high near 76. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Monday Night Clear, with a low around 54. North northeast wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 80. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tuesday Night Clear, with a low around 54.Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 82.Wednesday Night Clear, with a low around 52.Thursday Sunny, with a high near 83.Thursday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 52.Friday Sunny, with a high near 80.

let the H8 begin... that's my weather forecast for the week. %-)

Posted by: redc1c4 at January 12, 2014 01:04 PM (q+fqH)

78 I also read "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson. I've never seen any of the movies based on the book, so the material was new for me. It was great. I'm going to check out some more of his work.
Posted by: no good deed at January 12, 2014 11:33 AM (HsJeN)

Good, the movies don't have much in common with the novel. Was the book you read the one that included some of his horror short stories after the novel? "Dress of White Silk" was especially creepy.

Posted by: BornLib at January 12, 2014 01:06 PM (zpNwC)

79 Just finished Dave Berry's "I'll Mature When I'm Dead". A lot of truth lies beneath the humor.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at January 12, 2014 01:07 PM (u82oZ)

80 25 On another note, currently reading John Ringo's 2nd book in his Troy Rising series. His work often pisses off the literati in the publishing world. Mostly because it's 1- entertaining and 2- doesn't conform to the accepted group-think that the elites are trying to push out.

So far, this book seems to be in keeping with those two points, so yea, I'm liking it.
Posted by: Book at January 12, 2014 11:35 AM (qWES6)

That's a great series. The second book in Ringo's Black Tide Rising series should be out next week too.

Posted by: BornLib at January 12, 2014 01:09 PM (zpNwC)

81 anyone who's ever served in Korea will probably like "Nightmare Range" by Martin Limon... it's a collection of short stories, all set in South Korea, about the various cases a team of CID investigators handle.

set in the 70's early 80's, they are, to my mind, very well written, and strike me as being Chandleresque in style. very well done, imho.

Posted by: redc1c4 at January 12, 2014 01:09 PM (q+fqH)

82 Was the book you read the one that included some of his horror short stories after the novel?

It did not. I'll look for it. I did see that he wrote "A Stir of Echoes." I have seen the movie, and I enjoyed it. I'll be giving the source material a spin next week.

Posted by: no good deed at January 12, 2014 01:10 PM (HsJeN)

83 If you dug I Am Legend, you should check out Some Of Your blood by Theodore Sturgeon

Posted by: The Dude at January 12, 2014 01:13 PM (vJdyz)

84 Richard Matheson also wrote "Somewhere in Time", which surprised me after "I am Legend" and his Twilight Zone episodes.

Posted by: megthered at January 12, 2014 01:14 PM (+w1hQ)

85 1. I think the movie "Die Hard" is one of the few movies that is better than the book.

2. I ran across something being pushed in the prison system: criminals are having to confront their victims and try to understand just how much they "hurt" their victims. Supposedly, these criminals showed "instant remorse" once they actually met and talked with their victims and heard just how traumatized the victims were. (I was stunned when I heard this crap. My first thought "I think I'll sell them the Brooklyn Bridge, because they effing deserve it")

3. The gal in the pic needs to move her elbows.

4. I've seen prisoners that were excellent workers, while in prison. I asked a guard about it, and he explained that the guys I saw are great, as long as they are in a controlled environment.

Posted by: Blake at January 12, 2014 01:14 PM (rvVUZ)

86 10 I
picked it up because the question most non Radiophobes ask is "how did
they decide the experiment was a good idea without tacit authorization?"


Heh. My reaction upon hearing about their experiment was "Hmm. Sounds like something I would do. Good thing I'm not involved in nuclear power."

Posted by: Anachronda at January 12, 2014 01:14 PM (U82Km)

87 71
The more relevant Tocqueville book now-a-days is "Reflections on the Revolution in France"

isn't that Burke?

Posted by: ColoComment at January 12, 2014 01:15 PM (wtjSz)

88 84 Richard Matheson also wrote "Somewhere in Time", which surprised me after "I am Legend" and his Twilight Zone episodes.
Posted by: megthered at January 12, 2014 01:14 PM (+w1hQ)


His stories were adapted into some of the greatest Twilight Zone episodes ever.

Posted by: rickl at January 12, 2014 01:17 PM (sdi6R)

89 For Tocqueville's take on the French Revolution I think you want "Ancien Regime and the French Revolution."

Posted by: Retread at January 12, 2014 01:17 PM (cHwk5)

90 Read Bryson's One Summer: America, 1927. Liked it, but my favorites of his many books are still The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid & In A Sunburned Country. He does have a great sense of humor and the ability to put that in print, which I don't think is easy, although his sometimes snarky left-wing political comments grate at times.
Reread The Far Arena, by Richard Sapir. The premise (a Roman gladiator frozen in Artic ice is brought back to life in modern times) is a little hokey, but I love it & recommend. Not on Kindle yet, but still available on Amazon in paperback. I recommend.

Posted by: Bookaday at January 12, 2014 01:19 PM (+HEUC)

91 Just finished reading again-after a number of years-Eugene Peterson's.. A Long Obedience In the Same Direction-Discipleship in an instant society. Peterson is a former pastor, an author of many books and the translator of The Bible into contemporary English as "The Message." Some great stuff in "A Long Obedience" including chapters on worship, repentance. obedience. prayer, service, security and joy, among other themes. These themes are related to the "Songs Of Ascent" Psalms 120-134. Peterson is a sharp thinker and theologian and a caring pastor urging us to deeper discipleship. In speaking of Psalm 121 Peterson says, "the only serious mistake when illness comes, when anxiety threatens, when conflict disturbs our relationships with others is to conclude that God has gotten bored looking after us, or has shifted his attention to a more exciting Christian.,or that God has become disgusted with our meandering obedience and decided to let us fend for ourself for a while, or that God has gotten too busy fulfilling prophecy in the Mideast to take time now to sort out the complicated mess we have gotten ourselves into. That is the only serious mistake we can make and psalm 121 prevents this; the mistake of supposing that God's interest in us waxes and wanes in response to our spiritual temperature."

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at January 12, 2014 01:24 PM (7kkQJ)

92 Also, after reading 600 pages of St Faustina Kowlaska's spiritual biography, I just finished 400 pages of a book about St John Vianney the patron saint of parish priests by Abbe Francis Trochu. Vianney a remarkably selfless life serving about 42 years in his parish in Ars, France and at some point spending about 12-15 hours a day in the Confessional. A vey thorough treatment of his life, and it's clear what caused him to be canonized by the RCC less than 100 years after he died: He was a very holy, devoted servant of God


"Prayer is to our soul what rain is to the soil. Fertilize the soil ever so richly, it will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains."

Jon Vianney

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at January 12, 2014 01:34 PM (7kkQJ)

93 The more relevant Tocqueville book now-a-days is "Reflections on the Revolution in France"

I was unaware of that one. Thanks, I'll read it. DeminAm is a classic and I wanted to get a "contemporary" view of the U.S. at that time. When I finish, I'll get back to "Wealth of Nations", then Keynes's treaties, and thence to Hayek. After that, well, as one of my friend's calls it, "Nazi shit".

Posted by: SFGoth at January 12, 2014 01:35 PM (VGDJR)

94 The more relevant Tocqueville book now-a-days is "Reflections on the Revolution in France"

isn't that Burke?

Posted by: ColoComment at January 12, 2014 01:15 PM (wtjSz)

89 For Tocqueville's take on the French Revolution I think you want "Ancien Regime and the French Revolution."

Posted by: Retread at January 12, 2014 01:17 PM (cHwk5)


That's right.

My bad.

Posted by: The Political Hat at January 12, 2014 01:41 PM (AymDN)

95 Based on a rec somewhere (here?), I read Warren Ellis' "Gun Machine."

Really enjoyed the book. An imaginative crime novel with zero shopworn cliches but full of black humor, character, and action. Twisted, in the very best possible way.

Highly recommended.

examiner.com review -- http://exm.nr/1dnhWNS

Posted by: Doug at January 12, 2014 01:47 PM (mb/WO)

96 I liked "Pompeii" too.

Big fan of his "Enigma" and "Fatherland."

Posted by: Doug at January 12, 2014 01:53 PM (mb/WO)

97 Borrowed Phil Robertson's "Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander" from the library.

Never watched the show, but I became curious after the controversy. Really enjoyed the book -- and I'm not a religious person.

Robertson is a smart, flawed person who made a sincere effort to clean up his life and become a responsible person. His path was religion.

Definitely not a hater. Sincere and humble.

Recommended.

Posted by: Doug at January 12, 2014 01:59 PM (mb/WO)

98 I am more of a lurker than a contributor--but I am a fan. And overtime I feel I "know" some of you. So, I am going to step out and ask for help.

I have had a thematic series of shorts in my head for a long time and now I am going to give them a go.

My problem is self editing. I have moved on from dying over every word to just getting it out first and then clean up.

What I would like to do is to be able to talk it out and then plug it into my laptop and have it appear in editable text. The device would have to be mobile and preferably with photo capability. Most likely a phone or perhaps a tablet.

I have little patience with mechanical things or technology challenges so simple is good.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Posted by: gracepmc at January 12, 2014 02:00 PM (rznx3)

99 94
The more relevant Tocqueville book now-a-days is "Reflections on the Revolution in France"



isn't that Burke?



Posted by: ColoComment at January 12, 2014 01:15 PM (wtjSz)



89 For Tocqueville's take on the French Revolution I think you want "Ancien Regime and the French Revolution."



Posted by: Retread at January 12, 2014 01:17 PM (cHwk5)



That's right.



My bad.

Posted by

I'll read them both. History and military science -- both great reads. Hell, I don't care what history it is (as long as it's accurate).

Posted by: SFGoth at January 12, 2014 02:06 PM (VGDJR)

100
re: Jack London: Love his writing: his politcs, not so much.
See "How I Became a Socialist" 1901

Posted by: Scott at January 12, 2014 02:20 PM (mSdpD)

101 57
DangerGirl, have you read Mary Roach's book about sex? "Bonk?" it is
good too. I am reading "Gulp" now but I am finding it more difficult to
get into than her other books.

Posted by: Paranoidgirlinseattle at January 12, 2014 12:29 PM (RZ8pf)


Hey PGS, I haven't read that one yet, but it is on my to be read list on my Kindle, Gulp as well and Spook.

Posted by: DangerGirl at January 12, 2014 02:37 PM (GrtrJ)

102 #13

Ah but not OT if it means another book link!

Freeman Dyson had a hand in early nuclear reactor design in the US and talks about it some, among other subjects, in his 'Infinite In all Directions.' This includes some observations about Chernobyl and why similar designs were avoided in US civilian plants.

Posted by: Epobirs at January 12, 2014 02:46 PM (bPxS6)

103 I'm about half-way through "The Tattered Banner" by Duncan Hamilton. Fairly exciting rags-to-riches sword-fighting story set in a low-magic kind of world. Good action scenes, likeable characters, pretty good book so far. I'll let ya'll know if it finishes strong next week.

Posted by: Pave Low John at January 12, 2014 02:50 PM (Z79ao)

104 If you're a truly lazy moron, you can have someone else read "To Build a Fire" out loud for you. Go to pseudopod.org and it's episode 366.

Posted by: Captain Comic at January 12, 2014 02:58 PM (clTl7)

105 There are also two reading of To Build a Fire available free from LibriVox

Posted by: BornLib at January 12, 2014 03:02 PM (zpNwC)

106 Posted by: SFGoth at January 12, 2014 02:06 PM (VGDJR)

Then you'll love this guy named Howard Zinn.

Posted by: David at January 12, 2014 03:23 PM (6Oj/Y)

107 Richard Matheson also wrote "The Shrinking Man," which became one of the early classic sci-fi movies.

Posted by: RovingCopyEditor at January 12, 2014 03:24 PM (vRdWg)

108 gracepmc @ 98:

Most smartphones (I think) will record voice, and most have cameras, although not very good ones. Add Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking (http://bit.ly/1aec5HS) or something similar to your laptop, and it might be what you're looking for. Disclaimer: I've never used any voice-to-text program, so I have no idea how accurate they are or how long it takes to "train" one.

The closest thing to what you want is probably an iPad, perhaps one of the new Minis. There are speech-to-text programs available, and it has a 5MP camera.

I know there are some very tech-knowledgeable folks on the ONT, so you might post your question again there.

Posted by: RovingCopyEditor at January 12, 2014 03:39 PM (vRdWg)

109 I read all of the Monster Hunter series, which I found enjoyable. Read Snow Crash, which joins Neuromancer as another work entry in the cyberpunk canon which I don't really appreciate (so, 2 for 2, 3 for 3 if you count Diamond Age, which I couldn't even finish).

Just started on Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, after having listened to an audio drama of the first part. I'm looking forward to this one.

Oh, and I got a Kindle paperwhite for Christmas! I'm liking it so far, reading with the internal light is very handy.

Posted by: .87c at January 12, 2014 03:50 PM (qZPXs)

110 I'll endorse an earlier recommendation of C.S. Forester's 'The Good Shepard'. A Destroyer Captain commands a destroyer escort trans-Atlantic during WWII. His faith is constantly challenged. Great book, but then all of his are.

Posted by: Mike Hammer at January 12, 2014 03:55 PM (aDwsi)

111 Thanks for the plug, OregonMuse!

gracepmc, I second the Dragon NaturallySpeaking rec. Haven't used it myself, but a grad-school friend who had a herniated disc in his neck (I think that was the dx) that seriously affected his hands used it to keep up with his work until he was able to have surgery. It worked really well for him. That's also the program Project Valour-IT uses on its laptops for wounded warriors.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at January 12, 2014 04:14 PM (Mt8eo)

112 One of the most remarkable books I have ever read: "Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant." I'm reading it on my Kindle, where I bought it for a whopping 99 cents. (There's another Kindle version that includes maps for $2.79, but several commenters say the maps are hard to read).

Among U.S. Grant's other gifts, it turns out (who knew?) that he is one hell of a great writer. I'm only about 10 percent of the way into it, but Grant's personality emanates from every page -- and an extremely appealing one it is. He is insightful and utterly without artifice. And boy oh boy, can he write.

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas at January 12, 2014 04:42 PM (afLO3)

113 Good start, SD!

Posted by: Andy Reid at January 12, 2014 04:43 PM (celt+)

114 108
gracepmc @ 98: RovingCopyEditor at January 12, 2014 03:39 PM (vRdWg)

111


Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at January 12, 2014 04:14 PM (Mt8eo)


************

Thank you both. I do have some work experience with voice recognition and know that it is difficult. Dragon seems to work really well and I will take another look -- although it is fixed place as far as I know.

And I shouldn't be so nit picky about the conversion, because I hate the sound of tv so much I am close captioned fluent.

The suggestion of the Ipad mini I will look into as well as other small tabs and apps for voice to text. And the ONT.

I need to do some homework too. Thanks for your help.




Posted by: gracepmc at January 12, 2014 04:48 PM (rznx3)

115 114,108,111

Looks like Dragon might work with rec. on the go. No camera, but what the heck.

Posted by: gracepmc at January 12, 2014 05:17 PM (rznx3)

116 Here's a moron friendly title, being book bombed by Larry Correia today: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/book-bomb-john-browns-bad-penny/#comment-54539

Posted by: kalel666 at January 13, 2014 01:27 PM (gSqI7)

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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